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Home Health How is Fibromyalgia Diagnosed by Neurologists?

How is Fibromyalgia Diagnosed by Neurologists?

An “invisible illness” has many hurdles, even if the particular condition is not visible to the world. The patient suffering the illness faces struggles with everyday activities that may seem easy for everyone else. It is so for Fibromyalgia, a chronic disorder where you feel intense and widespread muscle pain throughout the body. Fibromyalgia involves the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). You may visit several health practitioners to find the treatment options best suited for you. However, a neurologist will be the right expert in diagnosing the illness and recommending appropriate treatments. Neurologists in Delhi are knowledgeable and well equipped to help you find the treatment for Fibromyalgia.

What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain disorder that can be both physically and emotionally distressing to the patients it afflicts. Every year, it affects millions of people and is more prevalent among women. Patients experience muscle pain throughout the body and other symptoms like sleep disturbance, mood swings, memory issues, and fatigue. If muscle pain persists for more than three months along with other symptoms, you must consult a neurologist. If you notice these prolonged symptoms, it could indicate Fibromyalgia.

Diagnosing Fibromyalgia

Neurologists in Delhi agree that Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes musculoskeletal pain throughout the body. The illness is linked to changes in the brain and spinal cord’s processing of pain signals. Hence, a physician relies on the combination of symptoms that appear to make an accurate diagnosis. Diagnostic guidelines for Fibromyalgia include widespread pain in the body for at least three months. The pain can occur on both sides of the body and above or below the waist.

Excluding Other Causes

Fibromyalgia can occur due to pre-existing or other health conditions. During diagnosis, Neurologists determine whether the Fibromyalgia symptoms are caused by some other existing health problems. Those problems include:

  • Rheumatic diseases – Conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren’s syndrome, and lupus begin with aches and pain as well.
  • Mental health concerns –Generalized pain can also be caused by disorders such as anxiety and depression.
  • Neurological disorders –Fibromyalgia symptoms often mimic the symptoms of myasthenia gravis and multiple sclerosis.

Neurologists may perform different examinations to help them diagnose Fibromyalgia.

What to Expect at a Neurologist during your Fibromyalgia Examination?

Neurologists in Delhi need to get a good look at all the aspects of the nervous system to diagnose Fibromyalgia. It means a neurologist may perform several diagnostic tests. The tests provide visual images of the brain, muscles, and nerves. Some commonly performed tests include:

  • CAT scan (Computed Axial Tomography)
  • EMG (Electromyography)
  • EEG (Electroencephalography)
  • MRI (Magnetic Resonance imaging)

These procedures often involve high-tech equipment, and most of these tests are pain-free.

Other tests may include:

  • Laboratory Tests (blood and urine analyses)
  • Imaging tests (Ultrasound, CT scan, and Pet Scan)
  • Genetic testing
  • Biopsy
  • Angiography, etc.

What causes Fibromyalgia?

Medical conditions that may lead to Fibromyalgia include:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Lupus
  • Celiac disease
  • Ehlers-Danlos syndrome

Other conditions that can be possible causes of Fibromyalgia are:

  • Physical, emotional, or sexual abuse
  • Traumatic events like a vehicle accident or loss of a loved one
  • Medical events including surgery, pregnancy/childbirth, or infections
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Most common triggers for fibromyalgia flare-up include:

  • Stress
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Infection
  • Surgery
  • Change in medication
  • Repetitive movements
  • Poor posture
  • Trauma

Symptoms

The most common symptoms of Fibromyalgia are:

  • Whole-body pain
  • Fatigue
  • Unrefreshing sleep
  • Memory & concentration difficulties
  • Headaches
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Constipation
  • Back and neck pain
  • Mood problems
  • Deconditioning

Other conditions that may co-exist with Fibromyalgia are:

  • Anxiety
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Depression
  • Irritable bladder
  • Migraine
  • Sleep disturbance

Fibromyalgia may not be a life-threatening disorder, but it can impact the quality of life to a great extent.

How does a Neurologist help treat Fibromyalgia?

  • Neurologists play an integral role in the diagnosis and treatment of Fibromyalgia. Since the symptoms are related to a central nervous system disorder, neurologists are the perfect experts to provide guidance.
  • Fibromyalgia is the result of a pain processing disorder in the brain. Accordingly, a neurologist is one of the best medical professionals a fibromyalgia patient could consult for treatment.
  • Neurologists may help identify and narrow down the cause of the pain and treat it specifically.

Know-how of a Neurologist

  • A medical practitioner who specializes in diagnosing, treating, and managing the nervous system is a neurologist.
  • They usually deal with problems that occur in the parts of the nervous system, namely:
    • The central nervous system (including primarily the brain and spinal cord) and
    • The peripheral nervous system (the nerves, nerve roots, and muscles)
  • Special examinations and tests conducted by a neurologist on various parts of the nervous system help diagnose and treat illness.

When visiting a neurologist, you must ensure that you receive a proper evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment plan for Fibromyalgia. When treatment is ongoing, you will be required to return to your neurologist regularly for follow-up appointments. A neurologist will start the diagnosis by examining your medical history and the symptoms. The neurologist may perform several tests to rule out disorders commonly confused with Fibromyalgia.

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