How are blood tests used to diagnose fibromyalgia?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Unfortunately, there are no blood tests to diagnose fibromyalgia, which is why getting a proper diagnosis can be so difficult for people living with the condition. The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) has come up with criteria to help doctors diagnose the condition. These include:
  • pain in several specific areas of the body that has lasted for longer than three months
  • symptoms such as fatigue, trouble sleeping and difficulty thinking clearly
Because the symptoms of fibromyalgia can overlap with other conditions, blood tests may be used to rule out these other problems. Experts recommend that people who suspect they may have fibromyalgia find a physician familiar with the condition to get a proper diagnosis.
There are no blood tests that can provide a definitive diagnosis of fibromyalgia. Doctors diagnose fibromyalgia based on a person's medical history, symptoms and a physical examination that includes checking for areas of tenderness. However, blood tests can rule out other conditions whose symptoms might mimic those of fibromyalgia, such as an underactive thyroid.

To be diagnosed with fibromyalgia, a person must have experienced pain in multiple areas of the body for at least three months and be bothered significantly by symptoms such as fatigue, poor sleep and difficulty thinking.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.