How to Best Handle a Fibromyalgia Flare Up

lady in pain

Living with fibromyalgia takes an enormous amount of resilience, courage, and patience.

And for anyone who is experiencing the symptoms of this frustrating disease, you know all too well that finding ways to treat flare ups can vary greatly, depending on when the flare up occurs, what caused it and what else you’ve recently tried to combat it.

For most fibromyalgia sufferers, fibromyalgia flare ups can happen at any point, and not always with a reason.

Sometimes flare ups can be triggered by emotional stress, like the frustrating conversation you had with a loved one, or a boss that’s being unreasonable about a deadline.

Other times, a sudden flare up may happen for physical reasons. Perhaps you over-exercised last weekend when you were on vacation, because you were feeling so good. Or maybe you haven’t gotten enough exercise, and that’s causing certain conditions to feel worse.

The list could go on and on — from poor sleep or diet to weather changes or too much aerobic exercise, no one knows for sure why certain people experience flare ups because of certain conditions, and others experience them when different factors are at play.

There are few things more painful and difficult to bear than experiencing the type of chronic pain that comes with a fibromyalgia flare up.

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Though we still have no cure for fibromyalgia, and many of our healthcare providers seem to not want to take it as seriously as we would like, there are some steps that can be taken to at least help alleviate the discomfort that comes with the widespread pain associated with fibromyalgia.

In no particular order, here are some of the most tried-and-true ways to attempt to get your fibromyalgia flares under at least some sort of control when they happen.

taking medication

Hopefully, at least a few of these will work for you.

Take Your Meds

One of the most important factors in learning to deal with fibromyalgia pain is learning to head it off before it begins.

As mentioned, though there is no known cure for fibromyalgia, there are ways that you can help alleviate some of the symptoms through medications, whether they are prescribed to you, or over the counter.

This is an important area where talking to your physician or other healthcare professionals will really help, assuming they are open-minded and knowledgeable enough to take your symptoms seriously.

Some doctors are willing to prescribe certain types of prescription medications to their fibromyalgia patients.

Others recommend using over-the-counter medicines to help reduce your fibromyalgia pain.

Either way, make sure that if you’ve been given the option to use medicines to help with your fibromyalgia flare ups, you are consistent in taking them as needed.

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Try Reducing Stress

This is an area where more and more fibromyalgia sufferers have seen a huge difference in the consistency, frequency, and severity of each fibromyalgia attack.

For years, we didn’t understand the complete link between stress and our health.

Most people in the healthcare profession now know that stressful situations can play a big part in our overall health, and not just our mental health.

When we are in a stressful situation, or stressful period of our lives, our bodies go into what is called a “fight or flight mode.”

This means that our blood pressure rises, our heart beats faster, and our brains start to create chemicals that give us the adrenaline our body thinks we need.

Interestingly, since we are not actually about to fight, nor do we need to fly, those chemicals can’t get released, and so they end up getting trapped in our systems.

This can cause us to have crippling anxiety, sleep disturbance issues, and increase pain in areas of our bodies that don’t necessarily make sense.

healthy food

Learning to remove stressors from your life can go a long way in helping to treat your fibromyalgia symptoms.

And – learning to practice more stress management when life does trigger your “fight or flight” instinct is going to help you keep some of those fibromyalgia flares at bay.

Take a Look at Your Diet

Most people with fibromyalgia have had to learn early on that certain types of food, drink, and even ingredients can make a big difference in their overall state of mind and pain severity.

Knowing what types of foods to stay away from may take some trial and error, but keeping a food journal, talking to others with similar symptoms of fibromyalgia, and even meeting with a certified nutritionist are all ways to come to terms with what types of things you should avoid putting into your body.

That said – even the most prudent people with fibromyalgia are going to find themselves at certain times struggling with fibromyalgia flares and not knowing exactly what caused them.

You can’t beat yourself up if you’ve been doing your due diligence when it comes to your diet and suddenly, seemingly out of the blue, a flare up occurs.

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The best thing you can do in a case like this is to go back and review if you engaged in some eating habits that you were either a) unaware of the ingredients or b) indulged in something that you knew you shouldn’t, but you were hoping it wouldn’t cause a fibromyalgia attack this time.

Find a Community for Help

Most people with fibromyalgia find that having a strong support system when you are battling the common symptoms of fibromyalgia is going to make a big difference in your overall mental and physical health.

Finding other people with fibromyalgia that understand what you are going through – and can give you suggestions for other methods that have worked for them – is going to be an invaluable tool as you move forward in your journey to discover the best ways to treat fibromyalgia that are going to work for you.

At Native Formulas, we have a large online community of people who have spent years coming up with ways to manage, treat and live with their fibromyalgia common triggers and chronic pain.

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Spend some time perusing our website, and you’ll see everything from blogs that cover different topics related to fibromyalgia, some of the most frequently asked questions about what makes fibromyalgia symptoms worse, and even a free action plan that will help with everything from fibro fog to sleep problems to plenty of other symptoms in between.

Living with the intense pain of fibromyalgia is unfair and uncomfortable.

But you don’t have to do it alone.

Come join our community of fibromyalgia warriors and start taking back control of your life today!


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Is Fibromyalgia a Disability? Common Mistakes Your Doctor May Make

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If you have been trying to get some answers as to whether or not your fibromyalgia diagnosis counts as a disability, you know it can be a highly frustrating experience.

Any condition that makes it impossible for you to work can be considered a disability, under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA).

This act has been put in place to protect those Americans who have a significant enough medically determinable impairment that doing a regular job will be so challenging to their physical and emotional well-being that they simply can not do it and still have a decent quality of life.

But when someone has been given a fibromyalgia diagnosis, it can still sometimes be a challenge to get disability benefits for this condition.

Physical examination

The reasons for this are many, and some of them make more sense than others.

But knowing why a healthcare provider, insurance company, or the government may try to deny you disability benefits despite your fibromyalgia symptoms is going to be helpful in advocating for yourself and your condition.

What Are Disability Benefits?

It wasn’t until the mid-1950s that the United States government began recognizing that there was a group of people in the country who were experiencing financial hardship due to their inability to hold regular employment.

Though there had been some protections for disabled individuals before then, it wasn’t until more stringent laws were passed that social security disability benefits became easier for disabled people to receive.

But the term “easy” may not be fully accurate, especially when it comes to certain types of disabilities.

As of this year, the most a person can receive while on long term disability benefits is $3450 per month.

And according to the Social Security Administration, the average disabled American receives $1234 per month in disability benefits.

It is also important to note that – while receiving social security disability benefits – a person is usually not allowed to make any employment income, since the social security administration has made it clear that financial compensation will be given only to disabled individuals whose physical or mental impairment is severe enough to make it impossible for them to obtain any substantial or gainful work.

Clearly, social security disability benefits have been created to protect those who need financial security and can’t work to obtain it.

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But what’s not as clear is how does one go about getting disability benefits for fibromyalgia, particularly when even doctors aren’t always clear on what constitutes fibromyalgia symptoms.

Disability Benefits Require Specific Medical Criteria

Most people who have made a disability claim do so after they have received certain medical evidence that their physical or mental impairment is great enough to make it difficult – if not impossible – to participate in regular work.

A “medically determinable impairment” is defined by the Social Security Administration as a medical condition that has been diagnosed by certain medically acceptable procedures.

These procedures can include things like laboratory work or other medical evidence that a person has the signs or symptoms of a certain disease or condition that will hinder them from engaging in basic work related activities.

Clearly, there can be different types of work, and some individuals may be able to perform certain duties that don’t require physical work, while others will be exempt from any sort of work related activities at all.

In either case, proving that you have enough of a medical or mental problem to qualify for disability benefits will often come down to this:

doctor explaining things to a patient

Does your healthcare provider have the necessary tools to be able to diagnose your fibromyalgia appropriately?

Are they able to provide the medical records needed to prove that your fibromyalgia symptoms are preventing you from being able to engage in regular employment?

Why Is My Doctor’s Diagnosis So Hard to Get?

Anyone who has spent any time battling the symptoms of fibromyalgia knows that getting a proper diagnosis for this disease can be frustrating, to say the least.

Your doctor’s opinion of fibromyalgia may not be a positive one, as many healthcare providers struggle to understand the complexities of this disease and take it seriously.

That said, your doctor’s diagnosis is going to be crucial to you receiving any sort of disability benefits, so finding a doctor who can understand the severity of your symptoms is very important.

One of the challenges for even the most well-intentioned physician is that there is still no specific diagnostic testing that can be done on a patient to prove that the symptoms they are experiencing are related to fibromyalgia disease.

There are certain lab tests that can rule out things that are similar to fibromyalgia – such as a blood test for rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease – but fibromyalgia itself does not have the testing options as these other musculoskeletal systems and connective tissue diseases such as these.

Another challenge with diagnosing fibromyalgia correctly is that there is still no cure for this disease.

With no known cure, it is hard for some healthcare providers to see it as the seriously debilitating disorder that it is.

Check out our Restore 3 made for people suffering from fibromyalgia:

How Can I Help My Doctor Advocate for Me?

If you’ve tried multiple times to get your medical records to reflect the fact that your fibromyalgia symptoms warrant you receiving disability benefits, you may have been met with little to no help from your primary caregiver.

Remember, living with fibromyalgia takes a great deal of patience and fortitude.

Luckily, though, there are a few things you can do to help your situation and prove to your doctor that your symptoms really do warrant a fibromyalgia diagnosis.

First, talk to your doctor about your widespread pain.

Widespread pain is one of the first and most obvious signs of fibromyalgia.

Anyone who experiences pain that does not seem to be localized to one particular area on their body – or related to an injury or illness – can usually get their physician to agree that the pain they are experiencing is indeed widespread and notate that in their permanent medical records.

Even though there is no diagnostic testing for fibromyalgia, there are a few tests that your physician can perform on you to clarify where you are experiencing pain and how to define it.

One such test is the widespread pain index.

When doing this test, your physician should locate the different areas on your body that are known as the trigger points or pain points where most fibromyalgia sufferers will experience the most pain.

If your doctor knows how to do this test correctly, it can be a huge help in determining whether or not your pain is related to a fibromyalgia flare up or something else.

Your doctor may also be willing to perform a residual functional capacity test that will test your cognitive functioning and provide an assessment of your ability to perform physical work as well as perform mental work as well.

Next, talk to your doctor about other symptoms you may be experiencing.

Other than chronic pain, most people who are suffering from fibromyalgia will have a host of other complications as well, some with more severe symptoms than others, depending on the individual and their own situation.

Some of the most common complaints amongst this group are things such as irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue or severe fatigue, joint pain, difficulty concentrating, and sleep problems.

support group or community

Again, these won’t necessarily be the same for all fibromyalgia sufferers. But if you can present to your physician what your most common severe symptoms are and any other medical conditions you may be experiencing, he or she can get a better idea of the intensity of your symptoms and begin to see a pattern that would be hard to not diagnose fibromyalgia as the most obvious cause of all your discomfort.

Where Else Can I Turn for Fibromyalgia Help?

Living with fibromyalgia is a constant struggle and trying to secure disability benefits for fibromyalgia is a struggle as well

There is still so little known about this disease, what causes it and how to treat it.

Being told that “it’s all in your head” is something most fibromyalgia sufferers have heard at least once, and that type of attitude is more common than we’d like to think.

But here’s the good news…

Though obtaining disability benefits for fibromyalgia may be a challenge, here at Native Formulas we can help.

Through our blogs, online support network, and testimonials, you will find a community of like-minded individuals who have all known the struggle that living with fibromyalgia can cause.

From chronic pain to chronic frustration, fibromyalgia is not a disease anyone should be trying to tackle alone.

Become a part of our growing community and find out how you can learn to survive and thrive, despite your fibromyalgia disability.

Fibromyalgia is not a pleasant ailment to live with. But there are people out there who can make it better…once you reach out and let them in.

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What are the Most Common Fibromyalgia Pain Points?

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One of the first signs that a person may be battling fibromyalgia syndrome is that they will begin to have pain in specific areas of their body.

Known as “Pain Points,” these are areas that tend to be identified by patients and healthcare providers as being common amongst fibromyalgia sufferers, though the severity and consistency will vary depending on each individual’s pain tolerance and specific situation.

Giving shoulder rubs to person in pain

Though widespread pain is often a chief complaint for people with fibromyalgia, learning to target where these exact pain points are – and what level of pain you are experiencing – will help you to be able to communicate your symptoms and hopefully get the fibromyalgia diagnosis you’ve been searching for.

What Are Pain Points?

As defined by the American College of Rheumatology, pain points are specific areas on a person’s body that are more uncomfortable when pressed on or touched than other areas of the body.

Though the cause of the pain is still not clear, it has been found that these pain points tend to present in most people who are experiencing other fibromyalgia symptoms and that the pain – though not always the same intensity – will consistently be present when that same point is touched at different times of any given day.

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There are a total of 18 pain points that have been identified throughout the body and are broken down into six different regions.

Pain Points in the Legs

Our legs are one of the most common areas where pain points tend to be found, and many patients report that the pain they feel in their upper and lower legs can be quite severe.

There are four pain points total in the leg region: on both knees (particularly the joint around the kneecap), and on both upper legs (on the outside of the buttocks).

Holding legs in pain

Though a patient may feel more severe pain in one of these spots over the others, it’s common for people with fibromyalgia to experience equal pain in both knees, or in both upper legs.

This is one way that a healthcare provider can rule out a torn muscle or stretched ligament.

When the pain is presenting on both sides of the body, it’s easier to conclude that the pain point is a result of fibromyalgia syndrome.

Pain Points in the Arms

As with our legs, a person’s arms get a fairly big workout during the day, and it’s not uncommon to have areas of soreness or pain after extensive exercise or when engaging in an activity that is strenuous in nature.

That said, a person who is experiencing the symptoms of fibromyalgia will tend to have specific areas of pain in their arms, regardless of their level of activity.

This pain is usually felt on the outside of the arms, right inside the elbow.

Oftentimes, the pain points in the arms are some of the first signs of fibromyalgia, as the pain will be sudden and severe.

Pain Points in the Neck

Though many of us experience some sort of neck pain as we age, the pain points found in the neck that are associated with fibromyalgia are very specific and not due to sleeping poorly or straining a neck muscle.

Like with the legs, there are 4 pain points in the neck, two on each side.

The first two are located right on top of the clavicle bones at the base of the front of the neck.

When pressure is applied to this area, the fibromyalgia sufferer usually experiences a sharp feeling up the sides of the neck and into the jaw.

neck pain

The other two pain points are right at the base of your skull in the back of your neck. These tend to be tender to the touch and don’t necessarily cause a sharp pain.

Again, each person can present differently, but it’s common for pain to be found in both sides of the neck if the pain is due to fibromyalgia.

Pain Points in the Upper Back and Shoulders

Another common place where fibromyalgia sufferers tend to feel pain is in their upper back and shoulders.

There are a total of four pain points that are considered part of the upper back and shoulders region.

The first two are on the right and left of the trapezius muscle, up close to the neck. Pain in this area often causes fibromyalgia sufferers to experience headaches, as the soreness and discomfort tends to move upwards and put pressure on their spinal column.

The other two points are located right below the other pressure points that are in the shoulders. They are located closer to the spine, and can be sometimes confused for an upper back muscle spasm or thought to be a pulled muscle.

A man experiencing shoulder pain

Though our upper backs and shoulders can be fraught with various sorts of muscle strain and pain, it’s important to know that fibromyalgia pain is more specific and concentrated in these areas.

And it doesn’t go away with rest, icing, or other forms of treatment.

Pain Points in the Lower Back

Pain points in the lower back are probably even more challenging to understand, since our lower backs are often fraught with all sorts of various aches and pains, based on our activity, our age, and our posture.

But again – if you find a consistency in your pain severity (despite any pain medication you take or amount of rest you get) – there is a good chance that your back pain has nothing to do with a muscle spasm or strain and instead everything to do with a potential fibromyalgia diagnosis.

The fibromyalgia tender points in the lower back are located right above a person’s buttocks, and can be felt when pressure is put on the small bones that are at the top of the hips.

When pressure is applied on both sides of this bone, a person with fibromyalgia should definitely react to the pain caused on both sides of the pain points.

clutching the back in pain

These spots in a person’s back tend to be prone to injury and inflammation, since the connective tissues around your hips and back tend to oftentimes be overworked.

But when pain is presenting in both sides of a person’s lower back – in the same spot – there is definitely reason to believe that fibromyalgia might be the cause.

Pain Points in the Chest

The last two spots on a person’s body that are identified as fibromyalgia pain points are located in the person’s chest.

These points are situated right below a person’s collarbone on each side of the top of their rib cage.

Even gentle pressure can make these pain points feel excruciatingly painful for someone who is dealing with the tender points associated with fibromyalgia.

Clutching the chest

Since our chest area tends to be more sensitive to pain than other parts of our body, it makes sense that this area would definitely house at least one of the multiple fibromyalgia tender points.

Having chronic pain in the chest area can even lead a fibromyalgia sufferer to feel as though they are struggling to get a deep breath.

This is because sometimes the widespread pain through the chest can almost feel as if it’s coming from somewhere deeper than just their muscles or joints for people with fibromyalgia.

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How Can Knowing My Pain Points Help Me?

Knowing where your widespread pain is coming from – and which tender points are contributing to it – is going to be extremely useful when you talk to your doctor or healthcare provider about your widespread pain index and what can be done.

Not only do you want to relieve pain, but you also want someone to give you a diagnosis and treatment plan going forward.

Once you identify your fibromyalgia tender points, you will have a solid reason to believe that all the other fibromyalgia symptoms you’ve been experiencing are also related to fibromyalgia.

Getting a solid understanding of your tender points criteria is going to help you help your healthcare professional in diagnosing your fibromyalgia once and for all. 

More and more often, people are beginning to ask: is fibromyalgia a disability? It is possible to receive disability payments for fibromyalgia and the first step is a clear diagnosis from your physician.

Diagnosing fibromyalgia can be tough, even for the best healthcare professionals out there.

Arming yourself with as much information as possible is going to go a long way in helping you find the right professional who can finally diagnose fibromyalgia as the root of your tender point pain and other symptoms that you’ve been living with for a long time.

At Native Formulas, we want to be the place where you can find information and comfort while trying to navigate the world of dealing with your fibromyalgia and widespread pain.

Learning about your tender points and other symptoms of fibromyalgia will allow you to be your best advocate, and finally, get the help you deserve for your fibromyalgia syndrome.


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What is the ICD 10 Code for Fibromyalgia?

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If you are still struggling to get your physician or health provider to take your fibromyalgia symptoms seriously, there may be some good news for you on the horizon.

Have you been living for years with chronic fatigue syndrome and can’t get the help you have tried hard to find?

A lady experiencing back pain

Does your chronic pain and other musculoskeletal system disorders keep you from participating in life to its fullest?

Recently, with the publishing of the new ICD 10 Codes, there is now a specific code that recognizes fibromyalgia as its own, separate disease.

What is an ICD 10 Code?

In an effort to have a universally understood way for healthcare organizations to be able to diagnose and treat diseases in a similar manner, the World Health Organization created the International Statistical Classification of Disease and Related Health Problems – or ICD as it is widely known in healthcare across the world.

The earlier amendment, ICD-9, had been used for decades before this change to try and clarify a patient’s symptoms without labeling them as “fibromyalgia.”

Up until the new ICD 10 codes, doctors and other healthcare practitioners had used the ICD 9 code 729.1, which is stated as diagnosing “Myalgia and myositis.”

Myalgia is another term for muscle pain.

And myositis means muscle inflammation.

And though both myalgia and myositis can cause a person to experience chronic primary musculoskeletal pain as well as chronic widespread pain, this is not, in itself, an actual diagnosis for fibromyalgia.

These are symptoms of the disease, not the actual disease itself, and don’t go far enough in diagnosing fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia – which is often referred to as chronic fatigue syndrome – is a very real condition that affects millions of people every year.

Though the symptoms can vary, almost all people who are trying to seek a fibromyalgia diagnosis report experiencing such things as chronic widespread pain, sleep problems, digestive problems (such as irritable bowel syndrome), and other symptoms that all keep leading to the same questions and even answers.

Do I have fibromyalgia?

And – if so – how is fibromyalgia diagnosed?

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ICD 10 Codes May Be a Game Changer for Fibromyalgia Syndrome

With the onset of the new standard ICD 10 code, those who have found frustration when trying to get a healthcare provider to diagnose and treat fibromyalgia may finally have a breakthrough.

The new ICD 10 code M79.7 falls under the heading, “Other Soft Tissue Disorders” and is used specifically to diagnose a patient with having enough symptoms to qualify for a fibromyalgia diagnosis.

Some of the symptoms that a patient may present with that will aid in the diagnosis of fibromyalgia may include things like chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic secondary musculoskeletal pain, chronic primary visceral pain, chronic secondary visceral pain, and chronic primary pain.

Though these terms may sound a bit foreign to you, that’s okay.

Your physician should know how to interpret each one and know how they relate to your presenting symptoms.

If any combination of these symptoms is a chief complaint that a patient is presenting with, there is good reason to assume that the code M79.7 can be used when billing for the visit and making a diagnosis clear.

Of course, those who live with the constant discomfort of fibromyalgia know that many other symptoms come along with this disease as well.

A lady in pain sitting on the bed

Some of the more common complaints that most fibromyalgia sufferers often express are things like living with constant sleep disturbances, fibromyalgia pain points like dealing with pelvic pain, breast pain, spinal pain, and even pain disorders that are related to intestinal issues and connective tissue pain.

Patients also often express concern for how their pain interferes with their daily life and that they’ve also developed cognitive dysfunction that seems to get worse as the symptoms persist.

Will I Ever Get a Proper Diagnosis for My Fibromyalgia Syndrome?

For those who suffer from the debilitating symptoms of fibromyalgia syndrome, getting a proper diagnosis can sometimes feel like a lifelong battle.

As mentioned, it hasn’t been until the past few years that physicians and healthcare providers even had a proper ICD code that they could use to diagnose fibromyalgia as a legitimate disease.

For many years, medical professionals have wondered if those suffering from the chronic widespread pain of fibromyalgia weren’t actually experiencing something else.

In the past, fibromyalgia symptoms have been chalked up to unknown and unspecified causes that made some healthcare providers even suggest to their patients that maybe it was all “in their head.”

Other healthcare providers were willing to take a patient’s symptoms a bit more seriously and suggest that perhaps what they were experiencing was post traumatic pain from a previous injury or maybe a different musculoskeletal system and connective tissue disorder that hadn’t yet been tested for and diagnosed.

One such disease that often is considered is rheumatoid arthritis, which has some similar symptoms and presentations to fibromyalgia.

And though there is no known blood test for fibromyalgia, there are such diagnostic tests for rheumatoid arthritis and other musculoskeletal system and connective tissue diseases like lupus and Crohn’s disease.

What this means is that a physician or healthcare provider who is truly paying attention to their patient’s presentation of symptoms can quickly rule out some of the other diseases that may have some of the same, general symptoms of fibromyalgia but are different than the core symptoms of this incurable condition.

For something to be called fibromyalgia syndrome, it must present in a certain way. But unfortunately for those who have to live with fibromyalgia, that presentation is similar to a number of other diseases as well.

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How Can I Help My Provider Give Me a Fibromyalgia Diagnosis?

Knowing that there is an actual ICD 10 code that is identified as “fibromyalgia syndrome” is going to give you some of the knowledge you need to make your case in front of your physician as to why you think your symptoms justify a fibromyalgia diagnosis.

The best thing you can do to start is to look up the ICD 10 code for fibromyalgia yourself.

Even if you don’t talk “medical speak”, you will be able to understand and decipher much of what the diagnosis criteria actually are.

For example, in order for a physician to use the M97.7 code, he or she will need to look for it under the general ICD 10 M97 code that is titled, “Other and Unspecified Soft Tissue Disorders, Not Elsewhere Classified.”

From there it will be found after the soft tissue disorder “Residual Foreign Body in Soft Tissue” and before “Other Specified Soft Tissue Disorders.”

a lady grimacing because of pain

From here, your physician or medical provider should have no trouble being able to correctly code for fibromyalgia. If they are still questioning your diagnosis or presentation of symptoms, then it may be time to look elsewhere for a physician or healthcare provider who can finally take you seriously.

Where Else Can I Turn for Help?

The path to getting a proper diagnosis for your fibromyalgia symptoms can prove to be a long one.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition that affects a person’s central nervous system in a similar way that fibromyalgia does.

There are still large numbers of medical professionals who don’t believe that chronic fatigue syndrome is a real thing, or that chronic widespread pain is the result of living with fibromyalgia.

But there are some lights at the end of your long and tedious tunnel.

Native Formulas is an online community of individuals who have known the struggles of living with fibromyalgia.

From specialized blog posts that cover a number of topics, to a free and downloadable Biofilm Buster Action Plan, there is something at Native Formulas for all fibromyalgia sufferers.

Check out our Restore 3 Fibromyalgia, Candida, and Gut Biofilm Program

As you continue to navigate finding someone who will finally help you get the correct coding for your fibromyalgia syndrome, come check out what Native Formulas has to offer. Chronic pain doesn’t have to be your story forever.


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Fibromyalgia Trigger Points…Will Someone Recognize Mine?

Someone experiencing body pain
Have you begun to wonder if the symptoms you are consistently experiencing may be those of fibromyalgia?

Perhaps you’ve begun to do some research and all the facts are pointing toward this debilitating yet difficult-to-diagnose disease.

Knowing some of the most significant signs of fibromyalgia will help you start to determine if this is indeed the disease you are experiencing, and will help you start to convince others that it’s time to consider a fibromyalgia diagnosis as your reason for your ongoing emotional and physical pain.

Living with fibromyalgia can be not only incredibly painful, but incredibly frustrating as well.

Many times a healthcare provider will misdiagnose someone with fibromyalgia, thinking that their symptoms are related to something else.

Someone having a pain in their head
Knowing how to advocate for yourself when you are living with fibromyalgia pain is going to be crucial to finding a path forward in diagnosing fibromyalgia. In the past, physicians may not have had the resources to diagnose but now the disease is recognized officially by the American Medical Association and there is an ICD 10 code for fibromyalgia available for diagnosis and insurance purposes.

Start With the Tender Points

For anyone struggling with the widespread pain and other symptoms that are associated with fibromyalgia, one of the best places to start when trying to get a diagnosis is with a widespread pain index and symptom severity scale.

Fibromyalgia is a disease that doesn’t have a cure. It also is one that can not be diagnosed with a simple blood test like other similar diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis or lupus.

Finding a physician who understands this and knows how to test for fibromyalgia using these other tests is going to be important in order to get the relief you need and start living the life you deserve.

The widespread pain index and symptom severity scale are two diagnostic tests that your doctor or healthcare provider can administer in order to determine whether or not the symptoms you are experiencing are associated with fibromyalgia, or may be related to something else.

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What is the Widespread Pain Index?

In 2010, the American College of Rheumatology came up with diagnostic criteria that would help physicians and other healthcare providers better treat patients with fibromyalgia by pressing on various points on their body and determining the level of pain the patient is experiencing.

Called the Widespread Pain Index, this test is easily done in a medical facility by a trained health professional who understands where the various tender points are on a person’s body and who knows the scale at which to rank each tender point.

Tender point pain can be found in up to 19 different places on a patient’s body who is presenting with fibromyalgia symptoms.

As a patient stands in front of them, a doctor then presses the tip of their finger into each of these spots.

discussing with physician

And – as the different pain points are identified, an assistant will then record the level of pain felt.

If you experience tenderness in more than seven of these spots, there’s a strong likelihood that your severe pain is very possibly now going to be considered fibromyalgia pain points and not just generalized aches and pains.

What is the Symptom Severity Scale?

The Symptom Severity Scale is another piece of diagnostic criteria that you will want to encourage your physician or other health care provider to use when you have reason to believe your chronic pain and tender points may be the result of fibromyalgia.

This scale will work in conjunction with the Widespread Pain Index test to figure out where exactly your tender points are, and to what severity you are experiencing consistent and constant pain.

The Symptom Severity Scale measures three different things and will rank their severity on a scale similar to the one above.

The three things that are considered on the Symptom Severity Scale are:

Your doctor or healthcare professional will discuss with you how many of these three conditions you’ve experienced in the last seven days.

They will then ask you to rank the severity to which you’ve experienced these conditions, using a scale of 0 (no problems) to 3 (severe problems).

Obviously the more often you’ve experienced each of these things, the more likely you will receive a diagnosis of fibromyalgia.

A skilled and knowledgeable doctor or other healthcare provider will also know to ask you about some additional symptoms that are also associated with fibromyalgia.

Some of these will include things like itching across your body, intestinal discomfort, dizziness, and numbness in your fingers and toes.

Emotional distress should also be discussed. Unfortunately, it’s very common for fibromyalgia sufferers to deal with anxiety and depression along with having to feel widespread pain throughout their body.

Whether or not a patient’s anxiety or depression is because of the physical discomfort is still unclear.

But having to experience mental issues as well as physical ones is an unfortunate part of living with fibromyalgia for many.

If you have found a physician or medical professional who understands these tests and why they are imperative in the ability to diagnose fibromyalgia, then you will be farther along than many are in getting the chronic pain in your tender points under control.

On the other hand, if you have a healthcare provider or physician who doesn’t understand the importance of these tests, you are going to have to continue to advocate for yourself until you can find someone who does understand.

Consultation with doctor

Getting someone to administer these types of diagnostic tests for you and finally pinpoint where your tender points are located is a big step in your long-term management of your fibromyalgia tender points.

It’s also a big step in getting your fibromyalgia diagnosis once and for all.

How Can I Get Someone to Take My Tender Points Seriously?

One of the biggest frustrations for anyone suffering from fibromyalgia pain is trying to find the right professional who can and is willing to believe that your tender points are not just muscle spasms, muscle tension or other symptoms that have to do with something other than fibromyalgia syndrome.

There is a lot of misinformation when it comes to diagnosing fibromyalgia.

Because there is still no cure or even specific treatment for people with fibromyalgia, many medical professionals are very unskilled in treating or diagnosing fibromyalgia.

Part of the reason for this is that people with fibromyalgia struggle to be able to fully communicate where their actual pain points are.

Why is it so hard to communicate my tender points?

Trying to communicate your tender points can be incredibly challenging when no one seems to be taking them seriously.

When you go to your medical professional for help with your specific fibromyalgia tender points – and they aren’t willing to acknowledge your fibromyalgia symptoms – your hope of finding a true fibromyalgia diagnosis is going to feel almost impossible.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

The more you learn to advocate for yourself in an attempt to get a fibromyalgia diagnosis will ultimately allow you to get the proper diagnosis. Of course, this is often harder than it sounds.

You deserve to not have to live with the physical and emotional pain that fibromyalgia causes.

It’s time you seek help.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition that affects a person’s central nervous system in a similar way that fibromyalgia does.

Native Formulas is a place where you can come and feel comfortable trying to figure out all the myths and truths about fibromyalgia.

We are well-versed in the intricate issues surrounding fibromyalgia and will help you get the much-needed information you need to find your own path toward healing.

You’ll find helpful resources on our website as well as testimonials from people who have run into the same roadblocks that you have in their attempts to find the proper help for their fibromyalgia symptoms.

You will also learn about some of the newest research that’s being done to help relieve pain and begin discovering a healthier roadmap toward healing.

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Our website offers a free downloadable Biofilm Buster Action Plan to help get you started on your wellness journey and discover how thousands of people before you have finally learned to live their life to the fullest.

Don’t let fibromyalgia rob you of what you deserve. Find out how you can reclaim the life that you want.


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How Is Fibromyalgia Diagnosed?

A woman holding her head in pain

For those who have been wondering if the symptoms they are experiencing are those of fibromyalgia, working toward getting a real diagnosis is probably going to feel fairly important.

But here is the challenge with that.

Even though we've learned much more about fibromyalgia in the past few years, many healthcare providers still struggle to give their patients a diagnosis of fibromyalgia for a variety of reasons.

Why is this the case?

For many individuals in the healthcare profession, providing a clear fibromyalgia diagnosis is often difficult, since there is no real blood test to determine that a patient truly has fibromyalgia.

Yes, there are some different diagnostic tests, but many doctors and other healthcare personnel don’t always use these as effectively as they could.

There is also the issue that many fibromyalgia patients will experience the widespread pain associated with the disease, but oftentimes they all present differently, and the pain tends to not always be consistent from patient to patient.

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In fact, even in the same person, the symptoms associated with fibromyalgia can vary throughout any period of time, so pinpointing exactly where it is and how severe it is can be incredibly problematic.

Luckily, there are some ways that you can work towards getting the fibromyalgia diagnosis you need.

It just may mean you’ll have to practice more patience than normal and work hard to find the person who will help give you the professional medical advice you so desperately need to get your fibromyalgia symptoms under control.

Let’s look at some various ways you can help your healthcare providers to understand your symptoms better and help find the solutions you need to get back to living the life you deserve.

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What Is Fibromyalgia?

Before we can begin to talk about the ways that fibromyalgia can be diagnosed, we need to have a clear understanding of what exactly makes up fibromyalgia so you will have a firm grasp on what to share with your doctor or other medical professionals.

Fibromyalgia is best described as a disorder that is part of the family of musculoskeletal and skin diseases.

Similar to other muscle and soft tissue disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, most people who suffer from fibromyalgia tend to present with symptoms like widespread pain, jaw pain, chronic fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, and emotional stress that is brought on by the multitude of other symptoms that a fibromyalgia sufferer experiences.

Though there is no cure for fibromyalgia and there isn’t even a great way yet to diagnose it, the disease is quite common and affects over 3 million people every year in the United States.

There have also been some substantial observational studies done on the disease that have helped treat fibromyalgia and allow patients and their caregivers to be able to understand the disease a bit more.

Not only are over 3 million people diagnosed with the condition every year, but it seems that more women than men are affected by it.

It also seems to be more prevalent in women between the ages of 35 years old and 50 years old, though a person can develop symptoms of it at any time.

The other important thing to note is that – even though there isn’t a cure – it is a lifetime condition.

Masaging the back of a woman with back pain

Once someone is diagnosed with fibromyalgia, they may be able to work to keep the symptoms at bay, but they will likely not go away altogether.

There are, however, more options than ever before to help those who are suffering from this unpleasant and often debilitating disease.

How Can I Get a Fibromyalgia Diagnosis?

Knowing that your symptoms are all pointing in the direction of fibromyalgia is only part of the battle. 

Once you know that there is a name for what you are experiencing, it can be a huge relief.

But – then getting others to also believe it can oftentimes be more complicated.

The reasons for this are frustrating, but pretty clear.

Because fibromyalgia doesn’t fit into a normal diagnosis, many medical professionals will have a hard time convincing themselves that what you are experiencing is, in fact, fibromyalgia.

Even worse, there have been many healthcare providers who go a step further and suggest to their patients that their symptoms may be more “in their head” than anything else.

Walking into your healthcare provider’s office armed with as much information as possible will help make your experience more pleasurable and will hopefully help them to take your symptoms seriously.

It will also show that you’ve done your research and have put in the time and effort to find out all you can about your symptoms and what could be causing them.

Here are some of the tactics that you can use to help encourage your medical professionals to think carefully and critically about your symptoms and whether or not they could all be the result of fibromyalgia affecting your body.

Test for Other Diseases

One of the more popular ways to now test for fibromyalgia is to do tests on patients that will rule out other diseases.

Though not all will adhere to this, some doctors diagnose fibromyalgia based on what disease their patient doesn’t have.

Diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and other muscle disorder diseases are able to be diagnosed by a series of blood tests on a patient, since many people who struggle with these diseases also experience similar symptoms to the other symptoms associated with fibromyalgia.

These chronic pain disorders can often be confused with fibromyalgia, so ensuring that a patient isn’t experiencing one of those diseases can be an important part of the initial diagnosis.

Check out our Restore 3 Fibromyalgia, Candida, and Gut Biofilm Program

After a physical exam, don’t be afraid to ask your doctor to run a series of blood tests to make sure that your symptoms aren’t hiding something else.

Chronic pain can be due to any number of things. So, too, can skin diseases, cognitive symptoms, sleep apneas, and all sorts of other supposed fibromyalgia symptoms that may actually be the result of something else.

Getting a physical exam and thorough workup is going to help you and your physician at least rule out that something else is causing your discomfort.

A lady experiencing body pain

Getting a physical exam and thorough workup is going to help you and your physician at least rule out that something else is causing your discomfort.

And – whether you’re dealing with widespread pain, generalized pain, or more acute pain, the Symptom Severity Scale should be able to give both you and your physician a better idea as to what needs to be done next in order to get your fibromyalgia symptoms under better control.

Ask for a Widespread Pain Index

Another diagnostic test that can be performed if you are trying to obtain a fibromyalgia diagnosis is the Widespread Pain Index.

The WPI will target specific areas of your body that your provider should push on and then ask you about.

These are specific areas on a fibromyalgia patient’s body that are known to be chronically painful for fibromyalgia sufferers and can be used to determine not only how intense your pain is, but if it’s also consistent with the similar symptoms that are usually associated with fibromyalgia.

Some of the tender points that are used to conduct the widespread pain index and attempt to diagnose fibromyalgia are at the back of your knees, the base of your neck, in your lower back, the front of your chest, the tops of your shoulders, and your upper hips.

These are just a few of the most common fibromyalgia trigger points. There are 18 in all.

After applying gentle pressure to each of these points, your doctor or healthcare professional should have a better idea of how severe your pain is, once the numbers are added and they can come up with a Widespread Pain Index score for you.

Again, not all medical professionals are good at performing these tests. Some either don’t know of them or don’t believe in them.

But if you can find a caregiver who understands the importance of treating a person’s fibromyalgia like the serious disease it is, then you are going to be way farther down the path to finally finding the relief you need from your fibromyalgia symptoms.

Native Formulas is a site for and about people who are struggling with fibromyalgia and are trying desperately to find support and understanding.

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Because there is so much misinformation about fibromyalgia, and so many patients who are left frustrated because of the lack of support they are receiving, Native Formulas was created to help end some of the mystery associated with this terrible disease.

You don’t have to experience your pain symptoms on your own.

And you don’t have to continue to suffer in silence.

Check out our Restore 3 Fibromyalgia, Candida, and Gut Biofilm Program

There is a whole community here that can help you learn to manage the symptoms of fibromyalgia in the appropriate way while also working to achieve your diagnosis of fibromyalgia once and for all.


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Is Fibromyalgia Real? Why Are So Many Skeptical?

a lady with arms folded over legs

When you are suffering from the mental, emotional, and physical discomfort that fibromyalgia brings, it can be extremely frustrating and disheartening to have to constantly deal with people who don’t believe that what you have is even a real disease.

Doctors, therapists, and other healthcare professionals will try to convince you that what you are experiencing is “all in your head.”

A lady experiencing stomach issues

Or maybe they’ll tell you that you should try getting more exercise, going to more therapy, or consider a new hobby.

Even friends and family will oftentimes look at you with blank stares, unaware of what you are going through and unable to help.

Sometimes the lack of understanding and compassion can make you wonder if people are intentionally working against you, or if all of the pain and suffering you’re experiencing really is just “in your head.”

But let’s be honest.

You already know the truth.

Fibromyalgia – which is often referred to as chronic fatigue syndrome – is a very real condition that affects millions of people every year.

Though the symptoms can vary, almost all people who are trying to seek a fibromyalgia diagnosis report experiencing such things as chronic widespread pain, sleep problems, digestive problems (such as irritable bowel syndrome), and other symptoms that all keep leading to the same questions and even answers.

Do I have fibromyalgia?

And – if so – how is fibromyalgia diagnosed?

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You know that your symptoms are real. But you also know that – in order to get people to understand that you’re going to have to do more work and research on your own.

Why is it So Hard to Get a Diagnosis for my Fibromyalgia Symptoms?

Perhaps the biggest reason why it is still so hard to get a fibromyalgia diagnosis is rooted in one main problem.