Imagine spending countless hours and exorbitant amounts of money on doctors appointments and medication that doesn’t seem to fix what you know is going on in your body. And then one day, if you’re lucky, you get that final diagnosis you’ve been waiting for: it’s fibromyalgia. Of course, now that opens all kinds of doors with their new fears behind them. After all, what is fibromyalgia really besides a painful yet often untreatable and incurable disease? But for some people, that accurate diagnosis never comes, and they’re forever stuck thinking their problems are something else.
The road to an accurate diagnosis is often more difficult than the long battle of treatment or even the disbelieving opinions of people who don’t believe fibro is a real illness. Unfortunately, a string of misdiagnoses is a harsh reality for many people with fibro because it’s one of the hardest diseases to pinpoint. Because fibros symptoms are so universal, it’s easily confused with other similar illnesses. Here are some of the most commonly misdiagnosed conditions that mimic fibromyalgia.
To say lupus mimics fibromyalgia would be an understatement. As with any autoimmune disease, lupus shares many of its main symptoms with fibro, such as fatigue and joint pain. Although lupus usually brings the butterfly rash with it, a rash across the nose and cheek area, the inward symptoms are what causes it to be commonly confused with other diseases. Both people with lupus and fibro are likely to experience sensitivity to light, cold, and pain, and sharp chest pains can occur as well. Frequent headaches and mood disorders are probably the most obvious yet ignored symptoms of both lupus and fibromyalgia, along with inflammation.
Unlike other non-life-threatening ticks, deer ticks inject bacteria that causes the tick-borne illness known as Lyme disease. Often misdiagnosed as the flu or another other fatigue-related illness, Lyme disease can become debilitating if left untreated and is one of the most commonly misdiagnosed conditions that mimic fibromyalgia. Symptoms, besides a bulls-eye rash, include joint pain and weakness in the limbs — two of the most common indicators of fibro and the cause of many misdiagnoses.
Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormone, disrupting heart rate, body temperature, and all aspects of metabolism. Universal symptoms of fatigue, sensitivity, and mood disorders can be linked to thyroid issues, but because the symptoms are so general they are often misdiagnosed. Like CFS and fibro, hypothyroidism affects mostly older women, and, like all the other conditions on this list, it can be debilitating and make even the most simple tasks hard to accomplish. However, unlike many other conditions that mimic fibromyalgia, hypothyroidism is treatable with thyroid hormone replacement therapy.
This condition, which attacks joints primarily, is perhaps the most like fibromyalgia than any other on this list because it causes inflammation and pain. Over time, this inflammation can cause bone erosion and joint deformity. Rheumatoid arthritis, one of the many forms of arthritis, is much like lupus in that it is an autoimmune disease. While it can eventually go away, rheumatoid arthritis is often lifelong, affecting people from their twenties and onward the most. Like other conditions that mimic fibromyalgia, arthritis is currently incurable.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Chronic fatigue syndrome may be one of the worst conditions on this list, not just because of how it can affect your daily living, but because of the deeper connection it shares with fibromyalgia. People with fibro often endure negative opinions from other individuals who don’t believe the condition is real, which is hard to imagine. Unfortunately, people exist who see claims of fibro or similar conditions as mere excuses to be on disability or unemployed. Those same people often chalk the symptoms up to laziness and confuse CFS with major depression, which both cause a feeling of lethargy all day similar to fibro. This serious yet commonly misdiagnosed condition often causes sleep abnormalities and pain, resulting in impaired mental and physical capabilities. Like fibromyalgia, cases of CFS occur more among women, and symptoms become more severe with increased exertion.
Via- Fibro Treating