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    Dr. P
    jojodance posted:
    During a hearing for State Disability, the judge asked me had my doctor discussed weight loss to releave my FM symptoms. I told her know but thought about the question. Does being overweight having anything to do with getting FM and also releaving the symptoms. I was on a very good health regima before I was stricken with FM but my routine has suffered greatly. From what I have read, it appears that weight does not have very much to do with it, but I'm sure that weight loss and a fitnees routine would make me feel better. I would love to get your expert opinion on this.
    Pixe5 responded:
    Hi Jojodance,

    My guess would be that it wouldn't matter. I developed fibro when I was a skinny 14 year old and I stayed skinny until my mid-twenties. It sounds to me that the judge is trying to come up with an excuse not to give you disability, by somehow making the fibro your fault. I hope you have a good lawyer!

    annette030 responded:
    When I was first diagnosed my family doctor suggested I lose some weight, but he also said that there was no evidence to show that it would decrease my FMS pain and fatigue levels. He further said that he just did not know what else to try at that point. I lost 65 pounds over about six months, and it made no difference with my FMS symptoms at all.

    Of course, I gradually regained all that weight. That was about 15 years ago. Now, I am losing weight slowly and improving my daily exercise routine. I have lost about 45 pounds over a couple of years, and again it has made no difference in my FMS symptoms of pain and fatigue. However, I do feel better over all. I believe that a big part of that is that my expectations are different now, and my mental outlook is much improved.

    Take care, Annette
    Mark Pellegrino, MD responded:
    Hi jojodance,

    I wanted to give you updated medical information so I first consulted with a local judge before responding. :) (Bad Dr. P.....)

    I'm sure the judge was trying to provide helpful advice by encouraging you to discuss this with your doctor and it has led you to take positive steps and seek information, and you've gotten some excellent responses! So hopefully you are more enlightened mentally about physical enlightening outcomes with FM. (Watch out! Dr. P is on a roll...)

    I don't see a strong correlation between weight loss and improved fibro symtoms, but there is definitely a correlation between getting FM and gaining weight. Patients with FM who lose weight by dieting, or weight loss surgery (bariatric surgery) often report improved self esteem and overall improvement in health. But they often report disappointment that their fibro symptoms of pain and fatigue did not improve as much as hoped, at least intially.

    FM seems to bothers us regardless of whether we are larger, smaller, wider, or narrower. We know those with FM are more prone to gaining weight due to altered metabolism, lack of activity, medicine side effects, etc but losing weight doesn't necessarily reverse the fibro.

    Even though it may not make much difference for fibro-related symptoms, weight loss or being closer to one's ideal body weight is important and healthier. People will report feeling better overall if they reach their weight goal and usually report less pain, more energy, and improved quality of life.

    I hope you judge my input here to be helpful! Good luck with the disability process.

    Dr. P
    Pixe5 replied to Mark Pellegrino, MD's response:
    Hi Dr. P and Jojo,

    Sorry. My mouth overfloweth. I can be paraniod at times. I'm glad that you set things straight. Dr. P. :)

    kate20770 responded:
    Hi jojo,

    I just wanted to let you know my experience on this one!! Before being dx with FM, when I was a teenager, I was overweight. I had pain in my legs, esp my hips and my knees, and of course was told to lose weight! Fast forward about10 years and when I was 25/26, I got this weird symptom of food making me sick! No one could figure it out,but the smell of food, the sight of food, actually made me get sick. I drank tons of water from being so dehydrated and would break out in rashes constantly as well. This lasted for about 2 years. I ended up losing about 80 pounds. During this time, I felt great! I thought maybe the dr was right, I just needed to lose weight. It took about a year to get back to normal eating,where food didn't bother me, but we came to realize that swallowing was actually the issue I was having, making my body refuse food pretty much, really weird. The rash was never figured out. But anyway, about 6 months after I stopped losing anymore weight, I woke up one morning with the achy muscles syndrome, something like if you had run a cpl miles the day before, but I hadn't. I then noticed lumps in my legs, back and shoulders, and my muscles were on constant twitch mode! I put up with it for a little while and finally broke down and went to the dr, once my life was pretty much interrupted all together from this. I went from dr to dr as no one seemed to have any answers for me! I finally found a dr who took me through many test and we found my ANA came back showing autoimmune disorder present. I was sent to a Rhuemy who has pretty much gotten to where I am today. He dx with me with the FM as well and is very understanding of my condition and my situation, which is something that is hard to find, he knows me as a person, not just a patient. Anyway, since I started seeing him almost 2 yrs ago now, I have lost more weight. I can not swallow anything of consistency, we're still working on figuring this out, so obviously I'm losing weight. Also, when I eat, I get a fever?! Weird right? But my FM symptoms and the symptoms of everything else wrong have either maintained or gotten worse as the weight loss progresses. Believe me when I tell you I get so sick of hearing "Wow, you're on disability now? But you look better then I've ever seen you" Better meaning thin! Love when they ask "how did you do it" and I can kindly respond "I can't swallow anything unless its soup consistency, so that type of diet seems to work well, but the swallowing problem may be hard to find" ;) I have to find humor in things/ppl that irritate me lol it's better then being mad!
    Let us know if you find out anything else about why the actual judge did ask you that, maybe it will say something in the paperwork? I would of taken it as though he was saying my prob was that I was overweight though, not that I had FM and it's something that can't be cured? My glass is half empty today, but when a dr has said that too me before, that's how I felt, like maybe if I lost weight then I'd wouldn't have the problems I have, was what the dr was trying to say, but back then, I was never one to keep a dr with all my questions, I've learned now to keep a list of everything I wanna know!! lol
    npgirl64 responded:
    I have lost 20 lbs in last 6 months ( unintentionally, can't sleep well and have lost appetite) since rupturing a lumbar disc at work. I had fibro before this injury and can honestly say that the pain has gotten worser. My greatest pain is in both arms (elbows and shoulders). and I have severe stiffness in the a.m., it takes me about 2 hrs to get moving.The P.T . exercises they had me doing for my back ( prone push-ups, etc... ) caused me greater pain in my fibro areas.
    Iwillfeelgood responded:
    This really ticks me off!! People have the bigoted opinion that
    loosing weight will give you eternal life. I wanted to slap a friend of mine whot is obsessed with me loosing weight and I'm not that much overweight. I lost 40 pounds because of gall stones. She wants to know if loosing weight is helping with my fibro. Her concern is always veiled with judgment and condemnation that not being a size 6 somehow makes me unworthy. From her who has been on bp and cholesterol meds for years and gets skin cancers at a size 6. Whew, glad I got that off my chest. I can say that changing my diet has made me feel much better. My body does not eliminate toxins effectively and I believe that is the cause of my fibro. Eating clean IS making me feel better, but not curing me. Thank you Dr. P for an intelligent answer. Feel good jojodance!!!
    constantpain523 responded:
    I am under weight and have been all my life, my FM symptoms are still there. When applying for disability, I was asked if my weight was an issue? As I didn't fall into the over weight causing issues, I was rejected. Of course this same company wanted to say that if I were addicted to Heron I would be approved immediately. They could not approve me due to the fact that they could not test and get an exact proven diagnoses. This disease is worse than the "silent killer" of diabetes as it cannot be tested and get firm results. They consider it to be the same as a "virus".
    An_199783 replied to Iwillfeelgood's response:
    To: Iwillfeelgood,

    Sounds like you need to LOSE the friend...
    beaderfrendzy responded:
    I was a size 6 when I was diagnosed with FM. I am now a size 14. Even with the IBS so bad, one would think they would loose weight. I am also filing for Disability.
    MeeshaFM responded:
    Dear jojodance:

    Wow! What a can of worms here, huh? Boy have I struggled with the weight issue. Not because people blame it for the FM. I was in great health (I thought) & working out regularly when the FM flattened me. I mean, I couldn't walk! I still can't do stairs, let alone exercise like I used to, so of course I gained weight. Add to that the despair we all fight when the pain is so bad we aren't sure how to get through the day. When faced with that, the idea of trying to focus on some kind of diet is ridiculous. I can't get out of bed, for goodness sake! If something sweet will make me feel better I'm going to darn well eat it! (and it does for me - I asked my acupuncturist & he says it stimulates seratonin. So, yeah, it's real. For me. I know I'm not a doctor, so whatever I say is always regarding me. I'm not assuming I speak for anyone else.)

    When I get to where I have a few days of less pain, I hate how I look in the mirror, but I've just had to get over it, because I don't have the mental stamina to deal with that on top of everything else. I am feeling the other end of the weight judgmentalism, now, having once been the super-jock. It is so hard, because the media and even the White House is so focused on weight as the plague of America, these days. Everyone who isn't facing what we are assumes I must sit around watching TV and eating McDonalds, or I wouldn't be fat and need a cane. That's what the TV says. No one ever assumes it's because your on meds that make you gain, or b/c you can't work out at a level keep your metabolism high.

    That being said, I've had several rheumatologists tell me that all I need to do is exercise more and stand up straighter! (This on a day I could barely move and had waited 2 hours in the waiting room chairs. I was huddled into myself so I wouldn't scream.) When I ask these doctors "Why is it then that this hit me when I was working out 3-5 times per week, on a professional training program?" Their response? One had the decency to look surprised and say he really didn't know. Another obviously thought I was lying, and asked me if he needed to write me a script for yoga, or if I "could remember that". Needless to say, I kept looking for rheumatologists.

    I am grateful for your question, b/c at least I don't have to feel guilty that I'm not losing weight so I can feel better. It looks like that isn't really the case, from the other responses. I am new to this group, too, so seeing your relevant (to me!) question makes me feel good about joining.

    PS: I have to see a judge in May for my disability hearing. I'm glad to hear of this question, so I am prepared to answer it if it comes up, instead of being paralyzed by the emotions. I hope your case went well. If you have any other insights, I'd love to hear them! I'm appealing my first two denials. I'm being told I'm too young & highly educated. Wish someone had told that to the FM...
    Fatzinger responded:
    6 years ago when dx with Fibro I weighed 220 lbs, I now weigh 165lbs. I hate to say the Fibro has increased with my age......

    I am a nurse and see 40-50 patients a day, the vitals, ekgs, bld draws, ABI, and more I am on the run with out a break, except the 20 min ride to the other office.

    Weight to me has nothing to do with Fibro. The meds that help fibro, one of the side effects is weight gain.

    Yoga helps as long as you don't over stretch, I bought a beginners dvd and also we purchased a gaming device (did not know if I could tell brand) but it has a fitness program that has yoga, strengthening, and balance games. It was cheaper to get that then to pay an instructor. I also have a dvd with low impact walking, there is one for 1 mile and 2 miles.

    I am not an expert, but have seen a least 12 doctors over the years and the last one that believes in Fibro, agrees that you have to do yoga. It is good for mind and body.

    Good luck and God bless
    patsyann64 responded:
    Hi, I've had fibro for over 10 years. I am new to the group. Over the last 10 years...I've been thin and fat and the fibro never changed!
    Also, I'm experiencing a rubber band like pain around my mid section at the bottom of the rib cage. I have been hospitalized twice for it. I also have COPD and all the docs tell me this is not a COPD thing. Anyone else out there have this?
    sickoffibro replied to Iwillfeelgood's response:
    I am with you, I have a couple family members, and others who have intimated that if I lost weight (I am about 30-40 lbs. overweight) and just would exercise a few hours a day, that I would be fine, with strong hints of thinking I am just making it up or lazy. HA! I was always very active, I DO exercise as much as I can, in good weeks, I'll do 25 min. 4-5 times a week on my elliptical, plus all the housework and such. I GAINED that weight because of the fibro. I have gotten to the point of being unable to work full time as it just causes me too much pain, and have really had trouble finding a part time job, despite having been a legal secretary and selling real estate for years. Total Catch-22, can't work, can't get disability, what do ya do? But NO, none is caused by our weight. Gosh, if it were that easy to cure, just by losing weight, don't ya think we would have done it, LOL????

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