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The Rare Fibromyalgia Symptoms You Should Know About

Lady experiencing neck pain

Fibromyalgia is a condition that is characterized by chronic widespread pain and tenderness in the muscles and joints. It’s believed that the condition amplifies the way your brain and spinal cord process pain signals. It is estimated that fibromyalgia currently affects as many as five million Americans, mostly middle-aged women.

While the cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, there are many known symptoms associated with the condition.

The most common symptoms are pain and fatigue, but several other, lesser-known symptoms can also affect people with fibromyalgia.

Going through pain and fatigue

More Than Pain

People who suffer from fibromyalgia often complain about chronic pain in their muscles and joints, but fibromyalgia is a lot more than just pain. Patients can also experience a range of other symptoms, some of which are little known or understood. Here are some fibromyalgia symptoms you should know about:

Brain Fog

Brain fog or “fibro fog” is a common fibromyalgia symptom that is often overlooked. Patients describe it as a feeling of being mentally cloudy or groggy, as if they can’t think straight. The cause of brain fog is not yet known, but it is thought to be related to the central nervous system dysfunction that is characteristic of fibromyalgia.

Treating other symptoms of fibromyalgia, such as insomnia and chronic pain, may help to reduce brain fog as well.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a gastrointestinal disorder that can cause abdominal pain, cramping, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation. Up to 70% of fibromyalgia patients also suffer from IBS, making it one of the most common co-occurring conditions. Medications can help to reduce the severity and frequency of symptoms.

Painful Bladder Syndrome

People with fibromyalgia are also at risk for developing painful bladder syndrome or interstitial cystitis (IC), a condition characterized by pain and discomfort when urinating. The cause of painful bladder syndrome is not yet known, but it is thought to be related to central nervous system dysfunction that is characteristic of fibromyalgia.

Symptoms of painful bladder syndrome can include pain in the abdomen and pelvic area, pain during urination, increased frequency of urination, and difficulty emptying the bladder completely. While no cure for IC yet exists, there are ways to treat the symptoms.

Chronic Fatigue

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a debilitating condition characterized by extreme fatigue that lasts for six months or more. Up to 80% of fibromyalgia patients also suffer from CFS, making it one of the most common comorbid conditions. This isn’t surprising since constant pain is exhausting both physically and mentally.

Thankfully, by managing symptoms and following a personalized treatment plan, most patients can significantly improve their quality of life.

Mood Disorders

Fibromyalgia patients tend to experience psychiatric symptoms such as anxiety and depression. In fact, over half of diagnosed patients will also be diagnosed with some form of mood disorder. However, medication and therapy can help a great deal.

Sleep Disorders

Sleep disorders are very common in fibromyalgia patients, with up to 70% reporting problems such as insomnia and narcolepsy. Poor sleep can worsen fibromyalgia symptoms and can be very frustrating and debilitating. Fortunately, there are therapies, strategies, and medications that can help get patients back to a normal sleep routine.

Thyroid Disease

Fibromyalgia is common in people with hypothyroidism, with an occurrence rate between 30% and 40% in diagnosed patients.

Thyroid disease can lead to a wide range of symptoms such as weight gain, fatigue, hair loss, and mood changes. Medication at the correct dosage can help minimize symptoms and

If you have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, it’s important to be aware of all the potential symptoms you may experience. These secondary symptoms and comorbidities of fibromyalgia can be just as debilitating as chronic pain, so it’s important to seek treatment if you are experiencing any of them.

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Symptom Overlap

Since people who have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia often experience other comorbidities as well, such as irritable bowel syndrome and chronic fatigue, which overlap with many other conditions, diagnosis can be challenging. Doctors have to rule out other conditions to make a diagnosis, which can be time-consuming and frustrating for patients.

A lady stretched out on the body due to pain n the body

After diagnosis, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to fibromyalgia treatment, so finding the best solution for each patient is like solving a puzzle. It depends on the individual’s symptoms.

Unusual Symptoms

In addition to the wide range of symptoms people who have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia suffer; many other rarer symptoms can also occur.

Raynaud’s Phenomenon

One such symptom is called Raynaud’s phenomenon. This occurs when the blood vessels in the hands and feet suddenly constrict, limiting the amount of blood that can reach these areas. This can cause the skin to turn pale or blue, and it can be quite painful.

Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)

Another rare symptom is called restless leg syndrome (RLS). This is a condition that causes an uncontrollable urge to move the legs, often accompanied by a creepy-crawly sensation. It can make it difficult to sleep or sit still for long periods of time.

It is important to be aware of all of the possible symptoms associated with fibromyalgia, as they can vary from person to person. If you are experiencing any unusual symptoms, be sure to discuss them with your doctor.

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Helpful Treatments

There is no blanket treatment for fibromyalgia, as the symptoms can vary from person to person. However, some treatments that are helpful for fibromyalgia patients include:

Regular exercise

Exercise has been shown to help improve fibromyalgia symptoms. It may be tough to get started, but gradually adding in more activity can help.

Cognitive behavioral therapy

Over 50% of chronic pain patients develop clinical depression or other mood disorders. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can be an effective way to change how you think about and cope with your fibromyalgia pain symptoms.

Relaxation techniques

Techniques like yoga and meditation can help reduce stress and tension, which can aggravate fibromyalgia symptoms.

Medications

There are a variety of pain medications that can be used to help manage fibromyalgia pain. They vary in strength, effectiveness, and risk of addiction, so it’s very important to discuss risks and benefits with your doctor before starting any long-term pain management plan that involves medication.

If you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or painful bladder syndrome (interstitial cystitis or IC), there are specific medications that can help relieve your symptoms. The same is true for hypothyroidism and mood disorders, such as depression and anxiety.

Again, talk to your doctor about what medications might work best for you and your symptoms.

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Sleep aids

Getting enough quality sleep is important for fibromyalgia patients. If you have trouble sleeping, there are a number of sleep aids that can help, including medication, sleep therapies, meditation, and more.

If you think you may be suffering from fibromyalgia or have been diagnosed and begin to experience new symptoms, it’s important to talk to your doctor. They can help you determine if fibromyalgia is the cause of your symptoms and develop a treatment plan that’s right for you.

The Right Diagnosis

People with rheumatoid arthritis and or lupus are more likely to develop fibromyalgia than the average person. 

Knowing your risk factors and the potential symptoms of fibromyalgia is key to a quick and accurate diagnosis since there is so much symptom overlap.

The symptoms of fibromyalgia and other conditions can be very similar, so patients should work with their doctor to get a correct diagnosis. With a correct diagnosis, they can then begin to receive treatment for their condition, which can help them feel better and lead to an improved quality of life.

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Is Fibromyalgia a Disability? Common Mistakes Your Doctor May Make

Someone having body pain

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.

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.

Consultation with doctor

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.

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:

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?

doctor explaining things to a patient

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.

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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 fibromyalgia 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.

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.

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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?

A lady in pain

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.

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.

Giving shoulder rubs to person in pain

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.

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

Holding legs in pain

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).

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.

neck pain

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.

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.

A man experiencing shoulder pain

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.

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.

clutching the back in pain

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.

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.

Clutching the chest

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.

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.

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.

 

What is the ICD 10 Code for Fibromyalgia?

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?

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.

A lady experiencing back pain

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.

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.

Some of the more common complaints that most fibromyalgia sufferers often express are things like living with constant sleep disturbances, 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.

 A lady in pain sitting on the bed

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.”

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.

a lady grimacing because of pain

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.

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.

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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.

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.

 

Fibromyalgia Trigger Points…Will Someone Recognize Mine?

Someone having a pain in their head

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.

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.

These tender points are located in the following areas:

  • Right and left shoulder
  • Right and left upper arm
  • Right and left elbow joint
  • Right and left hip joint
  • Right and left upper leg
  • Right and left lower leg
  • Lower area of back
  • Neck
  • Belly
  • Chest area
  • Side of Neck
  • Both sides of jaw

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

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.

discussing with physician

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:

  • fatigue
  • waking up still tired
  • thinking problems

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.

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.

Physical examination

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.

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.

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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.

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.

 

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.

For years, doctors and healthcare providers have believed that the symptoms of fibromyalgia are not consistent with an actual diagnosis of a specific disease.

A big reason for this is that when a patient comes to their doctor’s office complaining of widespread pain, it’s sometimes difficult to pinpoint where exactly this pain is starting, and what the level of intensity is at each pain point.

Often, different patients that are under the same doctor’s care will present with varying symptoms when seeking a fibromyalgia diagnosis.

Because of the nature of this disease, it is common for the chronic pain associated with this disease to be located at various points around a patient’s body.

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These points are referred to as “tender points” and are identified to be located in specific parts of a person’s body, namely their lower back, central nervous system, around their knees, elbow, and in their lower neck region.

Getting a blood drawn out a body

Tender points tend to be symmetrical in the body and will radiate pain when a medical professional pushes their finger into the point. (This should be done with enough pressure to turn the top of a fingernail white when done.)

But the problem is this.

Because of the complexity of the symptoms and the lack of consistency in how they present, it’s easy for many doctors to either misdiagnose the symptoms associated with fibromyalgia or simply dismiss the patient’s pain altogether.

In order to effectively diagnose fibromyalgia, there are certain standard tender point pain tests that can be done.

Using what is referred to as the Widespread Pain Index, a doctor can touch different tender points and ask the patient to identify the severity of the pain on a symptom severity scale.

By doing this, it allows the doctor to be able to assess the intensity of the pain and use the guidelines of the index to determine if the pain the patient is experiencing seems to be consistent with that of people with fibromyalgia.

But the problem is that many physicians and medical professionals either don’t understand how to use the index, or they simply don’t believe it is an effective diagnostic criteria for determining if a person should be diagnosed with fibromyalgia.

A patient having a discussion with her doctor

Until more healthcare professionals are on board with the criteria for determining a fibromyalgia diagnosis, it is going to continue to be a challenge for patients to receive the correct diagnosis – and ultimately – the correct care that they so desperately need and deserve.

Why is There Still No Test for Fibromyalgia?

Another big limitation for doctors and other healthcare providers is the fact that there is still no true test for attaining a fibromyalgia diagnosis.

Again, if you have a healthcare provider or physician who is willing to give you a physical examination and then dive into the Widespread Pain Index, this can be a helpful starting point for figuring out if your symptoms align with those of other fibromyalgia patients.

But since it’s unclear if a doctor is going to be willing to do the index test, many sufferers have asked if there is some sort of blood work test that will help determine what, exactly, is going on with their body.

Fibromyalgia patients have been asking that more research be done on their condition for years. Even with all the support networks and education that has been provided, there still has been little work done in the medical field to come up with a way to accurately test a person’s blood for fibromyalgia.

Until a test is discovered, one option patients have is to ask their physician to test them for other diseases that present in similar manners to fibromyalgia.

Because of the nature of this disease, sometimes a person may be misdiagnosed as having a similar condition, such as rheumatoid arthritis or other musculoskeletal system diseases.

Especially if you’ve had a family history of any of these other diseases, you have higher risk factors for one of them to present in your own blood work or another diagnostic test.

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

Patients who are diagnosed with this painful disorder complain of symptoms such as severe muscle pain, sleep disorders, and other health conditions that cause them to experience deep pain that can sometimes be so similar to fibromyalgia that it’s easy to get the two confused.

A man sitting with his hands on his head

But the good news is that rheumatoid arthritis is a disease that can be diagnosed with blood work, which will then allow your physician to rule it out as a probable cause for your pain.

Similarly, you can also request that other such musculoskeletal disorders be tested for as well.

What Can I do While I Wait for a Cure for My Fibromyalgia Symptoms?

Trying to get medical professionals to take your chronic pain and other symptoms seriously can feel like an uphill battle for many people with fibromyalgia.

Many patients will spend years and countless amounts of money and time seeing primary care doctors, and pain specialists, attending physical therapy, and talking to therapists about the mental disorder and (sometimes even major depression) they are experiencing as a result of their years of chronic, unexplained pain.

They just want someone who knows how to treat fibromyalgia effectively and treat patients with the respect and compassion they would any other patient presenting with any other condition.

These patients will oftentimes start feeling like they must be crazy…but all they want is to find something to relieve pain and give them back the life they once had.

For those who are trying to maintain hope that their condition will at some point be taken seriously, and that a cure will eventually be found, there are some things you can do in the meantime that will help alleviate some of your discomfort.

Some alternative therapies have proven to practically eradicate some patients’ pain signals altogether.

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Here at Native Formula, we believe that one underlying issue for those who are struggling with fibromyalgia comes from the biofilm that is located in our bodies.

Though biofilms are an important part of life’s existence, they can also become problematic within our bodies and are now believed to be the cause of many health conditions, namely ones like fibromyalgia.

One of the challenges that biofilms present is that they are difficult to remove from our internal systems. Even most antibiotics are incapable of eradicating them from our systems.

But there are some safe and effective ways to begin to treat these biofilms and begin to see some relief to your symptoms. If you would like more information on biofilms and how removing and managing them in your body may help alleviate many of the symptoms you’ve been struggling with for years, take a look at our more extensive information on biofilms here: www.nativeformulas.com/biofilm-protocol.

When you develop fibromyalgia, the road to recovery can be long, challenging, and exhausting. The roadblocks that you may face will sometimes come from those you should trust the most.

But know that you are not alone on this journey and that millions of others have sought treatment and found it in places that are not always a typical medical office.

When you are diagnosed with fibromyalgia, you will have to continue to educate and advocate for yourself until we have more support and answers from the medical community.

But until then, know that your symptoms are real. And there is some relief ahead.

Native Formulas can help patients with fibromyalgia find that path forward, can connect you with others who have experienced similar challenges, and can give you some resources to help manage your real pain and tackle other symptoms you have that are caused by your mistreated fibromyalgia.

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What are Fibromyalgia Tender Points and How Can They Help With My Diagnosis?

A lady experiencing neck pain

Anyone struggling with the symptoms of fibromyalgia has probably become pretty familiar with this term…

Tender points.

But, you are probably trying to determine what exactly this term means, where are your tender points and how you can communicate to others why acknowledging tender points is a crucial part of your fibromyalgia diagnosis.

Dealing with the symptoms of fibromyalgia is one of the most challenging parts for those who live daily with this horrific disease.

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

Someone in a state of discomfort

And trying to get others, such as your healthcare providers and family and friends to understand what you’re going through can be almost as difficult when some even question is fibromyalgia real.

At Native Formulas, we are working hard to help you better understand what steps you need to take when diagnosing fibromyalgia and how to best treat your fibromyalgia pain.

What Does the Term Tender Points Mean?

For a fibromyalgia patient, the term “tender points” is widely used but oftentimes misunderstood.

Tender points are specific spots on your body that have been carefully researched and are now understood to be more painful for a fibromyalgia sufferer than a common person.

Most of us feel pain when certain areas of our body are injured or compromised.

For a fibromyalgia patient, these spots on the body will feel an increased level of pain that is uncommon for the extent of the injury. Even a gentle bump can raise the level of pain to an almost excruciating level for someone who lives with fibromyalgia.

Why do these patients feel such an increased level of pain over someone else who may receive the same bump or bang or injury?

It’s believed that a person who is suffering from fibromyalgia tender points has a lower threshold of pain and therefore experiences it in a much more intense way.

Because their sensitivity is greatly heightened, that bump or bang that someone else barely notices is going to bring severe pain to someone with fibromyalgia.

And – even though years of research have shown us that fibromyalgia is a disease that causes a person to experience high levels and feel widespread pain, these tender points will cause more than just a constant discomfort…they will, at times, bring a person to feel an acute pain in addition to their widespread pain that can be more than just uncomfortable…it can be excruciating.

Where Are My Tender Points Located?

It’s taken years of research, but we finally have a much better idea today of where exactly these various tender points are located on a person’s body and how they differ from the widespread pain so many fibromyalgia patients experience in their everyday lives.

There are 18 places on a person’s body that have been identified as being tender point pain areas.

When a healthcare provider knows where these spots are, they can do a full widespread pain index test to determine whether or not the person in front of them is experiencing fibromyalgia symptoms or possibly something else.

Neck pain

Again, chronic widespread pain is common for people with fibromyalgia. But identifying at least 12 of the 18 tender points that are present in a person’s body will help solidify a diagnosis.

Your healthcare professional will need to establish these tender points criteria in order to come up with a true diagnosis for your fibromyalgia.

These 18 tender points will present in various places across your body.

Starting with your neck, there are two tender points just above your collarbones.

The next two are present on each side of your upper breast.

Your elbows each have another tender point as do the tops of your knees.

Your hip bones and the back part of your upper buttock are also very common tender points that many fibromyalgia sufferers have.

And finally, on the backside of your body, there are a number of tender points as well, starting with the base of your head, the back of your neck, and on each side of both of your shoulder blades.

Do you have to be experiencing pain in each of these areas? No, not at all.

But – most experts believe that a true diagnosis can be confirmed if at least twelve of these eighteen areas are painful when pressure is applied to them. There is still not enough data to understand why these are the spots that tend to hurt more than others for a person with fibromyalgia.

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

Some believe it has something to do with the oxygen in the blood and its inability to get to these areas as easily as other parts of your body.

Others feel that – since fibromyalgia affects our bodies in a similar way as arthritis – perhaps once the joints in these areas are inflamed, the pressure around them is so severe that it causes a more acute pain than the widespread pain a fibromyalgia patient experiences on a more regular basis.

There may also be a correlation between some of the biofilms that are found in our body and our inability to release those biofilms naturally, thus causing this tender point pain.

Without the necessary ingredients to rid our bodies of those biofilms, they build up and thus cause the pressure that results in the pain associated with them.

discussing with physician

Whatever the reason that these tender points (or trigger points) are part of your constant discomfort, it’s imperative you try and find a way to rid your body of this intense pain, or at least decrease it to a level that you can live with.

Whatever the reason that these tender points (or trigger points) are part of your constant discomfort, it’s imperative you try and find a way to rid your body of this intense pain, or at least decrease it to a level that you can live with.

How Can I Make My Doctor Acknowledge My Tender Points?

Once you understand a bit more about what tender points are, and how to identify them, it’s going to be important that you spend some time with your healthcare provider.

You want to make it clear that you understand the research behind tender points and how to use that research to help with a fibromyalgia diagnosis.

Be aware that many healthcare providers are not as helpful as they could be when it comes to diagnosing fibromyalgia.

Many of them don’t believe in the symptoms or don’t like the idea of alternative therapies to help with these types of health conditions.

Because people with fibromyalgia present with different symptoms and different levels of severity, many doctors seem hesitant to give a patient a fibromyalgia diagnosis, even when they have taken the time to rule everything else out.

There are a variety of diseases that present in ways that are quite similar to fibromyalgia. There are also tests for these conditions.

Diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and Crohn’s disease are all conditions that have cognitive symptoms, chronic pain, and other symptoms that are sometimes mistaken for fibromyalgia.

A patient having a discussion with her doctor

Until more healthcare professionals are on board with the criteria for determining a fibromyalgia diagnosis, it is going to continue to be a challenge for patients to receive the correct diagnosis – and ultimately – the correct care that they so desperately need and deserve.

Luckily, these diseases have tests and diagnostic criteria to be able to rule them out.

Since there is no cure to help diagnose fibromyalgia, and also no blood test that can determine whether or not a patient is being affected by it, sometime a doctor will need to test for the other possible diseases in order to get a better idea if fibromyalgia is the actual culprit.

Getting professional medical advice is going to be important for your fibromyalgia syndrome, but you may have to help your doctor or other healthcare professional to be able to diagnose your condition effectively.

One way to do this is to keep a journal of your symptoms for a period of time before you go to see your healthcare provider. By listing everything from your tender points to your muscle tension to your sleep issues and mental clarity, your doctor will be able to work with you to better understand how all your symptoms are related.

Your fibromyalgia tender points are not the only symptom that is going to be important to acknowledge.

Remember – fibromyalgia syndrome is a complex and complicated condition and you will need to advocate for yourself in order to help your doctor understand exactly what it is you are experiencing.

Another option is to ask your doctor to conduct a symptom severity scale test in order to pinpoint the areas where your pain is the most intense.

All this will entail is that your doctor spends time during the physical exam identifying each of those tender trigger points and noting which ones are sensitive to pressing and which ones aren’t.

Again…if more than 12 of those trigger points cause you to react to the pressure, then it is easy to assume you are definitely experiencing the symptoms of fibromyalgia.

A lady massaging her back

This type of test can serve as important diagnostic criteria in your overall health plan and course of action.

By doing a symptom severity scale test, your doctor will be able to see that your pain is acute in certain places and therefore makes it probable that this tender point pain is one of your many fibromyalgia symptoms.

When You are Ready to Relieve Pain, We Are Here to Help

Native Formulas was founded by people who have experienced the debilitating symptoms of fibromyalgia firsthand.

From patients to parents, to well-researched health advocates, we all have witnessed what this disease does to people and we are dedicated to changing that.

Spend some time checking out the vast amount of information we have on our website, as well as some of the Products that we have available.

We know there is no cure for fibromyalgia. But – until there is – we want to help everyone suffering from this disease to relieve pain and find a way to begin to live their lives again.

People with fibromyalgia should not have to suffer the way they are. But until more research is done, and a cure is found, we at Native Formulas want to do what we can to help.

Let us help you start down a path of wellness, recovery, and a pain-free life.

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

Reach out to us and let us know how we can help.

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Treating Fibromyalgia… What’s the Best Fibromyalgia Medication for Me?

A lady who has back pain

Living with the symptoms of fibromyalgia can be a challenge, as anyone who has experienced them knows.

But finding relief from those symptoms can be just as challenging, as there seems to be little to no information on what types of medications can help treat or alleviate them.

Holding shoulder in pain

Even the most common symptoms, like widespread pain, sleep problems, weight gain, and ongoing emotional symptoms don’t seem to be taken very seriously by the medical community as a whole.

Trying to find the right fibromyalgia medication sometimes seems almost impossible.

And finding health care professionals who are willing to explore different treatment options can leave a fibromyalgia sufferer feeling hopeless.

So…where can a person turn for the best medication that is going to help their symptoms?

How can they find the fibromyalgia treatment that is going to give them their life back?

Fortunately, there is some hope!

Though there is still no cure for fibromyalgia, and many medical professionals still don’t want to recognize it as a legitimate disease, there are medications that can help longtime sufferers of this chronic condition start to see some relief from their symptoms.

Some of the best sources of relief for fibromyalgia are over the counter medicines, antidepressants and probiotics, and biofilms that can be bought at fibromyalgia specialty sites such as Native Formulas.

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

Each fibromyalgia patient is unique, and their symptoms will be as well.

Whereas one individual may experience long term bouts of widespread pain, another person may tend to have fibromyalgia pain that is more concentrated and affects specific areas of their body more intensely than others.

Some experts believe that the reason fibromyalgia patients experience such wide differentials in pain is that our brains send pain signals in different ways. This theory is backed up by the observation of fibromyalgia tender points which recur on most patients.

Often this is believed to be because of a number of factors, such as genetics, environmental factors, gender, and age.

And… it’s not just chronic pain that presents in different ways in different people.

Many people who struggle with fibromyalgia say that one of the most challenging symptoms is chronic sleep problems or emotional challenges.

Others rarely experience these symptoms but may deal with a different one altogether.

The bottom line is this – anyone who is trying to live a normal life with fibromyalgia knows that it is a daily struggle.

Sometimes, a fibromyalgia sufferer’s entire day is consumed by trying to figure out how to treat fibromyalgia symptoms just enough so they can function as normally as possible.

And, since there is no cure and little support from the medical community, many must continue to try and treat their symptoms on their own.

At Native Formulas, we’ve spent a good deal of time learning about the intricate details of fibromyalgia and researching the best options for treating the symptoms of this debilitating disease.

Hopefully, you can benefit from our knowledge and expertise to start on a path toward living a life that helps get your fibromyalgia under control and allows you to find some hope again.

What’s the Best Fibromyalgia Medication for Me?

Though there are various theories as to what medications may be best at treating fibromyalgia, many who struggle with this disease have been able to find relief in the following ways.

Not every method is going to work for every fibromyalgia patient.

But here are some good starting points to consider.

Over the Counter Medicines

A good place to begin when you are looking for relief from some of your fibromyalgia symptoms would be with over the counter medicines that can be purchased without a doctor’s prescription.

Some of the most common over the counter medications that may work to help your symptoms would be drugs such as acetaminophen or a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID).

One of the best-known acetaminophen drugs is known as Tylenol.

And one of the best-known nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs is sold as Ibuprofen.

Both of these drugs can be taken at the same time and on a similar schedule.

When used congruently, Tylenol and Ibuprofen are known to alleviate pain, reduce muscle cramps, and provide pain relief for several ailments.

The muscle relaxant nature of Ibuprofen, combined with Tylenol’s ability to reduce pain has helped millions of people treat a variety of issues, from menstrual cramps to the common headache.

Even though a drug like Tylenol and Ibuprofen is used to treat fibromyalgia, it doesn’t work for everyone.

In fact, some fibromyalgia sufferers say that medicines like these have little to no effect in reducing pain or relieving them of other fibromyalgia symptoms they’re experiencing.

Some ,medicines

The bottom line is this…though taking Tylenol, Advil or other medications that fall into these similar categories most likely won’t make your symptoms worse, you may not be able to find relief with these types of pain relievers that others do.

Remember…fibromyalgia treatment is a complicated one and you will need lots of support as you continue on your journey to find the treatment options that are going to work best for you.

Tricyclic Antidepressants and Other Prescription Medications

Another potential treatment option for your fibromyalgia symptoms is going to be in the form of antidepressants and other prescribed medications.

For many who suffer from fibromyalgia, a very common side effect is mental and emotional pain and challenges.

Patients who battle with fibromyalgia say they experience brain fog, anxiety, depression, and nerve pain.

a lady grimacing because of pain

Part of what makes life with fibromyalgia so frustrating is that oftentimes a person’s healthcare provider won’t see the link between the chronic pain and the mental and emotional instabilities.

But in order to treat fibromyalgia effectively, we need healthcare providers who see how constant pain can cause mental disorders as well.

Fibromyalgia is a disease that targets a person’s autoimmune system and causes the body to start attacking itself.

When this happens, so many of our body’s different systems – from our brain and spinal cord to our digestive tract – become compromised that it’s hard for our brains to process what hurts and where.

Our bodies are designed to health themselves. But when they can’t, it can cause just as much emotional turmoil for a fibromyalgia sufferer as it does physical turmoil.

Finding a physician or healthcare provider who understands this is going to be extremely important if you are someone who is as affected mentally by your disease as you are physically.

Yes, stress management techniques can be helpful. But they aren’t the only solution.

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

Some medications are capable of serving as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors which can potentially help balance some of the chemicals in the fibromyalgia patient’s brain.

This will help combat the effect of depression and anxiety on the patient, thus aiding in the mental clarity needed to continue to find ways to live with the physical discomfort that fibromyalgia causes.

Again, not all fibromyalgia patients will benefit from antidepressants.

In fact, some report no difference in their overall mental health or state of mind after a period of use.

But other fibromyalgia patients have had great success with these types of drugs in helping their mental state and overall clarity.

One thing to keep in mind is that antidepressant and anti-anxiety medications may help with your mental state, but they won’t treat the vast number of other symptoms so many fibromyalgia patients struggle from.

Medications like Probiotics and Biofilms May Work Best

Finally, if you’ve been looking for another source to help treat your fibromyalgia pain and other underlying symptoms, there are some other options other than pain relievers (that may or may not work for your type of pain) or prescription medications (that may not treat the whole problem.)

At Native Formulas, we have witnessed so many fibromyalgia sufferers finally begin to see some relief when they begin exploring what products we have to offer.

Most of this relief has come through their decision to explore the powerful agents that are inside the ingredients in our biofilm and probiotic products, such as the Biome V3 and the Restore 3.

The Biome V3 is a revolutionary product that works to restore mental clarity and physical energy among its users.

Biome V3 breaks down histamines in our body that cause us to have brain fog and issues with our overall focus and brain functioning.

And, while the probiotics found in the Biome V3 will work to restore your brain fog, sleep problems, and chronic pain issues, the prebiotics will work simultaneously to give you back the gut health that so many fibromyalgia sufferers claim to have lost.

Restore 3 is another product that will work tirelessly to help your body restore the friendly bacteria your body is craving and thus provide the pain relief you need.

Check out our Biome V3 Probiotic | 35 Billion CFU | Soil Probiotics | Fulvic Minerals

It will also help to dissolve the biofilms that are working against your ability to achieve a healthy lifestyle.

As the Restore 3 works to rid your body of the illness-causing biofilms, it’s able to bind with, then remove the heavy metals and bio-toxins that enter our bodies and allow for symptoms like chronic pain and digestive issues to wreak havoc on our sleep patterns, mental clarity, and overall physical health.

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

So…Which Fibromyalgia Treatment is Best for Me?

Anyone who’s been asking for a fibromyalgia diagnosis for any length of time knows that getting that proper diagnosis and treatment for the disease is oftentimes quite tricky.

And – trying to do this while battling widespread pain is incredibly frustrating as well.

A man talking to the doctor

Because of this, Native Formulas has put together a free guide called The Biofilm Buster Action Plan that may be exactly what you need to help discover the next step on your own journey to personal health, and combat the symptoms of fibromyalgia once and for all.

The guide is easy to download and has tips, tricks, and anecdotes from patients like you who finally got tired of waiting for someone else to properly diagnose their disease and diagnose the appropriate medications to care for it.

As stated before…there is no cure for fibromyalgia.

But we promise you there is some relief.

Let us help you find it at Native Formulas.

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Now There’s a Diagnosis! What You Need to Know About the Fibromyalgia ICD 10 Code

A lady holding her head in pain

When you are living with a disease as painful and complicated as fibromyalgia, it can be incredibly frustrating to get a real diagnosis for your problem.

But finally, there’s some help!

For years, patients who are experiencing the symptoms of this debilitating disease just had to suffer in silence.

From chronic widespread pain to constant fatigue, anxiety, and dozens of other symptoms, fibromyalgia wreaks havoc on a person’s musculoskeletal system as well as creating cognitive dysfunction, sleep disturbances, and emotional and mental issues.

Basically, fibromyalgia is a terror for many people who have to live with it every day.

But now, thanks to some much-needed governmental regulations, there is now hope for millions of people who are living with these symptoms.

A person in pain

The ICD has created a fibromyalgia ICD 10 code for people who present with the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome, and healthcare providers can treat it more effectively.

This is revolutionary news for so many fibromyalgia sufferers!

Let’s talk about what exactly is an ICD 10 code, why it’s so hard to get healthcare providers to use it for a fibromyalgia diagnosis, and what you can do to encourage your healthcare provider to use it appropriately.

Fibromyalgia and all the symptoms that come with it are not something you should have to continue to suffer from. It’s time for some hope.

What Exactly Is an ICD 10 Code?

For more than a century, the world health assembly and its partners have used a system for diagnosing diseases that are recognized worldwide by healthcare teams and medical professionals everywhere.

ICD stands for International Classification of Diseases and is the global standard for medical diagnosis in every part of the world.

Different variants of the classifications are introduced periodically. The next standard for medical diagnosis will be the ICD 11.

Each disease that is given an ICD code means it is now recognized worldwide as a legitimate human disease.

Once diseases have their own ICD code, hospitals and medical offices can submit payment to insurance companies to compensate them for appointments and fibromyalgia medication, since the condition they are treating for is deemed “medically legitimate.”

Clearly, this is great news for fibromyalgia sufferers.

For years, those experiencing the symptoms of chronic fatigue symptom were told that their ailments were either because of other undiagnosed or unspecified soft tissue disorders or that perhaps they just needed to get more exercise.

Chronic fatigue syndrome was also thought to be something that was just “in a patient’s head.”

A healthcare provider

But now, thanks to the fact that there is now a legitimate ICD code for fibromyalgia, we should begin to see changes in the way that medical professionals begin treating the symptoms of this painful and complicated disease.

Why Is It So Hard to Get Health Care Providers to Use the Fibromyalgia ICD 10 Code?

Even though there is now an actual code for diagnosing fibromyalgia, that doesn’t mean that healthcare professionals are always willing to use it.

The reasons for this are varied and extremely frustrating for patients.

Like many soft tissue disorders, fibromyalgia presents in different ways for different individuals.

Though almost every fibromyalgia sufferer will deal with chronic widespread pain and levels of cognitive dysfunction, the way that these symptoms present can be varied for each person.

For example, many people with fibromyalgia will tell their physician or other healthcare provider that they are experiencing muscle pain in their legs and feet.

Others may complain of soft tissue disorders occurring in their lower back, shoulders, or neck region.

Trying to determine where a person’s soft tissue disorders are originating can be extremely challenging for medical professionals, since there is no way to x-ray or even run a diagnostic test on the deeper muscles and connective tissue areas in a patient’s body.

Like many soft tissue disorders, fibromyalgia presents in different ways for different individuals.

Another complication with diagnosing fibromyalgia is that oftentimes a physician needs to rule out other possible musculoskeletal system and connective tissue disorders in order to make sure the chronic pain and other symptoms a patient is experiencing are not the result of something else.

There are several autoimmune disorders that have many of the same symptoms that fibromyalgia does, and it is easy to misdiagnose one for the other if care isn’t taken to rule out other possibilities.

Those who suffer from rheumatism will also complain of constant fatigue, muscle pain, other types of soft tissue pain, and other general symptoms that are also associated with fibromyalgia.

Another autoimmune disorder that can look like fibromyalgia is multiple sclerosis.

Multiple sclerosis (MS for short) is an autoimmune disorder that tends to manifest as muscle pain, cognitive dysfunction, problems with balance, and emotional issues…many of the same conditions that affect a person who has fibromyalgia.

It becomes easy to understand why getting a fibromyalgia diagnosis can start to become complicated – and extremely frustrating for the more than 4 million Americans that are suffering from it!

That said, one option for healthcare providers is to test a patient for these other soft tissue disorders in order to rule out them out as possible reasons for a patient’s symptoms.

Though there isn’t a test for fibromyalgia, there are tests that can be done for other musculoskeletal system and connective tissue disorders to rule them out.

Body pain

Blood tests can be performed for diseases such as rheumatism, multiple sclerosis, and lupus. The laboratory findings can then help you and your doctor at least rule out certain disorders before determining what is causing your discomfort.

But… even if you’re able to get your doctor or health care provider to run these tests to rule out other disorders, that still doesn’t mean they are going to willingly give you a fibromyalgia diagnosis.

For so long, doctors haven’t taken fibromyalgia seriously.

They’ve seen it as a disorder that is more based on a person’s emotional state and may be linked to brain oversensitivity in how it processes pain, and not the actual pain itself.

A woman taking to a doctor

Though this is beginning to change in some medical communities, there is still not enough support for those unfortunate patients who continue to have to live with chronic pain while working fervently to get someone to give them a principal diagnosis of fibromyalgia.

For years, doctors and healthcare providers have believed that the symptoms of fibromyalgia are not consistent with an actual diagnosis of a specific disease.

Tender points tend to be symmetrical in the body and will radiate pain when a medical professional pushes their finger into the point. (This should be done with enough pressure to turn the top of a fingernail white when done.)

Getting a blood drawn out a body

How Can I Convince My Doctor to Use the Fibromyalgia ICD 10 Code Properly?

In order to finally get a diagnosis of your fibromyalgia, there are certain things you can do to help your doctor or health care provider understand the symptoms and how they are different than other soft tissue disorders.

First, have a conversation with your health care provider about the ICD 10 code for fibromyalgia.

You can remind them that in the ICD 10 CM booklet, the ICD 10 code for fibromyalgia is M 79.7 code.

Other soft tissue disorders have their own ICD 10 codes, but M 79.7 is the correct code for fibromyalgia.

Once you’ve looked up the code, ask your physician to spend some time reading over it together. Ask him or her to explain to you why they still aren’t convinced that your complaints don’t fall under the guidelines for a diagnosis of this disorder.

It’s not going to be easy, but if you continue to advocate for yourself, hopefully, you will eventually get the diagnosis you deserve.

Here at Native Formulas, we strive to do all we can to help you find the support you need and the products that can help alleviate some of your discomforts while you continue to find ways to live with your fibromyalgia.

None of us have to do it alone.