This discussion with Dr Carolyn Berryman, although focused on fibromyalgia, is relevant for anyone living with, or interested in what it is like to live with, a chronic condition.
Carolyn brings her considerable expertise as a physiotherapy clinician, teacher and researcher to the discussion. We begin our chat by describing the symptoms of fibromyalgia that can include widespread, persistent pain, sleep disturbances, fatigue and sensitivity to sensory events, like smells. The causes of fibromyalgia, sometimes described as a “mysterious syndrome”, are unknown which can make it difficult to diagnose and treat. However, Carolyn does enlighten us about what we do know about fibromyalgia, the various treatment approaches and what is going on in the research space.
Of great interest to me was the part of our discussion focussing on the mind-body connection both in terms of neuroplasticity – ongoing pain can change the wiring in the brain – and the gut-brain axis – how gut health impacts immune function and how an imbalance in that area might be a contributing trigger for fibromyalgia.
I very much enjoyed Carolyn’s generous sharing of her expertise, the clear empathy she has towards people suffering with fibromyalgia and the practical advice she gives for those people.
LINKS MENTIONED IN THE EPISODE
Dr Berryman’s Researcher Profile, University of Adelaide: https://researchers.adelaide.edu.au/profile/carolyn.berryman
Fibromyalgia Support, South Australia: https://www.facebook.com/fibrosa.com.au/
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