Do I Have Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is one of those conditions that can be very difficult for both patients and physicians to properly diagnose. Because there aren’t any diagnostic tests (i.e. x-rays or lab work) that currently can pinpoint Fibromyalgia to be the cause of an individual’s symptoms, it must often be diagnosed as a result of ruling out other conditions and diseases. Many people search the internet for answers on the causes, symptoms and treatment plans that are related to Fibromyalgia all the while wondering if perhaps they do have Fibromyalgia. In order to avoid some of the frustrations that can often come while in the process of diagnosis, knowing more about the common symptoms can help a person when they begin to ask questions of their physician, and knowing that there are more options to treatment for their symptoms can bring about much needed hope.
Fibromyalgia is often defined once a person has experienced chronic and widespread musculoskeletal pain and tenderness that has lasted for at least a time frame of 3 months. Other symptoms that may exist are problems with fatigue, sleep, memory as well as mood. It is thought that Fibromyalgia intensifies the “normal” pain sensations by affecting the way that a person’s brain processes these signals. Many individuals may notice symptoms after they have undergone a physical trauma, surgery, infection, as well as in persons who have been under substantial psychological stress. However, in other individuals, symptoms of Fibromyalgia can gradually appear over time without ever having a single event that would trigger the beginning of the Fibromyalgia.
Unfortunately at this time there aren’t any specific tests that can pinpoint a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia. However, in the late 1990’s the American College Of Rheumatology did recognized two specific methods for helping to identify the condition of Fibromyalgia, these criteria are (1) widespread pain lasting at least 3 months, and (2) Pinpointing at least 11 (of 18 total) positive tender points. Again, these criteria can be very ambiguous but most commonly Fibromyalgia is diagnosed by a process of elimination once other conditions or diseases are ruled out. Once these other conditions are ruled out the most frequently used medications for the treatment of Fibromyalgia are Analgesics, Antidepressants, as well as Anti-seizure drugs. However many times these frequently used medications can cause negative side effects, therefore if a person is looking for a more natural way to treat their Fibromyalgia symptoms they should be aware that the options are quite endless. Many of these options such as therapies, supplements and alternative treatments are much more holistic and rarely have negative side effects. The most important thing for Fibromyalgia sufferers to remember is that all individuals deal with pain differently and each individual dealing with Fibromyalgia needs to find the treatment plan that provides the best relief for them on a personal basis.