Category Archives: Chronic Fatigue

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a debilitating disease that affects millions world wide. Many suffers of CFS also have Fibro and other related diseases.

D-Ribose treatment for Fibromyalgia, ME and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

by Thomas Anderson:

Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome (also known as ME) are debilitating syndromes often associated with impaired cellular metabolism – which results in less cellular energy. What exactly is D-Ribose, you say? Without going too deeply into the world of chemistry – it’s a organic chemical component (sugar – isomers) which is essential for ensuring cellular energy for both DNA and RNA. Research has shown that D-Ribose may help provide symptomatic relief to people suffering from fibromyalgia and ME / CFS . Continue reading

“Walking with Joel”

To stay in shape and keep my body moving, I have taken a walk
almost every day since September 2010. It's rare that I miss a
day and make it a point to take at least one hour to get outside or
hit the treadmill.

Last month I did a podcast that was recorded while I was walking.
You got to hear the crunching of leaves, the passing of cars and
all the other sounds associated with being right there with me.
 Continue reading 

Alcohol, Fibromyalgia, and Quality of Life

Mar. 15, 2013 — Low and moderate drinkers of alcohol reported lower severity of symptoms of fibromyalgia than teetotallers, finds a study in BioMed Central’s open access journal Arthritis Research & Therapy. Too much alcohol reversed this effect.

The chronic pain of fibromyalgia is thought to affect one in 20 people worldwide but there is no known cause or cure. It often goes hand in hand with fatigue and sleep problems, headaches, depression and irritable bowel and bladder problems. Treatment is based around pain management and lifestyle changes.
Continue reading

Fibromyalgia Affects Mental Health of Those Diagnosed and Their Spouses

(Apr. 30, 2010) — Fibromyalgia is a condition that causes chronic, widespread pain throughout the body. In a new study, University of Missouri researchers are examining how the diagnosis of Fibromyalgia can affect marriages. Initial findings reveal that diagnosed spouses have considerably higher levels of depressive symptoms and pain and report more marital instability and anger than their spouses. For both spouses, the symptoms can trigger increased emotional withdrawal and mental strain. Continue reading

7 myths about the risks and dangers of opioid analgesics

By Maria Szalavitz for MSN Health and Fitness

Celebrity magazines all too often feature stories about overdose deaths and rehab admissions, and the Office of National Drug Control Policy is running an advertising campaign about the dangers of prescription drug abuse.

But when taken as prescribed, just how risky are drugs like OxyContin and Vicodin?

The truth might surprise you. Myths and misinformation about opioid painkillers are widespread. Here are the facts. Continue reading

Fibromyalgia Gets Worse During Menstruation

By Charlene Laino
WebMD Health NewsReviewed by Laura J. Martin, MDApril 16, 2010 (Toronto) — Symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), fibromyalgia, and a painful bladder condition called interstitial cystitis (IC) seem to get worse in some women right before and during menstruation, researchers report.

All three are disorders of the autonomic nervous system. That’s the part of the brain, spinal cord, and nerves that controls functions such as blood pressure and bladder control; these functions are largely involuntary and below our level of consciousness.

“Since other autonomic disorders like migraine and fainting seem to have menstrual variations, we theorized that these conditions would have these variations as well,” says Thomas Chelimsky, MD, professor of neurology at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

IBS is characterized by abdominal pain, constipation, bloating, and diarrhea, while fibromyalgia is characterized by pain throughout the body, along with tender points.

IC patients have pain in the bladder. All three conditions affect women more than men. Stress and anxiety can exacerbate symptoms of all three, Chelimsky tells WebMD.

For the study, 79 women with IBS, 77 women with fibromyalgia, and 129 women with IC filled out a questionnaire asking about the severity of their symptoms throughout the month.

A total of 25% of the IBS patients, 18% of the fibromyalgia patients, and 9% of the IC patients reported worsening of symptoms during or before their period.

While not addressed by the study, Chelimsky believes fluctuations in hormone levels may explain the findings.

“Estrogen is a pain preventative,” Chelimsky says. Levels are at their lowest right before menstruation and are still low while a woman has her period.

Additionally, 15% of women in the study reported worse pain at menopause, another time estrogen levels drop. In a surprising finding that the researchers could not explain, 37% of women said symptoms got worse at the time of their first period.

Also unknown is why symptoms fluctuate with hormone levels in some women and not others.

The findings of the poster presentation were reported here at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology.

Asked to comment on the findings, Nathan Wei, MD, clinical director of the Arthritis and Osteoporosis Center of Maryland, says, “This study confirms the clinical impression made by practitioners for many years — that hormonal shifts play a major role in symptom exacerbation.”

Chelimsky says that other research shows that women with IBS, fibromyalgia, and IC who are on estrogen-containing birth control pills seem to have fewer symptoms than other women with the conditions.

“I wouldn’t recommend patients go on the pill [for this reason],” Chelimsky says.

“But if they have bad periods, they may want to get on an exercise program. Studies have shown that’s the best thing you can do to improve symptoms,” he says.

Going The Distance

This is an article that I wrote in response to the most frequently asked question I get. If you are still having problems coping with the anger and frustration from a FMS diagnosis, then maybe this will help. So here it is…..

Today I’m going to go off course for this article and talk about a question that I’m asked over and over. The glaring question I face almost daily is, “As someone with Fibromyalgia, how do you do everything you do”. That’s a very tricky question for me. It’s a question I have to answer cautiously. Why you ask, because to explain it means baring my deepest fears, my insecurities. Yet, I will address it for you.

So you can better understand why that question is so prominent for me, I’ll tell you a little bit about me. My family includes, my husband, my son, who’s a college student, and 2 young daughters. My husband travels during the week so it’s just me and the girls. This means I’m totally responsible for the house and taking care of the girls on my own in addition to continuing my career. That in itself is a job as both of my daughters are extremely active.
In addition to being a writer for Fog magazine, and political advocate, I’m also a copywriter and author. My novel was published at the end of October 2008. I’m currently working on 3 more simultaneously. Up until my family moved this past June, I also coached a competitive cheerleading squad.

I realized after the anger at my diagnosis that the only way to reclaim my life was to face it head on. Luckily I had an open minded doctor who was willing to allow me to try different combinations of medications, etc. I finally found the right treatment plan for me, one that included medications, vitamins and exercise. This allowed me to focus on the most important medical decision I made throughout this painful and frustrating process.
The decision I made had absolutely nothing to do with medications, doctors or any other treatment. I had to change the way I thought.

I had to change the way I looked at life. That has been what made a difference in my life. I had to bring myself to the point where I allowed myself to be “sick”. What do I mean by that?

Crazy as it seems I spent a lot of time lying to myself. I kept ignoring all the flare warning signs. I just kept going until I crashed. I knew everyone who knew me knew I was sick and I felt like they looked at me differently. I was going to prove to them that I could still be me, that I could still do everything. Boy was I wrong. That frame of mind and attitude kept me sick and flaring constantly. I would do really well for a week and cram a month’s worth of chores, errands, etc into that week. Then I would pay for it for the next several weeks.

I didn’t think I would ever get out of that routine. The problem was I wasn’t the only one suffering. My family was suffering as well. They are the ones who had to watch me in pain unable to do even the slightest thing. Then one day my husband said to me, “This has got to stop”. Being the one who took everything personally since I got sick, I assume he meant he was tired of dealing with my medical problems. Again, it was from looking at the negative in everything. Fibromyalgia, meant I carried the stigmatism that I was less than my normal self. I couldn’t live with that. What I didn’t understand was that I was the only one looking at it from that perspective.

What my husband meant was he was tired of watching me make myself worse by trying to do everything the same way I had before. He wanted me to find the peace inside myself to cope with the changes to my life. He wanted me to find myself again. Funny thing was, I didn’t know I was missing.

I wish I could say I found myself quickly. Saying that however would be a lie. It still took the better part of a year for me to get to that place. The place where I actually liked myself again. To get there though meant facing all of the fears I’d kept deep down where no one else would look. I was afraid of so many things.

I was afraid of letting my family down. I was afraid of giving in to the Fibromyalgia and losing who the real me was. What I didn’t understand was that I was doing exactly that by trying to pretend I wasn’t sick. I always thought I had to be perfect. Make sure my house was spotless, that my daughter’s clothes were ironed with that crisp look to them. I had to be the mom that was at all the parties and spent the night before baking and decorating all the cupcakes. Basically I thought I had to be supermom and wife, and then adding in friend, daughter, sister and aunt to everyone else. I was the mom who never missed a practice or game or open house, anything that my kids were even remotely involved in.

It took realizing with my husband’s help of course, that my life was spinning out of control for me to understand the damage I was doing. I heard the words Fibromyalgia and pretty much lost my mind. Yes it’s ok to laugh at that. I look back now and laugh a lot at how stupid I was. I wasn’t helping anyone, especially myself with the way I was acting.

So I told a long hard look at my life. I thought about what was most important to me and my family. It wasn’t until I did that that I understood that things around the house don’t have to be perfect for my family to be happy. It took them having a happy mom. How did this crazy, perfectionist who was sick constantly get to be the well rounded, happy and fairly flare free person that I am today?

The main thing I did was give up the notion that having Fibromyalgia meant I was less than I was before. I woke up and finally accepted that I can be me and still have Fibromyalgia. I can take a day when the aches become worse and lie around resting to try and stave off a flare without feeling guilty. The main thing I did was give up the guilt. Guilt drove me. Guilt defined my life. The guilt of being sick, the guilt of not always being able to say yes, the guilt of feeling like my husband was no longer getting the wife he’d married. Guilt can be a powerful emotion. One that needs constant supervision or it will destroy any chance you have at being happy.
You have to accept the having an illness doesn’t define you. You are you, the illness just is. It’s nothing more, nothing less. Once I understood that it was my mind set holding me back, making me sick I could focus on getting better. Not cured, but better. I’ve learned to watch for the warning signs. I’ve learned to see a flare coming and allow it to be without fighting it. If I’ve learned anything from having Fibromyalgia, it’s that fighting a flare will only make it worse. You have to accept that, deal with it and move on. You have to get to the place where you can say, “This too shall pass”.

It’s been this life lesson that has done more good for me than any prescription out there. There is already too much that is misunderstood about Fibromyalgia. Don’t perpetuate the myth! Live your life your way. Not the way you think others think you should.

When your body says rest, do it. Learn to listen to your body. It does talk to you. Once you do that you will find that you will be able to build your energy, and build on your happiness.

How can therapy support pain management?

by John Scott

The longer the pain lasts, the more difficult it is to treat. The research strongly suggests that a mixture of physical and psychological therapies offers the best chance for improving outcomes. One of the most common forms of pain affects the lower back. Yet it is often the case that there is no biological evidence of the cause of the pain. No apparent external injury. No x-ray or other scan image of internal injury. The most usual association is with changes in mood, variations in the levels of anxiety or stress, or social episodes which trigger the sensation of pain. In other words, the way you perceive pain cannot be divorced from you as a person and the collection of memories and experiences that define you as an individual. So if pain persists despite the standard medical treatments (including the use of drugs such as tramadol), it is time to expand the range of treatment to include therapy.

The primary problem is that people quite naturally make their own condition worse. When they feel pain, they stop moving. They generally avoid doing the things most likely to cause the pain. More often than not, this means they rest. Unfortunately, when you rest, you lose muscle tone and tend to become stiff. This actually worsens the initial condition. Because you feel you cannot continue to function, you lose self-respect. Now confining yourself to bed, you lose your role as breadwinner or homemaker. This may impose financial hardship on the family or damage your relationship. As your mood darkens, depression can further amplify the symptoms.

Physicians are trained to apply a “scientific” approach to patient care. They make a diagnosis and supply the treatment recommended. If the diagnosis is correct, the patient gets better. Psychiatrists and therapists do not deal with the world in such black-and-white terms. They take a more holistic view of the patient. If there is disability and distress, those symptoms should also be addressed. The intention is to improve the way in which anyone deals with the pain. It offers coping strategies, problem solving and giving people a way to resume activities and thus relieve frustration. The more people can be given back some control over their lives, the more likely it is that they will begin to think more positively about their situation.

It is important to begin with physical therapy to improve mobility. Therapists will analyze activities and teach people how to get the same results by modifying their behavior. Add in relaxation training and stress management exercises, and you now begin to see a more complete route to recovery. This is a team effort with psychologists working alongside occupational therapists, physicians and nurses. Thus, if a physiotherapist gains some insight into the beliefs and fears a patient has about mobility, a program of reward and reinforcement can be established which teaches people about how their body works and why their fears are exaggerated. Noone can force you into anything. But if you are shown a better way, most will take it if given the right incentives.

Not everyone does respond to therapy, resisting interference in the way “they” do things. It also relies on effective management of the team expected to deliver these results. So, it is easy for non-medical treatment to fail (which will often confirm the patient’s prejudices). But there are many who do respond well, moving away from reliance on drugs such as tramadol as they learn how to function within the limits set by their bodies (and minds). Unfortunately, this approach is expensive. A physician sees a patient for a few minutes, writes a prescription and moves on to the next patient. This is an “efficient” use of resources. The behavioral model requires more people. Conventional hospital and health service models find this an uneconomic use of scarce resources (often choosing not to research the effectiveness of this approach to treatment). Nevertheless, there is a growing and substantial body of research now attesting to the effectiveness of this form of approach. If you have chronic pain, you should consider it.

Want to read the latest news and discussions from John Scott? Visit to get his latest insights on many different subjects in the world.

Article Source: How can therapy support pain management?

European Think Tank Forms to Generate Research Establishing ME/CFS as Organic Illness

by European Society for ME
June 8, 2009

“More than 5,000 research papers…show that ME has an organic basis…[yet] it has been close to impossible to initiate large-scale research to verify these facts and observations. We will never be able to treat ME properly if we do not initiate this type of research.” – Prof. Kenny De Meirleir

Ten leading scientists in Europe – members of the nonprofit European Society for ME ( – have formed a Think Tank for ME and will hold their first meeting with a press conference Saturday, June 13 in Stavanger, Norway. (See Scientific Panel Member Listing, below.) They want to initiate an effective research effort to find the secret behind the mystery disease that cripples an increasing number of lives.

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, often referred to as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), is a disease which affects at least one million individuals in the US, and an even greater number in Europe. Despite the large number of people affected, there is a lack of serious large-scale research initiatives focused on the disease. The number of patients is rapidly increasing but healthcare personnel lack knowledge about existing research and possible treatments.

Last year’s winner of the Nobel Prize in Medicine, Professor Luc Montagnier of France, says, “Scientists have already uncovered a lot about ME, but this information does not reach professional healthcare personnel, and the disease is still not taken seriously. It is about time this changes.” Montagnier, one of the discoverers of the HIV-virus, is a supporter of the Think Tank.

Treatable Disease
Ten internationally recognized scientists, many of them prominent leaders in their respective fields of research, have decided to do something about it. They have come together in a Think Tank to promote cooperation among scientists from various disciplines and to stimulate intense focus on innovative and creative research.

“There are more than 5,000 research papers which show that ME has an organic basis with abnormalities in the immune, nervous and gastrointestinal systems and that it is influenced by genetic and environmental factors,” states Professor Kenny De Meirleir of Belgium. “Despite these findings, it has been close to impossible to initiate large-scale research to verify these facts and observations. We will never be able to treat ME properly if we do not initiate this type of research.”

Using new biotechnological techniques, much of the underlying pathophysiology of the disease has been unmasked. Several treatable clinical entities have been discovered, but this information does not reach healthcare personnel. The result is that patients remain undiagnosed and untreated for years with something that might be fully treatable. This is a huge drain on the economy, as the estimated socio-economic costs for Europe are estimated to be €20 billion annually.

Educate Professionals
An important part of the Think Tank’s mission is to spread knowledge about the disease. The incidence of ME and the impact on public health are actually higher than that of other better researched conditions like Multiple Sclerosis and HIV. Research shows that ME can be a very disabling chronic disorder which often diminishes patients’ quality of life to levels lower than that of cancer, MS, HIV and lupus.

Professor Ola Didrik Saugstad of Norway states, “There is a total lack of knowledge and understanding about this disease in the healthcare system. We wish to use our knowledge to educate and train doctors, therapists and other healthcare personnel so they can better understand how to manage an ME-patient.”

New in ME
The Think Tank meetings are the brainchild of a new organization, European Society for ME (ESME). This society will focus on organizing research and educating professionals in the field of ME.

“Until now ME organizations have been patient-based and only focused on the needs of the patients, so this is something completely new and unique. We are a group of professionals who want to stimulate new research in the field of ME and to help doctors and healthcare personnel to stay informed about the latest developments in diagnosing and treating ME-patients,” says ESME board member Mrs. Catherine Miller-Duhen.

Think Tank Meeting – Saturday June 13; Press Conference 4 pm
The first Think Tank meeting will be held in Stavanger, Norway on June 13. This will be immediately followed by a press conference at 4 pm, where the specialists will be available for comments and interviews.

Press room, Clarion Hotel Stavanger, Stavanger, Norway.
To register for the press conference and ensure receipt of a press
packet, please send an email to Rebecca Hansen at:

Diagnosis & Treatment Training Conference – Friday June 12
On Friday June 12, a conference will be held to train healthcare personnel in the diagnosis and treatment of ME-patients. It will be open to patients and relatives as well.


Belgium: Prof. Dr. Med. Kenny De Meirleir (2009 Scientific Panel Chair)
Professor of Physiology, Pathophysiology & Medicine,
Internal Medicine & Cardiology, Free Univ. of Brussels.
Clinical expert in ME/CFS. Chair of Scientific Panel ESME 2009.

Denmark: Prof. Dr. Bodil Norrild
Professor of Molecular Virology, Univ. of Aarhus & Copenhagen.
Head of DNA-Tumorvirus Group, Institute of Cellular &
Molecular Medicine (ICMM),
Univ. of Copenhagen.

Germany: PD Dr. Liv Bode
Research Virologist, Robert Koch Institute, Berlin.
Specialist Human Borna virus infection.
Special expertise in development of immune assays & diagnostic tools.

Germany: Prof. Dr. Hanns Ludwig
Professor of Virology, Free Univ. of Berlin.
Specialist in Animal & Human Borna virus infections & Herpes viruses.

Hungary: Prof. Dr. Med. Maria J. Molnar
Professor of Neurology, Clinical scientist.
Established Center for Rare Neurological Disorders – Clinical and Research
Center for Molecular Neurology, Semmelweis University, Budapest.
Pioneered diagnostic techniques in Neuromuscular/Neurogenetic disorders.
Organizer of biological banking system. (NEPSYBANK)

Ireland: Dr. Med. Derek Enlander
Internist, ME/CFS clinician & researcher.
ME/CFS/FM specialist, Mt. Sinai Medical Center, New York, USA.
Author of The CFS Handbook.

Italy: Prof. Dr. Med. Umberto Tirelli
Specialist in Oncology, Hematology & Infectious Diseases.
Director Department of Medical Oncology, Director Division of Medical Oncology,
Chief of CFS Unit, National Cancer Institute, Aviano, Italy.

Norway: Prof. Dr. Med. Ola Didrik Saugstad
Professor of Pediatrics, Director of Department of Pediatric Research,
Rikshospitalet Medical Center, Univ. of Oslo.
World-renowned Neonatal Specialist, WHO Advisor.

Spain: Dr. Med. Ana Garcia Quintana
Internist/Surgeon. ME/CFS clinician & researcher, Unit for CFS,
Delphos Medical Center, Barcelona.
Committee Member of CFIDS, USA.

Prof. Dr. Med. Babill Stray-Pedersen, Norway (Patron, ESME launch meeting)
Professor in Obstetrics & Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine, Univ. of Oslo,
Senior Consultant Rikshospitalet, Oslo University Hospitals.
Executive board member of the European Society for Infectious Diseases in Obstetrics & Gynecology.
Medical advisor of Norwegian Women’s Public Health Association.
Advisory board member of Reproductive Health, WHO.
Source: European Society for ME news release June 3, 2009, e-mail