New Criteria for Diagnosing Fibromyalgia


Fibromyalgia may be under-diagnosed in both men and women because of the reliance on 11 tender points which is broad but ineffective approach for diagnosing fibromyalgia.
Consequently, fibromyalgia diagnosis in practice has often been a symptom-based diagnosis. The new criteria will standardize a symptom-based diagnosis so that all doctors are using the same process.

The tender point test is being replaced with a widespread pain index and a symptom severity scale. 

The widespread pain index score is determined by counting the number of areas on the body where the patient has felt pain in the last week. The checklist includes 19 specified areas.
The symptom severity score is determined by rating on a scale of zero to three, three being the most pervasive, the severity of three common symptoms: fatigue, waking unrefreshed and cognitive symptoms. An additional three points can be added to account for the extent of additional symptoms such as numbness, dizziness, nausea, irritable bowel syndrome or depression. The final score is between 0 and 12.

To meet the criteria for a diagnosis of fibromyalgia a patient would have seven or more pain areas and a symptom severity score of five or more; or three to six pain areas and a symptom severity score of nine or more.

Some criteria will remain unchanged. The symptoms must have been present for at least three months, and the patient does not have a disorder that would otherwise explain the pain.

You can read more about how I diagnose fibromyalgia by visiting my website www.treatingandbeating.com

1 reply
  1. Wijitar
    Wijitar says:

    I have just come across your webiste, and as a long time Fibromyalgia and CFS sufferer thought I would tell you how I deal with it. I have suffered with FM for over 25 years I also have severe menieres disease,chronic lung problems, osteoarthritis, migraines, have had 23 operations in as many years for numerous proplems and am now recovering from breast cancer. My way of dealing is Just Get On With It. Dont talk about it to others as it only makes you dwell on the problem. Suffer in silence, keep busy. While your mind and body is as busy as it can be the pain has to fight its way to the front. I dont sleep much due to pain so I watch old movies, read or play on the computer. JUST KEEP BUSY and try not to feel sorry for yourself. LIFE GOES ON WITH PAIN OR WITHOUT. We only have one life and if we live this one feeling sorry for ourselves there are no more chances. GO FOR IT NOW and live with the hand you have been dealt.CheersHelen

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