Sunday, August 29, 2010

Review: The Fibromyalgia Controversy

by M. Clement Hall


M. Clement Hall, M.D., is director of continuing education in the emergency department of Scarborough Hospital and has written several other books.

"In The Fibromyalgia Controversy, Dr. M. Clement Hall presents six fictional, though factually based, case studies of typical patients from differing socioeconomic backgrounds and describes the varying investigations, diagnoses, and treatments they have undergone. Each of these case studies represents a composite of many years of clinical practice rather than one specific patient. Collectively, they cover the range of experiences fibromyalgia patients are likely to have encountered"

I saw this was a recently published book and was intrigued. I checked it out at my library. Seems it is pretty up to date on the information presented, very thorough and relevant and non-biased. But I did feel it was a bit scientific in its writing style and at times hard to follow and understand for someone not in the medical field.

Points from the book, that really reinterrate what we have been looking at on this blog:

- proper sleep is highly important and one of the key elements to feeling better
- proper nutrition is also a key element; staying away from a high-carb diet and sticking to meals of fresh fish, veggies and fiber (green leafy and yellow veggies are best)
- a successful treatment plan involves coordinating your specialized team of professionals, which is individualized for each patient and their need; these specialists could include physicians, psychologist, physical, occupational and or massage therapists, exercise physiologist, herbalist, nutritionist
- The "no pain no gain" philosophy will surely worsen fibro symptoms; for us we need to accept the "one size does not fit all" philosophy
- Massage is reportedly used by more than 75% of fibros for relief
- Heat applications (hot wax, hot water, heated paraffin wax) are also widely used for temporary relief; because the heat doe not penetrate but a few centimeters, yet feels like it penetrates deeper, it has been an inexpensive and safe treatment mehtod
- Medications can help reduce the pains and improve your sleep, but you should always combine the medication treatments with non-pharmacologic therapies including alternative medicine methods for management of stress, exercise etc.
- maintain a healthy mind and thus a healthy body follows
- fibromyalgia is polysymptomatic, a semi0Greek way of saying there are a LOT of different symptoms

This was interesting, explaining the 4 most common current beliefs on the causes of fibro:

1. a predisposing state with one or more significant factors (genetic and heredity, with the genes involving serotonin playing significant role)
2. a precipitating/triggering factor (extreme stress, viral or bacterial infection(s), car accident)
3. a progressive, gradual development of changes and increase in number of symptoms
4. an alteration in the structure and function of the central nervous system, which has resulted in a state of chronic widespread pain (this supports the change of fibro from the rheumatological field to neurological)

Its is generally agreed the pro to development of fibro, patients enjoyed a healthy active lifestyle. And there is probably no one single predisposing, precipitating or initiating cause common to all persons with fibromyalgia syndrome.

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