Sunday 3 November 2013

Fibro, CFS, ME, Dercums Disease

Stress, Adrenal Fatigue, and Fibromyalgia

By Rodger Murphree

Most of us can handle the ups-and-downs of our daily stress, even the occasional catastrophe. We suck it up, dig deep, and persevere.

However, some individuals have an altered stress- coping system, which prevents them from managing daily stress.

Retrospective studies show that the stress of emotional, physical, or sexual abuse during childhood increases the future risk of developing certain symptoms or illnesses.

These illnesses include many of the same symptoms associated with fibromyalgia , including fatigue, poor sleep, chronic pain, chronic viral infections, anxiety, and depression.

Apparently, for some children and adolescents, too many traumatic or stressful events de-condition their normal homeostatic stress coping abilities.

Thus, stress and particularly traumatic stress, early in life, may alter the set point of the stress response system, rendering these individuals prone to stressful events later in life.

This most likely occurs from over-stimulation and depletion of certain stress coping hormones including serotonin, norepinephrine, cortisol, and DHEA.

Research shows that patients with fibromyalgia have genetic tendencies that cause them to be affected more drastically by the ups and downs of stress.

Fibromyalgia patients are also more likely to report a history of emotional, physical, or sexual abuse during childhood and adulthood, compared to other patient subgroups.

Sadly, I find that many of my fibromyalgia and CFS patients have experienced physical, emotional or sexual abuse as a child.

Stress is the main culprit in low adrenal function as well.The Adrenal GlandsThe adrenals are a pair of pea-sized glands located atop each kidney. The adrenal gland consists of two sections: the medulla (inner portion) and the cortex (outer portion).

The adrenal glands release certain hormones that allow us to be able to deal with immediate and long-term stress. These glands and the hormones they release allow us to be resilient to day-to-day stress.

Second only to restoring consistent deep restorative sleep, optimal adrenal function is crucial for over coming low thyroid and or fibromyalgia.

Adrenal fatigue is known to cause:

o hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)

o hypotension (low blood pressure)

o neural mediated hypotension (become dizzy when stand up)

o fatigueo decreased mental acuityo low body temperature (also a sign of low thyroid function)

o decreased metabolismo a compromised immune systemo decreased sense of well-being (depression)

o hyperpigmentation (excess skin color changes)

o loss of scalp hairo excess facial or body hairo vitiligo (changes in skin color)

o auricular calcification (little calcium deposits in the ear lobe)

o GI disturbances

o nausea

o vomiting

o constipation

o abdominal pain

o diarrhea

o muscle or joint pains

The CortexThe adrenal cortex is primarily associated with response to chronic stress (infections, prolonged exertion, prolonged mental, emotional, chemical, or physical stress).

The hormones of the cortex are steroids. The main steroid is cortisol.Chronic over secretion of cortisol leads to adrenal exhaustion, which accelerates the downward spiral towards chronic poor health.

Once in adrenal exhaustion your body can't release enough cortisol to keep up with the daily demands.Eventually you become deficient in cortisol and then DHEA.

Chronic headaches, nausea, allergies, nagging injuries, fatigue, dizziness, hypotension, low body temperature (low thyroid), depression, low sex drive, chronic infections, and cold hands and feet are just some of the symptoms that occur with adrenal cortex exhaustion.

Abnormal Circadian RhythmCortisol levels are affected by stress and the body's circadian rhythm (sleep-wake cycle). Cortisol secretions rise sharply in the morning, peaking at approximately 8 a.m.

After its peak, cortisol production starts to taper off until it reaches a low point at 1 a.m.Fluctuations in cortisol levels can occur whenever normal circadian rhythm is altered (a change in sleep-wake times).

Traveling through different time zones (jet lag) changes in work shifts, or a change bedtime can cause drastically alter normal cortisol patterns.

Therefore maintaining or reestablishing normal sleep/wake cycles is crucial for optimal adrenal health.Not Enough DHEAThe adrenal cortex, when healthy, produces adequate levels of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA).

DHEA boosts:o energyo sex driveo resistance to stresso self-defense mechanisms (immune system)o general well-beingand helps to raise:o cortisol levelso overall adrenal functiono moodo cellular energyo mental acuityo muscle strengtho staminaChronic stress initially causes the adrenals to release extra cortisol.

Continuous stress raises cortisol to abnormally high levels. Then the adrenal glands get to where they can't keep up with the demand for more cortisol. As the cortisol levels continue to become depleted from on going stress the body attempts to counter this by releasing more DHEA.

Eventually they can't produce enough cortisol or DHEA. Aging makes holding on to DHEA even tougher. Even in healthy individuals, DHEA levels begin to drop after the age of 30. By age 70, they are at about 20% of their peak levels.

Stress and DHEADHEA helps prevent the destruction of tryptophan (5HTP), which increases the production of serotonin. This helps provide added protection from chronic stress.

Studies continue to show low DHEA to be a biological indicator of stress, aging, and age-related diseases including neurosis, depression, peptic ulcer, IBS, and others.

Testing for Adrenal FatigueSelf-Test MethodsRagland's sign is an abnormal drop in systolic blood pressure (the top number) when a person arises from a lying to a standing position. There should be a rise of 8-10 mm. in the systolic (top) number.

A drop or failure to rise indicates adrenal fatigue. Example: Someone takes your blood pressure while you're lying on your back. The systolic number is 120 and the diastolic number is 60 (120 over 60).

Then take your blood pressure again after immediately standing up. The systolic number (120) should go up 10 points (from 120 to 130).

If it doesn't increase 10 points, this indicates adrenal fatigue.

Reducing stress, boosting adrenal function with a good multivitamin and DHEA will help you build-up your stress coping abilities. There are several good adrenal supplements on the market, just visit your local health food store.

About Dr. Murphree

Dr. Murphree is a board certified nutritional specialist and chiropractic physician who has been in private practice since 1990. He is the founder and past clinic director for a large integrated medical practice located on the campus of Brookwood Hospital in Birmingham Alabama. The clinic was staffed with medical doctors, chiropractors, acupuncturists, nutritionists, and massage therapists. The clinic combined prescription and natural medicines for acute and chronic illnesses.

He is the author of 5 books for patients and doctors, including

"Treating and Beating Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome,"

""Heart Disease What Your Doctor Won't Tell You'

" and "

Treating and Beating Anxiety and Depression with Orthomolecular Medicine."

His website is at http://www.treatingandbeating.comArticle Source:

Saturday 2 November 2013

A Year Has Flown By.

Its been a year since iv been able to post. Illness & lack of a laptop being the biggest things.

I have now wrapped my head around using my android phone & have a journey id like to share.

I aaw that people in the USA where getting Lidocaine to treat illnesses like Fibromyalgia. I began to look into this here in the UK.

My 1st stop my gp's who referred me to a pain management consultant. The wait to see this consultant 6 mths.

Finally I was here, I flew the psychological tests & was told yes we agree your depression which is currently being treated with 40mg fluoxetine was caused from being in constant pain.

The consultant asked what he could do for me. I replied I want to try lidocaine injections. We talked about the difference between injections & intravenous infusion as I also have a condition Dercums Disease.

The difference is injections into trigger points are good for fibro because the lidocaine works on the muscles. Whereas for dercums which lives under the skins surface in fat cells (basic explanation) is better treated with infusion.

My consultant only knew of 1 consultant that did it & referred me. I had a 3mth wait to see the next consultant.

At this apppintment the consultant spent a while talking to me & explained the dercums is the more painful condition so he is willing to try intravenous lidocaine.

My next appointment for treatment was 3mths after that. I sat in the chair with a drip attatched, finally I was here.

I dont know what I was expexting to feel but other than a slight ache in the back of my hand from the canula I didnt have a euphoric moment.

I took to the treatment well 400mg through saline drip. No numbness, tingling or any signs of dropping blood pressure. My body coping I did the minimum amount of time 90mins.

I felt midly light headed for 15mins after the treatment ended but other than that all was well & I was told id be able to go home.

So determined was I to get off the morphine & oramorph, that night I went cold turkey. No point recalling the next 3 days pain wise as I was in withdrawl.

My gp had given me dihydracodeine to make withdrawl easier. Id been on it for 10yrs until 2yrs ago. As withdrawl faded I started to notice small things.

The pain that had lived under my skin like a lava lake was gone, the sensation in my heels of walking on broken glass, gone. The pain deep in my trunk bones, gone. Myofacial pain, gone. The pain in the rest of my body halved.

I felt like I had stepped back in time pain wise. The pain in my left hip used to wake me every night more than once, it hasnt woken me since.  Walking was totally unbearable as it racked my whole body with pain.

If I walked it was with a stick slower than a snail, now im taking baby steps with no stick. Im 3 inches taller when I walk now as I no longer stoop & sway under the pain.

Its not that I dont know there is something going on in my body. I can feel the 'sensations of pain, its juat not the living breathing monster it was that kept me bed bound for months at a time.

It had subsided somehow, unfortunately not enough to be morphine free as id wished but it has made a huge difference. I no longer take 30mls of Oramorph & 60mg of Morphine Sulphate daily. Im on juat 30mg of Morphine Sulphate daily, thats less than half the amount, I can live with that.

Id found on the dihydracodeine the pain in my shoulders was off the scale making breathing very painful. As I have to breathe to survive I agreed not to be to pig headed about taking the lower dose of morphine.

Combined with the Lyrica, Zolpidem, Fluoxetine & Paracetamol the morphine I am on combined with the lidocaine, I am in less than 80% of the pain I was in.

I had reached points not where I felt suicidal but knew dead would be kinder to me. I no longer feel that way. To breathe without my breast bone feeling as if its splitting into 2. Wear almost any material without it hurting my skin. Have hypergelasial pain return to normal, allodynia to nearly dissappear.

The doctors dont know how long the lidocaine will last for, they dont know if it will build up in my body giving me longer times inbetween treatments. What we do know is its worked.

I have agreed to be a guinea pig for the pain management team & anasthetics. They have said it will take up to a year to make me stable because they need to learn from me. I have no problem with it.

What I want to do is advocate for people living with painful conditions like mine, because if we are pain free, we can better care for ourselves, be less of a burdon. More people would be able to work, less sick days for those that are holding down jobs.

People with these painful conditions would have less mental health problems. The suicide rate would drop, because what most people with these painful conditions crave is some of their normality back, being in a lot less pain would do that.

I urge patients to speak to their doctors & consultants about lidocaine as a treatment option. It is available you just need to know what to ask for.

I know it wont work for everyone but by the bloody hell it would help the majority.