Thursday, November 09, 2006

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

No comments: