From Our Readers – Comments & Suggestions 02-18-09

The Fiber35 Diet

Re: “Fiber – The Simple, Healthy Weight Loss Tool Anyone Can Learn to Use”

This has got to be the best and clearest explanation regarding the benefits of fiber in the diet that I have ever read. The medical information is given in language that the lay person can understand. I have read numerous articles regarding fiber and I learned more from this one than all the others combined. Thank you Dr. Brenda Watson, ND. I am going to get your book because I need all the help I can get in losing my excess weight. – Holly


FDA Approval of Milnacipran – Help for Some, Hell for Others

Re: “FDA Gives Milnacipran (Savella) Green Light for Fibromyalgia Treatment.” Many FM patients shared their experiences. For example:

Milnacipran Made Me Worse – I’ve been disabled with Fibro/CFS/MCS/IBS, etc, for 15 years and have tried Cymbalta, Lyrica and Milnacipran. Every one of them made me worse. I’m beginning to think that the drug companys are using Fibromyalgia as a “catch-all” dumping ground for any new drug that they can even remotely attach to Fibromyalgia. It’s all about the money folks…. By the way, Milnacipran isn’t new. I tried it years ago when it was called “IXEL” and i had to import it from Germany… – Scotty

I Will Take Milnacipran – I participated in this drug study several years ago. I went from hardly being able to walk and getting ready to file disability to walking (almost like normal) and holding a full time job. Yes I had sde effects. I gained 10 lbs and sweated but it was worth it to be pain free and be able to sleep and move. – schaken

Cymbalta Saved My Life! – I had just applied for Disability when I was put on Cymbalta. One week later when I went in for the assessment I was already markedly improved. Now after only 7 weeks I feel absolutely NORMAL for the first time in 18 months of pure hell. I have experienced NO side effects fr Cymbalta – not like all the other anti-depressants I had been tried on over the past 15 years. As for putting on weight I soon realized that this may be due to the fact that my whole body metabolism had slowed down, relaxed in fact! And that I just needed to learn to eat less & exercise more & now the weight is starting to shift. – fnx3


Found Something That Helps My Depression

SAMe. I have to take 400mg three times a day. And it can wear off quick so I keep some in my purse… My brother, who is an MD, suggested that I try it because I can’t take regular antidepressants [drugs] but my blood serotonin is below normal.

I was also sleeping all night and most of the day… awake in the evenings. So my doc prescribed Ritalin 5mg up to 4 a day. After “playing with it” I only need it twice a day. I am so sleepy in the am that I have to keep it by my bed and a glass of water to take before I get up. Between the two, I am laughing again. That feels so good. – S


South Beach Diet Helped Energy

[I was] “dragging around” for a long time. I feel a little better now and I think it is due to being on a high protein diet. I do the South Beach diet [emphasis on low-sugar carbs, ‘healthy’ fats and protein – an alternative to the recent “low-fat” diet trend] and have been for almost a year. I have so much more energy that I was even able to go on a vacation, the first in about 9 years. I used to be on a drug called Provigil (I believe it is a drug for narcolepsy mainly, but used for CFS) and that gave me a lot of energy but left me unable to sleep, so I got off it… – Vivian


Déjà vu with Disrespectful Doctor

Yesterday I saw a well respected and well liked Orthopaedic Surgeon for a knee consult… I truly thought I was in good hands.

I have learned to bring my medical bio, which of course reads like War and Peace these days. Besides, who can possibly remember all of this accurately? Brain fog or not, I am truly a “See Attached” girl for filling out medical info sheets.

When the surgeon came into the exam room, we briefly discussed the problems I was having with my leg. Upbeat and quite cheerful, I explained how an old injury snuck up on me after deconditioning over the last seven years. He looked at me a tad puzzled and then began to read my bio. He said very abruptly “what has been wrong with you?” almost in a taunting manner.

I have had doctors state they did not understand or even believe that CFS exists.

No, this man threw his hand up in the air and quite brashly said “this CFS stuff is crap, I don’t buy it” and went into a lather as if I had done something wrong. I tried to calmly address the situation by telling him I was happy to have the best knee surgeon in [the area] but did not need him to address any other part of my body. I explained I have doctors who take care of the rest of me. This was all delivered with a sincere smile on my part. The rest of the exam was so uncomfortable. He was abrupt, unpleasant and almost disinterested in taking the case.

I felt like I did many years ago when I was literally crawling from one doctor to another trying to find out what was stealing my life. What a horrible flashback to those physicians who had me sobbing in hallways after being told it was all in my head. I know many of you can relate. Do I want this man operating on my body after yesterday’s humiliation and belittlement? I think not. – Georgia


Fibro Man – We Feel Your Pain

Re: “From a Man With Fibro”

I’m a woman, but I faced similar problems since I was an Air Force pilot and triathlete before getting slammed by FM/CFS. I had to “suck it up” in the military in order to just get by. However, I also realized that I had to find another job eventually. I loved what I did, but I left the Air Force and am going back to college now to start a second (and more sedate) career…. The most important thing is to TALK WITH YOUR FAMILY. If you tell them straight up what’s happening with you, they will support you.… If you’ve read the hardship stories on this website, you know that we are all survivors, and you CAN be successful…. We all support you. Good luck! – Sandy


Developing IBS with Diarrhea – or Not?

There is a… disease called Habba Syndrome that not all doctors are aware of, and I think some doctors can mistake it for IBS. I am insisting on being tested for it at my yearly physical in a few weeks – I do not get constipation, but severe diarrhea.

Habba Syndrome is a disease characterized by chronic diarrhea and caused by a dsyfunctional but still intact gall bladder, characterized by three or more watery bowel movements per day. Anyone interested should check [it] out… – T

Note: is one site that offers information on Habba Syndrome – and scores of other potential causes of chronic diarrhea.


Easy Stomach Acid Test for Those with GERD

GERD can be a result of either too much acid, or actually not enough. An easy way to test for this on your own (as recommended several years ago by my doctor) is to take one betaine HCL capsule with your meal… It is basically the acid that your stomach may be low in, but in capsule form. Very common supplement…

If you feel a warm sensation, then that will tell you that you’re producing enough stomach acid. If you DON’T feel any warmth during the meal, then you take 2 caps with your next meal. Same thing…if you still don’t feel any warmth, you take 3 caps with the next meal. And if still no warm feeling, then you keep adding a capsule until you get that warm feeling, then you back off by one capsule.

Five-six years ago I had to take NINE caps with a meal before I felt any warmth. The doc was shocked…but I stayed at 8 caps for awhile, and am now down to 4 or 5, as your stomach should gradually start producing its own hydrochloric acid after a while. My sister used to have this problem as well, and she’s down to ONE per meal.

There are other digestive enzymes – but they usually are digesting things like carbs, fat, and also proteins down in the intestinal tract. I take 2 digestive enzyme (plant-based) caps kind of near the end of my meals. Definitely notice a difference if I don’t take them… You can also Google “low stomach acid” and maybe “HCL”, and will turn up lots of information. – Danny


Observations on Rhodiola rosea root

Re: “Rhodiola rosea [golden root] in the Treatment of Subjects with Stress-Related Fatigue”

An observation re Rhodiola (which I tried after reading your recent article on it): I had both good and bad reactions to it at the same time. My thinking was clear, energy improved but I had some moments of feeling a bit strange as well…uncomfortably strange but hard to define. I tried it twice. The first time I had 500 mg per day because that was the capsule size in the bottle (before I did more research). The second time 50 mg twice a day. Couldn’t keep doing it. The only contraindication I found in my research was if you’re manic/depressive. I would add to that “if you’ve ever had panic attacks/have a sensitive nervous system.” That’s the only reason I can figure out why I reacted that way. Too bad – I liked the energy improvement. – DLB


Finding Local Mental Health Support Groups

Here is the Mental Health America (MHA) website (, where you click on your state and they provide the name of their office or offices in that state. Click on that name and it provides you with the name, address, phone and other info on that MHA office, and you can contact them and find out the MHA local support groups in your area for depression, biopolar, obsessive compulsive, etc. – TCD
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 illness, condition 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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