Posts Tagged Chronic Illness

Fibromyalgia and Suicide

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Fibromyalgia and suicide. It’s one of the main ways that fibromyalgia is fatal, as depression and anxiety are often present in fibromyalgia patients.

Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain condition that affects the muscles and tissues of the body, causing them to ache and become stiff. This pain can range from moderate to severe, and can cause pain and aches all over the body. This pain can be debilitating, and can cause people to become lonely, anxious and depressed. People with fibromyalgia suffer from pain that can be so bad, they do not want to leave their bed or even get dressed in the morning.  This is terribly sad, as people often begin to feel despair and loneliness. Which means there can be a higher coincidence of fibromyalgia and suicide, as in some cases, people with fibromyalgia lose the will to live, as their depression becomes more and more severe.

Fibromyalgia & Suicide

Although pain of fibromyalgia may bring great suffering to people- both mentally and physically- people need to work hard to maintain optimism and positive outlook. It is important to maintain as regular a schedule as possible, even if this schedule only takes place in the house and in the front or backyard of a person’s home.

This routine could be simple, including beginning the morning with a warm bath to loosen muscles, eating healthy meals, spending some time outside, and taking time to socialize with others. Maintaining a routine can take some of the exhaustion out of the day, as surprises and activities can be overwhelming for those who have fibromyalgia and are in a great amount of pain. People can have flare-ups that occur at any time, and therefore need to be prepared for their course of action if a flare-up should occur.  Maintaining a regular schedule as much as possible can help reduce fatigue.

Extreme fatigue is a symptom of fibromyalgia that can be debilitating.  This fatigue gets worse as sleeping gets more difficult due to pain. People who are very tired and not rested will have a difficult time waking up in the morning and carrying on with their day.

But this is why maintaining a schedule is so important- because tiredness is hard to kick. Waking up and going to bed at the same time can help, as can taking multiple breaks throughout the day to relax and recharge.

There are many different ways people choose to relax- they may listen to music, create art, play with a pet, or others. It is only important that a person identifies what relaxes them and brings them joy- and then do that activity as much as possible. It is important to maintain interests and hobbies, especially those that can be done at home or close to home.

Some people are naturally more social than others, and for these very social beings, it can be extremely difficult to deal with the pains of fibromyalgia and still maintain their very active social life.

But just because it is more difficult does not at all mean it is impossible.  People who are naturally social need to maintain social activities in order to keep their spirits up. Being around others is energizing for social people and cutting others off because of pain will be more harmful in the end. Having social activities nearby one’s house can be very beneficial.

If there is a restaurant nearby that a person enjoys, they should try to go there once or more a month, just to be in the world and around others, in an energetic environment. The same is true of people who love music, and enjoy seeing concerts and other live events.

Even though it may seem like the pain is too much to bear, it can be even worse to stay home in bed alone for days, weeks, and months on end. This is when depression strikes, and this is definitely not a place anyone wants to end up. It can be difficult to gain any energy to get out and participate in activities, but it is definitely possible and very beneficial.

If getting out of the house seems overwhelming, it is just as fair to invite a close friend over to the house for an hour or two, just to catch up and chat.

Speaking with friends and family, and maintaining regular positive contact is not only beneficial for those dealing with chronic pain, but is also necessary. It can be difficult to stay positive when experiencing so much pain, but people need to focus on maintaining positivity in their lives in whatever brings them happiness and joy.

Some people may enjoy socializing, while others may enjoy cooking, reading, listening to music, or millions of other things.  The most important thing to do is to continuously bring joyful activities into one’s life.

What are you suggestions for preventing incidents of fibromyalgia and suicide?

The preceding article is from RedOrbit.com and posted here for sharing purposes only. No copyright infringement is intended.

 

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Fibromyalgia and Chelation Therapy

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Chelation Therapy: Benefits and Risks

Chelation therapy is a process in which heavy metals are taken out of the blood. Some heavy metals include mercury or lead. Chelation therapy is a common treatment for different kinds of metal poisoning. It has also been considered to help other conditions, such as autism, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and heart disease. However, it is still unclear if chelation therapy helps treat heart disease. Within this article we will examine chelation therapy and how the method works. Additionally, we will also discuss its relation to fibromyalgia.

Please note that I am not a doctor. Although this article has undergone research to try and provide accurate information, you should always talk to your doctor for professional advice. Contact your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.

What is Chelation Therapy?

As mentioned previously, it is a treatment method that uses medicine to remove metals from the body. This process works by injecting a medication into the body. The medication is a chelator or a chelating agent. After the injection, chelators bind to the metals in the bloodstream. As soon as the chelators collect the heavy metals the kidneys filter them and are released in the urine.

Benefits

There are several benefits of chelation therapy, especially because it is an effective way to remove heavy metals from the blood. In addition to mercury and lead, this treatment option also helps remove other heavy metals, such as arsenic, iron, copper, and nickel. Metal poisoning can occur when an individual drinks polluted water, breathes polluted air, or ingests lead paint. Other conditions can create a buildup of metals in the body. For example, here is a list of conditions:

  • Wilson’s Disease: This disorder is inherited and causes copper poisoning. Symptoms usually occur between the ages of 12 and 23 years old. Symptoms include: swelling, fatigue, abdominal pain, and uncontrolled movements. This chronic disease can be treated by a medical professional.
  • Hemochromatosis: This condition is inherited and causes an iron overload. More specifically, it is where there is too much iron in the body. Symptoms include darkening of the skin, abnormal heart beats, diabetes, or arthritis. Caucasians are more at risk for the classic type of hemochromatosis. Left untreated it can lead to more serious conditions.
  • Chronic Kidney Disease: This condition involves a longstanding disease of the kidneys. The kidneys are responsible for filtering waste from the blood. When kidneys fail, waste builds up. Although the condition cannot be cured, treatment can help. This condition usually does not show any symptoms. It can be diagnosed by a blood test.
  • Thalassemia: Thalassemia and other blood disorders can lead to a buildup of iron. Because certain blood disorders require frequent blood transfusions, it is likely to create a buildup of iron in the body.

Risks

Although there are several benefits of chelation therapy, there are also some risks. Chelators can create side effects. Patients may experience a burning sensation at the injection site. Some side effects can be more severe than others. Other side effects can occur, including but not limited to the following:

  • fever
  • headache
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • low blood pressure
  • anemia
  • cardiac arrhythmias
  • seizures
  • hypocalcemia (small amount of calcium in blood)
  • brain damage
  • vitamin deficiencies
  • mineral deficiencies
  • kidney damage
  • liver damage
  • allergic reaction

Because chelation therapy can be dangerous, this treatment option is usually only recommended when the benefits outweigh the risks. Talk to your doctor about what options are best for your condition.

Chelation Therapy and Fibromyalgia

Chelation therapy can help treat fibromyalgia by getting rid of ionic substances, including calcium, iron, lead, magnesium, manganese, plutonium and zinc. This treatment method can be used for fibromyalgia as well as chronic fatigue syndrome that can be impacted by heavy metal toxicity. Some research has suggested that heavy metals can cause fibromyalgia because having too many in the body can lead to lack of functionality.

This treatment option for fibromyalgia usually involves a blood infusion of EDTA. An EDTA is an amino acid complex of ethylene-diamine-tetra-acetic acid. When EDTA comes into contact with the toxins, it will bind to the metals and expel them from the body. There is also an option for oral chelation therapy.

In some cases, chelation helps treat the symptoms of fibromyalgia. More specifically, chelation therapy can help patients with fibromyalgia by reducing the symptoms of fatigue, heart problems, respiratory problems, urinary problems, gastrointestinal symptoms, and neurological symptoms.

Contact your doctor for more information concerning chelation therapy as an alternative fibromyalgia treatment option. If you have any questions about chelation therapy, reach out to your healthcare professional.

 

 

The preceding article is from FibromyalgiaTreating.com and posted here for sharing purposes only. No copyright infringement is intended.

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Fibromyalgia and Bisphosphonates

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Bisphosphonates: What Conditions can it Treat?

Bisphosphonates are used to slow down the rate of bone loss. Unfortunately, this group of drugs does not build bone, it simply slows down the process of bone loss. Bisphosphonates can be taken orally or by injection, and commonly include alendronate (Fosamax), ibandronate (Boniva), risedronate and zoledronic acid (Reclast). Bisphosphonates help treat bone disorders, including osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is more likely to occur due to age, menopause, and other medical conditions or medications.

Although bisphosphonates are meant to reduce bone fractures in patients with osteoporosis, it can create some unwanted side effects. One side effect is severe pain that mimics fibromyalgia symptoms. Here we will examine other conditions bisphosphonates can treat and look at its relation to fibromyalgia. Please note that I am not a doctor. This article has undergone research, but it should not replace the advice of your doctor. Reach out to your healthcare professional if you have any questions or concerns.

What can it treat?

As previously mentioned, bisphosphonates are a group of drugs that help treat bone problems. Specifically, bisphosphonates help patients who have bone loss or who have thin or fragile bones. Patients who have abnormal bone densities or have had several bone fractures are more likely to be given bisphosphonates by their doctor. These medications are prescribed to the patient in order to stop future bone fractures or other injuries.

Besides osteoporosis, there are other conditions that may require bisphosphonate therapy. Other bone disorders include osteopenia, Paget’s disease, and metastatic bone disease. Here is a list in detail of each bone disorder:

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is usually treated with bisphosphonates. It tends to occur in older patients and those individuals with loss of estrogen. The name actually means “porous bones,” which is exactly what the bone looks like in patients with osteoporosis.

Osteopenia

Although osteopenia is similar to osteoporosis, it does have its differences. It occurs when the bones are weaker, but not weak enough where the bones will break easily. Osteopenia is a condition in which the body has difficulty making new bone at the same pace as reabsorbing old bone. Women are more at risk as well as older adults.

Paget’s Disease of Bone

Also known as PDB or osteitis deformans, Paget’s disease is a condition that interferes with the replacement of old bone tissue with new bone tissue. It can lead to fragile or misshapen bones. It more likely affects older adults and commonly occurs in the legs, pelvis, skull, and spine.

Metastatic Bone Disease (MBD)

This disorder is where cancer spreads from the organ to the bone. Cancer can start in the lungs, breast, or prostate, and then it can spread to the bone. Your doctor may suggest several treatment options besides bisphosphonates for this disease.

Other reasons that can lead to bone loss include lack of exercise, nutritional or genetic reasons, and hormones.

Side Effects of Bisphosphonates

It is possible to experience severe pain from bisphosphonates. Additionally, there are other possible side effects. Surprisingly, some side effects involve a different form of osteonecrosis. One example is ONJ or osteonecrosis of the jaw. Osteonecrosis of the jaw tend to occur in patients who are treated for long periods of time with high doses of bisphosphonates. The following is a list of some possible side effects of bisphosphonates, including ONJ:

  • atypical fractures (for example: atypical femoral shaft fractures)
  • atrial fibrillation
  • bone or joint pain
  • severe pain
  • muscle aches
  • nausea
  • biphosphonate-related osteonecrosis
  • diarrhea
  • constipation
  • headache
  • bladder infections
  • tiredness
  • dizziness
  • head colds
  • the flu
  • sinus or throat infections

If you experience any severe side effects that you believe to be life threatening, call 911 immediately.

How is it related to fibromyalgia?

Unfortunately, some research has shown that bisphosphonates can trigger pain-like symptoms similar to fibromyalgia. In fact, FDA issued an alert to caution patients about the possible side effect of severe musculoskeletal pain associated with this drug.

However, there have also been some cases in which patients have received IV Pamidronate or other IV bisphosphonate medicines for pain. These have been used to reduce pain specifically in patients with pain-related conditions, including Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, ankylosing spondylitis, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic back pain, and more. However, there has not been very much research on the topic. The benefits of bisphosphonates should outweigh the risks and side effects if you are considering taking this medicine.

Contact your doctor to find the right treatment option for your condition. Ask your doctor for more information if you have any more questions or concerns or visit American Bone Health online.

 

The preceding article is from FibromyalgiaTreating.com and posted here for sharing purposes only. No copyright infringement is intended.

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Fibromyalgia and Duloxetine

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Duloxetine is a nerve pain medication and antidepressant. It can help treat depression, anxiety, fibromyalgia, diabetic peripheral neuropathy, and other conditions related to chronic muscle or bone pain. Common brand names include Cymbalta and Irenka. However, the oral capsule can be available for both a generic and brand-name drug.

This drug does have a Black Box Warning, which is a FDA warming that alerts both doctors and patients of dangerous effects. It is possible that this drug can make your depression worse. Please reach out to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.

What is Duloxetine?

Duloxetine is a prescription drug, and it can be used as an oral capsule. It can help treat anxiety, depressive disorder, nerve pain, fibromyalgia pain, and chronic muscle and joint pain. Duloxetine belongs to a class of drugs called serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). The drug acts by balancing the chemicals within the brain that can cause anxiety and depression. Because pain signals are interpreted in the brain, the drug also works to inhibit these pain signals through the balancing of these chemicals.

Taking Duloxetine

It is important to follow your doctor’s directions while taking the drug. Only take as directed, especially because it can be a long-term medication. Depending on what your condition is, how you first react to the drug, and the severity of your condition, your doctor can recommend a different dosage.

Fibromyalgia: Adults with fibromyalgia who are 18 years and older tend to have a starting dosage of 30 mg per day for one week. Then, it goes onto 30 to 60 mg per day.

Major Depressive Disorder: Adults can receive 30 to 60 mg per day at first. Then, the maintained dosage can be between 40 to 60 mg per day.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Similar to major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder can start with a dosage of 30 to 60 mg per day. Then, it is usually given as 60 mg per day. Children between the ages of 7 and 17 years old and adults 65 years and older can take this drug. However, they are given a lower dosage (about 30 to 60 mg).

Nerve Pain (Diabetes): Adults are given a 60 mg dosage per day.

Chronic Muscle and Joint Pain: Adults begin with 30 mg per day for one week, and then they tend to take 60 mg per day afterwards.

Important Information: Warnings and Side Effects

There are some concerns and warnings that can arise from duloxetine. Let’s first examine the warnings of duloxetine and precautions you need to be aware of.

Warnings

  • Alcohol: Do not consume alcohol while taking duloxetine. It can increase the risk of severe liver injury.
  • Allergy: Be aware that the drug can cause a severe allergic reaction. Call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room immediately if you believe you may be having a severe allergic reaction.
  • Liver Disease: Do not take this drug if you have any medical or health conditions associated with the liver, such as chronic liver disease or cirrhosis of the liver.
  • Kidney Disease: Avoid taking duloxetine if you have severe kidney disease. Your kidneys can have a difficult time responding to the drug and can lead to an increased risk of side effects.
  • Pregnant: Women who are pregnant should not take this drug. If you are pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant, contact your doctor for more information.
  • Seniors: Adults 65 years and older can be at a greater risk for side effects, such as blood pressure changes. You can also experience low sodium in the blood.
  • Children: This drug should not be given to children younger than 7 years old. Proceed with caution if you are under the age of 18 and seek the advice of your doctor.

Side Effects

  • Sleepiness
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Difficulty thinking clearly
  • Nausea
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Loss of appetite
  • Decreased weight
  • Increased sweating
  • Stomach pain
  • Liver damage: Symptoms can include itching, dark-colored urine, yellow skin, dizziness, fainting, or pain in the right side of the upper abdomen.
  • Serotonin syndrome: Symptoms can include agitation, hallucinations, coma, racing heart, high or low blood pressure, dizziness, muscle twitching, abnormal bleeding, vomiting, or seizures.
  • Skin reactions: Severe skin reactions can have symptoms like skin blisters, sores in the mouth, hives, or rash.

If you are experiencing severe side effects contact your doctor as soon as possible.

In conclusion…

Be aware of the possible side effects and warnings associated with duloxetine. The drug can interact with other medications, vitamins, or herbs. However, it is still important to inform your doctor of other medications you are taking in order to avoid any harmful interactions.

Please note: this article did its best to provide updated and correct information, but I am not a doctor. Contact your health care professional for suitable medical advice if you have any more questions or concerns.

 

The preceding article is from FibromyalgiaTreating.com and posted here for sharing purposes only. No copyright infringement is intended

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Chronic Pain and Topical Lidocaine

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Lidocaine is an anesthetic and antiarrhythmic. It can help treat irregular heartbeats, and also relieve the skin. Here we will be looking at lidocaine topical, though there are other forms like the injection. The injection option for lidocaine can have different side effects than the topical solution. If you are interested in the injection option, contact your doctor for more information.

What is lidocaine topical?

Lidocaine topical can be used as a cream, gel, spray, lotion, liquid, skin patch, ointment, foam, powder, or other forms that are applied to the skin. Do not ingest the topical medicine, and keep it out of the mouth, eyes, and nose. Rinse with water if you accidentally get any medicine in any place other than your skin.

Lidocaine can be found under the following brand names: Bactine, Glydo, Lidoderm, Xylocaine, and more. For a full list visit Drugs.com.

How does it work?

Lidocaine works as a numbing medication that can block nerve signals in the body. It can also help relieve irritated skin. Certain skin conditions may be painful or cause itchiness, such as from minor cuts or burns, insect bites, poison ivy, poison oak, sunburns, eczema, or hemorrhoids. Lidocaine helps by reducing symptoms associated with the conditions listed previously.

What should you know before taking the medication?

Allergies

Do not use lidocaine if you have experienced any allergic reactions to numbing creams or medicines. Let your doctor know about your experience with numbing medication, and keep them informed about your condition, especially if you have had an allergic reaction in the past. It is also important to tell your doctor if you have had an allergic reaction to other medicines you have taken in the past. If you have had any severe reactions to certain foods, dyes, animals, or preservatives, make sure to let your doctor know.

Other Medications

Additionally, tell your doctor if you have had liver disease. Make sure to also relay information concerning other medicine you are taking, such as if you are taking any heart rhythm medicines.

Breast Feeding

Ask your doctor the risk associated with taking lidocaine topical and breast feeding. Do not apply the medication anywhere on the skin where it makes contact with the baby’s mouth. Keep it out of your child’s reach and do not feed it to your child.

Alcohol

There are no known reactions from drinking alcohol and using lidocaine. However, try to consume small amounts of alcohol while using lidocaine.

Side Effects

If you experience any severe side effects, get emergency medical help as soon as possible. It is possible to experience signs of an allergic reaction while using lidocaine. Signs of an allergic reaction include having trouble breathing, the skin has broken out in hives, or the face, lips, tongue, or throat has become swollen.

The following is a list of possible side effects of lidocaine:

  • stinging where the medication is applied
  • blistering
  • dry skin
  • irritation
  • burning
  • dizziness
  • tiredness
  • swelling
  • redness
  • rash
  • confusion
  • blurred vision
  • numbness
  • joint pain
  • tightness of the chest

Contact your doctor about other possible side effects. If you have had a minor reaction from the medication and it does not go away after a few days, check in with your doctor. If your condition worsens, contact your doctor immediately.

Other Important Information

Dosage

The dosage can vary depending on the form of lidocaine you are using. For example, if you are using ointment, your doctor can recommend you apply the medicine on the area of the skin about three to four times a day. On the other hand, if you are using a skin patch to help treat pain associated with shingles, your doctor can recommend using only one to three patches per twelve hours.

Forget to Take On Time

If you miss a dose or forget to change a patch, simply apply the medicine as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time to take your next dose, wait and skip the forgotten dose. It is important to take the medicine as directed and not overcompensate for the missed dose. Certain medicines that come in creams or gels should last even when they are removed after a certain amount of time.

Storage

Make sure to keep the medicine stored in a place where animals and children can not get to it. Additionally, keep it away from moisture and heat in room temperature. A patch that is kept in the heat can impact how the medicine is absorbed into the body. This can lead to an increase in the risk of serious side effects or overdose.

 

 

The preceding article is from FibromyalgiaTreating.com and posted here for sharing purposes only. No copyright infringement is intended.

 

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Describing Fibromyalgia Perfectly

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Living with chronic pain means hearing a lot of faux-wisdom chronic pain quotes from people who have decided they know what you’re going through. So you’ll often get “you should do this” or “have you ever tried that?” And the advice these people are giving out is usually pretty useless.

They simply don’t know anything about what chronic pain is actually like. So how could they know how to offer any meaningful advice? But there are plenty of people out there who have experienced enough pain in their lives to offer some really profound words of encouragement. And when you’re suffering from the chronic pain of fibromyalgia, sometimes you really need someone to help you put your pain in perspective. So, here are eight chronic pain quotes to help you cope with fibromyalgia.

8 Chronic Pain Quotes

People assume you aren’t sick unless they see the sickness on your skin like scars forming a map of all the ways you’re hurting. My heart is a prison of Have you tried?
Have you tried exercising? Have you tried eating better?
Have you tried not being sad, not being sick?
Have you tried being more like me?
Have you tried shutting up?
Yes, I have tried. Yes, I am still trying, and yes, I am still sick.
Sometimes monsters are invisible, and sometimes demons attack you from the inside. Just because you cannot see the claws and the teeth does not mean they aren’t ripping through me. Pain does not need to be seen to be felt. Telling me there is no problem won’t solve the problem.
This is not how miracles are born.
This is not how sickness works.”
Emm Roy, The First Step

One of my favorite chronic pain quotes from author Emm Roy really sums up what it’s like to live with chronic pain from a condition like fibromyalgia, which no one can see. After all, that’s one of the most infuriating things about fibromyalgia. The way that people just refuse to accept that you are suffering feels so unfair. And this is a good reminder that just because your suffering is easy to see doesn’t mean that it isn’t suffering.

“Of pain, you could wish only one thing: that it should stop. Nothing in the world was so bad as physical pain. In the face of pain, there are no heroes.” – George Orwell, 1984

A much-quoted author also makes our list of chronic pain quotes. Shot in the throat during the Spanish Civil War, novelist George Orwell knew pain very well. And he understood that all the ways that people talk about enduring pain with some quiet stoicism are over-simplifying it. This quote sums it up really well when it says that, “In the face of pain, there are no heroes.” Don’t be ashamed when your pain gets the best of you sometimes. That’s what pain does.

“You just do it. You force yourself to get up. You force yourself to put one foot before the other, you refuse to let it get to you. You fight. You cry. You curse. Then you go about the business of living. That’s how I’ve done it. There’s no other way.”- Elizabeth Taylor

Famous actress Elizabeth Taylor endured a lot of pain in her life, having gone through several different chronic health conditions. And this quote from her really speaks to how you have to live with chronic pain. You have to force yourself to live in spite of the constant misery. There is simply no other option.

“When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Teddy Roosevelt faced a lot of adversity in his life. He grew up a sickly child and saw his wife and daughter die on the same day when he was a young man. But he overcame all of that and was one of our most beloved president’s. This chronic pain quote is a good reminder that you need that kind of spirit of resilience. You can’t fight through pain, you can’t overcome it, you can only endure it.

“Something very beautiful happens to people when their world falls apart. A humility, a nobility, a higher intelligence emerges at just the point when our knees hit the floor.” – Marianne Wilson

Of course, there aren’t too many upsides to chronic pain. And in fact, there probably is no such thing as a silver lining to this cloud, but this chronic pain quote by Marianne Wilson is probably the closest. It’s a good reminder that your pain can make you a stronger person. And in many ways, you have more depth of character, more capacity to endure, and a better understanding of the world as it really is when you’ve lived with chronic pain.

It doesn’t make your pain “useful,” as people often say, but it’s at least something.

“You are so brave and quiet I forget you are suffering.”- Earnest Hemingway

This quote from A Farewell to Arms is a reminder that too often the only reward you get for enduring your pain with silent courage is that people forget you have pain. That doesn’t mean that you should try to complain more, it’s just one more thing that’s hard to deal with when it comes to chronic pain. And maybe if you know someone who is suffering, this chronic pain quote is a good reminder of how important it is to let them know that you know they hurt.

“In the depth of winter, I learned that within me lay an invincible summer.” – Albert Camus

This quote from writer Albert Camus is a poetic way to express the type of strength that comes from within, and makes our list of chronic pain quotes. When you live with chronic pain, you have to find the strength to live through it or you don’t tend to live through it. That’s where that invincible summer of positivity comes in. It’s not a feeling that the world will all be alright in the end, but it’s knowing that no matter what happens, you can endure it.

“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.” – Khalil Gibran

This quote by poet Khalil Gibran reminds us that suffering makes you strong in one sense. People who have never known the chronic pain don’t develop the deep reservoir of spirit that you will. And while that doesn’t make pain a good thing, and it certainly doesn’t make it “worth it,” it is a simple truth that you can take some comfort in. You are strong enough to endure the pain, so you are very strong indeed.

 

 

The preceding article is from FibromyalgiaTreating.com and posted here for sharing purposes only. No copyright infringement is intended.

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Fibromyalgia and Pain Killers?

I don’t know anyone with Fibromyalgia who’s found pain relief with Advil, Aspirin, or Tylenol. If any of them have worked for you, please share your dosage routine! 🙂

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Of primary concern for sufferers of fibromyalgia, of course, is the issue of pain killers and which are going to be most effective for your pain. There are different symptoms of the syndrome, but pain is the most pertinent condition. Effective pain relief can come from over-the-counter, prescription drugs or a combination. We present the 6 of the best fibromyalgia pain killers.

6 Fibromyalgia painkillers

Advil

Advil is a brand of ibuprofen, first developed in 1962.  It is a type of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug or NSAID. There are different brands of ibuprofen, but Advil is one of the best known. Similar to Tylenol, Advil is used for pain or fever relief. However, unlike Tylenol, Advil also soothes inflammation, making it one of the most effective fibromyalgia painkillers.

NSAIDs are among the most common pain relief medicines in the world. Over 30 million Americans use them every day to soothe headaches, sprains, arthritis symptoms, and other aches and pains. And, because of the anti-inflammatory abilities that NSAIDs have, they can also lower fever and reduce swelling.

NSAID drugs work by inhibiting cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1), the chemical responsible for production and release of prostaglandins, which are, in turn, responsible for pain and fever. They also inhibit cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), which is responsible for inflammatory response.

These drugs are very effective for relief of pain caused by inflammation. Unfortunately, while the causes of fibromyalgia are still a bit of a mystery, it is known that it is not caused by inflammation. While these drugs have been prescribed often for fibromyalgia pain, they haven’t actually been all that effective on their own. However, NSAIDs have seen success in combination with other pain relievers.

Aspirin

Plain old Aspirin is also a NSAID like Advil, and it’s also one of our favorite fibromyalgia painkillers. The chemical name of Aspirin is acetylsalicylic acid or ASA for short. The use of willow and other salicylate-rich plants has an ancient history, being used by the ancient Sumerians. More recently, ASA in its pure form was distilled in 1899 by a scientist working for Bayer. There are also other brands available such as Bufferin, Entrophen and house brands. Like Advil, because it has anti-inflammatory properties, it can provide fever and pain relief. However, unlike either Tylenol or Advil, Aspirin also works to thin the blood and is therefore often used to prevent stroke and heart disease.

As part of the NSAID class of drugs, Aspirin inhibits COX-1 and COX-2 to provide relief from pain, fever, and inflammation. While most NSAIDs also inhibit platelets in the blood, Aspirin does so irreversibly for eight to ten days, the full lifespan of the platelet. It is this which gives it the ability to act as a blood-thinner, but can also make you more prone to bleeding.

Aspirin is generally safe, but children under 18 years of age should avoid it. While the side effect that might cause Reye’s syndrome is rare and only occurs in very specific circumstances, it is also very serious. Since there are other types of painkillers available, it is easier for children to simply avoid the drug altogether. It should also be noted that while there are products called “baby aspirin” or “low-dose ASA.” In spite of the names, these should also be avoided for children. These products are actually blood-thinners for adults to take to prevent heart disease and stroke.

Tylenol

The generic name of Tylenol is acetaminophen and it’s also on our list of fibromyalgia painkillers. This drug was discovered and marketed in 1956. It is called acetaminophen in the US, Canada and Japan, and paracetamol elsewhere. Unlike Advil and Aspirin, Tylenol is not in the NSAID category. Because it works on the nervous system instead of inflammation, it is more effective than NSAIDs for fibromyalgia pain.

Tylenol is used for pain or fever relief, but it has no anti-inflammatory action. Therefore, it won’t affect any underlying inflammation that can cause pain. Conversely, it can have a greater effect on pain like fibromyalgia where the pain is brought on by conditions in the nervous system rather than inflammation.

Tylenol is a safe drug to take for pain during pregnancy or lactation. That is because though it can be detected in breast milk, no adverse effects on either mothers or infants have been reported. Therefore, it is considered to be the first choice painkiller in pregnancy and lactation.

Acetaminophen is generally considered a very safe drug because it has few interactions with other drugs. It has also been around for a long time, so healthcare professionals are very familiar with it.  However, this can lead to a significant risk of overdose with the drug. First, because of the way it is perceived, it can mean that people are not as cautious with it as they really need to be. Because fibromyalgia pain is ongoing, it seems likely that, in an attempt to relieve pain, a person might be tempted to take more of the drug than is recommended.

Also, acetaminophen overdose can be quite serious. The symptoms of overdose include nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain and jaundice. It also has several symptoms that may easily blend with symptoms that a patient is already suffering because of fibromyalgia and can, therefore, be easily missed.

Finally, it can be very easy to overdose on acetaminophen accidentally. This is because the drug is often included in other kinds of drugs. For example, you might be taking Tylenol for your fibromyalgia pain, and then catch a cold. Cold medication often also includes acetaminophen.

Acetaminophen is also sold in combination with opioid and other drugs.

Like ibuprofen and ASA, there are generics and other brands which have acetaminophen as the main active ingredient. They are virtually the same thing as Tylenol, and so it’s up to you which brand you want to use. If cost is an issue, you may want to buy the house brand acetaminophen, which is generally cheaper than the brand name Tylenol.

Amitriptyline

Unfortunately, there has been a long history of fibromyalgia being treated as a psychosomatic condition, so naturally, you might be suspicious if your doctor prescribes an antidepressant as one of the fibromyalgia painkillers. However, there has been a great deal of success in treating pain through tricyclic antidepressants like Amitriptyline.

It is believed that this is because the mechanism for fibromyalgia pain is chemically based on the neurotransmitters that carry pain signals to the brain. Many of these same neurotransmitters are involved in depression, which helps explain why antidepressants can help with fibromyalgia pain.

Unlike Tylenol, Aspirin, and Advil, Amitriptyline is not available over-the-counter. It is only available through a prescription. The drug can also help with sleep issues that come with fibromyalgia. So it can not only help with pain, but help you get more and better sleep.

It’s also not much of a surprise if the chronic pain of fibromyalgia might have made you depressed. Because there is generally a linkage between physical and emotional health, it will be helpful if it’s possible to elevate your mood. So in another way, an antidepressant can help with fibromyalgia suffering.

Lyrica

Lyrica is an oral medication that is classified as an anti-seizure or anti-convulsant drug. Lyrica is the trade name of the drug Pregabalin and it’s one of the more effective fibromyalgia painkillers. It was the first drug approved by the FDA for treatment of fibromyalgia. Like Amitriptyline, Lyrica is not an over-the-counter drug and must be prescribed.

Lyrica binds to a part of the nerves and it is thought that this reduces the ability for nerves to send pain messages to each other; it slows down impulses in the brain that cause seizures and affects chemicals in the brain that send pain signals across the nervous system.

Again, like Amitriptyline, the anticonvulsants work on the nervous system to relieve pain. The drug will reduce the number of pain signals that are sent to the brain. Fibromyalgia is believed to be caused, at least in part, by nerves being effectively “hyperactive” and so sending too many signals. What anticonvulsants do is calm the nerves and cause them to send fewer signals. This helps them prevent seizures in other conditions and also helps relieve pain in fibromyalgia.

Opioids

There is little doubt that opioids do the job, and they will almost definitely be one of the most effective fibromyalgia painkillers. However, they also carry a very significant risk of creating dependence. For this reason, while there is very little question that opioids are effective, it is generally seen as a measure to be taken only after other treatments have been tried.

However, because antidepressants and anticonvulsants can take several days to take effect, opioids are sometimes prescribed in conjunction with other drugs. Also, where other options aren’t effective at relieving pain, long-acting opioids are often prescribed to stay on top of the pain while other solutions are explored.

While there are drugs with a higher success rate than others, it is also important to note that what works for one person may not work for another. One single drug won’t work for everyone. Conversely, a drug that may work for you won’t necessarily work for other people. To a certain extent, it will require some investigating and some trial and error.

 

 

The preceding article is from FibromyalgiaTreating.com and posted here for sharing purposes only. No copyright infringement is intended.

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