Diagnosing fibromyalgia

If you think you might have fibromyalgia, it's important to see your doctor for a diagnosis. Symptoms of fibromyalgia include:

  • widespread pain in the body (usually on both sides of the body above and below the waist)
  • fatigue
  • tender areas (places where even mild pressure causes pain)
  • mental fogginess, difficulty concentrating, or problems with short-term memory and multitasking
  • muscle stiffness, especially in the morning
  • sleep problems (poor sleep quality, difficulty sleeping)
  • headaches or jaw pain
  • dizziness or lightheadedness
  • nausea, diarrhea, constipation, gas, or bloating
  • painful menstrual periods (women only)
  • sensitivity to temperature changes
  • sensitivity to bright lights or sounds
  • weight gain or loss
  • feeling anxious or depressed

If you think you might have fibromyalgia, see your doctor for a diagnosis. When you visit your doctor, your doctor will do a physical examination and ask you some questions about your medical history and symptoms. Your doctor may apply mild pressure to different areas of your body to check for tenderness.

Because the symptoms of fibromyalgia may overlap with many other conditions, your doctor may do additional tests to rule out other possible causes. Common tests your doctor may order include a complete blood count, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR; a test that looks for inflammation in the body), or thyroid function tests.

If you are diagnosed with fibromyalgia, your doctor may refer you to a rheumatologist. A rheumatologist is a doctor who specializes in conditions that affect the joints and soft tissues, such as arthritis and fibromyalgia.

To help you prepare for your doctor's visit, see "Talking to your doctor about fibromyalgia."

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2022. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/healthfeature/gethealthfeature/Fibromyalgia-What-You-Need-to-Know