A Blog For Those Affected By Environmental And Invisible Illnesses Written By Fellow Survivors
Blog posts tagged in exercise
With us now a couple of weeks into another year I'm sure many of you have made New Year's resolutions and begun putting them into action. While some of you will no doubt have given up already, right? You won't be alone! But I digress. I thought today I'd draw your attention to the fact that while resolutions are always made with the best of intentions some may actually do more harm than good in terms of those relating to health.
Since the most popular New Year's resolutions tend to focus on health and lifestyle changes such as losing weight, quitting smoking, exercising more and eating a more healthy diet (Time Magazine) - it's a good idea to make sure what you're doing (or planning on doing) is actually going to achieve your goals in a safe and healthy way.
So let's look at five of the most common resolutions and how...
Hypothyroidism (low thyroid function) is something that those suffering from environmental illnesses often struggle with. Poor thyroid function has been linked to many of then illnesses covered on this site and is often the hidden cause of a host of chronic symptoms including fatigue, poor cognitive function, low mood, low sex drive, cold intolerance, weight gain or inability to lose weight...and many others.
Assuming you have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism (not easy in itself), unless the cause is obvious such as a tumour or autoimmune disease and is detectable using routine tests, chances are you will simply be given a prescription for thyroxine (the main hormone produced by the thyroid gland and also referred to as 'T4') and have your blood levels monitored, along with levels of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) - a pituitary hormone that stimulates production of T4 by the thyroid gland.
Unfortunately many patients find that T4 medication...
Fibromyalgia is a condition that can literally leave sufferers disabled by intesnse pain, both generalised and at specific "tender points" around the body.
Traditional medicines used for pain relief often have little or no effect or become less and less effective over time so the patient is often left in agony as their doctor exhausts their armoury of painkilling drugs. Even powerful "last resort" opioid drugs including morphine, Codeine, Vicodin, and Oxycontin often have little effect on fibromyalgia pain. Research suggests this could be because in fibromyalgia patients these drugs fail to bind effectively to pain receptors in the brain (read more).
The US Food and Drug Administration has recently approved the first three drugs specifcally for the treatment of fibromyalgia - Lyrica, Cymbalta, and Milnacipran. Lyrica is designed to treat pain by working on "sodium channels", which are involved with the transmission of nerve impulses, and reduce the central sensitisation...
Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, is a very common problem and cause of symptoms in those with environmental illness.
Blood sugar levels are usually carefully controlled by the hypothalamus in the brain (a major control centre) which through a series of steps causes the release of two hormones from the pancreas; insulin, which lowers blood sugar by increasing uptake by cells, and glucagon, which increases blood sugar by releasing stored glucose (as glycogen) in the liver and increasing the generation of new glucose from substances such as amino acids (the building blocks of protein).
Unfortunately for those of us who experience hypoglycemia this intricate system of balance is disrupted so blood sugar levels vary more than they should and often dip too low. It is well known in chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) for example that the hypothalamus which controls the whole system does not function correctly. This results in hypoglycemia and a whole host of other...