Book cover with text overlay: Mayo Clinic Guide to Fibromyalgia

On My Bookshelf: Mayo Clinic Guide to Fibromyalgia

When you first got your diagnosis of fibromyalgia, did you ever wish you had a guidebook to help you find your way through this ‘new normal’? Recently, I found just that.

Many of you know I use the Mayo Clinic a lot for their resources on all kinds of Wellness matters. When I saw in their newsletter that they had published a new book about fibromyalgia, Mayo Clinic Guide to Fibromyalgia, by Andy Abril, M.D. and Barbara K. Bruce, Ph.D., L.P., I went straight to Amazon to see if I could find it.

Mayo Clinic Guide to Fibromyalgia

I expected a lot from a book by the Mayo Clinic, and I wasn’t disappointed. If there’s one resource I could recommend for someone who has just been diagnosed, this would be it. It’s written simply and to-the-point, and gives you practical strategies to help manage symptoms and, in their words, “return to a life that’s meaningful and enjoyable.”

This book contained so much helpful information I thought I’d share a quick review. As I said, I ordered my copy from Amazon, but I’m sure you could order it directly from the Mayo Clinic as well.

The book is divided into four parts, each with answers to questions we may have and practical guidelines to help us navigate through the maze of symptoms we experience with fibromyalgia.

Part 1

Part 1 focuses on what fibromyalgia is, and covers topics such as its history, myths versus facts, potential causes, and the diagnosis process.

The book discusses some of the most common symptoms that we experience, including, of course, pain and fatigue, but also numbness and tingling, headaches, brain fog, sleep problems, dizziness and lightheadedness, and more.

“It’s important to remember that the symptoms you experience with Fibromyalgia are real.”

This may be one of the most empowering statements included in this section of the book for anyone who has been struggling with symptoms and trying to get answers. When we first start experiencing all these symptoms that can’t be explained, we start to feel we may be losing our minds….. This lets us know this is real – it’s a real physical issue.

The authors do an outstanding job of explaining Central Sensitization and the role the Central Nervous System plays in Fibromyalgia and other conditions caused by Central Sensitization. They also explore potential reasons Central Sensitization got started in the first place.

Part 2 

Part 2 is all about treating fibromyalgia. This section covers medications, as well as other approaches to pain management. The authors cover the different types of medications that can be used to treat symptoms, as well as things such as Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), integrative medicine, and interdisciplinary pain management programs.

They do a good job of explaining how the different medications work, how effective they are, possible side effects, and who shouldn’t take them.

“Drug therapy is rarely recommended as the only treatment for fibromyalgia’s symptoms. It may help, but it should be used as only one part of a comprehensive plan.”

Part 3

Part 3 is all about managing symptoms. The authors talk about setting goals, retraining our brains, pacing, stress management, and other strategies that we all know can be effective in helping us manage symptoms.

They include sections on self-care, depression and anxiety, and addressing sleep issues.

“Managing fibromyalgia is a process, not one single act. It involves weaving together a series of wellness-related lifestyle changes that build on each other to help you manage symptoms and enjoy life again.”

Part 4 

Part 4, called Living with Fibromyalgia, covers subjects such as partnering with your doctor, family support, making the decision of whether or not to work, and creating an action plan for living well with fibromyalgia.

This section helps you make a personalized plan for treating your fibromyalgia and learning to live well in your ‘new normal.’

“The purpose of this section is to take what you’ve learned and put it into action.”

While this book may seem ‘too simple’ or may not seem to offer new information to some who have been living with fibromyalgia for a long time, I’d say it’s still worth the read. Sometimes we need reminders, and sometimes we need to get back to the basics.

The authors have created a resource we can use to create a treatment plan, in conjunction with our medical team, that works for us.

Although I was familiar with most things discussed, I still learned some things, and found this to be an outstanding resource. In fact, I would go so far as to say that I wish everyone who received a diagnosis of fibromyalgia would receive this book along with it.

As I said earlier, the Mayo Guide to Fibromyalgia is simply written and to-the-point. When we’re facing a dramatic life change such as the change fibromyalgia brings to our way of life, sometimes simple and to-the-point is exactly what we need. 

Just a note here: this is not an affiliate post. I don’t have any affiliation with the Mayo Clinic – I just wanted to share this fantastic resource. It may just be what someone needs right now.

What kind of guidance did you receive when you were diagnosed with fibromyalgia? Were there books or other resources that helped you develop your fibromyalgia Self-Care Plan? Please share!

Blessings,

~Terri

All quotes from

Mayo Clinic Guide to Fibromyalgia, Andy Abril, M.D. and Barbara K. Bruce, Ph.D., L.P., 2019, Mayo Clinic Press, Rochester, MN

15 comments

      1. I have a stack of books waiting for me Terri but my mind gets too tired to absorb them and my eyes get too tired to keep reading. For Christmas I want a personal reader!!

    1. It really is, Brigid. I was impressed with their holistic approach to treatment, the thorough coverage of what it is, the options available, and what we can do to feel better. I really wish I had had something like this at the very beginning. That’s why I wanted to share about it. Blessings to you sweet friend!

    2. 8 years with fibro and twice a year visits to Mayo Clinic and i never knew this book existed. I should pick it up. I’ve putting together my own guide to Fibromyalgia and this would be a great resource
      Pinned.

      1. Thanks for sharing Mandy! The book has only been out for a few months, but it really is outstanding. I really wish when doctors tell someone they have fibromyalgia, they’d also give them a copy of this book. Hope you’re doing well! Blessings to you!

      2. I’ve thought the same thing. About giving patients the info instead of letting them flounder to figure it out.

  1. Ooo I didn’t know this existed so thank you for sharing. I like that it covers actually living with fibromyalgia, managing symptoms and every day things along with the likes of appointments. It’s more down to earth and actionable that way, rather than telling you about fibro in its own right. Very nicely reviewed, Terri xx

    1. Thanks so much Caz! It just came out a couple of months ago, and I was excited when I saw it. It really is a great book, especially for people who have just been diagnosed and don’t even know where to start. Hope you’re doing well sweet friend. Sending love and hugs!

  2. This is a wonderful book for those who have fibromyalgia and those who love them (or live with them!) I agree with you that it’s the best guide to fibromyalgia I’ve ever read. I just started implementing some of the cognitive behavior recommendations in the book. I think this book will help me pace myself more effectively. Great blog post!

    1. I’m so glad to know someone else who’s read it Janet! Thanks for bringing up the point that it’s not just for the person with fibromyalgia, but for the ones who love them as well. Thanks so much for sharing! Blessings to you!

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