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From Our Readers - Comments & Suggestions 01-13-10

  [ 62 votes ]   [ 2 Comments ] • January 13, 2010

Research Positions MCS as Physical, Not Psychological

It seems any suggestion that MCS is psychological should be ignored given recent findings of alterations in brain function: See the article “Brain dysfunction in multiple chemical sensitivity"  published Dec 15, 2009 in the Journal of the Neurological Sciences.

[The abstract details how, for MCS patients exposed to non-toxic concentrations of chemical products, but not for normal controls] brain scanning found “hypoperfusion in the olfactory, right and left hippocampus, right parahippocampus, right amygdala, right thalamus, right and left Rolandic and right temporal cortex regions…. Chemical exposure caused neurocognitive impairment, and SPECT brain dysfunction particularly in odor-processing areas, thereby suggesting a neurogenic origin of MCS.”] - K

Millions Have “Under the Radar” Gluten Problems

I think this is an excellent article and may help all of us FM/CFS patients that also suffer from IBS and other Inflammatory illnesses. [“Gluten: What You Don’t Know Might Kill You,”  a blog by Mark Hyman, MD – featured Jan 2 on The Huffington Post.] – A


Repeated Bouts of Shingles – Or What?

Q: I have a question about a possible Fibromyalgia symptom. I get sores around my hairline and scalp and temples when I get a Fibro flare up. They look like pimples, and hurt when I touch them. They feel like nerve pain because when I press on them I get a shooting pain along a pathway. My daughter also gets them sometimes, and just recently, my father, who had a medical trauma, is now getting them. I can't really find this symptom in the research I have done about Fibromyalgia. And none of my doctors know what these sores are. I feel like they are something like shingles, but not shingles. I wonder if they appear when a latent virus that is in me pops up. Any thoughts or information would be most appreciated. Could we ask your readers if they get this symptom and if anything helps?

I also notice that when they disappear (which can take a month or 2), my Fibro symptoms lessen. - R

A: Readers, what do you say? We do know that some people do experience shingles outbreaks repeatedly, when one’s “resistance” gets low. The best thing to do is to see your doctor as soon as you feel it starting, and if it is shingles perhaps a fast antiviral treatment will head it off. To learn more about shingles (caused by a herpes virus that never leaves the body once you’ve had chicken pox) and its treatment, including some nutritional possibilities, read Dr. Richard Podell’s article at


Lyme Documentary “Under the Eightball” Suggests Link to Weapons Experiment

I just read a review [Dec 18] in the Los Angeles Times about “Under the Eightball,” a new documentary about Lyme. Here's a website for more info [with short video]:  The L.A. Times gave it
a good review. New York Times review was mixed.

All in all it looks worth seeing, if you can find it playing near you. – M


Earthworm Enzymes (Lumbrokinase) Biofilms and Lyme

Re: The article “Why Earthworms May Hold ‘Healing Treasues for Us All.”

Dr. Cooper’s explanation of how earthworm-derived enzymes (lumbrokinase, aka Boluoke) help the body discourage clotting without risking excessive bleeding was very interesting. Your introduction to the article noted that it first appeared with other lumbrokinase info in Allergy Research Group’s March 2009 FOCUS newsletter. I followed your link to the newsletter and – as a Lyme patient - was intrigued by this short item  - "Two Doctors Report on the Use of Lumbrokinase in Lyme Disease: This Enzyme Complex Helps Potentiate Antibiotics and Antimicrobials.”  The blurb continues, “Lumbrokinase may help break up the biofilms in patients who don’t seem to improve on antibiotics or herbal antimicrobials alone.”

It sure left me wanting to learn more. - T


Testing Your Acid-Alkali Balance (pH)

Re: “Acid-Alkali Imbalance - Can Be a Factor in Fatigue, Muscle Pain, and More” by Dr. Sarah Myhill, MD.

The time you test [for pH using litmus paper] is very important. You want to test first thing in the morning, before you eat anything. Test both urine and saliva just to be sure. I have been doing this since August 2003 and keeping a log of every entry to see if I can track a correlation between foods and supplements and getting a good reading…. The best supplement I am taking [for high acidity] is Alkalime… which is essentially sodium bicarbonate, calcium carbonate, and magnesium citrate. I don't worry about the sodium load because my blood pressure is already lower than normal without taking salt. When I take this product before bedtime, I have normal pH readings in the morning. – S


Dr. Campbell’s Strategies for Coping with Brain Fog & Pacing

Re: “Lifting the Fog: Dealing with Cognitive Problems,”  by Bruce Campbell, PhD.

I started using many self-management techniques about 2 years ago, to manage CFS symptoms (of 25 years) and have found the strategies listed above to be very helpful in dealing with brain fog. I had to learn how to pace myself fairly well first though, by keeping a detailed log of all my symptoms and activities for a few months, working out patterns that caused post-exertional malaise, defining my limits and trying to live within these, and only extending activity very slowly when possible - i.e., 5% to 10% at most every few weeks under Doctor’s instructions.

It required much self-education, a whole lifestyle change and way of thinking for me. Strategies like these have helped me shift from living in a "Push/Crash" cycle to a more balanced day, and even though progression has been slow, it's better than no progression at all. – L


Tip on Caregiver Resource was a Godsend

Re: “Great Educational Videos for Caregivers” ("From Our Readers," Dec 9)

God bless you, "M", for your posting of the videocaregiving site ( On top of battling fibromyalgia and CFS for 20 years, I work full-time as a legal assistant and I have been taking care of my mother for the last 12 years. She has emphysema and now is getting dementia. This past month has been especially bad and I've temporarily moved in with her. But the myriad of feelings I have had, many of them "bad", along with the fatigue and pain have almost put me over the edge.

This videocaring website is a Godsend! Thank you again and thanks to the ProHealth website for so much help over the past few years. - R


Video Shows There IS hope for the Younger Generation

This is a video that was submitted in a contest by a 20-year-old ( The contest was titled "U@50" by AARP… A palindrome reads the same backwards as forward. Not only does this read the opposite, the meaning is the exact opposite. This is only a 1 minute, 44 second video and it is brilliant. Make sure you read as well as listen… forward and backward. Enjoy! - G


Hormone Replacement Therapy after Hysterectomy?

Here's a good article from Web MD for you to read about HRT after hysterectomy: - T

Note: for more patient questions & suggestions on this subject, visit ProHealth’s Hormone Message Board.


Diabetes and Depression – Hand in Hand

David Mendosa, HealthCentral’s diabetes patient expert, just wrote a sharepost on how diabetes and depression go together, and what he’s been doing to fight his own depression (“Strategies for Conquering Depression”). Based on a lot of research and his own experiments, he recommends vitamin D & fish oil, meditation, and exercise. - J


Coping Can Be Lonely – the Emotional Aspect of Diabetes

I have had a really hard time dealing with the diagnosis of diabetes. Even though I am a nurse, and thought that I knew everything about this disease, I was wrong. I didn't know the emotional impact that it has on its victims. I have lost almost 15 pounds, am exercising and eating extremely well.

[But] I have been very depressed and have felt very alone. My family has no clue how serious diabetes can be... they think that just a few little changes in my life (like not eating sugar) will make the diabetes go away. They don't realize that diabetes can take years off of a life…. - T

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

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Article Comments Post a Comment

Repeated shingles attack
Posted by: jocicale
Jan 13, 2010
I read with interest the concern raised by a writer who said she gets pimples and other viral symptoms with her fibro flare ups that resemble repeated attacks of shingles. I have long thought - and debated with my many doctors - that fibromyalgia and perhaps other disorders may be based in viral attacks. I get flareups that include sores in my mouth and sometimes bumps, rashlike, on my face. My flareups include feeling like I have a virus - rundown, feverish, achy, etc. Today's drs lack creativity and curiosity which is one of the major problems in learning more about disorders like fibro and eventually finding treatments and even cures. Know your own body and symptoms and don't let cynical doctors try to invalidate what you are experiencing. Fortunately, we now have message boards to share our experiences.
Reply Reply

pimples on head, possible shingles
Posted by: Sandy10m
Jan 14, 2010
Bravo! to the person who thought of connecting the pimples on the head to shingles or something similar. I have had these pimples for many years as well, and they are painful and take a long time to go away. They do not respond at all to typical acne medications either. However, I have always connected my symptoms to plantars warts, so I assumed the human papilloma virus (HPV), or plantars wart virus, was in my system and wreaking havoc. I had a really bad plantars wart on my foot for years and had to have it surgically removed, but it was already in my blood stream. The pimples could also be shingles, but I don't have bad fibro symptoms (yet?), so it's hard to tell if my symptoms get worse with the outbreaks. Most of the plantars wart symptoms occur on my hands, around the sides of my fingers. My body is fighting them, I can tell, and the warts are deep and painful when starting. However, they don't usually turn into warts but instead break to the surface as a bubble that looks like a small circle, then goes away. Also, I thought shingles effects were mostly on the back and followed a nerve line. I agree that there must be a different virus involved with the head pimples thing.
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