• By Jay Furst

New Mayo Clinic Press book offers help, hope to fibromyalgia patients

September 24, 2019
cover of Mayo Clinic Guide to Fibromyalgia book

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Fibromyalgia, a disorder that causes pain, fatigue, chronic headaches and a host of other symptoms, is often misunderstood by patients, families and health care providers. A new book from Mayo Clinic Press aims to change that.

"Mayo Clinic Guide to Fibromyalgia: Strategies to Take Back Your Life," by Andy Abril, M.D., a Mayo Clinic rheumatologist, and Barbara Bruce, Ph.D., a Mayo Clinic psychologist, aims to dispel myths about fibromyalgia and offer practical strategies for patients to manage it successfully. Drawing on decades of Mayo Clinic research and clinical expertise, the book is a resource to help people with fibromyalgia find solutions that lead to better health. Drs. Abril and Bruce are based at Mayo Clinic in Florida.

The 272-page paperback is the first under the imprint Mayo Clinic Press. Mayo Clinic has issued health-oriented books for consumers with other publishers for many years, self-publishing books such as "The Mayo Clinic Family Health Book." Mayo Clinic Press will publish new titles on important health issues, and its books will be distributed by Simon & Schuster Inc.

Fibromyalgia is a disorder that commonly involves aches and pain in all parts of the body, often with fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. Symptoms also may include tension headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety and depression. Women are more likely to develop fibromyalgia than men.

"Every day, we see patients who are hurting, who aren't sleeping well and are exhausted, and who have trouble concentrating," says Dr. Abril. "By the time they get to us, many of these people have been told that their symptoms are related to stress or depression. Others have been told that they are wasting their doctor's time."

Medications can help control symptoms, and many patients also have found exercise, relaxation and stress reduction measures helpful, Dr. Abril says.

"Many patients are struggling to get through their daily activities because of their symptoms," says Dr. Bruce. "They don't know what's wrong with them or how to make it better. They just want their lives back. Fibromyalgia doesn't have to define a person's life, and we can offer help and hope."

The authors share personal stories of patients who have lived with fibromyalgia and found that relief and management of symptoms is possible. The book outlines comprehensive treatment options based on the latest research, with actionable steps to reduce pain and other symptoms.

"Mayo Clinic Guide to Fibromyalgia: Strategies to Take Back Your Life" is available online and in retail outlets nationwide. Proceeds from the book will support medical education and research at Mayo Clinic.

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