Healthy Living

Celebrities with Fibromyalgia: Facing an Invisible Illness

Diagnosis of Fibromyalgia

It can take some time to be diagnosed with fibromyalgia. People can find any test to diagnose the disease. Doctors need to consider all the symptoms: fatigue, pain, cognitive dysfunction, sleep disturbances, tenderness, mood disturbances, functional impairment, and stiffness.

Since symptoms of fibromyalgia are similar to those of other diseases, doctors have to rule out these disease before diagnosing fibromyalgia. Doctors will screen for neurological disorders such as myasthenia gravis and multiple sclerosis.

Doctors also need to perform FM/A blood test. This test will differentiate fibromyalgia from rheumatic diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and Sjogren's syndrome.

A blood count will rule out anemia, thyroid disorders and vitamin deficiencies that cause sleep problems and fatigue.

Pressing of trigger points has been used for a year to diagnose the disease. 18 trigger points were pressed, and if 11 of those were painful, then it showed that the person had the disease. However, this method is no longer recommended. The reason is that tender spots are temporary and also doctors didn’t know the extent of pressing.

Diagnosis of fibromyalgia can occur when the pain has lasted for three months and above without any other underlying medical illness and must be widespread.

Since diagnosing fibromyalgia can be challenging, finding a doctor that can separate the disease from other illnesses is crucial. A doctor who can successfully diagnose fibromyalgia is an experienced rheumatologist. A rheumatologist is experienced in autoimmune disorders and musculoskeletal disorders.