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Fibromyalgia sufferers should seek medical treatment: doctors

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Women suffering from widespread pain for prolonged periods of time may have fibromyalgia, and they should seek doctors' advice rather than just take over-the-counter pain killers, doctors warned.

Fibromyalgia is characterized by chronic widespread pain that can last for months, with slight touches causing unbearable pains to patients, doctors said.

Its exact cause is still unknown, but neurobiological abnormalities may be some of the causes, doctors said.

Women have much higher chances than men of contracting fibromyalgia, doctors said.

Because of the pain, patients usually have poor sleep, which usually also leads to fatigue and depression, doctors said.

Wu Cheng-chin, a doctor at a hospital under Kaohsiung Medical University, said fibromyalgia, like high blood pressure and diabetes, may not be completely cured, but proper treatment can ease the pain.

Previously there was no specific medication for fibromyalgia, but the National Health Insurance program has now approved a drug specifically for treating the condition, doctors said.

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