Fibromyalgia Specialist Harrisonburg VA

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.

Virginia Byers Kraus, MD
(919) 681-6652
3320 Emmaus Rd
Harrisonburg, VA
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Female
Education
Medical School: Duke Univ Sch Of Med, Durham Nc 27710
Graduation Year: 1982

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Edward Neil Katz
(540) 899-3863
2301 Fall Hill Ave
Fredericksburg, VA
Specialty
Rheumatology

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James C Sutherland
(804) 323-1401
1401 Johnston Willis Dr
Richmond, VA
Specialty
Rheumatology

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Phillip William Kempf
(703) 525-3069
1635 N George Mason Dr Ste 220
Arlington, VA
Specialty
Rheumatology

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Jane Marie Derrig
(757) 539-0251
2000 Meade Parkway
Suffolk, VA
Specialty
Rheumatology

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Joseph John Burge, MD
(540) 432-6230
373 Neff Ave
Harrisonburg, VA
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Duke Univ Sch Of Med, Durham Nc 27710
Graduation Year: 1974
Hospital
Hospital: Rockingham Memorial Hospital, Harrisonburg, Va
Group Practice: Arthritis Care Ctr

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William Robt Felts, MD
(202) 994-1000
Mc Lean, VA
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Ar Coll Of Med, Little Rock Ar 72205
Graduation Year: 1946

Data Provided by:
Wael N Jarjour, MD
(434) 924-5214
PO Box 800412
Charlottesville, VA
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Damascus, Fac Of Med, Damascus,
Graduation Year: 1982

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Thitinan Srikulmontree, MD
1112 E Clay St Rm 4-110
Richmond, VA
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Female
Education
Medical School: Chiang Mai Univ, Fac Of Med, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Graduation Year: 1998

Data Provided by:
Neil Ira Stahl, MD
(703) 425-4435
6035 Burke Centre Pkwy Ste 280
Burke, VA
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Boston Univ Sch Of Med, Boston Ma 02118
Graduation Year: 1973

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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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