Do you think you have Fibromyalgia?

How to get a diagnosis?


A visit to your GP would be the first place to start and they will do the following:

  • take a detailed history of your symptoms.
  • symptoms must have stayed at the same level for 3 months.
  • you have severe pain in 3 - 6 different areas or milder pain in 7 or more different areas in your body.
  • checking your joints for swelling, heat or any other incators of other illnesses such as arthritis.
  • various blood tests and x-rays to rule out any other illnesses.
  • other scans may be used.
  • a referral to a Rheumatologist for formal diagnosis.

Diagnosing of FM?

There is no specific test for FM. When your GP takes a full history of your symptoms, they would also carry out an examination of your body to rule out other conditions by checking for signs like swollen joints which could mean arthritis. Your symptoms must be in all four quadrants of the body (both sides of the body, below and above the waist).


You will then be sent to have blood drawn to rule out any other conditions that would be found like thyroid conditions. Once these are received back and prove to be negitive your GP will make an informed decision on whether they believe you have FM. You may then be referred to a Rheumatologist for a formal diagnosis.


There is no known cure for FM and it is a chronic (long-term) illness. Many GP's are unsure how to help and in many cases it is down to the sufferer to find your triggers, to learn to pace and listen to your body.


Research into the causes are ongoing.

More speculation into 'what causes' FM!


As said, the exact cause of FM is unknown but here are some of the factors that may contribute to it:

  • Abnormal pain messages due to changes in the chemicals in the central nervous system.
  • Abnormally low levels of the hormones seratonin, noradrenaline and dopamine in the brain which regulate mood, behaviour, appetite and the response to stressful situations.They also play a role in processing the pain messages that get sent to the nerves.
  • Sleep issues, are now thought to be a possible cause of FM and not just a symptom.
  • Genetics may play a small part in FM with some people developing FM in families.

Who can get FM?


FM is 7 times more likely in woman than in men and approximately 2-4% of the population in the UK have it. In most cases it develops in people between the ages of 25 and 55. It is uncommonly found in young adultsand the elderly but even more uncommonly, in children.

Useful Websites:

Working with FMA UK, registered charity number 1042582




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