Monday, August 24, 2009

The crippling illness that GPs refuse to diagnose | Mail Online

The crippling illness that GPs refuse to diagnose | Mail Online:

"For a long time many doctors saw fibromyalgia as largely a psychological problem, but ten years ago it was recognised as a genuine medical condition by the World Health Organisation. Yet some medics remain sceptical. ‘The problem is that many of the symptoms of fibromyalgia are vague,’ explains Dr Heike Romer, a consultant in pain management in the NHS and at the Spire Liverpool Hospital. ‘Often GPs treat patients’ symptoms separately, rather than looking at them as a group and realising they indicate fibromyalgia. And because these symptoms aren’t life-threatening and the patient isn’t turning green, they are seen as a malingerer.’

Dr Tom Gilhooly, a GP from Glasgow who has worked with fibromyalgia patients for 20 years, believes the current approach to treating the condition is inadequate. ‘Often the patients I see are on a cocktail of drugs. Instead of handing out drugs for the symptoms, we have to get to the underlying cause of the problem.’ Dr Gilhooly believes this cause is an immune system response, perhaps to a virus or trauma - such as an accident - or simply to the body being pushed to its limit."

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