Fibromyalgia Awareness

54-year old Susan Ramstead used to be very active with family outings and activities.
But these days more than not you'll find her documenting those times in a scrap book rather than planning a big vacation.
She says she started to slow down about nine years ago...she was always tired, had severe headaches, and would often spend weekends in bed.
" I had to quit my job because I wasn't able to balance it anymore. The syndrome or illness won...I lost."
Susan was eventually diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. For her, and patients like her giving her problems a name is about the only comfort doctors can give. Researchers don't know what causes it....and there is no cure.
Dr. Karen McDERMOTT an Internal Medicine specialst in Reno says the syndrome can be frustrating for physicians as well. " With fibromyalgia syndrome there is no lab test there is no radiograph to show it. That's very difficult for these patients."
Symptoms of Fibromyalgia include fatigue, disrupted sleep, multiple tender sport in the neck, lower back, arms and legs. Many times these patients will have other diseases like irritable bowel, lyme disease, arthritis, and tension headaches.
Patients with this disease suffer from pain that travels to various trigger points in the body.
. They may also have depression.
A new antidepressant called Cymbalta has been used with some success. The medication also contains a drug that treats pain in the central nervous system.
Next month theres a free presentation on FIbromyalgia. The meeting will be at the Northwest Library on Robb Drive in Reno on June 15 and 17. For more information you can call 287-6784 or go to