Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition which causes widespread pain and tenderness either over the entire body or in a migratory pattern. It affects roughly 2 million Americans, and with an 8 to 2 ratio, it is more common in women than men. People of all ages suffer from fibromyalgia, and it can even occur in children.
While symptoms vary from one person to the next, the pain associated with fibromyalgia tends to wax and wane. There is no cure for the condition, but it can be managed through both non-drug therapies and medication. Another way to minimize the impact of the disease is to avoid known triggers. Experts, like those from the American College of Rheumatology, suspect fibromyalgia could be linked with the nervous system. The disease is also seen often in individuals with other long-term illnesses, as well as sleep conditions. With these factors in mind, here are five steps those with fibromyalgia may find helpful in reducing their number of flare-ups.
Avoid Physical/Psychological Stressors
Because fibromyalgia is suspected to be linked to the nervous system, it’s possible that both physical and psychological stress could intensify discomfort. High-intensity exercise aggravates pain in many individuals, while stressful events can also exacerbate symptoms. Stick to moderate or low-intensity activity and avoid known stressful situations whenever possible. For those that can’t be avoided, consider adopting a healthy coping mechanism, such as meditative breathing, to keep stress levels as low as possible.
Reduce or Eliminate MSG in Daily Diet:
Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a common ingredient found in many foods throughout the U.S. It is the salt of glutamic acid, which is found naturally in mushrooms, cheese, grapes, and tomatoes. The ingredient is also often added to processed foods, including canned vegetables and soups and frozen meals, to enhance flavor. Researchers believe the additive activates neurons which increase sensitivity to pain in fibromyalgia patients. This idea is backed by a study in which patients had complete or near complete resolution of symptoms after eliminating the ingredient from their diets.
Improve Irregular Sleep Patterns
The relationship between sleep and fibromyalgia is a complicated one: while irregular sleep can lead to flare-ups, fibromyalgia pain often disrupts sleep. To further complicate matters, people with fibromyalgia often suffer from other forms of disordered sleep, such as sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome. While sleep problems can be challenging to resolve, breaking this cycle is one change that could help individuals find relief. Maintaining as regular a sleep schedule as possible is recommended, as napping could actually wind up increasing symptom severity. Fibromyalgia patients may also wish to try cognitive behavioral therapy, which is one solution that appears to be effective for achieving better sleep.
Avoid Long Periods of Sitting
Many professionals are accustomed to long periods of sitting throughout the work day. During these bouts, circulation may decrease, which could compound symptoms of fibromyalgia. Increased muscle stiffness and decreased circulation are just two common side effects of hours spent sedentary. Poor posture can cause further damage by cutting off the supply of oxygen the different systems of the body receives. To negate the effects of sitting, it may be worthwhile to consider an ergonomic chair to facilitate better posture. Periodic breaks –short walks for every hour of work, or 20 seconds of standing for every 20 minutes of sitting – could also support better circulation.
Accommodate for Handling Weather Fluctuations
Up to 92% of fibromyalgia patients believe worsening symptoms are a result of weather changes. Unfortunately, seasonal changes and abrupt fluctuations in temperature cannot be avoided altogether. With that said, it may be possible to accommodate these changes to reduce the odds of a flare-up. Staying hydrated in extreme levels of heat and humidity could help, and dressing in layers during unpredictable times of year may allow individuals to stay comfortable in variable conditions.
While fibromyalgia affects everyone in different ways, pinpointing the known triggers for your flare-ups is one of the most effective ways to control the condition. Actively avoiding these aggravating factors may help patients experience fewer and less intense periods of pain.
While most approaches to stem therapy involve infusing purified stem cells into the body, Thom and fellow researchers have shown that hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is capable of stimulating the body to produce its own stem cells. Thom, Heyboer, and co-authors have extended this work by showing that by slightly increasing the pressures used during hyperbaric oxygen therapy, one can significantly increase the number of stem cells produced.
In his original work, Thom and colleagues showed that a single, two-hour session of 2.0 atmospheres (atm) pressure (twice the air pressure we normally feel at sea level) was capable of doubling the number of stem cells in the bloodstream. Twenty treatments increased stem cell levels by 800%. To study this phenomenon more closely, Thom’s research group recruited 20 patients to undergo hyperbaric oxygen treatment, some at the original 2.0 atm pressure, and some at 2.5 atm. The primary goal of this research was to find out whether a higher pressure was capable of eliciting a greater number of cells.
As before, treatment with 2.0 atm of hyperbaric oxygen substantially increased the number of stem cells found in the blood. However, treatment with 2.5 atm doubled or even tripled the number of stem cells produced compared to the 2.0 atm treatment session. In other words, a slightly higher pressure causes the body to produce substantially more of its own stem cells.
Researchers focused on two types of stem cells, in particular, CD34+ and CD45-dim—markers that appear on stem cells and/or progenitor cells. They are primarily found on cells in the bone marrow. Stem cells with CD45-dim generally go on to become bone, blood, or blood vessel cells, while CD34+ cells can differentiate into almost any cell. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is thought to stimulate the bone marrow to produce and release these stem cells into the bloodstream, which is the reason these treatments raise stem cell levels in the blood.
The results published by Thom and coworkers suggest that patients who wish to enhance the number of stem cells should consider undergoing hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Furthermore, the greatest number of stem cells was observed after 20 treatment sessions, suggesting that a greater effect occurs with more treatments.
Colostrum is the milk produced by the mammary glands during pregnancy prior to giving birth. It is rich in antibodies that help prevent the newborn from various conditions. Colostrum as compared to normal milk contains a high amount of nutrients and fat, making it highly beneficial.
The most important thing to know about colostrum is that it is not a medication. It is a naturally designed food that maintains the health and prevents conditions. Colostrum is effective for shutting down the onset of conditions and infections, which helps the body to repair itself and allows the individual to enjoy a healthy and radiant life.
Colostrum is the Key to Gut Health
Colostrum is the source of everything that is required to maintain a healthy gastrointestinal tract. It is known that most of our conditions take birth in the gut and proper absorption of nutrients is the key to great health. It is one of the primary function of colostrum to maintain a healthy gut, which is the basis of the overall healthy body.
When the beneficial bacteria present in our intestine is outnumbered by the harmful bacteria then our gut is said to be out of balance. This imbalance has many consequences, one of which is the leaky gut syndrome.
Leaky gut syndrome is a condition due to which various pathogens and toxins pass through the lining of the gut and move freely in the body, this leads to various conditions. Leaky gut syndrome, if not treated can be a life-threatening condition.
Colostrum is an optimal treatment for treating leaky gut syndrome because it has growth factors that help repair the damage of the intestine to normal. It is also rich in immunoglobulins that control the pestering of fungi and bacteria in the body. In various conducted studies colostrum has successfully increased the surface area of the lining of the intestine, thereby improving the absorption of nutrients.
Colostrum: The Perfect & Functional Food
Looking at all the immune and growth factors that are present in colostrum, it is called the best alternative to pharmaceutical drugs, from steroids and antibiotics. Colostrum is also safe for people suffering from lactose intolerance and has no allergic reactions or side effects.
A functional food is one that has potential health benefits compared to normal food and is high in nutrients. Colostrum is high in nutrients and can be combined with other food products. It is most effective when taken on an empty stomach. Available in the form of capsules, colostrum is more effective and bioavailable.
Colostrum for Autoimmune Conditions:
Autoimmune conditions are those in which the body starts producing antibodies against itself. Colostrum has shown to be highly effective to treat autoimmune conditions like Lupus, Parkinson’s disease, and Multiple Sclerosis. Chemokine receptors have been observed to be the cause of the development of all these conditions. Colostrum produces antagonists of these receptors and has been shown to decrease the symptoms of many common autoimmune conditions.
Colostrum Used as a Topical Application:
Colostrum, if applied externally can help heal the burns, acne, cuts and various abrasions and even surgical cuts. If applied orally, it can help deal with sensitive teeth relieve canker sores and gingivitis.
Some Overall Benefits of Colostrum are:
Below is a list of some common conditions for which colostrum can be effective:
If you have any symptoms suggestive of gastro-intestinal dysbiosis (diarrhea, constipation, bloating, reflux, stomach discomfort or pain) then you should seek further work-up by your physician or a Functional Medicine Doctor.
In the meantime, it is recommended to start using Bovine Colostrum which can be found at Sovereign Laboratories at www.mysovlabs.com. Simply mix 2 tablespoons in 6oz of water and consume twice per day on an empty stomach. This product is full of gut healing immunoglobulins. Use for 2-3 months should result in significant improvement.
In addition, it is also recommended to take a good probiotic while using your bovine colostrum. Vitamin D levels should be optimized to levels between 80-100.
Parkinson’s disease is known to be a slowly progressing neurological disorder that can cause issues with the motor movement of the body. Signs of Parkinson’s disease can include severe stiffness, loss of balance, and lethargy. Although there are no cures for the condition, symptoms can be slowed down. However, most of the prescribed drugs for Parkinson’s disease can decrease in effectiveness over the course of time. This led to some investigation from researchers to consider the role of exercise as a treatment option. Initial studies revealed that exercise does reduce the symptoms and slowed the progression of the condition.
According to a recent phase 2 study, intense treadmill exercise can potentially reduce the progression symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. In this study, researchers treated exercise as a treatment and tracked the safety and effectiveness of different levels of exercise. The study consisted of 128 people that had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and were not taking any medications nor exercised. The aerobic capacity, heartbeats and the severity of the disease were tested for a baseline.
The patients were divided into three groups. Group 1 was asked to continue living their life in a normal manner. Group 2 was asked to implement exercise in which they would walk on the treadmill daily for 30 minutes, four times a week. The speed of the treadmill was manipulated to maintain the heart rate of the participants between 60 to 65 percent of their maximum heart rate. Group 3 was asked to also implement exercise for the same amount of time but their heart rate was maintained in the range of 80 to 85 percent of their maximum rates. The patients were under supervision for the initial month and then asked to continue exercising on their own.
At the end of the six-month study, Group 1 showed their symptoms progressed further. Group 2 showed their symptoms progressed but not as much as Group 1. Group 3 showed almost no progression in their symptoms after following a heavier exercise regimen as the other groups. This study concluded that higher intensity exercise helped in decreasing the symptoms by improving the neuronal blood supply. Improved blood flow helps with the overall health of the brain and slows down the deterioration of the body.
The findings from the study are quite encouraging for patients who are recently diagnosed or early in their symptoms to have great benefits from the heavy exercise program. However, it is advised to consult with your physician prior to starting an exercise plan to avoid injuries and ensure your safety.
Patients with multiple sclerosis suffer from an impairment in the function of specific cells of their immune system, known as T regulatory cells. The cause for the disease is not clear, and though treatments do exist, they tend to be expensive and to also carry the risk for toxic effects. To overcome the limitations of current treatment options, researchers have begun to explore the use of stem cells in the development of new treatments.
In a study recently published in the journal Oncotarget, researchers described the preliminary results of a study aimed at identifying the feasibility of using stem cells to improve the functioning of T regulatory cells in those with multiple sclerosis. Umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells were the chosen cell type for the experiment because this specific type of stem cell has been shown to affect the functioning of immune cells.
The researchers confirmed the idea that T regulatory cells are severely impaired in multiple sclerosis and were able to show that umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells could recover the functioning of the T regulatory cells of multiple sclerosis patients. Not only were there more living, active T regulatory cells in conditions that included the stem cells versus those without stem cells, but these cells also demonstrated the normal types of activities that T regulatory cells contribute to the immune system.
Previous research has established the potential for targeting T regulatory cells in the treatment of multiple sclerosis, but these studies have been conducted primarily in animal models of the disease. These newer results are the first to demonstrate the impact of umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells on immune cells of patients with multiple sclerosis.
Read more about how adult stem cell therapy can assist in the reversal of challenging symptoms and damage associated with MS here.
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