Your Health

Talking to Your Doctor About Fibromyalgia

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.

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.
  • 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?
  • 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?
  • 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?
  • 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?

Revision Information

  • Fibromyalgia. American College of Rheumatology website. Available at: http://www.rheumatology.org/Practice/Clinical/Patients/Diseases%5FAnd%5FConditions/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%5FInfo/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.