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Fibromyalgia: Standard Medical Treatment

 

Excruciatingly frustrating. 

That's probably the best way to describe the feelings of a person who is undergoing the process of diagnosing fibromyalgia. Since there is no single test that can actually 

detect the disease, the physician is forced to go through a series of tests to discover what you don't have. Very often, it's a long process. And it's not the most accurate method of identification.

In making a diagnosis, your physician will take a history of your symptoms. He'll follow the guidelines of the American College of Rheumatology. According to this group, the diagnosis of fibromyalgia is possible only if you have had widespread pain for at least three months. Additionally a minimum of 11 separate areas of your body must be tender to the touch for your condition to be considered fibromyalgia.

Unfortunately, before you do find a doctor who's willing to diagnosis this you may have had to visit a dozen others all who try to tell you there is absolutely nothing wrong with you the pains you feel are all in your head.

Some doctors find these criteria altogether too rigid and truly sympathize with the individuals who struggle to find out what is really wrong with their body. Some physicians say that an individual certainly can be suffering with the condition if he only has nine or 10 tender points. The specific number advised by the College of Rheumatology, they say is just too arbitrary.

The problem of detection is compounded by the fact that the disease isn't progressive. The pain doesn't get worse the longer you have it and it doesn't lead to other more pronounced health problems. However, its very nature sparks depression in many people and understandably so. And the fact an individual who has firbromyalgia very often doesn't sleep well ever only adds to the depression.

But the very crux of this health condition is that it can seriously interfere with your daily life and especially your closest relationships -- as you can well imagine. If you have been plagued by symptoms which you believe could be fibromyalgia, check over these risk factors. How many of these apply to you?

Approximately five to seven percent of the population is affected with this disease. While more women than men tend to develop it and the women who do are usually older it can strike men and children as well. 

Doctors are unsure whether the sleep disturbances occur as a part of the cause of fibromyalgia or if it is the result of the disease. Either way those experiencing the sleeping problems tend to have night time muscle spasms of the legs, experience restless leg syndrome and sleep apnea.

It appears that fibromyalgia runs in families. You're more likely to develop the disease if someone else in your family has had it. You're also more likely to suffer from it, if you have or had a rheumatic disease, like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus or ankylosing spondylitis (chronic inflammation of the spine and the lower back joints).

 

Note: Some statements in this article may not be approved by the FDA. This article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as professional medical advice.

 

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Greg Cryns
The Compleat Mother Magazine
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