Fibromyalgia symptoms: Five signs you need to visit your GP for help

George Morris physiotherapy wigan

Fibromyalgia symptoms: Five signs you need to visit your GP for help

FIBROMYALGIA symptoms usually consist of widespread pain in the body, but other signs are also linked to the condition, such as feeling tired. If you have the symptoms for at least three months you should go see your GP for help.

Fibromyalgia symptoms tend to be experienced by the sufferer between the ages of 20 and 60, though the condition is more common with increasing age.

It causes widespread pain in the body, but discomfort can vary depending on the person.

The pain may be worse at some times than others, and can feel like a deep ache in your muscles, like a burning or throbbing, or intense, persistent pain.

But fibromyalgia can also cause other symptoms too - Bupa lists five.

These include feeling stiff, especially when you wake up, feeling tired, sleeping badly, problems with your memory or thinking clearly, and changes in your mood.

Is there a test for fibromyalgia?

There’s no specific test to diagnose the condition, but when you visit your GP your body will be examined to check for visible signs of the condition - for example, swollen joints could suggests arthritis rather than fibromyalgia.

Other illnesses that need to be ruled out include chronic fatigue syndrome, which causes long-term tiredness.

Your GP will probably also check if you have multiple sclerosis.

Once those conditions have been ruled out, certain criteria have to be met for fibromyalgia to be diagnosed.

The most widely-used guidelines for diagnosing fibromyalgia in the UK involves three steps.

The first is to see if you either have severe pain in three to six different areas of your body or you have milder pain in seven or more different areas.

The second is to see if your symptoms have stayed at a similar level for at least three months.

Finally, you could have fibromyalgia if no other reason for your symptoms has been found.

The extent of the pain may be assessed by applying gentle pressure to certain tender points across the body, where any pain is likely to be at its worst, the NHS notes.

How to treat fibromyalgia

Because fibromyalgia has numerous symptoms, no single treatment will work for all cases.

Lifestyle changes and medication will most likely be the recommended forms of treatment by your GP, but other healthcare professional may be involved in your care.

These include a rheumatologist - a specialist in conditions that affect muscles and joints - a neurologist - a spiciest in condition of the central nervous system - and a psychologist - a specialist in mental health and psychological treatments.

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