Do You Have These Fibromyalgia Symptoms of Systemic Dysfunction?
By Sue Ingebretson
For those of us with fibromyalgia and other related chronic health challenges, the symptoms we experience run the gamut. From annoying facial tics to whole body pain, it’s hard to pin down where one symptom ends and another begins.
If there’s any collection of symptoms that most of us with fibromyalgia understand, it’s our tendency toward hyper-sensitivity.
We’re super-sensitive to sights (lights), sounds, smells, foods, chemicals (airborne, dietary, topical), touch, the stressful energy surrounding others, and more. Continue reading
Fibromyalgia and Complex Regional Pain Syndrome: the Neurogenic Inflammation Connection – Health Rising
On the face of it fibromyalgia (FM) and complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) appear to be very different disorders.
Both can cause severe pain but in fibromyalgia the pain is generally widespread and less intense (relative to CRPS, anyway) and more intense and localized in CRPS.
Both can be triggered by injuries but in CRPS the area surrounding the site of the injury often turns color, starts sweating, swells, loses hair and becomes intensely painful – so painful that in the most severe cases amputation has been done. That kind of vivid, localized and intense response does not occur in fibromyalgia. Continue reading
Predisposed to Inflammation? CDC Zeroes In on Innate Immune System – Health Rising
Though this article relates to CFS/ME, it shows the incredibly complicated interaction between exercise with the function of our immune system, a link that may have relevance for other conditions as well.
Thousands of small alterations in our genes exist. This propensity for genetic experimentation has helped the human race adapt and thrive. Many never have an impact. Others may be helpful in some situations and problematic in other situations, and some, often in combination with other gene variations can significantly impact how our bodies function.
The question the CDC was asking in their most recent study was whether chronic fatigue syndrome patients as a whole tend to have more variations – more unusual forms Continue reading
Immune System Cytokines from NIH
Cells of the immune system communicate with one another by releasing and responding to chemical messengers called cytokines. These proteins are secreted by immune cells and act on other cells to coordinate appropriate immune responses. Cytokines include a diverse assortment of interleukins, interferons, and growth factors.
Some cytokines are chemical switches that turn certain immune cell types on and off.
One group of cytokines chemically attracts specific cell types. These so-called chemokines are released by cells at a site of injury or infection and call other immune cells to the region to help repair the damage or fight off the invader. Chemokines often play a key role in inflammation and are a promising target for new drugs to help regulate immune responses. Continue reading
Depression’s Dance With Inflammation | DiscoverMagazine.com
Despite numerous antidepressant drugs, as many as a third of patients don’t respond to medication. This has forced doctors to be more creative in finding different treatments for the condition.
In the past two decades, researchers have tied depression to a seemingly unrelated condition: inflammation, the body’s natural response to stress.
Some amount of inflammation is generally beneficial, as it ramps up production of cytokines, proteins that help us heal and protect us from the effects of overexertion.
But excessive cytokine levels, and the inflammation they bring on, could come at a cost: A number of studies suggest that high levels of cytokines could contribute to depression. Continue reading
Chronic illness and Depression | As my body attacks itself
I had a neuropsych evaluation last week. He diagnosed me with Major Depressive Disorder. Here are the reasons he gave for this diagnosis:
“The patient said that she had difficulty in accepting her functional losses. The patient said that she had experienced sadness, loss of pleasure in doing things that she used to enjoy, sense of helplessness, excessive worrying, anxiety, irritability and anger.”
Yes, those statements are correct. But they don’t come from being depressed. He never asked for any explanation for why I was feeling those things – he just asked yes or no questions.
The author goes on to explain each one of the depressive symptoms the psychiatrist listed, pointing out her “symptoms” are a normal reaction to dealing with chronic illness. Continue reading
Arachnoiditis – The Risk You Take When Opting for Spinal Surgery – NaturalNews.com
André Gorz, founder of the French magazine, Le Nouvel Observateur, the most popular Paris news magazine today, and a brilliant journalist and philosopher, died in a suicide pact with his wife on September 24, 2007. They committed suicide because she could no longer bear the pain of her disease, referred to by the strange name of arachnoiditis, and he could not live without her.
Zana G. describes her life with arachnoiditis like this:
It has “decimated my personal and professional lives, eradicated my hobbies, killed my love life, laid waste to my ability to travel and vacation with family and friends, made me a prisoner to my house, and my bed, driven my friends and family away.”
Caused by foreign substances entering, or damage to, the spinal canal, arachnoiditis starts as a massive inflammation of nerve roots and the arachnoid, one of the three meninges (membranes) that surround the central nervous system
A Systems Perspective on Chronic Pain | Better Movement
I recently discovered two excellent papers which discuss pain and stress from a systems perspective. You can read full text versions of them here and here.
The basic idea is that chronic pain is often driven by dysregulation of a “supersystem” that coordinates defensive responses to injury.
The supersystem results from dynamic interaction between different subsystems, most notably:
- the nervous system,
- immune system, and
- endocrine system.
Following is a detailed but simple description of what we can learn about chronic pain from this systems perspective. And more importantly, what we can do about it.
First, a bit of warning. This article is a little bit on the long side. But it’s one of the best articles I’ve written.
Researchers Closer To Discovering Causes of Serious Pain Syndrome : Physical Wellness : Counsel & Heal
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is serious condition that affects a limb following an accident or operation. Researchers in the new study reported that they have successfully transferred antibodies from the serum of patients with CRPS to mice, causing many of the same symptoms to be replicated.
The findings of this study hint at a cause for it – harmful serum-autoantibodies – and raise the possibility of finding a treatment. In mice injected with the antibodies from CRPS sufferers, there was significantly more swelling of the affected limbs compared to mice injected with antibodies from healthy volunteers.
It’s quite possible that CRPS is caused by a fault in the immune system. This study seems to pinpoint the cause as autoantibodies, and by examining this area further we can look to develop a cure,
Recent research has implicated potassium channel function in chronic pain. For those interested in the science, here are nine highly technical articles from PubMed that explore this idea:
Opening paths to novel analgesics: the role of potassium channels in chronic pain Continue reading