Tags: diagnose | fibromyalgia | symptoms | causes | pain

How to Diagnose Fibromyalgia

Sunday, 09 February 2014 12:59 AM EST

Fibromyalgia is a condition that causes pain all over the patient’s body. It is a long-term condition or disorder in which patient suffers from musculoskeletal pain. Sleep problems, fatigue, and mood issues also accompany body pain. The disorder is also termed fibrositis. As other medical conditions may be associated with causes of pain occurring due to fibrositis, it becomes tough to diagnose.
An experienced and specialist doctor can diagnose fibrositis. Causes of fibrositis are unknown but some researchers believe nerve stimulation perhaps causes changes in a patient’s body, resulting in pain. Abnormality due to increase in the chemicals inside the brain may be other causes of pain.
Symptoms of Fibromyalgia
Pain occurs in all the parts of a patient’s body. Both sides of the body suffer from extreme pain. Upper back, neck, shoulders, chest, arms, and buttocks are the common parts of body affected. Certain tender points in the body are sensitive to even a light touch. Mental depression, anxiety, and irritability may also be the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Common symptoms associated with fibromyalgia are listed as follows:
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Difficulty in sleeping
  • Tiredness
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Headache
  • Pain 
Causes of Fibromyalgia
Exact causes of fibromyalgia are not clear. Changes in the functioning of the body are considered among possible causes. Fibromyalgia may occur due to weather changes, noise, and emotional distress. Patients develop increased sensitivity towards sensory stimuli. Low hormonal levels, sleep problems, and disturbed pain messages may be among causes. A number of factors are considered among possible causes of fibrositis. Post-traumatic stress disorder may also be among the causes of fibrositis. Causes of fibromyalgia vary, with the main ones listed below:
  • Infection
  • Physical or emotional trauma
  • Genetic factors 
How to Diagnose Fibromyalgia?
Blood tests and X-rays cannot be used to diagnose fibromyalgia. However, tests can diagnose other medical conditions present along with fibrositis. A physical examination can be done to diagnose fibrositis based on symptoms. Hence, fibrositis is difficult to diagnose. Nine pairs of tender points have traditionally been considered as the trigger points of pain that may spread to other body parts.
Applying pressure to these tender points causes pain, which helps doctors diagnose the disorder. According to MayoClinic.org, two criteria were established by the American College of Rheumatology to diagnose fibrositis in 1990:
  • At least 11 tender points out of the 18 possible ones
  • Body pain lasting for at least three months
Since doctors remain uncertain about how much pressure can be applied to detect tender points, new criteria were developed to diagnose fibrositis:
  • Body pain may not occur due to other conditions.
  • Body pain should last for at least three months.

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Fibromyalgia is a medical condition that causes pain in the body. Widespread pain is its major symptom. Other symptoms vary and may look similar to those of other medical conditions, making it tough to diagnose.
Sunday, 09 February 2014 12:59 AM
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