Fibromyalgia Specialist Michigan City IN

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.

Karen A John, MD
(219) 877-3970
710 Franklin St Ste 200
Michigan City, IN
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: In Univ Sch Of Med, Indianapolis In 4620
Graduation Year: 1983

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Karen A Kovalow StJohn
(219) 921-1321
601 Gateway Boulevard
Chesterton, IN
Specialty
Rheumatology

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James Cohen, MD
(317) 328-6600
6820 Parkdale Pl
Indianapolis, IN
Business
Arthritis Care Center
Specialties
Rheumatology

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David A Campbell
(260) 489-1666
1234 East Dupont Road
Fort Wayne, IN
Specialty
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology

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Larry Ronnell Brazley, MD
(219) 791-0248
399 E 84th Dr
Merrillville, IN
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: New York Univ Sch Of Med, New York Ny 10016
Graduation Year: 1975
Hospital
Hospital: Methodist Hosp -Northlake Cam, Gary, In
Group Practice: Larry R Brazley Ltd

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Heather Joan Gillespie
(219) 861-8161
1225 E Coolspring Ave
Michigan City, IN
Specialty
Rheumatology

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Karen A Kovalow St John, MD
(219) 879-6531
601 Cumberland Boulevard
Chesterton, IN
Specialties
Pediatrics, Pediatric Rheumatology
Gender
Female
Education
Medical School: In Univ Sch Of Med, Indianapolis In 46202
Graduation Year: 1983

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Steven Ko
(260) 432-2297
7916 W Jefferson Blvd
Fort Wayne, IN
Specialty
Rheumatology

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David S Batt
(317) 962-3500
1801 N Senate Blvd
Indianapolis, IN
Specialty
Rheumatology

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James N Dreyfus
(219) 922-3002
761 45th Avenue
Munster, IN
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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