The symptoms of FM are very widespread, but the most common ones are:
- (smelly) flatulence
- stomach pains/cramps
- acid reflux/indigestion/heartburn
The other common symptoms that people will complain about are:
- brain fog/fuzzy head/difficulty concentrating
- aching eyes
- mood disturbances
- trouble sleeping
- joint pains
(*italics denotes symptoms that I get)
If you look at this list you can see that it would be rather hard to come to the conclusion that FM is what is ailing a person by these symptoms. Those with FM are usually diagnosed with IBS, and unfortunately that's as far as the doctors go. I’m not sure why they find it acceptable to just diagnose a person as having IBS. That to me is like saying “you have cancer” and leaving it at that. Cancer is a broad term used to explain a larger variety of illnesses, but to tell someone they have cancer does not tell them anything about the cancer they have, what form they have, how they got it, how to treat it, etc. IBS is just a broad term that tells a person they have something going on with their intestines/bowels. But what is causing the irritation? How do you treat this irritation? IBS classifies the symptoms but does nothing to help a person fix the cause of the symptoms. I don’t need a doctor to tell me I have IBS, I know that, but what I need to know is what caused this syndrome and how am I going to treat it.
Many people with FM are left undiagnosed for years before they finally stumble across FM, often after having tried many different medications, diet changes, and evaluated what they are eating for quite some time. Some people are fortunate enough to have a doctor who is aware of FM and will send them for the test, but many doctors are not aware of FM or that there is a test for it. There are also many doctors who believe that there is no such things a FM (leaving patients extremely frustrated and “lost”). There is slowly becoming more awareness of FM, but it is still widely unheard of. While there is a test for FM the ultimate test is the diet, as this is what will truly tell you the severity of your FM, and if you couldn’t have the FM test done, then it will help you to determine if FM is what is ailing you.
Managing your low-fructose diet is done by managing your symptoms. When the symptoms are under control the diet is under control (that is if there aren’t other things to factor in also, which there often is).