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How Often are Fibromyalgia Patients Misdiagnosed?

Written by Alexandra Hicks

Recent studies indicate that a large number of people classified as having fibromyalgia may have been misdiagnosed by their physicians.

According to a new study from Arthritis Care & Research, the agreement between physicians’ diagnosis of fibromyalgia and the published criteria is only moderate. In this study, 497 patients were evaluated. Out of these patients, 121 met the clinical criteria for fibromyalgia but only 104 received a diagnosis from a medical professional.

The study stated that, in total, physicians incorrectly identified 11.4 percent of patients who were criteria-negative and failed to diagnose 49.6 percent of criteria-positive patients. “We have recently studied the same issue in 3,000 primary care patients and found about the same results. Therefore, our conclusions are secure,” said lead author Dr. Frederick Wolfe, of the National Data Bank for Rheumatic Diseases.


CBD oil may be a better alternative for treating fibromyalgia

So what does this mean exactly? Well, the answer is a bit complicated. If this study is accurate, it means that many patients are going undiagnosed and not being correctly treated for their disorder. Additionally, some people who don’t even have this condition are being prescribed medications they may not need.

But how can we know for sure that this study is correct? To believe this study means you would have to believe that published criteria is superior to the opinions of an experienced medical professional. And since everybody is unique and symptoms tend to present differently in different people, it would be presumptuous to assume that every single person can be diagnosed using the exact same formula.

Regardless, fibromyalgia is a condition that affects around 10 million people in the United States. A lot of patients who suffer from this condition are prescribed fentanyl, an opioid that is up to 50 times stronger than heroin, and this has led to rampant addiction problems and overdose deaths. Numerous experts have suggested that fibromyalgia could be caused by a cannabinoid deficiency, which suggests that using CBD oil might be effective for treating the condition.

As a matter of fact, a survey conducted by the National Pain Foundation found that 62% of fibromyalgia patients reported a decrease in symptoms after using CBD. The authors of this study claimed that “medical cannabis is far more effective at treating symptoms of fibromyalgia than any of the three prescription drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat the disorder.”

Keep in mind that this is not an official claim of effectiveness. Research in this field remains somewhat limited, so it’s important to speak to a physician that you trust before switching your medications around.

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About the author

Alexandra Hicks

Managing editor at Cannadelics and U.S based journalist, helping spread the word about the many benefits of using cannabis and psychedelics.