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Triangle Group Raises Awareness of Fibromyalgia
Date:5/14/2008

RALEIGH, N.C., May 14 /PRNewswire/ -- An estimated 130,000 North Carolinians suffer from Fibromyalgia, a chronic widespread pain condition. Governor Mike Easley and his wife Mary are joining the Triangle Fibromyalgia Positive Energy support group in raising awareness of fibromyalgia during National Women's Health Week. "It is important for medical professionals to be educated on the diagnosis and treatment of fibromyalgia as it often takes an average of five years to receive a diagnosis," wrote Governor Easley in a letter praising the Triangle Fibromyalgia Positive Energy Support Group.

"Fibromyalgia has robbed me of a career. It is a daily struggle just to cope with my debilitating symptoms." Kristine Lanning is a Raleigh attorney who has lived with fibromyalgia for nearly 10 years. Yet she decided to turn her limited energy to starting the Triangle Fibromyalgia Positive Energy Support Group to reach out to those who suffered as she did. "Our efforts center on providing support and information to fibro patients in the Triangle area and developing awareness about its diagnosis and treatment among doctors."

"I have suffered from fibromyalgia for nearly 40 years," said Cathy McCarthy, a Durham consumer medical writer and ex-librarian. "I was finally diagnosed in 1999, after years of dealing with relentless pain and being told I was just looking for attention. The experience has made me a judicious consumer of medical services and treatment. If I can pass on the lessons learned to people stunned by this horrible condition, then it is all worth it."

Dr. Charles Lapp, a Charlotte physician who has been treating Fibromyalgia patients since 1984 calls the disease an "invisible illness." "You cannot tell by looking at a person that he or she has Fibromyalgia. In the absence of obvious illness and abnormal physical findings, some doctors are reluctant to diagnose the illness. They don't view fibromyalgia as a 'real disease' or they mistakenly believe that there is no treatment. As a result, 75 - 85 percent of persons with fibromyalgia go undiagnosed and untreated," said Dr. Lapp.

"While around 25 percent of patients with fibromyalgia receive disability, nearly 50 percent are unable to work. Patients with fibromyalgia know it is a 'real disease' and those who are disabled by Fibromyalgia know its pain," Dr. Lapp said. "It is imperative for sufferers and doctors alike to know that there is a vast amount of scientific literature that supports the legitimacy of the diagnoses and the techniques for management."

Lanning and McCarthy have been co-leaders of the Triangle Fibromyalgia Positive Energy support group. They try to build positive community among people with fibromyalgia and provide a real-world perspective for physicians and the public. For additional information on Fibromyalgia visit http://www.fmaware.org


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SOURCE The Triangle Fibromyalgia Positive Energy Support Group
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