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Fibromyalgia Myths and Truths

Fibromyalgia Myths and Truths. ' By Lena Sanchez When, after 15 years of excruciating pain and hospitalizations without an answer to the pain suffered daily, I was finally diagnosed with Fibromyositis, now known by it's common name Fibromyalgia (FMS), I was given a lot of prescriptions and told that I would more than likely end up in a wheel chair.


Finding a way to control your level of stress is absolutely essential for your recovery; maintaining a low level of stress will help keep the disease from re-occurring later because once you have IBS you are always at high risk of it coming back to haunt you; your intestines will always be very sensitive to any unhealthy level of stress. Quite a few people find that Yoga is very calming and relaxing; yoga is designed to relieve stress, and calm the body and mind. There is more than likely a yoga class in your area.


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 Aside from changes in diet, one of the most important things an IBS sufferer can do is to get some regular exercise. Exercise is vital to the IBS sufferer for two specific reasons. First, exercise makes your body stronger. Exercise strengthens the immune system, making it less likely that other illnesses or disorders will occur.

Most usual prescriptions given are NSAIDS (ibuprofen, Motrin, etc.) or prednisone containing medication and the truth of it is, those medications will eat away at your bones and tendons and put you in a wheel chair along with eating the lining of your stomach creating IBS, horrific bowel problems. IBS is listed as a symptom of FMS, when in actuality it is most usually a side effect of the treatment.

All those are myths but may come to be reality if you follow the traditional prescription route of treatments and spouted by doctors in our world of pain but really have no clue what to do for us' Frustrating for the doctor who recognizes that he/she is limited in their knowledge and frustrating for those of us who have to live with it.

Lets talk about the third important step in your recovery; control of chronic inflammation. It has been proven that free-radicals are involved in every disease and illness out there but it has also been proven that chronic inflammation is also involved in the vast majority of diseases and illness. Scientists are calling chronic inflammation the silent killer. When there is any type of injury, trauma or disease, no matter what the action is, there is a reaction from our body to protect and heal itself - inflammation. We need inflammation in order to heal, its basic function is to make the tiny vessels in our tissue become larger so the white blood cells, that normally don't fit, can now squeeze into these small spaces and begin the healing process. With IBS the inflammation response becomes angry, and instead of helping the body, it turns on itself creating chronic inflammation.

Stress and IBS Daniel believes that his symptoms are related to his emotions and stress: 'I thought that when I was stuck on the toilet, experiencing the most severe cramps, thinking I was about to pass out from the pain, feeling like I was about to throw up, I was the only one. I'm still trying to work it out but I believe it has a lot to do with my psychological state. I say this because although I don't get too stressed out at any one moment, I do have general worries about money and life. I tend to find when I'm not worrying about these things I don't get the pain as much, if at all. It's easier said than done of course, I can't just stop worrying about money or my future, but being aware of these things seems to help - being optimistic and knowing that everything is only temporary. I have been taking Colpermin (peppermint capsules) as a preventative which often helps and for a while I took painkillers which I think helped.'

Let me summarize for you: reduce your stress level, improve your level of beneficial bacteria, consume large quantities of anti-oxidants, and take a natural anti-inflammatory. All of the above will help you to recover from these debilitating and humbling diseases.

Unfortunately however, a large portion of IBS sufferers find that their condition cannot be fully cured. The medical profession has been unable to pinpoint exactly the causes of the syndrome. Thus, a cure has not been developed. In the absence of such a cure, however, the best thing and IBS sufferer can do is to get the best medical help available, as well as make relevant lifestyle changes. Lifestyle changes may not be able to make IBS go away completely, but they will make the symptoms easier to cope with.

All the self-help tips in this article have come from IBS sufferers who have found a way to control their irritable bowels. Before trying any form of self-help, please make sure that you have your doctor's approval, and do check that anything you try will not interfere with any medication you are taking.

Those years sent me researching for something to stop the pain but keep me out of a wheel chair! FMS MYTHS that I found are: Prescriptions are the only answer for FMS pain. Traditional medical world is the only ones who can help you with FMS. You will end up in a wheel chair. You are a mental case. You will most likely develop Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). FMS will get worse with age. Doctor says that's all that can be done for your pain!

I discovered there were certain things that I eat that exacerbates FMS, so I steer clear of them and take my herbs, minerals, meganutrient vitamins, antioxidants and probiotics daily.

Second, exercise is a good way to relieve stress. Many doctors believe that IBS has psychological origins. When a mind is under unusual amounts of stress, it is more prone to mental problems. Mental problems, in turn, lead to physical problems. The symptoms of IBS often begin when a person is exposed to too much stress. Stress has not been proven to cause IBS; but it certainly makes it worse. Because of this, anyone with the syndrome should do his utmost to reduce his stress levels. Exercising, of course, is one of the finest ways to accomplish this.

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My 30+ years with FMS has taught me a few things about myself that I'm not particularly happy with but it's there. It took me years to figure out that almost all exacerbation of my FMS days are caused from what I did or did not put into my mouth. I now know those times that I indulge is going to make me suffer with pain and I have to decide if it's worth it and should others around me suffer for my indulgence? Those days have now become few and far between. And I'm beginning to enjoy the ability to take charge! My doctor thinks I'm nuts but he lets me go do my natural treatment and seems puzzled at how I stay healthy after 30 years with FMS.

Most doctors in 2003 still do not consider FMS a legitimate illness, but will try to appease a patient while knowing nothing about how to help them.

These diseases, such as inflammatory bowl disease (IBD), crohn's, colitis, etc., have inflammation at the source of their problems. Inflammation is the bodies' response to injury or illness, in the case of these diseases the inflammatory response turns on the bodies' digestive track and actually attacks it. This means it is an auto-immune disease. There are only two areas where your intestinal system can go astray, either your bacteria or your chemistry or it could be both. Irritable bowl syndrome (IBS) is a general term used for all the conditions in this class. IBS has no one cause and no one cure.

In 1995 I took charge of my life and found herbs and minerals that control my FMS, as long as I stay away from sugary foods and drinks. I no longer take a prescription of any kind and have no intentions of ever taking another one. I am pain free 99% of the time. Yes, FMS is still with me but I get my sleep by taking a formula of several herbs at bedtime Also a necessity is having sufficient probiotics of equal natural flora to balance out the intestinal system so the bowels can stay healthy. Equally important is a strong balance of minerals, antioxidants and meganutrients. If stress is a problem I temporarily add a natural stress reducing formula of herbs to counteract that.

Kim, who also suffers from bad diarrhea, says: 'I tried taking digestive enzymes with acidophilus and found significant relief within three days. I am not afraid to eat now, but find that I still cannot eat very much refined sugar or high fibre vegetables. I have also added a cup or two per day of peppermint and chamomile tea. When I do have an episode it occurs late in the day and by the next morning I am feeling back to normal.'

If you suffer from constipation rather than diarrhea, you could try magnesium supplements instead, as these can have a slight laxative effect. Digestive enzymes and probiotics

There are a large number of diseases of the bowl and they all have different symptoms, but there is one constant with all of these diseases and that is inflammation of the bowl.

Soluble versus insoluble fiber Some nutritionists believe that IBS sufferers' intestines react differently to soluble and insoluble fiber, and this has been Stu's experience: 'After trying all kinds of drugs and healthy eating, my pains were still there. I found by accident that it wasn't so much what I ate but whether I ate it on a full stomach or not. My failsafe is pasta on an empty stomach, I get no reaction - it is soluble fibre that settles the colon apparently. I quickly searched on the internet for recipes high in soluble fibre and I have improved. Most significantly though I am on no medication and this puts me in control of the IBS, not the other way around. I think this is important as stress certainly can trigger the symptoms off. I don't avoid insoluble fibre as it is essential for the body, but I recommend that you eat it on a full stomach.'

It took years of trial and error and a lot of years on prescriptions before I was able to break away from the traditional wheel-chair bounding medications.

Let's look at juicing; the body has trouble with the hard fibers in most fruits and vegetables due to the inflamed gastrointestinal tract that is no longer functioning properly, juicing actually removes the hard fibers in the necessary foods and still gives you the number two recovery need and that is antioxidants. You must take in a large number of antioxidants every day to fight free-radicals. Free-radicals are molecules or atoms that are missing an electron, antioxidants are either molecules or atoms that have an extra electron. You can not escape from free-radicals and the damage they do, they are in air and water pollution, in the junk foods we eat, and even in the medications we take hence the words "side effects". Free-radicals go around attacking healthy cells in our bodies trying to steal the electron; anti-oxidants will give up their extra electron to a free-radical which in turn stops the attack on healthy cells. Now you can see the importance of taking in a large number of anti-oxidants every day. Most fruits and vegetable have anywhere from 1,000 to 1,500 anti-oxidants each, which does not seem like a lot compared to the amount of free-radicals you are taking into your body every single day; about a billion. Vitamins and minerals also contain antioxidants so supplementation is important. You need to do some research and try to find fresh supplements; they tend to lose their potency the longer they sit on the self.

 
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Occasionally I wake up with "Ouch, where did those pains come from?" Of course it only takes a moment for me to remember that I did it to myself. I had to have that Hershey's with almonds or a fun size snickers with almonds, or maybe it was a cherry soda or hot fudge banana nut sundae. Anyway, I did it to myself!

Morning meant -getting slowly out of bed then into the hottest shower I could stand enabling me to be awake enough to get to work, but most of all to help weaken the pain enough for me to contend with it all day. That was not a fun time.

That is a very true if I had continued to take those prescriptions and listen to those doctors who haven't a clue as to what is going on in FMS patients, yes being wheel chair bound, a side effect of the prescriptions they are prescribing for FMS, would have been my fate.

Looking at your diet Laura describes how a close examination of her diet helped her IBS: 'I was placed on every kind of medication, and sometimes they worked in the short term, sometimes they didn't work at all. The doctor finally suggested trying to alter my diet in cycles, and we discovered that eating meat was my problem. I became a vegetarian and no longer have constant problems. Sometimes I even go years without any pain at all. It's worth all the effort you put into it when you finally feel better.'

The best solution is a natural food source that inhibits the inflammation and pain problems that are associated with COX 2 without disturbing the COX 1 that is critical in protecting the stomach lining and the bloods ability to clot.

Hoping you make a smart decision to take charge of your health!
Lena






About the author:
***Lena Sanchez a happy retired Medical Office
Nurse/Administrator/Consultant who took charge of her life 8
years ago and is committed to helping others do the same in all
areas of life' Editor of 'Natural Environmental Health Facts &
Your Home Business Coach Ezine" Newsletter subscribe at
http://www.envirodocs.com/newsletter.htm

TRUTHS I found are; FMS is painful and debilitating. It occurs more in women than men. With it comes depression, loss of self worth, pain beyond comprehension and in places you cannot describe literally from the top of your head to the bottoms of your feet. Disability comes to the person who follows the traditional path of treatment. Pain varies from one person to the next as to the severity and the areas on the body. Sleep deprivation and chronic fatigue are constant companions when FMS is out of control. Alternative Natural medicine is the only route to go to keep from becoming a wheel chair bound invalid also regain your self worth and avoid chronic fatigue and IBS. Heart disease comes from the stress of it all so you have to be extra careful to keep antioxidants in your system, 5 to 10 times the RDA's. Sugary foods exacerbate FMS. Eating empty caloried foods (chips, sodas, cookies, etc.) set up an exacerbation of FMS. Most of these I experienced for myself in the past.

Inflammation starts with the COX 2 enzyme. COX 1 preserves platelet function (needed for blood clotting) and protects the stomach lining. COX 2 causes inflammation and pain. COX 2 has been found in brain and spinal cord tumors as well as in the brains of Alzheimer's patents causing degeneration of the brain tissue from the chronic inflammation.

A change in diet is often necessary for IBS sufferers. By eating more fiber-rich foods such as apples, peaches, cabbage, and broccoli, an IBS sufferer can reduce the impact of both constipation and diarrhea. Food items such as carrots, peas, whole-wheat bread, and pineapples are good choices as well. On the other hand, alcohol and caffeine-rich beverages should be avoided.

Flaxseed Watching your diet is sometimes not enough to completely control the symptoms, and natural or herbal supplements can help, as Marion discovered: 'After about six months of a horrendously restrictive diet (ultra low-fat vegan with no raw veggies or fruit except banana) and a lot of Metamucil, I managed to get it sort of under control. But if I deviated from the diet, the chronic diarrhea would come back. Someone I met told me that she had helped her IBS by taking a tablespoon of freshly ground flaxseed with a glass of water or juice every morning. I thought it was another crackpot cure, but eventually I decided to try it. She had told me that pre-ground flaxseed didn't work because flax seed starts to oxidize as soon as you grind it and that whole flax seeds are no good either, because they cannot be digested properly. After years of IBS, in about two weeks it just went away. I cannot believe that I now have perfectly normal, regular bowel movements.'





About the author:
Sophie Lee has had IBS for 14 years. She runs the IBS Tales
website at http://www.ibstales.com where you can read hundreds
of stories and tips from IBS sufferers.

Some days it would be so bad I could not get out of bed without screaming in pain. Some days I couldn't get out of bed pain because the pain was more than I could stand. Every movement created tears.

A final word Lastly, please do make sure that you have been officially diagnosed with IBS and had your symptoms fully investigated before trying any self-help methods. As Joe found out, bowel symptoms can be due something other than IBS: 'I was diagnosed with IBS, but I went to get a second opinion. They did an ultrasound followed by a barium follow-through which showed major inflammation and blockage of my small intestine. The final diagnosis is Crohn's disease. It's a pity they didn't catch it before I was seriously ill, instead of fobbing me off with excuses of 'It's IBS, there's no cure so live with it!''

People who exercise regularly report a feeling of well-being after their sessions. What happens is this: the brain releases endorphins. Endorphins are natural painkillers and antidepressants, so anyone in physical or mental pain will benefit from their release. Exercise isn't only good for you; it makes you feel good as well!

There are ways in which to help yourself and believe it or not traditional treatments help this disease the most, the medications your physicians give to you all have different side effects that may cause you more complications. People must try a number of different things in order to find some relief from this horrible condition. Medication can work for a short time but offers little help for the long term due to the side effects; IBS can be with you for years and once you have it, even if you get better, your chances of reoccurrence are high. Your body has become allergic to some foods or types of foods, or it can be a large number of foods, it is extremely hard to know what to do or how to find the foods causing this condition. There is hope in using traditional herbs and fruits, many people have been turning to these because they have been effective in their long term recovery. A lot of these can be found in your local health food store. The first thing that needs to be done is to increase the level of your good bacteria, acidophilus supplements can aid in the re-introduction of beneficial bacteria. Cat's claw is used to correct problems of imbalance in the small intestine, it helps to normalize beneficial microbes and reverse intestinal dysbiosis. A probiotic is an organism that is referred to as good or friendly bacteria. When they are ingested they help to maintain a healthy intestinal tract.

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Let's take a look at the intestinal areas that can go wrong. The gastrointestinal system needs an optimum level of good bacteria or your chemistry will change. The main reason you lose your bacterial balance is the use of antibiotics, unfortunately we sometimes need these drugs in order to get infections under control, but the side effect of this type of medication alters the bacterial balance in the intestines. Once the body has lost its bacterial balance it takes some time for the disease to set in. The inflammatory response that the body sends to the intestines is designed to heal what ever damage it encounters. It can not heal a lack of beneficial bacteria so the inflammatory response can not do what it is designed for and instead begins to attack the intestines. Now that the damage is getting worse and the beneficial bacterial level is low, your chemistry begins to change and the foods you were able to eat before become your worst nightmare. You are now developing intolerance's or an allergic reaction to certain foods and symptoms begin appearing at an alarming rate. This is the most humbling and humiliating disease ever, because in many cases having to run to the rest room 10 to 25 times per day is common. 1 in ever 5 people has this disease and the majority is women. Stress is also a major player in all the IBS diseases and the more stress you feel during the day the worse your disease will get.

Jacob Mabille writes for Free Health Articles where you can find more health tips and related articles. You may republish this article only if you retain resource box and active hyperlinks.


 
 
     
 
 





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