What you should read First

What you should read Second.

Start with "Fibromyalgia Definition"and and then move on to the rest of the posts of dated April 24th

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Dehydration and Fibromyalgia

Summertime can make a healthy person wilt faster than fresh spinach in a frying pan, but add fibro to the mix, and your aches and pains might go into overdrive when you put them in a hot environment. Of course, there are those fibro sufferers who walk outside on a hot summer day and say "ah," in relief, too. However, even those people who would rather be hot than cold can suffer if they are not careful. Too much sun, too much activity in the heat, and the knots in a fibromite's muscles can have them saying "uncle."

One of the biggest problems that we experience is dehydration. Between the medications and supplements that we take, and our illness causing our muscles to cry out for nourishment, we are often borderline dehydrated anyway. Add to that sweating in the heat, and you have a recipe for disaster. If you are ever outside and feeling lightheaded in the summer, get inside where it's cool and drink a tall glass of water fast! People with fibromyalgia can get dangerously dehydrated very quickly, and you may not recognize that headache as a warning of dehydration, because we suffer from headaches so often anyway!

Drink as much water as you can stand during the summer- preferably a gallon a day, if you can handle it. (I know it sounds excessive! But trust me, your kidneys will thank you.) If you hate water (like I do) add a slice of lemon or lime to it. It'll add a refreshing flavor to the water, and zero calories. Tea is not a good substitute- as a diuretic, it goes through you too quickly. Soda, too, is not a good substitute because of the sugars. (Even diet soda is made with high fructose corn syrup- a complex sugar.) If you absolutely can't stand plain water, and don't like my idea of adding the lemon or lime slice, the vitamin waters and flavored waters out there are decent substitutes- just check the label and try to avoid the ones with high fructose corn syrup.

While we do need sunlight for the vitamin D that it gives us (and being out in the sun is the best way to get it- I'll go into that in more detail in a moment), it's simply a good idea to avoid getting sunburned. I recommend a good sunblock, but I also do recommend getting outside and getting as much sun as you can. It does more for you than just give you a healthy supply of vitamin D. It can help fight off the depression that plagues those of us with fibromyalgia, and being active, even in a small way like taking a walk in the sun, is very good for you. It gets you up off the couch, gets your blood flowing, and lifts your spirits. Recent research suggests that part of the pain of fibromyalgia is from poor blood circulation in the muscles- so that walk outside in the sun might do you more good than you think!

I do, however, recommend moderation! Being outside in the sun, with the sun's rays warming your muscles might loosen up some of those old knots enough that you might start thinking "hey, I feel good!" and you might want to start doing more. Don't. Take your gentle walk, perhaps go swimming or do some other gentle activity that is very low-impact, and then rest. Be gentle with yourself, and don't push your limits, because you may end up paying for it!

One other thing that I recommend is having a lot of loose-weave clothing to wear. Drawstring linen pants or shorts, loose pull-over tops, and the like. Things that are comfy, cool, and easy to wear will make it easier on you to get dressed, and also will keep you cooler in the heat.

Overall, having fibromyalgia can be rough, but you can make it through even the dog days of summer easy as pie if you just know how.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Fibromyalgia and Osteoporosis

If you are currently suffering from fibromyalgia syndrome, then you probably spend a lot of your time worrying about your fibromyalgia symptoms, including widespread pain, chronic fatigue, and sleep difficulties. Unfortunately, for people with fibromyalgia there is also another complication that you need to contend with - osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a bone disease that causes your bones to become weak and brittle. This can leave you at risk for multiple fractures and even permanent disability. A large percentage of fibromyalgia patients develop osteoporosis, so it is a good idea to find out more about the disease and how it can be treated.

What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a disease that causes your bones to become thin and brittle. This leaves you at a high risk of developing bone fractures or breaks that could end up causing you even more pain and disability. As you grow, you gradually lose bone mass throughout your body. This bone mass is typically replaced, in order to keep you healthy and strong. As you age though, bone replacement can’t keep up with bone loss. Osteoporosis only adds to this bone loss, increasing the likelihood that you will suffer from painful fractures in areas like your hip, wrists, and spine. Osteoporosis does get worse over time, so it is essential that you find appropriate treatment from your health care provider.

Fibromyalgia and Osteoporosis
Fibromyalgia seems to be associated with osteoporosis. A large percentage of fibromyalgia patients suffer from decreased bone mass, leading to bone fractures. A variety of studies have been performed on this topic. In these studies, Fibromyalgia sufferers show lower-than-normal bone mass in their necks, spinal columns, and hips. This is particularly true if you have fibromyalgia and are between the ages of 51 and 60.

It is thought that fibromyalgia sufferers get osteoporosis because of reduced growth hormones. Fibromyalgia syndrome suppresses the production of growth hormone, thus limiting the production of bone. As a result, bones become very fragile and osteoporotic.

What Causes Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis usually develops as a result of a variety of factors. The causes of osteoporosis include:

•calcium deficiency, due to poor diet
•old age
•loss of estrogen, due to menopause, period irregularities, or eating disorders
•certain diseases, including Cushing’s Syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis

Who Gets Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis currently affects about 40 million Americans. It can affect both men and women, though women are much more likely to develop the disease because of the role that estrogen plays in bone formation. Certain factors can increase your risk of developing osteoporosis, including:

•being over the age of 50
•having family members who have had osteoporosis
•being a smoker
•being of non-Hispanic Caucasian or Asian descent
•taking certain drugs, such as prednisone and certain anticonvulsants

Symptoms of Osteoporosis
Unfortunately, symptoms of osteoporosis are difficult to detect in its early stages. This is why osteoporosis is often referred to as "the silent disease". Most people generally don’t realize that they have osteoporosis until they suffer from a break or fracture. Severe osteoporosis is generally associated with:

•fractures of the wrist, vertebrae, or hip
•repeated fractures
•neck pain or back pain
•tender bones
•decreased height
•poor posture

Osteoporosis Treatment
Osteoporosis can be treated in an effort to reduce further bone loss or to encourage bone growth. Treatment is recommended for sufferers in order to increase mobility, comfort, and prevent further fractures. Treatment for osteoporosis includes:

Exercise: Exercise can strengthen the muscles and increase bone mass. Weight bearing exercise like walking and jogging are recommended.

Calcium Replacement: Calcium is necessary to bone health. Calcium supplements can be given to encourage bone formation and increase bone strength.

Medications: There is a wide variety of medication available to treat osteoporosis. Some commonly used medications are:

•estrogen replacement therapy
•calcitonin, to prevent fractures
•bisphosphonates, to slow bone loss
•teriparatide, to stimulate bone formation

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Smoking Makes Fibromyalgia Symptoms Worse

Two unrelated studies show that smoking cigarettes and using tobacco in other forms appears to make fibromyalgia symptoms more severe.

In a Mayo Clinic study, people using tobacco in any form had higher pain-intensity scores on the fibromyalgia impact questionnaire, had fewer good days, and missed more days of work.

In a Turkish study, cigarette smokers with fibromyalgia had more severe symptoms and higher rates of anxiety and depression.

A new study out of Korea provides further evidence that smoking can heighten symptoms of fibromyalgia.

Researchers looked at how cigarette smoking impacted pain, fatigue, function and psychiatric features of fibromyalgia. When compared to non-smoking fibromyalgia patients, the smokers had more tender points, and female smokers were more likely to be depressed.

Researchers didn't determine why smoking was linked to depression, so the question remains: does smoking worsen depressive symptoms, or are depressed people more likely to smoke?

Previous studies have shown that tobacco use appears to heighten fibromyalgia pain, lead to fewer good days and more missed work. At least one has also linked smoking to higher rates of anxiety and depression.

It remains unclear whether kicking the habit can help improve symptoms, although it could certainly improve overall health.

Do you smoke? Have you quit smoking or using tobacco since you developed fibromyalgia? Did it help? Do you think smoking makes it easier to deal with some of your symptoms? Leave your comments below!

check out The V2 electronic cigarette is technology's answer to the smoking epidemic. V2 electronic cigarettes offer an authentic cigarette experience without the tar, smoke, ash and thousands of toxins typically found in tobacco cigarettes. The key to the technology is the elimination of combustion. V2 Electronic cigarettes do not burn to create smoke like traditional cigarettes. The V2 electronic cigarette is a personal vaporizer device. V2's proprietary nicotine liquid is literally atomized into a vapor/steam at comparatively low temperatures when compared to burning tobacco. The vapor feels and tastes like smoke, though it is anything but smoke. V2 vapor contains no tar and no carbon monoxide. Your lungs will feel the difference!


i use this my self and have noticed a difference. this is the 2nd leading company that makes them. there are manny other companys and i did try 1 other and got riped off. not all v-cigs are the same. if you smoke i recomd you use a v-cig and follow there quite program. im doing great and ill keep you all informed on my prograss.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Fibromyalgia in Children

I have just been told that my child has Fibro so im starting a child section.

Fibromyalgia affects over 5 million Americans. About one in six of those are under 18. Fibromyalgia was once considered an adult disorder, but that’s obviously not true. Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain disorder characterized by fatigue, stiffness in many areas, tenderness in at least 11 out of 18 pressure points which are located in the hips, thighs, buttocks, neck and chest. Fibromyalgia does not show up on laboratory diagnostics such as x-rays, blood tests and scans. Therefore, a person with this condition will test normal while feeling less than that. It’s important to note that the criterion for diagnosis of FMS in children is a little different from that of adults. Only 5 - 11 tender points need to be sensitive for a child to be deemed fibromyalgic.
Girls are more likely to develop this condition than boys. The symptoms of FMS usually start during adolescence, which occurs roughly between the ages of 13 – 15. Children with sleep disturbances are more likely to become fibromyalgic as are those with preexisting conditions such as Raynaud’s Phenomenon, PMS, irritable bowel syndrome and restless leg syndrome. Although no one yet knows how this condition is triggered, it is known to have a genetic component. So, if you are a parent with FMS, your child is more likely to develop the condition too.
Of course, it’s hard for a parent to watch their child struggle. Because children don’t know how to quantify or qualify pain, many of us have a hard time understanding just how much pain our child is dealing with. Complaints of chronic pain should not be ignored or dismissed as ‘mere growing pains.’ Many experts know now that it shouldn’t hurt to grow. If it does, then your child may need some medical attention.
The good news about juvenile fibromyalgia is that it is treatable and, the prognosis for the condition in children is more favorable than it is with adults. Some studies have shown that children improve more rapidly than adults with fibromyalgia and, in some instances, may even outgrow the syndrome.
Treatments for fibromyalgia in children include: education, therapy, medication and exercise. If your child has fibromyalgia, chances are you’ll have some explaining to do. Fibromyalgia is a difficult enough condition to grasp if you are an adult who has it. You and your doctor will need to talk honestly with the child and give him or her age-appropriate facts. This requires that you have more than a working knowledge of the condition. There are a variety of internet-based support groups as well as more formal, face-to-face groups that can help you learn about and deal with this condition. There are also a variety of books, pamphlets and brochures you can browse through too. Your doctor and/or specialist will most likely provide you with reading materials and a basic overview of the condition.
Soon, you will find that you and your family will be living with the condition day-to-day (or day-by-day may be more like it, especially at first). It’s imperative that your entire family maintains as normal a lifestyle as possible while still being sensitive to your ill child’s needs. That’s a delicate balance to maintain. Depending upon the severity of the child’s condition, you may need to adjust his or her schedule by changing or eliminating certain activities.
Priorities will probably change. Unfortunately, the child should never be made to feel that they are to blame for the condition or these lifestyle changes. Others may think and say that he is just lazy or she’s faking it to get out of certain activities, but you, as the parent, will have to hold firm and be an advocate for your child. Fibromyalgia is a painful and debilitating condition. It’s no joke and your child may be facing criticism at school, on the playground and just about everywhere else. Home should be a safe haven for him or her.
Therapy may be necessary for your child especially if they are exhibiting signs of depression. It’s best to choose a therapist who has expertise in dealing with chronic illnesses so that they can assist your child in dealing with the negative feelings they may have. Family counseling may benefit everyone because the child isn’t facing fibromyalgia alone. The condition does affect the entire family and may cause tension. Having an objective third-party to intervene will usually improve the situation.
Therapy can also help the fibromyalgic child cope with tension and/or stress in more healthy ways. Many children with this condition don’t know how to manage their stress and are often high-achievers who try to do too much. They are also hard on themselves and may be prone to other self-esteem related problems too. Some studies have shown that therapy, specifically of the cognitive-behavioral type, can help improve fibromyalgia symptoms in some children. Therapy can also help to alleviate the anxiety and depression symptoms which often accompany this disease.
Antidepressants such as Elavil, which is of the SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor) variety, are often given to fibromyalgics to help decrease the intensity of the pain and improve the quality of the child’s sleep. Restoring normal sleep rhythms is a major goal of the treatment process as it can improve many of the symptoms of this condition.
Muscle relaxants like Cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril) also help stimulate sleep, much like antidepressants do. They generally work in conjunction with each other and pain medications such as NSAIDs. NSAIDs are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen and Motrin. Each of these medications can have negative interactions with others so, if your child is prescribed anything, it is always best to make sure your doctor and/or specialist knows what other medications and supplements your child takes.
The final treatment that is common for juvenile fibromyalgia is exercise. Of course, the child is discouraged from overexerting him or herself; however, regular activity helps one in managing fibromyalgia quite significantly. Exercise improves cardiovascular health, and musculoskeletal fitness, which are all beneficial to the fibromyalgic child. Recommended activities include: brisk walking, bicycle riding, swimming, stretching and other low-impact, aerobic activities.
Although fibromyalgia manifests itself differently in children than it does in adults, the treatment options for juvenile fibromyalgics are quite similar to those of adults. Support, therapy, medication and exercise can improve your child’s lifelong emotional and physical fitness. Even if they don’t outgrow the condition, they will be better off for the coping mechanisms, support, love and healthy habits that they’ve learned as a result of these treatments.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

My Crazy idea for bored-dum

I’m not working right now as it was too much so I’m on a 3 month break. I’m also bored. So I have decided to try my hand at righting a twilight fan fiction story. I love to read fan fiction and thought it would be fun to see what I cam up with. So if you’re looking for some thing do when you’re stuck in bed I suggest reading fan fiction of any type. The site I go to has a genre for every one. http://www.fanfiction.net I know it sounds crazy but this is what I’m up to these days as I’m stuck in bed

Monday, August 9, 2010

More Clues To Fibromyalgia Pain

THURSDAY, Aug. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Fibromyalgia patients have more "connectivity" between brain networks and regions of the brain involved in pain processing, which may help explain why sufferers feel pain even when there is no obvious cause, a new study suggests.

Researchers had 18 women with fibromyalgia undergo six-minute fMRI brain scans, and compared their results to women without the condition.

Participants were asked to rate the intensity of the pain they were feeling at the time of the test. Some people reported feeling little pain, while others reported feeling more intense pain.

Brain scans showed the connectivity, or neural activity, between certain brain networks and the insular cortex, a region of the brain involved in pain processing, was heightened in women with fibromyalgia compared to those without the condition.

The connectivity to the insular cortex was even stronger in participants who reported feeling more intense pain compared to milder pain, said study author Vitaly Napadow, a neuroscientist at Massachusetts General Hospital.

"We took advantage of the fact that there is a large discrepancy in the amount of pain patients happen to be in at the time they come in. Unfortunately some patients come in, and they are in a lot of pain. Other patients come in and they are not in pain," Napadow said.

The study, by researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital and the University of Michigan, is published in the August issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain syndrome that's characterized by widespread pain, fatigue, insomnia, and the presence of multiple tender points. The syndrome can also cause psychological issues, including anxiety, depression and memory and concentration problems, sometimes called the "fibromyalgia fog."

Prior research has shown that people with fibromyalgia feel a given amount of pain more intensely than others, Napadow explained. In other words, studies have shown a typical person might rate a painful stimuli a "one" on a scale or one to 10, while a person with fibromyalgia might rate the pain a 5 or higher.

The new study is different in that fibromyalgia patients' pain responses were measured while they were at rest and not being exposed to anything painful, Napadow said.

The brain networks involved were the default mode network (DMN) and the right executive attention network (EAN). The DMN is involved in "self-referential thinking," when you think about yourself or what's happening to you, Napadow explained.

The EAN is involved in working memory and attention. When that brain network is occupied, or distracted, by pain, it may explain some of the cognitive issues that fibromyalgia patients experience, Napadow said.

Dr. Philip Mease, director of rheumatology research at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle and a member of the National Fibromyalgia Association medical advisory board, said the study provides insight into what may be going on in the brains of people with fibromyalgia.

"This work shows there is increased connectivity between different brain centers that connect the purely sensory pain processing centers of the brain with some of the emotional and evaluative parts of the brain, or areas of the brain that take a sensory stimulus and say, "How do I interpret this? How do I feel about this'?" Mease said.

For years, fibromyalgia has been a highly misunderstood syndrome, with some doctors doubting it even existed, and others attributing the pain to depression or other psychological issues.

That began to change early this decade, when brain scans showed pain-processing abnormalities in fibromyalgia patients, Mease said.

"That first neuroimaging study really demonstrated fibromyalgia patients were different than normal individuals, and at a neurobiological level, were truly experiencing more pain at lower intensities," Mease said.

The new research moves understanding of the condition a step further, by exploring what's happening in the brain during a resting state.

"Regardless of poking or prodding them, this study is trying to get at an understanding of what is crackling in the brain, intrinsically, such that they have this higher sensitivity," Mease said.

About 10 million Americans are believed to have fibromyalgia, almost 90 percent of whom are women, according to the National Fibromyalgia Association. Sufferers report a history of widespread pain in all four quadrants of the body for at least three months, and pain in at least 11 of 18 "tender points."

More information

Read more about fibromyalgia at the National Fibromyalgia Association.

By Jenifer Goodwin
HealthDay Reporter

Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Hypothalamic Connection

Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue expert Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, author of Fromm Fatigued to Fantastic, who contributed the Foreward for the new book Living Well With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia takes a more liberal interpretation. He believes that if someone generally fits the description of fibromyalgia, with symptoms including unexplained fatigue, plus any two symptoms from among brain fog, sleep disturbances, diffuse achiness, increased thirst, bowel dysfunction, and/or persistent or recurrent infections or flulike feelings, then a positive diagnosis should be assumed.
The Hypothalamic Connection

Dr. Teitelbaum believes that at the core of thyroid dysfunction and fibromyalgia is a problem with the dysfunction or suppression of a master gland in the brain called the hypothalamus. Says Dr. Teitelbaum...

This gland controls sleep, your hormonal system, temperature regulation, and the autonomic nervous system (e.g. -- blood pressure, blood flow, and movement of food through your bowel). This is why you can't sleep, you have low temperature, you gain weight, and (because poor sleep causes immune dysfunction) you are prone to multiple and recurrent infections. The hypothalamic dysfunction by itself can therefore, cause most of the symptoms! I suspect that problems with the "energy furnaces" in your cells (called the mitochondria) often cause the hypothalamic suppression.

The Thyroid Connection and T3

If you are a thyroid patient who has signs and symptoms of fibromyalgia, you should consider being evaluated by a practitioner with expertise in the condition, whether it’s a holistic or complementary MD, an internist or rheumatologist.

And, if you are a fibromyalgia patient, it’s also worth digging somewhat deeper to determine if you have an underlying thyroid problem that may be contributing to – or even causing – your fibromyalgia symptoms.

People typically have a thyroid TSH test to determine if they have a thyroid imbalance, but fibromyalgia expert Dr. John Lowe, who heads the Fibromyalgia Research Foundation, and is author of The Metabolic Treatment of Fibromyalgia, questions what he calls the four "conventional endocrinology mandates" --

(1) The only cause of thyroid hormone deficiency symptoms is hypothyroidism

(2) only patients with hypothyroidism "according to lab results" should be permitted to use thyroid hormone

(3) the hypothyroid patient should only be allowed to use T4 (levothyroxine) and

(4) the patient's dosage should not suppress the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) level.

Dr. Lowe has had to challenge these preconceptions as part of his long-standing effort to learn more about treatment-resistant fibromyalgia. The result is a treatment protocol based on his findings that the unresolved symptoms associated with treated hypothyroidism and fibromyalgia are actually evidence of untreated or undertreated hypothyroidism, or partial cellular resistance to thyroid hormone.

A unique aspect of Dr. Lowe's theories is his recognition that a patient with cellular resistance may have perfectly normal circulating thyroid hormone levels yet have the symptoms and signs of hypothyroidism. This is an important aspect of Dr. Lowe's treatments that may point to the reason for his success. He has found, however, from his discussions with other fibromyalgia/CFS researchers, that most are unaware of such potential mechanisms. He says:

To them, if a patient has a normal TSH level, and especially if the patient's symptoms don't improve with replacement dosages of T4 (levothyroxine), her condition cannot possibly be related in any way to thyroid hormone. Recent scientific research, however, has shown this belief to be false.

If you have autoimmune hypothyroidism, it's fairly common to develop some classic fibromyalgia symptoms -- such as muscle/joint pain, aches, and sleep disturbances. According to Dr. Lowe, the conventional physician is likely to consider any new or worsened symptoms as evidence that the there's yet another condition -- such as fibromyalgia -- in addition to the autoimmune thyroid problem. To Dr. Lowe, however, that means that the newly developing symptoms are likely evidence of undertreated hypothyroidism:

As thyroid hormone deficiency worsens, the number of tissues involved and the severity of the resulting symptoms increase. The patient typically experiences the worsening deficiency as an increased number of symptoms of greater severity. In most cases, such patients simply need a more appropriate dosage or form of thyroid hormone to recover from all their symptoms.

Dr. Lowe believes that rigid adherence to the so-called "normal range" does not show whether a patient has enough circulating T3 (the active thyroid hormone at the cellular level, which is produced in part by the thyroid, and in part by conversion of T4 hormone to T3) to maintain normal metabolism in cells. His research shows that safe but suppressive doses are often more effective at eliminating the associated health problems that are of greatest concern. T4 to T3 conversion can be impaired, so the fact that a patient has a normal TSH level does not mean that her tissue metabolism is normal.

According to Dr. Lowe, one study showed that replacement dosages of thyroid hormone-- dosages that keep the TSH within the normal range -- mildly lowered patients' high cholesterol levels, but TSH-suppressive dosages lowered the levels significantly further.

Many published reports and our studies show that the TSH level does not correlate with various tests of tissue metabolism. Dr. Lowe feels this is important because making tissue metabolism normal should be the goal of all treatment with hypothyroid patients. When the hypothyroid patient is restricted to a dosage of T4 that keeps the TSH within the normal range, testing will produce evidence of abnormal metabolism in multiple tissues.

Dr. Lowe has found that TSH-suppressive dosages of thyroid hormone can also reduce a patients' risk for disease. Dr. Lowe finds that lower dosages of thyroid hormone have been found to be associated with progression of coronary atherosclerosis and higher dosages (including TSH-suppressive dosages) associated with a halting of the progression. In his studies, Dr. Lowe has extensively tested patients and determined that there is nothing harmful to patients in having their TSH suppressed by these dosages of thyroid hormone. Dr. Lowe sees the far greater danger being the clear adverse consequences of undertreated resistance, resulting in conditions such as fibromyalgia, CFS, and liver and cardiovascular diseases.

Dr. Lowe believes the hypothyroid patient has two options: She can submit to using a replacement dosage of thyroid hormone and remain symptomatic, thus risking premature death from cardiovascular disease. Or she can find a physician who will completely ignore her TSH level and find a dosage that produces normal tissue metabolism.

Some researchers dismiss thyroid hormone replacement as a possible treatment for fibromyalgia symptoms or CFS. According to Dr. Lowe, however, "replacement" as defined by these researchers typically doesn't work because replacement means the use of only T4 to keep the TSH within normal range, and that is simply not enough to free most hypothyroid patients from their symptoms. The assumption that replacement dosages of T4 are the only acceptable treatment prevents other researchers from seeing the mechanism of most patients' fibromyalgia/CFS -- inadequate thyroid hormone regulation of tissues. Dr. Lowe believes that the combination of T4 and T3 generally works better than T4 alone with hypothyroid patients, and in some cases T3 alone works best. Dr. Lowe found that when hypothyroid patients were treated with T4 first, gradually increasing the dosage, if it didn't provide much benefit or any at all, patients were switched to T3. Many patients do not benefit from the use of T4, regardless of how high the dosage.

T4 alone is a poor option for many hypothyroid fibromyalgia patients, and it is useless for fibromyalgia patients with cellular resistance to thyroid hormone. Most of these patients, who make up about 44 percent of the fibromyalgia patient population according to our studies, benefit only from very large dosages of T3. Only a minority of hypothyroid fibromyalgia patients satisfactorily improved with the use of T4 alone.

For more in-depth information on the fibromyalgia/thyroid connection, read:

Living Well With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia

Living Well With Hypothyroidism: What Your Doctor Doesn’t Tell You…That You Need to Know

Pain/Fatigue Syndromes – Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome from Living Well With Autoimmune Disease

Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Symptoms of fibromyalgia typically include:

•Feeling of pain, burning, aching, and soreness in the body
•Headaches, tenderness of the scalp, pain in the back of the skull
•Pain in the neck, shoulder, shoulder blades and elbows
•Pain in hips, top of buttocks, outside the lower hip, below buttocks, and the pelvis
•Pain in the knees and kneecap area
•Fatigue, unrefreshing sleep, waking up tired, morning stiffness
•Insomnia, frequent waking, difficulty falling asleep, or falling asleep immediately
•Raynaud's phenomenon (where your hands feel cold, numb, or turn blue, when exposed to temperature changes)
•Irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhea and constipation, bloating, cramping
•Balance problems
•Neurally mediated hypotension -- when you stand up, your blood pressure drops, which can make you feel faint, dizzy, nauseous, your heart rate drops, and you can even pass out
•Balance problems
•Restless leg syndrome
•Sense of tissues feeling swollen
•Numbness, tingling and feeling of cold in the hands and feet
•Chest pain, palpitations
•Shortness of breath
•Painful periods
•Anxiety, depression and "fibrofog" -- the term used to describe the confusion and forgetfulness, inability to concentrate and difficulty recalling simple words and numbers, and transposing words and numbers
•Frequent urination
•Muscle twitching
•Dry mouth

A formal diagnosis is confirmed using the official American College of Rheumatology criteria for fibromyalgia:

____ Widespread pain for at least 3 months. Pain should be on both the left side of the body and the right side, and pain both above and below the waist. Cervical spine, anterior chest, thoracic spine or low back pain must also be present.

Plus, pain in at least 11 of 18 specific tender point sites, which include:

____ The area where the neck muscles attach to the base of the skull, left and right sides (Occiput)
____ Midway between neck and shoulder, left and right sides (Trapezius)
____ Muscles over left and right upper inner shoulder blade, left and right sides (Supraspinatus)
____ 2 centimeters below side bone at elbow of left and right arms (Lateral epicondyle)
____ Left and right upper outer buttocks (Gluteal)
____ Left and right hip bones (Greater trochanter)
____ Just above left and right knees on inside
____ Lower neck in front, left and right sides (Low cervical)
____ Edge of upper breast bone, left and right sides (Second rib)

The Thyroid/Fibromyalgia Connection

A significant percentage of the estimated 20 million people with hypothyroidism end up also being diagnosed with fibromyalgia, an important connection discussed in my new book Living Well With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia. Both conditions share symptoms, including fatigue, exhaustion, depression, brain fog, and varying degrees of muscle and joint pain. Some experts believe that like most cases of hypothyroidism, fibromyalgia is also autoimmune in nature. Others believe that fibromyalgia may be one manifestation of an underactive metabolism – hypometabolism – and is therefore one variation on thyroid dysfunction.

Fibromyalgia, also known as fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), fibromyositis, fibrositis, and myofibrositis, is characterized by widespread joint and muscle pain and tenderness, fatigue, and exhaustion after sleep and after effort.

Fibromyalgia affects as many as 8 million people in the U.S., occurring mainly in women of childbearing age. Symptoms usually arise between the ages of 20-55 years, but the condition also may be diagnosed in childhood. Among the entire population, it's estimated that as many as 3-6% of the general population, including children, meet the criteria for diagnosis of fibromyalgia. This would make fibromyalgia over twice as common as rheumatoid arthritis. In general, fibromyalgia is strikes women seven times more often than men, according to a 1998 National Institutes of Health report.