Those of us affected by what are frequently referred to as 'Invisible Illnesses' - chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), fibromyalgia (FMS), multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) etc - are constantly frustrated by the fact that we feel lousy, yet appear perfectly healthy to the casual observer i.e. our friends and relatives.
Perhaps even more frustrating is that to the eye of the conventionally-trained doctor we also show no signs of illness, leading many to assume it's all in our heads and to send us off to the shrink. Which is of course unproductive, and often counter-productive, given that these illnesses may often be invisible, yet are nevertheless as real and legitimate as physical conditions as the likes of diabetes and arthritis. The medical literature is now full of decades worth of research documenting immunological, endocrine, and neurological abnormalities that overwhelmingly makes this case for us.
These illnesses may be invisible to...
As an environmental illness sufferer myself and someone who is in the final stages of clinical training to become a Nutritional Therapist having obtained a bachelor's degree in nutritional health, I have become interested in genetic testing.
In the past genetic testing of any kind has been extremely expensive and has tradtitionally looked only for genes that identify hereditary diseases. Now however there are commercially available tests that many naturopathic doctors and other functional medicine-orientated health care practitioners are utilising to better help patients with environmental illnesses such as chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), fibromyalgia, multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), as well as those with chronic unexplained ill-health but no diagnosis.
Such testing allows for the detection of single nucleotide polymorphyisms (SNPs - pronounced "snips"), small sections of genetic code that determine, for example, the efficiency with which an individual can neutralise and excrete toxins or synthesise neurotransmitters by affecting the functioning of various enzymes...
Research indicates that the majority of symptoms in Lyme disease are caused by the release of toxins by the spirochetes. If that were not bad enough, for most people in the United States, the daily accumulation of toxins just from living, eating, and breathing is staggering!
Environmental toxins from our air, water, personal care products, medications, and food supply are jamming up the machinery of the cells, interfering with the regulation of the body.
Toxins are a global problem. There is virtually no one on the planet who does not need to detoxify the body on a continual basis.
Every person on the planet should be working to eliminate the sources of toxins in our house and life. Detoxification of the body must be a part of any effective Lyme protocol or one risks permanent damage to nerve and joint tissue from the toxic irritation.
Today more than 77,000 chemicals...
There are many theories as to the cause of Fibromyalgia. Some say it is the effects of heavy metal and chemical toxicity. Some say it is chronic infections, while others say it is the side-effects from vaccines and the use of suppressive medicines such as acetaminophen, aspirin, and ibuprofen, still others say it is dysregulated hormones or the effects of emotional trauma.
In this author’s opinion everyone is correct in the same way as the proverbial three blind men describing an elephant from the head, tail, and the side are correct in their description of the elephant, but only from each one’s unique vantage point. However, in Fibromyalgia there is one common overriding finding…low body temperature!
This article deals primarily with the very predictable problems seen in low body temperature and the profound importance of restoring and maintaining normal core body temperature. This is true not just in Fibromyalgia, but...
Once upon a time Facebook was the domain of students who used the social networking site to keep track of friends and share their academic and non-academic exploits.
However, since Facebook opened its cyber-doors to the the online community at large it has grown into much more and believe it or not it now has much to offer people who are struggling with what we call 'environmental illnesses' on this site, but may also be termed 'unexplained chronic illnesses' or 'invisible illnesses'. We're talking chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), fibromyalgia, multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and others.
On Facebook you will now find a multitude of interactive pages and groups devoted to these illnesses that both provide information and act as support and advocacy groups. Since many suffering from these illnesses are housebound these are ideal as an alternative to support groups in the real world where you might...
Many people suffering from environmental illnesses such as chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and particularly multiple chemical sensitivity, lead very lonely existences. This blog entry will look at how pets can offer valuable company for some.
The symptoms of these disabling conditions such as fatigue, pain, and cognitive difficulties such as confusion, poor short term memory, and inability to focus, mean that sufferers are often unable to remain in their jobs or enageg in social activities. To make matters worse these symptoms and many others are aggravated by both physical and mental exertion, as well as environments that are noisy or have bright lighting - typical of work places and coffee shops, bars, and other places where people typically socialise.
It is a sad fact that people unaffected by these types of illness find it very difficult to comprehend what sufferers are going through, or even that they are ill at...
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...
Hi everyone. My time is currently very limited due to just returning from a trip to California and having a backlog of studying and assignment deadlines for my degree course. I didn't want to leave another week "blogless" however so I thought I'd just draw your attention to a potentially powerful therapy known as 'phospholipid exchange' which Helen64 posted a question about in the forums this week.
Read the forum thread on phospholipid exchange therapy
To explain the principal of the therapy we first need a little bit of biochemistry. Basically, cells in the human body have a cell membrane made up of fatty substances called phospholipids along with fatty acids. These fatty substances give the cell membrane a level of fluidity that allows them to efficiently allow nutrients to enter the cell and toxins to be expelled amongst other important functions such as maintaining the structure and shape of...
An article on WebMD this week addressed a very interesting issue. Should doctors give patients placebo (non-active) pills in any circumstances. It turns out this is a surprisingly common practice when doctors are faced with poorly understood chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia.
A recent survey revealed that more than half of doctors give out fake prescriptions to patients and that the majority of doctors feel this practice is OK.
Scientists questionned 679 internists and rheumatologists; doctors working in specialties where they often see patients with chronic illnesses or chronic pain syndromes including fibromyalgia that are difficult, and in many cases imposible, to cure.
It was revealed that doctors find that placebos often provide significant benefit to such patients. The placebo effect is something that has been known of for a long time and is in fact an integral part of scientific research. It is central to the gold standard of medical...
I was doing some searching online yesterday for new fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) articles for the site and stumbled across a few blogs and sites maintained by psychiatrists (I will not provide links as I am not one for personal attacks).
These sites and blogs had pages dedicated to fibromyalgia and ME/CFS and I was disappointed (but not surprised) that these individuals and the speciality of psychiatry as a whole still dismiss an organic basis for these illnesses almost out of hand. If I were a cynic I might say it is almost like they are trying to hang on to patients who would be better served by other professionals and forms of treatment.
One psychiatrist writing on fibromyalgia seemed to have a fondness for pointing out there are NO (his emphasis) lab tests to diagnose the condition. He used this point to bolster his position that fibromyalgia...
I came across an amazing story this week of an ex-fibromyalgia sufferer who is planning to hike 800 miles across the state of Arizona in the United States. The 'Arizona Trail' stretches from the state's borders with Mexico and Utah and includes terrain from lowland desert to pine forests.
The woman in question is 33 year old Sirena Dufault, who after a slow recovery from
I'm delighted to let you all know that after interviewing Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum about the use of Lyrica for fibromyalgia the other day (read article), he has graciously given his permission for us to publish his fantastic weekly CFS/FMS newsletter on The Environmental Illness
The third edition of Dr. Joseph Teitelbaum's bestselling book 'From Fatigued to Fantastic!' was released recently. Dr. Teitelbaum is one of the best known chronic catigue syndrome and fibromyalgia specialists and this title is basically all of his knowledge and experience