Magazine article USA TODAY

Mystery Disease Has No Diagnosis-Or Cure

Magazine article USA TODAY

Mystery Disease Has No Diagnosis-Or Cure

Article excerpt

Anxiety, exhaustion, and disturbed sleep--sound familiar? It could be that you are one of millions of Americans suffering these symptoms as the result of stress over a slumping economy. However, they also are symptoms associated with fibromyalgia, a more serious chronic condition that often goes undiagnosed.

"Because of its complex nature and a lack of one specific test, many doctors have misdiagnosed fibromyalgia symptoms over the years or dismissed them as being in the patient's head," explains Andre Garabedian of the Fibromyalgia and Fatigue Centers, Philadelphia. "Now that so many more are seeking medical intervention for their severe pain, extreme fatigue, stress, and sleeplessness seemingly brought on by world events, it's quite possible that an existing condition such as fibromyalgia could be overlooked."

It is estimated that more than 12,000,000 people in the U.S. suffer from fibromyalgia, a debilitating condition characterized by a feeling of exhaustion, body aches, and muscle stiffness. Often accompanied by other symptoms, such as irritable bowel syndrome, sleep disturbance, headaches, anxiety, and depression, fibromyalgia can affect any gender or age, but predominantly strikes women between 35 and 54. …

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