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Health Tip: Fibromyalgia, One of a Few Commonly Misdiagnosed Conditions in Women

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Years ago, if you told someone you have fibromyalgia, you might get a response that included a blank stare, shoulder shrug, or inquisitive look. Today, thanks in part to drug manufacturers and those ever-present pharmaceutical advertisements on television, more people know about fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia, known as an “invisible” condition (as explained in a Lifescript.com article found online), is characterized by chronic pain that often can be accompanied by fatigue, disrupted sleep, numbness, tingling, and cognitive problems. It is considered a syndrome with no known specific cause, although some experts believe stress or genetics may at least in part be to blame.

There is no definitive test to diagnose it, and symptoms can be misleading or hard to pinpoint, so it can lead to misdiagnosis, or could be mistaken for chronic fatigue syndrome, lupus, or Lyme disease. It often is diagnosed by first ruling out other conditions.

Treatment can be effective if properly diagnosed. So if you or someone you know is complaining of similar symptoms, talk with a doctor to find out if it could be fibromyalgia.

Do you have a question about fibromyalgia? Check out EmpowHER’s pages. Sign-up, post a question, share your story, connect with other women in our groups and community, and feel EmpowHERed!

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Christine Jeffries is a writer/editor for work and at heart, and lives in a home of testosterone with her husband and two sons. Christine is interested in women’s health and promoting strong women.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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