Help with diagnosis

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by polygrl74, Jan 16, 2006.

  1. polygrl74

    polygrl74 New Member

    I have been tired off and on for about 3 years now. The fatigue would be accompanied by achy knees and wrists and elbows and low back... Flu like symtoms. I was also experiencing tingling in both feet and a vibration feeling....like I just rode a quad for an hour and my feet still felt like I was on the bike.
    After relapsing several times in a year, I went to the doctor. After several tests for Lupus, Lyme, Rhumatoid Arthritis, etc. they told me that they could not find anything wrong. My doc put me on a drug called Plaquenil to treat arthritis like symptoms. I did not have a relapse for almost 3 months.....until last week. All of the same symptoms came back but this time I felt muscle twitching in my lower legs up to my knee. This is very scary to me considering that there are lots of neuroligical diseases that present this symptom. Does anyone have these symptoms and do you have any recommendations on getting this diagnosed?
  2. polygrl74

    polygrl74 New Member

    Msmoody, I appreciate your reply. I do see a Chiropractor with whom I have spoken to about these symptoms in great detail. He has not heard of such symptoms. I even spoke to the NP at his clinic. No avail. Anyway, I do have an appt. this week to followup with my rheum. doc. Hopefully we will figure this out. It is extremely frustrating to feel ill and not know what is wrong.
  3. hopeful4

    hopeful4 New Member

    It's so frustrating to be sick and without a proper diagnosis. Keep on looking for answers, and you will find them.

    In addition to what others have recommended, please re-consider being seen and tested for Lyme Disease by a LLMD (Lyme Literate Medical Doctor).

    What kind of doctor told you it was not lyme? Is the doctor who told you it was not lyme a LLMD? What test did you have?

    Most testing for Lyme Disease is highly questionable. The most reliable testing is called Igenex Western Blot. Also, a test called Bowen is considered a good one. Other tests are pretty worthless.

    A negative Lyme test, however, does NOT rule out Lyme Disease. Lyme Disease is a CLINICAL diagnosis, taking into account the lab test, but also your history, symptoms, and whole picture.

    I am not a Dr., but many of the symptoms you mention are consistent with Lyme Disease. If it were me, I would read up on Lyme Disease if you have not already. There's a lot of info at lymenet dot org.

    You can find a LLMD doctor through lymenet dot org.

    Also, many on this website have talked about Lyme, and you could do a search on this forum.

    I've been sick since 2000, DX w/CFIDS/FM. Only this year did I find out it's Lyme Disease. I was tested twice by Quest, and came up totally negative. Then my Dr. ordered the Igenex Western Blot...positive for Lyme.

    Best wishes,
    Hopeful4


  4. hopeful4

    hopeful4 New Member

    Just reposted this for your info. Note especially the flu-like symptoms and the neurological symptoms. You do not have to have all of the following to have lyme. My worst symptoms are mostly neurological.

    Lyme Disease

    This is getting popular around here. Hope it helps. It's been reposted several times now, originally from karatelady52.

    Below is an article from the Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation:

    Lyme (commonly misspelled as Lime or Lymes) Disease symptoms may show up fast, with a bang, or very slowly and innocuously. There may be initial flu-like symptoms with fever, headache, nausea, jaw pain, light sensitivity, red eyes, muscle ache and stiff neck. Many write this off as a flu and because the nymph stage of the tick is so tiny many do not recall a tick bite.

    The classic rash may only occur or have been seen in as few as 30% of cases (many rashes in body hair and indiscrete areas go undetected). Treatment in this early stage is critical.

    If left untreated or treated insufficiently symptoms may creep into ones life over weeks, months or even years. They wax and wane and may even go into remission only to come out at a later date...even years later.

    With symptoms present, a negative lab result means very little as they are very unreliable. The diagnosis, with today's limitations in the lab, must be clinical.

    Many Lyme patients were firstly diagnosed with other illnesses such as Juvenile Arthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Reactive Arthritis, Infectious Arthritis, Osteoarthritis, Fibromyalgia, Raynaud's Syndrome, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Interstitial Cystis, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, Fifth Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, scleroderma, lupus, early ALS, early Alzheimers Disease, crohn's disease, ménières syndrome, reynaud's syndrome, sjogren's syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, prostatitis, psychiatric disorders (bipolar, depression, etc.), encephalitis, sleep disorders, thyroid disease and various other illnesses. see -- Other Presentations and Misdiagnoses

    If you have received one of these diagnoses please scroll down and see if you recognize a broader range of symptoms.

    If you are a doctor please re-examine these diagnoses, incorporating Lyme in the differential diagnoses.

    The one common thread with Lyme Disease is the number of systems affected (brain, central nervous system, autonomic nervous system, cardiovascular, digestive, respiratory, musco-skeletal, etc.) and sometimes the hourly/daily/weekly/monthly changing of symptoms.

    No one will have all symptoms but if many are present serious consideration must be given by any physician to Lyme as the possible culprit. Lyme is endemic in Canada period. The infection rate with Lyme in the tick population is exploding in North America and as the earth's temperature warms this trend is expected to continue.

    Symptoms may come and go in varying degrees with fluctuation from one symptom to another. There may be a period of what feels like remission only to be followed by another onset of symptoms.

    PRINT AND CIRCLE ALL YES ANSWERS ( 20 yes represents a serious potential and Lyme should be included in diagnostic workup)

    Symptoms of Lyme Disease

    The Tick Bite (fewer than 50% recall a tick bite or get/see the rash)
    Rash at site of bite
    Rashes on other parts of your body
    Rash basically circular and spreading out (or generalized)
    Raised rash, disappearing and recurring


    Head, Face, Neck

    Unexplained hair loss
    Headache, mild or severe, Seizures
    Pressure in Head, White Matter Lesions in Head (MRI)
    Twitching of facial or other muscles
    Facial paralysis (Bell's Palsy)
    Tingling of nose, (tip of) tongue, cheek or facial flushing
    Stiff or painful neck
    Jaw pain or stiffness
    Dental problems (unexplained)
    Sore throat, clearing throat a lot, phlegm ( flem ), hoarseness, runny nose


    Eyes/Vision

    Double or blurry vision
    Increased floating spots
    Pain in eyes, or swelling around eyes
    Oversensitivity to light
    Flashing lights/Peripheral waves/phantom images in corner of eyes


    Ears/Hearing

    Decreased hearing in one or both ears, plugged ears
    Buzzing in ears
    Pain in ears, oversensitivity to sounds
    Ringing in one or both ears


    Digestive and Excretory Systems

    Diarrhea
    Constipation
    Irritable bladder (trouble starting, stopping) or Interstitial cystitis
    Upset stomach (nausea or pain) or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease)


    Musculoskeletal System

    Bone pain, joint pain or swelling, carpal tunnel syndrome
    Stiffness of joints, back, neck, tennis elbow
    Muscle pain or cramps, (Fibromyalgia)


    Respiratory and Circulatory Systems

    Shortness of breath, can't get full/satisfying breath, cough
    Chest pain or rib soreness
    Night sweats or unexplained chills
    Heart palpitations or extra beats
    Endocarditis, Heart blockage


    Neurologic System

    Tremors or unexplained shaking
    Burning or stabbing sensations in the body
    Fatigue, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Weakness, peripheral neuropathy or partial paralysis
    Pressure in the head
    Numbness in body, tingling, pinpricks
    Poor balance, dizziness, difficulty walking
    Increased motion sickness
    Lightheadedness, wooziness


    Psychological well-being

    Mood swings, irritability, bi-polar disorder
    Unusual depression
    Disorientation (getting or feeling lost)
    Feeling as if you are losing your mind
    Over-emotional reactions, crying easily
    Too much sleep, or insomnia
    Difficulty falling or staying asleep
    Narcolepsy, sleep apnea
    Panic attacks, anxiety


    Mental Capability

    Memory loss (short or long term)
    Confusion, difficulty in thinking
    Difficulty with concentration or reading
    Going to the wrong place
    Speech difficulty (slurred or slow)
    Stammering speech
    Forgetting how to perform simple tasks


    Reproduction and Sexuality

    Loss of sex drive
    Sexual dysfunction
    Unexplained menstral pain, irregularity
    Unexplained breast pain, discharge
    Testicular or pelvic pain


    General Well-being

    Unexplained weight gain, loss
    Extreme fatigue
    Swollen glands/lymph nodes
    Unexplained fevers (high or low grade)
    Continual infections (sinus, kidney, eye, etc.)
    Symptoms seem to change, come and go
    Pain migrates (moves) to different body parts
    Early on, experienced a "flu-like" illness, after which you
    have not since felt well.
    Low body temperature

    Allergies/Chemical sensitivities

    Increased affect from alcohol and possible worse hangover


  5. polygrl74

    polygrl74 New Member

    Thanks so much! The Lyme posting was very helpful and does describe many of my symptoms. I am not sure what type of test that was run but my Rheumatologist requested it initially last fall. I will ask him when I get to my appt. what type that they used.

    Everyone on this message board seems so helpful and friendly. Thanks again for your help and support.
  6. hopeful4

    hopeful4 New Member

    I'm re-posting this for your information. I'm not saying that you have Lyme, only offering this as something to consider.

    It was given to me when I was DX w/Lyme at one of the Fibromyalgia and Fatigue Centers.


    "Lyme Disease and Link to Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome and Unrelenting Fatigue"
    (From the Fibromyalgia and Fatigue Center fibroandfatigue.com)


    Lyme disease is caused by a spiral shaped bacteria (spirochete) called Borrelia burgdorferi. These bacteria are most often transmitted by tics and mosquitoes. The spirochetes have been called “the great imitators” because they can mimic virtually any disease, which often leads to misdiagnosis. Patients suffering with a chronic illness and especially those with Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome and Unrelenting Fatigue should consider Lyme disease as a contributor.

    Patients with chronic Lyme disease most commonly have fatigue, joint and muscle pain, sleep disorders and cognitive problems, also known as ‘brain fog’. In addition, infection with Borrelia often results in a low grade encephalopathy (infection of the brain) that can cause depression, bipolar disorder, panic attacks, numbness, tingling, burning, weakness, or twitching. It can also be associated with neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis, dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease). The infection often results in hormonal deficiencies, abnormal activation of coagulation and immune dysfunction, which can contribute to the cause of the symptoms.

    Patients with chronic Lyme disease often complain of ‘strange’ or ‘weird’ symptoms that cannot be explained even after going to numerous doctors and often results in the patient being told that it is psychological. Patients are often told that they are hypochondriacs and are referred to psychiatrists and counselors for treatment.

    Because the symptoms are so variable, most patients are usually not considered for testing or treatment. If testing is done, however, standard tests will miss over 90% of cases of chronic Lyme disease. The standard tests include an immunoassay test of IgG and IgM antibodies and a Western blot for confirmation. The problem with these tests is that they are designed to detect acute Lyme disease and are very poor at detecting chronic Lyme disease. In addition, doctors (infectious disease, internists, family practice, etc.) most often use the Center for Disease Control (CDC) criteria to define a positive test. This criterion was never meant to be used for diagnosis, but rather for epidemiological surveillance (tracking data).

    If one uses an expanded Western blot with revised requirement criteria for diagnosis, studies have demonstrated an improved sensitivity of detection of over 90% while having a low false-positive rate of less than 3%.

    There are also a number of co-infections that are commonly transmitted along with the Lyme bacterium, which include Bartonella, Babesia, Ehrlichia and others. There are different species in different parts of the country that can make testing difficult and insensitive. As with Borrelia, there is a very high percentage of false-negative results (test negative despite infection being present).

    Treatment of chronic Lyme disease can be very problematic as the Borrelia bacteria can transform from the standard cell wall form to a non-cell wall form (l-form) and also into a treatment resistant cyst. Standard antibiotic treatments are only effective against the cell wall form and are ineffective against the L-forms and cystic forms that are usually present in chronic Lyme disease. Consequently, the usual 2-4 weeks of intravenous or oral antibiotics are rarely of any benefit. The use of longer courses of oral or intravenous antibiotics for months or even years is often ineffective as well if used as the sole major therapy. A multi-system integrative approach can, however, dramatically increase the likelihood of successful treatment. This includes using a combination of synergistic antibiotics that are effective against the l-forms and cystic forms, immune modulators, directed anti-Lyme nutraceuticals, anticoagulants, hormonal therapies and prescription lysosomotropics (medications that increase the effectiveness and penetration of antibiotics into the various forms of the Borrelia spirochete).

    To adequately detect and treat chronic Lyme disease, Physicians must understand that standard tests will miss the majority of these cases and standard treatment will fail the majority of the time. One must undergo more specialized testing and a multi-system integrative treatment approach to achieve success in the majority of patients.