How is fibromyalgia diagnosed?

Hi,

I am relatively new to this site and will try to keep this short!

I have been suffering for the past five years and this last year has been worse. I have TMD to start with and am seeing a specialist neuromuscular dentist about that in May. I also have pain and aching in my neck, shoulders, upper and lower back, with aching and a weak feeling in my arms and legs, plus headaches sometimes. I also have many of those painful trigger points.

It has taken me an age to get through to my doctors...but eventually they have agreed to send me to a Rheumatologist! I don't know that I have fibromyalgia, but it sure feels like it, and reading posts on here, I can equate with most of them.

So my question is, is there a set of symptoms that they look for when diagnosing? As my doctor said it's hard to diagnose.

Thank you

Jenny

9 Replies

oldestnewest
  • Hi Jenny.

    I've recently been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia its hard too diagnose because doctor's basically have to go off symptoms no test will confirm it and a lot of doctors unfortunately don't believe in it and that is the hardest part.

    I was recently diagnosed after suffering from back, neck, shoulder, buttock and thigh pain for about 5 years, in the past I have been diagnosed with hyper mobility syndrome however there are a few other issues I have had which apparently link to Fibromyalgia such as

    Constant tiredness, no energy, IBS, painful periods, struggling to get a good body temp (always too hot or too cold), pins and needles, numbness, restless leg.

    These are just a FEW symptoms I suffer with and this is how I was diagnosed.

    Please see the link below

    nhs.uk/Conditions/Fibromyal...

    Hope this helps, Lots of love Hannah x

  • Hello Hanlea,

    Thank you for your reply.

    I forgot about the buttock pain, the ibs, oh and I get tinnitus! Such a list I have... :-)

    One doctor mentioned fibromyalgia, but wouldn't send me anywhere, so I saw a different doctor in the surgery and she looked at my history and said she is going to send me to a Rheumatologist. I felt instant relief, I just want answers, as I think I am going crazy! I will add in these past three years I have been going through tremendous stress with work and a few other things, which I feel started it all off.

    Jenny x

  • I also suffer with anxiety and depression.

    Alcohol, cold weather and stress makes my pain worse and I suffer with the worst headaches too and I am extremely sensitive to touch.

    My doctor has recently referred me for physio and put me on some meds which treat fibro and next week I have to go and see a specialist physio in a hospital as last weeks physio app was my first and he wants to make sure nothing is being missed then the day after I will be seeing my doctor to do my rheumatologist referral.

    I have lost 4 jobs to fibro unfortunately and my career path was ruined so I am now waiting to start an office job because my body can't cope.

    X

  • Morning Jenny.....I can relate to all you say and when you get to see your Rheumy I am sure you will eventually get a diagnosis after all other tests are done to rule out other conditions....Hope you don't wait too long for your appointment....let us know how you get on...x

  • Hi Trikki,

    Thanks for replying. I will definitely let you know the outcome, although as you say, I may have a bit of a wait for an appointment.

    Jenny x

  • Morning hun- yes a g.p can find it hard to diagnose fibro because he,s not a trained rheumatologist. There are no blood tests, its diagnosed from your symptoms, maybe before you go to this appt. write down everything you suffer because its so easy to forget something vital that will make a decision on you, I keep everything in a word document it helps when filling in ESA & PIP forms and my g.p has a copy( he asked me to do this) as for TMD-are you grinding, clenching your teeth together? these will cause a lot of the symptoms you describe, the examination at the rheumo will be painful as I find anyone touching or pressing my muscles makes me want to scream with pain...Let us know how it goes.

  • Thank you, I will make a list!

  • Hi,

    Fibro is difficult to diagnose and many members here have waited years for a diagnosis.

    Fibro is usually the only condition left after everything else has been ruled out by blood tests, xrays, mri, how long you have had the pain and fatigue etc.

    fmauk.org has a lot of information about fibro and if you look under Topics on the right of your screen you will see Symptoms and Treatments which will give you an idea of what it is all about.

    There is a pressure point test, although I think it is not used so much now. This is where certain points on your body feel pain out of all proportion to the gentle poke by the doctor.

    Having a definite diagnosis though is not always what it is cracked up to be.

    On one hand you have a name you can put to your symptoms, on another it is recognising that this is a chronic condition with no cure.

    Good Luck

    Kay

  • Hi Funkyfaerie

    I am so truly sorry to this and the *Arthritis Research UK website says:

    *Fibromyalgia is often difficult to diagnose as the symptoms vary considerably and could have other causes. The symptoms can be similar to those of other conditions, for example an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism) or autoimmmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.

    At present, there aren't any specific blood tests, x-rays or scans that can confirm a diagnosis of fibromyalgia, and many people with fibromyalgia will have normal results in all these tests. However, your doctor may suggest you have blood tests to rule out other possible causes of your symptoms and so support a diagnosis of fibromyalgia.

    Until recently, the diagnosis of fibromyalgia was made based on specific tender points in certain areas of your body. However, guidelines released in 2010 recommend that healthcare professionals should now consider the following features when making a diagnosis:

    widespread pain lasting three months or more

    fatigue and/or waking up feeling unrefreshed

    problems with thought processes like memory and understanding (cognitive symptoms).

    I want to sincerely wish you all the best of luck, and please take care of yourself.

    All my hopes and dreams for you

    Ken

You may also like...