From Our Readers: Comments & Suggestions – 5/13/2015

Pain Scale Very Helpful

Re: What the Pain Scale Really Means

I feel this is the most important information you have ever posted on this web site. This verbal scale has the capability of totally changing the communication between the patient and doctor. For thirty years I have tried to understand how a number can reflect my pain level and experience. Only recently did I see this clarifying scale when participating in a National clinical trial. The relief and understanding I felt in being able to express more clearly my experience of pain was truly amazing. This scale should be required as a national standard in all medical cases where levels of pain are being evaluated. – bearcat


How One Person Tapered Off Cymbalta

Re: Cymbalta Warning: Discontinuing May Result in Severe Withdrawal Symptoms

When I found this Cymbalta Withdrawal article on 4/18/2015, there are 94 comments and 407 votes showing over-whelming approval of the content. I’ve detailed here how I tapered down my dosage of Cymbalta. If that doesn’t interest you PLEASE scroll past this and click on the link to the Class Action Lawsuit.

I’m lucky. Despite my doctor’s urging I refused to go beyond the 20 mg dose. The doctor was D.O. I was already taking 50mg of Zoloft. At the time I was under tremendous stress dealing with my teenaged daughter’s autism. My gut knew I shouldn’t follow the advise of a D.O. on these matters. But I was vulnerable. And it seemed to help. After 2 years I went to a psycho-pharmacologist MD who was disturbed to find me taking 2 anti-depressants. She decided,- I know you know what’s coming – yes, that I should discontinue the Cymbalta/Duloxetine. She was however, aware of the withdrawal syndrome and advised me to taper it down slowly.

Let’s add “painstakingly.” Over 4 weeks I opened the capsules and literally counted out the “tiny time pills” inside. Working on chamois cloth used to clean eyeglasses, (the TTPs bounce and cling to everything) I lined up the “tiny time pills”(TTPs) to a ruler so they formed a straight rectangle. (The line was not a single line, the TTPs were stacked) I removed 1/4 of the (TTPs) with a fine sharp knive. Painstaking? Yes. But I was terrified of withdrawal symptoms. I counted how many TTPs were in the 1/4 section. I removed the 1/4 group OFF of the chamois. The remaining TTPS were carefully “pushed” back into the capsule. I proceeded, in the same fashion, to remove this # of TTPs from six more Duloxetine capsules. The following week, I removed 1/2 the TTPs, counted the # of TTPs, etc. etc. After four weeks – I was now counting how many TTPs were in 1/4 of an inch. Then I stopped. Now, 5 days later – despite that painstaking process – I stll have withdrawal symptoms!! My heart goes out to you who are on 60/mg daily for years and are now trying to get off it.

PLEASE – check out this Class Action lawsuit against the makers of Cymbalta specifically for their deception on this issue of withdrawal.

Don’t doubt for a second that the pharmaceutical companies are doing everything in their power (and they have A LOT of power) to hide this syndrome from the public. Beautiful sunny day outside, and I’m sitting here feeling nauseous and achey. Not fair. Good luck to every one here. – CelticGoddess


Weight Loss Success!

Re: Why Paleo for Fibro?

My real success on the Paleo diet has been when adding good fats and cholesterol. Take out the carbs, add in the fats. For years we have been CONNED into believing that eating cholesterol and fat is bad. The results of the completely nonsense studies that came out of the 1980’s have been destroying our health for 30 years (and are all now being totally disproven). You MUST NOT restrict calories on any diet. You cannot lose permanent weight if you do that. Your body will go into starvation crisis and it will remember exactly what weight you are at. You will gain EVERY POUND back, plus a little more. However, I lost my last 20 pounds by doing the Paleo high fat+cholesterol diet. Fats include coconut oil (especially this one) and nut oils (walnut oil, pecan oil, etc.). Cholesterol from eggs (especially this one), shellfish, avocados. Do not overeat meats, eat the same amount as before (8 oz per day). Your body will almost immediately switch to fat-burning mode, and suddenly those extra pounds you have been trying to lose are starting to go away. A lot of my pain is gone too. My head is more clear. And I didn’t exercise a single day. For more info, read the book Grain Brain. It convinced me to try the diet for 1 month, and when I lost 1 pound per week at the beginning, I decided to stay on it. Yes, now I cheat a few times per month, since my weight loss has stopped, and I am at a new set point. But I don’t crave the desserts like I did before. It is worth a try to see if it will help you too. – Sandy10m


Dry Eyes a Problem

Re: Women with Fibromyalgia Have Thinner Corneal Nerves

In the last few years, as the fibro has gotten worse, I have noticed more and more problems with my eyes. I can’t wear eye make up any more, and I miss it. But it hurts my eyes, and it’s not worth the pain. Also, I have extremely dry eyes and wonder if any of this could be part of what you are discussing in this article. the dryness can be painful and I have to use heavy moisturizing drops several times a day. Since neuropathy was the only symptom discussed, I didn’t know if any of these others went along with this or not. Is there anyway that the opthomologist can see this or test it in an office setting. I have also had narrow angle glaucoma, that has been corrected. Cataracts, the right one has been removed and is very sensitive to light. And I have macular degeneration (dry). any questions or further discussion would be greatly appreciated. I’d love to be the one to help educate the eye doctors in the Memphis area about something new, in an area that some still don’t believe in. – Fiona63

I also have severe dry eyes especially my right eye. I drink a case of water every 5 days. My Optomologist sent me to see a Rheumatologist to see if she could find out why my eyes were so dried that I have blisters in them Have tried several eye drops prescribed by the Dr. & nothing has helped.She thought I may have had Sjogrens Syndrome & had me have a biopsy of my salivary glands which came back negative. So I am back to where I was before with my Optomologist still trying to figure out what is going on with me. My eye huert so much in the morning that I have to wear sunglasses to get use to the light. If not I get extreme sharp pains in my eyes that hurt really bad. I would love to know the answer. He blames it all on my inflammations. – 0135nanaluv

Last year I, too, began having problems with very dry eyes. It felt like my eyes were scratched and it was quite painful. At the recommendation of my holistic health coach, I started taking fish oil four times a day and the dry eyes are no longer a problem. I take Fisol but I imagine any brand of fish oil would work. I hope that helps. – FMeditor


Low Sodium Related to Cymbalta

Re: Rare But Potentially Serious Side Effect of Duloxetine (Cymbalta)

One year ago I became extremely confused, vomiting, hallucinating, unable to walk, etc. I was on vacation when this happened. My husband thought I had taken my evening meds twice. He called 911. I was close to death when I arrived at the hospital and spent 3 days in the hospital with life threatening low sodium (117). I remember nothing of those 3 days. I am still on Cymbalta, but with this information, I will be seeing my doctor to get off of it. – secha7

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