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BBC profiles Fibromyalgia

Tuesday 8 September 2009

Lorraine SmythBBC Northern Ireland has an article, with an accompanying video, about Fibromyalgia. The article focuses on two sufferers, Lorraine Smyth (pictured) and Margaret Peacock:

Hidden disorder 'stripped me of life'

Around 70,000 people in Northern Ireland are affected by a chronic disorder which many say is not being properly recognised by health professionals. Fibromyalgia can cause severe pain and fatigue but sufferers say it can take years to be diagnosed.

BBC Northern Ireland health correspondent Marie-Louise Connolly looks at the disorder and the calls for more research and a better understanding of the illness.

At her home in Portstewart, Lorraine Smyth sits on the sofa. At her side lie her crutches and in the family car, her wheel chair which allows her some freedom.

Three years ago when she was 30, Lorraine was diagnosed with fibromyalgia.

What started off as back pain a decade ago has progressed into a syndrome for which there is no cure.

She has short blond hair, no trace of make-up and her face is etched with pain.

"I'm in agony sitting up, even lying down in bed. It feels as though my skin is burning, crawling with insects or something inside. It feels like a burning torch is on my shoulders or at its worst, as if I'm being stabbed. There are days I want to cut my arms off they are so sore," said Louise.

Fibromyalgia, or FMS, is a complex chronic pain disorder that affects around 70,000 people here.

It can grip a person physically, mentally and when they are confined to home, socially.

The full article can be found here.



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