Working With Your Doctor for Diagnosing Fibromyalgia


For those who are suffering the symptoms, diagnosing fibromyalgia can be very difficult. Fibromyalgia presents as a multi-system, multi-symptom disorder that is frustrating to physicians, and leaves sufferers feeling despondent as they search for answers. Many people don’t know where to start when they begin to suspect they might have fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia often mimics the symptoms of other diseases, often frightening patients who are more familiar with the other diseases. Worrying that something is “really wrong” with them leads people to their doctors and the fear that something more is wrong often presents as “hypochondria.” Once the doctor discerns that their patient isn’t suffering from cancer or some other terrible disease, they often dismiss their patients thus prolonging the eventual diagnosis of fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia presents with a myriad of symptoms that are often confusing and frustrating.

* Pain that is widespread is one of the hallmarks for fibromyalgia. This pain is diffused in all four quadrants, though not always at the same time.

* Pain in the pressure sites when they are touched.

* Chronic Fatigue often plays a part in the diagnosis of fibromyalgia as well. Constant tiredness, feeling of never being rested enough, and irritability due to exhaustion are indicators of Chronic Fatigue.

Diagnosing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (whether with Fibromyalgia or alone) is a daunting task as well. Symptoms include the following:

* Fatigue that is described as new, and unexplained. It persists and has little to do with physical exertion and isn’t made any better with bed rest. It also interferes with daily life.
* Headaches that seem to come out of nowhere
* Memory problems and impairment
* Exhaustion
* Sore throat
* Muscle pain
* Joint pain
* Tender or swollen lymph nodes

Symptoms from these lists are usually a good indicator. There are no diagnostic tests that can conclusively diagnose it. While it typically appears in middle age adults, it also affects teenagers and even children.

Persistence is the key to getting a diagnosis. Patients should pursue answers to what they believe is wrong with them, and if their doctor isn’t willing to listen anymore, they should find another who is. Often fibromyalgia requires a specialist to diagnosis. These specialists are called Rheumatologists and practice Rheumatology.

Rheumatology is known as the practice of medicine that deals with the study and treatment of pathologies of the muscles and tendons. In addition, there is a sub-specialty study of inflammation and auto immunity. Most Rheumatologists treat disorders like lupus, arthritis, scleroderma, and Lyme disease.

These are the physicians who are better able to make an appropriate diagnosis. Getting to one of these specialists however can be very difficult and takes a great deal of persistence. Being patient with your doctor while he excludes other disorders and diseases can be difficult, but if he is willing to work with you while pursuing an answer, he may be worth keeping.

A good doctor will evaluate you on a regular basis, excluding symptoms and afflictions while examining all possibilities for your malaise. Be proactive in seeking a diagnosis while managing and treating the symptoms that are now being revealed. Fibromyalgia is considered to be a disease that has a progressive diagnosis. It takes time, it takes education, and it takes persistence.


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