I am one of the lucky ones. I have an excellent doctor who spent 2 1/2 hours with me on my first appointment with him. The first 2 hours were spent asking a myriad of questions of which only a fraction had to do with the actual symptoms I was experiencing. You see he was taking a holistic approach and gathering information that had to do with me as a ‘whole’ person rather than as a walking file with a template of ‘one size fits all’ criteria for diagnosis.
I do not fit the standard test for Fibromyalgia. Until recently, it consisted mostly of finding 11 or more ‘tender points’ on the patient. In other words, there were 11 points on the body that had to experience pain from touch. Well, I like many other people with FMS have places on my body it hurts to have touched, but not ALL the time. More often than not, the pain I have is more on the inside of my muscles and bones, not necessarily on the surface. Also, as anyone with FMS knows, your points of pain and symptoms can change daily, even within the same hour. Thankfully my doctor understood this and spent the time to gather all of my information before coming to a conclusion (There was also a battery of blood tests to rule any other possibilities out). I fit many parts of the profile for developing FMS; 1) I’m a woman 2) Tested positive for Epstein Barr 3)Experienced abuse in childhood 4)Experienced years of extreme stress. Now, these are not the only things that contribute to the development of FMS, nor does everyone who experiences these things develop this or any other disease. These just happen to be the ones that pertain to me.
There are many doctors who think this is ‘only in the mind of the patient’ (its okay to wish a permanent allergic reaction to bacon on these people). Thankfully the thinking towards FMS is changing. With increased awareness of Fibromyalgia and a rising number of people coming forward, the criteria for diagnosis is changing. Here is an excellent article from Pain Medicine News titled, “Fibromyalgia Diagnosis: Moving Beyond The Tender Points” (click here)
As always, a healthy diet is a key component in managing FMS symptoms. Here is one of my favorite non-refined sugar treats:
Mixed Berries with Cream and Homemade Granola
~2 cups steel cut oats
~1/2 cup raw organic coconut
~1/2 cup raisins
~1/2 cup slivered or chopped almonds
~1/4 cup ground flax seed
~1/3 cup coconut oil (refined or unrefined depending on your taste preference)
~1/2 cup raw organic honey
Preheat oven to 325. Mix all ingredients together and spread on baking sheet. Bake stirring often 15-20 min (this can burn quickly, so keep an eye on it – or two).
~Combine with berries of choice and cream