You have a unique medical history. Therefore, it is essential to talk with your doctor about your personal risk factors and/or experience with fibromyalgia. By talking openly and regularly with your doctor, you can take an active role in your care.
General Tips for Gathering Information
Here are some tips that will make it easier for you to talk to your doctor: Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask.Write out your questions ahead of time, so you don't forget them.Write down the answers you get, and make sure you understand what you are hearing. Ask for clarification, if necessary.Don't be afraid to ask your questions or ask where you can find more information about what you are discussing. You have a right to know.
Specific Questions to Ask Your Doctor
About Fibromyalgia Have you ruled out other conditions that could be causing my symptoms?Do you have any idea as to what could have caused my fibromyalgia?Have you treated many cases of fibromyalgia?Will I need to see a specialist?
About Treatment Options What types of treatments do you recommend for my case?
What medications are available to help me?
What are the benefits/side effects of these medications?Will these medications interact with other medications, over the counter products, or dietary or herbal supplements I am already taking for other conditions?Are there any alternative or complementary therapies that will help me?
About Lifestyle Changes
What type of exercise should I do?
Conversely, are there any types of exercises that I should avoid?Will I be able to continue working and doing my usual daily activities?
About Outlook What is my prognosis?How long will it take before my symptoms begin to improve?Can you help me find a support group?How can I explain my condition to my family, friends, and employer?Where can I get some more information about this condition?
Fibromyalgia. American College of Rheumatology website. Available at:
http://www.rheumatology.org/Practice/Clinical/Patients/Diseases_And_Conditions/Fibromyalgia. Updated February 2013. Accessed August 8, 2013.
Fibromyalgia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:
http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated July 15, 2013. Accessed August 8, 2013.
Fibromyalgia. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at:
http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Fibromyalgia/default.asp. Updated August 2012. Accessed August 8, 2013.
Tips for talking to your doctor. 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. Updated November 2010. Accessed August 8, 2013.
Last reviewed September 2014 by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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