It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Neuropathy Message Board
Post New Thread   Closed Thread
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 07-31-2010, 11:07 AM   #1
Junior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: NY
Posts: 26
Oliejune HB User
Fibromyalgia vs Small Fiber Neuropathy

Can anyone tell me the difference between Fibromyalagia and sfn ? I went to a Rheumatologist who told me they are the same thing, and another Rheumatologist who told me thats what I have , although my Neurologist says it's sfn and seems to put them in a different category.It can be very confusing.Please if anyones knows the difference, help.

 
Old 07-31-2010, 10:52 PM   #2
Senior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Morongo Valley, CA
Posts: 186
Ruby8 HB UserRuby8 HB UserRuby8 HB UserRuby8 HB UserRuby8 HB UserRuby8 HB UserRuby8 HB User
Re: Fibromyalagia vs Small Fiber Neuropathy

Hi Oliejune - I have SFN and don't know much about fibromyalgia, but they are 2 different things. If you read the symptoms for each you will be able to spot the differences. With your numbness, I might guess you have SFN as your neurologist determined, although I don't know if your disc problems could be the cause of numbness instead. You don't mention your feet, which I would think would experience some numbness too for the typical SFN scenario. My SFN started in my feet and hands at about the same time. It was subtle at first but is progressing slowly--different than your immediate experience of a numb hand. Has your neurologist done a punch test or nerve biopsy to confirm SFN? I would guess the reason 2 rheumatologists said you had fibromyalgia instead of SFN is that most doctors (even some neurologists) have little to no knowledge about SFN. It is very hard for the layperson to get information about SFN, and this board, because of the many people with SFN who post here, is an invaluable resource Best, Ruby

 
Sponsors Lightbulb
   
Old 08-01-2010, 06:28 AM   #3
Junior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: NY
Posts: 26
Oliejune HB User
Re: Fibromyalagia vs Small Fiber Neuropathy

Hi Ruby, thank you so much for responding, and for some clarification. I do have numbness and the feeling of an electric buzz in both of my feet and it is recently traveling up my legs. My neurologist said that any numbness that is above my waist is not coming from my back.I feel worse in the Summer months, the heat really bothers me.When I am outside in the Summer heat, I get a pin ***** feeling in my legs and groin , it is a very weird and uncomfortable feeling.My doctor did not do a biopsy.He said that the treatment would be the same either way.I'm not pushing for it since I am not in the mood for more tests.I was diagnosed with sfn 2 years ago, but it is getting worse.My medication was just changed from neurontin to lyrica. I just stumbled upon this forum and I am so grateful to find it.
Also, and I'm not sure this is part of sfn or what, my legs are getting stiff and it is difficult to walk , and climbing steps is a challenge. Regards, Olimpia

 
Old 08-01-2010, 09:56 AM   #4
Senior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Morongo Valley, CA
Posts: 186
Ruby8 HB UserRuby8 HB UserRuby8 HB UserRuby8 HB UserRuby8 HB UserRuby8 HB UserRuby8 HB User
Re: Fibromyalagia vs Small Fiber Neuropathy

Hey Olimpia, sounds like you were lucky (as I also was) to have found a good neurologist. I also didn't have the punch or biopsy test as my neurologist felt the diagnosis was clear from my symptoms and after ruling out all other possibilities. My other good luck is to have found a great neuropathy support group. While most of the people in my support group have other forms of neuropathy than SFN, treatment of the symptoms are all the same. We exchange a lot of information about meds and doctors. Incidentally, we have discussed Gabapentin (Neurotin) vs. Lyrica and found that for some of us one works, for others the other med works, and for others neither works. For me, I take 300 mg Gabapentin 2 times a day plus I take Cymbalta. Most people with SFN take Cymbalta or a tricyllic antidepressant. Now I can hear you saying, "But I'm not depressed." Doesn't matter, these antidepressants work for neuropathic pain unrelated to depression. Like you, I hate to take meds, but when I got SFN and realized the alternative was pain and a poor quality of life, I changed my mind. With my meds I continue to live the same happy life I always have. Looking forward to hearing your take on the switch to Lyrica. Best wishes, Ruby

 
Old 08-01-2010, 09:26 PM   #5
Senior Veteran
(male)
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Mexico City
Posts: 637
stargrave HB Userstargrave HB User
Re: Fibromyalgia vs Small Fiber Neuropathy

Looking for answers I went to a fibro expert, and he said that, the two main indicators of this conditions are: 1. Negative results in ALL given tests, meaning everything is clean, and 2. There are 11 tender points that are sensitive to pressure, causing terrible pain. You must feel pain in at least 7-8 of them(more less), to have a definitive Fibromyalgia diagnose. So I believe you do have a neuropathy that is affecting your small fibers(sensory).

Your doctor seem knows his stuff, because one kind of neuropathy that is clearly affected by temperature(there is even one sweating test used to diagnose it), as it might seem to be your case, is SFN.

Even with this taken in account, If I were you I'd ask my doctor if there is any other chance to find an underlying cause to treat it or not. Why? Read this little excerpt of an SFN article:

Quote:
It has also been reported that treatment of sarcoidosis, autoimmune diseases, and celiac disease improved the symptoms of small fiber neuropathy resulting from these conditions. Therefore, it is important to identify the cause and treat it to prevent and slow the progression of small fiber neuropathy, and doing so may improve the disease in some mild cases.
I'd also push for more tests because:

Quote:
Most patients with small fiber neuropathy experience a slowly progressive course, with symptoms and signs spreading proximally over time.

In one study, only 13% of 124 patients with small fiber neuropathy showed evidence of large-fiber involvement over a 2-year period. 21 None went on to develop Charcot joints, foot ulcers, weakness, or sensory ataxia, as is often seen in patients with long-standing or severe large fiber neuropathy. Neuropathic pain worsened in 30% and resolved spontaneously in 11%.21

Most patients with small fiber neuropathy require chronic pain management. Again, treatment of the underlying cause is important and can improve the prognosis.
Large fiber involvement, is more related to the walking/climbing stairs difficulties you mention, and it's not that common in SFN, even as you match the time criteria given in this study for developing large fiber issues.

So... Unless SFN patients like Ruby, that are the real experts in the subject, come and say that, opposite to this article, motor issues like you're experiencing, are more common than we thought in SFN, I believe that it's imperative that you get more tests done.

This is why i don't believe you have Fibro, but I do believe that you should push a little bit more, to try to find the underlying cause of your condition.

This advice was given me by two people in here, one that recovered completely, and another which couldn't recover due to the extensive damage taken because of a toxic work environment, but that managed to stop further nerve destruction.

Best luck.

 
Old 08-03-2010, 08:22 AM   #6
Junior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: NY
Posts: 26
Oliejune HB User
Re: Fibromyalgia vs Small Fiber Neuropathy

Hi, thank you for responding . I am scheduled to see my doctor in September and I will ask him about underlying causes. He did say that he feels the disease that I have that is in remission, WG, is the cause. I'll push it further at that time. Right now , I have to get some relief from pain and hopefully Lyrica will be beneficial. Thanks again.

 
Old 09-23-2010, 02:43 PM   #7
Junior Member
(male)
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: phoenix,ariz
Posts: 37
chandleraz HB User
Re: Fibromyalgia vs Small Fiber Neuropathy

I am a little differnt in the heat area sence i was dianoced with sfn i like the heat i never was in the sun much now it seems like it helps me calming of the nerves.The cold and wind seem to bother me more.











Quote:
Originally Posted by stargrave View Post
Looking for answers I went to a fibro expert, and he said that, the two main indicators of this conditions are: 1. Negative results in ALL given tests, meaning everything is clean, and 2. There are 11 tender points that are sensitive to pressure, causing terrible pain. You must feel pain in at least 7-8 of them(more less), to have a definitive Fibromyalgia diagnose. So I believe you do have a neuropathy that is affecting your small fibers(sensory).

Your doctor seem knows his stuff, because one kind of neuropathy that is clearly affected by temperature(there is even one sweating test used to diagnose it), as it might seem to be your case, is SFN.

Even with this taken in account, If I were you I'd ask my doctor if there is any other chance to find an underlying cause to treat it or not. Why? Read this little excerpt of an SFN article:



I'd also push for more tests because:



Large fiber involvement, is more related to the walking/climbing stairs difficulties you mention, and it's not that common in SFN, even as you match the time criteria given in this study for developing large fiber issues.

So... Unless SFN patients like Ruby, that are the real experts in the subject, come and say that, opposite to this article, motor issues like you're experiencing, are more common than we thought in SFN, I believe that it's imperative that you get more tests done.

This is why i don't believe you have Fibro, but I do believe that you should push a little bit more, to try to find the underlying cause of your condition.

This advice was given me by two people in here, one that recovered completely, and another which couldn't recover due to the extensive damage taken because of a toxic work environment, but that managed to stop further nerve destruction.

Best luck.

 
Old 09-23-2010, 05:02 PM   #8
Senior Veteran
(male)
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Mexico City
Posts: 637
stargrave HB Userstargrave HB User
Re: Fibromyalgia vs Small Fiber Neuropathy

Quote:
Originally Posted by chandleraz View Post
I am a little differnt in the heat area sence i was dianoced with sfn i like the heat i never was in the sun much now it seems like it helps me calming of the nerves.The cold and wind seem to bother me more.
Just as you mention this, my current episode of augmented symptoms, seems to be more trigged by the cold than by the heat.

 
Old 09-24-2010, 10:18 PM   #9
Junior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Carson WA USA
Posts: 10
Tinabb HB User
Re: Fibromyalgia vs Small Fiber Neuropathy

Hello Ollie,
Yes, they are different. SFN affect small fibers/nerves. Fibromyalgia affects the nerves, and muscles. You can have both of them at the same time. They do both behave in simular ways. Fibromyalgia, there is no testing that can be done to diagnose it. SFN has testing that can diagnose it. If you haven't been seen by a Neuromuscular Doctor, then you should be, as with everyone else that think they have this disease and have not had testing for it. One reason is because you could have an underlying cause for having it, and the sooner you can get it treated the better off you will be. The underlying cause can actually be life threatening. If you are found to have SFN without an underlying cause, then you will still want to be treated with the proper medicaitons. 80% of affected people with SFN usually do not have an underlying cause.
Good luck
Tina

 
Closed Thread

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Board Replies Last Post
Hi, I am new to this forum. I have a question about small fiber neuropathy pain. Kim H Neuropathy 9 06-28-2011 07:36 AM
recently dx small fiber neuropathy LoriAllen Neuropathy 8 09-12-2010 03:34 PM
Small Fiber Neuropathy Gang anwise67 Neuropathy 29 08-22-2010 05:56 PM
Small Fiber Neuropathy#2 will54 Neuropathy 110 05-10-2010 11:07 AM
Who has small fiber neuropathy! Gummybarb Neuropathy 14 10-09-2008 10:44 AM




Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Join Our Newsletter

Stay healthy through tips curated by our health experts.

Whoops,

There was a problem adding your email Try again

Thank You

Your email has been added








TOP THANKED CONTRIBUTORS



tingles (48), Aussie100 (34), RisingParrot (34), daisymaegrl (33), Ruby8 (27), captinsane1 (25), June89 (22), awlright (10), LasVegasgirl (10), jverive (9)

Site Wide Totals

teteri66 (1180), MSJayhawk (1011), Apollo123 (909), Titchou (856), janewhite1 (823), Gabriel (761), ladybud (755), midwest1 (669), sammy64 (668), BlueSkies14 (607)



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:59 PM.



Site owned and operated by HealthBoards.comô
Terms of Use © 1998-2014 HealthBoards.comô All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!