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Public meeting swamped by 300-plus advice seekers

Thursday 24 June 2010

CrowdCanada's London Free Press reports:

Public meeting swamped by 300-plus advice seekers

FIBROMYALGIA: Dr. David Boyd said the response was overwhelming

By JOHN MINER, THE LONDON FREE PRESS

Last Updated: June 22, 2010 8:07am

When a coalition of pain groups organized a public information session on fibromyalgia in London, they were expecting a turnout of about 35 people.

Instead, more than 300 registered.

The response is a sign of the keen interest people suffering from the disease have in whether there is any new treatments or actions they can take, said Dr. David Boyd, a psychiatrist and general internist at London Health Sciences Centre.

“All chronic pain causes people a lot of grief. Fibromyalgia, if anything, especially so because it is a little tougher to get a clear diagnosis and a little tougher to get satisfactory treatment,” said Boyd, who spoke at the session sponsored by the Canadian Pain Coalition, the Chronic Pain Association of Canada, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Canada and the National Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Action Network.

Still considered a controversial diagnosis by some physicians, it is estimated between 2% and 10% of the Canadian population suffer from fibromyalgia.

Symptoms include widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and multiple tender points and may include sleep disturbances, headaches, morning stiffness, irritable bowel syndrome and anxiety.

What people would experience as a light touch, individuals with fibromyalgia feel as painful, said Boyd.

“The good news part of it is there is no evidence it destroys tissue or causes damage such as arthritis disorders do. Unfortunately it can be quite long lasting and for some people it seems almost an indefinite sort of thing,” he said.

“It is certainly not a fatal disease, it is not going to put you into a wheelchair, but it certainly can be very chronic.”

The mainstay of treatment has been trying to get people active with exercise and if it is possible get them to see a psychologist for behavioural therapy, Boyd said.

Massage and physical therapy are also used as part of non-medicinal treatments.

Boyd said a number of drugs, including anti-inflammatories and anti-depressants, have also been used to treat fibromyalgia.

“There isn’t a simple drug that will work beautifully for everybody, there is a repertoire for things to try,” he said.

More information on fibromyalgia can be obtained the website set up by the pain groups: www.reconnectingtowhatmatters.ca.

E-mail john.miner@sunmedia.ca or follow Johnatlfpress on Twitter.

The above originally appeared here.

 


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