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Susan Ivy
Susan Ivy, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
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Experience:  BSN, MSN, CNS
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Is this thickening of the fibrous tissue? Last year I was diagnosed

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Is this thickening of the fibrous tissue? Last year I was diagnosed with fibroandenomas after noticing a thickening in the side of my breast and a few lumps. I am not sure when the sensitivity in my lower back and the lower outer side of my thighs started but its been years, 5 atleast. Since I started jogging a couple weeks ago I have noticed a thickness in my thighs outer lower, it is sensitive to pressure and where there are lumps are extremely sensitive. After looking at some anatomy photos it looks like its along the iliotibial band. My husband tried to rub my back a couple years ago and said it felt gross because of the lumps. It was very sensitive and certain spots are untouchable. I don't know if its thick there or just lumpy. Its easier to feel them with slight pressure, as opposed to firm harder pressure. I was diagnosed with fibrmyalgia when I was 17 due to pain in knees sensitivity in places and family history. And it has gotten progressively worse since I had my son. My hips, knees, and shoulder/neck area are sore most of the time. It may be related. I am saving money to go to the dr but would like info going in there and to calm nerves till I can get a definite diagnosis. Thank you for your help.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Susan Ivy replied 1 year ago.
Hello and Thank you for using JustAnswer Health.

Thank you for the question and providing some history. I will start by discussing some of the points you brought up.

Your question is "Is this thickening of the fibrous tissue?" By this, I think you are asking if the various lumps on your body are caused by fibrous tissue thickening? Well, the short answer is no. Let me explain - Adenomas of the breast are made of glandular and fibrous breast tissue. They may grow. But, typically soft lumps on other parts of the body are Lipomas, and these are made of fatty tissue. I will explain what the conditions you have been diagnosed with normally behave. Changes that you have that are different, may indicate a different problem.

You mention that you were diagnosed with Fibroadenoma of the breast last year and you were diagnosed with Fibromyalgia at age 17. (These two conditions are not known to be related to each, although they have similar sounding names due to the use of the root term 'fibro'. Fibromyalgia was named before they knew anything about what it was - but there are no fibrous lumps with Fibromyalgia).

You also mention that you are recently noticing areas in your thighs that have been sensitive for up to 5 years, now have increased sensitivity after starting jogging a few weeks ago. You also mention pain in the hips, knees, and shoulder and neck area "most of the time"

Without seeing you for testing, we can only speculate about what might be going on by the symptoms you have told us about. New lab test and imaging studies (such as ultrasound, mammogram and possibly others are needed to evaluate the status of the fibroadenoma - and to check the other lumps you mention that are in you back and thigh). Blood or laboratory test are needed to look for inflammation markers and conditions such as arthritis and to see if any abnormalities of any other type are found.

If you do not have insurance, then it is important for you to get into your states federally funded health care system. Usually these clinics are available through your local health department. Some branches have adult clinics and child clinics, but they may not have them both at each branch, and/or the clinics may not be open every single day. So you will need to look up the centers in your area and find out where their are adult clinics in your area and on what days. Here is a link that will help you find the clinics in your area by zip code:

http://findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov/Search_HCC.aspx

These clinics may ask for income and then base your payment by the amount of income you have. If you have very little, you will be charged nothing except maybe a 10 or 20 dollar co-pay. This is much less expensive than it would be to go to a private physicians office without insurance.

As I mentioned earlier, Fibromyalgia, is actually "mis-named". When a person has fibromyalgia, they often have pain in various muscle groups. But there are not any actual fibrous lumps. So the lumps that you are experiencing elsewhere on your body are not from fibromyalgia. They could be lipomas or dermatofibromas. Lipomas are fatty tissue lumps that are harmless unless they start to press on a nerve. Dermatobibromas usually occur due to a prior injury in the area. With Lipomas, it is unusual for them to be painful. If lipomas seem to be growing and/or are painful, then they should be evaluated by a doctor as soon as possible.

In recent years, many people with fibromyalgia have been found to actually have a vitamin D deficiency. This is one thing that will need to be checked when you see the doctor. In the mean time you can work at getting more vitamin D containing products into your system. As long as you don't burn too easily, consider getting out in the sun 10 minutes per day at least. The skin manufactures vitamin D only when exposed to natural sunlight. Here is some other information I took from an article for you on vitamin D sources (http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional/)

Other ways to get vitamin D are: Egg yolks, seafood oil, beef liver, and wild-caught oily seafood. Blue seafood, tuna, spanish mackerel in addition to fish give the most prominent levels of vitamin D. Smaller amounts are present in dark leafy vegetables. Fortified foods are a major dietary source of vitamin D. While milk and soya milk are fortified with vitamin D, dairy products made from milk such as curd, cheese, yogurt are usually not fortified.

Regarding the pain that you feel in your hips, knees, and shoulder/neck area. This type of pain is fairly common. It can be due to tension in the muscle, strains in the muscle or joint, or from injury. It could be due to arthritis (doubtful at your young age, but again would need testing in order to confirm whether there is arthritis in the joints or if this is due to fatigue or stress of the muscles themselves that support the joints)

Stress and tension will aggravate fibromyagia pain, as well create tension muscular pain that can occur in anyone in the shoulder/neck and joints . So if there is a lot of stress in your life (and with a young baby, we know you have at least one major stressor) it can help to find new ways to manage the stress, so that it does not aggravate your physical condition. This is a very good source for you to learn how to do this:

http://www.helpguide.org/mental/stress_management_relief_coping.htm

Getting started in a program of stretches will help fibromyalgia and other conditions causing pain in the muscles and joints. Yoga or pilates are popular now. But along with being popular, yoga has been around thousands of years - this practically proves its helpfulness. (The deep breathing along with tensing, stretching and then relaxing of the muscles in a systematic way actually causes the muscles to stretch and then relax more deeply because of the greater oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange in the muscles - this allows more energy to get to the muscle from oxygen because of deeper inhalation of oxygen when the muscle is tense and release of wastes through carbon dioxide when the muscle relaxes)

It is great that you have started a physical activity program. Exercise is very helpful for muscle pain as well. My main critique is that running may not be the best form of exercise for you if you have hip, knee, and shoulder/neck area pain.

Of course by all means if running is something you love continue it, because their can be great benefits, but make sure you have good shock absorbing shoes and stretching before and after running is important to prevent further joint pain from muscle strain.

If running, is too hard to keep up with due to pain, consider rapid walking or race walking (is less traumatic on joints), Bicycling (get an upright bicycle with cushy tires so that it will not bother your shoulders), and swimming is the very best, XXXXX XXXXX have a convenient place to swim.

To summarize, you must get in to see a doctor sooner, rather than later, because you have noticed new lumps it sounds like, and some of them are sore. Both in the breast and on the body, these symptoms need to be evaluated any time there is a change, and it sounds like the lumps on your back and thigh are new. If the lumps in the breast have changed or have not been evaluated in some time, they need to be checked as well.

I've tried to give you information on other things you can do to deal with the pain. Especially the vitamin D information should be helpful for you, if you are actually found to be low in vitamin D. If you are not ever out in the sun and don't eat the types of foods listed above, there is a big chance that you are low in this vitamin.

But my main concern is that you have lumps that have changed, and this is not typical for fibromyalgia, so this is a different condition that you need to have evaluated.

Regarding getting in to see a doctor, let me know if you have any trouble with the government supported clinics and finding one in your area, and I'll help you with this.

Finally,

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I just went walking and was scratching the side of my thighand felt the lumps going all the way up. It felt like it went up my iliotibial band. Is there a disease or illness that causes the fibrous tissue to do that/ kinda thicken and lumpy? I think that is my final question. Thank you for all your info. I usually spend atleast 30 minutes outside everyday. And last year I was taking omega 3 for better memory.
Expert:  Susan Ivy replied 1 year ago.
Sorry for the delay, I had this all typed out then the website crashed for a moment, I think, but luckily I had saved most of this:

Thanks for your reply, just got back in. The only common disease that makes lumps is Lipoma and there is something called fibroma, that I will explain.

(I am glad to hear that you are outside every day, although it is too bad that getting some simple sunlight won't then all you have to do to clear up the fibromyalgia.)

Let me know if whether when you touch the lumps do they easily move or are they attached tightly to the muscle and/or bone beneath it? Lipomas typically are what is called 'moveable'.

Here is more information on Lipoma, you can get more details to see if they sound similar to what you have: http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/tc/lipoma-topic-overview

There is something called fibroma, not as common as Lipoma, that do feel like hard lumps under the skin. Dermatofibromas are also harmless and only rarely malignant, and are best left alone. Dermatofibromas are round growths, commonly found on the legs, that can range in color from flesh-colored to red-purple. They can also be located just under the skin. Details on Fibromas are here: http://www.localhealth.com/article/fibroma

How possible is it that these lumps have been present for awhile but you had not really noticed them until recently? But, if they are growing, then this is the reason you want to have them checked out soon.

Let me know if you have any more questions and whether they feel movable, soft, hard, or more fixed to the tissue undearneath.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I would say the nodules are slightly movable and firm but the thickness is not moveable and it runs all the way up. It gets sore feeling for lumps which are more sensitive. I would say there is more thickness than lumps. I think it is very possible that they have been there since they became sore I just didn't think to feel for that. Thanks again. Which type of Dr. Would be best to go see? Dermatologist or general or?
Expert:  Susan Ivy replied 1 year ago.
That is interesting, and different than I imagined - it sounds like it is a long strip of hardened tissue. I was assuming that what you were describing were lumps. One reason it is hard to diagnose over the computer.

There is a condition called scleroderma where connective tissue becomes hardened. It is not too harmful if it just occurs on the skin, but if it is the kind that effects the organs, it can be a more difficult condition. My guess though, is that if this is scleroderma, you have the type that only effects the epidermis (the skin). Otherwise you would also be reporting a lot of other types of symptoms. Here is some information about scleroderma: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001465/

You should start by seeing a general/family practice doctor or internal medicine doctor. They may send you to a dermatologist at some point, but in your case systemic disease need to be ruled out first.


I'm still here if you have more questions.

Susan Ivy, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 4057
Experience: BSN, MSN, CNS
Susan Ivy and 4 other Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I went to see the doctor a couple weeks ago and she could only feel the lumps. She said i have lipomas all over lower back area, on sides of waist and in thighs. She did not acknowlege that some were extremely painful. She didn't feel the thickness or firming that I can feel. She said it was cellulite. I got the ANA blood test just to make sure. It still hurts and I can't stay on my feet for too long before my knees are unbearable. I have found one person to feel the difference in firmness and had was clueless as to what it could be. My guess is that its either a mix of fibromyalgia, symmetrical widespread lipomas painful and not, and IT band syndrome or maybe Dercum's Disease. Anyways thank you for all of your help and for checking in on me. :)
Expert:  Susan Ivy replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for getting back to me! Well, I am glad that it is not cancer. I hope you can relax now, and not worry too much about it. I do understand it is not easy to forget due to the pain. But keep on dong all the things that are recommend for the fibromyalgia because many of those recommendations help with pain. Exercise is so key. Some neurotransmitters that help decrease pain are increased when you have muscle strength, so maintaining your muscle strength and building muscle can help with fibromyalgia and pain. I know you have to be more creative due to the problem with exercise because of your knees. But there are things that you can do with your arms, and if I were you I'd check into all the pools in your area to find one where you could swim, since being weightless in the water will allow for movement without pain in your knees. Also, if you haven't heard of this... Studies are showing that the artificial sweeteners can increase pain. So do not use any foods or drinks with artificial sweeteners. You can use stevia or real sugar. I heard about this, and even found it to be true myself. I haven't ever been diagnosed with fibromyalgia but I have had issues with random aches and pains. I noticed an increase when I was chewing a lot of artificially sweetened gum. I stopped chewing the gum, and the pain is gone. But beyond one person's experience, this has now bee proved by studies and most physicians who treat a lot of people with Fibromyalgia are aware of this as well.

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