A New Way to Diagnose Fibromyalgia

Posted: November 2, 2010 in family law
Tags: , , , ,

Way back when I was first diagnosed with Fibro, there was only the tender point exam coupled with months of symptoms reported to your doctor to obtain a diagnosis. Even when you received a diagnosis, going to another doctor could change that original diagnosis to an undetermined illness or even that it was all in your head. I hope that the new criteria helps those that have this disorder get the diagnosis quickly and get them on the road to learning to live and thrive with this disorder.

Amplify’d from www.webmd.com

Until now, diagnosing the widespread pain disorder relied mainly on “tender point” exams or tenderness to the touch at 11 or more of 18 specified tender points and widespread pain in all four quadrants of the body for three months.

“The trick to fibromyalgia is diagnosing it,” he says. “A lot of people experience widespread pain, but when do you give it the label of fibromyalgia?”

The new criteria avoid tender points and tender point exams. Instead, a widespread pain index coupled with a symptom severity scale is used. The pain index is a 19-item checklist; a person marks the number of body parts where they have experienced pain during the last week. The symptom scale comprises unrefreshing sleep, fatigue, and cognitive issues — three hallmarks of fibromyalgia. Symptoms are rated on an ascending scale of severity from 0 to 3. The diagnosis revolves around the number of painful areas, number of symptoms, and their severity. The American College of Rheumatology gave its stamp of approval to these new criteria.

Using the new set of criteria, “we will be diagnosing more people because we are casting a wider net,” Katz says. Fibromyalgia affects an estimated 10 million people in the U.S. and an estimated 3% to 6% of the population worldwide, according to National Fibromyalgia Association. “The number may double or even triple,” he says.

Read more at www.webmd.com

 

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