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Natural Health News and Articles

Juvenile Fibromyalgia: Identifying and Managing Fibromyalgia in Children

What is Juvenile Fibromyalgia?

Juvenile Primary Fibromyalgia Syndrome (JPFS) is part of a group of conditions collectively known as Musculoskeletal Pain Syndrome. Juvenile Primary Fibromyalgia Syndrome, or JPFS, is a condition that results in symptoms of overall musculoskeletal and joint pain and fatigue. Data is sparse in the area of prevalence, but it is thought that up to 7% of children under 18 have JPFS or similar condition. It is more common in females and the diagnosis in children usually occurs between the ages of 13 and 15.

Along with joint pain and fatigue, other symptoms include disturbed sleep, morning stiffness, headaches, abdominal pain, irritable bowel, tight muscles and periods of swelling. Depression and anxiety are often present. JPFS is frequently triggered by an injury, illness or stress. Many patients with JPFS also have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

How Is Juvenile Fibromyalgia Diagnosed?

Diagnosing JPFS starts with a medical exam which includes a family history, physical exam and a tender point test of all 18 sites. Diagnostic tests should be conducted to rule out all rheumatic diseases and arthritis. To meet diagnostic criteria there must be patient report of pain in three or more body areas over a minimum of three months. In addition, at least five painful tender points must be experienced upon palpation during the exam. Additional symptoms such as difficulty with sleep, irritable bowels, fatigue and headache are often present and these symptoms tend to worsen with stress and/or anxiety.

JPFS can have severe effects on a child’s physical and emotional functioning. School attendance, socialization, and general quality of life are all impacted by this condition.

Managing Juvenile Fibromyalgia Holistically

JPFS is incurable but its symptoms can be controlled by understanding and preventing triggers, maintaining a focus on physical and psychosocial wellness,  and effective management of pain symptoms. As with the treatment of any minor, family involvement is a critical part of the treatment plan.

A traditional therapeutic treatment approach involves a team. This team consists of a combination of collaborating professionals to include at minimum: a pediatric  rheumatologist, physical therapist, and psychologist along with the identified patient and his or her family. The traditional treatment course utilizes a combination of medication, exercise, physical therapy and a form of psychotherapy called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

A holistic treatment approach is meant to be “in addition to,” not necessarily “instead of a” traditional treatment approach. In general, holistic treatments focus on addressing all aspects of an individual, not just the physical. The overarching philosophy is to live a more balanced lifestyle and understand that physical illnesses are the symptoms of a greater imbalance that may or may not have a root cause in the physical. Holistic treatment of JPFS may include the traditional therapies discussed above in concert with non-traditional medicine.

Recently published studies suggest that the use of Yoga, Tai Chi, and/or Acupuncture may reduce pain, fatigue and stiffness and improve quality of life in patients with Fibromyalgia. Many living with Fibromyalgia manage their diet and nutrition to alleviate symptoms and also utilize therapeutic massage to ease muscle soreness. However, there has not been enough scientific evidence supporting the use of vitamins, nutrition or massage to date.

Many alternative treatments can assist with pain management in Fibromyalgia.  Though patients report positive outcomes in using these alternative treatments, scientific support has not been substantially rigorous enough to make any hard effectiveness claims. Nonetheless, so many are searching for holistic treatments and will consider these minimally-invasive treatments to avoid medication side-effects and to adopt a balanced approach to health and wellness.

The following alternative treatments have been used in the treatment of Fibromyalgia:

No child need be robbed of a full life following a diagnosis of JPFS. Incorporating a holistic approach to the treatment of JPFS most often includes the traditional route of coping strategies, physical exercise, physical therapy, cognitive behavior therapy, and perhaps medication with any of the alternative treatments that help reduce or alleviate the associated symptoms of Fibromyalgia.

By Alicia DiFabio, Psy.D.

Resources

  • fibromyalgia-treatment.com
  • Treating Juvenile Fibromyalgia by Jennifer Cerbasi, (2012) FoxNews.com
  • webmd.com – Fibromyalgia Guide
  • KidsHealth.org – Fibromyalgia.

 

Alicia DiFabio, Psy.D. is a freelance writer with a doctorate in psychology. Her personal essays and parenting articles have appeared in various newspapers and magazines. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and four girls, one of whom has extensive special needs. She can be found writing about her adventures in parenting at her blog, Lost In Holland.

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Natural Health News and Articles

Using Vitamin B12 to Fight Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis, a degenerative form of arthritis that attacks the joints, is a source of pain and stiffness for many sufferers. There are many therapeutic options to help treat some of the symptoms, many of which are derived from nutritional sources. Recent research, however, has shown that foods rich in vitamin B12 have shown significant reduction in pain, tenderness, and overall stiffness in joints. In fact, those that incorporated the appropriate amounts of vitamin B12 into their diets showed significantly less dependence on pain medications over a 2 month period. Here are some quality food sources that are rich in vitamin B12.

  • Swiss cheese – This mild-flavored deli classic is a surprising super food for Osteoarthritis. Not only is it an incredible source of calcium and vitamin D, but it also boasts about 16% of the daily recommended value of vitamin B12.
  • Eggs – Loaded with protein and full of riboflavin, folate, and vitamin D, one egg can give a person 9% of the daily recommended value of vitamin B12.
  • Salmon – Its meaty texture and subtle flavor make salmon easy to eat and versatile in any kitchen. With over 300% of the daily recommended value of vitamin B12, Salmon should be a go-to food for anyone that suffers from osteoarthritis.
  • Whole Milk – Also being a great source of calcium and vitamin D, whole milk also adds a whopping 18% of the daily recommended value of vitamin B12.
  • Beef Chuck – Quality beef chuck can pack an incredible punch of vitamin B12. Choose lean cuts that are trimmed well and it can add over 103% of the daily recommended value of vitamin B12.

Osteoarthritis is a difficult and constant battle for those that suffer from it, but there are nutritional changes that can help. Adding foods that add vitamin B12 in the appropriate amounts have shown to greatly reduce the discomfort associated with the condition. Simple additions like whole milk, eggs, and salmon offer a drug-free solution to the pain and stiffness that go hand in hand with osteoarthritis.

Reference

  • bembu.com/vitamin-b12-foods

Natural Treatment for Osteoarthritis

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Treatment

Supplements for Fibromyalgia that Help with Nutrition

Written by Dr. Rich Snyder and reviewed by Julie A. Cerrato, PhD, AP, CYT, CAP

Magnesium, vitamin D and vitamin C supplementation,  have shown helpful to a person with fibromyalgia in balancing their nutrition levels.

Magnesium

The role of low magnesium levels in the body and its importance in inflammation, pain, and fatigue is being researched. In one review article, the authors noted lower levels of zinc and magnesium than in the control groups. Magnesium supplementation is necessary to help counteract the fatigue and pain associated with fibromyalgia. Certain medications, such as diuretics, can lower your magnesium levels. There are several ways to increase your magnesium intake:

  • Increase the amount of leafy green vegetables, seeds (sunflower and sesame for example) and nuts (almonds and Brazil nuts for example) which contain a lot of magnesium. You should strive to at least consume 600-800 mg a day.
  • If needed, magnesium can also be supplemented either orally or in a gel or oil formulation applied directly to the skin. Chelated magnesium is a form of magnesium taken orally without the heavy metals. This can be started once a day and increased to twice a day for a total dose of 400-600 mg. Note that very high doses of magnesium can cause diarrhea. Magnesium Malate is a form of magnesium that is very well absorbed.
  • An alternative is to apply Magnesium gel or oil to your skin once or twice daily. If you have been told that you have kidney problems, you may need to have blood levels of your magnesium level followed and limit your magnesium intake.

Vitamin D

The role of Vitamin D deficiency in the development of fibromyalgia is being evaluated; however, in one research article it was noted that in evaluating over seventy-five patients who had been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, over two-thirds had low or low-normal Vitamin D levels. The authors of this study also noted that occurred very frequently in those patients with depression and anxiety. Don’t forget that Vitamin D supplementation is vital for your overall bone and muscle health.

  • Ask your healthcare provider to measure a Vitamin D level, which is a simple blood test.
  • Begin Vitamin D3 at 1000 Units daily with food. Because it is a fat soluble vitamin, it is better absorbed with food.

Vitamin C

Remember that Vitamin C is an antioxidant; in terms of cellular health, because it is an electron donor, it helps to reduce oxidative stress and keep the cells in a reduced or natural state. We think that supplementation with Vitamin C may be beneficial. In one small study, 12 individuals with fibromyalgia were given a combination of 100 mg of Vitamin C and broccoli powder. They were closely followed over a period of one month. By the end of the month the participants in the trial reported an improved quality of life and reduced sensitivity to pain. Deficiency of this vitamin can directly impact adrenal health, and FMS can cause a lot of stress on the adrenal glands and is strongly associated with the development of adrenal fatigue, which is strongly associated with Fibromyalgia Syndrome.

  • The ester form of Vitamin C is better absorbed than other formulations.
  • Vitamin C at a dose of 2000 mg a day is a good starting dose.
  • Armstrong DJ, Meenagh GK et al. “Vitamin D deficiency is associated with anxiety and depression in fibromyalgia.” Clinical Rheumatology. 2007 Apr;26(4):551-4.
  • Bramwell B, Ferguson S et al. “The use of ascorbigen in the treatment of fibromyalgia patients: a preliminary trial.” Alternative Medicine Reviews. 2000 Oct;5(5):455-62.
  • Bent S, Padula et al. “Valerian for sleep: a systematic review and meta-analysis.” American Journal of Medicine. 2006 Dec;119(12):1005-12.
  • Cordero MD, Cotain D et al. “Oral coenzyme Q10 supplementation improves clinical symptoms and recovers pathologic alterations in blood mononuclear cells in a fibromyalgia patient.”  Nutrition. 2012 Nov-Dec;28(11-12):1200-3.
  • Geenen R, Jacobs W et al. “Evaluation and management of endocrine dysfunction in fibromyalgia.” Rheumatic Diseases Clinics of North America. 2002 May;28(2):389-404.
  • Ki Cha B, Man Jung S et al. “The effect of a multispecies probiotic mixture on the symptoms and fecal microbiota in diarrhea-dominant irritable bowel syndrome: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.” Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology. 2012 Mar;46(3):220-7.
  • Lucas HJ, Brauch CM et al. “Fibromyalgia–new concepts of pathogenesis and treatment.” International Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology. 2006 Jan-Mar;19(1):5-10.
  • Teitelbaum J, Johnson C et al. “The use of D-ribose in chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia: a pilot study.” Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2006 Nov;12(9):857-62.
  • Wikner J, Hirsch U et al. “Fibromyalgia–a syndrome associated with decreased nocturnal melatonin secretion.” Clinical Endocrinology. 1998 Aug;49(2):179-83.
  • Wilhelmsen M, Amirian I et al. “Analgesic effects of melatonin: a review of current evidence from experimental and clinical studies.” Journal of pineal Research. 2011 Oct;51(3):270-7.
  • Younger J, Noor N et al. “Low-dose naltrexone for the treatment of fibromyalgia: findings of a small, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, counterbalanced, crossover trial assessing daily pain levels.” Arthritis and Rheumatism. 2013 Feb;65(2):529-38.

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Twinlab

www.twinlab.com

 

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Twinlab Daily One Age Defense TelomereWhat is your most popular product?

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Treatment

Vitamins C, D and K2 for Osteoarthritis

Reviewed by Dr Jeffrey Lederman, DO

Osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, is the breakdown of the cartilage tissue that cushions the ends of the bones between the joints to prevent the bones from rubbing against each other. When the cartilage breaks down, bone ends make direct contact, which can result in bone spurs, abnormal bone hardening, inflammation and pain. Bones can become more brittle and fracture more easily.

Osteoarthritis is often called “wear and tear” arthritis because its onset is usually gradual, over the course of many years, and often due to an unhealthy aging process, such as a poor, high-inflammatory diet, obesity and intensive, repetitive motions from manual labor or certain athletic activities. Osteoarthritis also can occur as a result of trauma or injury.

Vitamins C, D and K2 could help prevent osteoarthritis or mitigate its effects.

Vitamin C helps develop, protect and repair the body tissue, and as a result, may help prevent or reduce the severity of osteoarthritis.

Vitamin C helps the body make collagen, which is part of the cartilage tissue that cushions the ends of the bones between the joints. Without enough Vitamin C, the body cannot properly repair and maintain the collagen tissue, which may lead to the breakdown of cartilage in osteoarthritis.

Vitamin C also is an antioxidant that helps protect the body’s cells from free radicals, which are highly reactive, destructive molecules that cause inflammation and that can damage body tissues including cartilage. Protecting the body’s cells from free radicals may also defend it against osteoarthritis.

Foods high in Vitamin C include oranges, lemons, chili peppers, dark leafy green vegetables like kale and spinach, and herbs like parsley and thyme.

Vitamin D and Vitamin K2 work together to maintain bone health, which is important in warding off osteoarthritis. Vitamin D promotes bone strength because it helps the body absorb calcium. Vitamin K2 helps direct the calcium to the bones and helps prevent calcium loss from the bones. Vitamin K2 helps direct calcium to where the body needs it – the skeleton – and helps prevent the calcium from being deposited where the body doesn’t want it, such as into the blood and arteries.

Sources of Vitamin D include sunlight, mushrooms, salmon, tuna, mackerel and fish liver oils. Vitamin K2 is found in sauerkraut, fermented cheeses, dairy foods like grass fed butter and organ meats.

Written by Jessica Braun
Jessica is a writer and an editor at WholesomeOne. She can be reached at jessica.braun[at]wholesomeone[dot]com.

References

  • WholesomeOne.com
  • Alternative Medicine, the Definitive Guide
  • Holistic Anatomy
  • Photo credit: flickr.com/photos/drb62/480699341

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Optimizing Vitamins and Supplements Guide

Optimizing Vitamins and Supplements Guide infographic was found on NewHope360.com and produced by  Healthspan, a UK vitamins and supplements supplier.

Optimizing Vitamins and Supplements Guide


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Vitamins

Vitamins are wonderful adjuncts to complement your natural lifestyle. They can fill any nutritional deficiencies that you may not be fully obtaining from your diet resulting in greater energy and feelings of well being.

How it Works

Vitamins work by replenishing deficient nutrients in the body that one may not be getting from nutrition.

Benefits

Vitamin deficiencies can cause great disruption in the body. For instance, a deficiency of just vitamin B6 and Zinc can cause a condition called pyroluria which interferes with protein metabolism, dreaming, mental balance and much more. All that caused by just simple deficiencies of only 2 vitamins!

Precautions

Consuming too much of any vitamin can also be just as harmful as having a deficiency. It is wise to consult with someone trained in nutritional response testing, who may be able to assist you in which nutrients would be most beneficial for your body. We are all unique, and should be treated as such. What the label states or what the recommended daily allowance recommends may not be correct for you.

Summary

Vitamins are a wonderful tool to add to your holistic wellness plan. Much should be taken into consideration when choosing which vitamins to take, and this challenge can be greatly lessened by obtaining the assistance of a professional nutritionist.

References

  • Prescription for Nutritional Healing by Phyllis Balch
  • Orthomolecular Medicine for Everyone by Abram Hoffer and Andrew Saul