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Fibromyalgia affects two to four percent of people, women more often than men. Doctors diagnose fibromyalgia based on all the patient’s relevant symptoms (what you feel), no longer just on the number of tender places during an examination. There is no test to detect this disease, but you may need lab tests or X-rays to rule out other health problems. Though there is no cure, medications can reduce symptoms in some patients. Patients also may feel better with proper self-care, such as exercise and getting enough sleep. Fibromyalgia is a common health problem that causes widespread pain and tenderness (sensitivity to touch). The pain and tenderness tend to come and go, and move about the body. Most often, people with this chronic (long-term) illness are fatigued (very tired) and have sleep problems. The diagnosis can be made with a careful examination. Fibromyalgia is most common in women, though it can occur in men. It most often starts in middle adulthood, but can occur in the teen years and in old age. You are at higher risk for fibromyalgia if you have a rheumatic disease (health problem that affects the joints, muscles and bones). These include osteoarthritis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis.
This information is provided for general education only. Individuals should consult a qualified health care provider for professional medical advice, diagnosis and treatment of a medical or health condition. © 2013 American College of Rheumatology