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How Do I Get a Fibromyalgia Diagnosis?

A man experiencing body pain

If you are one of over four million people in the United States who is battling symptoms of fibromyalgia, getting a diagnosis of the disease is probably high on your list.

For anyone suffering from fibromyalgia symptoms, they know just how painful it can be.

Not only that… trying to get your fibromyalgia diagnosed can often be as challenging as the disease itself.

Someone in pain

It’s Hard to Get Health Care Providers to Take You Seriously

Most health care providers struggle with recognizing the symptoms of fibromyalgia as being a legitimate disease…one that’s worth taking seriously and treating the same way they would treat someone with any other patient with a disease that presents with similar symptoms.

Unfortunately, there are no blood tests that can give your doctor a fibromyalgia diagnosis.

A woman taking to a doctor

Musculoskeletal and skin diseases like fibromyalgia are hard to diagnose with lab tests or other diagnostic tests.

Because fibromyalgia patients can all present slightly differently, and because the chronic pain often experienced can vary from one patient to the next, it’s hard to come up with the proper medical treatment for a fibromyalgia patient.

And… it’s even harder to come up with medical treatment when your doctor thinks it’s all “in your head.”

This has been a common theme that fibromyalgia patients have heard for years.

Because fibromyalgia is believed to be a disease that affects your central nervous system, many practitioners have a hard time understanding the severity of a patient’s discomfort.

And even though it might be obvious that they are experiencing plenty of widespread body pain, chronic fatigue, various skin diseases, digestive issues, and other symptoms a medical professional won’t always make the link that these are all symptoms that should lead to them deciding to diagnose fibromyalgia in their patient.

What Can I Do to Get the Fibromyalgia Diagnosis I Need?

No matter what your health care providers have told you, don’t give up!

Fibromyalgia is an extremely complicated disease and getting your fibromyalgia diagnosed can take some difficult work on your part.

But it is work that will be worth it. Luckily, there has been headway in the medical community in the disease being formally recognized with the fibromyalgia ICD 10 official classification and the American College of Rheumatology acknowledging the disease since the early 90’s.

If you start feeling hopeless about your fibromyalgia diagnosis ever coming to fruition, consider reaching out to us at Native Formulas for some extra support.

Not only do we have a varied line of products that can help alleviate your symptoms, but we also have a variety of support options in place, from blog posts to support resources that are available to you anytime you need them.

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

Fibromyalgia is tough enough to live with. Don’t live with it alone.

Though there is still no cure for fibromyalgia, there is definite hope. There are plenty of resources available to help you relieve and maybe even alleviate your fibromyalgia symptoms.

But first, let’s start with seeing how you can work towards getting the fibromyalgia diagnosis that will definitely help start you down the path to ultimate healing and living a pain-free lifestyle.

Steps for Getting a Fibromyalgia Diagnosis

As I said, we all know there’s no cure for fibromyalgia. But, there are definite steps your healthcare provider can take to try and find a diagnosis once and for all.

Let’s look at what some of those steps are, and how you can advocate for yourself and your health problems.

Start With a Physical Exam

The first thing you should do when trying to get a diagnosis for your fibromyalgia symptoms is to set up a physical exam with your doctor or health care provider.

Though there are no blood tests that can diagnose fibromyalgia, there are some other ways that your family doctor can determine if your physical ailments are symptoms of fibromyalgia.

A patient having a discussion with her doctor

Ask For a Symptom Severity Test

One way your doctor can do this is by conducting what is called a symptom severity test.

A symptom severity test scale measures the different symptoms you are currently experiencing and allows you to rate them on what’s called the symptom severity scale.

The symptom severity scale uses numbers O to 3 when measuring your pain levels – O meaning you’ve felt no pain and 3 meaning the pain has been to the point of making daily tasks almost impossible for you during the past week.

Blood test

There are specific pain points your doctor should ask about.

Your doctor should ask about some of the following pain symptoms when conducting the symptom severity test: poor sleep, digestive problems, muscle aches, chronic fatigue, jaw pain, and cognitive symptoms that have made it hard for you to concentrate or focus on school, work, or family activities.

After your doctor conducts this test, he or she should have a better idea as to whether or not you are presenting with fibromyalgia symptoms.

Ask for a Widespread Pain Index Test

Another way that your physician can diagnose fibromyalgia is through what is referred to as the widespread pain index.

This index is another way to diagnose your fibromyalgia symptoms and start you on a path to discovering what is going to be the best proper treatment for your chronic pain and other symptoms.

The widespread pain index will rank 19 different places on your body that typically tend to be tender points for fibromyalgia patients.

A lady experiencing back pain

What are the Typical Tender Points?

A person suffering from fibromyalgia symptoms is going to experience tender points of pain…and a lot of them.

But remember... fibromyalgia can affect each of us differently.

These won’t always be the same for all individuals. But there are some common ones that most fibromyalgia patients will have to constantly endure.

Jaw pain, lower back pain, and even spinal cord pain are some frequent tender points that many sufferers complain of.

Having pain in one’s lower extremities, like their legs and feet is also extremely common. Knee pain is usually reported as one of the most excruciating pain sights.

And not all tender points are on the outside. Having stomach pain is a regular occurrence and constant digestive problems (such as irritable bowel syndrome) tend to be the result of it.

Once your physician is done conducting the widespread pain index, they will be able to come up with a widespread pain index score.

Again, as with the symptom severity test, the widespread pain index score should help them understand more about what it is you’re experiencing and begin to rule out certain possible diseases that could be contributing to your symptoms.

Blood Tests Can Also Help Rule Out Other Possible Chronic Diseases

Unfortunately, there is no blood test that can diagnose fibromyalgia. There is also no known cure.

That said, your family doctor can run a series of blood tests to rule out other possible chronic diseases that you may have instead of, or in addition to fibromyalgia.

Ask Your Family Doctor to Run a CBC Test

By running a complete blood count test (also known as a CBC), your healthcare provider can rule out other chronic diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis (another type of arthritis), lupus, or Crohn’s disease.

Diseases such as these can often present with similar symptoms to fibromyalgia.

Some of them, like rheumatoid arthritis, can be seen in patients alongside a diagnosis of fibromyalgia.

If a physician tells you that testing for fibromyalgia is not possible with a blood test, encourage them to consider testing you for the various diseases that have presentations that are similar to fibromyalgia symptoms.

A lady experiencing pain

At the very least, you can then have peace of mind that your fibromyalgia symptoms are not also being caused by something else.

One of the biggest lessons fibromyalgia sufferers learn is that advocating for ourselves is not an option. We have to take charge of our own health problems, regardless of what anyone else tells us to do.

What Else Can I Do to Get the Fibromyalgia Diagnosis I Need?

Doctors diagnose fibromyalgia based on tests, though their testing still has a lot of room for improvement.

But what if those tests still haven’t gotten you the relief you need?

If you haven’t found a healthcare provider who is willing and able to work with you in determining how best to treat your fibromyalgia symptoms, there are still some other options out there.

A good place to start would be to download the The Biofilm Buster Action Plan.

This free plan is going to help you begin figuring out how to take your own health needs into your own hands and begin to treat fibromyalgia in a way that has helped thousands of other people do it, too.

The Biofilm Buster Action Plan outlines some of the essential steps that are going to set you on a path toward physical and emotional health and begin teaching you how to diagnose your fibromyalgia once and for all.

And, after you’ve successfully diagnosed your condition, the plan will help you start figuring out what you can do to treat it, from what types of foods to avoid, to what types of emotional stress factor into your health problems.

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The action plan is also going to give you the tools and resources needed to start de-stigmatized your fibromyalgia and realize there is a community of people on the other side of your fibromyalgia diagnosis, waiting to help you walk forward and into a life that is free of the symptoms that you’ve been battling for far too long.

There are tons of testimonials, suggestions, and action plans within this guide to give you the strength you need and inspire you to realize that though fibromyalgia can be a very lonely disease, it doesn’t have to be.

Start your healing journey and take the power away from fibromyalgia once and for all.

For many sufferers of digestive issues, many medical professionals will prescribe medications that can provide some relief but won’t necessarily solve the problem indefinitely.

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