Expert opinion - migraine and fibromyalgia

Hi guys,

This article appeared in this month’s edition of the journal Headache on the association of migraine and fibro.

I’m still not sure if fibro is separate from migraine at all or just another symptom of it. This was a slide from Dr Nick Silver where he indicated that migraine is the “chameleon”.

Scott 8)

I can’t get into any of the topics, was that the way you meant it to be read? It’s was awful interesting to see so many things associated with migraines. I’ve benn diagnosed with a few of them and was hoping to read more…

Oh, never mind… :oops:

Hi Holly –

Were you able to bring up the article by clicking on the URL link? The images are not linked.

Scott :slight_smile:

I find this interesting because 4 years ago I was given the diagnosis of fibro/CFS and that’s where it stayed until last year with my temporary meniere’s diagnosis then the adjustment to migraine variant diagnosis. From treatment with topamax, my “fibro” symptoms are non-existent until my migraine/MAV is completely flared up, then there “they” are again. So, it really depends on who is making the diagnosis. Buchholz concurs that fibro may be part of the migraine spectrum, not the other way around they way the fibro specialists will tell you. Psychologically it’s actually given me a boost to think that I am a migraine sufferer and perhaps not a fibro patient - though neither conditions have any kind of “cure”, my overall functioning has improved hugely with migraine treatment instead (which includes a migraine diet as well).

Gail, this is interesting as I have been diagnosed with CFS as well. What came first with you? I had my first vertigo attack aged 18 and the migraines and vertigo first. The CFS didnt start until my early 30s. I am not sure whether I believe they are both linked or not or I would have thought they would have started together? or maybe not :? I know that prothiaden years ago did help with my fatigue. Maybe its something like the serotonin in the preventatives that help with the symptoms of the CFS?


Hi Christine
I don’t really know how it all works. Migraine is listed as a common co-existing condition/symptom of fibro, but then just about everything else on the planet is as well which is why the condition is made joked about both inside and outside of medical circles. For me, I had contracted a sleep disorder first, then 9 months later had a long bout with hip bursitis, then supposedly slid into fibro and within a few months the dizziness started. I had changed my diet to rice products and lots of nuts (not realizing that I could be intolerant with those triggers for me). And, the fibro and dizziness began coincidentally during one of my two worst allergy seasons of the year and I don’t believe that was being managed. Right now is also a bad allergy season for me and I seem to be more on top of it all with 24 hour treatment with antihistamines/decongestants and some topamax. It’s weird how this is working for me. And, realize that along the way I discovered food intolerances and outright allergies which I’m sure have been huge triggers for my migraine condition. Now I’m just waiting to see how this will all play itself out. I’m also taking a tiny bit of lorazepam at night to help with sleep so that’s probably helping as well. Fibro and chronic fatigue are misunderstood and mis-labelled much less misdiagnosed and badly tested for since it has to be a 360 degree view of a patient rather than just diagnosing individual conditions such as thyroid, muslcle fatigue, IBS, etc. In that respect I think that Functional Medicine may have an edge in looking at a patient in their totality.
Sorry, this rather rambled on. I have a lot to say about CFS/Fibro and the link or overlap with migraine after dabbling in both worlds now.

The ME/CFS Fibro diagnosis is all very complicated isnt it? I have been trying cures and reading up new research for over 20 years now. I dont know whether fibro and cfs are the same, I am not sure they are as fibro seems to cause more of the physical pain than cfs.

The latest one is XMRV. Still waiting on this one.

Anti histamines have always helped me too.


Yeah, CFS has the major distinguishing symptom of overwhelming fatigue rather than pain, whereas Fibro has the overwhelming main distinguishing symptom of pain/widespread achiness. Both conditions are horrible and can be difficult to manage but I believe that sleep, diet, digestion, and the endocrine system play a huge role in it all whether or not a person has been impacted by the multiple viruses such as XMRV or not. Hope you’re doing better these days, Christine.

My dizziness started at 18. I remember the exact date and time. It was 7.30pm on 17th January 1986, following a bout of likely glandular fever (too much kissing in Freshers Week lol). Anyway, that went away after 5 years (undiagnosed, or rather diagnosed as psychosomatic disorder). Then in 1994 I started getting restless legs syndrome ( whole body affected - horrid horrid) and incredible fatigue. Diagnosed in 1996 as CFS then in 1997 diagnosis changed to Panic Disorder. Then in 2004 dizziness returned. Diagnosed in 2010 as MAV.

It is all very strange. I rarely get the RLS or fatigue now. Panic Disorder sorted with CBT. Just the MAV now playing havoc with my existence. Not sure, given the choice, which one I’d choose to have if I had to have only one.

Dizzy izzy

This is really interesting because I wonder if I have had fibromylalgia now for years. My mom was diagnosed with it. My body has become riddled with tender points I deal with daily for about 3 or 4 years now. My mav came on hard a few years before that. I learned about trigger point therapy (The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook, by Claire Davies) I utilize it every day to deal with those painful areas. This is the first time I’ve seen the 2 linked together.

Burd - the Grand Dame of trigger point therapy is Janet Travell who pioneered the whole concept and therapy of trigger points used in physical therapy to this day.
Yep, migraines are listed under co-conditions or “symptoms” of fibro… go figure. Now that I’m under treatment for migraine, for me it’s definitely been the other other way around. And, it’s not a coincidence that when fibro patients gain better control of their diets, digestion, sleep patterns, and stress they can feel much better. But like so many other people, many fibro patients simply will not give up their favorite foods… For me, dumping most grains, excess coffee, preservatives, etc. gave me relief from all the aching almost overnite. I think the Migraine Diet would be perfect for fibro. It really is no wonder that many doctors still do not believe in fibro as a primary condition/disease but rather view it as a manifestation of a constellation of other conditions or problems (including thyroid, migraine, sleep disorders, food intolerances/allergies, adrenal exhaustion, TMJ, etc etc etc). It really can be complicated.

Here is a link to one of the articles in the latest fibro newsletter that I receive. It is a chart description of a male fibro/chronic fatigue patients symptom “wheel” so that he could best describe to a doctor what he experiences. Many here could probably relate to the complicated widespread overlap in bizarre and troubling, debilitating symptoms.

Gail : )

I just discovered this message board so forgive me if I sound uneducated about all this as I am very new to looking into all this. I have suffered from what has been diagnosed as Migraine Associated Vertigo all of my life. It started with recurring ear infections as a toddler and has continued with out ear infections into adulthood. I get a bout of the vertigo about every 4-6 months and have one very bad day where I generally wake up with bad vertigo and spend the day in bed with extreme nausea I then have sensitivity to my trigers which tend to me noise, bright light, fast movement of my head, looking up, going up stairs, and sometimes transitions from a dark to bright environment for about a week after the first bad day.

When I was about 8 years old I was diagnosed with Juvenile Arthritis and at that point was assessed for fibromyalgia and my mother tells me the doctor said after preforming the trigger point assessment that I had it. I am just now starting to present with a lot of the pain issues associated with it at the age of 26. I also have a history of Irritable Bowel Syndrome starting at about age 15 with issues for about 3 years and then another bought at age 22 for several months. I have been diagnosed with TMJ as well. I find it kind of reassuring in a strange way to have all of these weird illnesses that I have had issues with for so long be associated with each other under the heading of fibromyalgia.

As far as treatment I have tried the migraine diet but since my migraines are often so far apart I find it difficult to keep it up. I use to use the Imitrex injections but currently dont have insurance and since they dont get rid of my migraines but just take the edge off I can not rationalize the expense. However I do have some of the Imitrex pills and my most recent assurance of vertigo woke me up before it got severe enough to have the associated nausea and I was able to take a pill before I got to the point where I could not keep anything down and it seemed to greatly improve my experience. Beyond that since as I said I dont have insurance and it has been several years since I have seen a specialist I am starting to look into other way to manage my issues. Any help would be appreciated!