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Talking to Your Doctor About Fibromyalgia

Talk openly and often with your healthcare provider. It will help you make the best choices for your care.

Tips for Getting Information

Here are some tips that will help you talk to your doctor:

  • Bring someone with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask.
  • Write down your questions so you do not forget them.
  • Write down the answers you get. Make sure you grasp what you are hearing. Ask for help, if needed.
  • Do not be afraid to ask questions. Ask where you can learn more. You have a right to know.

Questions to Ask Your Doctor

About Fibromyalgia

  • Could other conditions be causing my symptoms?
  • What could have caused my fibromyalgia?
  • Have you treated many people with fibromyalgia?
  • Will I need to see a specialist?

About Treatment Options

  • What types of treatments are right for me?
  • What medicines may help me?
    • What are the benefits/side effects?
    • Will these medicines cause problems with other medicines, over-the-counter products, or dietary or herbal supplements that I take?
  • Are there any alternative or complementary therapies that will help me?

About Lifestyle Changes

  • What type of exercise should I do?
  • Are there any exercises that I should not do?
  • Will I be able to keep working and doing my usual activities?

About Outlook

  • What is my outlook?
  • How long will it take before my symptoms begin to get better?
  • Can you help me find a support group?
  • How can I explain my health problem to my family, friends, and employer?
  • Where can I get more information?
REFERENCES:

Fibromyalgia. American College of Rheumatology website. Available at: http://www.rheumatology.org/I-Am-A/Patient-Caregiver/Diseases-Conditions/Fibromyalgia. Accessed August 11, 2020.

Fibromyalgia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:https://www.dynamed.com/condition/fibromyalgia. Accessed August 11, 2020.

Fibromyalgia. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Fibromyalgia/default.asp. Accessed August 11, 2020.

Getting the most out of your doctor appointment. American Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/healthcare-management/working-with-your-doctor/tips-for-talking-to-your-doctor.html. Accessed August 11, 2020.

Macfarlane GJ, Kronisch C, et al. EULAR revised recommendations for the management of fibromyalgia. Ann Rheum Dis. 2017 Feb;76(2):318-328.

Last reviewed March 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board James P. Cornell, MD  Last Updated: 3/5/2021