Author Archives: Zyp Czyk

About Zyp Czyk

Until I was disabled by the progressive pain and fatigue from Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and Fibromyalgia, I was a high tech IT maven at Apple and Yahoo. I live in a rustic cabin in the redwood forests of the Santa Cruz Mountains just up the hill from Silicon Valley with my wonderfully supportive husband and 4-legged kids. I use my dwindling energy to write an informational blog about "Living with Chronic Pain from EDS & Fibromyalgia". I publish daily updates with selected excerpts of news, research, treatments, tips, support, and a few personal stories along with my own notes.

Pain management in the Ehlers–Danlos syndromes

Pain management in the Ehlers–Danlos syndromes – Chopra – 2017 – American Journal of Medical Genetics Part C: Seminars in Medical Genetics – Wiley Online Library

For those of us with EDS, this is a post we can show our doctors to explain all the various pains we have and to provide hard scientific evidence (from the National Institute of Health, no less) that our pain is absolutely “real”.

Because our pain moves and changes so much, we can seem a little crazy when we report all its varieties and change our reports from appointment to appointment.


Pain is common in Ehlers–Danlos syndrome (EDS) and may correlate with hypermobility, frequency of subluxations and dislocations, soft tissue injury, history of previous surgery, myalgias, and may become chronic.   Continue reading

World’s most Popular Painkiller is Hazardous to Health

World’s most popular painkiller poses risk with long-term use: study | CTV News – Mar 2015

I find it baffling that despite knowing for years how damaging this drug can be, I read about it being recommended for just about any pain, anywhere, any time.

Doctors may be under-estimating the risks to patients from long-term use of paracetamol, also known as acetaminophen, the world’s most popular painkiller, researchers said Tuesday.

Chronic users of the drug — people who typically take large, daily doses over several years — may increase their risk of death, or kidney, intestinal and heart problems, they found.

So why is it still being pushed on patients at every turn?  Continue reading

Study finds essential oil improves wound healing

Chemical compound found in essential oils improves wound healing, IU study finds – Indiana University – Dec-2019

Many alternative medicine therapies seem implausible, hopelessly “woo-woo”, and have effects for only a few specific individuals. Yet, it’s possible that science just hasn’t advanced far enough to find the underlying explanations for them yet.

Every now and then, scientists discover how some “primitive” medicinal treatments used for thousands of years (poppies) actually has a scientific basis (poppies contain opium which binds to receptors on our cells to relieve pain),

Indiana University researchers have discovered that a chemical compound found in essential oils improves the healing process in mice when it is topically applied to a skin wound — a finding that could lead to improved treatments for skin injuries in humans.   Continue reading

In Defense of the Concept of Addiction

In Defense of the Concept of Addiction – by Stanton Peele – Jan 2020

The term—and concept of—“addiction” is regularly frowned upon or even attacked by people in our field. But it won’t disappear, nor should it. There are four groups or schools of thought that de-emphasize or disparage “addiction.” And their reasons for doing so all have value.


Psychiatry in the latest DSM-5 claims it didn’t want to stigmatize people with the term “addiction”, so it completely muddled the difference between doing something regulated and appropriate on a regular basis (taking prescription opioids) versus binging on street drugs (heroin, amphetamines, cocaine), becoming addicted, and ending up overdosing.  Continue reading

Surgeons’ Estimates of Opioid Needs Highly Variable

Orthopedic Surgeons’ Estimates of Opioid Consumption Following Total Knee Arthroplasty Found Highly Variable – Pain Medicine News – Dec 2019

A survey has uncovered wide variability in how orthopedic surgeons interpret their patients’ postoperative opioid consumption after total knee arthroplasty (TKA).

I find it odd that the leading sentence of this article talks about the “interpretation” (not estimate) of their patients’ postoperative opioid “consumption” (not need).

the researchers surveyed 36 orthopedic surgery residents, fellows and attendings at the institution. Respondents were asked to estimate the percentage of patients using opioids in the month before undergoing their TKA, as well as one to three months postoperatively. Continue reading

Chronic-pain bill aims to protect providers and patients

Chronic-pain bill aims to protect providers and patients | Health | – By Shawne K. Wickham New Hampshire Sunday News – Jan 2020

Finally, at least in Massachusetts, there are signs of push-back against all the inane and arbitrary opioid restrictions.

Senate Bill 546 calls for providers to “administer care sufficient to treat a patient’s chronic pain based on ongoing, objective evaluations of the patient without fear of reprimand or discipline.”

It also states that patient care and prescribing of medication, including opioid painkillers, should not be dictated by “pre-determined” guidelines.

This kind of logical reasoning is far too rare these days, but I take it as a hopeful sign that some folks are starting to wake up to the facts – facts that have been successfully buried by all the media-hype based on endlessly repeated PROPaganda.  Continue reading

Pain Needs Patient-Centered and Individualized Care

The HHS Pain Management Best Practice Inter-Agency Task Force Report Calls for Patient-Centered and Individualized Care – Jianguo Cheng, MD, PhD, FIPP, Molly Rutherford, MD, MPH, FASAM, Vanila M Singh, MD, MACM – January 2020

At least these folks see the reality: for pain, both acute and chronic, standard treatment with standard doses of standard medications is simply not medically appropriate. Pain treatment is not suitable for standardization.

Some healthcare services must be personalized to be effective, even when they become much more complicated and difficult (meaning, expensive).

The same people insisting on standard dose limits for opioids wouldn’t think of suggesting standard dose limits for blood thinners or insulin or cancer treatments.

The Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force (Task Force) was convened by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in conjunction with the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Office of National Drug Control Policy. Continue reading

Prescription Opioid Use and Satisfaction With Care

Prescription Opioid Use and Satisfaction With Care Among Adults With Musculoskeletal Conditions – free full-text /PMC5758314/Jan/Feb 2018

PURPOSE: In the current payment paradigm, reimbursement is partially based on patient satisfaction scores. We sought to understand the relationship between prescription opioid use and satisfaction with care among adults who have musculoskeletal conditions.

METHODS: We performed a cross-sectional study using nationally representative data from the 2008–2014 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey.

This is the kind of nonsense that passes as scientific opioid research these days. It’s no wonder that there’s so much confusion when such context-free studies look only at the dose of a medication without any regard for its medicinal purpose.  Continue reading

Update: Bodily Harm from Chronic Pain Part 2

Chronic pain, unmedicated and just by itself, causes measurable biological damage affecting our physical and mental health. I wish more people knew this so they’d stop assuming that “pain won’t kill you, but opioids will”.

The opposite is true: Constant pain, in addition to causing physical harm,  impairs and eventually destroys your Quality of Life (see tag “suicide” for more links to chronic pain).

Chronic pain will make you wish for death, but opioids will only kill you if you take much more than prescribed.

So I decided to update the older list/reference page of posts about various kinds of Bodily Damage from Uncontrolled Chronic Pain by starting a second page:

Bodily Damage from Uncontrolled Chronic Pain Part 2  has more recent posts starting September 2017 up to December 2019

(You can also use tag ‘PAIN-DAMAGE‘ to find them all posts on this topic)

The role of genetics in estrogen responses

The role of genetics in estrogen responses: a critical piece of an intricate puzzle – free full-text article /PMC4232287/ – Dec 2014

The estrogens are female sex hormones that are involved in a variety of physiological processes, including reproductive development and function, wound healing, and bone growth.

In addition to the role of estrogens in promoting tissue growth and development during normal physiological states, they have a well-established role in determining susceptibility to disease, particularly cancer, in reproductive tissues.

As with so many other biochemical components at work in our bodies, estrogen has both positive and negative effects and we each react differently depending on how the rest of our body is built.  Continue reading