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Letters From Our Readers - Q&A Session 08-20-08

  [ 21 votes ]   [ 4 Comments ] • August 18, 2008

Which Bed is Best?

Q: I was just wondering what kind of bed is recommended or what kind of bed anyone has found to be useful. - dogglady9

A: A bed is a very personal item and people’s preferences vary. The most important thing for most FM patients is finding a bed that does not create painful pressure points on the body. Here are a few bed and bedding suggestions we’ve heard from others with FM:

  • An air bed, like Comfort SelectR, allows each individual to adjust the firmness to find which setting is most comfortable and conforms best to the body. Since they are a rather large investment, you might want to try a less expensive Aerobed first to see if you like the concept of sleeping on air.
  • Memory-foam mattresses, like Tempur-pedicR, conform to your body, eliminating pressure points. They are said to be very comfortable but are also fairly expensive.
  • The Cuddle EweR underquilt was specifically designed for people with FM. It looks much like a feather bed, but is filled with dust mite-free natural wool batting instead of feathers. According to Cuddle Ewe, “The natural wool batting supports and distributes your body weight more evenly, allowing pressure points and tender points to be relieved and supported and manages body temperatures and moisture.”

If you search the FM Message Board with terms like “air bed,” “memory foam” or “Cuddle Ewe,” you’ll find several good discussions on the various types of beds and bed toppers.


More Facts on New Mitochondrial Damage Research?

Re: the abstract “Medication-induced mitochondrial damage and disease”

Q: I'd be interested to know how one finds out more about specific medications and what damage they do to mitochondrial function. How would I find the complete article that this article is based upon? Does anyone have any other sources of information about medications and mitochondrial damage? Or, even more importantly, how to counteract the damage with supplements. Thanks! Tamsyn

A: The full journal article this abstract was based on can be purchased for $29.95 from the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, July 2008 issue. And sometimes the authors will share an article pdf, or answer questions if you e-mail them (there’s almost always a corresponding author e-mail link in the source info at the end of abstracts we list).

Because this research is so new, we haven’t been able to find much additional information regarding specific medications that cause mitochondrial damage or specific supplements to counteract the damage. As a next step we’ll forward your question to a naturopathic doctor/nutritionist and will share the information with you when we receive it.


Help With Starting New Blog?

Q: I am interested in starting a fibromyalgia blog and would like some input from your organization. I was diagnosed with fibro and lupus several years ago. I have found that weather in different states affects me differently, many in a positive way. Currently I can bike and hike 6 miles and would love to share my stories and experiences with others. I would appreciate any input. – Liz

A: It would be useful to post your request on the Community's Fibromyalgia Message Board - as well as the Lupus Board. You are sure to receive some helpful responses.

If you aren't already registered with a username & password, it will take only a moment to do that.


Preventing Shingles?

Q: My friend's husband just developed shingles. I know that shingles are very painful to anyone but what would be the effect on someone with fibromyalgia - ME! All of a sudden I'm terrified just thinking of the extra pain. I called my GP's office and they put my name on a list to get a shot to prevent shingles, but the injection is in backorder. Any suggestions? – Susan

A: Shingles is caused by the herpes zoster virus that also causes chickenpox. If you had chickenpox as a child, the virus lies dormant in your body and can reappear as shingles later in life if your immune system becomes impaired.

If you are at risk, one thing you can do is have your virus antibody levels checked with a simple blood test to see if an antiviral drug should be prescribed to help prevent shingles from reactivating. It’s also important to be aware of the early symptoms of shingles, which may include pain or tingling, often in the back, with reddened skin in the same area. If shingles is caught early enough, antiviral medications prescribed quickly can often disrupt the outbreak.

One of the best things you can do to help prevent shingles is to keep your immune system strong. This means avoiding stress and anxiety, which weaken the immune system, as well as eating well and possibly taking supplements that focus on strengthening the immune system.


Detoxification Program?

Q: I would like to get your direction on a detoxification program that you would recommend. – Mark

A: We don’t have a detoxification program that we specifically suggest or recommend, though ProHealth’s customer service staff ( or 800-366-6056, 6 to 5 M-F Pacific Time) will gladly discuss the alternatives with you given your particular detox need or interest. We will be publishing a nutritionist’s article on the body’s natural detoxification systems and how we can support them in an upcoming issue. And in general, juicing fresh vegetables and fruits, eating clean whole foods, and minimizing processed foods as much as possible are sound guidelines for detoxification support.

Note: This information has not been evaluated by the FDA. It is generic and is not meant to prevent, diagnose, treat or cure any illness, condition, or disease. It is very important that you make no change in your healthcare plan or health support regiment without researching and discussing it in collaboration with your professional healthcare team.

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Article Comments Post a Comment

bed type
Posted by: sandy10m
Aug 20, 2008
I have a Tempurpedic mattress, but even that is a little too firm for me. I like to sleep on my side, and I have yet to find a mattress comfortable enough for that. There are many types of Tempurpedic mattresses, so if you decide to go that route, check them all out and stay on the bed for at least 10 minutes or so in your normal sleeping position. If you are uncomfortable in that time, then obviously you won't sleep well for 8 hours on it either. There are other companies that make foam mattresses. I tried one of them, and the mattress was about the same firmness as the Tempurpedic but way cheaper. I would recommend you try them first, if you're looking for foam. There are also organic foam mattresses out there, so if MCS is a problem, this is a way to go. Good luck!
Reply Reply

What Kind Of Bed Discussion
Posted by: leaknits
Aug 21, 2008

Up till a few nights ago I've slept (occasionally without waking one or several times per night...all night sleep about one or two nights out of 8 to 10) on a firm-filled water bed.

Sometimes worried that one of two cats would puncture the bed-bag but they never did. Lots of top-padding helped. Pads were a mixed lot indeed: under-carpet foam rubber that was left over from a carpet install job, mattress pad, dead electric blanket. Also all that padding meant I didn't have to heat the water bed; one friend who heated her bed had to deal with heater short-out and mattress melt in the middle of a cold night...

When some part of myself needed a heating pad it was totally safe to use on that bed because I posititoned the pad under the bottom sheet and luxuriated in the warmth. Upside to that: no Uh Oh Too Hot Burns My Skin heating pad because of the pad cover and that bottom sheet.

Am moving now and have pretty much decided a waterbed is a real pain to drain, move, refill, hope it doesn't spring a leak.

So the Coleman brand air bed I found at a grocery outlet store for $30+tax seemed to be a good idea. It was a very good idea. Fills in minutes, I can lift it, firmness or softness can be whatever the user wants.

I tend to like very firm since a too-soft bed hurts my lower back.

Since I am moving as I said already I can't be sure the air bed "sleeps me" any better yet than the water bed. BUT: I did sleep all night without waking once and that makes two nights In A Row.

For a lot of M E/Fibro people, that's a miracle. Oh, and I've padded the air mattress similarly to the way the water bag was, so cats still likely won't puncture it. If such a thing happened an air bed is much easier to patch than a water bag.



Memory Foam mattress
Posted by: K5VLK
Aug 21, 2008
Just an opinion from a person with Fibro and HypoT and Arthritis, we splurged and bought a Sealy Memory Foam mattress, like Tempur-Pedic. It was over $1,000.

I sleep on my side, and my shoulder and hip ALWAYS had pain from the pressure, and that was on this "new fantastic mattress." I tried and tried to get used to it.

Also, it was very hard to turn over!! It was like, the mattress was sticking to you, or sucking you down, and I had to use so much energy to even turn over, it was ridiculous.

I would try the Cuddle Ewe mattress pad, except I'm allergic to wool. I wonder if the covers on it are thick enough to disguise the wool??

I cannot TELL you how disappointed I am in the memory foam mattress.

We eventually got another regular mattress. I was ready to try the air bed, but DH wasn't ready. Maybe next time.

Good luck!! Vicki from Texas


bed type
Posted by: smeyers
Aug 26, 2008
I have a comfort select (sleep number) bed and absolutely love it! It is pricey (cost me about $2000) but it was worth it! I had a friend visit and let her try it out, so I slept in my guest bedroom on a spring mattress - couldn't wait til she left! springs kept sticking me in the back, side, you name it. I had never noticed before I got the air mattress. I won't say I don't still have sleep problems because I do, but comfort isn't one of them!



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