Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Pain relief improves fibromyalgia sufferers' lives

Health News Article | Reuters.com SEEMS A NO BRAINER TO ME...: "New research indicates that moderate-to-severe fibromyalgia pain can dramatically impair health-related quality of life for people with the condition. The good news is that effective pain relief can greatly improve the situation.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition marked by widespread muscular and joint pain, as well as specific "tender" points that typically occur in the neck, spine, hips and shoulders. Pain is not the only symptom, as sleep disturbances and fatigue, depression and irritable bowel syndrome are often present.

The latest findings, which appear in the medical journal Arthritis & Rheumatism, are based on an analysis of data from a clinical trial comparing the combination painkiller tramadol-plus-acetaminophen (brand name, Ultracet) with inactive "placebo" treatment for relief of fibromyalgia pain.

The health-related quality of life of the 313 men and women who participated in the study was assessed with two standardized questionnaires and compared with the quality of life of a national sample of adults and of people with heart failure.

In all areas of quality of life the fibromyalgia patients scored lower than the national sample of adults, and lower in many aspects than heart failure patients as well, Dr. Robert M. Bennett, from Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, and colleagues report.

As anticipated, the degree of fibromyalgia pain was directly related to the impairment in health-related quality of life seen, but improvement in pain severity with tramadol/acetaminophen treatment led to better quality of life.

"This study provides evidence that reducing pain can reduce the burden of fibromyalgia during a 3-month period," the team says. Further studies are needed to see if addressing non-pain symptoms of fibromyalgia can provide additional improvements in health-related quality of life.

SOURCE: Arthritis & Rheumatism, August 15, 2005. "


Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Random Acts Of Reality :: Main Page

Random Acts Of Reality :: Main Page: "m mentioned in the Observer today, along with some other great blogs.
Others mentioned are Mental Nurse (Which I never knew of, but after reading the first post has gone onto my bloglines subscription)"

Mental Nurse � Blog Archive � Death By Interview "client" blogs have particular appeal for me...

Thursday, August 11, 2005

RemedyFind Fibromyalgia Newsletter

RemedyFind Fibromyalgia Newsletter: "Why do doctors think Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia patients have a psychiatric disorder?

There is an ongoing battle between two groups of psychiatrists over what mental illness is, who is mentally ill, and who has organic diseases. When I use the term “pathological” or “organic” I am talking about just the body and nothing to do with the mind, emotions, beliefs etc.. “Pathological” means it is not found in healthy patients.

It isn’t ethical, but many, many patients with organic illnesses, not just CFS and Fibromyalgia, suddenly find their illness has been reclassified as a mental disorder by a group of psychiatrists on the “biopsychosocial” side of the battle...

In 2001 the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the National Institute of Health (NIH), cut all government funding to biomedical researchers studying ME ICD-10/CFS and fibromyalgia, funding only the two biopsychosocial programs known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Cooperative Research Center (CFSCRC) who use the controversial psychiatric psychosomatic model for researching the vague symptom of “fatigue.” These same centers also often research pain using the controversial psychiatric category of “pain disorders.” If they say you have a “pain disorder”, what they mean is that your pain is in your mind. Physical pain in CFS or fibromyalgia is referred to as neuropathic pain, a complex pain disorder, or allodynia (an organic pain condition where stimulus, such as pressing on the patient’s thumbnail, creates a pain reaction that is out of proportion to the pain response range of healthy people.) "

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Work yet to begin

Second counselling session yesterday ( 3rd if include initial introduction...) and still getting to know me. Yesterday's was a run through my life, mainly my childhood and family background, pretty bleak sounding.

Today I have fibro flare up, maybe the mental effort - especially keeping a lid on everything or the 2 days hard gardening - who knows? A real bummer though 2 days hard gardening is more than I could do not so long ago....

"Expert Patients" With Fibromyalgia and Other Chronic Illnesses: Not Quite What the Doctor Ordered

"Expert Patients" With Fibromyalgia and Other Chronic Illnesses: Not Quite What the Doctor Ordered: "Lillian Balliston: Fibromyalgia patient

When Lillian Balliston was in her early twenties, she suffered a knock on the knee. It appeared to be a minor injury, but triggered terrible pains. Unable to wash or dress herself, she had to give up her job in personnel and move back to her mother's home. Sometimes, in the street, the pain was so bad that she would fall over and, even now, 15 years later, she is still so sore that she can't let her eight-year-old daughter, Isha, hug her. But the worst aspect of her condition, she says, is that the health professionals didn't listen to her.

"Whenever I went to the doctor, I felt criticised: I was told that I shouldn't be in such pain, so I must be depressed and should get out more. A physiotherapist gave me exercises to do but, when I said I couldn't do them because of the pain, I was told to make more effort. I was made to feel as if I was the problem and, eventually, I began to doubt myself so much that I was scared I would have to go into a mental home.

To understand the condition, one UK website suggests that you take the muscle that leads from your shoulder to your neck in your hand and squeeze hard; that's what it feels like all over the body, all the time. Living with that pain is miserable, but Balliston feels that her frustration with doctors and physios made her symptoms worse and that, because of self-doubt, she led an even more restricted life than she need have done. "If only there had been an Expert Patient Initiative in the early 1990s, my life could have been so different," she says.

The NHS's Expert Patient Initiative is designed to give patients with chronic disorders - some 17 million people; a third of the population - more control over their treatment. Balliston signed up for it when she read of a pilot scheme in her GP's surgery in White City, west London. The course involved six sessions of two and a half hours, covering exercise, diet and complementary therapies to how to communicate with health professionals.

Perhaps it is this last element of the course that accounts for doctors' lack of enthusiasm for the initiative. Only 21 per cent of GPs surveyed were in favour; more than half predicted that it will mean more work. Perhaps they envisage stroppy patients storming into the surgery and demanding the latest, very expensive drug, which the doctor doesn't think suitable...

Chronic conditions often mean the end of dreams, a loss of motivation and a sense of being out of control, he explains. 'On these programmes, we encourage people to dream again. Everyone has to set a goal each week and an action plan for achieving that goal. If someone is unable to get there - many overestimate themselves to begin with - the group looks at solutions.'

Since taking the course, Balliston goes out more, often with a colleague from the course to give her confidence. She has read up about fibromyalgia and her other problem, chronic pain syndrome, so she goes to the doctor less regularly because she feels more in control. This matches research that shows that expert patients use their GPs, and A&E and outpatients departments less than before; they are also more likely to take their medication.

Most important, Balliston has learnt to talk to medical professionals: "Whenever I had an appointment, I used to get upset and forget to ask questions that had been bothering me. Now, I feel able to put those feelings aside. I say: 'This is what I've done and this is how I feel. Is there another direction you can point me in?'" That doesn't sound too scary for doctors. With the initiative now expanding, Locke and Balliston hope that more GPs will realise that it is no bad thing if patients and doctors talk to each other on a more equal footing.

Source: health.telegraph (UK): http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/main.jhtml?view=DETAILS&grid=P8&targetRule=10&xml=/health/2005/08/09/hexp09.xml © Copyright of Telegraph Group Limited 2005."