You Will Never Guess Which Celebrity Is Bringing World Wide Attention To This Debilitating Condition

What if you had a chronic illness that not only your friends and family scoffed at, but even your doctor disputed whether or not it even exists?

That is the reality so many women live with every day. And I am one of them.

So when this controversial celebrity revealed that not only is she suffering from it too, but announced she has to take time off of work to be hospitalized to treat it, a big part of me celebrated that we may finally get some recognition for the pain we have to live with every single day.

The chronic illness I am referring to is fibromyalgia – a painful and sometimes debilitating condition that plagues women across the country.

The Mayo Clinic describes it as:

a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. Researchers believe that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way your brain processes pain signals.

Symptoms sometimes begin after a physical trauma, surgery, infection or significant psychological stress. In other cases, symptoms gradually accumulate over time with no single triggering event.

Women are more likely to develop fibromyalgia than are men. Many people who have fibromyalgia also have tension headaches, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety and depression.”

And let me tell you, the flare-ups are excruciating.

Imagine your worst cold with full body aches, where all you want to do is cuddle up with a blanket or your spouse for comfort, but the slightest brush of the fabric or their hand causes such severe pain you want to scream.

That is fibromyalgia.

While on tour Lady Gaga had one of these debilitating flare-ups that caused her to cancel her appearance at the Rock in Rio music festival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and was admitted to the hospital for treatment.

It was announced on her official Twitter profile:

Lady Gaga is suffering from severe physical pain that has impacted here ability to perform. As a result, she sadly must withdraw from this Friday’s Rock In Rio performance. Lady Gaga is under the care of expert medical professionals. She sends her love to all her fans in Rio and thanks them for their support and understanding.”

Coping with fibromyalgia has a learning curve to it. Everyone does not experience the same symptoms to the same degree and treating them is just as unique.

Many sufferers of the disease are left to figure out what works for them on their own and try many things they find suggested on the internet only to have it make symptoms even worse.

Even Lady Gaga shared her own experience with this, tweeting:

“Thought ice helped #Fibromyalgia. I was wrong & making it worse. Warm/Heat is better. Electric Heated Blanket, Infrared Sauna, Epsom Baths.”

It is clear, even Lady Gaga struggles to find proper care for her condition.

Many doctors deny that fibromyalgia even exists – that it’s all in the patient’s head or that other doctors use it as a cop-out to finding the actual cause of the patient’s symptoms.

I have experienced this first-hand and have been scoffed at by my own family and even my OB/GYN for claiming that I had the illness and worrying about how it would affect my pregnancy.

While I am not a fan of Lady Gaga, especially her politics, I have to commend her for boldly shining a spotlight on a very real condition.

Do you or someone you know suffer from fibromyalgia? Has the journey to find treatment and recognition been difficult?

Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.

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