My Diagnoses Dissected

Here is a quick go-to guide for understanding my diagnoses without having to read through all the other posts on my blog!

Chronic Myofascial Pain Syndrome
Definition: a chronic pain disorder; a painful condition that affects the muscles and the sheath of the tissue--called the fascia-- that surround the muscles
  • trigger points (highly sensitive areas within the muscle that are painful to touch and cause pain that can be felt in another area of the body--called referred pain), trigger points (or TrPs) can be "active" or "latent", an active trigger point is always sore and can prevent full use of the muscle (leads to weakness and decreased range of motion), a latent trigger point does not cause pain during normal activities, but is tender when touched and can be activated when muscle is strained, fatigued or injured

  • sensation of muscle weakness 
  • tingling and stiffness
  • sleeping problems 

Treatment: physical therapy (program including postural and strengthening exercises), pain medication, myofascial release therapy, injections and/or dry needling, relaxation techniques (for stress & anxiety), acupuncture, exercise, ultrasound massage (only for some cases)
Specialists to see: pain specialist (although my doctor at Hopkins is a neurologist)
Helpful links: This scholarly article is lengthy and a bit confusing but it is written by my doctor, Dr. Gerwin (top nationalist specialist), and helpful about factors that promote the persistence of chronic myofascial pain and fibromyalgia. 

Hypermobility Type Ehlers Danlos Syndrome 
Definition: a condition that features joints that easily move beyond the normal range expected for a particular joint, a hereditary connective tissue disorder
-genetic, dominant gene, 50% chance of inheriting it from EDS parent
-hypermobility type is generally considered the least severe type of EDS, although significant complications, primarily musculoskeletal, can and do occur
-genes are that are responsible for the production of collagen, an important protein that helps to glue tissues together, are suspected of playing a role
-tends to dissipate as patient becomes older and generally less flexible
  • higher incidence of dislocation and sprains of involved joints
  • scoliosis (curvature of the spine)
  • often develop chronic pain and stiffness most commonly in the larger joints (ie. joints in neck, shoulders, back, hips and knees) but smaller joints like ankles, wrists and elbows can be affected as well--xrays may still show as "normal"
  • excessive stretchiness of body tissue (ie. mitral valve prolapse, uterine prolapse, hernias, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), IBS, etc.)
  • tall, thin body shape
  • soft tissue problems (i.e. tendonitis, bursitis)
  • skin hyper-extensibility, stretch marks, thin skin, abnormal scarring, velvety, soft skin
  • drooping eyelids, nearsightedness
  • unexplained bruises 
  • dry mouth/constant thirst > crave salty foods 
  • uncomfortable standing for long periods of time, need to put feet up
  • autonomic nervous system problems (regulates circulation, breathing and digestion) and can lead to lightheadedness, palpitations, digestive issues and difficulty sleeping/overall fatigue
  • disc problems/sciatica/lower back pain 
  • neuropathic pain 
  • costochondritis--inflammation in the rib cartilage 
  • TMJ
  • Fibromyalgia/Chronic Myofascial Pain Syndrome/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • hypotension/POTS/orthostatic intolerance 
  • birth complications 
  • anxiety/adrenaline problems 
Treatment: strengthening, physical therapy 
Specialists to see: rheumatologist, geneticist, physiatrist
Other important things to know: Beighton Score- used to measure a person's degree of hypermobility

Avoid: high impact exercises (ie. sports that involve running, jumping or physical contact), yoga (some stretches OK but most will overstretch already loose muscles), heavy lifting pulling and pushing, hyperextending joints, prolonged standing 
Do: Pilates, swimming and light resistance exercises are best recommended, do stretch hamstring muscles, increase salt and fluid intake (to lessen dizziness) 
Helpful links: this Hypermobility PDFEDS Explained

Definition:  (under-active thyroid), condition in which your thyroid gland doesn't produce enough of certain hormones 
  • fatigue
  • increased sensitivity to cold
  • constipation
  • dry skin
  • unexplained weight gain/slower metabolism
  • puffy face
  • muscle weakness
  • elevated cholesterol level 
  • muscle aches, tenderness and stiffness
  • heavier than normal/irregular menstrual periods
  • thinning hair
  • slowed heart rate
  • depression
  • impaired memory
  • goiter 
The visual I know you all wanted to see.

Treatment: synthetic thyroid hormone levothyroxine (ie. Synthroid, etc.) periodic testing of thyroid function
Specialists to see: endocrinologist, family doctor

Mast Cell Activation Disorder
Definition: characterized by the accumulation of genetically altered mast cells and/or abnormal release of mast cell mediators, affecting functions in potentially every organ system, particularly the skin, gastrointestinal tract, and cardiovascular and nervous systems, intolerance to histamine
-excess mast cell can build up in skin, around blood vessels, in your respiratory, GI and urinary tract, or in reproductive organs 


  • facial flushing
  • itchy
  • rapid heartbeat
  • abdominal cramps
  • lightheadedness
  • loss of conciousness 
  • triggers to things like alcohol, certain medications, spicy food, temp changes
  • nausea 
  • GI issues (constipation/diarrhea)
  • shortness of breath
  • joint pain
  • weakness 
  • fatigue
  • fainting
  • blurred vision

Treatment: histmaine blockers (H-1 and H-2) like Zyrtec and Zantac, antihistamines, cromolyn sodium 30 min before every meal and at night, possible diet change to exclude high histamine producing foods
Specialists to see: Geneticist, Dr. Clair Francomano

Hope this helps!


  1. Let us all be thankful to those medicines, supplements and other that helps fight chronic pain. It's a big help for everyone.

  2. I am appreciating it very much! Looking forward to another great blog.

  3. Sorry you have to fight this. Sending you gentle Hugs and I really like what you are doing. My website right now is under construction. But, you can stop by my page and send me a PM if you have anything new you like to share. When taking supplements please be sure they are GMO's. Go all natural and you will feel better some. Gluten Free, no Nightshade Vegetables and I am a vegetarian now. No dairy. I feel so much better. Take Care

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