Fibromyalgia, pain from nowhere
Fibromyalgia is a syndrome where a human body lacks the ability to process and regulate the pain normally. Sensitive nerves in the organism become hypersensitive and even minor pain-related stimuli are registered as strong, sometimes agonizing pain. Fortunately, recent advances in medicine promise a good prognosis for most people who suffer from this condition. The downside is that fibromyalgia is frequently misdiagnosed as something else, and it is well known that curing the wrong disease gives less than ideal results.
Why diagnosis fails so often?
Mechanism of fibromyalgia is tricky and poorly understood and there are few doctors that are well acquainted with (not so typical) symptoms of fibromyalgia. There are multiple symptoms of fibromyalgia, most of which occur together, and most of which are common in some other conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, chronic fatigue syndrome, inflammatory arthritis and others. Also, there are no specific tests or procedures that will show that you have fibromyalgia.
As told, there are no "this is it" tests. Diagnosis can be established after a physical exam and discussion with the patient, so it is very important to describe what, how and when do you feel to your doctor. Also, some tests will be run to determine what other condition you might or might not have. These include a complete blood count, that is used to determine whether you are anaemic, which is a common cause for fatigue, and tests for kidney and liver, fats and cholesterol, to see how your body's chemistry works. Tests for inflammatory arthritis, rheumatoid factor and lupus are also run. If these return a normal result, then your condition is not a result of such conditions and the doctor will know that something else causes your symptoms. X-ray test cannot show changes caused by fibromyalgia, but may show whether you have arthritis.
You might wonder, which tests actually work. Described tests, as seen, usually determine whether you are suffering from something that has similar symptoms. If you are not, then your diagnosis could be fibromyalgia. There are two criteria for fibromyalgia that will be considered after these tests: did you suffer from widespread pain all over your body for at least three months, and do you feel tenderness and pain in at least eleven specific points (of eighteen total) that your doctor will test by pressure. To be sure, doctor will typically check for widespread pain, ask about fatigue, stress, depression and sleep disturbances that you may be experiencing, and evaluate trigger points for pain.
Once you have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, you can begin with a multi-point approach treatment which will ease your symptoms.