Symptom Fluctuations in Fibromyalgia Patients May Affect Diagnosis and Treatment, Study Finds

Symptom Fluctuations in Fibromyalgia Patients May Affect Diagnosis and Treatment, Study Finds
Patients with fibromyalgia may experience fluctuations in symptoms over time, which may affect diagnosis and treatment, according to the study "Progression of fibromyalgia: results from a 2-year observational fibromyalgia and chronic pain study in the US," recently published in the Journal of Pain Research. Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by chronic widespread pain (CWP) accompanied by fatigue, sleep problems, and painful tender points. Because there is no specific laboratory test that can be used to diagnose fibromyalgia patients, assessment of signs and symptoms by physicians is the only reliable means for diagnosis. There are widely variable prevalence estimates for fibromyalgia, which may range from less than 1 percent to 10.5 percent worldwide. This may be a result of symptom fluctuation in patients over time. In fact, although little is known about the behavior of fibromyalgia symptoms over time, studies have reported that one to two years after diagnosis, a high number of patients (20-47 percent) no longer meet the diagnostic criteria for fibromyalgia. Researchers led by Edgar H. Adams wanted to better understand the fluctuations of fibromyalgia over a two-year period. The cohort study examined 475 subjects recruited online who visited a site for physician evaluation of fibromyalgia (FM), and completed an online questionnaire to screen for chronic widespread pain (CWP). Depending on their diagnosis, patients were divided into th
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