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Friday, July 3, 2015

Myofascial Trigger Points and Chronic Pain


This blog is packed full of resources for understanding the pain and treatment of chronic myofascial pain and the knotted up pieces of muscle fiber in a taut band of muscle that causes it. 



Understanding myofascial trigger points and their role in sustaining chronic myofascial pain can be confusing at first; it was for me. But, I was very fortunate to have a mentor, Devin Starlanyl (author of several books on fibromyalgia and myofascial pain, her latest, Healing Through Trigger Point Therapy with John Starkey). Unbeknownst to many, unless you read the forward to our book, Integrative Therapies for Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Myofascial Pain…,  she spent many tiring days and nights helping me. My gratitude to her goes far beyond words. All she ever asked in return was that I pay it forward, and that is exactly what I am trying to do.

Be sure to read all the articles and resources provided here. I attended many seminars during my days as healthcare educator. I became frustrated if I didn’t grasp the information. What I found is that the same material presented in a different way was what I needed. Maybe it was the fibro or the Hashimoto’s undiagnosed, I will never know for sure, but I do know the sheer pleasure, that feeling of accomplishment when I had that “AH” “ HA” moment. 

If you are like me, you will need to take this information in slowly. Save the link to this blog, then come back. Take each article in succession until you think you have it. If you struggle to understand (as I did), please leave comments and ask questions on Health Central  so we can discuss them together. If one person has a question, so does someone else.

As a prelude, watch my interview on the myofascial trigger points (TrPs) with Frank Gresham, certified myofascial trigger point specialist, of the Chronic Pain Center. Frank studied the work of the pioneers of myofascial medicine, Dr. JanetTravell  and Dr. David Simons.  




There has been a great deal of confusion regarding fibromyalgia tender points and myofascial trigger points. THEY ARE NOT THE SAME. They should NEVER be used interchangeably. Even though there are some researchers who think tender points may have been trigger points all along, there is other evidence by researchers and educators, such as my friend Dr. Robert Bennett who knows how to assess fibromyalgia AND myofascial pain syndrome, who say they are not. Thanks to Dr. Bennett, who led the research for the Alternative Diagnostic Criteriawe know how different FM is from MPS, even though they can, and often do, co-exist in the same patient. Read all the articles on Health Central and on my website and you will have a better understanding.





~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~

"Adversity is only an obstacle if we fail to see opportunity."  
Celeste Cooper, RN
Author—Patient—Health Central Chronic Pain ProAdvocate


Learn more about what you can do to help your body function to its potential in the books you can find here on Celeste's  blog


All answers and blogs are based on the author's opinions and writing and are not meant to replace medical advice.  



Wednesday, June 24, 2015

David Simons, MD: Pioneer of Myofascial Medicine




Dr. Simons joined Dr. Janet Travell in her intense efforts to understand and educate other physicians regarding myofascial dysfunction, and the contribution of myofascial trigger points to myofascial pain syndrome


"Dr. David Simons started his medical career as a military clinician and research scientist. Since 1965 he [practiced] physical and rehabilitative medicine. Dr. Simons, a world leader in myofascial medicine, [lectured and advocated] for research in this “new field” of medicine. Drs. Travell and Simons co-authored Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual, Vol. 1, published in 1983, and Vol. 2 in 1992. The revised edition of Vol. 1 was published in 1999." (Cooper and Miller, 2010


What you may not know is that Dr. David Simons, born in 1922, was Project Officer for Animal Studies in V-2 rocket flights until 1949. He graduated from the USAF School of Aerospace Medicine at Randolph Air Force Base. He is well known for his part in the part in the “Manhigh project, a series of balloon flights to record altitudes to study the effects of a near-space environment on human physiology.” Because of this any many other aeronautical achievements, he was inducted into the International Space Hall of Fame in 1987.

It was after retiring from the Air Force that he began his work with Dr. Janet Travell and they published the first medical textbooks on myofascial medicine. Dr. Simons also published approximately 200 publications on myofascial trigger points and chronic pain management. He and Dr. Travell are recognized internationally as trustworthy researchers.

To say that it was an honor to exchange email with Dr. Simons regarding myofascial pain syndrome is an understatement. When Dr. David Simons passed away in 2010, it was a great loss. He did so much to help so many, including myself. It is because of him and Dr. Travell that we can have better pain management today by pain specialists, chiropractors, and body workers who know their work.

A friend of mine, Dr. John Whiteside (Australia), studied directly under Dr. Janet Travell. We became connected when he gave me permission to publish his protocol for treating trigger points in our book. When I expressed my remorse for the loss of Dr. Simons, he had this to say:  

"Great scientists and teachers outlive their mortal lives.”
--Dr. John Whiteside

No truer words have ever been spoken.



Janet Travell, MD: Pioneer of Myofascial Medicine




"The pioneer in the study of chronic myofascial pain as we know it today is Dr. Janet Travell, later joined by Dr. David Simons. Travell discovered as early as 1940 that by applying pressure to a trigger point, she could establish and predict referred pain patterns. After successfully treating President John F. Kennedy for residual effects from bouts with myofascial pain and longstanding back problems, she was the first woman and first non-military doctor to be appointed to the post of White House physician. Dr. Travell is considered to be an expert authority, and her work and dedication continue to be internationally referenced.


Thanks to [Dr. Travell and Dr. Simons] dedication to scientific study and education, we now know that specific triggerpoints cause specific pain patterns and symptoms." (Cooper and Miller, 2010) 

One only has to visit Dr. Travell’s family tribute to understand the huge impact she had as White House physician to President John F. Kennedy. I hope you will take a moment to honor her by visiting the family’s memorial website. It is a testament to her work, her dedication, and to her life.

Dr Janet Travell (1901 – 1997) was not only personal physician to President Kennedy, she was a Associate Clinical Professor at the George Washington University and made many other contributions to medicine. A collection of her work consists of manuscripts, reports, correspondence, research data, articles, newspaper clippings, photographs, and a variety of material from Dr. Travell's service in the White House. It is said to include 104 boxes, or 44.5 linear feet of materials. The collection was donated to the Gelman Library University Archives in 1998 by her daughters with the stipulation that it can only be used to further the research and study of myofascial medicine. (Accessed,1-24-2015).  Her work will live on.

She made a huge impact on our knowledge of myofascial pain syndrome, its perpetuators to pain, and the role of the myofascial trigger point not only in pain, but also as a contributing factor to many other autonomic, circulatory, and nerve related symptoms. One might say she was also the founder of ergonomics because she understood, studied, and educated others about the effects of furniture, clothing, and posture on the body. She studied relentlessly to identify and map out the pain and symptom referral patterns associated with the location of each specific myofascial trigger point

She and Dr. David Simons and published the first medical text books on myofascial medicine.

Few in medicine have made such an impact and she and Dr. David Simons have made. Both were children of physicians.



Sunday, June 21, 2015

ME/CFS Advocates Making a Difference: Giving Thanks, Celeste Cooper


It’s time to say thank you. Advocates work tirelessly to change the perceptions of myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS).

According to the CDC, more than one million Americans have ME/CFS, I happen to be one of them. And while my own advocacy focuses on fibromyalgia and chronic pain, and I write articles on chronic pain for Health Central,  I must support those who carry the torch for ME/CFS. There are correlations between ME/CFS and fibromyalgia, and many of us have been diagnosed with both. Maybe incorrectly, I don’t know. They do share underlying immunological changes, even if chemokines and other neuroimmune markers differ between the two of them. Who knows, maybe having a better understanding of ME/CFS will provide information so we can grasp what is happening with other invisible illnesses. We won’t know any of this without research. This is what our advocates know.


Voices Constantly Running in the Background 


As an RN, I am a member of Medscape, which is an organization for continuing education for physicians and nurses. I receive notification of CME and CEU programs and article updates. For the first time, I am seeing articles on the views of important game players, such as Dr. Komaroff.  There is a drive to educate physicians and nurses on ME/CFS as a biological illness. This wouldn’t be happening without the voices that are constantly running in the background.




Gratitude is Motivating

Many donate their time and talent. But, even if some are paid, money isn’t their driving force; it is passion for the cause. Our words of gratitude motivate them. I know this because of my own advocacy for fibromyalgia and chronic pain. So, please tell them thank you!

If I single out any particular person or group, it is only because I have personal communication with them. It by no means says there aren’t others doing the same for us. You may know someone different than I do who is making a huge impact. Show your support by telling them thank you on Facebook, Google+, or Twitter.


In alphabetical order:

Jeannette Burmeister Attorney,  ME activist, and blogger.
On Twitter

Health Rising.  Cort Johnson interprets research and collaborates with many people to improve education and awareness. Health Rising now has forums for ME/CFS and fibromyalgia.
On Twitter

The Massachusetts CFIDS/ME&FM Association.  Their mission is “To improve the lives of all people affected by ME/CFS and FM, advancing awareness, care, treatment and research.”
On Facebook – CFS Solutions

ME-CFS Community.   A world-wide community for individuals who wish to learn from, and directly communicate with those who are afflicted with ME/CFS.

Open Medicine Foundation. Supporting research and patient engagement for treatments and a cure for Neuro-Immune Diseases
On Twitter

P.A.N.D. O.R.A  Seeking to alleviate the suffering caused by neuro-endocrine-immune diseases, including ME/CFS, fibromyalgia syndrome, multiple chemical sensitivities / environmental illnesses, chronic Lyme disease and Gulf War illnesses.
On Facebook

ProHealth. Educating patients and providers to improve treatment and awareness, and donating 10% of profits to fund research and patient advocacy. Founder Rich Carson  provides forums on ME/CFS, FM, Lyme’s Disease. and general health, and topic related collaborative news and information on ME/CFS,  fibromyalgia,  and natural wellness.
On Twitter

Jennie Spotila’s blog, Occupy CFS.  Jennie’s legal savvy holds people accountable.
On Twitter


Our advocates are making a difference. 





~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~

"Adversity is only an obstacle if we fail to see opportunity."  
Celeste Cooper, RN
Author—Patient—Health Central Chronic Pain Pro —Advocate


Learn more about what you can do to help your body function to its potential in the books you can find here on Celeste's  blog

All answers and blogs are based on the author's opinions and writing and are not meant to replace medical advice.  

Friday, June 5, 2015

A Patient Powered Network: Change Agents for Relieving Pain in America by Celeste Cooper


A Patient Powered Network

Relieving pain in Kansas City (RPnKC) is a patient-powered leadership group with the goal of securing and promoting clinical data research network (PPRN) based on a collaborative, community-driven, community-based participatory research model. We are a group that believes patients have a role to teach others on important key issues based on improving our outcome as people living with chronic pain.

You can be a leader too - read on!

As participants in this patient powered research network, RPnKC patient leaders are united in an effort to change the way pain is “perceived, judged, and treated” as outlined in the Institute of Medicine Report “Relieving Pain in America: A Blueprint for Transforming Prevention,Care, Education, andResearch.”  We feel privileged for the opportunity to use OUR VOICE to influence research on therapies, coordinated care, alternative and integrative medicine, access to care, quality care without bias, research regarding many factors that influence chronic pain, and much more. The Center for Practical Bioethics through their PAINS Project   hold  us to the highest esteem, both in their hands and in their hearts.

Patient Outcome Based Research - By for and with Patients

We are an eclectic group with a variety of chronic pain conditions and backgrounds who have come together for this collaborate effort. We want to be part of the transformation. We want to work collectively with anyone who is willing to promote us in an effort to seek patient outcome based research that will solve the epidemic of untreated or undertreated pain, and we are achieving that goal. We understand, and we want our providers to understand that we are more than our pain, and that pain affects us physically, emotionally, socially, financially, and spiritually. We think it is important that our voices be heard.   Each of us has our own ideas based on our individual experiences, and for the first time, patients will influence research that answers questions posed by us. 



The Right to Ethical Treatment

We believe that we have the right to moral and ethical treatment of our pain, that we have the right not to be judged because we are in pain, and that we have the right to treatments focused on improving our outcome that fit within individual conceptual framework, support safety nets, and to speak up for those less fortunate. In an effort to promote our beliefs, we advocate for research, not only for ourselves as patients in pain, but for over 100 million Americans.

We believe we can set an example that will resonate across America, and we can do that best by participation in this important movement. We can do this despite the obstacles we face every day because we live with chronic pain. Never before have we had the opportunities provided by the vast experience and abilities offered by the many organizations and health centered research organizations, healthcare institutions, and others who are coming together to support the Center for Practical Bioethics in this endeavor.

Find Power in Your Voice

It is our greatest desire that you too will have such an opportunity in your area. I encourage you to share information with your legislators, your local medical groups, local media, and reach out by joining the PAINS Project and encouraging others to do the same. You too deserve to feel empowered as part of this national movement. If you have questions on how to do that contact MaryBennett, Alliance Development Director. 


Sincerely, Celeste Cooper 


"Adversity is only an obstacle if we fail to see opportunity."  


Thursday, June 4, 2015

Day Four – Migraine Awareness, Fibromyalgia, and Chronic Myofascial Pain - The Blog Challenge




I have been a migraineur since puberty, for me, the consequences of genetics. My paternal grandmother was also a migraineur, and I always thought that like her, I would be free of this hideous disease by the time I reached my fourth decade in life. That was my dream, my hope, my reason for coping for so many years— a welcome light at the end of a long dark tunnel. But, the only thing that has changed is they are more frequent, and I have acquired additional triggers, spinal degeneration, myofascial pain syndrome, and fibromyalgia


My maternal grandmother had “muscular rheumatism,” an old name for fibromyalgia. I can count on trigger points in my neck, upper body, and face to act as weapons firing on the bulls eye, my trigeminal nerve. A cascade of events begins on my right side, my nose starts to run, and the world starts to appear as though I am viewing it from under water. For me, myofascial pain syndrome is one of several peripheral pain generators to both migraine and fibromyalgia, two centrally mediated disorders.

Centrally mediated = beginning in the central nervous system, the brain and spinal cord

After visiting with others who share this conundrum, I know I am not alone. This is immensely comforting in one way, and horrific in another. No one would wish any one of these painful conditions on someone else, not even their archenemy. (If they would, they need to hone some coping skills, maybe see a therapist.)

Migraine Awareness


It was once thought migraines were due to vasoconstriction of blood vessels in the brain. However, new evidence suggests migraines are caused by a nerve disruption. Teri Robert, President of the American Headache andMigraine Association, says, “We had a fascinating presentation in Scottsdale in 2010 showed imaging of a migraine in progress with no vasoconstriction at all.” 

I attended one of her organization’s (AHMA) symposiums for patients. After living as a migraineur for nearly 50 years, I learned more about the disease at that event than I have ever learned from those who have treated me. The one thing I know for certain, if you suffer from chronic migraine, you want a neurologist who specializes in treating headaches.

Possible Connections

Not all migraineurs have myofascial pain syndrome nor do they have fibromyalgia. However, we do know that peripheral pain (such as that from myofascial trigger points) does intensify the body-wide tenderness of fibromyalgia and can be a trigger for a migraine attack.  We also have evidence that there is prevalence of migraine in fibromyalgia

Peripheral pain generator = pain that is initiated outside the central nervous system 

Regardless of other conditions we have, as a migraineur, the most important thing is to control any perpetuating factors.

What Wouldn’t We Do?

We know the drug trials, the willingness to have needles stuck around the eye and in the cranium (feeling like, and hearing, the crunch of a rice crispy treat). We agree to have needles stuck in our body orifices, or spinal canal. We are willing to have foreign objects permanently implanted in our body like the bionic woman or the six million dollar man. We are willing and anxious to try the many tools covered by the American Headache Society or have as many as 35-40 trigger point injections in one setting. These are things otherwise healthy people consider torturous. Are we insane, as once suggested regarding migraine, fibromyalgia, and myofascial pain? The answer is NO! What it does imply is we are desperate and on the positive side, we are credible regarding our complaints. If your physician doesn’t see it this way, it’s time to find a new one. 

So, the answer to “What Wouldn't We  Do?” to relieve or even minimize our pain is:

NOTHING!

Clinical trial participants are willing to undergo any treatment and even risk their well-being in a quest to help others and themselves. We are a group of empathetic folks, which speaks to our character.


Marching On


I can’t make your pain or mine go away, but I can say I am privileged to march with you, my fellow bandleaders. We may march to a different drum, but we march.

Live boldly; stand out, join the AHMA to RAISE AWARENESS for migraine and all the things that accompany the life of a migraineur.

"The Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge is organized by the American Headache and Migraine Association." - See more at: http://www.ahmablog.com/2015/06/migraine-headache-blog-challenge-4.html#.VXCxFs-rTIU

~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~

"Adversity is only an obstacle if we fail to see opportunity."  
Celeste Cooper, RN
Author—Patient—Health Central Chronic Pain Pro —Advocate


Learn more about what you can do to help your body function to its potential in the books you can find here on Celeste's  blog

All answers and blogs are based on the author's opinions and writing and are not meant to replace medical advice.  

Migraine, Fibromyalgia, and Chronic Myofascial Pain by Celeste Cooper



I have been a migraineur since puberty, for me, the consequences of genetics. My paternal grandmother was also a migraineur, and I always thought that like her, I would be free of this hideous disease by the time I reached my fourth decade in life. That was my dream, my hope, my reason for coping for so many years— a welcome light at the end of a long dark tunnel. But, the only thing that has changed is they are more frequent, and I have acquired additional triggers, spinal degeneration, myofascial pain syndrome, and fibromyalgia


My maternal grandmother had “muscular rheumatism,” an old name for fibromyalgia. I can count on trigger points in my neck, upper body, and face to act as weapons firing on the bulls eye, my trigeminal nerve. A cascade of events begins on my right side, my nose starts to run, and the world starts to appear as though I am viewing it from under water. For me, myofascial pain syndrome is one of several peripheral pain generators to both migraine and fibromyalgia, two centrally mediated disorders.

Centrally mediated = beginning in the central nervous system, the brain and spinal cord

After visiting with others who share this conundrum, I know I am not alone. This is immensely comforting in one way, and horrific in another. No one would wish any one of these painful conditions on someone else, not even their archenemy. (If they would, they need to hone some coping skills, maybe see a therapist.)

Migraine Awareness


It was once thought migraines were due to vasoconstriction of blood vessels in the brain. However, new evidence suggests migraines are caused by a nerve disruption. Teri Robert, President of the American Headache andMigraine Association, says, “We had a fascinating presentation in Scottsdale in 2010 showed imaging of a migraine in progress with no vasoconstriction at all.” 

I attended one of her organization’s (AHMA) symposiums for patients. After living as a migraineur for nearly 50 years, I learned more about the disease at that event than I have ever learned from those who have treated me. The one thing I know for certain, if you suffer from chronic migraine, you want a neurologist who specializes in treating headaches.

Possible Connections

Not all migraineurs have myofascial pain syndrome nor do they have fibromyalgia. However, we do know that peripheral pain (such as that from myofascial trigger points) does intensify the body-wide tenderness of fibromyalgia and can be a trigger for a migraine attack.  We also have evidence that there is prevalence of migraine in fibromyalgia

Peripheral pain generator = pain that is initiated outside the central nervous system 

Regardless of other conditions we have, as a migraineur, the most important thing is to control any perpetuating factors.

What Wouldn’t We Do?

We know the drug trials, the willingness to have needles stuck around the eye and in the cranium (feeling like, and hearing, the crunch of a rice crispy treat). We agree to have needles stuck in our body orifices, or spinal canal. We are willing to have foreign objects permanently implanted in our body like the bionic woman or the six million dollar man. We are willing and anxious to try the many tools covered by the American Headache Society or have as many as 35-40 trigger point injections in one setting. These are things otherwise healthy people consider torturous. Are we insane, as once suggested regarding migraine, fibromyalgia, and myofascial pain? The answer is NO! What it does imply is we are desperate and on the positive side, we are credible regarding our complaints. If your physician doesn’t see it this way, it’s time to find a new one. 

So, the answer to “What Wouldn't We  Do?” to relieve or even minimize our pain is:

NOTHING!

Clinical trial participants are willing to undergo any treatment and even risk their well-being in a quest to help others and themselves. We are a group of empathetic folks, which speaks to our character.


Marching On


I can’t make your pain or mine go away, but I can say I am privileged to march with you, my fellow bandleaders. We may march to a different drum, but we march.

Live boldly; stand out, RAISE AWARENESS for migraine and all the things that accompany the life of a migraineur.


Resources



~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~

"Adversity is only an obstacle if we fail to see opportunity."  
Celeste Cooper, RN
Author—Patient—Health Central Chronic Pain ProAdvocate


Learn more about what you can do to help your body function to its potential in the books you can find here on Celeste's  blog

All answers and blogs are based on the author's opinions and writing and are not meant to replace medical advice.  

Friday, May 29, 2015

Broken Body, Wounded Spirit: Balancing the SeeSaw of Chronic Pain, SUMMER DEVOTIONS


Summer is just around the corner, and with it comes challenges for the person living with chronic pain and illness. Being prepared to face each day, sometimes each moment, is important for maximizing the many aspects that confront the person living in pain. Following is information on SUMMER DEVOTIONS in the Broken Body, Wounded Spirit: Balancing the SeeSaw of Chronic Pain series.




By focusing on each summer day, the authors send their readers on a personal journey that allows them to restructure their personal experience with pain. In the foreword, Erica Verillo says “...Organized into a “book of days” each chapter offers a combination of practical coping advice – how to manage the sleep disorder that often comes with chronic pain, dietary considerations, and how to review the effectiveness of treatments – information (what do all those medical acronyms mean?), and guidance through the emotional turmoil of chronic illness...”

Finding physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual balance can be challenging for the person living with chronic pain. There is a primal need to provide physical comfort and positive interactions with others. Though this is something everyone faces, those who live with chronic pain are confronted with these challenges, and more, every day. Summer Devotions strives to help readers reclaim control over their lives by interacting with daily prompts for inward reflection. Everyone's experience with pain is unique and so should be their strategies for coping.

"Broken Body, Wounded Spirit takes those who suffer from chronic pain and illness on a magical ride to a place where all patients need to go: a place of relaxation, solace, and perspective. Woven in a rich pattern of interrelated tips, stories, and lovely truisms, we learn that we control our journey, and that being mindful of the realities of dealing with a chronic disease puts us in charge. I highly recommend this soulful little book."
 ~Richard Carson, Health advocate and Founder of ProHealth.com
From Summer Devotions Inside the Cover
 “A must have for anyone suffering from the frustration of chronic pain. Best part about this book is you don't have to read it in order... I've skimmed through several times and each time there is another inspiration just waiting!”  Amazon Reviewer
 “I am only about halfway through this book, but have found it thought-provoking, insightful and uplifting. I don't read a lot, and this is broken down into daily readings which is helpful, yet I often find myself wanting to read more than one days worth at a time. I would highly recommend this book and the fact that it is available on Kindle on my phone and I can take it with me and read it anywhere is an added bonus! “Hannah, AmazonReviewer 

e  g

Celeste  is an advanced trained RN who was forced into early retirement because of chronic pain. Her experience as an educator, an advocate, and a person living with chronic pain gives her a unique perspective. Her motivation for writing self-help books is to fulfill her personal purpose of helping others. Celeste believes it is up to each individual to explore ways to improve their life and encourages her readers through the exercises included in her works. She also believes every person deserves to be treated with dignity and respect and understands first-hand that is something each person must learn to demand in a kind and meaningful way, despite judgment imposed by others. For that reasons she advocates and educates.


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Jeff  Miller, PhD is a clinical psychologist with several specialties, including management of chronic pain disorders.  His goal is to help patients learn to cope with the psychological and spiritual aspects of pain and provide easy to use tools for maintaining forward momentum in their life.



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Review the Table ofContents 
What others have to say, Inside the Cover 


Available:

Amazon (Also available in Kindle) 


Saturday, May 16, 2015

May Awareness: Sharing Our Spoons by Celeste Cooper


Moving into the Month Of Spoonies


Did you know?

  • Those who learn to live despite chronic illness or pain are called spoonies.
  • May is awareness month for:
    • Allergy
    • Arthritis
    • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS, SEID)
    • Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS)
    • Fibromyalgia
    •  Lyme’s Disease
    •  Neuropathy
    • Osteoporosis
    • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE, Lupus)


ALLERGY– The role in immune dysfunction

Allergy may be coexistent with or aggravate many conditions. “Allergy symptoms are in response to an abnormal neurotransmitter, specifically, histamine.” (Cooper and Miller, 2010

Take the Health Central “Allergy Quiz”. 


ARTHRITIS

Arthritis is an umbrella term for many disorders that affect our joints. The most common type is osteoarthritis. Research is advancing what we know of about osteoarthritis.

See Health Central article "Arthritis Awareness Month: More than 100 Types of Arthritis and Related Diseases" by Lisa Emrich, Follow me, Celeste Cooper, Chronic Pain Health Pro and other "Health Guides and Pros" who walk the talk. Ask questions, comment, share your story


CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME (ME/CFS/SEID)

Advances have been made in understanding the biology of ME/CFS.  Love it or hate it, and there are reasons for concern, the Institute of Medicine proposes a name change that addresses the most common component, systemic exertion intolerance disease (SEID). There is genuine concern that this name, while addressing a biological cause, may result in ignoring other biological changes that have been associated with ME/CFS. Many people educate and advocate for those of us with this dreadful disorder. You can find out who they are on my website here


EHLERS-DANLOS SYNDROME (EDS)

Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome is a genetic disease with several types under its umbrella. Characterized by joint hypermobility, skin elasticity, and connective tissue fragility, this disease results from atypical (unusual) proteins are responsible for the fragility of collagen, which is the glue for our tissue. Some patients with EDS also have fibromyalgia or are susceptible for developing myofascial pain syndromeRead on

FIBROMYALGIA (FM)

We are learning more about fibromyalgia. Several researchers believe they are close to finding biomarkers, but the stigma lives on because of those who hold tight to the in ill-conceived notion that fibromyalgia is a psychosomatic disorder. In light of more recent research, how and why remains a mystery to me. But, as I always say, there is opportunity in adversity.

It’s possible that finding the answer to FM will unlock our understanding of other chronic pain disorders associated with pain (pain that is amplified by our brain’s perception). I have written many blogs on fibromyalgia; check out the archived blogs to the right listed according to month.


LYME’S DISEASE

“Lyme disease is caused by the spirochete bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi. The infection is passed to humans by the bite of an infected tick carrying the microorganism. Symptoms include a “bull’s eye” rash at the site of the bite, malaise, fever, headache, muscle aches, and swollen lymph nodes. Untreated Lyme disease can result in symptoms occurring months or years after the initial exposure and causing damage to the heart, joints, and nerves of infected individuals. Symptoms can imitate other diseases and can be misdiagnosed.” (Cooper and Miller, 2010)   

It is very sad to say, but despite overwhelming evidencethat Chronic Lyme’s Disease  exists, there are those who doubt it.


OSTEOPOROSIS

Osteoporosis is diagnosed according to bone density tests. Poor bone density makes our bones fragile increasing fracture. A common complication of osteoporosis is hip fracture, and the mortality of hip fracture in the elderly is very high.  Watch a great overview of osteoporosis and prevention on Health Central. 


NEUROPATHY

“Neuropathy is any functional disturbance or pathological change in the peripheral nervous system; also used to denote nonspecific lesions, in contrast to inflammatory lesions.” (Cooper and Miller, 2010)

Neuropathy can be due to an array of medical conditions. It can also be idiopathic, meaning that the cause of symptoms is unknown. Read about neuropathic pain


SYSTEMIC LUPUS ERYTHEMATOSUS (SLE, Lupus)

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus is poorly understood and under researched. The cause is unknown. Often referred to as Lupus (not to be confused with discoid lupus), SLE affects predominately women, African Americans, Hispanics and Asians and is generally diagnosed between puberty and mid age. It is an inflammatory autoimmune disease that causes destruction of the body’s various connective tissues. Read on.  

You can learn more about Lupus in an article by Leslie Rott at Health Central, “Lupus is as Lupus Does”. 


BRINGING IN THE SPOONS

While we wait for such evidence, it is important to remember that regardless of our diagnosis, regardless of biomarkers, we are yet to find the cause or a cure for many immune or neuro-immune disorders. So, we must find ways to cope in a healthy way. You can find coping 
and management strategies on my website.

To all my fellow SPOONIES, thank you for sharing this journey. 


~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~

"Adversity is only an obstacle if we fail to see opportunity."  
Celeste Cooper, RN
Author—Patient—Health Central Chronic Pain ProAdvocate—Sharecare Fibromyalgia Health Expert

NEW Website: http://CelesteCooper.com

Learn more about what you can do to help your body function to its potential in the books you can find here on Celeste's  blog



All answers and blogs are based on the author's opinions and writing and are not meant to replace medical advice.  

Celeste's Website

Celeste's Website
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