Symptoms of Fibromyalgia disease are chronic pain in different tender points in different time period, Sleepiness, Fatigue, Sensitivity, mood swings and Stomach woes. These symptoms are the major sources for the diagnoses of fibromyalgia disease. Although, these symptom cannot be restrain just with this disease because they also represent many other disorders. Above said symptoms are chronic and long lasting but come and go over different time period. There is no specific diagnostic criterion i.e., lab test, imaging or X-Rays etc like other medical diseases. Doctors and health practitioners set some specific rules and symptoms based criteria for the diagnoses of fibromyalgia.
No specific medical labs for diagnoses
Cancer, diabetics, AIDs etc can be detected by some specific type of blood, sugar or other tests objectively. This may detect the level and severity of hormonal changes in blood. Fibromyalgia is categorized with chronic and long lasting pain in some specific tender points in whole body. Pain in tender points referred as pain in joints, and pain cannot be detected by any blood, sugar, imaging, X-Ray or hormonal tests. That’s the reason there is no any specific medical diagnostic lab test to detect the fibromyalgia disease.
Diagnoses process practiced by Doctors
Doctors follow some specific guidelines to identify the fibromyalgia because of unavailability of lab test for proper diagnoses. There are three general guidelines doctors follow before going for further diagnostic process:
- If the patient is facing long lasting chronic pain at least for three months
- Symptoms like Sleepiness, Fatigue, Sensitivity, mood swings and Stomach woes, problem in cognitive processes and tiredness after waking up etc are not caused by any other disorder or injury
- Pain experienced by an individual is present in tender points of the body.
The pain related with fibromyalgia often is described as a consistent monotonous throbbing that lasted for at least three months. This pain bothers the whole body of the patient in some specific tender points at least 8 and maximum 11. These tender points occur on both sides of the body and above and below the waist.
Along with physical symptoms, disturbed mental processes are also a major symptom of fibromyalgia disease. “Fibro fog” is a general term used for cognitive disturbances effected by fibromyalgia. In this state the ability to focus, pay attention, problem in thinking processes and concentration on various mental tasks is impaired.
Other than pain there are also some physical symptoms related to fibromyalgia disease. While making diagnoses doctors also considered these symptoms check. These symptoms are mood swings, awaken tired, even though they report sleeping for long periods of time, stomach woes and extreme fatigue. Sleep disturbance is reported because of pain, restless legs and other sleep disorders are also the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
Self test of tender points in diagnoses
Doctors after assessing the three general criteria depends on the tender points in diagnoses. There are 18 tender points in general and while making diagnoses 11 tender points and at least 8 tender points should be identified. Doctors assess these points and intensity of the pain by putting external pressure by finger. The method to put the pressure is to press with finger from head to knee different tender points. The criterion for diagnoses is these tender points should be at least 8 because fibromyalgia’s pain come and go in different time period.
Co morbid diseases linked with fibromyalgia symptoms
There are some other co morbid disorders which also associated with fibromyalgia disease. These diseases are Irritable bowel syndrome, Migraine and other types of headaches, interstitial cystitis or painful bladder syndrome, Temporomandibular joint disorders. But these disorders are present with the fibromyalgia, pain is no present because of these diseases solely. Doctors also ask all these details while making diagnoses, so that they can differentiate and identify the problem accurately.
Possible Observations and tests for better diagnoses
Because of co morbid disorders, neurological and mental issues for a careful diagnoses doctors may be suggested physical examination. Observation of muscles and joints temptations and pain is also recommended by doctor. If patient is have problem with sleep then a sleep record chart can be suggested by doctor to patient. Other than these observations some possible lab test can be suggested by doctor in case of comorbid diseases. These lab tests may include Erythrocyte sedimentation rate, Vitamin D levels, Complete blood count and Thyroid function tests etc. these lab examinations are not for specific diagnoses of fibromyalgia but it may help to identify the problematic area and reason behind the disease.
Etiology of fibromyalgia
Etiology refers as the causes behind fibromyalgia disease. The contributing factors behind fibromyalgia disease should be identified for a good diagnosis. Etiological factors may contribute in severity and triggering of the disease. So, it is important to know all the past and present causes behind the disease. Doctors may ask about the past traumatic history, family history and history of physical trauma if present. These etiological factors may consist on following factors:
- Genetics. Genetics play a very important role in occurrence of a disease. As, this is a major cause so doctors may ask about the family history regarding this disease. If the family history is positive then susceptibility about the development of disease may increased. While making diagnoses it is important to have family history about the disease.
- Physical or emotional trauma. Research indicates that post traumatic stress disorder can also lead the Fibromyalgia disease in an individual. Other contributing factor may be continuous stressors in routine life and an accident which may cause the physical injury or trauma. So doctor may ask about the physical injuries and traumatic events before making diagnoses.
Excluding factor in diagnoses
For authentic diagnoses it should be considered that all the symptoms must not be because of any other major diseases. As the symptoms of fibromyalgia overlapped with other disorders and come and go in different time period. Doctors carefully consider all these factors and determine other underlying problems. General reasons are mental health problems like anxiety and depression, neurological disorders. If presence of these conditions fibromyalgia diagnoses may be changed.
There is no any specific lab test or medical examination for diagnoses. Doctors follow general rules and conditions for diagnoses. The presence of symptoms and pain in tender points are the major source for fibromyalgia diagnoses.