Hi, Joe, and welcome! No, it's not just a woman's illness. We have several men on this forum but women are affected far more than men.
Yes, you could have fibromyalgia. A lot of what you said is familiar. Check out the Fibro 101 thread...the second thread on the forum. There are links to good info about fibromyalgia. There is a list of symptoms and you just might "see" yourself there. There is also a link to some good stretching exercises that do help.
Many with fibro do have anxiety problems. I did for quite some time and then I realized it was just fear and I really didn't have anything to be afraid of so I was able to get a handle on the anxiety. But, I do remember how debilitating it was. It's not fun.
You might want to see a good rheumatologist. They are good at diagnosing fibromyalgia. They will want to run tests to rule out other illnesses first. If everything comes back normal than usually a diagnosis of fibromyalgia is given. I have never gone to a rheumatologist but I have a good relationship with my Internist and he handles my health issues.
Joe, your doctor can't help you if you aren't up front with him. He /she already knows you suffer from anxiety. But not everything you are telling us is caused by anxiety. We don't all take strong pain killers so don't let that stop you from talking to your doctor. I use ibuprofen with food, extra strength Tylenol, and malic acid/magnesium supplements to help with my pain and fatigue. (There is a link all about the malic acid in the Fibro 101 thread and it explains how it works in the body. It doesn't help everyone but it's worth a shot if you have fibro.) Also, many with fibromyalgia seem to be deficient in vitamin D. All this can be checked with blood tests.
Moist heat helps a lot. A hot shower should make you feel a little better. Some use Bed Buddies. You can get them at Walgreen's and other places or you can make your own. Take a tube sock, fill it 2/3's full of raw long grain rice and tie a knot at the end. You can put this in the microwave and it will give off moist heat due to the moisture in the rice.
Keep moving. If you sit or lay too long you will be stiff as a board if you have fibro. Walking is good. Also, pacing yourself is good too.
Be sure to read Fibro 101, back posts, and ask questions. That's why we are here. I'm so glad you found us and joined in. Let us know what you find out. I hope to hear more from you soon.
Forum Moderator/ Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia, Crohn's Disease, Ostomy, Diabetes, Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease, Osteoporosis
God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7