Reducing Inflammation with Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs

Some individuals with fibromyalgia get significant pain relief by taking prescribed or over-the-counter doses of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). The most commonly used drugs in this category are Naprosyn (generic name naproxen sodium), Feldene (generic name piroxicam), Motrin (ibuprofen), and Relafen (generic name nabumetone). Some patients with fibromyalgia have also benefited from one of the more recently introduced NSAIDs, which are called COX-2 inhibitors. Celebrex (generic...

Using helpful alternative remedies

Alternative remedies to the standard over-the-counter medications are effective in helping some people get to sleep. Some key alternative remedies are valerian, kava kava, and melatonin. Be sure to let your doctor know that you plan to take or are already taking herbal medicines or other supplements. These alternative remedies can interact with other medicines you're taking. Clinical studies in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany on the use of valerian as a mild sedative have...

Noting newsgroups

A newsgroup, also known as a Usenet group, is an online special-interest group that usually doesn't require you to subscribe, fill out any forms, or agree to anything. You can read all the messages without ever making any public comments or revealing your presence. Or you can post messages and read replies. Some newsgroups are moderated by one or more people who set rules and make sure participants obey them if not, they're warned and then may be thrown off. Many groups, however, aren't...

Ten Alternative Remedies That Help People with Fibromyalgia

Spotting dangerous remedies Considering alternative remedies for sleep Rubbing out the pain and fatigue Smelling your way to health with aromatherapy Mudding out the pain Homeopathizing to improve your fibromyalgia symptoms Electrically stimulating pain to reduce it ost people with fibromyalgia actively seek relief from their insomnia, pain, fatigue, and brain fog. Often, that relief comes in the form of alternative remedies, such as supplements and herbs, homeopathic remedies, aromatherapy,...

Investigating controlledscheduled drugs

Some painkillers, including narcotics, fall into controlled-drug categories. (All narcotics are controlled drugs.) A narcotic is a painkilling drug classified as having a significant risk to cause addiction. Many narcotics are opium based (such as morphine and codeine), while others are synthetically derived, such as Duragesic (generic name fentanyl) and methadone. From a patient's perspective, the key benefit to a narcotic is the pain relief that it provides and the return of physical and...

The burden of proof

Because fibromyalgia isn't a listed impairment specifically defined by the Code of Federal Regulations, if your claim is denied at a lower level and you appeal the denial, the administrative-law judge must determine whether your condition meets or exceeds those conditions already listed, in terms of causing the same degree of functional limitations of a listed impairment. The Code of Federal Regulations is a publication of permanent government regulations by agencies of the federal government,...

Magnetically Decreasing Your Pain Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Simple magnets don't provide much relief to people with fibromyalgia. But transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) may provide significant hands-on relief, although research is still actively ongoing and TMS is not yet officially approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for any medical disorders. TMS is an experimental therapy, and is only available now at major medical-research centers or in clinical trials. It is primarily used to treat longstanding and resistant depression, but some...

Understanding Possible Causes of Fibromyalgia

Catching fibromyalgia When it's triggered by an infection Analyzing environmental causes Pondering hormones or chemical imbalances Thinking about whether it's in the genes Speculating about a combination of causal factors isa was in a very bad car crash the air bag was released so explosively that powder from the air bag flew under her contact lenses and temporarily damaged her eyes. She recovered from the accident or thought she did but then Lisa began suffering from severe and widespread pain...

Botox and fibromyalgia

Botox treatments for people with fibromyalgia are a relatively new form of therapy. But Botox use may explode in the next few years, particularly if both clinical research and patients' word of mouth indicate that Botox can provide the pain relief that patients so desperately want and need. In fact, it could really take off if the prices come down. Joseph Kandel, MD, a neurologist and the medical director of Neuroscience & Spine Associates in Naples, Florida, has treated numerous...

Paying attention to body language

Although words do matter, what someone says isn't the only thing that counts. In addition to paying attention to what your friend or family member with FMS says, also pay attention to what he doesn't say Watch his body language. These gestures and postures indicate how he really feels, despite what he may say. For example, a person who's standing with his arms crossed over his chest is often annoyed or impatient (or both). A person who's leaning forward toward you as you talk is truly...

Coping with interstitial cystitis

Some people with fibromyalgia suffer from a painful bladder condition called interstitial cystitis (IC). This chronic and sometimes severe condition makes people with it feel like they must urinate constantly. The person feels this way even after she just went to the bathroom. The condition may feel like a bladder infection, but no bacteria are found when the urine is cultured. Often, the bladder aches painfully. Many people with IC have been treated with repeated courses of antibiotics because...

Working with Your Childs Teacher

The school is a key arena where problems can crop up. If your child is constantly saying that he can't do schoolwork or can't participate in gym, teachers may think your child is faking it. What should you do Should you tell your child's teacher that your child has fibromyalgia You may think that the answer is an obvious yes (or, for that matter, an obvious no), but you have to consider some consequences that may occur, whatever you do (or don't do). Discussing the illness with the teacher is...

Sharing information with teachers

If your child is missing a lot of school due to fibromyalgia, you may decide that you have to tell the teacher. Most schools have a limit of how many days can be missed before alarm bells go off in the school system, and someone, somewhere, may start to suspect that your child is playing hooky. If you do decide to tell your child's teacher about the fibromyalgia, consider the following points 1 Describe to the teacher what fibromyalgia is. She may never have heard of it. Explain that it is a...

Dealing with Jeers from Peers

One of the toughest criticisms your child will have to face, whatever her problems, is that of her own peers. Children can be very cruel, taunting each other because they're fat (or skinny), wear glasses (or squint because they should wear glasses), are average (or are smart), and so on. When a child has a medical problem, such as fibromyalgia, kids may see this as just another thing to pick on. The child with fibromyalgia usually looks normal to others, but when he hangs back from activities...

Catching Fibromyalgia

Some experts have hypothesized that fibromyalgia may result from a bacterial or viral infection, which somehow triggers the FMS symptoms. In some cases, the infection may cause the immune system to go into hyperdrive. Research has borne out that infections apparently can trigger the development of fibromyalgia in some people. In a study reported in a 2001 issue of the Journal of Rheumatology, Danish researchers compared the presence of antibodies (chemicals the body created to kill invading...

When hugging hurts

What's the normal and natural response when you're feeling sad for someone you care about who's in pain For many people, their first reaction is to reach out and hug the hurting person. Force yourself to resist the impulse to hug a person in the throes of a fibromyalgia flare-up. Even a little hug can feel like the grip of a grizzly bear to a person in pain from fibromyalgia. Always ask a person with fibromyalgia first if it's okay to give a hug. And if it is okay, keep it gentle. No bear hugs...

Figuring your ideal Weight

How much should you weigh The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) has devised its own tables of body mass index (BMI), a height weight measure. This information provides some basic guidance on how much weight is too low, just right, and over the top for your height. You can easily determine your current body mass index by checking Table 15-2, a table of BMI levels provided by the NHLBI. The BMI is derived from a rather complicated formula, but you don't have to drag out your...

Regarding Gulf War Syndrome

Unexplained musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and sleep problems have been observed after every military conflict as far back as the Civil War. To date, researchers haven't been able to identify any specific environmental agent as the cause or the trigger of the particular symptoms experienced by the veterans. The one thing they do all have in common is the stress that occurs during war times. It is likely that this stress is responsible for their medical problems. After the Gulf War in 1991,...

Working with Fibromyalgia Or Going on Disability

Deciding whether to tell your boss and co-workers about your fibromyalgia Dealing with your health-insurance company when it's sticky about claims Thinking about applying for disability payments Identifying and interviewing an attorney to help you va hasn't told her boss about her fibromyalgia yet, and nobody else in the company knows about it so far, either. Eva's keeping her fibromyalgia a big secret, afraid that she won't be allowed to do her job if people at work know about her...

Fibromyalgia and Men It Isnt Just a Woman Thing

Although the overwhelming majority of people who are diagnosed with fibromyalgia are women, it's definitely possible for a man to have FMS, too. In fact, considering the major difficulty that some women report that they've had to go through in getting a diagnosis of fibromyalgia, a man with the same medical problem may have an even harder time receiving an accurate diagnosis of his condition. One study, reported in the Journal of Clinical Rheumatology in 2006, looked at the incidence of...

Dealing with dextromethorphan

Some studies have researched whether taking regular doses of dextromethorphan, an anticough medication, could help some people cope more effectively with their symptoms of fibromyalgia. Some researchers who've studied dextromethorphan, such as Dr. Robert Bennett, a prominent rheumatologist, initially found that low levels of dextromethorphan were ineffective in subjects with fibromyalgia. However, when the dosage of dextromethorphan was increased, the research subjects reported that their pain...

People with Fibromyalgia Are Lazy or Crazy

One of the most common myths about fibromyalgia is that it's an escape clause for lazy people who don't feel like working or for hypochondriacs imagining that they're sick. The lazy or crazy myth is even believed by a few doctors, although most physicians know that it isn't true. Studies indicate that people with FMS are about as active as people who don't have fibromyalgia, except when they're in the middle of a major flare-up of pain and fatigue. It only makes sense When you feel really sick,...

Balancing the pluses and minuses of antidepressants

The good news about using antidepressants to treat fibromyalgia pain is that many antidepressants are relatively inexpensive, and most doctors will not hesitate to prescribe these medications for the treatment of chronic-pain problems. However, Cymbalta and some other antidepressants can be costly if you don't have medication coverage. In other words, you generally don't need to see a psychiatrist in order to receive a prescription for an antidepressant. However, if you or your doctor thinks...

Finding an acupuncturist

You can ask your physician or your friends to recommend an acupuncturist, but, sometimes, they may disapprove of your plan. Even if they feel neutral or okay about it, they may not know of an acupuncture practitioner. Another alternative is to check the Yellow Pages of the phone book under acupuncture and look for ads there. Are any of the practitioners medical doctors Start with them. If you're also considering an acupuncturist who's not a medical doctor or an osteopathic physician, make sure...

Weighing the pros and cons of biofeedback therapy

As you may expect, biofeedback therapy has both benefits and liabilities. Let me start with the bad news 1 Your health-insurance company may not provide coverage, so the sessions can be pricey. 1 Identifying a trained professional who has the equipment and who is competent to provide the therapy may be difficult. 1 The therapy takes time. Biofeedback improvements may not occur in the first few sessions, and it may take longer than you'd like before you see any results not a good thing if you're...

How much Botox costs and whether insurance pays

If you're currently considering Botox therapy, keep in mind that this form of therapy is generally not a low-cost option, and if you have a shortage of dollars, you may not even be able to afford it. In general, Botox is more like the upscale, form of treatment. Always check first by simply calling and asking your insurance company if Botox treatments are covered. If and when the FDA approves Botox as a therapy for chronic pain, more health-insurance providers will likely cover such treatments....

Not enough downtime in deep sleep

Even when you finally fall asleep, you may spend the night tossing and turning in the early sleep stages, and experience an insufficient time in the kind of deep, restorative sleep that your body truly needs. In fact, studies indicate that some people with fibromyalgia suffer from a lack of time in deep sleep. The more you relax (which I know is often not easy ), the more likely you are to achieve a deep, restorative sleep state. Research has shown that, for some people, tricyclic...

Facing Fibro Fog Mental Malaise

Many people say that the mental confusion and forgetfulness, particularly the attention and concentration difficulties, are what really bothers them. People with fibromyalgia are bookkeepers, attorneys, doctors, and so on. All these careers require mental alertness. But you can have the easiest job in the world, and it still requires more mental acuity than you can muster up in the middle of a fibro-fog attack even if you're a certified genius. If you have a sense of humor, it can help you...

Handling fibromyalgia with family and friends

Even the most loving family members and friends usually don't really understand fibromyalgia if they don't have it themselves. And even if they do have FMS, too, their symptoms may be very different from what you experience, and the intensity of their symptoms may be better or worse than the way your symptoms grab hold of you. As nice as it would be if this were true, the reality is that fibromyalgia isn't a quickie one-time explanation. For people to understand what your problem is, especially...

Authors Acknowledgments

We would like to acknowledge the assistance of the following individuals Jeff Hargrove, PhD, an associate professor of engineering at Kettering University in Flint, Michigan, and adjunct assistant professor of medicine at Michigan State University Joseph Kandel, MD, an author, a neurologist, the medical director of Neuroscience and Spine Associates in Naples, Florida, and associate clinical professor at Wright State University School of Medicine in Dayton, Ohio and Alec Sohmer, Esq., an...

Myofascial Pain Syndrome

Another condition that may be confused with fibromyalgia is myofascial pain syndrome (MFS), which is primarily characterized by regional pain (pain confined to one particular area). This type of pain differs from the widespread pain characteristic of patients with fibromyalgia. The doctor can also identify painful areas when he probes them, because they feel like knotted ropes. Experts say that many cases of MFS have gone undiagnosed, despite the severity of the case. Yet, this medical problem...

Migrating pain The worst pain may move from place to place

Another truly maddening aspect of FMS is that the worst pain can be in your lower back today, your neck tomorrow, and maybe in your upper back the next day. Or maybe your whole spinal column is okay now, but you're having a serious problem with pain from irritable bowel syndrome or chronic headaches both common conditions for people with fibromyalgia. Pam says that her fibromyalgia feels like a kind of radiating pain that pops up like a poltergeist in new places all the time. She never knows...

Looking at types of trauma that may cause fibromyalgia

What kinds of physical trauma may trigger fibromyalgia The syndrome can result from an injury due to a car crash, or it may stem from a serious accidental injury that happened at work. Even a major slip and fall causing an injury can be enough to produce the symptoms of fibromyalgia in some people. For other individuals, a medical crisis or surgery may trigger the development of FMS. A medical crisis is something like a severe infection, surgery, or diabetic crisis. No one knows how often...

Weighing the pros and cons of guaifenesin

In this section, I offer a brief overview of the advantages and disadvantages of guaifenesin use as a treatment for fibromyalgia. Simply put, here are the basic advantages of guaifenesin treatment 1 It's generally an inexpensive medication. 1 Guaifenesin has few or no side effects for most users, although some side effects are listed later in this chapter and in Appendix B. 1 You won't need a prescription for the low doses of the drug. The key disadvantage of taking guaifenesin is that it may...

Trying to Hide Your Symptoms from Family Friends and Others

Some people with fibromyalgia think that they're behaving well, even nobly, if they try to completely hide all their symptoms of pain, fatigue, and fibro fog from others. They assume that if they don't complain about their symptoms, then others won't notice anything. The fatal flaw in this reasoning is that others who are close to you nearly always do notice that something is going on with you. But they may mistakenly believe that you're angry or upset with them for something that they've done...

Overeating to Make Yourself Feel Better

Some studies have demonstrated that people with FMS, particularly women, are more likely to be obese than people without fibromyalgia. The reasons for this aren't known, but I'm willing to offer some speculation. Sometimes when a person has severe chronic pain that doesn't improve (possibly because she hasn't obtained a diagnosis of fibromyalgia or hasn't gotten any treatment), she becomes depressed and upset. Instead of seeking treatment, she seeks solace in candy, cakes, pies, and other...

Studying Chemical Imbalances

Research has shown that, among people with fibromyalgia, some important body chemicals are significantly lower than normal, while others are significantly higher. For example, a 2006 study published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research compared the levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in people with FMS and people without fibromyalgia. (BDNF is a protein in the central nervous system.) The researchers found that BDNF concentrations in the blood were significantly higher in the...

Deciding Whether You Should Stay at Your

When you have FMS, you may sometimes feel as though you're trying to press forward against a stiff wind, as you struggle to maintain a delicate balance between fulfilling your work commitments and coping with your fibromyalgia symptoms. Some people with fibromyalgia have been able to create an alternative work arrangement with their company to let them telecommute. Others have switched to flex time where you set your own hours or to part-time work, and that option has enabled them to continue...