CHAOSTOCOSMOS

Saturday, 28 February 2015

What 30 Grams Of Protein Looks Like


Want to build muscle and lose fat? Then you need protein! Here's how much you need and how to measure it for each meal. 

Research suggests that the best way to get enough protein into your diet, and to do it sustainably, is to eat 20-30 grams of protein per meal.1 We think that's pretty solid advice. But how do you measure 30 grams? Not everybody has a food scale, and nobody wants to look up every meal ingredient for the rest of their lives. So, here's what 30 grams of protein looks like from various common sources. Use these photos as guides so you can quickly and easily measure your own protein needs!

What 30 Grams Of Protein Looks Like

It’s tough to shift that weight, studies show

New studies by McMaster University researchers, published in CMAJ Open, have confirmed that people of all ages find it difficult to prevent weight gain; that it is terrifically difficult to get rid of it later and to keep it off once lost. However, even small weight losses can mean better health.

It’s tough to shift that weight, studies show -- ScienceDaily

The Clock Was (Is) Ticking: Major Study Suggests ME/CFS is Hit and Run Disorder

The study may ultimately open up possibilities for treating patients with recent onset but provides no possible treatment options at this point for patients who have been sick longer. The  more modest immune deactivation found later in the disorder suggests that the core causes of the disorder are either found elsewhere or were not illuminated by the study.

A major question facing researchers now is finding ways to translate this hit and run immune activation or viral infection into long lasting central nervous system problems. Microglia sensitized by chronic immune activation/kynurenine pathway activity is one possible answer.

Ian Lipkin’s statement that they hope to find important answers in their microbiome study suggests he believes a permanently altered microbiome  could provide an answer to that question.

The Clock Was (Is) Ticking: Major Study Suggests ME/CFS is Hit and Run Disorder

The Work Capability Assessment Is About To Get Worse, Less People To Be Placed In Support Group Say DWP

More sick and disabled people will face sanctions and workfare when Maximus take over running running the despised assessments for sickness benefits say the DWP who have promised the number of people placed in the Support Group is expected to fall.

The Work Capability Assessment Is About To Get Worse, Less People To Be Placed In Support Group Say DWP

Friday, 27 February 2015

Immigration to Britain has not increased unemployment or reduced wages, study finds

Researchers at the London School of Economics looked at the levels of immigration to each of Britain’s counties, and compared it to the unemployment rate in the same area across the same period.

They found that there was no connection between how much immigration a county had seen between 2004 and 2012 and the area’s level of unemployment.

Immigration to Britain has not increased unemployment or reduced wages, study finds

New Maximus invasion raises ‘chilling’ fears

The prospect of a discredited US outsourcing giant achieving a near-monopoly of employment support and assessment services for disabled people has caused alarm, after it emerged that it is bidding to buy what remains of Remploy from the government.

New Maximus invasion raises ‘chilling’ fears

Fatigue Explained? Japanese Assert Brain Damage Causes Fatigue in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Relative to the most of the rest of the world, the Japanese program is a large one – probably larger than the NIH/CDC efforts in the U.S.  Led by Drs. Watanabe and Tanaka, it was the Japanese that found the first direct evidence of neuroinflammation in the brains of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome patients.

The Japanese doctors believe they understand enough of the origins of chronic physical and cognitive fatigue in ME/CFS to develop a hypothesis about how they develop and why they persist.  Displaying an initiative rarely seen in western ME/CFS researchers, they’ve put their ideas on the line and actually published them.

Fatigue Explained? Japanese Assert Brain Damage Causes Fatigue in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

US scientists claim ‘robust evidence’ that ME/CFS is a biological illness | Columbia University press release | 27 February 2015

Researchers at the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health identified distinct immune changes in patients diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, known medically as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME/CFS) or systemic exertion intolerance disease.

US scientists claim ‘robust evidence’ that ME/CFS is a biological illness | Columbia University press release | 27 February 2015 | ME Association

ME/CFS is indeed an inflammatory disease

"The disease process that most resembled CFS was Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome, also known as SIRS; this correlation had a staggering 100% resemblance. From the Lipkin/Hornig data and our data the picture that clearly emerges is that ME/CFS is indeed an inflammatory disease."

-- Dr Montoya (of Stanford) on the CDC call [MP3] at 36:40 minutes.

Life as we know it: ME/CFS is indeed an inflammatory disease

The IOM Report on ME/CFS (SEID)

"... in part because of a continuing prejudice in the medical profession against the possibility that a person can have a chronic viral infection (except for AIDS patients), all of the literature on pathogens (except EBV as a possible trigger) and most of the literature on immune system dysfunction was ignored. Did not appear in the report. ... this disease was originally named atypical polio" (another enterovirus that causes lifelong problems).

Mary notes "the incidence of secondary depression is similar to that in MS patients" -- you'll find secondary depression (depression as a result of being ill) in any serious disease, but no one would ever suggest that depression is the cause of cancer or stroke or emphysema ... only with CFS.

There are a number of symptoms that appear in CFS that don't appear in depression.  The two are easy to differentiate if you know what you're looking for.  Unfortunately, too many people (including doctors) hear "fatigue" and leap straight to depression without considering that fever, rash, swollen glands, etc. aren't symptoms associated with depression, but are symptoms of CFS."

The IOM Report on ME/CFS (SEID) Via: Life as we know it

People with disabilities experience unrecognized health disparities, new research shows

People with disabilities have unmet medical needs and poorer overall health throughout their lives, and as a result should be recognized as a health disparity group so more attention can be directed to improving their quality of life, a team of policy researchers has found.

People with disabilities experience unrecognized health disparities, new research shows -- ScienceDaily

What Does Your Gut Microbiome Have To Do With Your Immune System?

Unhealthy gut microbiome composition (or “dysbiosis”) can lead to inflammation. And that means more bacterial cells pass through the damaged lining of the gut, which stimulates further immune system responses. This is called “leaky gut.” Vaccines may not be as effective because the immune system is already busy dealing with these bacterial cells “leaking” through the gut.

What Does Your Gut Microbiome Have To Do With Your Immune System?

Thursday, 26 February 2015

A Disease Doctors Refuse to See

TOO often, doctors don’t understand chronic fatigue syndrome. They don’t know how to diagnose it, and they frequently even believe that patients with the disease are just whining or suffering from psychological problems. This needs to change.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Needs Effective Treatments - NYTimes.com

The Blame Game Society of Britain

I am sick to death of the public media attacking those on benefits. It is high time we had some balanced reporting in the media and on many television channels and the constant rollout of poverty porn bashing those who unfortunately find themselves out of work or who become disabled through no fault of their own. The Condem Government has done a brilliant brainwashing job of demonising those who find themselves in such a difficult position. The labels attached to those individuals are a national disgrace and we need to change the language and mind-set of society to a more compassionate viewpoint.

The Blame Game Society of Britain

Woman’s open letter to lady who tutted at her for using disabled toilet sends a powerful message

Take a moment. Remember that not all people who have the right to use disabled toilets are in a wheelchair. Some of us have a jpouch, a lot of us have an Ostomy bag that needs emptying and changing with the use of space, a sink and a bin. And even more of us just don’t want to shit our pants in public.

Think about the nearly 300,000 people in this country who have inflammatory bowel disease (not to mention the huge number of people with IBS!!!) who need to use the toilet urgently, noisily, smellily…

It’s an embarrassing enough thing to deal with before having to see disapproving looks or hear your laughs and jeering remarks.

Woman's open letter to lady who tutted at her for using disabled toilet sends a powerful message

Sleeping over 8 hours a day associated with greater risk of stroke

People who sleep for more than eight hours a day have an increased risk of stroke, according to a study -- and this risk doubles for older people who persistently sleep longer than average. However, the researchers say it is unclear why this association exists and call for further research to explore the link.

Sleeping over 8 hours a day associated with greater risk of stroke -- ScienceDaily

PEM Differential

Correct diagnosis is critical for clinical care and research. Overly broad groups of subjects can produce misleading research results, and incorrect diagnoses harm patients. For years, advocates and experts alike have pointed to post-exertional malaise as the symptom that distinguishes our disease from other fatiguing illnesses.

PEM Differential | Occupy CFS

Plant chemicals may prevent liver damage caused by fat accumulated during menopause

Women going through menopause often struggle with weight gain that results when their estrogen levels drop, and many turn to weight-loss supplements. But those supplements may cause an accumulation of fat in the liver and a potentially life-threatening condition called non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Now researchers have shown in studies of post-menopausal animals that a mix of phytochemicals, along with vitamin D, may help protect the liver against inflammation caused by fat accumulation.

Plant chemicals may prevent liver damage caused by fat accumulated during menopause -- ScienceDaily

New chronic fatigue syndrome report doesn’t help us

ME patients have suffered through decades of neglect. We will not agree with another non-specific definition that will set us back for decades more, when we already have a definition created by experts in the 2011 ICC.

New chronic fatigue syndrome report doesn’t help us - The Washington Post

One Million Medicals On The Way; New ESA Scores Hit Women Hardest

Atos replacement Maximus say they will carry out one million work capability assessments (WCAs) in a single year – starting on Monday.

Meanwhile, a new scoring system has been created to decide if claimants with mental health issues can get into the support group because of a risk of harm to themselves or someone else. The system has been deliberately designed to make it more difficult for women to qualify than men.

There have also been important changes to the way health professionals estimate how far claimants can walk or ‘mobilise’.

25 February 2015 newsletter

Monday, 23 February 2015

New hope in the fight against pain: Analgesic drugs could be used to treat patients with neuropathic pain

An international study led by scientists at McGill University reports, for the first time, that drugs that selectively target the melatonin MT2 receptor represent a novel class of analgesic drugs that could be used to treat patients with neuropathic pain.

 

Neuropathic pain is a disorder characterized by severe pain that sometimes develops following nerve damage resulting from conditions such as shingles, injury, amputation, autoimmune inflammation and cancer. It is a permanent pain that persists for months or years.

New hope in the fight against pain: Analgesic drugs could be used to treat patients with neuropathic pain -- ScienceDaily

See also: Fibromyalgia Is a Neuropathic Pain Syndrome

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Use Strength Training to Fight Belly Fat

While you can't get rid of belly fat through crunches alone, a Harvard study finds that increasing weight training will have the biggest positive effect on your waistline compared to aerobic exercise or not exercising at all.

Use Strength Training to Fight Belly Fat

Friday, 20 February 2015

Chicken pox virus may be linked to serious condition in the elderly

How many of us with fibromyalgia and/or myalgic encephalomylitis have one or another of the herpes viruses, which include HSV-1 and HSV-2 (both of which can cause orolabial herpes and genital herpes), Varicella zoster virus (which causes chicken-pox and shingles) and Epstein-Barr virus (which causes mononucleosis)?

As these viruses are extremely widespread among humans, the link may be (or maybe not) casual, but it may be that we react differently when exposed to them, so whichever way, this finding probably isn't good news for us: 

A new study links the virus that causes chicken pox and shingles to a condition that inflames blood vessels on the temples and scalp in the elderly, called giant cell arteritis. The study is published in the February 18, 2015, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. The condition can cause sudden blindness or stroke and can be life-threatening.

The varicella zoster virus, of the herpes virus family, can cause chicken pox and may reactivate later in life in the form of shingles, a very painful rash.

Chicken pox virus may be linked to serious condition in the elderly -- ScienceDaily

Fibromyalgia Numbness: Causes and Coping

There are a few theories as to what causes numbness and tingling for those suffering from fibromyalgia. One cause behind it may be due to muscle spasms and muscle stiffness. These can lead to tingling and numbness because the tense muscles press on and irritate the nerves. The result is restless legs with pins and needles and sharp, deep, shooting/stabbing bone pain, often accompanied with a burning sensation. This can be excruciating.

Fibromyalgia Numbness: Causes and Coping

Where were you?

That the attitude towards Lucy changed as soon as she died shows that disabled people are only acceptable when they are dead, or when they are “making people proud”. When she had needs, people carped about money and special treatment. When she no longer needed anything from anyone, all of a sudden she was an inspiration. People with severe EB don’t live very long, and their whole lives are spent in pain to one extent or another. It shouldn’t be much to ask that someone whose health is that fragile should not be subject to needless stress and worry when they do not have long, to save the cost to the public purse of a flat near to a hospital. If you think Lucy Glennon was an inspiration just for living a difficult life, and you cheered on cuts because you thought they targeted scroungers who spent your money, then know that you helped make her life, and the lives of other disabled and chronically ill people, a lot more difficult. Was the saving worth it?

Where were you? | Indigo Jo Blogs

Thursday, 19 February 2015

The devil in the details

A comment in a recent exchange on a ME forum on Facebook attracted my interest. The person had said:
"My biggest issue is finding caregivers who really understand how important it is to be detail oriented to save me energy, like making sure to put things away in the right place so I don't waste energy having to search for it. But I have found a really good caregiver and she really does understand. She has two other clients, who are both paraplegic and she says if she had to choose, she would rather have their disability than mine, because their quality of life is so much better."
Sadly, many of us will certainly identify with the quality of life issue. It has often struck me (and this is a bit of an elephant in the room, because it could seem very insensitive to say so), but that "merely" having a physical impairment, whilst otherwise feeling quite well, is bound to result in a better quality of life than for those of us who have to deal with physical and neurological limitations, mobility issues and chronic pain, as well as feeling incredibly unwell, day-in-day-out (personally for over 40 years now.)

Given that, it's also no wonder we develop mental health issues as a consequence. Indeed, I should be stark-raving-bonkers by now and I'm sure I'll find plenty of volunteers who'll suggest that I am! 

On a practical level though, the rest of the comment is excellent food for thought.

There's really not much can be done about whole days lost looking for the item you put in the daftest place, because of brain fog (did that one yesterday), but clearly a lot to be gained from organisation; having a system and a place for everything. That goes hand-in-hand with pacing.

Frequently, I feel that my list making and organising gets to obsession level: that someone who can scarcely manage to get out of bed quite often, let alone out of the house (only a couple of times a week for ever shorter periods) really shouldn't need organisation at the level of a multi-million pound corporation involved in large and complicated projects, but I seem to do.

It helps me to remember things, get something done and do it in small, manageable amounts.

Sometimes, I think that even my (unbelievably supportive and understanding) husband doesn't always  get why it's vital for me to keep on top of things and why I persist in trying to manage to do so, when even I know that I really, really, really need to rest and NOW.

So, yes, I can also see why it is going to be difficult to get caregivers to fully grasp this need. 

But not doing things and the consequences thereof of chaos, mess and clutter (those being relative terms) are, in fact, much worse than continuing to try to keep things under control, even at a cost to current energy and the resultant post-exertional maliase. The later cost of catching up, along with additional stress of the interim nagging anxiety, would add up to so much more. I'd like it not to cost at all, but I haven't found the solution to that conundrum yet.

Currently, I'm using Google Calendar linked with the pro version of GQueues to manage my life using the principles of Getting Things Done: How to Achieve Stress-free Productivity (Watch How GQueues Works with GTD) from appointments, regular reminders, chores, website tasks and every small detail of life. 

Progress is always MUCH MUCH slower than I want, but I just have to work on acceptance and make myself feel that what I do is enough. (You can tell that this is most difficult part.)

But feeling as though I am in some modicum of control still makes a huge difference. 

The natural progression from having everything in the right place so you don't have to search for it, which I also discovered by bitter experience yesterday when searching for that misplaced item, is also not having too much shit junk clutter through which to search. Dealing with clutter not only creates physical challenges, but it really bothers me mentally and I can now see why it will be critically important for my health, in both ways, to get this dealt with. Decluttering has to be one of my next projects to organise. Probably in painstaking, obsessive detail. <Evil grin





Tuesday, 17 February 2015

How disease names can stigmatize

On 10 February 2015, the long awaited report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) was released regarding a new name — Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disease — and case definition for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Because I was quoted regarding this report in a New York Times article, in part due to having worked on these issues for many years, hundreds of patients contacted me over the next few days.

The reaction from patients was mixed at best, and some of the critical comments include:

  • “This new name is an abomination!”
  • “Absolutely outrageous and intolerable!”
  • “I find it highly offensive and misleading.”
  • “It is pathetic, degrading and demeaning.”
  • “It is the equivalent of calling Parkinson’s Disease: Systemic Shaking Intolerance Disease.”
  • “(It) is a clear invitation to the prejudiced and ignorant to assume ‘wimps’ and ‘lazy bums.’”
  • “The word ‘exertion,’ to most people, means something substantial, like lifting something very heavy or running a marathon – not something trivial, like lifting a fork to your mouth or making your way across the hall to the bathroom. Since avoiding substantial exertion is not very difficult, the likelihood that people who are not already knowledgeable will underestimate the challenges of having this disease based on this name seems to me extremely high.”

ME/CFS, disease names, and patient stigmatization | OUPblog

Monday, 16 February 2015

Experts question value of current obesity treatments

The mantra in obesity treatment is 'eat less and move more'. But a leading group of obesity experts question the belief that this is sufficient to treat obesity. They argue that obesity is a chronic disease with largely biological causes that cannot be cured with just diet and exercise.

Experts question value of current obesity treatments -- ScienceDaily

Experts question value of current obesity treatments

The mantra in obesity treatment is 'eat less and move more'. But a leading group of obesity experts question the belief that this is sufficient to treat obesity. They argue that obesity is a chronic disease with largely biological causes that cannot be cured with just diet and exercise.

Experts question value of current obesity treatments -- ScienceDaily

Does illness make people lonely?

Difficult circumstances often bring people closer together. But a new study published has found that the onset of chronic illness often results in sufferers feeling lonelier -- even for those who have had a steady partner for 50 years or more.

Does illness make people lonely? -- ScienceDaily

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Sobbing Decision Makers Plead With Claimants Not To Appeal; Help Challenge DWP Election Lies

In this edition we reveal that sobbing decision makers are desperately trying to persuade claimants not to lodge appeals following an unsuccessful mandatory reconsideration.

It is the first evidence that DWP staff are coming under huge pressure to meet targets for cutting appeal numbers for benefits including employment and support allowance (ESA), personal independence payment (PIP) and disability living allowance (DLA).

Combined with the dirty tricks we revealed back in December that the DWP use to try to prevent claimants getting a mandatory reconsideration, these latest arm twisting techniques make it even harder for claimants to get the benefits they are entitled to.

11 February 2014 newsletter

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Bournemouth Model Railway Exhibition 2015


Above is the port (St. Georges Quay) on one corner of the Umbridge N guage layout of The Railway Enthusiasts' Club. Set in a more modern era and far more industrial than what we have planned for the quay at Porthkeres, there are, nevertheless, some similarities in the quay's shape and design. 

The other layout I was quite taken with at this show was Hedges Hill Cutting (see images below), which has fantastic detail and conveys so much in such a small space.



Saturday, 7 February 2015

Breaching the do NO harm principal: GET and CBT for ME/CFS

CBT and GET are at best useless and at worst extremely harmful for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis patients. Patients with myalgic encephalomyelitis, particularly children, have suffered gross and barbaric abuse and persistent denigration as a consequence of the beliefs of certain psychiatrists who are attempting to control the national agenda for this complex and severe neuro-immunological disorder.

THE NICEGUIDELINES BLOG: Breaching the do NO harm principal: GET and CBT for ME/CFS

Friday, 6 February 2015

Connections: the Pain and Distress Circuit in Fibromyalgia Identified

Blasting the insula and amygdala  – the two main autonomic nervous regulators in the brain –  kicks off  or exacerbates the autonomic nervous system problems, interferes with sleep and cognition, and increases the emotional burden of the disorder. The fight-flight system is turned on  leaving FM and ME/CFS patients unable to fully rest and heal.

This study and others suggest that the distressing wired and tired aspect of ME/CFS and FM that leaves one on edge, feeling emotionally fragile and  exhausted, could be a function of autonomic nervous system dysfunction.

Connections: the Pain and Distress Circuit in Fibromyalgia Identified

Does Universal Credit herald the end of Medical Privacy?

It would seem difficult for IDS's Universal Credit to become any more farcical, but under the DWP's latest change to the rules, your medical records are open to all. Well, not quite all, but a quietly introduced amendment snappily titled as the Social Security (Information-sharing in relation to Welfare Services etc.) (Amendment) Regulations 2015 means that from 13th February IDS will be allowed to share the medical information of any Universal Credit claimant with any or all of: Local Authorities, charities working with DWP, the Citizen's Advice Bureau, Credit Unions and Social Landlords*, and do it without asking your permission.

Where's the Benefit?: Does Universal Credit herald the end of Medical Privacy?

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Maximus Redacted: The New Fit-For-Work Contract

As Atos counts down the days to its termination date, the new work capability assessment contract has been published, albeit with some redactions. It's super dull but I've read it, so you don't have to; here's what caught my eye.

Most of the documents deal with the contracting process itself rather than the WCA per se. Maximus's bit was very readable but the DWP's description of what it expects from its contractor is written in the turgid tones of a Kremlin edict on quotas for tractor manufacture in Smolensk, circa 1975.

Work Test Whistleblower: Maximus Redacted: The New Fit-For-Work Contract

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

As a jobcentre adviser, I got ‘brownie points’ for cruelty

Former jobcentre adviser Angela Neville has written a play to expose the harsh reality of the benefits sanctions regime

Can This be England? deals with the quagmire that awaits people caught in the welfare system. Scenes are set in jobcentres and in characters’ homes addressing some of what Neville calls the “everyday absurdity” of what occurs, such as when people with disabilities and fluctuating health conditions are wrongly declared “fit for work” inflicting additional suffering in the process. It also examines the dilemmas faced by staff in jobcentres, many of whom Neville believes feel stripped of any power to do good and are crumbling under the strain as managers enforce new rules.

As a jobcentre adviser, I got ‘brownie points’ for cruelty | Mary O’Hara | Society | The Guardian

As a jobcentre adviser, I got ‘brownie points’ for cruelty

Former jobcentre adviser Angela Neville has written a play to expose the harsh reality of the benefits sanctions regime

Can This be England? deals with the quagmire that awaits people caught in the welfare system. Scenes are set in jobcentres and in characters’ homes addressing some of what Neville calls the “everyday absurdity” of what occurs, such as when people with disabilities and fluctuating health conditions are wrongly declared “fit for work” inflicting additional suffering in the process. It also examines the dilemmas faced by staff in jobcentres, many of whom Neville believes feel stripped of any power to do good and are crumbling under the strain as managers enforce new rules.

As a jobcentre adviser, I got ‘brownie points’ for cruelty | Mary O’Hara | Society | The Guardian

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Versus Myalgic Encephalomyelitis

Monikers aside, there remains the question:  What is CFS/ME?  CFS/ME thought leaders see the conditions as an abnormal immune system response to a possibly wide variety of infectious or environmental triggers; this produces a chronic state of inflammation, autonomic dysfunction, impaired endocrine functioning, including neuroendocrine imbalances.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Versus Myalgic Encephalomyelitis

How to Understand Someone With Chronic Pain

Remember that being sick does not mean that the sufferer is no longer a human being. Chronic pain sufferers spend the majority of their day in considerable pain. If one visits or lives with a chronic pain sufferer, the chronic pain sufferer may be unable to enjoy things they used to enjoy. The chronic pain sufferer remains aware, and desires to do what they used to perform. The chronic pain sufferer feels as if they are stuck inside a body in which they have little or no control. They still want to enjoy work, family, friends and leisure activities, however much pain puts that enjoyment out of reach.

How to Understand Someone With Chronic Pain: 12 Steps

Monday, 2 February 2015

Osteoporsis Drug To Treat Epstein-Barr Tumors

EBV is a herpesvirus that latently infects most individuals by adulthood. However, immunocompromised patients are at high risk of developing EBV-induced tumors, such as EBV-induced B cell lymphoproliferative disorders (EBV-LPD). EBV-LPD in immunocompromised patients is a serious and life-threatening condition with significant morbidity and mortality and limited treatment options.

Osteoporsis Drug To Treat Epstein-Barr Tumors | Asian Scientist Magazine

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