CHAOSTOCOSMOS

Friday, 21 August 2015

A walk through Great Woar Copse and Ballard Water Meadow


More or less at the end of the next street, we can walk through a kissing gate and pass into another world entirely. We go from a street full of suburban bungalows with neatly manicured gardens to this seemingly wild woodland that you would hardly even acknowledge is there when driving around the area.


This woodland, part of the Great Woar Copse, leads us onto the Ballard Water Meadows (at the far side of which is Ballard Lake a.k.a. the duck pond) and is a favourite route with dog walkers and lovers of Walking in New Milton.

All around the woods and meadow are lecturns with information about the management of the copse and meadow, the flora and fauna. Don't be tempted to pass any of them by, because each one has different information.
  
Despite all the recent summer rain, the current view (above, right) is quite a contrast from when we visited in February (above, left).

There are gates all around the woods and meadow for keeping in the livestock. There are signs up about cattle, but we've never seen any of the seven Dexter cattle that are meant to be grazing there. Either they're very small, very shy, or very absent! (I suspect the last.) This time they both waited, but normally the dogs will just limbo dance under the fences and leave the gates to us silly humans!

At the top of the meadow there is this fenced-off area, where we find a wonderfully gnarly, over 300 year old oak tree. 

And so towards home, back along the paths in through the copse. The full route takes around an hour, so is ideal for our medium to large sized visitors.

NB: Our intrepid route testers here are Teekee and Baloo, who belong to a friend and are regular visitors. They are shown off lead because we have an established relationship with them. We wouldn't let any dogs off the lead who we aren't very confident are going to respond to recall. No dogs were harmed in the filming of this walk. Batteries not included. Your results may differ. :)

If you're interested in the conservation of the water meadow and it's surrounding area, you may like to check out The Friends of Ballard Water Meadows

Dodger


Dodger came for the day at the beginning of the month and very quickly became poster boy for the term "At Home". Here he is making himself very much at home, sprawled diagonally across the bed and it must have taken all of a couple of hours to get from just arrived to this, which is probably a record! Actually, we're very proud that we can have this effect and hope it means that the dogs are happy and relaxed in our company and in our home. They certainly seem to be.

Dodger is a Staffy (Staffordshire Bull Terrier) who I already knew was good around children, so I assumed (quite rightly), he would be perfectly fine with us too.

Some dog boarding establishments limit themselves to small dogs and shy away from the "scary" breeds (as is their prerogative, of course), however, provided your dog isn't aggressive, we are happy to consider all breeds, shapes and sizes.

It's also worth repeating that, again unlike the majority of dog boarders, we do NOT have our own dog, so we are able to offer exclusive bookings for dogs who don't get along with other dogs.

Monday, 17 August 2015

Melatonin Helps Fibromyalgia Pain: A Double-Blind Study

Melatonin is popularly used as a sleeping pill—although it likely helps only a small proportion of patients. But, surprise! Several double blind studies suggest that Melatonin might also help in combating Fibromyalgia pain. One study found that Melatonin improved pain due to temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD).(1) Another showed benefit for pain caused by endometriosis.(2) Now, a double-blind study from Brazil suggests that high dose Melatonin taken regularly for six weeks probably reduces fibromyalgia pain.(3)



This optimistic conclusion is tentative, since there was no true placebo group in this study. Rather, Melatonin was as or possibly more effective than Elavil (amitryptiline), a medicine which has long been used to treat fibromyalgia. Take-Home Lesson: despite, the lack of placebo, Melatonin’s relative safety suggests that physicians might consider a trial of Melatonin for their fibromyalgia patients.



Melatonin Helps Fibromyalgia Pain: A Double-Blind Study



ED: The fact that you can't buy melatonin in the UK is probably proof enough that it's a good as a prescription medication, particularly considering how the NHS do seem to really like pushing amitryptiline, which from my own experience only makes fibromyalgia worse once you factor in the huge decrease in function that comes in inverse proportion to the huge increase in weight it causes.



Conversely, I am one of the small proportion who melatonin does help with sleep, not only getting to sleep, but also staying asleep. And better sleep in itself helps reduce overall symptoms.

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Low-fat diet results in more fat loss than low-carb diet in humans

A study from the US National Institutes of Health presents some of the most precise human data yet on whether cutting carbs or fat has the most benefits for losing body fat. In a paper published August 13 in Cell Metabolism, the researchers show how, contrary to popular claims, restricting dietary fat can lead to greater body fat loss than carb restriction, even though a low-carb diet reduces insulin and increases fat burning.



Low-fat diet results in more fat loss than low-carb diet in humans

Friday, 14 August 2015

10 Tips for Traveling With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

This article contains lots of absolutely brilliant advice, but the one thing I want to take away from it and intend (well to TRY to) burn indellibly into my brain is:



"Seeing a little bit of a place is much better than seeing a lot of the ceiling in your hotel room."  



Been there, done that before and never found a hotel with a truly interesting ceilng yet!


Oh, and getting that it's sometimes a sensible investment to pay for help, like hiring a vehicle and not feeling guilty for organising wheelchair assistance at airports because "technically" I'm able to walk, but I would be too ill to enjoy my holiday if I didn't accept that help and save my energy.


10 Tips for Traveling With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Are Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and chronic fatigue syndrome different illnesses? A preliminary analysis

Are Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and chronic fatigue syndrome different illnesses? A preliminary analysis: Based on the present analyses, the ME-ICC (Carruthers et al., 2011) appear to a select a more functionally impaired and symptomatic group of individuals when compared to those who met only the Fukuda et al. (1994) criteria. Given the high level of interest among clinicians and scientists regarding the ME-ICC, more research should be conducted to investigate how these criteria, as well as the specific instruments developed to assess these criteria, potentially select different patient cohorts than the Fukuda et al. criteria. Additional studies are needed to determine if biological and psychiatric differences exist between those who meet these two case definitions. Additionally, researchers should continue to operationalize current criteria to reduce criterion variance and use more sophisticated analytic techniques to identify the critical dimensions of these illnesses (Jason et al., 2012).

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Why Phrases Like ‘Stay Positive’ Don’t Help My Life With Chronic Illness

What I had attributed to “always staying positive” during the turmoil that is my daily existence, turned out to be almost the exact opposite. I found I had the ability to keep my bubbly and lightheaded demeanor simply by not anticipating anything positive at all. In a nutshell, I always expect the worst and keep my expectations low.



Why Phrases Like ‘Stay Positive’ Don’t Help My Life With Chronic Illness

Heart Abnormalities in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) is considered a multi-system illness with dysfunction in the immune system, central nervous system and hormones. However, research is suggesting that the abnormalities don't stop there -- ME/CFS is being tied to several irregularities in the heart.



These irregularities include:

  • Low nocturnal heart rate variability 
  • Small left ventricle (in one subgroup) 
  • Postural tachycardia 
  • Short QT interval 
  • Abnormal cardiac wall motion with exercise (in certain subgroups) 
  • Low blood volume & reduced cardiac function 


These irregularities may be to blame for some of the key symptoms of ME/CFS. They may also point to the importance of working to maintain heart health to lower the risk of cardiac problems.



Heart Abnormalities in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

How to take a vacation from the work of managing your chronic illness

Dealing with the constant round of doctor visits, the “alternative” medical support like her acupuncture treatments, the pharmacy runs, the insurance details, and the constant work of managing pain and fatigue is another full time job without any benefits, like paid leave.



How to take a vacation from the work of managing your chronic illness

Aggravating factors that make fibromyalgia symptoms worse

Weather (especially cold climates and changes in barometric pressure), cold or drafty environments, hormonal fluctuations (premenstrual and menopausal states), poor quality sleep, stress, depression, anxiety, and over-exertion can all contribute to fibromyalgia symptom flare-ups.



Aggravating factors that make fibromyalgia symptoms worse

Specialist NHS professionals launch new therapy and management guide for CFS/ME

A new guide to CFS/ME therapy and symptom management has been published this week by the health professionals who run the specialist NHS services.

The 32-page document, which discusses in some detail the drugs used to manage symptoms of the illness, is in stark contrast to the very much longer guideline published by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence in 2007 – in which drugs hardly got a look in.

Pacing, the technique which aims to help people with M.E. balance their activity and rest requirements, seems to have been omitted.



Specialist NHS professionals launch new therapy and management guide for CFS/ME

Saturday, 8 August 2015

27 bishops slam David Cameron's welfare reforms as creating a national crisis in unprecedented attack in letter to the Daily Mirror

For so many leading members of the clergy to launch such a direct attack on the Government of the day is unprecedented.
It underlines the deep concern felt by the churches over the Coalition’s brutal welfare cuts which have left so many facing hunger and hardship.



27
bishops slam David Cameron's welfare reforms as creating a national
crisis in unprecedented attack

Friday, 7 August 2015

Poor Sleep Poisons the Brain (Study on Neurotoxin Buildup provides clues for ME/CFS)

Neurotoxins (poisons that act on the nervous system) are the “trash” the brain is trying to get rid of every night in our sleep. But this cleaning cycle is specific and long and if you don’t get enough good sleep, a new study run by Dr. Maiken Nedergaard, co-director of the Center for Translational Neuromedicine at the University of Rochester, found these neurotoxins start to build up.



Poor Sleep Poisons the Brain (Study on Neurotoxin Buildup provides clues for ME/CFS)

Home care is the theme for Severe ME Day on August 8th

August 8, 2015, will be the third annual Understanding and Remembrance Day for Severe ME. To mark this, the 25% ME Group — a support organisation for people who have severe myalgic encephalomyelitis — are focusing on care. We’ve done this in view of the truly dreadful service responses that our members increasingly report encountering here in the UK.

Clearly there’s a major gap between the care needs of people with severe ME and professional perception. Guess which tends to prevail?



Home care is the theme for Severe ME Day on August 8th

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Found Worse Than Diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis, Cancer, etc.

People with ME/CFS had the lowest median quality of life (QOL) scores of any disease tested. The next highest QOL score was 12% higher (bleeding ulcer). Next came people with chronic kidney failure with 15% higher scores.



People with the big, scary diseases ( the ones people think – “Please, Lord not me!”) all had consistently higher quality of life scores than people with ME/CFS.



Schizophrenia is one of the last diseases I would wish on anyone, but people with schizophrenia scored 21% higher in their QOL scores than people with ME/CFS. The same was true for people with stroke, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.



People with Type I Diabetes, cancer or heart problems had it relatively easy. Their QOL scores were 33% higher than those for people with ME/CFS.



Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Found Worse Than Diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis, Cancer, etc.
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