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There are many ways you can help children and their families get the care they need.
There is no foolproof test for fibromyalgia, which can be frustrating when you want to know so badly what is causing your child’s pain. A further challenge is that fibromyalgia can easily be confused with or misdiagnosed as illnesses such as lupus and arthritis. This is why you and your child will likely visit a specialist -- specifically, a pediatric rheumatologist -- in order to get a diagnosis.
In 1990 the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) established two criteria for diagnosing fibromyalgia in adults:
However, most children (and some adults) feel pain in fewer than 11 tender points, which is why pediatric rheumatologists also carefully consider the type and severity of their patients’ symptoms in making a diagnosis of fibromyalgia. (And in fact, the ACR has proposed replacing the tender point test with criteria that are based more on symptoms.)
In addition to reviewing your child’s medical history and conducting a thorough physical exam, your child’s doctor may order certain blood tests to rule out other illnesses. These include:
Less frequently, a sleep electoencephalogram (sleep EEG) may be used to see if a child has sleep problems, which are often a sign of fibromyalgia.
We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”