UPDATES AND INFORMATION
NEW TOLL FREE NUMBER 1-800-261-2083. Many people are wondering what our status will be after Dr. St.Amand retires in March. Our site will remain open as normal. I know many of you know that I am up in years also,but both Kevin and Stacey will keep the site open if anything happens that is not expected.
GUAIFENESIN TABLETS ARE NOW AVAILABLE.Many different ones seem to be coming onto the market, Be careful,since many of the new ones have blue dye, So far the one being recommended by both doctors is the Guardian brand.The Curist brand that has our name on it is also ok(the guardian and curist are made by the same manufacturer). As we have seen in the past many of these products seem to come and go causing havoc in the Guai community. Our 600 mg capsule is the same as always but the 300mg is a little larger. The manufacturer added a little more of the product that controls it's release so it can be a little longer acting(about an hour)which makes it closer to the 600, Nothing else has changed. So, people that have done well with the capsule should find no difference in its action.Our caplet form of the 600mg has not been ok'd by Dr. St.Amand and is not being promoted until we get his ok. Because of the confusion it will be taken off the site but can still be ordered through Stacey,
Fibromyalgia: Seeing the illness behind the pain December 9, 2019 Providence Women's Health Team
Fibromyalgia is a so-called “invisible illness.” But the disease can clearly be seen for what it is: a very real and painful illness affecting more women than men.
The brain and nerve connection Why it occurs more in women than men Fibromyalgia and pregnancy
[4 MIN READ]
There was a time not long ago when health professionals considered fibromyalgia to be a psychosomatic disorder or, as the saying goes, “all in your head.” Thankfully, those days are behind us.
The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) estimates that 2-4 percent of all people suffer from fibromyalgia (pronounced fye-bro-my-AL-ja). The condition most often affects women and usually starts in middle adulthood, but can also happen during teen years and even later in life.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), fibromyalgia is twice as common in women as it is in men.
It’s not “all in your head” — but it does begin in the brain
In one sense, fibromyalgia does start in the head. That’s because most experts believe fibromyalgia is caused by a sensory problem in the brain. In people with fibromyalgia, the brain doesn’t correctly process everyday pain and other sensory experiences. Instead, it signals heightened sensitivity to:
Touch or pressure that affects muscles and sometimes joints or skin Hot and cold temperatures Bright lights Noise
This chronic health condition causes pain all over the body and has other symptoms, too. Fibromyalgia patients often experience:
Severe fatigue (extreme tiredness) Sleep problems and waking up tired Memory problems or trouble thinking clearly
Other symptoms may include:
Depression or anxiety Migraine or tension headaches Stomach and bowel problems Irritable or overactive bladder Pelvic pain
Why fibromyalgia may occur more often in women
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), fibromyalgia is twice as common in women as it is in men. Scientists believe the condition may be linked to:
Hormonal changes. While more studies are needed to learn why, researchers believe one of the causes of fibromyalgia is a link between hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle or pregnancy. Tender points. These points refer to nine locations on the body that have 18 painful spots — one pair of painful spots per location. While not every woman with fibromyalgia has tender points, women average at least two more tender points than men and these points are also more sensitive in women. Trauma. Women who have a history of trauma are more likely to develop the condition. A recent study stated that 49 percent of women diagnosed with fibromyalgia had experienced at least one type of hardship during childhood.
Managing your health when you have fibromyalgia
Drugs are often used to treat fibromyalgia. But controlling the illness with self-caring methods is just as important. Here are a few things you can do to strive for a healthy lifestyle when you have fibromyalgia. Talk with your doctor or rheumatologist about a treatment plan that’s tailored to you.
Rest. Get enough sleep to help repair and refresh your body and mind. Try to limit naps in the daytime as well as caffeine intake and alcohol, all of which can affect a good night’s rest. Relax. Because stress can bring on symptoms, it’s vital to try to still your stressful thoughts or deal with difficult situations using methods such as yoga, chi gong, deep breathing and meditation. Rely on physical activity. It may seem counterintuitive to be told to exercise when your body is in pain. But low impact exercise can be a big part of curbing symptoms because it builds muscle and decreases sensitivity to pain. Just remember to “start low and go slow.” That means parking farther away when you’re shopping. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Swimming a lap or two or doing water aerobics. The main goal is to stay active and stay with it.
Blood Test for Fibromyalgia: What You Need to Know
Blood tests for other conditions FM/a test Research How to test yourself for fibromyalgia Current diagnostic criteria Takeaway
Fibromyalgia is a neurologic condition that causes pain across most or all of the body. A neurologic condition is one that affects the nervous system. Fibromyalgia affects 2 to 4 percent of people. More women than men have the condition.
The primary symptoms of fibromyalgia are:
pain or tenderness in muscles, joints, or skin from touch or pressure severe fatigue sleep difficulties memory difficulties foggy thinking
Even though fibromyalgia is a common condition, it's very challenging to diagnose. Diagnosis can be a lengthy process of ruling out other diseases and medical conditions. This process could even take years for some people.
In the past, fibromyalgia hasn't had a specific diagnostic test. However, some doctors and researchers think they may have found one in the FM/a test. Let's take a look at current methods of reaching a diagnosis of fibromyalgia as well as the FM/a test. Blood tests to rule out other conditions
The symptoms of fibromyalgia are often similar to those of other conditions. Before your doctor considers a diagnosis of fibromyalgia, they'll want to rule out these conditions. The conditions that have symptoms that resemble fibromyalgia are:
hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) polymyalgia rheumatica (aching and stiffness across the whole body) rheumatoid arthritis (RA) (an autoimmune inflammatory disease that affects joints and organs) lupus (an autoimmune inflammatory disease that affects the kidneys, brain, blood cells, heart, lungs, and sometimes joints)
These conditions can be diagnosed, or ruled out, through blood tests. Some blood tests your doctor may order to rule out other conditions include:
Complete blood count. This test includes a count of your red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. It also tests the amount of hemoglobin in your blood. Thyroid hormone tests. These tests measure how well your thyroid is working and can help your doctor diagnose hypothyroidism. Antinuclear antibody (ANA) test. This test determines if you have these types of antibodies and can help your doctor diagnose RA. C-Reactive protein test.This test looks for a substance produced by the liver that is a marker for inflammation. Erythrocyte sedimentation rate test. This test examines how quickly red blood cells settle in the bottom of a test tube. It can help your doctor diagnose polymyalgia rheumatica.
If these tests are negative for these similar conditions, then your doctor will start looking more at a possible fibromyalgia diagnosis. What about the FM/a test?
There have been some promising studies on a possible diagnostic blood test for fibromyalgia. It's called an FM/a test. The test collects plasma and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) in a small sample of your blood. It tests the concentration of cytokines within your blood sample.
Significantly lower levels of cytokines may be an indicator of fibromyalgia. Abnormal levels of cytokines have been linked to being a trait in people with fibromyalgia. Because of this link, researchers are hoping that the FM/a test may prove to be a way to more definitively diagnosis fibromyalgia. What does the research say?
The research that has been done up to this point does show promise that the FM/a test may be able to diagnose fibromyalgia. However, more clinical trials need to be done before this test will be fully recognized as a diagnostic tool for fibromyalgia. ADVERTISING Can you test yourself at home?
There are some steps that you can take to help determine if you might have fibromyalgia. These steps are part of the diagnostic criteria and information that your doctor will need to know before being able to give you a correct diagnosis. Gathering this information before making a doctor's appointment will help your doctor better determine the next steps in your diagnosis.
Some of the steps to test yourself are:
keep a pain journal that answers these questions: where does it hurt? how long does the pain continue? what activities were you doing, if any, prior to the start of the pain? how long have you been noticing your pain? has it been present for more than three months? Check the tender points keep a sleep journal that tracks how rested you feel when you wake up and throughout the day
After you collect this information, if you think you may have fibromyalgia, you should make an appointment to see a doctor. Your doctor will ask you a number of questions. The information gathered in your journal will help you answer those questions. How is fibromyalgia diagnosed currently?
Currently, most doctors still use the traditional criteria for diagnosing fibromyalgia. This diagnostic process includes:
interviewing you about your specific symptoms and their severity checking the number of symptoms you have and the number of body regions that are painful ordering blood tests to rule out similar diseases and conditions taking X-rays and scans to also rule out other diseases and conditions if indicated finding your widespread pain index (WPI) score
The FM/a test is still new and subject to research. Many doctors may not use it yet, and insurance companies most likely will not cover the cost. However, even with the FM/a test, it's likely that your doctor will still use the current diagnostic criteria as confirmation.
Primary care doctors are now much more familiar with fibromyalgia and its symptoms than they were in the past. This familiarity will help you get a diagnosis more quickly while the FM/a test continues through additional clinical trials.