Category Archives: Health


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Read the full article here: Restless Legs Syndrome, Fibromyalgia Linked in Study

People with fibromyalgia are 11 times more likely to have restless legs syndrome (RLS) than those in the general population, according to a new study.

Fibromyalgia is a condition that can cause significant pain and fatigue. Women account for 80 to 90 percent of patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Its cause is unknown.

The findings suggest that treating RLS — which is characterized by an unpleasant urge to move the legs, usually at night — may improve sleep and quality of life for people with fibromyalgia, the researchers said. RLS is often treated with drugs such as pramipexole or ropinirole.

I found the above article really interesting.  I’ve experiences restless legs for many years and did not know of the connection.  Obviously the findings were from a small group however there is scope for this to be explored further.

Until the next time
The Geordie Coach

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New FMS diagnosis

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Read the full article here:  A New Way of Diagnosing Fibromyalgia

A New Way of Diagnosing Fibromyalgia
Pain Index Plus Symptoms, Not Tender Points, Equals Fibromyalgia, New Study Says
By Denise Mann

May 26, 2010 — A new way of diagnosing fibromyalgia, by using a pain index and a measure of key symptoms and severity, may lead to more diagnoses and treatment, a new study says. The findings appear in the May issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

Until now, diagnosing the widespread pain disorder relied mainly on “tender point” exams or tenderness to the touch at 11 or more of 18 specified tender points and widespread pain in all four quadrants of the body for three months.

But this method was not fail-safe, says study author Robert Katz, MD, a rheumatologist and professor of medicine at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. “Doctors just weren’t comfortable with tender point exams, and these points fluctuate over time.

“The trick to fibromyalgia is diagnosing it,” he says. “A lot of people experience widespread pain, but when do you give it the label of fibromyalgia?”

Fibromyalgia is based on symptoms, so X-rays can’t make definitive a diagnosis as they can in other rheumatic diseases.
No More Tender Point Exams

The new criteria avoid tender points and tender point exams. Instead, a widespread pain index coupled with a symptom severity scale is used. The pain index is a 19-item checklist; a person marks the number of body parts where they have experienced pain during the last week. The symptom scale comprises unrefreshing sleep, fatigue, and cognitive issues — three hallmarks of fibromyalgia. Symptoms are rated on an ascending scale of severity from 0 to 3. The diagnosis revolves around the number of painful areas, number of symptoms, and their severity. The American College of Rheumatology gave its stamp of approval to these new criteria.

Using the new set of criteria, “we will be diagnosing more people because we are casting a wider net,” Katz says. Fibromyalgia affects an estimated 10 million people in the U.S. and an estimated 3% to 6% of the population worldwide, according to National Fibromyalgia Association. “The number may double or even triple,” he says.


You look fine to me

Living with fibromyalgia

WINNER OF THE PANDORA ADVOCACY CONTEST 2007 The story of a young girl named Holly Fraser, who has to endure a life with the incurable disease Fibromyalgia. more info can be found at http ©2005 elfling productions http://www.elfling.c…

Diagnosing Fibromyalgia | this time ~ this space

Fibromyalgia is a syndrome involving debilitating pain, sleep disturbance, jaw pain, irritable bowel, headaches, and difficulty with concentration, anxiety.

Publish Date: 06/07/2010 5:33

Interesting Aspects of Fibromyalgia Symptoms | Help for Depression

The process of diagnosing fibromyalgia is performed mostly on patients’ reports of fibromyalgia symptoms and careful neurological examinations. However, there are also other ways of diagnosing the disorder. …

Publish Date: 06/13/2010 9:31

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Fibromyalgia and Obesity

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Overweight Women May Fall Prey to Fibromyalgia | TopNews New Zealand

According to new research, women who are obese and overweight, especially those who do not exercise at all or exercise for less than an hour a week are more prone to develop the widespread pain disorder fibromyalgia.

The researchers concluded, “Being overweight or obese was associated with an increased risk of fibromyalgia, especially among women who also reported low levels of leisure time physical exercise”.

They further added that Community-based measures which focus at reducing the incident of fibromyalgia should highlight the importance of regular physical exercise and how a normal body weight can be maintained.

About 10 million people are estimated to be affected by fibromyalgia. According to the National Fibromyalgia Association, people suffering from it experience widespread pain and tender points along the body, extreme fatigue, sleep problems, depression, and problems with cognition.

About 380 new cases of fibromyalgia were diagnosed among 15,990 women during the 11 years between the two surveys, according to two studies, HUNT1 and HUNT2. The study showed that exercise tended to offset the fibromyalgia risks posed by obesity.

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Obesity, Inactivity Increase Risk of Fibromyalgia |Weight Loss Surgery Channel

Obesity, Inactivity Increase Risk of Fibromyalgia

Obesity in women has been linked to higher rates of fibromyalgia, a condition that causes pain and tenderness throughout the body.

Researchers from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology have found a link between obesity in women and fibromyalgia, an incurable disease that causes chronic pain. The study found an increased risk for fibromyalgia in women who lead a sedentary lifestyle and have a higher body mass index (BMI).

Fibromyalgia (FM) is diagnosed when a patient suffers from chronic pain that lasts for more than three months, tender joints, headaches, unexplained fatigue and mood disturbances. Although the exact cause of FM is unknown, the risk for developing FM increases with age and is more common in women than in men.

Researchers analyzed data from nearly 16,000 women spanning 11 years. They found that women who exercised four times per week had a 29 percent lower risk of fibromyalgia compared with inactive women. A high BMI was also associated with a lower pain tolerance among patients with FM when compared to sufferers of a normal weight. Study findings were published online last week in the journal Arthritis Care and Research.

The exact connection between FM and obesity is unknown, and researchers are continuing their studies to determine the cause. However, they note that regular physical activity can help lessen the chance of developing the condition and improve overall health.

In a press statement, lead researcher Dr. Paul Mork said, “These findings, together with the current study, indicate that regular physical exercise, and thereby improved physical fitness, may serve as a buffer against the perpetuation of musculoskeletal symptoms that eventually lead to the development of FM.”

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Fibromyalgia Everyday Activities | Fibromyalgia Pain Exercise | Arthritis Today Magazine

The location of the nine paired tender points ...
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Click this link to read the full article:  Fibromyalgia Everyday Activities | Fibromyalgia Pain Exercise | Arthritis Today Magazine.

Short Bursts of Everyday Activities Can Improve Fibromyalgia Symptoms

By Jennifer Davis

4/8/10 A new study suggests that small increases in everyday activities like gardening, housework or even taking stairs instead of an elevator, can improve pain and increase function in people with fibromyalgia.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore split 84 people with fibromyalgia who were inactive to two groups: one that was asked to attend fibromyalgia education classes, and another that was assigned to engage in 30 minutes of what they called ‘lifestyle physical activities’ on five to seven days of the week for 12 weeks.

They defined lifestyle physical activities as everyday activities like vacuuming, walking or scrubbing the shower.

Participants were told the proper intensity level for these activities would cause them to breathe a little heavier but would still allow them to carry on a conversation and that the 30 minutes could be spread throughout the day, rather than accomplished all at once.

Researchers relied on a questionnaire that allowed participants to report their results. At the end of 12 weeks, participants said they did not experience differences in terms of fatigue or depression. But those doing lifestyle activities did perceive that they had less pain and were functioning better than those who were only getting education and support.

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Vibration improves balance in fibromyalgia

I found the following article really interesting.  I was diagnosed in 2001 with FMS and have poor balance which causes me to tumble at times.  I look forward to seeing how the results come out in longer studies.

Vibration improves balance in fibromyalgia

Vibration improves balance in fibromyalgia

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Tilt platform vibration helps women with fibromyalgia develop better balance, Spanish researchers have found.

Nearly half of fibromyalgia patients have poor balance, the authors note. While whole body vibration has been shown to improve balance, bone mass, and motor capacity in older people, until now there have been no controlled studies of intensive vibration therapy using a tilt platform in people with fibromyalgia.

A research team led by Dr. Narcis Gusi, from the University of Extremadura in Caceres recruited 41 women with fibromyalgia, ages 41 to 65, and randomized 21 to vibration therapy. The 20 women in the control group received usual care with no physical therapy.

The intervention involved 3 sessions per week for 12 weeks, with a tilt platform providing low-frequency (12.5 Hertz) anteroposterior vibration. Each session included a 10-minute warm-up of slow walking followed by six repetitions of vibration for up to 60 seconds each.

In the intervention group, two subjects quit because of scheduling conflicts and one because of acute pain in the legs, while two in the control group dropped out due to lack of interest.

In intent-to-treat analysis, the dynamic balance index improved by 36% in the vibration group but remained unchanged in the control group. Women with the worst balance and heaviest weight at baseline had the greatest improvements (p < 0.001).

In their March 16th online report in Arthritis Care & Research, the researchers say the tilt vibration therapy has the potential “to help reduce bone mass loss and improve strength and speed, which are critical for reacting and preventing stumbles and falls.”

However, longer term studies are needed to see if the results translate into clinical benefits, such as a reduction in falls or changes in pain thresholds.

Arthritis Care Res 2010.

Further reading on Fibromyalgia

Living with Fibromyalgia: new edition by Christine Craggs-Hinton

The Fibromyalgia Handbook: A 7-Step Program to Halt and Even Reverse Fibromyalgia by Harris H. McIlwain and Debra Fulghum Bruce

Fibromyalgia for Dummies by Roland Staud MD and Christine Adamec

Fibromyalgia: Understanding and Getting Relief from Pain That Won’t Go Away by Don L. Goldenberg

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Being a Parent With Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Parenthood is enough of a challenge when you’re healthy, and with an illness like fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome, it’s especially difficult. I know it’s something I struggle with every day, and a recent comment left by a reader put our common struggle into words really well:

“I still feel like I’m letting my kids down because I’m not able to do/be/have enough energy to give them everything they need. But at least, I guess, they’re learning that when Mom says in answer to, ‘Can we go/do…….?’ ‘It depends on how I’m feeling’ really means just what it says. I try to say ‘yes’ some of the time for little things and make sure I’m able to follow through, but I feel like I’m saying ‘No’ constantly.

I’ve lost many so-called ‘friends’ because of my inability to make plans, but it’s with my children that I *really* feel guilty.”

Like her, I try to say “yes” and give my children fun times, but unfortunately they have to settle for “I’ll try” far too often.

I’ve said before that we have to learn to accept certain things, and this is another one of those things. It may well be the hardest one to accept, though, because we all want to give our children so much, and it’s hard to think about them missing out on meaningful experiences because mommy or daddy is sick.

While I can’t always choose fun activities for the kids over things like laundry and housework, I do put off the mundane now and then so that I have the energy. I also look for things that they can enjoy that are also low-key for me — a play area at a park or inside the mall, a children’s museum we have in town, places where I can sit and watch them. My kids are also lucky enough to have a dad who’s great about taking them to do stuff while I stay home, or who involves them in household projects and makes it fun.

I don’t know that any of us can ever truly get past feeling like we’re short-changing our children, but I think kids with chronically ill parents probably do learn some valuable skills. My kids have had to be especially self-sufficient and learn to entertain themselves. Having seen kids whose parents do every little thing for them, I’m proud that mine are able to do so much for themselves — and you know what? They’re proud of themselves, as well.

My kids have also learned early that illness is just part of life. They’re very compassionate, and they aren’t uncomfortable around sick or injured people. They’re at the doctor’s office with me enough that it’s not a strange or scary place for them. They’ve even seen acupuncture and cupping performed. I do think it’s possible, however, for kids who are around chronic illness to worry too much about their own minor illnesses and bumps and bruises — that’s something we’re working on with my son.

In some ways, I think it’s been easier on my kids that my fibromyalgia developed when they were little — my son was 4 and my daughter was 1.5. They don’t remember the year I spent laying on the couch in excruciating pain, and they don’t remember when I was healthy. This is just how mom is to them. In my forum, we’ve talked about the differences in how kids react based on age, and it seems like teenagers have the hardest time. That makes sense; they’re going through major changes already, and then all of a sudden a parent can no longer fill the accustomed role. That can create a lot of insecurity. No matter the children’s ages, though, family counseling might be something to consider, so that everyone can work toward acceptance of the situation.

I think we need to remember 2 things when raising children while living with a chronic illness:

1. We cannot judge our parenting skills based on other people’s expectations, and
2. We need to be honest with our children.

I know, number 1 is easier said than done, but it’s crucial. It doesn’t do us any good to beat ourselves up over what we can’t do. I’ve had to ignore my mother, who tells me I “just can’t be on the couch all day” when I’m home with my daughter. It’s easy for her to say that from 670 miles away, when she’s still has the energy at 64 to babysit my niece and nephew, but what can I do about it? Some days, it’s all I can do to provide basic meals for my family, and if I don’t rest in between I won’t even be able to do that. I have to focus on the basics, and anything beyond that is a bonus. Martha Beck, who’s now a life coach (you may have seen her on Oprah) and fibromyalgia advocate says she raised her children from a king-sized bed. Do what you can, and make sure they know they’re loved. That’s all any parent can do.

As for number 2, I think it’s important not to underestimate our children. Now 5 and almost 8, my kids can tell you a lot about anatomy because we’ve always explained as much to them as they could understand. They know I have limitations, they’ve seen what happens when I do too much, and they rarely seem upset when I say, “I can’t.” While just saying that makes me a little sad, I have to wonder if it’s not a good lesson, in a society where instant gratification is the norm.

How has your illness impacted your parenting? How has it effected your children? What has helped? Do other people give you guilt trips over what you can’t do? Leave your comments below!

Article source:  Being a Parent With Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Further Reading

Living with Fibromyalgia (Overcoming Common Problems) by Christine Craggs-Hinton

The Fibromyalgia Handbook: A 7-Step Program to Halt and Even Reverse Fibromyalgia by Harris H. McIlwain and Debra Fulghum Bruce

Fibromyalgia for Dummies by Roland Staud MD and Christine Adamec

Foods That Help Win the Battle Against Fibromyalgia: Ease Everyday Pain and Fight Fatigue by Deidre Rawlings

Fibromyalgia: Simple Relief Through Movement by Stacie L. Bigelow

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (The Facts) by Frankie Campling and Michael Sharpe

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for Dummies by Susan R. Lisman M.D. and Karla Dougherty

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What is the best way to make a difference in the quality of your life?

What’s the best way to make a difference in the quality of your life. The answer lies not with one-time actions, which offer temporary results, but with embracing the concept of long-term pattern. Any discipline (playing a sport, learning a new language, utilising a meditation) becomes a tool for growth when it’s performed daily. Starting out, hitting plateaus, sticking with it and pushing send on–these steps all lead toward personal transformation.

Nobody understands the benefits of praxis better than George Leonard, co-author of The Life We Are Given. Leonard, along with Esalen Institute co-founder Michael Murphy, developed Integral Transformative Practice, a pioneering program that streamlines exercise for people with busy schedules.

Each 40-minute ITP session integrates elements of hatha yoga, martial arts, stretching, progressive relaxation, visualization, meditation and affirmation. ITP, tested for three years by the Stanford Center for Research in Disease Prevention, provided measurable gains in reaction time, short- and long-term memory, reasoning ability and global cognitive processing.

This allowed participants to become more focused and better able to manifest their goals. Make a commitment to use this daily drill as your own stepping stone to a healthier, happier life. There’s one catch: Learning a new skill takes time, and there’s no such thing as “instant enlightenment.” We must put into practice session what we wish to be. ITP is based on the kata–a pre-determined sequence that is, in a sense, a moving meditation. So take a deep breath, slow down, and get ready to embark on a life-altering journey.

Spine Extension: Inspire, and extend your coat of arms in front of you. Raise your blazon overhead, bending the knees slightly and leaning backrest from the hips without straining your spinal column. Forward Bend: Expire, and hinge onward at the hips, releasing your blazonry and drumhead down, custody touching the flooring at the sides of your feet. (You can bend your legs slightly.) 4. Lunge: Breathe in and look advancing, elongating your vertebral column.

Bend your right field knee joint, aligning it across your rightfulness ankle joint, as you step binding with your left field foot, placing your left hand articulatio genus on the level. Keep your chest of drawers open and shoulders relaxed. Downward Facing Dog: Breathe out, and extend your right hand foot book binding to meet the left wing as you straighten both legs. Lift your hips to form an inverted V. Firm your thighs, and look cover at your knees. Keep your neck long and weaponry heterosexual, not locked.

Chatarunga (yoga push-up): , and lower berth your knees to the storey, with implements of war heterosexual person and wrists aligned under shoulders. Your trunk should form a straight person line from read/write head to hips. Move your bureau toward the story by bending your elbows, retention them close to your sides. Cobra: Continue to inhale. 2, cross your right wing mortise joint your.

Further Reading

Transformative Learning in Practice: Insights from Community, Workplace, and Higher Education by Jack Mezirow and Edward W. Taylor

Promise of Mediation: The Transformative Approach to Conflict – by Robert A. Baruch Bush and Joseph P. Folger

The Soul’s Palette: Drawing on Art’s Transformative Powers for Health and Well-being – by Cathy Malchiodi

The Life We are Given (Inner Workbook) by George Leonard and Michael Murphy

The Silent Pulse by George Leonard

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Ways To Deal With Social Anxiety

Social Anxiety Disorder is a Psychiatric disorder that attacks one out of every eight Americans. Those who have the disorder can become physically sick in social situations. This disorder can devastate more than your self esteem, it can destroy your marriage, finances and many other aspects of your life. The disorder is characterized by fear of social situations.

There is help for people suffering with this disorder. If you seek treatment, you will be able to obtain medications, counseling and support group information to help cope with this psychiatric disorder. After seeking treatment, there are things that you can do to help alleviate stressful social situations and ways to begin to reacquaint yourself with friends and family members.

1) Read everything you can on the disorder. Visit your local library and check out books on the subject. Then, check out books with topics on building self-esteem, positive thinking, public speaking, anything that you think will empower you to gain more confidence. You can not just “snap your fingers” and have this disorder just disappear You need to read everything you can on the subject and subjects that will help you re-build your own self-worth.

2) Start and maintain a daily, weekly, and monthly journal. In the daily journal write down where you are right now in your life. Write about any and all social situations. How did you feel in those social situations? How do you think other people reacted to you and how did you react to them? Did you feel sick today when you were in the social situation?

At the end of the week, summarise your set-backs and itemise your progress. At the end of the month, write two pages in your journal. The first page should summarize any difficult situations and how you overcame the situation, or how you dealt with it. The second page should summarize the social events and social situations where you felt comfortable and why you felt comfortable. How did you feel overall? While this may seem to be a waste of time, the journals will help you face and overcome your fears.

3) Set social goals for yourself and follow through on them. If you are extremely uneasy at the mall, then go to the mall and walk in. Then walk out, immediately. If your social anxiety seems to attack you when you are in the middle of a crowded building, walk to the center of the crowd, and immediately turn and walk away. Take small practical steps at the start and them move on to the more challenging issues you may have.

Finally, always talk to your Doctor openly and honestly. Take your medication and try to overcome your social anxiety so that you can experience the life that you deserve to live at the very fullest. Stressful social situations happen to everyone at some point in their lives and one out of every eight people know how you feel to be living with something much worse than ‘one social situation’, you are not alone at all and though there is little comfort in knowing that you aren’t alone , do know that you are understood.

Recommended reading

Overcoming Social Anxiety & Shyness by Gillian Butler

Overcoming Social Anxiety and Shyness Self-help Course: Pt. 1 by Gillian Butler

Shyness and Social Anxiety Workbook: Proven, Step-by-step Techniques for Overcoming Your Fear by Martin M. Antony and Richard P. Swinson

Tips on How to Deal with Social Anxiety Disorder

For many people, social anxiety disorder can be very hard and painful to deal with. If you have been diagnosed with social anxiety disorder, you may have found it hard initially to accept having the disorder and even much harder to get …

Need some good social anxiety exposure ideas for therapy?

View the information and weblinks for social anxiety/shyness, and self confidence, in sections 9, and 38, at Here is an exercise that can help you. It is called “Act as If.” When you are in a social …

“The Social Killer”

Social anxiety disorder, also known as social phobia, is a kind of mental disorder where the sufferer experiences a severe or unreasonable fear of social gatherings where there is a possibility that one may get embarrassed or ridiculed. …

Social Anxiety Disorder Treatment – 7 Steps To Recovery

Before we get to the main discussion, let’s see what a social anxiety disorder is. It is a social phobia. In more plain words, it refers to a mental state where people suffer the irrational fear of unsuccessfully facing some special …

What is Social Anxiety Disorder?: One of the More Prevalent but …

Social Anxiety Disorder has been recently described as the third largest psychological disorder in America, yet it is still relatively unheard of and often misdiagnosed.

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Understanding Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders can have a devastating effect on those who suffer from them. Left untreated, anxiety disorders often inhibit an individual’s ability to function normally in everyday life.

Anxiety disorder may also be a source of additional tension caused by the strain the condition places on personal and professional relationships. Physical manifestations in the form of illness and mental manifestations in the form of depression are often the consequences of the intense and irrational worry that characterizes anxiety disorders While new methods of treatment are being developed, the most current form of medical care involves a combination of therapy to recognize and change the mental thought processes that make anxiety disorders possible along with medication designed to minimize the chemical imbalances that may facilitate these thought processes.

There are several categories of anxiety disorders, such as posttraumatic stress disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder, but the most commonly diagnosed is general anxiety disorder.

Anxiety disorders can be difficult to diagnose as the symptoms associated with them are often shared by a variety of illnesses such as depression and chronic fatigue. In the past, physicians would frequently misdiagnose anxiety disorder by associating the symptoms with other illnesses while neglecting their underlying cause. This often resulted in treatments that were either ineffective or only served to inhibit the recurrences of specific symptoms. The end result of an improper diagnosis usually entailed an increase in other symptoms that were left untreated.

Today, there are several resources on anxiety disorders and the symptoms associated with them. An increase in medical information available through the Internet has allowed individuals to obtain facts on the diseases and disorders they could potentially be suffering from. The ability to convey the presence of symptoms to your physician can help him or her provide a more accurate diagnosis of anxiety disorders.

With proper treatment, anxiety disorder can be controlled.  Many who have suffered from this affliction now lead healthy, productive lives as a result of their commitment to maintaining a well planned regimen.

Recommended reading:

Free Yourself from Anxiety: A Self-help Guide to Overcoming Anxiety Disorders by Emma Fletcher and Martha Langley

Self Help for Your Nerves: Learn to Relax and Enjoy Life Again by Overcoming Stress and Fear by Claire Weekes

The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook (Anxiety & Phobia Workbook) by Edmund J. Bourne

How to Master Anxiety: All You Need to Know to Overcome Stress, Panic Attacks, Trauma, Phobias, Obsessions and More (Human Givens Approach) by Joe Griffin and Ivan Tyrrell

Taking emotions seriously

As much as 10-25 per cent of women are at risk of developing serious depression during their lifetime. This implies that a large number of European women will experience mental problems such as anxiety and depression, which are more …

Living Near Green Lowers Anxiety, Depression Rates, Study Finds …

Oct. 15 (Bloomberg) — People living near gardens, parks and other green spaces have lower rates of anxiety, depression and poor physical health than those living in urban areas, Dutch researchers found. …

Emotions should be taken seriously

But it is not unusual for new mothers to be hit by grief, anxiety and depression. Global figures suggest that between 13 and 16 percent of women giving birth for the first time are struck by depression. For the second birth, …

Common Symptoms and Diagnosis of Fibromyalgia: The Syndrome of …

These emotional symptoms may alternate between those of anxiety and depression or the patient may experience mostly one of these mood problems. A person with fibromyalgia may experience anxiety symptoms as an increase in chronic worry …

Keeping a Clean House; Easing Depression: Staying Organized Can …

Take the time needed each day to clean away depression. Staying on top of a messy house will help those suffering with depression to feel purposeful again and to ease anxiety over yet another one of life’s stresses. …

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What causes depression?

On the Threshold of Eternity
Image via Wikipedia

Usually in our adolescence, we are exposed to many sudden and inexplicable mood swings as a result of our body undergoing various hormonal changes that prepare us for adulthood.

Aside from increased social pressures, the onset of menstruation, for example, introduces adolescent girls to premenstrual tension (or premenstrual syndrome) and the menstrual cramps, the former being a mixture of physical and psychological symptoms, including temporary weight gain, fluid retention, depression, fits of temper and the like.

Of these, depression is perhaps one of the most commonly identified conditions that both males and females attest to, particularly at the onset of puberty.

Depression is a term we colloquially use to pertain to any particular period of prolonged sadness and lethargy. Colloquial use would even allow us to call depression any ‘low’ point in between periods of ‘high’ or happiness. A popular one-liner, which many of us are familiar with, even goes as far as saying that depression is in fact simply anger without enthusiasm.

However, the real essence of depression is the fact that you can’t simply ‘snap out of it’, and that it has the capacity to disrupt your daily activities. It is characterized by prolonged sadness, anxiety, unusual mood shifts accompanied by a degree of irrational thought, pessimism, and is responsible for changes in the way we eat, sleep, or interact with other people that in effect incapacitates us from participating in productive activities.

Depression is deemed a disorder that requires treatment and attention first because it may be a cause for withdrawal from society as it gives a semblance of suffering, pessimism, and low self-esteem. Secondly, depression may cause changes in physical behavior (like eating or sleeping) that may disrupt regular daily activities or may be mortally dangerous for whoever suffers from it. It may also, in effect, harm interactions with other people, particularly those within the atomic community (like family and friends).

Lastly, the accompanying decrease in rational thought causes some people to eventually result to thoughts of harming oneself or even suicide.

Should you find yourself potentially exhibiting that degree of depression, it is best that you seek immediate help from a professional. The reason is because the many forms of depression, each varying in degree of abnormality it lends, are currently treatable. It will also allow you to accurately determine whether you may simply be suffering from a common or minor depression, which is a mild but similarly prolonged form of depression, or a severe or major depression.

What is severe or major depression then? Severe or major depression, which medical experts also call clinical depression, unipolar depression, or major depressive disorder, is a sort of depression that necessitates medical treatment.

This is because severe depression is thought to be a result of a chemical imbalance in the brain. This particular brand of depression is recognized as possibly hereditary by many psychiatrists and specialists.

Doctors detect severe depression by particular behavioral patterns that emerge. The first is that of a constant feeling of sadness or anxiety. This may be accompanied by feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem. Another is when you feel lethargic, tired, or without energy despite the fact that you did not engage in any physical activity of any form alongside a feeling of restlessness. You may also feel a decreased capacity to concentrate and make decisions.

The more ‘telling’ signs that accompany the previous symptoms, which may be attributed to seasonal hormonal imbalances, strenuous physical activities, or physical sickness for non-depressive individuals, have a more or less social implication to them.

If you are suffering from severe depression, you may have a feeling of being uninterested in usual activities or hobbies and you may eventually withdraw from them. Changes in your appetite may also emerge, leading to drastic weight loss.

Another change is in sleeping habits, which may imply difficulty in sleeping, waking up too early, or sleeping too much. With these physically notable changes and the previous general symptoms is a prevalent feeling of inadequateness, hopelessness and guilt. Altogether, these may lead to thoughts of suicide or obsession over death and dying.

The fact that depression can happen to anyone including you, should be enough impetus to better understand depression. Understanding that people around you (and there are many of them) suffer from depression will both allow you to better interact with them, or, should you be suffering from it as well, allow you to benefit from support groups or other people who can better help you deal with the disorder and stop you from succumbing to it.

Recommended Reading:

Overcoming Depression: A guide to recovery with a complete self-help programme by Prof Paul Gilbert

Beat Depression and Reclaim Your Life by Alexandra Massey

The Mindful Way Through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness (includes Guided Meditation Practices CD) by Mark Williams, John Teasdale, Zindel Segal, and Jon Kabat-Zinn

Living with a Black Dog by Matthew Johnstone

Healthy Diet May Reduce Middle-Aged Depression | Psych Central News

UK researchers have discovered a well-rounded, healthy diet may protect against depression in middle-aged people. Scientists compared the incidence of.

Acupuncture & Massage Blog » Mediterranean Diet Reduces Depression …

After a midpoint of 4.4 years of follow-up, 480 new cases of depression were identified. Individuals who followed the Mediterranean diet most closely had a greater than 30 percent reduction in the risk of depression than whose who had …

Mediterranean diet cuts down risk of depression

LONDON – People who follow the Mediterranean style of diet rich in vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains and fish seem less likely to develop depression, says a new report.

Foods For Depression: Simple Food and Quick Easy Meals Can Help

The first step for anyone suffering from depression is to see a physician or mental health professional. They can recommend a course of treatment that may include drugs and therapy. They can also give guidance on diet, suggest appetite …

Simple Ideas For Coping With Depression – How To Cope With Depression

If you are struggling with feelings of depression, read on to find out simple ideas for coping with the same. Here, we have listed ways to cope with your depression. … Eat a balanced, healthy diet. Moods are controlled to a large extent by the foods you eat. Have a balanced diet consisting of carbohydrates, fruits, protein and vegetables. Never skip breakfast and avoid skipping meals. Minimize the intake of refined carbohydrates and sugars. …

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How Your Diet affects the Development of Depression

Having depression can be quite… well… depressing. Pardon the lack of an appropriate expression, but the main thing is that we all know that depression can be pretty devastating. It is a hindrance to our social advancement as well as to our personal happiness.

There are some cases that people find a relief for depression by eating food or diet supplements that boost up the level of tryptophan.  Tryptophan is a kind of amino acid that is responsible in producing serotonin.

There is also a study that proves that carbohydrates is an anti depression supplements. Simply by eating a high density of carbohydrates can diminish the effect of depression in the body. Carbohydrates repair the imbalance in the ratio of the specific fatty acid. Imbalances of fatty acids can affect the risk of depression.

There is also a study that shows an association between moderate consumption of caffeine drinks which lower the symptoms of depression; any excess can heighten the risk.   Proper diet also helps to lower the tendency of committing suicide, in which depression is one of the primary causes. In this study, the doctors have formulated that by drinking coffee or tea, you can reduce the effect of depression.

There are also certain habits that contain harmful substances that may trigger the symptoms of depression, like drinking alcoholic beverages, too much cigarette smoking, and drug overdose.

Vitamins and other food nutrients such as Vitamin B, Iodine, Vitamin C, Calcium, and Amino complex have been associated with some protection against depression.

Niacin is also a very important in the production of tryptophan that helps promotes Vitamin B3 and it has been found out that it regulates blood flow in order to avoid mental depression.  Vitamin B12 and calcium ingredients may help in depression that take place during the monthly menstrual period. In the year 2001, there was a study that proves that this vitamin can prevent postpartum depression.

In order to avoid depression you must choose your food wisely and have a proper diet.  If you feel that you are suffering from depression you should consider seeking medical advice from your GP or other healthcare professional.

Related articles & Blogs:

Healthy Diet May Reduce Middle-Aged Depression | Psych Central News

UK researchers have discovered a well-rounded, healthy diet may protect against depression in middle-aged people. Scientists compared the incidence of.

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The Link Between Diet and Depression – What to Eat for Mental Health.

Junk food diet ‘can give you depression’

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The first step for anyone suffering from depression is to see a physician or mental health professional. They can recommend a course of treatment that may include drugs and therapy. They can also give guidance on diet, suggest appetite …

Simple Ideas For Coping With Depression – How To Cope With Depression

If you are struggling with feelings of depression, read on to find out simple ideas for coping with the same. Here, we have listed ways to cope with your depression. … Eat a balanced, healthy diet. Moods are controlled to a large extent by the foods you eat. Have a balanced diet consisting of carbohydrates, fruits, protein and vegetables.

Diet, Vitamin B12 for Depression Prevention | Foods to Avoid …

Foods to prevent depression should be rich in Vitamin B 12, folic acid, and omega-3 fatty acids. Aromatherapy and meditation are also effective in treating depression.

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Clinical Trial for CFS and FM Now Recruiting

Mayo Clinic Trial of Amygdala Retraining for CFS and FM Now Recruiting

On Jan 11, the Mayo Clinic Rochester (Minnesota) listed “A Pilot Study of Amygdala Retraining Program in Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia” with

This six-month trial of Ashok Gupta’s Amygdala Retraining Program™ ( will include a pilot cohort of 30 patients.

The trial description states:

“The purpose of this pilot study is to gather preliminary data on the efficacy and feasibility of the Amygdala Retraining Program (ARP), a mind-body practice versus a control (C) on fatigue, quality of life and sleep in patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Chronic Fatigue (CF) and Fibromyalgia (FM).

“CFS, CF and FM are incapacitating disorders characterized by profound fatigue, muscle pain, impaired memory, insomnia, and post-exertional malaise (Fukuda 1994).

“Current literature points to a centrally sensitized state in CFS, CF and FM (Meeus 2007). The Amygdala Retraining Program attempts to retrain this neuronal network through mind-body practices such as cognitive restructuring via neurolinguistic programming, yoga based breathing and simple mindfulness based meditation.

“A case series of 33 patients with CFS and Amygdala Retraining Program reported improvement in 92% of patients with two-thirds of patients reaching 80% to 100% of pre-illness levels of health (Gupta 2009). However, Amygdala Retraining Program has never been formally studied in CFS.

“We propose to gather preliminary data on the efficacy and feasibility of Amygdala Retraining Program versus control on fatigue, quality of life and sleep in 30 patients with CFS, CF and FM. All participants will undergo standard clinical treatment which consist of a 2 day self-management program in the Chronic Fatigue Clinic. Following this, participants will be randomized into the Amygdala Retraining Program or control group. The Amygdala Retraining Program group will receive an additional 2.5 hour training surrounding core concepts of the ARP program. They will then be given the Amygdala Retraining Program DVD program and booklet, to reinforce and continue the practice. They will then receive scheduled bi-monthly phone calls for 3 months from a study investigator for support.

“The control group will receive only standard care. However they will receive a complementary copy of the Amygdala Retraining Program program at the end of the study (6 month time point) as a gift for participation in the study.

“Preliminary data on efficacy will be assessed at baseline, 1, 3 and 6 months using the following validated questionnaires: Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory (MDFI), Short form-36 (SF36) Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ), Epworth Sleep Scale (ESS) and Measure Your Medical Outcome Profile (MYMOP-2).

“Feasibility will be assessed by evaluation of a daily practice log where patients record the total time spent daily in the practice of Amygdala Retraining Program and any specific difficulties they encountered in the practice of the program.”

To read more about the trial and for contact information, go to the listing (

Article Source:
Mayo Clinic Trial of Amygdala Retraining for CFS and FM Now Recruiting


If you reside in the North East of England and have been diagnosed with any of the conditions mentioned in the above article namely CFS, CF and FM and are interested in some half price life coaching sessions please contact me asap.  Offer ends 10am 1 March 2010.

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Fibromyalgia Explained: A Conversation with Dr. Philip Mease


A Conversation with Dr. Philip Mease

(NAPSI)-An estimated six to 12 million Americans suffer from fibromyalgia, a chronic and debilitating condition marked by widespread pain and decreased physical functioning. What’s worse, many people who are living with fibromyalgia aren’t getting the help they need.

Dr. Philip Mease, Director of Rheumatology Research at the Swedish Medical Center and Clinical Professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, Washington, addresses some common questions about fibromyalgia, including the tell-tale signs and where you can turn if you have recently been diagnosed or think you may have fibromyalgia.

How do I know if I have fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia patients usually experience an array of symptoms, such as chronic widespread pain, tenderness, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, and trouble keeping physically active. For those who suffer from fibromyalgia, these symptoms can come and go and move about the body.

Because there are no specific tests to make a diagnosis of fibromyalgia, and the symptoms overlap with many other conditions, your doctor may have difficulty recognizing it. It is believed that the problem is in the way that your central nervous system processes pain and other sensations, so it is not amenable to standard testing. The diagnosis is made based on your symptoms and a physical exam. If you think you might be experiencing the symptoms mentioned above, it’s important to describe what you’re feeling to your doctor in detail so he or she can diagnose your condition and help you get better.

I’m having a hard time discussing my symptoms with my doctor. What should I do?

If you suspect that you have fibromyalgia but you’re having a hard time explaining what you’re going through, be as descriptive as possible when talking to your doctor. Expressing your needs clearly and asking the right questions can help you get the best care possible. Try to be prepared by keeping notes of what you are experiencing and by writing down any questions you may have before your visit to the doctor’s office.

Bring a pen and paper to your appointment in case you think of more questions during your visit. Remember to bring up even the issues that seem trivial to you because every detail might be a step closer to an accurate diagnosis. Make sure you understand what your healthcare provider says and try to answer questions clearly, briefly, and completely.

Finally, as difficult as this process can be, try to be patient with yourself. A diagnosis and finding the right treatment program can take time and your doctor will want to rule out other potential conditions.

It’s difficult to explain what I’m going through to my family, friends, and coworkers. How can I help them understand my struggle and where can I find support?

Fibromyalgia can be difficult for people to understand, so your friends and loved ones may be as confused as you once were. In a kind way, tell your loved ones what help you need and why, and make it clear what you can and can’t do. Talk about your pain, how it feels, and what makes it worse. With a little help, you and your loved ones can better understand, connect with, and care for each other.

Resources are available on the Internet that might help provide you and those around you with support and information about the condition. Try, a site that includes helpful tips from other fibromyalgia patients and facts about the condition. Giving the people who care about you a website link or pamphlet can go a long way in helping them understand what you’re going through.

How do I reclaim my life once I’ve been diagnosed with fibromyalgia?

Learning that you have a chronic condition like fibromyalgia can be scary. For some, the news can actually bring relief, marking an end to weeks, months, and even years of uncertainty.

Surround yourself with people who understand what you’re going through, especially other fibromyalgia patients. Talking together about fibromyalgia will make a difference–for you and those you love. Supportive friends and family can make the process less intimidating. Look into local support groups and websites like

Finally, your doctor might tell you about recently approved medications for the management of fibromyalgia. Be sure to talk to your doctor and find out if medication might be an appropriate part of managing your condition.

If you suspect that you have fibromyalgia but you’re having a hard time explaining what you’re going through, be as descriptive as possible when talking to your doctor.


What Is A Holistic Practitioner? | Aimargini

Holistic Metapher of the Sun
Image by flickrolf via Flickr

We often hear the term Holistic Practitioner but what exactly is a Holistic Practitioner?

What Is A Holistic Practitioner? | Aimargini

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