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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Antidepressants Help Patients with Fibromyalgia

As someone who suffers from the medical condition known as fibromyalgia, it is nice to know that some scientists and medical professionals believe that my medical condition exists in my body, and is not a figment of my imagination. I have lots of pain and worst of all my memory and sleep are severely affected by this medical condition. I say it is nice to know that some scientists and medical professionals believe in the existence of fibromyalgia, as these wonderful people are engaging in research which is helping us understand what causes fibromyalgia and how it can be treated to bring fibromyalgia sufferers such as myself some relieve from the symptoms of the disease (Fibromyalgia was recognized as a disease by the World Health Organization in the early 1990's).

An exciting new research study into Fibromyalgia has indicated that:

"Drugs traditionally used to treat depression are also effective in easing widespread pain, sleep disturbances and dismal moods associated with fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), according to a large-scale analysis published today in JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association.
Fibromyalgia, an often overlooked disorder believed to cause widespread muscle pain, sleep disturbances, depression and fatigue, affects up to 12 million people (4 percent of the U.S. population), nearly 11 million of them women. The degree of debilitation caused by the disease ranges "from very little to total," says Roland Staud, a professor of medicine at the University of Florida College of Medicine in Gainesville, adding that he has known some patients who have been bedridden for as long as a year because of symptoms, which typically appear between ages 40 and 60 and may last for the remainder of sufferers' lives."

German researchers reviewed findings from 18 clinical trials (involving a total of 1,427 people in North America, South America and Europe) on the effect of antidepressants in relieving symptoms of fibromyalgia. Trial participants were given a drug from one of four classes of antidepressant drugs—tricyclic and tetracyclic antidepressants (TCA's), selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI's), monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI's), and serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (SNRI's).

"All classes of antidepressants had substantial effects on pain [but] we found differences between the classes of antidepressants on other key symptoms of FMS such as sleep disturbances, fatigue and depressed mood," says lead study author Winfried Häuser, an internist at Klinikum Saarbrücken, a hospital in Germany.

For example, SSRI's (such as Prozac) significantly reduced pain and lightened depression, but did not relieve fatigue or sleep disturbances, whereas SNRI's (such as Cymbalta) helped with pain, sleep disturbances and the blues, although they did not perk up the weary. TCA's (such as Vanatrip) helped alleviate pain, fatigue and sleep disturbances, but MAOI's (such as Manerix) only seemed to help with pain.

"This is a major advance," says psychiatrist Leslie Arnold, director of the Women's Health Research Program at the University of Cinncinnati's College of Medicine, Arnold. "We are trying to identify new treatments for fibromyalgia and raise awareness for this disease."

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Thoughts worth thinking about

"Our subconscious minds have no sense of humor, play no jokes and cannot tell the difference between reality and an imagined thought or image. What we continually think about eventually will manifest in our lives."-Sidney Madwed

Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every woman and man present their views without penalty, there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.- Albert Einstein Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. - Leo Buscaglia

A person's true wealth is the good he or she does in the world. - Mohammed

Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. -Albert Einstein

The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others. - Ghandi

The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves. - Helen Keller

Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make yourself a happier and more productive person. - Dr. David M. Burns

Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures. -His Holiness The Dalai Lama

Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it. -

Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. -George Bernard Shaw

Ego's trick is to make us lose sight of our interdependence. That kind of ego-thought gives us a perfect justification to look out only for ourselves. But that is far from the truth. In reality we all depend on each other and we have to help each other. The husband has to help his wife, the wife has to help the husband, the mother has to help her children, and the children are supposed to help the parents too, whether they want to or not.-Gehlek Rinpoche Source: "The Best Buddhist Writing 2005 pg. 165

The hostile attitude of conquering nature ignores the basic interdependence of all things and events---that the world beyond the skin is actually an extension of our own bodies---and will end in destroying the very environment from which we emerge and upon which our whole life depends.