Typical diseases that overlap FM
The need to treat all that is treatable
Home Fictions Articles Facts Life Stories Poems etc. Herbs etc. Links
Please note that most links presented, are off site links, save where noted.

As if FM were not enough to deal with the fact is, it is seldom alone and this fact is often over shadowed by the FM. Below are a few of the more common overlapping diseases that many FMers have, often as a "primary" with the FM being considered a secondary problem. Some, are so commonly seen with FM, that they are thought of as part of FM. ( See articles on site link, for some expansions of some of these diseases and their relation to FM )
  • Lupus erythematosus 22%
  • Myofascial pain (CMP) 75%
  • Migraine headaches 62%
  • IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) 35-75%
  • Allergies 67%
  • Osteoarthritis 60%
  • Rheumatoid arthritis 25%
  • Temporomandibular disorders ( TMJ) 75%
  • Chronic Fatigue (ME) 65-70%
  • Polymyalgia rheumatica
  • Joint hyper mobility 81%
  • Tendinitis 26%
  • Epstein-Barr virus 35%
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome 55%
  • Sicca 50%
  • Crohn's disease 30%
  • Raynard's 30%
  • Sjogren's Syndrome 20-30%
  • Cognitive Impairments (MCI) 88%
  • Chronic Lyme disease
  • Hypothyroidism 24%
  • Candida 50%
  • Interstitial cystitis 24%
  • Vulvodynia 50%
  • Endometriosis 31%
  • Sleep disorders 80%
  • Spondyloarthropathy
  • Costochondritis 85%
  • Multiple Chemical Sensitivities 30%
  • Leaky Gut Syndrome
  • Hypoglycemia 40%
  • Restless legs syndrome 20- 40%
  • Paresthesias (numbness and tingling) 84%
  • Morton's Neuroma 27%
  • Reflux (Gerd) 29-55%
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder 15%
  • Mitral valve pro lapse 30-65%
  • Clinical Depression 18- 20%
  • Sleep Apnea 80%
  • The percentages = how many people with FM, are also known to have X disease/disorder, according to various studies. The percentages for the rest where there is no notation, are not available ... yet. They will be added as I find studies that give accurate trust able percentage rates.

    Now, most FMers could read down that list and go... yeah... that's me, with an all too common ability to check off more than one ! It feels like ordering from an a la cart restaurant menu. Let's see, we have, one from column A, two from column B, and one from column C for desert :)

    Understand something however, each and every one of these, occurs in persons without FM. Each one is a stand alone, one of a kind disorder that can be seen in the general population, without any other disease being present.

    Which means exactly what ?

    Well, first off it means, that all of these can be treated for themselves alone and they should be. However, once a person gets a diagnosis of FM what tends to happen at the medical level, is these other diseases are not treated, or even sought after. As both the person and often the doctor make the false assumption that " it's all the FM."

    That is not the case. FM does not give a person any sort of immunity from having another problem, on top of FM. In fact, there are many studies being done as to why so many of these tend to hang out, as it were, with FM.

    "It is important to understand that people with Fibromyalgia may have the same problems-allergies, Migraine headaches, sinusitis, abdominal pain from irritable bowel syndrome-as anybody else. However, when a person has concurrent Fibromyalgia, these problems, if left untreated, may actually cause the Fibromyalgia to worsen. Furthermore, other common problems, such as temporomandibular disorders and irritable bowel syndrome, are amplified in Fibromyalgia patients, but are not necessarily part of the disease process. " CFS support

    FMers who have overlapping conditions such as Arthritis, Diabetes, CMP, TMJ etc., will generally need stronger pain meds to handle the pain. The reasons are simple, FM is a pain amplification problem among other things and a great many of the above, are in and of themselves, quite painful. So much so, that narcotic and other strong pain medications are often given to those without FM, who have these conditions. But, once a diagnosis of FM is reached, such medications are typically denied, despite the fact, that the pain is being greatly magnified by the FM.

    I have personal experience of this effect. I had a doctor in the early years, before I knew what FM was, who was treating me for Migraine, Osteoarthritis, etc., and he freely gave me pain medications, with no hesitation for these conditions. 

    However, when he sent me to a rheumatologist and I came back with a diagnosis of FM, he promptly cut off all medications, dropped me as a client and suggested I go see one of the mental health professionals ! I was stunned to say the least.

    Now, believe me, I got him fired off the staff at the University I was attending for such low handed treatment and the Dean of the collage fully agreed with me that his actions were inexcusable. But, I have run into it since then, of doctors who flat refuse to even attempt treatment of any sort, for any reason whatsoever, if the client has FM.

    When you run into one of these, my personal recommendations is ? Fire them. Remember, a doctor works for you, you hire him/her when you agree to see them and permit them to try and help you and you can fire them just as quickly. See Doctor shopping, on site link

    FM, is still thought of in many circles as a psychiatric problem, which means, even the so called "legitimate" diseases, meaning ones that will show up on x ray and standard lab work and have certifiable treatments available, will tend to go untreated. As the doctor will tend to dismiss any reported problem or pain, as "just" the FM and discount it. This can happen even with a doctor who doesn't think that FM is psychiatric, but is not as well informed about it as they could be and doesn't realize that the other things going on, are not due to the FM and need treatment.

    Please take note, that Clinical Depression on site link, has almost the lowest score of concurrence. So, the medical professions habit of dismissing FM as a depressive problem, is not born out by statistical data.

    So make your doctor treat what is treatable, insist on it, pitch a total fit if you must, which won't make you high on the list of "good patients" but never mind that, get it done. Anything you can do, that reduces the over all pain load, can be counted an improvement. Keep in mind that FM is a pain amplifier, it makes sense to give it less pain to amplify !