Hope is faith holding out its hand in the dark.  -George Iles

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

4 Steps to Beating Fibro Fog

"Fibro fog" is the name commonly given to the cognitive problems that can go along with fibromyalgia syndrome and chronic fatigue syndrome. These problems with concentration and memory can lead to confusion, losing your train of thought, or forgetting or mixing up words or details.

You can take steps to manage fibro fog. Try some of the following tips:

Write it down. Making a note helps you get a thought more firmly in your mind. You might want to keep a calendar or notebook with you so you can write things down while you're thinking of them.

Get treated. Other symptoms that commonly go along with fibromyalgia—including depression, pain, and lack of sleep—can also make it harder to concentrate and remember. Medical treatment for these other problems may also help your memory.

Stay active—mind and body. Keep your mind working by doing puzzles, reading, or seeing a play to get yourself thinking. Moderate physical activity can increase your energy and help clear the fibro fog. Talk with your doctor or physical therapist about an exercise program that is right for you.

Find ways to help you focus. Try breaking tasks up into small steps. Don't take on more than you can comfortably manage, so you're not trying to do too much at once. When you do start a task, avoid distractions that can keep you from concentrating. A loud radio or TV, or trying to work where other people are talking, can make it hard for you to focus on what you're doing. Try working in a quiet place when you are trying to concentrate or remember, so you can give the task your full attention.


Monday, June 29, 2009

10 Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Irritable Bowel Syndrome


Could some other condition be causing my IBS symptoms? Make sure to ask about colon cancer.


Should I be keeping an IBS symptom diary?


Should I take laxatives or other over-the-counter medications for my IBS?


If so, what type, how often, and what are the risks?


Should I eat a high-fiber diet?


What other dietary changes do you recommend for IBS, and should I consult a dietitian?


Could relaxation therapy, counseling, or exercise help my IBS symptoms?


Should I take prescription medications for my symptoms?


What side effects should I expect?


How soon should I have a follow-up appointment?


Who Is at Risk for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)?

It is not clear what causes irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, but certain factors seem to make some people more vulnerable than others. Risk factors for IBS include:

Sex. About 80% of IBS sufferers are women, reports the American College of Gastroenterology. Researchers aren't sure why this is so, but they suspect that changing hormones in the female menstrual cycle may have something to do with it.

Age. IBS can affect people of all ages, but it is more likely to occur in people in their teens through their 40s. About 15% to 20% of people in that age range have IBS, according to a study from the Southern California Permanente Medical Group in San Diego. The prevalence rate drops down to 10% to 12% in people older than 50.

Emotional trouble. Many IBS patients appear to be stressed, have a psychiatric disorder, or have experienced some sort of a traumatic event such as sexual abuse or domestic violence. It is not clear what comes first -- the emotional turmoil or the IBS. Nevertheless, there's evidence that stress management and behavioral therapy helps relieve symptoms.

Food sensitivities. Some people may have digestive systems that rumble angrily with consumption of dairy, wheat, fructose (a simple sugar found in fruits), or sorbitol (a sugar substitute). Eating certain fare such as fatty foods, carbonated drinks, and alcohol can also invite chronic digestive upset. There's no proof any of these edibles cause IBS, but they may trigger symptoms.

Eating large meals, or eating while doing a stressful activity, such as driving or working in front of the computer. Again, these activities do not cause IBS, but for the hypersensitive colon, they can spell trouble.

Taking certain medications. Studies have shown an association between IBS symptoms and antibiotics, antidepressants, and drugs containing sorbitol.

Experiencing "traveler's diarrhea" or food poisoning. There is a controversy over whether these events may trigger the first onset of IBS symptoms.

Talk to your doctor if you suspect you might have IBS. There are various treatments available for IBS with constipation and IBS with diarrhea that may make your life easier.


Sodium Oxybate In Patients With Fibromyalgia Meets Primary Endpoints

PALO ALTO, CA/USA and BRUSSELS, Belgium, June 24, 2009 - press release, regulated information Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: JAZZ) and UCB (Euronext Brussels: UCB) announced today positive preliminary top-line results from the second of two Phase III clinical trials of sodium oxybate (JZP-6) for the treatment of fibromyalgia. Confirming the positive results from the first Phase III study, this international, placebo-controlled trial of sodium oxybate to treat fibromyalgia achieved its key endpoints. As in the first randomized, double-blind fibromyalgia study, sodium oxybate significantly decreased pain and fatigue and improved daily function and patient global impression of change. Sodium oxybate has not been evaluated by regulators for the treatment of fibromyalgia and is not approved for this use.

"Fibromyalgia is a chronic illness, characterized by widespread pain, unrefreshing sleep, chronic fatigue, and psychological distress," said I. Jon Russell, M.D., Ph.D., lead investigator in the first Phase III study and Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology, and Director, University Clinical Research Center, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. "Sodium oxybate has shown a positive effect on a number of the symptoms of fibromyalgia, and thus could have a significant impact on patients' quality of life."

The second 14-week Phase III trial, conducted in the United States and seven European countries, included 573 adult patients with fibromyalgia randomized to one of three treatment arms: sodium oxybate 4.5 g/night, sodium oxybate 6 g/night, or placebo. The primary outcome measure, viewed by both U.S. and E.U. regulatory authorities as a clinically meaningful endpoint, was the proportion of patients who achieved at least 30 percent reduction in pain from baseline to endpoint based on the Pain Visual Analog Scale (VAS). Data from the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ) are considered equally relevant as Pain VAS data in the E.U. FIQ data are considered supportive data by U.S. regulators.

In the top-line results, significantly more patients treated with sodium oxybate achieved 30 percent or greater improvement in their pain compared to patients treated with placebo. Of those patients receiving sodium oxybate treatment, 35% of patients on 4.5 g/night and 35% of patients on 6 g/night reported this level of pain relief on the pain VAS, compared with 20% of patients on placebo. These results were highly statistically significant.

Patients' physical functioning and ability to perform daily tasks, as measured by the FIQ, were highly statistically significantly different from placebo for the 4.5 g/night dose and for the 6 g/night dose. Sodium oxybate-treated patients also reported highly statistically significant improvement in fatigue, another common symptom of fibromyalgia.

The most common adverse events (greater than or equal to five percent and at least twice the rate of placebo) were nausea, dizziness, vomiting, insomnia, anxiety, somnolence, fatigue, muscle spasms, and peripheral oedema. Sodium oxybate was generally well tolerated, with the majority of adverse events reported being mild to moderate in nature.

"These results from our second Phase III trial, confirming the positive results of our first Phase III study, are an exciting milestone for Jazz Pharmaceuticals," said Bruce Cozadd, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Jazz Pharmaceuticals. "I'd like to thank the investigators, patients, and Jazz Pharmaceuticals employees who helped us complete this trial."

"UCB is committed to improving the lives of people living with severe CNS diseases," said Iris Loew-Friedrich, Chief Medical Officer of UCB. "The positive results of the two Phase III trials are encouraging and suggest that subject to regulatory approval, this may offer a new treatment option for people with fibromyalgia."

Only preliminary top-line efficacy and safety data are available at this time. Further analyses are planned, including analyses of additional secondary endpoints. Jazz Pharmaceuticals anticipates submitting a New Drug Application for sodium oxybate to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by the end of 2009. UCB will consult with the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) to define the path forward. UCB has the exclusive marketing and distribution rights to sodium oxybate for fibromyalgia in Europe and some other countries outside North America and will manage registrations accordingly.

For more information:

Meditation Music Monday

Sunday, June 28, 2009

World Me & FM Prayer & Meditation Days

The next one is July 6th 2009.

The World M.E. & F.M. Prayer and Meditation Day was launched in September 2007, in England. The purpose being, to create a multi-faith, global link, supporting those around the world living with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome,  Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia Syndrome and related conditions such as Multiple Chemical Sensitivity or Chemical Injury and Myofascial Pain Syndrome. To bring to them comfort, aid, healing, peace, joy and love; in whatever form is right for their Highest Good at the time.

Please click here for more details:

I will continue to post reminders each month's for upcoming prayer days.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Beast Within

What is this thing that lurks inside? 
It steals my body and my mind, 
It leaves me with a fear so strong 
I think and wonder, what is wrong?

I cannot walk the way I should, 
I cannot run, I wish I could. 
My eyes do not see like before, 
I can't remember anymore.
What else will it steal in the morning light? 
I cannot let it, I must fight. 

How can I fight what I cannot see 
This monstrous thing inside of me?
I must go on living and fighting this beast, 
I will never give in, I must not cease. 
Till one day I hear the words, so clear, 
Like an angel whispering in my ear.
Fear not this beast; it will go away. 
There will be a cure one special day. 

So I fight and I wait and I don't give in, 
I wait patiently for this miracle to begin.
I'll run to a field spinning round and round, 
A field of violets that surround. 
I'll lift myself up and run through the trees, 
With a smile on my face, I'm Free, I'm Free!
 by Devera Jobe

RAAM 2009

Team All Wheels 4 Fibromyalgia wins 4 person mixed RAAM!
All Wheels 4 Fibromyalgia rides onto the Annapolis Dock as winners of the 4-person mixed division of the 2009 Race Across America.  The team, consisting of 46-year-old Dave Stauffer, 47-year-old Denise Stone, 40-year-old Karl Wianecki and 47-year-old Gernot Wolfram, completed the 3,021-mile race in six days, 11 hours and 16 minutes.  Their time is the third best among all four-rider teams. Congratulations on a job well done!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Digestive Roadblocks

A diet high in red meat, dairy products, and processed foods does not allow the stomach to produce enough acid for proper digestion. Chewing food inadequately, eating in a rush, and being stressed also contribute to indigestion. Eating while stressed impairs digestion because the body is primed to fight or flight, instead of to digest.

Music To Soothe The Soul

It’s no secret that music positively affects your mood and brain. But did you know that music can reduce chronic pain, ease tension, and lower emotional stress? Research has also proven that listening to classical music can increase brain development and improve memory. So, turn up the tunes and cut loose! 


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Misc Team & Crew Photos-All Wheels 4 Fibromyalgia RAAM 2009

RAAM 2009 Report From Colorado

Skin Sense

To brighten up your skin, drink a minimum of six to eight glasses of water a day. Avoid coffee, tea, and alcohol, which dehydrate skin. Eat five to 10 servings of fruit and vegetables each day. Packed with minerals, vitamins, phytonutrients (disease-fighting chemicals), and fiber, fruits and veggies counteract the effects of cellular damage. 

Home Remedies

Many people turn to home remedies, including herbs, supplements, and alternative treatments, for relief of fibromyalgia symptoms. Discover which home remedies may help and which may not work at all.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Fibromyalgia: The Diet Connection

Find out what experts say really matters about the foods you eat -- and why staying away from certain foods might help your fibromyalgia symptoms.

The condition is called fibromyalgia. It consists of a complex array of symptoms that include widespread muscle and joint pain along with overwhelming fatigue. And none of it goes away, no matter how much rest you get.

Fibromyalgia affects up to 4% of the population -- mostly women. And there is still no known cause or recognized treatment that works for everyone. That's one reason, say experts, that so many people have turned to diet as a way to relieve some of the symptoms.

The fact is there's little scientific evidence to support any single eating plan as a way to deal with fibromyalgia. Nevertheless, a trip around the Internet will show that dietary approaches to fibromyalgia abound. The variety is so diverse it's hard to imagine they are all aimed at treating the same disease.

Eat more whole grains. Don't eat any whole grains. All fruit is good. Some fruit is bad. Tomatoes are healthy. Tomatoes are harmful. Sugar is bad. Sugar has no impact. Avoid meat. Eat. . . .

Confused? Don't be. Experts say diversity is another hallmark of fibromyalgia.

"This is because fibromyalgia is not a specific illness," says Michael McNett, MD. McNett directs the Fibromyalgia Treatment Centers of America, headquartered in Chicago. "Fibromyalgia is more like a symptom complex, and different people appear to have different reasons why they get this symptom complex," he says. "So what works for one person very frequently does not work for another."

And this, say experts, includes dietary measures.

Kent Holtorf, MD, is the medical director of the Holtorf Medical Group Center for Endocrine, Neurological and Infection Related Illness in Torrance, California. He says, "We're at the point now where we know diet plays a role in this disease -- it's just not the same diet for everybody. And not everybody is helped in the same way."

RAAM Durango, Colorado Monday Morning

I'm finally caught up on posting the race. I wasn't able to find an actual live web of the event. I will continue to post daily videos and updates. If you would like to visit the RAAM site I linked it at the top of my page.

RAAM First Morning

RAAM First 140 Miles

RAAM Media News

RAAM Solo Start

Meditation Music Monday

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Carrot Ginger Soup

Here is a recipe I came across. It sounds like a delicious summer soup for all  Fibro sufferers who are trying to eat healthier.

"With main ingredients such as carrots, ginger and onions, this soup is loaded with excellent sources of vitamin A such as carotenes, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, vitamin B1, chromium, potassium, biotin, folic acid, fiber and flavonoids such as quercetin."

1 1/2 cups yellow onion medium dice (approximately 1 medium onion)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 pounds carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups vegetable stock
2 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon agave nectar
1 tablespoon fresh ginger juice (about 2 inches of ginger root)
Chopped fresh parsley chopped for garnish

In a medium stock pot, warm oil on medium heat, add onions and stir to coat with oil. Sweat the onions for just a few minutes, stirring occasionally. You do not want onions to turn brown but just to become soft and translucent. A lid is helpful in preventing onions from browning.

Add carrots. Stir to coat with oil and cover with lid and cook for 2 more minutes.

Add vegetable stock, water, sea salt, black pepper and agave nectar. Cover and cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes or until carrots are soft. Use fork to test carrots.

While carrots are cooking, make fresh ginger juice. Peel the skin, finely grate ginger with a microplane or a ginger grater. Squeeze grated ginger over mesh strainer placed on top of a bowl. Set ginger juice aside to season soup.

Transfer carrots, onions and juice to high speed blender. Add cooking liquid — the stock less the solids — to cover the top of the carrots and onions and blend until smooth. Continue to add liquid to reach desired creamy consistency. It should be soupy, not thick like baby food. At this time, taste the soup and add salt, pepper or ginger to taste. Transfer soup back to pot until ready to serve. Serve hot, and garnish with finely chopped fresh parsley.

Makes 4 to 6 cups.


Danielle Heard

Feedback Welcome :)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Race Across America Update

Click below to get updates from allwheels4fibro twitter.

Race Across America

Today is All Wheels 4 Fibromyalgia.  As of now, they're at 98% towards their goal. You can contribute by clicking on "Source" at the bottom of this post. You will see the campaign banner on the right. Click to donate.

I'm very excited to watch this event. I read that it will be taped. I'm hoping to broadcast it live on my site. If not, I will provide the link to watch it or updates on the race.

A cycling team of four cyclists and 12 crew members will race nonstop for 3,000 miles across the United States in the world’s toughest bicycle race the Race Across America (RAAM). The race begins on June 20, 2009 in Oceanside, Calif. and ends in Annapolis, Maryland. The objective is to complete this coast-to-coast race in the fastest time the goal is 7 days!


The team’s endeavor, however, goes beyond completing this rigorous race. All Wheels 4 Fibromyalgia is partnering with the National Fibromyalgia Association, and select sponsors in a shared ambition to raise awareness of fibromyalgia, a complex pain disorder that affects an estimated 10 million women, men and children in the U.S.


All Wheels 4 Fibromyalgia will be raising funds to support fibromyalgia research and community-based education programs for individuals affected by the disorder. The team’s goal is to raise $50,000 by June 20. You can help them in their quest by making a tax-deductible donation in any amount to the National Fibromyalgia Association.

About Race Across America

  • RAAM participants faces challenges beyond the bike riding that include scorching heat, violent winds, thunderstorms, and even tornadoes, altitude, the dark night, sleep deprivation, muscle injuries, organized crew coordination, navigation, and mental acuity.
  • Race Across America travels through 15 states. Total mileage is approximately 3,043 miles. Riders and crew will climb a total of 108,600 vertical feet, including Wolf Creek Pass in central Colorado which climbs to 10,550 feet above sea level!
  • RAAM is one of the most respected and longest running annual endurance events holding legendary stature. It is one of the pinnacles of sporting accomplishment globally seen as the highest rung of the ultra-endurance sports ladder. Since 1982, it has a rich and storied history standing as a monument to human endeavors.
  • The Race Across America is an event so staggering that merely to finish is, for most, the accomplishment of a lifetime. RAAM inspires everyone that it touches. A monumental race contested with the utmost of sportsmanship and zeal. A breeding ground for champions, a testing ground for elite riders and a shining example of the strength of human spirit.
  • This is a race. Unlike other famous races, such as the Tour de France, RAAM is not a stage race. The race is one stage, live to the very end. In RAAM, once the ‘gun’ fires on the west coast, the time doesn’t stop until each racer reaches the finish line on the east coast. RAAM is 30% longer than the Tour de France and racers finish in half the time with no rest days.
  • The men and women who compete, as soloists or as team participants, are dedicated and driven athletes. The racers are comprised from an international field of professionals from all walks of life.
  • The Race Across America endures due to its amazing effect on the human consciousness and for its incredible feats of willpower, inspiration, and heat.



"The greatest degree of inner tranquility comes from the development of love and compassion. The more we care for the happiness of others, the greater is our own sense of well-being."

 Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama

Race Across America

I looked online to see if I could find the Race Across America updates and I can't seem to find anything. I tried the link that NFA provided but it does not exist. I will post as soon as I come up with something.

If you are a Facebook user you can add their page here:

Doctor Offers Unbiased Overview In New Book

As many as fifteen million American women suffer from a disabling medical condition known as fibromyalgia. In the medical community, sides have been drawn over whether fibromyalgia is a genuine syndrome or a catchall diagnosis based on vague clinical criteria. In The Fibromyalgia Controversy, M. Clement Hall, MD presents an unbiased overview of the fibromyalgia situation today and reviews the most up-to-date opinions and studies on this condition and its surrounding controversy. 

Fibromyalgia - affecting approximately five percent of the American population, mostly women - is characterized primarily by widespread pain, tender spots, decreased pain threshold, sleep disturbance, fatigue, and psychological distress. It is a chronic condition characterized by a pattern of vague symptoms that are difficult to diagnose and treat. The controversy among doctors is whether or not there is an actual disease that can be cured, rather than just a set of symptoms to manage. 

"Despite being recognized as a diagnosable disease by the American College of Rheumatology, the Food and Drug Administration and most insurers, fibromyalgia has not completely shed the stigma of being dismissed as "psychosomatic" by some in the medical establishment." noted the 
Sacramento Bee in a May 31, 2009 article on patients not being taken seriously by their doctors. There are few conditions about which the medical profession is so polarised One side argues, sometimes heatedly, that patients are masquerading - pretending a disability they know they do not have. The other side counters, with equal passion, that fibromyalgia sufferers are abused by a society that fails to give them the support they deserve while painfully suffering from this severely debilitating illness. 

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. By taking this unique approach, Dr. Hall presents an objective overview of the fibromyalgia situation today in North America. Patients, family members, and physicians will see themselves reflected in the descriptions and will gain a broader understanding of this challenging illness. 

"While several books address the challenges of living with fibromyalgia... Hall's is a uniquely objective account that surveys diagnosis, treatments, and the controversy surrounding the condition," says Rebecca Raszewski, University of Illinois at Chicago, in a 
Library Journal review. "Hall... delivers a balanced view... by presenting perspectives of skeptics who doubt whether fibromyalgia is a real medical condition - as well as comprehensive descriptions of the disorder and treatment options." 

By detailing the process by which clinicians make their diagnoses, explaining how those who think they may have fibromyalgia can make the most of their doctors' visits, discussing various treatments in current use (medication, physical therapy, diet modification, and alternative approaches such as massage or acupuncture), and looking at the historical record of various related disorders, Hall provides an unbiased, indispensable survey of data and views on this illness. 

The Fibromyalgia Controversy is a must read for sufferers, clinicians, and those interested in gaining insight about this heated dispute in the medical community and its long-term repercussions. 
About the Author: M. Clement Hall, MD (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), is the director of continuing education in the emergency department of Scarborough Hospital, and is the author of "Trauma Surgeon" among other works. 

Jennifer Kovach 
Prometheus Books 
Article Date: 10 Jun 2009

Friday, June 19, 2009

Fibromyalgia Patients Show Decreases In Grey Matter Intensity

Previous studies have shown that fibromyalgia is associated with reductions in grey matter in parts of the brain, but the exact cause is not known. Using sophisticated brain imaging techniques, researchers from Louisiana State University, writing in The Journal of Pain, found that alterations in levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine might be responsible for grey matter reductions.

For the study, magnetic imaging resonance data from 30 female fibromyalgia patients were compared with 20 healthy women of the same age. The primary objective of the study was to confirm original findings about reduced grey matter density in a larger sample of fibromyalgia patients. They explored whether there is a correlation between dopamine metabolic activity and variations in the density of grey matter in specific brain regions.

Results showed there were significant grey matter reductions in the fibromyalgia patients, which supports previous research. In addition, the fibromyalgia patients showed a strong correlation of dopamine metabolism levels and grey matter density in parts of the brain in which dopamine controls neurological activity. The authors concluded that the connection between dopamine levels and grey matter density provide novel insights to a possible mechanism that explains some of the abnormal brain morphology associated with fibromyalgia.

Source: American Pain Society

Photo Friday

Invisible Illness Fact 25

RT @invisibleillwk #iiwk09 Fact #25 Faith gives plp w/ health challenges peace of mind & will to live http://ow.ly/6Otw

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Ask Dr. Gott

Cause of chronic fatigue can be difficult to diagnose
Dear Dr. Gott: I'm a 47-year-old female who has struggled with fatigue for years. I was having a hard time getting up to go to work. While at work, I was falling asleep on my half-hour lunch break for two hours. 

My primary-care physician sent me to an endocrinologist who didn't discover anything. I've lost my job and insurance and am just as tired today. Breakfast acts as a tranquilizer and sends me off to sleep again. I battle taking naps all day. I had a heart attack at 44 and know I have had hepatitis C for at least 11 years. My doctor didn't see any connection. 

Dear Reader: While suffering from a heart attack at 44 is not unheard of, you are young and should be at the top of your game. I wonder what, if anything, preceded the attack. Do you have chronic fatigue syndrome? Do you have a family history of heart disease? Was your diet improper? Did you suffer from high-cholesterol levels? Do you have unrelated medical conditions? Were you inactive and/or overweight? Did you get regular medical checkups? If you can answer "yes" to any of my questions, were positive measures taken to work toward a healthier lifestyle? If so, what was the outcome? 

If you can pinpoint the initial stage for your symptoms, you might be headed in the right direction. For example, was the attack followed by the fatigue, or did the exhaustion precede it? Are you on any medication that could have an unwanted and uncommon side effect of fatigue? 

It's time to wipe the slate clean and begin from scratch with 
a new physician, at least until things get sorted out. You will need blood work, follow-up on your hepatitis C, referral to a cardiologist and perhaps a referral to other specialists and thyroid testing. Even if you have to borrow the money, it will be well spent if it gets you back on your feet.

By PETER GOTT, M.D. Newspaper Enterprise Association
Published: 5/28/2009  2:25 AM
Last Modified: 5/28/2009  4:05 AM

Write Dr. Gott c/o United Media, 200 Madison Ave. 4th floor, New York, NY 10016.
By PETER GOTT, M.D. Newspaper Enterprise Association

Invisible Illness Fact 24

RT @invisibleillwk #iiwk09 Fact #24 Depression can predispose patients 2 chronic pain due 2 chemical imbalance it creates.http://ow.ly/6Otw

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Biking for Fibromyalgia

Team to Raise Awaress During 3,000-mile journey


Denise Stone, of Long Valley, New Jersey, will bike across America to help raise awareness of fibromyalgia and funding for the National Fibromyalgia Association. Denise is a rider on Team CYCLE SMART, which will participate in the Race Across America event. The team will start the 3,000-mile journey June 11 in Oceanside, California and will finish seven days later in Annapolis, Maryland.

 Team Cycle Smart RAAM

Team CYCLE SMART is a community service project presented by Dream Ride Projects, a nonprofit organization based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania whose mission is promoting healthy lifestyles and disease prevention through bicycling activities, programs, and special projects. The Team’s related goal is through its participation in the Race Across America (RAAM) event, which will select up to 30 nonprofit organizations to partner with in a shared ambition to raise more than $180,000.


“I am really looking forward to being part of this team and to realize my dream to not only ride across the country but to make a difference by riding for charity,” writes Denise on the team website. “I will ride for the National Fibromyalgia Association for my good friend, Deb Feather, to help raise awareness of this highly unrecognized chronic pain illness.”


Team CYCLE SMART, which began practicing for the ride last November, has three other riders who will ride on behalf of other nonprofit organizations. The team will be supported by four crew members and seven RV Support individuals. Two of these participants, Deb Feather and Sylvia Newcomer, have fibromyalgia. Deb is a former athlete who refuses to let the disorder control her life. She has struggled with FM for 12 years. Sylvia, who has been an avid cyclist since 1976 and began a racing career shortly thereafter that spanned six years, has been beset with fibromyalgia since the early 1990s. Deb and Sylvia, along with team members Brenda Weaver and Judy Flowers are also raising money for the National Fibromyalgia Association.



Ask Dr. Gott

Fibromyalgia disorder affects quality of life

Dear Dr. Gott: I have suffered with fibromyalgia since 1997. There wasn't a symptom I didn't have — pain, chronic bowel problems, depression, headaches and a lack of sleep. I have overall pain. 

I can't believe the shortage of rheumatologists in my area. I need a doctor who at least has compassion and tries different remedies. 

Dear Reader: Fibromyalgia is a poorly understood, controversial disorder that can take over a person's life. Finding someone who understands your condition and can work with you toward improving your quality of life can be challenging. A large part of the problem facing any physician is that each symptom can be tied in with a host of other conditions. By the time all the bases have been covered, you've been to a number of physicians, spent a ton of money, and still don't know why you can't get through a single day pain-free. There is no laboratory or X-ray test to confirm or rule out the condition. 

I recommend you begin on the home front with self-care and over-the-counter drugs such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen or naproxen. Ask your physician whether he or she can endorse a course of physical therapy. Practice deep-breathing exercises along with stretching and relaxation techniques. Join a community center for walking and water aerobics. If necessary, engage the services of a counselor for help in ways to deal mentally with your pain. Speak with your physician about the use of prescription medications that can provide relief. Don't be surprised if a tricyclic antidepressant 
or other unrelated medication is used. Several have been successful in controlling pain. 

Ask for referral to a rheumatologist who might have some cutting-edge ideas readily available. While you may have to travel, it might be well worth the effort. 
By PETER GOTT, M.D. Newspaper Enterprise Association
Published: 6/10/2009  2:18 AM
Last Modified: 6/10/2009  5:53 AM

Which of The Following Do You Have?

What other condition[s] do you have?

Have you ever had the following conditions?

I know it's really hard to smile some days, but after watching this video you'll be surprised.

Learn How To Meditate Part 1

Part 2

Videos On Fibromyalgia & Chronic Illness Awareness