Things we know about Fibromyalgia

Things we know about Fibromyalgia

Diagnosis

In the past, doctors would check 18 specific points on a person’s body to see how many of them were painful when pressed firmly. Newer guidelines from the American College of Rheumatology don’t require a tender point exam.

Instead, the main factor needed for a fibromyalgia diagnosis is widespread pain throughout your body for at least three months.

  • To meet the criteria, you must have pain in at least four of these five areas:
  • Left upper region, including shoulder, arm or jaw
  • Right upper region, including shoulder, arm or jaw
  • Left lower region, including hip, buttock or leg
  • Right lower region, including hip, buttock or leg
  • Axial region, which includes neck, back, chest or abdomen

Tests

Your doctor may want to rule out other conditions that may have similar symptoms. Blood tests may include:

  • Complete blood count
  • Erythrocyte sedimentation rate
  • Cyclic citrullinated peptide test
  • Rheumatoid factor
  • Thyroid function tests
  • Anti-nuclear antibody
  • Celiac serology
  • Vitamin D

If there’s a chance that you may be suffering from sleep apnea, your doctor may recommend an overnight sleep study.

Treatment

In general, treatments for fibromyalgia include both medication and self-care strategies. The emphasis is on minimizing symptoms and improving general health. No one treatment works for all

symptoms, but trying a variety of treatment strategies can have a cumulative effect.

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