In the past decade, fibromyalgia has become a well-known ailment
that causes reduced pain tolerance, musculoskeletal pain,
sleep disturbances, fatigue and morning stiffness in sufferers.
The estimated prevalence of fibromyalgia has been determined
to be around 2%, with 10 times more women affected than men.
Recent information suggests that this syndrome may be overreported
as a "fashionable diagnosis," however, while other medical
conditions are overlooked.
examine fibromyalgia diagnostic accuracy, researchers evaluated
all 76 new patients referred to a rheumatology clinic over
a six-month period with an initial diagnosis of fibromyalgia,
or a final diagnosis of fibromyalgia after ruling out a previously
At final evaluation, diagnostic accuracy for fibromyalgia
at a patient's initial visit was correct in only one-third
of cases. Of the patients initially (but incorrectly) diagnosed
with fibromyalgia, 59% suffered from other inflammatory conditions,
such as rheumatoid arthritis. True fibromyalgia sufferers
tended to have many more tender points and were more fatigued
than those suffering from other conditions. The authors of
this study from Rheumatology concluded that there is
a "disturbing inaccuracy" in the diagnosis of fibromyalgia,
which might in part explain the current high rates reported
for this condition. By accepting an incorrect diagnosis of
fibromyalgia, many people may be inadvertently overlooking
other inflammatory conditions. If you have been diagnosed
with fibromyalgia and don't seem to be responding to treatment,
you may want to get a second opinion.
Reference: Fitzcharles MA, Boulos P.
Inaccuracy in the diagnosis of fibromyalgia syndrome: Analysis
of referrals. Rheumatology 2003:42(2), pp. 263-267.
To read more about different types of common body aches and
pains, go to www.chiroweb.com/find/archives/musculoskeletal.
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