Here it is!!! Better Homes & Gardens article....update

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by deecrossett, Oct 2, 2002.

  1. deecrossett

    deecrossett New Member

    Better Homes & Gardens Magazine
    November Issue

    Family Health

    Pain You Can’t Imagine

    Millions suffer from a mysterious syndrome called Fibromyalgia and they don’t even know it. Don’t let anyone tell you the pain is “All In Your Head”. Here’s how to spot the signs.


    When Linda Kehl, of Kenosha, Wisconsin, told her family doctor about the muscle pain in her chest, he said it was due to the weight of her breasts and recommended a breast reduction operation. But, even after surgery, Linda continued to experience pain in her chest muscles as well as other parts of her body. She returned to her Physician, and he claimed the pain was “all in my head,” Linda says. “He said I should see a psychiatrist.” Yet Linda knew the problem was in her body, not her mind. So she switched physicians. The next doctor simply prescribed muscle relaxants and pain pills. Unwilling to give up, she sought out a rheumatologist, who finally put a name on what was wrong with her: Fibromyalgia Syndrome.

    Linda’s experience is by no means unique among the nearly 4 million Americans who suffer from this very real disease, according to doctors at the American College of Rheumatology. It’s often a long route to a diagnosis because it’s hard to test whether a patient has Fibromyalgia Syndrome, says Dr. John Klippel, medical director of the Arthritis Foundation and a leading FS expert. : The diagnosis depends, to a great extent, on a description of the history of the illness provided by the patient,” he says.

    The syndrome is a complex amalgamation of symptoms that are linked by the presence of pain. It attacks the soft fibrous connective tissues in the body, such as muscles, ligaments, and tendons. The confusion arises because FS symptoms resemble those of several other conditions, such as arthritis, and are often overlooked. And until recently FS was not recognized as a distinct ailment.

    No one really knows what causes FS, but major triggers can be physical or emotional trauma or a significant illness. Less consequential events, such as the flu or an infection, can also be catalysts. Sometimes FS can develop for no apparent reason.

    Symptoms cover a wide spectrum, including:
    *Pain, soreness, or a burning sensation throughout the body.
    *Sleep disturbances, such as waking up exhausted, having trouble falling asleep, or difficulty staying asleep.
    *Migraine or tension headaches.
    *Gastrointestinal problems: bloating, abdominal pain, alternating constipation and diarrhea, or frequent urination.
    *Difficulty concentrating or short-term memory loss.
    *Depression and anxiety.

    While there is no cure, FS can be managed to allow sufferers to lead a more normal life. Antidepressants, such as Prozac or Zoloft, are often prescribed, not because of their mood-elevating effects, but mostly because they induce Stage Four sleep that is so critical to FS sufferers, who are often sleep deprived because of their discomfort. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, often provide some relief. Beyond pharmaceuticals, lifestyle changes can make a huge difference. Regular gentle exercise that stretches and strengthens the muscles and improves cardiovascular fitness helps ward off symptoms. Relaxation techniques, massage, biofeedback, and other holistic measures also offer relief.

    The Arthritis Foundation suggests several steps for coping with FS:
    *Find the right doctor – one who will listen and work with you.
    *Assemble your own crack health-care team, including physical therapists and psychologists who understand your problems.
    *Take responsibility for yourself. Don’t just do what the doctors say. Learn about FS and take the initiative to change unhealthy habits.
    *Seek support. Join others for friendship and exchange information.
    *Reduce stress. Avoid situations that raise your level of tension.

    With careful management, sufferers can resume much of their regular routine and go on to live productive lives.

    -Janine S. Pouloit, a freelance writer in Atlanta, Georgia, contributes to magazines such as Parenting, Parade, Ladies’ Home Journal and Woman’s Day.

    Better Homes & Gardens November 2002



    HOW DO YOU KNOW Its FS?

    To determine whether symptoms are a manifestation of Fibromyalgia Syndrome or simply a collection of unrelated ailments, doctors use something called the Tender Points Evaluation, explains Dr. John Klippel. “It’s central to the diagnosis,” he says. During the evaluation, pressure is applied to 18 specific spots on the body. If the patient feels extreme pain disproportionate to the intensity of pressure in 11 of these locations, that’s a pretty clear sign of FS. And because other spots are touched as well, there is no way to “fake” a positive response – proving that FS is not an imaginary illness.

    [This Message was Edited on 10/02/2002]
  2. deecrossett

    deecrossett New Member

    Better Homes & Gardens Magazine
    November Issue

    Family Health

    Pain You Can’t Imagine

    Millions suffer from a mysterious syndrome called Fibromyalgia and they don’t even know it. Don’t let anyone tell you the pain is “All In Your Head”. Here’s how to spot the signs.


    When Linda Kehl, of Kenosha, Wisconsin, told her family doctor about the muscle pain in her chest, he said it was due to the weight of her breasts and recommended a breast reduction operation. But, even after surgery, Linda continued to experience pain in her chest muscles as well as other parts of her body. She returned to her Physician, and he claimed the pain was “all in my head,” Linda says. “He said I should see a psychiatrist.” Yet Linda knew the problem was in her body, not her mind. So she switched physicians. The next doctor simply prescribed muscle relaxants and pain pills. Unwilling to give up, she sought out a rheumatologist, who finally put a name on what was wrong with her: Fibromyalgia Syndrome.

    Linda’s experience is by no means unique among the nearly 4 million Americans who suffer from this very real disease, according to doctors at the American College of Rheumatology. It’s often a long route to a diagnosis because it’s hard to test whether a patient has Fibromyalgia Syndrome, says Dr. John Klippel, medical director of the Arthritis Foundation and a leading FS expert. : The diagnosis depends, to a great extent, on a description of the history of the illness provided by the patient,” he says.

    The syndrome is a complex amalgamation of symptoms that are linked by the presence of pain. It attacks the soft fibrous connective tissues in the body, such as muscles, ligaments, and tendons. The confusion arises because FS symptoms resemble those of several other conditions, such as arthritis, and are often overlooked. And until recently FS was not recognized as a distinct ailment.

    No one really knows what causes FS, but major triggers can be physical or emotional trauma or a significant illness. Less consequential events, such as the flu or an infection, can also be catalysts. Sometimes FS can develop for no apparent reason.

    Symptoms cover a wide spectrum, including:
    *Pain, soreness, or a burning sensation throughout the body.
    *Sleep disturbances, such as waking up exhausted, having trouble falling asleep, or difficulty staying asleep.
    *Migraine or tension headaches.
    *Gastrointestinal problems: bloating, abdominal pain, alternating constipation and diarrhea, or frequent urination.
    *Difficulty concentrating or short-term memory loss.
    *Depression and anxiety.

    While there is no cure, FS can be managed to allow sufferers to lead a more normal life. Antidepressants, such as Prozac or Zoloft, are often prescribed, not because of their mood-elevating effects, but mostly because they induce Stage Four sleep that is so critical to FS sufferers, who are often sleep deprived because of their discomfort. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, often provide some relief. Beyond pharmaceuticals, lifestyle changes can make a huge difference. Regular gentle exercise that stretches and strengthens the muscles and improves cardiovascular fitness helps ward off symptoms. Relaxation techniques, massage, biofeedback, and other holistic measures also offer relief.

    The Arthritis Foundation suggests several steps for coping with FS:
    *Find the right doctor – one who will listen and work with you.
    *Assemble your own crack health-care team, including physical therapists and psychologists who understand your problems.
    *Take responsibility for yourself. Don’t just do what the doctors say. Learn about FS and take the initiative to change unhealthy habits.
    *Seek support. Join others for friendship and exchange information.
    *Reduce stress. Avoid situations that raise your level of tension.

    With careful management, sufferers can resume much of their regular routine and go on to live productive lives.

    -Janine S. Pouloit, a freelance writer in Atlanta, Georgia, contributes to magazines such as Parenting, Parade, Ladies’ Home Journal and Woman’s Day.

    Better Homes & Gardens November 2002



    HOW DO YOU KNOW Its FS?

    To determine whether symptoms are a manifestation of Fibromyalgia Syndrome or simply a collection of unrelated ailments, doctors use something called the Tender Points Evaluation, explains Dr. John Klippel. “It’s central to the diagnosis,” he says. During the evaluation, pressure is applied to 18 specific spots on the body. If the patient feels extreme pain disproportionate to the intensity of pressure in 11 of these locations, that’s a pretty clear sign of FS. And because other spots are touched as well, there is no way to “fake” a positive response – proving that FS is not an imaginary illness.

    [This Message was Edited on 10/02/2002]
  3. deecrossett

    deecrossett New Member

  4. sean

    sean New Member

    Thanks for that, I have read it, but personally I don't see anything in it myself which seems to be down playing or negetive towards the condition. It is reasonable in what it says. On this I would find it hard to criticise the magazine. The only fault is that it does not go into any great depth into the condition, which I feel is necessary in order for people to fully understand how the condition effects people. Also where it says FMS can be managed to lead a more normal life, Well I think that is probably leaning towards a generalization. There are things you can do to improve the symptoms, but in the worst cases this is very minimal, and what the heck does more normal mean? Basically though it is a typical magazine article, some research on the condition has probably been done by the magazine, but nothing to in depth, but then I suppose theres only so much space allocated to individual articles in the magazine, so it means a bit of cutting down to size I'm afraid.