Do you all believe that FMS is a real illness? It is ...

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by jaltair, Feb 11, 2007.

  1. jaltair

    jaltair New Member

    I've read so many posts that indicate some think that FMS is a diagnosis of "last resort", and only given when everything is ruled out. Some believe that there is an underlying problem. Yes, FMS is diagnosed when after any other malady is ruled out, which means tests and more tests; however, it's not a "waste basket" diagnosis; it's as real as any other malady - I have lupus and FMS. Some symptoms are the same, and some aren't.

    For the most part, routine laboratory testing reveals nothing about fibromyalgia. However, upon physical examination by a rheumatologist, the person with FMS will be sensitive to pressure in certain areas of the body called tender points.

    To meet the diagnostic criteria for FMS, patients must have:

    A. Widespread pain in all four quadrants of their body for a minimum of three months

    B. At least 11 of the 18 specified tender points (to qualify for diagnosis) *

    Tender points are specific places on the body (18 specific points at 9 bilateral locations) that are exceptionally sensitive to the touch in people with fibromyalgia upon examination by a doctor. This was determined to be a criterion in the diagnosis of FMS by rheumatologist who found that there were a group of people who had a certain number of tender points in certain locations on their body.

    Fibromyalgia is a syndrome rather than a disease. <b>THAT DOESN’T MEAN THAT IT’S A "TRASH CAN" DIAGNOSIS.</b> Unlike a medical condition with a specific cause or causes and recognizable signs and symptoms, a "syndrome" is a collection of signs, symptoms, and medical problems that tend to occur together but are not related to a specific, identifiable cause.

    Areas of the tender points:

    Low Cervical Region: (front neck area) at anterior aspect of the interspaces between the transverse processes of C5-C7.
    Second Rib: (front chest area) at second costochondral junctions.
    Occiput: (back of the neck) at suboccipital muscle insertions.
    Trapezius Muscle: (back shoulder area) at midpoint of the upper border.
    Supraspinatus Muscle: (shoulder blade area) above the medial border of the scapular spine.
    Lateral Epicondyle: (elbow area) 2 cm distal to the lateral epicondyle.
    Gluteal: (rear end) at upper outer quadrant of the buttocks.
    Greater Trochanter: (rear hip) posterior to the greater trochanteric prominence.
    Knee: (knee area) at the medial fat pad proximal to the joint line.


  2. achingbytch

    achingbytch New Member

    jaltair
    thanks for the info
    those of us living with the problem can usually list the symptoms...it also takes a good doctor to put it all together.
    15 years ago no one said if you have these pain points, you got FM, nothing was b/w.
  3. jaltair

    jaltair New Member

    I know year back doctors didn't know about FMS. It's somewhat just now being accepted by the medical people.

    All my symptoms began about 30 years ago when nothing was known, and all these years I've had guilt about everything that I couldn't do as well as I thought I should. How horrible that all was!

    Doctors do need to be educated, and it may take their patients to do it ... problem is, we don't have the energy to sometimes. We need an advocate just to educate doctors, and the newly introduce bill might just do that!

    Warm wishes, Jeannette
  4. jaltair

    jaltair New Member

    It's good to hear from you!

    I wish that everyone could have a doctor who supports and helps them through the emotional traumas of diagnosis with FMS. The biggest thing that I think hinders that is disbelief that FMS is a real medical problem, not necessarily just on the doctor's part, but also on the patient's part.

    If a person doesn't believe that FMS exists and keeps looking for something else, they "push" the doctor without knowing it into a defensive mode. That doesn't help the patient-doctor relationship develop.

    Those of us need to be honest with the doctors we have. I told mine flat out one time, "I don't know if FMS is real and I think you're giving me the diagnosis because you can't find a real problem."

    I was told in no uncertain terms that it is real and that I needed to understand and accept the reality. I did, and I felt much more at ease with my doctor and with myself.

    I don't know how much this explanation will help, but I hope it helps some who are struggling like I did. Not that we have to accept a fact we'll never get better, we can and should believe we will and go forward finding ways to live with what we are given. I've chosen to live healthier through better diet practices and more exercise (as I can tolerate). I also am comfortable taking the medication that helps me have more of a quality of life.
  5. jaltair

    jaltair New Member

    I agree. All tests need to be run to r/o any type of infectious diseases. This should be standard practice in diagnosing FMS.

    I've had tests for most things except for mycoplasma infection. I'm going to talk with my rheumatologist about being tested for that. My sister was diagnosed with an arthritis type of problem, and her tests were positive for mycoplasma. She's on antibiotic therapy.

    Warm wishes, Jeannette