Friday, December 17, 2010

5 Reasons God Permits Problems

The problems you face will either defeat you or develop you-- depending on how YOU respond to them. Unfortunately, most people fail to see how God wants to use problems for good in their lives. They react foolishly and resent their problems rather than pausing to consider what benefit they might bring. Here are five reasons God May have Permitted the problems for experience in your life:

1. God permits problems to DIRECT you. Sometimes God must light a fire under you to get you moving. Problems often point us in a new direction and motivate us to change. Is God allowing this situation to get your
attention? "Sometimes it takes a painful situation to make us change our ways. " - Proverbs 20:30

2. God permits problems to INSPECT you. People are like tea bags ... if you want to know what's inside them, just drop them into hot water! Has God tested your faith by allowing a problem or two into your life? What do
problems reveal about you? "When you have many kinds of troubles, you should be full of joy, because you know that these troubles test your faith, and this will give you patience." James 1:2-3

3. God uses problems to CORRECT you. Some lessons we learn only through pain and failure. It's likely that as a child your parents told you not to touch a hot stove. But you probably learned by being burned. Sometimes we only learn the value of something... health, money, a relationship. losing it. "It was the best thing that could have happened to me, for it taught me to pay attention to your laws." Psalms 119:71-72

4. God permits problems to PROTECT you. A problem can be a blessing in disguise if it prevents you from being harmed by something more serious. Last year a friend was fired for refusing to do something unethical
that his boss had asked him to do. His unemployment was a problem-but it saved him from being convicted and sent to prison a year later when management's actions were eventually discovered. "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good"... Genesis 50:20

5. God permits problems to PERFECT you. Problems, when responded to correctly, are character builders. God is far more interested in your character than your comfort. Your relationship to God and your
character are the only two things you're going to take with you into eternity. "We can rejoice when we run into problems...they help us learn to be patient. And patience develops strength of character in us and helps us trust God more each time we use it until finally our hope and faith are strong and steady." Romans 5:3-4

** Here's the point: God is at work in your life-even when you do not recognize it or understand it. But it's much easier and profitable when you cooperate with Him.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Three Minute Egg for Yoga

This looks kewl! Has anyone tried these? Some positions in yoga aren't comfortable for me, these look like they might help.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Good Story

This is a good story, inspiring. I like this advice the best:

"And so the first thing to do, I think, is to accept that you have this condition, but do not accept that it’s going to run your life.” - Becky Halstead

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Good Posture is Essential

I have noticed that with the fibro I have started to slouch and get lazy. I have tried to be more aware and catch myself, try to sit up straighter and improve my posture. As bad posture can affect so much i the body and create terrible misalignment and subsequently pains. I think my recent return to yoga and also working with a postural alignment massage therapist, as well as me just being more aware and sitting up straighter, has helped a lot. I found this good (short) article on posture:

Drink Water for Health

I have noticed that the mroe water I drink each day the better I feel. Found this interesting info on drinking water:
 Correct timing to drink water, will maximize its effectiveness on the Human Body.
a) Two glasses of water – After waking up – Helps activate Internal organs.
b) One glass of water – 30 Minutes before meal – Help Digestion
c) One glass of water – Before taking a bath – Helps lower Blood Pressure
d) One glass of water – Before Sleep – To avoid Stroke or Heart attack.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Yoga is a stress-reducing, muscle-toning and spirit-strengthening exercise. It also opens your arteries and improves bloodflow.

I have a really difficult time with downward dog, really hurts my hands and I have a difficult time breathing (is supposed to be a restorative and relaxing pose!)

I was wondering if any fibro-mites have every tried anythiing like these wrist savers?

I love my yoga, I just have to sit out or do alternative moves sometimes :)

Friday, December 3, 2010

L-Lysine for Canker Sores

Ever since I started with fibro symptoms over a year ago I've suffered too from frequent boughts with canker sores in my mouth as well as what I recently discovered is called "burning mouth syndrome."

I have discovered along the way foods and what not that seem to be triggers, (foods that are acidic like pineapple and cranberry, and spicy foods like jalepenos, cajun, anything with horseradish, even tangy things made with tomatoes like ketchup, cocktail sauce, salsa; this unfortunately has been a VERY difficult adjustment as I LOVE all these foods, most were staples of my diet :/)

I also quickly discovered that any toothpaste containing sodium lauryl sulfate was a huge instigator of my canker sore boughts. (So I now use Burts Bees toothpaste - is SLS free :)

I have also noticed that when I go to the dentist every 6 months for my regular cleanings I seem to suffer a month of burning mouth afterwords. Probably chemicals (maybe even SLS) in the products they use.

Anyhoo so I started on a path of research, and I discovered via amazon a booked called The Fibromyalgia Dental Handbook, by Flora Parsa Stay.

I was reading through the book and in the canker sores chapter came across an alternative treatment for canker sores which involved taking vitamin C, vitamin B and L-Lysine (boosting immune system and recovery.) For me canker sores are pure misery, 3 weeks from start to finish for each one, often multiples overlapping. And it seems that once I get a canker sore it initiates burning mouth syndrome and the burning pain in my gums. So yes I was willing to try something that would help them heal faster and quite possibly prevent them for occurring so often!

I was 4 days into a new canker sore with a another new one starting and began taking  500mg L-Lysine twice a day, as well as 500mg vitamin C at night and 1000mg vitamin B12 in the mornings. Now I have tried taking vitamin C and B before to no avail, but I was curious about this L-Lysine (is an essential amino acid that out bodies don't produce but we get from eating certain foods.)

5 days later and BOTH canker sores are COMPLETELY GONE!!! I am highly impressed, and excited! So I have cut back the L-Lysine to 500mg once a day, trying to prevent future breakouts. Crossing my fingers. I am hoping that by taking the vitamin C, B and L-Lysine daily it may also help with the burning mouth and hopefully help with the episodes after teeth cleanings with the dentist.

I will post updates if I have any more sores or not!

Anyone else have experiences like this with L-Lysine? I found it at the grocery store, fairly inexpensive, a bottle for about $8.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Dark Chocolate Good for Chronic Fatigue and Fibro!


Apparently dark chocolate is good for CFS and fibromyalgia! Check out this article, and the responses below it! I unfortunately cannot eat dark chocolate as it give me migraines :/ But please, if anyone else has experienced an easing of symptoms by eating dark chocolate do share!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Massage Therapist for Fibro in South Florida

Yolanda Vargas, LMT
(954) 661-6169
Coral Springs, FL

I Highly Recommend her if you have fibro and live in South Florida!

Learn more about her and her practice here:
Tel: (954) 661-6169  Tel: (954) 661-6(954)169

Saturday, November 13, 2010

How to Tackle Chronic Illness

This is really good, well written and awesome advice. I follow this migraine blog and have found it super informational and helpful, as a lot of it also applies generically to chronic illnesses and not just migraines.

Choose to roll your rock instead of carrying it:

I do think attitude can play a big role in dealing with a chronic illness like fibromyalgia. I noticed that once I had some inspiration and encouragement and changed my view on fibro I was a happier and even healthier person.

As most of you know I love the two books FibroWHYalgia (Sue Ingebretson) and How to Be Sick (Toni Bernhard) -- as yes I attribute these two books to turning my attitude and outlook around to alot more positivity.

But take your inspiration from where you choose, be it family, children, books, support groups (local or online, try online!) It takes patience and time, but it is worth it to have a positive attitude and persevere :)

Choose to roll your rock instead of carrying it:

Monday, November 8, 2010

FREE Fibromyalgia Diet Lecture, Boca Raton

Tuesday, November 16th, 6 – 7 pm
Fibromyalgia Lecture @ WHOLE FOODS, Boca Raton

Pre-Register @ Customer Service or call 561.447.0000, Free!

Muscle pain from fibromyalgia is one of the most common types of chronic widespread pain in the U.S. which has no boundaries.  Diet plays an important role with fibromyalgia due to the weakened immune system.  Come learn about a new dietary breakthrough for adverse food reactions and sensitivity. If you or someone you know suffers from any of these conditions you won’t want to miss this information!

Instructor: Julianne Kortiz, MS, LD/N, RD; Nutrition Coach

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Canker Sores, ugh!

Does anyone else suffer from the horrible buggars?! Apparently there is no cure, it takes about 3 weeks for one to heal and go away. And there is no known cause, though stress and tart foods and toothpastes with sodium lauryl sulfate are suspected in some fashion.

I am currently battling 2 or 3 new cankers in my mouth. I had one I thought just healed, but guess 2 new just showed up, grrrr!  had some spicy foods last nite, and also an alcoholic cider drink? Maybe that was just all too much for my mouth.

I found this article and thought it was very interesting and informative. I have been useing Burts Bees toothpaste for about 6 months as that s SLS free, I did notice a decrease in canker sores, but as you'll see there can obviously be many different suspected causes.

I want to look into those Rembrandt and Sensodyne toothpastes, has anyone else tried those?!

The Benadryl swishing is interesting, I will have to try that too. I have used alum on my cankers sometimes, it burns quite a bit but I think it may help. You can find it in the spices section of your grocery stores, its used for pickling and preserving.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Tips for a Low-Sugar Halloween :)

I like these links to a low-carb blog I follow:

Carbs and Calories in Halloween Candies:

Low-Carb/Sugar Free Halloween/Thanksgiving
Scroll down this page, some of the homemade treats sound good!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Oprah Advice

From Oprah Winfrey, good:

- What you put out comes back all the time, no matter what.
- You define your own life. Don't let other people write your script.
- Whatever someone did to you in the past has no power over the present. Only you give it power.
- When people show you who they are, believe them the first time (A lesson from Maya Angelou)
- Worrying is wasted time. Use the same energy for doing something about what worries you.
- What you believe has more power than what you dream, wish or hope for. You become what you believe.
- Failure is a signpost to turn you in another direction.
- If you make a choice that goes against what everyone else thinks, the world will not fall apart.
- The happiness you feel is in direct proportion to the love you give.
- If the only prayer you ever say is "thank you" that will be enough. (From the German theologian and humanist Meister Eckhart.)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

BOOK: Alternative Cures That Really Work

Compare therapies at a glance

I just finished this book. I only read through the chapters that pertained to my ailments, but I found it VERY worthwhile! I got it from the library, but went out and bought my own copy to have :) It takes 110 common alternative therapies and looks at scientific research on them for 21 different ailments. It rates them on a scale of 1-5 stars on how successful they were in scientific studies. It then will tell you also about possible side effects, where to find/what kind/guidances in locating.

The book was written as a collaboration between two doctors, Ronald Hoffman, MD - who is medical director of the Hoffman Center, one of New York City's preeminent complementary care facilities. And Barry Fox, PhD - author of "The Arthritis Cure" and editor-in-chief of the Nutraceutical Report.

What I found very interesting on a personal level was that for most of my ailments (fibromyalgia, insomnia, migraines) acupuncture rated very high on the list of successful therapies. I now have this on my radar to look into for 2011 :) Anyone else tried acupuncture for fibro?!?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

But Your Don't Look Sick

This is a good website, humorous and helpful hints :)

Christine's passion is helping those with Lupus through her writing, speaking, volunteering, and work as a patient advocate. Very inspirational - Kudos Christine!

I love this list of 7 Things Not to Do When Depressed, I can really relate to the "Depression Googling" - I so do that! Like all of a sudden a cure for fibro ailments will just pop up in my search ;)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Ginger Studied as a Muscle Pain Reliever

 (The study has been reported in The Journal of Pain)

I have been taking ginger supplements and definitely notice it helps with my pain. Nothing like a strong prescription pain reliever, but yes it helps me, and without side effects! So for $8/month? Can't beat that :)

Something to note, I read that it can affect sleep, so take it early in the day and not too close to bedtime.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Fibro Support

I hope that one day there will be as much support and focus on overcoming Fibromyalgia as there is now on Breast Cancer.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

WebMD's Best Alternative Treatments for Fibromyalgia

For the full article, click here:


Supplements including:
- Sam-e (I am taking and yes it improves my mood, and probably contributes to helping with pain and sleep too)
- Melatonin (I have tried. eh.)
- Magnesium (yes, I am taking and it makes me feel better, Ultra-Mag)
- 5-HTP (next on my list to try)
- Acupuncture (also next on my list to try, I have read several articles on how this has helped with fibro, migraines, sleep, arthritis etc. I am very intrigued)
- Massage (yes, once or twice a month, soft massages, good for my overall well being :)

“It would be great if we could just give people a pill to fix their fibromyalgia,” says Mark J. Pellegrino, MD, of Ohio Pain and Rehabilitation Specialists and author of 13 books on fibromyalgia. “But there’s no magic pill. A balanced approach is important.”

For some people with fibromyalgia, that balanced approach includes trying complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in addition to medication, exercise, and physical therapy.
There hasn’t been a lot of formal research on the effectiveness of alternative treatments for fibromyalgia. But many people with fibromyalgia and some doctors believe some alternative treatments can help ease pain, fatigue, and other symptoms, especially when combined with conventional approaches.

Pellegrino, who has fibromyalgia and is a physician speaker for pharmaceutical companies that make medications used to treat fibromyalgia, considers the “three pillars of treatment” to be medicine, physical therapy, and supplements. He says that some supplements, along with other treatments and lifestyle changes, have helped his patients experience less pain, more energy, and better sleep.

“When it comes to supplements, we’re learning more and more,” he tells WebMD. “But unlike drugs, we don’t have rigorous research. It’s important for a person with fibromyalgia to work with a doctor who is knowledgeable about supplements.”

Get More Fruit in Your Diet!

Fresh pineapples are the only known source of bromelain, an enzyme with anti-inflammatory properties.

Nutrition News from Dole


Thursday, October 7, 2010

FREE Yoga in South Florida!

@ a Yoga Conference in Hollywood,

Thursday, Saturday and Sunday in November:

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

CAM Therapies

90% of fibro sufferers use some kind of complementary and alternative treatments.

For more info and resource check out this link:

- Massage Therapy and Oriental Medicine
- Acupuncture
- Prayer and Meditation
- Yoga and Tai Chi
- Water Exercise
- Physical Therapy
- Biofeedback
- Chiropractic Care
- Herbal Remedies
- Natural Dietary Supplements
- Hypnosis
- Magnet Therpay
- Pet Ownership
- Music and Art Therapy

Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Ahhhh.... so now I learn, seems my approach with treating my fibro and cfs is properly called "Complementary and Alternative Medicine." :)

Alternative medicine is defined as any healing practice that is outside the boundaries of conventional Western medicine. Alternative treatments are used instead of conventional medicine (like acupuncture to replace pain meds.)

Some common examples include dietary supplements, meditation, herbals, naturopathy, hypnosis and yoga. 

Complementary medicine is alternative medicine that is used in combination with conventional medicine. Also can be referred to as integrative medicine.

For example, massage therapy used along with pain meds.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Cuddle Ewe for Fibro and CFS?

Ok question. Has anyone treid any of the Cuddle Ewe products?

I see them advertised all the time on Prohealth for fibro and cfs and just good sleep. I know how important tackling the sleep issue is so if this is worth the $$ and would help me even more I'd love to try it.

I've also been struggling with a lot of lower back pain lately, radiating into my legs :( So I am guessing at this point I may be salivating over anything like this that looks like it will provide awesome relief and comfort!

Please let me know any feedback if possible.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Quack Watch

I came across this informational link in a discussion post in the ChronicBabe forums and found it pretty interesting:

It is a good reminder that with everything that we suffer from on a pretty consistent basis, to be on the alert for "quacks" out there who will take advantage of our relentless suffering. The quacks' promises just seem too good to be true, and if we are really suffering we may fall prey! For example, I really want to see an herbalist or nutritionist type person to help me with the supplements I take, but after viewing their info often certain red flags go off. The number one tipoff or lets says turnoff for me is if they want me to buy *their* products only. I feel that a good herbalist/naturopath(?) would focus on guiding me in the effects of the herbs/supplements, and not focus on making me purchase *their* herbs. Another turnoff is that they are usually hundreds of dollars per visit, and of course don't take insurance.

Not every alternative practitioner is a quack. There are nutritionists, herbalists, naturopaths and people that are doing their own research and honestly seeking to help people. More power to them, and I hope those folks will be able to make great strides that will eventually help develop better treatments later down the road. Unfortunately there are people out there who don't have the best interests of patients in mind and are looking to make a profit by taking advantage of people who are hurting and desperate who have had very little luck with traditional practices and are willing to do (and more importantly, pay) anything if it promises to bring some modicum of relief. It's these snake-oil salesmen that make my blood boil, and I think it's important for us to supply ourselves with the proper tools to spot these people, so that when we are at a low, miserable point in our lives when nothing seems to be working and you are at your wits' end, we will be able to tell the difference between those trying to help and those looking to take advantage.

So be careful fibros, quacks will rely highly on your emotional state, desire for relief, need for action, and try to create fear of what will happen if you don't follow their guidelines.   

I also think its a shame that the pharmaceutical and alternative medicine interests can't work together, and that doctors seem to veer first to pharmaceuticals, when in fact supplements may have the same effect! But of course supplements can be much less expensive and available, and I guess we aren't supposed to find that out.....For example - I was prescribed Limbrel for my joint pain, and through my prescription plan it was $50/month. I did a little research, and 1. Limbrel is a food medicine, meaning ITS MADE FROM HERBS!!!! 2. The SAME ingredients are found in OVER THE COUNTER Move-Free Joint supplement! (For less than $50/month of course!!!)

I think with everything that we do, taking charge and being our own health advocates, we have to be on alert for what seems reasonable, and what seems too good to be true, and share with each other the information to know the difference!


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Book Review: How to Be Sick, Toni Bernhard

How To Be Sick: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide for the Chronically Ill and Their Caregivers
by Toni Bernhard

I finished this book a few days ago, and wanted to take the time to write a proper book review. This book, and my FibroWHYalgia book, well they are my best friends now :)

THIS IS AN EXCELLENT BOOK! As you know, I am a newbie to chronic illness (1 year in from a fibromyalgia diagnosis) and prior to this book I had very little knowledge about Buddhism, but having done yoga for almost 2 years now I had built up an interest into looking into Buddhism more. So thus this book seemed like it was meant for me!

But please don't be confused with the title, yes this book is about How to Be Sick, but How to Be Sick and SURVIVE and maintain your sanity! (Because we all know chronic means forever, so we have to come to terms with the fact that we will always be sick.) And you don't have to be a Buddhist to learn these "survival techniques" as I call them. Toni's methods are Buddhist-inspired and anyone can learn them and really benefit from them! (Even if you don't have a chronic illness!)

Toni, the author, took almost 10 years to write this book, while dealing with her chronic illness. I appreciate that it was written from the point of the view of an actual sufferer, and I really admire that she was able to write a book AND deal with her illness! What inspiration she is! Her focus in the book is not on her actual illness, but is on how to overcome the struggles, showing that this book and the "survival techniques" she discusses are applicable to so many different chronic illnesses and even caregivers. Even though we suffer from different chronic illnesses, I could relate to her daily challenges, and the ups and downs she described facing her illness, and the despair of facing a lifetime of this. Her methods of dealing, coping and surviving not only gave me solace but continue to inspire me and give me hope in life on a daily basis.

Since my fibro diagnosis I have read all kinds of books, but this is one of two that has given me true direction and comfort in dealing with my illness. No technical medical jargon, no scientific this and that. Just straight up honesty, from the heart, from experience. Each chapter and subject flows easily into the next and builds upon your learning and awareness. She also presents a guide in the back of the book, a type of summary of her survival techniques, which really makes for a great reference. Although I think I ran through an entire highlighter while reading the book, making my own notes and highlights, which I also reference quite often :)

Read it. You will find happiness, peace, serenity.


I have 2 general rules when I am looking into books on fibromyalgia. One, I like to make sure that at least one of the authors has experienced fibro. I feel that if you experience it, then you really get it. And two, I like to read and resource books that are fairly recent (2009, 2010, maybe 2008) as I feel that things are always advancing in science and I like to keep with the most current and relevant.

With that being said, below is a brief review of the latest fibro book I have read. Sharon is a fibro sufferer, and Martin has done extensive research and treatment in fibromyalgia. The book was just released, 2010.

by Sharon Ostalecki, PhD
Martin S. Tamler, MD, FAAPMR

Have you just been diagnosed with fibromyalgia? This is a good starter book. It really lays out all the common questions and concerns in a brief but thorough way. Easily referenceable.

Topics covered:
1. The Basics
2. Sleep
3. Associated Pain Conditions
4. Pharmacologic Management
5. Complementary Approach

The Sleep section is very thorough about explaining why good, deep sleep is so important and the science behind it. I think of all my reading, this seems to be one of the biggest keys to feeling better, conquer your sleep issues and you will feel a huge difference!

There are also a lot more associated conditions, but I think this is a good start at looking at some of the most common.

I like that the Complementary Approach section is larger that the Pharmacologic :) But I think they could have touched on more specifics on nutrition a bit more.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Organic Foods Worth Paying More For

Read the article to find out more about organic foods and organic food labeling.

The following fruits and vegetables have been identified as requiring high levels of pesticide use when conventionally grown, so, as a general rule, they are safest when grown organically:
  • Apples
  • Bell peppers
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Cherries
  • Grapes
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Strawberries

15 Foods That Don’t Have to be Organic
Fruits and vegetables that are conventionally grown with relatively fewer pesticides include the following:
  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Eggplant
  • Kiwi
  • Mango
  • Onion
  • Papaya
  • Pineapple
  • Sweet corn
  • Sweet peas
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Watermelon
  • Tomato

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Book: The Ten Best Questions for Living with Fibromyalgia

The Ten Best Questions for Living with Fibromyalgia
The Script You Need to Take Control of Your Health

Dede Bonnerm PhD


Dr. Bonner is an internationally acclaimed expert in questioning skills.

While she does not have fibromyalgia or CFS, I found this book to be a good guide from your moment of diagnosis to creating your own plan.

She tackles the 10 Best Questions in each of these Categories:

1. Talking To Your Doctor: everything from choosing a good doctor to getting a second opinion
2. Choosing Treatments: From medications to alternative therapies
3. Making Healthy Lifestyle Changes:  Getting good sleep, taming stress, eating well and identifying an exercise regimine suited for you
4. Building Your Future Life and Good Relationships: Telling others, support groups, family, sex and intimacy

Well worth a read. It is current and very helpful.

You CAN live WELL with fibromyalgia, you just have to learn how to take charge of your fibro and find treatments and lifestyle changes that work for you!

Friday, September 17, 2010

"Life is All About Plan B" 2001 Calendar by Suzy Toronto

LOVE LOVE LOVE!!! I was at a Cracker Barrel restaurant with my Mom and came across this calendar for 2011. The calendar title caught my attention, and as I read through each month it really resonated with me and where I am in life (and fibro life!) right now. I felt it woule good inspiration for 2011!,com_virtuemart/page,shop.product_details/flypage,shop.flypage/product_id,2208/Itemid,40/

For example, here is the Plan B/ January details (I mean hello, does this not exactly describe dealing with fibro or what?!!)

"Plan A is always my first choice. 'You know, happily ever after.' But more often than not, I find myself dealing with the upside-down, inside-out version, where nothing goes as it should. It's at this point that the real test of my character comes in... Do I sink or swim? Do I wallow in self-pity and play the victim or simply shift gears and make the best of the situation? The choice is mine. After all... life is all about how you handle Plan B."

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Read a Good Book? Donate a Copy!

I have read two books about fibro and chronic illness that I absolutely love and will keep on-hand always, as I have highlighted and re-read the heck out of them (ok, I am not finished reading "How to Be Sick" by Toni Bernhard - but I am already so enthralled with it and so many pages are dogearred!)

My other fav of course is FibroWHYalgia :) by Sue Ingebretson

I checked with my local library, and since these are fairly new books they do not have them yet. I've purchased new copies of each and am donating them to the Broward County library system. I really feel they need to be out there for everyone to easily access!

If you find books you enjoy a much as I love these, I encourage you to do the same if possible!

Good Quote - Obstacles

"Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goals."

Monday, September 13, 2010

Invisible Illness Week Sept 13th - 19th, 2010

I found this post on another blog,, and have adapted with my answers. Read it, pass it along, fill it out, spread the word this week about invisible ilnnesses!


1. The illness I live with is: Fibromyalgia | Chronic Fatigue | Migraines
2. I was diagnosed with it in the year: 2009 | 2009 | 1988
3. But I had symptoms since:
— | early 80's at least
4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is: Not having the energy to do as much as I would like; my whole life is one constant adjustment.
5. Most people assume: I can do something simple (like take vitamins, prescriptions or not eat a certain food) and be back to normal.
6. The hardest part about mornings are: Just getting out of bed is so hard :( I have 7 alarms to get me up!!
7. My favorite medical TV show is: Grey's Anatomy. I'm a sucker for HOT MEN!! :)
8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is: my smartphone; it saves me wasted time and keeps me connected
9. The hardest part about nights is: getting to sleep!  No matter how tired and fatigued I am throughout the day, I just cannot fall asleep come bedtime :(
10. Each day I take a minimum of: 24 pills – 4 meds,19 vitamins/supplements, 1 OTC
11. Regarding alternative treatments I: I do as much as I can, LOVE my yoga even though at times I struggle; I have discovered a lot of supplements and foods that help me in stead of prescription meds
12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: I would choose to have both if it meant someone else would not have to have one. I would not wish either on my worst enemy :(
13. Regarding working and career: I have a very understanding employer, and with adjustments I am able to keep working so far. I am far along enough in my career that its easy for me to successfully get my required work done.
14. People would be surprised to know: What all I keep inside. There is a lot of misery and anger that I do not share.
15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been: Just trying to feel somewhat normal :(
16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was: I haven’t gotten there yet, but I am aiming to getting married and have a family :) Some days it seems like it might be an overwhelming challenge.
17. The commercials about my illness: Are WAY too BRIEF!!! They don't even touch the tip of the iceberg when it comes to fibro; It gives a false impression of how we suffer, and a false impression that you "just take Lyrica" and will "be all better."
18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is: Being able to do more active things
19. It was really hard to have to give up: sexy shoes :(
20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is: Meditation; blogging :)
21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would: go to the zoo; I am afraid to attempt it these days, afraid I would get too tired and sore
22. My illness has taught me: How invincible I am
23. Want to know a secret? One thing people say that gets under my skin is: I just hate it when people assume things and play armchair doctor with me. Walk a day in my shoes and see how you deal!
24. But I love it when people: Take the time to understand me and what I go through.
25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is: “Don't frown because you never know who may be falling in love with your smile"
26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them: You'll be ok, you are strong. Your reality is just different now.
27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is: The daily struggles, and new struggles and symptoms that pop up :( Each day seems to bring something different/new!
28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was: Make me laugh, I love laughing.
29. I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because: I just learned about it and I’d like to make new friends who I can relate to and be there for!
30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel: Appreciative :)

Spread the love and fill out this Meme if you have a Chronic Invisible Illness and want to blog for NICIAW

Worrying Advice

Someone gave me this advice one time, and I really liked it:

When worrying about the outcome of a situation, to ease your nerves and worries, answer these 3 questions:

  1. What is the worst that could happen?
  2. What is the best that could happen?
  3. What is most likely to happen?

Once you have gone through each of these possible scenarios, you should feel more at ease and prepared for the outcome.

Sometimes this helps a lot with doctor visits :) or new symptoms that crop up :)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Key to Entertaining: Pacing Yourself

These are some good tips for entertaining despite our chronic pain and fatigue (because we all know we need a good circle of friends around us! And whats more fun than a get together?!):

Saturday, September 11, 2010

New Book: The Carb Lover's Diet

Learn that you CAN eat carbs and still lose weight and eat healthy - learn to eat the RIGHT carbs for your health!

This book just came out, is on my list to pick up this week. Saw this preview of a recipe from the book on Was YUMMY!!! and EASY!!

I bought the whole wheat tortillas, and seasoned black beans, was DELICIOUS!

Black Bean Tacos

Prep: 5 minutes
Total Time: <10 minutes
Makes: 2 servings

1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
6 (6-inch) corn tortillas
6 tablespoons shredded Cheddar cheese
2 cups shredded romaine lettuce
1 cup grated carrot
1/4 cup salsa
1. Microwave beans on HIGH 2 minutes, or until heated through.

2. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add tortillas, one at a time; cook 1 minute on each side.

3. Divide beans evenly among tortillas. Top with even amounts of cheese, lettuce, carrot, and salsa.

Serving size:
Calories 380; Fat 8g (sat 5g, mono0.5g, poly 1g); Cholesterol 25mg; Protein: 18g; Carbohydrate 67g; Sugars 6g; Fiber 17g; RS 4.7g; Sodium 780mg

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Massage for Fibromyalgia

Some studies have shown that massage on a regular basis can have neurological, psychological and reflexive effects to help reduce depression, ease inflammation and pain, lessen stress and tension, promote relaxation, increase muscular relaxation, mobilize fluids and eliminate toxins and even help with sleep. Studies have also shown it to stimulate the release of endorphins and increase serotonin levels and lower blood pressure. Touch has a long history of being a natural, essential component of healing and health maintenance and can help increase positive well-being.

I make it a point to go to Massage Envy (they are located all over the U.S.) once a month for a massage. I have found several therapists there who are familiar with helping trea fibro. I am able to tolerate a light massage and I can feel the benefits of it in helping me unwind, de-stress, refresh my muscles, and I feel it helps get toxins out of my muscles. I love it.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Tai Chi for Fibro

This has gotten a lot of attention lately, and I am so glad! I wanted to share the article from the NY Times, link below.

While I have not tried Tai Chi, I feel yoga has a lot of similar components. I have tried Qigong which is also very similar, and I really enjoy this as well. (I bought a Qi Gong DVD which I follow: Qi Gong for Cleansing (2005) with Daisy Lee Garripoli and Francesco Garripoli) 

Some key quotes from the article:

Dr. Chenchen Wang, a Tufts rheumatologist who led the study, said she attributed the results to the fact that “fibromyalgia is a very complex problem” and “tai chi has multiple components — physical, psychological, social and spiritual.”

After a few weeks, a patient she said she began to feel better, and after 12 weeks “the pain had diminished 90 percent.” She has continued tai chi, lost 50 pounds and can walk three to seven miles a day.

“You could not have convinced me that I would ever have done this or continued with this,” she said. “I wouldn’t say it’s a cure. I will say it’s an effective method of controlling pain.”

The physician said it offered an inexpensive and “gentler option” for patients deterred by other physical activities. “The mind-body connections set it apart from other exercises,” she said, adding that doctors are seeking “anything we can offer that will make patients say ‘I can really do this.’ ”

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Water, So Good for You!

I can't emphasize enough how drinking enough water each day will make a big difference in how you feel. (I know it really does for me!) And doctors agree! I like these tips about how to easily get your 8 daily glasses of water:


-- Ease into it. Start with just one or two glasses of water a day, maybe one in the morning and one at night. Gradually increase the amount.
-- Create a morning ritual. Some medical experts say many of us wake up dehydrated. The first thing to do in the morning, then, is to drink two glasses of water. If you make this a morning habit, it can create the momentum for drinking more during the rest of the day.
-- Drown a snack attack. Drinking a glass or two of water can make you feel full, short-circuiting a food craving.
-- Add lemon juice. When you first start to drink more water, it can be a real chore – and adding lemon juice can make it more doable. At restaurants, ask for lemon slices with your water. They gladly supply them.
-- Think about healthy skin. There may be a correlation between drinking a lot of water and healthy, glowing skin. Think about this to encourage yourself to drink more water.
-- Drink hot water. Instead of drinking tea or coffee, which are diuretics that increase the amount of water your body loses through urination, drink a mug of hot water. It gives you psychological comfort without any calories or other items.
-- Drink water at restaurants. It’s free, after all.
-- Have water near you while working. Having a full glass handy will give you something to sip on while you’re thinking, typing, creating or otherwise working.
-- Your urine guide. Drink more water if your urine is dark yellow. That means you’re dehydrated.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Seasonal Allergies and Related Foods!

I read this in the September issue of Health magazine:

If you have fall allergies, you may be able to minimize your symptoms by skipping certain foods and drinks, says Clifford Bassett, MD, member of the public-education committee of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. Your body interprets chemicals in these foods the way it would allergens like pollen - which can lead to itchiness or tingling in your mouth and throat, as well as worsening of your sneezing, runny nose, or watery eyes. Check this chart for surprising triggers, and consider avoiding them.


RAGWEED — Bananas, canteloupes, chamomile tea (a close cousin of ragweed), echinacea (another close ragweed relative), honeydews, watermelons and zucchinis

TREE POLLEN — Almonds, apples, carrots, cherries, hazelnuts, peaches, pears, plums

GRASS — Melons, oranges, tomatoes

ANY SEASONAL ALLERGENS — Beer, liquor, wine (all three contain histamine, a compound that triggers allergy symptoms like itching and swelling)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

New Book Just Released Today!

Check it Out!

How to Be Sick: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide for the Chronically Ill and Their Caregivers


by Toni Bernhard

I am purchasing asap, will let you know my thoughts as I am reading it!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

You Don't Have to Like It To Accept It

This is a Good One from FibroHaven

How often have we struggled with our new reality?
How often have we grown weary and frustrated with trying to decide who we are and how we now matter?
How often have we wondered if it will ever get better?

SO TRUE - I started seeing the light when I let go of who I was and accepted and adjusted to who I am now and who I can be now. I was able to move forward and see the future much clearer once I accepted my chronic illness. I still don't like it, but I now accept it and choose to move forward.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Chemicals in Grooming Products

I have discovered that shampoos with sodium lauryl or laureth sulfate make my scalp break out on a terrible rash. And the sodium lauryl sulfate in most toothpastes also create terrible sores in my mouth and gums. (This is all since my fibro flares started, this did not happen pre-fibro!) So I have done research and taken careful measures to avoid these chemicals in my grooming and hygiene products moving forward. So I guess I should not be so shocked to have come across this article on, but I am glad to see it is getting some press and being addressed. These are good guidelines for anyone and everyone, I was just extra-interested because I feel that since my fibro flares I have become extra sensitive to chemicals in foods and products.

Here are some excerpts and a list of ingredients to avoid:

"Most people think all the personal care products on the shelves, from lipstick to shampoo and deodorant, have been thoroughly tested for safety.

Sadly, that's not true.

Environmental Working Group, a Washington-based watchdog organization, has found that 99 percent of all personal care products are made with at least one and usually several ingredients that have never been assessed for safety by the government or any other publicly accountable institution.

With the average person using nine such products containing a total of 126 chemicals a day, scientists say they don't know the impact of the multiple exposures.

Over the past decade, the group's researchers have identified 500 products sold in the U.S. that contain ingredients that are banned in cosmetics in Japan, Canada or Europe.

Some of the working group's findings are quite disturbing. When blood and urine samples from 20 teenage girls from across the country were tested, it turned out they were tainted with an average of 13 potential hormone-disrupting preservatives, plasticizers and other cosmetic chemicals, said Jane Houlihan, the group's senior vice president for research."

"On July 21, the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010 was introduced in Congress. If it passes, it would give the Food and Drug Administration authority to ensure that personal care products contain no harmful ingredients."

**The article mentions Blinc. Inc. products. Has anyone ever used any of their products?

"Lewis Farsedakis, founder and CEO of Boca Raton-based cosmetics manufacturer Blinc Inc., said he is in favor of the proposed legislation because if implemented, it would protect the consumer. However, it would probably take several years for the FDA to develop a system to implement the law, he said.

Farsedakis said his company's products are safe and non-toxic. Its best seller is a mascara that coats the lashes with tiny tubes of a water-resistant substance. Last year, Blinc removed a controversial ingredient known as TEA (triethanolamine) from its products. TEA is linked to allergies and considered a toxic contaminant. Most of Blinc's products also don't contain other ingredients on the "bad list' such as hormone-disrupting parabens, and are gluten-free and vegan.

"We are about providing a product that works and performs. If we can do that gluten-free, TEA-free and not testing on animals, we will do that. If it affects performance, we will not," Farsedakis said."

(That last paragraph is unfortunate! He/hi company was sounding so good!)

The following ingredients are among those considered toxic contaminants or risky because of concerns such as allergies, hormone effects or as possible carcinogens. Many are commonly found in products such as facial moisturizers, shampoos, hair conditioners, body washes, hair dyes and deodorants.
  • DMDM hydantoin and Imidazolidinyl
  • Fragrance and dyes
  • Methylchloroisothiazolinone and Methylisothiazolinone
  • Parabens or '-paraben'
  • 'PEG' and '-eth'
  • Sodium lauryl or laureth sulfate
  • Triclosan and triclocarban
  • Triethanolamine (TEA)
  • Mercury, often listed as thimerosal
  • Placenta
  • Lead acetate
  • Petrochemicals, (appearing on labels as petrolatum, mineral oil and paraffin)
  • Phthalates
  • Hydroquinone
  • Formaldehyde
Source: Environmental Working Group

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Review: The Fibromyalgia Controversy

by M. Clement Hall


M. Clement Hall, M.D., is director of continuing education in the emergency department of Scarborough Hospital and has written several other books.

"In The Fibromyalgia Controversy, Dr. M. Clement Hall presents six fictional, though factually based, case studies of typical patients from differing socioeconomic backgrounds and describes the varying investigations, diagnoses, and treatments they have undergone. Each of these case studies represents a composite of many years of clinical practice rather than one specific patient. Collectively, they cover the range of experiences fibromyalgia patients are likely to have encountered"

I saw this was a recently published book and was intrigued. I checked it out at my library. Seems it is pretty up to date on the information presented, very thorough and relevant and non-biased. But I did feel it was a bit scientific in its writing style and at times hard to follow and understand for someone not in the medical field.

Points from the book, that really reinterrate what we have been looking at on this blog:

- proper sleep is highly important and one of the key elements to feeling better
- proper nutrition is also a key element; staying away from a high-carb diet and sticking to meals of fresh fish, veggies and fiber (green leafy and yellow veggies are best)
- a successful treatment plan involves coordinating your specialized team of professionals, which is individualized for each patient and their need; these specialists could include physicians, psychologist, physical, occupational and or massage therapists, exercise physiologist, herbalist, nutritionist
- The "no pain no gain" philosophy will surely worsen fibro symptoms; for us we need to accept the "one size does not fit all" philosophy
- Massage is reportedly used by more than 75% of fibros for relief
- Heat applications (hot wax, hot water, heated paraffin wax) are also widely used for temporary relief; because the heat doe not penetrate but a few centimeters, yet feels like it penetrates deeper, it has been an inexpensive and safe treatment mehtod
- Medications can help reduce the pains and improve your sleep, but you should always combine the medication treatments with non-pharmacologic therapies including alternative medicine methods for management of stress, exercise etc.
- maintain a healthy mind and thus a healthy body follows
- fibromyalgia is polysymptomatic, a semi0Greek way of saying there are a LOT of different symptoms

This was interesting, explaining the 4 most common current beliefs on the causes of fibro:

1. a predisposing state with one or more significant factors (genetic and heredity, with the genes involving serotonin playing significant role)
2. a precipitating/triggering factor (extreme stress, viral or bacterial infection(s), car accident)
3. a progressive, gradual development of changes and increase in number of symptoms
4. an alteration in the structure and function of the central nervous system, which has resulted in a state of chronic widespread pain (this supports the change of fibro from the rheumatological field to neurological)

Its is generally agreed the pro to development of fibro, patients enjoyed a healthy active lifestyle. And there is probably no one single predisposing, precipitating or initiating cause common to all persons with fibromyalgia syndrome.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia and Brain Shrinkage

So I was ready an article in a magazine about chronic pain and it mentioned this "...Aging causes the brain to atrophy at a rate of half a percent a year, but chronic pain causes the brain to atrophy twice as fast..." and I kinda freaked. I mean I had seen this somewhere before, but I chose to ignore it, I wasn't ready to face that.

Now I'm facing it.

I wanted a better source on this info, and I found this addressed on the National Fibromyalgia Association website, direct link below. What makes it really good is that the author is also one of the researchers who released this report on fibromyalgia's effects on the brain. It gets a little scientific at times, so I've tried to highlight some of the key points below, but the entire article is well worth the read.

“What Do You Mean, My Brain Is Shrinking?!”
By Patrick B. Wood, MD 

"The Journal of Neuroscience recently published the results of a study that demonstrated fibromyalgia is associated with a loss of volume of brain gray matter.1"

"...we found that the atrophy associated with fibromyalgia was over three times greater than that of normal aging, with each year of fibromyalgia equivalent to 9.5 times the loss of normal aging."

"Intriguingly, the brain centers that undergo accelerated loss of gray matter volume during stress in animal models are also connected to many of the symptoms associated with fibromyalgia, including pain."

"Among the most encouraging findings stemming from the work of scientists like McEwen and Sapolsky is the observation that blocking the effects of stress-related chemicals can protect against their damaging impact on sensitive brain structures"

"Another agent that has demonstrated utility in promoting brain health is omega-3 fatty acid, i.e. fish oil. As previously noted, chronic fatigue syndrome is another one of the disorders that has been associated with brain atrophy. A case study from England reported by Puri and colleagues describes the treatment of a woman with chronic fatigue syndrome with omega-3 supplementation, which resulted not only in marked clinical improvement, but also in a reduction in the volume of her lateral ventricles, which suggests she benefited with an increase in brain tissue volume.16 While there is no data in the literature as to whether taking omega-3 may be useful in the treatment of FM per se, there are several other health-related benefits. So, while I recommend taking omega-3 supplements to my patients on a regular basis, it would be very interesting to see how they would perform in a structured clinical trial."

"What remains unknown at this point is whether the reductions in brain volumes in FM are related to actual loss of brain cells, or simply with cell shrinkage—I suspect the latter. And while the mechanisms of these changes are complex and not fully understood, there is reason to believe that they may be prevented and possibly reversed, as we shall see."

"While the proposition that fibromyalgia is associated with accelerated brain atrophy may be unsettling, there is something of a silver lining to the cloud. For years, the medical community has struggled to come to terms with the reality of the disorder or to take it seriously, due in large part to the lack of objective findings to distinguish FM patients from those who don’t have the disorder. The results of our study contribute to what has become the incontrovertible evidence that fibromyalgia is all too real and, I think, inspire a greater sense of urgency regarding the need to develop rational treatments."

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Another New Fibro Survey - this one from NFA

I received this via email from the National Fibromyalgia Association, it really didn't take long and they were some good questions with room for comments:

The goal of this survey is to examine the symptoms experienced by patients with fibromyalgia, its impact on their quality of life, and the care they have received for this pain. The information acquired through the following questions will be used to develop educational programming for physicians, to help them provide optimal care for their patients.

All responses are anonymous, participation is voluntary, and the survey should take approximately 10 minutes to complete. Thank you in advance for your contribution.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Post-It Notes Spread Happy Thoughts - JOIN THE CAUSE!

It's easy! And an Amazing Idea!!

Each One Can Reach One


I'm gonna start my post-its tomorrow! :)

Learn More about Invisible Illness Week, which is Sept 13th through 19th this year:

Monday, August 23, 2010

It's Officially Official: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Linked to Virus

from the

Finally, the National Academy of Sciences Makes It Official:

Detection of MLV-related virus gene sequences in blood of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome and healthy donors

Release of study findings

Additional Stories:

New York Times

Washington Post:

A well-respected team of scientists released long-awaited new evidence Monday that a virus may be playing a role in chronic fatigue syndrome.

The researchers, from the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration and Harvard Medical School, analyzed blood samples that had been collected 15 years ago from 37 patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. Most of the subjects--32, or 86.5 percent--tested positive for a virus known as a murine leukemia virus-related virus, the researchers found. In contrast, tests on 44 healthy blood donors detected evidence of the virus in only three of the subjects, or 6.8 percent.

While providing new evidence that a virus may play a role in the mysterious condition, the researchers said the findings, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, are no where near proving the virus causes the syndrome.

But the findings are being hailed by advocates for chronic fatigue syndrome patients, such as the CFID Association of America. The head of that group, Kim McCleary, says the findings are a potentially important step toward finding the cause of the condition and possibly developing treatments, as well as dispelling the notion that the condition is really psychological....

- Wall Street Journal

Visit at:

Sunday, August 22, 2010

New Fibro Survey

Please take a few minutes to fill out this important survey. It is completely voluntary and anonymous, and should only take about 10-15 minutes. Doing so provides a real and important opportunity to take part in helping create better treatments and quality of life for people with fibromyalgia.

It was very interesting and sounds promising!

Fibromyalgia Research Info

More Clues To Fibromyalgia Pain

Brain scans show more neural activity between certain brain networks and pain processing region

"That first neuroimaging study really demonstrated fibromyalgia patients were different than normal individuals, and at a neurobiological level, were truly experiencing more pain at lower intensities," Mease said.

The new research moves understanding of the condition a step further, by exploring what's happening in the brain during a resting state.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Inspire - Online FIbro Support Group

Has anyone any experience with this site?

Concerns About Cymbalta

"The FDA also has concerns about widening use of a drug associated with serious liver toxicity. Cymbalta already carries a warning label about liver toxicity risks based on more than a dozen reports from patients taking the drug."

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Good Starters Guide to Avoiding Chemicals in Food

I think most of these tips are pretty basic, but a good reminder. Very important I think is the one mentioning to check ingredients labels. I hardly ever buy anything pre-packaged anymore. Just too much artificial chemical additives. Fresh food seems best. If there are too many ingredients I've never heard of or can't spell or pronounce, it's probably not a product for me :) I've found ways to cook fresh food fast, so I can avoid a lot of time and energy on my feet.

Does anyone have any fast and easy, healthy recipes to share? I was thinking of adding a recipes tab on this blog :)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


A while back I posted some Detox Tea recipes, one used Burdock, which I had never heard of. I found out what it is!

What Is Burdock?

Often touted as an herbal detox remedy, burdock is a daisy-family plant that grows as a weed in the United States and several other countries.

Practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine sometimes blend burdock with other herbs to soothe sore throat and colds. Some proponents claim that burdock can benefit people with arthritis, diabetes, eczema, psoriasis, and cancer.

Where to Buy Burdock

Many health food stores offer burdock supplements, as well as dried root powder, tinctures, and liquid extracts. Fresh burdock may also be found at grocery stores and farmers markets.

Read more here:

Monday, August 16, 2010

Video on Fibromyalgia

This is a good video, scroll down on the page to watch. I think he synopsizes fibro best by saying its "The flu from hell that never goes away." !!!

Dr. Rodger Murphree

"This is part one of a nine part video recorded at a seminar Dr. Murphree did for a group of doctors in Pittsburgh PA. Although the message was delivered to doctors, anyone with, or just curious about, fibromyalgia can easily follow the presentation. The program material can benefit a number of folks besides those with fibromyalgia since it covers several general health issues including poor sleep, low thyroid, adrenal fatigue, GI disorders, fatigue, low moods, yeast overgrowth, drug side effects to watch for, chronic pain, leaky gut, allergies, and much more.

If you have fibromyalgia, know someone with fibromyalgia and/or care for someone with fibromyalgia, here’s your chance to hear Dr. Murphree explain the causes, the symptoms, who's most likely to get it and why, why traditional medicine alone is doomed to fail, his how to, step-by-step protocols for beating poor sleep, chronic pain, low moods, fatigue, low thyroid, IBS, poor digestion, reflux, and more."

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Fibro like a Tuning Fork - Sue Ingebretson's Blog

LOVE this analogy Sue! Everyone, please read this, is a good one!

"I’ve often said that I’m thankful for fibromyalgia. Learning how to analyze and deal with chronic illness has taught me powerful lessons I wouldn’t have learned any other way. The Fibromyalgia Tuning Fork Analogy is one lesson I share at most speaking engagements...."

Read the rest of her story here on her blog!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Diet and Genetics

VERY interesting blurb. Seems like something that would help us fibros A LOT once they get enough into the research and findings:

"Nutrigenomics – a relatively new science that examines how your genes interact with the food you eat – is finding that one size (so to speak) definitely doesn’t fit all....

Examining diet and genes is an active area of research. Some studies have shown that people with specific genes are especially susceptible to effects of fat in their diet, for instance. Other research has shown that people with a different gene can reduce their risk for colon cancer by adding more vitamin D to their diet, whereas others without the gene wouldn’t see the same benefit....

The holy grail is a personalized diet, says Michael Falk, PhD, executive director of the nonprofit Life Sciences Research Office in Bethesda, Md. Current dietary recommendations are geared toward the average person..."

Read more here:

Accepting Imperfection and Letting It Go

This is a good blog post, I think it def applies to fibro and CFS and what we go through:

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Black Bean Brownies!

I have not posted this yet?!?

A great, quick and easy (and inexpensive!) way to get you chocolate fix AND your PROTEIN and FIBER!!

(I make a bunch in my mini cupcake pan, and freeze some to zap later in the microwave!)

1 box ANY brownie mix
1 can (15 oz) ANY black beans

Open the can of black beans, rinse well. With beans back in the can, add enough water to cover beans. Put in blender or food processor and puree. Add puree to brownie mix, and then bake according to package directions.

You DO NOT add the eggs or oil that the recipe calls for, JUST the black bean puree!

These are pretty rich and fudgy, and my friends couldn't tell that they weren't "regular" brownies!!

Seriously, try it! Its amazing! I want to hear stories about who you fooled with these!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Back Pain and FIbromyalgia?

Oh goodness. My lower back has been hurting now for 5 days. I am scared I am going to have to say hello to a new-to-me fibro symptom. Does anyone else have experience with this type fibro symptom/pain?

I found this article which doesn't make it sound very promising :( In fact when they talk about what causes it, sounds scary! I have tried massage and exercises. I will try heat therapy tonight too, see if that helps.

Xyrem for Fibromyalgia?

Intersting article from about a drug going through trials now for possible approval. Sounds good, the science of it makes sense, but then you get to the "possible serious" side effects and sounds scary!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Get Moving!

Even if it's just Chair Aerobics, as Harry inspires us here with his :)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Another Review of FibroWHYalgia

I read Sue Ingebrtson's new book FibroWHYalgia, and I looooove it, if you'd been following my blog you know I can't say enough good things about it and I highly recommend it. I wanted to share another's review of the book:

Working With Fibromyalgia

These are good blogs for insights on joining or re-joining or surviving in the workplace with a chronic illness, like FIbromyalgia and/or Chronic Fatigue:

She is also the author of this book:

  Has anyone read or resourced this book?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Delayed Food Allergies and Food Sensitivities

I got this through a migraine blog I follow, and found it very interesting as it also relates to fibro and food sensitivities we may have. The third video on this link relates most to fibro, and I have found the follow up videos and provided the links below.

(Dr. Daniel C. Dantini is a fibromyalgia specialist in the United States)

I have found certain delayed food sensitivities to certain foods that bring about a migraine in me. It can be hours or a day later that the migraine shows up. For example,I am careful to avoid raw onions, lemons and oranges, soy sauce, peanut butter and hot dogs. As the years go by I do seem to develop new sensitivities to foods that once were ok for me. My Mom, who also suffers from migraines, has different sensitivities that have developed causing her migraines: blue cheese, vinegar, chocolate (especially dark) to name a few.

I have read about elimination diets and fibro, where you maintain a strict basic diet for 4-6 weeks, and then slowly introduce foods that may be causing your symptoms as a test. I have not had the patience to try this yet to see what foods may be causing my fibro symptoms :( So maybe this blood test that Sage Medical offers will help me? Dr. Dantini's research has led him to develop this blood test that tests the antibodies in your blood and see what you may be sensitive to. (see more below about Sage)

Direct link to the video:

Follow up videos:

Dr. Dantini works at the Sage Medical Laboratory in Ormond Beach, Florida. I checked out their website too, and it sounds interesting. I am thinking about ordering the blood testing kit, their website states most insurance covers the blood test. (Crossing my fingers on that one!!)

What I really like about all this is that it is tackling the CAUSES and not just treating the symptoms. I am so glad to see the mindset and the research heading in this direction, I feel its a very positive direction in helping with the future of treating fibromyalgia.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Oprah, Dr. Oz and Fibromyalgia!

Its great to see fibromyalgia get this much attention and priority, and it is interesting (and refreshing) that it does not focus on prescription drugs as the main and "simple" solution!

Oprah Winfrey included a discussion on fibromyalgia in her newsletter today. It's wonderful when celebrities give a stage to this topic and Oprah does us all a great service when she helps to inform her audience on this illness.

Her newsletter also included the first article Dr. Oz wrote for O MAGAZINE. In the article, Dr. Oz opens the discussion with four different approaches to fibromyalgia treatment. This is now in their "Best of Dr. Oz" collection. Doors are opening...;-)

1. Western Medicine Approach
2. Energy-Based Approach
3. Psychological Approach
4. Nutrition-Based Approach  (reference to

Thursday, August 5, 2010

WARNING! Avoid These Supplements/Ingredients!!!

I caught this on the news the other night, its very important so please read and take note!

Consumer Reports has released a list of supplement ingredients its researchers say have been linked to cancer, coma, heart problems, kidney damage, liver damage, and death, and highly advise avoiding these ingredients:

  • aconite
  • bitter orange
  • chaparral
  • colloidal silver
  • coltsfoot
  • comfrey
  • country mallow
  • germanium
  • greater celandine
  • kava
  • lobelia
  • yohimbe
For details on each read more at this link:

Consumer Reports worked with Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, an independent research group that gauges the safety and effectiveness of nutritional supplements, to devise the list.

Please remember to consult your physician before trying anything new. I am not a doctor and no information I provide here should be considered medical advice.The information I share on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.  It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from my research and experience. Links to other sites are provided for ease of research. Information on those sites is the opinion of those who publish the sites and is NOT necessarily that of FibroChick. I offer what I can as help. I believe in educating myself on all my medical issues and being my own advocate, for no one else will do that on my behalf. I recommend we all do the same! I encourage you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional.   

Herbal Sleep Remedies

A friend recently shared this article with me from NewsMax Health. I wanted to post the link here, as I have tried some of these but did not realize that all these aided in sleep. Very interesting. I have tried the Valerian (caution - it smells funky! :) and Melatonin (I think I built up a tolerance?) and I take Skullcap for pain (anti-inflammatory) and sometimes I sip Chamomile tea at bedtime.

These made me tired for sure, but to get my deep restful sleep I still need my Lunesta script :(

Has anyone else tried any of these?

Please don't forget to consult your doctor though before trying anything new, as even herbs like these can interact with other herbs and prescriptions.

For details check out the article above

1. Valerian
2. Melatonin
3. Chinese Skullcap
4. Theanine
5. Lavender
6. Chamomile
7. PassionFlower

Please remember to consult your physician before trying anything new. I am not a doctor and no information I provide here should be considered medical advice.The information I share on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.  It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from my research and experience. Links to other sites are provided for ease of research. Information on those sites is the opinion of those who publish the sites and is NOT necessarily that of FibroChick. I offer what I can as help. I believe in educating myself on all my medical issues and being my own advocate, for no one else will do that on my behalf. I recommend we all do the same! I encourage you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional.   

Monday, August 2, 2010

FREE Fibro Teleconference: August 3rd, 2010

I received this info & story via email from Dr. Rodger Murphree,

I really like the story below, it really supports the idea of focusing on creating an overall healthy body in order to tackle fibro.

I am going to try and remember to catch the free teleconference tomorrow nite :)

You can see what others have said about his previous teleconferences, and access archives of Dr. Murphree's teleconferences here: 

FREE Fibromyalgia Teleconference
Tuesday, August 03, 201,  7:30 PM CDT- 8:25 PM CDT

Dial-in Number: 1-218-936-4141 
Access Code:  986495

Fertile Soil Yields Best Results For Reversing Fibromyalgia

Several years ago my family and I moved into a beautiful 80 year-old house with a large, but barren backyard. Wanting to make my backyard a garden paradise I enlisted the help of a good friend and Master Gardner, William Keith.

Like a good, urban yuppie gardener, I went to Home Depot and purchased the essential tools of the trade- shiny new shovels, rakes, hoes, rubber gardening shoes, and heavy leather gloves.

The following Saturday William showed up with a truck -load of dirt. "Healthy soil yields a healthy garden," he said.

For the next several days he unloaded and redistributed rich, dark dirt throughout my backyard. Day after day I'd come home ready to plant some roses, jasmine or maybe a Maple tree and I'd find William in the backyard spreading more dirt. Finally after a week of daily dirt deliveries, William declared the yard ready for planting.

And plant we did- roses, Carolina jasmine, Confederate jasmine, wisteria, Japanese maples, peach trees, plum trees, oak leaf hydrangeas, cone flowers, lilies, salvia, rosemary, sage, thyme, and all sorts of perennials.

The result of taking the time to use nutrient rich soil was easy to see- simply plant something, anything and it grew like crazy.

Like a healthy garden our body is dependant on having the essential nutrients it needs for optimal health.

Unfortunately the typical Western diet falls short of providing the essential nutrients our bodies need to be healthy.

A U.S. Food and Drug Administration study, which analyzed over 234 foods, over two years, found the average American diet to have less than 80 percent of the RDA of one or more of the following: calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper, and manganese.  Other studies have demonstrated magnesium deficiency in well over 50 percent of the population.

The only way to be sure you're nutritionally sound is to supplement your diet with the essential nutrients your body needs for optimal health.

Traditional medical doctors often scoff at the notion of taking vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to improve your health.

But does anyone suffer from a drug deficiency? Well of course not.  And yet those with chronic illnesses, like fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and even mood disorders often end up on a medical merry-go-round, seeing one doctor after another-taking an endless concoction of life draining, potentially dangerous drugs.

Drugs to put you to sleep, drugs to wake you up, pain pills, mood drugs (for the side effects of the sleep drugs), sedatives, and muscle relaxants- it just never ends.

Drug therapy can be useful. However, merely covering symptoms with drugs often leads to further problems.

The majority of my fibromyalgia patients have seen numerous doctors, traditional as well as alternative, before consulting me. They've tried numerous drugs, yet feel little if any better. Most have also taken an assortment of natural remedies - a One a Day vitamin, fish oil, herbals, green dinks, probiotics, and other over the counter supplements. While all of these are a step in right direction, certainly a safe and healthy choice, they don't provide they foundation one needs to overcome a chronic and difficult illness like fibromyalgia.

And while nutrition oriented physicians have good intentions, they often do no more than attempt to use natural remedies to cover up symptoms- valerian root for poor sleep, St. John's Wort for depression, probiotics for their irritable bowel symptoms, and on and on it can go.

This is a common mistake. I've found that no matter what the illness laying the foundation and fertilizing the patient's cells with a good optimal daily allowance multivitamin/mineral formula is the place to start.

I encourage my patients to start taking a good multivitamin/mineral formula.

Doctors who I lecture too are often amazed at how easy it is to do this (when done the right way) and how many of their patient's symptoms improve- usually within a relatively short period of time.

Patients need to become aware of the fact that nutrients, not drugs, are what make the hormones and biochemical reactions that regulate our body. Every essential chemical in our body, including thyroid hormone, testosterone, estrogen, neurotransmitters (serotonin, norepinephrine, etc.), antibodies, adrenaline, cortisol, and white blood cells, are either made from or dependent on vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and amino acids.

By providing the essential nutrients the body needs for optimal health you help lay the foundation for getting healthy. I've learned after 14 years of specializing in clinical nutrition to make sure each of my patients no matter the condition (from allergies to yeast overgrowth) is taking a multivitamin/mineral formula. I make sure I lay the foundation before I start planting other nutrients- CoQ10, probiotics, adrenal or thyroid glandular supplements, etc.

Taking time to get the body's inner soil healthy will always yield positive long-term results. While chasing symptoms with drugs or a hodgepodge of "hit or miss" supplements typically yields a strained bank account and fleeting results.

There is a better way.

A Message from Dr. Murphree to those suffering with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

I've specialized in treating fibromyalgia for the last 17 years. I've been fortunate to help thousands of fibromyalgia sufferers. Are you next?

Dr. Rodger Murphree