We are using cookies to give you the best experience on our site. Cookies are files stored in your browser and are used by most websites to help personalise your web experience.

By continuing to use our website without changing the settings, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Find out more
You are here:
> > > > > How is fibromyalgia diagnosed?

How is fibromyalgia diagnosed?

Fibromyalgia is often difficult to diagnose as the symptoms vary considerably and could have other causes. The symptoms can be similar to those of other conditions, for example an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism) or autoimmmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.

At present, there aren't any specific blood tests, x-rays or scans that can confirm a diagnosis of fibromyalgia, and many people with fibromyalgia will have normal results in all these tests. However, your doctor may suggest you have blood tests to rule out other possible causes of your symptoms and so support a diagnosis of fibromyalgia.

Until recently, the diagnosis of fibromyalgia was made based on specific tender points in certain areas of your body. However, guidelines released in 2010 recommend that healthcare professionals should now consider the following features when making a diagnosis:

  • widespread pain lasting three months or more
  • fatigue and/or waking up feeling unrefreshed
  • problems with thought processes like memory and understanding (cognitive symptoms).


0800 5200 520

Our new helpline: Call us for free information, help and advice on your type of arthritis. Open Mon–Fri 9am–8pm.

All calls are recorded for training and quality purposes

Virtual Assistant

Our new Arthritis Virtual Assistant uses artificial intelligence to answer your arthritis related questions 24/7.

Ask a question
For more information, go to
Arthritis Research UK fund research into the cause, treatment and cure of arthritis. You can support Arthritis Research UK by volunteering, donating or visiting our shops.