A mystery condition
Kubra Tariq was an active, young mother of two boys, and lived with her architect husband in the Greens area in Dubai. She had always been fond of meeting up with her friends and taking her boys, now 4 and 7, to playdates. But recently, since the past year and a half, she had been experiencing a continuous lethargy that she had never experienced before.
“I thought to myself, maybe I’m depressed, and that it’s just in my mind.”
Slowly, she saw her life becoming less active. Her ‘sluggishness’ (as she referred to it) was compromising her social life. She found it harder and harder to meet her appointments with friends. Mysterious head and body aches plagued her days.
“Friends started noticing that I wasn’t quite as into meetups as I used to be. Previously, I’d be the first one making plans to meet. But then, I slowly became the least active one. They’d have to come extract me from my house. And even then, I’d mostly be sitting around, often complaining.”
But most of all, this new feeling was taking a toll on Kubra’s family life.
“I could no longer get myself to run after Aarish and Aliyaan” she shared, referring to her two young children.
“Even my husband started to notice. I was giving less time to house chores and things started being left undone.”
Kubra saw several doctors, most of whom prescribed her anti-depressants. However, anti-depressants did not seem to work with her. In fact, they exacerbated her condition by putting her into a zombie-like state in addition to her physical symptoms.
Finally, Kubra visited the Zia Medical Center, on the recommendation of a close friend. She sought the services of a well-known GP at the Zia Medical Center. That was the turning point in her pain-infested life.
Setting the Record Straight
Before Kubra met the GP at Zia Medical Center, she was convinced that her symptoms were all mental. She expected to be referred to a Psychiatrist, and prepared herself mentally for the referral. However, as the GP questioned her thoroughly, and examined Kubra’s symptoms in detail, the end-result was different. Kubra was referred to Dr. Ehab Mostafa, a consultant rheumatologist at the Zia Medical Center. Dr. Ehab was a specialist in rheumatology and physical rehabilitation.
When Dr. Mostafa met Kubra, he immediately recognized the elusive symptoms of fibromyalgia. He cautiously collected Kubra’s medical history, and then ordered some blood work. This included a complete blood count (CBC), thyroid function tests, and erythrocyte sedimentation rate. When other conditions were ruled out, the diagnosis of fibromyalgia was made.
Finally, some answers
While Kubra was still in pain, since her treatment had not started, she was relieved that her ailment had a name and also that it wasn’t just ‘in her head’.
“Many people tend to come to me with a notion that their fatigue and miscellaneous aches were merely due to depression or some other mental imbalances. It is fairly common that many of them end being diagnosed with fibromyalgia” says Dr. Ehab Mostafa.
“With the right treatment, they can live relatively pain-free lives”
Road to Relief
For Kubra, the treatment prescribed by Dr. Mostafa involved a holistic approach. She was given pain-relief medicine, and advised on a self-care regimen which included stress-reduction techniques, improved sleep-hygiene, regular exercise, and maintaining a healthy diet.
Dr. Ehab Mostafa is a highly-trained rheumatologist and rehabilitation expert, practicing at the Zia Medical Center, Dubai. For further enquiries, or appointments, call +971 433 87878