Who Diagnoses Fibromyalgia? (From FibromyalgiaTreating.com)
Who diagnoses fibromyalgia? Fibromyalgia has been around for centuries, but has only gained recognition as a bona fide medical condition in the last few years, thanks to new research linking the condition to actual disease processes instead of obscure complaints.
According to the National Fibromyalgia Syndrome Association, about 12 million to 20 million people in the USA suffer from fibromyalgia, which today is classified as a rheumatologic neurologic disease. About 90 percent of fibromyalgia patients in the USA are women, and most patients develop the disease later in life, although it can develop during the teenage years.
Fibromyalgia has not always been considered a disease, but has been labeled as depression or as a psychological problem, and treated as such. Many times addictive medications such as opioids are prescribed along with anti-depressants, leading some to speculate that fibromyalgia was a mental illness.
Symptoms of the disease include fatigue, waking unrefreshed, memory or thought problems, and no other health problems that could explain the symptoms. Also suspect are pain points that last longer than a week in several of 18 parts of the body.
Even though in the 1800s a Scottish surgeon, William Balfour, discovered nodules on connective tissue and theorized that inflammation was the cause of these pain points, the disease was not recognized as valid or physically significant until relatively recently.
By 1880 an American neurologist, George William Beard, introduced terms such as myelasthenia and neurasthenia to describe overall pain coupled with extreme fatigue and coping problems, but still the condition was not classified under a single umbrella.
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