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Old 01-20-2008, 06:47 AM   #1
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Question Rheumatologist vs. Neurologist?

Hi all,
Although I've been living with pain for 5 years, I was just diagnosed with FMS last summer. Now that I've read up on this depressing syndrome, it seems like the research is showing that the condition is more neurological than musculoskeletal. Given that, I don't understand why folks like us don't get referred to a neurologist? Instead, we go to a rheumatologist. Isn't this more so that the rheum. can rule out arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions? If anyone knows, what is the medical specialty that can really counsel people with FMS? If we all have elevated or depleted levels of chemicals in our bodies, why are we referred to a rheumatologist instead of a neurologist?
Very confused

Christine

 
Old 01-20-2008, 07:00 AM   #2
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Re: Rheumatologist vs. Neurologist?

hi christine,
why? because there is no such thing as a doctor whose abilities include real treatment for fibro. it is all still too new to them. they, like us wander in the dark searching for answers. we are the testing ground for everything. personally i see an internist. she is honest about fibro and her limitations in helping me. we focus on diet and exercise, balance of meds and physical therapy.
in the end you must find a doctor you feel you can speak openly with and who will be honest in their ability to help you. realistically it is up to us to find our way and what works best for our bodies. doctors just tag along. my doctors words and i agree.
peace,
bluelakelady
ps welcome to the boards. giggle. forgot to say that.

 
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Old 01-20-2008, 07:08 AM   #3
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Re: Rheumatologist vs. Neurologist?

Thanks for the welcome! This board is truly the best treatment I have found yet I see a nurse specialist who monitors my medication as I have battled clinical depression and anxiety/panic for years now. I also just made an appointment with a therapist for this coming week. I need some help dealing with living with FMS. Like many other posters, I end up getting scared when I get a flare-up, not knowing how long or how debilitating it's going to be this time. Perhaps my therapist and this message board will be my most valuable resources. Thanks for the candid advice that there truly is no "silver bullet" doctor in the medical community that can help given that they are still trying to learn about FMS.
Take care all-

 
Old 01-20-2008, 08:00 AM   #4
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Re: Rheumatologist vs. Neurologist?

allow me to applaude you! a therapist is a wise choice. i am one of the fortunate few who do not have depression or anxiety issues. i still got myself a shrink. while it is no quick fix it is a choice that leads to better coping skills and ways of protecting yourself from stress.
i too went thru the fear in the beginning. i was in a wheelchair and bedridden. not anymore. i spent 9 years in therapy. the last 2 we just goofed around. we had become good friends and he said i was his star. i read every book in his library. all the ones he had to read to get his degree. i read about language and how we use words.
i have not seen him in over 3 years. don't need the help, i have all the tools for my lifes worries. i no longer get afraid when a flare comes. i just do it. it is over when it is over and it will be as intense as it is. the magic is that the flares do end and there is a lovely window of feeling good to enjoy. don't waste it worrying about the next flare. it will come when it comes and you will be ready.
always check new symptoms out with your doctor. it is why they are there. to serve. to assist. to guide. the wellness is up to us and our attitude. it is how we see ourselves. i see myself as a whole woman with a few health things that alter my expression of this whole woman. i am not less than i was. just different.
peace,
bluelakelady

 
Old 01-20-2008, 09:50 AM   #5
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Re: Rheumatologist vs. Neurologist?

Hi and welcome. I have actually seen 3 different neurologists. One was an unpleasant experience and I saw a second one who reviewed all my MRI's, test results, etc and said there was nothing neurological to treat. The third is a Sleep Medicine Specialist/Neurologist. I see him for Sleep Apnea and he monitors my CPAP. So there are several of us with FMS who do see Neurologists, as many of us do suffer from Sleep disorders. I also see a Sleep Specialist who is a Pulmonary Doctor and oversees my RLS. So there are many of us with Fibro who see a variety of doctors for one reason or another. Unfortunately, medical care is so specialized in some areas that one physician will not oversee every aspect of your care, even though many of the symptoms are Fibro related. Hope that answers your querie.

 
Old 01-20-2008, 06:54 PM   #6
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Re: Rheumatologist vs. Neurologist?

Hi christine, welcome. I too see a family care doc for my fibro. She helps me manage my symptoms as they increase or change. I am very fortunate to not have an anxiety or depression problem, but I truly think that a therapist is a good thing for anyone. My husband (blue named him braveman) suffered one traumatic illness after another for almost two years, including near death. When he was finally well on the recovery road our PCP sent him to a psychologist to just talk about his experiences and the changes that had happened to him and the changes to his life, it was very good for him. It still is, like blue he enjoys his visits and I'm glad he has someone else to talk to outside of our family.

As fibromights we also suffer changes to our bodies and lives and getting help from whatever source can help us is our job. I also see a rhuematologist for my CTD (lupus like symptoms) and severe joint pain. He and my PCP stay in close contact sharing info and that is very important to me.

Glojer

 
Old 01-21-2008, 10:35 AM   #7
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Smile Re: Rheumatologist vs. Neurologist?

Hi Christine,

Why not have a rheumatologist and a neurologist. You will have the opportunity to get more information and different advice that way. If you have neurological questions, go to a neurologist. My friend goes to a neurologist and I go to a rheumatologist. My rheumatologist is very knowledgable of this disease, but I've been thinking about going to a neurologist to make sure everythings okay since I suffered from depression and anxiety before my FM set in. My advice is to see more than one doctor. Most people with FM go through many different doctors before they find one that works for them. I left my last rheumatologist because he wanted to give me Darvaset and that's it. My current rheumatologist suggested suppliments, exercise, therapy etc. The best advice I can give you is to try, try and try until you find what works for you. Don't give up.

 
Old 01-21-2008, 04:25 PM   #8
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Re: Rheumatologist vs. Neurologist?

I have had fm most of my 68 years of life.....the only physician that I know of that knows how to diagnose and treat fibromyalgia is a rheumatologist. As far as depression you wouldn't necessarily go to a neurologist either...a good general practioner can help you out with that or a psychiatrist.
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Old 01-21-2008, 08:08 PM   #9
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Re: Rheumatologist vs. Neurologist?

A neurologist is not the right doc to go to for depression problems. Neurologists deal with the nerves and the brain tissue itself. Things like epilepsy, seizure disorders, nerve pain, compressed spinal cords, etc. That's what a neurologist does.

For depression/anxiety management, I recommend an internist. Internists specialize in medication and lifestyle change treatment.

 
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