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Fibromyalgia: Fact Or Fiction Essay

2414 words - 10 pages

Fibromyalgia: Fact or Fiction
Although fibromyalgia is not new and progress is being made to understand this disease the actual cause of it is still speculation. There have been many theories but nothing that has been proven. Most believe “fibromyalgia is initiated or triggered by a physical trauma such as a car accident, surgery, death of a loved one or some physiological and emotional stressors” (Envita). It is speculated that the abnormal infection is already present in the body and is set off by a stressful emotional event that triggers the infection to attack the immune system, similar to what has been found in other diseases such as auto-immune disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, and ...view middle of the document...

Diagnosis of fibromyalgia is very difficult as you can see, however, progress has been made in that area too since the 1800’s. In order to be diagnosed with this disease it usually takes several doctors to collectively make that decision. My wife had been to almost every specialist in the medical field, and finally, after 2 years and many visits she was able to receive her diagnosis. Keep I mind that because there is no simple blood test or ailment that can identify this disease the diagnosis is made by mainly ruling out all the other diseases that are closely associated with the symptoms of fibromyalgia. A doctor who is familiar with this disease is calpable now of making that ruling, however, that ruling will be made off of what the American College of Rheumatology has published as guidelines for this disease. There is one specific test that can be used to identify the severity of fibromyalgia and is suggested to be used as a starting point for diagnosis. There is a series of 18 points on the human body that have been identified as “tender points”. These are in specific locations and do not migrate, these are key points that when a specific amount of pressure is applied, pain is felt, but not just at that point, it tends to radiate from the point to an area around that portion of the extremity. These points are located on the front and back of the neck, mid to upper back of the shoulders, upper chest, elbows, upper buttocks, hips, and knees (Pfizer). In order for this test to be considered as effective for diagnosis the patient should have at a minimum of 11 locations of the 18 that cause recognizable pain. My wife has 17 of the 18 points as indicated by her doctor. Other test that will assist in the diagnosis is a Computed Tomography scan (CAT) or a Magnetic Resonance Imaging scan (MRI) of the brain, a specific blood test called an FM/a which looks for markers produced by immune system blood cells, a CBC blood test and a complete blood work up, a complete physical exam, and possibly a thyroid test (Fibromyalgia Network).
Some of the other diseases that would have to be ruled out during testing include Rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, osteoarthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, polymyalgia rheumatic, hypothyroidism, myositis and numerous neurological disorders (Mayo). These are ruled out thru testing and visits to specialist in these fields, so as one can see, and understand, it can be a lengthy process to finally receive a diagnosis and start receiving appropriate care for fibromyalgia. I believe that if the Government and the Medical industry pull together and conduct more testing, offer more grants and facilities, a diagnosis procedure that takes far less time could be developed. Two years is too long to sit in pain, waiting for someone to tell you that you have a disease. During the diagnosis process the patient is taking a concoction of anti depressants, muscle relaxers, anti seizure medication and a slew of...

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