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Understanding Fibromyalgia
Monday, October 7, 2013 - 12 Noon (Eastern Time)

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Carmen Gota, MD

  • Orthopaedic & Rheumatologic Institute
  • Department of Rheumatologic & Immunologic Diseases
  • Cleveland Clinic

Fibromyalgia pain can change your life by making normal daily activities much more difficult. The exact cause of fibromyalgia is unknown but many theories suggest that stress contributes to the onset of fibromyalgia. When fibromyalgia pain interferes with your ability to do the things you want to do each day, it’s time to seek medical advice. Get your questions answered by our fibromyalgia specialist who will discuss possible causes for pain, diagnosis and treatment options.

Fibromyalgia is a condition characterized by aching and pain in muscles, tendons and joints all over the body, especially along the spine.

There are measurable changes in body chemistry and function in some people with fibromyalgia. These changes may be responsible for certain symptoms. However, fibromyalgia is not associated with muscle, nerve or joint injury; inadequate muscle repair; or any serious bodily damage or disease. Also, people who have fibromyalgia are not at greater risk for any other musculoskeletal disease.

When fibromyalgia begins, stresses in a person’s life are prominent. Stress often results in disturbed sleep patterns and a lack of restful sleep. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body does not produce the chemicals necessary to control or regulate pain. A lack of these pain-regulating chemicals results in tenderness in the upper back and forearms, leading to the symptoms of fibromyalgia.

Physical and emotional factors may also contribute to the onset of fibromyalgia. For example, a physical illness (such as an infection) could cause changes in your body chemistry that lead to pain and sleeplessness.
When you are sick, you may worry about your health and become anxious, depressed or inactive. These emotional factors could make your symptoms worse and aggravate fibromyalgia.

Carmen Gota, MD, was born in Transylvania, Romania. She completed rheumatology fellowship at Cleveland Clinic, practiced for one year and returned to become a Staff Physician in the Department of Rheumatology at Cleveland Clinic, where she has worked for the past six years. Her clinical interests are fibromyalgia, vasculitis, systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, chondrocalcinosis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, reactive arthritis, dermatomyositis, polymyositis, Sjogren syndrome, retroperitoneal fibrosis. She is a member of Center for Vasculitis Care and Research.

To make an appointment with Dr. Gota or any of the other specialists in our Department of Rheumatologic & Immunologic Diseases at Cleveland Clinic, please call 866.275.7496. You can also visit us online at clevelandclinic.org/rheum

This Health Chat will open on Sunday, October 6, 2013 to allow you to submit questions. We will try to answer as many questions as possible during the chat. Please create an account to attend the chat and submit your questions.