What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is an illness common in older women which affects an estimated 4 million to 6 million Americans.

Dr. Don Goldenberg, chief of rheumatology at Newton-Wellesley (Mass.) Hospital says about 80% of those with fibromyalgia suffer from extreme fatigue and sleep disturbance, while irritable bowel syndrome plagues as many as 70 percent of sufferers. Other common problems, in addition to depression, include anxiety, headaches and cognitive problems.

For Mary Anne Saathoff, president of the Fibromyalgia Alliance of America and herself a sufferer, it was leg pains and sleep disorders that began as a child and worsened with adulthood.

“I felt more dead than alive,” says Saathoff who was diagnosed in 1986 with fibrositis — fibromyalgia’s precursor name. “It certainly takes a great toll.”

While researchers have not proven what causes fibromyalgia, there are a number of theories, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.

The leading theory is that fibromyalgia is caused by a disregulation or imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain like serotonin, which helps to ease physical pain.

Info from Discovery Health.

ADC’s & Rheumatology

The rheumatologists at Amarillo Diagnostic Clinic specialize in treating patients with arthritis, gout, lupus and related diseases.  Knowledge of these diseases continues to expand through research efforts.  Our major goal is to limit arthritic damage, especially in rheumatoid arthritis.

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