Monday, August 31, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
The key to unlocking the mystery of fibromyalgia has yet to be found. Research scientists have been studying numerous viruses as potential causes for fibromyalgia. Identification of an infectious agent or toxin which causes the disease may one day lead to a laboratory test that can help doctors diagnose fibromyalgia. Specific treatment aimed at a cure awaits future research that uncovers the exact cause of the disease.
New drugs may be developed that block substance P or nerve growth factor to relieve pain of fibromyalgia. Many fibromyalgia patients can be helped by improved patient education, proper exercise, and medications. With ongoing research, the future will certainly improve for those affected by fibromyalgia.
Recent scientific studies suggest that a specific area of the brain called the insula may be involved in the pathophysiology of fibromyalgia. With ongoing research, the future will certainly improve for those affected by fibromyalgia.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Fibromyalgia (fie-bro-my-al-jia) is a chronic musculoskeletal syndrome characterized by pain, achiness, tenderness, and stiffness in the muscle tissue, ligaments, and tendons. It most frequently affects the neck, shoulders, chest, legs, and lower back. Pain is generally accompanied by sleep disorders, fatigue, gastrointestinal disorders, and depression. Many of its symptoms are similar to those of chronic fatigue syndrome, myofascial pain syndrome, and temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ).
Common Name: Fibrositis
What Are the Symptoms?
There are many symptoms and everyone that has fibromyalgia will not experience the same symptoms. Pain is the most prominent symptom. Other symptoms are morning stiffness, frequent urination, fatigue, tingling sensations in the hands, arms, feet and face; sleep disturbances, migraine headaches, abdominal pain, anxiety, bloating, and alternate periods of diarrhea and constipation. Symptoms can occur anywhere between 20-55 years of age.
How Many People Have Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is more common than most people realize. As many as 3% to 6% of all people have fibromyalgia. It is less common in older adults, and more women have it than men.
According to the American College of Rheumatology, fibromyalgia affects 3 to 6 million Americans. It primarily occurs in women of childbearing age, but children, the elderly, and men can also be affected.
- About 10 to 25 percent of patients with Lyme disease develop fibromyalgia.
- About half of patients with fibromyalgia report that their symptoms began suddenly during or after a flu-like illness.
- 14 to 23 percent of patients with fibromyalgia report that their symptoms began following a physical injury or trauma such as surgery.
- Fibromyalgia is the second most common diagnosis in rheumatology clinics.
- Seven to ten million Americans suffer from Fibromyalgia.
- It affects women much more than men in an approximate ratio of 20:1.
- Fibromyalgia affects about 6 million Americans.
- It is estimated that approximately 3-6% of the U.S. population has Fibromyalgia
There is no proven prevention for this disorder. Maintaining healthy eating and exercise habits is believed to help prevent most illness. Likewise do good sleep habits and stress coping skills. If, despite your best efforts, you develop the symptoms of Fibromyalgia, contact your health-care provider. The only way you can adequately treat any illness symptoms is by pinpointing as best is possible what is causing those symptoms. That includes ruling out other conditions that can mimic the symptoms of Fibromyalgia.
How is it treated?
The most successful treatment for fibromyalgia is a healthy diet and balanced exercise and rest.
1) Medication to improve deep sleep.
2) Regular sleep hours and an adequate amount of sleep.
3) Daily gentle aerobic exercise and stretching.
4) Avoidance of over exertion and stress.
5) Treatment of any coexisting sleep disorders.
6) Patient education
Medication by itself is of little value in treating fibromyalgia. Successful treatment demands the patient's active involvement in treatment as well as lifestyle changes. Each of the six parts of treatment above is important. If any one is omitted, the chance of significant improvement is considerably reduced
Fibromyalgia is commonly diagnosed only after other diseases with similar symptoms are ruled out. There are no laboratory tests available: no changes in muscle tissue have shown on any type of imaging procedure. Diagnosis depends on self-reported symptoms, and a physical examination showing multiple tender points at specific locations.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
"Although 10 percent to 20 percent of fibromyalgia patients are males, few scientific studies have been done in this population," Lynne Matallana of the National Fibromyalgia Association says in a statement.
The National Fibromyalgia Association and the American Pain Foundation are joining with the Men's Health Network in conducting an online survey.
"This survey will help us understand what men know, or more importantly don't know, about fibromyalgia, its symptoms, and a man's willingness to discuss any pain, discomfort, fatigue and other signs of the condition with his physician," Scott Williams of Men's Health Network says.
"Fibromyalgia has a reputation of affecting more women than men, but I am certain that the disease is far more prevalent in men than is reported in the data," Will Rowe of American Pain Foundation says. "It's a perfect disease to stay under the radar for men since men are saddled with the harmful belief that pain is something to endure and not report."
Monday, August 24, 2009
Expert Bryan Arling's advice on Cymbalta, Savella, and other treatment options for fibromyalgia
Lyrica is prescribed for fibromyalgia, but its cost is excessive. Will Neurontin deliver the same relief?
Bryan Arling, M.D.: Lyrica (pregabalin) blocks calcium channels in the central nervous system and peripheral nerves. It is used to control seizures and also painful peripheral neuropathy such as that seen in some diabetics, some people after an outbreak of shingles (also known as post-herpetic neuralgia), or in nerve compression syndromes such as spinal stenosis and herniated lumbar discs. It has been found to be helpful in a significant percentage of people with fibromyalgia. Neurontin (gabapentin) is structurally similar to Lyrica and has a similar mechanism of action. Both are structurally related to the neural transmitter GABA, but neither drug seems to affect GABA uptake, release, or degradation. Both drugs can cause sleepiness, so it is good to start with a relatively low dose and gradually build up therapeutic levels. Likewise, one should taper off both drugs over a week or two to prevent seizures or other withdrawal symptoms.
I feel that it is essential that all patients thought to have fibromyalgia have their vitamin D3-25 levels checked. A significant number of these patients will be found to be vitamin D deficient, and many of their aches and pains will improve if they take 2,000 to 4,000 units of vitamin D3 a day.
Returning to an exercise program is one of the most helpful things that fibromyalgia patients can do. They need to start with very light exercise for just a few minutes and then gradually increase the intensity and duration of their exercise as their body allows them to do so. Additionally, one should do everything possible to optimize good sleep habits because symptoms often improve when the quality and duration of sleep improve.
Two other drugs have received FDA approval in the treatment of fibromyalgia. Cymbalta (duloxetine) and the just-released drug Savella (milnacipran) block the reuptake of the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and serotonin and hence are known as SNRIs, for serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors. There are other SNRIs available that may have benefits in fibromyalgia and may be less expensive. This would be an off-label use, and patients should find physicians who have used these other SNRIs in fibromyalgia patients.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Milnacipran becomes the third drug to be approved by the FDA for fibromyalgia. It is the first drug to be newly introduced into the United States specifically for use in fibromyalgia, says Daniel Clauw, MD, professor of medicine in the division of rheumatology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
In the studies that led to its approval, milnacipran was shown to be safe and effective in two phase-3 studies involving more than 2,000 people living with fibromyalgia. In the studies, dosages of 100 milligrams (mg) per day and 200 mg per day demonstrated significant improvements in pain, patient global assessment and physical function. The most common adverse reaction to the drug was nausea. Other common side effects were constipation, dry mouth, excessive sweating, hot flushes, hypertension, increased heart rate and palpitations, and vomiting.
Milnacipran belongs to a class of drugs called selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors. Although it’s still not clear exactly how these drugs work, some researchers believe they may help to correct abnormalities in certain brain neurotransmitters may be central to this pain disorder.
“Savella has been approved as an antidepressant for some time in many countries, but not in the United States,” says Dr. Clauw who was hired by Cypress Biosciences (now the U.S. licensor of milnacipran) to identify a safe, existing drug that had a profile that should make it effective in fibromyalgia. Dr. Clauw is also a member of Arthritis Today’s medical advisory board.
While milnacipran has not been tested head to head with other antidepressants, Dr. Clauw says there is evidence to suggest it may be more effective against the symptoms associated with fibromyalgia than other antidepressants, including other selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors.
“Many animal and other studies suggest this drug may have – relative to serotonin – more norepinephrine reuptake properties,” says Dr. Clauw. “Many scientists feel that norepinephrine may be a more important neurotransmitter to modulate in chronic pain states than serotonin.”
“Norepinephrine activity may also better able to relieve symptoms such as fatigue and memory difficulties,” he says. “We won't really know if these effects seen in animal studies really translate into better improvement in these symptoms until further testing is performed.”
But other experts believe caution is warranted for this and other fibromyalgia drugs.
“The problem with most treatments for fibromyalgia is that they tend to work well in the short term,” says Frederick Wolfe, MD, Director of the National Data Bank for Rheumatic Diseases in Wichita, Kan. “These drugs have not been shown to be effective in the long run.”
Monday, August 10, 2009
A research led by G Nicholas Verne from United States addressed this issue. The article was published on July 14, 2009 in the World Journal of Gastroenterology. A total of 42 cases with D-IBS and 24 with C-IBS, and 52 control subjects were collected in the study. Their thermal pain hypersensitivity were examined Thermal stimuli were delivered using a Medoc Thermal Sensory Analyzer with a 3 cm - 3 cm surface area. Heat pain threshold (HPTh) and heat pain tolerance (HPTo) were assessed on the left ventral forearm and left calf using an ascending method of limits. The Functional Bowel Disease Severity Index (FBDSI) was also obtained for all subjects.
The research revealed controls were less sensitive than C-IBS and D-IBS with no differences between C-IBS and D-IBS for HPTh and HPTo. Thermal hyperalgesia was present in both groups of IBS patients relative to controls, with IBS patients reporting significantly lower pain threshold and pain tolerance at both test sites.
A unique finding of this study is that the authors detected a strong relationship between heat pain measures and Functional Bowel Disease Severity Index (FBDSI) scores. IBS patients with high FBDSI scores had the highest thermal pain sensitivity compared to those IBS patients with low to moderate FBDSI scores.
Reference: Zhou Q, Fillingim RB, Riley JL, Verne GN. Thermal hypersensitivity in a subset of irritable bowel syndrome patients. World Journal of Gastroenterology 2009; 15(26): 3254-3260. http://www.wjgnet.com/1007-9327/15/3254.asp
Correspondence to: G Nicholas Verne, MD, Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, Ohio State University, 288A Office Tower, 395 West 12th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210, United States.
World Journal of Gastroenterology
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Raw nuts also contain enzyme inhibitors which help to protect the seed and keep it from germinating too early and dying off. This also helps to keep the species going.
But these enzyme inhibitors, when introduced into the body, actually neutralize the enzymes your body uses to control inflammation and aid in digestion. In fact, eating nuts with these enzyme inhibitors can cause the pancreas to swell.
There are only two ways to destroy these enzyme inhibitors: 1) roasting, which also destroys the enzymes, and 2) sprouting, which keeps the beneficial enzymes intact.
Roasted nuts. While roasted nuts have a lot more flavor than raw nuts, there are some definite disadvantages to them: 1) added oils, 2) added ingredients, 3) more difficult to digest, and 4) less nutritional value.
Nuts can be either dry roasted or roasted in oil. As you probably already know, dry-roasted nuts contain less fat than nuts roasted in oil. In fact, roasting nuts in oil is a lot like deep frying—nuts are dumped into highly saturated palm kernel or coconut oils, adding about a gram of fat and 10 calories per ounce to nuts with an already high fat and calorie content.
Then roasted nuts are often heavily salted and almost always have other ingredients added to them such as sugar, corn syrup, MSG, preservatives, and other additives.
In addition, many people have trouble digesting nuts because of the high fat content. Adding more fats during roasting makes them even more difficult to digest.
Finally, roasting destroys much of the nutritional content of nuts. Vitamin B, particularly vitamin B1 (thiamine), which helps produce energy and keep the heart healthy, is most often killed off in roasting.
And, as mentioned previously, roasting not only destroys the enzyme inhibitors, it destroys the enzymes needed by the body to help with digestion.
So roasted nuts may have more flavor than raw nuts—but at a price: your health.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
4th Edition Of Critically Acclaimed Book On Fibromyalgia Now Released
Birmingham, AL (PRWEB) August 1, 2009 -- In this recently released 4th Edition of his book, Dr. Murphree makes it perfectly clear, he understands what his patients are going through.
Dr. Murphree reports: "I'd feel crazy too if I went days without sleeping, suffered with chronic pain, had no energy, had no life, and had been bounced from one doctor to another only to get worse year after year!"
I'd feel crazy too if I went days without sleeping, suffered with chronic pain, had no energy, had no life, and had been bounced from one doctor to another only to get worse year after year!
Dr. Rodger Murphree, author of Treating and Beating Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, has been specializing in treating Fibromyalgia patients for the last 14 years.
Because those with Fibromyalgia have an illness that's hard to "prove," loved ones may secretly convict them of hypochondria or laziness. Patients may be told, "it's all in your head." They may be told that they need to exercise, lose weight or take antidepressants.
Physicians can be even worse. If they believe the condition exists at all--and some don't--their first impulse is to mask the symptoms with prescription drugs. Patients often end up on a medical merry-go-round, seeing doctor after doctor after doctor. They end up more confused and disoriented than ever, often concluding, "Maybe I am crazy, after all."
The traditional drugs of choice for Fibromyalgia include NSAIDS, antidepressants (Cymbalta), anticonvulsant medications (Lyrica), muscle relaxants, tranquilizers, and pain medications. These drugs may provide short-term relief but their results are often fleeting and their side affects often create more symptoms. It's not unusual for Fibromyalgia patients to be taking twelve or more prescription drugs, many of which contribute to "fibro fog", anxiety, depression, and overall fatigue.
Our Stress Coping Savings Account
We have in this savings account certain chemicals, vitamins, minerals, and hormones like serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine and cortisol that allow us to handle moment-to-moment, day-to-day stress. The more stress we are under, the more withdrawals we make. Individuals with fibromyalgia have made more withdrawals than deposits. Poor sleep, chronic stress, nutritional deficiencies, prescription drugs, and other stressors have taken their toll. The patient has bankrupted their stress coping savings account. This causes the body to become overwhelmed and poor health soon follows.
Fortunately there are some tried-and-true nutritional protocols that can help build up the bankrupted stress-coping savings account. Reestablishing optimal brain chemicals or neurotransmitters, especially serotonin and norepinephrine, is critical for reversing the symptoms of Fibromyalgia.
Building up the stress coping savings account with the nutrients that regulate pain, sleep, energy, moods, digestion and mental clarity is the key for feeling good again!
Why merely cover up symptoms when the cause can be corrected?
Dr. Murphree's book helps patients correct the cause(s) of their disease. The Fibromyalgia Jump-Start Program, formulated by Dr Murphree, uses the right combination of supplements and drugs (when needed), to help patients overcome their Fibromyalgia.
For this book and other health concerns like Heart Disease or Anxiety and Depression by Dr Murphree visit http://www.cardinalpub.com or call 800 296 0481
About Dr. Murphree
Dr. Rodger Murphree, D.C., C.N.S, has been in private practice since 1990. He is the founder and past clinic director for a large integrated medical practice specializing in fibromyalgia and located on the campus of Brookwood Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama. He's been specializing in fibromyalgia for the last 13 years.
He is the author of 5 books patients and doctors including the critically acclaimed "Treating and Beating Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome." Dr. Murphree writes for several medical and nutritional publications, lectures throughout North America, and sees fibromyalgia patients at his clinic in Birmingham, Alabama.
Find out more about Dr. Murphree, Treating and Beating Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, http://www.treatingandbeating.com205 879 2383
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Monday, August 3, 2009
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Going to the doctor can be intimidating. You might feel rushed and forget to ask questions that are important. It's always a good idea to know what to ask beforehand and to take notes when with the doctor. Some of the questions below may be worth asking. Print out this page and take it with you to your next appointment.
1. Are there any medication that could be of help?
2. Could exercise or physical therapy be used?
3. What is scientifically known about these conditions?
4. Are there things I can change in my environment to improve my health?
5. Should I still take my medication even if I feel fine?
6. How can I best evaluate alternative therapies for my condition?
7. Can I control fibromyalgia or CFS without taking medications?
8. How physically active can I be if I have fibromyalgia or CFS?
9. What is the long-term effect on my overall health?
10. Does fibromyalgia or CFIDS ever go away?