Living with Chronic Conditions

Premier Health providers answer frequently asked questions about chronic conditions.

How is fibromyalgia diagnosed?

Currently, there is no specific testing used to diagnose fibromyalgia, according to the National Institutes of HealthOff Site Icon (NIH).

The pain and tiredness caused by fibromyalgia also are symptoms of many other conditions, according to the NIH. Because of that, it can take some time to diagnose fibromyalgia because doctors have to rule out the other possible causes before making a diagnosis.

Unfortunately, some doctors aren’t familiar with fibromyalgia and might not consider a patient’s pain to be real, say there’s not much that can be done, or say that the pain and tiredness are just from stress, according to the NIH. Patients should not let themselves feel frustrated, however. It’s important to be your own advocate in every health situation.

Doctors familiar with fibromyalgia use the following measures outlined by the American College of Rheumatology[Link to http:// www.rheumatology.org/ in a new window with off site icon and 3rd party content disclaimer] (ACR) to help form a diagnoses:

  • History of widespread pain for more than three months
  • Memory and thought problems
  • Physical symptoms that include fatigue and waking unrefreshed

Doctors also consider how many areas throughout the body a patient has had pain in within the past week, according to the NIH.

For more information about how fibromyalgia is diagnosed, talk with your doctor.

Learn more:

Source content: Anessa Alappatt, MD, Fairborn Medical Center; Timothy Drehmer, MD, Troy Primary Care Physicians; Pamela Werner, MD, Miami Valley Primary Care

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