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 Know Fibro 
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From Pain to Unexpected Fame: One Woman's Journey to Know Fibro

(MARKET WIRE via COMTEX) ----Living in pain for one day can be excruciating, but for Martha Beck, one day became a seemingly endless cycle of widespread pain, fatigue, emotional changes, and memory problems. It took 12 years of searching for an answer to the painful symptoms she was experiencing before she finally received a formal diagnosis of fibromyalgia at age 31.

Along the way, Beck developed coping skills that helped her manage her fibromyalgia while achieving her personal goals. She earned a Ph.D. in sociology, became a mother and an author, and launched a successful career as a life coach with regular appearances on "The Oprah Winfrey Show."

In an effort to help the 5 million Americans with fibromyalgia(1) play an active role in the management of their disorder, Beck is, for the first time, publicly sharing her personal journey by spearheading Know Fibro. This national initiative, co-sponsored by the National Fibromyalgia Association (NFA) and Eli Lilly and Company, provides comprehensive fibromyalgia information, symptom management tools, practical tips, and an interactive Web site, KnowFibro.com.

"When I was diagnosed, I was eager to learn how I could manage my symptoms, but I found there was little credible information available. Unfortunately, that story may sound all too familiar to those living with fibromyalgia," said Beck. "I was forced to create my own coping techniques that helped me take control of my fibromyalgia. Now, I look forward to sharing my experience with fibromyalgia and my life coaching tips to help others on their journey to Know Fibro."

Know Fibro advocates a comprehensive care plan that may include education, lifestyle changes, and medication. Although there is no cure for fibromyalgia, many experts believe this approach is a helpful way to manage the disorder.(2) Only a health care provider can diagnose fibromyalgia. Therefore it is important for people to discuss their symptoms with a health care provider.

Daniel J. Clauw, M.D., a fibromyalgia expert who contributed to the development of Know Fibro, recognizes the importance of this type of initiative.

"I have been treating people with fibromyalgia for 20 years, and when patients learn about the disorder and what types of things they can do themselves to make it better, this often greatly improves their symptoms," said Clauw, professor of anesthesiology and medicine at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich. "Not only does Know Fibro incorporate our experience into an easy-to-use, interactive initiative, it also provides customizable information to help people manage the symptoms of this disorder on a day-to-day basis."


Wed Oct 29, 2008 2:16 pm
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