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From Our Readers: Comments & Suggestions – 9/30/2015

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Melatonin Helps Sleeplessness

Re: Melatonin Helps Fibromyalgia Pain: A Double-Blind Study

I was first diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in 2000. After a complete change in my diet, and several years of strict adherence to a regular exercise program, I finally was able to bring the myriad of associated symptoms under control. In 2007, I was diagnosed with NSCLC, stage 3B. I very successfully completed a 6 month regimen of chemotherapy and radiation resulting in remission. I firmly believe that this success was due to the fact that my overall health and physical strength was at a premium due my successful treatment of Fibromyalgia.

Every now and then I have experienced minor flare ups of Fibromyalgia caused by residual effects of the cancer therapies, advancing age and very stressful events that have occurred in my family. I have learned that I absolutely must protect myself from undue stress as much as possible as I find this to be the biggest culprit. My body reacts and the negative stresses have a domino effect on my general health and wellbeing.

I am currently battling a very severe episode, one of the worst ever and pain has been at times extreme. Sleeplessness is also one of the symptoms and I have found Melatonin to be most helpful. Several years ago, I began using Melatonin (3mg) upon the advice of a Psychiatrist. This dosage was generally helpful; however,I often found it ineffective. Recently, I happened to pick up a bottle and did not notice that it was 5mg instead of 3mg. This higher dosage produced a more positive outcome. I find this article very interesting and thought provoking. I am going to try increasing the dosage a little at a time to do my own trial so to speak. I would be happy to report however, I am not certain how much time I should allow to determine if my results have any validity.

Anyone have any thoughts? – maxineq

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Since you’re not trying to establish an ongoing blood level of melatonin, you might stay at each dosage a week and keep track of sleep length or quality. Just my thoughts. – Capefibro

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I’m an R.N. with 13 years’ experience both administering and taking melatonin. I’ve seen it prescribed in doses as high as 30-40 mg safely! And given its relatively benign nature and few, if any, drug/drug interactions or negative side effects, I’d encourage anyone to give it a try to at least see if it’s helpful (with their doctor’s support, of course). Sadly, I have such severe insomnia that melatonin is not effective for me. I take a low dose of Seroquel (25mg) which works for me. – mindfulrnlisa


Fibro and Myofascial Pain Are Not the Same and Neither Are Treatments

Re: Do Trigger Point Injections Effectively Treat Fibromyalgia?

While myofascial pain syndrome (MPS) often coexists with fibromyalgia (FM) and many other painful conditions, it is not the same. If someone has both FM and MPS it is more difficult to manage. Trigger point injections (TPIs) treat the knotted up pieces of muscle fiber called trigger points (TrPs) not fibromyalgia. The two are distinctively different conditions with very different diagnostic criteria.

Suggesting that TPIs treat FM is off the mark. This is why people with FM without MPS do not respond to TPIs and people with MPS who are misdiagnosed with FM do not respond to present treatments for FM. Fibromyalgia treatments, such as exercise or prolonged stretching such as with Yoga, can activate latent TrPs in MPS or create secondary TrPs making pain worse. MPS pain then bombards the CNS of the FM patient and makes FM symptoms worse.

Knowing the difference is imperative to improvement. Having the right doctor and the right TPI treatment protocol can also make or break recovery from the state of dysfunctional muscles of MPS, which can cause loss of balance, difficulty with proprioception and according to doctors Travell and Simons, a myriad of other symptoms, some which do cross over with complaints of FM patients. – CCoop

Editor’s note: See Celeste Cooper, RN’s article “6 Reasons Why Trigger-Point Injections Aren’t Helping Your Fibromyalgia” for a more in-depth explanation of the difference between FM and MPS.


My Heroine Devin Starlanyl

Re: Meet Devin Starlanyl: Fibromyalgia and Chronic Myofascial Pain Expert

What a perfect day to read this interview with my heroine, Devin Starlanyl. She has given me so much hope, information and inspiration.

I have been on a five year journey to my purpose. Today it all finally started coming together.

Thanks so much for this cherry on top! – Alli Cameron (Scarecrow Diva)

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