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Postpartum pain syndrome/fibromyalgia?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Is there such a thing as postpartum fibromyalgia? I have a 15 month old baby boy and ever since I had him I haven't felt the same. A few months right after I had him I started having dizziness and lightheadedness. I associated it with deconditioning. I couldn't go to the gym because as soon as I stepped on the treadmill I would start feeling woozy. When I went back to work (I work in the hospital) I caught every kind of virus imaginable. Everything just kind of seemed to stick to me. One cold after another; then I finally came down with viral myocarditis. I get headaches constantly now; experienced my first migrane about 3 months after birth. Now, I have had this headache/dizziness/lightheadedness/shaky feeling/heart palpitations/anxiety/muscle aches/stiff joints/head and ear pressure for a month. I have had an Echo which came back normal. I have also had an MRI, still waiting for results. Complete blood work came back normal also. I just don't know what to do anymore. I get so anxious just thinking about all the different possibilities of what this can be. I have talked to a couple of women who say they have felt similar to what I'm feeling for a couple of years after the birth of their first child. Then once they got pregnant with second, symptoms dissapeared and never came back. I wonder if anyone else has experienced what I'm going through. I used to be so fit and energetic and now I barely find the strength to get up in the morning. Any responses to this will be much appreciated.
post #2 of 9
I too feel same way. This is my 3rd though. Did NOT feel like this after my first so guess everyone diff. I have stabbing chest pains esp. upon waking in the morning. I'm exclusively b'fing and gaining weight despite any effort to eat less and exercise. My knee and joints ache. I feel fatigued and dizzy light headed all the time. Also, have had blood work done to check thyroid vitamin levels etc. he says everything ok. Wanted to put me on antidepressants but I vowed not to just yet. I don't think it's depression I feel that not knowing what is wrong and gaining more lbs is what is making me depressed. I've given up on reg. doctors going to see a naturopath and hope he can figure this out. I was thinking the dizziness could be hypoglycemia. Don't give up. Another woman told me it took her years to feel normal again. Are you b'fing? I'm attributing this to maybe the b'fing since didn't have this after my other two. I bounced back quickly lost the weight and had energy. None of these issues have now. It's very frustrating I know. Let me know what happens! Good luck feel better.
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
I'm not breastfeeding that is why I really don't understand what is going on. I didn't really stay on a strict regimen of prenatal vitamins before/during/after pregnancy though. So I think it may have something to do with that. My blood sugar levels came back normal, so I'm not hypoglycemic either. It's just one big mystery that is causing so much anxiety and depression. Especially around my menses; I get panic attacks and burning chest sensations. I'm tired of going to all these doctors who seem clueless. Maybe some massage sessions will help to release my tense muscles and help with the overall picture.
post #4 of 9
I went through this after both of my pregnancies, the second one being far worse than the first. I, too had lots of tests, blood work etc., both by my GP and a rheumatologist. At one point they thought it may be Lupus, but tests came back normal. It wasn't until my mother gave me a book on fibromyalgia that I realized that this must be what I have (she has had it for many years). SO many symptoms that I thought were unrealated are part of this disease. A nurse practitioner put me on Cymbalta which helped almost immediately, but three weeks later I discovered I was pregnant again and stopped taking it. The symptoms disappear when I'm pregnant, so I am nervous about this upcoming pp period. I just started Wellbutrin, mostly because I had very bad pp depression and anxiety last time, but it is supposed to be helpful with fibro too. It is interesting to see that I am not the only one with these symptoms pp. Good luck finding help.
post #5 of 9
post #6 of 9
I attended (although did not complete the degree but I have a good understanding of this medicine) Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture School. Typically dizziness and headaches come from a liver imbalance (and remember this is from a chinese medical paradigm not western). After having a baby, your kidneys pass on their "essence" (qi and blood) to your baby so the mother is very depleted after birth. One part of this "essence" that is lost is "yin". Yin is the fluid in your body. You can think of it as your radiator fluid...it keeps you cooled down essentially. The liver needs yin to stay balanced because liver's "energy" or "yang" tendency is to "rise" up to the head like a balloon. The yin acts as the anchor to keep that energy from rising but if the yin is deficient then the yang will rise thus causing headaches and dizziness.

Heart palpatations and anxiety come from the heart being imbalanced. Once liver goes imbalanced it's not uncommon for heart to go imbalanced. If your spirit is a bird then your heart is it's nest. If the "nest" or heart isn't nourished and cared for then the "bird" (your spirit) has no place to rest thus causing anxiety, fitful dreams, and heart palps.

So my suggestion is to find an acupuncturist. You need to replenish your yin, qi, and blood. You will be amazed at the results. Of course continue to see your western doc in case there is anything serious that needs to be treated but in any case, acupuncture can always help bring you into better balance.

Nutritionally you can begin to replenish your yin and blood by eating root vegetables (beets are great!) and red fruits and veggies.

And i know what you are going through because after having DS1 (he is 21 mo old) i have had the same symptoms of heart palps, anxiety, headaches etc. It has taken some time and diligence in getting back to feeling like myself. Exercise has been a huge help as well.

If you want to read in depth about how chinese medicine works with the body, there is a great book called "The Web That Has No Weaver" .

Keep well!
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much for your responses. My MRI results came back completely normal so at least I know there's nothing serious going on with me. When you say that you've all experienced similar health issues pp, how long did it last overall? When will I feel more like myself again?
post #8 of 9
I know this is a bit old, but I wanted to mention adrenal fatigue. I went through some horrible stuff after Ds was born. I could only find my symptoms on the Lyme boards or the menopause boards. I finally ended up with a naturopath who did saliva testing (through Diagnos-Techs {ASI}) & diagnosed severe adrenal fatigue. I made perfect sense since I nursed Dd2 throughout my pregnancy with Ds & tandem nursed them for 3 months. I was just so depleted.
If you look up adrenal fatigue (not to be confused with the worst case scenario that western medicine acknowledges called Addison's Disease), you'll see all of those symptoms listed.
How many of you have low blood pressure? That's a classic sign of adrenal fatigue. Low blood pressure will cause dizziness. I had the muscle aches (still do, but not as bad - I'm still nursing Ds), joint pain - which didn't last very long, floaters (spots in front of my eyes), dizziness, anxiety, heart palps, brain fog, etc.
Once I started healing my adrenals, the first thing to disappear was anxiety. I got some more energy back, the aches and pains lessened and I lost the afternoon exhaustion.

I do think acupuncture can help since the kidneys (& adrenals - "ad-renals") play a large part in sodium/potassium regulation which affects blood pressure.

There's a good adrenal fatigue thread in the H&H forum.
post #9 of 9
Are most of you sure you don't have postpartum thyroiditis (PPT)? I didn't know anything about it until months after my second was born. I had suffered through the hyperthyroid portion of it undiagnosed and was beginning the hypothyroid phase when I was finally diagnosed. The hypo phase can cause joint and muscle pain in addition to brain fog, tired, dizzy, almost feeling drunk, bad constipation. These are all of my symptoms at least. Adrenal fatigue can be tied into all of this as well. I would suggest finding a really good endocrinologist. I am currently back on meds until after the holidays when my endo will take me off again to see if my thyroid rebounds. If not, I will be on meds forever.
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