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Managing and Coping with Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia isn’t just a pain that will just go away; it isn’t something that isn’t “just in your mind”. You know it is real and you suffer from the pain. Fibromyalgia — with relentless fatigue, bout of depression, disturbed sleep, and muscle pain — can drain your energy and make you feel worse than you actually do. Fibromyalgia can and will control your life if you don’t learn to manage it.

Learn about your medical treatment. It is tempting to just let your doctor do “his job”. But each day, you learn something new about your body and how it reacts to your treatment. No one knows your body and your medical history — without looking at your chart — better than you do.

Finding a doctor who can help you manage fibromyalgia can be challenging, if not difficult. You need a doctor who will listen to you and who is more than willing to work with you. Fibromyalgia is difficult to diagnose, what more to treat and manage. The result of your tests can range from rheumatoid arthritis to mononucleosis. And it isn’t cheap to go through it all. Doctors who are not educated in fibromyalgia can only make the matter worse. Finding one who can understand you and your condition is definitely worth the effort.

And when you do, make sure that you make every session as productive as possible. Have a list of what you need to ask to discuss during your appointment. Notice any changes lately? Has your body positively responded to the new treatment? You may not have a positive feedback a medication that works well with the rest of his patients, but it is important that you maintain an open line of communication about how you react to your medications. Take an active role in determining and planning your treatment. It is your body after all.

Ask about an exercise plan. Fibromyalgia also has a positive impact to many people, especially those who took their health for granted before the pain sets in. With and in spite of their symptoms, people with fibromyalgia want to feel better. And they can’t do that with medical treatments alone. Aside from integrating a good diet plan, maintaining an exercise plan that fits you and your lifestyle can help you manage fibromyalgia better. With exercise, you can decrease stiffness and pain, boost your energy, and start to regain the life you once had.

Exercise like food and fashion is subjective. Find what you love and, then strive for variety. There are those with FM that can hop on a treadmill for half an hour while others will have difficulty even at the simplest of stretching exercises. Build your own pace. Find comfort with your limitations and accept what you can do today.

Live in the present. Fibromyalgia can make life predictable. You start to imagine what is ahead, and all you can see is dim picture of pain. Expecting what you will feel, your pain, and the things you cannot do can be overwhelming. Instead of focusing on your self deprived by opportunities, you need to focus on what you have today. Easier said than done, but this is the only alternative you have. Take one step at a time. It is often helpful if you don’t expect too much of your self. But also remember to challenge your self physically. Start planning for an exercise plan. Visit your doctor. Start today.

Back Pain Treatments: What Works for Thousands of Back Pain Sufferers

If you have ever complained about your back and often find yourself complaining about the pains of getting old, you are not alone. About 80 percent of the U.S. adult population, or about 8 out of 10 people in America, suffer from some form of back pain at some point in their lives. Back pain comes in many forms and it does vary depending on its underlying cause.

People usually complain about some sort of symptoms, ranging from the usual constant, dull ache to a sudden shot of sharp, stabbing pain. Treatment of back pain requires any or a combination of the following: physical medicine, medications, and surgery. And what works is dependent on the source of back pain and your body. There is no fast rule in the treatment for low back pain, but here is what the 14,000 back pain sufferers have to say about what works best for them.

Back Pain Is Not Just in the Back

According to the latest survey conducted by the Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center, back pain isn’t something that the thousands of those surveyed can put in the backseat. More than half of those surveyed said that back pain impacts their lives negatively, holding them back from doing the things that they need to attend to for a week and sometimes even longer. And 88 percent said that they experience low back pain symptoms throughout the year.

Low back pain can rob many of us of opportunities to live the life we want. Symptoms of low back pain can interfere with our sleep, can get in the way of what used to be a healthy sex life, and even thwart our efforts in maintaining a healthy weight.

Treatments and What Works

Though most back pain takes care of itself, others require immediate medical attention. While most back pain sufferers will immediately proceed to their primary-care doctors, most of those who were surveyed said they were disappointed with what their doctors can do to relieve them of their pain.

Over 50 percent of those who were surveyed were highly satisfied with the treatments and advice provided to them by a chiropractor while only 34 percent said they were completely satisfied with what the quality of care provided by their physician.

If managing their symptoms is not enough, back pain sufferers often face a rather confusing list of options. On the average, chronic back pain sufferers try five to six types of treatments in the course of 12 months. But what really works? Here is what the respondents have to say:

Hands-on treatments. An average of 50 percent of those surveyed said they prefer and even favor massage, chiropractic treatments, and physical therapy.

Prescription medications. Out of the 14,000 who were surveyed, one-third of the group says they took prescription drugs. But how effective can it be? Of those who took it, only 45 percent said their meds were beneficial to their condition.

Steroid injections. While over half of those who were surveyed found them to be beneficial, many still prefer hands-on treatment over this type of treatment.

Osteoporosis Diet: Foods to Avoid for Sturdier Bones

Who doesn’t love a quick shot of energy every morning? Or, that savory taste in that hearty casserole dish? Everyone I know loves their cup of coffee. And anyone who cooks knows how indispensible salt can be. But recent studies suggest that java and salt can put women at risk of osteoporosis — even when you they are getting enough vitamin D and calcium.


Drinking 100 milligrams of your fave java every morning mops you up of 6 milligrams of calcium. Caffeine essentially clears up calcium from bones, slowly sapping their strength. Caffeine becomes an issue when a woman doesn’t consume enough calcium each day.

While the picture may be terrifying, particularly to those who depend on their coffee throughout the day, the good news is that checking on your caffeine intake and following the 300-milligram rule each day may help offset any losses. But don’t just cut back, strengthen your anti-osteoporosis plan by getting enough calcium every day.

Coffee is one of the major, and, of course, the most preferred, caffeine sources for women. And you can see why it is beneficial for women, particularly those who are on their 40s, to cut back on coffee. For example, drinking 16 ounces of coffee releases as much as 320 milligrams of caffeine to your body. High-caffeine sodas, on the other hand, have a whopping 80 milligrams per can. And some experts say even more.

But what about drinking tea? Experts say that the caffeine in teas is different, and can even help women who are in their 40s in strengthening their bones or in increasing bone density. Researchers believe that teas, especially black tea, contain certain plant compounds that protect the bones.

If you are thinking of cutting back on caffeine, here are some tips:

  • Avoid high-caffeine drinks
  • Prefer fat-free and decaf drinks instead of your usual cup
  • Drink half-regular in the morning and half-decaf for the rest of the day


Salt is probably the biggest obstacle that you have to tackle when it to a sturdy bone. Dr. Francesco Cappuccio, head researcher of the St. George’s Hospital in London believes that the researches linking high-salt diet to osteoporosis offers a positive health message to women who think that osteoporosis is a fact of life, something that they just need to accept. The message is clear — osteoporosis can be prevented.

Research suggests that consuming too much salt actually raises blood pressure and, in return, hastens calcium loss which leads to osteoporosis. But don’t just blame table salt for it. Foods that are high in salt include meat and meat products, bread, biscuits, ready-to-eat meals, soy sauce, and, of course, our all-time favorite pizza.

Americans consume way too much salt than what is recommended. If we are to follow the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, we should be consuming only 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day, which is equal to one teaspoon of salt. But data shows that most Americans consume as much as 4,000 milligrams of sodium a day.

So what can you do about it? First, learn how to limit sodium intake by cooking your own meals and learning how to flavor your food aside from using salt. Next, you need to get enough vitamin D and calcium to help offset bone loss. Women up to age 50 need only 1,000 milligrams of calcium and 200 IU of vitamin D to help reverse the effects of sodium in their body. Lastly, if you think curbing salt is too difficult, you may want to consume plenty of potassium-rich foods like orange juice and bananas. Potassium may help mitigate the impact of sodium in bones and even decrease loss of calcium.