Islets of Hope disorders associated with diabetes

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Fast Links to Disorders Often Associated with

Addison's Disease
Asthma and Allergies
Celiac Disease (Sprue)
Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome
Cystic Fibrosis 
Eating Disorders
Fibromyalgia Syndrome
Frozen Shoulder
Hashimoto's Thyroiditis
  (Iron Overload)
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Polycystic Ovarian 
Weight Gain
Weight Loss

Fast Click to Problems Associated with

Acanthosis Nigricans (AN)
Alopecia Areata (AA)
Gum Disease
Skin Tags
Yeast Infections

Helping Yourself

Keep a log of flare-ups and you may be able to identify your own personal triggers.  While, it is impossible to avoid all triggers of FMS symptoms, you may be able to minimize exposure to many.  Stress management is an important part of treating FMS.  It may benefit you to join a support group or information exchange network to keep on top of the latest research and treatments options available to persons with FMS.

Resources Links to Fibromyalgia Sites


Canberra Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome page - Information from Australia for people with Myalgic Encephalopathy: Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and chronic pain.

Fibrohugs - Fibromyalgia Support - Comprehensive support site designed for the entire family, including chats, forums, interactive areas, and tons of information.

Fibromyalgia Network - Educational materials on fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).

Fibrotalk Online Support Community - Created to help people with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome connect, communicate and share their experiences with one another.

FMS-CFS Friends International - Site offers upbeat conversation, information links, research ofnFibromyalgia, FMS, CFIDS, CFS, ME and chronic pain, backpain.

Fmscenter - Information, support, stories, forums and much more about Fibromyalgia and related conditions.

Hypermobility & Fibromyalgia - Information and support for all suffering from joint hypermobility and Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue, as well as their families. Message board/mailing-list as well.

The Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Resource Site - Healing resources for patients, family and friends. Disease information, as well as pain management, advocacy and newsletter resources.

We Are FMily Online Fibromyalgia Support - Up to the minute information and support for those with Fibromyalgia and their friends and families.

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Important Medical Disclaimer

Material on this web site is intended for personal informational purposes only and should never be used for self- diagnosis or self- treatment.

Islets of Hope strongly recommends that you seek the advice of a medical professional for diagnosis and treatment options, or before making any changes to your current diabetes or any other medical plan.


Diabetes Medical Library                       main "Disorders" page
Disorders Associated with Diabetes                                                       
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Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS)
Symptoms and treatment

    ..."The American College of Rheumatology recognizes Fibromyalgia as a chronic condition with widespread and changing degrees of multifocal tenderness, involving the limbs and trunk. Many diabetics with nerve compression have symptoms in the arms and legs that could be confused with Fibromyalgia.  Patients with diabetes may also suffer general tiredness, soreness, and muscle aches, associated with loss of energy..." Could this be Fibromyalgia?


Mini Site Index
Symptoms of Fibromyalgia (FMS)   (Pain, Fatigue , Common Symptoms of Fibromyalgia)
Who Gets FMS?
Disorders Associated with FMS   (Sleeping Disorders, Other Disorders and Problems)
FMS Triggers
Causes and Epidemiology of FMS
Treatment of FMS
Prognosis for Persons with FMS

Symptoms of Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS)


Symptoms include pain in the soft fibrous tissues including tendons, muscles, and ligaments and profound lack of energy (fatigue).  Many persons with FMS feel pain throughout the body but pain can also be localized to a particular area(s).  The pain can feel like a burning, stabbing, or shooting sensation, or like an overworked or pulled muscle.  Sometimes the muscles themselves will twitch.

Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS) has similar symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and some researchers believe that they are the same syndrome or may have the same epidemiology (cause, or, origin).  FMS also is very similar to the problems persons with Gulf War Syndrome may experience.

The pain and level of exhaustion can be as intense as for those who suffer a very bad flu strain.  Many persons with FMS report the problem is worse in the morning, or, when they use a particular muscle group repetitively.


The level of fatigue experienced by many with FMS is extreme.  A person may also experience an inability to focus or concentrate as FMS patients experience what they often refer to as “brain fog.”  They may feel so tired that they are unable to muster the energy to move arms and legs which feel heavy.

Common Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

Persons with FMS may experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Chest pain,
  • Chronic headaches,
  • Cognitive or memory impairment,
  • Dizziness, and impaired coordination
  • Dry eyes and mouth,
  • Irritable bladder or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Numbness and tingling sensations,
  • Morning stiffness,
  • Muscle twitching, pain, or burning sensations
  • Premenstrual syndrome and painful periods,
  • Sensation of swollen extremities,
  • Sensitivity to odors, loud noises, bright lights, and some medications,
  • Skin sensitivities,
  • Sleep disorders (alpha EEG-anomaly, apnea, restless legs, etc.)
  • Temporomandibular joint dysfunction syndrome (TMJ or TMD).


Who Gets FMS?

Fibromyalgia is seen in persons of all ages, but seems to strike women more often then it does men.

Disorders Associated with Fibromyalgia Syndrome

As if pain and fatigue were not enough, many with FMS also have other disorders at the same time including diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, sleep disorders, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), temporomandibular joint dysfunction syndrome (TMJ).

Sleeping Disorders Associated with FMS

  • Alpha-EEG Anomaly – A sleep disorder most FMS patients experience.  Patients can fall asleep normally, but stage 4 sleep (the deep, restful sleep we all need) was constantly interrupted by bursts of abnormal brain activity that is similar to wakefulness.  This lack of restful sleep probably is a contributor to the sense of chronic fatigue associated with FMS.
  • Sleep Apnea – Another sleep disorder sometimes associated with FMS is sleep apnea.  Patients with sleep apnea do not breath normally while sleeping, and may have brief periods where they stop breathing altogether, then suddenly start again, often making a gasping or sucking noise.  Some patients with severe sleep apnea may also form excess saliva or “froth” at the mouth.  Those with sleep apnea are often, but not always, heavy snorers as well.
  • Upper-Airway Resistance Syndrome – This is a fairly new sleep disorder that researchers suspect may also be associated with FMS.
  • Restless Leg Syndrome (Myoclonus) – As the name of this syndrome implies, persons with RLS experience “restless,” jerk body motions throughout the night in their arms and legs.  Persons with high nighttime blood sugars may also experience jerking motions and nightmares.

Important Note:  Sleep apnea can also be caused by excess weight, especially around the throat or neck.  If you suspect sleep apnea you should consult your physician.  Sleep apnea has been associated with an increase risk for heart attack.  Sleeping with head and shoulders elevated, or on one’s side (sleeping on the back is a no-no for persons with sleep apnea) helps some with this problem.  Not eating after 7 p.m. each night and avoiding alcohol or sleeping aids can also help reduce sleep apnea symptoms.  In some cases, surgery to remove the uvula may help alleviate severe symptoms of sleep apnea.

Other Disorders and Problems Commonly Associated with FMS

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) – Alternating bouts of constipation, diarrhea are the hallmark of this syndrome.  IBS is prevalent in 40 to 70% of persons diagnosed with FMS and is treated by lifestyle changes in diet (a high fiber diet often helps to alleviate symptoms) and sometimes medication.  See our section on IBS for complete details about this syndrome not only associated with FMS, but also with diabetes, pre-diabetes, insulin resistance, and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
  • Chronic Headaches – With disordered sleep patterns and constant stress from pain, it is not surprising that many with FMS also suffer from frequent tension headaches, in fact, almost half of all patients with FMS report regular headaches.
  • Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, or other Hypothyroid Disease (low thyroid) – Thyroid-related  autoimmune disorders that may appear before onset of FMS.  Fluctuating hormones, as in the case of thyroid disorders, can also trigger symptoms of FMS.
  • Lupus – An autoimmune disorder that may precipitate the onset of FMS.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis – An autoimmune disorder that my precipitate the onset of FMS.
  • Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction Syndrome (TMJ or TMD) - This painful syndrome produces debilitating jaw-related face and head pain in 25% of all persons with FMS.  But 75% of all FMS patients have a varying degree of jaw discomfort. In FMS patients, the problems are related to the muscles and ligaments surrounding the jaw joint and not necessarily the joint itself.  


FMS Symptom Triggers

Persons with FMS report the following seem to trigger “attacks” of FMS symptoms to varying degrees:

  §         Allergies or infections
  §         Depression,
  §         Exposure to cold or drafts,
  §         Hormonal fluctuations (stress hormones, menstrual, thyroid, etc.),
  §         Injury,
  §         Over exertion of muscles or body,
  §         Stress or anxiety,
  §         Weather changes, especially changes in barometric pressure


Causes and Epidemiology of FMS

FMS is one of those disorders that may not evidence until something else triggers the underlying physiological abnormality or predisposition.  No one is certain what actually causes fibromyalgia syndrome but it is suspected that it is somehow related to abnormalities in the complicated pain-related chemical mechanisms in the body.

While it is not clear what causes onset of FMS, many report the following incidents prior to the onset of their first symptoms or diagnosis of FMS:

  §         Infection (bacterial or viral),
  §         Bodily trauma, such as an accident,
  §         Other disorder (See above list of disorders associated with FMS).


Treatment of Fibromyalgia

Treatment of sleep disorders is vital for successful management of FMS symptoms. Sleep disorders are often treated first in FMS patients because improving the quality of sleep directly impacts levels of pain and assists the body in more naturally regulating neurotransmitters, antibody and hormone and immune system chemical production.  Restful sleep also helps the body repair damaged tissues.  Medication may be prescribed to boost level of serotonin and norepinephrine.

Treatment options for persons with FMS include:

  § Neurotransmitters that regulate sleep, pain, and immune system function include amitriptyline, cyclobenzaprine
           and Celexa, Ambien, clonazepam, and trazodone.

  §       Pain Medications – Although Ultram is sometimes prescribed to help with minimal pain, stronger drugs are
           often required for moderate to severe pain management.

  §      Muscle Relaxants - and other drug categories may be prescribed as well.

       §     Other Medical Treatment – Persons with FMS may benefit from injections of lidocaine at the site of pain, or
            physical and occupational therapy.

     §       Alternative Treatments - Acupuncture, acupressure, relaxation/biofeedback techniques, osteopathic
            manipulation, chiropractic care, therapeutic massage, or a gentle exercise program are also helpful in
            treatment of FMS symptoms.

Prognosis for Persons with Fibromyalgia Syndrome

FMS is a chronic syndrome with no known cure at this time.  Flare-ups can occur at any time and in varying degrees.  FMS has been described being as disabling as rheumatoid arthritis due to the profound fatigue and level of pain associated with FMS.


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Page Updated 03/18/2006