I mentioned in a recent post that I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and psoriatic arthritis.
I didn’t know much about either of these disorders until recently. I always thought fibromyalgia was a generic, maybe even made up, disease. Basically, something doctors just diagnosed–mostly women–with because they didn’t know what was wrong with them and didn’t want to try and figure it out.
“Fibromyalgia is a chronic (long-lasting) disorder that causes pain and tenderness throughout the body, as well as fatigue and trouble sleeping. Scientists do not fully understand what causes it, but people with the disorder have a heightened sensitivity to pain.”
“Psoriatic arthritis is a type of inflammatory arthritis. Symptoms include joint pain, stiffness, and swelling, which may flare and subside. Many people with the condition are affected by morning stiffness. Even mild skin psoriasis can have a significant degree of arthritis.”
When I look back at my history I can sort of pinpoint some things that pointed to them. I’ve had joint issues for a long time. I just attributed it to running and over-exercising. But perhaps it was a combination of both. I think the fibromyalgia started after I had Logan. I read that pregnancy can sometimes trigger it. It’s a lot of stress on the body. Apparently any kind of stress can be a trigger.
I remember being utterly exhausted after I had Logan and not just because I had postpartum anxiety and lack of sleep. Even after Logan was older and sleeping through the night, I was always tired. Part of that was not eating enough calories and over-exercising, but I am wonder if that was the beginning of fibromyalgia? I am curious if anyone else has experienced that as well? Let me know!
For as long as I can remember I would periodically get my thyroid checked because I experienced ALL of the typical thyroid issue symptoms. I was always confused and frustrated when it would come back in “normal” range. But…it was probably fibro.
As for the psoriatic arthritis…I’ve had mild psoriasis most of my life and it was never that bad. I remember I got strep throat when Logan was about a year old and it triggered an extreme flare-up of rare form of psoriasis. It was awful and for several years it would flare up again, get a little better, then come back. I used topical stuff from my dermatologist but what really “cured” it? Keto!! I have no idea why. Was it the elimination of major food groups? Was it a “low inflammation diet”? I really don’t know!
Recently my psoriasis flared up (not the rare kind like before) and was pretty bad. I also read that stress can trigger it. The good news is that autoimmune disorders like psoriasis often clear up during pregnancy!
Anyway, I was seeing my doctor about the fibromyalgia and the psoriasis and chronic pain, etc. I knew I had arthritis in my hip (the bad hip) and he said, “Wait a minute, maybe you have psoriatic arthritis!” Huh?? He referred my to a rheumatologist, I had an MRI and sure enough. He also said this condition is probably the cause of the chronic back pain I’ve had for the last 10 years. Fun, huh?
It’s so WEIRD to finally have answers. After YEARS.
What am I doing for the conditions? I started acupuncture once a week last month. Maybe it’s helping? I’ve never seen amazing results with it but this time around it seems to help a little with certain pain points. I’ve been doing massage and chiro for years. I have PT exercises. I am exercising when I can, doing what doesn’t hurt (right now it’s a lot of swimming, walking, yoga and weight lifting–I miss running, biking and the elliptical). Sleep hygiene is a joke with a baby.
The other thing? Meds. I switched from prozac to cymbalta about 7 weeks ago and I’ve been noticing a bit of a difference! It is too soon to really tell as we are still figuring out dosage. But it’s supposed to help with pain.
Why do I share all of this? Because I wish this was something I knew about years ago. Maybe I could have done more to help before it got so bad. Also, maybe this will ring a bell for one of my readers who experiences similar issues.
If any of my readers have experiences with either conditions, I’d love to hear from you!
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