February 2003, Volume 33 Number 2 , p 68 - 70
Outline 18 points of fibromyalgia
QUESTION: Until recently, one of my patients with fibromyalgia was misdiagnosed several times. Why is this painful condition so difficult to diagnose?
ANSWER: Fibromyalgiapain in the fibrous tissueisn't a new disease. However, it's often mistaken for another disorder that causes similar symptoms, such as rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, hypothyroidism, and giant cell arteritis. The cause and cure remain a mystery.
Between 3 and 6 million Americans suffer from fibromyalgia; it's more common in women than men. Age at onset typically is 29 to 37, although it can strike at any age.
Because fibromyalgia can't be confirmed by diagnostic studies, diagnosis depends on the patient's history and ruling out other conditions, including hypothyroidism, rheumatologic syndromes, and myopathies induced by drugs (such ...