Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by kmaaskamp, Sep 11, 2008.

  1. kmaaskamp

    kmaaskamp New Member

    I have been tired and in pain now for 9 years, I am only 23 and it seems now I can never remeber a time where I haven't been in pain or tired. I have tried everything and just when it seeems to get better, my pain cycles back again. Does anybody have any treatments that have worked, I have done acupuncuture, medication. Physical therapy, pretty much everything. I am just so sick of this fatigue and pain.
  2. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    Kmaaskamp, welcome to the board!! Hang on and I am sure you will get some feedback.

    Take care.

  3. kellyann

    kellyann New Member

    Have you seen a doctor sweetheart? If so maybe you need to see a new one and get your pain under control. If one doctor doesn't help you have to see another one until you find one that does help you. Your body can't heal while fighting so hard against pain.

    You also need to be tested for viral infections and lyme disease. Both can make you very ill.

    I hope I helped just a bit! I'll be praying for you!

  4. Catseye

    Catseye Member

    Inflammation can cause pain and certain foods will trigger inflammation. This coupled with a poorly functioning digestive system, very common with these diseases, will cause a multitude of nutritional deficiencies which will cause several metabolic systems to malfunction. Like maybe you aren't producing the anti-inflammatory enzymes your body makes to combat inflammation.

    What is your diet like exactly and what supplements are you taking, if any? Are you avoiding gluten and dairy?

    Here's some info on inflammation:

    And here's from another post I recently did, my doc sent me this article on inflammation. It can't hurt to keep reading about it, it's a huge problem in our diseases:

    Systemic or chronic inflammation is the result of a domino effect that can seriously undermine your health. So how does it all begin?

    The immune system and the inflammation response

    Many experts now see inflammation as arising from an immune system that’s out of control. When you catch a cold or sprain your ankle, your immune system switches into gear. Infection or injury triggers a chain of events called the inflammatory cascade. The familiar signs of normal inflammation ­ fever, pain, swelling ­ are the first signals that your immune system is being called into action.

    In a delicate balance of give-and-take, inflammation begins when pro-inflammatory hormones in your body call out for your white blood cells to come and clear out infection and damaged tissue. These agents are matched by equally powerful, closely related anti-inflammatory compounds, which move in to begin the healing process once the threat is neutralized.

    Acute inflammation that ebbs and flows as needed signifies a well-balanced immune system. But symptoms of inflammation that don’t recede tell you that your immune system switch is stuck on high alert ­ even when you aren’t in imminent danger. In some cases, what started as a healthy mechanism, like building scar tissue or swelling, just won’t shut off.

    Chronic inflammation and its roots in the digestive system

    At our medical practice we are convinced that the seeds of chronic inflammation (and a lot of other health issues) start with the gut. Two-thirds of the body’s defenses reside in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract ­ yet it is often the last place traditional practitioners look.

    Intestinal bloating, frequent bouts of diarrhea or constipation, gas and pain, and heartburn and acid reflux are early signs of an inflamed digestive tract. It’s not surprising that your immune system clicks into hyperdrive in your digestive tract first ­ it was designed to eliminate viruses and bacteria in your food before they infect your body. It has to glean the wheat from the chaff: taking sustenance from the food you eat and ridding your body of the rest.

    And we give our digestive systems plenty of work. Our evolution from the hunter-gatherer diet to convenience and fast food has overwhelmed our metabolism and GI tract. The deck is now stacked in inflammation’s favor. The modern diet has the wrong ratio of fatty acids (omega-3, -6, and -9), too much sugar and carbs, and high levels of wheat, dairy and other common allergens.

    Foods that cause inflammation

    Most polyunsaturated vegetable oils like safflower, sunflower, corn, peanut and soy, are high in linoleic acid, an omega–6 fatty acid that the body converts into arachidonic acid, another omega–6 fatty acid that has a predominantly pro-inflammatory influence. These same oils contain almost no omega–3’s (found rich supply in coldwater fish, phytoplankton, and flaxseed), which soothe inflammation. Our prehistoric ancestors ate a diet with an omega–6 to omega–3 ratio of 1:1. Our current ratio is anywhere between 10:1 and 25:1!

    Tips for Personal Program Success

    Warm up, cool down. Be sure to give yourself at least 5 minutes on either end of your workout to get your muscles loosened up. This helps prevent injuries, feels great, and helps your muscles elongate and restore balance.

    For most people, high-carb, low-protein diets are inflammatory. We’ve seen repeatedly that low-carb diets reduce inflammation for most women. But you need to listen to your own body and carefully observe which foods fuel inflammation for you. (You may also want to take a look at our section on diet and nutrition.)

    Refined sugar and other foods with high glycemic values jack up insulin levels and put the immune system on high alert. (The glycemic index measures the immediate impact of a food on blood sugar levels; surges of blood sugar trigger the release of insulin.) Short-lived hormones inside our cells called eicosanoids act as pro- or anti-inflammatory compounds depending on their type. Eicosanoids become imbalanced ­ i.e., skewed toward the pro-inflammatory ­ when insulin levels are high. As if this weren’t enough, high insulin levels activate enzymes that raise levels of arachidonic acid in our blood.

    There’s also a complicated interaction between the inflammatory messengers, cytokines and prostaglandins, and insulin and glucose levels. In some cases, depending on what other stressors come into play, insulin inhibits the inflammatory agents and in other cases it fuels them. Studies are currently underway to unravel the links between obesity and type 2 diabetes and this mechanism, so stay tuned.

    Common allergens like casein and gluten (proteins found in dairy and grains, respectively) are quick to spark the inflammatory cascade. Anyone suffering from celiac disease knows how inflammatory wheat can be. Foods high in trans fats create LDL’s, or “bad cholesterol,” which feeds inflammation in the arteries. Trans fats also create renegade cells called free radicals that damage healthy cells and trigger inflammation.

    So the first step in cooling inflammation on a cellular level is to pay attention to your diet, in particular your glycemic load (a measure of the glycemic index and amount of a food), essential fatty acid intake and food sensitivities. As we get older, foods that never bothered us before, like dairy and wheat, may trigger chronic low-grade indigestion (or other seemingly minor symptoms) that put our immune system on guard ­ with other inflammatory symptoms to follow. Probiotics (supplements of the “good” bacteria that support healthy digestion) have been proven to be as effective in treating symptoms of IBS as medications like Zelnorm and Lotronex.

    If you think you might have food sensitivity, we recommend going on an elimination diet for two weeks to see how you feel. You may find that avoiding certain foods restores more than your digestive health.

    But your digestive tract is only the beginning of the story. Let’s take a look at some other causes of chronic inflammation.

    Inflammation and menopause

    Changing levels of estrogen have a supporting role to play in age-related inflammation. We still don’t understand the connection, but it appears that a decrease in estrogen corresponds with a rise in the cytokines interleukin-1 and interleukin-6. This changes the rate at which new bone is formed, a leading indicator of osteoporosis.

    We suspect that before menopause the balance of hormones has a calming effect on inflammation, but hormones work on so many levels that it is difficult to identify the exact process. What we do know is that symptoms of chronic inflammation become more apparent during and after menopause.

    The hormonal changes leading up to menopause also contribute to weight gain. And there is clear evidence that extra fat cells, especially around the middle of the body, add to systemic inflammation by creating extra cytokines and C-reactive protein. Just one more reason to lose those extra pounds!

    Environmental causes of inflammation

    I once walked into a giant office supply store and within two minutes I had a numbing headache, my eyes were swimming and my throat felt dry and tight ­ typical signs of an allergic response. I noticed an odor and asked the checkout clerk what it was. He didn’t know, but when I told him how I felt, he said he went home with a headache everyday ­ and often a bloody nose!

    Synthetic fibers, latex, glues, adhesives, plastics, air fresheners, cleaning products ­ these are just some of the many chemicals we are exposed to everyday. Many of us work in hermetically sealed office buildings with re-circulated air which increases our exposure.

    Sick buildings make sick people. As do pesticides, pollution and heavy metals. Lead and mercury are just two of the 30 heavy metals in our environment that our bodies have to process. And these toxins are in everything: our drinking water, our food, even our breast milk. Many of these chemicals are fat-soluble (meaning they are stored in fat) and accumulate in our bodies until they reach toxic levels. Chemical sensitivity is just the most visible end of the spectrum.

    Constant exposure to noxious chemicals and airborne irritants ­ even if it’s a low dose ­ makes your immune system crazy. Some people are naturally better detoxifiers and can withstand more exposure before they have symptoms. Others need more support. Learning as much as you can about the products you use, the buildings you live in and the water you drink is crucial to preventing or fighting inflammation.

    Psychological stress ­ cortisol and inflammation

    Have you ever had a panic attack? Woken from a scary dream in a cold sweat with your heart pounding? These are vasoreactions initiated by a perceived threat that dilates your blood vessels ­ just like inflammation. Wider capillaries mean more blood and nutrients to your organs to better ward off an attack or deal with a situation. This “fight or flight” response is orchestrated by your adrenals and triggers the release of the stress hormone cortisol.

    Cortisol directly influences your insulin levels and metabolism. It also plays a role in chronic inflammation and your immune system ­ but again more research is needed to understand the mechanism. I’m sure you’ve seen this relationship in your own life: how many times have you worked endless hours only to go on vacation and get sick? Your body is good at keeping a lid on things, but it can’t do it forever. Coping with persistent stress takes a steady toll on your immune system, your adrenals and your central nervous system.

    Your body reacts to stressors universally, whether they are biological or psychological. The more acute the threat feels, the more dramatic the response will be. With inflammation, painful emotional baggage is as incendiary as physical stress. Think about asthma. An emotional shock will trigger an attack in some people as often as physical exertion or an allergen.

    Thoughts and internalized feelings are very powerful ­ and they manifest themselves physically all the time with symptoms of inflammation. Stress makes your skin break out. Your intestines go into revolt during a painful break-up. But the good news is your feelings can ­ and should ­ be enlisted as allies in the healing process.

    To demonstrate this to a patient, I’ll ask her to stand up and extend an arm. I tell her to think of a safe, happy thought and resist while I press down on her arm. Despite any size difference, I usually can’t get her arm to budge. Then I tell her to do the same thing and think of a painful memory. Without fail I can press her arm down to her side. That’s one reason affirmations have such positive effects.

    With all the other factors contributing to inflammation, coping with stress and emotional pain is often overlooked ­ but it’s really important. And it can play a big part in restoring your immune system’s balance before it gets overloaded.

    Why chronic inflammation is on the rise

    Our bodies weren’t designed for modern life. We’re sitting ducks to a daily barrage of toxins, infectious agents and stress, seen and unseen. This kind of demand requires a lot of support to maintain your immune’s system resilience. Our go-go lifestyle just doesn’t make room unless we pay attention ­ to everything: what we breathe, eat, drink and absorb and feel. It all has a pro- or anti-inflammatory effect, and for most of us, the factors are skewed toward inflammation.

    Well-documented reports prove that depression and stress in men are linked to a rise in the inflammatory markers, such as CRP, signaling an increased risk for atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease (CHD). One study showed that a depressive state increases the odds of developing CHD by 50%.

    Although this report focused on men, it’s sensible to assume that women have a similar biochemical response to depression and stress. And one thing is certain about society today: we appear to be more stressed and depressed than ever.

    While the incidence of inflammation and inflammatory disease is rising in all developed countries, it’s important to remember that each of us has an individual response to the stressors in our life. Some of that unique response is determined by genetics. But much of it is within our control ­ if we understand how our choices affect our health.

    You can see that controlling chronic inflammation takes a combination approach because it arises from a combination of causes.

    end of article

    [This Message was Edited on 09/11/2008]
  5. SkeptikSharon

    SkeptikSharon New Member

    Hi Kmaaskamp,

    Welcome to the board! I’m a newbie too. Just joined yesterday or the day before. I’m only 29, so not much older than you, and have been dealing with pain issues for a while, although only chronically since 2005. I’m sorry that you are having to deal with so much so young. I know how frustrating this is for me, being only 29 and dealing with this, so I imagine its even more frustrating for you being even younger than me. I keep thinking, “This is not the way I’m supposed to LIVE!”

    I have also tried a number of therapies over the years – acupuncture, medication, physical therapy, chiropractic, etc., but nothing has really worked for me. How many doctors have you seen and what has been ruled out as possible causes? I’m really just getting started on my road of ruling out possible causes and similar conditions, because when all this started, the doctors did not really do a full work-up to rule out anything. I am hopeful that I may get some clues through extensive testing, but I know that it’s a long and frustrating road.

    So far, I’m finding a lot of information and things to try on this message board, as well as really good support from the members. Even if we can’t figure out what is going on and get rid of it completely, it is nice to know there are others out there who understand and are going through similar issues. I hope that this board will be helpful to you as well, and that you are able to find some new leads and things to try.

    Good luck to you! Hang in there! =)