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Our cause awareness blog provides knowledge and educational information to advocate for cancer, medical, social and psychological illnesses and/or causes. 

Filtering by Tag: fibromyalgia

Invisible Disability Awareness Week

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Yesterday marked the first day of Invisible Disabilities Awareness Week!

Each year, people with invisible disabilities and their loved ones come together for Invisible Disabilities Week, a time to educate the general population about the challenges they face and the progress society still needs to make towards acceptance.

It’s a time to break down the belief that people with invisible disabilities are “exaggerating” or “faking” their symptoms, and start a discussion about what inclusion really means. So this week, the community works to raise awareness of their invisible conditions and how their conditions affect their lives, as well as offer their recommendations for how to make the world a more inclusive place.

(Content: Erin Migdol via Image:

#invisibleillness #invisibledisability #invisibledisabilities #invisibledisabilitiesawarenessweek #spoonies #arthritis #fibro #fibromyalgia #mentalillness #depression #anxiety #pots #autoimmune #crohns #deaf #hearingimpaired #spectrumdisorder #autism #learningdisabilities #diabetes #diabetic

Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month

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July is Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month!

It’s that time again! Welcome back, friends, thanks for joining me today for another awareness blog entry. I hope you’ve all had a wonderful week since our last post. This week’s topic is Juvenile Arthritis, in honor of Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month. I’m sure you’ve all heard of arthritis. At some point, we all develop a little arthritis in our joints as we age from use. But, there are many different types of arthritis, and most of them have nothing to do with aging. Juvenile arthritis, in particular, affects children under the age of 16, which clearly isn’t related to again at all. So, today we’re going to discuss juvenile arthritis, and the numerous different types of arthritis under that umbrella. All aboard the juvenile arthritis information express, we’re leaving the station.

Juvenile arthritis is an autoimmune disease that affects children under the age of 16. Juvenile arthritis occurs in the joints, more specifically it affects the synovium in the joints. Synovium is the tissue within the joints. Autoimmune disease cause inflammation. With juvenile arthritis, the inflammation occurs in the synovium. Autoimmune diseases are a classification of diseases in which the body’s immune system begins to malfunction and attack itself. Each autoimmune disease acts differently, the the one thing they all have in common is that the body has mistakenly begun to attack itself, which leads to inflammation. Consistent inflammation can cause serious damage to the area it occurs in. If inflammation is not treated, the area it occurs in will slowly become more and more damaged and may eventually lose function all together. In a healthy body, the immune system is responsible for fighting off anything that may harm the body, such as bacteria or viruses, or other kinds of illnesses. With autoimmune diseases, the body gets it’s signals crossed and begins to fight off it’s own healthy cells. Like most other autoimmune diseases, juvenile arthritis is idiopathic. Idiopathic means that there is no precise cause. Even though there is no apparent cause for most autoimmune diseases, it is pretty much accepted that it may have something to do with genetics, environmental triggers, or specific infections/illnesses.

There are quite a few different types of juvenile arthritis, five types to be exact. Each type affects the body differently. The five different types of juvenile arthritis are called systemic juvenile arthritis (also referred to as Still’s disease), oligoarthritis (also referred to as pauciarticular juvenile rheumatoid arthritis), polyarthritis (also referred to as polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis or pJIA), psoriatic arthritis, and enthesitis-related arthritis. Let’s talk about each one in a little detail.

Systemic arthritis, also known as Still’s disease, affects the whole body. Each different kind of juvenile arthritis affects the body differently. With systemic arthritis, the entire body may be involved, and may also involve internal organs. Systemic juvenile arthritis is usually accompanied by two seemingly ordinary symptoms, which are a high fever and a rash. This rash usually appears on the legs, arms, or trunk of the body (basically anywhere from the neck down). Typically, when there is internal organ involvement, it affects the lymph nodes, spleen, liver or heart. Unlike other forms of juvenile arthritis, this type does not affect the eyes, usually.

Oligoarthritis, also referred to as pauciaticular juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, is unique in the sense that children usually outgrow this disease. With this form of juvenile arthritis, diagnosis requires counting how many joints are affected in the first six months of disease activity. If less than five joints are affected, along with other diagnosis factors, then it’s oligoarthritis. The joints that are most frequently affected are the knee, wrist or ankle. It can also affect the eyes, usually the iris. For some reason, this type of juvenile arthritis occurs in girls more than boys.

Polyarthritis, also referred to as polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis, is most like the kind of rheumatoid arthritis that adults experience. This type of juvenile arthritis is kind of the more advanced version of oligoarthritis. With polyarthritis, more than five joints are affected in the first six months of disease activity, along with other diagnosis factors. Polyarthritis tends to have an element of symmetry to it, meaning that if a joint on one side is affected, then usually it’s corresponding joint on the other side of the body is also affected. Often, the neck, jaw, hands, and feet are affected. This form is also more common in girls than boys.

Psoriatic arthritis is associated with the skin disorder psoriasis. Either psoriasis or arthritis may occur before one another. Sometimes, it may not appear until years after the first diagnosis of either psoriasis or arthritis. Pitted fingernails are associated with psoriatic arthritis.

Enthesitis-related arthritis is the last of the five types of juvenile arthritis. Enthesitis-related arthritis affects the entheses. Entheses are the parts of the body where the tendons attach to the bone, for example the hips. The parts of the body that are frequently affected are the spine, hips, and eyes. This type of juvenile arthritis is more common in boys, especially boys with male relatives who suffer from ankylosing spondylitis. Enthesitis-related arthritis is typically diagnosed in boys over eight years old.

Now that we’ve done a quick rundown of the five different types of juvenile arthritis, let’s talk about the symptoms that may indicate the disease. It’s important to note that in some cases, a child may not experience any symptoms at all, but can still have juvenile arthritis. So, obviously, the big symptom is joint involvement. Joints may be stiff, particularly right after waking up. Joints may be painful, tender or swollen. Sometimes, the younger children will appear to have difficulty with recently learned motor skills such as walking, but it may actually be a limp due to the joints being affected. Some forms of juvenile arthritis are accompanied by a high fever and rash, as discussed above in the corresponding type of juvenile arthritis. Fatigue is also a common symptom amongst children with juvenile arthritis. Fatigue is often accompanied by irritability, not surprisingly. Sometimes, weight loss can occur. There can also be eye involvement, such as blurry vision, pain in the eyes, or red eyes. Juvenile arthritis can be tricky to diagnose at times because many symptoms mimic other diseases, and sometimes children do not show any symptoms at all. There is no specific test that can confirm whether a child has juvenile arthritis or not, and so diagnosis can sometimes take a very long time. With juvenile arthritis, diagnosis is basically a process of elimination. Eliminating all other possible causes can be time consuming and may involve many trips to the hospital and many blood tests. Doctors will want to rule out cancer, fibromyalgia, lupus, Lyme disease, infections, viruses, and other causes that have similar symptoms.

Treatment for juvenile arthritis varies depending on the type. Medications and exercise are typically used to treat all forms. The kind of exercise may depend on the severity of symptoms, or the type of juvenile arthritis. Polyarticular juvenile arthritis carries a higher risk of joint damage, and so water based exercises and physical therapy may be used. Medications for juvenile arthritis have four objectives. Those objectives are to reduce inflammation, ease and prevent pain, prevent joint damage, and maintain or increase strength and flexibility. Some cases may require more aggressive treatments.

If you’re new to our awareness blog, welcome! I’m so glad you found us. This awareness blog is run by Personalized Cause. Personalized Cause is an awareness accessory company that specializes is custom awareness ribbons. Our custom awareness ribbons can be engraved with any name, date, message, or phrase that you’d like, on any of our custom awareness ribbon colors. We carry just about every awareness ribbon under the sun. In addition to our custom awareness ribbons, we also carry classic awareness ribbons, fabric awareness ribbons, and silicone awareness wristbands. Basically, whatever your awareness accessory needs are, we’ve got you covered.

Personalized Cause decided to start this awareness blog because we believe in raising awareness. We decided to practice what we preach by raising awareness for as many causes as we can. We can’t expect our customers to be passionate about raising awareness if we’re not, and raising awareness is crucial for understanding, fundraising, and research. We hope to educate everyone on different causes so that progress is made in our communities. Compassion and understanding are the key to every cause. Personalized Cause believes in the power of awareness, which is why we’ve started this awareness blog. Our mission is to help you raise awareness for causes close to your heart with our line of awareness products, but also to raise awareness for as many causes as possible on our own. We strive to create a community of educated and compassionate people, while also calling attention to causes that may be unknown or misunderstood. So, I hope you’ll join us next week, and every week after, for our latest awareness blog installment.

Blue awareness ribbons are used to raise awareness for juvenile arthritis. To order a custom blue awareness ribbon for juvenile arthritis, visit:

#juvenilearthritis #arthritis #juvenile #lupus #fibromyalgia #scleroderma #awareness #awarenessblog #cancerribbons #awarenessribbons #jia #chronicillness #autoimmune

Fibromyalgia Awareness Day

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Today is Fibromyalgia Awareness Day!

Come one, come all, it’s time for another fascinating and educational installment of the awareness blog! To all our returning readers, thanks so much for coming back friends. To all our new readers, welcome! We’re so happy you stumbled across us, and decided to give our blog a read. I hope you’re all pumped to learn some knew things.

Returning readers, you know the drill. You can skip our intro and head to the good part. New readers, let me give you a little overview about who we are, and what we’re trying to achieve here with our blog. This blog is designed to raise awareness for a myriad of diseases, causes, and issues that affect people everyday. There is a seemingly endless list of causes, illnesses and issues out there and we want to help raise awareness for as many of them as we can, because raising awareness is kinda our thing. Personalized Cause is a business dedicated to empowering others to raise awareness for the causes and illnesses that are close to their hearts. Personalized Cause was created in an effort to put a name to an illness, so that others could see and understand how they had been affected by that particular cause. We know that tying a person to a cause makes people more likely to want to listen and learn about it, thereby raising awareness one person at a time. Personalized Cause is the number 1 source for cloisonné custom awareness ribbons in the United States. We carry fabric ribbons, classic awareness ribbons, custom awareness ribbons, and awareness wristbands (basically all the essential awareness accessories). Our custom awareness ribbons are our most popular product, given that they are so unique. I hope you’ll give our website a look if you ever find yourself in the market for custom awareness ribbons.

(Returning readers, here’s your starting line.)

Today, we are going to talk about a condition called Fibromyalgia. There is a lot of misinformation and misconception regarding fibromyalgia. People who aren’t familiar with fibromyalgia tend to think that fibromyalgia is something that happens when people are depressed or lazy or don’t exercise, and sometimes blame people who have the condition for bringing it upon themselves. Let’s put a stop to that, shall we?

Fibromyalgia is a condition that affects the musculoskeletal system, causing widespread pain throughout the body, and may also cause fatigue, mood, memory and sleep. Fibromyalgia intensifies the sensation of pain in the nerves and muscles. It is believed that the source of the pain magnification stems from the way the brain processes pain signals in the body. The pain that people who suffer from the condition is as real as the pain that those who do not have fibromyalgia feel. It is not made up. It is not exaggerated. They are not weak people. They do not need to toughen up or walk it off. I hope I’ve made myself perfectly clear on that. (All you people out there suffering from fibromyalgia, I got your back.)

Fibromyalgia can be caused by many different things. Some people’s symptoms arise after a physical or emotional trauma, for example a soldier wounded in combat may develop fibromyalgia after the incident, whether from the psychological stress of the event, or a physical injury suffered during it. Sometimes fibromyalgia can be caused by a surgery, or an infection. Other times, fibromyalgia comes on gradually over time with no apparent cause that triggered the condition.

People who suffer from fibromyalgia describe the pain they experience as a chronic ache, particularly in the neck, back, and joints. Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that can come and go over a person’s lifetime, but can also last for months or years, uninterrupted. People with fibromyalgia often experience chronic fatigue, regardless of how long they sleep. Sleep is often affected fibromyalgia because the pain keeps patients from falling asleep or getting back to sleep. People with fibromyalgia often have other unassociated sleep issues, too, like restless legs syndrome, insomnia or sleep apnea.

It can also cause serious mental cognition issues, commonly referred to as brain fog in the fibro community. Brain fog, also sometimes called “fibro fog,” is described as confusion, memory impairment, difficulty following a train of thought, and trouble with staying focused. I’ve heard stories about people who drive to a destination and then can’t remember why they are there, or people who put something in the oven and then leave the house and come home to the fire department. That last one is more common than you’d think. My point is, brain fog can be serious and potentially dangerous, so it’s important to be aware that it can occur.

Fibromyalgia can co-occur with other health issues, particularly health problems that cause pain. People who suffer from IBS (irritable bowel syndrome causes pain in the stomach), interstitial cystitis (which causes pain in the bladder), TMJ (which causes pain in the jaw), and migraine headaches or other headache disorders have an increased rate of fibromyalgia.

While doctors have identified many of the triggers for fibromyalgia, they aren’t certain exactly what causes the brain the start processing pain differently. There does appear to be a link between fibromyalgia and genetics, considering that it is common to see the condition occur in many people of the same family. This could be caused by a mutation in the genes, or even a genetic susceptibility to developing the condition.

There are also certain risk factors that can make you more likely to develop fibromyalgia. Women are more likely to be diagnosed with the condition than men are. It is not known why it is more common in women than men. Family history also plays a big role in your likelihood of developing the condition, as we discussed in the last paragraph. If one of your close relatives suffers from fibromyalgia, your likelihood of developing the condition is higher. Of course, other diseases and disorders also make you more prone to fibromyalgia. Many autoimmune diseases, such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis also come with a higher rate of fibromyalgia. Chronic conditions that leave people too fatigued to leave the house tend to co-occur with fibromyalgia.

Because fibromyalgia can be debilitating for some, there is an increased likelihood for people who have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia to develop depression, or have worsening depression during time when their fibromyalgia symptoms are worse. The lack of sleep, in addition to constant pain can cause people’s mental and emotional state to be affected. (Personally, I don’t see how anyone wouldn’t become depressed if they couldn’t get restful sleep and had to live in constant pain.)

Fibromyalgia can be diagnosed if you have experienced widespread pain (meaning on both sides of the body, and both the top and bottom of the body) for over three months, with no other conditions that could be accounting for the pain. There used to be something called the “tender point exam,” where doctors examined 18 specific points on the body to diagnose the condition. The tender test is no longer protocol for diagnosis. Since widespread pain can be a scary symptom, your doctor will probably want to rule out any other health problems that could be causing the pain by taking blood. You should definitely rule out everything before you move ahead with a fibromyalgia diagnosis because some of the things that can cause widespread pain can be very dangerous.

There are many more options for treating fibromyalgia these days than there used to be. People can treat pain with everything from over the counter pain medicines, to drugs such as Lyrica, to anti-depressants, to anti-seizure medications. They all work on the brain and can significantly reduce the pain, and symptoms of fibromyalgia. Physical therapy and occupational therapy are also very successful if the patient complies home therapy and commits to the plan. Often times, patients become discouraged when there is no immediate sign of improvement and quit physical therapy or occupational therapy. Both types of therapy are not instant fixes, and need long periods of time to see improvement. People who stick with it do report a decline in symptoms over time. It may also help to get frequent massages (you don’t have to twist my arm). There are places like Massage Envy, I think, that now accept insurance for issues like fibromyalgia, so look into your healthcare plan and see if you can get coverage for therapeutic massage. If it isn’t covered, you should call your insurance provider (I know, I know, nobody wants to be on the phone all day dealing with insurance) and see if there is anything you can do in order to qualify for those benefits.

In honor of Fibromyalgia Awareness Day, Chronic Fatigue Awareness Day, and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Awareness Day, we recognize the very real pain and suffering caused by invisible illnesses.

And on that note, I’ll end my entry for today. I hope everyone came away from my post with a greater understanding and appreciation of people who suffer from fibromyalgia. Invisible illnesses can be tough, so be kind to yourself and those suffering.

Fibromyalgia is represented by a purple awareness ribbon. To order a custom purple awareness ribbon, please visit this link:

#fibromyalgia #chronicfatigue #myalgicencephalomyelitis #awareness #invisibleillness #chronicillness #ME #fibro #chronicpain #MECFS #cfs #fibrowarrior #fibrofighter #cancerribbons