Monday, 30 June 2014

The uncertainty that the chronically ill face

No one is immune from life’s uncertainty. But for the chronically ill — which includes those who suffer from chronic pain — it can feel as if the number of life factors subject to uncertainty has increased exponentially. Indeed, perhaps the hardest thing about being chronically ill is the uncertainty it brings to almost every aspect of life.

Here are six ways in which uncertainty is a particular source of stress for the chronically ill:

The uncertainty that the chronically ill face

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Altered Lymphocytes in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

The results are consistent with altered immunity in CFS patients, particularly altered immune responsesto chronic viral infections. Further characterization, including repeated tests of the same patients, is needed to determine if this unusual population is persistent and to determine if it can mediate cytotoxicity towards virally infected cells.
Altered Lymphocytes in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Friday, 27 June 2014

Little progress made in reducing health disparities for people with disabilities

Mental distress in people with disabilities is associated with increased prevalence of chronic illness and reduced access to health care and preventive care services, finds a new study. "It's important to find out why there has been so little progress, since the prevention, detection, and treatment of secondary illnesses is critical for health maintenance, halting progression of disability, and helping people with disabilities to participate in life activities," says the lead author.

NB: And with increasing privatisation of the NHS, this will be yet another problem coming our way in the UK too. ​

Monday, 23 June 2014

What It Means to "Eat the Rainbow"

Healthy eating advocates often tell people to "eat the rainbow." It's a simple way of reminding you that a variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet will get you the vitamins and minerals you need. It also calls out the fact that you can learn a lot about your food just by looking at it. Here's what it means, and how it works.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Harassment of the poor & disabled, on benefits, treated like criminals

Part of the problem that people who have to claim and worse having no choice but to rely on inadequate benefits, is having to cope and deal with growing harassment directly dished out by MPs and media, and parroted by ignorant and easily manipulated public.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Caught out: DWP ministers who claimed a million sickness benefit claimants had been found ‘fit for work’ – kept real data from public view

Well over half a million sickness benefits appeals have succeeded – why has the DWP kept this quiet?
​ DWP ministers said only 9% of ESA decisions were wrong.  Our research reveals the DWP have been quoting from figures which state 151,800 appeals have succeeded.  Our evidence shows the true figure to be at least 567,634 – casting serious doubt over 43% of 1,302,200 'fit for work' decisions.

It is simply appalling that the DWP, along with Ministers and other government spokespeople appear to be feeding the media with misleading statistics that are unrepresentative of the real story and instead encourage headlines vilifying the disabled and the genuinely ill. These figures clearly show the DWP has evidence in their possession which shows how in far too many cases the decisions it is making are dead wrong and they know they're dead wrong.

Caught out: DWP ministers who claimed a million sickness benefit claimants had been found 'fit for work' – kept real data from public view

Monday, 16 June 2014

Poor Britons Worse Off Than French And 'More Like Ex-Soviet Bloc'

"The government sometimes claims that it the richest who have paid the price of the financial crash. But these figures show that their high ranking amongst the wealthy elites of Europe has been nicely maintained, despite years of austerity and spending cuts.

"Unsurprisingly the people that have suffered the most are those at the bottom of the income scale. The UK's poorest families are now barely better off than those living in the former communist dictatorships like Slovenia and the Czech Republic. The government should hang its head in shame."

Ripped-off Britons: See the effect of badly planned cost cutting in the NHS, Military, Home Office, DWP etc. Britain is choking on a diet of austerity

Diet breads charged you more to give you less.You risk your health if you don't understand this. The Tories didn't understand (or perhaps more shamefully, they did). Their fetish for slimming down the Public Sector is proving to be more than unhealthy for Britain. Cutting costs has its price: unqualified teachers in "free schools"; unqualified translators and underqualified barristers in the legal aid system; paramedics doing what doctors used to do; reservists doing what the professional army used to do. And there is more.

Work Capability Assessments 'Leaving Sick And Disabled On A Knife-Edge'

Leading mental health charity, Mind, has today released a damning report that shows the coalition's work programme is failing to meet the needs of people with disabilities and is pushing them further away from work, rather than closer.

The report, Fulfilling Potential? – ESA and the fate of the Work-Related Group (pdf), authored by Catherine Hale, a Work Programme service user and endorsed by 18 other organisations, which include National Autistic Society, Disability Rights UK, RNIB, and Stroke Association, found that the provision of back to work support through the Work Programme and Jobcentre Plus (JCP) is causing severe anxiety for people with disabilities and pushing them further from the job market.

Immersed: How I Found a Way (After Decades of Trying) to Help My Allodynia and Nerve Pain

The hydrostatic pressure of water in a pool will compress the immersed part of your body (similar to how compression stockings compress your legs). The water will also push your body upward. Interestingly for people with ME/CFS the increased hydrostatic pressure also results in a pretty dramatic rise in the central blood volume (in the thorax region). Blood volume and stroke volume in the human heart also dramatically increase.

​It appears that thermo neutral water immersion pushes the autonomic system towards being back in balance.  This is a very good thing for the many people with chronic and/or autoimmune diseases that feature sympathetic arousal, such as fibromyalgia, ME/CFS, POTS, CRPS, and multiple sclerosis.

Immersed: How I Found a Way (After Decades of Trying) to Help My Allodynia and Nerve Pain

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Obesity is not a disability

The problem, as always when discussing addiction, is denial: the government's denial, which is ideological; the people's denial, which is comprehensive; and the addict's denial, which is lethal. (The food industry's denial is mere professional profiteering, and to be expected.)

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

From the Benefits and Work Newsletter 4 June 2014

PIP is in a mess. We all know it and only the DWP try to deny it.
​ But the surest signs that panic is beginning to set in is the fact that Capita have now more than doubled the pay they are offering to assessors in their attempt to get on top of the backlog. Capita health professionals now have a 'new incentive scheme' which means they can earn up to £900 a day. Not bad for physiotherapists more accustomed to earning £40 an hour."

The other obvious (though maybe not to some) point is that by paying assessors up to £900 a day the DWP and the goverment are literally SCREAMING out that this is a purely idealogical policy. With those rates it cannot, surely, still be argued (by anyone sane) that the cuts and changes to benefits are to save money, or that there isn't money to pay these benefits.

Knackered Nerves: Do Low BDNF Levels Spell Nerve Exhaustion in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

The researchers probably suspected the MS patients would have abnormal BDNF
​ [Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor]​
levels given the amount of neuronal destruction present, but no one suspected what they found in the ME/CFS patients.  Both the MS and the ME/CFS patients' BDNF levels were a paltry 25% of those found in the healthy controls. This highly significant finding (p<.001) suggested, of course, that a key factor in neuron repair was hardly present in either group.

Tory policies cause poverty and trying to discredit Oxfam won’t mitigate that truth

New research by Oxfam has revealed the extent poverty amongst British children living in poverty, with poor families taking drastic measures to survive. What kind of government is concerned only about stifling critical discussion of its policies, and not about the plight of the citizens it is meant to serve? This is a government that attempts to invalidate the accounts of people's experience of the suffering that is directly caused by this government. By blaming the victims and by trying to discredit anyone that champions the rights of the vulnerable.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Atos Put the Boot Into Disabled People Yet Again

​Yet again Atos have found themselves faced by a moral choice - admit that the implementation of the WCA is impossibly flawed and align themselves with its victims, or attack those victims - and have chosen to try and portray themselves as the victims and the victims as the abusers. It's classic bullying behaviour, straight out of the Bullying for Dummies playbook, and tells us that everything we believe of Atos is absolutely true.

Monday, 9 June 2014

5 benefit changes the government don't want you to know about

Nowadays, bad news is buried by even worse news. The sheer volume of inefficient and unethical changes to social security this Government has enacted means some of it doesn't even get noticed. Which, for a set of politicians hacking at vulnerable people's support systems, is worryingly convenient.

So, here's five benefit changes the government doesn't want you to know about.

How to Understand Someone With Chronic Pain: 12 Steps

Chronic pain sufferers have attempted numerous alternative therapies and know what therapies have worked or not worked for them. Some people have been misinformed or merely misunderstand the daily battle and quite often unintentionally undermine the sufferer.

In the spirit of informing those who wish to understand: These are some things that can help you to understand and help people who suffer from often debilitating, chronic pain.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Disabled People Are Being Victimised, Vilified And Pushed Out Of Society

As I said, we are being victimised, vilified and pushed out of society. We are having to fight for the basics that other people take for granted. Back then, at least we could be sure we were wanted in society, and the support and care we needed was there. Now we do not have that certainty.

Disabled people are suffering and dying at the hands of a incompassionate and brutal government. A government which has lied, cheated and turned the media and society against us.


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