Do I Have Fibromyalgia?
I've been experiencing body pain and fatigue for several months. A friend of mine suggested that fibromyalgia might be to blame. How do I know if I have fibromyalgia?
Unfortunately, there are no generally accepted, objective tests for diagnosing fibromyalgia. However, certain tests may be recommended to help rule out other conditions. These may include blood tests or certain imaging tests, such as x-rays.
A healthcare provider who is familiar with fibromyalgia can make a diagnosis based on two criteria established by the American College of Rheumatology:
- A history of widespread pain lasting more than three months. Pain must be present in both the right and left sides of the body as well as above and below the waist.
- The presence of tender points. The body has 18 sites that are possible tender points. For a fibromyalgia diagnosis, a person should have 11 or more tender points. To be deemed a tender point, pain must be felt when pressure is applied to the site. People who have fibromyalgia may feel pain at other sites, too -- but those 18 sites on the body are used for diagnosis.
(Click Diagnosing Fibromyalgia for more information, including a "map" of the possible tender points.)