Loading...

Follow Fibromyalgia News Today on Feedspot

Continue with Google
Continue with Facebook
or

Valid

Insulin resistance may be linked to fibromyalgia, which, if confirmed, could change the way physicians and patients face the disease, researchers say.

The preliminary study, “Is insulin resistance the cause of fibromyalgia? A preliminary report,” was published in PLOS One.

Fibromyalgia is a complex condition characterized by widespread muscle pain, fatigue, sleep disturbance, and memory and mood issues. Although the specific causes underlying the development of fibromyalgia are not clear, scientists think the condition arises from a disturbance of the nervous system that changes the way the brain interprets sensations, especially painful stimuli.

Insulin resistance (IR) is a condition in which the body’s cells become insensitive to insulin, a hormone produced by the spleen. This is the major cause of type 2 diabetes.

“Earlier studies discovered that insulin resistance causes dysfunction within the brain’s small blood vessels. Since this issue is also present in fibromyalgia, we investigated whether insulin resistance is the missing link in this disorder,” Miguel Pappolla, MD, PhD, professor of neurology at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) at Galveston, said in a news release.

In the study, researchers from UTMB and collaborators carried out a retrospective chart review of 23 patients with fibromyalgia, focusing on potential laboratory abnormalities that would enable them to distinguish these patients from healthy individuals.

They found that only the test assessing levels of glycated hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) — the fraction of hemoglobin that is bound to glucose, or sugar, in the blood — normally used to identify pre-diabetic patients showing signs of IR was able to clearly separate those with fibromyalgia from two independent populations of non-diabetic subjects.

“We showed that most — if not all — patients with fibromyalgia can be identified by their A1c levels, which reflect average blood sugar levels over the past two to three months,” Pappolla said.

In addition, a sub-group analysis of patients eligible to be considered pre-diabetic or diabetic (HbA1c levels were higher than 5.7%) and who had been treated with metformin (a medication that controls blood sugar levels) showed these patients had a remarkable improvement in their numerical pain rating scale (NPRS) median scores before and after treatment (8.0 vs 0.25).

“Considering the extensive research on fibromyalgia, we were puzzled that prior studies had overlooked this simple connection,” Pappolla said. “The main reason for this oversight is that about half of fibromyalgia patients have A1c values currently considered within the normal range. However, this is the first study to analyze these levels normalized for the person’s age, as optimal A1c levels do vary throughout life. Adjustment for the patients’ age was critical in highlighting the differences between patients and control subjects.”

According to researchers, if these preliminary findings hold true in future studies, there will be a radical change in the way fibromyalgia and other chronic pain conditions are treated.

“If confirmed, our findings may translate not only into a radical paradigm shift for the management of FM but may also save billions of dollars to healthcare systems around the world,” they concluded.

The post Insulin Resistance May be Linked to Fibromyalgia, Preliminary Study Says appeared first on Fibromyalgia News Today.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

As a result of my cross-country relocation, I’ve had the opportunity to attend five different support groups in the past several decades. Four of the groups were for fibromyalgia (FM) patients only, while the fifth was for anyone with chronic pain from any source. Each group was unique, and some functioned better than others.

What I learned along the way is that any group is only as strong as its leader(s). I led a group for a short time — long enough to realize that an FM patient makes a poor support group leader, at least if she’s doing it alone. I soon had a co-leader, and that made all the difference. In order for meetings to be attractive and helpful, they must have a program. And a program requires planning and effort. It’s not that this is a difficult task. It’s that FM patients often lack the energy to do it.

You may be asking: What about groups without programs? In my experience, without an educational component, support groups tend to disintegrate. With no direction, a gathering of people in pain becomes a “gripe group.” Attendees leave feeling worse than when they arrived. In time, they stop coming.

Yes, misery does love company. But listening to one tale of woe after another can become tiresome and depressing. The time to speak to another member about similar symptoms is after the meeting. The meeting itself needs to be a positive experience. It makes sense. If you leave a meeting feeling better about yourself and your future, you’re much more likely to return to have that feeling again.

Another danger of having no program is what I call doctor bashing, a common result of the frustration this illness creates. Some groups do keep records about their members’ experiences with local healthcare providers. However, this information should be limited to a rating of either “Recommended” or “Not Recommended” by the member signing her name. In this way, a private conversation can occur between the signer and the interested party. That’s when specific questions can be answered. Open discussions about providers are often unproductive due to their personal and emotional nature. Whenever personalities are involved, the conversation can become heated, and the outcome is rarely useful.

If you’re lucky enough to have an FM support group near you, I urge you to attend. Locate one online or check with local hospitals or rheumatologist’s offices. Regular attendance is not required. But if the group is well-run, you will want to be there, and you’ll make the effort to go whenever you can. If your support group is not particularly well-run (i.e., it doesn’t provide anything you value), please consider assuming a leadership role. There is much that can be done to revitalize any group. If there is no group in your area, consider forming one. It’s not as difficult as you might imagine, and I can help.

My latest book, “More Than Tender Points: A Fibromyalgia Memoir,” was written with FM support groups in mind. Each of its 36 short chapters is about a different topic that affects sufferers, with discussion questions included. My intention was for each chapter to serve as a program for a support group meeting. There’s also an entire chapter about forming new groups or improving existing ones.

You might be saying, “But I get all the information I need from Fibromyalgia News Today.” I agree that reading this publication is an important source of current information. But an online publication is no substitute for human interaction, which is lacking in the lives of many FM people.

Being a member of a well-run support group can be similar to being a sorority member. You’ll want to be there to help your fellow sisters. When one is in need, you’ll help in any way that you can, knowing she will do the same for you. In addition, you will learn about local people, products, services, and activities that you might consider experiencing for yourself.

Every person suffering from this misunderstood illness needs a place to go where they feel safe, accepted, and similar. They need an opportunity to learn from others how to create a better future for themselves as well as to share the lessons they’ve already learned. That place is a fibromyalgia support group.

***

Note: Fibromyalgia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Fibromyalgia News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to fibromyalgia.

The post Well-run Support Groups Can Benefit Fibromyalgia Patients appeared first on Fibromyalgia News Today.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

As I write this, I’m incredibly frustrated. I have vacillated between being overweight and obese ever since I got sick with fibromyalgia. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, if I want to fall back into the normal range, my body mass index needs to be between 18.5 and 25. I’m pretty sure I haven’t seen that since before my first child was born — about 32 years ago. 

So many issues could be causing this frustrating inability to lose weight. For me, a normal weight would be around 135 pounds — that’s where I feel most like my former self. That means I have about 45 pounds to lose. Ugh.

I’m trying to figure out all the things that might thwart my goal. Part of the problem for me is that I no longer cook. If my husband doesn’t cook, that means I find something easy to eat, and it’s not always a healthy option. I need to get back to making Mason jar salads. They can be stored a long time in the fridge, they’re healthy, and all I have to do is dump one into a bowl. I love eating salads, but I hate making them. 

Exercise intolerance is my nemesis. Because my life is so sedentary, my muscles have weakened. Plus, I tend to experience post-exertional malaise, which is when my energy level crashes after physical activity, even when walking short distances. I’m exhausted before I even start. Exercising in warm water is supposed to be less strenuous and very beneficial, so I’m currently looking into somewhere local to do this.

The Holtorf Medical Group says, “The concept of exercise intolerance may sound like an excuse to avoid the gym, but individuals who experience it, particularly those with [chronic fatigue syndrome] or [fibromyalgia], can attest that it is debilitating, painful, and incredibly frustrating. Imagine starting out on a jog and not even five minutes in you begin feeling painfully short of breath (dyspnea) and dizzy to the point that all you can do is lay down. Fast forward a few days, and you still feel exhausted, full of pain, and unable to think clearly. Your fatigue is so great that even getting out of bed seems like an impossible challenge.”

Then there is the dilemma of medication side effects. I currently take two medications that can potentially cause weight gain.

The Obesity Medicine Association identifies classes of medications that are associated with weight gain. They include antidepressant, antianxiety, mood-stabilizing, anticonvulsant, antimigraine, and neuropathic pain medications. Many of the meds taken by people with fibromyalgia fall into these classes.

My current goal is to eat more healthily, get a certain amount of easy exercise, and discuss with my doctor the possibility of medication options that won’t cause weight gain.

Have you experienced similar issues? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

***

Note: Fibromyalgia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Fibromyalgia News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to fibromyalgia.

The post The Battle of the Bulge Meets Stiff Resistance appeared first on Fibromyalgia News Today.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Tonix Pharmaceuticals is planning to expand the use of its investigational therapy TNX-102 SL, which is currently being explored as therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), for the treatment of people with fibromyalgia.

The company is going to launch a Phase 3 clinical trial during which researchers will assess the safety and efficacy of 5.6 mg of TNX-102 SL (also known as Tonmya) in fibromyalgia patients.

TNX-102 SL is a reformulation of the muscle relaxant compound cyclobenzaprine that was reinvented in the form of sublingual (under the tongue) tablets with analgesic properties.

“We are very pleased with the outcomes of our recent discussion with the FDA to advance the fibromyalgia Phase 3 clinical program with TNX-102 SL 5.6 mg with the potential to expand the product labeling beyond PTSD,” Seth Lederman, MD, president and CEO of Tonix, said in a news release. “We are looking forward to submitting a final Phase 3 protocol and statistical analysis plan for FDA acceptance prior to study initiation.”

The therapeutic potential of TNX-102 SL has been previously studied in Phase 2 (BESTFIT, NCT01903265) and Phase 3 (AFFIRM, NCT02436096) trials in patients with fibromyalgia.  Results indicated the daily administration of TNX-102 SL at a 2.8 mg dosage could reduce patients’ pain, improve their sleep quality, and could also have beneficial effects on other fibromyalgia-related symptoms.

Despite the positive effects, the company decided to stop the development of TNX-102 SL as a treatment for fibromyalgia and focus on its potential for PTSD treatment.

Preliminary data of a Phase 3 trial (RECOVERY, NCT03841773) in people diagnosed with PTSD have suggested that when taken at a higher dose (2 x 2.8 mg daily), the treatment also had an analgesic effect, while retaining an acceptable safety and tolerability profile.

The new safety and efficacy data of TNX-102 SL suggest that increasing the dose from 2.8 mg to 5.6 mg in the new fibromyalgia study will likely provide the clinical evidence to support the use of this investigational therapy for the management of fibromyalgia.

Supported by these results, the company has gotten the green light from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to further assess the efficacy and safety of a higher dose of the investigational therapy in patients with fibromyalgia in a new Phase 3 trial.

“FDA’s acceptance of the well-established safety information of currently marketed oral cyclobenzaprine products and their agreement that TNX-102 SL 5.6 mg long-term exposure data from our PTSD studies may support the fibromyalgia indication are very reassuring,” Lederman said.

“We have extensive clinical experience and data collected over the past seven years with TNX-102 SL in fibromyalgia and PTSD studies. In addition to the synergy between these two development programs, we are very pleased with the FDA’s clear guidance and support to help advance our lead product candidate, TNX-102 SL, in fibromyalgia and PTSD toward [new drug application] approvals,” he said.

Registration of TNX-102 SL 5.6 mg for the fibromyalgia indication is expected to be supported by two positive Phase 3 studies, and long-term safety exposure data from the PTSD program may support the submission of a New Drug Application (NDA) for fibromyalgia.

“There is a pressing need for new drugs to treat patients with fibromyalgia, especially considering that approximately one-third of fibromyalgia patients are on chronic opiates,” Lederman said. “Tonix could potentially address this need for a non-opiate, non-addictive analgesic for fibromyalgia and possibly other indications in which improvement in sleep quality can indirectly provide clinical benefit to the primary symptoms.”

The post TNX-102 SL Candidate to Be Evaluated in Phase 3 Trial for Fibromyalgia appeared first on Fibromyalgia News Today.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

There was a time when shopping for clothes was one of my favorite things to do. I could spend an entire day browsing in store after store. No purchase was necessary. I enjoyed exploring the latest styles and colors, occasionally trying on a new fad to see how it looked on me.

Over the years, I turned to shopping online instead. It was sad to give up an activity I enjoyed, but my energy supply had become limited to doing the necessities, such as buying food or walking the dog. Clothes shopping at any price became a luxury I could no longer afford.

I chose a catalog retailer whose pieces fit me and remained in style year after year. I’ve mostly worn this retailer’s clothes for nearly a decade — buying replacement pieces when my current ones became stained or damaged. Who knows how long I would have continued to dress the same if age hadn’t interfered. Although I haven’t gained weight (well, maybe a little), my shape has changed. Thanks to gravity, my body parts are migrating south.

At first, I blamed the manufacturer. Such a shame that their clothing is skimpier than it used to be. I switched to another brand. Then another. I finally had to admit that the problem was not with their waistbands — it was with my waist!

My solution to leave my top button undone and cover my midsection with a loose shirt didn’t last long. In addition to being sensitive to smells, sounds, chemicals, and temperatures, I’m also aggravated by tightfitting clothes. Anything elastic is so annoying as to become painful by the end of the day — not only in the waist but at the top of socks and sleeve cuffs as well.

Eventually, I tired of returning every pair of pants I purchased online. With each brand cut a little differently, I wasn’t even sure what size to order anymore. My only option was to go on a shopping trip so I could try on clothes before buying.

Shopping wasn’t the pleasant experience I remembered and had once felt sad to give up. For one thing, there were no sales clerks to help me find a different size or color. Instead, each heavy armload of possible choices took much time and effort on my part to locate — not to mention having to undress and redress to try them on.

Today’s department stores are divided into brands. Trying on a variety of pants requires walking through each brand’s area to search among the items scattered throughout the store.

According to my phone’s Stepz app, I walked more than two miles during my recent shopping trip. I’d worn slip-on sneakers rather than my walking shoes to save myself from having to untie and retie laces. My hips were not pleased with my choice of footwear. After gathering several armloads of clothing and trying them all on, every step was agonizing.

Finally, I had to admit defeat. I had covered only half the store, and I began questioning my ability to walk back to my car located in an adjacent lot. I prayed there would be a chair along my return route.

Clearly, department stores were not designed for the “mature” or physically challenged shopper. I, for one, must focus on finding clothing that fits my needs, both functionally and financially. Fashion is a distant consideration, and brand selection doesn’t even count. Yes, some boutiques offer the service I desire and would likely result in success. Sadly, my budget does not allow me to pay boutique prices.

Perhaps I’ll write a letter of complaint to my local department store on behalf of the fibromyalgia community. But not today. Yesterday’s shopping experience was so exhausting that I can barely function. And I still don’t have a pair of pants that fit. My energy expired long before the store ran out of brands to try on.

***

Note: Fibromyalgia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Fibromyalgia News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to fibromyalgia.

The post Shopping Isn’t Fun Anymore appeared first on Fibromyalgia News Today.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Thanks to fibromyalgia, my world continually grows smaller. I’ve found one thing that helps to expand my borders: reading. I can get through one to three novels in a week. I love getting lost in the stories. I’ve been an avid bookworm since I first learned how to read. My mother fostered our love of books by taking us to the public library every Saturday. I did the same for my children.

I’ve had a Kindle e-reader since they first came out. I currently have over 5,000 books stored on my device. I read a little during the day but usually stick to nonfiction, as I love learning new things. But when I’m in bed for the night, I read for one to four hours, depending on how good the book is. I also subscribe to Kindle Unlimited, which lets me borrow books instead of buying them.

I’ve signed up with a couple of websites that have free books or offers. Two of those are BookBub and BookGorilla. I’m also a member of NetGalley, where I can request books to read for review before they’ve been released.

Another tip for book lovers is to use the search function on Amazon to find free e-books. I believe that those of us with fibro should be reading every day to help keep our minds active and provide an escape from our not-so-fun symptoms

I also found a link to a list of the nine best fibromyalgia books to read for 2019, according to the nonfiction curation site BookAuthority. By the way, I contributed to and edited No. 2 on the list. I haven’t read some of these books, but I plan to check them out.

I have a process when choosing books to read. When I discover a book that seems interesting, I read the description, and then the reviews. If I’m curious, I’ll download a sample. If the book still appeals to me, I will then commit to purchasing it. I also check local libraries for e-books on OverDrive

I read e-books because it’s hard for me to hold a physical book at times, especially if it’s a hardcover. The slim, lightweight Kindle is comfortable to hold, plus I have hundreds of books in my little device. I also found another resource for free e-books. If you have others, please share in the comments below.

Happy reading!

***

Note: Fibromyalgia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Fibromyalgia News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to fibromyalgia.

The post Books Expand My World and Provide Escape from Fibro Symptoms appeared first on Fibromyalgia News Today.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Many people believe they’ve never meditated. Chances are they’re wrong. We practice meditation frequently in our daily lives — often without realizing.

Breathing exercises taught as stress or pain management techniques are perfect examples. Inhale for a count of four, hold for a count of five, then exhale for a count of six. There, you’ve just meditated! Meditation is often thought to be more complicated than it is. However, a dictionary definition is simply “the act of giving your attention to only one thing, either as a religious activity or as a way of becoming calm and relaxed.”

Having battled anxiety all my life, I’ve explored many forms of meditation. My first experience was with mindfulness meditation as taught by Jon Kabat-Zinn. His technique is to focus on the breath, watching it come in and out rather than controlling it. My greatest challenge with this form and other methods of meditation I tried was to overcome the sense of failure I felt when my mind wandered. What I didn’t recognize then was that the act of refocusing the mind was what meditation is all about. I was successfully meditating without realizing it.

I later learned that, unless you’re a monk sequestered from the world, your mind will wander when meditating. However, the more you practice, the better your proficiency becomes. In time, it will become easier to focus and stay centered without becoming distracted.

It’s interesting to note that many commonly used forms of meditation are borrowed from religious practices. If you’re a Catholic and have recited a rosary, you’ve meditated. Prayers said repetitively are the equivalent of chanting in meditation. Hinduism gave us yoga with “om” as a mantra or focal point, which has become synonymous with meditation itself. Zen Buddhists have their koans, or puzzles without answers. For example, “What is the sound of one hand clapping?” What dedication it must take to focus on the answer to this question for more than the time it takes to ask it.

Another contribution from the Buddhist faith is loving-kindness meditation. This practice entails sending specifically worded wishes for safety, happiness, health, and well-being first to yourself, then to someone you love, next to someone you know, then to a stranger, and finally to the entire world.

Here is a link to a 13-minute script of a loving-kindness meditation created by a researcher at Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education. You can follow along to discover whether this feels calming and helpful to you.

https://fibromyalgianewstoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Loving-KindnessMeditation-1.mp3

I find this meditation to be particularly soothing when I’m having a very bad day. As a child, I learned that one way to feel better is to do something for someone else. Because this meditation is directed outward as well as inward when I practice, it’s like I’m helping someone besides myself. It reminds me of my place in this world no matter how ineffective I happen to be feeling at that time. I hope it works as well for you as it does for me.

***

Note: Fibromyalgia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Fibromyalgia News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to fibromyalgia.

The post Meditation Is Not Complicated, and Chances Are You’ve Done It appeared first on Fibromyalgia News Today.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Fibromyalgia has invaded every part of my body and my life, with no regard for my health and well-being. I would never have chosen it, but it has shaped me in ways that would not have been possible if my health had never been tested. Still, it turns everyday activities into challenges. Travel is one of them.

On Easter Sunday, my husband and I traveled to my son’s home. He and his sweet wife had just purchased it, and we hadn’t seen it yet. It was a 45-minute trip each way, and I was already in pain before we even left. I used a cushion for my back in hopes that it wouldn’t hurt too terribly at the end of our excursion.

We shared lunch with our family and got to check out their charming first home. It was really nice not to have to do the cooking and cleaning. I just got to relax, enjoy their company, and share funny memories. It broke through the shield of loneliness that typically surrounds me. I don’t get to see my kids as often as I’d like, so I treasure these times.

The challenge here was their golden retriever “puppy” that kept trying to sit in my lap — all 40-plus pounds of him. He didn’t realize how much pain that caused me; he just wanted to show me affection. There was a time in my pre-fibro life when I would have truly enjoyed that. 

I have to say that I enjoy being in the car with my husband. Without real distractions, we get to talk about so many things. He holds my hand, and we sing to the radio. We get uninterrupted together time, a truly precious gift! He works two jobs and long hours, so any time we get to spend together is time we both cherish. 

The ride home was somewhat uncomfortable for me, and was a constant reminder of my illness and my physical limitations. It’s always good to get out, but even better to be back home. We lived in Massachusetts for most of our lives and moved to New Hampshire several years ago. After leaving my son’s home in Massachusetts, my husband and I agreed that we could never go back to living there. We love the quiet, the lack of traffic, and the slower pace of life. 

Next year, I think we’ll invite the family up here. That way, I can lie down when I need to.

***

Note: Fibromyalgia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Fibromyalgia News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to fibromyalgia.

The post Easter Sunday Travels appeared first on Fibromyalgia News Today.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Doing regular breathing exercises at home is as safe and effective for relieving fibromyalgia (FM) pain and reducing the disease’s impact on daily life as doing the same exercises in supervised sessions, a study shows.

However, when considering at-home practice, it is important to provide training and guidance, such as a through a DVD, and regularly check compliance to ensure patients keep exercising.

The findings, “Non-supervised breathing exercise regimen in women with fibromyalgia: A quasi-experimental exploratory study,” were published in the journal Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice.

Current guidelines by the European League Against Rheumatism state that the only “strong for” therapy-based recommendation for FM is exercise, given its effect on pain, physical function, and well-being, as well as its availability, relatively low cost, and safety.

The benefits of breathing exercises have been evaluated in the context of meditative movement therapies, such as tai chi, qigong, or multi-exercise programs, performed under supervision.

These activities were shown to alleviate the pain of FM and improve patients’ physical and mental health and quality of life.

Some studies provide evidence that home-based exercises, as long as they have been checked by a specialist, are as useful to combat pain and other FM symptoms.

Instead of having to attend a class or individual session, learning the exercises with a specialist and then doing them at home could be more practical and comfortable for patients.

A team led by researchers at Portugal’s University of Évora sought to understand whether a non-supervised, at-home program of breathing exercises offers the same benefits in pain alleviation and FM impact as a supervised regimen.

Forty-three women with fibromyalgia completed the study. They were assigned to one of three groups: 15 on a 12-week supervised breathing exercise program; 13 on an equivalent program, but practiced at home and without supervision; and 15 not doing the breathing exercises (control group). 

The breathing exercise program was the same used in an earlier pilot trial, carried out by the same team, to improve pain tolerance in women with fibromyalgia.

Each session took 30 minutes and focused on exercises to strengthen and lengthen the muscles of the thorax and abdomen.

In the supervised group, women did one daily session for 12 weeks (one class per week, supervised by a qualified instructor, and six sessions per week done at home guided by a DVD).

Those in the non-supervised group completed a similar 12-week program consisting of the same breathing exercises. But in the first session, an instructor taught them all the exercises. All other daily sessions were done at home, guided by a DVD. These patients were also telephoned once a week to check their performance and encourage them.

The effects of each modality were measured in terms of pain tolerance at several tender points (trunk and neck) and impact on daily life, using the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire.

Researchers saw that after 12 weeks of breathing exercises, there were no significant differences between supervised and non-supervised programs, either in pain tolerance or FM’s impact on daily life.

However, there was a slight tendency of the supervised regimen to show additional benefits in alleviating the impact of pain.

“It may be therefore considered that breathing exercises carried out under non-supervised regimen could be effective and safe for FM patients, and that such exercises may foster patients’ self-management,” the researchers said.

Researchers note, however, that non-supervised exercise regimens can make it difficult to guarantee patient compliance.

“In this sense, in order for a program of non-supervised exercise regime to be successful and that there is no high rate of withdrawal, an adequate motivational work must be carried out with patients,” they said.

The use of a DVD to guide exercises and regular checks to confirm adherence to the program, as done in this study, could be effective.

“If there is regular attendance and control, even if it is not in-person, non-supervised exercise regime can be effective, as observed in our study, in which the participants reported high levels of exercise compliance,” the team stated. 

The post At-home Breathing Exercises Are as Safe, Effective in FM as Classes, Study Says appeared first on Fibromyalgia News Today.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

My irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) had been under control for the past few months. However, my symptoms began to return gradually. My gastroenterologist reminded me of the connection between stress and digestive issues, so I made a conscious effort to eliminate stress from my life.

For example, I’ve avoided situations that are common culprits for me such as watching the nightly news and struggling to learn new technology. I began watching reruns of a sitcom I find laugh-out-loud funny. I’ve added a walking program to my daily routine and stuck to it even on days when pain and fatigue were running rampant. I stocked up on books at the library – all of the novels I’ve wanted to read but put off because I thought I lacked the time. Reading is therapeutic for me. It’s meditative and calming; I was sure it would reduce my stress even further.

But despite my best efforts, stress found me, even while I was reading, or walking, or laughing, or doing nothing in particular.

It began early this week. My very old cellphone became obsolete. I hadn’t imagined using it for anything other than making and receiving phone calls. But I was wrong. In the past few years, I’d come to rely on my phone for many valuable functions. It contains my photos, address book, driving directions, calendar, voice memos, and at least 25 “Words with Friends” games in progress with friends and relatives all over the country (another form of therapy for me). My phone was slowing down, and it occasionally refused to perform some functions altogether. It was way past time to replace it.

Following much research and deliberation, I finally decided on which replacement phone I would purchase. It arrived in the mail on Monday. Because I’m a nontechnical person and because the prospect of losing any of the information so vital to my life was hugely stressful to me, I hired someone to do the transfer of data from my old phone to my new one. The process took nearly four hours — by someone who does this for a living! To say it did not go smoothly would be an understatement. Even now, four days later, I’m still struggling to make my new phone user-friendly. That was stress No. 1.

Yesterday I started my car, put it in reverse, and pressed the gas pedal … nothing happened. There appeared to be an issue with the emergency brake. I put the car back in park and put the emergency brake on and off a few more times. The car still would not move. I finally gave up and pressed the power button to turn off the engine. Unfortunately, the vehicle remained running. No matter what I did, I could not switch it off. I panicked and ran in search of my husband. After several minutes of fiddling with the controls, he managed to get my car in gear.

The car is now at the local repair shop. I’m awaiting a call to tell me how much it will cost to fix it. Any money I might have had for such an expense has just gone to purchase my new cellphone. Hello, stress No. 2.

I think you can see where I’m going here. Stress is inevitable. You don’t need to search it out or even leave your home. It will find you. My doctor’s suggestion to reduce the stress in my life seems laughable at the moment. It’s time to find a new alternative for IBS management.

***

Note: Fibromyalgia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Fibromyalgia News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to fibromyalgia.

The post I Tried to Avoid Stress to Treat My IBS, But It Found Me appeared first on Fibromyalgia News Today.

Read Full Article

Read for later

Articles marked as Favorite are saved for later viewing.
close
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.
Start your free month
Free Preview