Fibromyalgia Specialist Boston MA

What does it feel like to live with fibromyalgia? “Imagine last night you drank more wine than you should have but had no water or food. You went to bed late and got up early, feeling stiff, achy, and tired,” says Chanchal Cabrera, a British herbalist, fibromyalgia patient, and author of Fibromyalgia: A Journey Toward Healing (McGraw-Hill, 2002). People with fibromyalgia feel that way all the time, she says.

Sharon A Stotsky, MD
(978) 988-9700
64-C Concord St
Wilmington, MA
Business
Rheumatology and Internal Medicine Associates
Specialties
Rheumatology

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Peter A Merkel
(617) 638-7460
720 Harrison Ave
Boston, MA
Specialty
Rheumatology

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Marilyn C Pike
(617) 726-2870
55 Fruit St
Boston, MA
Specialty
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology

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Allen Caruthers Steere
(617) 726-7938
55 Fruit St
Boston, MA
Specialty
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology

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Jane Green Schaller, MD
(617) 636-8683
750 Washington St # 8683
Boston, MA
Specialties
Pediatrics, Rheumatology
Gender
Female
Education
Medical School: Harvard Med Sch, Boston Ma 02115
Graduation Year: 1960
Hospital
Hospital: New England Med Ctr, Boston, Ma
Group Practice: New England Health Care Foundation Inc; Pratt Pediatric Assoc

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Syed S Ahmed
(617) 724-7168
55 Fruit St
Boston, MA
Specialty
Rheumatology

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John Patrick Whelan, MD
(617) 726-9381
15 Parkman St
Boston, MA
Specialties
Pediatrics, Pediatric Rheumatology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Baylor Coll Of Med, Houston Tx 77030
Graduation Year: 1993

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Eugene Kissin
(617) 638-7480
720 Harrison Ave
Boston, MA
Specialty
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology

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Aida G Cervantes, MD
(617) 905-0411
80 E Concord St
Boston, MA
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Female
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Santo Tomas, Fac Of Med And Surg, Manila, Philippines
Graduation Year: 1962

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Tuhina Neogi
(617) 638-7460
720 Harrison Ave
Boston, MA
Specialty
Rheumatology

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Confronting Fibromyalgia

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By Karta Purkh Singh Khalsa

What does it feel like to live with fibromyalgia? “Imagine last night you drank more wine than you should have but had no water or food. You went to bed late and got up early, feeling stiff, achy, and tired,” says Chanchal Cabrera, a British herbalist, fibromyalgia patient, and author of Fibromyalgia: A Journey Toward Healing (McGraw-Hill, 2002). People with fibromyalgia feel that way all the time, she says.

A truly mysterious ailment, fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) involves chronic widespread muscle pain and fatigue. It affects about 2 percent of all Americans and accounts for 10 to 30 percent of all rheumatology consultations. FMS mainly afflicts people between the ages of 35 and 55 and occurs seven to 10 times more frequently in women.

And as if the pain and fatigue weren’t enough, a constellation of other symptoms often accompanies the disorder—foggy thinking, sleep disturbances, painful menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea), and irritable bowel symptoms—making a clear diagnosis difficult. Although the cause of FMS continues to elude researchers, certain stresses on the body, such as intense exercise, illness, or a traumatic event, appear to intensify symptoms or even bring on the condition itself.

“My fibromyalgia was triggered by a car accident in 1991, when I was a healthy and fit 28-year-old,” says Cabrera, now 43 and living in Vancouver, British Columbia. “Within minutes of the impact, my neck and shoulders were in pain, and I had a dull headache. My slow descent into fibromyalgia had begun.”

The body blows a fuse

Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, medical director of Maryland’s Annapolis Center for Effective Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Fibromyalgia Therapies, likens FMS to the body’s “blowing a fuse” when its energy account becomes overdrawn. This short circuit results in hypothalamus suppression, Teitelbaum maintains. “The hypothalamus controls sleep, hormonal function, temperature, and autonomic functions such as blood pressure and blood flow,” he says. “The hypothalamus uses more energy for its size than any other organ, so when there is an energy shortfall, it goes offline first.”

“FMS has no single cause,” Teitelbaum says. He surmises that the hypothalamus decreases its protective function in the face of what it perceives as overwhelming stress, which can stem from infection, injury, or a stressful, emotional incident. “FMS patients seem to have genetic differences in the way their hypothalamus, pituitary, and adrenal regulation handle stress,” he says. “As a result, the muscles end up short of energy and in pain.”

Is there hope?
Mary Shomon, now an author and patient advocate in Washington, DC, began to have symptoms of FMS at age 34, after two car accidents and numerous other health challenges. Through a holistic approach and alternative therapies, she finally found relief from her symptoms. However, 11 years later she still expresses dismay about the stigma and disbelief she encounters about fibromyalgia—pa...

Author: Karta Purkh Singh Khalsa

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