Dr Oz: Are You Exhausted Or Is It Fibromyalgia?
If you feel exhausted all the time, Dr Oz said it could be related to a disease doctors often misdiagnose or miss completely: Fibromyalgia. Take the Tender Points Test to assess your risk.
Fibromyalgia is a pain disorder of the nervous system that is hard to diagnose. An estimated six million patients have it, and it is more common in women than in men. Symptoms like Severe Exhaustion, Muscle Fatigue, and Chronic Pain are typical, so it is hard to narrow down sometimes, especially without a dedicated test that can detect it.
Dr Oz: Chronic Exhaustion Vs Fibromyalgia
Could your Chronic Exhaustion actually be related to Fibromyalgia? CBS News medical contributor Dr Holly Phillips, herself a Fibromyalgia patient, joined Dr Oz to explain how it is different from exhaustion.
Dr Phillips said that Fibromyalgia can cause fatigue, but its primary symptom is widespread body pain that is there all the time. Women have often been told that the symptoms are in her head, and it can take an average of five years to get an accurate diagnosis.
With such a range of symptoms that are hard to test for definitively, this can leave patients frustrated in a search for answers. Dr Phillips said that you can get the most insight from a part of the physical exam known as a Tender Points Test.
Dr Oz: What is the Tender Points Test?
Dr Holly Phillips said that patients are often happy to learn that they have an actual diagnosis, and that it is not in their heads. Dr Oz asked her to help explain how this test is done, so anyone can do it at home and see if this makes sense to them as a potential explanation for symptoms like fatigue, headaches, and brain fog.
The Tender Points Test looks at nine different body parts and a total of 18 points, involving the application of pressure with the index finger or thumb. The amount of pressure should be enough to make the nail bed turn white.
“In a person who doesn’t have Fibromyalgia, they just feel pressure. A person who does have Fibromyalgia actually feels pain,” Dr Phillips said. She then demonstrated the test on a volunteer.
Dr Oz: How To Do the Tender Points Test
Phillips said that in a Fibromyalgia patient, you would need pain in 11 of the 18 points to make a diagnosis. The points on each side of the body include:
- Neck, below the hairline in the back
- Top of Shoulders
- Between Shoulder Blades
- Upper Hips
- Sides of Hips
- Front of Neck
- Upper Chest
- Outer Elbow
- Inner Knees
If you think you have Fibromyalgia based on this preliminary test at home, follow up with your doctor. “Living with chronic pain and constant fatigue is debilitating,” Dr Phillips said.
Dr Oz: Fibromyalgia Central Sensitization
Fibromyalgia patients also experience Central Sensitization, where the brain feels pain more significantly through the body, due to the way it interprets pain signals. Dr Oz elaborated that pain sensations remain intense and do not subside, eventually triggering other pain symptoms.
Dr Holly Phillips and Dr Oz suggested getting moving if you suspect you have Fibromyalgia. Being active, even with light stretching, helps to boost Endorphins, reduce pain, and improve your mood.