New here--I think this is fibro, but maybe menopause?

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Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 41
   Posted 9/14/2009 8:13 AM (GMT -7)   

I'm 49 and I'm currently menopausal. I have been for 5 years now. I had an ovary removed and my pain started right about 4 months after that. I have found these large lumps behind my hips and sore points that go into the gluteus minimus. I believe these are trigger knots. I also have them behind my neck. I don't have them in my arms or knees, but the top side of my left arms start to throb a lot and my knees hurt quite a bit too. In the last years it got worse so I was unable to exercise regularly. So sitting a lot has probably worsened it. I have days where I can manage and then I'll get a terrible spasm midback near my bulging discs and the rest of the body becomes fatigued and anxious and depressed.

I've also found I have complex cysts on my thyroid. They are very small and my endo wouldn't treat. I went to holistic doctor and I've been taking low doses of Armour and just recently added Cytomel. The Cytomel was added because of high Reverse T3. I've read about the link between fibro and thyroid on Dr. Lowe's site and I would love to up my Cytomel and plan to do it gradually.

In the meantime I'm wondering if it's indeed fibro with a touch of trigger points in the neck/hip muscles. I get depressed, low energy and anxious when pain levels go up. I also wake up stiff and if I'm sleeping on one side too long that hip is painful and stiff all day. My neck is always stiff and achy too.

The weirdest symptom is I can't stand for more than 5-10 minutes and walking in the grocery store or mall becomes unbearable. I thought maybe that was from the bulging disc. Is it possible it's a fibro related symptom?

Today I was planning on getting back to the gym and to a massage therapist and I was dressed and getting my son's hair done and I got a bad muscle spasm that is lingering so here I sit still with no exercise. What to do?

I went to a Rheumatologist and she took a lot of inflammatory tests and said I was find and told me to go for pain management. I haven't done that yet. I've had so many blood tests and my insurance company may fire me soon because some are very expensive. The endo has another set to send me for which I thin includes some type of muscle markers, CPK, is one of them.

I'm tired of going doctor to doctor and staying on too low dose of thyroid and remaining anxious, depressed and in pain. I feel even though the Rheumatologist pressed very, very lightly on the 18 spots and I didn't cry out in pain, that I have this disease. I told her if she pressed in the areas where I have the pain a little harder, she'd hear me moan. She said I don't have fibro. She said it's from the disc and to get pain management. But how does that explain the pain on top of my left arm, the mid back pain (no disc problem there) and neck/shoulder pain. Also I'm now having stomach pain. I have had so many tests, MRI, Scans, and endoscope and I'm told it's esophagitis. Well I guess, but now I'm wondering if it's muscle related due to fibro? Now the pain is in the stomach away from the other area that bothered me.

In short:

Does stomach muscles start to hurt under the ribcage, left to right?
Does standing for more than 5 minutes and getting fatigue tired low back pain be a fibro issue with people?
Could my problem be just those trigger knots in the hips and neck? But I have knee pains too!
Has anyone become much better on high doses of Cytomel?

I also take Estradiol and progesterone cream every day for erratic cycles and being menopausal. I take iron, cal/magD and many other supplements, but I'm still in pain most days. I can get around, but I have to rest and sit most of the time, and many times I just stay in and won't go out at all.

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Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 17524
   Posted 9/14/2009 9:35 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi, Corky, and welcome!  I'm not a doctor but it sounds a lot like fibro to me.  I have the knots under my skin, we do wake up stiff and still tired.  I had an ovary removed many years ago and didn't get these symptoms and I'm through menopause but still have the pain.  That's why I'm thinking this is fibro and not menopause.  My pain came on while I was watching television one night two decades ago!  Go figure! 
Check out the Fibro 101 thread...the first thread on the forum.  There are links to good info about fibromyalgia, including a list of symptoms.  You just might see yourself there.
If you do have fibro, one of the worst things you can do is sit.  If you sit or lay too long, you will be stiff as a board and your pain will be worse.  There are some gentle stretching exercises in the Fibro 101 thread that really do work and will get you started.  Gentle exercise is wonderful for fibro.  My choice of exercise is walking.  I also like to swim so, if you have access to a pool, this would be good for you.  I know you are thinking that you can't do that.  I didn't think I could either so, when I started walking, I only made it a few houses down and had to come back.  But, that didn't stop me.  I went out the next day and was able to go just a little further.  Now, I walk my dog a mile before I have breakfast.  My pain isn't as bad and I'm staying limber.  If you don't move you will probably stiffen up like an elderly person.
I have back problems due to a curvature of my spine and osteoporosis but I do not have a bulging disk.  I hurt more if I'm having to just stand...especially on a hard floor.  If I'm working in the kitchen and my lower back starts to hurt, I do some light stretches and it feels a little better. 
Gentle massages really help me.  The operative word there is "gentle".  Deep massages usually cause more pain in people with fibromyalgia.  My massage therapist is not only licensed but also certified.  She has to take special classes every year to get her certification.  Her prices are no more than any of the therapists around here.  She is certified through the American Massage Therapy Association.  Here is a link about them.  In the top bar, you will see "Find a Massage Therapist".  This will help you find a certified therapist in your area, if you are interested.
Pain can certainly cause depression, especially if you are starting to have problems living your life.  Once I started moving more, I saw that I could still do most everything I did before, but in a different time frame.  I needed to pace myself.  That is important.  I didn't give up the things I loved or the things I needed to do.  I just found a way of working around the fibro to continue doing them.  I love to garden but I can't work out there all morning.  I will limit myself to about a half hour to forty-five minutes and call it a day.  It takes longer to get the gardens in shape, but at least I did it myself!  That makes you feel sooo good and you find you aren't so depressed.  Just being outside will brighten your spirit.  Look around at all the beauty there is and that will put a smile on your face!
I'm not familiar with the medications you are taking.  I use ibuprofen with food, extra strength Tylenol, Malic Acid/Magnesium supplements, and vitamin D3 supplements for my pain and fatigue.  There are links in the Fibro 101 thread about the Malic Acid and Vitamin D3.  Many people with fibro seem to be deficient in these nutrients and vitamins and they can cause more pain and more fatigue.  Read the links and see what you think.     
Hot baths or showers and using a Bed Buddy help with pain.  You can find Bed Buddies at Walgreen's and other places or you can make one by taking a tube sock, filling it 2/3's full of long grain rice (not instant) and tying a knot at the end.  Pop it in the microwave and this will give off moist heat due to the moisture in the rice.
I'm so glad that you found us and joined in.  I'm sure there will be other that will come on and give more suggestions, too.  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

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 6067
   Posted 9/14/2009 11:02 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Corky and welcome. Have they ruled out "everything else it could be" listed in the fibro 101 thread??? Everything hit me at once in my late 40s, anxiety, peri-menopause, fatigue and apparently fibro but wasn't dxd for a few years. My doc and I both blamed everything on the anxiety, peri-menopause and meds I was on til the fatigue got so bad I knew it had to be something else so we started testing. It took a full blown flare of feeling like I had been beaten with a baseball bat for it to all click for my doc. I had no idea what he was doing when he started pushing on different spots on my body  and they were so sore I kept grabbing his hand away. I wouldn't say he lightly pushed on them or at least it didn't feel like it to me.
When I started going to the rheumy I'm going to now he was trying to push on some areas and I would jump before he ever had a chance to push and he laughed at me but I knew how bad it was going to hurt so of course I would jump, it's a natural reaction when you know something is going to hurt.
I have had pain in every part of my body over the years where there are muscles, which is from head to toes.
I hope you get some answers but even if you don't right away you are welcome here.
luv and hugs
Forum Moderator Fibromyalgia
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Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 41
   Posted 9/14/2009 12:19 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you for your help. I did read the 101 and I read about the stretches. I have a lot of books on yoga and stretches and also know some from the physical therapy I've been through. I hate walking. I know I should and today I planned on getting back to the gym, but now I'm in the middle of a bad low back spasm. I'm also getting stomach pains too which I think are muscles, but I've just been diagnosted with esophagitis. I don't get heartburn though, just these intense pains in the stomach. I think that too could be muscle fibro type, right?
When I get on the treadmill or try to walk around my neighborhood I'll start to get pain in the area of my hip and the trigger knots that are there and of course my overall low back starts to feel very fatigued and achy. Then I have to leave the gym, or come home from the walk and lie on the floor and feel miserable.
This is why in the last year I've packed on 30lbs. So depressing. I plan to get back to a little walking or biking. There is a pool at the college near me and I can look into that, but when I swim I find my back hurts more a times.
I will start to light stretches every day. I usually stretch a little in bed before I wake up, but I will try and stretch a few times a day and stay off the computer. I've been on this computer for the last year searching for answers, etc. or I'm sitting in my easy chair rocking.
I'm also going to start using the therapist at my gym. I think deep massage is good for those triggers though, right? But he will do as I ask for sure. Maybe the massage and getting even a little exercise and some stretching and increasing my T3 will help me.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 17524
   Posted 9/14/2009 2:34 PM (GMT -7)   
Corky, you don't have to power walk.  I just walk.  I don't like to walk either.  Actually, I hate any form of exercise!  LOL  But sometimes you have to do things you don't want to do.  But, by walking, I'm outdoors and am enjoying the scenery.  Sometimes I can walk faster than other times.  Some times I'm just strolling, but at least I'm moving.  If you get in the pool, maybe just march in place and just move your body.  Perhaps tread water.  I usually am swimming a side stroke with a scissor kick and then I switch sides.  Then I'll tread some water and do a little breast strokes.  I'm not swimming laps.  My back wouldn't take that either!
But, do try to start.  When  you hurt, its very easy to procrastinate or say to yourself that you will do it when you feel better.  But, most likely, you won't feel better.  You'll feel worse.  I just decided I had to get off my butt and start moving, so I did.  I'm so thankful that I did.  I'm 62 and I would really be a mess now if I had stayed immobile.  I live in Florida and I see people that can barely move and they are only a few years older than I am.  I don't want to be in that position. 
I realize that you have the bulging disc but talk to your doctor.  When I was having really bad problems with my back, I would wear a binder to help support it and I could do more that way.  I think he would say that walking and water exercise would be fine for you.  Good luck!  I hope you start moving soon and start feeling better, too!
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

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 41
   Posted 9/14/2009 2:39 PM (GMT -7)   
I will. When this spasm goes away I'll get back to the gym. I also wanted to try pilates, slow of course. I also have one of those back support things but the chiro I went to for a few weeks said not to use it too often as it will weaken the back muscles.

And I have been sitting a lot this last year researching this whole pain problem I've been having.

Thanks for the support.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 673
   Posted 9/14/2009 7:21 PM (GMT -7)   
The problem in diagnosing fibro is that everything else has to be eliminated. I went for a long time with test after test coming back normal. Finally, when everything else was eliminated, I was sent to a rheumetologist, and he diagnosed me with fibro. I hope you get some answers. In the meantime, I suggest that you keep up with your exercises. Even though it hurts, exercise will help you. Keep us posted. Good luck to you.
Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. Dr. Seuss

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 846
   Posted 9/15/2009 7:44 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Corky, and welcome to the board! I'm so glad you found us, and hopefully you will be on your way to feeling better.

Of course I'm no doctor either, but most of what you mentioned in your original post could be fibro. I had a rheumy appointment 6 mths ago, and I was so looking forward to it. I thought finally I'll have a dx and know what is going on with me for sure! He did the pressure point test and I hardly budged, so he said he wasn't discounting fibro, but he couldn't say for sure. I think some people don't have the pressure points, and I was going through a good phase back then too. I'm going back to see him next month, so I'm curious as to what will happen.

Please take Sherrine's advice and walk. You don't have to go to the gym or do anything too strenuous, but get moving. I've had days where I thought I deserve a break, and I'll sit at the computer and scrap all day. Each time I've paid for it. I know I need to move to feel better. Do what you can, and slowly do a little more each day, you might surprise yourself! I am a big fan of pilates. It has helped me have a better posture, so my lower back, hips and shoulders don't hurt as much. I haven't been able to do any for the last 4-5 days, and I'm really noticing the ill effects on my body.

Again, welcome, and don't hesitate to ask questions, That's what we are here for. I'm in a much better place now than I was a year ago, thanks to the advice and encouragement I received through the forum.
possible fibro and trigeminal neuralgia
50 mgs amitriptyline

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 41
   Posted 9/15/2009 2:06 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you for the great advice. I'm going to get back to walking a little every day and then I'll move on to the pilates and some light weights.

I've been to the Rheumatologist and she took a lot of blood test markers or something, even checked for lyme and she said all is normal. I'm wondering if it's not widespread fibro, maybe some other muscle type myalgia.

I am wondering if this stomach pain I've been having is really more muscle related. It seems to get worse around times or anxiety or stress. Do fibro people get pain in the stomach area under the rib cage?

I had MRI, Cat Scan, sonogram and endoscope and all was normal except they found I have esophagitis and dudeonitis and the doctor said that was what was causing the pain. But I don't get any heartburn or anything just intense pain under the rib cage and it's not all the time and it can come on with empty stomach, full stomach, in the middle of the night, then not for days, then back again. Very weird.

I'm wondering if it could be just muscle pain in that area now? Do fibro people get that too?

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Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 831
   Posted 9/15/2009 4:03 PM (GMT -7)   
Welcome Corky, Hope you are doing better.

I get pain on the right side under my rib cage but I've been told a few years ago I have gallstones. I usually eat a little salt and the pain goes away.

I had a MRI and a CAT Scan in the ER a little over a year ago and that's when the ER Dr told me I have Fibro. I'm glad it's this cause at least it doesn't kill you but sometimes the pain is a little to much because it comes out of no where.

There are days when I will be walking around the house and my shine will hurt for no reason and my b/f will ask me whats wrong and I'll just tel him that my friendly ghost just kicked me.

What ever you do you have to find some humor in things or you will go crazy.

So has the memory gone yet? That's the best part. You can watch something you know you've already seen but since you can't remember it, you get to watch it all over again like for the first time. The worst part though is when you don't remember conversions or how to spell words. My Aunt loves telling me secrets because I forget what she's told me before we are done talking so she knows I won't go back and tell my mom.

Well have a Good Night.
DX Fibro 12/31/07   Guess I can put the rest dx
PSTD  Bi Polar 2/04  Depression most of my life  IBS
RX Amitriptylin 25mg
God gives doesn't give us more than we can handle. So this too shall pass.

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