“Asking for help does not mean that we are weak or incompetent. It usually indicates an advanced level of honesty and intelligence.”
- Anne Wilson Schaef, author.
- Anne Wilson Schaef, author.
If you’re on a medication that has unpleasant side-effects, I hope you’ll try Pema Chödrön’s practice. I’m confident it will feel better than being trapped in anger and resentment over something you don’t control (just like you don’t control having medical problems in the first place). To start where you are, acknowledge how you feel—side-effects included—and let that be your starting point for the day.
We know that increased activation of the sympathetic nervous (fight or flight) system is present in fibromyalgia but is it contributing to the pain there? Martinez-Lavin (“When Stress Causes Distress”) has been hypothesizing that it’s been a key pain driver in FM for years.
While there’s still much to learn it’s clear that enormous progress has been made in understanding the standing problems present in ME/CFS and POTS. While clear treatment options are not known, this study indicated that insufficient blood flows are causing the distress found while standing and perhaps during exercise in a significant number of ME/CFS patients.
Next up for them is figuring out precisely where system goes wrong. Is it the baroreflex response or the receptors in the blood vessels or something else?
We have no way of knowing how these cuts will be made.
But it could be a combination of measures such as abolishing the work-related activity component of ESA; removing the lower rate of DLA care and/or mobility for working age claimants; making the points system for PIP much harsher; reducing the percentage of rent that housing benefit covers . . . and much more.
But whilst we can’t be sure how the cuts will be achieved, we can be absolutely certain of the additional misery and desperation they will heap on already struggling claimants.
For some people suffering from chronic pain, part of their daily routine is recording the extent of it in a pain diary. Often done at the request of their physician or therapist, patients may be asked to record how severe the pain is, how it affects daily activities and which treatments ease it or make it worse.
The purpose of a pain diary is to capture important, often overlooked details a doctor might find helpful. But a new study from the University of Alberta's Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry shows those well-intentioned diaries may have unintended consequences.
It’s frankly terrifying that our so-called democratic government is waging an ideological crusade directed at altering citizens’ thoughts and behaviour, and avoiding any accountability, sidestepping any engagement in difficult political debate about their policies and the impacts they have.
Many public health researchers take advantage of 'natural experiments' -- comparing people's calorie consumption or physical activity levels, either before and after a policy or environmental change, or in contrast to a similar group of people not affected by that change. But not all natural experiments are created equal. A public health team has now systematically reviewed the state of the science.
“A serf's job was whatever the noble told them it was, carpenter, blacksmith, baker, farmer, and tax collector, serfs did it all. A serf could buy their own freedom if they could get the money, but where could they get the money?”Doesn’t that sound familiar, when you compare it to anyone with a low-paid job these days, anyone on zero-hours contracts, forced onto workfare … and no way out except overpriced payday loans?
Hippocampal atrophy resulting from FM may, in turn, worsen or exacerbate FM symptomatology. For example, FM patients often report a subjective worsening of cognitive function characterized by short-term memory problems (ie, the “fibro fog”). Furthermore, the hippocampal atrophy and dysfunction may “feed forward”, resulting in more severe pain, discomfort, and anxiety in FM patients, due to its central role in limbic circuits and pain modulation networks.
Many people haven’t connected histamine with fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome but it’s been a suspected player for over twenty years. The first study suggesting overactive mast cells were pumping high levels of histamine into FM patients bodies goes back to 1990. Greatly increased levels of mast cells in the skin of every FM patient tested in a 2010 Spanish FM finding, and then a small but successful NIH funded mast cell blocking FM study featuring ketiotifen suggested the theory might have legs. One patient in the trial remarked that she was pain free for the first time in years.
CONCLUSIONS: Mood and anxiety disorders are more prevalent in individuals with FSSs, and particularly CFS, than in individuals without FSSs. However, most individuals with FSSs do not have mood or anxiety disorders.
(My emphasis added.)
So, for the hard of thinking (which includes numerous members of the medical profession), clearly if most individuals with FFSs do not have mood or anxiety disorders, then these mental issues cannot possibly be the cause of their ills, as so many have suggested.
Equally obvious is that those who do have problems with anxiety and/or depression, have developed it for entirely different reasons or, more likely, from having to deal with the unremitting pain, fatigue, loss of quality of life and so often, disbelief.
Researchers focused on the role of muscle metabolites, including lactic acid and adenosine triphosphate, or ATP, in the disease. The study has demonstrated for the first time that these substances, released when a person exercises his or her muscles, seem to activate these neural pathways. Also, UF Health researchers have shown that these pathways seem to be much more sensitive in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome than in patients without the disease, something that hasn't been studied before.
We tend to think of fibromyalgia as a central nervous system disease but that focus has tended to obscure the growing evidence of problems in the body.
We don’t tend to think of fibromyalgia as an inflammatory disorder. It’s true that overt signs of inflammation are rarely found in people with FM, but some studies suggest inflammatory factors may play a role.
Then there are the mitochondria. Mitochondrial dysfunction is thought of as a real possibility in chronic fatigue syndrome, but I’ve rarely associated it with fibromyalgia or pain. It turns out, however, that multiple studies – most of them small – suggest that mitochondrial dysfunction could indeed play a significant role in fibromyalgia.
Could fibromyalgia, whatever else it is – also be a mitochondrial disorder?
So maybe you’re not speaking up because you feel you’re out of options. Keep talking anyway! Even if it comes out “bitchy.” Suggesting treatments you’ve read about isn’t disrespecting medical professionals. At the end of the day, we all have the same goal to get better, right? If we keep talking, we’ll connect with people who can help in ways we never imagined. We already are here.
Superwoman, it’s your time to fly. Let’s talk about you. One, two, three… Go.
"The effect of this is comparable to obesity, something that public health takes very seriously," said Julianne Holt-Lunstad, the lead study author. "We need to start taking our social relationships more seriously."
Loneliness and social isolation can look very different. For example, someone may be surrounded by many people but still feel alone. Other people may isolate themselves because they prefer to be alone. The effect on longevity, however, is much the same for those two scenarios.
In this edition we reveal that on 30 March a change in the law makes it much harder for people to reclaim employment and support allowance (ESA) after being turned down.
In addition, we learn about the claimant sanctioned again because his first sanction had left him starving and the claimant sanctioned for spending the night in intensive care with his newborn baby.
And we ask for your views in our survey on claimant sanctions and deaths.
During seven weeks of undercover work at a universal credit contact centre in Bolton, Channel 4 journalists witnessed a farcical mess of centralised IT failure. But what really stood out were the underhand tactics DWP staff were found to use against claimants: from deliberately withholding hardship payments from people struggling after having their benefits sanctioned, to hiding the flexible fund put in place to pay for clothes or a bus fare they needed to help them get a job.
“The whole idea is the punishment, that’s what you’ve got to suffer,” one adviser was filmed explaining. This mentality is normal now and beyond Dispatches the evidence is mounting.
Disabled travellers are deterred from taking the train by poorly trained staff, confusion over booking requirements and inaccessible stations, according to a charity, which says targets to provide accessible trains could be rendered meaningless.
Only one in five train stations in England is fully accessible, research by the Papworth Trust found, while two-thirds of disabled people say the need to book assistance rather than turn up and go means they use trains less than they otherwise would.
Doctors don't much care for conditions we don't understand well, can't treat effectively, and can't even confirm with a blood test. The frustration that results often translates into one of medicine's more common, and most regrettable missteps: blaming the victim. Patients with syndromes are often overtly, or at least covertly, blamed for their symptoms and engender an "it's all in his/her head" attitude in their doctor.
For too long our political leaders have focused on reducing spending and raising taxes in order to tackle the deficit. Politicians, the civil service, the commentariat and the academic world all see this as the only solution. This view is, however, based on a fallacy of composition which fatally undermines its efficacy. What might well be sensible for an individual who is over-spending, and which has no measurable impact on the economy as a whole, does not work for the government which is a major player.
The government has admitted that more than 30 secret reviews carried out following the deaths of benefit claimants called for improvements in how the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) operates locally and nationally.
The “appalling” statistic has added to pressure on DWP to publish the reviews, and is the latest in a series of revelations to emerge through Freedom of Information Act (FoIA) requests, which disabled activists say “should be setting alarm bells ringing at Westminster”.
A new Iowa State University study analyzed the divorce rate for couples in which either spouse was diagnosed with a serious illness. The study, published in the March issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, found a 6 percent higher probability of divorce for couples in which wives got sick compared to marriages in which wives remained healthy. However, a husband's illness did not increase the risk for divorce.
New research shows that patients with fibromyalgia have hypersensitivity to non-painful events based on images of the patients’ brains, which show reduced activation in primary sensory regions and increased activation in sensory integration areas. Findings suggest that brain abnormalities in response to non-painful sensory stimulation may cause the increased unpleasantness that patients experience in response to daily visual, auditory and tactile stimulation.
We operate in a society where it seems as if there is some secret committee that hands out awards for people who work through any sickness, embrace sleep depravation or race through the work day without eating. It took me over 36 years to be able to admit to myself that no one was going to give me a gold star for constantly pushing myself forward.
Ever since it was first given its name, in 1988, the condition known as chronic fatigue syndrome has been trivialized by doctors and laypeople alike, dismissed as mere malingering. So it felt momentous, earlier this month, when the Institute of Medicine released an exhaustively documented report announcing that CFS—also called, in some circles, myalgic encephalomyelitis, because of its effects on the muscles and brain—is real. As the authors put it, “The primary message of this report is that ME/CFS is a serious, chronic, complex, multisystem disease that frequently and dramatically limits the activities of affected patients.” They suggested that it be given a new name: systemic exertion intolerance disease.
A team of Spanish scientists, which includes several researchers from the University of Granada, has confirmed that there is a relation between the levels of certain environmental pollutants that a person accumulates in his or her body and their level of obesity. Subjects with more pollutants in their organisms tend to have higher levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, which are important risk factors for cardiovascular disease.