"However, (with all due respect) this requires a far greater degree of medical knowledge than a nurse or physiotherapist would possess. The mantra of the WCA – that it does not require clinical expertise or diagnostic experience – in this area is an obvious nonsense."
"Budget cutbacks and law changes forced through by the Tory-led Coalition Government are crippling the bureau’s attempts to help ordinary people get by… at the very time when more people than ever need urgent help."
"Many of us with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome have heat sensitivity, which means our bodies get overheated easily and have a hard time cooling down. Getting too hot can lead to other symptoms, such as puffiness, achiness, headaches, dizziness, added fatigue, nausea and more."
"Pretty obviously, very many disabled people are fat, as am I, simply because our conditions totally preclude exercise, without which it is quite impossible to lose weight, and that weight is very often caused by our medication"
"Adolf Hitler would have been be so proud! He failed in taking the British Isles but it turns out that it doesn’t really matter as his political ideologies are being readily carried out by todays Tory led coalition government."
"From Monday, the government will limit receipt of the contributory allowance to just 365 days. It marks the end of a welfare state that rested on William Beveridge's central idea that social security was "first and foremost a plan of insurance – of giving in return for contributions benefits up to subsistence levels". "
"The graph above (from Shelter) disputes Shapps’ claim that rents are falling. Quite the opposite is happening. A combination of soaring rents and a plunging economy would be enough to create mass homelessness on their own, without any changes to housing benefits. "
"Sciatica is a term often used to describe any low back and leg pain, but it more specifically applies to lumbosacral radiculopathy due to the impingement of nerve roots as they emerge from the spinal canal. Up to half of all cases of spinal pain may be neuropathic in origin, meaning they are caused by nerve compression, inflammation, and/or injury. A pair of recent studies examined treatments for sciatica and found that very few are helpful and they confer only modest and temporarily relief."
"A new study published in the European Journal of Pain provides further evidence of a genetic component of fibromyalgia. Specifically, researchers linked alternate forms of some specific clusters of genetic material to pain sensitivity in people with fibromyalgia."
"A newly launched site has dubbed the upcoming EU Cookie Law “ridiculous,” echoing the sentiments of a growing number of voices across the internet. As these protests grow louder, No Cookie Law aims to raise awareness of the EU cookie law and hopefully increase the chance of changes being made."
"With Britain’s obesity levels shooting up, and greater understanding of just how bad for us sugar can be, the hunt is on for alternatives. But there’s a problem. Many sugar substitutes are synthetics that are no better for us than real sugar. What’s more, some of these synthetics – aspartame and acesulfame-K to name just two – have been linked to cancer. "
"Rupert Murdoch has blamed his underlings for keeping him in the dark about the fact the News of The World was a tabloid newspaper, and said he thought the publication was a high-quality current-affairs broadsheet instead."
"The moral of the story? Don't be so harsh on the man on the bus with cheesy feet and no trousers, the Government have told him that he's fine to be out in society. After all, bankers' bonus pots and Vodafone's profit and loss account are far more important. Remember how we're all in this together, folks."
"Many people with lifelong conditions and TERMINAL illnesses are being put through this process, which only adds to the stress and anxiety they already live with. It’s not just the assessment itself, it’s the waiting for that letter to drop on the doormat. For me, and many others, it is almost psychological torture."
"“The results are in: Keynesians have been completely right, Austerians utterly wrong – at vast human cost” – so wrote Nobel prize winning economist Paul Krugman in the New York Times following yesterday’s announcement Britain is in a double-dip recession."
"There are particular features of a credit crunch that make a recovery harder than a conventional recession. However I feel that all the intervention and extraordinary monetary stimulus that has been provided has simply not worked and via its impact on real wages (which are falling) may have made things worse. Also the banking sector which is the one most responsible for our predicament has been bailed out but crucially not reformed. We have made the mistake of the Japanese in allowing zombie banks to continue and this led to a what is called a “lost decade” for them but now encompasses two decades.""
"This information will not directly help you with your WCA or your ESA claim. However, by giving you a bit of insight into the hidden agenda and the lengths to which DWP will go to fulfil its aims you might just be better prepared for what is ahead of you. Remember, if it smells fishy and looks fishy, it is probably a fish. "
"A recent USA study connecting political views and intelligence has shown that the mean adolescent intelligence of young adults who identify themselves as "very liberal" is 106.4, while that of those who identify themselves as "very conservative" is 94.8. Two other studies conducted in the UK reached similar conclusions."
" While it might seem like common sense for anyone who feels utterly exhausted to “simply” back off on some of their activities to avoid burnout, this can be easier said than done sometimes. There are times this requires tough choices to be made."
"Governments have also agreed that by implementing a 640 x 480 resolution and changing the scale used on both sides of the graph, the global economy can look forward to increased gains in future quarters, although some of this may be offset by squinting."
"Unlike many other debilitating conditions, poshness is still regarded as a disgusting illness in some circles, and those that suffer from it are openly abused and ridiculed. Pharmaceutical companies are a long way from finding an effective cure for the wasting disease, which can also affect the life expectancy of quails, grouse and foxes."
"This is the recession that George Osborne repeatedly assured us wouldn’t happen, despite OECD predictions that it would as recently as last month. But the new developments will heap still more pressure on a chancellor reeling from the catastrophe of his last budget. The decision to cut tax for millionaires looks even more unsound now."
"The findings show that patients with chronic fatigue syndrome have decreased activation of an area of the brain known as the basal ganglia in response to reward. Additionally, the extent of this lowered activation was associated with each patient's measured level of fatigue. The basal ganglia are at the base of the brain and are associated with a variety of functions, including motor activity and motivation. Diseases affecting basal ganglia are often associated with fatigue. These results shed more light on this mysterious condition, information that researchers hope may eventually lead to better treatments for chronic fatigue syndrome."
"The people of this country have to decide, and soon, whether they want Cameron’s Reich, or a democratic country, probably a republic, which looks after its own citizens, all of whom, regardless of wealth or privilege, will have the same access to healthcare and justice, and those who need it have the support of the more fortunate members of society.
It really is that stark a choice. Doing nothing is no longer an option."
"Politicians of all parties have rightly paid tribute to Jack Ashley after his death on 20th April aged 89. Not one of them mentioned the fact that he tirelessly pushed for an Independent Living Bill. "
"Patients coping with the complex pain disorder fibromyalgia often have difficulty sleeping, and a new study published in The Journal of Pain reports that despite the negative quality of life implications, poor sleep is not a significant predictor of fibromyalgia pain intensity and duration."
"Maybe the French had the right idea after all? I really don’t know what the answer is, but this country is headed for a modern-day feudalism, run by corrupt millionaires and corporations for their own benefit, and with the needs of the people coming a very long way last."
"Experts warned the 80-year-old child cruelty law fails to cover all forms of neglect, including emotional abuse, which can cause long-term mental scarring. They also claimed that nearly three-quarters of people said there was little understanding of that the term "good parenting" actually meant. "
"Health care can be converted into a market, but it is a market of winners and losers. Those with good health or good income are likely to benefit from market forces, whereas their polar opposites will be damaged."
"ow, when a claimant is refused ESA the record of the assessment (on form ESA85) is always included in a claimant's DLA appeal papers because the Department for Work & Pensions like to point to it and use it as further evidence to back up their case. When the assessment is favourable to the claimant they don't put it in, which is equivalent to the prosecution in a criminal case failing to divulge relevant information to the defence."
"Do you know what that does to you? Do you know how much strength of character it takes to face 6 doctors, all stood around your bed and tell them you think they're wrong? To refuse a course of treatment you know is irrelevant? To do it for weeks, months, even years, until you find a saviour? A good doc after all the bad docs? "
"Classified as a rheumatic illness, current research shows it is actually neurological in origin. Fibromyalgia is the result of a damaged central nervous system and an excessive amplification of sensory pain signals."
"To shift the balance to your favor, other than incorporating more natural anti-inflammatory foods in your diet, it’s also equally important to avoid or cut down on foods which are known to promote inflammation. Here, we look at the top ten foods which set the stage for inflammatory diseases:"
"We have been firm in our opposition to this measure because adding to the financial pressure felt by older people on modest incomes is unfair and unnecessary when the government is using the proceeds to fund an irresponsible tax giveaway for millionaires."
"Apparently, the European Union’s (EU’s) 2007–13 EU Strategy on Nutrition, Overweight and Obesity-related Health Issues is failing to tackle rising obesity. But is it any wonder, when Big Food sponsors the high-level discussions meant to solve the problem, and its propaganda is everywhere?"
""Britain now has the world’s most over-indebted banking system, according to new figures from the International Monetary Fund". The Fund’s Global Financial Stability Report has revealed that the total gross debt of Britain’s banks is equivalent to 742% of the UK’s total economic output – equivalent to around £11 trillion. It means Britain has overtaken Ireland, whose banking system’s debt is equivalent to 691% of GDP""
"There are some benefits of owning a robotic vacuum cleaner. For one, you won’t need to do any of the cleaning, saving you time in the long run. The Roomba 760 can also vacuum those hard to reach places like under sofas and beds — places which are usually neglected. Plus, with its HEPA filters and scheduling functions, it will keep pet hair and dust from accumulating by vacuuming on a daily basis — something that you’d be hard-pressed to do yourself."
"It has become a tradition in Britain for political parties to accuse the BBC of bias whenever they are put under the pressure of scrutiny. It rarely turns out to be true, if ever, but today I, and many other people, noticed something that seems to give the idea some credibility."
"French company Atos, which has a £108m per year contract with the government, has failed to remove grossly misleading claims from its website – despite being ordered to do so by the Advertising Standards Authority."
"Laurence Lewis's Daily Kos editorial, "The cruel stupidity that is economic austerity," is a blazing indictment of austerity as a means of recovering from recession, and it cites experts and statistics showing that austerity programs (in Europe, particularly) are deepening the recession, destroying lives, and demolishing vital social institutions that are especially needed in economic downturns."
"Last year over £19bn in welfare benefits went unclaimed. The complexity of the benefits system and stigma around claiming are both barriers that stop those in financial need accessing the help that they are entitled to."
"MDs often prescribe antidepressants for Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS). The problem is that the results are very mixed and these prescriptions seem to be rooted more in the belief that something is wrong with the FMS patients psyche than with his body. "
"Fact checking has its origin in the early 20th century, when magazines began to verify statements made in non-fictional texts prior to publication. This practice increases credibility and trustworthiness of articles and documents. Today, fact checking is often associated with political journalism, but can of course be used in any field, including your homework."
"He added: "I think we should have a compromise. Boris should let me be Mayor and I will support him to be the permanent host of Have I Got News For You. That would be each of us doing what we do best.""
"The method – popularly known as ‘fagging’ - is also seen as a relatively cheap way of ensuring the country’s natural resources are extracted and made available for exploition by a bunch of public schoolboys and their friends."
"The Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley, has called a summit of senior officials to decide this afternoon which animal will be the source of the virus that will almost certainly kill everyone on the planet by Christmas."
"I get the feeling that the tide may be starting to turn in relation to welfare reform. This is just a gut feeling, nothing more, but I have some evidence – not that the Government is starting to listen, yet, but that other organisations and individuals are finding their voice and that the media is starting to listen."
"User-led charity Disability Rights UK has done an interesting analysis of government plans for 500,000 people to lose access to disability living allowance by 2015-16, which finds it leading to significant extra costs in out-of-work benefits, social care and health."
"Although cutting grants such as those provided to Housing Action will ‘save money’, looking at things in the round, the long term costs will undoubtedly be considerably more than the cash saved today."
"In a year of intriguing studies this is one of the more intriguing. Stress has been something of a keynote in CFS research lately and researchers now regularly employ different kinds of stress tests to provoke abnormalities in patients. But does this unusual response to stress make its way all into the DNA of our cells? The National CFIDS Foundation in collaboration with the Nancy Taylor Foundation is betting $133,000 that it does…"
"Rather than blindly cutting Carbohydrates and increasing protein and fat intake, you should opt for a healthy ratio of 30% protein, 15% fat, and 55% Complex Carbohydrates. This ratio will help you to lose weight steadily and safely. The key is to reduce fat and SIMPLE carbohydrates not Carbohydrates in general."
"The coalition’s approach to abolishing DLA assumed that expenditure is ‘deadweight’, and thus that cuts were achievable without knock on effects for other government revenue or expenditure. This falsehood would have been exposed had the government undertaken a full impact assessment."
"Not only do they taste great, but mangoes are also loaded with several qualities that are excellent for your health. Their powerful antioxidants are known to neutralize free radicals that cause damage to cells and lead to health problems like heart disease, premature aging and cancer among other things. "
"After the Environment Agency warned that Water shortages across England could last until beyond Christmas, disaffected gardeners are contemplating staging violent protests on in their gardens in the hope that police will disperse them with water cannons while simultaneously watering their lawns."
"Do you struggle with things like going out to dinner, reading a book, playing games and watching TV or movies? You're not alone. Get a look at common problems those activities pose for us and how you might be able too work around them:"
"Work, while desirable, is not always an achievable aim for those with mental illness, the stresses involved – often difficult enough for anyone who is mentally sound to deal with – would doubtless tip them into a crisis. Not everybody, you dumb bastard, rises to a challenge by digging deep into their reserves – many mentally ill people simply have no reserves."
"What could possibly be happening to the person with fibromyalgia who cannot find relief from an aggravation as severe as itching that could even cause open wounds, rashes and other skin lesions? Unlike the frustrations of a disease such as eczema, or a fungal infection of ringworm, or an autoimmune disorder of psoriasis, the itching of fibromyalgia does not seem to have a specific label which can be attached to it."
"A study published in 2010 showed a significant difference in serum ferritin (iron) levels between healthy people and those with fibromyalgia. Researchers concluded that low iron created a 6.5-fold increase to the risk of fibromyalgia."
"I do want to work, my brain is ok even if the body is wearing out but where am I supposed to find a job? There aren't enough for fit people let alone for an arthritic 50-something! Incidentally, part of why I was found to be fit was that I was clean, could hold a conversation and could carry a medium size handbag.
A tip for anyone who has an assessment coming up – go scruffy, be incoherent and don't take a handbag."
"Just last week the company was condemned by the Advertising Standards Authority for claiming that it has got “1700+ healthcare professionals”. Such is the arrogance of this firm that it didn’t even bothering responding to the ASA, which is the kind of behaviour we usually see in fly-by-night conmen, not huge companies trusted by the government with such important matters as this."
"... the media spotlight and the political rhetoric are misleading. The most recent report published by the Department for Work and Pensions found fraud constitutes only 0.8% of total benefits payments; in absolute cash terms this equals roughly £1.2 billion"
"On Saturday 26th May join UK Uncut’s Great British Street Party to demand that we keep our public services, our rights and our welfare system and to celebrate a new future that isn’t dictated to us by a handful of millionaires but decided by us all – together."
"... there is now evidence that ATOS is actively looking for criticisms of its work wherever it can find them, particularly on the internet, with some carers groups having to either withdraw materials or take down their web sites in the face of threats to resort to legal action. And we all know that the little people can’t compete, financially, with the rich and powerful when it comes to possible court action."
"Pain is necessary. In many cases, it's a good thing - whether it feels like it or not. However, when your body starts processing pain abnormally, as in fibromyalgia and some cases of chronic fatigue syndrome, it ceases to be helpful and starts doing harm."
"If/when the strike is announced I intend to ask my GP for three months supply of everything. And if it goes on longer than 2 months, look to restocking at that time, as deliveries to pharmacies might be patchy, and waiting til I get low foolish."
"In one instance, a million or more patients who suffer from the devastating, life-robbing disease known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), or myalgic encephalomyelitis, struggle through days of almost total incapacitation, disorientation, pain and despair, clinging to hope that science will rescue them. All that's known is that like AIDS, it's a disease of the immune system."
"It shouldn't be news by now that stress, especially chronic, prolonged stress, can have negative effects on your health and well-being. We've discussed what stress actually does to your body and what you can do about it, but just to drive the point home, new research shows that chronic, constant stress from things like a busy job and tense home can lead to more than just the occassional headache. "
"Knowing what isn't in a beauty product can be as important as knowing what is. New EU legislation threatens to restrict the 'free from' term on skincare labels but Neal's Yard Remedies say this penalises those that go out of their way to ensure products are safe"
"One of the main advocates of the bio-psychosocial model, Lord Freud (Westminster’s Minister for welfare reform) claims that it is based on evidence. It is not. It is a right wing model led by profit and the market. It incorporates the worst aspects of neo-liberalism. It targets disabled people and ridiculously claims that we can think ourselves out of being disabled."
"By transferring Centurion staff into a new private-public partnership with Serco/G4S he claims wage costs will be slashed whilst maintaining the skilled workforce and high levels of customer service the Centurions are renowned for."
"A new study reports at least 5% of patients with CFS nearly 3 years after an acute Giardia enteritis infection, providing evidence of yet another infectious agent that can trigger CFS along with Epstein-Barr Virus, Viral meningitis and the bacterium Coxiella burnetii, amongst others. Other studies on the same outbreak also show a strong link between the acute Giardia infection and both chronic fatigue and IBS."
"The UK's enthusiastic role in the burgeoning but unregulated surveillance market is becoming an urgent concern for human rights groups, who want the government to ensure that exports are regulated in a similar way to arms."
"The gradual influence being invoked by companies such as Atos and Unum in the British media world is increasing and it’s causing untold damage to various causes, our fight is being hindered by the main broadcasting corporation of the United Kingdom, we cannot expect reliable commentary by the BBC over the governments continuing attacks on the disabled and poor."
Just when I thought the government policy of cutting benefits (aka "reform") had reached its zenith of bizarre, unrealistic cruelty, along comes another cunning plan so ill considered it defies belief. The latest wheeze being floated is the suggestion that nobody under the age of 25 should be entitled to housing benefit.
"Unemployed, homeless and other poor people will have to be kept out of sight in large shops and supermarkets, while small outlets are exempt until 2015. The government is also planning to extend the ban to include public displays of disability."
"A normal, healthy person’s body takes a mildly stressful situation and processes it in a normal way. But people with ME/CFS do not have the capability of handling even the smallest amounts of stress. Part of the problem with this disease is that even the smallest amounts of stress can send us to our beds for weeks at a time. If we have to deal with stressful situations for weeks, months at a time, our bodies will completely shut down and cannot recover quickly."
"Sadly many I have talked to have expressed the frustration of this sentiment. So let me get right to the point. When a person has a disabling illness they have to damn near live in a bubble to manage you bet your ass we pick and choose what to do with our "well" moments. We just don't have that many of them! Did it ever occur to the offended persons that you like Sally a whole lot more, and had an astronomically better time at her party than you would have had at theirs? Are they aware you did as close to nothing as possible for a week before and after to even make it to your friend's house out of town? Have they ever stopped to think you are still a person with hopes and dreams and desires even though you got sick? The basic tenants of your personality are being squashed by awful pain, but have never gone away? And you have as much of a right to snippets of happiness in your life as they have in theirs? "