Thursday, July 30, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Study Shows Wheat, Beef, Pork, Lamb, and Soybeans Stood Out Among 16 Common Foods.
July 14, 2005 -- Are people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) more sensitive to certain foods than other people? And if so, what are those foods?
Science doesn't yet have an indisputable answer to that question. But a report in July's American Journal of Gastroenterology may provide more insight.
IBS is a functional condition of the intestine. While no one fully understands what causes IBS, it is not an anatomic problem. According to the American Academy of Gastroenterology, IBS patients have changes in bowel habits, such as constipation or diarrhea. They also have abdominal pain along with other symptoms including abdominal bloating and rectal urgency with diarrhea.
Researchers tested 16 common foods on blood from 132 IBS patients and 43 people without IBS.
IBS patients had higher levels of an antibody called IgG4 in response to five foods, compared with those without IBS. Those five foods were wheat, beef, lamb, pork, and soybeans.
Antibodies are proteins made by the immune system to help fight infections.
IgG is the major antibody in the body; another antibody called IgE is normally present in only trace amounts, but it is responsible for the symptoms of allergy.
However, the study doesn't prove that the five foods caused IBS.
IBS symptom severity and frequency weren't linked to antibody levels, write the researchers. They included Sameer Zar, MRCP, of St. Georges Hospital Medical School in London.
Between one-fifth and two-thirds of IBS patients attribute their symptoms to food hypersensitivity.
By comparison, only about 5% of the general population claims food hypersensitivity.
Sameer Zar, MRCP, and colleagues cite those statistics in their report.
Zar's study included 52 people with diarrhea-prominent IBS, 32 with constipation-prominent IBS, and 24 with alternating IBS.
Most subjects (91) were women. Average age ranged from 35 to about 43.
Foods tested included milk, egg white, egg yolk, cheddar cheese, rice, yeast, potato, peanut, cod fish, chicken, lamb, beef, pork, tomatoes, and soybean.
Those with diarrhea-prominent IBS had markedly higher levels of the antibody IgG4 for wheat, beef, pork, and soybean.
Those with constipation-prominent IBS had markedly higher IgG4 levels for wheat, lamb, beef, and pork.
Those with alternating IBS had markedly higher IgG4 levels for wheat, beef, and pork.
There was a large variability in the IgG4 antibody level to different food groups, write the researchers.
Skin Prick Test
Skin prick tests were done on a smaller group of participants -- 56 with IBS and five without IBS.
A skin prick test places a small amount of substance that triggers an allergic reaction into the skin. People with allergies to the specific substance have swelling in the injected region of the skin, a reaction caused by IgE antibodies.
A lot of participants didn't take the skin test, which required a separate visit to another center. Due to the low turnout, the test was dropped later on.
Five IBS patients had a positive skin test response to shrimp. So did one person without IBS.
The skin test results didn't sync up with results from the blood antibody tests, write the researchers.
Food Journal, Doctors May Help
"For many people, careful eating reduces IBS symptoms," says the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
"Before changing your diet, keep a journal noting the foods that seem to cause distress. Then discuss your findings with your doctor. You may also want to consult a registered dietitian, who can help you make changes to your diet," says the NIH.
By Miranda Hitti
WebMD Medical News
Reviewed By Brunilda Nazario, MD
on Thursday, July 14, 2005
SOURCES: Zar, S. American Journal of Gastroenterology, July 2005; vol 100: pp 1550-1557. WebMD Public Information from the National Institutes of Health: "Irritable Bowel Syndrome." National Cancer Institute. American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology. American Academy of Gastroenterology.
Friday, July 24, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Endocrinology Department, Centro Medico Teknon & C Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain. firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Here we have another courageous Fibro sister!
She is so inspiring and encouraging. I'm sure to many of us sufferers.
I really love coming across these types of articles and websites to be able to share with everyone here.
When she set out to hike the 800-mile Arizona Trail last spring, Sirena Dufault worried that she might not finish.
The daunting trail stretches from Utah to the U.S.-Mexico border.
Dufault's concern stemmed from her decade-long battle with fibromyalgia, a little-understood chronic pain disorder.
"I was a little hestitant to publicize it because I didn't know how far I could go," Dufault said this week. "Now I can comfortably do a 15-mile day with a big pack, no problem."
Next Tuesday — on national Fibromyalgia Awareness Day — the 35-year-old will make a final, eight-mile hike north of Oracle to complete the trail, trudging from the Tiger Mine Trailhead to the American Flag Trailhead.
Dufault kept an online journal throughout her trek, which she made mostly by herself in one- to five-day trips. The May 12 leg marks the 80th day Dufault has spent on the trail.
She hopes her success will inspire the 10 million Americans suffering from the disorder, Dufault said. "There's not a whole lot of positive information out there about people getting their lives back after fibromyalgia."
Fibromyalgia's many symptoms include chronic, widespread body pain, according to the National Fibromyalgia Association. Symptoms can stem from an acute illness or injury, as in Dufault's case. Her diagnosis came in 1998, a year after she was hit by a car as she crossed a street. For months afterward, even as her initial injuries healed, Dufault's pain and fatigue worsened.
"I saw her probably at her worse," said Angi Edge, a nurse and massage therapist who treated Dufault after her diagnosis and became a fast friend. "So many people give up on themselves. They become their disease. She was just not going to give up."
Dufault's pain has not flaired up in a major way in the last three years, she said. "I attribute that to being very, very active."
For her next big adventure, Dufault might hike the Tonto Trail in the Grand Canyon.
She walked 25 miles of the 90-mile trail this past winter.
Dufault enjoyed the physical benefits of hiking so much that she decided to take on the 800-mile Arizona Trail. She is hiking to raise awareness for Fibromyalgia and is donating all proceeds from the hike to the National Fibromyalgia Association. “This experience has been so rewarding and has given me a deep appreciation for the diverse beauty found in the state of Arizona.” said Dufault. “And day after day of hiking, I found out that I am so much stronger than I ever dreamed possible. I want others with fibromyalgia to know that there is hope after the diagnosis.”
Dufault has hiked most of the trail solo in one- to five-day segments, but on May 12, Fibromyalgia Awareness Day, Sirena will complete the final eight miles of the Arizona Trail with a group of supporters. They will start out at the Tiger Mine Trailhead north of Oracle at 7 am and hike south to the American Flag Trailhead, arriving around 11 am. “I conceived the idea of hiking the Arizona Trail at this spot in May 2007,” says Dufault, “so it’s fitting that my hike ends here.”
To see Sirena’s blog, pictures, and videos from the trail as well as to make a donation, visit her website Arizona Trail for Fibromyalgia at www.aztrail4fms.org.
Contact: Sirena Dufault
Monday, July 20, 2009
Despite the fact that like 80% of all fibromyalgia patients are women, there are some males with the condition who also need to be able to deal with the condition on their terms. Males often approach illness in a totally different way then women do.
There is also a female stigma associated with the condition, fibromyalgia that could make it even more difficult for a man to receive a correct diagnosis based on his symptoms and medical history.
His doctor would have to be current on fibromyalgia research and open to the possibilities of all diagnosis’s that could be the root of his symptoms including fibromyalgia. Sometimes if we are not looking for something, we don’t see it.
It can be difficult for a man with fibromyalgia to receive the same level of recognition or emotional support that women with the condition receive. There is still very much the idea that fibromyalgia is “all in the head” anyways, and if a man should voice the notion that he is suffering from fibromyalgia he is more likely to receive ridicule and teasing especially from other men.
This isn’t to say that a man with fibromyalgia can’t find support because he can; he just has to look a little more for it. Online he can find support here:
You can find other places online by searching under the keywords: “men fibromyalgia”.
Men can benefit from joining local or online support groups that are set up for men with fibromyalgia because they can find support for those times in life when stress can be compounded by the symptoms he has, the diagnostic stage can be very long (months even years).
This can be very wearing on a man, anxiety and depression can easily set in making support a necessity, adjusting to life with a chronic illness can be very stressful and change is never easy especially for men, and he may have very little support in his life other than that which he finds through support groups.
Most males still believe that they have to be “tougher” and not complain when they are in pain so it is emotionally more difficult for a man to admit to having symptoms that require medical intervention.
Men also hate to change lifestyles for any reason and being diagnosed withfibromyalgia pretty much demands that you do things differently if you hope to lessen the effects of your fibromyalgia symptoms.
The symptoms that may solicit some lifestyle changes for men with the condition are:
Muscle pain, muscle twitches, or leg cramps, Sleep disturbances, Fatigue
Sensitivity to light, sound, odors, cold, foods, or medications, Dizziness
Stomach upsets, Depression or anxiety, Headaches or migraines
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Saturday, July 18, 2009
Fibromyalgia, a chronic pain syndrome, is hard to treat and impossible to cure. With pain so debilitating, patients may wonder about trying medical marijuana to ease their discomfort.
Still widely controversial, "medical marijuana" refers to the smoked form of the drug. It does not refer to the synthesized version of THC, one of the active chemicals in marijuana, that's available in a medication called Marinol. The FDA first approved Marinol (dronabinol) in 1986 for nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy. It later approved its use for nausea and weight loss from AIDS.
The history of medical marijuana
Medical marijuana was prescribed by doctors until 1942. That's when it was taken off the U.S. pharmacopoeia, the list of commonly available drugs.
"Marijuana has been a medicine for 5,000 years," says Donald I. Abrams, MD. "That's a lot longer than it hasn't been a medicine." Abrams, who is an oncologist and director of clinical research programs at the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at the UCSF School of Medicine in San Francisco, is one of a handful of top-flight doctors in the country researching medical marijuana. "The war on drugs is really a war on patients," he says.
So why research medical marijuana when a pill, Marinol, is now available?
Marijuana -- the plant's Latin name is cannabis -- has a host of components called cannabinoids. These components may have medicinal properties.
"There are 60 or 70 different cannabinoids in marijuana," says Abrams. Marinol contains only one cannabinoid -- delta-9 THC. When THC is isolated from the plant, other ingredients are lost, including those that might be buffering any adverse effects of taking "straight" THC. "In Chinese medicine," Abrams says, "they prescribe whole herbs and usually combinations of herbs."
Abrams goes on to point out that, "In 1999 the Institute of Medicine did a report --Marijuana and Medicine. And they said, in fact, that cannabinoids have benefit in relief of pain, increase in appetite, and relief of nausea and vomiting."
Is medical marijuana legal?
The federal government, in the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, placed drugs into five groups called "schedules," driven by three criteria:
- potential for abuse or addiction
- medical usefulness
- dangers of abuse or addiction, both physically and psychologically
Marijuana, LSD, and heroin were all initially placed in Schedule I -- the most addictive, and least medically useful, category.
To further entangle the legal issues, several states have passed their own controlled substance laws that conflict with federal laws. That includes drug policy reforms and "compassionate use" laws that allow patients with terminal and debilitating diseases to use medical marijuana. In order to be able to use it, a patient needs to have documentation from a doctor.
The American Chronic Pain Society says in ACPA Medications & Chronic Pain, Supplement 2007: "Some states allow the legal use of marijuana for health purposes including pain, while the federal government continues to threaten physicians with prosecution for prescribing it."
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
Last year's winner of the Nobel Prize in Medicine, Professor Luc Montagnier of France, says, "Scientists have already uncovered a lot about ME, but this information does not reach professional healthcare personnel, and the disease is still not taken seriously. It is about time this changes." Montagnier, one of the discoverers of the HIV-virus, is a supporter of the Think Tank, but is unable to join the first meeting due to his demanding schedule.
Ten internationally recognized scientists, many of them prominent leaders in their respective fields of research, have decided to do something about it. They have come together in a Think Tank to promote cooperation among scientists from various disciplines and to stimulate intense focus on innovative and creative research. The first meeting is set in Stavanger, Norway on the 13th of June.
"There are more than 5000 research papers which show that ME has an organic basis with abnormalities in the immune, nervous and gastrointestinal systems and that it is influenced by genetic and environmental factors," states Professor Kenny De Meirleir of Belgium. "Despite these findings, it has been close to impossible to initiate large-scale research to verify these facts and observations. We will never be able to treat ME properly if we do not initiate this type of research."
Using new biotechnological techniques, much of the underlying pathophysiology of the disease has been unmasked. Several treatable clinical entities have been discovered, but this information does not reach healthcare personnel. The result is that patients remain undiagnosed and untreated for years with something that might be fully treatable. This is a huge drain on the economy, as the estimated socio-economic costs for Europe are estimated to be €20 billion annually.
An important part of the Think Tank's mission is to spread knowledge about the disease. The incidence of ME and the impact on public health are actually higher than that of other better researched conditions like Multiple Sclerosis and HIV. Research shows that ME can be a very disabling chronic disorder which often diminishes patients' quality of life to levels lower than that of cancer, MS, HIV andlupus.
Professor Ola Didrik Saugstad of Norway states, "There is a total lack of knowledge and understanding about this disease in the healthcare system. We wish to use our knowledge to educate and train doctors, therapists and other healthcare personnel so they can better understand how to manage an ME-patient."
New in ME
The Think Tank meetings are the brainchild of a new organization, European Society for ME (ESME). This society will focus on organizing research and educating professionals in the field of ME.
"Until now ME organizations have been patient-based and only focused on the needs of the patients, so this is something completely new and unique. We are a group of professionals who want to stimulate new research in the field of ME and to help doctors and healthcare personnel to stay informed about the latest developments in diagnosing and treating ME-patients," says ESME board member Mrs. Catherine Miller-Duhen.
European Society for ME
Sunday, July 12, 2009
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.