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Successful fibromyalgia conference plan a reunion in 2011

Group Leader of West York’s FM SG Denise Rhodes wrote the following report

Dr Cathy Price MB BCH, DCH, FRCA, FFPMRCA is a Consultant in Pain Management, Southampton University Hospital NHS Trust and a member of the British Pain Society who has an interest in fibromyalgia said there was a need to focus on patient needs rather than on conditions.

She said pain services offers a multi-disciplinary team approach, which includes psychologists, doctors, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, pharmacists, nurses, acupuncturists and job advisors in order to improve the quality of life.  Dr Price said 70% of patients at discharge report positive results as against 30% who feel that it has been of little or no benefit.

Dos and Don’ts for FM -

  • Do promote balance in activities
  • Manage depression
  • Discuss pros and cons of therapies, treatments, and strategies.
  • Don’t use opoids
  • Use Pain Toolkit booklet

Useful sources for FM information:

HYPERLINK "http://www.patient" http://www.patient.co.uk and /healthyFM.htm

HYPERLINK "http://www.18weeks" www.18weeks website dept of health – pain

Dr. Price is the clinical lead for the National Pain Audit and argues that getting information into GP surgeries, hospitals and pharmacies is vital, so anything we can do to promote FM in this way will help us all.

She emphasised how important pacing is and how it is difficult to achieve – it may take months and help is so limited.  Southampton has dropped organised courses such as 6 weeks on hydrotherapy etcetera, in favour of a cafeteria approach where individuals can take bits of services according to their individual needs.  She referred fibromites to ICAS an independent body who will support patients to fight their corner.  She also referred us to PALS who are also very helpful.

A question was asked regarding whether the very high number of GPs who are either non-believers, or non-supporters will reduce as further training, younger doctors come into the system.  She said that more training and awareness is having an effect, often via e learning – online.  She also said that Dr Liam Donaldson, the Chief Medical Officer, is promoting greater awareness of the condition.

Report by Leanne Daniels from Horndean FM SG

Dr Ian H Treasaden MB BS LRCP MRCS FRCPsych LLM Head of Forensic Neurosciences, Lipid Neuroscience Group, Imperial College, London.  Dr Treasaden discussed mood disorders associated with FM and the management of nutrition.  He spoke about normal and abnormal depression and FMS and mood disorders. He said Charles Darwin had fibromyalgia. He wrote books about species after years of travels and would suffer a fibro flare when defending his theories.

He believed the causes included hyper exatability of the nervous system, brain functions, and altered brain waves that deal with pain. Management would include a mixture of drugs and non-drug treatments plus antidepressants.  On the non-medicines he included walking and exercise, hydrotherapy, CBT (cognitive behaviour therapy) that challenges negative attitudes to symptoms, plus a multi-disciplinary approach, which is rare to find.

On mood disorders he said depression causes could be more than a low mood. Periodic low moods can improve over time without treatment. Grief can be confused with depression. The Doctor spoke about Bipolar, which had replaced the manic depressant illness.

Depression symptoms included low mood, no feelings or tears, loss of interest, socially withdrawn and no interest in hobbies or work. In severe cases that can include suicidal thoughts, low self esteem, helplessness and pessimistic, loss of appetite or even weight gain, constipation, lack of sex drive, impotence, poor sleep and paranoid. Those with FMS and depression often have headaches, worry about their symptoms and are delusional. Management can include counselling, self help, CBT, exercise and antidepressants for 6-9 months. Omega 3 is good for depression, elevating your mood and reducing anxiety. His recommendations included medication to help sleep, exercises, brain exercises and nutritional management.

Report by Leanne Daniels from Horndean FM SG

Dr Nick Avery MB BS LRCP MRCS MFHom from the Natural Practice at Winchester & Eastbourne helps patients within the Health Service benefit from complementary techniques for IBS, CFS, Eczema, Allergies, Asthma and Migraine, using homeopathy for the emotional component of the illness.

Fibromyalgia is a very common condition that is poorly served by conventional medicine. In his experience, the key features are extreme fatigue, muscle pain and emotional disturbance. Interestingly the emotional aspect is the reason why patients suffer – otherwise the illness would just be interesting! Anti-depressants do not deal with this – they can help elevate mood in some patients but they do not address specific emotions.Similarly fixing the underlying fatigue state cannot be helped by drugs, which are mainly designed to block symptoms rather than create energy. Many patients that Dr Avery treats suffer from underlying mitochondrial failure. Mitochondria are present in most cells of the body and this is where the ATP cycle occurs, providing the energy needed for all cellular functions. A blood test has now been developed which can identify which of the two underlying possible problems is causing the low energy state. There is a lack of raw materials to make the necessary ingredients involved in the process and some kind of block in the circuit usually from a chemical / drug or other toxic substance. The only way to treat these abnormalities is to correct the underlying nutritional problem – there is either an absorption problem or nutrients are lost – or to use some kind of ‘detox’ technique. Neither of these treatment modalities is available from conventional practitioners – despite the fact that the condition has an underlying demonstrable biochemical explanation.The Doctor showed a scientific approach to the condition, sorting out problems with absorption, retention of nutrition and the use of a variety of treatment modalities designed to improve energy levels, pain and emotional disturbance. Much of the talk is based on 15 years’ experience of helping patients who suffer from fibromyalgia – many of whom (but not all) have done very well.  He intends to concentrate on what can actually be done in the light of our current understanding.




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