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Fibromyalgia is a diagnosis of exclusion meaning that there are many illnesses and diseases that can appear to be similar to fibromyalgia. It is important to speak with your doctor to determine if you have any of these other conditions through an appropriate work-up, including a physical exam, blood work and possibly imaging. If you have already been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and your symptoms are not well controlled through regular exercise, good sleeping patterns, and in some cases, medications, it would be worth seeing your doctor to see if you can work together to improve the symptoms.
Healthwise answeredIf not diagnosed - Call your doctor if you have had the following symptoms for more than 6 weeks without an obvious cause. They may be signs of fibromyalgia, especially if they have developed gradually.
- Widespread muscle tenderness and pain, particularly on both sides of the body and both above and below the waist
- Disturbed sleep (tossing, turning, waking up frequently during the night) and waking up feeling tired and unrested
- Muscle and joint stiffness that doesn't get better when you move around
- Symptoms of depression, such as a loss of interest in things you usually enjoy or changes in eating and sleeping habits. These can often be treated if you tell your doctor about them.
- New symptoms or existing symptoms get worse. Your doctor may need to reassess your treatment, such as adjust your medicines or prescribe different ones.
- Family medicine physicians.
- Nurse practitioners.
- Physician assistants.
You may need to see a specialist who has experience with fibromyalgia. These include:
- Rheumatologists, who have the most experience with diagnosing fibromyalgia.
- Pain management specialists, who have experience with treatment.
Pain management programs can be helpful too. These typically include a team of doctors, counselors, physical therapists, nurses and pharmacists who can help you develop a strategy for pain management. Your personal program may include medicines, complementary therapies, diet, exercise and counseling.
This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. To learn more visit Healthwise.org
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