Thursday, November 09, 2006

Fibromyalgia: Real Illness, Real Answers

Post No. 11

From health columnist Jane E. Brody, New York Times, Aug. 1, 2000

Fibromyalgia: Real Illness, Real Answers

"Is it a real disease?" is the most frequently-asked question about fibromyalgia, an ailment characterized by chronic widespread musculoskeletal pain.

The cynical tone that usually accompanies the question suggests that many think this syndrome is all in a person's head, the result, perhaps, of an emotional disorder or an attempt to avoid the demands of work and life.

Not so, say experts who have spent years studying this controversial disorder. Yes, some people with fibromyalgia may be depressed or anxious, but wouldn't you be if you couldn't carry a bag of groceries, walk through a park or tie your shoelaces without considerable pain?"

Here's the complete article

A look at fibromyalgia, circa 1989

Post No. 10

From health columnist Jane E. Brody, New York Times, 1989:

For decades, that is precisely what happened to the vast majority of patients with a syndrome now termed fibromyalgia. The hallmarks of the condition are widespread muscular pain and debilitating fatigue that are now strongly believed to have an organic or biochemical cause, possibly a defect in one or more neurotransmitter chemicals.

Fibromyalgia is actually an old syndrome, but doctors have only recently come to appreciate it and many still fail to recognize it or realize how debilitating it can be. It is often mistaken for other conditions and many patients are needlessly subjected to a costly battery of unrevealing tests. But rheumatologists have developed a simple method to diagnose fibromyalgia primarily by testing for unusual tenderness at specific points on the body.

Preliminary studies suggest fibromyalgia is extremely common and a major cause of lost work time and disability. Researchers say it may afflict as many as 10 percent of patients who visit general medical clinics, although its prevalence in the general population has not been studied.

More at New York Times

Healing Joint Pain Naturally: Safe and Effective Ways to Treat Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, and Other Joint Diseases

Post No. 9

A possibly interesting book:

Healing Joint Pain Naturally: Safe and Effective Ways to Treat Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, and Other Joint Diseases, 2002

Brown, Ellen Hodgson

When veteran health writer Ellen Hodgson Brown found herself suffering from an arthritic hip so painful that sleep was almost impossible, she did not surrender to painkillers or replacement surgery. Instead, she undertook extensive investigation into natural remedies and schools of alternative medicine and devised an eclectic home protocol of fasting and nutritional healing. The result: the arthritis disappeared completely, leaving her feeling better than she had in years.

More at

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Lack of dopamine tied to fibromyalgia symptoms

Post No. 8

Physicians often speak of "fibromyalgia syndrome" because people who have the muscular aches and pains most often associated with this complaint may also have other symptoms such as chronic fatigue, depression and involuntary leg movements, says Dr. David Dryland, a Medford, Ore., rheumatologist who treats many patients with "fibro."

Dryland says researchers have discovered over the past few years that fibromyalgia is caused by a problem in the central nervous system, specifically, a lack of dopamine, a chemical that transmits signals between nerve cells.

More at Mail Tribune

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Fibromyalgia professor discusses research

Post No. 7

From, an interview with Prof. Daniel Clauw, M.D., of the University of Michigan. An expert in fibromyalgia, he discussed the diagnosis and treatment of fibromyalgia, and the results of his research into this disabling condition.

Click here to listen to the webcast.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Acupuncture relieves symptoms of fibromyalgia

Post No. 6

A Mayo Clinic study found that acupuncture reduces the symptoms of fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia is a disorder considered disabling by many, and is characterized by chronic, widespread musculoskeletal pain and symptoms such as fatigue, joint stiffness and sleep disturbance. No cure is known and available treatments are only partially effective.

The study involved 50 fibromyalgia patients enrolled in a randomized, controlled trial to determine if acupuncture improved their symptoms. Symptoms of patients who received acupuncture significantly improved compared with the control group.The study is published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

"The results of the study convince me there is something more than the placebo effect to acupuncture " says David Martin, lead author of the acupuncture article and a Mayo Clinic anesthesiologist. " It affirms a lot of clinical impressions that this complementary medical technique is helpful for patients."

More at