Poisonous Painkiller

Remember Wrinkle Venom?


It appeared as a wonder cream against wrinkles a couple of years ago. It was made from a synthetic form of snake venom. I’m sure it’s still around (there’s a jar on my shelf) but it doesn’t seem to create quite the same hype anymore.

A new study suggests that the real thing (yes, real snake venom) may be the next big thing in pain relievers. Good luck, advertising executives!

Researchers say certain compounds isolated from the venom of the deadly black mamba snake are actually potent painkillers. The black mamba snake is Africa’s longest venomous snake and grows up to 14 feet in length. Its aggressive nature and lethal venom has given it a reputation as the world’s deadliest snake.

In the study, these compounds produced pain relief as strong as morphine in mice, without the unwanted side effects associated with opioid pain relievers.

It’s too early to say whether the same will hold true in humans – but keep an eye out, people!

But researchers say the results suggest the snake venom compounds relieve pain by targeting a different pain pathway in the brain. And that could eventually lead to a new generation of pain killers for people, which is something we (FM sufferers) are definitely searching for.

“It is essential to understand pain better to develop new analgesics,” researcher Sylvie Diochot of the Institut de Pharmacologie Mole ́culaire et Cellulaire, in Valbonne, France, and colleagues write in Nature. The black mamba findings, she says, help with both of those goals.

Previous studies have shown that compounds in snake venom can cause pain by activating what’s called specific acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs).

In this study, researchers found that a newly discovered class of compounds in black mamba snake venom called mambalgins can relieve pain by targeting and blocking these channels. Their experiments in mice show the mambalgins are not toxic and have fewer side effects than traditional pain killers like morphine.

Researchers say their results should lead to a better understanding of pain and introduce natural compounds that may lead to the development of new painkillers.

We’re ready for better pain relief!

WANTED: Trusted Body Work Shop

People use bodywork to promote relaxation, relieve stress, and reduce pain associated with FM. Bodywork and manual therapy are general terms that refer to body manipulation therapies used for relaxation and pain relief. Massage and chiropractic care well-known forms of manual therapy.

The idea behind bodywork is that people learn – or are forced by injury or stress – into unnatural ways of moving or holding their bodies. This unnatural movement or posture changes the natural alignment of bones, which in turn causes discomfort and may contribute to health problems.

The aim of bodywork is to realign and reposition the body to allow natural, graceful movement. Bodywork, along with identifying possible contributing causes of unnatural movement and posture, is thought to reduce stress and ease pain.

Some of the most common forms of bodywork are:

  • images (1)The Alexander technique, which focuses on proper alignment of the head, neck, and trunk. It emphasizes improving health by increasing awareness of proper posture.
  • The Feldenkrais method, a gentle form of bodywork that increases flexibility and coordination. Feldenkrais exercises are intended to help increase a person’s awareness of body movement and develop new patterns of movement.
  • brochure_pic_1The Trager approach, which people use to help relearn natural movements and exercises so their bodies can function better. Practitioners teach gentle, rhythmic motions to improve flexibility and promote relaxation (called psychophysical integration) and dance-like exercises to increase awareness of body movement (called Mentastics).
  • Deep tissue massage, which attempts to treat chronic tension in deep muscles of the body. Deep tissue massage is thought to relieve pain and increase flexibility.
  • Rolfing, a form of deep tissue massage that practitioners use to realign the tissues that cover and connect all muscles and body organs (fascia). Bringing the body back into proper alignment is thought to reduce pain, improve flexibility and energy, and reduce muscle tension.
  • Dance/movement therapy, which has many of the same characteristics as the types of bodywork described above with the addition of creative and expressive art elements.

Bodywork can be a safe form of therapy when a qualified and experienced practitioner performs it. Talk with your doctor before you start any bodywork program, so you can choose the most appropriate form of bodywork for your specific condition. It may not be safe to forgo your conventional medical treatment and rely only on an alternative therapy.

Free Webinar on Managing Fibromyalgia Symptoms

about sue

Susan Ingebretson, a fibromyalgia patient, author of the best-selling book FibroWHYalgia & contributor to our own Living Well with Fibromyalgia, will host a free webinar, to share her story about her path to improving fibromyalgia symptoms.

Strategies for Reducing Symptoms with Sue Ingebretson will take place at 1 pm EST on November 29. 

Ingebretson, like many of us, found it impossible to maintain an adequate quality of life with fibromyalgia. So, she set out to research ways of making an holistic and significant improvement in her life. Eventually, she ended up writing a book about what she had always looked for to manage her own condition.

In the webinar, Ingebretson will tell her story, review natural treatments, explain what is currently lacking in most patients’ attempts at recovery; and, present a work plan called “restoration trio,”  a practical and realistic work plan to maintain a lifestyle that can improve fibromyalgia symptoms over time.

We already know that non-pharmacologic therapies and lifestyle changes have shown that a multi-disciplinary approach offers better healthcare outcomes, and that patient engagement in the care process is essential.

Nonetheless, physicians often rely on traditional medical practices to treat the condition and do not always seek the patient’s feedback, says Ingebretson.

Ingebretson worked to identify lifestyle changes that could help in the healing process of a chronically ill body and mind from a perspective that most professionals do not necessarily have.

A copy of FibroWHYalgia will be raffled off among participants in the webinar.

Ingebretson is a certified holistic healthcare practitioner and program director of the Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Center at California State University. She also has a blog, where news and topics promoting positive lifestyle changes and healthy living are discussed.

For more details about the webinar, please contact Adi Bein at: adi.bein@genefo.com

MCS in FMS & ME/CFS

This post contains affiliate links. I may be rewarded financially for any purchases you might make.

Multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), also known as idiopathic environmental intolerance (IEI), is common in people with fibromyalgia. Some researchers believe they are all part of a family of illnesses, which some have called “functional somatic syndromes” or “environmental illness.” A term now gaining prominence is “central sensitivity syndromes.”
In central sensitivity syndromes, the central nervous system becomes hyper-responsive to certain stimuli. Those stimuli can include pain, temperature, light, and, especially in the case of MCS, chemicals.

Someone with MCS has negative reactions to even small amounts of chemical substances in their environment. While chemicals can make just about anyone sick if they’re at high-enough levels, in MCS, even low amounts lead to symptoms.

Common problem substances include:

  • Fragrances, such as in cleaning products, perfumes, candles, and hygiene products,
  • Cigarette smoke,
  • Paint fumes,
  • Gasoline fumes,
  • Industrial chemicals,
  • Medications,
  • Chemicals in tap water; and
  • Chemicals and dyes in clothing.

Some of these things trigger symptoms with their smells or upon physical contact, while others must be ingested. Not everyone with MCS is sensitive to the same things: one person may be unable to be in the room with someone smoking or wearing scented lotion, but be fine at the gas station; meanwhile, someone else can handle hygiene-product fragrances but gets sick around pesticides and cleaning products.

Someone else may have problems with all of those things.

Fuzzy Logic USA sell pure (no chemical dyes or treatment) organic clothing and accessories. NOT all organic products are created equal. Many use organic materials then go on to use harsh chemicals and colorants to make them look pretty. Unfortunately, people with fibro and other skin sensitivities can suffer from allergic reactions.

Check out the entire range of Organic Cotton Colours clothing
Fuzzy Logic USA

The urban lifestyle and the many chemicals and electromagnetic fields to which we are subjected daily have grown, exponentially.

Currently, there are millions of affected peoples with different pathologies triggered to chemical smells, people that feel discomfort when they use certain clothing or are close to low frequency electromagnetic fields. MCS has been recognized for a couple of decades, but it’s still a fairly controversial diagnosis. It’s also an illness that’s gone through multiple names. Along with environmental illness, it’s been called chemical injury or chemical sensitivity.

It is known that there is a direct relationship between fibro, MCS and electrosensitivity (extreme sensitivity to magnetic fields). Organic Cotton Colours have become aware, through the direct testimony of people affected, of the use of their products as a palliative measure. The absolute lack of chemicals in their clothes during the entire process, the refusal to use dyes and the extreme care in the making, have become an instrument facilitating the daily life of a increasingly high percentage of the population.

It’s 25 years of experience and dedication to customers, hundreds of testimonies from concerned associations, naturalists, clinics. Organic Cotton Colours wants to serve as a support platform for a more sustainable lifestyle, healthy and natural.

Fuzzy Logic USA

We don’t have any drugs or medical treatments for MCS in general. However, some people may have success with treatments aimed at specific sensitivities.

The primary way to manage MCS is to avoid the things that make you sick. Fuzzy Logic USA is providing a way for you to avoid chemicals and dyes.

Fibro Falling

“How did you break your ankle?”

I get asked that a lot: I’m still limping, 7 months later. I was walking in Bali and I fell. No motor bikes. No bicycles. No alcohol. No bumpy footpaths. No drugs. Just walking. I fell.

Gait and balance are severely impaired in women with fibromyalgia, according to “Altered Functional Performance in Patients with Fibromyalgia” published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.

Only women were included in this study as the vast majority (80%-90%) of people affected by fibromyalgia are women. The study showed that walking speed was significantly reduced in women with fibromyalgia, compared to women without pain, probably due to the reduction in stride length and frequency.

When the researchers analysed the association of gait and balance impairment with functional performance and the level of pain, they found that high levels of pain, depression, stiffness, anxiety, and fatigue (DUH!) were the main parameters associated with reduced gait and balance.

Finally, the researchers reported that they observed an abnormal pattern of body sways during balance tasks in fibromyalgia patients. They thought this could be associated with changes in the motor control system, and might explain why fibromyalgia patients experience a higher rate of falls.

Overall, the findings highlighted the relevant role of postural control and balance for daily activity functioning in fibromyalgia patients.

So, I’m doing hydrotherapy, pilates, deep-water running, recumbent cycling and indoor rowing.

Bring on the strong core muscles, a 6-pack and balance!

Home (ever-so) Sweet Home

I left Australia 2 weeks ago for a 4 week holiday in Bali (that I had saved up 5 years for).

I had the best intentions. I was going to walk everyday. I was going to do yoga. I was going to quit smoking. I was going to drink lots of (bottled) water. I was going to look after my Mommy who was recuperating from an operation. I could do all of these things because I always feel better in Bali – maybe it’s the type of heat or the humidity? I don’t care why – it just feels good!

For the first 5 days, I walked approximately 4kms a day. I felt great. It doesn’t feel like such a great distance when there are so many new things to see. I didn’t quite get to the yoga. I was down to about 5 cigarettes a day. I banned soft drinks from our villa…

20160802_162509And 2 days after my mother arrived, I broke my leg and ankle – not on a motorcycle or doing anything dangerous – just walking along the street.

So Mommy has spent more time looking after me (at least, she can walk) than me looking after her. Needless to say, no more long walks. I never made it to yoga. Hours of sitting in one place, looking at a gorgeous pool that I can’t swim in, has diminished my desire to quit smoking (actually, not my desire; more my willpower!) And the sugar in Coke (and lemon meringue pies) makes me feel better…temporarily.

I don’t think either Mommy or I have ever said this before, after a holiday (which, if you do the maths, we are leaving 2 weeks early) but I am so glad to be going home!

Gotta Laugh, Right?

I wouldn’t believe it unless I had experienced it…and guess what? I did.

I had to return to the hospital today to have my cast cracked open for flying. It took me half an hour to get from our villa to where we could catch a cab. Mum had bought a stool so I could sit on it to climb over the different size steps all around the villa. Hop, hop, sit, slide legs around, push myself back up, hop, hop, etc.

Got to the hospital and the surgeon was late again (yeah! I know! Doctors, right?) Then they had to saw into my cast – OMG! My leg is still swollen underneath. I screamed more from this little procedure than when I broke it. You know those sticks doctors use to look down your throat? I bit through 2 of them, trying to contain my pain.

Then it was ‘wait for meds and the report’ time. In total, it took 3 hours at the hospital despite having an appointment and the hospital calling me 3 times during the day to make sure that I was attending.

Finally, Mum and I hopped into a cab, via McDonalds, to go home.

We arrived and it was totally dark. I couldn’t even contemplate the path in the dark. The (wonderful) taxi driver and Mum carefully followed the pathway to find out what was wrong. Mum was sure she had left the lights on for our return. It seems we were out of electricity.

We phoned our host 3 times (except I had saved the number wrongly and we were calling our tailor!) I couldn’t eat any dinner because I was afraid that I would need to go to the toilet and wouldn’t make it in time – it really is a long way from the front to our villa using crutches and a stool.

Finally, we got through to our host’s girlfriend. She doesn’t drive and had to find a lift over to re-fill the electricity.

Back at the villa now – all I want to do is click my heels together and say ‘there’s no place like home!’

WARNING – Venting to Follow

I am currently in Bali – lucky me, right?

I scrimped and saved for 5 years so I could have 4 weeks of warmth, massages and relaxation. After 5 days, I fell and broke my ankle and leg – go me! Now I have to return home to have an operation.
These things happen, right?

This is not what has me pissed off (at least, at the moment).

I have been a member of a particular fibro site on FB for at least 2 years. I post pertinent information, answer questions when I can and so on – you know what I mean. There are also a variety of other types of posts from members, like

pic 1

and

pic 2

and

pic 4

and

pic 3

***names have been removed to protect identities

You get the idea, right?

So, today (after being blocked by FB for a month (long story but it involves this article) which explains why you have not heard from me) I posted the following:

flamingoes 1
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF MY BAD LUCK!
$1500 ONO

I have a fabulous 3 bedroom villa in Bali until August 23rd but (lucky me!) I have just broken my leg and have to come home.
So…does anyone want a cheap holiday in Bali?

  • Situated on a quiet street (Jalan Kresna), right on the border of Seminyak and Legian.
  • 3 bedrooms – all with their own bathrooms and king-sized beds!
  • Fabulous private pool – and we’ll leave you all our pool lounges!
  • Lovely host – Benjamin.
  • WIFI
  • Walking distance to most places (if you have 2 legs):
    • 2.2kms to Bali Deli
    • 2kms to Double 6 beach (via Jalan Arjuna (Double 6 street))
    • 2.1kms to Carrefour

The villa is advertised on AirB’n’B if you would like to check it out

DM for any further details.

It was deleted.

You would think that there might be some compassion for a fellow fibro sufferer; but no! the post had nothing to do with fibro so into the ether it was sent; despite the last four approved posts (above) not really associated with fibro, either.

20160802_162509Now, I am probably over-reacting but I am sitting in Bali besides a gorgeous pool that I cannot swim in, I am about 10 minutes away from some absolutely fabulous bargains but I cannot go shopping, I saved enough money to have a massage everyday but, guess what? I can’t do that either. I am stuck either on a lounge or in my bed at my villa with my mother (who has her arm in a sling after a shoulder operation – I was supposed to be looking after her), her partner (who is legally blind and more than partially deaf) and my uncle (the last man standing!) So I’m feeling pretty hard done by – wouldn’t you?

As such, and I know that they don’t give a shit, I am no longer a member of that group.

If you feel like venting today, please feel free to do so in the comments below – just let it all out!

P.S. Anyone want a cheap holiday?