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Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) (CRPS) Message Board

Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) (CRPS) Board Index

RSD or Fibromyalgia
Dec 12, 2004
Hi everyone,

I've been posting on the Fibromyalgia board and was recently diagnosed with it from a Rheumatologist. My question is this: can RSD minick Fibro? Does any RSD patient have widespread pain? Is there any test that can be used for RSD? Are there any medications to "cure" it? What kind of Dr. can diagnose RSD?

Any responses would be great. My symptoms are so widespread and all over the place, I hate the thought that I could be misdiagnosed.

Thanks in advance for any replies.

FYI -- Here is my story, short form (LOL). I seemed to have pinched my sciatic nerve in March 2004. I took an anti-inflammatory (Naproxen) and that pain went away, but I began getting severe back pain, only getting worse. Physical therapy nearly killed me. Every day I would wake up with a new symptom: numbness, tingling, burning, aching, throbbing, stabbing, nausea, dizziness, headaches -- the list goes on. I have tried tons of anti-inflammatories (none worked) and some painkillers. I am now just taking Trazodone at night to help me sleep (oh yeah, insomnia too). I go regularly to the chiropractor, massage and acupuncture. Those seem to help, at least temporarily. COULD THIS BE RSD??
RSd can definately mimick a lot of the symptoms that are present with FMS. There isn't any definate test that can diagnose RSD, only a set of guidelines and a few qualitative tests to do. Someone with RSD can fail every single test and still have it, so it's very hard to diagnose. FMS on the other hand can be genetically tested for. RSD is generally caused by an injury to a nerve, but not everyone remembers/knows how their RSD started. The most obvious symptom is unrelenting pain which isn't proportional to the injury (ie a cut in your finger that is uncontrollably painful). The other most obvious and easiest symptom to diagnose as RSD is the color changes. I had surgery in 2000 and after the bandages came off, I noticed that my foot was literally black (it looked dead, I was terrified). The color changed back to normal when the foot was elevated though, but as soon as it was put down again it started to change colors. Not everyone with RSD has the same symptoms and not every treatment works the same either. You can do a websearch and find very informative websites to help you figure it out. I would suggest having the genetic testing done to find out for sure if it's FMS or not. If FMS is ruled out i'd start looking for other answers and RSD could possibly be a logical one. The only doctor that can really diagnose a person with RSD would be a pain doctor, because he has been schooled in dealing with people in chronic pain, so if you aren't seeing one already that might be a good idea to check out as well. I wish you the best of luck in finding out what's going on. If you have any other specific questions i'd be happy to answer them . - Jessica
I'd bet you can find better info on the net than from me. Auto-immunes run in my family, so I only know a little about FMS. There is a definate test that can be done now to determine your diagnosis of FMS. As for what I know, it's a simple blood test that has to be sent to a special lab (your doc should be able to get info as well) somewhere and they will run genetic testing (DNA) and let you know in a couple of weeks if you have the genetic malformation that causes FMS. I would try looking at some of the popular FMS websites, am sure they'd have information on it as well, just do a websearch and see what it comes up with. I also used to go to a local FMS support group (because RSD is close in symptoms and I needed someone to talk with) and they had tons and tons of information for me as well. You might want to look into your local hospitals and see if they have any programs for people with Fibro. They are the best resource for information because they hear everything directly from the hospital. Hope that helps you. - Jessica
PS If i'm remembering correctly the test has been out since 99 or 00??
Definately no on the ice, ice has been shown to make the RSD symptoms much worse. And speaking of the fair haired blue eyed thing, are you speaking about auto immunes?? I know that auto-immune diseases are more commonly found in fair skinned bh, be people. There have been many, many research projects to find out which diseases run in families and have since formed a group of auto-immune diseases (anything in which the immune system attacks good cells of ones bodies). There haven't been any studies to find out if RSD is among them but Fibro, lupus, anklyosing spondylitis, ulcerative cholitis, are all on the list. I think RSD will be soon as well. If you fit into the auto-immune category you are much more likely to come up with one of these diseases... Don't know the exact percentages, but it dosen't look good. This is one of the major arguements for the whole DNA mapping thing. Do we want to know if we are succeptible to having an auto-immune disease, and what would this do to our insurance rates?? So, anyhow - Definately try and find a Pain Doc in your area, and secondly try and hook up with a Fibro group in your area. I didn't even have Fibro and my group welcomed me in with open arms. They will probably have the most current information to give to you and might be able to help you find a good doc in your area as well. Didn't mean to get off on such a tangent, just thought i'd find something to do with my time tonight.. Ha - jessica

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