Health

Dos and Don’ts of Living With Fibromyalgia Pain

Do Seek Help and Support

When you have fibromyalgia, you should expect a lot out of your relationship with your doctor, says Arkfeld. “Even though you might look really healthy, when you go under the surface, there are a lot of issues,” he says, when it comes to levels of various hormones and antibodies (immune system proteins).

For example, Arkfeld says, many of his patients with fibromyalgia also have low thyroid hormone levels — but it’s not always clear early on when such tests are warranted. It’s important that your doctor take the time to obtain a complete medical history from you and perform a thorough exam to arrive at a diagnosis and determine what additional testing might be helpful.

But according to Arkfeld, “You have to really engage the patients, get to know them, build trust. And that can take months.”

It’s also ideal when you can lean on friends or family members for support, and let them know what you’re experiencing with fibromyalgia pain and fatigue — symptoms they probably can’t see and may not know about in the moment. “At home, if the spouse or family are supportive, it can be very helpful,” says Arkfeld.


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