What you should read First

What you should read Second.

Start with "Fibromyalgia Definition"and and then move on to the rest of the posts of dated April 24th

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Another gray matter study:

Fibromyalgia Patients Show Decreases In Gray Matter Intensity

ScienceDaily (June 16, 2009) — Previous studies have shown that fibromyalgia is associated with reductions in gray matter in parts of the brain, but the exact cause is not known. Using sophisticated brain imaging techniques, researchers from Louisiana State University, writing in The Journal of Pain, found that alterations in levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine might be responsible for gray matter reductions.

For the study, magnetic imaging resonance data from 30 female fibromyalgia patients were compared with 20 healthy women of the same age. The primary objective of the study was to confirm original findings about reduced gray matter density in a larger sample of fibromyalgia patients. They explored whether there is a correlation between dopamine metabolic activity and variations in the density of gray matter in specific brain regions.

Results showed there were significant gray matter reductions in the fibromyalgia patients, which supports previous research. In addition, the fibromyalgia patients showed a strong correlation of dopamine metabolism levels and gray matter density in parts of the brain in which dopamine controls neurological activity.

The authors concluded that the connection between dopamine levels and gray matter density provide novel insights to a possible mechanism that explains some of the abnormal brain morphology associated with fibromyalgia.


Adapted from materials provided by American Pain Society

Source: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090616190258.htm

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Do your clothes cause fibromyalgia pain?

tips for dressing when you have fibromyalgia

Spare Your Waist

Unless you want to wear long, flowy dresses all the time, you've got to find ways to spare your waist from all of those waistbands. I've found several ways to get around this:

•Pitch the Pantyhose -- Buy Thigh-Highs
Forget control tops! They might feel OK when you put them on, but the last thing your body wants is to be squeezed for hours on end. Thigh-highs keep your legs looking nice while keeping your mid-section much happier.

•Go Low!
When it comes to underwear, try bikini briefs that sit down on your hips instead of the fuller styles that go clear up to your waist. And while you may not like the thought of low-rise pants that expose your belly button, try on a pair to see how much kinder they are to your gut. For those of us who don't want to bare all that skin, a long shirt can cover your midsection nicely.

•Do the Sit Test
When you try on pants, don't just stand in front of the mirror. Sit down. Slouch. Lean forward. If they're still comfortable, you've got a winner.

•Venture into the Maternity Section
I'm not talking about those horrid pants with the big baggy section in front, but about the ones with the "under belly" band. It's a nice wide band at the top that's designed to sit lower on an expanding belly. For the non-pregnant, these pants are just an incredibly comfortable way to go. I got this style of pants and skirts while I was pregnant, and I'm still wearing them. No one knows they're maternity, and I can keep them on all day.

•Draw-String v. Elastic
When it comes to sweat pants, a draw string wins out over an elastic waistband because it's adjustable. If your weight fluctuates or you eat a lot while wearing them, you can give yourself a little more room. True, the elastic will stretch, but you'll find it puts more pressure on you when it does. Some people have luck with loosening or removing the elastic.

•Lounging About
Let's face it -- some days, clothes are just out of the question. A lot of us have spent entire days, maybe even weeks in attire most people consider only appropriate for sleeping. For those times, I recommend a bathrobe with a zipper instead of a tie. Also, a lot of pajamas these days are shirts with pants or shorts. A nightgown is kinder to your body, but of course, your legs might get cold. I'm considering leg warmers, especially now that 1980s styles are all the rage.
Beating the Bra Blues
An underwire may support you nicely, but you'll likely be ready to rip it off before lunch. Here are some alternatives:

•Soft-Cup Bras
Even if you're a larger size, you can find soft-cup bras that will give you support. Check out the selection at a specialty shop or a plus-size boutique. Also, get a bra fitting. Most women don't wear the right size, and a too-tight band is doing you no favors. Look for wide shoulder straps as well -- they don't dig into the shoulders like thinner straps often do.

•Sports Bras
As long as they're not too tight, sports bras are comfortable and put far less of a squeeze around your rib cage. They also hold everything right in place.

•Bralettes or Bandeaus
If you're smaller, one of these styles might be the way to go. A bralette is an unlined soft-cup bra that's designed for comfort. It's most popular among teenagers because it doesn't provide much lift. A bandeau is basically a tube of fabric that goes around your chest. Again, the support isn't the best, but it won't poke you anywhere and cause pain.
A Feel for Fabrics
The texture and weight of a fabric can make a big difference in how it feels to you. Here are the ones that come highly recommended for those with fibromyalgia:

•Stretchy knits
Some people also prefer shirts with the tags printed on the fabric instead of sewn in.

Socks that Squeeze
Ah, that elastic dilemma again! This is a tough one, since many of us seem to have chronically cold feet, but no one wants loose, sloppy socks bagging around their ankles. So what can you do?

•Experiment with length
Look at where your socks hurt you, and see if a different length will miss those spots.

•Try thinner fabric
A heavy sock will put more pressure on your foot when you wear shoes. Thinner might be better.

•Look into socks made for people with diabetes
Fibro pain has a lot in common with diabetic neuropathy, so this makes a lot of sense. "Sensitive foot" socks are widely available online and at specialty shoe stores.

Take it Off!

Lastly, if you're in the privacy of your own home, take off everything that's not comfortable and find something that is. The UPS guy has seen it all, I'm certain, and you'll feel better for it. And really, isn't that the most important thing?

five stages of grief

After getting a diagnosis of fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome, it’s normal to feel a variety of emotions. It’s important for you to deal with these feelings and to recognize them for what they are – the stages of grief. You'll likely have to grieve for your old life in order to make the best progress at managing your new one.

five stages of grief that a patient goes through after learning of a terminal prognosis. While FMS won't kill you, you could still feel an overwhelming sense of loss. That's understandable, because you likely will need to make some big changes to your lifestyle. The stages of grief are:

1.Denial – A refusal to accept what is happening.

2.Anger – Feeling like it’s not fair or being angry in general.

3.Bargaining – Promising something such as being a better person if the situation goes away.

4.Depression – Giving up, not caring what happens.

5.Acceptance – Coming to terms with the situation and being ready to move forward.
Once you've moved through these stages, coping will probably be easier but you still could have emotional set-backs. If you're unable to progress through the stages of grief or feel that you could be clinically depressed, be sure to tell your doctor. You may need to see a counselor to help you through it, and medications may help as well. Remember that clinical depression often occurs with in conjunction with these conditions.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Why Do They Go Together?

Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Why Do They Go Together?
By Adrienne Dellwo, About.com

About.com Health's Disease and Condition content is reviewed by the Medical Review Board

Fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) frequently go together. No one really knows why, but we do know that all three conditions can include imbalances of serotonin -- although in fibromyalgia (FMS) and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS orME/CFS) it's an imbalance in the brain, while with IBS it's in the gut.

Like FMS and ME/CFS, IBS by itself can be debilitating and can impose a lot of restrictions on your diet and lifestyle. Anything that causes pain or stresses your body can exacerbate FMS/ME/CFS symptoms. So it's especially important to treat your IBS. With some effort, IBS symptoms typically can be well managed.

What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome
People with IBS can frequently have urgent diarrhea or constipation, or can have alternating bouts of each. They also have frequent abdominal pain. While most people with FMS don't have abdominal pain, IBS pain feels similar to the pain of FMS.

When you have IBS, your bowel does not function properly. The intestine itself is fine, but some people may have a lower tolerance for intestinal stretching and movement, or they could possibly have a problem with intestinal muscle movement.

Researchers don't yet know why IBS develops, but they do know that it often starts after severe gastroenteritis(stomach flu) or an extremely stressful event. Researchers currently are looking into the neurochemical systems of the gut and brain in order to better understand the relationship between stress and IBS.

Why Do Fibromyalgia, ME/CFS, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome Go Together?
The short answer to the question of why these conditions often occur together is, "Nobody knows." The long answer is, at this stage, speculative. Similarities that bear looking at include:

All three conditions may involve serotonin imbalances
IBS and ME/CFS both can begin after another illness
IBS and FMS both are strongly linked to stress
Right now, we don't know the underlying causes of any of these conditions, and we likely won't understand their relationship until we better understand their causes and mechanisms.

Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
IBS can cause pretty much any unpleasant abdominal symptoms you can think of. Along with constipation and/or diarrhea, symptoms include:

Nausea and vomiting
Abdominal distention
Symptoms NOT associated with IBS include:

Bloody stool
Pain and cramping that wakes you up or keeps you awake
Significant, unintentional weight loss
Any time you have a marked change in bowel function, talk to your doctor.

Diagnosing Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Another thing IBS has in common with FMS and ME/CFS is