Great Britain

The test for fibromyalgia you can do at home to spot tell-tale signs – as Page 3 model Jo Guest shares agonising battle

THERE are around two million Brits living with fibromyalgia - which causes crippling pain all over the body.

And among those are former Page 3 model Jo Guest - who claims the condition left her suicidal, housebound and too tired for sex.

In particular, Jo was initially misdiagnosed with ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis) - and many other sufferers of the condition have to go years without a diagnosis.

However, there is a simple home "test" online which you can take to help determine whether you have fibromyalgia.

Posting on The Fibro Warriors website, one woman shared the helpful guide, explaining that while a final diagnosis should always be made by a doctor, the "test" was a good way to get a better idea as to whether you have the symptoms.

She also added that home diagnosis tests are a good way to determine whether or not to approach your doctor with fibromyalgia in mind.

The questionnaire, designed by TV doctor, Dr Oz, asks patients to fill in four different sections, with information regarding pain and other symptoms.

These include checking boxes relating to where the pain originates from, as well as ticking any "overlapping symptoms" including fatigue and cognitive issues.

At the end of each section, patients are required to make a note of how many boxes they ticked.

If the score is over seven, the guide recommends booking an appointment with your doctor and taking the sheet along, too.

Severity of symptoms

There's also a second tool, known as the FIQR (Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire Revised).

The questionnaire is made up of three sections and asks patients to rate how difficult everyday tasks are, as well as the severity of symptoms, including pain and stiffness.

The questionnaire can be viewed and completed here.

As well as chronic pain, fibromyalgia can cause increased sensitivity to pain, fatigue and muscle stiffness, according to the NHS.

Sufferers can also have difficulty sleeping, as well as memory loss, concentration problems, headaches and irritable bowel syndrome.

The spark has gone out of life

Jo Guest

The exact cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, but researchers believe it may be related to chemicals in the brain and could be affected by genes inherited from your parents.

Former model Jo Guest revealed her fibromyalgia ruined her career back - and caused her to suffer from exhaustion, vomiting and aching limbs, which left her too tired to wash more than once a week or work.

Speaking on This Morning in 2008, she said: “The spark has gone out of life. It’s hard to feel good about yourself or like a sexy woman when you feel so ill.”

Exercise has been found to help ease many painful symptoms, while others find relaxation techniques can help keep the condition under control.

Treatment could include a combination of lifestyle changes, painkilling medication and counselling or another form of therapy, like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

Tips for coping with the condition include:

In March, a new study found that evidence of the chronic illness can be detected in blood samples.

Scientists from the Ohio State University hope that this will pave the way for a more simple, faster way to diagnose the condition.

“We found clear reproducible metabolic patterns in the blood of dozens of patients with fibromyalgia," Dr Hawkshaw said.

“This brings us closer to a blood test than we have ever been.”

Former Page 3 beauty Jo Guest reveals her devasting battle with ME that left her too exhausted for sex

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