Claudia Machado Cooke, MD, FACP, MPH  |  Health Through Understanding

Fibromyalgia

A painful disorder of the soft tissues, fibromyalgia is the most common cause of generalized musculoskeletal pain in US women between the ages of 20 and 55 years. Its clinical diagnosis is based chiefly on history and physical examination, with a typical symptom complex of fatigue, headaches, sleep disorder, and mood disturbance.

Systemic disorders such a Lyme disease and hypothyroidism may be associated, but it must be stressed that no one illness is ever pin-pointed as the cause of fibromyalgia. It often overlaps with other autoimmune or connective tissue disorders.

While no highly effective therapy has been documented in either the conventional or complementary literature, a number of complementary interventions may prove helpful. Acupuncture, AlphaStim microcurrent stimulation, nutritional interventions, gut rebalancing, among others, have demonstrated efficacy.