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Tip of the Day

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If you think you have fibromyalgia but arthritis is not out of the question, one test that may be included in your diagnostic process is the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (sed rate or ESR). This is an old test that measures the rate at which red blood cells settle out in a tube of unclotted blood; a higher than normal sed rate indicates inflammation. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis and other similar types of arthritis have abnormal sed rates. Patients with osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia, however, usually have normal sed rates. Some infections can also cause an abnormal sed rate; the test is not specific for any one disease. (Source: The Fibromyalgia Handbook: A 7-Step Program to Halt and Even Reverse Fibromyalgia, by Harris H. McIlwain, M.D., and Debra Fulghum Bruce, M.S.)

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