Copyright Ruby's Musings

My Life with Fibro ,Fibroids (or possibly cysts) and Bladder Issues...




I thought I might include a Fibromyalgia page , do the surfing for you, if you are curious as to what it is . I have had fibro for many years. I originally thought it showed up in my late 20's, with a diagnosis at 40, but now after much research I have suspicions that I actually had it all through my teens as well. 


There are days this disorder make it very hard to function, but there is a drive in me to keep going to not sit around and let it take over my life. But I will admit there are days when I am so tired of feeling 80 when I am in my 40s. Other days it is not so bad. I can deal with it, manage it. there is NEVER a day there is not a symptom, but there are actually great days, at least on my scale of things and those days are true blessings and I am so very grateful for them!!! 


I do what I can to stay upbeat, motivated and proactive in my care... and I do my best to keep it homeopathic and natural. Sometimes that is ill viewed upon, but it is the path I have chosen to follow. Not that I do not believe that others should follow my same path if they feel or find the more more standard  western medical paths are working. It is very hard to do though, staying positive etc. but all I can do is take it in baby steps.  I am a fighter though, and so that is one reason why I walk, a lot. Walking hurts too at times, but at least it keeps me mobile, because if I did not walk , it would get to the point where I could not...I know that day may come, but I do my best to put it off for as long as I can. I know I over do it daily, but again that is the fighter in me. I simply refuse to lay down and let it take over. I have come close many times and well that is when the feeling of wanting it over with appears, I will do all it takes to avoid that... I do not have time, nor desire to have a pity party... life is too short! 


Here is a lot of info from two sites, but also a couple of links if you are interested.
http://chronicfatigue.about.com/od/whatisfibromyalgia/a/fibrosymptoms.htm
http://www.nfra.net/fibromyalgia_symptom.php

Fibromyalgia (pronounced fy-bro-my-AL-ja) is a common and complex chronic pain disorder that affects people physically, mentally and socially. Fibromyalgia is a syndrome rather than a disease. Unlike a disease, which is a medical condition with a specific cause or causes and recognizable signs and symptoms, a syndrome is a collection of signs, symptoms, and medical problems that tend to occur together but are not related to a specific, identifiable cause.


Fibromyalgia, which has also been referred to as fibromyalgia syndrome, fibromyositis and fibrositis, is characterized by chronic widespread pain, multiple tender points, abnormal pain processing, sleep disturbances, fatigue and often psychological distress. For those with severe symptoms, fibromyalgia can be extremely debilitating and interfere with basic daily activities.


FIBROMYALGIA SYMPTOMS CHECKLIST

General Fibromyalgia Symptoms

  • Delayed reactions to physical exertion or stressful events
  • Other family members with fibromyalgia (genetic predisposition)
  • Sweats
  • Unexplained weight gain or loss
  • Cravings for carbohydrate and chocolate
  • Headaches & migraines
  • Vision changes, including rapidly worsening vision

Muscle & Tissue-Related Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Sinus & Allergy-Related Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Sleep-Related Fibromyalgia Symptoms

  • Light and/or broken sleep pattern with unrefreshing sleep
  • Fatigue
  • Sleep starts (falling sensations)
  • Twitchy muscles at night
  • Teeth grinding (bruxism)

Reproductive Fibromyalgia Symptoms

  • Menstrual problems
  • PMS (as an overlapping condition)
  • Loss of libido
  • Impotence

Abdominal & Digestive Fibromyalgia Symptoms

  • Bloating & nausea
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Pelvic pain
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (as an overlapping condition)
  • Urinary frequency

Cognitive/Neurological Fibromyalgia Symptoms

  • Difficulty speaking known words, other language impairments (dysphasia)
  • Directional disorientation
  • Poor balance and coordination
  • Paresthesias in the upper limbs (tingling or burning sensations)
  • Loss of ability to distinguish some shades of colors
  • Short-term memory impairment
  • Confusion
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Staring into space before brain "kicks in"
  • Inability to recognize familiar surroundings

Sensory Fibromyalgia Symptoms

  • Sensitivity to odors
  • Sensitivity to pressure changes, temperature & humidity
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Sensitivity to noise
  • Night driving difficulty
  • Sensory overload

Emotional Fibromyalgia Symptoms

  • Panic attacks
  • Depression (as an overlapping condition)
  • Tendency to cry easily
  • Free-floating anxiety (not associated with situation or object)
  • Mood swings
  • Unaccountable irritability

Heart-Related Fibromyalgia Symptoms

  • Mitral valve prolapse (as an overlapping condition)
  • Rapid, fluttery, irregular heartbeat
  • Pain that mimics heart attack, frequently from costochondritis (as an overlapping condition)

Skin, Hair & Nail-Related Fibromyalgia Symptoms

  • Pronounced nail ridges
  • Nails that curve under
  • Mottled skin
  • Bruising or scaring easily
  • Hair loss (temporary)
  • Tissue overgrowth (non-cancerous tumors called lipomas, ingrown hairs, heavy and splitting cuticles, adhesions)

Miscellaneous Fibromyalgia Symptoms

  • Hemorrhoids
  • Nose bleeds






Causes:
  • Recent research has suggested a genetic component. The disorder is often seen in families, among siblings or mothers and their children.
  • Fibromyalgia often occurs following a physical trauma, such as an acute illness or injury, which may act as a “trigger” in the development of the disorder.
  • Increasing attention is being devoted to the central nervous system as the underlying mechanism of FM. Recent studies have suggested that FM patients have generalized disturbance in pain processing and an amplified response to stimuli that would not ordinarily be painful in healthy individuals.
Treatment:
  • Since there is no known cure for FM, treatment focuses on relieving symptoms and improving function.
  • A variety of prescription medications are often used to reduce pain levels and improve sleep. On June 21, 2007, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Lyrica (pregabalin) as the first drug to treat fibromyalgia. Cymbalta (duloxetine HCl) was approved in June 2008; and Savella (milnacipran HCl) was approved in January 2009.
  • Alternative therapies, such as massage, myofasical release, acupuncture, chiropractic, herbal supplements and yoga, can be effective tools in managing FM symptoms.
  • Increasing rest, pacing activities, reducing stress, practicing relaxation and improving nutrition can help minimize symptoms and improve quality of life.
Fibroid(s)....
In March 2011)  I went to the doctor for my yearly exam. Sadly I got more bad health news. My uterus is swollen to 12 week size ( references pregnancy measurement) and most likely I have fibroid(s) but it could also be cysts as it runs in the family on my Moms side. I have always, since having children battled IBS, frequent needs to urinate , back pain, stomach pain and at times pelvic pain. This suggested diagnosis explained a lot. I know that my Grandma on my Dad's side had them and once she hot menopause they shrunk and she never had surgery. My Mom and her sister had cysts and had full hysterectomies...my Mom was younger than me. I have always suspected I would have similar issues. I also assumed I would have insurance when the time came. I don't. Hopefully soon.  There is no way to have the tests that I need, the surgery that I may need... at least yet. I am hoping very soon, as I said, to finally go in for the tests needed... most likely an ultra sound as that is what has been mentioned /suggested many times. To see what is REALLY going on, but all I can do now is go on the assumption the OB/GYN that I see is correct.    So I have to deal with the pain and discomfort that they bring, the reactions my body has, and if not that they could get worse and make life even more difficult. To top it off it is all complicated by my fibromyalgia as well. The body image I have that already at times suffers took a ding as well, as my belly will not go down and in all clothing I look like I have a bun in the oven, and that "bun" hurts like heck at times. Makes day to day life more painful than ever on all levels. But there is nothing I can do for now, but to once again do my best to stay positive and upbeat and proactive, as much as I can.  I can exercise, take my supplements that seem to help with the symptoms and do a few other natural things, such as meditate and take hot showers. 

 I began to think there must be other women out there that have similar symptoms or have been diagnosed . There is a lot of info out there and it can be overwhelming and upsetting as well. Personally if I had a chance I would have a hysterectomy, as I am done having children and would like to be done with my monthly and I think I can deal with the aftermath a lot better than living with it. So all I can do is pray we get good insurance and can recoup money wise to pay the co-payments for the tests and the removal of them, or that menopause happens soon and they shrink to a manageable size before they grow more so. Here is one of many articles I found.


Uterine Fibroids

The uterus is one of the first organs to manifest symptoms when a woman's hormones are out of balance. Two of the most common uterine symptoms of premenopause syndrome are an enlarged uterus and uterine fibroids. Women with PMS often experience painful periods (dysmenorrhea) which are most often caused when the industrial lining of the uterus extends into the muscular wall of the uterus (adenomyosis). When shedding of the endometrium occurs (menstruation), the blood is released into the muscular lining causing severe pain. Conventional medicine treats this pain with NSAIDS (non-steroidal-anti-inflammatory drugs) such as ibuprofen, but ignores the underlying metabolic hormonal imbalance that caused it. The problem can often be simply resolved by restoring proper progesterone levels, which restores normal growth and shedding of the endometrium.


The cause of uterine fibroids are unknown, but estrogens, especially estradiol, promote their growth. After menopause fibroids disappear. But because estrogen levels can rise during the early menopausal years, previously asymptomatic fibroids may grow in the years just before the cessation of menses, resulting in symptoms such as feeling of heaviness in the belly, low back pain, pain with vaginal penetration, urinary frequency or incontinence, bowel difficulties, or severe menstrual pain and flooding.


Women of color are three to nine times more likely to have fibroids than white women, and their fibroids will grow more quickly.


Uterine fibroid tumors are not cancer, not malignant. Tumor means a swelling or a growth, not a malignancy, not cancer. Less than 0.1% of all uterine fibroids are malignant.


Small uterine fibroids often disappear spontaneously. Larger fibroids are more difficult to resolve, but not impossible to control with natural, healthy measures, not hysterectomies.


Some women's uterine fibroids and menstrual cramps disappear within three months of beginning a vigorous exercise program. Exercise helps insure regular ovulation, and irregular ovulation seems to worsen fibroids.


Strengthening the liver with herbs such as dandelion, milk thistle or yellow dock root helps to metabolize excess estrogen out of the body, thus reducing  uterine fibroids.


Vitex or chaste berry taken two to four times daily, often shrinks small  uterine fibroids within two months. But continued results come from long-term use.


Reduce  uterine fibroids by reducing your exposure to estrogens(Xenohormones): avoid birth control pills, ERT/HRT, estrogen-mimicking residues from herbicides and pesticides used on food crops (eat organically-raised products). Tampons that are bleached with chlorine may mimic the bad effects of estrogen also.


Lupron (leuprolide acetate), a drug which induces artificial menopause by shutting down the body's production of estradiol causes a decrease in fibroid size within 8-12 weeks. Fibroids do regrow to about 90 percent of their original size when the drug is withdrawn however.


Major advances have been made in surgical treatments for women with uterine fibroids. There are many options now besides hysterectomy(removal of the uterus), including hysteroscopic resection, uterine embolization, myomectomy, and suprecervical hysterectomy. Since these are fairly new procedures, take the time to find a surgeon who is skilled in the procedure.


Hysterectomy can be a life-saving procedure, but by the age of sixty, more than one-third of American women will have given up their wombs to the surgeons. The presence of non-symptomatic uterine  fibroids is never sufficient reason for a hysterectomy. Women who did their homework, that is helped themselves before and after their surgery with all the tools at their disposal seem to fare much better than those who do not.


With very few exceptions, no woman is healthier without her ovaries. So, even if you elect a hysterectomy, keep your ovaries.


If you have a uterine fibroid and it is a problem, begin with the mildest remedies first. Set a time limit for your use of any remedy, but, except in an emergency, don't go on to stronger remedies until you are sure the safer ones aren't effective for you. As with any advise, you are the best judge of what works for you after you weigh all the factors.


Estrogen dominance causes the uterus to grow and without the monthly balancing effect of progesterone it doesn't have the proper signals to stop growing. In some women this results in an enlarged uterus that presses on other organs, such as the bladder and often on the digestive system and generally causes discomfort and heavy menstrual bleeding. In other women estrogen dominance results in uterine fibroids which are tough, fibrous, non-cancerous lumps that grow in the uterus. Some uterine fibroids can grow to the size of a grapefruit or cantaloupe causing constant bleeding and such heavy menstrual periods that the blood loss is akin to hemorrhaging.


Uterine fibroids always shrink at menopause, but the most common course of action a doctor takes when a patient comes in with a fibroid is to remove the uterus. The explanation given is that a fibroid is too difficult to remove without irreversibly damaging the uterus. But in most cases this is no longer true. If you do end up needing to have a fibroid surgically removed, find a doctor who can do it without removing your uterus with it. If you have many small fibroids, it may be more difficult to remove them. On the other hand, their smaller size may make it easier to treat them without surgery.


Natural Alternatives for Uterine Fibroids


Bioidentical Progesterone Cream (Progensa 20)


Bioidentical progesterone cream minimizes the size and frequency of uterine fibroids by balancing the excess estrogen levels.


Uterine Fibroid Formula (ProSoothe)


ProSoothe is an all natural herbal formula that significantly improves uterine fibroids and pelvic pain/cramps, irritability, tension, mood swings, acne, headaches, breast pain, bloating and weight gain.


Also found in this synergistic herbal formula is dandelion and vitex,(chaste tree) that helps the body remove exogenous,(external excess estrogen)from hormone therapy or contaminated food,(xenosteroids) which is a known cause of uterine fibroids.


Milk Thistle (Silymarin)


Beyond the treatment of liver disorders, everyday care of the liver lays a cornerstone for total body health. Naturopaths and others who look beneath the symptoms of an illness to its underlying cause, often discover that the liver has had a role to play. This is true across a vast range of different ailments including uterine fibroids.




LINK to page with more links to be found

Bladder issues....
This year, as I have mentioned on my blog, I have had a series of pretty bad re-occurring UTI's ... or so I thought. Well some were and others, after cultures showed no bacteria and it is suggested that I may have I.C.  Interstitial Cystitis . Now let me say right off the top, I have not had formal testing to determine if this is indeed what is wrong with me and my bladder. I do have many of the symptoms... I also have symptoms of acute urine retention and over active bladder. The doctor I was seeing merely has suggested that I.C. seemed likely. He also suggested the fibroids or cysts maybe the root of it all, that they could be blocking my being able to fully empty my bladder and that could cause retained urine to cause infections and the even the ones that seem like UTIS but are not. Very soon I hope to get the tests I need and to once again then decide how to proceed. I have already started to be proactive and add to my homeopathic regime as described in the book by Catherine M. Simone ALONG THE HEALING PATH ... and it seems to be helping a great deal I am glad to say. I pray I never go through another "flair" as IC patients call it, and what I call it as well, even if it turns out to not be IC... but I do my best to not live in fear of what could happen an hour from now or a year from now as far as my health.. it is ever changing. I will keep you updated on this page as I learn more. 

LINKS...
I.C. Help information 
I.C. Hope information 




3 comments:

Anonymous said...

best wishes to you for good health.. I just started Prosoothe in anttempt to postpone a hysterectomy for grueling menstrual cramps>. good luck and God bless.. Erin

Stephanie Ruby Feldman said...

Best of luck to you Erin <3

Suzanne Carillo Style Files said...

Wow I empathize with all your issues. I too have FM. I've had it since I was in my early 20's. At that time they called it Fibrocytis and most Dr.'s didn't believe in it.

I also had uterine cysts, polyps and fibroids. I had surgery last year to try to deal with it and during the surgery the Dr. cut my bladder. She didn't realize it at the time. I went home and suffered the worst pain of my life and basically almost died. It was the worst experience of my life and has left me with new problems post surgery. I wrote about the whole awful thing on my blog…starting here…
http://bisous.typepad.com/bisous/2013/08/things-that-scare-me-how-i-was-forced-to-face-almost-all-of-my-fears.html and there about 10 posts after that I think.

I hope that you are managing with your illness and have found some viable solutions. I am currently taking a new med called Fibrastol that is supposed to shrink the fibroids. I will know in another 2 months if it has worked or not. After my last surgery I will need to be dying before I will ever have another surgery.

bisous
Suzanne

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