|May 14, 2009||Peter Phelps
Marketing Services (269) 966-8131
BCHS physician to speak about fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a common chronic musculoskeletal disorder characterized primarily by diffuse pain and fatigue. The two major diagnostic criteria are widespread musculoskeletal pain and excess tenderness in at least 11 of 18 predefined locations on a person's body.
Lakshmi P. Kocharla, M.D., a member of the Battle Creek Health System medical staff and a family medicine physician at Summit Healthcare Group will speak on the topic 'Understanding Fibromyalgia' on Thursday, June 4, noon at Burnham Brook Senior Center. Senior Health Partners presents the program as part of its 'Aging Well' series, which is free to the public.
A lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m. followed by Dr. Kocharla's presentation at noon. Seating is limited. Reservations can be made by calling the class/seminar registration line at (877) GO2-BCHS (877-462-2247).
Dr. Kocharla will cover during this program the various aspects related to fibromyalgia such as potential causes, who is typically affected by this condition, what are the primary symptoms and current approaches in treatment.
"Fibromyalgia is noted as one of the most common chronic widespread types of pain in the U.S," says Dr. Kocharla. "Statistics indicate it affects more than 6 million people. Currently the causes of this disorder are not fully known. Recent studies suggest that changes in the central nervous system may contribute to the chronic pain of this condition as such nerve and brain cells can become extra sensitive under certain conditions."
This condition may lead to extra signals being sent to the brain, and an increase in the pain that a person feels. A person whose central nervous system has become extra sensitive may feel a type of chronic widespread pain that is typical of fibromyalgia.
The pain may occur as a result of a number of things such as viral infections, trauma, musculoskeletal injury, and exposure to chronic stress. Sleep disorders that go along with fibromyalgia may make the condition worse which can complicate the symptoms.
"As with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome
they often seem to begin after an infection or a severe
shock (physical or emotional), and the symptoms are very
similar," says Dr. Kocharla. "The only obvious
difference seems to be that for some people the fatigue
element is the most dominant while for others the muscular
pain symptoms are greatest. In other words for many people
the diagnosis chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia
are interchangeable terms, although there are certain
symptoms (fever, swollen glands for example) which are
found in a higher percentage of chronic fatigue syndrome
patients than those with fibromyalgia, which sometimes
make such a comparison less precise."
Senior Health Partners, a community partnership of Battle Creek Health System, CentraCare, Region 3B Area Agency on Aging, and Summit Pointe, works to expand wellness and educational offerings to senior citizens in Calhoun and surrounding counties.
Battle Creek Health System, sponsored by two parent organizations--Trinity Health (the fourth largest Catholic health system in the U.S. with 21 hospitals, 9 nursing homes, 19 senior house facilities, 8 home health care agencies, and 4 hospices in Michigan alone) and BCHS Community Partners, is accredited by the Joint Commission. Battle Creek Health System is a recipient of the 2008 HealthGrades Orthopaedic Surgery Excellence Award(tm) and 2009 Five Star rated for joint replacement surgery and total knee replacement. HealthGrades is a leading health care information company that provides objective 'report card' ratings nationwide. BCHS provides excellent health care for the community and promotes wellness for the whole person with access and compassion for all. For the latest medical information, visit the BCHS web site at www.bchealth.com or call the BCHS Marketing Department at (269) 966-8132.
About the Presenter:
Lakshmi P. Kocharla, MD specializes in internal medicine and rheumatology. She is a member of the Battle Creek Health System medical staff and is affiliated with Associated Internal Medicine Specialists.
Dr. Kocharla received her medical degree from the Guntur Medical College in Guntur, India. She completed her residency training at McLaren Regional Medical Center through Michigan State University's Department of internal medicine. She received her subspecialty training in rheumatology as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio.
Dr. Kocharla is board certified in internal medicine and her subspecialty certification in rheumatology is pending.