Fibromyalgia Pain

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Fibromyalgia Pain

Whether you are experiencing painful tender points, deep muscle pain, chronic headaches, unending back pain, or neck pain, you know how fibromyalgia feels. People with fibromyalgia experience pain in ways no one else can fully understand.
Please bear with the following information as it is a complex subject which results in a complex discussion.

What Is Pain?

Pain is an uncomfortable feeling in your body that warns you something is wrong. While this feeling is the body’s way of alerting your brain that there is a problem, after it goes on for weeks or even months, pain becomes a part of your very existence. At that point, not only is pain a symptom that something is wrong, but pain becomes the disease itself.

What Is Fibromyalgia-Related Pain?

Fibromyalgia-related pain is pain that causes you to ache/hurt all over. You may have painful “trigger points,” places on your body that hurt no matter what medication you take. Your muscles may feel like they have been overworked or pulled even though you haven’t exercised. Sometimes, your muscles will twitch. Other times they will burn or ache with deep stabbing pain. Some patients with fibromyalgia have pain and achiness around the joints in their neck, shoulders, back, and hips. This kind of pain makes it difficult to sleep or exercise.

How Does the Brain Perceive Pain?

There are roughly 20 different kinds of nerve endings in your skin that tell you if something is hot, cold, or painful. These nerve endings convert mechanical, thermal, or chemical energy into electrical signals that convey information to the brain and spinal cord – also known as the central nervous system or CNS. These signals travel to areas of your CNS where you perceive the stimuli as the painful sensations you actually feel sensations such as searing, burning, pounding, or throbbing.

Research suggests that the pain associated with fibromyalgia is caused by a “glitch” in the way the body processes pain. This glitch results in a hypersensitivity to stimuli that normally are not painful. According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), research has shown that people with fibromyalgia have reduced blood flow to parts of the brain that normally help the body deal with pain.

Is Fibromyalgia Pain Acute or Chronic?

Acute pain comes on suddenly and can be severe. For instance, think about how suddenly your back can ache after you’ve bent down to lift a heavy package or a child. Yet, in more than 80% of cases, acute pain goes away in about two weeks. It runs its course and disappears as the problem is relieved. If your pain from a strained muscle lasts only a few days or weeks, it is considered acute.Chronic pain is pain that lasts much longer than someone would normally expect based on the original problem or injury. When pain becomes chronic, our bodies react in several ways. Chronic pain may be associated with abnormalities in brain hormones, low energy, mood disorders, muscle pain, and impaired mental and physical performance. As neurochemical changes in your body increase your sensitivity to pain, the chronic pain worsens. You begin to have pain in other parts of the body that do not normally hurt.

Fibromyalgia Pain – WebMD

 

Types of Fibromyalgia Pain

Types of Pain

The first three types of fibromyalgia pain are medically defined:

  • Hyperalgesia
  • Allodynia
  • Painful Paresthesia

Hyperalgesia

“Hyper” means excess and “algesia” means pain. Hyperalgesia is the medical term for pain amplification in FMS. Our brains appear to take normal pain signals and “turn up the volume,” making them more severe than they would normally be.  Most of the drugs used for managing FMS pain are aimed, at least in part, at reducing hyperalgesia.

Allodynia

Is your skin painful to the touch? A symptom that perplexes a lot of us is allodynia. That’s what it’s called when mild pressure from clothing or gentle massage causes pain.

A lot people describe allodynia as similar to a bad sunburn.

Allodynia is a fairly rare type of pain — other than FMS, it’s only associated with a handful of conditions, including neuropathy, postherpetic neuralgia (shingles) and migraine.

Allodynia is believed to be a hypersensitive reaction that may result from the central sensitization associated with FMS. The pain signals originate with specialized nerves, called nociceptors, that sense information about things like temperature and painful stimuli right from the skin.

Painful Paresthesia

Paresthesias are odd nerve sensations that can feel like crawling, tingling, burning, itching or numbness. Sometimes, these sensations can be painful. Paresthsias are also associated with peripheral neuropathy, chemotherapy drugs, multiple sclerosis and migraine.

Many common FMS treatments can help alleviate paresthesia-related pain, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs).

Some people also have good luck with vitamin B12, capsaicin cream, massage and acupuncture.

Other Catagories
Other Fibromyalgia Pain Catagories

These are definitely worth a mention as they are very accurate. Please take a moment to read them as they can very well help you to describe the different pains we experience. You also may consider to subscribe to Adrienne Dwello‘s letters and bookmark her website. She is a wealth of information and completely understands firbromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue

 

Some Information About Shrimp

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I had been enjoying shrimp for a very long time with no reactions or incidents. I loved shrimp!  My favorite seafood. Then one day, while eating out with two of my friends, I had a severe reaction to the shrimp I was enjoying for lunch. I had to leave work, go to the doctor to get an injection to combat the reaction, then go immediately home to recover. I was very sick and could not understand why. That was probably close to 10 years ago and I have only had shrimp one time since that day  – just to see if I was allergic after so many years. I had no reaction but after looking into shrimp and seafood – I am pretty certain I understand why now. I have not had any since that day and I have lost my taste for any type of seafood.

Have you had any poor experiences with seafood?

Shirmp Facts

How To Buy Shrimp The Right Shrimp

How Safe Is Your Shrimp? – Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports is calling on the federal government to make shrimp safer for American consumers.  Find out about six types of shrimp you might find at the grocery store, the shrimp labels you should look for, and how to properly clean shrimp

Epstein Barr Virus and Fibromyalgia

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I first heard of the Epstein Barr virus back in the early ’80s when my doctor at the time mentioned it in almost a passive whisper. He stated that he tested me for it and surmised that is why I was so exhausted all the time and often had boughts of mononucleosis. However, since I was only twenty years old, he stated I didn’t have anything to worry about. Recommendation for proper rest and a good multivitamin and I was on my way. The actual diagnosis never phased me and didn’t carry over into my other doctors I eventually visited over the years. Only when I started researching my fibromyalgia diagnosis in 2011 did I give it another thought.

How is EBV affecting you? See what you can learn, as I did.

The Epstein Barr virus is one of eight viruses in the herpes family, and it is one of the most common viruses in humans. It is best known as the cause for infectious mononucleosis (mono, glandular fever, etc…).

A few facts and thoughts on EBV:
Fibro Fatigue, EBV, and Chronic Fatigue
Epstein Barr Virus
Epstein-Barr and Infectious Mononucleosis

 

From Medical Medium:

The Epstein-Barr virus has created a secret epidemic. Out of the roughly 320 million people in the U.S.,1 over 225 million Americans have some form of EBV.  Medical communities are aware of only one version of EBV, but there are actually over 60 varieties. They have no idea how the virus operates long-term and how problematic it can be.

The truth is, EBV is the source of numerous health problems that are currently considered mystery illnesses, including fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disorders, lupus, Lyme disease, tinnitus, vertigo, and much more. To understand EBV better, it’s helpful to know the four stages it goes through:

Medical Medium – Epstein Barr

Herbs and Their Medicinal Properties

Medicinal-Herbs

 

Be sure to become familiar with natural herbs and their medicinal properties if you choose to try these to help with your health.
For me, they have helped me in so many ways where prescription medications could not. Also, do not forget to add these to your list of medications to give to your physician. It is of the utmost importance you let your physician know what herbs you take as there may be interactions to be aware of.

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Medicinal Herb Chart
25 Healing Herbs You Can Use Everyday
10 Best Herbs For Pain

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What Is Adrenal Fatigue?

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Adrenal fatigue is something I learned about while researching the many symptoms of fibromyalgia in search of the root cause. There is a long list of symptoms that go along with fibromyalgia and many cross-over symptoms with adrenal fatigue. There is a lot of info here but it is good info and has helped me with my symptoms tremendously.

Our adrenal glands produce important hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol, which are essential for mounting an effective response to stress. However, these responses are predicated on the notion that the stress response is a short-lived reaction to immediate threats that resolve quickly. When someone experiences ongoing stress, however, such as financial trouble, a demanding job, or chronic illness, the adrenal glands get overextended, and can end up having the equivalent of a nervous breakdown and behave erratically.

In my case, I had an extended period of time (years) of ongoing levels of extreme stress. Financial trouble, demanding job, serious car accident, loss of a loved one, a special needs child – just to name a few.

The notion that “burned out” adrenals simply stop producing the full amount of hormones needed is inaccurate. What really happens is that exhausted adrenals produce either too little or too much hormone. In both cases, the negative health effects are profound. For example, excess adrenaline can deplete your brain of important neurochemicals, leaving you feeling depressed. Excess cortisol can put extreme burden on your liver, central nervous system and brain. Too little cortisol can wreak its own havoc, and negatively affect thyroid function.

Symptoms of adrenal fatigue may include weakness, lack of energy, trouble concentrating, becoming easily confused, forgetfulness, trouble completing basic tasks, poor digestion, depression, and insomnia. As these symptoms can have multiple causes, additional clues that can point to adrenal fatigue include:

• “Crashing” early on and/or throughout your day

• You’re tired all day at work, but feel energetic in the evening

• You’re exhausted at night but have trouble falling asleep

• Feeling unrested after a full night’s sleep

• Sweating excessively when performing light tasks (due to your endocrine system working overtime to compensate for lack of adrenaline)

• Feeling thirsty and can’t seem to quench your thirst, you have dry mouth, or crave salt

• Blurry vision or difficulty focusing (cortisol can dehydrate the body, including the eyes)

• Craving stimulants. If you’re reaching for cigarettes, caffeine, and/or sugary snacks to keep you going, you may be instinctively substituting your diminishing adrenal hormones.

A Natural Approach to Adrenal Fatigue

Eating only three times per day can be tough on the adrenal glands, because your adrenals release cortisol if your blood sugar drops too low between meals, which brings your blood sugar back up. So if you frequently go without eating for long stretches, you’re straining your adrenals and not giving them a chance to recuperate. Thus, you can support your adrenals by eating a light, balanced meal every 90 minutes to two hours. This helps keep your blood sugar steady throughout the day so that your adrenals don’t have to interfere, giving them a chance to rest and restore themselves.
Ideally your meals should contain a balance of potassium, sodium, and natural sugar (i.e. from fruits, which contain critical nutrients, not table sugar!)

Examples of adrenal-supportive meals include:

• A date (potassium), two celery sticks (sodium), an apple (sugar)

• Half an avocado (potassium), spinach (sodium), an orange (sugar)

• A sweet potato (potassium), parsley (sodium), lemon squeezed on kale (sugar)

These examples needn’t be substitutes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but they help keep your blood sugar steady between those bigger meals.

Other foods that support adrenal health include sprouts, asparagus, wild blueberries, bananas, garlic, broccoli, kale, raspberries, blackberries, romaine lettuce, and red-skinned apples. These foods help strengthen the nervous system, reduce inflammation, ease stress, and provide critical nutrients for adrenal function.

Adrenal-gland-factors

There are also a number of natural herbs, vitamins, and minerals that can help with the symptoms of adrenal fatigue. Adrenal Fatigue Supplements
Some places you can find an adrenal fatigue supplement with everything you need all in one tablet – this is just an example, albeit a pricy one, it is an excellent choice. Innate Response
The amount of information out there for supplemental variants for adrenal fatigue is boundless. It takes time to read through all the different choices. While you are reading through, ask yourself if this would benefit you and your particular type of symptoms.

The Role of Fats and Carbohydrates

In addition to the above recommendations, moderating your fat intake is also helpful. This is because a very high-fat diet burdens your pancreas and liver, which can negatively impact blood sugar levels. When your blood sugar is not under control, it creates a massive strain on your adrenals as they struggle to produce hormones to compensate.

While lower-carb diets have some benefits, keep in mind that your body needs good-quality carbohydrates for energy, and a diet that is too low in carbs also strains your adrenals. Just ensure that the carbs you eat come from nutritious foods like fruits and vegetables, not pastries, candy, and soda.

Complete avoidance of stress is unrealistic, but you can take steps to ensure that your body is equipped to cope with whatever life throws at you. By consuming healthy, nutrient-dense foods at regular intervals, you nourish every aspect of your being—and give your adrenal glands a well-deserved break so that they can help you when you really need it.
Medical Medium

Yeah, We Have A Drug For That

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For the past 6 and a half years I have been dealing with a great number of symptoms. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 2011 and nearly every physician’s visit since then, I have come home with a new “condition”. The newest of which was asthma and COPD.

I realized about two years ago that the prescription medications (up to 15) were not helping me but making me worse. I felt incredibly toxic and stopped taking all except for two. I had been taking Cymbalta and Savella after trying Lyrica with no effect. For a time, the combination of Cymbalta and Savella worked. I was less achy and seemed to help my muscular tension and pain. However, they stopped working altogether and was doing nothing for me. So I started reviewing my symptoms and a better way to take care of myself.

After much (and when I say much, I mean massive) researching, reading, messaging, and emailing, I realized just how much the prescription medication was toxic to me. I stopped the Savella, Cymbalta, and everything but two of my prescriptions. I began to learn about the root causes for this hideous illness and my search began with Dr. Roger Murphree of Birmingham, Alabama. Since I have not yet made an appointment to see him, I visited his website and listened to many of his videos, recordings, and free webinars dealing with the root causes of fibromyalgia. I made copious notes and how his information related directly to me and my particular symptoms. Then my search took me to finding the best alternative to prescriptions for me. The Fibro Doctor Your Fibro Doctor

I learned so much about how to supplement what my body is needing and how to read the signals my body is giving out. I learned that my hormones were out of sync, my thyroid was not functioning much at all, and how my degenerative disc disorder was wreaking havoc on my skeletal system from the upper neck down. This information led to finding a great chiropractor to help me with my DDD and other issues. (C4, C5, C6, T6, T7, and T8 mainly)

I then started learning about – Try this word on for size: Methylenetetrahydofolate Reductase. It’s a tough one to say, for sure. Better known as the MTHFR gene, it encodes the protein MTHFR. The job of this gene is to convert folate from one form to another, ultimately converting the “bad” amino acid Homocysteine to Methionine, a “good” amino acid. When the MTHFR gene isn’t functioning properly, homocysteine is not converted to methionine, leaving a high level of homocysteine in the blood plasma. The bottom line is that if the gene is mutated it causes a lack of the enzyme methionine which, in turn, can potentially cause homocysteine levels to rise or fluctuate making the blood clot. It has implications in a variety of multi-faceted ailments and diseases. One such association is FMS (fibromyalgia syndrome). There is a vast amount of information out there on this subject and it is an eye opening experience learning about MTHFR MTHFR and Fibromyalgia.

By all means, do your own research because only YOU know your symptoms and how your body works. Make lots of notes and learn as much as you can about how any prescription medication may be making you sicker. I wanted to share my personal journey in hopes it would help someone else. At this point, I would like to say that I realize there are many conditions and illnesses that require some prescription medication. I still take two of mine. I am not against prescription meds, per se, just the way they made me feel and the fact they were not helping me and actually making my symptoms worse. There are some people who are medication resistant in that it is very difficult to find traditional therapies to help them. I very well could be one of those people.

 

 

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Do You Know What An Invisible Illness Is?

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There are probably way more invisible disabilities/illnesses than you have previously thought. The article lists, describes, and tells how each can be debilitating. Please keep this information in mind when you experience a person who is not obviously disabled. Some people make the mistake of thinking the person they see using an EBT card, using a smartphone, or perhaps even driving a less than decrepit vehicle parked in the handicapped spot with a placard. People of all ages, walks of life, and all income levels have found themselves out of jobs, loss of a loved one, and/or struck down with an invisible illness and became unable to work. It is very possible, and probably likely, the person you see in line at the grocery store had the vehicle, expensive handbag, smartphone, and nice clothes long before they were finding themselves in need of assistance.

It is a common myth that getting assistance is easy to do and the system is easy to scam, even for non-U.S.citizens. A person cannot just waltz into the Department of Human Resources, fill out an application, and get assistance. Everything on that application will be verified. Your name, your address, your phone number, your social security number, your past employment – especially your most recent, tax information – everything will be verified. If anything, and I mean anything, kicks out of the system – more likely than not, you will be denied without a further explanation. It is possible you will receive a letter in the mail as to why you were denied. You MUST have a social security number in order to receive any assistance – period. You MUST prove your residence. Your previous employer will be called and your status will be verified. Your tax information will be researched (using your ss#) and verified. Your citizenship status WILL be verified. If you are not a citizen or a current permanent resident, you will be denied any assistance. If you quit your job or voluntarily reduced your work hours without good cause – you will be denied. If you are able bodied and can work, you are required to be registered for work. A disability letter from your doctor will help you to become exempt from this particular requirement. Then there is the lengthy financial requirements. The process goes on and on.

So, as you can see, it is tricky business to get any kind of assistance. Please try to keep all this in mind the next time you see someone using and EBT/SNAP card or parking in a handicapped parking spot with an appropriate tag or placard. It may not be obvious as to what their issues are and could be experiencing a life changing, debilitating illness.

 

Invisible Disabilities

 

Truths People With Fibromyalgia With Others Understood

 

Letter To People Who Think Pain Isn’t That Bad

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Letter to People Who Think Chronic Pain Isn’t That Bad

Lupus and Fibromyalgia: Two Often Misunderstood Conditions

 

Lupus and Fibromyalgia: Two Often Misunderstood Conditions