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

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Talking to Your Children About Fibromyalgia

Margaret struggled to stop her tears. Jeff, her 10-year-old son, would be bounding through the door any minute, full of energy, smiles, and chatter about how many strikes he pitched at his Little League game. She had promised herself that she would go to this game no matter how much she hurt, how tired she felt, or how difficult it was to move—yet here she was, slouched over the kitchen table, barely able to hold her body upright. She had never spoken to Jeff about fibromyalgia because she didn’t know where or how to begin. She barely understood all the ins and outs of FM herself, so how could she explain it to him?

 



Adults often underestimate a child’s ability to understand a situation and forget that the ability to cope or “bounce back,” referred to as resiliency in psychological research, is what allows children to adapt and grow in a healthy fashion. In an effort to protect a child from sad or unpleasant information, adults often try to shield them from the truth—forgetting that, from a very early age, children demonstrate an ability to know when something is not as it should be. They can tell when their parents are upset with each other, even if they witnessed no argument. They can sense when a parent or grandparent is not well, even when everyone is careful not to speak about the subject when the child is within earshot. Nothing gets past a child.

 

So, rather than trying to shield your child from the truth about FM, follow these steps to help your child understand what you’re going through.

  1. Sit down with your child someplace quiet and free of distractions.
  2. Make eye contact with your child, and try to place a comforting hand on your child’s arm or leg. (If the child does not want to be touched, do not take it personally. We all know what it feels like to not want to be touched sometimes.)
  3. Be open and honest. Children know when an adult is trying to sugarcoat the truth or slip something past them.
  4. Use language your child will understand. Explain that the reason why you can’t do as much as you used to, or why you get tired more easily, is because you have have something called fibromyalgia. When they ask what that means, relying on the Latin derivation of the word comes in handy: “fibro” means fibrous tissue, “my” means muscle, and “algia” means pain.
  5. If you start to cry while you are talking, take a moment to regain your composure and let your child know that grown-ups cry sometimes when they are talking about something that upsets them, and that it is perfectly okay. Your child may become tearful seeing you cry, but that’s the perfect time for a hug.
  6. Be clear that, when you sometimes don’t do an activity that you planned on doing, it’s not because you choose to alter plans, or because you don’t love your child; it’s because of excessive pain. Let your children know that you love them no matter what!
  7. Allow your children time to ask whatever questions they may have. Answer these questions as honestly as possible and at a level they can understand. Be careful to not give them more information than they need. If you give an answer, and it is not enough, the child will ask for more information.
  8. Keep your initial talk short—under 10 minutes—because children’s attention span is limited. You can always revsiit the topic at another time. This is a case when you really need to follow the child’s lead. Often kids like to absorb information and think about it for a while before asking additional questions.
  9. Last, but certainly not least: there is no need to argue with your child’s feelings. Remember, those feelings belong to them, and it is not your job to make them see things your way. There are more ways to see and understand things than just from your own point of reference.

Remember, the goal here is to be honest and to produce a strong sense of belonging and understanding for each family member.


Shelley Slapion-Foote, diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 2000, is a licensed psychologist in Florida.


Source

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Maintaining a Positive Attitude: Ten Strategies

"Have a positive attitude." How many times have we heard that one? While our emotions can not cause fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome, they no doubt affect our symptoms. But how can we maintain good thoughts when our bodies feel so lousy? This challenge, of course, does not pertain exclusively to chronic illness, but to any time when things do not go as we wish. But in the case of ongoing illness, seeing the positive presents a continuous struggle.

Yet our moods are not perfectly correlated with our physical state. Most likely we can all recall times that despite much pain or fatigue, we were able to cope and even achieve high spirits. Perhaps the weather was perfect, good friends visited, we just accomplished something or helped somebody, making us feel good about ourselves. Other times, depression seems to take hold even when our physical discomfort is at a manageable level. Why is this? Answering this question is the key to finding optimism.

 


To me, the vicissitudes of fibromyalgia feel like a swim in the turbulent sea -- sometimes it seems we have fallen and the waves continue to crash on our heads, as we fight to rise, only to be knocked down yet again. But that same ocean sometimes allows us to find a wave we can ride smoothly to the shore.

 


What can we do when we feel under the waves? How can we find the strength to climb back on top, and the patience to know that we will? Here are ten cognitive exercises I use to maintain the most positive attitude I can:



 

1. Expect bumps! It is important to acknowledge that we will sometimes feel down. Who wouldn't in our condition? But by expecting rather than dreading down time, such periods become more tolerable. In addition, recognizing that we will have blue periods helps keep them in perspective. We will be able to say to ourselves, "I was depressed before, and got out of it; this time, too, it will pass." It is easy to forget that before our illness, there were times we felt down. Now these periods are wrapped up in our medical problems; but everyone gets depressed some of the time. After accepting that we will sometimes feel sad, and even experience self pity, we can concentrate on ways to shorten these periods and make them fewer and farther between.



2. Track the changes. Keeping track of moods helps put ups and downs into perspective. During your best times, make a conscious attempt to capture the feeling. Leave notes on your wall attesting to the way you feel. Living with chronic illness easily creates a Jekyll-and-Hyde persona, where your optimistic self and your flare-up self are not sufficiently acquainted. When we feel bad, it becomes quite difficult to imagine that things can be otherwise. Similarly, during times of improvement, it's amazing how quickly we may forget how bad a previous period was, making subsequent flare-ups not only intolerable but shocking. Counting and measuring the duration of the bad times -- as well as the good ones -- can put them into perspective. It may be that over time, our worst occurs about once a month, although it feels much more frequent. This knowledge is empowering, because we can remind ourselves that a bad flare is, for example, our monthly temporary setback, and find ways to ride it out until our baseline returns.



3. Stockpile fun distractions. We all need to keep lists handy of the things that make us happy. One of the cruelties of our condition is that when we need distractions most, we are least equipped to seek them out. For this reason it is important to compile a list of our favorite activities when we are feeling optimistic to be used when we most need them. People with fibromyalgia often describe how even their worst pain can be put on a back burner, so to speak, when they become engrossed in an activity. This is not only a psychological but a physiological response: our brains can only process so much input at once. When we are engrossed in a beautiful movie, talking to a good friend on the phone, or listening to our favorite music while lying on a heating pad or in the bathtub, we can trick our pain receptors into leaving us alone! Meanwhile improvements in spirit have an added impact on our entire well-being. Laughter is good medicine; while dwelling on our troubles tends to compound them.



4. Shape your perspective. Is the glass half empty or half full? Perspective determines, quite literally, how we view the world. Having a chronic illness creates an ambiguous construction of reality for us. Am I, for example, a successful cripple or an unsuccessful professional? In American culture, much emphasis is placed on independence, individualism, and achievement. Through this lens, developing a condition that makes us feel more dependent and less productive is likely to be a huge disappointment. Yet as we get older, it becomes more likely that we, or somebody close to us, will experience debilitating problems. People are often forced to adapt to sudden, new conditions by adopting a perspective that accommodates change. Our perspectives are shaped by the comparisons we make and the expectations they create. Consider, for example, the immigrant who had been practicing medicine in his home country, but flees to the US to escape a repressive political regime. Here he works as a janitor; after years of medical study, he has lost a prestigious and rewarding occupation. Yet he is thankful for the opportunity to work and wakes each day driven by hope, perhaps, of a better future for his children. Yet his difficulties are also quite apparent. What keeps his spirits up and makes him thankful rather than bitter? His perspective.



5. Create a new self. If we hang on tightly to the "old self" we were, finding the value of our "new self" becomes increasingly difficult. (We may even exaggerate how fit that person was: "I didn't need any sleep, I never felt bad, I could do anything!"). This does not mean we should totally discard our previous conception of self; rather, we need to find a way to integrate the two. In other words, we should seek to find in our new bodies new ways to enjoy and experience the things that we had done before. Consider all the aspects of yourself that you like, and the things that you most want to do; then step by step, find ways to achieve as many of these as you can. At the same time, recognize that our expectations must shift so that we can once again meet them.



6. Don't forget the good stuff. While the physical symptoms of fibromyalgia can feel all-encompassing, there are other parts of our life--our social relationships, passions, family -- that also exist. By focusing on the positive aspects of our life, we become more aware of how many there are: the friends that stuck by us, the things we still enjoy, and the accomplishments we have been able to make, however small, under very different conditions. Because each task now represents a challenge, we should celebrate whatever we manage to accomplish. As we have been told many times, if we shorten the list and pace ourselves whatever we do eventually adds up to something to be very proud of.



7. "Oy, it could be worse." (The Jewish mantra). As comparisons shape our view, it is helpful to find comparisons that will provide a fuller appreciation for what has befallen us. OK, the "eat because children are starving in (fill in the developing country)" did not work for you as a child. But try to think of it this way: Many bad things happen in the world. The odds are that some of them will happen to us. Not because of anything that we have done, but because, as the saying goes, shit happens. It takes only a short view of the evening news to remind ourselves of the horrors occurring every day. So, this is what has happened to us. We too were caught. Let us examine what we have: (a) We know our condition is not terminal, so we need not begin contemplating our pending mortality. (b) As bad as we sometimes feel, our underlying condition is not going to get worse. We have already experienced the worst, and, to our credit, have gotten through it. (c) Although few people achieve permanent remission, many improve significantly. As we understand how our actions and emotions influence our general well-being, we can find ways to partake in more and more activities.



8. Keep the hope alive! There is so much room for hope. It has only been since the 1990s that our condition has acquired any legitimacy from the medical community. We are in a far better position than the generations before us who suffered without ever receiving validation. We know much more about the important roles of exercise, medication, stretching, pacing and meditation to bring relief and a sense of control. Furthermore, as medical research increases, it is only a matter of time before better therapies (and perhaps even a cure!) are introduced.



9. Lean on me! A single most important predictor of how we do is the support network we create. We certainly appreciate what it means when someone helps us when we feel especially lousy. Make sure that, within your means, you continue to be a good friend to those you care about. We still have lots to give. During a good moment, write to a friend that you are thinking about her. Help your family and friends find ways to maintain their relationship with you. Invite them to your place to eliminate traveling (and do not worry what your place looks like! They came to see you, not your housecleaning abilities). Try to be open with family members, while at the same time supportive of their needs. Put yourself in their shoes as often as possible -- it can be scary to have someone you love be sick! Also make sure to seek help outside of your immediate circle so as not to drain your closest friends and family. There are now all sorts of support groups, both live and in virtual computer space.



10. Indulge whenever you can. We have lots of time to focus on our thoughts. Most people do not have the luxury of taking time to relax and think. OK, we did not ask for these "time outs." They are demanded by the needs of our bodies. Nevertheless, we have control over how we use this extra time. Instead of dwelling on what our bodies are not doing, give your fantasy full liberty. Turn these rest periods around to be indulgent time. In our mental playground, we can practice dance steps we used to know (for there will be some times we can dance!). We can use the time to think through problems we face and how we want to spend time when we are feeling ready, or we can analyze a movie we recently saw, say prayers, or mentally write a letter to a friend. The article you are now reading is a product of a spell in the middle of the night, when I lay in bed, unable to sleep. After taking steps to make myself more comfortable, I decided to think about what I would write next. I figured that if I fell asleep, great! But if not, I'd have thought through my next article. It was about this point when I, satisfied, went off to dreamland.

 



Deborah A. Barrett has a Ph.D. in Sociology from Stanford University. Since then she has worked as a postdoctoral fellow at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Emory University, and Duke University.


Source

Getting to the Roots of Fibromyalgia Pain


Dr.
Dr. Daniel Clauw is a rheumatologist and professor of anesthesiology and medicine at theUniversity of MichiganMedical School. A study he co-authored in 2002 found that fibromyalgia patients process pain differently from other people.

Q. Fibromyalgia is so hard for most people to understand. How do you explain it?

A. Fibromyalgia is real. But the pain isn’t occurring because of damage or inflammation in muscles and joints. It’s the result of differences in the way the brain and spinal cord process and transmit pain. It’s as if the volume control is turned up on pain.

Q. How so?

A. When I lecture on fibromyalgia, I point out to people that they’ve been sitting for 30 minutes. During that time, nerve endings in the back and buttocks have been firing constantly, sending messages to the spinal cord and the brain that there is pressure in those regions of the body. Since it’s not harmful, the brain sends back messages to ignore it. But if those descending messages aren’t as strong as they should be, a person may feel the pressure as painful, even when it shouldn’t be.

Q. So patients are hypersensitive?

A. A lot of what we’ve learned is that people are at different places on the bell-shaped curve of pain sensitivity. Some of the biggest naysayers contend that fibromyalgia isn’t a discrete disease because its presence or absence depends on where you draw the line on pain sensitivity. But in fact, we judge lots of diseases that way. There is a normal range for blood pressure and blood sugar. Outside that range, if it’s too high or too low, it causes problems.

Q. If there are no objective tests for fibromyalgia, how can you prove that patients are truly processing pain differently?

A. There are three lines of evidence.

In 2002, Richard Gracely and I published a study in Arthritis and Rheumatism that provided the first objective corroboration. We did brain scans on people with and without fibromyalgia while applying carefully calibrated pressure to the thumb. The fibromyalgia patients showed much greater activation in the brain with the same level of pressure. To evoke the same response in people without fibromyalgia, we had to use twice the pressure.

Since then, three other studies have shown hyper-reactivity in parts of the brain that are involved in processing pain. These are the regions that tell us where the pain is and how much of it we’re experiencing — the primary and secondary somatosensory cortices, the thalamus and the posterior part of the insula.

Q. For the sake of argument, couldn’t you make a case that if patients simply believe something is more painful, they will have more activity in these brain regions? After all, thought itself is represented by activity in the brain.

A. Only in part. There have been imaging studies of people under hypnosis, in which patients were tricked into thinking that pain was increased or reduced. You see some changes on brain scans, but not the same widespread hyper-reactivity that you see consistently in fibromyalgia patients.

Q. You said there were three types of evidence. What’s the second?

A. Rick Harris in our group is using a type of brain imaging that allows you to look at the levels of [brain chemicals called] neurotransmitters. We’re particularly interested in glutamate, a neurotransmitter that increases pain transmission. He’s found that levels are higher in the brains of people with fibromyalgia.

At the same time, patients have lower levels of neurotransmitters that reduce pain transmission, including norepinephrine and serotonin. There are 5 to 10 of these substances that turn up the response, and 5 to 10 that turn it down. It’s a yin-yang effect.

One of the other big advances in the fibromyalgia field is the discovery that substance P and nerve growth factor — chemicals that increase pain transmission — are two to three times higher in the spinal fluid of fibromyalgia patients. All these imbalances may be responsible for their hypersensitivity.

Q. Do these screening techniques provide the type of objective tests doctors are looking for?

A. You could use them to confirm a diagnosis, but they’re not specific for fibromyalgia. The same responses are found in other chronic pain states, such as migraine headaches.

Q. That would tend to confirm that fibromyalgia pain is real, not imagined.

A. The other thing that’s sobering is that imaging studies of patients show brain atrophy in regions that are involved in pain processing, suggesting that if you have chronic pain syndromes too long, you get permanent changes in brain structure. Early diagnosis and treatment may be very important.

Q. Do genes contribute to fibromyalgia?

A. That’s the third line of research. It shows that chronic pain is strongly genetic. There have been twin studies in the last year from huge twin registries in Sweden, looking at fraternal and identical twins, raised together or apart. The researchers have then teased out the relative contributions of genes and environment — nature and nurture — and found that 50 percent of the risk of developing chronic pain is genetic and 50 percent is environmental.

But the really cool thing is a 2004 study by Lesley Arnold at the University of Cincinnati. She identified a group of people with fibromyalgia. She then examined their first-degree relatives and found that the relatives were eight times more likely to have fibromyalgia than family members of people without the disease. That’s enormous. If you do exactly the same type of family study on people withrheumatoid arthritis or lupus, the odds of having a first-degree relative with the disease is between two and three times greater, not eight.

Even if family members didn’t have fibromyalgia, they tended to have more pain in general, suggesting that the volume control problem runs in families.

Q. Have specific genes been identified?

A. Four different gene variants are found in higher levels in patients with fibromyalgia, including a variant of the COMT gene. This gene is associated with pain sensitivity in a number of pain conditions. There was just a nice study in Arthritis and Rheumatism showing that in a big database of people with osteoarthritis of the knee, the presence or absence of this gene variant was strongly associated with pain sensitivity, especially in women. The gene is known to be estrogen-sensitive.

Q. If COMT is estrogen-sensitive, could that help explain why women are more likely than men to suffer from fibromyalgia?

A. Possibly, but it would require more research to make that determination.

Q. If 50 percent of the risk for fibromyalgia is genetic and 50 percent is environmental, what are the environmental factors that trigger the disease?

A. Almost any biological stress can trigger pain in people who are predisposed — infections, surgery, car accidents, falls, prolonged stress. There was a really good study last year by a group in the U.K. They looked at a population of 50-year-olds with chronic widespread pain and compared them to a group without. Because of the British national health system, they were able to go back and examine medical records for the same patients from 42 years earlier. At age 8, the patients who later developed fibromyalgia were 1.5 to 2 times more likely than controls to have been in a car accident or to have had prolonged hospitalization.

It’s a cool time to be a pain researcher.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Doctor Admits Vaccine Is More Deadly Than Swine Flu Itself

Alternative Therapy Looks Promising

A mysterious ailment that afflicts both women and men with a range of symptoms that include pain, fatigue, poor sleep, tingling and memory problems. Diagnosis can take a long time and there is no cure. Though about a third of patients respond to F.D.A.-approved drugs for the condition, many more seek relief through lifestyle changes and alternative and complementary therapies.

This week Dr. Brent Bauer, director of the complementary and integrative medicine program at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., joins the Consults blogs to answer readers questions about fibromyalgia. Dr. Bauer writes:

Fibromyalgia is a vexing condition for both patients and doctors. It’s vexing for patients because it can cause symptoms ranging from mild muscle aches to debilitating pain, yet it remains poorly understood and has no known cure. It’s vexing for many physicians who are faced with suffering patients but have only a limited armamentarium of treatments to offer.

The good news is that research is growing – revealing many new strategies for dealing with fibromyalgia in a way that helps many patients live with the disease successfully.

One exciting area of research in the past decade has been in the realm of complementary and alternative medicine, or CAM, treatments for fibromyalgia. These range from well recognized therapies like acupuncture and massage to more novel treatments like d-ribose and qi-gong.

As this research grows, it is increasingly possible to identify CAM therapies that have some evidence of efficacy and minimal risk that can be incorporated right along with the more conventional treatment recommendations. This blending of the best of evidence-based alternative medicine with the best of conventional medicine is typically referred to as “integrative medicine” – since it is an integration of both for the benefit of the individual patient.

In fibromyalgia, this might mean taking your prescribed medication while adding in a massage once a week or pursuing a gentle, graded exercise program while you also receive acupuncture treatments. By working with your care team, you may be able to find a new combination of approaches that fit your lifestyle while addressing your unique needs.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Long Search for Fibromyalgia Support

Today's guest blogger is,
"Psychology of Pain". 
Created by Gary B. Rollman, Professor of Psychology, University of Western Ontario, London, ON. 

I'm sure a lot of us can relate to Glenn and Judy's story.

Fibromyalgia - Reporter's File - The Long Search for Fibromyalgia Support - NY Times Health

Glenn Robinson was always physically affectionate with his wife, 
Judy. But after she underwent abdominal surgery four years ago, 
everything changed.

Long after the incision healed, Judy had pain in her hips, her lower 
back, her legs, her muscles, her skin. When Glenn tried to tickle or 
squeeze her, she would shy away. Hugs would elicit a grimace. "Don't 
touch me; it hurts," she would say, backing off. Glenn reacted the 
way any husband would. "I got angry," he said.

The couple's social life ground to a halt. Judy, 48, began begging 
off picnics, barbecues and trips to the boat races at Belle Isle Park 
in Detroit, where they live.

"We would make plans to get together with friends for dinner," said 
Glenn, 50. "Come that day, beautiful weather, she wouldn't want to 
leave the house."

There were days when Judy didn't even want to talk on the phone. And 
though she soldiered through eight-hour workdays in the shipping and 
receiving department of a leather company, she would take breaks to 
sit in the bathroom and cry.

The Robinsons became desperate to find out what could possibly be 
causing Judy's pain. M.R.I.'s turned up nothing more than a herniated 
disc or osteoarthritis. Both can be excruciating, but neither could 
account for the pains Judy felt all over her body. Her doctor 
prescribed narcotics, but even those didn't help. It hurt to wash her 
face. It hurt to raise her arm. It hurt to sleep. It still does.

"If you touch my back, it feels like it's all bruised," she said. 
"Lately it's felt like electroshocks."

In March 2009, after four years of suffering, Judy finally found a 
new doctor who could name her ailment: fibromyalgia.

If there is a circle of purgatory that Dante forgot, it might be the 
one reserved for fibromyalgia sufferers. The problem isn't just 
pervasive pain. It's the challenge of having a condition that is not 
well understood. It doesn't help that there is no objective medical 
test to confirm it — no blood test, no cheek swab, no X-ray — just a 
patient's subjective reports. Nor does it help that there is no cure. 
Many physicians don't want to be bothered with incurable patients.

If doctors don't sympathize, why would friends? How do you explain to
people that you have no broken bones or burns or even infections, yet 
your body hurts all over? You look fine, yet beg off work and social 
engagements. Are you a malingerer? Are you just trying to claim 
disability? Are you simply crazy? And why don't you get better?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Upbeat Music Thursday

Doctors Often Misdiagnose Celiac Disease

I found this article to be interesting. The part about how every person diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome should be tested for celiacs disease and the cause of the disease is an intolerance to gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. 




Dear Dr. Donohue: My husband has celiac disease. We are very much aware of how often it is ignored, misdiagnosed and mistreated by the medical profession. You recently discussed irritable bowel syndrome, which has symptoms similar to celiac disease. Please mention celiac disease so the possibility will be investigated.

R.E.



Dear R.E.: Hearing about celiac disease as a medical student, I thought I could tuck it away in a back file, since I would never see it. That was a wrong impression. It's a common disorder that often is misdiagnosed because its symptoms are mistaken for other illnesses, one being irritable bowel syndrome.

Diarrhea, weight loss, fatigue, bloating and crampy abdominal pain are celiac disease's most conspicuous symptoms. However, many celiac patients don't have dramatic symptoms. They might see the doctor for osteoporosis, because celiac disease interferes with calcium absorption. Or they might have an iron-deficiency anemia because of that mineral's malabsorption. Often, a celiac patient's symptoms are those of irritable bowel syndrome, and the patient is given treatment that does nothing for celiac disease.



Many doctors feel that all who are diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome should have the simple blood test for celiac disease. If that test is positive, further testing with a small bowel biopsy confirms the diagnosis.

Celiac disease is an intolerance to gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. In intolerant people, gluten activates the immune system, which attacks the digestive tract. Treatment is a gluten-free diet. In the early stages of treatment, oats are often banned because during refinement, they're frequently contaminated with one of the gluten grains.



A gluten-free diet is somewhat difficult to master and is somewhat constricting in the food choices it allows. However, the Celiac Disease Foundation stands ready to help people master the diet. Contact the foundation at (818) 990-2354 or on the Internet at www.celiac.org.


Dear Dr. Donohue: My older brother died in a mobile home fire in Alaska. Enclosed is a copy of his autopsy. It states the cause of death as "hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease with smoke inhalation contributing to it." I find no evidence of heart attack or stroke in the report. The Internet does not indicate that a carbon monoxide level of 34.9 percent is a fatal level (his level). Please explain.

S.C.


Dear S.C.: Your brother had signs of an old heart attack (lateral wall myocardial infarction). His heart arteries were severely clogged, showing from 90 percent to 99 percent blockages. His heart was twice the normal size, most likely a result of high blood pressure. A heart with such advanced disease and so starved for blood is liable to develop lethal heartbeats from the level of carbon dioxide found in his blood. Smoke, in addition to carbon monoxide, contains other noxious gases that added to the burden of an already overburdened heart.

Carbon monoxide displaces oxygen from red blood cells. The red blood cells grab onto it in preference to oxygen. His heart suffered a great oxygen deficit from the carbon monoxide and from the tremendously reduced blood supply to his heart.

You have my deepest condolences on your brother's death.


Dear Dr. Donohue: Years ago, Carmen Miranda sang to us to not put bananas in the refrigerator. Why? Are we supposed to leave them on the counter to attract fruit flies? Personally, I like a cold banana. What to do?

G.J.


Dear G.J.: I remember the banana advertisement. It went something like: "Bananas like the climate of the very, very tropical equator, so you should never put bananas in the refrigerator."

You'll be happy to know Carmen's advice no longer holds true and really never did. You can put bananas in the refrigerator. They last longer. Their peels might turn brown, but the bananas themselves stay fresh.

Your health Write to Dr. Paul Donohue at P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475.


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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

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