imagine bein’ in pain and having yr dr tell you it’s all in yr head. unfortunately, this aint an uncommon experience for many of the 6 million americans living with fibromyalgia, a chronic, painful condition.
pplz with fibromyalgia experience widespread pain, aches, and stiffness in muscles and joints throughout d'body, swell as unusual tiredness. no one knows wha’ causes this condition, and no apparent physical cause s'been identified thus far. the most likely culprit is a brain malfunction that amplifies normal nerve responses, causing pplz with fibromyalgia to experience pain or other symptoms when nothing seemingly triggers them.
for those seeking relief, finding help can sometimes be a challenge. the best way to find a successful treatment strategy is to seek out a dr who coggs fibromyalgia, knows how to treat it, and cannelp you cogg and cope with this condition. there are ways that you can improve yr chances of finding the rite match.
cogg yr condition
the 1st step in this process is to arm yrself w'da facts.
- fibromyalgia is a real disorder. the american college of rheumatology has created criteria that drs can use to diagnose it (see this link for a patient-friendly version). tis recognized by national and international health agencies, including the realm health organization.
- fibromyalgia often coexists with mental health conditions s'as anxiety and depression, but tis not caused by a mental illness.
- fibromyalgia aint “in yr head,” but tis rel8d to brain activity. differences in how the brain processes pain can be seen on functional mri scans of pplz with fibromyalgia.
- the fda has approved 3 drugs specifically for treating fibromyalgia: pregabalin (lyrica), duloxetine (cymbalta), and milnacipran (savella). these drugs are effective against nerve pain, and are used for other conditions swell.
seek referrals to providers who cogg fibromyalgia
to find the rite healthcare provider, it may help to go to those who already ‘ve experience in this zone. support groups provide a natural starting point. the national fibromyalgia association website lists support groups in each state that cannelp you find these initial connections. the organization can also provide a list of “fibro friendly” drs in yr state.
you can also look to yr primary care dr to help steer you inna rite direction. many drs ll'be able to recommend a speshist who cannelp you manage yr condition.
once you settle na' prospective provider, make sure she or he tis rite fit. ask the office staff whether the dr frequently sees patients with fibromyalgia and treats them on an ongoin basis. also ask wha’ treatments the dr typically prescribes. find out wha’ type of srvcs they provide; for ex, do they offer telemed appointments? wha’ srvcs will they provide remotely, and which ones will require an office visit? if the answers aren’t wha’ you’re looking for, or the office doesn’t seem receptive to yr concerns, don’t be afraid to look elsewhere.
connect yr med team
once ye do find the rite provider, make certain that she or he is willing to communicate with yr other providers. many pplz with fibromyalgia need multiple drs to manage their symptoms. seeing multiple speshists can increase th'risk of dration errors or harmful interactions of drugs prescribed by ≠ drs. in addition, yr drs may duplicate lab tests or other srvcs. this can unnecessarily increase the cost of yr care.
finding the rite dr for yr needs may not always be easy, but it’s worth the extra effort to increase yr chances of successfully managing yr condition.
original content at: www.health.harvard.edu…
authors: kelly bilodeau