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09/13/2009 08:53 AM

Inflammation/Blood test for Fibro?

blondetrekgirl
blondetrekgirlPosts: 42
Member

I've had to deal with plenty of docs who think that I'm just "another middle-aged woman who needs attention". Well, that couldn't be further from the truth. I am a low-drama, low maintenance person (my spouse will provide testimonials) but I am really struggling with many aspects of this disease (I don't care that the medical community calls it a syndrome, that just sounds flaky!). I get plenty of attention from my wonderful husband and family, and I'm also a local actress so attention isn't something I'm lacking. What I AM lacking is answers.

How can I have tendonitis in my elbows, knees, ankles, jaw, pretty much everywhere, and still have Fibro? I thought one of the criteria for having Fibro was that you DON'T have any soft tissue damage, even though it hurts? Every blood test I have shows that I have systemic inflammation levels off the charts, but supposedly Fibro doesn't show up as inflammation in blood tests? I'm not convinced this is a neurological disorder as so many believe, because there ACTUALLY is something physically damaging muscles/tendons/ligaments in the body not just the brain chemistry responding inappropriately to pain signals, right? It seems to me a highly positive blood test for inflammation would be a way to confirm Fibromyalgia? Doesn't everyone who has Fibro, have inflammation that can be quantitatively measured?

Just in case you suspect I've got something else going on, I've been tested for MS, Lupus, all the other stuff Fibro mimics, and thankfully I'm negative for those.

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09/13/2009 10:05 AM
CEftis
CEftis  
Posts: 122
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From what I understand, the answer is no. Everything I have read states that studies show negative tests for inflammation of the muscles, tendons, etc. However, a large number of folks with FM, including myself, have many inflammation issues such as asthma, Meniere's, chronic sinusitis, colitis, etc. It's curious! I feel like I have an inflammation problem, but, for now at least, "they" say the muscle pain is not caused by inflammation.

09/13/2009 12:29 PM
raynedae
raynedae  
Posts: 8219
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Have they xrayed you for arthritis? I have it in my neck, hips and hands and always test high for inflammation. My doctor told me the way to tell the difference between arthritis and fibro pain is to press on the joint itself. It that hurts, it's probably arthritis or some other "itis". Then she pressed on the soft tissue on either side of the joint and told me that pain was fibro pain.

A lot of us have fibro and inflammation separate from co-occuring conditons, like tendonitis and osteo-arthritis. I just thank my lucky stars I have OA and not RA.


09/13/2009 12:47 PM
shortstuff116
shortstuff116  
Posts: 1635
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I'm an Advocate

Ceftis, WELCOME TO OUR GROUP! Raynes' right. An x-ray will show if you have RA or OA. I have both. I have OA in my hands legs and feet, and RA in my lower back and spine and neck.

An x-ray and blood test can show whether you have OA or RA. I know that I wish I only had one A, but lucky me has to have both. It is hard to deal with even with Fibro and the many faces that it has. You can only live for today because you never know what tomorrow will bring. I tell myself that all the time.

Aain, Welcome! I am so happy that you are here. I know that you will be happy here. God Bless You. shortstuff


09/13/2009 07:42 PM
blondetrekgirl
blondetrekgirlPosts: 42
Member

Ceftis, thanks for the reply, and I appreciate the good information. I was with a decent (I thought) rheumy for 7 years, and he did bloodwork every 3 months. He had my forearm's x-ray'd due to severe chronic muscle pain, and they showed no nerve damage, which is what they look for. No joint issue. As far as joint's go the only ones that are sore to the touch are both elbows (tendonitis) and my jaw (TMJ). I have plantar fasciitus (inflamed Achilles tendon) of both feet (walking very painful and the stretches doc had me do don't seem to help). Rheumy told me I don't have either OA or RA because there is no joint damage, just soft tissue damage.

I've had several people tell me that it sounds like Lupus, but I thought that showed up in blood tests, but my husband said that no, his co-worker has been diagnosed with Lupus, and it is a diagnoses of exclusion also, just like Fibro. Does anyone know if that is true?


09/13/2009 07:47 PM
raynedae
raynedae  
Posts: 8219
VIP Member

There is an ANA test that they do for Lupus. Mine came back negative so I don't have Lupus. Do you have a rash on your face? That's another symptom of lupus.

09/14/2009 08:15 AM
blondetrekgirl
blondetrekgirlPosts: 42
Member

Rayn, thanks for the confirmation, yeah I thought there was a blood test that indicates Lupus. Thankfully, no rashes. I'm pretty sure I've had that ANA test, because I've had just about every test you can think of. I'm in the process of finding/interviewing a new Rheumatologist, and when I do, I'll have plenty of questions like these. I'll post any and all answers for the good of the group.

By the way, my GP keeps giving me Prednisone for the inflammation, but it doesn't seem to do anything, except make my face swell up. Anyone out there have any ideas on how to reduce inflammation? I've done the diet thing, got rid of all white flour/sugar, etc, but so far, no luck.

I'm not currently taking any prescription meds, just supplements, due to side effects from the scripts. I'd rather do T'ai chi or deep breathing through the pain than deal with all the side effects of anti-depressants, pain pills, muscle relaxers, sleep meds, new Fibro meds (Lyrica, Cymbalta, Savella) etc. I'm guessing we have others in the community that have had to deal with the same stuff.

If I sound negative on Fibro meds, here's why: I think docs are trying to treat a brain chemical problem before they can confirm one exists. Until the medical community routinely tests for a deficiency in the neuro-transmitters Serotonin, Dopamine, GABA, or Norepinephrine, they should stop prescribing meds to change that chemical balance. These drugs alter the chemical balance in our brains and if you don't an imbalance, these drugs can do long-term damage. They alter our personalities, and prevent us from being who we are. I for one am SOOOO glad to be off anti-depressants. I encourage all of us to demand a test from our docs that indicates we have a neuro-transmitter problem BEFORE we let them put us on this stuff. If you want a link to a site that can do this type of testing, or if you want to read about it and request these tests from your docs prior to them prescribing needless and expensive drugs, you can read about/order these tests here:

http://www.integrativepsychiatry.net/ neurotransmitter_tests.html


09/22/2009 12:21 PM
gratefulmj
Posts: 569
Member

Wow you are going to give all those comedians a bum rap for ragging on the intelligence of "blondes." Your writing is eloquent and persuasive.

Are you sure you don't bleach your hair? My niece started life with brown hair. Now that she's fifteen she suddenly has blond hair. She's also loquacious.

Thank you for the link. A lot of doctors (Mark Hyman, Daniel Amen, etc.) are starting to make the case that depression is not a prosac deficiency. Amen actually says there are 7 types of depression and until you know which kind a patient has it's wrong to treat them with antidepressants.

As far as what you may have. Have you considered going to a alternative medical doctors like Mark Hyman. It will cost several thousand between appointment and blood tests (I can't afford it now) but he claims to have helped many people who haven't been helped by conventional treatment.

G-d bless,

MJ


09/22/2009 02:37 PM
CEftis
CEftis  
Posts: 122
Member

Hmmm...if you have inflammation steroids should help. That's what it does, suppress inflammation and does it very well. I just started a Methylprednisolone "dosepack' for my asthma/sinuses. It is my last resort when I am in a flare and it's the one thing that really actually helps. Maybe your dose isn't high enough???

09/24/2009 12:58 PM
blondetrekgirl
blondetrekgirlPosts: 42
Member

MJ, your kind words are the best medicine I could take right now! Thanks for the compliment, persuasive and eloquent are my two favorite things anyone could say about my writing, and yes, I confess my hair is dyed this color!
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