When dealing with fibromyalgia, it is imperative that you find the right course of treatment and care in order to minimize the effects this illness has on your overall health.
Those who are dealing with fibromyalgia may be in excruciating pain, have stomach issues and feel as though every day is a huge battle to even get off bed.
However, with the expertise of a medical professional you can find methods for learning how to live with this pain and having a life.
Seek a Rheumatologist
A rheumatologist is a medical professional who deals specifically with rheumatic issues such as fibromyalgia. This is the medical professional that you must be looking for if you want to get a true professionals opinion on how to treat the illness and keep your life as you want it.
A rheumatologist will have completed four year of pre-medical training at a college, then four years of training through a medical school.
Those who are classified as rheumatologists will have completed two to three years of specialized training and education in rheumatic disease and treatment, while also working for three years in internal or pediatric medicine fields. With this amount of training, these professionals are the best option for finding a treatment plan that is going to work for you.
How a Rheumatologist is Going to Help
Just how is a rheumatologist going to help with the fibromyalgia that you suffer from? Due to the nature of the practice, these professionals are going to be able to rule out any other issues that are often confused with fibromyalgia.
They see these symptoms day in and day out, thus they are often able to diagnose this with ease. Some of the items that a rheumatologist will look at upon first seeing a patient:
- The points of muscle pain that the person is experiencing
- Tender points throughout the body
- Any redness or swelling in which the person may be experiencing
- Measuring the stiffness of the patient
- Looking at the range of motion that the patient may be lacking
As a rheumatologist is looking at the patient, he or she may order several types of tests to not only see the extent of damage the body has from fibromyalgia, but also to ensure that they are dealing with a clear case of fibromyalgia. These tests may include:
- Ultrasounds of the joints affected
- An MRI of certain areas of the body that are affected
- Electromyography tests
- An analysis of the fluid in the joints
- Tests that determine bone density
Most every rheumatologist is going to take a lot of time when you first visit their office. Expect this first appointment to take quite some time.
The doctor is going to look at your medical history, talk about the issues that you are having now, then start ordering these tests to be completed.
These tests are probably not going to be completed at one visit. They may require going to various other locations to get the tests you need.
However, this is a small price to pay, as the rheumatologist can give you an idea of how to improve your life and how to stop fibromyalgia from running it!
How to Find a Rheumatologist
How does one find a rheumatologist to help with their fibromyalgia? Most people will find that in order to see this type of doctor, they will need to get a referral from their general practice doctor.
Most insurance companies are going to require this in order to pay for this visit. Also, keep in mind that your insurance company may limit which rheumatologist that you can go with. If this is not the case, you will find that you do have several options to find the doctor that is going to meet your needs!
Call your Local College of Rheumatology
One of the first steps when searching for a rheumatologist is to call your local College of Rheumatology. They can provide you with the names and addresses of those rheumatologists in your area. If there is no doctor in your immediate area, they can help with finding one that is near you.
Look at Reviews Online
For those who find a few rheumatologists that they want to consider, they need to do a little research online. Most patients are going to tell the world if they have a great or awful experience with a doctor.
Be sure to check out those fibromyalgia groups that talk about which doctor they visit. This can be great information to help you choose the one doctor that is going to benefit you the most!
These reviews can be a great way to narrow down the list of those doctors whom you may be considering. Also consider who your general doctor recommends to you!
Call for an Appointment
Many doctors want their patients to feel comfortable, so they offer a onetime meeting to see if they click together. You can call the rheumatologist that you are considering to see if they can offer a quick meet and greet.
This meet and greet should give you a good idea as to whether you are comfortable with the doctor or not. It can also be a chance for the doctor to explain how they have helped other patients with fibromyalgia, which showcases how they could potentially help you.
Make sure to meet with the top three rheumatologists that you are considering. From there, you can make the best decision for dealing with your fibromyalgia. It may require putting in a bit of work before deciding on which doctor to go with.
However, it is going to be well worth it! Fibromyalgia is an illness that affects numerous people, and it can greatly affect just how well you enjoy life.
Do not let this illness rule your life, a rheumatologist is going to the best option for finding relief and learning how to change your life to avoid suffering from this issue.