From Pain to Unexpected Fame: One Woman's Journey to Know Fibro

Tuesday, October 28, 2008 General News
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INDIANAPOLIS, Oct. 27 Living in pain for one daycan be excruciating, but for Martha Beck, one day became a seemingly endlesscycle of widespread pain, fatigue, emotional changes, and memory problems. Ittook 12 years of searching for an answer to the painful symptoms she wasexperiencing before she finally received a formal diagnosis of fibromyalgia atage 31.

Along the way, Beck developed coping skills that helped her manage herfibromyalgia while achieving her personal goals. She earned a Ph.D. insociology, became a mother and an author, and launched a successful career asa life coach with regular appearances on "The Oprah Winfrey Show."

In an effort to help the 5 million Americans with fibromyalgia(1) play anactive role in the management of their disorder, Beck is, for the first time,publicly sharing her personal journey by spearheading Know Fibro. Thisnational initiative, co-sponsored by the National Fibromyalgia Association(NFA) and Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY), provides comprehensivefibromyalgia information, symptom management tools, practical tips, and aninteractive Web site, .

"When I was diagnosed, I was eager to learn how I could manage mysymptoms, but I found there was little credible information available.Unfortunately, that story may sound all too familiar to those living withfibromyalgia," said Beck. "I was forced to create my own coping techniquesthat helped me take control of my fibromyalgia. Now, I look forward to sharingmy experience with fibromyalgia and my life coaching tips to help others ontheir journey to Know Fibro."

Know Fibro advocates a comprehensive care plan that may include education,lifestyle changes, and medication. Although there is no cure for fibromyalgia,many experts believe this approach is a helpful way to manage the disorder.(2)Only a health care provider can diagnose fibromyalgia. Therefore it isimportant for people to discuss their symptoms with a health care provider.

Daniel J. Clauw, M.D., a fibromyalgia expert who contributed to thedevelopment of Know Fibro, recognizes the importance of this type ofinitiative.

"I have been treating people with fibromyalgia for 20 years, and whenpatients learn about the disorder and what types of things they can dothemselves to make it better, this often greatly improves their symptoms,"said Clauw, professor of anesthesiology and medicine at the University ofMichigan in Ann Arbor, Mich. "Not only does Know Fibro incorporate ourexperience into an easy-to-use, interactive initiative, it also providescustomizable information to help people manage the symptoms of this disorderon a day-to-day basis."

By logging on to , visitors will have access to:

-- Get to Know Fibro -- A downloadable book that features Martha Beck'spersonal journey with fibromyalgia and provides a comprehensive overview ofthe disorder, including symptoms, management techniques and expert advice.

-- FibroGuide -- An interactive symptom management program that can helppeople with fibromyalgia learn ways to manage the disorder. The customizableprogram is designed to meet the individual needs of people with fibromyalgiaand can show them ways to help manage many of the symptoms so they may be ableto do more of the things they want to do.

"I have experienced firsthand how the pain of fibromyalgia can affect eventhe most simple activities of daily life, like spending quality time with myfamily," said Lynne Matallana, president of the National FibromyalgiaAssociation and a fibromyalgia patient. "Know Fibro provides much-neededinformation to a community that has not had many resources to utilize in themanagement of the disorder."

To learn more about Know Fibro, please visit: .

About Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain disorder estimated to affect 2 percent ofthe U.S. population, or approximately 5 million people.(1) Women are morelikely to be diagnosed with fibromyalgia, but men also develop thedisorder.(3) While no two people experience fibromyalgia in the same way,common symptoms include widespread chronic pain and tenderness, fatigue,(4)problems with memory, concentration or disorganized thinking,(5) emotionalchanges(6)and sleep problems.(4) While the causes of fibromyalgia remainunknown, some experts believe it is due to some combination of changes inbrain and spinal cord chemistry(2), genetics(7)and stress(8).

About Martha Beck, Ph.D.

Martha Beck, Ph.D., has lived with fibromyalgia for almost 30 years andunderstands the challenges those with the disorder face. She has a bachelor's,a master's and a Ph.D. in sociology, all three from Harvard University, andhas published books and articles on a variety of social science and businesstopics. She also is a columnist for O, the Oprah Magazine. Beck is sharing herstory as the official spokesperson of Know Fibro.

About the National Fibromyalgia Association

The National Fibromyalgia Association (NFA) is a nonprofit [501(c)(3)]organization whose mission is to develop and execute programs dedicated toimproving the quality of life for people with fibromyalgia. The NFAconcentrates on patient support services, awareness outreach, physicianeducation and research. The NFA produces informational materials, hosts apatient Web site ( ), and a health care provider Web site( ), and publishes the only consumer magazine,Fibromyalgia AWARE.

About Lilly

Lilly, a leading innovation-driven corporation, is developing a growingportfolio of first-in-class and best-in-class pharmaceutical products byapplying the latest research from its own worldwide laboratories and fromcollaborations with eminent scientific organizations. Headquartered inIndianapolis, Ind., Lilly provides answers -- through medicines andinformation - for some of the world's most urgent medical needs. Additionalinformation about Lilly is available at .

(1) Lawrence, et al. "Estimates of the Prevalence of Arthritis and OtherRheumatic Conditions in the United States." Arthritis and Rheumatism 2008;58(1):31.

(2) Leventhal, LJ. "Management of fibromyalgia." Annals of InternalMedicine 1999; 131: 850-858.

(3) Wolfe, F, et al. "The prevalence and characteristics of fibromyalgiain the general population." Arthritis Rheum 1995; 38(1):19-28.

(4) Wolfe, F, et al. "The American College of Rheumatology 1990 Criteriafor the Classification of Fibromyalgia." Arthritis and Rheumatism 1990;33:160-172.

(5) National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.Questions and answers about fibromyalgia. National Institute of Arthritis andMusculoskeletal and Skin Diseases Web site.

(6) Arnold, L, et al. "Comorbidity of Fibromyalgia and PsychiatricDisorders." Journal of Clinical Psychiatry 2006; Accessed February 21,2008.

(7) Arnold, L, et al. "Family Study of Fibromyalgia." Arthritis &Rheumatism 2004; 50(3): 944-952.

(8) Bennett, Robert M., et al. "An internet survey of 2,596 people withfibromyalgia." BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders. March 9, 2007. 8:27.


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SOURCE Eli Lilly and Company

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