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Fibromyalgia sufferers search for answers

Sunday 13 March 2011

Pat Fisher (left) and Gaa Holdiman
Pat Fisher (left) and Gaa Holdiman.
Photo of Pat by Dave Kettering.
Photo of Gaa by TH: Erik Hogstrom.

From US newspaper the Telegraph Herald:


Fibromyalgia sufferers search for answers

Medication often doesn't relieve the pain.


Gaa Holdiman had some information to share and wondered what knowledge others had about her misunderstood condition.

The Dubuque woman approached a friend, Pat Fisher, the dietitian at the Locust Street Hy-Vee.

"Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could start a support group?"

Fisher now hosts the Fibromyalgia Support Group, which Holdiman coordinates. It has 15 members.

"We have been meeting for over a year now," Fisher said. "The group meets each month and has a speaker each time, and the speakers have covered the gamut of topics and have been excellent."

Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue and sleep, memory and mood issues.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 5 million Americans have fibromyalgia, but the amount could be higher because of missed diagnoses.

Holdiman was diagnosed with fibromyalgia about eight years ago.

"I had a terrible aching, especially in my ankle," she said.

Prescribed medication didn't relieve her symptoms -- which can be a common challenge when dealing with the disease.

"Fibro is a difficult disease to pin down," said Fisher, who does not have fibromyalgia but has been studying some of the ways people manage the disease.

"Many different things appear to help," she said.

Some of the latest research has looked at the potential benefits of vitamin D, a cellular sugar called D-Ribose and an omega-3 fatty acid called docosahexaenoic acid.

"There are a number of nutritional factors," Fisher said. "Some people who eat a gluten-free diet tend to do well."

Since starting the support group, Holdiman has tried massage and various nutritional changes to lessen her symptoms.

"I learn something new at every meeting," she said.

Fibromyalgia Support Group Tuesday
March 1, 2011 Pat Fisher and Gaa Holdiman discuss Dubuque's Fibromyalgia support group.


The above originally appeared here.


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