Fibromyalgia is an arthritis related disease that's often difficult to diagnose because it's so often mistaken for arthritis. There are over 100 forms of arthritis, and any one of them can reflect the symptoms of Fibromyalgia. Both arthritis sufferers and fibromyalgia sufferers generally describe pain as their primary symptom.
Unlike arthritis, however, the pain is not localized in a specific joint or muscle; it's widespread, throbbing, sharp and deep. While the pain is widespread, many fibromyalgia patients also report "tender spots" where pain is felt more sharply if the area is pressed. Doctors have narrowed down the number of tender points to 18 specific locations. Under these circumstances, it's easy to understand why fibromyalgia is so difficult to diagnose.
If you suspect you may have Fibromyalgia, here's a list of the most common symptoms:
1. Widespread pain in combination with tender spots (generally, a physician will want to identify 11 tender spots before making a diagnosis of fibromyalgia).
2. Chronic fatigue. Fibromyalgia sufferers often describe an overwhelming sense of fatigue. Even after they've had eight or more hours of sleep (thought most Fibromyalgiapatients report difficulty getting a good night's sleep), they still often experience fatigue throughout the day.
3. Stiffness in the joints, especially in the morning. It's this joint stiffness which often leads doctors to mistake the diseas for arthritis.
4. Frequent headaches and migraines.
5. Tingling in the hands, legs, arms, and feet.
6. Swelling of the extremities.
7. Not always, but sometimes, Fibromyalgia patients also report symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
Making it even more difficult to diagnosis Fibromyalgia is that the disease often appears in conjunction with other forms of arthritis. It's very common, for instance, for a patient to suffer from both rheumatoid arthritis and Fibromyalgia.
While the disease has become well known for its mystery and the challenge associated with its diagnosis, health care professionals are more aware of the telltale Fibromyalgia symptoms than ever before. Using the 18 specific tender spots as guides and learning to identify pain by degress and location have helped enormously.
Could Fibromyalgia Be Causing Your Pain?
Discussing your symptoms with your doctor is the first step toward finding out.
Article Source: www.worldwidehealth.com