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There is a daily struggle for people living with fibromyalgia-- an often very painful and debilitating condition. However, the stigma of whether it is a real disease still looms.
Despite fibromyalgia being a chronic pain condition affecting 10 million Americans, one in three adults surveyed by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) has never heard of it or doesn't
consider it a real disease. The result, according to the AOA, is that many patients are afraid to address possible fibromyalgia symptoms for fear they'll be accused of "faking it."
"Fibromyalgia is a very common condition where the muscle, bone and tissue don't function properly with one another. But not a lot of people know about it," says Jennifer Caudle, DO, an AOA board-certified osteopathic family physician in Philadelphia. "It generally consists of chronic pain, sometimes debilitating pain, and often this pain comes with other symptoms of fibromyalgia -- such as fatigue, headache, insomnia, depression and anxiety. It can be difficult to get out of bed and go to work."