Finding the right doctor or specialist to diagnose and treat fibromyalgia is an important first step in finding an effective medication treatment plan. The second step is for the patient to develop a close relationship with his doctor. The doctor should have experience working with fibromyalgia patients, take time to listen and consider the patient an equal member of the treatment team.
Because no underlying disease process is known, doctors aim to treat the symptoms of fibromyalgia. A healthy diet and getting regular, low-impact exercise like yoga, walking or water aerobics are key to maintain your health with fibromyalgia. Your doctor may also prescribe pain medication and recommend support groups or counseling.
1 AnswerRealAge answered
2 AnswersHonor Society of Nursing (STTI) answeredAsk your primary-care physician to refer you to a doctor who specializes in treating fibromyalgia. Rheumatologists are generally thought to have the most expertise in diagnosing and treating fibromyalgia. Rheumatologists specialize in caring for diseases affecting the joints, muscles, and bones. Other options include doctors who specialize in pain management.
If your primary-care physician can't refer you to a doctor who specializes in fibromyalgia, consider joining a support group for people with fibromyalgia and ask other members for referrals.
1 AnswerDr. Elif E. Oker, MD , Medical Toxicology, answeredWhether a health insurance plan covers a particular medication depends on a number of factors. One key factor is whether the medication is FDA (Food and Drug Administration). In addition to FDA approval, insurance companies will consider research and best practice guidelines in making coverage decisions. Each plan is different, so it is best to check with your own plan to determine whether a medication is covered or not.
6 AnswersDr. Celeste Robb-Nicholson , Internal Medicine, answeredBecause no underlying disease process is known, medical treatment is aimed at treating symptoms of fibromyalgia. It can involve muscle relaxants, medications to relieve pain, and low-dose antidepressants to help mood, fatigue, and sleep. Three drugs have been approved expressly for treating fibromyalgia: pregabalin (Lyrica), an anti-seizure medication that blocks pain signals from the central nervous system, and the antidepressants duloxetine (Cymbalta) and milnacipran (Savella).
One of the most effective treatments for fibromyalgia is to take very good care of yourself. A routine of gentle stretching exercises and low-impact aerobic exercise, like swimming or cycling, is very important in relieving stiffness and preserving muscle tone. Adequate sleep, naturally, is also essential to minimizing fatigue. Many women with fibromyalgia have benefited from acupuncture and massage therapy as well as from practicing biofeedback, relaxation, and stress reduction. Finally, the value of psychological support can't be underrated when dealing with an often puzzling chronic condition. You may find a fibromyalgia support group in your area through the National Fibromyalgia Association.
1 AnswerDr. Mehmet Oz, MD , Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answeredDepression and anxiety are very common in people with fibromyalgia. The fibromyalgia itself -- which causes intense chronic pain over much of your body, interferes with sleep, and affects your ability to concentrate -- can eventually lead to depression. It's an incredibly frustrating condition, so it's not surprising that it can cause depression. It's also possible that the chemical imbalances in your brain that bring on pain sensitivity and other fibromyalgia symptoms can also cause mood changes.
Whatever the cause, if you experience low moods that last for a few weeks, talk to your doctor about getting help. Some antidepressants may help with fibromyalgia pain and depression. Certain kinds of therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, have been shown to be particularly effective in helping people with fibromyalgia, reducing your chances of developing depression.
1 AnswerDr. Mehmet Oz, MD , Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answeredIf you have fibromyalgia, you may find that you are particularly sensitive to cold and heat. In particular, you may feel cold at temperatures that others find comfortable. Not everyone with fibromyalgia has these symptoms, but they are not uncommon. Relaxation techniques, especially autogenic training, have been shown to help people with fibromyalgia feel warmer in their limbs. There are no specific medical treatments for temperature sensitivity, but treatment that reduces your fibromyalgia symptoms, including pain, may also help reduce your sensitivity to heat and cold.
You can also develop coping mechanisms, such as bringing an extra layer of clothing to work or on trips, and making sure you don't sit next to drafty windows. If you've been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, it's your right to have a workplace that accommodates your medical needs, including a temperature that is comfortable for you.
2 AnswersHonor Society of Nursing (STTI) answeredYou may experience an increase in blood pressure as a side effect of taking certain medications for fibromyalgia. In most cases, the increase in blood pressure, if any, is modest. Your doctor will monitor you after you start taking any new medicine. If you have a significant increase in blood pressure, your doctor may recommend switching to a different medication. If your physician prescribes a medication for fibromyalgia, tell him or her if you have high blood pressure or if you are currently taking medication for high blood pressure.