I need to know if anyone can give me suggestions on this extreme tireness I feel. I am having a hard time just getting through my work day and can hardly function when I get home. I really can't stand to live this way anymore....so is there anything that will help this? I have had fibromyalgia for about two years and have always been tired with it, but the last couple of months it's really bad. I even made myself join a gym and was trying to get there once and awhile but I really don't have the energy now....and I want to go back since I am still paying for it. I would appreciate any suggestions...thanks. Linda
Hi Linda.....My suggestion is to tell your doctor about your increased fatigue. I had the same symptom along with hair loss (handfulls) and my thyroid was very low. I have been taking Synthroid for several months and it still isn't up to normal yet but boy do I feel better. Just a suggestion. Perhaps it is just the heat that is bothering you but check out the thyroid just in case.
Sunflower, having your thyroid checked out would have been my suggestion. Getting to a level that is right for you can be a long drawn out process, but like AirForceMom said you usually start feeling better right away. Also maybe your doc can offer some other suggestions or meds and vitamins to help. We have all been there hang in there and do get to the gym as often as you can. Believe me I know it is hard but just the least bit of exercise or stretching can help the fibro. Just please don't overdue, that could be worse. I hope you can get some relief soon, I so know what you are going through. Let us know how you are doing.
Have you had a good physical checkup lately? Ask for one, complete with bloodwork. Once you get pegged with something like fibro, docs are quick to attribute everything to that label, often without checking.
So, you want the works. CBC, chem panel, and thyroid panel. Not just the TSH for thyroid. The most useful tests for thyroid in fibro sufferers are the free thyroid hormone levels, called free T3 & free T4. Getting those free hormone levels into the normal midrange is very helpful to energy. But most docs are sold on the TSH test as the be-all end-all.
Testosterone, the male hormone, is extremely important for women. We need just a smidge of the amt that men have, but without it, muscle volume, repair, and function decrease, libido disappears, and energy/drive go out the window. Your doc can run a level of free testosterone along with the other labs. If testosterone is low, it is easily corrected to great advantage.
You might want to ck your diet. Who wants to shop & cook when you're fatigued? It's easier to take junk food road, for many of us. BUT, good nutrition is probably more impt for fibro sufferers than for healthy folk. At the very least, make sure you're getting a good multivite with minerals each day. Some of us do best with extra B vitamins. If you're still cycling, iron in your multi is a good idea. Softgel or liquid vitamins may have improved absorption over the hard tabs.
Many docs offer the "energizing SSRIs" aka SSNRIs like Effexor & Cymbalta to women with fibro. In a fraction of women, they help with pain, but they do help many more with energy issues. You may want to research that & talk to your doc, but IMO it is smartest to rule out reasonable potential physical causes first.
I agree about getting your TSH and free T3 and T4 tested, as well as a full CBC. Always a good idea with Fibro people to get these checked regularly.
The fatigue got so awful for me to a point that I simply could not function. Even on 9 or 10 hours of sleep a night (which I am really lucky to get even on a weekend), I still felt tired and icky all the time. Of course, the fatigue is accompanied by brain fog and inability to concentrate -- and on a bad day, I can barely even get an intelligible sentence out.
I asked my doc if I could try Adderall, which is a stimulant intended for treating ADD/ADHD. It works wonders for me. With Adderall, I feel closer to normal if I am sleeping decently at night, however, if I have accumulated a sleep deficit during the work week, nothing on this planet helps me function.
It's so tough for us Fibro folks to work and feel healthy, especially if you have problems sleeping. It got so bad with me (even on Adderall) because of problems sleeping that I decided to take a six-week leave of absence. I return to work on Monday and I am not very hopeful that things won't just go right back to the way they were... horrible fatigue, incredible pain... I am strongly considering a change of career.
Thank You to all for the good suggestions. I have had my thyroid checked a few times and the doctor said it was fine....but I don't know if she ordered the TSH and free T3 and T4 test, so I will ask her again. I have a doctor that doesn't really believe in fibromyalgia. I was diagnosed by a specialist then sent to my family doctor who doesn't even talk to me about it...so I am kind of on my own and haven't had any help with all this. Some days I have terrible brain fog and an inability to concentrate. That scares me because I am scared I will make a big mistake at work someday. I am going to write all these suggestions down and bring them to my doctor. I don't know if she will help me or not but I will try. Thanks again everyone. It feels good just to talk to someone who understands.
I've noticed across the healthboards I visit that the Canadians are complaining about their PCPs. Everybody complains, Americans too. I'm wondering, how difficult would it be for you to switch docs? I've got relatives in Canada -- it's not impossible to switch, right?
Is there a fibro support group nearby? Phone the hospital, the newspaper & ck at the reference/info desk at the public library for leads. At a local support group you can find people who ARE getting treatment, and learn from them how to get the help you need. I'm guessing there is probably a national-level fibro support org that could refer you to a local chapter.
At the very least, you need to clearly communicate to your doc that things are not getting better, the specifics of your pain & disability.
Despite the fact that your doc "does not believe in fibro," it is a medically-recognized dx & you need some treatment. If your doc is out of his depth here, it's his duty to refer you to someone who can help. Not to pretend the problem doesn't exist.
Another way to attack your problem is to confer with the specialist who diagnosed you, and explain that you are not getting treatment, ask for referral to a doc who will treat.
I have a doctor that doesn't really believe in fibromyalgia. I was diagnosed by a specialist then sent to my family doctor who doesn't even talk to me about it...so I am kind of on my own and haven't had any help with all this. Some days I have terrible brain fog and an inability to concentrate. That scares me because I am scared I will make a big mistake at work someday.
Hi Again Linda,
Just following up on your thread. I think it's time you found a new doctor.
I saw a "pain specialist" for my neck/shoulder pain before I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. When he asked me about family history, I mentioned that my mother was diagnosed with Fibro three years ago. He quickly said something to the effect of, "The best doctors in the country don't believe that Fibromyalgia even exists." ...basically saying he doesn't believe in it either, and then dismissed me, telling me I needed to get my TMJ treated by a TMJ specialist before he'd see me again. Argh!!!!
So many doctors do not understand this disorder. But there are doctors out there who do. My family doctor is the one who diagnosed me.
Also, don't forget about Adderall... it has really helped me with the brain fog and fatigue. Just a quick note on Adderall... since it energized me I think it also increased my muscle tension a bit and caused an increase in my pain (but only when I'm sitting a desk). I also just started on Cymbalta, so hopefully that will help with the pain too.
Thanks again for all the suggestions. My family doctor is retiring soon but here where I live you are lucky to get a doctor. I think asking to go to the specialist who told me I had fibro is a good idea. I will see if my doctor will send me back again. It will probably be a long wait though because the first time I waited about 6 months to get in...but it may be a start anyway. I think I will look into a fibro support group...good idea. Thanks again...I appreciate all the help. ....