From Our Readers – Comments & Suggestions 02-24-10

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A Great Source of Food at Very Reasonable Prices

My church recently became a host site for Angel Food Ministries ( – a nonprofit, nondenominational food distribution service that so far works in 44 states with 5,200 churches as the volunteer “middle men” interfacing with those seeking some “food relief.”

People seeking low cost, nutritious food order $30 packages (food obtained in bulk and by special discounts, etc. at a fraction of their retail grocery cost) through their host site. The host site places the month’s orders, arranges transport from a warehouse, and acts as the distribution/pick-up site. Gift cards for packages can be purchased and donated as well. Each package roughly feeds a family of four for a week or a senior citizen for a month. No “qualifications” are involved.

Select your state ( to see existing host sites’ locations and phone numbers. My state (Indiana) has 180 sites so far. – M


New Doctor Helped Me Find Better Drug & Supplement Combo

I came down with the worst FM attack of my life [13 years ago] at age 50…that nothing except complete bed rest would relieve the all-over pain and migraines. I went into menopause shortly after the FM started… When all this attacked me, I was walking three 15 minute miles once or twice a day with my husband and was in the best shape of my life…From that, I blew up 100 pounds in a year or so. I went from taking no pills at all…to, at last count, taking 17 different kinds of pills.

[Then]we were in an auto accident that really set me back – horrible pain all over my body with nothing relieving it. Our neurologist…sent me back to the rehabilitation specialist office where I had gone for so long. My old doctor was gone but another lady doctor had taken her place. I thought she would be sending me right out to get more physical therapy, but she spent a good share of the time going over my medications and deleting some and changing to others. A couple of them she deleted because, although they are both for pain, they actually fight against each other and cause worsening pain!

I started the pills that night and went on from there. I am more free of pain than before the auto accident! It has been quite amazing! I also take …supplements that she OK’d. I wanted you and your readers to know to keep on trying until you find the right combination of medicines, doctors, whatever, to get you on the road to health again. – K


Lyrica Has Helped Me

I am 23 y/o and have had FM symptoms since age 17. I never thought I’d be the type of person to take prescription medication but I couldn’t handle my life how it was… Up until a couple months ago, my fibro pain was so bad that I cried every day. I cried myself to sleep almost every night. I took narcotic pain medication as much as I could handle. I had a flare-up every week or so. I called in sick to work often. I never left my house (or my bed) unless I absolutely had to.

I finally got health insurance and went to my primary physician and he prescribed me Cymbalta. This medication didn’t help me at all and just gave me weird side-effects. After about a month he gave me some Lyrica samples. Within a week I noticed a difference. At first, all that happened was that I no longer had flare-ups. I still had very bad pain but it was steady. Shortly, I noticed that my pain actually started to decrease. Of course with more activity or stressful days my pain would get a little bad again but never to the point of a full blown flare-up.

I’ve been on Lyrica for a couple months now and it has saved my life. I am able to do everything in my life without having to stay home because I’m in pain or without worrying about having a flare-up later. I have been able to exercise and I even joined a gym. Don’t get me wrong…my pain is not GONE. However, compared to how it was before I started taking Lyrica is a gigantic improvement. The worst side-effect is fatigue. I seem to feel tired more than I used to. But for me, I rather be fatigued than in extreme pain. I am so thankful for something that finally worked… – B


I Couldn’t Tolerate Lyrica

I read a research abstract somewhere recently that concluded that for a subset of patients, Lyrica really really works. My experience with Lyrica is that I could never shake the drunk feeling it gave. I had to give it up. However, the pain relief, energy improvements, and sleep quality were wonderful. – K


Klonopin is my Best Drug

Klonopin was/is my “miracle drug”. It ramped down my pain from a 10+ to a 1 or 2 as long as I don’t push past my limits. It gave me my life back. – J

Note: Asked why Klonopin is often prescribed, in a 2008 ProHealth Q&A, Dr. Charles Lapp responded that it was one of his favorite drugs because in small doses “it makes for a perfect sleep inducer,” though with certain considerations.


Shoes That Help My Swollen, Tender Feet

My feet swell up like balloons, or like two footballs… you get the idea! I used to have so much trouble finding shoes to wear. [Now] I have a pair of the Crocs Rx – the “medical” type for diabetics or people with other foot problems. They are great. They have a wider and deeper toe box as well as a toe guard on them to protect your toes. I wear them a lot on the warmer days. I bought mine over the internet because you can’t find the Rx type in stores … at least you can’t in my area.

Another pair of orthopedic shoes that I have and wear all of the time (whenever I’m not wearing the Crocs Rx) are these shoes made by Dr. Comfort. You can buy these online or at your local shoe store, medical supply store, or pharmacy that carry shoes for diabetics. I am a diabetic and therefore, get these paid for by Medicare and my secondary insurance carrier.

They are called “Annie Black.” They are PERFECT FOR SWOLLEN FEET! You can look at them by going to the Dr. Comfort website. The tops of the shoe are breathable and stretchable Lycra with a Velcro closure. Where the top is stretchable, they will accommodate your feet, no matter how swollen.

When you buy them, Medicare will also pay for special insoles to put in them. For the insoles, you place your foot in this mold material and the insoles are then custom-made to your feet. They shoes are sooooooo comfortable. I wear them when I am going out to Walmart, the doctor, whenever I am going to be gone all day.


Fun Brain Fog Song!

A friend sent this to me today. She says she can identify with the guy singing. They don’t have anything on US! Ode to Forgetfulness ( – T


Let’s End the Fibro Legitimacy ‘War’

There is a good letter to the Editor of the Journal of Rheumatology by Dr. Manfred Harth, MD, refuting statements about fibromyalgia made in an article titled “Fibromyalgia Wars” by Frederick Wolfe, MD. As I read it, Wolf’s article essentially supports “the view of the large majority of physicians, sociologists, and medical historians” that FMS is a “socially constructed illness” – and depicts drug companies, some specialty physicians, and other advocates of FM legitimacy as merely seeking political and economic power.

Dr. Harth’s letter – “War is Over. Give Peace a Chance (with apologies to the late John Lennon)” concludes with this statement – “Is it not time to stop engaging in ‘a battle for symptom legitimacy,’ and to use the tools we have available to improve the health and quality of life of patients with FMS?” – P


Fish Oil, Inflammation and Pain

Re: Canadian study on “Omega-3 fatty acids [fish oil] for neuropathic pain: Case series”

I started taking Lovaza (a prescription fish oil supplement) 1000 mg capsule per day over a month ago because of problems with inflammation. My overall pain level has decreased about 1-2 points on a 10 scale most days, some days more… The results of this study make sense to me. – S


Low Iron/Ferritin May Also Be Clue to Celiac Disease

Re: Study of “Association between serum ferritin [stored iron] level and fibromyalgia syndrome.”

Well, my iron & ferritin levels were found to be deficient about 18 months ago – that was 6 months after my Fibro diagnosis. Then 10 months later it was discovered that I had a pre-cancerous (bleeding) polyp in my colon & it was removed, PLUS the GE recommended that I adopt a Gluten Free diet until he performed a gastroscopy at my next colonoscopy to determine if I was Celiac. BINGO! A few months later my massive brain fog & physical fatigue has gone & not returned (after 2 years of being fully home-bound!). Sooooo… I highly recommend ANYONE with a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia also request tests for Celiac disease. – F


Finding a Doctor to Help with Leaky Gut & Other Tests

Re: The letter in Jan 27 newsletter, “Need Doctor to Check for Leaky Gut”

If you’re looking for a Doctor for any of these uncommon tests, I had good results by asking the lab who does these tests for a list of doctors in my area that use their lab for these services. If you live on the edge of the county, etc. be sure to also get the info for the other side of the border, which may be much closer. For Example, Genova Diagnostics ( – used to be Great Smoky Mountains Lab… – B


More on Link Between Omega-3 Levels & Aging

Re: Article in JAMA reporting “Omega-3 Levels Linked to Speed of Biological Aging”

…I wrote a paper explaining the connection of DHEA and telomere length in 2004 ( I suggest these findings may be explained by increases in DHEA and that the benefits of fish oil, that is, docosahexaenoic acid, are due to increases in DHEA. – James Michael Howard, Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA.
Note: This information has not been evaluated by the FDA. It is general 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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3 thoughts on “From Our Readers – Comments & Suggestions 02-24-10”

  1. joyfulcalm says:

    Lyrica, a sister drug of Nuerontin, is used for the treatment of neuropathic pain and epileptic seizures, as well as pain arising from trapped or compressed nerves, drug-induced nerve damage, Diabetic Neuropathy, Post-Herpetic Pain, Phantom Limb Syndrome, Peripheral Neuropathy, and Fibromyalgia. All this being said Lyrica does work, but the unpleasant side effects of feeling like a drunk, especially when your trying to function during the day, does NOT work! If your elderly you run an additional risk of falling and breaking a hip!! There is no point of reducing the dose for it doesn’t work effectively, so for me, and many others, Lyrica was just another wish that never came true…….

  2. pearls says:

    All drugs have side effects, and different people react to each of them differently. A good doctor will work with you to find the drug or combination that works for you. I’ve been through heavy narcotics and a number of other drugs. A year after Lyrica was approved for fibromyalgia, my doctor suggested I should go on it. So I did. Without any doubt, Lyrica has changed my life. My sleep and pain were drastically improved immediately. I do not feel drunk when I use it. Nor have I gained any weight. It was like a miracle for me, though there is still no doubt in my mind that I still have fibromyalgia. I still have symptoms, but they are so much more manageable now.

  3. Petrilla52 says:

    I am debating about changing from Neurontin to Lyrica. I tried it once but the dosage was too low and I went into an awful flare. I am really concerned about the weight gain. I have fought my weight all my life and just don’t want another problem. Has anyone out there had success? Thanks, Pam

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