Fibromyalgia: Meaning, Diagnosis and Overview

What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, tiredness and multiple tender points. Women are much more likely to develop fibromyalgia than are men. It is also called as Fibromyalgia Syndrome, Fibromyositis and Fibrositis. It is a long-term condition which causes pain all over the body. Pain should have been present most of the day on most days for atleast 3months.
Fibromyalgia overview

Recovery Time

Fibromyalgia is a chronic (long duration) condition. The symptoms have to be managed by proper treatment, lifestyle, diet and physical activity.


Currently there are no laboratory tests available for diagnosing fibromyalgia. Diagnosis is done based on patient medical histories, self-reported symptoms, a physical examination and an accurate manual tender point examination.

FAQs prepared by doctor

Q1.  What factors aggravate the symptoms of Fibromyalgia?
Changes in weather, cold or drafty environments, hormonal fluctuations (premenstrual and menopausal states), stress, depression, anxiety, infections (flu or a cold), and over-exertion can all contribute to symptom flare-ups. Repetitive use of the same muscle group can strain the muscles and lead to more pain.

Q2.  Is it possible to have both depression and Fibromyalgia?
  • Yes, one may find feel depressed alongside with other symptoms of fibromyalgia because these two conditions may be linked but one may not find this in all patients all the time.
  • Explanation- Fibromyalgia has a range of symptoms, which can affect different aspects of your health and wellbeing. If you find it difficult to manage your symptoms, you may feel isolated by the condition, which may lead to depression. It?s also possible that whatever is causing your fibromyalgia also causes depression, such as low levels of certain brain chemicals. You may find it difficult to stay positive when you?re in pain and feeling tired. You may find a short course of antidepressants helps to bring back some balance, but you will probably need to make some changes in the way you do things so that you can manage your fibromyalgia better in the long term.
Q3.  Is Fibromyalgia genetic (i.e., does it run in families)?
Fibromyalgia does run in families and there appears to be a strong genetic component. If one parent has this condition, the odds that a child will develop it are estimated to be 50%. Many research studies are under way to look at the genetic abnormalities that might be linked to various neurotransmitters involved in both pain and sleep regulation.

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