CHAOSTOCOSMOS

Friday, 28 February 2014

Does Non-Restorative Sleep Lead to Fibromyalgia?

This study wasn't specifically on fibromyalgia, but the condition falls under the umbrella term of widespread pain. Also, widespread pain can sensitize the nervous system and contribute to fibromyalgia's development. We know from prior research that many cases of fibromyalgia involve non-restorative sleep. It's been a matter of some debate whether poor sleep is a symptom or cause of the condition.

Does Non-Restorative Sleep Lead to Fibromyalgia?

Thursday, 27 February 2014

They Call it a Complex, Multi-System Disease for a Reason

Maybe this is why it’s so hard to get a diagnosis of ME/CFS. It’s not just that it’s a disease of exclusion. It’s that it is a disease of exclusion… while having to prove you are sick. An act which just thinking about probably feels like mental gymnastics. Think about what it feels like physically.

They Call it a Complex, Multi-System Disease for a Reason: Justina Pelletier and ME/CFS

The Energy Disorders: Diabetes, ME/CFS and FM - Can Diabetes Tell Us Anything About Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia?

There are the intriguingly similar exercise test findings in ME/CFS and diabetes, and the possibly high rates of small fiber neuropathy in both diabetes and FM.  All three disorders feature high rates of oxidative stress, arterial stiffness, and signs of inflammation. Heart rate variability studies suggest sympathetic nervous system activation in all three disorders. Autonomic nervous system issues are rampant in diabetes and may be central to ME/CFS. The leptin findings in FM, ME/CFS, and diabetes indicate another sphere of overlap, and then underlying all of this potentially is a similar inflammatory milieu.

The Energy Disorders: Diabetes, ME/CFS and FM – Can Diabetes Tell Us Anything About Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia?

Protect Your Privacy While Discussing Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Online

You may not think you have reason to worry about it right now. However, it pays to keep in mind that health information shared online has come back to hurt a lot of people when it comes to divorce and custody disputes, searching for work, applying for disability, and in all kinds of personal ways.



Protect Your Privacy While Discussing Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Online

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

No more repeat Work Capability Assessments until Atos replaced

It appears that the DWP have suspended all repeat Work Capability Assessments with Atos. This means that those who currently receive Employment Support Allowance and are in the Support Group or the Work-Related Activity Group will not be called back for repeat assessment unless the DWP are informed that their health has changed.



Where's the Benefit?: No more repeat Work Capability Assessments until Atos replaced

Benefit cheek: Richest MP Richard Benyon gets thousands in benefits

There are many reasons to hate Tory Richard Benyon. Not only is he Britain’s richest MP worth £110 million, and not only did he slash flood defences when he was environment secretary. But the leeching landlord is also raking in £625,000 a year in housing benefit from his poor tenants, according to the GMB union. And he has the nerve to moan about the “something for nothing culture” in Britain.



Benefit cheek: Richest MP Richard Benyon gets thousands in benefits

Tooth/Mouth Problems in Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Do you have tooth or mouth problems that you think are part of your fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome? A lot of people wonder about this, gauging from the amount of conversations it spawns online. Sadly, though not surprisingly, we have very little research on most of these issues.



Tooth/Mouth Problems in Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Embracing Change – ME and the International Classification of Diseases

The WHO ICD featured recently in an online article (since withdrawn),
which heightened patient concern over what might happen when the current
ICD-10 is finally revised. N.A.Wright provides a timely summary of this
international classification system, considers some of the issues
surrounding the existing and proposed listing, and calls on our advocacy
organisations to get involved…



Embracing Change – ME and the International Classification of Diseases

Psychological side-effects of anti-depressants worse than thought

Thoughts of suicide, sexual difficulties and emotional numbness as a result of anti-depressants may be more widespread than previously thought, a researcher has found. In a survey of 1,829 people who had been prescribed anti-depressants, the researchers found large numbers of people -- over half in some cases -- reporting on psychological problems due to their medication, which has led to growing concerns about the scale of the problem of over-prescription of these drugs.



Psychological side-effects of anti-depressants worse than thought


Monday, 24 February 2014

Shocking Extent Of Sick And Disabled Benefit Sanctions Revealed

The news that sick and disabled people are also now being targeted for draconian benefit sanctions will be seen by some as not only cruel and callous, but also totally unjustified. Particularly when we take into account the undeniable truth that ESA claimants have some of the biggest barriers to employment – including but not limited to mental health issues, disabilities, poor physical health and other issues – drastically reducing their employability and work capability at a time when there are still an average of five unemployed people chasing every single job vacancy in the UK. The majority of which may be fit and healthy and arguably more ‘appealing’ to employers.



Shocking Extent Of Sick And Disabled Benefit Sanctions Revealed

Sunday, 23 February 2014

The 'Scrounging Scum' to 'hard working, tax credit claiming, socially acceptable scrounging' journey


With government rhetoric stressing their keenness to get more disabled people into work you might think that their scheme to support disabled people in employment would be an example of well-oiled machinery.


But when, having got a job, Kaliya Franklin set about getting the support she needs, what she encountered was a confused tangle of red tape and bureaucracy.


Benefit Scrounging Scum: The 'Scrounging Scum' to 'hard working, tax credit claiming, socially acceptable scrounging' journey

Affordable medical insurance? Yeah, right…

What benefit bigots conveniently choose to ignore is that a large
proportion of our benefits goes back to the exchequer in taxes. What’s
left contributes to keeping the economy ticking over. Unlike the rich,
we don’t have enough money to take it out of circulation and hoard it.
 Affordable medical insurance? Yeah, right…

Posts Roundup (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Diary of a Benefit Scrounger: Please complete our ESA Survey

We all know that ESA is broken. We look at the volume of appeals and their success rate, the inaccuracies and untruths in Atos reports, the stress and hardship, the small numbers getting work, and it all says ESA doesn’t work.

But the flaws are deeper. It’s not just that the assessment is poorly applied or that it’s too strict, it’s that the whole system is set up on flawed principles.

Now is the time for us to say that. The cross party Work and Pensions Committee has opened a review into ESA, and they want people to submit evidence.

Spartacus will be responding, but as ever we don’t want to say what a few people think. We want to know what YOU think. You can help us by completing our survey here



Diary of a Benefit Scrounger: Please complete our ESA Survey

Cortisol: Stress hormone linked to frailty

Lower morning and higher evening cortisol levels contribute to frailty in older individuals, according to new research. Frailty confers a high risk for institutionalization and increased risk of mortality and is characterized by unintentional weight loss, feelings of exhaustion and fatigue, physical inactivity, slow gait speed and low grip strength. Neuroendocrine function, including cortisol secretion, is thought to be involved in the etiology of frailty, but until now the underlying biological mechanisms have not been well understood.



Cortisol: Stress hormone linked to frailty

The 'Mono' Studies: Looking for Answers to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Studies indicate that when you ask an adolescent what triggered their Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, up to three-quarters are going to say mononucleosis (or glandular fever) or some other sudden, often vicious mono-like illness. With fully fifty percent of them testing positive for mono, it’s no wonder that Epstein-Barr virus, the pathogen that almost always causes ‘classic mono’, has received more interest than any other virus in ME/CFS.



The 'Mono' Studies: Looking for Answers to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Don't worry, be happy: Understanding mindfulness meditation

In times of stress, we're often encouraged to pause for a moment and simply be in the 'now.' This kind of mindfulness, an essential part of Buddhist and Indian Yoga traditions, has entered the mainstream as people try to find ways to combat stress and improve their quality of life. And research suggests that mindfulness meditation can have benefits for health and performance, including improved immune function, reduced blood pressure, and enhanced cognitive function.



Don't worry, be happy: Understanding mindfulness meditation

Are Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and chronic fatigue syndrome 2 different illnesses?

Considerable discussion has transpired regarding whether chronic fatigue syndrome is a distinct illness from Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. A prior study contrasted the Myalgic Encephalomyelitis International Consensus Criteria with the Fukuda and colleagues' chronic fatigue syndrome criteria and found that the Myalgic Encephalomyelitis International Consensus Criteria identified a subset of patients with greater functional impairment and physical, mental, and cognitive problems than the larger group who met Fukuda and colleagues' criteria. The current study analyzed two discrete data sets and found that the Myalgic Encephalomyelitis International Consensus Criteria identified more impaired individuals with more severe symptomatology.



Are Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and chronic fatigue syndrome 2 different illnesses?

Mindfulness meditation may improve decision-making, new study suggests

One 15-minute focused-breathing meditation may help people make smarter choices, according to new research from researchers at INSEAD and The Wharton School. The findings are published in the February issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.



Mindfulness meditation may improve decision-making, new study suggests

An Interview with the Creator of the Vagus Nerve Infection Hypothesis For ME/CFS

Michael VanElzakker’s hypothesis that infections of the vagus nerve cause ME/CFS has generated an enormous interest. Now the Tufts neuroscientist talks about how he got interested in ME/CFS, how he’s trying to test his hypothesis, why he believes it may be able to explain post-exertional malaise and more in a Simmaron Rising blog.



An Interview with the Creator of the Vagus Nerve Infection Hypothesis For ME/CFS

Quetiapine for Depression & Pain in Fibromyalgia

New research suggests that the drug quetiapine XR (extended relief) is effective for people with major depressive disroder (MDD) and comorbid fibromyalgia. Quetiapine is the drug in Seroquel and Seroquel XR.



Of course, every treatment comes with a downside. The cons include:



  • It can cause orthostatic hypotension (a drop in blood pressure upon
    standing that leads to dizziness), which is already a problem for some
    people with fibromyalgia;
  • It has serious possible side effects, including the potentially
    fatal neuroleptic malignant syndrome, cardiac problems, diabetes,
    erratic movement that can be permanent, and metabolic changes that can
    lead to weight gain;
  • Its association with psychiatric illnesses may further the stigma and misunderstanding of fibromyalgia.


Quetiapine for Depression & Pain in Fibromyalgia

Friday, 21 February 2014

Atos May Lose Fit-For-Work Tests Contract As Ministers Line Up Rival Firms

 A leaked Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) financial review says ministers across government are working together to build up competition to the multinational company by commissioning other private firms to add “further capacity” to the current assessment system. The DWP will then enable “these providers to take over the whole contract” from Atos after the present agreement expires in 2015.



Atos May Lose Fit-For-Work Tests Contract As Ministers Line Up Rival Firms

'Weird' feeling could be sign of brain chemical imbalance

 Here's how "weird" neurotransmitter imbalances can make you feel:

Dopamine: Deficiencies make you crave alcohol, illicit drugs, opiate painkillers and cigarettes. Yes, correcting dopamine levels can help addiction. But too much dopamine is associated with aggression and paranoia. Imbalances with this neurotransmitter (especially when low) are tied to Parkinson's, depression, attention/focus problems, schizophrenia, spectrum disorders and autism.

Histamine: It makes you sneeze, but did you know that chronically high levels are tied to migraines and eczema, and obsessive compulsive behavior? Low levels cause fatigue, low libido and paranoia.

Serotonin: Popular antidepressants lift it temporarily including the Zoloft you take. Deficiencies can cause fatigue, muscle cramps, irritability and always feeling hot. High serotonin is tied to bone loss, irritable bowels, trembling, nausea, and a feeling of overconfidence that some might call arrogance.

If you're lacking norepinephrine you'll have profound adrenal fatigue and stubborn weight gain. You'll want energy shots all day long. If you're GABA-deficient (gamma-aminobutyric acid), insomnia and anxiety are evident to those around you. High epinephrine and you're too aggressive.



Life as we know it: 'Weird' feeling could be sign of brain chemical imbalance - Newsday

Switch That Says It's Time to Sleep Identified

The switch in the brain that sends us off to sleep has been identified in a study in fruit flies. The switch works by regulating the activity of a handful of sleep-promoting nerve cells, or neurons, in the brain. The neurons fire when we're tired and need sleep, and dampen down when we're fully rested. Although the research was carried out in fruit flies, or Drosophila, the scientists say the sleep mechanism is likely to be relevant to humans.

Switch That Says It's Time to Sleep Identified

Fibromyalgia & Structural Changes in the Brain

A recent review focuses on of evidence on central sensitization in fibromyalgia and related structural changes in the brain. The review largely validates the work that has been done and the conclusions that have been reached as a result.

Fibromyalgia & Structural Changes in the Brain

Dave’s moral crusade to cut welfare

How cutting public spending and keeping your fingers crossed makes an “economic plan” is something this LibDem-supported Tory government still hasn’t explained two months short of its fourth anniversary. But let’s park that up – we can go for a spin in it another time. What interests me here is the thin gruel that passes for high Conservative philosophy.

Dave’s moral crusade to cut welfare

Atos Smears Disabled People for WCA Failure

It would have seemed hard for Atos to further worsen its appalling reputation on the Work Capability Assessment, but in a blatant PR puff-piece in the Financial Times it seeks to create an impression it wants to withdraw from the WCA because of repeated death threats to its staff by disabled campaigners.

Atos Smears Disabled People for WCA Failure

Welcome to Inequality Street | Dr Simon Duffy

2014-02-17-BurdenoftheCuts.jpg
Britain prides itself on its sense of justice, on fair play and sticking up for the underdog. So what's gone wrong? Increasingly, as we look around, we find we're living on Inequality Street.
Take, for example, the 2010 austerity programme. In theory the cuts didn't have to target the poorest, but in reality they have. This week The Centre for Welfare Reform published a new report, Counting the Cuts, which measures, not just how large the cuts have been, but also how fair they are, and who is being targeted. The results are shocking.

Welcome to Inequality Street

Jobcentre awarded staff gold stars for sanctioning claimants

DWP’s denials that it uses targets to force Jobcentre staff to sanction benefits claimants is struck yet another blow this evening — with Scrapbook having seen photographic evidence of a ‘scoreboard’ where the staff record the number of sanctions they have made using shiny gold stars.

Jobcentre awarded staff gold stars for sanctioning claimants

Sue Marsh: “We stand at a turning point”

It’s 2014 in the UK. We live in one of the richest democratic nations on earth. We pride ourselves on our compassion. Yet just an hour of ploughing through my inbox saw a Rabbi warning that we are perilously close to repeating the prejudices of the past, concerns from the UN regarding the UK’s approach to rights of people with disabilities and legal experts urging us not to throw away the building blocks of justice.

Sue Marsh: “We stand at a turning point”

Rachel Reeves Slams David Cameron's 'Moral Crusade' On Welfare

"Under David Cameron’s government, for the first time more people in poverty are in work than out of work. More than two thirds of the people hit by the one per cent cap on working age benefits and tax credits have a job. The Bedroom Tax has hit hundreds of thousands of disabled people and their carers, and the number of young people on unemployment benefit for over a year has doubled since 2010. Meanwhile, the Government’s flagship welfare reform, Universal Credit, has cost an astonishing £225,000 per person using it. No wonder David Cameron has presided over a tenfold rise in people relying on food banks."

Read more: Rachel Reeves Slams David Cameron's 'Moral Crusade' On Welfare

WOW debate on a Cumulative Impact Assessment February 27th – get your MP to go

"The WOW petition debate which has been supported by John McDonnell MP will take place on Thursday 27th February 2014 around 11.30 am at the House of Commons chamber. Please contact your MP to ask them to attend this important debate. You can find your MP’s email details at www.parliament.uk You may want to remind your MP that as we are approaching an election in the not too distant future you will be monitoring to see whether they attend or not on your behalf."

WOW debate on a Cumulative Impact Assessment February 27th – get your MP to go

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Counting the Cuts – Report Published: Nick Clegg and David Cameron's austerity cuts have deliberately targeted people who are already disadvantaged

Counting the Cuts is a new report by Dr Simon Duffy, Director of the Centre for Welfare Reform. The report is based on analysis of the latest statistics from the Government.


There have been large cuts in public spending, and these cuts have targeted on people who are already disadvantaged.


1/ People on low incomes face cuts twice as large as average


2/ Disabled people on low incomes face cuts four times larger than average


3/ People who need help form social services face cuts six times greater than the average


The full report is available here: http://bit.ly/counting-cuts

The data and the calculations are published online here: http://bit.ly/cuts-data

The author of the report, Dr Simon Duffy said:

“It is shocking to discover how unfairly these cuts have been
distributed. Our sense of fair play seems to have vanished. Even more
worrying has been the effort to disguise these cuts by the use of
shameful rhetoric, directed at disabled people and other minority
groups. This is a very worrying time for democracy in the UK.”

Counting the Cuts – Report Published: Nick Clegg and David Cameron's austerity cuts have deliberately targeted people who are already disadvantaged.


Creating Your Own Support Network with Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Historically, support groups for us haven't been terribly successful. Most of us are too sick not only to run them, but to even attend regularly. Far too many of us lack support from friends and family. So how can we find support?

Thanks to social media, we have new options.



Creating Your Own Support Network with Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Denying treatment to those most in need


Pills1 

The Government have tried to distance themselves stating that they will not discriminate against older people, however, NICE have warned that any assessment of “wider societal benefit” would inevitably end up taking age into account, and they have rejected the idea. Sir Andrew Dillon, Head of NICE said: “We are really concerned that we don’t send out the message that we value life less when you’re 70 than we do when you’re 20.”


Denying treatment to those most in need | Left Futures

Exercise Pain in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Fibromyalgia vs. Rheumatoid Arthritis

New research demonstrates the negative pain-related impact of exercise on some people with chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) and comorbid fibromyalgia (FMS) and suggests that drug treatments may help lessen the effects in some cases.



Exercise Pain in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Fibromyalgia vs. Rheumatoid Arthritis

Bishops blame David Cameron for food bank crisis

In one of the most significant political interventions by leading members of the Church of England since the Faith in the City report in 1985, 25 of its bishops have blamed "cutbacks to and failures in the benefit system" for forcing people to use food banks. They are joined by two bishops from the Church in Wales, 14 Methodist districts chairs and two Quakers.

The intervention, part of the End Hunger Fast campaign which will be
launched at the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday on 5 March, follows the description of the government's welfare reforms as a disgrace by the head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, Vincent Nichols.
Bishops blame David Cameron for food bank crisis | Politics | The Guardian

Disability protesters target Atos benefit test centres

atos big
The government argues the system helps millions of people off benefit
and back into work. But campaigners have pointed out that the
government’s own figures
show 10,600 people died within six weeks of
being declared ‘fit for work’ by Atos, last year.




Disability protesters target Atos benefit test centres | Left Futures

The Devil Is In The Details - A Herpes Simplex Virus Inquiry For Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome



 


If herpes simplex comes out of hiding, travels down a nerve pathway, and reactivates in the mouth area, it produces canker sores. If it reactivates in the genitals it produces genital herpes, in the eye it produces ocular herpes, in the brain it produces encephalitis, and those are just the areas we know about.  Dr. Pridgen believes herpes simplex virus infections are causing gut and other symptoms in fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), and irritable bowel syndrome.  Michael VanElzakker PhD believes herpesvirus or other infections in nervous system ganglia are causing the flu-like symptoms in ME/CFS.
If herpes simplex comes
out of hiding, travels down a nerve pathway, and reactivates in the
mouth area, it produces canker sores. If it reactivates in the genitals
it produces genital herpes, in the eye it produces ocular herpes, in the
brain it produces encephalitis, and those are just the areas we know
about. Dr. Pridgen believes herpes simplex virus infections are causing
gut and other symptoms in fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome
(ME/CFS), and irritable bowel syndrome. Michael VanElzakker PhD
believes herpesvirus or other infections in nervous system ganglia are
causing the flu-like symptoms in ME/CFS.

Read more: The Devil Is In The Details – A Herpes Simplex Virus Inquiry For Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome http://www.cortjohnson.org/blog/2014/02/19/herpes-simplex-devil-details-fibromyalgia-chronic-fatigue-syndrome-inquiry/
If herpes simplex comes
out of hiding, travels down a nerve pathway, and reactivates in the
mouth area, it produces canker sores. If it reactivates in the genitals
it produces genital herpes, in the eye it produces ocular herpes, in the
brain it produces encephalitis, and those are just the areas we know
about. Dr. Pridgen believes herpes simplex virus infections are causing
gut and other symptoms in fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome
(ME/CFS), and irritable bowel syndrome. Michael VanElzakker PhD
believes herpesvirus or other infections in nervous system ganglia are
causing the flu-like symptoms in ME/CFS.

Read more: The Devil Is In The Details – A Herpes Simplex Virus Inquiry For Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome http://www.cortjohnson.org/blog/2014/02/19/herpes-simplex-devil-details-fibromyalgia-chronic-fatigue-syndrome-inquiry/
If herpes simplex comes
out of hiding, travels down a nerve pathway, and reactivates in the
mouth area, it produces canker sores. If it reactivates in the genitals
it produces genital herpes, in the eye it produces ocular herpes, in the
brain it produces encephalitis, and those are just the areas we know
about. Dr. Pridgen believes herpes simplex virus infections are causing
gut and other symptoms in fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome
(ME/CFS), and irritable bowel syndrome. Michael VanElzakker PhD
believes herpesvirus or other infections in nervous system ganglia are
causing the flu-like symptoms in ME/CFS.

Read more: The Devil Is In The Details – A Herpes Simplex Virus Inquiry For Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome http://www.cortjohnson.org/blog/2014/02/19/herpes-simplex-devil-details-fibromyalgia-chronic-fatigue-syndrome-inquiry/
If herpes simplex comes
out of hiding, travels down a nerve pathway, and reactivates in the
mouth area, it produces canker sores. If it reactivates in the genitals
it produces genital herpes, in the eye it produces ocular herpes, in the
brain it produces encephalitis, and those are just the areas we know
about. Dr. Pridgen believes herpes simplex virus infections are causing
gut and other symptoms in fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome
(ME/CFS), and irritable bowel syndrome. Michael VanElzakker PhD
believes herpesvirus or other infections in nervous system ganglia are
causing the flu-like symptoms in ME/CFS.

Read more: The Devil Is In The Details – A Herpes Simplex Virus Inquiry For Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome http://www.cortjohnson.org/blog/2014/02/19/herpes-simplex-devil-details-fibromyalgia-chronic-fatigue-syndrome-inquiry/


The Devil Is In The Details - A Herpes Simplex Virus Inquiry For Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome :: Health RisingHealth Rising

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Once again, the government puts being tough on immigration ahead of being correct about immigration

Predictably the government says that it doesn’t have any data showing the number of EU migrants that claimed benefits within three months of being in the UK. But there is plenty of other data out there – data which undermines the argument that benefit tourism is a problem requiring repeated high profile policy announcements.



Once again, the government puts being tough on immigration ahead of being correct about immigration | Left Foot Forward



"In other words, this is yet another spurious dog-whistle announcement
which appears to have the sole aim of appeasing concerns about something
which is largely a fiction." 

158,300 disabled people wrongly judged fit for work by Atos

Thousands of disabled people have been wrongly judged fit for work by Atos since August 2010, a freedom of information request (FOI) has revealed. Atos judged 158,300 disabled people fit to work between August 2010 and June 2013 – only for the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to reverse the decisions.



158,300 disabled people wrongly judged fit for work by Atos | Left Foot Forward



 

Let GP's do fit for work assessments instead of ATOS

GP's should be allowed to do Work Capability Assessments on their own patients. This is because GP's know their own patients better than ATOS assessors do.

Let GP's do fit for work assessments instead of ATOS

'This brutal new system': a GP's take on Atos and work capability assessments

I have watched with mounting horror as my patient, an extremely vulnerable woman, has been put at risk of homelessness and deteriorating illness as a result of government policy. I am very aware of the importance of work, and as a GP will always encourage people to look for a suitable job if I think they can. But I also know my patients, and I am outraged that some are being put through the punishing stress this assessment causes.
'This brutal new system': a GP's take on Atos and work capability assessments
| Anna Pilkington | Comment is free | theguardian.com

What Can I Do About It?

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ATOS pay their staff £50 for every client they get through within the half hour. They get paid a further £50 if they manage to get that person off disability benefits. Now, if I told you I’d pay you extra money to do something, it’s fairly obvious what you’d do. And they’re only allowed to pass 12.3% of the people that they see. This is what the doctor who went to the training centre in the Channel 4 Dispatches programme was actually told. It beggars belief – at the end of the day these are mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, children, uncles, aunties – and they’ve been demonised by this Tory government and by the Tory press so people have started to see them as not human and therefore they become desensitised. This country has always supported its weak and vulnerable. But then Iain Duncan Smith comes in and, basically, he is doing a cull. It’s estimated by the next general election, 60,000 people will have died as a result of this policy – there are some very uncomfortable historical equivalents to that kind of thing happening. I don’t see how you can tell people who are dying from cancer that it is their own fault.

Read more: What Can I Do About It?

Disabled being victimised and bullied to the point of death

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Atos is making profit out of peoples misery with its work capability assessments. Across the UK, people with genuine disabilities that greatly affect their lives and the lives of their families are being victimised and bullied to the point of death.

These work capability tests are not about helping the vulnerable, but about cutting corners and taking away money from the most helpless in our society. People have already died as a result of the heartless reforms put in place by the government, and ministers who voted in favour of the welfare reform act have blood on their hands.

We want the WCA examined independently with input from disability rights groups to give disabled people a voice.

The WCA or it’s replacement to be administered by NHS doctors, ideally the claimants GP, not private contractors.

Via: ATOS Miracles

 

 

 

 

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Blogging, FaceBook & Twitter: Campaigning ME

For those of us with ME or other disabling illness, the internet can be a powerful way to instill some meaning into life. I may not be as physically active as I would like, but having a voice, and collaborating with others via my screen and keyboard has become a powerful motivator for my life.
 Just ME: Blogging, FaceBook & Twitter: Campaigning ME

Weekly Posts Roundup (weekly)

  • IDS has the lunatic idea that plunging chronically sick and disabled people into penury, starvation, and homelessness will magically stop them from being chronically sick and disabled, which pretty much defines... http://chaos-to-cosmos.blogspot.com/

    tags: chaostocosmos

  • Cosmos: Benefit Street - Electrik Custard ... Great song, great message. My new favourite band.Really. It's been a long time since something got me on both those levels and excited me enough to actually want to... http://chaos-to-cosmos.blogspot.com/

    tags: chaostocosmos

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Welfare reforms a 'disgrace', says UK's most senior Catholic

Britain's most senior Catholic cleric has described the coalition's welfare reforms as a "disgrace" and said they have removed even the most basic safety net for those threatened by poverty and left society's most vulnerable facing "hunger and destitution".

Welfare reforms a 'disgrace', says UK's most senior Catholic

Thursday, 13 February 2014

The problem with bigots is....

The problem with lung disease is, you kind of have to breathe. At least a bit regularly.


And the problem with heart failure is hearts can't really fail. They're just not optional.


The problem with bowel disease is you have to eat. Quite a lot. I've tried stopping, it doesn't really work. And food is incredibly yummy. And it nurtures our souls more than our taste buds let on.


With kidney failure, hours dedicated to satisfying the great dialysis beast allows you to process liquids, which is fairly non-negotiable by anyone's standards.


And the problem with cancer is it doesn't give the tiniest shit which one of us it invades or where.


 But the trouble with bigots is, they ignore all of that. They can only see one problem.


"Why is that bloke down the street getting something I'm not? And why should I pay for it??"
Reposted from: Diary of a Benefit Scrounger: The problem with bigots is....


So. Bloody. Well. Said. 




Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Is the DWP institutionally insane, or purely evil?

IDS has the lunatic idea that plunging chronically sick and disabled people into penury, starvation, and homelessness will magically stop them from being chronically sick and disabled, which pretty much defines both descriptions.



Is the DWP institutionally insane, or purely evil? | Ron's Rants...

Twelve David Cameron Quotes That Will Make Your Blood Boil

 Just in case you think the previous post was merely frivoulous humour ...

We take a look back at some of the many promises and quotes by David Cameron prior to the 2010 general election and ask ourselves why should anyone believe a word that comes out of the PM’s mouth?


Twelve David Cameron Quotes That Will Make Your Blood Boil

Lie clocks

Set-of-Wall-Clocks-With-Another-Times_thumbA man died and went to Heaven. As he stood in front of the Pearly Gates, he saw a huge wall of clocks behind him.

He asked, 'What are all those clocks?'

St. Peter answered, 'Those are Lie-Clocks. Everyone who has ever been on earth has a Lie-Clock. Every time you lie, the hands on your clock move.'

.... 'Oh', said the man. 'Whose clock is that?'

'That's Mother Teresa's', replied St. Peter. 'The hands have never moved.'

'Incredible', said the man. 'And whose clock is that one?'

St. Peter responded, 'That's Abraham Lincoln's clock. The hands have moved twice.'

'Where’s David Cameron’s clock?' asked the man.

‘Oh, that’s in Jesus’ office,’ St Peter replied.

'He’s using it as a ceiling fan.'

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Study Finds Vitamin D3 Helps With Pain in Fibromyalgia: Should You Try Vitamin D?

Vitamin D3 has become a big deal in the past couple of years, but the findings in fibromyalgia have not been particularly promising. Several fibromyalgia studies have not found evidence of low Vitamin D3 (calcifediol) levels in fibromyalgia. Noting,though, that other studies suggest low Vit D3 levels are associated with increased pain, and that some studies suggest that increasing D3 may help with pain and other symptoms found in FM, these researchers took another look.



Study Finds Vitamin D3 Helps With Pain in Fibromyalgia: Should You Try Vitamin D?

 

Weekly Posts Roundup (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Benefit Street - Electrik Custard ...


Great song, great message. My new favourite band.Really. It's been a long time since something got me on both those levels and excited me enough to actually want to go and see them perform.

Who Benefits

Share your story.
Change the debate.


We all need support sometimes. Yet too often those who have been helped by benefits get ignored, misrepresented or at worst blamed for their situation.

But if the millions of us who have needed benefits share our stories - and those who haven't express their support – then together we can change the debate.


Who Benefits

Poor Oxygen Uptake May Be at the Core of the Exercise Problems in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

First you document the problem, then you try to figure out what’s causing it. At least three research groups have decided it’s time to move past documenting a messed up energy production system in ME/CFS and to begin figuring what’s causing it. Over the next couple of months we’re going to see reports on cytokines and exercise, on lung issues and exercise and, in this study, on oxygen uptake and exercise.

Poor Oxygen Uptake May Be at the Core of the Exercise Problems in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Who Benefits? campaign counters Tory propaganda against welfare state

LAURA Grace, 26, is a full-time mum for her four children, and her husband earns £1,000 a month as a car mechanic.

She can only make ends meet by claiming £140 a week in Child Tax Credits. “This isn’t a lifestyle choice,” she says. “It’s a necessity.”

That’s not what a lot of people – too many – believe. They think anyone on benefits is a feckless shirker. Attitudes have hardened against claimants during the Coalition years, particularly among the young.



Paul Routledge: Who Benefits? campaign counters Tory propaganda against welfare state - Paul Routledge - Mirror Online

Exercise & Oxygen Shortage in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

New research underscores the fact of exercise intolerance in chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) and helps us understand why it exists.

When you exercise, your muscle cells need more oxygen than they do when you're at rest. However, previous studies have shown that the bodies of people with ME/CFS don't distribute oxygen like they should, leaving muscles exhausted and unable to perform.

Exercise & Oxygen Shortage in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

P2P: “Patients to Purgatory” or the Jury Model Stood on its Head | Thoughts About M.E.

This is the opposite of the scientific method! And talk about giving the jury model a bad name! Albert Einstein and Clarence Darrow would turn over in their graves.



 P2P: “Patients to Purgatory” or the Jury Model Stood on its Head | Thoughts About M.E.

Who is Causing Facebook to Block Tuller’s Article? | Thoughts About M.E.

Everybody who will read the article will agree that is has no content that even comes close to being abusive. It is an entirely professional piece written by an acclaimed journalist, David Tuller, who has been writing for the New York Times and other reputable publications.

I am putting this out there because I am completely flabbergasted by how anybody could have found this article abusive and would have felt the need to shut it down. This is a slap in the face of the patient community and, frankly, it’s unacceptable to abuse Facebook policies in that manner.

Who is Causing Facebook to Block Tuller’s Article? | Thoughts About M.E

UPDATE: Props to Sally Burch for letting me know that this issue has now been sorted. Nevertheless, you gotta wonder about the agenda of someone who would report such a thing in the first place. I mean, it's not like it would be the first time someone in the medical / psychological community had an agenda related to ME, is it?

Friday, 7 February 2014

Interesting study of breastmilk antibodies raises questions

SIgA is an antibody found in breastmilk (and lots of other bodily fluids) that helps infants set up healthy colonies of gut bacteria. Without it, baby mice develop symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome when exposed to environmental stressors.
With the usual proviso that we are not mice, this is a subject I have often wondered about too.

Dodgy gut bacteria have been implicated in a host of problems - three of which I have; irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome / myalgic encephalomyelitis. Interestingly, I was never fed any breast milk and I have often wondered if there was a correlation on the grounds that the colostrum in breast milk being needed for the functioning of the immune system.

(Colostrum is known to contain immune cells (as lymphocytes)[4] and many antibodies such as IgA, IgG, and IgM. These are the major components of the adaptive immune system. Source: Wikipedia)

I've certainly been exposed to my fair share of stressors - environmental and otherwise - too!

I have a feeling that this - if picked up by the right specialists - could be a useful development towards the understanding and even treatment of thse conditions.

Interesting study of breastmilk antibodies raises questions - Boing Boing

Thursday, 6 February 2014

The REAL Agenda behind Benefit Fraud Campaigns – With Spending

This is a huge amount of money from a Government who persistently tell us, we as a nation are broke; so remember when you read in the press or the internet, hear on the radio or watch on TV how this is to SAVE £1 billion ‘lost’ in the past year because other people are ‘cheating’ Stop & Think – might this the is the same £1 billion that’s been lost for the past 8 years or more??

The REAL Agenda behind Benefit Fraud Campaigns – With Spending | jaynelinney

Disabled people have never had it so bad

Does negative media coverage affect public attitudes? Almost certainly: in our report we showed that the level of negativity in the newspapers people read had an effect on their perceptions of benefit fraud, even controlling for other factors that influence attitudes. Media coverage is not the only factor, and probably not the most important factor, but it serves to reinforce suspicions and ill-founded grievances against all people of working age on benefits, including disabled claimants.



Disabled people have never had it so bad

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Civic chiefs’ U-turn on disabled parking fees in New Forest

A report to the district council’s ruling Cabinet says it would be “unreasonable” in the current economic climate to end the free parking enjoyed by thousands of Blue Badge holders.



 Civic chiefs’ U-turn on disabled parking fees in New Forest (From Daily Echo)

Diary of a Benefit Scrounger: The Big Benefits Row

"Perhaps more sinisterly, they were shocked that invariably the DWP refused to take part unless the stories were edited their way. Iain Duncan-Smith has written repeatedly and furiously to the BBC about their lack of balance in reporting welfare issues. Anyone who follows the debate with even a flutter of fleeting interest will know just how ironic that is. If ever there has been an issue so poorly reported, with so much ignorance and so many lies, the current "welfare" debate must be it."

Diary of a Benefit Scrounger: The Big Benefits Row

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Weekly Posts Roundup (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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