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5 million Americans have fibromyalgia

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An estimated 2 percent of the U.S. population, or 5 million people, have fibromyalgia. It is more common in women than men and usually affects people between the ages of 20 and 50. According to the Arthritis Foundation, the primary symptom of fibromyalgia is pain — varying degrees of widespread muscle pain, often including stiffness and tenderness around the joints, tendons and ligaments. Other symptoms include migraine headaches, chronic fatigue, bladder spasms and even loss of memory.

The disease is not life-threatening. And education, exercise and pain and stress-reduction techniques can help. The Arthritis Foundation, Utah/Idaho Chapter, offers a free brochure that explains the symptoms, diagnosis and general treatment. Call 801-536-0990 in the Salt Lake area or 1-800-444-4993 outside it to get a copy of the brochure.