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Diagnosing fibromyalgia can be difficult because many of the symptoms can be the onset of something else. That’s why it’s important to see a physician to ensure you get the correct diagnosis.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain disorder characterized by widespread muscle pain throughout the body accompanied by the following one or more of the following symptoms:
It is important to note that fibromyalgia is NOT an autoimmune disease or a form of arthritis. It is also impossible to diagnose by a lab test or X-ray.
Many symptoms of fibromyalgia overlap with early rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, which is why it can be hard to diagnose.
Fibromyalgia affects roughly two to four percent of people, mostly women.
While there is no test to detect this fibromyalgia, you may need lab tests or x-rays to rule out other health problems.
Pain is around the joints, not the joint themselves, and can be found in:
There is no cure for fibromyalgia. However, symptoms can be treated with medication as well as non-drug-based treatments.
Non-drug treatments include:
*may alter some of the brain’s chemicals
Speak to your rheumatologist about which treatment option is best for you.
Fibromyalgia can cause chronic pain and fatigue similar to arthritis. When this happens, your primary care physician may advise you to see a rheumatologist to rule out other conditions. As a result, often a rheumatologist diagnoses fibromyalgia.
WakeMed Physician Practices – Rheumatology will see you to discuss your symptoms and to ensure there are no other causes for your symptoms. If fibromyalgia is diagnosed, the rheumatologist can discuss the current understanding of the syndrome, symptoms and current treatment recommendations.
In the absence of another rheumatologic disease, the rheumatologist will recommend that you continue to follow up with your primary care doctor for further symptom management and medication management if needed.
For additional information, take a look at the following resources:
National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association (NfmCPA) Raleigh Support Group
American College of Rheumatology
University of Michigan Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center
Dr. Mary Anne Dooley is a board certified rheumatologist at WakeMed Physician Practices – Rheumatology in North Raleigh. Dr. Dooley has clinical interests in systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, seronegative arthritis, such as psoriatic arthritis, gout and other arthritis in patients with kidney problems.
Request an appointment today by calling: 919-235-6454.
3000 New Bern Ave.
Raleigh, NC 27610