February 2003 
Volume 33  Number 2
Pages 68 - 70
  PDF Version Available!


  • 18 points of fibromyalgia

  • Anterior

  • Posterior

  • QUESTION: Until recently, one of my patients with fibromyalgia was misdiagnosed several times. Why is this painful condition so difficult to diagnose?

    ANSWER: Fibromyalgia—pain in the fibrous tissue—isn'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 ...

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