Rheumatology Gems

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Rheumatology Gems

To top off what has been an exciting and eventful year, mlcoa VIC presented on three of the biggest “Rheumatology Gems”. Dr Loretta Reiter, Rheumatologist, engagingly discussed Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

A number of Rheumatoid Arthritis patients find it extremely difficult to perform daily functional activities for example stairs, pushing a door, standing or squatting/kneeling. Fibromyalgia symptoms include muscle pain, insomnia or numbness and tingling. To diagnose Fibromyalgia a person needs to have more than 11 ‘trigger points’. Someone with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome must have more than 6 months of fatigue, post-exercise fatigue, sleep dysfunction, pain (muscles or joints) and 2 or more neurological/cognitive manifestations.

There is a large overlap in the three conditions, however Dr Reiter helped the audience distinguish each condition and advised that although there is no cure, the damage can be reduced and pain managed with the correct use of prescription drugs. Dr Reiter also discussed symptoms, treatment and how each condition might affect a person’s function. Dr Reiter provided some tips on changes that can be made to accommodate/improve the workplace for someone living with one or more of these conditions.

The feedback from this event was extremely well received with comments such as: “very knowledgeable and engaging”, “great topic – really helpful to learn about Fibromyalgia” and “very interesting and informative”.

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