William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
Catherine Burt Driver, MD
Catherine Burt Driver, MD, is board certified in internal medicine and rheumatology by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Dr. Driver is a member of the American College of Rheumatology. She currently is in active practice in the field of rheumatology in Mission Viejo, Calif., where she is a partner in Mission Internal Medical Group.
- Fibromyalgia facts
- What is fibromyalgia?
- What causes fibromyalgia?
- Whom does fibromyalgia affect?
- What are fibromyalgia symptoms and signs?
- How is fibromyalgia diagnosed?
- Are exercise, stress reduction, or changes in diet helpful in the treatment of fibromyalgia?
- What are medications and other forms of treatment for fibromyalgia?
- What is the outlook (prognosis) for patients with fibromyalgia?
- Can fibromyalgia be prevented?
- What is in the future for fibromyalgia therapy?
- Where can people find more information about fibromyalgia and support groups?
- Fibromyalgia FAQs
- Patient Comments: Fibromyalgia - Lifestyle Changes
- Patient Comments: Fibromyalgia - Symptoms
- Patient Comments: Fibromyalgia - Treatments
- Find a local Rheumatologist in your town
- Fibromyalgia causes pain, stiffness, and tenderness of muscles, tendons, and joints without detectable inflammation.
- Fibromyalgia does not cause body damage or deformity.
- Fatigue occurs in 90% of patients with fibromyalgia.
- Irritable bowel syndrome can occur with fibromyalgia.
- Sleep disorder is common in patients with fibromyalgia.
- There is no test for the diagnosis of fibromyalgia.
- Fibromyalgia can be associated with other rheumatic conditions.
- Fibromyalgia treatment is most effective with combinations of education, stress reduction, exercise, and medications.
What is fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes pain, stiffness, and tenderness of the muscles, tendons, and joints. Fibromyalgia is also characterized by restless sleep, awakening feeling tired, chronic fatigue, anxiety, depression, and disturbances in bowel function. Fibromyalgia is sometimes referred to as fibromyalgia syndrome and abbreviated FMS. Fibromyalgia was formerly known as fibrositis.
While fibromyalgia is one of the most common diseases affecting the muscles leading to chronic pain and disability, its cause is currently unknown. The painful tissues involved are not accompanied by tissue inflammation. Therefore, despite potentially disabling body pain, patients with fibromyalgia do not develop body damage or deformity. Fibromyalgia also does not cause damage to internal body organs. In this sense, fibromyalgia is different from many other rheumatic conditions (such as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus, and polymyositis). In those diseases, tissue inflammation is the major cause of pain, stiffness, and tenderness of the joints, tendons and muscles, and it can lead to joint deformity and damage to the internal organs or muscles.
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