Fibromyalgia Diagnosis and Treatment
Getting a fibromyalgia diagnosis may not be as easy as you would think.
Unfortunately, there are no established causes of fibromyalgia and there are so many symptoms of fibromyalgia that it makes diagnosis difficult. The more you know about the condition, the easier it will be for you to get a diagnosis of fibromyalgia.
What is Fibromyalgia?
If you have, or suspect you have fibromyalgia, then you know that the primary symptom of this condition is pain. The pain of fibromyalgia is chronic and widespread. It can involve your head, back, hips, arms, knees neck and chest.
However, what sets fibromyalgia apart from other chronic pain conditions is that when you have fibromyalgia your pain is marked by a heightened response to gentle stimuli in your affected areas.
There are many more symptoms of fibromyalgia than the pain it causes.
In fact, the symptoms of fibromyalgia appear in clusters. Some of the other symptoms of fibromyalgia would include extreme fatigue, sleep pattern disturbances, bladder irregularities, irritable bowel syndrome, headache, facial pain, TMJ, teeth grinding, dizziness, painful periods, numbness, tingling sensation in the hands and feet, and dry eyes, skin or mouth.
It would not be unlikely for your physical symptoms of fibromyalgia to be coupled with non-physical symptoms. The most common non-physical symptom of this condition is depression.
However, it is also common for people with fibromyalgia to have anxiety, mood swings, stress, difficulty concentrating, memory loss, and confusion. When you are seeking a fibromyalgia diagnosis it is important that you mention both physical and non-physical symptoms to your doctor.
Getting a Diagnosis of Fibromyalgia
Anyone that has this condition knows that it is not easy to get a fibromyalgia diagnosis. That is why it is important for you to seek out a specialist when you think you need a diagnosis of fibromyalgia.
Part of the reason it is so difficult to get a diagnosis of fibromyalgia is because there is no set criteria for diagnosing the condition. In addition to this, lab tests scarcely reveal any indication of illness.
That said when tests do show irregularities they often mimic other pain conditions like:
- Multiple sclerosis, and
That is why most physicians won't confirm your fibromyalgia diagnosis until they have ruled out all other likely explanations of your symptoms.
Common Causes of Fibromyalgia
Experts have not yet come to a solid conclusion on what exactly leads a person to develop this condition. One popular theory is that people with fibromyalgia have a lower pain tolerance because of an increased sensitivity to pain signals in their brain.
This can be caused by repeated nerve stimulation among many other things.
There are a number of factors commonly seen in people who have a confirmed fibromyalgia diagnosis. Doctors believe that these factors may contribute to you developing the condition.
These factors would include, sleep pattern disturbances, traumatic injury, infection, abnormalities in your nervous system, and problems with muscle metabolism. In addition to these things, extreme psychological stress and sudden hormonal changes may also be linked to the onset of your fibromyalgia.
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