Brain Fatigue - a factor with FMS

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by jaltair, Sep 19, 2005.

  1. jaltair

    jaltair New Member

    I've often told my husband that I felt as though I had "brain burn-out" to describe my fatigue and emotional state. Now, look what I pulled up on the Internet from a very credible website!

    "Brain Fatigue

    Emphasis on the brain in total functioning has been documented in a recent study on chronic fatigue syndrome. Dr. J. Goldstein of Southern California identified damage to the brain in puberty. Dr. Goldstein identified up to 4,000 patients with damage to the limbic system, which is an area that governs energy, motions, memory, and sleep.

    The limbic system is in the temporal region of the brain, deep within the temporal lobes. He was able to pick out scans that show abnormalities to the temporal lobe. We have been showing this for years in the brain electrical activity map and are thankful to our patients who continue to alert us that the brain controls the body's energy level."

    ". . (same website) Sometimes the FMS symptoms are due to brain burnout, and this will show up on a brain electrical map in an alpha-EEG anomaly. If a sleep EEG is done, there can also be abnormalities in sleep stages."

    * * * *

    The idea continues with the following about FMS (above excerpt taken from following):

    * * * *

    "Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS)

    Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS) is a musculoskeletal pain and fatigue disorder. Patients with FMS ache all over and sometimes have twitching and burning muscles. It is usually a mixed picture of both a medical disorder and anxiety symptoms. The aching all over can often be due to a postinfectious state similar to the way people feel after flu or chronic fatigue syndrome. FMS can be marked by elevations in sedimentation rates, C-reactive protein, T-helper/T-suppressor ratio, or even a positive ANA. Some of the twitching and burning symptoms are actually due to stress, worry, anxiety, and depression associated with the condition.

    To meet the strict criteria for FMS, one must have widespread pain in all four quadrants of the body for a minimum duration of three months, and at least 11 of 18 specified tender points. These 18 sites are used for diagnostic cluster, and are on the shoulder, neck, hip, chest, elbow, and knee region.

    The pain of FMS can be throughout the body, with deep muscular aching, burning, throbbing.

    Sometimes the FMS symptoms are due to brain burnout, and this will show up on a brain electrical map in an alpha-EEG anomaly. If a sleep EEG is done, there can also be abnormalities in sleep stages.

    Symptoms associated with FMS can be anxiety and brain arrhythmia symptoms, such as irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain, gas, nausea, chronic headaches, recurrent migraines, tension headaches, temporomandibular joint dysfunctions (TMJ), premenstrual syndrome, numbness, tingling sensation, muscle twitching, irritable bladder, feeling of swollen extremities, skin sensitivities, dry eyes and mouth, dizziness, etc.

    Change in weather and cold or drafty environments can worsen symptoms.

    The cause of FMS remains elusive, but can be due to infection, automobile accident, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, hypothyroidism, psychological stress, brain chemical imbalances, particularly in serotonin levels; which is why Prozac, Zoloft, Anafranil, and tryptophan are thought to be beneficial. The symptoms of FMS may wax and wane due to stress."

    * * *

    This gives me cause to wonder why I'm taking Provigil, since Provigil is a stimulant.

    I've been on Provigil, taking 100 mg for a week, and then am on 200 mg per week after the 100 mg wasn't really working. It's also very expensive . .

    The same website talks about

    ". . brain rhythm approach to brain disorders is also successful using non-drug approaches. For example, Cranial Electrical Stimulation (CES), achieved with a small electrical device, can do what Dilantin does. Additional non-drug approaches are brain exercises, such as biofeedback, which often help regulate brain rhythm, and nutrients that have mild brain-regulating properties, such as GABA, inositol, melatonin, magnesium, B-6, and B-complex. In some cases, the miracle of Dilantin, in our understanding of it, can be duplicated with CES, biofeedback, and nutrients."

    I'm going to look into the idea of brain fatigue and neurotransmission further, as I'm sure that there is some truth in this "brain fatigue" idea. Fatigue can come from things like stress, we know that stress affects hormones, and hormones affect the brain. We know that being a state of constant "fight or flight" will mess up brain chemicals. If this can be corrected by good nutritional support and supplement therapy, I'm all for it.

    To be honest, I'm tired of treating symptoms. There has to be a better way.

    Warm wishes, Jeannette
  2. lovethesun

    lovethesun New Member

    A lot of us are Baby boomers so maybe there will be increased research in the future!
  3. orachel

    orachel New Member

    Out of curiosity, was that AFSA Schtuff? Looks familiar to me..think I've read it before, but really neat how you combined info from different studies and articles....Seems to make it all clearer, somehow.

    Isn't that amazing?! I love that site, second only to this one! lol.....such incredible strides being made DAILY. I have no doubt that those of us who thru trial and error or bad doctorin' or simply terribly severe symptoms just aren't able to get massive improvement thru any options will be in GREAT SHAPE within the next 10 years. Really seems to me that TRUE DEFINITIVE CAUSATION of this yuckiness is already pretty dang well documented, studied at this point. We seem to know with large degree of certaintly that there is a disruption in essential functions caused by sleep disturbances involved in most/many body functions. Also, seems to be incredible evidence that there is some sort of issue with levels of neurochemicals in the brain that causes major issues/complications...though whether that's a cause or an effect of fm is still widely seems pretty darn clear that there are dormant/latent viral infections that decide to suddenly POUNCE all over our immune system when they've been (qietly and simply) hiding for many moons. Plus possible (likely) hereditary inherited traits that predispose some of us to end up with this (just like others are predisposed to end up with breast cancer or heart disease), Plus to all that add a series/variety of major food intolerances/allergies (yeast is a good example...)that vary WIDELY from person to person add yet another huge heavy burden to already stressed to the max bodies, and VOILA! We get what is simply a near total collapse of our certain ESSENTIAL for WELLNESS functions in our immune and central nervous systems. And I also think environmental toxins in food play a huge part here, but that is just my opinion...never read anything on this. Think that's why organic stuff seems to work soooo much better for us then traditional <<<or as I'm coming to see it....TOXIC!>>> "farmed" fruits, veggies, and even meats.

    Bottom line here is that I personally have had a near epiphany in a few areas. I really do have to thank certain members here for their input/posts...because much of my thinking is based on research/soul searching that they led me to...(stormyskye and ralph hop immediately to mind...but theres a ton of others of you who I hope know how helpful you've been to me!!!)

    I'm coming to see that there's simply no way that we can expect/assume that we can keep pumping poisons into our body on a constant basis, and expect our bodies to know how to react/what to do with/how to tolerate these substances that were never supposed to be IN OUR BODIES in the first place due simply to our physiology and design! I for one was a partial victim of the "but we DON"T KNOW they are poisons" phenomenon. Lack of knowledge or even awareness of these issues and overall lack of mind/body connection and "wellness" education of the western public is a huge issue here in my opinion....some of it seems to me to be almost deliberatly kept from people who don't have the benefit or foresight to be actively in the "wellness" (note that I didn't say Healthcare or pharmaceutical! LOL) industry). And finally, I really had to take a long and extremely painful look at the role I myself played in making my body so terribly toxic and unhappy. I didn't know about some of the issues, but I sure knew abt others, and just kept on shoveling the icky stuff into my body! lol Cigarettes/processed white flour in ENORMOUS amounts/insane amount of sugar/grease/etc...I take full responsibility in that arena, because as Ralph illustrated in his post a few days ago about docs/wellness practitioners frustration with our DEMAND for a quick fix to what ails us, then we go right on back to the stuff that we know is gonna make us sick (or at least, we know has the potential, in a big way, to make us sick). His post made me think about the fact that until I really took some major accountability for how dang crummy I had been treating my body, how could I possibly, in a million billion years, get well? I realized it would be impossible, at least in my case, to achieve any degree of true wellness again without some BIGTIME HARD CHANGES in my lifestyle. So, now I'm all amped up and ready to tackle this disease full throttle...but until I get my symptoms to "calm down" enough that I have even small amounts of energy and pain relief, I'm just gonna have to take teensy tiny baby steps in some areas of my recovery (like exercise and getting anywhere near my former level of capabilities) and big ole strides in other areas (whole foods focusing on those which are loaded in vitamins and schtuff my body is desperately crying out for...serious basic supplementation to what has been a wretched diet for years...true "cleansing" of my existing body systems...).

    So, whew. I didnt' realize when I started responding to you that I was gonna actually be moved to write down my entire personal theory (keep in mind here that all of this is based on less than 3 mos of intensive research...and with a foggy mind, at that! So I'm sure I'm misguided or have managed to reach the wrong conclusions on some areas) about why the heck I am in the lowest of the possible low physical states I've ever imagined at 30 years of age. But, in some kinda bizarre and almost peverse way, I also acknowledge that this HORRIFIC WRETCHED PAINFUL disease that has virtually robbed me of all of my former abilities and passions (still have a tad of my brain power,when it cooperates, that is! LOL)and abilities to really interact physically and at length with my wonderful spouse and amazing kids, and convictions about defining success and happiness for myself in this might actually be possible that there is some good in the fact that this awful mess landed right smack dab on top of me! I have no doubt that with the proper support from the right type of doctors/herbalists/physical therapists, etc and a WHOLE lotta strength and determination on my part, I might actually emerge from this at the other end a happier, more spiritually and mentally satisfied, and God willing...maybe even healthier person than I was back when I was "well". And I almost can't even bring myself to call my former state before this FM "well", now that I'm aware what a train wreck waiting to happen my health status really was!

    So, jaltair...or anyone else who mighta slugged thru this whole pieced together theory of mine...Thanks for the info...and for some more peace of mind and affirmation for you...I just got the snazzy FREE FM & CFS - An information Guide that Prohealth (aren't they great?! Literally, possibly lifesavers, in my case) sends out if you request it. If you don't have it yet, request it...theres' a link here somewhere...but heres a teensy tidbit (verbatim from one of the "blurbs" of case study)...

    " Since December 1988, I have been disabled by a virl illness that targeted my brain. A nationwide research study, in which I was included as a subject, found that the brains of people with this illness (CFIDS) were riddled with 'anatomical holes' that show up as 'bright lesions on magnetic resonance imaging scans of the subcortical region'. As reported to the American Society for Microbiology and in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers 'do not know whether the holes will heal'. Mine have not yet. A spray of holes prickles my brain and nearly everything about me has changed."
    -Floyd Skloot, from chapter 16 of Stricken: Voices from the Hidden Epidemic of Chronic Fatigue Syndrom

    And of course, I got info from prohealths snazzy free brochure. When I read about Mr. Skloot, my jaw almost hit the dang floor. And still, STILL, there persists the misconception that we're all full of bologna! Sheesh!

    I sure hope something in this whole shebang helps somebody, as I just bout knocked my phalanges off typing it! lol...But thanks for the amazing info posted originally....And for all the support that I've gotten from all of you that have given me the courage and support to even begin to stop feeling so dang sorry for myself, and start doing something about fixing it!

  4. quigmoore

    quigmoore New Member

    Hi Jeanette,

    I would be curious to read this web site. Could you please post it? Thanks
  5. jaltair

    jaltair New Member

    Go to pathmed dot com. You will find the website where I pulled the info from. I only wished I lived on the east coast so that I could investigate possibly going to PATH Medical.

    Rachel, I loved your picture! You are both such beautiful people. Also, you should write; loved your response and found many thoughts that I have also come to realize within your post!

    Here is more info that will help to introduce you to the website.

    "Eric Braverman is the Director of The Place for Achieving Total Health (PATH Medical), with locations in New York, NY, Penndel, PA (metro-Philadelphia), and a national network of affiliated medical professionals. Dr. Braverman received his B.A. Summa Cum Laude from Brandeis University and his M.D. with honors from New York University Medical School, after which he performed post-graduate work in Internal Medicine with a Yale Medical School affiliate in Greenwich, CT. Dr. Braverman is a recipient of the American Medical Association's Physician's Recognition Award.

    Dr. Braverman is one of the foremost experts in Integrative Medicine-the combination of Conventional, Alternative and Holistic therapies recognized as the paradigm for the 21st Century. He views every patient as a whole, with recognition of the brain's global impact on illness and health.

    The PATH Foundation (originally called Programs for Achieving Total Health) is a nonprofit 501C3 registered research foundation. (The staff are made up of MD's DO's PT's DC's. They presently are involved in research on addiction and the effects on brain chemistry.

    Patient Hours: Sunday through Thursday - 10:00am to 6:00pm

    185 Madison Avenue, 6th floor
    New York, NY 10016
    (212) 213-6155
    fax: (212) 213-6188

    142 Bellevue Avenue
    Penndel, PA 19047
    (215) 702-1344
    fax: (215) 757-1707

    777 Cherry Hill Road
    Princeton, NJ 08854
    (609) 466-4435
    fax: (609) 466-4642"

    Like I said, wish I lived near the clinics.

    Warm wishes, Jeannette
  6. orachel

    orachel New Member

    Ummmm...did you say MY picture was good?! I ran into your profile on the getting to know you thing i started (i think!), and was quickly fading in being able to be up and typing...but wanted to at least honor those who responded by reading their stories and profiles quickly. I found your profile and almost fell off my chair! I have a passion for photography (but I kinda just like what I like, you know? Not too concerned about the newest hippest artist out there. My biggest "need" for any form of artistic expression (poetry, movies, music, etc is that it forces me, in some way to emote. Ie; cute fluffy fare movie where i can't see the reality of the characters, and am not almost personally invested in hoping they work it out (these are fictional people! LOL)...just not my cup of tea. Photography that may be whatever technically skilled, or of timely subjects without realing capturing emotion and making me feel "SOMETHING", other than total apathy, that is, is my kinda thing. When I first saw that pic in your bio I was just stunned a bit speechless (WHAT? ME? NO! HOW COULD IT BE???! LOL). I don't know who took that picture, or how you managed to keep it so beautifully preserved (alas, many of my baby pics lost in flood, along with most pictures with my mom and I when I was a kid. She died years ago very unexpectedly,and not having those pictures really just made it that much harder. Anyway, its just lovely. Just simple and basic and captures a "heidiesque" quality without the cheese factor...If I'm ever able to bear a child (please lord!), i'd just want that kid to grow up with the sense of joy you show in that photo! Does that sound nuts? Just as untouched and fascinated by every little detail,petal, bug around them. I meant to respond to that pic weeks ago...then the darn fog attacked. I'm a big ole train wreck right now...actually faced the humiliation of buying on of those "sectioned off pill sorter" things you can buy, because my meds are so numerous, and change so frequently with tweaking this and exchanging that, I've had a few semi terrifying issues with just pain old fog freaking me out and making my BASIC MATH SKILLS disappear. I designed mortgages and financial plans for entire families, and even some corporations for 10 yrs and can't add 1+2 = 7? Pretty funny,, big laugh around our house is yesterday morning, my husband watched me put a FULL AND BURNING HOT COFFEE CARAFE INTO MY FRIDGE!!! Oy!

    Just noticed you're on provigil!!! Just got a scrip filled for that today...doc says it may help amplify the actions of my pain meds (out of this world pain, but unless I gnaw off my arm like a wolverine, I don't think he's likely to give anything stronger than ultram 400mg day, plus 8 of zanaflex, elavil, klonopin to sleep, wellbutrin. Well for crying out loud! I'm a walking pharmacy!!! But have so many VERY UNCHARACTERISIC inspirations and ideas lately!! I'm wondering if anyone else has anything like that...its actually pretty amazing. Been thinking of things in ways never before imagined, and possibilities are suddenly there that just never were before. Of course, I can't bathe or dress by myself most often (so humiliating!), and often brain fog makes me forget my own phone number! We honestly and truly life with an enigma that controls (to some extent) lifes until we get it under control...that is just amazing.

    Thanks for nice compliment btw. I wish I still looked like that! OUt of desperation went to a natural food market to get the essentials to start gradually in herbals/supplements, etc...They're amazing at Claudia's Natural Food (where I go...) but when I walked in (hobbling, after ROUGH LONG doc appt and 45 min drive, and full dressing and makeup...musta looked like I was gonna fall over because the first sales person asked me if I had cancer. 2nd asked if I was anemic! I sure don't look like that photo much anymore, even though I was virtually same as that 4 mos ago...amazing, huh?

    I had mighty long talk with clearly educated herbalists today (2)...and they were very consistant as to regiment they suggested. It starts very mellow, and ends incorporation whole food program, then cutting to no yeast (special book abt this...very impt as (candida? sp?) is a very common factor for us. Plus, I FLAT OUT INSISTED that my doc send me for sleep testing and full neuro workup. Hey, I need to know for own piece of mind we're not missing something, esp with brain fog...scary to go from bright and quick, to loopy! lol....Plus I'm so excited abt sleep test as I have feeling that will reveal real results!!!

    You really don't need to treat the symptoms indefinitely (and in my opinion (not that theres any training other than utter desire to learn and absorb as much as possible about this!), but at first you are almost forced to deal symptom by symptom because of the severity (in some cases) and because for many of us (like me), we initially present with something that looks normal and physical. I looked like I had a sprained back...they gave me vicodin and flexeril and I went to my amazing chiro constantly...But as you learn, and find something (medically) that you can live with that gives you that tiny bit of extra energy and stamina (and pain relief!), you have the option to incorporate other (very well researched!) ideas into your treatment. Provigil as a stimulant. Fantastic question...kinda asked my doc same thing. He said today that it is EXCELLENT for energy increases. Right now my energy issues are so bad, they're completely deabilitating, even if the pain would vanish (please? Please vanish?). So, helps with energy production and also told me that it assist with pain. I need to do some mondo research on it tomorrow, but remember one thing....don't know sources off hand, but I've read time and time and time again that FM and CFS are pretty unusual in the sense that some meds (and they're not 100% sure why) work in ways that they're not expected to.

    Theres an otc cough syrup ingredient that when taken with Ultram increases its effectiveness signifigantly (not dosage increase, or side effect increase...simply improves the effect same dosage has on pain!) Noone gets it....

    A great example of this (though not my fave, as I think this drug is overprescribed to the extreme) is treatment for OVERACTIVE CHILDREN. These kids are bouncin off walls practically, unable to focus at all...makes sense that some minor depressant to system would calm them and have desired effect right? But nope...for some reason (I don't know, but I think docs do), ritalin, which is actually a stimulant, works in exactly the opposite way that it usally does..

    My point here is who the blue heck knows? I'm sure if we looked hard enough, we could figure out why I can only remember to get the trash out on the right day on weeks with a holiday...which means they come a day later! Normal weeks, forgedaboudit...forget almost every time!

    These 2 posts were nutty long..sorry (and btw! YOu clever thing! I'm 99% positive and decided just today that I am going to write a book! About what we deal with basically, but in a format and way that its never been done (that I've found, anyway!). So I really am interested in learning all I can to get well enough to get started asap!!!!

    If you want more specifics on the plan (herbals) I got today...lemme know!
  7. jaltair

    jaltair New Member

    I would love to know the herbs! Please post . . glad you appreciated the picture. I know what you are saying as I'm surprised that the picture was salvaged from my Mom and Dad's home when it was set on fire about 23 years ago! I scanned it and saved it. Also have made prints to keep in an album for my kids - they may want some history some day! LOL :<)

    Am glad to hear that you are thinking of writing, let us know about it as you go. Perhaps you could incorporate some experiences, etc. from the Board(?).

    Stay in touch and do more posts so I can read them, please.

    Warm wishes and hugs, Jeannette

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