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Today, May 12, 2011 is National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day. As many of our users live with both RA and fibromyalgia, Karen Lee Richards - the Community Leader of our Chronic Pain site - and I interviewed each other about RA and fibro. Part One of this interview is about fibromyalgia symptoms, treatment and history.You can read Karen's interview with me on Chronic Pain.
Karen first became ill in 1989, but didn't receive a diagnosis of fibromyalgia until seven years later. Karen's career as a writer and patient advocate grew out of her determination to learn more about her own illnesses and wanting to raise awareness about fibromyalgia and ME/CFS . She is the co-founder of the National Fibromyalgia Association
What is fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia (FM) is a chronic pain illness that affects 2-5 percent of the population. The majority of people with FM are women, but it can also strike men and children. The main symptoms of FM are widespread pain, fatigue and sleep ...
Behavioral Therapy Studies show that fibromyalgia patients feel better when they deal with the consequences of the disorder on their lives. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) enhances patients' belief in their own abilities and helps them develop methods for dealing with stressful situations. CBT is known to be an effective method for dealing with chronic pain from arthritic conditions. Evidence also suggests that CBT can help some patients with fibromyalgia. Although the effects of CBT and other non-medication treatments for fibromyalgia do not always last over the long-term, they may help certain groups of people, particularly those with a high level of psychological stress. CBT may be particularly useful for addressing insomnia, one of the hallmark symptoms of fibromyalgia. In studies, patients who received CBT for insomnia woke up 50% less often at night, had fewer symptoms of insomnia, and had an improved mood. The Goals of CBT. The primary goals of CBT are to change any unclear or m...
If you are reading this, someone close to you lives with and suffers from fibromyalgia (FM). Since FM is invisible, many find it hard to believe that it is a real illness or that anyone could really hurt that much all the time. Unfortunately, this is one of the main reasons that fibromyalgia is so often misunderstood, misdiagnosed and not properly treated. Fibromyalgia is a central nervous system disorder that has three primary components: pain, fatigue and sleep problems. (1) Pain – The pain may vary in intensity and location, but it is present most, if not all, of the time. (2) Fatigue – The fatigue is not like the tiredness you might feel after working too hard or overdoing it on a sports field. It's a pervasive, all-encompassing exhaustion – like someone pulled the plug on your energy source. (3) Sleep – The person with FM usually has difficulty sleeping. And even when they do finally sleep, they...
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