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Letters From Our Readers: Questions and Suggestions – 12-20-06

  [ 235 votes ]   [ 1 Comment ] • December 20, 2006

Calling Men with FM

I am an FMS patient, diagnosed since 1996. I am a 54-year-old married man and I really would like to see more articles about and for the male FMS/CFS patient. I also suffer from Narcolepsy and Chronic Depression. These illnesses and information are so woman-oriented, but there are men out here that have coping problems, like myself, especially when unable to work and when the pain and drugs can cause the libido to suffer and even E.D. to rear its ugly head… Thank you for reading my letter and considering my suggestion. – Stephen

Note: Thank you for your excellent suggestion. There are indeed a number of men with Fibromyalgia, and you are too often neglected in FM information and data. We are currently working on an article about men with Fibromyalgia and would welcome additional suggestions from men on the issues you would like to see addressed.


Fibromyalgia and Surgery

I can't find the article that gave suggestions of what to do if you have FMS and are going to have surgery. Can you please send to me? Thanks. – Carla

Note: By popular request, in this issue we are repeating the article titled “Guidance for Fibromyalgia Patients Who Are Having Elective Surgery.” For future reference, to locate information in our archive go to, find the “Search Our Site” box at the upper left, and type in a key word or words. In this case “surgery” (without the quotes) would bring up what you’re looking for.


Are We Asking the Right Questions?

First I'd like to say I like your site. I'd like to see more stories from FM patients with their history in the story. I have done a lot of surfing on the Internet…and have not seen anywhere a report on research of Fibromyalgia…patients that dealt with a person's daily life history. Nowhere did I see a documented history of…environment and what influenced that person's daily life (i.e., what kind of cookware do they use…what kind of carpeting do they have in their home, what kind of bedding do they sleep on, what kind of toothpaste do they use, what kind of food do they eat, have they had operations... do they have amalgams in their mouth, what kind of surgery have they undergone, how many children have they had?…There are so many questions that I feel need to be asked and maybe…somewhere in all those questions there may be an answer.

We are told that some people can't survive with carpet in their homes, can't have down filled products in their homes, can't eat peanuts or by-products with peanuts, all due to allergies...what if Fibromyalgia is a form of allergy? No one really knows…[For example,] how about aluminum pans? My family cooked in aluminum pots my whole childhood and my mother had FM, my younger sister has FM, my other two sisters have symptoms which indicate that they too might have FM but aren't willing to admit it. Who does the research? How do they go about doing the research? …Thank you for letting me vent. I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired... – B.L.

Note: You raise some very good and thought-provoking questions. As we continue to work on improving our website design and usability, one of our objectives is to eventually have the ability to collect and share patient data such as this, which could serve as a support for both research and clinical care.


Is Autoimmune Disease Genetic?

I’m a newcomer to the FMS newsletters and bulletin board, although I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia 13 years ago. I’m wondering if there’s really any question any more that the tendency to get autoimmune diseases is genetic. Although my family is not a scientific study with statistical significance, check out this “family tree” of misery:
Maternal grandmother—rheumatoid arthritis
Aunt—autoimmune thyroid
Mother—lupus (died of same at age 53 - kidney complications)
Me—Fibromyalgia; autoimmune thyroid

All these women had periods of intense and prolonged stress during their lives, so I’d posit that stress may aggravate or trigger the problem. Also, is there a relationship between Fibromyalgia and bipolar disorder or depression? Because we could spend time on those links as well! The more we know about these relationships, beginning with the anecdotal and moving into scientific research, the sooner we will find treatments that work. – Lisa

Note: Recent research is revealing genetic links for many of these illnesses. The archive has a number of articles and research abstracts that relate to your excellent questions. To find articles in the archive go to, find the “Search Our Site” box at the upper left, and type in a key word or words. For example: “autoimmune genetic” or “Fibromyalgia stress” (without the quotes).


What is Neuroimagery?

I have a question for you. I suffer from fibro, arthritis, depression, anxiety, and more. Right now just had an EMG done for my right hand, fingers and arm. I have a great deal of pain in these areas at varying times but the pain can be excessive. Now the Dr. informs me that I might need to have “neuroimagery” done. I do suffer from memory loss, cognitive dysfunction, etc. which are having such a negative effect on me. Would you please explain to me what neuroimagery entails. Thank you. – Janet

Note: According to Wikipedia, the term “neuroimaging” encompasses a variety of technologies that can be employed to image the structure or functioning of the brain. These techniques include, for example, CAT, MRI, fMRI, PET, SPECT, and DOT scans. Some are noninvasive and some involve injections. You can read about each at and find links to other info as well.

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Men with FMS, depression, etc.
Posted by: seabulls69
Dec 20, 2006
I just got through reading the letter from Stephen regarding men with fibromyalgia and Lisa's letter regarding links between autoimmune illnesses and mental disorders. They might both be interested to know that I am a 55 y.o. male with type 2 diabetes and fibromyalgia. After nearly five years of depression, I found a way out and within just a few months of my newfound happiness, I came down (hard) with fibro. This was during a divorce, so I suspect the emotional trauma had something to do with triggering the illness. My doctor, an M.D., suggested that it's not unusual for FMS to follow depression. My mother suffered from depression and diabetes also along with arthritis (I've been lucky there). As far as E.D. goes, I would suggest that Stephen, or anyone with this affliction, optimize their health, work tirelessly to get off the drugs (I cured myself of depression after doctors had all but given up), and exercise as much as possible. When I was depressed, having diabetes was a double whammy for the E.D.... my sexual performance was nil. Now that the depression is gone and the diabetes is well under control, I can enjoy near normal sex again. If Stephen wants to know more about how I cured my depression, he can search my nickname, seabulls69, and he will find my (non-commercial) website which is devoted to helping people who are depressed, have type 2 diabetes, and/or fibromyalgia. - Craig
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