Main Article on Fibromyalgia Question: How was your fibromyalgia treated? Submit Your Comment Comment from: Rita Jo, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: September 11 I have had fibromyalgia for over 25 years. I’ve been taking Cymbalta for a few years. The last 3 days I ran out of my medicine. I have swirled into depression, severe pain everywhere, brain fog, insomnia, nausea, anxiety and confusion. I didn’t know my body needed the medicines to help me have a somewhat normal life. I’m going to work on weaning myself off the medicine eventually. For now no more running out. Follow your doctor’s advice. Don’t suffer if you don’t have to. Cymbalta really does help. Comment from: Jena718, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 11 I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia 2 years ago. I was first on Lyrica which made me have some sort of bad mental reaction. I was then out on Cymbalta and I have been responding so well to it... maybe too well. There have been several times that I should have been in excruciating pain but wasn’t. I have C4-C7 bulging and herniated discs with zero pain. I fell down a flight of cast iron stairs with zero pain. I now have shingles with zero pain. I like the idea of a painless life but it is worrying. Comment from: Thand57, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: December 04 My fibromyalgia has been treated with anti-seizure medicines, antidepressants, and opioids, none of which seem to help and every doctor is afraid to increase the dosage, especially of the opioids. My long acting medicine doesn’t work long enough and insurance is not covering my medicines for break through pain. Why do chronic pain sufferers have to suffer, no one should suffer when they are sick, much less by denying pain medicine coverage. Comment from: Trena, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 09 I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia at age 27. At first I thought I was dying. I did a lot of research and found that nutrition is key. Use a well-balanced liquid vitamin and mineral supplement daily. Keep going and don't give in. No sugar. Eat fresh foods and low dairy. Take magnesium supplement and omega 3. I take ibuprofen for pain. I had to realize I couldn't do everything. I am 60 now. I still work full time. Occupying myself helps keep my mind from dwelling on the pain. Comment from: Ann, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: July 09 I was diagnosed at 16 with fibromyalgia. It was very hard to continue to be active but that is the best way to treat this disease. Pain medicines always gave me awful side effects and never really worked but I was better with minor exercise like walking, and healthy eating. The pain is still awful and I am constantly tired but with physiotherapy I am still able to work and live a fairly normal life even with the pain. As years go by it does get worse and I can only hope better treatments are developed soon. Comment from: Better at 65, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: March 25 I had fibromyalgia for about 20 years. I fortunately had it diagnosed almost immediately by a wonderful female doctor. It was very debilitating at first. I had to rest after cleaning my bath tub, a very painful process, and I was only in my 40s. The pain did not go away. My doctor prescribed aerobic exercise and Flexeril. That drug made a big difference in the amount of sleep I got. I exercised for 20 minutes every day except Sunday. (That was all my pain tolerance would allow.) Whether those are what kept it a fairly mild case or not I have no idea. Recently I tried Cymbalta and am happy to say I feel like I got my life back. After about 2 years on it I have regained some of my energy level and am now lifting weights and exercising more to increase my energy level. Being 67, I will never get it all back, but I can't tell you what a difference it has made in my life. I can sit still without aching all over after half an hour (which makes travel bearable) and can ride bike for as long as my old muscles will allow me to. At least 2 hours. I believe I am fortunate as I have no noticeable side effects from the drug and it really does work for me. I sincerely hope there is soon a cure for everyone who has it. Comment from: Bill, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: May 09 My fibromyalgia seem to have triggered by a combination of stresses in late summer and fall of 2016. It started with the right thigh that was constantly locked up. I went to a physiotherapist and started the litany of doctors and tests. Fortunately, my primary care physician is well versed on the current theory regarding autoimmune disorders. My symptoms have since progressed into a chronic ache on my right side, with excursions into acute pain. I also have burning sensations on the 'long bone areas' (the area between the joints) of all four limbs. Random sharp pain in my hands and feet. Currently I am on 1800 gabapentin and 60 Cymbalta. Comment from: xfactor, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 14 I too have been diagnosed with this life altering disease. The sad part is, it causes so much pain and disability but my doctor says it is not grounds to place me on disability. I am in trouble at work now and I have been sick with no pay. I don't know how long I have had this but a recent operation made the symptoms that much worse, after having a hysterectomy the nurse attempted to make me walk and after standing up my whole body began to shake. I fell back onto the bed and burst into tears, it was as if my body went into shock. I understand the person who commented about the dr suggesting exercise but the pain keeps you from doing anything I have just started walking on my treadmill 2 months ago before I could not bear it. I wish that the health industry would recognize this as a real life altering disease. SLIDESHOW Fibromyalgia Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment See Slideshow Comment from: rosie, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 17 I have just recently been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I have from moderate to severe pain in most parts of my body, been tested for a lot of things and all came back ok. I have had a lot of stomach pain, the doctors have told me that this could have been brought on from my car wreck two and half years ago, that had crushed my leg. I am now taking cymbalta for depression and fibromyalgia. They tell me exercise but I hurt so bad I don’t want to do anything. I have to make myself get out of bed. Comment from: poppy, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 21 Hello, I have just been diagnosed with FMS. I have had all over body pain for years. I have recently gone through chemotherapy for breast cancer since then it has got more painful. My inner elbows are very tender. I have very bad pins and needles in my feet and hands. I even had an operation for carpal tunnel on one hand with no improvement. I have a degenerative disc in my spine and neck, which adds to the pain. My legs feel like jelly most of the time and I find it hard to walk without a stick especially outdoors. My medication is amitriptyline, and painkillers. It is such a debilitating illness, some days are worse than others. Sometimes I cannot get myself out of bed I’m in such pain, so I sleep until I improve. This week the pain is worse in my feet so I’m shuffling along. I’m now looking to find a group to go, to share thoughts on this illness. PS I did heavy lifting when young, and I had 3 children and a very stressful marriage perhaps it has something to do why I have FMS. Comment from: tistaley, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: November 27 I was diagnosed about three years ago. I had all the textbook symptoms and followed all the medical advice,including antidepressants and pain pills.Nothing helped. Comment from: peggysue, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: November 26 I have had fibromyalgia for about 10 years. I would suggest finding a doctor who believes the pain is real, and will work with you. I take Lyrica, Celexa, 800 mg Ibuprofen, and Tramadol. Also I bought an elliptical exerciser and the work on it is fun and it helps. Comment from: Debra064, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 04 Fibromyalgia is so cruel and unseen. Each year the pain and other symptoms progress and get worse. Fibromyalgia is cruel enough. However, the many labels and doubts put upon us are almost as painful as the physical pain itself. I began my journey with fibromyalgia at age 40 when I became very ill. Before that time I was healthy and energetic and could not ever be seen or labeled as a lazy person. I never took any narcotic pain meds before fibromyalgia hit me hard. Comment from: CPCarter, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: March 29 After several years of fighting with the pain I was finally diagnosed seven weeks ago with fibromyalgia. I am currently taking Cymbalta daily and Flexeril and melatonin at night. It is a daily struggle at times but I am trying to remain positive and push onward even when I don't feel like I have it in me. Learning to relax has been hard for me since I have always been on the move and am only 44. I try to surround myself with positive and happy people and talk when I feel like I am losing my mind. If you think you have FMS please seek out a good rheumatologist. The orthopedic surgeons I was seeing made me feel as if I was crazy. Be persistent and be patient. Don't let them stress you out because it could possibly aggravate your symptoms. And remember, YOU are NOT alone and YOU ARE NOT CRAZY. Comment from: oldcowgirl, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: January 27 Trazadone has helped with sleep. Good sleep has amazing beneficial results. Also exercise. The more my body moves the better it feels. Comment from: 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 24 I am much like the rest of you. I was diagnosed by a rheumatologist in June. My younger sister was diagnosed in the early 90's. It is very hard to understand the pain and mental fog that fibro patients go thru until you experience it yourself. I have been blessed with a doctor that has empathy and cares and understands. My symptoms began in later teens and did not have major pain until two years ago. Fibro is a cyclical disease with symptoms that run in cycles. Than you reach a point where it turns to an active disease and your life is forever changed. Comment from: Andrea, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: October 04 I was diagnosed in 1989. This is what I've observed helps for me with this illness: Antidepressants helped in the beginning. Acupressure definitely helped as well as massage and perhaps acupuncture. Walking and especially swimming help a lot. As does yoga and Tai Chi. QUESTION What characterizes fibromyalgia? See Answer Comment from: Achey in Pa., 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 24 I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 1998 and put on Amitriptoline, which really helped for about five years, but adversely affected my heart. Then was on Toprol for a few years and had to stop that due to side effects. I went off meds for awhile then tried Prozac as I started menopause. It helped somewhat, but I switched to Cymbalta. I'm trying to go without meds for awhile. I'm worried about my liver and kidneys. I feel better when I get into a regular exercise routine and eat healthy diet. My job involves a lot of driving, making my pervasive pain worse. Stress is a big enemy too. Sleep does not come easily without meds. Don’t give up. I'm going to try tai chi. Comment from: Slogan, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 24 My doctor prescribed muscle relaxers and Trazodone for my sleep problem. He recommended vitamin therapies, nutraceuticals, and some hormonal replacement therapies, too. I started walking for about a half an hour two to three times per week. I do feel better now; it has been about five months since I was diagnosed. Comment from: BBE60, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 15 I have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia since 1998 after being rear ended by a truck. I was just recovering from back surgery when that happened. I had what was like a bad case of aches and pains right after the accident which I thought was the flu. After two weeks it spread all over my body with great fatigue. I went through many doctors and potent pain drugs. Eventually, in 1996, through building up to exercising and eating right, I finally got off the strong pain drugs. The results = GREAT!!! Comment from: willowtremor, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: July 11 I was diagnosed in 1997 with fibromyalgia. Back then a lot of older physicians did not even believe that fibromyalgia existed so I had a hard time at first getting treatment. I finally found a physician that not only believed in fibromyalgia but also was willing to help me. In any case, my physician at the time did not prescribe it, she either was not aware of Lyrica or it hadn't been used for fibromyalgia at that time. My initial treatments consisted of physical therapy and pain meds (which did not work no matter how strong or what type they were). Three and a half years ago I was prescribed Lyrica. Now my story may not be typical of the success of Lyrica for me so do not think you will have the exact same results as I had. With that said, Lyrica controlled most of my pain about 75% of it for a year and a half that I was able to go off the Lyrica and without pain meds I was able to go two years without any treatment. I was still in some pain but able to function with the minimal pain I had. I have had to start taking Lyrica again recently because in the last 6 months the fibromyalgia has flared up to the point I was at before Lyrica. So here is hoping Lyrica will work as well this time as it did in the past. Comment from: EastVillagePoet, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: May 31 I treat my sever fibromyalgia pain with Methadone, Savella, exercise and meditation. Comment from: [email protected], 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 16 I have been suffering with fibromyalgia for ten or more years, and now I found out I have a degenerative disc in my back. My options are to live with the pain or have a major surgery. The combination of fibromyalgia and my back keep me awake at night tossing and turning every ten or fifteen minutes. I' m very frustrated with all the doctors I've seen. No wants to prescribe me pain meds so I can sleep and ease the pain. Comment from: grannynancy, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 19 I was seen by various doctors over 10 year because of throbbing burning pain before I was properly diagnosed. I currently take 120 mg of Cymbalta but it seems my pain as getting worse. However even if my doctor increases my dosage, I could not afford to pay the price along with the other medicines I have to take. It is all terribly depressing. Comment from: Jsucec, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 05 I have Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction for 19 yrs now and developed Fibromyalgia 15 years ago. My pain is exactly as everyone has described as well as disc pain in lumbar. My entire life has been turned upside down as all of yours. The most helpful things for me have been trigger point injections. Fibro causes many trigger points and are the root cause of the pain. While the injections are really painful, the relief is worth it. I have been doing these along with monthly massages which are a must to at least allow me some good days. Lydoderm patches also really help. I think Lyrica and Cymbalta only help a small population with Fibromyalgia. I hope this helps some of you. It’s a terrible way to live. Comment from: Homehanger, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 26 I have had a diagnosis of fibro for 6 years. I have experienced hard times in a very similar way. Although I still have very bad days I have more good days. I take Ambien CR for improving my sleep and decreasing nightmares and I awake clear headed and refreshed. My neck and back pain is relieved by laying flat on a heating pad with a pillow under my knees. I have gone to several sessions of physical therapy and the most success is with posture correcting exercises. I have also learned that my comfort comes first and those around me are second. I consider regular massage therapy a necessity and not just pampering. I've learned to have a glass half full optimistic attitude. No one should feel hopeless, there is help. Comment from: julia, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: April 15 I have fibromyalgia; I'm in so much pain it even hurts to type. I take lyrica and vicodin but get no relief. I'm 44 years old but I feel 84. I can hardly get out of bed. I had knee surgery and I can't do much around my house. I hope I can return to work soon but I'm worried about my aches and pain all over my body. I feel sad and cry because I used to be so active, now I'm feeling glad if I can go grocery shopping and return in one hour with minimal pain. Comment from: melody, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 21 Like most of the comments I to have pain all over my body and I agree that stress agitates it. My husband died just recently and the pain is so bad I can hardly function my neck shoulders back and breast/chest pain hands armpits, there is hardly any place that I don’t hurt, pain killers don’t even touch the pain and I am ready for giving up. Unless anyone can give me any tips.