000aDr. Richard Bligh, founder of the St. Louis Center for Preventative and Longevity Medicine, discusses the medical facts of the chronic pain syndrome known as Fibromyalgia.
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Susan Solovic: Hello everyone and welcome to SBTV.com’s special segments on Fibromyalgia in the workplace. I’m Susan Wilson Solovic and we appreciate you joining us. And my guest today in the studio is Dr. Richard Bligh, who is an internal medicine doctor specializing in AH Management. Welcome to the program Dr. Bligh. Now in full disclosure I should tell everyone that you are my primary care physician. Alright, well I appreciate you coming in and doing this for me. Let’s talk about Fibromyalgia. SBTV has really been focusing on Fibromyalgia and trying to raise awareness about what it is. So let’s just start off with that simple question. What is Fibromyalgia? Dr. Bligh: Fibromyalgia is truly, it’s a syndrome and it’s a pain syndrome. It’s associated most likely with some sort of dis-regulation within the central nervous system in terms of the way we sense pain. Susan Solovic: And why is it, I mean we hear a lot about Fibromyalgia now but ten years ago, you really didn’t hear anything about it. Why is that? Dr. Bligh: I think because ten years ago, we really didn’t feel like it existed. If it came in with the constellation of symptoms we often see, most people thought it was a psychiatric disorder at that point. Susan Solovic: Why is there, I read in New York Times article not too long ago that basically said, Fibromyalgia doesn’t exist. Why is there so much controversy over Fibromyalgia, because even the male clinic has a special treatment clinic for it now? Dr. Bligh: I think the problem is that as with anything in medicine, that if we can’t have a test that shows it exactly what it is, or if we don’t have a specific set of signs and symptoms that are universal for everybody, we always put something in its pigeon hole and often you can’t do that in medicine. And then I think that is why it’s so difficult and why so many people don’t believe that it’s truly a disease. Susan Solovic: What are some of the symptoms that the patient might experience and then how do you go about diagnosing and if there is no like whip__ test? Dr. Bligh: Oh it’s difficult. The most common symptoms are just widespread pain. And they’re generally in all four quadrants of the body. People typically have specific tender points within the body and generally the diagnosis of Fibromyalgia has to do with people having this pain syndrome for at least three to four months. Generally, they typically will have pain at, at least a lot of the pressure points that are normally associated with Fibromyalgia. We also see a lot of fatigue with Fibromyalgia. That’s very common. You see a lot of non-restored tip sleep disorders. That’s the common part of it. You can see issues with depression and then the question is, is the depression part of the Fibromyalgia and it’s kind of which come first. Is the individual depressed because of the chronic pain or is depression overlying on the Fibromyalgia. Susan Solovic: So it’s which came first, the chicken or the egg, right? Exactly. Now I have heard that some insurance companies, there are few drugs or at least one drug now that is for Fibromyalgia specifically, and some of the insurance companies are saying, “Wait a minute doctors, we’re not just going to pay for that. At first, we’re going to expect the patient to try variable treatments”. What’s your take on that? If you’ve seen that or what, what do you feel? Dr. Bligh: I think that’s common with any new drug that comes out. The insurance companies can sometimes take months before they’ll start paying for it. Reality is they want to pay for the cheaper drugs that have been used in the past. Some of the generic drugs that may have been used, they may not be as effective but they want to use. They have a trial on one of the generics before they use one of the newer drugs around. Susan Solovic: Speaking of drugs and other treatments, __ is the only one drug right now in the market. What are some of the treatments that Fibromyalgia patients might be able to do to
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