Is It Serious or Is It Fibro-Related?

Is It Serious or Is It Fibro-Related?

finding balance
How am I supposed to determine when I am really sick or when it’s just another underlying illness associated with fibromyalgia? Sometimes I wonder: Should I go to the doctor or the ER? Could this be serious or is it something that will go away on its own?

Having fibromyalgia isn’t just suffering from various illnesses, it’s being forced to determine when it’s fibro and when it isn’t. And that’s easier said than done.

We are often labeled as hypochondriacs. How can someone have so many things wrong with them? They must be after attention, because no one can have so many illnesses at one time. Unfortunately, it’s easier to tell you what isn’t wrong with us. That list is much shorter!

I suffer from chronic pain, neuropathy, seizures, migraines, Raynaud’s syndrome, muscle pain and spasms, irritable bowel syndrome, flu-like symptoms, chronic fatigue, brain fog, and dizzy spells. I also have sensitivity to loud noises, perfume, chemical smells, and changes in the weather. That is a short list. As I get older, the list keeps growing.

Going to the doctor every time a new illness pops up gets to be a very expensive and usually frustrating experience. How many times have you gone to a doctor and end up leaving with no solution or answer? You may get a new prescription or a referral to a specialist, but too often you don’t get a satisfying answer.

With my increasing brain fog, I had to start bringing a list with me because I couldn’t remember all of my complaints. I’d forget the very reason I made the appointment in the first place!

In the last few years, my medical emergencies have increased. I’ve had a nice ride in an ambulance only to spend a frustrating time in the ER. They couldn’t figure out what caused my seizure, and I still don’t know the answer to this day.

I’ve become skeptical of modern medicine. When I go in, they only treat my symptoms and not the underlying illness. I’m on medication that I don’t feel is safe, but it seems to helps a little so I continue to take it. I need to find a way to get off this garbage and do things as naturally as possible.

In 2009, I had three strokes. When I had the first two, I knew something was wrong but I didn’t go to the hospital. I was having TIAs (or mini-strokes) for a few weeks before I finally called my doctor to tell her I thought my thyroid was out of whack. What I was experiencing seemed like it could be due to hypothyroidism. I never considered I had a stroke!

My doctor realized right away that something was very wrong. After several tests and a few different specialists, it was determined that my left carotid artery was 93 percent blocked. At times, I wasn’t getting any blood to the left side of my brain, which in turn caused the strokes. I had another stroke in the hospital waiting for surgery that I needed as soon as possible. I could have died at any time when I thought I was just suffering from something minor.

If you start experiencing anything out of the ordinary, don’t wait. Whether you go the natural route or modern medicine, seek advice from your medical professional. I use online doctors, which is great when I’m too sick to leave the house.

There are times when I felt I knew for certain what I was experiencing was serious, only to find out it wasn’t. I can’t always trust my own gut feelings when it comes to my health, so I must check out anything that is new and unusual. Don’t ignore symptoms. It could be something serious that will only get worse with time. Don’t procrastinate when it comes to your health.


Note: Fibromyalgia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Fibromyalgia News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to fibromyalgia.


  1. Julie Shenk says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you…I am pretty much in the same boat. Not much help from doctors except for blood work and dispensing needed medication for things that I can’t seem to control. I thought visiting my RA after a five year’s absence might reveal something. It did but NO answers! I managed to see numerous specialists who were concerned but found no diagnosis. Such a mystery with autoimmune diseases. Now I’ve heard some naturopaths consider Osteoporosis autoimmune. That would make three for me. My cholesterol runs genetically high and BP medicine needed. I try to approach ‘what I can do so’ naturally (out-of-pocket) as all meds have side effects—mostly, I cannot tolerate. However, I’m sure Bonexcin and CholestOff Complete also are doing something at amounts needed. But I am tolerating. Sadly, I have Hashimoto’s which isn’t nice and well, the thyroid governs everything. Sadly, otc products use soy as binders 🙁

    I’m so glad you did seek the help you needed. It’s so difficult with the FM/OA combo, too. Heart disease ran in my family, too. I have an eye disease as well. Loads of things just like you. Finding some have exploded due to an accident and other traumas and long-time stress and over-doing it.

    Well, thanks for listening. The next decade or decades will be an interesting ride. But I’m trusting God for wisdom.

  2. open4thot says:

    Without this site and those like it, I would believe that I had surely lost my mind. To read your partial listing of Fibro related illnesses is to validate my own suffering. Without these informative and uplifting articles, dealing with the dismissive attitude of friends, doctors, and family would be impossible.
    Thank you for taking the time to share your honest insight into our world.

  3. This article is spot on! I have a tendency to blame everything I feel on fibro. One time I had a severe toothache and decided I should go to the dentist. Exam and xrays revealed nothing and the pain disappeared in a few days. Very frustrating!

  4. Jeannie Williams-Rogers says:

    Thank you for your article.I have full body fibrowith severe osteo arth.and psoriatic arth.I’ve had hip replacement due to a fall where I discovered the osteo.I’ve had fibro for 27 years.They say its not debilitating just progressive.I
    beg to differ.I’ve had to figure out all on my own thru the years what works from high vitamin intake,probiotics,just name it,I’ve tried it.I have all same symptoms of IBS,spastic colon,since a child.Growing pains severe that we now know, wasnt!Severe sinus problems for years.Dry eyes,allergies,etc.etc.etcetera!My list goes on and on.I’ve even been in state hospital in rehab from addictions trying to ease my pain and psych docs telling me its all in my head!Hard life traumas and whole gambit.Ostrasized and abused by spouses and family.Domestic abuse and violence has been rampant in my life since a child.My poor mother and grandmother suffered tremendously due to fibroand nervous breakdowns and abuse and neglect and no knowledge of fibromyalgia.It hit me at 30 yrs old and my daughter at 16.Praise God Almighty He is our loving Saviour.Only by and thru Him have we not gone totally insane and are alive today thru His mercies and grace.This, I know that I know,that I know.Thank you for sharing,it means a lot!God bless!

  5. Lorraine says:

    Thank you so much for sharing I also suffer many of the same things you have listed, and seem to be at the doctors every couple of months with some other complaint I did have a really good doctor who helped me so much and never made me feel like it was all in my head but unfortunately she has left the practice so now I have to see various doctors I saw three different ones in two week due to suddenly having servere pains in my left leg, issues with balance an lower back couldn’t walk at all and all they had to say was it’s just your fibro that’s causing it and give me two different higher strength medications for nerve pain which didn’t take the pain away. After speaking to someone I know they suggested CBD OIL I went online and read lots of people’s reviews on using it to help with Fibro, decided to try some I have been taking it for two months now and it’s been a godsend for me personally, as I have very little pain anywhere in my body I don’t take pain meds anymore just my Sertraline for depression because of fibro so I am hoping to reduce dosage over time and just see how it goes. Thank you again take care


    Thanks for the great article. I often wonder how I will know when there is something really wrong with my that isn’t Fibro related and it kind of scares me. I never have gone to the doctor for every little thing, but with the Fibro symptoms I have sometimes I really wonder is it the Fibro or something I need to be concerned about. I guess my cue is if its something in one spot that lasts for a long time. My pain moves all over the place. Also my doctor sees me every three months for blood work and a general checkup so I hope that will tell her is something is wrong. It’s a hard thing to know what to do.

  7. Kelly says:

    I completely understand and am very grateful that seizures and similar issue have not yet been part of my “bag of party tricks”, per se.
    I find that tracking my sleep with my Jawbone Up3, allows me to finally see if I’m flared up or have the flu. Before I figured out the patterns, I would be at work a bit nauseous (which could be normal for a flare up for me)… and kept having to wonder if I had caught a new flu or was just flared up.
    Now, if I’m not getting DEEP sleep, I know it is a flare up. though it is still annoying to be able to see my problem and still not be able to fix it. At least with the sleep tracking, I can have more information and not spread more sickness around my office.

    Great article – thanks.

  8. Hilary says:

    Had my doctor refer to my FM as a ‘red herring’ when a blood test led to diagnosis of a heart problem and the subsequent ultrasound showed no heart problem. Leaves me a bit bewildered and basically thinking everything is due to Fibro -including my arrhythmia.

  9. Maria says:

    It is so easy not to go to the doctor, such a job to remember everything! I had an uncommon heart attack last year that affects mainly women, where a coronary artery tears, called SCAD (please look up) I have awful upper back and shoulder pain which I finally went to physio for. The day after I had chest spasms all day, had hospital bags packed, sure I was having another attack. Next day not so bad, then deduced must have been good old costochondritis aggravated by prodding and exercises…phew! So was the other way round for me. Have been thinking all sorts wrong lately but most likely just crappy ineffective joining of bones, muscles, cartilage etc. Keeping moving only answer for me. Unless I’m flat out. ?

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