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About The Siuslaw news. (Florence, Lane County, Or.) 1960-current | View Entire Issue (July 11, 2015)
SIUSLAW NEWS z SATURDAY, JULY 11, 2015
is real disease
DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 56-
year-old female. I recently have been
having terrible pain in my joints. It is
so bad at night that I can’t sleep.
Mainly the pain is in my neck, ribs,
elbows, knees and wrists. My finger
joints have hurt for years. I recently
went to a rheumatologist because I
had an elevated rheumatoid factor (it
wasn’t extremely high). I was told I
have arthritis and a high risk for
rheumatoid arthritis. I was then diag-
nosed with fibromyalgia. I was
shocked and embarrassed! I had
always thought that fibro was not a
real disease. I feel bad and tired
almost every day, and I am so sick of
it! — S.S.
ANSWER: Some of my colleagues
still doubt it, but I think that
fibromyalgia certainly is a real dis-
ease. There is no doubt that there are a
large number of people with chronic
ARIES (March 21 to April 19)
Starting something new is always excit-
ing for the adventurous Aries. And
here’s the good news: This time you
might be able to get some assistance in
helping you finish what you’ve started.
TAURUS (April 20 to May 20) Put
your daydreaming penchant on hold for
now, and face the facts as they are, not
as you’d like them to be. Your custom-
ary hardheaded approach to “deals,”
etc., is called for.
GEMINI (May 21 to June 20)
Problems beyond your control might
delay some of your plans. But things
should start to get back to normal by
midweek. The weekend could bring an
unexpected (but welcome) visitor.
CANCER (June 21 to July 22) It’s a
good time to buckle down and tackle
pain in the muscles and soft tissues
who meet the diagnostic tests for
fibromyalgia, which are all based on
history and exam — there’s no blood
test or X-ray for fibromyalgia, but that
doesn’t mean it isn’t real. The current
thinking is that fibromyalgia is due to
alterations in the perception of pain by
the central nervous system.
The most common symptom is
aching in the body, usually in the mus-
cles and joints. Although there are
specific commonly tender spots that
clinicians look for on exam, the diag-
nosis of fibromyalgia can be made
without them. Fatigue and poor-quali-
ty sleep also are nearly universal in
Depression is highly prevalent in
people with fibromyalgia, and in my
opinion, the depression is more likely
caused by the chronic pain and fatigue
than the other way around.
Before making the diagnosis of
fibromyalgia, your rheumatologist
had to exclude other possible causes,
such as rheumatoid arthritis, restless
leg syndrome and thyroid disease.
This isn’t always easy or straightfor-
ward, and requires experience.
My opinion is that it is better to
have a diagnosis of fibromyalgia
because, even though fibromyalgia
isn’t completely understood, it is a
starting point for understanding and
treating chronic pain.
Tricyclic antidepressants are the
most common initial treatment of
fibromyalgia, because they affect the
way pain is processed. They are usu-
ally started at far, far below the effec-
tive dose for depression.
Feeling a sense of control over the
pain, continuing to work and exercis-
ing more are all associated with a bet-
ter outcome in fibromyalgia.
DEAR DR. ROACH: My brother-
in-law was prescribed warfarin sever-
al years ago after a stroke. He claimed
that it was made from rat poison and
refused to take it. Is it, in fact, made
from rat poison? — D.K.
(Coumadin) was used as rat poison.
Some rat poisons are still relatives of
However, that doesn’t mean he
shouldn’t take it. The difference
between a medicine and a poison is
often one of dosing. Warfarin is rea-
sonably safe when used correctly, and
it can significantly reduce the risk of a
second stroke. There are also some
newer options, such as Pradaxa and
Xarelto. Your brother should recon-
sider the risks and benefits.
those unfinished tasks so you’ll be
ready to take on other projects. The
week’s end could bring an invitation
from a most surprising source.
LEO (July 23 to August 22) Mixed
signals could create a few stressful
moments for the Lion. But by midweek,
explanations should help ease the ten-
sion. The weekend is party time! Share
it with someone special.
VIRGO (August 23 to September
22) This is a good “catching up” week
for finishing tasks, calling old friends
and maybe reading that book you
haven’t opened yet or renting that
movie you wanted to see again.
LIBRA (September 23 to October
22) Money matters should be worked
out, even if it takes time away from a
more romantic situation. Better to settle
things before feelings turn hard and
angry on all sides.
SCORPIO (October 23 to November
21) A job-related problem could turn
out to be less troublesome than it
seemed at first. Just a few moments of
talk ‘twixt the parties resolves every-
thing to everyone’s satisfaction.
SAGITTARIUS (November 22 to
December 21) The Sagittarian Archer
takes aim at health and fitness issues
this week. Watch your diet, and try to
put more exercise time into your typi-
cally busy schedule.
CAPRICORN (December 22 to
January 19) As you continue to focus on
a career or job change, it’s a good time
to look over some of your rarely used
skills and see where they can fit into
your future workplace plans.
AQUARIUS (January 20 to
February 18) A loved one’s health
might be worrisome, but there’s good
news by midweek. Expect people who
share your ideas and your goals to try to
contact you by the week’s end.
PISCES (February 19 to March 20)
A colleague’s request that makes the
typically perceptive Pisces feel uncom-
fortable is a request you probably will
want to turn down. The weekend favors
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