FMS Community Newsletter #110
~ My Journey With Lyrica - Update!
~ Migraine Sufferers Face Higher Risk of Serious Disease
~ Coping with the Cognitive Dysfunction of Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue
~ What is WAON therapy?
~ Efficacy of Waon therapy* for fibromyalgia.
My Journey With Lyrica - Update!
Many of you remember our series of articles detailing my journey with the newly approved
drug for Fibromyalgia, Lyrica. If you were not a subscriber to the newsletter during this
time you can read the entire series at http://fmscommunity.org/lyrica.htm
I have been taking the drug Lyrica(c) for nine months. I am still experiencing lower pain
levels and less fatigue.
I went off of the drug for ten days, not feeling it was doing all that much for me. Well,
let me tell you, by day eight I was begging my doctor to call in refills. My old friends
ache, burning muscles, cement muscles and foot pain all came to visit at the same time.
I immediately went back on the Lyrica as soon as I picked up my refill and have been using
it faithfully ever since.
I am happy to report that the extra belching I was experiencing at first has subsided, now
if I have a problem it is because I ate to much at the picnic.
I have not had the dose changed and am still taking 75mg, twice a day.
Now for the downside, come on, you were waiting for the other shoe to drop weren't you?
I just turned 50, I have maintained the same eating habits for many years and have never
varied more than a pound or two in either direction. Over the past 9 months I have gained
I am not eating more than usual, I am actually more active now that I feel better. I have
resumed some gardening chores, evening walks and social obligations.
In the interest of fairness I have to state that I have not had any medical tests done to
see if there is any cause other than Lyrica that could be responsible for the weight gain.
For now, I am blaming the drug. The weight gain seems to have leveled off so for me it is
a good trade off, I will take the ten pounds in exhange for the lack of pain. This may not
be for everybody. I just wanted to pop in an let you know how the trial was going.
Migraine Sufferers Face Higher Risk of Serious Disease
August 17, 2008 03:13 PM EDT
views: 14 | rating: 10/10 (6 votes) | comments: 8
Rallie McAllister, M.D., M.P.H.
Migraines are more than just occasional, minor headaches. Not only do they produce
significant pain and suffering in susceptible individuals, theyre also linked to a
higher risk of stroke.
Studies show that among all migraine sufferers, including men and women, the risk of
experiencing a stroke is more than double that of people without the condition. Recent
research suggests that the risk of stroke among female migraineurs is especially high.
The latest findings from the Womens Health Study demonstrated that compared to women
without the condition, those who had migraines at least once a week were three times more
likely to have a stroke. The study followed nearly 28,000 women age 45 and older for more
than 12 years.
Although the exact cause of migraine headaches remains a topic of intense scientific
debate, most experts agree that the condition is related to a disordered function of
nerves, blood vessels and neurotransmitters in the brain. Regardless of the cause,
migraines are considered to be a lifelong condition of recurring headaches that can strike
as often as several times a week or as infrequently as once a year.
Migraine headaches can affect anyone, but theyre roughly three times more common in
women than in men. More than two-thirds of cases occur in women between the ages of 15 and
Approximately 30 percent of migraineurs experience a phenomenon called an aura
before or during the headache. The most common form of aura is a visual illusion of bright
flashes of light that appear as stars or sparks, or as complex geometric patterns that
shimmer across the visual field.
The associated headaches are often so intense that they send their victims scurrying to
the nearest dark, quiet place. In addition to pain, migraine sufferers typically
experience overwhelming nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and noise.
In most cases, the onset of symptoms is associated with specific substances or situations
called triggers. Common triggers for migraines include stress, fatigue and hunger.
Cheese, chocolate, alcohol and the food additive monosodium glutamate (MSG) may also be to
blame. Among women, hormonal fluctuation -- especially around the time of menstruation --
is an important trigger.
The results of a study conducted by researchers at Thomas Jefferson Universitys
Headache Center in Philadelphia suggest that women are twice as likely to experience
migraines with aura during the first two days of their menstrual cycles compared to the
remainder of the month. The researchers also noted that women have a significantly lower
risk of having migraines during the time of ovulation, which typically occurs around the
14th day of the menstrual cycle.
Although migraines are relatively common, drugs designed specifically for the treatment of
the condition are few in number. Many medications prescribed for the treatment of
migraines, including painkillers and anti-nausea medications, are extremely sedating. For
some individuals, the treatment of migraines can be just as incapacitating as the
Fortunately, the frequency and severity of migraine headaches can be reduced by
implementing a few preventive strategies. Avoiding known migraine triggers is an excellent
place to start, and taking a few key nutritional supplements may help even more.
A number of studies suggest that because migraineurs have low magnesium levels, taking
supplemental magnesium can be an important part of an effective migraine-prevention
program. Magnesium is known to help regulate serotonin, a neurotransmitter involved in the
onset of migraine symptoms.
Many foods are rich in magnesium, including dark green vegetables, whole grains, beans,
bananas and seafood. For individuals with a magnesium deficiency, however, eating a
well-balanced diet isnt sufficient.
Taking a nutritional supplement containing the mineral may be most beneficial. In
recommended doses of 400 to 600 milligrams daily, magnesium supplements are generally safe
and well tolerated by healthy individuals, with the most common side effect being
In addition to magnesium, vitamin B2 and an herb known as feverfew have long been used in
the prevention and treatment of migraine headaches. The recommended dose of vitamin B2, or
riboflavin, is typically 400 mg a day.
In clinical trials, migraine sufferers who took feverfew extract on a regular basis
enjoyed a significant reduction in the frequency of migraine attacks. When they did
experience headaches, they reported less severe pain, nausea and vomiting.
Nutritional supplements wont necessarily cure migraines, but for migraineurs in
search of relief, they could make the condition far more bearable.
Rallie McAllister is a board-certified family physician, speaker and the author of several
books, including Healthy Lunchbox: The Working Moms Guide to Keeping You and
Your Kids Trim. Her website is www.rallieonhealth.com. To find out more about Rallie
McAllister and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit
the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
Copyright 2008 Creators Syndicate Inc.
Coping with the Cognitive Dysfunction of Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue
Source: DFW CFIDS datum: Thursday, 14 August 2008
Written by The Arthritis Foundation
Many people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia experience episodes of unclear
thinking or cognitive dysfunction. They become forgetful, lose their train of thought,
forget words or mix them up.
This is what is popularly called 'brain fog' or 'fibro fog.'
Following are some basic memory and communication tips that can help you deal with
episodes of minor cognitive dysfunction.
Here are some common-sense pointers that can help you clear the fog:
1. Repeat yourself. Repeat things to yourself over and over again. Repetition will keep
thoughts fresh in your mind.
2. Write it down. Whether you write in a calendar, in a notebook or on sticky notes, if
you're afraid you won't remember something, putting pen to paper can help.
3. Pick your best time. If there is something you need to do that requires concentration
and memory, such as balancing your checkbook or following a recipe, pick your best time to
do it. Many people with fibromyalgia say they perform best early in the day.
4. Get treated. Depression, pain and sleep deprivation can influence your ability to
concentrate and remember. Getting your medical problems treated may indirectly help your
5. Engage yourself. Reading a book, seeing a play, or working a complex crossword or
jigsaw puzzle can stimulate your brain and your memory.
6. Stay active. Physical activity, in moderation, can increase your energy and help lift
your brain fog. Speak to your doctor or physical therapist about an exercise program that
is right for you.
7. Explain yourself. Explain your memory difficulties to family members and close friends.
Memory problems often result from stress. Getting a little understanding from the ones you
love may help.
8. Keep it quiet. A radio blasting from the next room, a TV competing for your attention,
or background conversation can distract your attention from the task at hand. If possible,
move to a quiet place
and minimize distractions when you are trying to remember.
9. Go slowly. Sometimes memory problems can result from trying to do too much in too short
a period of time. Break up tasks, and don't take on more than you can handle at once.
Stress and fatigue will only make the situation worse.
Source: This excerpt is reproduced with kind permission of The Arthritis Association (http://www.arthritis.org),
publisher of The Good Living with Fibromyalgia Workbook, © 2003 The Arthritis Foundation.
What is WAON therapy?
The treatment modality thermal therapy that I have worked on since 1989 is a
warming therapy for soothing the mind and body equally, with 60°C dry far-infrared sauna
bathing. Therefore, if thermal therapy is referred to as Waon therapy,
it is easy to understand the true meaning as distinguished from, for example, local
high-heat therapy for cancer. Soothing warmth: Waon is a word I have
coined, and Waon can be understood in Japanese as soothing warmth,
meaning warmth that comfortably refreshes the mind and body. In other words,
Waon is the essence of the thermal therapy that I have been
improving and refining for eighteen years. Therefore, to obtain a correct understanding of
my thermal therapy modality, I would like to refer to it as Waon
therapy: soothing warmth therapy and I would like to familiarize readers further
with the idea.
Read Entire Article.
Efficacy of Waon therapy* for fibromyalgia.
Matsushita K, Masuda A, Tei C.
The First Department of Internal Medicine, Kagoshima University Hospital.
OBJECTIVE: Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a chronic syndrome
characterized by widespread pain with tenderness in specific areas.
We examined the applicability of Waon therapy (soothing warmth
therapy) as a new method of pain treatment in patients with FMS.
METHODS: Thirteen female FMS patients (mean age, 45.2+/-15.5 years
old; range, 25-75) who fulfilled the criteria of the American College
of Rheumatology participated in this study. Patients received Waon
therapy once per day for 2 or 5 days/week. The patients were placed
in the supine or sitting position in a far infrared-ray dry sauna
maintained at an even temperature of 60 degrees C for 15 minutes, and
then transferred to a room maintained at 26-27 degrees C where they
were covered with a blanket from the neck down to keep them warm for
30 minutes. Reductions in subjective pain and symptoms were
determined using the pain visual analog scale (VAS) and fibromyalgia
impact questionnaire (FIQ).
RESULTS: All patients experienced a significant reduction in pain by
about half after the first session of Waon therapy (11-70%), and the
effect of Waon therapy became stable (20-78%) after 10 treatments.
Pain VAS and FIQ symptom scores were significantly (p<0.01) decreased
after Waon therapy and remained low throughout the observation
period. CONCLUSION: Waon therapy is effective for the treatment of
PMID: 18703857 [PubMed - in process]
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