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Karen Lee Richards

Patient Advocate

Karen is the co-founder of the National Fibromyalgia Association. She writes for HealthCentral as a patient expert for Pain Management.

Latest by Karen Lee Richards

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Fibromyalgia, G.I. Disorders and Psychologic Distress

Are the gastrointestinal problems that often accompany fibromyalgia caused by psychologic distress? A study published in the April 2009 issue of the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology says yes. I say they are jumping to conclusions with...

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Guaifenesin for Fibromyalgia: Legit Treatment or Snake Oil?

You may have read some amazing stories of people who claim to have had a complete reversal of their fibromyalgia symptoms from taking something called guaifenesin. You may also wonder why it is not prescribed more often if it works so well. For almos...

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8 Energy-Boosting Supplements for Fibromyalgia Fatigue

Fatigue, often extreme fatigue, is a key symptom of fibromyalgia. For many, it can be even more debilitating than the pain. Doctors generally tend to shy away from prescribing medications to treat fatigue. I suspect that’s because most of them are st...

A woman struggles with fibromyalgia fatigue.
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8 Energy-Boosting Supplements for Fibromyalgia Fatigue

Fibromyalgia fatigue is a pervasive, all-encompassing exhaustion that can interfere with the most basic daily activities. These supplements can help.

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Scam or Legit? What to Look for in Pain Relief Products

Today I want to tell you a story. It’s the story of a quality topical pain reliever and the reputable company that stands behind it. Sadly, it’s also the story of another company that is using the same or a very similar product to deceive and take ad...

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Could High-Dose Thiamine Improve Fibromyalgia Symptoms?

A small study recently published in BMJ Case Reports reported some rather remarkable results using high doses of thiamine (vitamin B1) to treat fibromyalgia. The Story Behind the Study In June 2010, a group of Italian researchers noticed that the fat...

Searching for flights online.
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You Can Vacation with Chronic Pain

With a little pre-planning, your vacation can still be the enjoyable experience you want it to be, even if you have chronic pain or fibromyalgia.

A woman and her trainer looking at an exercise plan on a white board.
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Tips for Exercising With Fibromyalgia

People with fibromyalgia tend to shy away from exercise, but these tips can help you stay fit by developing a pain-free exercise program you actually enjoy.

Surgeons operating on a patient.
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Important Tips for Surgery with Fibromyalgia

Surgery for fibromyalgia can lead to post-operative flare-ups and long, painful recovery periods, but it doesn't have to be that way — if you follow these tips.

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10 Things Not to Say to Fibromyalgia Patients

From "I think I have that too" to "that's not a real disease," here are 10 things you should never say to someone with fibromyalgia.