The Diagnosing Fibromyalgia Process

Have you ever wondered what criteria is used when diagnosing fibromyalgia? If so, you are not alone. In fact, many people who have this condition also wonder exactly what fibromyalgia is and what the causes of fibromyalgia. To know how this condition is diagnosed you need to have a better understanding of the condition, its causes and symptoms.

What is Fibromyalgia?
To answer the question "what is fibromyalgia?" you have to know more about the symptoms of fibromyalgia. The primary answer to the question "what is fibromyalgia?" is chronic widespread pain that is heightened by an increased response to gentle touch or stimuli. However, there is much more to this complex condition than that.

If you have fibromyalgia you know that the pain from fibromyalgia is just the tip of the iceberg as far as your symptoms are concerned. There is a variety of different symptoms you will experience when you have this condition. In fact, most doctors diagnosing fibromyalgia believe that the condition flares up in symptom clusters.

Some of the other symptoms of fibromyalgia may include:

  • Extreme fatigue,
  • Sleep pattern disturbances,
  • Irritable bowel syndrome,
  • Bladder irregularities,
  • Breathing problems,
  • Trouble swallowing,
  • Dizziness, headache,
  • Facial pain,
  • TMJ,
  • Grinding teeth,
  • Numbness,
  • Tingling of the hands and feet,
  • Painful periods, and
  • Dry skin, eye and mouth.

These physical symptoms of fibromyalgia are often coupled with symptoms that are not physical. The most common symptom of fibromyalgia that is not physical is depression. Depression can occur as a direct result of your condition, or it can be part of the condition itself.

There are also a number of other symptoms of fibromyalgia that are not physical. These symptoms would include anxiety, stress, anger, mood swings, difficulty concentrating, memory loss and confusion.

Common Causes of Fibromyalgia
Once you understand exactly what fibromyalgia is most likely you will begin to wonder what the common causes of fibromyalgia are. Although doctors are becoming versed at spotting this illness, many still do not know what the causes of fibromyalgia are.

The most widely accepted theory is that when you have fibromyalgia you have a lower tolerance for pain because of an increased response to pain signals in your brain. This is thought to be caused by repeated nerve stimulation that causes them to misfire or overreact.

There are also a number of factors that experts view as contributing to the causes of fibromyalgia. Most people who have fibromyalgia have had one of the following occurrences; difficulty sleeping, traumatic injury, severe infection, nervous system abnormalities, problems with muscle metabolism, mental stress, and sudden hormonal changes.

Your doctor may consider these factors and your symptoms when diagnosing fibromyalgia.

Diagnosing Fibromyalgia
It can be difficult to diagnose this complex condition. The criteria used to diagnose varies from doctor to doctor. In addition, there is no one lab test that is used when diagnosing fibromyalgia.

Most doctors who treat this disorder will diagnose you by ruling out other likely explanations of your symptoms of fibromyalgia. This will ensure that you receive an accurate diagnosis.

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