- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
Fibromyalgia Diagnosis Criteria
- Pain and symptoms based on the total number of painful areas
- Poor sleep
- Thinking problems
- Memory problems
Medical HistoryA doctor will look at an individual’s complete medical history, asking about any other conditions present and family condition/disease history.
Symptoms DiscussionThe most common questions asked by a doctor are where it hurts, how it hurts, how long it hurts, etc. However, an individual should offer as much or added details of their symptoms. Diagnosing fibromyalgia is very dependent on the report of the symptoms, so it is important to be as specific and accurate as possible. A pain diary, which is a record of all symptoms that present will make it easier to remember and share information with the doctor. An example is giving information on trouble sleeping, with a feeling of tiredness a majority of the time, and headache presentation.
Physical ExaminationA doctor will palpate or apply light pressure with the hands around the tender points.
Other TestsAs previously stated symptoms can be very similar to other conditions like:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Ankylosing spondylitis
Anti-nuclear antibody – ANA testAnti-nuclear antibodies are abnormal proteins that can present in the blood if an individual has lupus. The doctor will want to see if the blood has these proteins to rule out lupus.
Blood countBy looking at an individual’s blood count, a doctor will be able to develop other possible causes for extreme fatigue like anemia.
Erythrocyte sedimentation rate – ESRAn erythrocyte sedimentation rate test measures how quickly red blood cells fall to the bottom of a test tube. In individuals with a rheumatic disease like rheumatoid arthritis, the sedimentation rate is higher. The red blood cells fall quickly to the bottom. This suggests that there is inflammation in the body.
Rheumatoid factor – RF testFor individuals with an inflammatory condition like rheumatoid arthritis, a higher level of the rheumatoid factor can be identified in the blood. A higher level of RF does not guarantee that the pain is caused by rheumatoid arthritis, but doing an RF test will help the doctor explore a possible RA diagnosis.
Thyroid testsThyroid tests will help a doctor rule out thyroid problems.
Final Note Fibromyalgia DiagnosisAgain, diagnosing fibromyalgia can take awhile. A patient’s job is to be proactive in the diagnostic process. Be sure you understand what the results will tell and how that specific test will help figure out the cause of the pain. If you don’t understand the results, keep asking questions until it makes sense.
Body composition and Diabetes ConnectionThe body needs a balance of lean body mass and fat mass to function properly/optimally and maintain overall health. The balance can be disrupted in overweight and obese individuals because of excess fat. Individuals that are overweight should focus on improving body composition by reducing fat mass while maintaining or increasing lean body mass. Balanced body composition can reduce the risk of diabetes, other obesity-related disorders, and a positive effect on metabolism. Metabolism is the breaking down of foods for energy, the maintenance, and repair of body structures. The body breaks down the food nutrients/minerals into elemental components and directs them to where they need to go. Diabetes is a metabolic disorder meaning it changes the way the body makes use of the nutrients, in such a way that the cells are unable to utilize digested glucose for energy. Without insulin, the glucose cannot get into the cells, so it ends up lingering in the blood. When the glucose can’t make its way out of the blood, it builds up. All the excess blood sugar can potentially be converted to triglycerides and stored as fat. With an increase in fat mass, hormone imbalances or systemic inflammation can happen or progress. This increases the risk for other diseases or conditions. A buildup of fat and diabetes are associated with increased risk for:
- Heart attacks
- Nerve damage
- Eye problems
- Kidney disease
- Skin infections