Who tests for fibromyalgia?

Who tests for fibromyalgia?

Traditionally, rheumatologists do the testing to find fibromyalgia. That is because originally, nobody knew what fibromyalgia was and they assumed, as it was linked to pain in joints and muscles, that it should fall under the department of rheumatology.

So, in a lot of countries, they are still the ones that do the testing. The way you test to see if you have fibromyalgia is in two stages: the first one is the clinical diagnosis, which includes trigger points on your body, a review of all your symptoms, and sometimes a questionnaire to see how your fatigue and pain affects your daily life.

The second one is an “exclusion diagnosis”, which means that you have to be checked for every disease that presents similar symptoms (MS, Spondylitis, rheumatoid polyarthritis…). So, they will make you take MRIs, blood tests, sleep tests, and a bunch of other stuff that takes ages, just to be sure you don’t have of one those other diseases.

Once you’re “officially diagnosed” with fibromyalgia, you can stay at your rheumatologist, although most have a certain disdain for the disease, or you can seek someone who gives a shit. It can be a neurologist or a physiotherapist. In any case, once the diagnosis is official, you need someone asap that you can trust and feel is in your corner. This is vital. If the doctor you have in front of you is “fibro-skeptic”, run.

Also: there are now tests to objectively “see” fibromyalgia in a patient but they aren’t commonly used. However, if someone says “there is no way to biologically see if you have fibromyalgia”, it’s a lie. We can now see altered responses to pain stimuli in the brain on cat scans, or high levels of nerve capillaries in the hands through a biopsy.

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