2 Types of Pain with Fibromyalgia & CFS

2 Different Types of PainThere are 2 different types of pain, find out more in this article.

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Did you know there are 2 types of pain with fibromyalgia & CFS that many of us struggle with? They are nociceptive and neuropathic pain.  Find out more about each, including natural treatment options, below.

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Chronic pain can be divided into 2 pain types:

  1. Nociceptive Pain
  2. Neuropathic Pain

Type 1: Nociceptive Pain

What is Nociceptive Pain?

When you have an injury, there are receptors in the nervous system that become activated.  These are called ‘nociceptors’.

If there is an injury that occurs outside the nervous system, then these nociceptors aren’t activated.

Nociceptive pain is caused by either an injury or something, such as a diseased part of the body that doesn’t affect the nerves.

However, in chronic pain, the nociceptors might continue to send pain messages to the brain long after the injury has healed.

Nociceptive pain is broken into two sub-categories:

1.Somatic Pain: The word ‘soma’ means ‘body’, therefore, somatic pain is from outer body injuries, such as:

  • Muscles
  • Skin
  • Ligaments
  • Bones
  • Joints
  • Tendons

The type of pain depends on what part of your body is injured, however it is generally easy to pinpoint where the somatic pain is coming from.

Somatic pain tends to be throbbing, aching, dull or sharp.

Examples of somatic pain:

  • Fibromyalgia
  • Tension headaches
  • Pelvic pain caused by pelvic joint instability
  • Chronic back pain that is not caused by nerve damage
  • Arthritis

Treatment of Somatic Pain:  Some people find that over-the-counter medications such as anti-inflammatories (NSAIDS) and analgesics work.  These can be both oral medications or creams and rubs. Opiods can be prescribed, but generally for shorter-term use.

Heat and cold packs can also help reduce pain and swelling, massage and relaxation may also help to reduce pain.

Ice packs, suck as Koolpaks (amazing -as they keep cold for a long time and freeze fast), and heating pads, such as the PureRelief XXL fast-heating pad

Exercise is a great way to reduce somatic pain due to increasing endorphins, the ‘feel good’ hormone. Endorphins are peptides which activate the body’s opiate receptors, causing an analgesic effect.

2. Visceral Pain: Viscera are your internal organs and blood vessels, which don’t have a lot (or any) nerves.  It is caused by compression in and around the organs or by stretching of the abdominal cavity.

Visceral pain can have referred pain – meaning that your brain can’t figure out where the pain is coming from.  A good example is lower back pain might be a kidney problem.

Examples of visceral pain:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Vulvodynia
  • Bladder pain (such as cystitis)
  • Endometriosis pain
  • Prostate pain
  • Cancer-related pain

People with visceral pain may experience pallor, profuse sweating, nausea, GI disturbances, and changes in body temperature, blood pressure, and heart rate.

Treatment of Visceral Pain:  Visceral pain is generally treated with either opiods or NSAIDS. Exercise can also improve pain due to endorphins being released.

Visceral pain can feel like aching or squeezing.

Type 2: Neuropathic Pain

Otherwise referred to as ‘peripheral neuropathy’, this type of pain is known as ‘nerve pain’ vs an actual injury causing pain signals, the nerves themselves are damaged. It can be a very intense pain – it can be very complex and sometimes hard to treat.

What Causes Neuropathic Pain?

Pain signals that are being sent to the brain that are faulty, which can lead to chronic, neuropathic pain.

Your body is made up of a large network of nerves, which is called the ‘peripheral nerve system’, which is made up from all the spinal column nerves and nerve roots.

Should these nerves begin to malfunction, through either injury or disease, then they can cause chronic neuropathic pain -which can also be referred pain.

A perfect example is numbness and tingling in your arm, which could be related to damage to the nerves in your neck.

Nerve Pain Isn’t Always Understood Pain…

Although what can exactly be the cause of chronic neuropathic pain isn’t always understood, the nerve pain can be brought on by irritation (such as osteoporosis and degeneration), disease and trauma.

Some people can be born with conditions that can cause neuropathic pain, other types are congenital disorders.

Neuropathic pain is common in diseases such as diabetes that attack sensory nerves.

Nerve Damage & Disease

Nerve pain can also be present when nerves have been damaged or severed, such as spinal cord injury or amputation.  Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) and sciatica are also conditions where the nerves have been irritated and can cause nerve pain.

Other diseases and disease sources that can cause neuropathic pain can include Guillain-Barre syndrome,(which is thought to have a connection with fibromyalgia), cancer, multiple sclerosis, kidney disorders, alcoholism, and HIV.

More types of neuropathic pain caused by nerve damage include spinal cord injury, post-mastectomy pain (PMPS), postoperative hernia repair pain, and other types of post-surgical pain.

Neuropathic pain can feel sharp, stinging and have burning sensations.

 Fibromyalgia pain and CFS pain  that is nerve related are allodynia (pain due to a stimulus that does not usually provoke pain) and hyperalgesia (increased pain from a stimulus that usually provokes pain)

Root Causes of Pain

This past year has been a real journey for myself, regarding that ‘light bulb moment’ – where I realized that a lot of my health issues – pain included – had to do with root issues (ie the main issue causing the pain).

So many of us have fallen into the situation with conventional medicine that we take medications that not only mask the symptom -but can subtly create a multitude of other health issues aka side effects – requiring, you guessed it…more meds!

Problem is that many of these medications are doing nothing to eradicate the source of the pain to begin with…

One issue that I clued into this past year, (which blew my mind), was toxicity.

Toxins can make our bodies ache (not to mention be the root cause of things like brain fog, sleep issues, fatigue, skin issues and so much more…).  Parasites love to burrow in our joints and muscles, causing pain, as an example.

Toxic Neuropathy is a Real Thing

Toxic neuropathy refers to neuropathy caused by drug ingestion, drug or chemical abuse, or industrial chemical exposure from the workplace or the environment.

It can also be caused by additive toxins in foods and food additives, pesticides, industrial and/or household cleaning solvents, etc. (In other words, you don’t have to be working in a nuclear power plant to be affected by toxins causing toxic neuropathy…)

Take the ‘How Toxic Are You?’ Quiz –> HERE

Treating Pain Naturally

Many people are choosing alternative, natural, pain relief options vs prescription medication that can cause side effects, such as constipation, addiction, itching, sleep issues and withdrawal.

As mentioned above, heat and ice can also help.  You can find out more about heat and ice treatment here.

A product that contains both peperine and curcumin (a known, natural pain and inflammation ingredient) is by a trusted household spice company – Schwartz.  Their curcumin & bioperine pain relief & joint support  is also GMO and gluten-free.

I personally highly recommend Ouch Pain Relief Capsules – as they not only help muscle and joint pain – but also nerve pain (which is so hard to treat).

Mattresses Matters!

Many people don’t connect with the fact that their mattress can also be a prime source of pain, and only figure this out when they get a new mattress.

Nrem Mattress for Pain Relief

NRem mattress designed for people with chronic pain

In fact, a study was done by Oklahoma State University, which found that people with back problems who replaced their mattresses every 5-7 years slept significantly better and reduced their pain.

Consider how much time you spend in bed – and if you struggle to sleep and wake up stiff and aching…could be time to replace your mattress!

For many of us, we spend a lot more time than the average person in our beds, due to pain.

Therefore, replacing a mattress on a regular basis is really something to consider if you are struggling with neck, back and hip pain.

In the UK?

If you are in the UK and are looking for a great mattress, I can personally recommend (because I sleep on it every night), the Nrem mattress designed for people with chronic pain.

Mention FIBROMAPP when you go to check out and get a £30 discount.

Plus…you get 100 night trial, 0% interest, for just £1 a night – no matter what size mattress!. Sleep easy with £0 deposit and no payments until the month after your order. And free delivery, too! Awesome!

Excercise Can Help

Exercise is also an excellent way to get your pain under control – naturally, by releasing endorphins – the ‘feel good’ hormone.

Obviously, it can also increase pain!  Moving to fast, overstretching and twisting can increase pain, however, there are exercises you can do that are much more gentle, such as swimming – a great exercise for people with chronic pain!

Swimming, otherwise known as ‘aquatic therapy’, can help reduce inflammation.  Because of the the buoyancy of your body in the water, it protects you from jarring and jerking movements and is low impact – all of which is great for pain peeps!


In conclusion, most of us with fibromyalgia and CFS are dealing with 2 types of pain affecting muscles, joints and nerves.  What about you?  Do you struggle with both types of pain?  What do you do that helps relieve it (naturally?).

Alyssa Reid

2 Types of Pain with Fibromyalgia & CFS

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Fibromyalgia & CFS: The Parasite Connection Beyond Lyme Disease

Parasites, fibromyalgia, CFSThe connection between parasites, fibromyalgia & CFS

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Did you know that millions of people in North America and Europe are dealing with undetected parasite infections? Here’s some jaw-dropping information regarding fibromyalgia & CFS and the parasite connection beyond Lyme Disease. Brace yourself!

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Many of you might be aware of Lyme Disease, which comes generally from tick bites and is actually a cousin to syphilis.  It is characterized by a spirochete infection called Borrelia – a bacterium that releases bacterial lipoproteins (BLPs). Lyme disease has an array of symptoms including neurological issues, pain, sleep issues, digestive health issues and much more.

Beyond Lyme Disease

However, Lyme Disease is just ONE of many different parasites that can be found in Western civilisation.

We know that a lot of people with fibromyalgia and CFS have been sadly dealing with Lyme Disease -and misdiagnosed…not to mention other potential parasites that they have not been tested for and go undetected – and untreated.

In fact, the Center of Disease Control has stated that millions of Americans are plagued by parasites…and they are definitely not just affecting people from impoverished third world countries, or people who have gone to exotic destinations.

Parasites attack young people, old people, wealthy and poor people – and they could very well be making their home in your body – and your gut – causing you a vast array of health issues that go way beyond just abdominal pain.

What is a Parasite?

A parasite is any organism that lives and feeds off of another organism (in other words, YOU)..  In many cases they are worms that feed off of the nutrients in your body. They are considered as a ‘toxin’.

Some examples of parasites include:

  • roundworms
  • tapeworms
  • pinworms
  • whipworms
  • hookworms
  • scabies
  • giardia

For more information on 12 of the most common parasites, go here.

Health Problems Parasites Can Cause

Some consume your food, leaving you hungry after every meal and unable to gain weight.

Some lay eggs that can cause itching, irritability, and even insomnia.

They can even burrow in your joints and muscles – causing aches and pain and inflammation.

Others feed off of your red blood cells, causing anemia.

On top of this, they rob you of important vitamins and minerals…and as many of us struggle with deficiencies such as magnesium, vitamin D and B12, perhaps parasites could be a possibility as a cause of these deficiencies.

And that’s just a few of the many health issues parasites can cause…there’s a more comprehensive list below.

Physical Signs of Parasitic Infection

As you will see from the extensive list of symptoms, parasites may very well be one of the root issues – hence the fibromyalgia, CFS parasite connection.

The most obvious sign of a parasitic infection is some abdominal pain.

Abdominal pain, however is not always present, or you may not be aware of even a low-grade pain- particularly when you are dealing with a myriad of other health issues.

When other causes of abdominal pain or discomfort have been ruled out by a medical doctor you may consider parasites as the cause.

More possible signs of a parasitic infection:

  • passing gas (particularly after meals)
  • seeing egg shaped circles in the eyes when looking at the sky
  • bloating
  • poor sleep
  • constant dreams during sleep
  • chronic constipation
  • chronic diarrhea
  • alternating constipation/diarrhea
  • tossing and turning during sleep
  • grinding of teeth at night
  • wearing down of teeth
  • chronic candidiasis (candida overgrowth)
  • burping gas after meals
  • chronic burping
  • poor quality of nails
  • delusions
  • hallucinations
  • mood swings
  • depression
  • chronic anger
  • mental disorders
  • ravenous appetite
  • strong early morning appetite especially around 5am, 6am
  • lymph problems (e.g. lymph tissue enlargement or pain)
  • constant cravings for greasy foods, even potato chips
  • cravings for and eating farinaceous foods:
    • white bread
    • cookies
    • pastries, etc
    • other white flour products
  • cravings for sugar or sugar containing products
  • love of sour foods such as lemons, grapefruits
  • love of vinegar
  • chronic exhaustion
  • chronic fatigue
  • rough, dry skin at the heels of the feet
  • anal itching, tickling (at night) and/or burning and redness
  • bowel movements turn green regularly
  • hypoglycemia
  • headaches
  • migraine
  • trouble sleeping
  • abdominal pain after eating apples
  • trouble getting to sleep
  • abdominal pain after vigorous exercise

Gut Health Issues?

If you have tried countless approaches to heal your gut and relieve your symptoms without any success, a parasite could be the underlying cause for many of your unexplained and unresolved symptoms.

Where Do Parasites Come From?

These microscopic creatures are typically picked up through food and water. An infection can lead to serious health problems – and many of the symptoms are the same symptoms those of us struggling with fibromyalgia and CFS have.

Please note, I am not saying that parasites are the one and only cause of fibromyalgia and CFS – I am saying that as you can see, the symptoms many of us struggle with certainly correlate to fibro/CFS.

They can also be transmitted through our lovely family pets.

Remember the safety warning about toxoplasmosis and pregnant women?  And to avoid cleaning cat litter?

In the U.S., more than 60 million people are chronically infected with toxoplasma gondii. The parasite is also found in undercooked meat and even some unwashed fruits and vegetables.

Keep in mind that the people picking our fruits and veg may be infected with a variety of parasites…I have heard stories of how these hard working people, who in many cases are living in extreme poverty without medical care, end up having to use the loo in the fields…and of course, there’s no soap nor water to wash their hands…which ultimately means they spread parasites onto your nice fruit and veg….

Lyme Disease and toxoplasma gondii are just 2 of the many parasites that you may be playing host to.

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Parasites can come from:

  • fish (cod is particularly bad…and raw fish? sushi, anyone?!)
  • dogs/cats/horses
  • water that is contaminated
  • pork
  • beef
  • foreign countries
  • other food, such as fruit and veg

You might be thinking, ‘I’m a vegetarian’, or, ‘I haven’t had a pet for years’…Thing is, once infected, parasites will continue to multiply as they throw a party in your body…for years – unless you do something about them.

Mind Blowing…

Ok.  So when I read this next bit of information, it really blew my mind.  I have not been able to find any documented research as such on it – however, when Googling, it seems to be well-known….

Do you notice that your flare-ups get worse around the full moon?  Here’s why…

According to the late Reverend Hanna Kroeger they are ‘moon creatures’ – in other words, their life cycle is lunar.

Full Moon Activity

Normally parasites become more active during the full moon, however, they can be active all the time, and in particular the tapeworm can be most active during the full moon. The term tapeworm here includes the pork, beef, and fish tapeworms.

New Moon Activity

There are worms that are more active during the new moon as well!  Roundworms tend to be new mooners…

What to Do About Parasites

So….here is the BIG question…there is a good chance you might be dealing with a parasite infection…or possibly even more than one.  What do you do about it?

Firstly, your GP might be very limited in their knowledge about parasites (pretty much guaranteed…surprise!).

On top of it all, conventional medicine treatment tends to be heavy duty antibiotics.  Zithromax is one that is used for cryptosporidium and toxoplasma.


Antibiotics will also kill your good bacteria…and they also may not kill the eggs.  On top of it all, antibiotics can smother and kill mitochondria (our cell’s powerhouses – hello chronic fatigue!) and cause a plethora of unwanted health issues on top of seriously affecting your immune system.

And if your type of parasite can’t be killed by antibiotics, you are making the environment even MORE friendly to the parasite by killing any good bacteria that may be helping your GI system and fighting the parasite.

You can get a testing kits for parasites online – do your research (and read reviews).  Obviously, the more comprehensive the test – the more expensive they will be, on average, you will be looking at around $200.

A functional health practitioner can be helpful regarding testing and treating parasites.

Natural Parasite Cleanse

Alternatively, there is a great product that I have been using that not only gently eliminates parasites, but also cleanses the colon and liver of heavy metals, bacteria, viruses, fungus (candida is a huge issue many of us are dealing with).

This product also has numerous other benefits, such as stabilizing blood sugar, cholesterol, and much more – including it’s incredible anti-oxidant qualities from the extensively researched ganoderma and chaga mushrooms.

This product is called Te Divina.  It is organic, all-natural, vegan and gluten free.  Plus it has a pleasant taste, and you eat normally.

Your liver is your body’s filtration system, and on top of filtering the huge number of toxins from chemicals and other impurities in your food, water, body care products and air, it is also attempting to filter out the lovely toxins that the parasitic worms leave behind – namely their excrement.  (Fatigue is an indicator that your liver is struggling, btw).

Te Divina helps to cleanse the liver on top of kicking out the parasites – and so much more.

On top of this, there are thousands of people, (myself as one of them), reporting a huge amount of relief from IBS, digestive issues, pain, fatigue, skin issues – even restless legs from this product.  You can read the reviews about Te Divina here.

Fibromyalgia & CFS: The Parasite Connection Beyond Lyme Disease

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Urgency: Ron Davis and His (Non-NIH Funded) ME/CFS Collaborative Research Center

ron Davis research center

This is one of a series of blogs that will look at what’s coming up in 2018 from ME/CFS research foundations.


ron Davis research center

When Davis didn’t get an NIH funded research center – he built his own.

Those ten NIH research center proposals contained a hidden gift.  Of the ten grant applications, seven failed, leaving at least 21 potential individual research grant applications that could be sent to the NIH. That is potentially a major boost to a field that averages about 15 grant applications a year.

Apparently Ron Davis didn’t get that message. He’s already put in one grant application to support Mark Davis’s project and plans to get two (R21 for nano-needle + ?) more in by February. At some point, Ron Davis is actually going to get funded by the NIH for his chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) study.

Patient Community Shows up for Stanford Collaborative Research Center

Ron Davis worried that his inability to garner an NIH research center grant would turn donors away. He was so worried and upset at some of the reviewers’ weird comments on his application that he went so far as to publish some of them.

As it turns out he needn’t have worried about the patient community. They responded to the Open Medicine Foundation’s (OMF’s) “Giving Tuesday” request with a blistering $452,000 in donations. The OMF responded to that a couple of weeks later by providing a $1.2 million dollar grant to Davis et. al. for their Stanford Collaborative Research Center.

Thanks to the patient community’s support, Davis and company will actually have more money to spend next year than each of the NIH’s Collaborative Research Centers, which are hobbled by high reporting requirements.

Davis would surely like to have an NIH-funded research center, and the guaranteed multi-year funding and collaborative opportunities that come with it, but his work will continue.

That’s good news because Davis is engaged in three of the most interesting research projects going.

Activating the T-cell Activation Study

First, the OMF will fund an expansion of Mark Davis’s findings that T-cells are being clonally activated at a high rates in ME/CFS. Davis’s initial T-cell findings suggest that these master immune regulators are being tweaked by something. Here’s what Dr. Koroshetz said about that project:

Mark has really pioneered the way to go — from how the immune system senses either an external or internal antigen — and then actually how that response is generated.”

And it’s very groundbreaking work in that he can go from not knowing what the body is responding to, to actually doing detective work and tracking back to find where the original response was. For example, in a large cohort of chronic fatigue patients, he has now found a number of new antigens that correlate with disease. And he hasn’t published this yet, and he’s not ready to tell us because he needs to be 100 percent certain of what these antigens are, but I think the approach itself is really groundbreaking.

T-cell chronic fatigue

With Mark Davis and Derya Unutmaz working on them, T-cells have become of great interest in ME/CFS.

If Davis can determine what that something is – which is not easy at all – any time Ron Davis calls something “non-trivial”, it means it’s not easy to do – he could conceivably get at the heart of what is causing the immune problems in ME/CFS – and who knows, perhaps even ME/CFS itself.  This study will use emerging technologies produced by Mark Davis’s lab, the product of which recently appeared in a publication in Nature – one of the most sought after journals in the world.

This study will also utilize advances in understanding the HLA genes produced by Davis’s Stanford Genome Lab. HLA genes enable immune cells to present pieces of viruses to the immune system so that it can react to them. Mapping these highly variable genetic segments was long thought to be impossible but Davis’s Stanford Genomics Center Lab cracked that nut a couple of years ago.  The two Davises and others spun a company called Sirona Genetics out of their findings. That company was acquired by another company, Immucor, in 2016.

The Big Data Study Goes Mainstream

The OMF is extending the same kind of data collection and analysis applied to the severely ill patients to the less severely ill and their families. Importantly, the study will use family members who are not ill as healthy controls. Family members are the best kind of healthy controls because they have similar genetics, environment and diet. Anything that pops up, then, will probably not be due to these factors – making the results more meaningful. This project is taking place in Mike Snyder’s lab.

Threading the Nano-Needle

The nano-needle is an exciting bit of new technology but as Davis reminded us in a new video, it is new technology – and that means issues are going to crop up. Basically, Davis stated, there’s going to be “one problem after another”. The nano-needle is in the “one problem after another phase”.

A perplexing blood preparation issue, for instance, caused them to step back.  It turns out that freezing blood, keeping it cool on ice, etc. doesn’t work with the nano-needle. The sample preparation that works for the nano-needle, ironically, is the easiest one: keeping the sample at room temperature.

On the bright side, they’ve got 21 samples tested. So far, every ME/CFS patient and no healthy controls have tested “positive” i.e.; their cells appear to be unable to handle the increased stress produced when salt is added to the mix. This very, very consistent finding has resulted in a rarely seen probability factor (p<.00003) which indicates that the needle, so far, is picking up something quite unique to ME/CFS.  Davis noted that although the sample size is small, with their billion data points each, each sample reading is very robust.

The nano-needle is a case of technology outstripping our understanding. It’s showing something dramatically different is occurring in ME/CFS patients’ cells but they’re not sure what it is. They are pretty sure that the cells are not dying but they are clearly changing in some other way.

Next up, they will run other disease samples (multiple sclerosis, diabetes, FM, Lyme disease, autoimmune diseases) to see what kind of signature they produce.

Freeing the Data

There’s been a good amount of talk about freeing the ME/CFS data and going open source. Except for perhaps some CDC data, I’m not aware of open source data on ME/CFS.  Given the highly competitive research field and the worries about being scooped, researchers have legitimate concerns about providing their hard-won data to others.

A year or so ago, Davis said he was committed to providing the group’s data to other researchers in hopes that it could help inform others work on ME/CFS. That hasn’t happened yet and I asked him why.

Davis said that, like so many other things in science, providing the data turned out to be much more complicated than he’d thought it would. The problem was Stanford.  If you look at Davis’s Stanford Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Research Center website, it’s situated inside the Stanford Genome Technology Center’s website. For maximum credibility that’s right where you want it but Stanford told them there was no way in the world they were going to be able present the data on the Stanford website.

Stanford, it turns out, is very protective of its firewall.  It doesn’t think kindly of anyone outside of the University being able to penetrate it.  Plus, Stanford only wanted researchers to access it.  Eventually – it took a year to work everything out – the Davis team housed the data on a server outside of Stanford and it should be accessible – via application for researchers – soon.

The open source platform took longer than expected but it could be a big win. It’s clear that Davis prizes collaboration. He knows he’s not going to solve this disease by himself – at least not in an appropriate timeframe. That’s why he’s putting so much effort into making his data public. It’s why he put together the Symposium last year. The SMCI, to their credit, produced a similar gathering a couple of months ago. The NIH, to their credit, is requiring that their research centers share data and collaborate as well.

The Severely Ill Big Data Project

The sample size of the Severely Ill Big Data project is not large but the amount of data that’s been gathered on each patient is huge. No other study has examined any cohort of patients with the depth that Davis has. Of course, no one has looked at really severely ill patients with any detail at all before.

The severely ill patient data will help tell us what’s going on the severely ill now – and should reap dividends for years as other deep-dive projects (the NIH’s Intramural study comes to mind) featuring healthier ME/CFS patients get finished up and the two groups can be compared.

Analyzing that much data is taking time but the addition of a bioinformatics researcher is helping. Thus far, the genetics portion of the study is finding a lot of polymorphisms e.g. unusual genetic variations in the severely ill patients, particularly in the “KIR (killer-cell immunoglobulin-like receptor”) locus” which is involved in infection. This is a particularly interesting set of genes as they regulate the killing activity of natural killer cells.

The study is too small in and of itself to validate these findings, but with Davis working on other genetic studies with larger cohorts, and with Dr. Klimas hooked into Patients Like Me and doing her own genetic study (See the Great Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) Gene Project https://www.healthrising.org/blog/2016/09/16/great-chronic-fatigue-syndrome-mecfs-gene-project/), we have some bigger genetic studies underway.

Surprisingly, no infections have been found –  yet. While studies have had difficulty finding pathogens in the broad ME/CFS community, Davis thought he would surely find infections in these very ill patients – but not yet.  Davis isn’t through; he’s going to use some new technologies to look again for bugs. He’s confident that if an infection is present in the body, it will show up in the blood at some point.

Thus far, the data also suggests that multiple pathways to becoming severely ill exist: no core abnormality has of yet been found in all of them.

The Weird Blood Project

I asked Davis about the next year – I said he’d be focusing on the big three projects, right when Janet cut in – Ron is always investigating; you never know what might turn up. “The Weird Blood Project” (my name for it) is a perfect example of that.

The idea that red blood cells issues might be causing problems is not new.  The red blood cells, after all, deliver oxygen to the mitochondria in our cells. If something has gone wrong with them, then energy production would drop.

red blood cell chronic fatigue syndrome

Could unusually formed red blood cells be having trouble getting to the tissues?

In 1993, Simpson found alterations in red blood cell shape after exercise which he thought could result in reduced oxygen transfer to the tissues. In 1999, David Berg proposed that low level increases in coagulation were rampant in ME/CFS.  (At an LDN conference, Dr. Holtorf stated that he finds heparin to be quite effective at times.) In a small (n=20) 2010 study, though, Brenu found no changes in red blood cell aggregation or deformability or fibrinogen levels between ME/CFS patients and healthy controls.

Recently, Anand Ramasubramanian, Ph.D., a bioengineering specialist from San Jose State University (my alma mater 🙂 ) has with Davis begun taking another look at the red blood cells in ME/CFS. Ramasubramanian, who is a blood flow expert and inventor, learned about Davis’s ME/CFS studies from one of his team members. Both groups were interested in the biomechanics of cells, making their collaboration a natural fit. Dr. Amit Saha is leading the effort at SJSU.

Saha is looking at the rate at which the red blood cells from Ron Davis’s patient population flow from a larger test tube to a smaller one; i.e. from a blood vessel to a capillary.  The results are still quite preliminary, but thus far he’s finding significant reductions in how quickly the ME/CFS patients’ red blood cells flow into the smaller tube. Ramasubramanian said the early results “are intriguing to say the least”.

Why ME/CFS patients’ red blood cells are getting bunched up in the capillary tube isn’t clear. They could be too stiff and are having trouble deforming. They could be an odd shape, or something else may be going on.  Ramasubramanian said they were starting to do microscopy on the blood vessel to see if they were structurally different in some way.  He expected to have answers in a couple of months and to be writing a research grant proposal to study the issue in more depth.

Other News

About that Symposium – I asked Davis if there would be another one next year. He said he hoped so. Whether it is or not is largely dependent on funding.  I got the feeling that this is something Davis wants to continue with and if it doesn’t happen next summer, it will happen the next.

Dr. David Kaufman MD, a former HIV specialist who turned his talents to ME/CFS about five or so years ago, has been sitting in on the group’s weekly meetings.  Kaufman, who’s gotten some great reviews, left the Open Medicine Institute a couple of months ago and formed his own clinic.

More from Ron

Check out a beside chat with Ron Davis – the first in a series of bedside chats with researchers – begun by Janet Dafoe.

BIG (Little) Donation Drive Update

health rising donations

Please push a little money Health Rising’s way.

Two weeks into HR’s end of the year donation we are almost 70% of our way to our goal. One of the Health Rising’s most important jobs is to get the word out about creative individuals and research foundations like Ron Davis and the OMF. Help Health Rising do that with your recurring or one-time donation.  Please use the donation buttons on the right hand side of this page or go here to find out more.Thanks!

The post Urgency: Ron Davis and His (Non-NIH Funded) ME/CFS Collaborative Research Center appeared first on Health Rising.

Cort Johnson

Urgency: Ron Davis and His (Non-NIH Funded) ME/CFS Collaborative Research Center

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Thinking Negatively Can Make Fibromyalgia Symptoms Worse

A recent study has found that negative thoughts can increase stress and in turn, make fibromyalgia symptoms worse.

MORE: Fibromyalgia patients talk about how they manage their fibro pain

Rumination is thought to affect a person’s ability to cope and approach life with optimism. Fibromyalgia patients suffer from symptoms such as chronic pain, severe fatigue and brain fog, symptoms which are made worse when the person chooses to focus on negative thoughts.

The researchers involved in the study surveyed 98 women with fibromyalgia, asking them questions about various aspects of their mood including rumination, depression, coping, optimism, anxiety, and stress. They found that those who spent less time ruminating were generally less stressed and suffered from fewer of the physical symptoms associated with fibromyalgia. They concluded that if women were able to better control their negative thought processes then they would experience more relief of their fibro symptoms. Read more about this study here. 

MORE: Six tips to help reduce stress

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 another 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 post Thinking Negatively Can Make Fibromyalgia Symptoms Worse appeared first on Fibromyalgia News Today.

Wendy Henderson
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VeinViewer Will Help Nurses With IVs and Blood Tests

Anyone with a chronic illness will testify that they spend a lot of time in the doctor’s office having blood work done. Which means getting pricked with a lot of needles, which can sometimes take two or three (or more) attempts to find a compliant vein.

MORE: Four facts about fibromyalgia you might find interesting

This Humans of the Future Facebook video has the answer to temperamental veins. The VeinViewer is a handheld device that uses near-infrared light to create a digital image of a person’s veins. The machine will help doctors and nurses find veins, making transfusions, inserting IVs, and taking blood samples much quicker and easier for everyone.

The device can also be used to locate valves and bifurcations as deep as 15mm and shows any accidental punctures. It will also help medical professionals find the best point of insertion and will help guide needles through any curves in the veins. It has been found to improve first-time stick success by 100 percent.

MORE: Five diet tips to help you to control fibro flares

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 another 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 post VeinViewer Will Help Nurses With IVs and Blood Tests appeared first on Fibromyalgia News Today.

Wendy Henderson
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Better Therapies, Guidelines Needed to Improve Patient Care, Canadian Survey Finds

Canada, guidelines

Canadian rheumatologists believe that therapies currently available to treat fibromyalgia largely fail to manage symptoms, and new diagnosis and treatment guidelines are needed to improve patient care, a new survey found.

The findings were reported in a study titled, “Attitudes Toward and Management of Fibromyalgia: A National Survey of Canadian Rheumatologists and Critical Appraisal of Guidelines,” published in the Journal of Clinical Rheumatology.

Fibromyalgia is characterized by chronic, widespread pain that can severely affect a patient’s quality of life. Clinical management of the disease is challenging, with many patients reporting no significant improvements, even when monitored at specialized rheumatology centers.

Recent discoveries have shown that fibromyalgia may be caused by complex mechanisms that are separate from musculoskeletal processes. Therefore, recent guidelines suggest that patients should be managed by primary care physicians without the need for rheumatology specialists.

“The aim of this study was to explore management strategies and attitudes of Canadian rheumatologists toward fibromyalgia and concordance with guideline recommendations,” researchers wrote.

The team conducted a nationwide cross-sectional survey that was completed by 140 rheumatologists from the Canadian Rheumatology Association. Nearly all of the physicians (98%) reported having attended to patients with either primary or secondary fibromyalgia.

The survey found that 80% of responding rheumatologists believe that fibromyalgia is a useful clinical diagnosis. However, not all agreed on the fundamentals and consequences of the disease, as only 54% said that fibromyalgia is an objectively defined condition. Most respondents — 79%  — said a diagnosis is useful in guiding clinical management.

Rheumatologists also are divided on whether fibromyalgia is a psychosocial condition, with 31% agreeing and 43% disagreeing.

Contrary to guidelines, 61% said the evaluation of tender points is a useful tool for diagnosis, and only 42% said effective therapies exist.

The survey also showed that most Canadian rheumatologists manage their fibromyalgia patients with education, exercise therapy, antidepressants, and non-narcotic analgesic — all strategies that are in accordance with guidelines. However, more than half believed that these strategies are ineffective.

“Canadian rheumatologists largely do not provide primary care for fibromyalgia,” the researchers wrote. “Most adhere to recommendations by the 2012 Canadian Guidelines for management of fibromyalgia, but few endorse these interventions as effective, and there are important limitations associated with these guidelines.”

The team believes that additional studies are needed to address the disconnect between clinical practice and perceived treatment effectiveness, as well as an update of the 2012 Canadian Guidelines for the diagnosis and management of fibromyalgia.

The post Better Therapies, Guidelines Needed to Improve Patient Care, Canadian Survey Finds appeared first on Fibromyalgia News Today.

Alice Melão

Better Therapies, Guidelines Needed to Improve Patient Care, Canadian Survey Finds

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8 Signals That You’re Going to Have a Heart Attack

 Heart attacks are a terrifying thing, especially because it’s often difficult to predict when and who a heart attack will strike. But there’s no need to live in constant fear that you’ll be the next victim of this cardiovascular episode, not if you keep an eye out for some key signals.
Vector of the chest before a heart attack.

Here are 8 signs that you might be at risk of a heart attack in about a month:

1. Abdominal Pain

If you’ve been noticing your stomach is upset recently (this can be nausea, pain, or even bloating) this could be a sneaky red flag. Abdominal pains before a heart attack have an episodic nature, meaning they ease off and then returning for short periods of time.

2. Insomnia

Struggling to fall asleep, maintain sleep, or waking up unusually early could be signs of insomnia. Insomnia is also associated with an increased risk of a heart attack or stroke, especially among women. Anxiety and absentmindedness are also symptoms of chronic insomnia.

3. Unusual Fatigue

Feeling tired, even if you’re getting a full night’s sleep? This unusual fatigue is one of the main symptoms that indicates an impending heart attack.

Fatigue like this doesn’t have to be caused by physical or mental activity, and it will increase towards the end of the day. Take note if it’s sometimes exhausting to perform simple tasks, like making a bed or taking a shower.

4. Hair Loss


One of the most visible signs of heart disease is losing hair on the crown of your head. This most commonly affects men over 50, but some women may also be in the risk group.

5. Irregular Rhythms

Bay Area Natural Health

Arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) or tachycardia (increased heart rate) can happen abruptly and often lasts for 1-2 minutes. If it doesn’t fade, you might feel dizziness and extreme fatigue, in which case you should call the doctor right away.

6. Loss of Breath

Dyspnea, or breathlessness, is a strong feeling of being unable to draw a deep breath; often you’ll feel tired and dizzy, as well. This sign affects both men and women for up to six months before a heart attack.

7. Unusual Perspiration

Often associated with women going through menopause, these hot flashes could be signaling something much worse. Take note of any flu-like symptoms, clammy skin, or sweatiness occurring regardless of air temperature or physical exertion.

8. Chest Pains

The biggest and most well-known symptom is the uncomfortable sensation in one or both arms, jaw, neck, shoulders, or chest. In men, this symptom refers to the most important early signs of an impending heart attack that should not be ignored. On the other hand, it affects only 30% of women.


8 Signals That You’re Going to Have a Heart Attack

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Cannabis Company Designs Pain Patch For Fibromyalgia And Nerve Pain

Cannabis has been used as an all-purpose homeopathic remedy for centuries. Over time, evidence suggests that the plant was an herbal remedy for psycho-neurological disorders, breast cancer, rheumatism,  sexual disorders, and painful complications related to childbirth. Now, this ancient tool has a new, modern application. A cannabis patch is in development for patients with fibromyalgia and diabetic nerve pain.

Cannabis for fibromyalgia & nerve pain

Cannabis Company Designs 1 Cannabis Company Designs Pain Patch For Fibromyalgia And Nerve Pain
Photo credit

Fibromyalgia and diabetic neuropathy have a couple of things in common. Both conditions involve seemingly unexplainable pain, tingling, and can drastically reduce your quality of life.

Early research suggests that cannabis may have powerful therapeutic effects for both conditions, and this new pain patch offers a novel new approach for conditions that are incredibly difficult to treat.

A 2014 survey from the National Pain Foundations found that cannabis was considered the most effective pain medication by fibromyalgia patients who were willing to experiment with the herb.

Not all survey respondents had consumed cannabis. However, those that had suggested that the herb worked better at managing pain than the leading prescriptions for fibromyalgia, including Savella, Cymbalta, and Lyrica.

Small human trials of cannabis for diabetic neuropathy have also been successful. A study of 16 patients with diabetic neuropathy of the feet found the herb successfully reduced pain symptoms in a dose-dependant manner. The cannabis plant has successfully reduced nerve pain associated with conditions like multiple sclerosis as well.

While expensive cannabis-based pharmaceuticals are already available in some countries for the treatment of nervous disorders, most canna-curious patients are stuck with topical creams and oral cannabis options, which can be a little strong for the daytime.

Now, one innovative company, Cannabis Science, has released a revolutionary new topical application of cannabis medicines.

Cannabis Science designs an infused pain patch

Cannabis Science, Inc. is a pharmaceutical research company that works to develop innovative new cannabis medicines. In November of 2016, they announced their most recent project, a transdermal patch that delivers powerful pain-fighting medicine through the skin and into the bloodstream.

The company has two new patches in mind, one for fibromyalgia and one for diabetic neuropathy. While both of these patches will contain cannabinoids, each formulation and delivery method will be designed to most effectively manage symptoms of the respective illness.

In a press release announcing the new pain patch, Cannabis Science CEO Raymond Dabney explains,

The development of these two new pharmaceutical medicinal applications are just the tip of the iceberg for what we see as the future for Cannabis Science.

While we strive to increase our land capacity for growth and facilities to produce our own product to supply our scientists with proprietary materials to make these formulations, we are also busy researching more potential needs for Cannabis related medical applications and developing the methods for delivery of these medications.

Earlier in 2016, Cannabis Science began recruiting for a study on inhaled cannabis preparations for patients with asthma and lung diseases like COPD.

Cannabis Science is also not the first company to look into the transdermal applications of cannabis. Mary’s Medicinals got there first, offering cannabis-infused pain patches to medical cannabis patients in Colorado, Arizona, Nevada, Washington, Michigan, and Oregon. The company also hopes to offer their patches in California soon.



Cannabis Company Designs Pain Patch For Fibromyalgia And Nerve Pain

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Fibromyalgia Mystery solved – Researchers are the main source of pain in the blood vessels

Do you experience muscle pain and constant fatigue? There is a good chance that you suffer from fibromyalgia. As many as 5 million Americans who are aged 18 or over are affected by it. Women are the main targets of this chronic disease, affecting up to 90% of them, and it is very difficult to treat.

Brandon Marji, Staff Writer

For many years, research has shown that pain and tiredness just be “among the patients head. “It has been characterized as a psychosomatic disorder, which means that it is caused by mental factors that attribute to the imagination of a person.

Many people complain of pain in the neck, shoulders, back and legs. But no research has been able to identify what causes this pain. Until now! Recent research has finally determined that the pain is actually not just a fantasy, but in reality caused by a sensory nerve in the blood vessels found in the palms!

The dynamics of scientific embedded tissues were responsible for the study. They found that the fibers that were supposed to be solely responsible for the blood circulation in the skin are also responsible for touch sensing and pain.

To be sure of their results, the team conducted a study to see if they could locate a disease in the blood vessels that could also contribute. After analyzing skin samples they collected women who suffered from fibromyalgia, they discovered that there was a sharp increase in sensory fibers at some sites in blood vessels of the skin.

These nerves are part of the arteriole-venule shunts, which are responsible for the thermal regulation in our bodies by controlling blood flow in our blood vessels. In hot conditions, the closed shunts which forces blood into the surface of the skin so it can be released.

In cold conditions, the shunts open and allow the veins to retain heat, so our hands and feet become cold.


Fibromyalgia Mystery solved – Researchers are the main source of pain in the blood vessels

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10 Ways Rheumatoid Arthritis Affects Your Whole Body

10 Ways Rheumatoid Arthritis Affects the Body

Although often mistaken for osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that affects approximately 1.3 million Americans.Along with joint pain and swelling, about four out of 10 people with Rheumatoid Arthritis have related problems in other body parts, says Eric Matteson, MD, professor of medicine and chair of the department of rheumatology at Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minn.Rheumatoid Arthritis can decrease life expectancy, but “with modern therapies, we are seeing less rheumatoid disease outside of the joints, and patients are living longer,” he says.Following are ways in which Rheumatoid Arthritis affects the body and what you can do about it.

 Rheumatoid Arthritis


What happens: Rheumatoid arthritis often starts in the small joints of the hands and feet but can progress to other parts of the body. Pain is often worse in the morning and is sometimes symmetrical (you have it in both hands, for example). What helps: There are numerous medications that can help, and most aim to temper the immune system. Choices include chemotherapy, and anti-rheumatic and anti-inflammatory medications. “The most important concept about the medications we have today is that when we recognize and diagnose RA, we start therapy as soon as we know what is going on,” Dr. Matteson says.


What happens: People with Rheumatoid Arthritis have twice the risk of having a heart problem as those without it, according to Dr. Matteson. The condition creates a chronic, low-grade inflammation that damages blood vessels and increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, heart disease, and heart failure, he says.Rheumatoid Arthritis can also cause the pericardium, the sac-like structure around the heart, to become inflamed. This complication can produce sharp chest pain and fever, and if left untreated, can lead to thickening and scarring of the pericardium. What helps: The treatment for heart problems and most other Rheumatoid Arthritis complications is to reduce inflammation through medication. If problems progress, a pacemaker may be necessary.


What happens: Up to 10% of Rheumatoid Arthritis patients develop serious lung problems. The most common conditions are inflammation in the lungs’ lining (pleurisy), which causes pain when breathing; scarring of the tissue in the lungs (pulmonary fibrosis); and an increased chance of emphysema, even in nonsmokers. What helps: The best treatments are those that reduce the underlying inflammation.


What happens: People with chronic diseases, including RA, are more likely to experience depression or other mood disorders—it’s a common and understandable occurrence, Dr. Matteson says. Chronic inflammation is also associated with abnormalities of neurotransmitters and hormones that can affect how a person feels, he adds.What helps: If people are depressed or have significant mood changes, antidepressants can be used to treat the symptoms, according to Dr. Matteson.

Blood vessels

What happens: Vasculitis occurs when blood vessels become inflamed, narrowed and blood flow is reduced. Dr. Matteson says this can block blood flow in areas like the arms, legs, and nerves.

Vasculitis can sometimes lead to coronary artery disease, he adds. What helps: If blood vessels narrow significantly, patients may need to take steroids or undergo certain types of chemotherapy, which help reduce inflammation and tissue damage.


What happens: Some Rheumatoid Arthritis patients get peripheral neuropathy, or nerve damage, that causes a burning and numbness in the feet and hands. Also, when blood vessels become inflamed, the nerves don’t have an adequate blood supply, which can result in further nerve damage. What helps: The best approach is to reduce the underlying inflammation and use medications that treat the neuropathy itself, according to Dr. Matteson.


What happens: Inflammation can also occur in various parts of the eye—a “devastating complication that can cause blindness,” Dr. Matteson says. Problems occur in the eye’s iris (uveitis), the white of the eye (scleritis), and the membrane covering the white part (episcleritis). Symptoms include blurred vision, pain, redness, and light sensitivity. Inflammation can also increase the risk of glaucoma and cataracts. What helps: Eye drops that contain anti-inflammatory medications are used to treat most rheumatoid arthritis–induced eye conditions.


What happens: If there is inflammation in the blood vessels going to the skin, it can create rashes, skin ulcers, and nodules or skin bumps, especially on the hands, feet, and elbows. Matteson says the bumps may come and go, and physicians don’t know what causes them. What helps: Your doctor can help by treating the underlying Rheumatoid Arthritis condition. Surgical removal of the nodules is also an option.


What happens: Inflammation in the joints pushes on the nerve that runs from the forearm to the wrist and causes carpal tunnel syndrome. People with carpal tunnel usually feel numbness, tingling, weakness, and eventually sharp pain in the arm.What helps: Treating the underlying inflammation, resting or immobilizing the sore wrist with a splint, and applying cool packs. If the problem is persistent and problematic, consider surgery.


What happens: Some people with Rheumatoid Arthritis get Felty’s syndrome, a condition in which the spleen becomes enlarged and the white blood cell count drops, making them more susceptible to infections. But because RA can be controlled relatively well, Dr. Matteson says this complication is unusual, affecting less than 1% of RA patients. What helps: Treatment of the underlying Rheumatoid Arthritis condition, and, if necessary, administering injections to increase the white blood cell count.


10 Ways Rheumatoid Arthritis Affects Your Whole Body

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