To know whether you may have Fibromyalgia, consider patterns among people already diagnosed. You can still have Fibromyalgia, however, even if you don’t quite fit nicely into one or more of these categories but its less likely.
There are medical problems often confused with Fibromyalgia such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, arthritis, or thyroid disease. Some, of course, have more than one of these medical problems.
Only your doctor can diagnose your condition to be Fibromyalgia but there is a simple self-test you can use to determine if you may have it. A series of questions that require a “Yes” or “No” answer will follow next. If it seems that you may possibly have Fibromyalgia syndrome, make an appointment with your physician and find out for sure.
- Do you have a lot of pain in certain specific areas of your body? If so, do the areas lack any obvious damage such as bruising or swelling? (These painful areas may be the “tender points” that are characteristic of Fibromyalgia.)
- Is your body pain sometimes severe? (Another Fibromyalgia indicator.)
- Do you have trouble sleeping on three or more nights per week? (The problem may or may not be connected with Fibromyalgia but nearly everyone with Fibromyalgia has sleep problems. A continuing loss of sleep may also make your pain and fatigue worse.)
- Do you feel exhausted about half the time, or more? (Severe fatigue is a problem among nearly everyone who has Fibromyalgia. It is often linked with a lack of sleep and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome shares this symptom. Your physician will be able to help.
- Do people often ask if you are sick? (You may be displaying pain on your face without even knowing it.)
- Do you turn down social invitations rather than risk having to go out feeling achy and tired? (Ask yourself, “Why?”. Is it due to pain or fatigue, or could it be depression? Depression is treatable with or without Fibromyalgia.)
- Do you find yourself wondering whether your aches and pains will ever go away or if you’ll feel like this forever? (Consult your doctor to find out if this is Fibromyalgia or another problem.)
- Are you always losing things, or forgetting things? Do you have mental confusion that makes you wonder if you could possibly have an early onset of Alzheimer’s disease? (You may have this problem stemming from Fibromyalgia or it could be something else. If you have answered Yes to some of the earlier questions, you could have Fibromyalgia. Do consult your physician.)
- Are you having trouble finding a pattern to your pain – some days your pain is bad and other days it’s not? (This is a sign of the chronic “ups and downs” of Fibromyalgia.)
- Are you “down” about the pain and fatigue you are feeling? Do you wonder if depression could be the problem? (It’s possible to have both depression and Fibromyalgia. Keep in mind that, as of this date, laboratory tests cannot diagnose Fibromyalgia but tests can tell you if you have another medical problem.)