How to diagnose fibromyalgia?
If you think you have fibromyalgia, see your GP. Diagnosing fibromyalgia can be difficult because there is no specific test to diagnose this disease. Symptoms of fibromyalgia can vary and are similar to many other conditions . During the diagnosis, you will be asked how your symptoms affect your daily life. Your body will also be examined for visible signs of other conditions - for example, swollen joints may suggest arthritis rather than fibromyalgia.
Eliminate other diseasesIf your doctor thinks you have fibromyalgia, they will first need to rule out any other conditions that might be causing your symptoms. These conditions may include, but are not limited to:
- chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) - a disease that causes long-lasting fatigue,
- rheumatoid arthritis - a disease that causes pain and swelling in the joints,
- multiple sclerosis (MS) , a disease of the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) that affects movement and balance.
Screening tests for some of these diseases include urine and blood tests, but they can also include x-rays and other exams. Even if you suffer from another condition, it is not excluded that you also suffer from fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia diagnostic criteria
For fibromyalgia to be diagnosed, certain criteria must be met.
The most commonly used diagnostic criteria are:
- severe pain in 3 to 6 different areas of your body, or milder pain in 7 or more different areas
- stable symptoms for at least 3 months,
- no other reason that can explain the symptoms.
Diagnosis of other pathologiesIt is also possible to suffer from other conditions in addition to fibromyalgia, such as:
- the Depression,
- irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
If your symptoms suggest you have another condition besides fibromyalgia, you may need to have additional tests to diagnose them. Identifying all possible conditions will help guide your treatment.