Friday, November 25, 2011

Lecture Review - Virasyl for Fibro & CFS

I attended a lecture today entitled "Fatigue, Pain & Chronic Conditions" at Tunies Natural Grocery in Coral Springs, FL. I will be honest, I went into it not expecting much, as I have already done so much of my own research into fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue, and since this was connected to a natural grocery store/nutritionist I figured it would be a pretty generic lecture on how to eat better and a prescription of a list of which supplements to take. My pain and suffering of the past 2 years has spurred my initiatives to look into ANY kind of help, so since I got out of work early I thought I'd stop by this lecture.

In speaking with the presenter, Pam Ross (certified Physician's Assistant), before the lecture, during and after, I was astounded. Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING hit home with me. When she was talking about "Mrs. Jones came to our clinic with X, Y and Z symptoms" I wanted to suggest that she was not talking about Mrs. Jones, but was actually talking about me, outlining my life! When another attendee mentioned having such foot pain that she feels like she is walking on glass, I wanted to shout out ME TOO! I have never been in a room of people like this that I could relate to SO much. And all of my research that I have done over the past 2 years came up in the lecture, as a nice assurance that I am on the right track here, and Pam is too.

Pam has done her research on fibro, cfs and how viruses may trigger these, and start much more of a chain reaction (IBS, food allergies, chemical sensitivities, migraines, skin rashes etc.) in our body. I was very glad that the focus of the lecture was NOT on selling the product. It was really a great informational lecture on fibro, cfs, chronic pain, nerve damage and their related research. She did present and discuss the product that she has developed, Virasyl. It is a very simple compound of Humic Acid and Shilajit, with nothing else added, which, if you are familiar with supplements, this is nice! So many have so much extra gunk added unecessarily. I will let you read more the Virasyl at her website, which also has the info covered in her lecture, about the virus connection. PLEASE do so, as she has much more of the medical background and info than I do, and I could never paraphrase her findings and research, and I could never explain it as well as she does. But it all MAKES SENSE to me, so it give me HOPE!

She also handed out some info on a protocol to follow (simple, 1 page), in addition to the daily supplements of Virasyl. I was delighted to discover that I am already following about 85% of the "Fibrobusters" protocol (another affirmation that my research has lead me in the right direction, and Pam too!)

I did purchase a bottle/1 months supply and am going to try it. It is all natural and does not interact with anything, so its all natural and worth a try!I will definitly follow up with my results!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Famous Fibromites

Some famous people in history who might have had fibromylagia!

http://www.fibromyalgia-information-relief.com/fibromyalgia-people.html

Monday, October 10, 2011

Good Fibro Overview Article

This is a pretty good overview article, probably a good link to share with friends and family to help them understand it more a bit:

http://www.lifescript.com/Health/Centers/Fibromyalgia/Articles/10_Questions_About_Fibromyalgia_Answered.aspx?utm_source=outbrain&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Fibromyalgia

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Low-Carb, GLuten Free One Minute Muffin!

Have you heard of the One Minute Muffin?

1/4 cup ground flaxseed [ or almond flour]
1/2 t baking powder
[optional 1/4 t cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice, plus 1 t sugar or substitute OR chocolate OR garlic and italian seasonings; also try splash of vanilla]
1 T butter
1 large egg
pinch of salt



Can add berries and or dollop of Cool Whip on top too!

Melt the butter in a small microwave container (I use a 10 ounce pyrex thing). Mix the dry stuff. Crack the egg into the butter and mix with a fork - stir it up really good. Add the dry stuff, blend until well mixed. Put it in the microwave for ONE MINUTE - hence the name.

Eat steaming hot... or let it cool a bit. Good as a sandwich, good with cheese inside, cut in half and toast! It really hits my bready spot.

Play around with ingredients and flavors!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

How to Kindly Acknowlege Unsolicted Treatment Advice

http://arthritis.about.com/od/solvingdifficultissues/a/How-To-Handle-Unsolicited-Advice-About-Arthritis.htm?nl=1

Eve though the article references arthritis, this is also very applicable to fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and other chronic illnesses. GOOD advice on how to handle unsolicited advice from others on how to treat your condition! I am always caught off guard, so this article gave me some good phrases to use next time.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Venus Williams & Autoimmune?

Article about Venus Williams possibly having Sjogren's (autoimmune):

http://arthritis.about.com/b/2011/08/31/sjogrens-syndrome-knocks-venus-williams-out-of-the-game.htm?nl=1


Here's is an article that theorizes it may have been more than Sjogren's, maybe fibromyalgia also:

http://blogs.prevention.com/prevention-news/2011/09/02/venus-williams-is-it-sjorgens-syndrome-or-something-else/


I think it will be interesting to see how this develops for Venus, as we all know how both Sjogren's and Fibro are life-altering chronic illnesses. It's hard to find celebrities who are open about facing such challenging autoimmune illnesses, and its because of the same fears that we all face - the stigma of not being well enough, not being perfect, not being able to perform to the best of our abilities, looking well but not actually feeling well. As a celebrity, sports figure or famous person they are constantly in the spotlight and are under an even higher level of scrutiny than most. So being open about a chronic, debilitating illness could often be a career killer for them, thus they often feel a better move is to keep it quiet.

In a way I feel it is a shame, as I feel we need more on our side who can use their powers of influence to communicate the seriousness of the conditions and the challenges we face, and to inspire. I am proud that Phil Mickelson has come out and been so open about his struggles with psoriatic arthritis (also autoimmune.) So again, I am very curious to follow Venus Williams and her health, I hope she can also (unfortunately) highlight the struggles of chronic illness and be an inspiration to understand and manage chronic illnesses.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Yoga Helps Fibromyalgia Studies Show

YAY! My only problem is dealing overcoming the chronic fatigue in order to get to the yoga class :) But I love this article, and that more studies are being done to show how good yoga is for us!

http://www.yogabasics.com/connect/yoga-helps-fibromyalgia-patients.html

AND by the way, September is National Yoga Month! Check out the link below to find free classes in your area to give yoga a try! As a fibromite I tell the instructor before class that I have fibro, and sometimes they don't know what that means, but I just tell them that I go at my own pace and if I break into a child's pose for a few not to be offended.

http://www.yogamonth.org/

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Discover Your New Normal

I really like this article, thank you Keri for the inspiration. Its difficult, but once diagnosed with a chronic illness we do have to discover our "new normal." Because I have an invisible illness, people look at me and say "well you seem to be feeling better." But in reality, I am just "dealing better," as I have discovered my new normal.

http://invisibleillnessweek.com/2010/09/14/discovering-a-new-normal/

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

To Get Things Accomplished and Keep Sanity :)

Dealing with fibro is difficult.  Remembering things is difficult. Having the energy to get things done, is difficult. It's also all overwhelming. Trying to maintain and live a semi-normal life is a real struggle for me, on a daily basis.

Before fibro, I was the over-accomplished Type-A do more, go go go type person. I have had to cut back, give myself breaks, take on less. It drives me nuts, as I like to accomplish a lot, get  alot done, fit a lot into my days. But in order to keep fibro in check I have to reduce stress, and not overexert in any way. I have to maintain a normal sleeping and eating schedule, stick to it strictly (hard, very hard for me.)

So I have come up with a way to get things done and still maintain my sense of sanity and accomplishment. It may sound simple, and childish, and really silly, but it really helps me. The night before a weekend-day I choose the top 4 things I need to accomplish the next day.  I don't write them down, I challenge myself to remember them, all 4. (And I promise myself not to worry about anything else that needs to get done, I will add it to another days list.) I keep reminding myself of the list of 4, all evening/night, and the next morning :) At the end of the weekend-day I review, if I am able to accomplish all 4 I am super happy, even if I do 3 of the 4, I am still pretty delighted with myself. For weekdays I usually lessen the to dos, to 2 or 3 (and 1 of these to dos is always taken up by work, the ol 9-6 thing which exhausts me utterly making it difficult to do anything else.) These things can be big or small, from do the dishes, laundry, mail a package, to go to a friends dinner or party.

It helps me, I feel a sense of accomplishment and I feel good about remembering :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Great Site for tracking Chronic Illness

Super "Like" : http://www.patientslikeme.com

I can't stress how much I like this website. I found it pretty early on after my fibro diagnosis. It allows you to create an account and list your illness(es) and symptoms, and treatments, and rate everything, and chart everything, and pull together all the data for you to print for doctor appts! I login every once in a while to add new treatments, or report stoppage of certain treatments, and then at that time I also rate all my symptoms and how I am feeling (it gets very detailed) and then it charts it, so I can see over the year and half my struggles, and it color codes them, so my doctor can quickly glance and see too. Let me upload some screen shot from my profile, so you can see...


Here you can see my main symptoms, and how its really the fatigue that rules my day rather than pain, which is a minority; and it the small chart directly below it you can see my abilities latetly to function as a normal human being, not great:


Below is just a snipped of more detailed symptoms (they file an entire screen) green is non-existent, red is severe, and yellow is mild, oragne is moderate. very interesting I think, to look at visually, and to see how symptoms change over time:



And finally my list of treatments:


Great Article About Accepting Your Chronic Illness

Its is very, very difficult to accept a chronic illness diagnosis. I know I went to about a dozen doctors, looking for a different diagnosis, something easier than fibromyalgia, something more known. Or a lab mistake, or a simple diagnosis like the flu. Anything, anything but the awful fate of dealing the rest of my life with the daily struggles of fibromylagia. But then I read 2 books, and I know I have mentioned them several, several times before, but they really did mark the turning point in my life with fibro. (FibroWhyalgia, by Sue Ingebretson, and How To Be Sick, by Toni Bernhard) They helped me get to the point of acceptance, which when you read this article you will see is so important in living with a chronic illness.

You have to read this article, by Lana Barhum, from the National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week website:

What Does it Mean to Accept Your Chronic Illness Diagnosis


http://invisibleillnessweek.com/2011/08/18/what-does-it-mean-to-accept-your-chronic-illness-diagnosis/

"With chronic illness, the sooner you accept your diagnosis, the sooner you can work on being healthy."

A few months after my rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis, I was also diagnosed with fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) and the blurry reality of what was my life started to become clearer.
I had spent ten years trying to find answers and one day I had them. What I realized at that point was that I had the power to heal because I had already started to find out how by searching for and finding answers."

"I sought support from others who were living with the disease and I knew that if I wanted to get better, I had to accept that a handful of pills weren’t enough."

"I also looked at my life as lesson after lesson of patience, strength and survival."

"Of course, it wasn’t easy to get to that point because living with an invisible condition (or two or three or more) isn’t that simple."

"You lose a lot of friends and there are a lot of people who don’t understand but what the illness doesn’t control is how we respond, how we fight back and how we go on the defense against the war waging inside our bodies."


"Chronic illness is kind of like life with its all ups and downs but living with an invisible chronic disease is like life multiplied and so very complicated. It is never ending roller coaster of pain and emotions."

"There is also about a lack of understanding amongst your family, your friends, your coworkers, and even complete strangers. It is about living life without knowing what tomorrow will bring and it is an emotional battle on a daily basis." 

"There will be days where your pain and fatigue are under control. There will be days when you feel productive and that you are in control of your life and your body again. It will not feel like a death sentence forever. On the other hand, there will be days that it will feel like the disease is in control when you are in pain, you are tired and you can’t focus or get anything done. The disease doesn’t get easier but getting through those really bad days does get easier."

"As a long time sufferer, I have learned that there can be more good days by making good choices. You have to do all the right things like eating right, taking your medications, being active on good days, and resting on bad ones. It is a learning process like anything else in your life and the setbacks–they are part of life too. You can’t control the setbacks regardless of how well you plan and a flare-up can come on at the worst possible time.
All you can do is wait to feel better and you can’t always predict how many good days you will have so try not to overwork yourself because you don’t know when your next good day will be."

"Understand and remind yourself that a chronic illness is unpredictable. There is not much that you can do except to realize you have to adjust and adapt to the moments that the disease brings havoc to your life."

"The best thing you can do for yourself is to accept that you have to be flexible to live successfully with your chronic invisible disease. The disease might be your new reality but learning to be flexible means that you accept chronic illness in your life not that you give up. Your life will never go back to “before your diagnosis,” but it can get close to it if you open your mind to what you need to do to get to that point where you can accept diagnosis in a way that means you don’t give up."

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Inspirational Quote for those struggling with Chronic Illness

"You have to accept whatever comes and the only important thing is that you meet it with courage and with the best you have to give." 
 - Eleanor Roosevelt

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Johns Hopkins & Fibromyalgia

I was on this site, looking into Johns Hopkins for medical care, and found the fibro info, and I really like the way it is phrased here:

"Due to the constellation of symptoms associated with FM its impact can be severe."

"One patient recently referred to their FM as, "A body toothache that stays with me all the time." 


http://hopkinsmedicine1.reachlocal.com/coupon/?scid=860670&cid=835989&tc=11081610584034604&rl_key=916b4d82aa7446a52b6544521be00529&kw=1919578&dynamic_proxy=1&primary_serv=hopkinsmedicine1.reachlocal.net 


I read through all the fibro info on this Johns Hopkins site, and I was really impressed and comfortable with the info they provide, it seems very relevant, current and accurate. Please take the time to read through their site, I have provided below some good examples of the info and details they discuss.


"Although the cause or causes of FM remains to be determined, most researchers believe that the widespread pain, the hallmark symptom of FM, is due to abnormalities in central nervous system function."

"With regard to nervous system function, it is thought that persons with FM experience pain amplification due to abnormal sensory processing in the central nervous system."

"Finally, recent studies show that genetic factors may predispose individuals to a genetic susceptibility to FM. For some, the onset of FM is slow; however, in a large percentage of persons the onset is triggered by an illness or injury that causes trauma to the body. These events may elicit an undetected physiological problem already present."


TREATMENT:

http://hopkinsmedicine1.reachlocal.com/coupon/?scid=860670&cid=835989&tc=11081610584034604&rl_key=916b4d82aa7446a52b6544521be00529&kw=1919578&dynamic_proxy=1&primary_serv=hopkinsmedicine1.reachlocal.net

"The comprehensive treatment of FM falls along 4 broad categories: education, symptom management, cognitive behavior therapy, and complementary approaches."

"Complementary Approaches:
There are literally dozens of complementary therapies to treat FM and its associated symptomsref 5. They include, but are not limited to: physical therapy, therapeutic massage, myofascial release therapy, water therapy, exercise and physical activity, acupressure, application of heat or cold, acupuncture, yoga, relaxation exercises, breathing techniques, aromatherapy, biofeedback, herbs, hypnosis, nutritional supplements, and osteopathic or chiropractic manipulation. Of these, exercise is the only treatment approach that has been tested in randomized controlled clinical trials and shown to improve fitness, self-assessment of improvement, and reduce tender point countsref 10, 11. Nonetheless, anecdotally persons with FM have reported significant improvements in symptoms with complementary approaches. Even if the benefits of such approaches derive from placebo effects, it is valuable to encourage persons with FM to explore the range of different treatments and thereby take an active role in the management of their disease"

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Easy, Healthy Black Bean Chili

Ok one more from my glorious weekend of cooking! (I modified the actual recipe, that I found on Betty Crocker.)

2 c. chicken broth
1 tbsp olive oil
2 large onions, chopped / or 2 scallions chopped
1/2 c. celery, chopped
1/2 c. carrots, chopped
1/2 c. red bell pepper, chopped
2 cans black beans, drained
1 large tomato, chopped (I used diced tomatoes with basil and oregano, from a can)
2 tbsp finely chopped garlic
2 tbsp honey
4 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 c. fresh cilantro
salt and pepper

I combined all ingredients in a crock pot for 6 hours.

Top with shredded cheese or dollop of sour cream, if desired.

DELISH!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Herb and Scallion Rice

I also discovered this recipe this past weekend from Martha Stewart Living:

1 2/3 c. water
1/2 c. packed cilantro
1/4 c. fresh packed mint
2 scallions, chopped
1 garlic glove
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup jasmine rice
coarse salt

1. Puree water, cilantro, mint, scallions and garlic in a blender until smooth.
2. Heat oil in a saucepan over high heat. Add rice and stir to coat. Cook until slightly toasted, 1 to 2 minutes. Add herb puree and 1 tbsp slt. Bring to  simmer. Reduce heat to low and cook covered for 20 min.
3. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 10 min. Fluff with a fork before serving.

Delish! Healthy! GLUTEN-FREE!!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Refreshing Papaya Watermelon Mocktail

I discovered this quick, easy and tasty recipe in a recent issue of Whole Living magazine (http://www.wholeliving.com/) (recipe by Charlotte March)

I tried it out this weekend and it is so refeshing and I love that it is healthy too! I suppose you could add a splash of alcohol to it, but eh, virgin is good enough for me!

It offers vitamins A and C, high fiber content good for digestion (papaya), anti-imflammatory cartenoids (from the jalapenos), and is ultra-hydrating (watermelon).

TO MAKE:

Puree 3/4 cup diced papaya, 1 cup diced watermelon, 1 tbsp lime juice, and 1/2 red jalapeno (sliced, seeded if desired to reduce heat) in a blender until smooth. Strain and chill. Service over ice and garnish with a slice of the lime and jalapeno.

The jalapeno does make it super spicy, the second time I made it I substituted fresh chopped mint for the jalepeno, and was just and good and refreshing!

Cheers!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Chuck Close - Rising Above Disabilities

I subscribe to Neurology Now magazine (is free, check out their website: http://journals.lww.com/neurologynow/pages/default.aspx ) and a recent feature article portrayed the artist Chuck Close. Throughout his life he has developed several afflictions, including dyslexia, paralysis and face blindness. Reading the article was very inspirational, as not only has he overcome and learned to work with his disabilities, but he has attributed his success to his dealing with his disabilities. For anyone dealing with a chronic illness reading this article is a must:

http://journals.lww.com/neurologynow/Fulltext/2011/07040/Larger_Than_Life__Dyslexia,_paralysis,_face.10.aspx

Friday, August 12, 2011

Drugs and Fibromyalgia

Wow, this study and results are quite surprising! The popular fibromyalgia drugs (Savella, Lyrica, Cymbalta) were rated by patients as making fibro WORSE. The highest rated helpfuls for fibro were lifestyle changes - rest, de-stress, relaxation, good sleep, avoid alcohol. I am glad to see that my yoga, qi gong and massage is also on there and rated as quite helpful, I know they are great aids for me too!


http://curetogether.com/blog/2011/08/10/patients-say-fibromyalgia-drugs-make-things-worse-rest-is-best/

Monday, August 8, 2011

Comfy AFFORDABLE Shoes!

I just discovered this site, they have the shoe brands that I have relied upon as super comfy, and they have them at VERY affordable prices! Sign up for their deals emails, I can now affordably expand my shoe collection AND keep my feet feeling good!


http://www.6pm.com/search/brand/150/filter/onSale/%22true%22/zc2/%22Sandals%22

Sunday, August 7, 2011

For Gluten-Free try Arepas!

I am trying to get back to the gluten free route again. I have strayed, and unfortunately seem to be having some terrible tummy problems. I was reading in Jonny Bowden's book "Most Effective Natural Cures on Earth" about IBS, and he suggested cutting out: gluten, dairy and sugar. I am pretty good at the dairy and sugar thing, but I need to get back on track with the gluten-free living. He also suggested secondarily to cut out red meat, citrus, caffeine and alcohol.



Anyhoo, I am getting off topic. So I was at the grocery store the other day and found some ready-made arepas, and threw them in my basket to give them a try. They are made from corn, so no gluten! Yay! A friend suggested I throw them on the george foreman and grill them to make a sandwhich, which I did, for about 5 minutes to get them crispy, works awesome for sandwiches! The packaging suggests toaster, which I tried today, not as successful. Still tasty, but the little buggers are so thin that they fall thru the grating in the toaster :/ A toaster oven would work awesome too with them I bet! And a regular grill would be great too I bet!

This is the brand I tried, maybe they are only available in South Florida grocery stores (?) but looks like you can order online :) If you see them, or ones like them give them a try! Is a quick, tasty gluten-free snack or meal! Can throw anything on one for open face (chicken, avaocados, butter and honey) or throw two together for a full sandwhich. Can go sweet or savory. Endless possibilities!

http://www.larealfoods.com/



Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Good Quote for the Day

Anyone can give up, it's the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that's true strength.

-- Author Unknown

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Mandarin Oranges

Trying to get back on track with my healthy eating more these days. My body is taking a big hit during this hot, rainy summer season here in South Florida this year. The rain and changes in barometric pressure are triggering constant headaches :/ And I think the heat and humidity and making me feel extra tired and my fibro body extra sore :/ Anyhoo, so part of my regimine is gnoshing on mandarin oranges, so I was looking up info about them, as they seem strange, since they are not as tart and sour as normal oranges (which give me migraines?) I was really curious to try and discover why regular oranges trigger migraines in me, but the mandarin oranges do not. Anyhoo, I have not discovered that, but I thought this little bit of info was super interesting:

In traditional Chinese medicine, the dried peel of the fruit is used in the regulation of ch'i, and also used to treat abdominal distension, to enhance digestion, and to reduce phlegm.[1][verification needed] Mandarins have also been used in ayurveda (traditional medicine of India)

(from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandarin_orange)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

New Study on Lyme Disease and Lymph Nodes

Good blurb, I like seeing that Lyme Disease is getting attention in studies:

http://www.lymedisease.org/news/lyme_disease_views/lymphnodes.html

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Autism and Fibromyalgia Link?

This article is super interesting. I have read studies before about the rertovirus / XMRV an the links between it and fibro and autism. I hope scientists continue their studies and find some more conclusive evidence of what is causing, but it seems like they are headed in the right directions!

http://www.endfatigue.com/health_articles_c/Cfs_fm-treating_autism_and_cfs_fibromyalgia_with_acetyl-l-carnitine.html

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Migraine Barometer

Ugh, this is me this week, this summer :/ I need to invest in one of these migraine/marine barometers. Has anone else tried one of these?

http://www.relieve-migraine-headache.com/barometric-pressure-headache.html

http://www.relieve-migraine-headache.com/digital-barometer.html

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Vitamins for Pain Prevention

Wow, this is super interesting. I take all these vitamins,(B-complex, C and D) so I am glad to read this to re-affirm that they are indeed helping with my pain AND my health!

http://www.healthcentral.com/chronic-pain/c/27148/139891/vitamins

Relax

http://headacheandmigrainenews.com/1-thursday-relax-the-jaw/

This is great. I follow his blog and he just has awesome info all the time, but I really like this simple technique of relaxing the jaw and easing tension. I know I clench my jaw a lot, unfortunately especially when sleeping :/ But this technique helps during the daytime, esp at work :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Benefits of ProBiotics

http://altmedicine.about.com/od/aznaturalremedyindex/a/probiotics_weight_loss.htm?nl=1

Has anyone else tried ProBiotics? I tried the pill forms, but didn't like so much. What I have found was easy for me is the YoPlus probiotic yogurt by Yoplait. It's healthy, low cal and just seems to keep me right and balanced :) Its a great little snack too to keep around for at work or before I head off to yoga. Satisfies hunger and keeps me on a healthy track :)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Yummy, Easy Mexican Dishes

I love Prevention magazine and prevention.com, they have great health tips an articles, and recipes! I also looooove Mexican food, and quick and easy recipes for Mexican! Yay! These sound SO yummy, I have to try!

http://www.prevention.com/health/cook/everyday-recipes/mexican-made-easy/article/3251872b789a2210VgnVCM10000030281eac____?cm_mmc=Spotlight-_-01282011-_-Cook-_-5%20One-Dish%20Mexican%20Recipes

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Change Your Diet & Start Healing

A VERY good read. A lot of the foods are anti-inflammatory, so I think this is a good healthy diet for help with fibro too. And keep reading through the article, I guarantee chocolate is included!

The extensive research published in the last decade alone proves that what you eat can have a profound effect on your protection against cancer. But my doctor's answer was hardly surprising. It's a little-known fact that nutrition is barely taught in med schools, where the solution to most problems is a drug. And doctors don't trust patients to make lifestyle changes. I recall a conversation with a fellow physician at a conference after I spoke on the importance of a healthy diet in fighting disease. "You may be right, David, but people don't want to change," he said. "They just want to take a pill and forget about it." I don't know whether he's right, but after all the study I've done, I know it isn't true for me.

http://www.prevention.com/ediblehealing/index.shtml?cm_mmc=Spotlight-_-01282011-_-Health-_-Edible%20Healing%3a%20Health-Protecting%20Foods

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

New Diagnostics for FIbromyalgia

This is a SUPER interesting article about the development of NEW standards for diagnosing fibro, and how if doctors are informed more doctors can diagnose, not just rheumotologists.  My tender point test was pretty inconclusive, but my rheumy doc was still convinced I had fibro. He is right, as according to these new standards, I am a typical case, all except for the tender points!

This is a very good step in a positive directionQ

http://www.webmd.com/fibromyalgia/news/20100526/a-new-way-of-diagnosing-fibromyalgia

Friday, April 29, 2011

Are You a Babe?!

ChronicBabe is now 1,000+ babes strong! Have you check out ChronicBabe?!

A snippet from the homepage:

"For Babes, who happen to have chronic illness...

If you're a sick chick in search of like-minded folks—the kind of people who are living well in spite of illness—you're in the right place! ChronicBabe offers hundreds of resources designed to help you keep on being a Babe, even with chronic illness. To get the most out of our site, sign up today for our free eNewsletter: Goodie Bag, and get dozens of tips delivered straight to you every other week. And when you sign up, you also get a free ebook, How to Be a ChronicBabe: A Beginner's Toolkit."

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Happy with the Support

I visited my dentist a few weeks ago for my teeth cleaning. The dental technician is familiar with my fibromyalgia struggles and asked me how I was doing. I told her how I found a book (The Dental Handbook on Fibromyalgia) and discovered the benefits of taking the amino acid L-Lysine. I proclaimed how it has kept my mouth sores at bay! She was so glad, and told me she recommends L-Lysine often to patients, but people don't seem to trust in the alternative treatments and brush off her advice. It made me feel good to know that she is on my side and supportive of my choosing to use alternative treatments.

I also visited my neurologist a few weeks ago, he has treated me for years for my migraines, and recently also started helping with the fibromyalgia. I told him I had weaned myself off Nortrptyline (I took 25 mg nightly initially to prevent daily headaches, and then it seemed to help fibro too.) And that I no longer needed my Lunesta for sleep. He said that's great, but what has changed? I told him how I've been doing yoga, and massages, and taking supplements (esp magnesium). He was quite supportive of my new changes and my choice to use alternative treatments. He said if its working, keep doing it! And when I need him for anything to let him know. I continue to see him twice a year, for checkups and what not. But again, its just nice to know that my doctor supports my choice in alternative and complementary treatments.

After speaking with some co-workers this week about frustrations over health insurance coverage and recent (disasterous) changes, I am also glad that I am relying less on medications and such that require insurance coverage. I figure, the less I rely on health insurance the better off I'll be moving forward. Health insurance is headed for disaster, and I don't want to be caught in the middle and fighting for my health rights every step of the way!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Struggling with Fatigue

Lately I've been struggling more with my fatigue. I had a break in yoga classes, but will be getting back with them today, so I am looking forward to that and hopeful that will help. This is a good post that I found, has some good pointers. I'm going to take a better look and evaluation of my lifestyle lately and see where I can make some tweaks and improvements to get me back to being more energetic!

http://www.arthritistoday.org/symptoms/fatigue/coping-with-fatigue.php?WT.mc_id=64fatigue

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Find Strength and Opportunities in Chronic Illness

“When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves.”
Victor E Frankl.


This is a great post on a great website. The quote really hit home with me. She speaks about the struggles with chronic illness and her ability to determination to find strength and opportunities. I think we can all relate and be inspired:

http://workingwithchronicillness.com/2011/04/where-is-the-change/

Since being diagnosed with fibromyalgia I have become a stronger person, and funny as it is to say, a healthier person in the way I live. A blessing in disguise perhaps?!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Rice Krispies are going Gluten-Free This JUNE!!

This is awesome news, I hope more major companies take note and follow!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Men Have Fibro Too - Social Sites for Men

Fibromyalgia is not as common is men as it is in women, so maybe ChronicBabe.com is a little daunting for men to approach (though we accept with open arms!)

But I did come across this info for men that I wanted to share. I don't have an account with these sites, so if anyone else has any expereince with them I'd love to hear the feedback!

Fibroguys.com - a social network for men with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, or chronic pain. Members can create their own webpage, join groups, discuss issues in forums, read blogs, post photos, and chat. Profiles are completely hidden from the public. In order to interact on the site, users must sign up. So far, more than 250 men have become members.

Menwithfibro.com hosts news, articles, cartoons, a chat room for discussion, and inspirational stories all in one place. Resource links to sites with more scientific information are also listed on the site.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Grow Your Own Healing Herbs

What fun to grow your own herbs! And good for your budget, too :)

AARP features awesome articles, read more details here on how to grow, how fast they grow, and even some great recipes!

http://www.aarp.org/health/alternative-medicine/info-06-2010/grow-herbs-feel-better.html?cmp=NLC-WBLTR-CTRL-031811-FT2-81&USEG_ID=14670470844

Peppermint - Settles upset stomach; eases muscle cramps
Lemon Balm - Dispels anxiety; improves mood
Valerian - Acts as sleep aid; has sedative effects
Sage - Eases sore throats; freshens breath
Rosemary - Increases memory; reduces joint pain

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Joints in Motion are Less Painful

Again, even though this article is about a form of arthritis, I feel us fibro-folk can learn a lot from the same advice and we too share joint pains. We are just lucky that ours isn't progressive, like arthritis is.

Learn the science of WHY exercise is good for our joint pains, and also WHAT kind of exercises are best. (Some of my favs of course are yoga, walking, water aerobics!)

http://www.everydayhealth.com/health-report/active-living-with-osteoarthritis/osteoarthritis-knee-pain-exercise-can-help.aspx?xid=nl_EverydayHealthLivingWithChronicPain_20110324

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Hormones and Fibro Pain

Wow, this article was really interesting, I guess I always kind of knew, or rather "felt" - literally - a link between hormones and my pains, but this article confirms it and helps explains it more.

http://www.webmd.com/fibromyalgia/news/20100416/fibromyalgia-gets-worse-during-menstruation?ecd=wnl_fib_032911

Estrogen is a pain preventative, and its levels falls just before menstruation making us feel more of our pain at that time. Estrogen levels also fall at the onset of menopause, so this explains the increase in fibro pain at menopause for a lot of women.

Also to note, a neurologist stated "... other research shows that women with IBS, fibromyalgia, and IC who are on estrogen-containing birth control pills seem to have fewer symptoms than other women with the conditions, however, I wouldn't recommend patients go on the pill [for this reason]."

I take LoSeasonique birth control, for the sole reason that on it I only have 4 periods a year! I was miserable the week before, during and after my periods becasue of my hormones and my fibromyalgia and migraines, but now on LoSeaonique my life is SO much IMPROVED due to the lessening of frequency of my periods!!!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Toni Bernhard a Blogger on PsychologyToday.com

Now you can check out a new blog on psychologytoday.com by Toni Bernhard, author of "How to Be Sick: A Buddhist Inspired Guide for the Chronically Ill and their Caregivers".

Reading her book was one of the turning points in helping me accept and deal with my fibromyalgia, so I know I am going to cherish enjoy her blog too!

Check out her blog here, Turning Straw into Gold:
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/turning-straw-gold

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Share Your Fibromyalgia with Congress

A letter from Janet Favero Chambers, President National Fibromalgia & Chronic Pain Association

SUBMIT YOUR COMMENTS HERE TODAY


Speak up!

We need to tell Congress FM is important and needs more research. Congress is currently deciding which pain conditions need more attention and research. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) is the official group that is weighing which pain conditions are most deserving of attention from Congress and the National Institutes of Health. This is the opportunity the Fibromyalgia community has been waiting for – it is our opportunity to educate Congress about the challenges of living with fibromyalgia.  They do not know the realities of living with Fibromyalgia. Your story has never been more important. Please spend a few minutes of your time completing the above Pain Research Public Comment form.

Things that would be very important to share-

• things that prevent you from getting pain care,
• costs of pain care,
• the need for scientific research on pain, especially the need for treatments that work and don't make you feel bad, and
• the need to educate  all health care professionals about chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia.

Comments are due by Monday, April 4.  Please act today.

Make a difference for all of us living with Fibromyalgia—
share your story today.

The National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association is fully supportive of this effort.  I represent FM on the Pain Care Forum Subcommittee on Training & Education in Washington, D.C. and know that the information the IOM receives will directly influence its recommendations to the U.S. Congress.  By mandate from the U.S. Congress, the National Institutes of Health will respond to these recommendations by developing the type and amount of pain research for many years to come.   
We need many people to come forward with their stories to help us achieve our goals of increased research by the NIH and increased education for doctors who are treating patients with FM and related pain conditions. We will keep you up to date on the outcome of the IOM’s recommendations. 
As a member of the Pain Care Forum, I will continue to ensure that the voice of the Fibromyalgia and overlapping conditions community is always heard.  Thank you very much for submitting the public comment form for the IOM.  Would you please also pass along your name and email address along to me so I can keep you up to date on this important issue as I do my work in D.C.   As always with this type of communication, all correspondence with the NFMCPA is confidential and private.
Sincerely yours,
Jan Chambers

Janet Favero Chambers, President
National Fibromalgia & Chronic Pain Association

It's Spring! East Fresh Fruits & Veggies & Help Your Joint Pains!

AWESOME info! PLUS recipes!

http://www.movefreeadvanced.com/articles.asp?id=410

ASPARAGUS: High-fiber, low-calorie asparagus is rich in Vitamin K, folate, and a variety of B vitamins, which can help alleviate joint discomfort. And asparagus is packed with antioxidant Vitamins C and A – which are both important for joint health. 

ARTICHOKES: Artichokes are low in calories and high in fiber, plus the antioxidant Vitamin C and calcium – critical to bone and joint health. Artichokes are also rich in essential minerals including iron, potassium, magnesium, folate and phosphorus.

STRAWBERRIES: Strawberries have as much Vitamin C as oranges, plus they’re loaded with other powerful antioxidants. They contain folate, which may reduce the risk of bone fractures, and their anti-inflammatory properties are good for your joints.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

How to Exercise with Arthritis

I am adding this info about arthritis becasie its very similar to how fibro feels/affects us, and we can use these same tips to help us learn to exercise.

I know, seems weird that exercise would make arthritis and fibro better right?! But I found this article which consulted a physical therapist an a rheumotologist on how to exercise for the best results and least pain:

http://www.arthritistoday.org/fitness/motivation/exercise-pain.php?WT.mc_id=FN5workoutpain

They mentioned water aerobics, I would looooooove find a local class of this! I have looked into it and they are all aimed at the retirees in my area, during weekday hours :/

Friday, April 1, 2011

Morton's Toe and Fibro

Check out Kristen's blog about Morton's Toe and Fibromyalgia. Its a really interesting read, I had not come across this before. I checked, and while I do have pretty weird looking toes, I don't think I have Morton's Toes.

http://painpaingoaway.wordpress.com/2011/03/15/long-second-toe-follow-up/#more-562

This is also a self-assessment and treatment guide Kristen has found, very helpful and full of good info too:

http://www.triggerpointbook.com/mortons.htm

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I Heart Pizza Fusion! Gluten Free YUMMY pizza!

I have been trying to eat gluten-free, and I was doing pretty good, it was easier than I thought, just eat healthy fresh foods and avoid breads and things. Then I went on vacation! Was tricky, and I veered somewhat, but it was a good lesson, as I saw the difference when gluten was back in my body. I can feel the difference, and I know that gluten-free is the way to go for me. I have been tested for and do not have celiac, but I feel that I might have an intolerance to gluten.

I discovered a gluten-free pizza joint near my work! OMG! Pizza Fusion is da bomb! Check out their website:

http://pizzafusion.com/menu/what-separates-us/our-gluten-free.aspx

I had the Greek pizza on gluten free crust, and you couldn't even tell its not the regular stuff! My friends had the regular crusts, and we all enjoyed our meals. I highly recommend Pizza Fusion for a gluten-free AND a healthy dining experience. The company is also very enviro-friendly and conscious.

The one irritating thing was that you can only get the gluten-free crust on a medium pizza, and it costs $5 more for gluten free. But the medium pizza is HUGE and when I get it I have enough yumminess for 3 meals!! Plus I joined their email club, so I enjoy savings though that.

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Drinking Water

Drinking water at the correct time 
maximizes its effectiveness on the human body:

-   2 glasses of water after waking up -  helps activate  internal organs 


-   1 glass of water 30 minutes before a meal - helps digestion 
 
-   1 glass of water before taking a bath - helps lower blood pressure 


-   1 glass of water before going to bed - avoids stroke or heart attack

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Coffee, Tea and Supplements in the Morning

Love my morning coffee, love my morning supplements :) But just read an article suggesting not to take together, because coffee (and tea) could contain tannins which can block the absorption of some nutrients.

Supplements are effective when taken any time of day with food, so I guess is better for me to have my morning supplements when I have my oatmeal and fruit.

Good to know, will be hard to get used to :)

http://newhope360.com/delicious-living/delicious-living-magazine

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Chronic Pain Event in Boston, March 27th

http://www.uspainfoundation.org/id54.html

Do you have Chronic Pain? 

Free Educational Event on Pain, how to connect with others with pain and how to become empowered. Learn more about the options you have. You are not alone.

Presented by: www.earthlypeace.net

Date: Sunday,March 27 2011
FREE LUNCH SERVED
Location: The Nonprofit Center
89 South Street, Boston, MA 02111
Event to be held in: South Street Conference Room
Time:  12:00pm - 2:00pm

Try Adding These Healthy Foods to Your Diet

-- Sardines: They provide protein, calcium, vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids, and they can be used in the same ways as canned tuna. And like tuna, opt for sardines canned in water rather than oil.

-- Quinoa: When cooked, quinoa resembles a grain or cereal, but it's actually more closely related to beets than true grains. It has a light texture and nutty flavor, and it can be used in the same way as rice. It offers 9 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber per cooked cup.

-- Greek yogurt: This extra creamy version of yogurt is strained to remove excess whey. It packs a nutritional punch of more protein -- 18 grams of protein per 6 ounces compared to 8 grams with regular yogurt.

-- Avocados: These are a heart healthy choice. Half a large avocado contains 7 grams of fiber and 15 grams of fat, of which only 2 grams are saturated.

-- Chiles: Besides heat, chiles contribute a broad range of flavors that can help you cut down on salt. While adding few calories, they also contain vitamins A and C and potassium.

-- Mangoes: They can be eaten plain as a snack or dessert, frozen and blended into a smoothie or added to a salsa or salad. They are high in beta-carotene, a precursor of vitamin A.

-- Pumpkin seeds: They contain significant amounts of protein, fiber and unsaturated fats. And they are available pre-shelled to add to granola or oatmeal or a trail mix.

-- Chinese broccoli: This leafy green is also known as Chinese kale and has a mild taste and tender stalks. It can be steamed or sauteed on its own or used in place of other greens. It is low in calories and rich in vitamin C, folate, vitamin K and beta-carotene. -- Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Dehydration

For some reason, ever since the fibro disgnosis, I've been super thirsty. Its weird. I mean I do drink a LOT of water daily, as I have noticed the more water I drink the better it makes me feel/less pains. But I seem to always feel thirsty no matter how much I drink :(  I found this blurb online, and like the all-natural drink mix recipe for helping replace electrolytes, as I find Gatorade waaaaay too sweet and sugary!

http://www.doc20.com/disease/dehydration/

"If you suspect you are becoming dehydrated, with signs such as excessive thirst, dry mouth, decreased urination, weakness, or feelings of lethargy or lightheadedness, you can take an oral electrolyte formula such as Gatorade. Or you can make the following mixtures:
  • First glass: ounces of orange or apple juice, ½ teaspoon honey or corn syrup, and a pinch of salt.
  • Second glass: 8 ounces of water and ¼ teaspoon of baking soda"

Friday, March 18, 2011

ME/CFS Research Lecture

Nancy Klimas, M.D. and Gordon Broderick, PhD will speak on the latest developments in ME/CFS research
Date: Saturday, March 26, 2011
Time: 9:00 am to 12:30 pm
Location: Veterans' Hospital Auditorium on the campus of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, 1201 N.W. 16th Street, Miami, FL 33125
Seating is limited, please RSVP to: yvonne.jackson@va.gov

Good List of Supplements for Fibromyalgia - from WebMd

http://www.webmd.com/fibromyalgia/fibromyalgia-what-you-need-to-know-10/herbs-supplements?ecd=wnl_fib_031511

Click on the article link above, it's a good list and explanation of top supplements for fibromyalgia. Some of the I have not heard of, so will have to look into, and some I already take!

- Anthocyanidin.
- Capsaicin.
- Magnesium and malic acid supplements.
- SAM-e (S-Anenosylmethionine).
- St. John’s wort.
- Valerian.
- Vitamin D supplements.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Daily Area Arthritis Indicator

This is awesome! From Arthritis Today, enter your zip code and see how the weather in that area may affect your arthritis/pains that day!

http://www.arthritistoday.org/misc/weather/at-weather.php

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Try Simple Exercises for Fibro - Get Moving & Feel Better!

Good blurb on WebMd about how doing some kind of simple exercising - be it walking, water exercise, or yoga - helps ease fibro pains. (Plus the science behind WHY this exercise helps!)

Exercise just three times a week improves life on many levels.

http://www.webmd.com/fibromyalgia/features/water-exercise-for-fibromyalgia-easing-deep-muscle-pain?ecd=wnl_fib_031511

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Quinoa Tacos - Gluten Free!

These sound so delish! From Fibro Haven (She has an awesome blog!)

http://www.fibrohaven.com/2011/02/03/quinoa-tacos/

Gluten-Free Rice Krispie Treats!

Gluten-Free Rice Krispie Treats
 

- 1/4 cup Butter or Margarine)
- 1 pkg. (10 1/2-oz.) Miniature Marshmallows
- 6 cups Erewhon Gluten-Free Crispy Brown Rice Cereal
- 1 tsp. Vanilla

Grease a 13 x 9 inch pan. Melt butter over low heat in a large pan. Add marshmallows to melted butter and stir over low heat until melted. Remove pan from heat. Stir in vanilla extract. Stir in rice cereal and gently coat cereal with marshmallow mixture. Pour rice mixture into prepared pan. With buttered fingers press the mixture flat.

ENJOY!!!

Monday, March 14, 2011

I heart my massages!

I get a massage 1-2 times a month, and this has REALLY helped my fibro pains and my overall health. Here are more benefits for getting massages:

http://www.qualityhealth.com/featured-article-segment?fa=104427&rf=45458&mc=&ct=43594

1. Less anxiety and depression
2. Lower levels of pain (!!!!! -- yes! Has helped with my fibro and migraines!)
3. Better immune function
4. Easier cancer treatment
5. Lower blood pressure
6. Deeper sleep
7. Better athletic performancec
8. Higher self-esteem
9. Increased growth for babies

Sunday, March 13, 2011

I'm a Featured Blog on LIfescript!

Ok, so you have to scroll down the page, and on the right hand side under "get involved" -- the link to this blog is at "Featured Blog: Fibro Chick"

YAY! Thanks lifescript! Lifescript is an awesome site for women's health and information!

http://www.lifescript.com/Health/Health-Centers/Fibromyalgia.aspx

I Heart Coffee :)

I read so many articles about coffee is good coffee is bad. I like my coffee! Here is a good, breif article on the benefits of drinking coffee! (I do make sure to have only 1 or 2 cups, and never drink it past noon so that it doesn't keep me up at night! I usu drink teas in the afternoon.)

http://www.qualityhealth.com/featured-article-segment?fa=105856&rf=45458&mc=&ct=36917

1. Lowers blood sugar
2. Protects against dementia and Parkinson's
3. Increases your resting metabolic rate
4. Lowers your risk of developing liver and colon cancer
5. Fights cell damage

Friday, March 11, 2011

"Is disease in your future? How to outsmart your family health history" by Leslie Goldman

Natural Health (Magazine) - April/May 2011 issue


"Is disease in your future? How to outsmart your family health history"  by Leslie Goldman - p. 66

This is a GREAT article. If you can get ahold of this issue def read. If not, I can post and share a pdf scan of it here. This magazine is just a great magazine overall, I subscribe to it :)

From the article:

"Research shows that dietary and lifestyle measure have an almost threefold greater impact on long-term health and the way we age than our genes....Most studies suggest 30 to 40 percent of our health is genetically determined, leaving a substantial 60 to 70 percent in our hands. Genetics are the gun, but your lifestyle pulls the trigger."

"Brent Bauer, MD, Director of the Mayo Clinic Department of Internal Medicine's Complementary and Integrative Medicine Program, believes a commitment to the four pillars of health — diet, exercise, stress management, and spirituality — can prevent 90 percent of the health care problems in the U.S. The emerging field of epigenetics suggest a happy trickle-down effect. Those same lifestyle choices may help silence bad genes while supporting the activity of good genes. And that's a healhth benefit that can be passed on to children and grandchildren."

"The good news is that lifestyle can trump genetics."

"In general, women are more prone to autoimmune disorders, described as 'your immune system growing overzealous and attacking things it shouldn't.'... While numbers are hard to come by, autoimmune disorders are now known to have a genetic component. A doctor's first reccomendation for autoimmune patients — or those looking to thwart genetics — is to go gluten-free. Gluten often causes the body to flood with inflammatory chemicals called cytokines, sending an already wound up immune system into hyperdrive, attacking tissue. And experts agree that its a smart move to follow your gluten-free goodies with a vitamin D chaser."

"Energentically speaking, doctors urge women to treat ourselves a little more gently, especially when it comes to warding off disease. Autoimmune disorders are a form of self-attack, yet women are constantly attacking themselves for not being able to do it all — have a great job, great body, great relationship, great kids. Stop punishing yourself for being human, and you might give your body a leg up on healing."

"In the months and years following my Mom's diagnosis, I felt almost resigned to a similar future. What I'm learning, though, is that my intense fretting might be wreaking far more havoc than any genetic risk. While I'm spending a lot of time worrying about MS, my brain is responding as if someone were coming at me with a knife, jazzing up my adrenal glands and suppressing immune system. In other words, my nerve-rattling anxiety has been laying down the red carpet not only or autoimmune disease, but cancer and heart disease, along with nuisances like migraines, ulcers and delayed wound healing."

"While we all take health missteps, our bodies are incredibly resilient."

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Top 10 Things I've Done to Help My Fibro

Since my diagnosis 16 months ago I feel I have made HUGE strides in dealing with my fibromyalgia. I am not going to lie, it has taken a lot of strength and perseverance and dedication to get myself to this point. And, it is not something that happened overnight, it has been a winding, wandering, struggling yet rewarding process. I am content with where I am now and how I feel, and I am happy and enjoying life again. It is indeed, a different kind of life. And I am a different kind of me, but I am still me. And, as ironic as it may sound, I am actually in a lot of respects a healthier me, as I have made changes in my lifestyle which would improve anyone's health, and has indeed improved my fibro and my own overall health. I have been reflecting on the biggest factors in making me feel better and in getting myself to this point, so I wanted to list them here:

1. Yoga and Meditation: twice a week/3 hours weekly

2. Massage and Postural Alignment Therapy: 1-2 times a month

3. Supplements: I've done a LOT of research and discovered what works for me, my body (and my budget!)

4. Reduced Chemicals I am Exposed to in Health Products: More natural body soap, shampoos, toothpastes and body lotions

5. Eat Healthier/Reduced Chemicals Exposed to in Foods: More fresh foods, less preservatives and food additives and chemicals; familiarized myself with anti-fibro and anti-inflammatory foods

6. Drink Plenty of Water Each Day: I just plain feel better when I do!

7. Learned My Limitations and Relax as Needed: Don't over exert myself, pace myself, I am less of my old "type-A" self :) and I am ok with that, I like relaxing!

8. Surrounded Myself with Positive, Supportive Friends and Family: Shared what I am going though via my letter, and found great online forums like ChronicBabe!

9. Researched and Read and Informed Myself: My favs: FibroWHYalgia by Sue Ingebretson, and How To Be Sick, by Toni Bernhard

10. Made Getting Good Sleep a Main Priority: Worked with my doctor via a sleep clinic, meds and supplements and yoga

I hope this helps! Please share what changes you have made that help you feel better!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Advocacy & Legal Help for People with Chronic Illness

http://www.advocacyforpatients.org/know_your_rights.html

There is a WEALTH of information on this website, and this book, written by a lawyer with a chronicillness, sounds great, I am going to purchase it!

I love that on their resources page one of the first links is for Chronic Babe! Awesome site and resource, too!!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Alternatives to NSAIDS for Pain

(NSAIDS: asprin, ibuprofen, aleeve, mobic)


Niacin (vitamin B3) may decrease the pain associated with osteoarthritis, especially in the knee. Dr. Abram Hoffer, author of Orthomolecular Medicine For Physicians, writes: "I suspect vitamin B3 is necessary for everyone for tissue repair, and that one of the earliest symptoms of deficiency is a decrease in the rate of repair."
Boswelia is one of the oldest herbs in Indian, Ayurvedic medicine. Studies show it to be a potent pain relieving, anti-inflammatory herbal remedy.
Bromelain, a protein-digesting enzyme derived from pineapple blocks inflammatory chemicals called kinins. It also digests excess fibrin, a chemical implicated in osteoarthritis, sciatica, ankylosing spondylitis, and scleroderma. There's considerable research (over 200 medical journal articles) on its effectiveness in treating a variety of inflammation driven illnesses.
Curcumin is a perennial plant found in eastern Asia and parts of India. It's a popular arthritis remedy in India and a powerful pain-relieving anti-inflammatory.
Devil's Claw is a perennial vine native to South Africa. It's a potent anti-inflammatory and pain reliever.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Fall in Love & Ease Pains :)

http://health.usnews.com/health-news/family-health/pain/articles/2010/10/14/romantic-love-natures-painkiller.html

As a part of the dating world I love this article! :) I am looking forward to finding someone and falling in love :) And of course, easing my pains too! Super benefit!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Ginger & a Super Decongestant

"Natural remedies work, and that is why they are the most widely used medicines on earth."

Look at this, our friend ginger made the list of what to keep on hand for cold season! A ginger tea sounds good too to have on hand for fibro and cold season! (http://www.traditionalmedicinals.com/Ginger)

READ THE FULL ARTICLE: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2010/12/29/natural-remedies-cure-cold/?test=faces

I liked this one the best:

The super decongestant tea of all time
If your local natural food store has loose herbs, buy equal amounts of eucalyptus, hyssop and sage. Add equal amounts of the three herbs together. Put a teaspoon of the mixture into a tea strainer. Pour freshly boiled water over the herbs and let steep for three minutes. Strain and drink. I have found that when nothing else will provide decongestant relief, this remarkable tea will.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Super Fish Oil

I take fish oil as a part of my overall health regimine (and I am hoping it is also helping my fibro and cfs!)

I came across this article with a recommendation on a very good fish oil supplement brand to take:

http://headacheandmigrainenews.com/a-better-fish-oil-for-migraine/

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Take a Survey & Help & Win!

The folks at WEGO Health are conducting a study about the use of smart phones, apps, computers, and games for health – and they want your opinions! I just took the survey and wanted to share it with all of you too!
To participate, just click on this link: http://svy.mk/i4iFbT.   You’ll take a 15-minute survey on how you use technology in your life and once you’re done you will automatically be entered into a drawing to win an iPad, one of three iPod Touches or one of 200 iTunes gift cards. The survey is open to everyone so pass it along to your friends, family, and community members!

Eating Out Gluten-Free

I have been debating a gluten-free diet lately, as I have read a lot on gluten and fibromyalgia. I was tested and I do not have celiac disease (a severe reaction to gluten) however it seems a lot of people have some level of intolerance to gluten.

One of the biggest challenges to me is eating out gluten-free, so once I can conquer this I think I head full on into trying a gluten-free diet and see how it helps my fibro and cfs. I have found a lot of restaurants who do post their gluten free menu items info, and I've listed some links below.

I have found a lot of information on eating out gluten free and wanted to share it here. I think my delving into a gluten-free diet is mostly about educating myself a great deal and being aware when eating out:

http://celiacdisease.about.com/od/socializingwithoutgluten/a/DiningOutLists.htm

This is great!  http://www.glutenfreeregistry.com/

So is this, but don't be scared at first is based in the UK, but there is a search function and includes North America/United States, and has plenty of restaurant info!:
http://www.gluten-free-onthego.com/

FIRST WATCH:
http://www.firstwatch.com/menu-gluten-free.htm

CHILI'S
http://www.chilis.com/EN/menu/Pages/home.aspx

CHICK-FIL-A
http://chick-fil-a.com/default.aspx#gluten

BOSTON MARKET
http://www.bostonmarket.com/restaurant?page=allergens

BONEFISH GRILL
http://www.bonefishgrill.com/our-menu/

WENDY'S
http://wendys.com/food/NutritionLanding.jsp

SUBWAY
http://www.subway.com/applications/NutritionInfo/index.aspx

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

How Much Do You Know About Fibromyalgia?

This is a GREAT quiz to learn more about fibro, it really covers the gamut of symptoms and info and is pretty thorough and informative. Share with friends and family to see how much they know, and perhaps teach them a little more about fibro along the way!

http://arthritis.about.com/library/quiz/blfibroknowledge.htm

For example, I knew that fibro is a syndrome and not a disease, but I wasn't clear on the difference, now I know:

Syndrome (collection of signs, symptoms, and medical problems that tend to occur together but are not related to a specific, identifiable cause.)

Disease (a medical condition with a specific cause and recognizable signs and symptoms.)

Also, I learned that "People with fibromyalgia have abnormal levels of a chemical which helps transmit pain signals to and from the brain. The chemical is known as substance P." I have never heard of this and really want to look into it further! Has anyone else heard of this substance P theory??

The Best Supplements for Fibro

This is a really good post, as an intor to taking supplements for fibromyalgia. She lists the reasons why someone may consider trying supplements and herbs, and the best ones to start with and why:

http://www.healthcentral.com/chronic-pain/c/5949/130504/fibromyalgia?ic=6042

- Magnesium (search my blog for magnesium, I have several other posts on this, I take it and has helped me lot with my sleep too)
- Malic Acid (I take this as well, and this is also found in green apples! Yay!)
- 5-HTP (I have not tried this but have read very good things about it. BE CAREFUL as this can sometimes interact with some prescriptions.)
- Vitamin D (I take this as well, for some reason fibromites have a deficiency in this vitamin)
- Sam-e (This has helped not just my mood but also my pain and joints, love it)
- Ginger (Yup, take this too, anti-inflammatory and good for energy so take in the morning)


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

What You Need to Know @ Supplements

This is excellent info on supplements:

http://www.healthcentral.com/chronic-pain/c/5949/130503/supplements?ic=6042

- they take time to work -- yes, they often take longer to take effect that meds, but the little to none side effects seem worth it to me!
- they can have side effects -- true, some do
- its possible to overdose
- supplements can interact with medications
- take as directed

Monday, February 28, 2011

Supplement vs Meds

Even though this is from a blog about migraines, it is a very good post to read about supplements and medicines and giving each a chance for their possible benefits:

http://headacheandmigrainenews.com/1-thursday-are-you-biased/

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Energy Foods!

http://www.webmd.com/diet/slideshow-energy-mood-boost-diet?ecd=wnl_cbp_021711

Yummy! Foods that help boost energy and mood!

- apples (I have found eating a green apple a day helps me control my weight too)
- smart carbs
- cashews, almonds, hazelnuts, brazil nuts
- lean meats
- salmon
- leaft greens
- fiber
- water
- fresh produce
- coffee (yay!)
- tea
- dark chocolate (although this is off my list, as I get migraines from it :/ )

Turmeric is Good for You and Your Pain

Turmeric has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, anti-carcinogenic and antimicrobial, liver-protective, heart-protective, cognitive-enhancgin, anti-depressant and anti-arthritic benefits. Whole turmeric root and concentrated turmeric are also very safe. No studies in animals or humans have discovered any toxicity associated with the use of either, even at very high doses.
Despite these broad benefits, turmeric’s greatest health property may be its capacity to relieve pain by relieving inflammation.

Turmeric is one of the ingredients in Zyflamend, which is a popular herbal supplement taken by many for its anti-inflammatory benefits. (Some of its other ingredients include ginger, scutellaria, rosemary, oregano and more.)

Even though fibromyalgia does not seem to involve any inflammation (that doctors can find) I have found many supplements and herbs that have anti-inflammatory effects and that help arthritis, seem to help me a lot too. I tried Zyflamend, but I have found that taking something that contains chinese scullcap and black catechu (like Flexamin or Move-Free Advanced http://www.schiffvitamins.com/product_detail.asp?id=182#) helps me a lot more. You can find these (and usually some generic versions) at your local drugstore.

READ MORE HERE ABOUT TURMERIC'S BENEFITS: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2010/12/06/curcumin-big-medicine/

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Therapeutic Teas

I LOVE the Traditional Medicinal teas! My favs are EveryDay Detox, Peppermint, and the Nighty Night. (For a limited time they have free shipping on orders over $65 at their website.) But you should be able to find these at your local supermarkets, a wide variety available at Whole Foods.

Here is their online store:

http://www.traditionalmedicinals.com/

Anyone else have any favorites they enjoy?!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Vitamin D a Chronic Pain: New Research

When I was first diagnosed with fibro one of the initial tests done was checking my vitamin D levels, as it seems for some reason a lot of fibros have low vitamin D. My levels were of course very low, so my doctor put me on 2000 IU's vitamin D/day. Within 3 months I got my levels back up into the normal range, and I continue to take 1000 IU's/day. Its one of the many supplements that I take that I feel makes a difference in my health. (Even if someone does not have fibro keeping your vitamin D levels in check are a good idea!) It may not be a "cure" but I think it is one of the stepping stones in helping me feel better and healthier! Seems like studies are just now being done and coming to the forefront on how these low vitamin D levels relate to our chronic pain and fibro. I love how the article starts off describing "general pain that doesn’t respond to treatment." -- helloooo fibro! :)

http://www.webmd.com/pain-management/features/vitamin-d-deficiency-and-chronic-pain-link?ecd=wnl_cbp_022411

"Plotnikoff notes that vitamin D is a hormone. 'Every tissue in our bodies has [vitamin] D receptors, including all bones, muscles, immune cells, and brain cells,' he says.
And in March 2009, researchers at the Mayo Clinic published a study showing that patients with inadequate vitamin D levels who were taking narcotic pain drugs required nearly twice as much medication to control their pain as did patients with adequate D levels."

"Plotnikoff says that there is no evidence from randomized, controlled trials that replenishing vitamin D levels will cure chronic pain. 'But it doesn’t hurt to do it,' he notes.
So if you've got chronic pain, it can’t hurt to ask your doctor to check your vitamin D levels. 'I believe this is absolutely medically indicated, and it should be the standard of care for everyone with chronic, nonspecific musculoskeletal pain,' Plotnikoff says.

If you have severe vitamin D deficiency, any efforts to boost your D levels should be done by consulting with your doctor. Too much vitamin D can be dangerous and lead to an excess accumulation of calcium in your blood, which can lead to kidney stones.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Smile and Think Positive! :)

New study shows the power of positive thinking and a positive mental attitude - more patients experience successful effects from taking medicine when they have a positive outlook on their expectations :) I love it!

http://www.webmd.com/pain-management/news/20110216/positive-expectations-may-make-drugs-work-better?ecd=wnl_cbp_022411

:)

New Studies on CFS Treatments

Great article on some new research just published on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The article details how light exercise and/or a change in mental attitude coupled with the standard treatments provide better relief of CFS.

http://www.healthscout.com/news/1/650067/main.html?ic=6009

I have to agree with the studies. I do yoga twice a week, and I have read several books (Fibrowhyalgia, by Sue Ingebretson and How to Be Sick, by Toni Bernhard) which have helped me achieve a positive attitude about dealing with my CFS and fibromyalgia. I also found an online group, www.chronicbabe.com, which is an AWESOME positive environment of supportive women and information. They help keep me positive on a daily basis.

While I am not "cured" of CFS, and I am still exhausted at times, I do know that the therapies I mentioned above have made improvements in how I feel, and have helped me live a more normal life and participate in it more! :)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Arthritis Quiz

Something interesting I just learned:
Research has shown that vitamin C can worsen Osteoarthritis, but it may protect against Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Learn more when you take this arthritis quiz (there is a fibro specific question included!)

http://arthritis.about.com/library/quiz/bldietarthquiz.htm?nl=1

Even though fibro is not a form of arthritis, it seems to have very similar symptoms and some similar overlapping conditions, so I am always interested in learning more about arthritis too.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Women & Heart Attacks - TAKE NOTE

This is too important to not post, from www.prevention.com Not directly related to fibromylagia, but since we are very attuned to our health upkeep we should all be aware of the different symptoms women can have when during a heart attack. Heart attack symptoms are different in women than they are in men. Here are 7 signs you are having a heart attack:

(Its actually kind of crazy how similar this list of heart attack symptoms is to my fibro symptoms!!)

1. Extreme fatigue
In the days or even weeks before a heart attack, more than 70% of women experience debilitating, flulike exhaustion. You may suddenly feel too tired to cook dinner or lift your laptop.

2. Mild pain
Rather than the elephant on the chest, women may feel less severe pain--and not always in the region of the heart. Pressure or achiness can occur in the breastbone, upper back, shoulders, neck, or jaw.

3. Profuse sweating
You may find yourself suddenly drenched in perspiration for no apparent reason, or your face may be pale or ashen.

4. Nausea or dizziness
Prior to a heart attack, women often have indigestion or even vomit. You may also feel like you're about to pass out.

5. Breathlessness 
Almost 58% of women report panting or inability to carry on a conversation because they couldn't catch their breath.

6. Sleeplessness
Nearly half of women have trouble falling asleep or wake up during the night in the weeks before a coronary.

7. Anxiety
"Many women experience a sense of impending doom or fear before a heart attack," says Dr. Legato, though experts don't necessarily understand why. Nonetheless, it's real and it matters. "That's your body telling you to pay attention. Trust those instincts," she advises.

3 women who were at risk, but their symptoms were ignored - their stories (TO NOTE: 2 of these 3 women are under the age of 50!)

Another under 50 woman tells her heart attack story and struggles

Foods that Help You Sleep!

A friend shared this with me, it is GREAT!! I am running right out to get bananas and cherries!! I think the info came from www.caring.com

Should you let yourself have that midnight snack if you're having trouble sleeping? Here are five foods that can actually help you drift off:

1. Cherries. Fresh and dried cherries are one of the only natural food sources of melatonin, the chemical that controls the body's internal clock to regulate sleep. Researchers who tested tart cherries and found high levels of melatonin recommend eating them an hour before bedtime or before a trip when you want to sleep on the plane.

2. Bananas. Potassium and magnesium are natural muscle relaxants, and bananas are a good source of both. They also contain the amino acid L-tryptophan, which gets converted to 5-HTP in the brain. The 5-HTP in turn is converted to serotonin (a relaxing neurotransmitter) and melatonin.

3. Toast. Carbohydrate-rich foods trigger insulin production, which induces sleep by speeding up the release of tryptophan and serotonin, two brain chemicals that relax you and send you to sleep..

4. Oatmeal. Like toast, a bowl of oatmeal triggers a rise in blood sugar, which in turn triggers insulin production and the release of sleep-inducing brain chemicals. Oats are also rich in melatonin, which many people take as a sleep aid..

5. Warm milk. Like bananas, milk contains the amino acid L-tryptophan, which turns to 5-HTP and releases relaxing serotonin. It's also high in calcium, which promotes sleep.



Also this link lists the top 5 foods to AVOID in order to get good sleep:

http://www.caring.com/articles/foods-that-prevent-sleep 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Try Something New - Yoga Moves to Help with Pain

This is an awesome article, yay yoga! Yoga keeps me moving, and at the same time calms me and helps me sleep better. I feel more balanced and centered in life. I encourage everyone to give it a try. It is just enough for me and my fibro, and I can take it further if I need to or scale back as needed, and I have found moves to do in place of some that I just cannot do while the rest of the class is doing. A lot of people have joined in the class I am in, new year's resolutions to try something new :)

These are great examples of how practicing yoga can help with pain, it has helped me tremendously:

http://dailywd.womansday.com/blog/2010/09/daily-dose-yoga-moves-for-pain-relief-.html

Friday, February 18, 2011

Is it Fibro?

This is a good article for the newly diagnosed to read, just to make sure another diagnosis has not been overlooked:

http://www.healthcentral.com/chronic-pain/c/5949/130580/fibromyalgia?ic=6042

She touches, more in depth, on these conditions which can have similar symptoms to fibro:

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome -- most fibromites unfortunately do have CFS, in addition to their fibro :(

Lupus -- A rheumatologist can run blood tests to confirm

Hypothyroidism -- An endocrinologist can run tests to verify

Arthritis -- A rheumatologist can run tests (usually xrays and bone scans to see if you've had damage to bones, cartilidge from arthritis.) Fibromyalgia feels like arthritis in some people, but fibromyalgia does not actually affect or damage the bones and cartilidge in any way.

Depression --  Unfortunately this too often correlates along with fibro. :(

Multiple Sclerosis -- Can be diagnosed by a neurologist with tests like MRI.

Polymyalgia Rheumatica -- A form of arthritis which can be diagnosed with blood tests.