Tag Archives: immune

Effectively Treat Chronic Pain Syndrome (CPS) and Fibromyalgia

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Updated 7/8/2020 by Marc Woodard

Chronic Pain Syndrome (CPS) is a common problem that presents a major challenge to health-care providers because of its complex natural history, unclear etiology, and poor response to therapy. CPS is a poorly defined condition [Google 2020]. Whereas fibromyalgia has specific physical and hormonal markers that likely confirm the diagnosis and treatment can significantly alleviate chronic pain.

If you have no history of illness, disease or injury and have unexplainable and medically unsubstantiated pain, you may likely be diagnosed with fibromyalgia. What’s the difference between the two? Fibromyalgia is a neurosensory disorder where one feels widespread pain throughout the body, but most specifically; joint and muscle stiffness and pain with fatigue. CPS appears to manifest after ill-health, or injury has been treated and chronic pain continues on for years.

“Researchers believe repeated nerve stimulation causes the brains of people with fibromyalgia to change. This change involves an abnormal increase in levels of certain chemicals in the brain that signal pain (neurotransmitters).”…

During the early years of fibromyalgia medical diagnosis, it was thought the pain originated from the brain; and the body’s oversensitivity to pain was somewhat of a mystery between the brain-body connections. Today, there appears to be medical consensus on likely cause of fibromyolgia pain. “Researchers believe repeated nerve stimulation causes the brains of people with fibromyalgia to change. This change involves an abnormal increase in levels of certain chemicals in the brain that signal pain (neurotransmitters). In addition, the brain’s pain receptors seem to develop a sort of memory of the pain and become more sensitive, meaning they can overreact to pain signals” [MayoClinic 1998-20].

Ageless MirrorAthlete also covers pain management… through holistic healing mind, body and spirit modalities and principles leading to fit healthy lifestyle change.

It is now understood a cause of fibromyalgia stems from environmental factors, genetics, lifestyle, injury, illness and disease which influence the brain’s neurochemical balance and can become unbalanced. For some, these imbalances appear to be caused by environmental stressors, which triggers anxiety and depression. Mood changes, change brain chemicals… whereas brain chemical imbalances are known to cause bodily pain.

Unlike fibromyalgia which is becoming less of a mystery than it was 10 years ago… i.e., “Doctors don’t know exactly what causes CPS. It often starts with an injury or painful condition such as: Arthritis and other joint problems, Back pain, Headaches, Muscle strains and sprains, Repetitive stress injuries, e.g., when the same movement over and over puts strain on a body part” [Web MD 2005-20].

CPS can also be diagnosed as a like-fibromyalgia condition that causes muscle pain throughout the body [whereas I believe, pain depression can also change brain chemical balance]. Illness and disease and injury are also suspected triggers of CPS, e.g., “Nerve damage, Lyme disease, Broken bones, Cancer, Acid reflux or ulcers, Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Endometriosis, when tissue in the uterus grows outside of it, Surgery” [Web MD 2005-20]. For those diagnosed with CPS, it is much harder for medical specialists to explain the long term pain story after symptoms have been adequately treated and physical therapy is complete; and brain chemical(s) are in balance.

“CPS can be hard to treat, but it’s not impossible. A mix of treatments like counseling, physical therapy, and relaxation techniques can help relieve your pain and the other symptoms that come with it … The roots of CPS are both physical and mental. Some experts think that people with the condition have a problem with the system of nerves and glands that the body uses to handle stress. That makes them feel pain differently” [Web MD 2005-20].

The American College of Rheumatology diagnosis criteria has proven that the origin of pain does not solely stem from a brain signal that produces the pain. Instead a physiological chemical shortfall is present in many cases that prevent the patient from completely alleviating pain. Think of it this way… ‘A person whose immune system is down… gets a cold and can never completely get rid of it.’ So you’re always in pain. Whereas it does not take much physical, or mental stress to aggravate and exasperate ‘a weakened immune system’ and cause an acute to chronic pain condition to transpire.

The key differences between fibromyalgia versus CPS diagnosis appears to be based on three fibromyalgia markers: Muscle tenderness, joint ache pain, which produce stiffness and fatigue, often coupled with emotional stress that can last years.

Fortunately there are chemical identifiers that can determine a neurosensory interlink between the brain and spinal cord for those diagnosed with fibromyalgia. “Research has found people with fibromyalgia have abnormally low levels of the hormones serotonin, noradrenaline and dopamine in their brains. Low levels of these hormones may be a key factor in the cause of fibromyalgia, as they’re important in regulating things like: mood” [Google 2020].

“When a physiatrist [pain specialist] substantiates a pain condition through lab tests that identify neurochemical brain imbalances – substantial pain alleviation treatment can be prescribed.”

CPS is often the diagnosis for chronic pain patients for lack of fibromyalgia markers/symptoms and when medical history of illness, disease and/or past injury are a likely cause of increased pain sensitivity after ill-health or injury: E.g., cancer, immune disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, migraines, herniated disk, sports injury, or car accident with radiating neuropathies, etc… Substantiated by MRI, Cat scan, x-Ray, ultra-sound, blood/urine test, other lab test markers etc.

CPS patients can also have brain chemical imbalances due to chronic pain-depression. When a physiatrist [pain specialist] substantiates a diagnosis through lab tests identifying neurochemical brain imbalances – treatment can be prescribed. However, this does not mean chronic pain can be completely resolved through pain block and elevated mood pharmaceuticals, or other alternative medical treatment regardless of the pain disorder.

Patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia today are taken much more serious than a decade ago. In May 2014 when I first wrote this article, approximately 35% of all Americans had experienced, or have had some form of short/long term chronic pain. And some 50 million had experienced partial to full disability due to chronic pain. Science has come a long way to identify and treat fibromyalgia. However, CPS appears now… in many ways become the unexplained chronic pain Phenomenon after completion of therapy and treatment of an illness, disease or injury… much like fibromyalgia was not long ago. To date ~50 million suffer from chronic pain. That’s 20% of our population. “About 20 million of them have “high-impact chronic pain” — pain severe enough that it frequently limits life or work activities” [Google 2020].

Patients diagnosed with CPS also experience the same internalizing and rationalizing effect of fibromyalgia pain patient. If a patient feels overly inhibited by medication, or under medicated to treat a chronic pain condition, that can lead to unhealthy lifestyle habits and behavioral changes: e.g., relational conflict, unhealthy diet, drinking, smoking, illegal drug use, prescription abuse, out-of-control behavior etc., which often lead to other increased health risk.

If you experience chronic pain, and/or pain depression and anxiety and experiencing a complex pain story and need help, be sure to seek medical treatment by your PCP (Primary Care Provider). Request a referral to pain management specialist [physiatrist]. Especially if you’ve not been diagnosed with CPS or Fibromyalgia and suffer from chronic pain. Get the correct diagnosis and pain alleviation treatment from a pain management specialist you need and deserve now.

Referrals,

The Free Dictionary, by Farlex. Fibromyalgia.

Dellwo, Adrienne. About.com. Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue. July 2, 2012.

Google 2020

WebMD 2020

Wikipedia. Chronic Pain.

Health Encyclopedia. Diseases and Conditions.

Singh, Manish K. Chronic Pain Syndrome. Medscape.

Woodamarc. Pain Depression Origins. Hubpages.com.

Author: Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, ARNG, CPT, RET. 2014-20 Copyright. All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Inc., www.mirrorathlete.org, Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.

National Cancer Cases on the Rise – But So are Survival Rates

FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailLast Updated:  July 9, 2019, Marc Woodard

It is a fact that one or more factors – environmental toxins, poor diet, sedentary and other unhealthy lifestyle habits can cause cell mutation, formation of cancerous tumors and metastasis of those cells. Those at highest risk are those predisposed to cancer genetically.

Are we all doomed to get cancer? The simple answer is NO.

Ageless MirrorAthlete – Covers Cancer Prevention and So Much More… for sale at Amazon, B&N, iUniverse, etc.,

Although the mortality rates caused by cancer are on the rise, so is the survivorship through lifesaving treatment and lifestyle change. However to minimize the risk of getting cancer requires taking cancer prevention seriously.

It is a fact, cancer mortality rates throughout the globe have increased over the last decade. 7.6 million People died of cancer in the world during 2007. 13% of all deaths are due to cancer” (American Cancer Society 2007). Unfortunately Cancer is among the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide, with approximately 14 million new cases and 8.2 million cancer related deaths in 2012 (World Health Organization, 2015).

The number of new cancer cases per year is expected to rise to 23.6 million by 2030″ (cancer.gov 2019). Although the data shows us cancer cases are on the rise, so is survivor-ship. “More than 16.9 million Americans with a history of cancer were alive on January 1, 2019, and this number is projected to grow to more than 22.1 million by January 1, 2030. These estimates do not include carcinoma in situ (CIS) of any site (except urinary bladder) or basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers.” (Miller, Kimberly D., et al. 2019). It appears  increased survivor-ship projections is the result of a combination of an increased aging population, advances in early detection and treatment.

The number of cancer survivors continues to grow in the United States despite overall declining age standardized incidence rates in men and stable rates in women. This reflects an increasing number of new cancer diagnoses resulting from a growing and aging population as well as advancements in early detection and treatment. “Given this estimated projection and the various physical, financial, and other types of challenges that may come with survivorship, researchers concluded it is crucial to increase efforts to help cancer survivors live longer and healthier lives” (Miller, Kimberly D., et al. 2019).

As previously stated – the data tells us cancer cases are on the rise and with the advancement of science and prevention education [health literacy] cancer patients and those in remission are living longer. It appears more likely than not mortality rates associated with all types of cancer over the next decade is estimated to decline significantly and this is good news. As curing cancer is becoming a real possibility.

How does one get cancer?  There many ways one could acquire cancer through environment or habitual factors and behavioral actions. But one must also consider genetic predisposition. Does cancer run in the family? If a family member has had cancer, suspect you have a predisposition to a similar type of cancer. Once you’re aware of a family history, it is prudent to take preventative action to minimize the risk of getting it.

The American Cancer Society defines cancer as a disease which differs widely in cause and biology than any other. There are approximately 9 risk factors leading to cancer:  Tobacco smoking, alcohol, diets low in fruit and vegetables, limited physical exercise, unsafe sex, urban air pollution, domestic use of solid fuels and contaminated injections (Hep B & C).

Once cancerous tumors form they continue to grow and divide at the cellular level and frequently spread to other parts of the body[metastasis]. Regardless of metastasis the immune-lymph and circulatory blood systems go into overdrive to kill and remove the intruder cancer cell. Once cancer tumors are formed, they can affect other healthy cells surrounding them. They have the ability to target other tissues and organs throughout the body, spread and infect, grow and further divide making it impossible for the body’s defense systems to remove the cancer.

Unless medical treatment is received in a timely manner to stop a malignant growth… remission may not be possible. Especially if the cancer metastasizes [spreads to other parts of the body]. It is for this reason, if diagnosed with Stage 2-3 cancer, it becomes very risky to put off conventional cancer treatment to target and kill it. Once cancer reaches stage 4, the odds of remission and survival is reduced regardless of treatment choice. Survival increases when immediate diagnosis and conventional treatment is applied during the early stages of cancer diagnosis. Through the advancements of preventative medicines and science and lifestyle change survivor rates continue to climb.

If an unhealthy lifestyle and/or environment continues its course over an extended period of time, it becomes more likely cell mutation will occur. It is through toxic environment [stress, toxins, pollution, etc., causing agents]; and/or unhealthy habits and behavior[sedentary lifestyle, smoking, drugs, drinking, etc.,] and when genetically predisposed creates an incubator for cancer to form and reside.

Although the body is capable of filtering and removing many toxins through the lymphatic and circulatory systems – it has limitations. It is the frequency, duration and toxicity on genetic expression that puts these systems into overdrive. When we get sick, it is because our filtration systems are unable to keep up with the stress induced and toxins attacking it.

These circulatory filter systems have 3 basic functions. 1) To clean the blood and remove waste from the body. 2) They absorb and transport fatty acids from the intestine and digestive system. 3) The lymph node cells called lymphocytes provide immunological defenses against disease-causing agents [i.e., cancer]. When you increase cancer risk factors these lymphatic and circulatory filter system(s) become less functionally efficient at removing cancer causing toxins.

Lifestyle Changes Everyone Can Make to Reduce Cancer Risk 

  1. Obesity increases risk of developing cancer.  Reduce body weight through healthy diet and exercise.
  2. Reduce processed foods consumption and eat more whole foods.
  3. Reduce refined sugars, excessive fats and heavy processed foods. Increase plant based foods to decrease risk of prostate and breast cancer (men/women).
  4. Studies have linked stomach cancer, colon cancer, breast cancer and pancreatic cancer with grilled meat and red meats in general. Carcinogens are released through the burning of the aromatic hydrocarbon which often occurs when you overheat and burn fats. Then inhale the carcinogenic burnt smoke fumes. If you burn cooking oils, open the windows, dump and refresh it.
  5. Cancer trials suggest that vitamin supplementation and/or consumption of fruitsIMG_20130405_175321 and vegetables will reduce cancer risks.
  6. Take a daily vitamin & mineral supplement daily. Especially if you’re not getting 3-4 servings per day of plant foods.
  7. Give up artificial sweeteners (Aspartame). Controlled animal studies reveal a strong connection to cancer, obesity and diabetes. Read your food labels carefully. There are now +6000 food products under various labels that list Aspartame as other sweetener, sugar substitute and as a healthy sweetener alternative.  Sodas, flavored water, specialized coffee’s, processed baked deserts, candy and even some diet foods have high concentrates of Aspartame and other artificial sweeteners in them.
  8. If you live in a heavily carbon monoxide or chemical producing environment and/or the drinking water smells & tastes like chemical and/or suffer from respiratory problems and health is suffering – consider moving out of the area if possible. If not possible, filter your water and indoor air filtration systems.
  9. Exercise more – If exercising outside, do so on low smog days and indoors on high smog days. Also don’t burn wood or other heating fuels in unvented room space.
  10. Remove toxic home use products and replace with clean green products.
  11. The sun and man-made equipment produce UV (Ultraviolet) rays. These UV rays areDCIM100GOPRO known as electromagnetic radiation. The sun is our main source of this radiation. Man-made UV radiation is produced by tanning beds, x-rays and welding torches for example. Limit exposure to electromagnetic radiation by cover up and/or use UV protective sunscreen and sunglasses to avoid overexposure of the sun’s rays when possible.
  12. Stop smoking and consuming alcohol and rec/non rec drug use. Minimize vaping [electronic cigarettes] habits. Early patient cases and medical experts show an aggravation connection to circulatory and lung systems through inhalation of  Propylene Glycol and nicotine within these vaping devices.
  13. Practice safe sex and never use a shared or unsterilized needles.
  14. Get frequent medical checkups – no less than annual.

The incidence of cancer cases rise dramatically with age and genetic predisposition. And when unhealthy lifestyle environment and activities are added those risk factors increase significantly. The good news for those unfortunate enough to experience cancer symptoms and treatment – there is a huge support network in preventative and evidence based medicine leading the way to increase survivorship and finding a cure. Through continued health literacy, prevention education and early stage cancer detection and treatment, patient survivorship will continue to increase as projected.

It is through the efforts of the medical and research organizations increased survivorship and finding a cure is possible. For survivors, the medical community has a plan to help you stay fit healthy and live long lives through enhanced provider services. “Future research should also focus on identifying best practices for engaging cancer survivors in adopting and maintaining a healthy lifestyle at the policy, health care system, and individual patient levels. Models for the integration of comprehensive care for cancer survivors and their caregivers, including self management, wellness and healthy lifestyle promotion, and cancer rehabilitation, are beginning to emerge. As the evidence base grows, efforts at the individual, provider, system, and policy levels will help cancer survivors live longer and healthier lives” (Miller, Kimberly D., et al. 2019).

Reference,

Miller, Kimberly D., et al. Cancer Treatment and Survivorship Statistics, 2019 – Miller – – CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians – Wiley Online Library. CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, American Cancer Society, 11 June 2019, onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.3322/caac.21565.

American Cancer Society 2007

Cancer.gov 2019

Howlader N, Noone AM, Krapcho M, Miller D, Brest A, Yu M, Ruhl J, Tatalovich Z, Mariotto A, Lewis DR, Chen HS, Feuer EJ, Cronin KA (eds). SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2016, National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD, https://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2016/, based on November 2018 SEER data submission, posted to the SEER web site, April 2019.

World Health Organization [WHO] 2015

Author: Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, ARNG, CPT, RET. 2015-19 Copyright. All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Inc., www.mirrorathlete.org, Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.