Evaluating the Patient With Fibromyalgia




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Once the physician has identified fibromyalgia as a potential diagnosis, further evaluation is warranted, both to understand the full dimensions of fibromyalgia and to evaluate other potential causes of the patient’s symptoms. For example, mood disorders, sleep disorders, and daytime fatigue are often present in patients with fibromyalgia and often are closely related to pain. In addition, a number of physical conditions can mimic fibromyalgia and must be considered in the patient’s evaluation. These include endocrine conditions, neurologic disorders, musculoskeletal diseases, and medication-related side effects. Taking a complete medical history and performing a thorough physical examination, including a complete laboratory assessment, can be very helpful in confirming the diagnosis or establishing an alternate diagnosis.

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J Clin Psychiatry 2010;71(9):e25