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CCMH luncheon discusses lupus, fibromyalgia

LAWTON, Okla._Doctors seem to be seeing an increase in lupus and fibromyalgia, two diseases that are chronic and debilitating.

That was the topic of discussion at a luncheon Thursday at Comanche County Memorial Hospital. Fibromyalgia affects muscles and soft tissue and is often very painful. Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body. Lawton family practice physician Dr. Karen Schafer says diagnosing these conditions can be very frustrating for both physicians and patients because lab tests often come back normal.

"In the medical society, we aren't perfect, we don't always know all the answers. So, this kind of diagnosis is a lot of teamwork where we work with the patient to make their quality of life better," explained Dr. Schafer.

Schafer hopes people left with a better understanding of how both conditions are diagnosed, and the importance of exercise and not smoking if you suffer from either condition. Both conditions are predominantly seen in women. Women between the ages of 20 and 35 are at the highest risk for lupus.

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