Posts Tagged ‘ankylosing spondylitis and brain functions’

postheadericon Goji and Fibromyalgia

Article by Katrina Coyoca

FMS (fibromyalgia syndrome) is a widespread musculoskeletal pain and fatigue disorder for which the cause is still unknown. Fibromyalgia means pain in the muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Fibromyalgia is a disorder that causes muscle pain and fatigue. People with fibromyalgia have “tender points” on the body. Tender points are specific places on the neck, shoulders, back, hips, arms, and legs. These points hurt when pressure is put on them. Most patients with FMS say that they ache all over. Their muscles may feel like they have been pulled or overworked. Sometimes the muscles twitch and at other times they burn. More women than men are afflicted with FMS, and it shows up in people of all ages.

What causes fibromyalgia?Theories were formulated to what may cause fibromyalgia, but is not enough evidence to support any single cause. Some experts think that fibromyalgia may be related to nerve cells that are too sensitive. Others think that chemicals in the brain (neurotransmitters) may be out of balance. Or it may be related to disturbances of the deep phase of sleep. The cause of FMS remains elusive, but there are many triggering events thought to precipitate its onset.

A few examples would be an infection (viral or bacterial), an automobile accident or the development of another disorder, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or hypothyroidism. These triggering events probably don’t cause FMS, but rather, they may awaken an underlying physiological abnormality that is already present.

Who Is Affected by Fibromyalgia?Fibromyalgia affects as many as 1 in 50 Americans. Most people with fibromyalgia are women. However, men and children also can have the disorder. Most people are diagnosed during middle age. Women who have a family member with fibromyalgia may be more likely to have fibromyalgia themselves.

People with certain other diseases may be more likely to have fibromyalgia. These diseases include: Rheumatoid arthritis; Systemic lupus erythematosus (commonly called lupus); and Ankylosing spondylitis (spinal arthritis).

SYMPTOMS AND ASSOCIATED SYNDROMESPain – People describe the pain as deep muscular aching, throbbing, shooting, and stabbing. Intense burning may also be present.

Fatigue – This symptom can be mild in some patients and yet incapacitating in others. The fatigue has been described as “brain fatigue” in which patients feel totally drained of energy.

Sleep disorders – Most FMS patients have an associated sleep disorder called the alpha-EEG anomaly. Researchers found that most FMS patients could fall asleep without much trouble, but their deep level (or stage 4) sleep was constantly interrupted by bursts of awake-like brain activity. Patients appeared to spend the night with one foot in sleep and the other one out of it.

Chronic headaches – Recurrent migraine or tension-type headaches are seen in about 70% of FMS patients and can pose a major problem in coping for this patient group.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome – Constipation, diarrhea, frequent abdominal pain, abdominal gas, and nausea represent symptoms frequently found in roughly 40 to 70% of FMS patients. Acid reflux or gastroesophogeal reflux disease (GRED) also occurs with the same high frequency.

Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction Syndrome – This syndrome, sometimes referred to as TMJ or TMD, causes tremendous jaw-related face and head pain in one quarter of FMS patients.Typically, the problems are related to the muscles and ligaments surrounding the jaw joint and not necessarily the joint itself.

How is fibromyalgia treated?There is no cure for fibromyalgia, but doctors can treat and control the symptoms. If you have fibromyalgia, you can help manage the symptoms by taking an active role in your treatment.

Medications that boost your body’s level of serotonin and norepinephrine (neurotransmitters that modulate sleep, pain, and immune system function) are commonly prescribed in low doses, such as amitriptyline, cyclobenzaprine and Cymbalta. Ambien, Lunesta, clonazepam, and trazodone are just a few of the medications that may be used to aid sleep.

Ultram may help with the pain, although stronger opioids may be needed for treating moderate to severe pain. Muscle relaxants, anti-epileptics (such as Neurontin and Lyrica) and other drug categories may be prescribed as well. Each issue of Fibromyalgia Network contains information about new drug therapy options, as well as advice about how to make use of existing medications to minimize FMS symptoms.

Most patients will need to use other treatment methods as well, such as trigger point injections with lidocaine, physical therapy, occupational therapy, acupuncture, acupressure, relaxation/biofeedback techniques, osteopathic manipulation, chiropractic care, therapeutic massage, or a gentle exercise program.

Treating Fibromyalgia Naturally

Asian goji contains all the nutrients you need to increase your energy and strength naturally while treating high blood pressure, cancer, diabetes, heart disease and kidney disease, and a long list of other health problems. Goji has enjoyed long use throughout Asia in the natural treatment of insomia. In several medical study groups, nearly all patients taking goji better quality of sleep.

People with fibromyalgia also may benefit from a combination of physical and occupational therapy, by learning pain management and coping techniques, and by properly balancing rest and activity.

Many people with fibromyalgia also report varying degrees of success with holistic therapies including massage, Pilates method, chiropractic treatments, acupuncture and various dietary supplements.

Exercising — Though pain and fatigue may make exercise and daily activities difficult, it’s crucial to be as physically active as possible. Research has repeatedly shown that regular exercise is one of the most effective treatments for fibromyalgia.

Ranked as one of Asia’s premier adaptogens, goji increases exercise tolerance, stamina and endurance. It helps to eliminate fatigue, especially when recovering from illness.

Eating well — Although some people with fibromyalgia report feeling better when they eat or avoid certain foods, no specific diet has been proven to influence fibromyalgia. Of course, it is important to have a healthy and balanced diet. Not only will proper nutrition give you more energy and make you generally feel better, it will also help you avoid other health problems.

Goji possesses a nutrient profile unmatched by any other food. Rich in vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants, it is also the only known source of immune balancing master molecule polysaccharides. For these reasons, goji has been called the most nutrient-dense food on Earth.

For more information please visit Goji Juice.

About the Author

Katrina Coyoca is a staff writer for Goji Juice Review, a leading information resource for news and articles about goji juice.