Fibromyalgia is often called an invisible disease. There’s no specific test to diagnose it, and it can be puzzling to a doctor who’s not familiar with the condition. The symptoms overlap with many other illnesses, so it’s possible to be misdiagnosed.
Don’t be discouraged if you need to see a few different doctors. A specialist may be in a better position to understand what’s going on with you and create a treatment plan that eases your symptoms and helps you feel better.
What to Look For
First, you want someone who will take you seriously. Your doctor needs to believe your pain, fatigue, and thinking problems are real and be willing to try to do something about them.
Because your treatment may involve more than one health care professional, you’ll also want a doctor who is well-versed in the complex world of fibromyalgia to oversee it all: medication, physical therapy, nutrition, acupuncture, sleep management, and biofeedback, for example.
People with fibro often have other ailments, too, including irritable bowel syndrome, headaches, and jaw pain. Your doctor should know how to deal with these, or work well with another provider who can care for you.
Primary Care Doctor
Not all general internists or family doctors are familiar with fibromyalgia. But if yours is and has treated others with the condition, they may be the one to spearhead your treatment.
These doctors specialize in musculoskeletal and autoimmune diseases, such as arthritis and gout. Though fibromyalgia isn’t a form of arthritis and doesn’t cause inflammation or damage to joints, muscles, or other tissues, the symptoms someone with fibro feels are similar.
Rheumatologists often coordinate the types of care you’ll need, so one could be your top choice for fibro treatment.
Pain Medicine Specialist
They come from a variety of fields, including internal medicine, neurology, orthopedic surgery, and psychiatry. A pain clinic may also have a team of physical therapists, nurses, and occupational therapists on staff to help treat your overall symptoms.
If you have fibromyalgia, one of the main symptoms is likely to be as follows:
Poor sleep quality.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
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