Utopian Worldwide Wellness

You may have noticed a new widget on my site – Priceless Vitality.

Ian-PericarrowA friend of mine, Ian, has started a non-profit organisation that is almost Utopian. The concept behind it all: supporting and sharing wellness worldwide by providing access to quality health focused information, products and services for everyone.

Priceless Vitality is anywhere with an internet connection. Anyone in the world is welcome to use Priceless Vitality for free, and there is a growing range of internet delivered “worldwide” listings. (Because this initiative is just starting out, the coverage is currently limited by the level of community awareness.) You can create listings on the site for offers as well as requests for something you need. If there’s anything that you could really use, you can create a request listing on our site asking for it.

Offers could range from organic food to private health cover, and can be open to everyone or targeted to specific categories of people. These categories are based on things like age, income and illness type. Providers share what they can and those who receive are free to pay the suggested price, pay more or negotiate to pay what they can. Payment could take the form of a smile, a trade, a payment plan, money, an alternate economy or paying it forward. The price is open to negotiation between the recipient and the provider.

As well as connecting people through this free service, Priceless Vitality intends to provide wellness information and raise funds to subsidise providers, pay for therapist training and support projects that improve people’s quality of life.

Mission:

WorldPriceless Vitality is committed to supporting and sharing wellness worldwide by providing access to quality health focused information, products and services for everyone. We believe that health and happiness can become a new “normal”.

Our World Wide Wellness network helps people gain access to health care and support.

Vision:

We facilitate compassionate action providing a platform to make a healthy life affordable across the globe. We make access to health focused goods and services available to everyone and support projects that nurture a sharing oriented community spirit.

Priceless Vitality is proof that care is sustainable and shows that people are happy to give some wealth in exchange for a stranger’s health – doing all we can to support a happy and healthy planet for generations to come.

Values:

We bring together the Individual, the Community, the Medical field and the Alternate health field in an ecosystem of honesty, integrity and a shared goal of community health.

At the heart of everything we do, our mission, vision and services are all underpinned by these core values:

  • Compassion: With heartfelt respect and empathy we do our best to improve the quality of life for everyone who wants our help. Working with respectful understanding and deep integrity towards the shared Wellness of everyone on the planet.
  • Innovation: We are open-minded – constantly listening, adapting and exploring new ways to deliver a genuine positive impact on people’s lives.
  • Health: In sickness and in health we do all we can to make affordable health measures available to everyone. This includes mental, physical and environmental health. Bringing treatment to those who are suffering and proactive health options to others.
  • Passion: We are driven and committed to make health and happiness the norm for generations to come. Our dedication to creating sustainable smiles is electric and contagious!
  • Collaboration: We are for something and against nothing. Working together as one global family. Encouraging individuals and organisations to combine their efforts and help each other towards shared goals. Creating products and services that produce something far greater than the sum of their parts.

Isn’t it an idealistic and wonderful model? (No, I don’t want to hear the Debbie-Downers – there are plenty of reasons why this won’t work BUT, with honesty, integrity and a shared goal; it absolutely CAN work!)

I’m asking you to share the site with your health providers, your friends…oh, just everyone, please.

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How are You?

Hello. How are you?

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No…really.

I’m asking. I don’t want to hear that you’re ‘fine’ because you’re being polite; because you think I don’t care; because you’re used to most people not caring. So…how are you? You can actually tell me in the comments below because I’m going to tell you how I’m feeling…

I am so sad (yes, I’m depressed and I constantly get angry comments here for referring to it as sadness…but that’s what it is to me – it’s a deep, deep pool of sadness that I cannot swim out from). It seems that, suddenly, the people who I have chosen to surround myself with, no longer care how (or even, if) I answer the ‘How are You?’ question.

And, the worst part is that they don’t have to ask. They all know me well enough to see that there is something very wrong…they are just choosing not to delve further.

My sadness comes from asking myself why – they’re sick of hearing about my woes? they want to have a life beyond the lounge-room? they no longer believe in my worth? they no longer care?

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International Day of Yoga

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Yoga is a 5,000-year-old physical, mental and spiritual practice, with its origin in India, which aims to transform both body and mind.

international-yoga-day-logo-300x429On December 11 in 2014, the United Nations General Assembly declared June 21 as the International Day of Yoga. The declaration came after the call for the adoption of 21 June as International Day of Yoga by Honourable Indian Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi during his address to the UN General Assembly on September 27, 2014 wherein he stated: “Yoga is an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfilment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature.” In suggesting June 21, which is the Summer Solstice, as the International Day of Yoga, Mr. Narendra Modi had said that, “the date is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and has special significance in many parts of the world.”

Yogi and mystic, Sadhguru notes the importance of this day in the yogic tradition: “On the day of the summer solstice, Adiyogi [the first yogi] turned south and first set his eyes on the Saptarishis or Seven Sages, who were his first disciples to carry the science of yoga to many parts of the world. It is wonderful that June 21 marks this momentous event in the history of humanity.”

FYI: 175 nations, including USA, Canada and China co-sponsored the resolution. It had the highest number of co-sponsors ever for any UNGA Resolution of such a nature.

95. yogaWhat better reason to do you need to give yoga a try? Tomorrow?

As most of us know (whether we do it or not!), exercise is an important part of managing fibromyalgia symptoms. Staying physically active can relieve pain, stress, and anxiety. The key is to start slowly. Begin with stretching and low-impact activities, such as walking, swimming or other water exercises, or bicycling. Low-impact aerobic exercises such as yoga can also be helpful. (Remember: prior to starting any exercise routine, or if you want to increase the intensity of your exercise, talk with your doctor.)

Now, yoga isn’t for everyone but exercise is! So why is exercise important for fibromyalgia?

  • Studies show that exercise helps restore the body’s neuro-chemical balance and triggers a positive emotional state. Not only does regular exercise slow down the heart-racing adrenaline associated with stress, but it also boosts levels of natural endorphins. Endorphins help to reduce anxiety, stress, and depression.
  • Exercise acts as nature’s tranquilizer by helping to boost serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter in the brain that scientists have found to be related to fibromyalgia. While only a small percentage of all serotonin is located in the brain, this neurotransmitter is believed to play a vital role in mediating moods. For those who feel stressed out frequently, exercise will help to desensitize your body to stress, as an increased level of serotonin in the brain is associated with a calming, anxiety-reducing effect. In some cases it’s also associated with drowsiness. A stable serotonin level in the brain is associated with a positive mood state or feeling good over a period of time. Lack of exercise and inactivity can aggravate low serotonin levels.
  • A study, at the Georgetown University Medical Centre in Washington, D.C., suggests that exercise may improve memory in women with FM. Decreased brain activity, due to aerobic exercise, suggests that the brain is working more efficiently. The researchers suggest that one of the benefits of exercise for fibromyalgia patients is that it may streamline brain functioning. It may help free up brain resources involved in perceiving pain and improve its ability to hold on to new information. The findings may help explain why regular exercise decreases pain and tenderness and improves brain function in people with fibromyalgia. (These findings were presented at a medical conference. They should be considered preliminary as they have not yet undergone the “peer review” process, in which outside experts scrutinize the data prior to publication in a medical journal.)

What Are Other Benefits of Exercise for Those With Fibromyalgia?

chronic comic 163Regular exercise benefits people with fibromyalgia by doing the following:

  • burning calories and making weight control easier
  • giving range-of-motion to painful muscles and joints
  • improving a person’s outlook on life
  • improving quality of sleep
  • improving one’s sense of well-being
  • increasing aerobic capacity
  • improving cardiovascular health
  • increasing energy
  • placing the responsibility of healing in the hands of the patient
  • reducing anxiety levels and depression
  • relieving stress associated with a chronic disease
  • stimulating growth hormone secretion
  • stimulating the secretion of endorphins or “happy hormones”
  • strengthening bones
  • strengthening muscles
  • relieving pain

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Lifestyle Management With a Chronic Illness

by Harper Spero for HEALTH PERCH (with parenthesis by me!)

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During the first ten years of my life, my mom was on a mission to figure out why I had chronic ear infections, eczema, abscesses, and ongoing dental issues. Finally, when I was 11, I was diagnosed with Hyper-IgE, a chronic illness.

The National Institute of Health defines a chronic illness as a long-term health condition that does not have a cure. Some examples of chronic illnesses are epilepsy, heart disease, diabetes, asthma, cancer, HIV, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, cystic fibrosis, Crohn’s disease, and arthritis (and Fibromyalgia, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and other related illnesses).

While most of these chronic diseases are familiar, there are hundreds of lesser-known diseases, including Hyper-IgE (and Fibromyalgia, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and other related illnesses).

Hyper-IgE syndromes (HIES) are rare, primary immune deficiencies characterized by elevated serum IgE, dermatitis, and recurrent skin and lung infections. When I received the diagnosis, I had no idea what that meant or what to make of it. (Sound familiar?) I now had something to hang my hat on—but what exactly was it?

I was on medications here and there, dealt with many bumps along the way, and changed my diet numerous times, but never actually took complete control of my health. I chose to treat the symptoms as they arose instead of treating the illness as a whole. When I was 27, a cyst the size of a golf ball was discovered in my right lung. Shortly after having surgery to remove a quarter of my lung, I realized I needed to take complete control of my health. I didn’t want to be defined by my illness, but I also knew I couldn’t hide anymore. I knew I needed to evaluate my health and wellbeing and figure out what lifestyle changes I could make.

So I took a time out. I evaluated all facets of my life including environment, work, social life, diet, exercise, and even the way I processed information. This evaluation brought me to these 10 steps that can apply to managing most chronic illnesses. All of these points have helped to vastly improve my outlook and to move me in the right direction towards a healthier, well-balanced, satisfying life.

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  1. Find a team of experts

When you receive a diagnosis from a test result, a medical exam or a conversation with a doctor, it’s important to determine the best people to add to your health and wellness team. A key person should be one doctor that specializes in your specific chronic illness and with whom you feel comfortable, confident, and safe.

Another key component is finding specialists who may be able to support you with the different aspects of managing life with the chronic illness. This can be a team including (but not limited to) a nutritionist, acupuncturist, massage therapist, health coach, or physical therapist.

  1. Empower yourself

Your doctor can provide a ton of information that will allow you to educate yourself. This is the time to take ownership of this newfound challenge you’re facing. It’s not always easy, but you have control over the way you manage your life and can educate yourself with the resources available.

Be wary when reading articles about your chronic illness. It’s easy to assume one bad thing that happened to a single person could happen to you. Living your life in a constant state of fear won’t allow you to enjoy the life you were given.

  1. Create or join a supportive community

When facing a new diagnosis, it’s often a struggle to determine who to talk to and who to relate to. Find or create a like-minded group of people (as small or big as you’d like) that are experiencing similar circumstances. It may be beneficial to bounce ideas off of one another to avoid feeling alone. There are hundreds of Facebook pages for chronic illnesses, message boards, and online platforms for support. Additionally, there are meet-ups and other groups that get together regularly to discuss chronic illnesses. These add a personal, face-to-face element of support for those who are going through similar situations.

  1. Start a dialogue with your loved ones

Family and friends are there to support and love you unconditionally. It’s important to find the words to tell them what’s going on with you, but also to help them help you. Everyone reacts to these types of life situations differently—some take it much harder than others. Some people are quick to jump to conclusions and determine how they think you should manage your illness. One of the best resources for those with a chronic illness and for their family is a How to Be a Friend to a Friend Who’s Sick by Letty Cottin Pogrebin. While the book provides amazing tips for dealing with cancer specifically, it’s also relevant to all chronic illnesses.

Surround yourself with people who inspire, motivate, and support. You have the ability to choose who you want in the movie of your life—those who play a leading role, others who are extras, and the final group that doesn’t make the cut. Remove toxic relationships. They can serve as an added burden when managing life with a chronic illness.

  1. Don’t let your illness define you

64. More to meIt’s really easy to get consumed by doctor’s appointments and the overall maintenance of managing a chronic illness. It’s also extremely important that your illness does not define you or your life. You should always have the ability to allow fun, pleasure, and happiness into your world. In Danea Horn’s book Chronic Resilience, she states, “If you ‘own’ your illness, that probably means it has become your identity … you give a level of importance to the disease—one it does not deserve.” Remind yourself what is important to you and what you enjoy doing most. Be sure to implement those things into your daily routine.

  1. Be conscious of your diet

(Okay, this is where I really, REALLY suck!) Evaluate the foods that you eat. Do they benefit your health or do they drain you? Amie Valpone, founder of TheHealthyApple.com says, “Eating for wellness is a huge topic these days. Food sensitivities are increasing and people are understanding certain healthy foods (such as lemon, cilantro, etc.) are causing inflammation in their bodies along with the major toxic triggers such as gluten, dairy, soy, and sugar.” Valpone suggests sticking with one-ingredient organic foods such as raw nuts and seeds, beans, and organic animal products.

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  1. Keep fitness top of mind

95. yogaThis doesn’t mean you need to be at the gym every single day, but it does mean every bit of physical activity can help. Staying active helps the body function better and can quiet the mind. Fitness can include walking, running, spinning, rowing, yoga, weights, swimming, and more. Everyone has his or her preferred method of physical activity. Try out different gyms, studios, machines, classes, or teachers to determine what’s the right fit for you. Just because one person loves yoga doesn’t mean everyone else does. There are plenty of podcasts, apps, and online video platforms that provide exercises you can do in the comfort of your home or office.

  1. Give yourself a break

Managing life with a chronic illness can be exhausting. Keeping track of medications, doctor’s visits, and ongoing symptoms is nothing short of daunting. “We beat ourselves up for the way our body is letting us down,” Horn says. It’s important to cut yourself some slack and understand what you’re going through isn’t meant to be easy and there will be forks in the road. Sometimes your body isn’t going to function the way you’d ideally like it to and it’s imperative to be mindful and accepting of that. Your mind and body will benefit.

  1. Stay organized

With bills, prescriptions, doctor’s appointments, vitamins, and more to keep track of, staying organized is vital when managing your chronic illness. Find the best way to stay on top of your calendar. Google Calendar or an old-fashioned calendar/datebook can be helpful to keep track of when you start a medication, doctor’s visits, and symptoms.

  1. Give back

Sometimes it’s hard to imagine, but there are people in worse shape than you. Another person’s chronic illness may be getting the worst of them, they may be struggling financially, or they don’t have any online or offline support. These are likely the people who may not reach out for help but would appreciate any bit of support you can provide. Whether it’s virtual or in person, any way you can give back to those facing a chronic illness will not only be appreciated by the recipient but also extremely rewarding for you.

There is no question that living with a chronic illness can be challenging. Take ownership of the aspects of your life that you do have control of and you may reap the benefits of this empowerment.

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Did the Earth Move for You, Too?

According to recent study findings by Anthony S. Kaleth, PhD, associate professor at the School of Physical Education and Tourism Management, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, whole-body vibration exercise effectively reduced the severity of pain in patients with fibromyalgia.

146. best exerciseBUT it is not entirely clear whether these improvements were the result of added vibration or just the effects of being more active.

24 women with FM were randomly assigned to either 8 weeks of twice-weekly, lower-body, progressive-resistance exercise with whole-body vibration or an attention control group. Whole-body vibration involved patients standing, sitting or laying on a vibrating platform to induce alternating muscle contraction and relaxation.

Patients were assessed at baseline and at 8-week follow-up for fibromyalgia-related physical function, pain severity and muscle strength.

The researchers found a significant improvement in pain severity among patients in the whole-body vibration group compared with controls, but the magnitude of muscular strength improvement was not different between groups.

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Share the (Thunder) Clap!

May12thMay 12th – International ME/CFS & FM Awareness Day is running this year’s Thunder Clap – an initiative in which I would be honoured if you chose to get involved.

Firstly, this is NOT a Facebook page or website specific project – so I am hoping that this will be supported by ALL of us!

What is Thunderclap?

Thunderclap is a tool that lets a message be heard by saying it together. When we reach our goal number (and we have so the message will get out there whatever happens!), Thunderclap will share the same message on EVERY supporters’ Twitter, Tumblr and/or Facebook page at the same time! You and others will share the same message together, spreading an idea through Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter that cannot be ignored!

For example:

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What is THIS Thunderclap?

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This is our day to raise awareness around the world. This year marks the 22nd anniversary. We are real people, with a real physical illness and we need to raise awareness. Awareness will ultimately translate to more funding, research and a solution.

The message will be published on every supporters’ Facebook page, Tumblr and/or Twitter feed WHEN we reach the goal number.

What Can I do to Help?

1. To support the THUNDERCLAP personally, click the link then you can:

  • add more social reach with Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook; and/or
  • promote the THUNDERCLAP by sharing or tweeting.

2. You can promote it on your Facebook page

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3. You can write a blog post to let all your followers know about the project.

Our goal: to no longer be ignored! Just think…we could be trending in May!

I really hope you jump on board…and I hope this campaign can bring some major awareness!

It is the dream of our patient community to erase the stigma and finally be taken seriously by friends, family, researchers, government and people in our local communities. May 12th Awareness Day is a chance for the millions of patients worldwide suffering from Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) and Fibromyalgia (FM) to be seen and heard!

These illnesses are real; the people are real; and they need help NOW!

With awareness, will come action! Our community is desperately in need of treatment facilities and funding is required to support research and our scientists.  A successful May 12th will bring many rewards for years to come. These activities will not only benefit us today, but they will be an investment in our future.

To quote Helen Keller – “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”

 

Please share, tweet, re-blog, etc. Let’s get as much coverage as possible!

The Bitch is Back (literally)

It’s 6.10am and I am amazed by how much pain I am in.

work_625175_7_flat,550x550,075,f_purple-painMainly, I am amazed because I forget, in between flares, about how bad these can actually be; how much we actually put up with. I don’t normally write when I feel like this because I really can’t be bothered…and, then when they’re over, it never feels like it could have been THAT bad…WRONG!

So here goes (from toes upwards): both my little toes feel like they are being squished by my shoes (like they are every time I wear any time I wear any kind of shoes) except I haven’t worn any shoes in 3 days!

Purple-Stiletto-Heels (1)The balls of my feet feel like they have spent at least 10 hours in a pair of stilettos partying – once again, I can’t remember the last time I wore a pair of heels. You know those Dr Scholl sandals with the funny nodules – those nodules are growing on the inside of my soles. And there’s a spot where I had a papilloma which is now growing up the inside of my calf muscle, despite being removed when I was twelve. Sounds so bizarre, right? Welcome to my central nervous system!

Every muscle in my calves has cramped up; and I have used every single technique that the physio at rehab taught me, applied every cream and ointment from my box of tricks…everything!

b27293cc-66ff-4474-89ba-f809cfb092ad-tmpMoving upwards (and you may want to miss this paragraph if you don’t like to share too much information): 10 days ago, I suffered an anal fissure due to constipation – yeah! fabulous! Since then, it has felt like my insides have been cramped up completely. I have been taking turns at both constipation and diarrhoea while having a very sore ass the entire time! Needless to say, I am too scared to leave the house, in case my insides should just decide to drop out! Hey! It could happen!

Now the wonderful ointment that the doctor gives you for this lovely and embarrassing condition has the possible (and very probable for us) side effects of headaches and dizziness. Ta Da! I’ve continued with non-stop headaches and dizziness.

greenhealth_07_pmsLet’s move to another orifice. My period is due tomorrow so during all of this I have been pre-menstrual. Aren’t you guys lucky that you don’t have to be anywhere near me at the moment!

You’ll be happy to know that my chest, shoulders and neck seem to fine right now so we can miss those…otherwise this could be one really long bitching session.

great make upThe pain in my cheek and jaw bones (I’m told it is a continuation of migraine pain) is not reacting to anti-inflammatories, or any other pain medication – bring on the Botox injections (and the possible addition of Botox to the PBS in March). And I have had a giant case of face leakage for the last 3 days – and no wonder when you read all of this crap, really.

One can’t help but feel sorry for oneself in this state.

Maybe a sleeping tablet will help and I’ll wake up feeling better?

Fibromyalgia Awareness – What YOU Can Do and Why

I’m really sick of sitting on the couch, too tired to do anything every day; and then, at 5.16 am (now), being unable to sleep. I need some help. I need somebody to come up with a better way to manage this condition. Better yet, I need someone to cure this condition. Really? You, too?

In fact, I am incensed enough to get back on my high horse and start another Fibromyalgia Awareness Campaign.

What you can do?

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Weren’t you complaining about unexplained pain last week? Have a look at http://fibromodem.com/irritable-everything-syndrome-fibro-what/symptoms/

 

Haven't you been feeling like this recently? Have a look at http://fibromodem.com/irritable-everything-syndrome-fibro-what/symptoms/

Haven’t you been feeling like this recently? Have a look at http://fibromodem.com/irritable-everything-syndrome-fibro-what/symptoms/

 

I've been worried about how you're feeling. Please check out http://fibromodem.com/irritable-everything-syndrome-fibro-what/symptoms/

I’ve been worried about how you’re feeling. Please check out http://fibromodem.com/irritable-everything-syndrome-fibro-what/symptoms/

 

I know you've been having trouble sleeping. Have a look at http://fibromodem.com/irritable-everything-syndrome-fibro-what/symptoms/

I know you’ve been having trouble sleeping. Have a look at http://fibromodem.com/irritable-everything-syndrome-fibro-what/symptoms/

 

Got someone you're worried about? Have a look at http://fibromodem.com/irritable-everything-syndrome-fibro-what/symptoms/

Got someone you’re worried about? Have a look at http://fibromodem.com/irritable-everything-syndrome-fibro-what/symptoms/

 

Hey! This would explain why you have been feeling so tired all the time - Have a look at http://fibromodem.com/irritable-everything-syndrome-fibro-what/symptoms/

Hey! This would explain why you’ve been feeling so tired all the time – Have a look at http://fibromodem.com/irritable-everything-syndrome-fibro-what/symptoms/

 

Why we need to increase Fibromyalgia awareness

  1. (Most importantly) Medical researchers and scientists will be more interested in finding a cure! Nobody wants to spend their time looking for a cure for something that no-one has heard of, they all want to cure the illnesses that people know about!
  2. As we all know, it takes some people years and years to find out what is wrong and finally be diagnosed. If everyone knew all about FM, then people could be diagnosed earlier. There would be  less of those depressing years of searching for answers.
  3. Sufferers will feel less alone – they will see posters and information booklets EVERYWHERE, giving them tips on how to cope.
  4. More people will donate money to research to find new treatments and… dare I say it… maybe even a cure!
  5. Doctors will become more interested in our condition and start investigating (and keeping up to date with) the newest medications and treatments, rather than ‘It’s Fibromyalgia – there’s nothing I can do.’
  6. Advertising companies will realise that there are a LOT of us and will design fibro-friendly products such as ride-on vacuum cleaners, ergonomically designed car seats, etc.
  7. We will no longer have to answer questions such as ‘Fibro-my-WHAT?’, ‘Fibromyalgia? What on Earth is that?’ or ‘Is that even real?’ No more long difficult explanations of the never-ending symptoms.
  8. People may even become more understanding! Relatives and friends will understand why you don’t feel up to partying. Employers will understand why you have limitations and will be able to give you suitable arrangements because they will know what they are dealing with.
  9. More support groups will be formed as a result of more people realising that they have fibromyalgia.
  10. Because it makes you feel good about yourself!! You aren’t just doing this for yourself; we are doing this as a TEAM EFFORT! We need to reach as many people as possible to make this a success.

Sounds good, doesn’t it?
Please, let’s give it a try.

New studies Find Causes of Fibromyalgia

Oh…LOOK! Two new studies on FM have ‘solved’ the on-going mystery that is FM. How many causes of this mystery is that, now?

thyroidThese studies focus the problem on the thyroid, pituitary and hypothalamus, and suggest new avenues of relief for sufferers.

Research from the FM Research Foundation reveals deficient thyroid hormone regulation (DTHR) as an underlying cause of FM. Poor diet, poor physical fitness and metabolism slowing drugs are primary contributors to symptoms as do additional hormonal imbalances of cortisol, estrogen and progesterone.

Another study, by Dr John Lowe, Diplomat of the American Academy of Pain Management and Director of Research at the FM Research Foundation in the UK claims “indisputable proof” that the primary cause of FM are with the pituitary gland or the hypothalamus.

The most often reported symptoms of FM so closely match with hypothyroidism that many physicians order a standard thyroid test in response to complaints from FM sufferers. When that test comes back negative, physicians dismiss a thyroid or hormonal disease.

Many of those tested show ‘thyroid anti-bodies’ with a normal TSH. The presence of anti-bodies indicates the thyroid is in the process auto-immune failure. However, because the TSH levels are normal, doctors do not prescribe medications.

Endocrinologists support treating the thyroid even if the TSH test is within normal range. The patient may present with symptoms of hypo-thyroidism, hyper-thyroidism or a flux of the two and often told they have FM.

The UK studies claim this description is, in fact, FM.

Many doctors do not understand this is a bell curve measurement and ‘normal’ may not mean ‘individual,’ and two different laboratories may indicate two separate results.

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The words of Dr Elizabeth Vliet who runs a women’s health clinic art All Saints Hospital in Fort Worth TX and is the author of Screaming to be heard: Hormonal connections women Suspect and Doctors Ignore, seems to support the UK findings.

“The problem I have found is that too often women are told their thyroid is normal without having the complete thyroid test done. Of course, what most people and many physicians don’t realize is that a ‘normal range’ on a laboratory report is just that: a range.

A given person may require higher or lower levels to feel well and to function optimally. I think we must look at the lab test results along with the clinical picture described by the patient.

I have a series of more than 100 patients, all but two are women, who had a normal TSH and turned out to have significantly elevated thyroid anti-bodies that meant they needed thyroid medication in order to feel normal.

This type of oversight is particularly common with a disease call thyroiditis which is 25 times more common in females than males. A woman may experience symptoms of the disease for months to years before the TSH goes up.”

This fits with the UK research which states the condition may not rest with the thyroid but with the pituitary gland or the hypothalamus.

The UK research claims plausible evidence of at least 40 abnormalities of FM patients as a result of testing within range and show such symptoms as:

Widespread pain, tenderness, chronic fatigue, stiffness, depression, fuzzy brained, anxious, intolerance to cold , hot flashes (dependant) bowel issues, sleep disturbances, numbness and tingling, dry skin and mucus membranes, headaches and exercise intolerance-all hallmarks of FM.

Too little thyroid regulation also affects the metabolic aspects of FM and the UK studies concluded resting metabolic rates of those with undetected thyroid issues measured 29 percent lower than average.

Basal body temperature was 96.38. This lower core temperature combined with a poor resting metabolic rate can make an FM victim run the gamut in symptoms.

The new research provides hope for a cure for FM sufferers. The FM Research Foundation ran clinical trials with FM patients using thyroid hormone therapy without using the T4 hormone and found those in the controls groups that had FM improved substantially when re-tested one to five years after initial treatment.

The researchers claim “granite hard findings” for the cause of FM and the relief via treatment.

80. diet weekFM sufferers may benefit from consultations with a neuro – endocrinologist for diagnosis and treatment. An all-natural, reduced calorie diet along with moderate exercise is mandatory to diminish or eliminate symptoms. Analgesics and sleep medication may also help reduce the symptoms of FM (so they say this time!)