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10 Questions You Should Ask Your Doctor If You Have Fibromyalgia

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Being diagnosed with fibromyalgia can feel daunting. There is so much to learn about this illness and how it can affect you. Doctors can be extremely helpful in this case, because they can often answer a lot of your questions with ease and knowledge. Research on your own can also be helpful, but sometimes taking what you learn to your doctors to help debunk some of the myths you come across may be necessary. The following are 10 great questions to ask your doctor if you need some guidance about what to ask.

1) What medications are available for fibromyalgia?

Medication tends to be the top choice for managing fibromyalgia. Your doctor might refer you to a rheumatologist to discuss further treatments and create a treatment plan. When meeting with this doctor, you can ask to discuss all medication options and possible side effects to make an informed decision about your health.

2) Will exercise or physical activity help with my fibromyalgia symptoms?

There are a lot of different opinions about the role of movement and exercise in the treatment of fibromyalgia. This tends to vary from person to person based on each person’s symptoms and what they can best handle. Your doctor can discuss the role of movement in your treatment and help you come to a decision on what is best for your body.

3) Are there any special diets that can be helpful for fibromyalgia?

While doctors can be helpful when asking about any special diets, their breadth of knowledge on nutrition is generally not very vast. With that being said, I would suggest that speaking to a dietician, nutritionist, or even naturopath can help you learn about any research that has been done on the diet’s connection with fibromyalgia, while helping you guide possible lifestyle changes that may help you to manage your fibromyalgia better.

4) Are there alternative treatments for fibromyalgia?

Like the above question, sometimes more natural treatment options can be discussed with a naturopath or lifestyle coach specializing in fibromyalgia. You can ask your doctor for recommendations in this area, and they can help guide you to professionals who may be able to help you.

5) Can I manage fibromyalgia without medication?

Asking your doctor about how to manage fibromyalgia without medication can help guide you to all treatment options while also giving you an idea of what life without medication may be like considering the severity of your symptoms. Your doctor will be best able to help you understand the role of medication in your treatment, and what going without medication may mean for your health.

6) How physically active can I be with fibromyalgia?

The level of physical activity that an individual is able to manage deeply depends on each individual’s severity of symptoms and how movement affects their symptoms. However, by bringing up the subject with your doctor you both can follow you as you try out different forms of movement and document how they make you feel. This process of trial and error can help you to better understand what type of movement is most beneficial for you and your illness.

7) Is fibromyalgia a chronic illness?

By asking your doctor about fibromyalgia and how it may evolve throughout time, you can learn more about how fibromyalgia is generally not a progressive disorder, but how often the symptoms do become worse over time. Your doctor can help you to navigate this possibility and prepare for it.

8) Should I stop taking my medication if I feel like my fibromyalgia symptoms have improved?

You should always talk to your doctor before deciding to stop taking a medication. Bringing up this option with your doctor will help you to learn more about the role of the medication and how the medication is helping you.

9) What other conditions can occur alongside fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia commonly occurs with many mental illnesses and conditions such as lupus. Learning more about these conditions may help you to understand how your fibromyalgia may have developed, while helping you to learn how to manage any other conditions that you do have that may be connected to your fibromyalgia.

10) Is fibromyalgia a mental illness?

This is a common misunderstanding, and your doctor can help you better understand how your fibromyalgia can affect you physically and mentally. Understanding both sides of the illness can help you to better understand how to manage your fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia may seem like a complicated illness that is often difficult to understand, but with the help of your doctor, you can learn more about the illness and how it may affect you now, and in the future. I hope that the above questions provide you with insight to bring to your next doctor’s appointment!

Getty image by Mix Media.

Originally published: June 13, 2022
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