Custom-fit fibromyalgia relief

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A message to the 6 million Americans with fibromyalgia: This pain is not just in your head. Don't let your doctor treat it that way.

Recent research shows that two out of three people with this exhausting disease are coping just fine. "They need pain relief, not mood relief," says study author Daniel J. Clauw, MD, a University of Michigan rheumatologist who tested pain levels and emotional health of 97 people with fibromyalgia. If you have it, see which "fibromyalgia personality type" fits you best and learn what you can do.

• TYPE 1: "It hurts, but I'm dealing with it"

Your personality High pain tolerance, good coping skills.

Your Rx Better pain solutions: Talk with your doc about combining different meds or try mild exercise, such as water walking in a warm pool. "You aren't likely to need help with your mood," Clauw says.

• TYPE 2: "Fibromyalgia? So what!"

Your personality Your "get on with life" attitude allows you to tolerate extreme pain.

Your Rx Don't overdo" Fatigue, stress and overworked muscles exacerbate fibromyalgia.

• TYPE 3: "All I think about is pain"

Your personality You're among the one in three fibromyalgia patients whose emotions do need attention.

Your Rx Support--a therapist, support group, or meditation class--plus pain relief.

PHOTO (COLOR): The aches stop here

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