fibromyalgia awareness dayWhen you suffer from fibromyalgia, it’s easy to suffer in silence. Fibromyalgia is often called an invisible illness because there are few outward symptoms. Worse, the condition itself is little understood. While medical professionals now have developed guidelines to help them diagnose somebody with fibromyalgia, since we currently don’t understand exactly what causes it, it can be difficult to treat effectively.

Even though we can’t always see the pain, it’s important to spread awareness about the effects of fibromyalgia–both on a personal and national level. 

Consider these facts about fibromyalgia:

  • Over 12 million people in the U.S. suffer from fibromyalgia
  • Symptoms of fibromyalgia range from chronic, widespread body pain to impaired cognitive abilities (also known as fibro fog)
  • Women are ten times more likely than men to develop this condition
  • Fibromyalgia patients may spend up to $1,000 more a month (above their insurance) to treat their condition

These facts are dire, but there is hope. 

Many pain professionals are working diligently to uncover cures for and causes of fibromyalgia. Organizations like the National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association (NFMCPA) are actively working to support and advocate for patients with these pain conditions. Today, in fact, is Fibromyalgia Awareness Day. It’s a day meant to spread awareness about this difficult condition while encouraging discussion.

The 2014 theme is “C.A.R.E. & Make Fibromyalgia Visible.” With this theme, the organizers of the event–the NFMCPA–hope to encourage people to Contribute, Advocate, participate in Research, and Educate others about fibromyalgia. Leading the change that is needed will require involvement from fibromyalgia patients and medical professionals, obviously, but also the friends, family members, coworkers, and community members of people affected by fibromyalgia.

If you want to help today, head over to the NFMCPA’s website to find an event in your area. You can also connect with the fibromyalgia community on that day on NFMCPA’s Facebook page. Fibromyalgia doesn’t have to be invisible. By making a point to discuss your pain with those around you, you can begin to spread awareness about this difficult condition.

How are you contributing to Fibromyalgia Awareness Day in your community? 

Image by Poppy Thomas-Hill via Flickr

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