Fibromyalgia · Health

Fibromyalgia ~ Diagnosis

Wait.  I’ve heard it so many times over the last four years. And it never has become easier to hear.  Getting a diagnosis is a long process. There were 6 weeks of waiting while my primary care doctor tried different medications to ease my pain. Then there were blood labs to wait for. Finally, the doctor decided to send me to a specialist.

At first, you think, “Good. Now we will get to the bottom of this.” 

But then there is more waiting. {Click Here for more of my  personal  diagnosis story}

The medical field is finally getting a good understanding about fibromyalgia.

In fact, it finally became established as a syndrome with a diagnosis code in October 2015!  This should make it easier to get a diagnosis and help others, including doctors, understand what you are dealing with.


The cause is still unknown.

So how do the doctors diagnose this type of problem?

Reminder:  I just want to say that I am a patient, not a doctor. What I am sharing comes largely from what my doctors taught me and what I have discovered in my own searching.

I am sharing to hopefully help you be informed enough to support friends with this syndrome or possibly acquire informed questions for your doctor. Please talk with your doctor or visit the Mayo Clinic website for official information, diagnosis, and treatment.

There is no blood test that confirms Fibromyalgia.

However, they still do a great deal of blood work to rule 12096519_724004627732743_156457330536608670_nout other diseases. This is good since Fibromyalgia often pairs up with other diseases, such as Rheumatoid Arthritis (R.A.).

In my case, they drew sixteen vials of blood for testing! And nothing definitive was found. Actually, we learned later that I also had R.A., it was hidden by steroid medications I was taking to ease the by pain. The R.A. showed up after getting on Savella, a drug for Fibromyalgia, and reducing the steroids.

Diagnosis is determined by symptoms and placement of pain.

Here are three questions are vital in determining if you have Fibromyalgia:

  1. Is the pain Chronic?  There are two types of pain – Acute and Chronic. Acute pain is caused by something specific, such as a cut or break or surgery, but lasts a short amount of time. Chronic pain lasts over 3 months
  2. Do you have pain in multiple tender points? Is it painful under mild, firm pressure? If you have pain in 11 or more of the 18 tender points, indications are that you have Fibromyalgia. Find a self-test at . Then go see your doctor.
  3. Do you have associated symptoms, such as fatigue, poor sleep, thinking or memory difficulties, dizziness, or a mood disorder? These symptoms often show themselves along with Fibromyalgia.


So, the good news … you have a diagnosis.

The bad news .. There isn’t really a cure … just live with it the best you can.

BUT it can be managed and you can get a life back.

So next, we will begin the road to getting your life back through pain management.

To Caregivers and Friends

The best thing you can do for you friend or loved one with fibromyalgia is to gain as much understanding about fibromyalgia as you can.

Then be as supportive as you can.

Feeling Your Pain;

Mandy Farmer








Next Topic  >>>> First Steps to Reduce Pain



fibromyalgia Awareness
Purple is the color for fibromyalgia awareness. I make these blankets to make others aware the proceeds of sales help pay for the cost of this blog. Click on this picture to order yours.


Live Strong – What Can family and friends do?

Mayo Clinic – Fibromyalgia Tests and Diagnosis