Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that is accompanied by a lot of problems. The doctor who consults and diagnoses this condition is most of the time, a rheumatologist. As this disease is accompanied by many symptoms and signs, it is mainly diagnosed with a detailed case history. You will be asked many questions and it is important that you reply in an elaborative manner so that the doctor may find it easy to come to a conclusion.
The main complaint that leads to diagnosing fibromyalgia is generalized body pain. This pain can be accompanied with several other features such as burning sensations, sharp stabbing feeling and etc. Therefore, your doctor will ask you to explain the pain in a detailed manner. He might also find tenderness in painful areas during the physical examination.
Further symptoms that help to state the diagnosis of fibromyalgia are extreme sensitivity to pain (even at a light touch), fatigue, poor sleep, cognitive problems, headache, irritable bowel syndrome and dizziness. Many patients say that they have a morning stiffness of the limbs and this is easily recognized by the doctors as the muscular spasms that occur in this condition. Some women may also experience severe menstrual pains in their menstruating days.
There is a special criteria that the doctors use before they state the diagnosis;
Pain and symptoms experienced during past week; this should be based on the number of areas with pain out of all 19 parts and also depends on the level of severity of below symptoms:
- Cognitive (memory or thought) issues
- Waking from sleep feeling extremely tired
- The number of other general physical symptoms present
- The symptoms that are lasting for three months without any increase or decrease
- Presence of no other health problem that would explain the symptoms
The extent of the pain will be assessed by the doctor by applying gentle pressure on “tender points”, where any pain is likely to be at its worst.
Moreover, there are no specific blood, urine or X-ray tests to diagnose fibromyalgia. But, these tests are done to clear out many other similar conditions with similar symptoms; chronic fatigue syndrome, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.