Fibromyalgia Specialist

Kaplan MacLean Rheumatology

Rheumatologists located in Encinitas, CA

Over 5 million Americans ages 18 and older have fibromyalgia, and 80-90% of them are women. Natalie Maclean, MD, at Kaplan MacLean Rheumatology in Encinitas, California, is an experienced rheumatologist who manages complex and chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia. You don’t have to live with the pain and fatigue caused by fibromyalgia any longer. Call Kaplan Maclean Rheumatology or schedule an appointment online today.

Fibromyalgia Q & A

What is fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a misunderstood condition that can lead to a variety of symptoms, including:

  • Pain in your muscles and bones
  • Widespread tenderness in your body
  • Aching or pain in your lower abdomen
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty sleeping at all or for long periods of time
  • Difficulty focusing and concentrating on certain tasks
  • Mood disorders like anxiety and depression

When you have fibromyalgia, it’s also common to have other conditions such as tension headaches, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problems.

It’s also believed that people with fibromyalgia experience changes in their pain signals, leading to an increased sensitivity to pain.

What causes fibromyalgia?

The exact cause of fibromyalgia isn’t known but might involve a combination of factors, including:

  • Genetic mutations that run in families
  • Infections
  • Emotional trauma, physical trauma, or post-traumatic stress
  • Chronic stress

Certain factors can increase your chances of fibromyalgia, including having a family history of the condition and being a woman. Your risks also increase if you have other health conditions like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, or osteoarthritis.

When left untreated, fibromyalgia can interfere with your overall quality of life and affect your ability to function at home and work.

How is fibromyalgia diagnosed and treated?

A fibromyalgia diagnosis is usually considered when your symptoms have been present and widespread for at least three months. Dr. MacLean relies on several approaches to diagnose fibromyalgia, including a comprehensive physical exam, discussing your personal and family medical history, and performing blood tests to rule out other underlying conditions.

Based on your diagnosis, Dr. MacLean develops a whole body approach to manage your condition. These strategies focus on improving your quality of life and managing your pain, and may include:

  • Medications to control and reduce your pain
  • Joint injections to provide targeted relief for inflammation
  • Alternative therapies like massage, acupuncture, and yoga

Dr. MacLean also works with you to develop healthy lifestyle practices that involve getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and consuming a healthy diet.

If you’re experiencing widespread tenderness or pain that you think may be caused by fibromyalgia, call Kaplan MacLean Rheumatology or schedule an appointment online today.