Fibromyalgia and Nutrient Deficiencies


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From my own experience with fibromyalgia, I know how frustrating the generality of some symptoms can be. Fatigue? Chronic pain? There are so many things that cause these things, and there are so many things out there claiming to be the solution.

But, before running off for more medications or topicals, it’s a good idea to check if your body is low on important vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients since that could be contributing to your fibromyalgia symptoms.

How Vitamins and Minerals Interact With the Body

Nutrients like vitamins and minerals are a necessity for the body. Without them, the body can’t function properly. Not getting enough nutrients leads to diseases, weakened body systems, and just overall not feeling your best. And the body can’t produce enough of them on its own.

So it’s up to us to ensure our bodies are getting the nutrients they need.

How Common are Deficiencies?

Vitamin and mineral deficiencies are more common than most people think, even in developed countries like the United States where foods and products with these essentials are easy to find. Part of the reason for this is people not monitoring their diet or eating unhealthily.

You can find more information about nutrient levels in the U.S. population at https://www.cdc.gov/nutritionreport/.

Vitamin D

Nicknamed the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D is produced when the body interacts with sunlight. Vitamin D and calcium work together to strengthen bones, keeping the skeletal system healthy. What does this have to do with fibromyalgia? Well, check out what vitamin D deficiency can do to the body.

Fatigue

Depression

Lowered immunity to getting sick

Bone pain

Bone loss

Slower wound healing

Hair loss

Muscle pain

Some of those symptoms sound familiar? If you have fibromyalgia and are vitamin D deficient, you could be experiencing overlapping symptoms, almost like doubling their impact.

You can increase your vitamin D levels by going outside without sunscreen, eating more eggs and fish, drinking vitamin D enhanced milk, and taking a supplement.

Vitamin B12

B vitamins, especially B12, are known for contributing to energy levels. And I’m sure all of us with fibromyalgia could use more energy in our daily lives. What are the symptoms of B12 deficiency?

Vision loss

Pale skin

Smooth tongue

Weakness

Tiredness

Shortness of breath

Heart palpitations

Loss of appetite, constipation or diarrhea

Tingling, numbness

Trouble walking

Muscle weakness

Depression, behavior changes, or memory loss

Again, some of these symptoms are the same as symptoms you can experience with fibromyalgia.

Foods rich in B12 include meat, eggs, dairy products, and fortified cereals.

Magnesium

Unless you’ve been low on magnesium for a while, you won’t experience many symptoms. However, ongoing magnesium deficiency can lead to the following problems.

Nausea

Vomiting

Little appetite

Weakness

Sleepiness

Muscle spasms (extreme cases)

Headaches

Weakened bones

Nervousness

Stress on your heart

Something else is that not getting enough magnesium compromises your levels of calcium and potassium.

Magnesium is easy to find in foods. It’s found in nuts, whole grains, milk, bananas, and salmon. Also, you can absorb magnesium through the skin if you take a magnesium epsom salt bath.

Coenzyme Q10

This one might not be as familiar to you. Coenzyme Q10 is an enzyme the body naturally produces in the cell. It’s essential for the mitochondria (the power house) of the cell. Low levels of coenzyme Q10 have been found in fibromyalgia patients and contribute to overall fatigue.

Foods like meat, spinach, cauliflower, broccoli, fatty fish, oranges, strawberries, legumes, sesame seeds, and pistachios provide CoQ10.

Getting Your Levels Checked

Checking your nutrient levels is easy. You can get blood and urine testing done through your doctor. If your results show you have deficiencies, your doctor can work with you to find the best way for you to up your levels considering your diet, supplements, and interactions with medications you take on a regular basis.

I know how, once you get used to having fibromyalgia, you can start to chalk up all bodily symptoms to the illness, but this just goes to show some of your symptoms might not be. Also, if your symptoms seem to get worse for no reason, it could be related to something like your nutrient levels. So do yourself a favor and look to see if your levels are deficient. It could end up easing your symptoms. And we all want that.

 

https://www.helpguide.org/harvard/vitamins-and-minerals.htm/

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vitamin-d-deficiency-symptoms#section8

https://www.webmd.com/diet/vitamin-b12-deficiency-symptoms-causes#2

https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/magnesium-test

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/coenzyme-q10#section12

 

 

 

The preceding article is from RedOrbit.com and posted here for sharing purposes only. For additional info please visit their website or consult your doctor.

Fibromyalgia and Keratosis


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A keratosis is a dark, scaly, unattractive growth on the surface of the skin that typically shows up in your advancing years. It’s a natural part of growing older, as any old, bumpy-nosed witch in a children’s story illustration will attest.

They’re not the kind of thing you look forward to. You don’t hear people say, “I look forward to the day I can kick back and scratch my keratosis bumps.” Frankly, they are warty-looking and embarrassing. And there is a form that is considered pre-cancerous, so you will want to have them checked out when you see them.

But what are they exactly? And can they be treated?

What Is A Keratosis?

Basically, a seborrheic keratosis, generally the more pronounced form, is a growth on the skin that has a waxy, scaly feeling. They’re typically hard and elevated from the skin. They almost look like scabs or moles, but are distinct from these other skin conditions.

The color of these growths varies, ranging from tan to a darker black. And they can also vary in size, growing up to more than an inch across.

Science doesn’t know exactly what causes someone to develop these growths. Evidence shows that it’s not related to sun exposure like freckles or melanomas. They aren’t contagious and seem to become more common as you age. There is a genetic predisposition to having these, so if your relatives have seborrheic keratosis growths, you will be susceptible to having them, too.

To diagnose the condition, a doctor will do a simple examination of the skin and factor in things like your age and family history in order to judge whether it is a keratosis or a more dangerous condition like skin cancer. And to be safe, the doctor may wish to remove a bit of the tissue and examine it in a laboratory.

Is A Keratosis Dangerous?

Unlike melanomas, which are cancerous growths on the skin, seborrheic keratosis are not dangerous. There’s no risk of the growth metastasizing, or becoming skin cancer. But, there are forms of keratosis that can be dangerous.

An actinic keratosis is a generally smaller growth that usually forms on the face or the shoulders. Unlike seborrheic keratosis, which are usually solitary, actinic keratosis most often arrive in clusters of more than one. They’re caused by long term exposure to the sun. The mechanism involves the UV light from the sun’s rays. This part of the light spectrum can eventually damage the DNA inside your cells. DNA serves as a kind of blueprint, guiding your cells on how to replicate themselves.

When UV light damages the DNA, the cells being to replicate damaged versions of themselves. Eventually, these damaged cells can begin to expand rapidly, destroying the other cells of the body. And this can lead to certain forms of skin cancer.

In the early stages, these actinic growths are usually small and rough, resembling very flat warts. Over time, they can grow enough to be visible on the skin. Usually, they grow very slowly, so you may not notice any symptoms at first. But eventually, the growths may begin to feel itchy or burn.

Bottom Line: If you have a normal, age-related keratosis, there’s really no reason to worry. But that doesn’t mean that you might not want to remove them. Depending on the size and location, a seborrheic keratosis can make you selfconscious about your appearance.

The good news is that they are generally pretty easy to remove.

How Can You Treat Them?

The most important thing is to not pick or scratch at these growths, as they often bleed and the wound can become infected. If you want to remove a growth, it’s best to see a doctor. There are few different things that a doctor can do to remove them safely and easily.

The first is something called cryosurgery. Essentially, the doctor will take a container of liquid nitrogen and dip a long cotton swab inside. They will then press the swab against the growth. The extreme cold will destroy the tissue inside the growth. With time, it should blister and fall off.

Cryosurgery isn’t always effective, and it may sting a bit. But it is usually a good way to remove smaller growths.

For larger growths, the doctor may use electrocautery. In this procedure, the doctor takes a device with a long metal rod and passes electricity through it. The electricity heats the metal which the doctor then uses to burn away the growth on the skin. The heat of the metal instantly seals the wound, which prevents bleeding. But if done incorrectly, it can lead to scarring.

Laser treatment (ablation) is also available to remove a keratosis growth.

It’s always best to make sure that you see a trained dermatologist for these kinds of procedures.

References:

https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/bumps-and-growths/seborrheic-keratoses

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/seborrheic-keratosis/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20353882

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/seborrheic-keratosis/symptoms-causes/syc-20353878

https://www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-information/actinic-keratosis

 

 

The preceding article is from RedOrbit.com and posted here for sharing purposes only. For additional info please visit their website or consult your doctor.

Fibromyalgia and CBD


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Almost every city in America has at least a shop or two that sells CBD products. You may have wondered what these stores are about and whether CBD is the same thing as marijuana. Products containing CBD are being touted as the magic cure for everything from depression to chronic pain. But can CBD help fibromyalgia, and is it safe? Read on for more details.

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a chemical compound derived from cannabis. It’s a common misconception that CBD is the same as marijuana. This is understandable because cannabis is another name for marijuana. However, CBD is not the same as marijuana because the psychoactive ingredient, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is removed. It is not possible to get “high” from CBD.

Additionally, the source of CBD depends on the legality of marijuana in each individual state. In states where marijuana is legal, CBD oil may be extracted from the marijuana plant. But CBD oil derived from the hemp category of cannabis is legal in all 50 states.

CBD may be consumed in oil form, edible gummy candies, capsules, topical creams, or vaporized (also called vaping.)

What are the Claims about CBD?

Even though CBD does not contain the psychoactive chemicals in marijuana, some people believe that CBD products are beneficial. Many studies have already shown the potential benefits of medical marijuana. Some proponents believe that CBD is an essential component of cannabis that offers pain relief.

Proponents claim that CBD oil has the following benefits:

  • Pain relief
  • Anti-anxiety effects
  • Less insomnia and improved sleep quality
  • Improved digestion and decreased nausea
  • Migraine relief
  • Relief of irritable bowel syndrome

Many of the same benefits attributed to medical marijuana are also attributed to CBD since CBD is one of the components of marijuana. While marijuana is not legal in every state, many people find that the CBD component helps them to feel better.

Is CBD Safe?

Until a bill passed in early 2019, CBD products were not regulated. It was kind of like the Wild West, where anyone could sell something labeled “CBD” without being held to certain standards. Now that hemp is legal in all 50 states, CBD will be regulated. But until that takes full effect, CBD products are not legal for sale across state lines.

There has only been limited research about the safety of CBD. So far, no major health concerns are associated with the products’ use, although more research needs to be done. However, some initial studies suggest that vaping anything (including CBD) may cause lung damage and allergic reactions. People with asthma and other respiratory disorders should not vape CBD or other liquids.

Will CBD Help Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a complex illness with no known cause nor cure. We don’t really know what will help it. However, many people say that CBD is a useful item to have in your toolbox of managing the disease.

One study conducted in 2006 supports the use of CBD in conjunction with THC. This study found that medical marijuana significantly reduced pain. Another study in 2016 found that some people with fibromyalgia may suffer from a lack of endocannabinoids—meaning that CBD could provide pain relief by providing a missing substance.

CBD may help provide symptom relief for fibromyalgia. However, if you decide to try it, make sure to look for more reputable products and brands.

 

 

The preceding article is from RedOrbit.com and posted here for sharing purposes only. For additional info please visit their website or consult your doctor.

Addison’s Disease and Hyperpigmentation


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Addison’s disease, is a condition of the adrenal glands that occurs when they do not produce enough of the hormones cortisol and aldosterone. It is considered an autoimmune disorder that occurs when the body’s immune system attacks your own organs or tissues, but it is not generally life threatening, although a related form of  Addison’s disease called Addisonian Crisis can be.

Hyperpigmentation, which is a darkening of the skin, generally seen as normal aging or liver spots, is a symptom of Addison’s disease, so the two conditions are tied together.

WHAT IS ADDISON’S DISEASE?

As mentioned, Addison’s disease is an autoimmune disease caused by the body’s immune system attacking your own tissue. But unlike other autoimmune diseases, like Lupus, which attack the skin, Addison’s disease attacks the adrenal glands. These adrenal glands, which sit atop your kidneys, play an important role in regulating your hormone system. And when you have Addison’s, the adrenal glands stop functioning properly and don’t produce a hormone called cortisol.

Cortisol is a stress hormone, helping the body process the effects of stress. Cortisol helps process proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. And it helps your body regulate inflammation. Finally, stress hormones help your kidneys regulate the amount of fluids and salts in your body.

But because Addison’s interferes with the production of stress hormones, it can lead to symptoms like:

  • Fatigue
  • Decreased appetite.
  • Low blood Pressure
  • Salt Craving
  • Nausea
  • Pain in the abdomen.
  • Muscle and joint pain.
  • Depression.
  • Hyperpigmentation.

ADDISONIAN CRISIS

Addison’s often develops slowly and it’s often years before the symptoms become truly noticeable. And while the gradual form of the condition reveals itself long before anything life-threatening develops, people can have a sudden onset of the condition with a experience called an Addisonian crisis. This situation can occur after something like a car accident if your body suddenly stops all production of adrenaline or cortisol.

An Addisonian Crisis requires immediate medical treatment, usually in the form of cortisol injections. In contrast, people with standard Addison’s disease often notice something is wrong by the early onset of hyperpigmentation.

ADDISON’S DISEASE AND HYPERPIGMENTATION

The patches usually occur on the areas of the body that are most frequently exposed to the sun like the elbows, forearms, hands and face. But they can also affect the gums, which results in noticeably dark skin around the teeth. And it can develop inside the nail beds or vaginal lips.

Hyperpigmentation is often one of the first signs that someone is suffering from Addison’s disease. And it’s usually one of the first things a doctor will look for when trying to make a diagnosis of Addison’s.

HOW CAN YOU TREAT IT

To diagnosis Addison’s, doctors look for signs like skin-darkening, a lower level of body hair caused by a lack of androgen hormones, and evidence of skin conditions like dryness.

There are a few different things that doctors do to treat the condition. The first step is replacement hormone therapy to make up for the fact that your adrenal glands aren’t producing the right amounts of cortisol. Usually, this treatment simply involves regular injections of these hormones.

In addition, many forms of treatment aim to limit the inflammation that is common with any autoimmune condition. Corticosteroids are a type of hormone that your body produces naturally in response to inflammation. But doctors can also prescribe synthetic forms of corticosteroid to help your body’s natural response.

But doctors often prescribe basic, over-the-counter NSAIDs, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, like aspirin and ibuprofen. These drugs help treat inflammation by blocking the production of a specific enzyme that leads to inflammation.

Finally, doctors can prescribe an immunosuppressant drug. Immunosuppressants work by weakening the activity of the immune system. This means that the immune system produces fewer of the antibodies that attack your tissue and cause inflammation.

The good news is that Addison’s is very treatable. And with regular treatment, hyperpigmentation usually goes away within a few months. So, let us know. Do you have Addison’s? Did you experience changes in your skin? What did you do to treat it? Let us know in the comments.

RESOURCES:

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/15095-addisons-disease

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-athletes-way/201301/cortisol-why-the-stress-hormone-is-public-enemy-no-1

https://www.healthline.com/health/immunosuppressant-drugs

http://www.medicinenet.com/corticosteroids-oral/article.htm

https://www.aocd.org/page/Hyperpigmentation

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK441933/

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/15095-addisons-disease

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK441933/

 

The preceding article is from RedOrbit.com and posted here for sharing purposes only. For additional info please visit their website or consult your doctor.

Fibromyalgia and Natural Oils


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It’s frustrating to find effective ways to treat the many symptoms of fibromyalgia, especially those chronic symptoms that fibromyalgia sufferers are always looking for relief from.

If you’re sick of trying out different medications for chronic pain and fatigue, maybe essential oils can work for you.

Beginnings of Essential Oils

While it’s true that essential oils seem like a fad that picked up over the past couple of years, their use actually goes back to 2500-3000 B.C. Evidence of them can be found in ancient Egypt, China, and India.

How to Use Essential Oils

If you’ve never used essential oils before, it can be confusing about where to start or how to use them. It’s actually pretty easy to add oils to your life. Here are some ways to use them.

Diffuser

One of the easiest ways to add essential oils to your routine is to use a diffuser. Place some water in the diffuser and then add a few drops of whatever oil you want.

Topical Application 

Many oils are most effective when applied to the skin, especially for the areas that are in pain. Just be careful. Some oils need to be mixed with a carrier oil before they can be placed directly on the skin. Almond and coconut are the most common carrier oils.

Baths

Hot baths are already helpful for relieving pain and stress. You can amplify that effect by adding drops of essential oils to your bath water.

Oils for Fibromyalgia

Below are a few essential oils that can be used to help treat two of fibromyalgia’s main symptoms: chronic pain and chronic fatigue.

Also, remember to always check with your doctor before trying new treatment options.

Oils to Ease Pain

Peppermint

We’re not strangers to peppermint. It’s often used as a flavoring in gum and candy. There’s even peppermint tea and toothpaste. As an oil, peppermint helps muscle and joint pain as well as headaches.

Peppermint has analgesic and muscle relaxant properties. It soothes and cools when applied to the hurting area of the body—you will need a carrier oil for topical use—and is also effective in the bath.

It aids headache relief by improving blood circulation.

Plus, an added bonus, peppermint is invigorating and can help keep you alert.

CBD (Marijuana)

CBD oil is all over the news lately. According to many, it has helped a lot with their fibromyalgia pain when applied topically. 

Cannabidiol oil is a different chemical than the source of marijuana that gives people a “high”, which is known as THC. Currently, it isn’t legal in all 50 states.

It’s believed that CBD oil works to help relieve pain by affecting receptors in your brain. This helps with inflammatory and chronic pain.

There are still many outspoken critics of this oil right now, but research looks promising.

Ginger

Ginger has shown useful as an anti-inflammatory and analgesic. It also improves circulation like peppermint.

Zingibain can be found in ginger and is responsible for that anti-inflammation ability.

Pain like headaches, cramps, muscle, and joint pain is decreased from ginger use.

Bonus: Ginger has many other health properties as well like being an antioxidant, an antiseptic, and a nausea aid.

Oils to Help Relaxation or Sleep

Lavender

Lavender is famous for its ability to help people relax. Studies have shown its ability to act as a sedative and protect the nervous system.

Lavender is also one of the essential oils that doesn’t necessitate a carrier oil in order to apply to the skin.

Studies also indicate lavender may help with pain!

Chamomile

Chamomile is often made as tea to aid sleep, but it can also be used in oil form.

Studies note the reduction of stress-caused plasma adrenocorticotropic hormone levels when people inhale chamomile. This helps create a relaxed feeling, making it easier to sleep.

Diluted chamomile also works well topically and in the bath.

Citruses

Citrus family oils have either a relaxing or invigorating effect, depending on the individual.

Lemon balm and Bergamot can help with anxiety. Lemon balm is most effective in a capsule instead of oil, but some report inhaling it helps them. Bergamot was used in a study, and the results showed a decrease in the participants’ stress.

A Possible Aid

This is by no means an exhaustive list of essential oils that can help with pain, fatigue, or other fibromyalgia symptoms, but these oils are a good place to start if you’re interested.

Fibromyalgia is a complicated health condition because of all its symptoms and the uncertainty of what causes it. That’s partly why it can be difficult to find ways to alleviate symptoms, but research and individual testimonies show that essential oils can help sufferers cope with the illness. So, maybe one or some of these oils could be what you’re looking for.

 

Sources

https://essentialoilsacademy.com/history/
https://www.painpathways.org/essential-oils/
https://www.painpathways.org/aromatherapy-for-chronic-pain/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3612440/
http://info.achs.edu/blog/depression-and-anxiety-can-essential-oils-help

 

The preceding article is from RedOrbit.com and posted here for sharing purposes only. For additional info please visit their website or consult your doctor.

Five Common Muscular Diseases


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Any motion, whether we are conscious of it or not, depends on muscles. When problems arise due to muscular disorders the body can feel weak and painful. Muscle disorders, also known as myopathy, can create difficulty for those dealing with certain muscular diseases.

Overview

Humans have three types of muscles: skeletal, smooth, and cardiac. Skeletal muscle is the only type of muscle in the body that is under voluntary control. Additionally, it is the muscle attached to bones by tendons. Smooth muscles are involuntary and can be found in the stomach, intestine, and blood vessels. They operate regardless of any decisions you make. Also, cardiac muscle, which refers to your heart, are involuntary.

Muscle diseases can occur at all ages and can be complicated and severe. Additionally, there are two different categories of muscle diseases: genetic and non-genetic. Genetic muscular diseases include disorders that are related to a gene disorder and involve muscular dystrophies. Other genetic muscle diseases include storage myopathies, mitochondrial diseases, periodic paralysis, and congenital myopathies. Unlike genetic diseases, non-genetic disorders are not genetic (hence the term “non” genetic). Instead, non-genetic conditions are acquired. Inflammatory muscle diseases, myasthenia gravis, and drugs or hormonal disorders involve non-genetic muscular diseases.

Cause

The following are causes of muscular disorders:

  • sprains or strains
  • cramps or tendinitis
  • genetic disorder
  • infections
  • inflammation
  • some cancers
  • diseases of nerves that can affect muscle function

Symptoms

The following are a few general symptoms that people may experience if they have muscular diseases:

  • Weakness and Fatigue: muscle weakness tends to be progressive and involves muscles located near the hip or shoulder
  • Trouble Moving: difficulty moving, such as walking, running, climbing stairs, or attempting to stand from a seated position
  • Trouble with Shoulder Muscles: difficulty in using shoulder muscles, such as lifting or carrying heavy loads, reaching above the head, or holding heavy items
  • Muscle Atrophy: shrinking muscle mass
  • Pain: defects in blood circulation, injury, or inflammation may cause pain in the muscles

Muscular Diseases

Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a disorder that involves musculoskeletal pain. Researchers have determined the disease is caused by amplified pain sensations that are perceived by the brain. Fibromyalgia is more common among women. Although there is no cure for fibromyalgia, there are ways to manage symptoms, such as medications, exercise, and relaxation techniques.

Poliomyelitis

Poliomyelitis, known as polio, is an infectious disease that strikes any age, but especially targets young children. There is no cure, although a polio vaccination can prevent the disease. It causes headache, fatigue, stiffness and pain and, in some cases, permanent paralysis.

Cerebral Palsy

As a result of brain damage, cerebral palsy involves an impairment or loss of motor function. People who have cerebral palsy are either born with the condition or it develops soon after birth. Problems associated with cerebral palsy include lack of muscle control, body movement, muscle coordination, and difficulty balancing.

Mitochondrial Myopathies

Mitochondria are known as the energy factories of the cell. Mitochondrial encephalomyopathy involves muscular and neurological problems, such as muscle weakness, difficulty exercising, hearing loss, difficulty balancing, seizures, and learning deficits.

Muscular Dystrophy

Usually caused by abnormal gene mutations, muscular dystrophy is a group of 30 genetic diseases that involve the loss and degeneration of muscle mass. Muscular dystrophy leads to muscle weakness. It is used as a broader term associated with genetic diseases due to the gene mutations that interfere with healthy muscle proteins. The most common types of muscular dystrophy include those that affect individuals in early childhood and males. Problems and symptoms include difficulty walking, losing the ability to walk, and difficulty breathing or swallowing.

Major forms of muscular dystrophy include:

  • Myotonic
  • Duchenne
  • Becker
  • Limb-girdle
  • Facioscapulohumeral
  • Congenital
  • Oculopharyngeal
  • Distal
  • Emery-Dreifuss

Although there is no cure for muscular dystrophy, certain medication and therapy can help to slow down the disease.

References:

https://www.nni.com.sg/patient-care/conditions-treatments/muscle%20diseases

https://medlineplus.gov/ency/imagepages/19841.htm

https://www.nni.com.sg/patient-care/conditions-treatments/muscle%20diseases

https://www.mda.org/sites/default/files/publications/Facts_Genetics_P-210_1.pdf

https://medlineplus.gov/muscledisorders.html

https://www.webmd.com/parenting/understanding-muscular-dystrophy-basics#1

https://www.who.int/topics/poliomyelitis/en/

 

 

The preceding article is from RedOrbit.com and posted here for sharing purposes only. For additional info please visit their website or consult your doctor.

Fibromyalgia and Weighted Blankets


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Weighted blankets are getting a lot of attention these days. Fans of weighted blankets claim that they relieve anxiety and insomnia, as well as potentially helping children with autism and sensory integration disorders. But some people with fibromyalgia are exploring the possibility that weighted blankets may provide comfort to them, too. Here is some more background information on whether weighted blankets can work for fibromyalgia relief.

There’s no question that life with fibromyalgia can be challenging. Pain and aches all over your whole body are a constant for most people with fibro, though most people have occasional periods of relative comfort. Looking for the right thing that will relieve pain is usually a long and difficult process. Medication can help some people but it’s usually not sufficient in itself. Relief from pain and discomfort often requires a combination of multiple different therapies.

THE ORIGINS OF WEIGHTED BLANKETS

You may have just started seeing weighted blankets in bed and bath stores in the past couple of years. But the truth is that weighted blankets have actually been around for nearly twenty years already. They began as a tool prescribed by occupational therapists to help children with sensory processing issues, anxiety, and autism spectrum disorders. The weight of the blankets would help kids feel calmer. Back then, it was difficult to find a ready-made weighted blanket, so many therapists and parents would make their own. The first mass-produced blankets were introduced to the market in the late 1990s but were originally only marketed to children.

THE SCIENCE BEHIND WEIGHTED BLANKETS

Believe it or not, weighted blankets aren’t just a trendy meme. There’s actually some science between what makes weighted blankets so calming and comforting. The weight of the blanket provides deep pressure, which can have a relaxing effect on some people. A 2008 study in the journal Occupational Therapy in Mental Health evaluated 33 adults who each rested under 30-pound blankets for five minutes.

At the end of those five minutes, 33 percent of the study participants who used the blankets showed a greater drop in sweat on the skin, which is a measure of stress. Nineteen of the participants said they felt calmer with the blanket than without, and eight said they were comfortable either way. Only three of the study participants felt more anxious with the blanket than without.

Although it’s only a small study, it shows some promising initial results that the weight of a blanket can be soothing, especially when combined with rest.

CAN WEIGHTED BLANKETS HELP FIBROMYALGIA PATIENTS?

Weighted blankets may help you if you have fibromyalgia, especially if you are also prone to anxiety or insomnia. Some people find using a weighted blanket to be very comforting and relaxing, like being wrapped in a snug embrace. Many fibro sufferers also have problems with poor sleep, which can aggravate your pain and make it worse. Having a tool on hand that can help you sleep more deeply can allow you to get the rest that you need.

Many fibro patients also deal with anxiety, which is another condition that weighted blankets can really help. Although considering how difficult it can be to get medical providers to take you seriously, it’s hard to know how much of that anxiety is organic to the illness and how much is caused by insensitive medical staff.

What about pressure points? Pain at the pressure points is a common problem in fibromyalgia, and sometimes it feels like the air hurts your skin. Wouldn’t something that puts more pressure on your body make that sensitivity worse? Not necessarily. A weighted blanket may not take away the sensitivity at the pressure points, but can still be soothing overall, anyway.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT WEIGHTED BLANKETS FOR FIBROMYALGIA

Not everyone finds weighted blankets to be helpful or comfortable. If you’re prone to sweating while you sleep, you may find the blankets to be too hot. In general, if you cover up with a weighted blanket and don’t feel better, it’s not necessary to force the issue. It will either provide symptom relief or it won’t; it’s not the type of issue where you have to build up a tolerance.

It’s also important to note that weighted blankets come in a variety of weights, filled with a variety of materials. Some people advise that the blanket should be proportionately heavier when compared to your body weight. But you may find that a lighter-weight blanket will be more comfortable for you than the one that corresponds to your weight. Or you may prefer a blanket that’s filled with plastic beads instead of metal. When it comes to fibromyalgia relief, it’s important to choose what feels most comfortable for you.

 

The preceding article is from RedOrbit.com and posted here for sharing purposes only. For additional info please visit their website or consult your doctor.