Tips From Jerry
Something that makes sense to us is to eating healthy and it’s an important part of SHINE. We purchased a Vitamix machine a while ago and love to make things with it. My favorite is a smoothie. I put in fresh apples (pull the stem and cut in four parts, core and all), frozen strawberries, oranges (just peel with a knife and cut in four parts) and add some ice cubes… I usually add a table spoon of flax oil (omega 3’s), 1 table spoon coco nut oil, my ribose powder and vitamin Powder. This is great for a treat that is good for you and taste good as well.
We have added pears, melons or any other kind of fruit you like. You can get recipies at for lots of things, just put in smoothie and see what you find. http://www.vitamix.com/recipes/
Just have fun with “going natural”. I have not tried lots of veggies yet but am interested in seeing what they can do for my health.
I ache but also have a tingling sensation in hands, arms, legs, back and feet.
ANSWER: I have had fibro/cfs for over 36 years and nothing I have done has really helped before this year. While most doctor attack one thing at a time the SHINE protocol looks at all your medical problems at once. Then by treating them all at once you will an amazing difference in your health. If you were to treat only one at a time you would not be sure what is working for you. The ache and tingling sensation you have sounds like something I have also. I believe it might be nerve pain; Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum recently gave me several suggestions for nerve pain.
Dr. T’s suggested that supplements for nerve pain can help a lot, but may take 3-6 months or more to see the full effect (though a significant benefit may occur much sooner). A nice mix would be a new product called “Healthy Nerves and Feet by EuroPharma” (3 a day). This is available on line or at many health food stores.
1- Lipoic acid 300 mg 2 x day
2- Vitamin powder (available on www.endfatigue.com/store) 2/3 scoop a day
3- Acetyl L carnitine 1500 -2000 mg a day
Dr. T wrote this article about pain and effective treatment of neuropathic for a detailed discussion on this.
I have suffered with dry mouth and eyes for many years. My regular medical doctors all just gave me Refresh eye drop. This year as I started my Recovery From Fibro I found out from Doctor Teitelbaum that using Omega 3(fish oil) will help this problem. I have used it since June 2011 and have seen a real change in my dry mouth/eyes problem. Note: I see it return if I stop taking the higher dosages of my omega 3. Dr. Teitelbaum wrote an excellent article about Dry mouth and eyes.
A Fibromyalgia Doctor’s Advice for Dealing with the Physical Tasks of Daily Life
by Dr. Mark J Pellegrino, MD*
April 21, 2010
A specialist in musculoskeletal function and pain (Physiatry), fibromyalgia doctor Mark Pellegrino suggests many “basics” that can help those with FM and other painful conditions to approach daily chores in ways that are kinder to the muscles. An FM patient himself, he knows that ‘every little bit helps.’
Chores can be a difficult challenge for someone with fibromyalgia. I always ask my patients if their fibromyalgia interferes with activities in the house and they almost always tell me “yes” (even the men!). The bending, reaching, lifting, and pulling required of these tasks causes increased pain and often leads to painful flare-ups. The fibromyalgia homemaker/maintainer is faced with the dilemma of wanting to have a clean home, but not having the physical abilities to complete these tasks without pain. What can you do?
1. Stop doing housework altogether. Yes, just go on strike! See if the work gets done by others. Watch as nothing gets done and your house becomes a health hazard! You can’t stop everything, but daily or weekly tasks can be analyzed to determine if they can be done less frequently. Consider a rotating system where different parts of the house are cleaned on different days and not all at once. Instead of doing one heavy task in one day, spread it out into several mini-tasks over the course of a week.
Your whole house may not be perfectly clean all the time, but parts of your house are perfect every day!
2. Have someone else do it, with you supervising. This is a good way to teach responsibility to your children (or your spouse, the biggest kid of all). The shared housework concept divides the responsibilities among the entire family, and you do the share of tasks that you can comfortably handle.
The heavier tasks (vacuuming, carrying laundry loads) should be delegated to other family members. You supervise – and be sure to look busy at all times!
3. Pay someone else to do it, if you can afford it. Try to have the paid person come weekly or every other week to do the major cleaning, scrubbing and vacuuming. You can do the minor “touch-up” work in between visits. Bribe your kids to work cheap!
4. Modify the way you are doing particular tasks. This allows you to continue doing the homemaking, but do it in a way that is kinder to your muscles. Since homemaking chores are done with your body in unusual and awkward positions that aggravate your fibromyalgia, proper attention must be paid to “fibronomics.”
Four Rules of Fibronomics
1. Arms stay home.
2. Unload the back.
3. Support always welcome.
4. Be naturally shifty.
Probably a combination of these options works best for each person. New strategies can be learned and used successfully. Sometimes unusual projects cause flare-ups. For example, one patient described how she spent several hours decorating cakes for her boy’s basketball team and had severe pain in her shoulders and arms. Another woman had a flare-up in her back when she was lifting heavy bird seed bags into the trunk of her car.
Both ordinary and unusual homemaking tasks and projects can cause flare-ups, so you must be constantly on guard to try to prevent them. Wear your mental seat belt and follow fibronomics. Following are some tips for handling usual tasks – plus special strategies for conquering grocery shopping and cooking with fibromyalgia.
* * * *
1. Problem: Vacuuming
Vacuuming is Housework Enemy Number 1. It can aggravate pain in the back, shoulders and arms because your arms are reaching out to push and pull the heavy vacuum, and you are bending forward while pushing, which puts stress on the back.
a. Obtain a lightweight vacuum cleaner to minimize the load on the arms and back.
b. Hold the vacuum cleaner by holding arms down against the side and lightly holding the vacuum handle but not squeezing hard. The handle of the vacuum cleaner rests against the upper thigh and hip area. Walk forward with back maintaining a normal curvature and push the vacuum cleaner forward, and then backing up, squeeze the handle harder and pull the vacuum backwards with steady force. Repeat these steps to cover different areas of the carpet. Be sure that the arm does not reach out away from the body, but that the whole body moves forward along with the arms.
* * * *
2. Problem: Washing Dishes
Standing at the sink washing dishes hurts your lower back because you have to lean forward.
a. Alternate leg on a low stool or inside the under-sink cupboard [open door & rest foot on cupboard bottom] to unload the back and decrease the pain.
b. Use disposable paper plates, paper cups, and paper cereal bowls. (Don’t hurt your back throwing them away!)
c. Do a few dishes at a time, do something else, then do more dishes. The alternating methods helps reduce prolonged back strain.
d. If the sink is too short for your height, place a large plastic dispan on the counter top and wash dishes in this.
e. Use one of those sponges that have dish detergent in the handle. You can rinse and wash dishes easier.
f. Cook and eat from same dish. Use a microwave bowl to cook and then eat out of it. If you’re eating alone, just eat out of the pan.
g. If cooking for your family, serve from the stove so you don’t have extra serving dishes and spoons to wash.
h. If using a dishwasher, have family members load their own dishes, and assign the job of unloading clean dishes to children or spouse.
* * * *
3. Problem: Ironing
Bending forward increases back strain, and repetitive arm reaching hurts.
a. Alternate leg on a low foot stool to unload the back.
b. Avoid overextending the arm; keep the elbow bent and the iron as close to the body as possible.
c. Use a drive-through dry cleaning service.
d. Buy fabrics that don’t need ironing.
e. Wash clothes at home; hang dry so you don’t have to use druer. Take them to the cleaners for pressing.
* * * *
4. Problem: Dusting
The major problems with dusting are reaching for the tops of shelves and bending to reach difficult low area of furniture.
a. Use a longer handled dust mop to allow the equipment, not your arm, to reach the spots.
b. Use a hair dryer to blow dust off.
c. Store all knickknacks in glass-enclosed shelving.
* * * *
5. Problem: Scrubbing
Scrubbing the floor, furniture, or countertops is an invitation to a flare-up. You bend and reach and you hurt!
a. Use a long-handled mop when scrubbing the floor. Take advantage of any cleaning solvent that will perform the chemical scrubbing for you, so all you have to do is wipe up.
b. Use an electrical device that does the scrubbing for you.
c. Hire someone to clean your floors yearly.
d. Sit down to clean up spills on the floor. Or use the Ann Evans Bath Towel Method (ABT) to clean up spills. Holding one end of towel, put foot on other end and use foot to wipe up the spill!
* * * *
6. Problem: Doing Laundry
There are various components to laundry that cause problems, including gathering up dirty clothe, carrying them up and down stairs, and loading and unloading the washer and dryer.
a. Use dry cleaning services whenever possible, especially the drive-through or pick-up and delivery service.
b. Instead of using the laundry basket to carry clothes up and down steps, place the clothes in a mesh laundry bag and throw them down the steps. Drag them up the steps behind you.
c. Dryers that have front openings are preferred. You can get closer to the opening to pull out the clothes, making it easier on your low back and arms.
d. Do only one or two loads at a time; wash enough clothes for two or three days, instead of a week.
e. Use an assistance device (a reacher/grabber device) to reach into the washer or dryer and avoid bending over.
* * * *
7. Problem: Washing Windows
Another enemy of housekeepers and almost everybody else! Reaching, straining the back, wiping; it hurts me to write this, and I don’t do windows!
a. Use a long-handled window cleaner with a squeegee to clean the outside windows so you can observe proper fibronomics.
b. Don’t try to do all your windows in one day; wash only one window every other day.
c. Hire window cleaners once a year.
* * * *
8. Problem: Getting Objects In and Out of High or Low Cupboards
The reaching and lifting can hurt your shoulders and back.
a. Use footstools or kitchen step ladders so you can practice fibronomics when getting object out of cupboards.
b. Store your everyday pots and pans in the most accessible cupboards; the rarely used and heavy cooking items can go in the higher cupboards or less accessible locations.
c. Store all cooking utensils in a basket on your kitchen counter so they are always accessible.
d. Use a reaching device.
e. Buy a refrigerator with the freezer on the bottom. The fridge will be at a more comfortable height, and the lesser-used freezer will be out of the way. Don’t forget to put a magnetic notepad (your Fibrominder!) on the refrigerator.
* * * *
9. Problem: Lifting or Moving Heavy Objects or Furniture
Every once in a while, we decide it’s easier to move something ourselves and we usually will pay the price.
a. Do not buy heavy objects unless they can be placed in a permanent resting spot, and I do mean permanent, forever, always, OK?
b. Do NOT lift heavy objects; leave them where they are as long as they are not bothering anything.
* * * *
10. Problem: Prolonged Writing/Typing
This might include bill paying or writing letters. Also, frequent typing on computer keyboards can increase neck and shoulder pains.
a. Instead of paying bills all at one time, designate two nights a week for the task.
b. Use marker pens or pens with a medium point to minimize amount of pressing required.
c. Reduce the total number of checks to be written by consolidating loans or using automatic deductions. Some banks offer online bill paying services that might save you time and effort.
d. Write or type a “master” letter and photocopies for your different friends, adding personal tidbits to the individual’s copy.
* * * *
11. Problem: Yard Work
This can be especially challenging since many patients with fibromyalgia love being outdoors and working on the flowers, garden, or lawn. Rather than giving this up completely, I encourage patients to find ways to enjoy some aspects of yard work without doing work that is too strenuous or painful.
a. Buy a garden seat and cart to allow sitting and other proper fibronomic techniques.
b. Don’t be a yard warrior. Break up large tasks into a series of smaller tasks and spread them over a longer period of time. Cut the front grass one night, the back the next, and do the trimming on a third night instead of doing it all in one day.
c. Hire a lawn service for heavy duty tasks, like spring cleanup, edging, or mulching. You do what you enjoy.
* * * *
12. Problem: Walking the Dog
The dog jerks the leash, causing your arms, shoulders and back to hurt. Walking the dog is exercise for both you and the dog. However.
a. Use an extendable leash which will significantly reduce the torque and force on your arm.
b. Obedience school for your dog. (Heck, you are in “Fibromyalgia Obedience School” if you’re reading this!)
c. Train your dog to use a treadmill. I have a patient who actually did this. Now the dog gets a lot of exercise, but not my patient!
* * * *
Special Strategies – Grocery Shopping With Fibromyalgia
Grocery shopping can be a dreaded activity with fibromyalgia. The fibromyalgia homemaker should prepare some shopping strategies.
Time: One of the first steps is to choose a time to arrive at the store when no one else wants to shop. It is that simple! During early mornings or late evening, most stores are not crowded. Determine the peak shopping hours at your favorite stores and avoid those times. Those times are usually during the lunch hour, after school and work, and Saturday.
Store: It is easier to pick a small store that does not have miles of parking lots to cross just to get to the front door. Thus, the super store is usually out. Even if they have a better selection and price, what good is that if you are exhausted even before you get into the store.
Parking: Remember where you park your car. Park in the same section all the time if you can.
List and ‘Map’: A shopping list is a must. To make your shopping fast and easy, prepare a master list of all of the products that you will use and purchase. Then, in your mind, go through the store and write down the items in the order that the aisles are arranged in the store. You’ve made your grocery map from your master list. Check this ‘master map’ before you leave home, and when you arrive at the store you will be organized and can shop fairly quickly with a minimal amount of walking. Conserving your energy is important so you can get those newly purchased groceries into your car.
Other Grocery Shopping Tips
So you park close, get to the store quickly, avoid any long lines, and keep a list. What other strategies can be helpful to get your groceries into your home? Consider these tips:
1. When you enter the grocery store, look for those small plastic baskets you can carry, and put one in the bottom of the shopping cart basket. Thus you only have to bend and lift one time at the checkout to place the items on the counter, and your grocery cart is easier to unload.
2. Buy smaller amounts of groceries. Beware of quantity. It is better to make two or three trips a week than to buy jumbo sizes of laundry detergents, cereal boxes, and milk containers that are too heavy to handle on a daily basis.
3. Ask for help to get your groceries into the car. The bagger can pack them lightly and in paper bags so they are easier to handle.
4. Keep small laundry baskets in the trunk of your car. These baskets can keep grocery bags upright and prevent them from sliding to the back of the trunk where it is hard to reach. Keep a reacher/grabber (an assisting device) in the trunk to get items you can’t reach.
5. Once you arrive home, take the bags containing items that need refrigeration inside; you can unpack the rest at a later time. Or bring the bags into the house and put them away later. Or have a family member or friend carry the bags into the house. You might even pay someone to go out and get your groceries in the first place!
* * * *
Conquering Cooking With Fibromyalgia
Getting groceries is a challenge, but cooking is a true adventure. The fibromyalgia homemaker may have chosen to not work outside the home, but still have difficulty finding time, energy, or physical stamina to prepare meals. You can cook and not feel guilty in spite of your fibromyalgia.
Prepare meals that can be done quickly and do not require extensive physical labor. Choose recipes that you can rely on when you are tired and operating on very low energy reserves, and prepare meals with ingredients that you have on hand.
Avoid meals that require standing for long periods of time to cut vegetables, or standing with arms extended over a kitchen counter. Avoid hanging things over the stove or places where you have to lean or reach. Use the front burners on the stove; less reaching is involved.
You can keep it simple. Adding items to the meal directly increases the time needed for preparation, serving and cleaning up. Try to use foods that are already prepared such as salads in a bag, cole slaw, macaroni, and bean salad. Use paper plates, napkins, salad bowls, or whatever you can throw away.
Choose meals that can be prepared the night before. Salads, desserts, and vegetables can be prepared early and refrigerated overnight. Make sure you have all of the ingredients, as nothing is more frustrating than making a mad dash to the store when you are trying to prepare a meal.
Any job can be made easier if it can be broken down into smaller tasks. Divide and conquer is a good plan. If you’ve picked a meal that is “fibro-friendly,” gathered the necessary ingredients, prepared some items the night before, all you need to do is divide and delegate the work.
If you are preparing the meal for yourself, you can take it one step at a time and rest in between. Clean-up can always be done the next day.
If you are preparing for others, divide the task so that each person has a job. Your kids make great helpers in the house (cheap too… usually). Don’t forget to get them involved. Older kids can take out the trash or run errands for you (if they drive). Younger children can help set the table and assist mom and dad in other chores. Delegate responsibilities and try to make it ‘fun.’ If you find out how to get your kids to work for fun, please write me and tell me what you are doing!
* * * *
These ideas and strategies… have worked for me and my patients. I hope they will help you in a few more battles against fibromyalgia… and improve the quality of your life.
Most people with fibro/cfs suffer from allergies that can take their toll on our already taxed bodies. I suffered with lactose intolerance; issues with grass/trees/plants, nuts caused hives on my legs. I was recommended to a kinesiologist that practices NAET – Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Techniques. This procedure was explained to me like putting two magnets together at the same poles will stay separate and if put positive to negative they will come together. Our bodies also have electromagnetic properties along with thing that trigger an allergic reaction in us. When this procedure is applied (pressure points on our bodies) our magnetic properties change and our bodies don’t try to push away the things that caused an allergic reaction before. In twenty five hours after the treatment you can have the products that caused an allergic reaction with no reaction. I had this done for me many years ago and this last week took a young man to have his dairy allergies cared for. This sounds crazy but it worked for me and many others that I have sent over time. Check out the NAET on the net and start your Recovery From Fibro today.
Many say there is No cure for fibro/cfs? Doctors say there is No test for fibro/cfs? Patients say there is No remission? Well let’s talk about what fibro/cfs is, it’s a disease process where many body systems start to break down. We have taxed our systems beyond what they can take. Because most of us are “type A” personalities, we don’t know when to quit. I worked 80+ hours a week for many years. This is very hard on our bodies and it finally begins to take its toll on us. What are we missing when our bodies start to quit on us?
SLEEP – When we don’t sleep, our body can’t rebuild itself. Sleep seems to be the corner stone of what our bodies need to repair itself. To be refreshed and awake for the next day you need restorative sleep, but in our society sleep is not a priority. When we are in high school, college we play a lot, then have to study into the night. As we become adults we work all day, then want to play at night. As we become parents, we continue to want to do the same things, or have a family to care for. Then a baby doesn’t understand when they need to sleep so others can sleep, we lose more sleep.
Hormones – Our bodies need to manufacture hormones to survive, but when we tax our systems they may stop making these important hormones. We can also have an illness or damage our glands so they don’t produce the proper hormones. When we don’t feed our bodies correctly our glands don’t have the proper energy, they stop producing the hormones our bodies need.
Infections – When our bodies are not working correctly we can get infections. Many of us suffer with candida because the bad yeast overgrows the good yeast. This was caused in my case because I was trying to fight a sore throat with a throat spray. This destroyed the good yeast in my system and helped the bad yeast to grow out of control. It took almost six years to get this under control. When our immune systems are compromised we “catch” any bug that comes along. When our immune systems are working properly they fight these bugs and we will stay healthy.
Nutrition – When our bodies don’t get the proper nutrition, it can’t continue to replace cells and work properly. Our bodies need curtain nutrients to function, but in today’s society we often don’t get the proper foods or the nutrition that our body needs. We often eat processed food that changes what nutrition our body receives. By eating foods that are whole foods with lots of fruits and vegetables daily we can help our bodies get the nutrition that it needs. But because our bodies are depleted so we have to use supplements to get our bodies back to what it’s missing. Many nutrients can be depleted because of our FM/CFS. Things like B-12, A, B, C and D vitamins, glutathione, calcium and magnesium. This is so bad in most of us that standard over the counter multivitamins are not enough to replenish what is lost.
Exercise – Our bodies need exercise (as we are able) to start rebuilding itself. Simple and easy steps can make all the difference. I started with water exercises as I started rebuilding my body. That way the water supported me while giving me some resistance to start rebuilding my muscles. I used a wheelchair for many years and getting my legs to work properly was not easy, but with lots of slow easy movements they started working again for me. I live near Brice National Park and recently I went there with friends. I for the first time was able to go places and see things that I could never see from a wheelchair. So many people will stop me in shops and such and say “I know you but don’t remember you”. When I tell them I used a wheelchair for 16 years they are astonished that I am the same person.
So what we really need to do is start giving our bodies what they need and let them repair itself. This process can be reversed if we give our bodies the proper SLEEP, HORMONES, INFECTION control, NUTRITION and EXERCISE. What really bugs me is I had this whole process in my hands for over 15 years. Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum also fought CFS in the same year I got fibro/cfs. He came up with this process for himself and published it for all of us many years ago. His book “FROM FATIGUE TO FANTASTIC” is the guide to helping our bodies rebuild themselves. But it took me all these years to realize that it might work for me. Well I decided that I too wanted to be well so, I went to a clinic that successfully treats Fibro and Chronic Fatigue patients (Chronicity, Inc. – www.chronicityinc.com). I believe that it’s the fastest way to get better, because of the support of their specially trained doctors. I also know that there are many other doctors all over this world that can treat you as well. But my experience is that most doctors don’t have a clue about how to treat us, they don’t want to take the time that is required and there is no money in getting us better.
What if you can’t afford to go to a specialty clinic? My wife and I had to make that decision last year and it has cost us our home. We applied for a mortgage modification five times from our bank but they refused, we decided that my health was more important than a house so we used our mortgage payment to pay for treatment and travel cost. We will soon be losing our home but I have my health back and we will both tell you it was worth it.
For the person that just can’t get to one of these clinics, I wrote an article that Doctor Teitelbaum helped with. This article explains what you can do to start your Recovery From Fibro or CFS. Yes it takes some better food, supplements and may require some drugs from your cooperating doctor, but you can see a vast improvement in your health. I had no hope till last year, then this year I started my Recovery From Fibro and I have to tell you it’s the best thing I have ever done.
Should a person with FMS/CFS take flu shots, aren’t they dangerous and should I avoid them?
I have been taking flu shots for many years. I was considered in the high risk category and so everyone that was around me also had to have a shot (including the nurses that took care of me). I also get a pneumonia shot every five years, because of the bad bouts of pneumonia I had many years ago. I felt that because my immune system was so compromised I needed the extra care. I will continue to get the shots because I feel that they are better than getting the flu. Dr. Teitelbaum wrote this article, Should People with CFS/FMS Take the Flu Shot?
Too many times medical doctors treat a test not their patient. We are often told we don’t have a problem with things like thyroid because we fall in the “normal” range. But if we have the symptoms we should be treated for this condition. Most doctors are trained that everyone is in a single category, but we know that we are all different. I have been treated for several medical problems that showed symptoms “even though I was normal” on the test. My feet are now warm, my immune system is working “no more sickness each time I leave the house” and I feel so much better.
Over the years I have been on every kind of pain medicines that was available. But in 2011 I quit taking chemical pain medications because I found a better way. The first thing I did was have natural chelation therapy that helped take away my pain. Then I started taking natural supplements that continued this process. I found a true natural pain supplement that can be easily obtained and is totally legal.
Fibro/CFS is like a circuit breaker. Our bodies tell us when something is wrong. We need to determine what is wrong with our bodies and what it needs to make itself well. Once we figure out what is wrong then we can start giving our bodies what it needs to start to repair itself. I took this approach and in just a short time I could see wonderful changes. After 36 years of fibro/cfs medical problems and 16 years in a wheelchair I started to see real improvement. I had not driven in 16 years because of the “fibro/cfs fog” but in just two months of treatment I had my license again. Then in the fourth month I was wheelchair free. By the end of the fifth month I was down from 29 prescription medicines to only four. Start your recovery from fibro by taking this simple (FREE) test to determine your special needs. BTW: This produces a complete treatment plan for you based on your individual symptoms. It can be saved and/or printed out, it will also produce a letter and treatment plan for your doctor if you choose. BEWARE this report prints out about a 80 page document. You can also select all and save to your word-processing program.