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Answers tagged fibromyalgia: Page 1 of 1

Alicia from Edmonton asks: Where can I find a doctor who treats fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia often presents as diffuse pain, poor or non-restorative sleep, and a decrease in exercise.  A doctor’s role is to discuss this presentation with a patient, and also rule out other conditions that may present similarly.  Once a diagnosis is made, the first key options for treatment include education around pain management, sleep and exercise.  While rheumatologists certainly see patients with fibromyalgia, many family physicians diagnose and manage patients with fibromyalgia as well.  In Edmonton, there are a number of excellent education programs for fibromyalgia.  Please see our fibromyalgia web page for more information and how to enroll.


Rasa from Edmonton asks:  I have fibromyalgia, but I am having a difficult time getting in to see a rheumatologist.  Isn’t fibromyalgia treated by rheumatologists?

Fibromyalgia is a condition that presents with diffuse muscle and joint pain, poor sleep, and fatigue. Some patients also describe stomach ailments and have history of headaches. The symptoms may often be vague, but can be debilitating to patients with it.  Rheumatologists often see patients with fibromyalgia before a clear diagnosis has been made.  For some people, it is important to rule out other possibilities, including conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, polymyalgia rheumatica, and other autoimmune inflammatory diseases which require a different treatment approach.

If a diagnosis of fibromyalgia has been established, there is no specific expertise a rheumatologist has compared to other physicians, including family physicians.  The first steps in managing fibromyalgia include a slow progressive increase in exercise, working on sleep hygiene, and learning more about fibromyalgia.  Please visit our webpage on fibromyalgia to learn more the condition and resources available in the Edmonton area.


Anne from Calgary asks: I have a friend with fibromyalgia. She has said many times that fibromyalgia shortens life expectancy, and she is very frightened about this. I was glad to see that Alberta Rheumatology’s fibromyalgia webpage says that fibromyalgia is not associated with a shorter life span. Could you please cite a source for this, such as a journal article, so that I can show it to my friend? She would find it comforting.

You are correct to say there is no data to suggest fibromyalgia affects life span.  A recent 2011 paper by Dr. Fred Wolfe, published in Arthritis Care and Research, showed this again.


Gwen from Edmonton asks:  I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia rheumatica 4 years ago….took prednisone ….tapered very slowly off this summer…….now all the symptoms are back… long does this disease last?

It is common to confuse fibromyalgia and polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) – the first is a condition associated with chronic pain and can be treated with a number of non-pharmacologic options, while PMR requires low dose prednisone for approximately one year.  In most cases of PMR, a slow titrating course of prednisone is effective, although there are times when symptoms return.  For these cases, retreatment with prednisone, or the addition of steroid sparing medications, is considered.  Equally important is to review your symptoms with your physician to ensure the correct diagnosis, or change in diagnosis.


Lynne from Edmonton asks: Could you please discuss the link between RA and Fibromyalgia? I have been diagnosed with RA but at times my whole body hurts…just wondering if that might be what I have..

Up to one-third of patients with rheumatoid arthritis may also develop fibromyalgia. As the rheumatoid arthritis gets under better control, your sleep will improve as will your ability to be more active; this should lead to improvement in the more diffuse pain from the fibromyalgia too.

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