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Does this sound familiar?  You have chronic pain and you can’t sleep at night.  You’ve taken your opiate pain killers, and they used to knock you out, but for some reason, not so much any more. And now? Insomnia has crept in and the thought of sleeping through the night is only a pipe dream.  This article is about chronic pain, insomnia and the opiate pain killer connection, with 5 things that you really need to know if you take opiates!

What Are Opiates?

Firstly, let me tell you a bit more about opiates. The term ‘opiate’ and ‘opioids’ are interchangeable and derive from the word ‘opium’ (yep, the same addictive stuff that was famed for providing author Lewis Carroll’s the many altered states and hallucinations that became Alice in Wonderland).

Opiates are used as ‘pain killers’ for pain control and work by binding certain receptors in the brain; this enhances the effects of certain neurotransmitters in the brain that alter the sensation of pain.

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Struggling with fibromyalgia &/or CFS? Here’s 3 simple reasons for your symptoms that you may be experiencing – a lot of which can be easily resolved and even rectified – naturally, too.

After receiving a diagnosis for both fibromyalgia and CFS 9 years ago, I was not content to accept this as the ‘end all and be all’, and decided to do my own research and start looking at alternative treatments and options.

What I found?

Answers.  And help.

Although there are a few other things that I have done regarding improving my health and well-being, here are my top 3 simple things that were the reasons to my symptoms.  Seriously…

Poor Mattress

A poor mattress equals poor posture, poor sleep, aches and pains…and there is also a whole sleep/depression/pain cycle that exists.  By changing your mattress, you may just change your life! (We sure did!).

Please Note: The following information has affiliate links, meaning we earn a small commission in order to keep this website going.  You never pay any extra, should you decide to buy something.

Your doctor’s answer to pain, sleep and mood issues will most likely be…medication.  Meanwhile, changing your mattress to something that is supportive and comfortable can literally make a huge difference in your pain, mental health – and of course, sleep. And immediate relief!

In fact, you should replace your mattress every 5-7 years.  And if you are in bed all the time?  Even sooner!

ps.  You should also change your pillows every year!

The mattress we changed to, was the N:Rem, which was designed for people living with chronic pain. This mattress literally changed my life (and my husband’s).

We love the N:Rem mattress because:

  1. We are able to change the foam slabs with different densities to suit each of our requirements
  2. The mattress made a massive difference on our hip and back pain
  3. We now sleep through the night!
  4. 100 night free trial
  5. £1 a night

You can find out more about the N:Rem sleep system here. (Unfortunately, this mattress is only available in the UK, sorry!).

Ps. Mention FIBROMAPP if you buy it…and get a £30 discount!


A few months ago we had to go away and wound up sleeping on some diabolical mattresses…long story short, I couldn’t walk properly for 2 weeks, both my husband and my hips were absolutely aching, and we ended up needing a postural adjustment – that was just 2 days on a crappy mattress!  I think that says it all…

Nutritional Deficiencies

As per my article written about magnesium deficiency, nutritional deficiencies can cause a whole range of symptoms and health issues – and most of them actually correlate with the 200+ symptoms and co-existing conditions found in fibromyalgia and CFS.

Unfortunately, in many cases, your doctor will not clue in to the fact that you may be dealing with nutritional issues. (As you may have figured out, doctors treat symptoms, they generally do not treat root causes…!)

Here are just a few examples of symptoms.

Please note: The following content is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as advice or treatment. Please seek advice from your health practitioner.

Infographic courtesy of SteadyHealth.com

B12 Deficiency Symptoms

Having B12 deficiency, you may become anaemic. Although a mild deficiency may not cause symptoms, some people who are B12 deficient may experience the following symptoms:

  • Weakness, tiredness, or light-headedness
  • Pale skin
  • A smooth tongue
  • Heart palpitations and shortness of breath
  • Nerve problems like numbness or tingling, muscle weakness, and problems walking
  • Constipation, diarrhea, loss of appetite, or gas
  • Vision loss
  • Mental problems like depression, memory loss, or behavioural changes

In order to find out if you are B12 deficient, please ask your doctor to carry out a blood test.  You may need to get injections every few weeks, if you are severely deficient.  Otherwise, you can get OTC B12 supplement options such as this MaryRuth’s organic B12 liquid spray.

Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms

According to USDA guidelines, it is believed that up to 80% of Americans are deficient in magnesium.  As you can see, a lot of these symptoms also go hand in hand with CFS and fibromyalgia…

  • ADHD
  • Epilepsy
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Sleep problems
  • Migraine
  • Cluster headaches
  • Osteoporosis
  • Premenstrual syndrome
  • Chest pain (angina)
  • Cardiac arrhythmias
  • Heart palpitations
  • Coronary artery disease and atherosclerosis
  • Hypertension
  • Type II diabetes
  • Asthma
  • Depression
  • Osteophytes
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

BTW, getting a correct blood test to determine mag deficiency is very difficult.

Magnesium Bood Tests are Generally Inaccurate

Shockingly, most mag blood tests done are inaccurate. Therefore, it is important to get a correct test to determine if there is an issue. (Ps. with 80% of Americans being mag deficient, assume that this is most likely an issue…).

For more information on the different types of tests, go here.

However….the best way to figure out if you are magnesium deficient is by your symptoms.

Infographic courtesy of Easy Immune health

About Magnesium

There are a variety of different types of magnesium available such as magnesium citrate, magnesium malate, magnesium chlorate (to name a few).

Some magnesiums can be highly ineffective, and will not be absorbed by your body and in turn can cause diarrhea.

I personally use magnesium malate, as the malate is malic acid that coats the muscle and nerve endings.  I also find that it really helps with sleep, anxiety, headaches and much more – as do many people.

Look for an organic magnesium product, if possible – and one that is bioavailable, such as Jigsaw premium, organic, slow release magnesium supplement, which are active, bioavailable magnesium malate tablets with B-Vitamin co-factors.

Another way to get magnesium into your system is through your skin.

Epsom salt is a great way to have a soak in the bath, reduce pain and get your mag hit! I do recommend buying Epsom salt in bulk, however, as you do need at least 2-3 cups each soak, which can add up in cost.

Vitamin D Deficiency

You probably already know that vitamin D is also known as the ‘sunshine vitamin’.

What you may not know is that vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency is now a global public-health problem affecting an estimated 1 billion people worldwide. Vitamin D acts like a hormone, and our cells have receptors for it.

Vitamin D deficiency has a vast swathe of health issues that it is connected to, from cancer to an increased risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes (by 43%). It is also connected to MS, sleep apnea and even erectile dysfunction.

For more information about Vitamin D deficiency go see this MedicineNet article.

Vitamin D Deficiency Symptoms

  • Fatigue and Tiredness
  • Getting Sick Often/Low Immune System
  • Bone and Back Pain
  • Depression
  • Slow Wound Healing
  • Bone Loss
  • Hair Loss
  • Muscle Pain

You can try to increase your vitamin D through foods, however, unfortunately, not only are most of our foods contaminated with toxic chemicals (including organic now, sadly).

Because of this, there is hardly any nutrition left in the soil regarding fruits and veg – meaning the plant is not able to absorb these important minerals to pass on to you when you eat them.

Therefore, a vitamin D3 supplement is a good bet regarding increasing your intake levels.

Viva Naturals, Vitamin D3 is delivered in organic coconut oil for higher absorption.

Last but not least, there is what I call the ‘white elephant in the room’…

Toxicity

I hate to tell you this, but you are toxic.

How do I know?

Because…

An Environmental Working Group study found 287 toxic pollutants in the umbilical cord blood of new born babies (so, passed from the mother)…

The CDC warns of parasites plaguing millions of people... (parasites are considered as toxins, such as the parasite, causing Lyme Disease), ps. it is estimated that up to 60 million Americans are dealing with toxoplasmosis, from pets to foods…

There are over 80,000 chemicals, most of which are unregulated, lurking in our daily lives, according to the NRDC

Foods, Water Supply…Contaminated…

Our foods are contaminated with a plethora of chemicals from glyphosate and other highly concerning toxic chemicals – even organic ones, (the USDA found 40 synthetic pesticide residues on samples from organic foods).

Check out my article regarding how our ‘healthy’ foods aren’t so healthy any more… Just because you only eat fresh fruit and veg and avoid processed foods, sadly is still highly toxic. Fact.

We are dealing with water supplies which are contaminated with everything from heavy metals, to hormones and soooo much more… and our bottled water? Yah, that water isn’t so clean, either any more… and the plastic has the hormone disruptor, BPA, which destroys your body…

Face it.  You are toxic.  we all are.

Toxic Overload Symptoms

For more information on toxic overload, including a quiz to find out how toxic you really are, go here.

As you can see below, a lot of the symptoms listed are the same as those experienced by people living with fibromyalgia and CFS….

  • Fatigue
  • Joint pain
  • Sinus congestion
  • Muscle aches
  • Postnasal drip
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Bloating
  • Excessive sinus problems
  • Gas
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Heartburn
  • Foul-smelling stools
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Sleep problems
  • Water retention
  • Trouble losing weight and keeping it off (ps. Toxins love to live in fat!)
  • Food cravings
  • Rashes
  • Skin problems
  • Psoriasis
  • Canker sores
  • Eczema
  • Acne
  • Premenstrual syndrome
  • Other menstrual disorders
  • Bad breath
  • Body Odour
  • Puffy, dark circles under the eyes
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Constantly ill with colds and flu bugs
  • Leaky Gut Syndrome

(Do these symptoms look familiar, and seem to be the same of those connected to fibromyalgia and CFS???)

Dealing with toxicity is a huge issue…as it not only has to do with detoxing on a regular basis, but also making some serious lifestyle changes regarding food, body care products, cookware and more…

You can access a free ‘5 Day Detox Your Life Course’ here.  This can get you started in the right direction and at least help you be more aware.

The product we use on a daily basis is Te Divina Detox Tea.

It is proving helpful regarding elimination of heavy metals,(I know, because I can smell them faintly on my skin…nobody else can, though!).

It is also helping to eliminate parasites (we have had evidence!!!), chemical impurities and more.

This tea is a gentle option, and you can still eat real food, (clean eating), too.

Immediate Improvements

We noticed within a few days of using this tea that we were sleeping better, our mood improved hugely, bloating disappeared, skin tone improved, (we went from gray to glowing), fatigue lessened – and…I lost 36” in 3 months using this tea and eating clean!

I have to be honest with you, you will never be toxic-free.  But you can do things to reduce exposure and help eliminate what is already in your body.

Conclusion

A good option regarding getting the proper help you need for diagnosing nutritional deficiencies and toxicity, and creating a personalised plan of action, is to work with a functional health expert.

As you can see from the information provided above, there is a lot to be said for just these 3 simple (but not always easy to deal with) reasons  and how they may correlate with the symptoms you are experiencing and have been diagnosed as fibromyalgia and/or CFS.

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Technology is amazing, isn’t it? It’s all around us, and for most of us, it is an integral part of our daily lives.  The downside is that technology may be affecting your health. From headaches to fatigue, brain fog to sleep problems and many other health issues, including an increased risk of cancer

EMF (Electro-Magnetic Fields) exposure caused by technology such as mobile phones, computers, FitBits and much more may be the culprit to your health issues. Ps. This is serious.  EMFs are a form of radiation…

What are EMF?

Digital EMF Radiatior Meter

EMF is a broad term which includes electric fields generated by charged particles, magnetic fields generated by charged particles in motion, and radiated fields such as TV, radio, and microwaves. Electric fields are measured in units of volts per meter or V/m. Magnetic fields are measured in milli-Gauss or mG.

You can measure the EMF in your house and caused by electric goods and devices by using a digital EMF radiation meter, and some of them aren’t too expensive, either.

Just Because Something is For Sale Doesn’t Mean It Is SAFE…

As our governments continue to hurdle towards incredible feats in health and safety ridiculousness, one would think that everyday consumer items such as mobile phones, laptops, tablets, TVs etc. that posed potential health risks (and severe ones at that), would simply not be for sale.  WRONG. (In 2015 the University of Birmingham banned Classics graduates from throwing their mortar boards in the air, so you know…priorities for our health and well-being, right?).

It seems strange that cigarettes and alcohol are packaged with warnings we already know about, and the sodium, fat, and cholesterol content of foods must appear on the labels, but NO ONE TELLS YOU THAT THE AVERAGE HAIR DRYER, VACUUM CLEANER, OR CAN OPENER YOU USE EMITS AN AMAZING 300 EMF mG OR MORE, WHEN 2.5mG IS WHAT’S CONSIDERED SAFE!!!  LessEMF.com

EMF & the Direct Impact on Your Health

Zapped by Ann Louise Gittleman – Is Technology Affecting Your Health?

Electronic pollution, as a result from all our electrical equipment, has a direct impact on our bodies.

Ann Marie Gittleman, author of Zapped: Why Your Cell Phone Shouldn’t Be Your Alarm Clock and 1,268 Ways to Outsmart Electric Pollution discusses in her book how as living beings, we are also energy sources that have electrical forces that run through our bodies all of the time, naturally.

Every device that plugs into an electrical socket, power lines, substations, transformers, handheld electronic devices emit EMFs when in use. And it is these EMF frequencies that ultimately interfere with the flow of our natural energy that flows through our bodies. (In Chinese medicine, this is refered to as ‘Qi’ – which loosely translates to ‘life force’).

It is this disruption that can create imbalance in our bodies, manifesting in a variety of health issues and disease.

Ps.  There is already vast concerns regarding the health impacts of the upcoming 5G wireless technology roll out. If you think what we’re dealing with now is bad?  You ain’t seen nothing yet…

Our Bodies are Out of Balance

As each bio-chemical process in our bodies involves specific choreographed movements of EMF-sensitive atoms, molecules, and ions, the EMF disruption is vastly affecting a whole host of health issues, and on a cellular level. Even the iron in our blood is also affected by EMF, as well as the proper function of nerves, blood vessels, skin, and other organs – even the DNA of chromosomes.

In other words, our bodies are completely out of balance now, due to the constant barrage of EMF pollution.

These symptoms are referred to as EHS: Electromagnetic Hyper-Sensitivity symptoms.

EHS Symptoms include:
  • Prickling or tingling sensation across the face or other parts of the body
  • Fitful and restless sleep/insomnia
  • Dizziness
  • Infertility
  • Behavioural issues
  • Warm or burning sensation in the face somewhat like feeling sunburnt
  • Extreme dryness of mucus membranes such as the back of the throat and eyes
  • Swelling of the mucus membranes such as nose, throat, ears and sinuses without any infectious cause
  • Problems with concentration, lack of focus, loss of memory and dizziness
  • Feeling of impending influenza (flu) that somehow never quite breaks out
  • Headaches and nausea
  • Teeth and jaw pains
  • Aches and pains in muscles and joints
  • Cardiac palpitations
Dirty Electricity

The term ‘dirty electricity’ is in reference to EMFs contaminated by high frequency distortions.  A few examples are:

  • Battery chargers
  • Smart meters
  • Plasma TVs
  • WiFi
  • Computers
  • Fluorescent Lights

Dr Milham is the scientist that first alerted the world to the link between EMFs and their direct correlation to human disease and has written the book Dirty Electricity: Electrification and the Diseases of Civilization.  He has directly correlated how electrical pollution has direct links to the four biggest inflammatory diseases: cardiovascular disease, neurological disorders, diabetes and cancer.  Dr Milham also correlates health issues such as as asthma and even obesity to EMF exposure.

For further information about how EMFs affect your health, check out this video.  (Brace yourself…!).

You Won't Believe How EMFs Affect Your Body! - YouTube

EMF Short & Longer-Term Health Risks

Let’s face it.  The likelihood these days of having just fleeting, short-term exposures to EMFs are probably quite rare.  Take a few moments to consider what is currently in your home and where you work…

Unless you are Amish, or are living a life of zero electricity. (And in that case, you wouldn’t be reading this, would you?! :)), if you have any electricity and electric equipment, not to mention Wi-Fi and Bluetooth – you are exposed. And not just ‘exposed’, but under 24/7 sabotage!

Short-Term EMF Exposure

However, just to cover all the basis,  a study done by the Anatomisches Institute in Germany, on high-frequency EMFs had “no notable short-term effect on pineal melatonin synthesis in male and female Sprague-Dawley rats and Djungarian hamsters.” They also determined their findings were true for all mammals as well.

Longer-Term EMF Exposure

Remember, at the beginning of this article I stated that we assume that if products are for sale, then they must of have been stringently tested for our safety?

The World Health Organization (WHO) put out a press release in May, 2011 that states that radiation from cell phones can be a carcinogen to humans and, with excessive use, could be linked to brain tumours.

Our brains are absorb EMFs like a sponge, and as mentioned above, there is are direct links to headaches, chronic fatigue, nausea, dizziness, muscle weakness, respiratory and cardiovascular distress, behavioural problems, lack of focus, certain cancers, infertility and much more
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Concerned?

Reasonably concerned about EMF exposure and how it may be affecting your health?   You should be!  However, there are numerous things that you can do to help reduce your EMF exposure. Why not check out my article, 9 Easy Ways to Reduce EMF Exposure? 

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If you have ever struggled with night sweats, whether from menopause, medication, pain or hot weather,  then you will know first hand how it sucks! So when I found out about how cooling bamboo sheets are, I just had to check them out and write a review.

Whether you are going through menopause or are living with a health condition such as fibromyalgia and/CFS that gives you a ‘faulty body thermostat’, and you’re struggling to keep cool in bed, then look no further than bamboo sheets.

Bamboo sheets are not only all-natural, they are moisture absorbent – and best of all? They are amazingly silky smooth and feel soooo awesome and….definitely can keep you cool and comfortable in luxurious-ness!

Mothers Do Make the Best Recommendations…

If you have a mother like mine, then you know that when they say something is ‘fantastic’ and ‘worth the investment’, they mean it.

So, when my Mom told me about how luxurious, lovely, fresh and cooling bamboo sheets were, and did a bit of research on them, I was intrigued!

Bamboo Sheets Are Yummy Soft

Firstly, right off the bat, the first thing that came to my mind about bamboo sheets was sheets that are scratchy and feel like cheap, low thread count bedding.  Wrong! In fact, think the opposite.

Think silky smooth, soft like an angel’s breath, breathable, light, heavenly soft sheets.  All of this, plus, they naturally keep you cool, too.

In other words….AWESOME!

Cool & Breathable AND Warm & Cosy, Too!

For me, I live with the fan going 24/7 in our bedroom. Like, the heat has not been turned on since 2008 and rarely has the window been closed.  (And then there is my poor husband, (who lies closest to the window), shivering away ….(If you are reading this, chances are you know EXACTLY what I mean!).

So, when I found out that bamboo sheets can give us EACH what we required regarding cool and warmth, naturally, I was sold.  Like, how awesome is that?

Some Interesting Bamboo Sheet Facts:
  • Can be Organic (or the ones I bought are!)
  • Dries fast
  • Cooling – the moisture wicking absorbs sweat
  • Great for sensitive skin
  • Wrinkle-free (if you pull out of the dryer right away) 
  • Yummy soft
  • Eco-friendly 
  • Adjusts to your body temperature – naturally
  • Breathable
  • All-Natural
Important to Note

Look for 100% bamboo sheets, preferably organic and with no dyes or bleach.  Anything that says ‘derived from bamboo’ most likely means that they are blended with man-made materials such as polyester.  Which you preferably want to try to avoid!

The following has an affiliate links – this means that should you click through on the links, it means we get a small commission for our recommendation, but you NEVER pay any extra! (And thank you if you do click through and buy! Your help allows us to keep this blog going).

Organic, Eco-Friendly, Luxurious Coolness In Bamboo Sheets

If you are interested in sleeping in luxurious, all-natural, certified organic gorgeous coolness, then check out these SHOO-FOO, 300 Thread-Count Organic Bamboo Sheets.

  • No Bleach
  • No Dye
  • Not blended with petroleum-based fabric such as polyester or microfiber
  • 100% Certified Organic –  USDA, OCIA, FSC, OEKO-Tex Standard
  • Only Bamboo – made from sustainable bamboo sources only
  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Hypo-allergenic
  • Eco-friendly
  • Anti-bacterial properties
  • Feels like sleeping on angel’s wings
  • Cooling
  • All-natural
What Do Bamboo Sheets Feel Like?

Bamboo sheets feels like a combination of luxurious cashmere and breathable cotton and feels silky smooth on your skin. (Perfect for people suffering from skin sensitivities, including allodynia. The fabric is a medium weight, and it is firm and smooth with no gloss like satin sheets, and they seem to get softer and softer with each wash!


How Do Bamboo Sheets Keep Us Cool?

Firstly, here is the ‘scienc-y’ part…

When our body cools down it does so by transmitting heat when we contact objects with temperatures lower than our 98.6º, or through evaporation.

When we transmit more and more heat then the cooler we feel.

Because the cells in bamboo hold 40% more water than cotton (100% vs. polyester) it means that any additional water is absorbed.  So when you are hot and sleeping on bamboo sheets then you instantly feel cooler.  The water that is absorbed is otherwise known as perspiration. 

Bamboo sheets water absorption compared to cotton and to polyester is 11% vs 8% vs 0.4%.  Therefore, bamboo sheets offer superior breathability and keep you nice and cool.

Believe it or not, due to bamboo’s high water content makes it very pliable. Believe it or not, it’s the closest fabric to a liquid!

The Downside to Bamboo Sheets

As with many things, there can be a downside…and with these sheets the biggest problem is, when you sleep in bamboo, it is more difficult to get out of bed! #fact

The other downside is that they can wrinkle.  But tbh with you, sleeping in a cloud of cooling comfort that keeps me nice and cool – naturally?  I can live with that!

Recommendation

If you do choose to buy these sheets, please consider NOT using ‘regular’ washing detergent on it. (Or in fact on any bedding or clothing in general).

Most laundry detergents are actually highly toxic and linked to all sorts of concerning and carcinogenic health issues.  On top of it all, if you have invested in these lovely organic bamboo sheets, then ultimately, you are just going to ruin all the goodness by washing them with toxic detergent! Think about it…sleeping in a bed of phosphate and other chemicals?  How healthy is that?!

I use and LOVE the EcoEgg Laundry Egg.  It is non-toxic, hypoallergenic, and 1 egg lasts on average 720 washes!  So, economical,too!  In fact, I wrote a review about the EcoEgg Laundry Egg. (I have used mine for almost 2 years and saved loads of money as well!).

Conclusion

If you struggle with night sweats, or even just get hot in the summer heat and are looking for cooling sheets that are natural (even organic!), and feel amazing, then look no further than bamboo sheets.  You will be amazed! Honest!

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With a whopping estimated 28 million adults in the UK living with chronic pain, and 100 million in the US, there is no doubt that we are dealing with an enormous epidemic, coupled with a spiralling out of control opioid epideimic (particularly in the US) as a result. And then there is a whole other side to the story. Poor treatment, not being believed, heard or listened to, and much more. In other words, the injustices we face in living with chronic pain.

The Role of Injustice in Adjusting to Chronic Pain

One of the most amazing people that I have had the pleasure to work with is Josh Moran MSc and PhD candidate from the National University of Ireland (NUI).

And you will never believe what Josh’s research (not to mention passion) is all about? The role of injustice in adjusting to chronic pain.

Yep.  You read that right. (Like finally, right?  Someone who actually sees what is going on and what millions of chronic pain patients experience daily. How awesome is that?!).

So, I thought I would do a ‘mini-interview’ with the man who knows the ‘word on the street’, when it comes to researching hundreds of chronic pain patients, and their experiences of the injustice.

The following are some questions I had for Josh and his answers, which I thought you may find interesting, validating and even perhaps a bit eye-opening.

Firstly, a Little Bit About Josh…

‘Hi! My name is Josh Moran, and I’m a PhD candidate at NUI Galway. I have also worked as an assistant clinical psychologist in a Dublin chronic pain clinic over the last 7 years, during which I took a break to complete my masters in clinical and health psychology in the university of Manchester and a post graduate psychodynamics certificate from Oxford University.

My PhD research is focused on the role of injustice in adjusting to chronic pain. So far I have completed a narrative review of injustice and its relationship to pain outcomes in a chronic pain population, 2 sets of focus groups about the role of injustice in adjusting to pain and a cross sectional study looking at injustice, psychological flexibility and pain outcomes. I am currently developing an online acceptance and commitment therapy intervention for injustice.’

The Interview… Could you tell us a little bit about your research on the role of injustice in adjusting to pain?

Josh: Hi! Firstly I want to say thank you for asking me to do this, it has been a real privilege to get to know so many great people in my years working in chronic pain and you (Alyssa) are certainly amongst them, and it’s nice to be able to have an informal chat in this type of format!

So, my research is based on the role of injustice in adjusting to pain, I’m happy to give a description of this because sometimes people see my title and think maybe I’m suggesting pain is all in a person’s head, nothing could be further from the truth.

Chronic Pain is Genuine. Not Only Can it be Unfair, it Can Lead to Injustice

My starting point is that pain is genuine, but I understand why people may think it is not my starting point, and it actually feeds into why I’m interested in injustice.

So injustice in the context of pain is to do with unfairness about pain, loss caused by pain, blame attributed to others about pain, and a lack of belief and support people get when they have pain. I’m well aware that many pain sufferers have been subject to others putting the cart before the horse, as in the pain is in your head and now you think it’s real, or some sort of trauma or depression was the cause of pain.

Where I always start is that pain is genuine, and that living with a chronic pain could cause difficulties which make it even harder to adjust to living in pain. The injustice of pain and all the disbelief and abuse that can come with it can make it even harder for people to adjust to pain.

Research on How Injustice Manifests, Difficulties & Intervention

My research is focused on how injustice manifests, what difficulties it can lead to, and is there an intervention that could help people with injustice. I do believe a public campaign educating the general public on what chronic pain is, the massive numbers of people who have it, and ways they can help if they know or interact with someone who has pain is a key part of this.  (Josh is also planning on doing a public campaign, and you can get his contact details below if you’re interested in being in touch with him, he’d love to hear from you!)

I have also found in my research that people would appreciate an intervention to help them personally with injustice so I am working on that, as well. I’m well aware not everyone will have these feelings of injustice or feel it is necessary to research, but for those who do, I hope I can help in even a small way.
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Hopes & Dreams of Improved Pain from Pain Clinics – The Reality Do you find chronic pain patients pin all their hopes on doctors ‘fixing’ them?

Josh: I think that can happen for some people yes. In the Western world I think we have a culture of trying to always stay positive and never accepting negativity for a lot of things, and we also have the idea that hard work will fix anything.

Our medical system (in the UK) is also based on GP’s seeing 15-20 patients a day and diagnosing and fixing the majority of ailments, which in most cases does happen, medical research and treatment has done an amazing job of eliminating, treating, and making manageable so many different issues.

But when you have worked so hard and go in trying to get rid of your pain to the people you hope will have all the solutions and this doesn’t turn out to be the case? It can be extremely difficult to accept.

The Stereotype of People in Pain Scam artists. Malingerers. No such thing as pain…I bet you’ve heard it all…

Josh: In terms of the lack of belief and support I could only talk about what I have been told by people in pain and people who don’t believe in chronic pain.

For those in pain it seems that they have been stereotyped. I have been told they have felt they were treated as/ actively told they were malingerers, scam artists, deceivers looking for insurance money. I think a lot of this comes down to lack of knowledge about the general idea of what chronic pain is.

A lot treat it as a longer version of acute pain, so if pain medication fails and scans come back negative then there is obviously nothing wrong. This as you, I, and all of your readers know is not the case, and this is backed up by experts.

The International Association for the Study of Pain describes pain as “an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage”.

So it appears clear from this definition that not all pain is within the remit of fully understood and treatable methods that we currently have at our disposal.

I’m not sure how well this is known, or things such as the gate control theory are known, so I think with a lot of people they would have the belief that modern medicine can understand and treat everything, so if you say you have something that’s not understood or treated maybe it’s in your head, or you are dishonest. Unfortunately I’ve heard countless stories from pain sufferers who had experiences like this constantly in their lives.

Lose Weight. Exercise. Get a Life… Many of us have been told by our doctors, ‘There is nothing I can do to help you. Lose weight. Exercise. Byeee’. What’s your take on this?

Josh: I have found that a lot in my research and talking to people with pain yes. Some have discussed flat out disbelief coming from GP’s, some have said they were initially given support but when the support didn’t prove effective (exercises, medication etc.) then they were subject to disbelief.

It’s an unfortunate reality for many I’ve talked to that once the pain medication didn’t work and the scans came back negative, it was presumed that they were perhaps over-estimating the level of their pain.

I should say also that many people have told me their doctor was fantastic and they felt lucky to have them and I have only done work with people in pain, but I do report what I am told by chronic pain sufferers and a some have found disbelief and unfairness in their interactions with those they hoped would help, across care and personal relationships.

(On an interesting, side note, reading this Letter From a Doctor,  really provides an different view from the doctor’s perspective of what it’s like treating people with chronic illness – well worth reading!).

Pain Self-Management Through Digital Health Health systems are pushing towards both digital health and also self-management as key areas to help improve the system.  What do you think would make a positive impact for both the patient and healthcare professionals alike? 

Josh: I should state before this answer that I was not bribed in any way! But I genuinely feel that FibroMapp Pain Manager+ app has the potential to satisfy a great deal of self-management and digital health suggestions.

Homescreen of FibroMapp App

In the most practical sense you can log different times and amounts of medication you have taken and exercises you have done, how you are feeling, what you are eating, how much sleep you are getting.

This can help avoid costly, time and effort consuming trips to doctors and can help people to tailor their care to individual circumstances.

I’m sure the benefit of tracking these things throughout days and nights would help improve knowledge and care quality also. In terms of my area we currently have online interventions for management of chronic conditions.

The ability to be able to offer resources to people 24/7 and get feedback on what is helpful and what is not would really benefit both patients and people creating interventions. Being able to offer different support, knowledge and exercises and measure changes in outcomes a number of times across days and years would increase positive outcomes and understanding massively also. It is also a way to individually tailor treatments for everyone if done correctly, and would surely be the best way forward.

Contact Josh!

If you’re interested in following Josh on Twitter, he’s available on @JoshKeith7Moran and he’d love to hear from you and find out more about your experiences as a chronic pain warrior and the injustices you’ve experienced in your journey.

Conclusion

It was (and continues to be) a pleasure in speaking with and working with Josh. On top of him knowing first-hand what chronic pain patients – and their primary care givers are experiencing, he is caring, compassionate and indeed passionate about making a positive difference in people’s lives.  His incredible research and work he has done regarding the injustices that chronic pain patients experience is truly fascinating.  Thank you, Josh for all you’re doing! The world needs more awesome people like you!

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Struggling with fibromyalgia &/or CFS? Here’s 3 simple reasons for your symptoms that you may be experiencing – a lot of which can be easily resolved and even rectified – naturally, too.

After receiving a diagnosis for both fibromyalgia and CFS 9 years ago, I was not content to accept this as the ‘end all and be all’, and decided to do my own research and start looking at alternative treatments and options.

What I found?

Answers.  And help.

Although there are a few other things that I have done regarding improving my health and well-being, here are my top 3 simple things that were the reasons to my symptoms.  Seriously…

Poor Mattress

A poor mattress equals poor posture, poor sleep, aches and pains…and there is also a whole sleep/depression/pain cycle that exists.  By changing your mattress, you may just change your life! (We sure did!).

Please Note: The following information has affiliate links, meaning we earn a small commission in order to keep this website going.  You never pay any extra, should you decide to buy something.

Your doctor’s answer to pain, sleep and mood issues will most likely be…medication.  Meanwhile, changing your mattress to something that is supportive and comfortable can literally make a huge difference in your pain, mental health – and of course, sleep. And immediate relief!

In fact, you should replace your mattress every 5-7 years.  And if you are in bed all the time?  Even sooner!

ps.  You should also change your pillows every year!

The mattress we changed to, was the N:Rem, which was designed for people living with chronic pain. This mattress literally changed my life (and my husband’s).

We love the N:Rem mattress because:

  1. We are able to change the foam slabs with different densities to suit each of our requirements
  2. The mattress made a massive difference on our hip and back pain
  3. We now sleep through the night!
  4. 100 night free trial
  5. £1 a night

You can find out more about the N:Rem sleep system here. (Unfortunately, this mattress is only available in the UK, sorry!).

Ps. Mention FIBROMAPP if you buy it…and get a £30 discount!


A few months ago we had to go away and wound up sleeping on some diabolical mattresses…long story short, I couldn’t walk properly for 2 weeks, both my husband and my hips were absolutely aching, and we ended up needing a postural adjustment – that was just 2 days on a crappy mattress!  I think that says it all…

Nutritional Deficiencies

As per my article written about magnesium deficiency, nutritional deficiencies can cause a whole range of symptoms and health issues – and most of them actually correlate with the 200+ symptoms and co-existing conditions found in fibromyalgia and CFS.

Unfortunately, in many cases, your doctor will not clue in to the fact that you may be dealing with nutritional issues. (As you may have figured out, doctors treat symptoms, they generally do not treat root causes…!)

Here are just a few examples of symptoms.

Please note: The following content is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as advice or treatment. Please seek advice from your health practitioner.

Infographic courtesy of SteadyHealth.com

B12 Deficiency Symptoms

Having B12 deficiency, you may become anaemic. Although a mild deficiency may not cause symptoms, some people who are B12 deficient may experience the following symptoms:

  • Weakness, tiredness, or light-headedness
  • Pale skin
  • A smooth tongue
  • Heart palpitations and shortness of breath
  • Nerve problems like numbness or tingling, muscle weakness, and problems walking
  • Constipation, diarrhea, loss of appetite, or gas
  • Vision loss
  • Mental problems like depression, memory loss, or behavioural changes

In order to find out if you are B12 deficient, please ask your doctor to carry out a blood test.  You may need to get injections every few weeks, if you are severely deficient.  Otherwise, you can get OTC B12 supplement options such as this MaryRuth’s organic B12 liquid spray.

Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms

According to USDA guidelines, it is believed that up to 80% of Americans are deficient in magnesium.  As you can see, a lot of these symptoms also go hand in hand with CFS and fibromyalgia…

  • ADHD
  • Epilepsy
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Sleep problems
  • Migraine
  • Cluster headaches
  • Osteoporosis
  • Premenstrual syndrome
  • Chest pain (angina)
  • Cardiac arrhythmias
  • Heart palpitations
  • Coronary artery disease and atherosclerosis
  • Hypertension
  • Type II diabetes
  • Asthma
  • Depression
  • Osteophytes
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

BTW, getting a correct blood test to determine mag deficiency is very difficult.

Magnesium Bood Tests are Generally Inaccurate

Shockingly, most mag blood tests done are inaccurate. Therefore, it is important to get a correct test to determine if there is an issue. (Ps. with 80% of Americans being mag deficient, assume that this is most likely an issue…).

For more information on the different types of tests, go here.

However….the best way to figure out if you are magnesium deficient is by your symptoms.

Infographic courtesy of Easy Immune health

About Magnesium

There are a variety of different types of magnesium available such as magnesium citrate, magnesium malate, magnesium chlorate (to name a few).

Some magnesiums can be highly ineffective, and will not be absorbed by your body and in turn can cause diarrhea.

I personally use magnesium malate, as the malate is malic acid that coats the muscle and nerve endings.  I also find that it really helps with sleep, anxiety, headaches and much more – as do many people.

Look for an organic magnesium product, if possible – and one that is bioavailable, such as Jigsaw premium, organic, slow release magnesium supplement, which are active, bioavailable magnesium malate tablets with B-Vitamin co-factors.

Another way to get magnesium into your system is through your skin.

Epsom salt is a great way to have a soak in the bath, reduce pain and get your mag hit! I do recommend buying Epsom salt in bulk, however, as you do need at least 2-3 cups each soak, which can add up in cost.

Vitamin D Deficiency

You probably already know that vitamin D is also known as the ‘sunshine vitamin’.

What you may not know is that vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency is now a global public-health problem affecting an estimated 1 billion people worldwide. Vitamin D acts like a hormone, and our cells have receptors for it.

Vitamin D deficiency has a vast swathe of health issues that it is connected to, from cancer to an increased risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes (by 43%). It is also connected to MS, sleep apnea and even erectile dysfunction.

For more information about Vitamin D deficiency go see this MedicineNet article.

Vitamin D Deficiency Symptoms

  • Fatigue and Tiredness
  • Getting Sick Often/Low Immune System
  • Bone and Back Pain
  • Depression
  • Slow Wound Healing
  • Bone Loss
  • Hair Loss
  • Muscle Pain

You can try to increase your vitamin D through foods, however, unfortunately, not only are most of our foods contaminated with toxic chemicals (including organic now, sadly).

Because of this, there is hardly any nutrition left in the soil regarding fruits and veg – meaning the plant is not able to absorb these important minerals to pass on to you when you eat them.

Therefore, a vitamin D3 supplement is a good bet regarding increasing your intake levels.

Viva Naturals, Vitamin D3 is delivered in organic coconut oil for higher absorption.

Last but not least, there is what I call the ‘white elephant in the room’…

Toxicity

I hate to tell you this, but you are toxic.

How do I know?

Because…

An Environmental Working Group study found 287 toxic pollutants in the umbilical cord blood of new born babies (so, passed from the mother)…

The CDC warns of parasites plaguing millions of people... (parasites are considered as toxins, such as the parasite, causing Lyme Disease), ps. it is estimated that up to 60 million Americans are dealing with toxoplasmosis, from pets to foods…

There are over 80,000 chemicals, most of which are unregulated, lurking in our daily lives, according to the NRDC

Foods, Water Supply…Contaminated…

Our foods are contaminated with a plethora of chemicals from glyphosate and other highly concerning toxic chemicals – even organic ones, (the USDA found 40 synthetic pesticide residues on samples from organic foods).

Check out my article regarding how our ‘healthy’ foods aren’t so healthy any more… Just because you only eat fresh fruit and veg and avoid processed foods, sadly is still highly toxic. Fact.

We are dealing with water supplies which are contaminated with everything from heavy metals, to hormones and soooo much more… and our bottled water? Yah, that water isn’t so clean, either any more… and the plastic has the hormone disruptor, BPA, which destroys your body…

Face it.  You are toxic.  we all are.

Toxic Overload Symptoms

For more information on toxic overload, including a quiz to find out how toxic you really are, go here.

As you can see below, a lot of the symptoms listed are the same as those experienced by people living with fibromyalgia and CFS….

  • Fatigue
  • Joint pain
  • Sinus congestion
  • Muscle aches
  • Postnasal drip
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Bloating
  • Excessive sinus problems
  • Gas
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Heartburn
  • Foul-smelling stools
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Sleep problems
  • Water retention
  • Trouble losing weight and keeping it off (ps. Toxins love to live in fat!)
  • Food cravings
  • Rashes
  • Skin problems
  • Psoriasis
  • Canker sores
  • Eczema
  • Acne
  • Premenstrual syndrome
  • Other menstrual disorders
  • Bad breath
  • Body Odour
  • Puffy, dark circles under the eyes
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Constantly ill with colds and flu bugs
  • Leaky Gut Syndrome

(Do these symptoms look familiar, and seem to be the same of those connected to fibromyalgia and CFS???)

Dealing with toxicity is a huge issue…as it not only has to do with detoxing on a regular basis, but also making some serious lifestyle changes regarding food, body care products, cookware and more…

Buy Te Divina Detox Tea Here!

You can access a free ‘5 Day Detox Your Life Course’ here.  This can get you started in the right direction and at least help you be more aware.

The product we use on a daily basis is Te Divina Detox Tea.

It is proving helpful regarding elimination of heavy metals,(I know, because I can smell them faintly on my skin…nobody else can, though!).

It is also helping to eliminate parasites (we have had evidence!!!), chemical impurities and more.

This tea is a gentle option, and you can still eat real food, (clean eating), too.

Immediate Improvements

We noticed within a few days of using this tea that we were sleeping better, our mood improved hugely, bloating disappeared, skin tone improved, (we went from gray to glowing), fatigue lessened – and…I lost 36” in 3 months using this tea and eating clean!

I have to be honest with you, you will never be toxic-free.  But you can do things to reduce exposure and help eliminate what is already in your body.

Conclusion

A good option regarding getting the proper help you need for diagnosing nutritional deficiencies and toxicity, and creating a personalised plan of action, is to work with a functional health expert.

As you can see from the information provided above, there is a lot to be said for just these 3 simple (but not always easy to deal with) reasons  and how they may correlate with the symptoms you are experiencing and have been diagnosed as fibromyalgia and/or CFS.

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