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A New Way of Diagnosing Fibromyalgia
Pain Index Plus Symptoms, Not Tender Points, Equals Fibromyalgia, New Study Says
By Denise Mann

May 26, 2010 — A new way of diagnosing fibromyalgia, by using a pain index and a measure of key symptoms and severity, may lead to more diagnoses and treatment, a new study says. The findings appear in the May issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

Until now, diagnosing the widespread pain disorder relied mainly on “tender point” exams or tenderness to the touch at 11 or more of 18 specified tender points and widespread pain in all four quadrants of the body for three months.

But this method was not fail-safe, says study author Robert Katz, MD, a rheumatologist and professor of medicine at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. “Doctors just weren’t comfortable with tender point exams, and these points fluctuate over time.

“The trick to fibromyalgia is diagnosing it,” he says. “A lot of people experience widespread pain, but when do you give it the label of fibromyalgia?”

Fibromyalgia is based on symptoms, so X-rays can’t make definitive a diagnosis as they can in other rheumatic diseases.
No More Tender Point Exams

The new criteria avoid tender points and tender point exams. Instead, a widespread pain index coupled with a symptom severity scale is used. The pain index is a 19-item checklist; a person marks the number of body parts where they have experienced pain during the last week. The symptom scale comprises unrefreshing sleep, fatigue, and cognitive issues — three hallmarks of fibromyalgia. Symptoms are rated on an ascending scale of severity from 0 to 3. The diagnosis revolves around the number of painful areas, number of symptoms, and their severity. The American College of Rheumatology gave its stamp of approval to these new criteria.

Using the new set of criteria, “we will be diagnosing more people because we are casting a wider net,” Katz says. Fibromyalgia affects an estimated 10 million people in the U.S. and an estimated 3% to 6% of the population worldwide, according to National Fibromyalgia Association. “The number may double or even triple,” he says.

Fibromyalgia

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Living with fibromyalgia

WINNER OF THE PANDORA ADVOCACY CONTEST 2007 The story of a young girl named Holly Fraser, who has to endure a life with the incurable disease Fibromyalgia. more info can be found at http://www.diagnosesupport.com http ©2005 elfling productions http://www.elfling.c…

Diagnosing Fibromyalgia | this time ~ this space

Fibromyalgia is a syndrome involving debilitating pain, sleep disturbance, jaw pain, irritable bowel, headaches, and difficulty with concentration, anxiety.

Publish Date: 06/07/2010 5:33

http://thistimethisspace.com/2010/06/06/diagnosing-fibromyalgia/

Interesting Aspects of Fibromyalgia Symptoms | Help for Depression

The process of diagnosing fibromyalgia is performed mostly on patients’ reports of fibromyalgia symptoms and careful neurological examinations. However, there are also other ways of diagnosing the disorder. …

Publish Date: 06/13/2010 9:31

http://depressionhelpebooks.com/2010/06/13/interesting-aspects-of-fibromyalgia-symptoms/

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