If you talk with a room full of fibromyalgia patients, you're likely to hear quite a few stories describing years of uncertainty prior to finally receiving a fibromyalgia diagnosis. You'll probably also hear many accounts of being misdiagnosed with other illnesses before doctors determined that they actually had fibromyalgia. It's not at all unusual for fibromyalgia to be misdiagnosed as another condition and vice versa. There are several reasons FM can be difficult to diagnose :
Many of the symptoms of fibromyalgia are the same as, or very similar to, other illnesses.
There are no lab tests or imaging scans that definitively identify FM.
Often people with FM also have other comorbid or overlapping conditions.
Following are 7 other conditions your doctor may consider in trying to determine if you have fibromyalgia, another condition, or both. 1) ME/CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) ME/CFS is the condition that is probably most often confused ...
Fibromyalgia is usually thought of as a fairly new illness, however, it may have actually existed for centuries. Although the term “fibromyalgia” was first coined in 1976, physicians have written about conditions resembling FM since the early 1800s. Reports of illnesses with strikingly similar symptoms can even be found as far back as around 1500 BC. Notable Historical Accounts Probably the earliest description of a fibromyalgia-like condition is found in the Biblical account of Job’s physical anguish. “I, too, have been assigned months of futility, long and weary nights of misery. When I go to bed, I think, `When will it be morning?' But the night drags on, and I toss till dawn…And now my heart is broken. Depression haunts my days. My weary nights are filled with pain as though something were relentlessly gnawing at my bones.” (Job 7:3-4 and 30:16-17 - NLT) In the 19th century, the English arm...
For years people with fibromyalgia who are unable to continue working at a full-time job have struggled and worried about whether they would qualify for Social Security Disability. Finally, last week the Social Security Administration issued a ruling providing guidance on how they develop evidence to establish that a person has a medically determinable impairment (MDI) of fibromyalgia, and how they evaluate fibromyalgia in disability claims and continuing disability reviews under titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act. This ruling went into effect on July 25, 2012.
For a complete copy of the ruling, including footnotes, references and a tender point diagram, see Social Security Ruling, SSR 12-2p; Titles II and XVI: Evaluation of Fibromyalgia in the Federal Register. Following is a copy of the core elements of the ruling that I think would be of most interest to people with fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia is a complex medical condition characterized p...
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