by Nesreen Suwan, M.D.
You hurt all over, and you frequently feel exhausted and tired. Even after numerous tests, your doctor can't find anything specifically wrong with you. If this sounds familiar, you may have fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder that has been underestimated and under-diagnosed by both patients and physicians. It is characterized by widespread pain, fatigue and multiple tender points, which occur in precise localized areas, particularly in the neck, upper back, lower back, shoulders and hips. Sleep disturbances, morning stiffness, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, headaches, difficulty concentrating, tingling sensation in the arms, legs or whole body, and severe excessive fatigue may be associated with fibromyalgia.
According to the American College of Rheumatology, fibromyalgia affects about 6 million Americans. It primarily occurs in women of childbearing age, though anybody could be affected.
Fibromyalgia presents with many unrelated symptoms. This makes it categorize under a specific medical specialty, and because of the complicated nature of the condition, it may not fit into a busy general medicine practice. Because of the chronic all-body pain that may be aggravated with movements and adjustments, physical therapy and chiropractic management may not be possible with uncontrolled fibromyalgia because they may worsen the pain. As such, a clinic specializing in fibromyalgia may offer more options for evaluation and management.
Fibromyalgia complications may establish a circle that will never stop. Not being able to do basic chores at home may impact the family life of fibromyalgia sufferers. Being unproductive or less efficient at work or not being able to work at all may negatively impact a sufferer’s financial situation. Weight gain may occur because of the inability to exercise due to pain. Weight gain may in turn make chronic pain and headache conditions worse, adding to its devastating effect on the general health, blood pressure and diabetes.
Fortunately, there is a growing recognition of this condition, and recent advancements in medical science may brighten the outlook for sufferers. Currently, there are many FDA-approved medications for the treatment of fibromyalgia, besides other non-pharmaceutical modalities offered in our specialty clinic.
Dr. Suwan specializes in the treatment of headaches, pain and fibromyalgia. She is board certified in neurology, pain medicine, and sleep medicine, with extra certification in headache medicine and Botox treatment. She is highly recognized as a national speaker in headache and fibromyalgia management. She operates a headache and fibromyalgia clinic in Lisle that is affiliated with Adventist Hinsdale Hospital Pain Center of Excellence. Please call to schedule an appointment (630) 420 8080 • http://controlchicagopain.com
As Featured In Glancer Magazine, August 2012