Friday, September 16, 2011

Volcanic Activity: What we should know about cellular healing in fibromyalgia and myalgic encephalomyelitis

Repeated research suggests there is deregulation of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) in FM and ME/CFS, cavalcading a dysfunctional cortisol release.

Cortisol, the stress hormone, responds to both physical and emotional stress. Our brains are powerful tools, and we know it helps us think but it is also affected by what we think, what we do, and how we react to physical and emotional stressors. The key is to identify our perpetuating factors and manage symptoms as best we can.

Micro cellular healing takes place during sleep; hijacked because of prevalent sleep dysfunction. Though the disruptions are thought to be different between fibromyalgia and myalgic encephalomyelitis patients, it is present in both, and impairs micro healing. Treating sleep with good sleep hygiene, (discussed at length in chapter 4) sleep routine is important, but many times the FM and ME/CFS patient needs help. Discuss your sleep problems with your physician, there are medications to help in addition to behavior changes. Will treating sleep cure you, no, but it will help with your ability to cope.

Sneak Peek: My body is Matter and It Matters, “Improving sleep.”©

Sleep retraining may be indicated when your internal clock is off kilter. Melatonin is a brain chemical produced when the brain receives a signal from the eye that daylight is ending. In contrast, when your brain perceives the light impulse, melatonin production shuts down and
allows you to awaken. This is why it is important to maintain regular sleep

Preparing for bed: ………………….(Cooper and Miller, 2010)
Identifying known physical and emotional stressors is the first step, but so is managing comorbid or co-existing conditions.

Positive feedback to the central nervous system is important for homeostasis and well-being. This includes treating the peripheral pain generators, myofascial trigger points, prevalent in FM, and viral or other known perpetuators in ME/CFS. Addressing life in a more positive manner can be difficult to do without help when are mired down in pain, fatigue, and cognitive dysfunction.

Sneak Peek: Crisis Management—Dealing with Major Life Events, Chapter 6, “Dealing with Circuit Overload” ©

1. We forget we are on a team. ….
2. Focus on the doable, not the impossible…
3. Things Take Time (TTT). Get this engraved on your watch crystal or the back of your cell phone….
4. Some things can’t be fixed….
5. In Chinese, the symbol for “crisis” literally translates as “dangerous opportunity.”…
6. “Get mean.” Understand that light and dark, rain and shine, birth and death are two sides of the same dance……. (Cooper and Miller, 2010)

“Initially we struggle to accept, and we may backslide from time to time, but acceptance is key to forward momentum, coping, and energy to define and defend our new life.” --Celeste Cooper

This blog is based on my original answer at ShareCare, What can I do to improve my fibromyalgia? View my other answered questions as fibromyalgia expert

All blogs, posts and answers are based on the work in Integrative Therapies for Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Myofascial Pain: The Mind-Body Connection by Celeste Cooper, RN, and Jeff Miller, PhD. 2010, Vermont: Healing Arts press
Direct links at


Castro-Sanchez AM, Mataran-Penarrocha GA, Granero-Molina J et al. 2011. Benefits of massage-myofascial release therapy on pain, anxiety, quality of sleep, depression, and quality of life in patients with fibromyalgia. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011:561753.

Crofford, E. A. Young, N. C. Engleberg, A. Korszun, C. B. Brucksch, L. A. McClure, M. B. Brown, and M. A. Demitrack, “Basal circadian and pulsatile ACTH and cortisol secretion in patients with fibromyalgia and/or chronic fatigue syndrome,” Brain, Behavior, and Immunity 18, no. 4 (2004): 314–25.

E. Kasikcioglu, M. Dinler, and E. Berker, “Reduced tolerance of exercise in fibromyalgia may be a consequence of impaired microcirculation initiated by deficient action of nitric oxide,” Medical Hypotheses 66, no. 5 (2006): 950–52.

S. B. McMahon, W. B. Cafferty, and F. Marchand, “Immune and glial cell factors as pain mediators and modulators,” Experimental Neurology 192, no. 2 (2005):444–62.

K. J. Maher, N. G. Klimas, and M. A. Fletcher, “Chronic fatigue syndrome is associated with diminished intracellular perforin,” Clinical and ExperimentalImmunology 142, no. 3 (2005): 505–11.

M. Martinez-Lavin, “Biology and therapy of fibromyalgia. Stress, the stress response system, and fibromyalgia,” Arthritis Research & Therapy, no. 4 (2007): 216.

Mense S. 2010. How do muscle lesions such as latent and active trigger points influence central nociceptive neurons? J Musculoskel Pain. 18(4):348-353.

H. Moldofsky, “The assessment and significance of the sleep/waking brain in patients with chronic widespread musculoskeletal pain and fatigue syndromes,” Journal of Musculoskeletal Pain 15 Suppl. no. 13 (2007): 4 [Myopain 2007 poster].

Kishi A, Natelson BH, Togo F et al. 2010. Sleep stage transitions in chronic fatigue syndrome patients with or without fibromyalgia. Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc.1:5391-5394.

Wieseler-Frank, S. F. Maier, L. R. Watkins, “Glial activation and pathological pain,” Neurochemistry International 45, no. 2–3 (2004): 389–95.


Jym said...

I have suffered a very long time to the point where my bones ached so bad that it brought me to a complete halt in life. My mother also suffers as well as my daughter who is showing many of the symptoms that I had at her age. I have been on Lyrica for ten days now and can not believe the difference it has made. I hope that this med can improve other's lives as well as it has mine, because FM is a horrible thing to have to live with. No side effects so far. Here is hoping it is for you..

The Pained Ink Slayer said...

Jym, of the drugs approved to treat FM, Lyrica seems to help the most. However, many cannot tolerate the side effects. I happen to be one of those. I tolerated it otherwise better than Nuertonin and it did help, but the swelling was so severe the doctor had me stop it immediately. I think it depends on what coexisting problem one has too. I am always so happy to hear a successful story. Wonderful!

Cristina said...

Hello, Celeste
First, sorry for the failures, there speaks English and used the google translator.
I loved your message and your ideals, I see all your links carefully.
I also have a blog on Fibromyalgia:!/CrisTomaschewsk

Celeste's Website

Celeste's Website
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