Tag: ME/CFS

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Organic Food Slashes Cancer Risk

A new study of almost 69,000 people finds a significant reduction in the risk of developing cancer among people who eat an organic diet. Lymphomas, the cancers commonly found in people with ME/CFS (myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome), were reduced by a whopping 76%. The risk reduction is 86% for Non-Hodgkins lymphomas. Overall cancer risk was reduced by 25% when compared to people who never consume organic foods.

The study gathered data from 68, 946 French organic food consumers between 2009 and 2016. Participants reported their consumption frequency of labeled organic foods (never, occasionally, or most of the time). 

The research team hypothesized that lower exposure to pesticide residues on food is the reason for the dramatic decrease in cancer. This is supported with a body of research showing that organic crops have lower levels of pesticide residues, and that eating organic food decreases your exposure to pesticides.

airplane-spraying

This is the first study on such a large scale to find such clear support of organic foods. The well-designed study allowed the research team to follow up with the 68,946 participants over several years to see how their food choices impacted cancer risk, while controlling for confounding variables like dietary patterns and other lifestyle factors.

Research-Based Support For Organics

Research linking organic diets with a lower impact on health is becoming more common.

  • One study of just over 35,000 Norwegian women found mothers who ate organic food during pregnancy decreased the risk of certain uro-genital birth defects.
  • Other research on reproduction found that eating fruits and vegetables with high levels of pesticide residues was associated with a lower total sperm count and a lower percentage of normal-looking sperm among men presenting to a fertility clinic. 
  • Eating high–pesticide residue fruits and vegetables was associated with a lower probability of clinical pregnancy and live birth in a study done at a fertility clinic associated with a teaching hospital. Compared with women who ate less than one serving/day of non-organic fruits and vegetables, women eating more than two servings/day had an 18% lower probability of pregnancy and a 26% lower probability of live birth.

There is no disputing that cancer is becoming an epidemic in the US. It is diagnosed in new patients over a million times per year and is estimated to kill over 600,000 people in 2018 alone.

It just makes sense to do whatever we can to reduce our risk of cancer. Eating organically is, in my opinion, the hands-down simplest way to do this. But what about you? Is eating organic beyond the limits of your food budget?

Australians Find a Cure for ME/CFS!!!!!

Christmas may have come early for the millions of people around the world affected by Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), also erroneously called chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).

As reported yesterday (it’s Australia and the 23rd) by Sue Dunlevy, National Health Reporter for News Corp Australia, scientists have confirmed ME is real. red box present They not only have a possible blood test for it, but there are already drugs on the market that may work.

A team of scientists at Griffith University, led by immunology professor Sonya Marshall Gradisnik, identified errors in calcium channels in each cell. These channels located on the outer membrane open and close to allow movement of calcium in and out of the cell.  Calcium is used by just about every cell in the body and is an important part of the immune system.

Calcium Channel Dysfunction

According to the study, patients with ME have lower levels of calcium in our cells and our cells do not store calcium as do healthy people. The immunologists believe this is the basis for the many different signs (things you can see and measure) and symptoms )(what you feel) that are a part of having ME.

Calcium signaling is vital to proper functioning of the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord), the pancreas (insulin production), kidneys, gastrointestinal (GI) tract, blood vessels and the heart. Some cardiac patients take medications to help regulate their calcium channels, and these are being examined as a potential treatment.

A test may be developed from micro RNA changes found in the blood.

What do you think? Will this be another XMRV retrovirus that appears promising when reported out of one lab, but cannot be replicated in other labs and finally ends with a whimper?

You may also be interested in these:

Facts about ME/CFS

New research confirms people with ME/CFS are exhausted at the cellular level

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My blog had a chronic disease, too

Apologies for being offline over the past four days. This blog and I were in computer hell…MUCH worse than any chronic disease, IMHO (in my humble opinion).

As we all know, chronic disease like ME/CFS and fibromyalgia, and conditions like oncological (Western medical) cancer treatment cause what is known as brain fog. I once was a resource for tech things where I worked and even was the on-site systems administrator for the entire network at my last advertising/PR agency.

But with brain fog resulting from the stress of trying to understand tech-speak while constantly aware the site was not working properly, I kept reading the help files and getting more and more confused and frustrated.

Tech support

My blog host site advertises 24/7 tech support. However, I couldn’t raise anyone on Sunday with the chatbot so I was limited to opening a support ticket and waiting for one of the IT guys to email me a link to the page where I originally asked the question.

The HUGE problem–even larger than the relatively simple one I was attempting to solve, occurred when a helpful tech noticed I didn’t have WordPress installed on my computer and asked if I wanted him to install it. Thinking this might be at the root of my original problem, I told him to go ahead–even though I was publishing posts using WordPress. That should have made me stop and question–if I weren’t already brain dead, that is.

Little did I know this would wipe out ALL my earlier work–posts, plugins, widgets, media saved to use later–everything. The hosting site said it would cost me an upgrade to get access to my backup files. I recalled seeing notices that I had backups, though. After playing around with things, I discovered that JetPack, one of the WordPress plugins, was performing backups, too.

The problem was I couldn’t access them. None of my usernames and passwords worked. network computer passwordNow, I’d attempted to connect my blog to their servers through file transfer protocol (FTP) when initially setting things up, but couldn’t get connected because, you guessed it, none of my username and password combinations worked. To add insult to my blog’s injury, JetPack tech support was only available Monday–Friday during business hours.

Netflix to the rescue

Realizing nothing could be done until Monday, I put it all away for dinner and then went to bed where hubby and I watched a couple of episodes of TURN, an excellent Revolutionary War series.

When I woke up Monday I knew it would be a bed day. My brain felt like there was nothing there to think about. Plus, probably from being tense all afternoon Sunday, my muscles were screaming in pain. Although I wanted to get the blog back up and running, there was no way I could do it in my present condition.

Did you know that Netflix has a new program from the UK where couples go house hunting for places in the country? Watching it all Monday afternoon as I lay in bed, I learned a lot about the British island’s geography and saw many absolutely charming cottages with thatched roofs and other unique houses. If you like HGTV and Great Britain, this show is for you! Hubby and I watched more TURN before bedtime.

I got up at 0630 Tuesday to feed Miss Em and the cats. Still felt like homemade shit, so I went back to bed and slept until noon. When I contacted JetPack tech support Tuesday afternoon they quickly responded. Unfortunately, they kept sending me great how-to articles that I couldn’t fathom.

Tuesday is when our local sangha ( a group of Buddhists) meets to meditate and then discuss an assigned reading from a popular dharma book. This meant I only had four hours to work on blog issues and fix supper. I don’t always cook, but I try to make at least one meal a day. I threw together a free-form meatloaf and cut up potatoes and broccoli to boil and steam, respectively. I didn’t make any headway on the blog issues, though.

Eureka!

The total break from my computer nightmare was just what I needed. When I sat down this morning (Wednesday) and re-read the help articles from Tuesday, a lightbulb went off in my no longer completely fogged-in brain.

I realized what I was doing wrong. Yup. Another forehead smack, with “DUH”. The key to my problem was so simple. I’d read without it registering in my consciousness, if you know what I mean.

Once I had the FTP problem solved I connected to the backup. It took less than a minute to get the blog back to where it was with everything intact. WHEW!

Moving forward

When first considering a blog, you will read things like, “Install X and your blog will be up and running in 15 minutes!” First mistake. Yes, the blog will be live with one of your posts, but none of the backroom, unseen side, of the blog will be ready. I naively thought WordPress had evolved to be easier than when it first launched a decade ago. To give the folks at Automattic (WP parent company) their due, many tasks are easier. However, most of the easy-peasy wizards that do it all for you come with a hefty price tag.

I’m doing this blog as inexpensively as possible until, hopefully, www.aswellasicanbe.com builds readership and maybe earns a few dollars to supplement Social Security disability. My goal is to share the things I use to remain as well as I can be with a chronic illness, a chronic disease and chronic conditions.

But in the short run, I need to spend quality time reading about SEO optimization, email lists, traffic-generators and a host of things I probably am not even aware of at this stage in my blogging career. This means I will likely be posting more blogs from other writers and posting on an irregular, but frequent, basis as I develop new content.

What would you like to read here? Any topics you’d like researched? (I am very good at translating medicalese to normal language.)

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Facts about ME/CFS

This is the best introduction and summary to this devastating disease I’ve seen recently. Many thanks to Solve Me/CFS Initiative for their reblog permission. (No sense reinventing the wheel, folks.)

What Is ME/CFS?

Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), commonly referred to as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), is a complex and debilitating chronic disease with a serious impact on one’s quality of life.

Who Gets ME/CFS?

Approximately 1 – 2.4 million people in the United States have ME/CFS, and the condition affects millions more worldwide. Although research has shown that ME/CFS is about two to four times more likely to occur in women than men, ME/CFS strikes people from every age, racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic group.

What Are the Symptoms of ME/CFS?

If you think you may have ME/CFS, take our quick online quiz.

ME/CFS symptoms, which can often be made worse by standing upright, include

  • Extreme exhaustion
  • Non-restorative sleep
  • Brain fog/cognitive impairment
  • Joint pain
  • Inflamed lymph nodes
  • Persistent sore throat
  • Severe headache
  • Neurological abnormalities
  • Complete organ system shutdown
  • Sensitivity to light, sound, odors, chemicals, foods, and medications
  • Irritability, depression, and mood swings

Because these symptoms are shared with many other illnesses—and because many of these conditions lack a diagnostic test or biomarker—unraveling which illnesses are present can be difficult. Some patients actually receive diagnoses for multiple conditions. Common conditions that occur along with ME/CFS include the following:

  • Fibromyalgia
  • Orthostatic intolerance
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Interstitial cystitis
  • Temporomandibular joint disorder
  • Chronic pelvic pain
  • Multiple chemical sensitivity disorder

How Is ME/CFS Diagnosed?

Studies show that fewer than 20 percent of ME/CFS patients in the United States have been properly diagnosed. Diagnosing ME/CFS is a challenging process because there is still not one diagnostic test or biomarker that’s conclusive. The process requires tests to rule out other conditions that may present similar symptoms before a diagnosis of ME/CFS can be established. It can take months.

Diagnosis can also be complicated by the fact that symptoms and severity of ME/CFS vary considerably from person to person. Seek care first from the healthcare provider who knows you best and will work with you to rule out other possible causes of symptoms and identify other conditions.

How Is ME/CFS Treated?

Since no cause or cure for ME/CFS has been identified, treatment is directed at relieving symptoms. Although there’s no single treatment that fixes the illness at its core, there are treatments that can improve symptoms, increase function, and allow people with ME/CFS to engage in activities of daily living.

Sleep problems, pain, heart rate irregularities, gastrointestinal difficulties, allergies, and depression are some of the symptoms that can potentially be relieved by treatment.

Alternative therapies are also often explored in an attempt to relieve symptoms. Acupuncture, hydrotherapy, yoga, tai chi, and massage therapy have been found to help and are often prescribed for symptom management.

If you think you may have ME/CFS, take our quick online quiz.

What Is It Like Living with ME/CFS?

The severity of ME/CFS varies greatly from patient to patient, with some people able to maintain fairly active lives. For others, ME/CFS has a profound impact. About 25 percent of people with ME/CFS are disabled by the illness and there’s often a pattern of relapse and remission. Most symptoms are invisible to others, which makes it difficult for family members, friends and the public to understand the challenges of the condition.

More severe ME/CFS patients have been found to be more functionally impaired than those with other disabling illnesses such as type 2 diabetes, congestive heart failure, hypertension, depression, multiple sclerosis, and end-stage renal disease. These same patients have the lowest median quality of life scores of any disease tested, including lung cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and brain stroke.

Why Has ME/CFS Progress Been So Slow?

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) publishes a list annually showing its spending on various diseases. In 2015, the ME/CFS research budget, Spending_Graphic_Federal-300x183ranked in order by research dollars, was 249 out of 265 diseases funded—almost at the very bottom. In actual dollars, government spending on ME/CFS is less than is spent on hay fever.

To really make headway in a timely manner toward making ME/CFS understood, diagnosable, and treatable, we need more government funding.