Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Being an Esther

Being an Esther: Having fibromyalgia has taught me to see what's really important in life.

by Bridget Gazlay

I have been a Christian pretty much my entire life. But like many other people, I didn't think I needed God. What I didn't realize was that God loved ME and that He had a plan for my life.

Read full story here...

Monday, December 17, 2007

End of the year Tips

Fibromyalgia Attitude Adjustments & Every Day Coping Strategies Tips

The invisible disease
Fibromyalgia is sometimes known as the invisible disease. We don't look sick. People find it difficult to understand that we really are sick and not just making excuses. You need to anticipate this, and the reactions that people will give you when you say no to things you don´t feel able to do. Your true friends will understand; the others don't matter. And you must learn to say no or you will run the risk of causing a flare-up of your symptoms.

Learning acceptance
Accepting fibromyalgia is similar to coping with the death of a loved one. It starts with denial. As happy as we were to get a diagnosis at last, we start thinking that maybe it´s wrong. This can´t be the way it's going to be from now on! We all go through it -- although not everyone's experience is identical. But we need to move forward, accept what is there and then take positive actions to make it better.

Pace yourself
Fibro victims tend to be over-achievers. We have had unrealistic expectations of ourselves all of our lives. It´s time to get real. Set some new goals. They don't need to be large- just realistic. Instead of cleaning the garden, weed one flower bed. You don´t have to be perfect. Ignore anyone who tries to make you feel guilty. You can only do what you can do.

Don´t be a perfectionist
Accept the fact that you can't do it all to some standard of perfection. Learn to set priorities about what really must be done and what you can either let slide or get help with.

Fibro and guilt
Most people who get fibromyalgia tend to be overachievers -- usually with Type-A personalities. This means we have set impossibly high standards for ourselves -- standards that are difficult to achieve when you are fatigued and in pain. This often leads us to feel guilty when things that we were accustomed to doing aren't getting done. Remember -- you can only be guilty of things done deliberately. You cannot feel guilty about getting fibro and thus acquiring new limitations. That is not your fault.

Educate yourself and others
Knowledge is power. If you and those close to you understand your problems, you can deal with them in positive ways. You may need to be quite blunt before others really grasp what you are dealing with. So get blunt.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Food For Thought

Head Coach: Food For Thought

Food for Thought
This super-nutrient promises to keep you sharp, focused, and mentally agile

By Thomas H. Crook III, PhD, A frequent expert commentator on popular daily news shows and author of "The Head Coach" monthly column in Prevention, Thomas H. Crook III, PhD, is widely regarded as the leading international expert on cognitive development and both the diagnosis and treatment of memory disorders.

Click here to read more!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Learning acceptance

Accepting fibromyalgia is similar to coping with the death of a loved one. It starts with denial. As happy as we were to get a diagnosis at last, we start thinking that maybe it´s wrong. This can´t be the way it´s going to be from now on! We all go through it – although not everyone's experience is identical. But we need to move forward, accept what is there and then take positive actions to make it better.

Brought to you by Fibromyalgia Tips

Thursday, November 29, 2007


Use humor to cope

There is humor in fibrofog, so learn to enjoy it. Example: "Fibrofog is great. You can buy one book and read it repeatedly and still keep being surprised." Being able to laugh at yourself will help others to deal with your lapses as well. Brushing your teeth with a tube of polysporin will seem funny in a few days. Honest.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Fibromyalgia Tip -- 10/29/2007

Here in the Northern Hemisphere where it's Autumn leading into Winter and the temperatures are getting colder we find ourselves having a harder time functioning and slipping into flare-ups. Here's a tip to help you.

Coping with flare-ups

A flare is what we call it when all of our symptoms seem to intensify, so that we find ourselves in more pain, and functioning at a much lower level that usual. Flares can be brought on by stress, either physical or emotional, changes in weather, over-exertion, etc. Try to pace yourself and avoid intense periods of activity. When a flare hits, don't push yourself. Your body is telling you that it needs a time-out.

Brought to you by...
Fibromyalgia tips at

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Strategies with Food and Activity -- September 20, 2007

Strategies with Food and Activity
Brought to you by Bally Total Fitness

Don't sit in the backseat. Often family, work or just everyday life takes priority over your needs. Keep your needs at the top of your list and don't let them take the backseat. The key to getting in the front seat is planning. Write down all of your responsibilities. Look for spaces to add exercise; a trip to the grocery store or an extra half hour for lunch. Pencil those events in and stick to it in order to keep your needs in the forefront.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Tip ~ Get dressed - every day!

Don't let yourself go just because you're not getting out as much as you used to. Get dressed -- every single day -- in something nice - shoes and jewelry, and even make-up if you wear it. Not only does it give you a psychological boost, but being dressed makes it harder to just crawl back into bed. It's too easy to lapse into slobbery when you're not feeling well. And slopping around leads to a loss of self-respect and of self-esteem.

Fibromyalgia Education Campaign Launches

National Fibromyalgia Association launched a new national educational campaign aimed at increasing understanding of fibromyalgia among patients, healthcare providers and the public. Click here to read more...

The Painful Truth About Fibromyalgia

AUDIO from Medialink and Pfizer: The Painful Truth About Fibromyalgia

Lyrica (Pregabalin) News Video

New Treatment Emerges For Pain Of Fibromyalgia

NBC 5's Meredith Land from Dallas/Fort Worth TX Reports

A drug used to treat shingles and diabetes is now being used to treat the debilitating pain of fibromyalgia. See video here

There is hope, help for fibromyalgia syndrome

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Mood elevators

Laughter really is good medicine. Call someone who makes you laugh. Rent a comedy film or watch a TV sitcom you enjoy. It´s hard to feel bad when you´re laughing.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Living with Fibromyalgia

Living with Fibromyalgia, First Drug Approved
illlusttration of woman sitting up in bed

Getty Images

Symptoms of fibromyalgia include fatigue, pain in muscles and joints, difficulty sleeping, and morning stiffness.

After meeting on the Internet in 1997, Lynne Matallana and Karen Lee Richards discovered they had a lot in common. They both had seen numerous doctors before being diagnosed with fibromyalgia, a chronic condition characterized by fatigue and widespread pain in muscles and joints. They both had trouble finding medical information and support for coping with the illness. Seven months after meeting, they started gathering with five other people with fibromyalgia who also wanted to bring awareness to the issue.

"We called ourselves 'the pillow posse' because we would meet and have our pillows to support our aching bodies," Matallana says. Those gatherings grew into the National Fibromyalgia Association (NFA), an organization that now provides support, research information, medical education, and messages of hope to millions.

Fibromyalgia affects 2 to 4 percent of the population, according to the American College of Rheumatology (ACR). It mostly affects women, and tends to develop in early to middle adulthood. But men and children also can have it.

Read more by clicking here

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Sensitive to Pain?

Study: Fibromyalgia Patients Are More Sensitive to Pain

Fibromyalgia patients are more sensitive to pain than people who do not have the condition. After reviewing 111 fibromyalgia studies published between 1970 and 2006, researchers concluded that fibromyalgia patients may process pain differently and seem to have lower pain thresholds than the general population. According to the review published in the May 15, 2007 Annals of Internal Medicine, the increased sensitivity to pain is derived from problems with how pain is processed in the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord).

Fibromyalgia affects approximately two percent of the United States population (3.4 percent of women and 0.5 percent of men), according to researchers. Based on what is already known and supposed about fibromyalgia, researchers also felt that emotional or psychiatric disturbance or both may alter pain processing to produce fibromyalgia in many patients.

~ By Carol & Richard Eustice, Guides to Arthritis

Photo by Pauline Vos (iStockphoto)

Thursday May 17, 2007

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Sleep problems and pain

When people with FMS sleep they rarely reach the deep sleep stage, which is why they still feel exhausted. The worst sleep nights often lead to the most painful days. This is because the growth hormone that helps to heal troubled tissues is released during that critical stage of sleep - which FMS patients rarely achieve.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Fibromyalgia Tips -- 3/23/2007

Tissue over-growth

If you find that you are getting ingrown hair, fibroids or adhesions – or even heavy, splitting cuticles – then you are seeing the results of tissue overgrowth, which is a typical FMS symptom. Ingrown hairs can and need to be treated with antibiotics or lanced if infected. Adhesions can lead to a lot of discomfort, but corrective surgery can actually lead to even more adhesions. Modern laser surgery techniques like the laparoscopy have improved on this to some extent.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Fibromyalgia Tips -- 3/10/2007

Fluctuating body temperature

Unexplained, low-grade fever seems typical for people with fibro. Make a habit of taking and recording your temperature daily at a couple of different times. Many of us tend to have a regular body temperature that is abnormally low. This can mean that the standard "normal" temperature can feel like fever to you. If you typically read low, you want your doctor to understand this.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Fibro diagnosis

Disbelieving doctors

Many doctors simply refuse to believe that fibromyalgia exists, or instead use it as a catchall term for anyone with aches and pains that he or she is unable to diagnose. If you have been tested by your doctor, and haven´t got a diagnosis yet, or if your doctor blames your symptoms on depression, you may have one of the disbelievers. Try another doctor – preferably a rheumatologist – to get a genuine diagnosis.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

How Fibromyalgia Happens

Researchers have been unable to determine the exact cause of fibromyalgia; however, there are a number of theories as to the possible cause.

Neurochemical Imbalances

It is believed that there is a faulty regulation of two neurochemicals of the central nervous system, namely substance P and serotonin. Substance P is a chemical that is responsible for amplifying pain signals in the body. Research has shown that some people with fibromyalgia have up to three times the normal level of substance P compared to someone who does not have fibromyalgia. This may lead to errors in pain processing. An example is when something that should not be painful, such as a hug or pat on the back, is perceived by your body as being painful. It’s not that you cannot tolerate pain, but rather that your body is sensing more pain than it actually should be.

Serotonin is a chemical that is important for mood, sleep and pain. Researchers believe that serotonin is either in lower than normal amounts or is not being used properly by the body in people with fibromyalgia. Antidepressant medications such as fluoxetine hydrochloride (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil), sertraline hydrochloride (Zoloft), and citalopram hydrobromide (Celexa) can help the body use serotonin more efficiently so that it can then help with mood, sleep and pain issues.

Autonomic Nervous System Stress Response (HPA axis)

The autonomic nervous system is that mechanism in the body that helps regulate all the “automatic functions,” such as heart rate, breathing, blood pressure and digestion. The autonomic nervous system also is responsible for controlling the stress response, often referred to as our “fight or flight” response.

During a time of stress, the body secretes chemicals, such as adrenaline and cortisol, which help you remain alert in a time of stress to be able to deal with the stressor or escape it. Think of a time when you have been faced with a stressor. How did your body respond to that stress? Did you have an increased heart rate, fast and shallow breathing or did you ‘forget’ to breathe? Were your palms sweaty or did your stomach feel nauseous? These are just a few of the symptoms that can occur under a time of stress. Researchers have found that people with fibromyalgia either tend to run at a slightly higher than normal level of stress or may take a little longer to recover from a stressful event. You may not feel as though you are in a stressful situation. Dealing with chronic pain and fatigue on a daily basis, however, certainly is stressful. This ongoing stress can lead to changes in the brain that alter the way pain signals are processed, leading to increased sensitivity. Symptoms from stress can exaggerate the fibromyalgia symptoms. That is why stress management is a very important key in managing fibromyalgia symptoms.

Sleep Problems

Proper sleep is necessary to provide healing of the body as well as mental clarity and physical endurance. There are two very important types of sleep called NREM and REM. NREM stands for non-rapid eye movement sleep, or non-dream sleep, and is important for physical recovery of the body. There are several stages of NREM sleep with the deeper stages numbered 3 and 4, also known as delta sleep. REM sleep stands for rapid eye movement sleep, which is when dreams occur, and is important for our mental recovery.

About 90% of people with fibromyalgia do not get into the deep restorative NREM sleep stages 3 and 4. It is during this “delta” sleep that the body secretes a growth hormone called somatomedin C. This chemical is important in adults because it is responsible for directing the repair of muscles. People normally experience micro muscle trauma just from moving around during the day. Muscle is normally restored with the help of somatomedin C secreted in the proper amounts. Your body secretes adequate amounts of growth hormone in two ways: 1) by getting into the deep stages of sleep, possibly with use of a proper medication, 2) by getting aerobic exercise which is directly related to the amount of growth hormone that is secreted.


Researchers are continuing to study the possible role genetics may play in fibromyalgia.

Article is from: The National Pain Foundation


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Tip of the day! - 1/22/07

Get dressed - every day!1/22/07

Don’t let yourself go just because you’re not getting out as much as you used to. Get dressed – every single day – in something nice - shoes and jewelry, and even make-up if you wear it. Not only does it give you a psychological boost, but being dressed makes it harder to just crawl back into bed for a nap. It’s too easy to lapse into slobbery when you’re not feeling well. And slopping around leads to a loss of self-respect and of self-esteem.

For more Fibromyalgia tips, visit

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Fibromyalgia Tips--An easy cleaning system

Fibromyalgia Tips

An easy cleaning system

The Fly Lady system for housecleaning calls for first eliminating all unnecessary clutter, then spending small 15 minutes chunks of time each day tending to problem spots. After 15 minutes, you rest. If you feel up to it, do another 15 minutes. Even on bad days, most of us can do anything for about 15 minutes. will guide you through an easy system for maintaining a home with ease -- honest. Many people have tried it when they felt that their houses had gone beyond redemption and found that it really worked.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Weight Loss

I wanted to share with you that over the past 8-12 months I've lost weight and I've noticed a difference in the way I feel.

I've noticed less pain on my joints and a little bit more energy.

It's not because I was trying. It just happened.

So, if you can focus this year on becoming more healthy and eating better you might be able to lose weight and feel less pain.

I think maybe I've changed my diet a little to cause the weight change. I've been eating out less and eating at home more.

One of the other things I've read in my research is that we eat emotionally. Many find certain foods a comfort and eat those foods when they're stressed.

When you notice you're stressing and grabbing for your comfort food instead do some activity like walking or some other activity that you can handle.

You'll be happy you did!

Until next time!


Monday, January 1, 2007

Women and Pain: What a Pain!

Discovery Health

Women and Pain: What a Pain!