12.26.2016

FedUpwithFatigue.com’s top posts from 2016

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2016's best fibromyalgia posts from FedUpwithFatigue.com | Highlights: My 6 best tools for fibromyalgia relief; new fibromyalgia drugs in the works; physicians weigh in on if fibromyalgia is progressive; the Cymbalta withdrawal lawsuits and much more!

2016 was an incredible year for FedUpwithFatigue.com! I am so proud of my little blog and everything it’s accomplished since launching in early 2014. This year, I was thrilled to make HealthLine’s top 10 list of best fibromyalgia blogs and to be nominated for HealthLine’s best health blogs contest. (A special “thank you” to whoever nominated me!)

I also was proud to reach this year’s goal of 10,000+ email subscribers, making FedUpwithFatigue.com one of the largest fibromyalgia blogs.

As the year comes to a close, I thought it would be nice to look back at some of FedUpwithFatigue.com’s most popular posts from 2016. I compiled the following top 10 list based on page views from the calendar year. For newer readers, this post is a great summary of the type of content you can expect from FedUpwithFatigue.com. I hope you will consider joining my mailing list if you aren’t already a subscriber.

Before I start with the top 10 list, I’d like to say a quick “thank you” to my editor Ed Coghlan over at NationalPainReport.com. My partnership with NPR helps to support my blog financially and has allowed me to continue to build my readership.

I’d also like to thank Chronic Illness Bloggers, a network of … you guessed it … chronic illness bloggers. Thanks to CIB, I’ve been able to share some of the best fibro-related products with my readership this year.

And finally, thank you to all of my readers. Every week, I receive messages from some of you, thanking me for the information that I share on FedUpwithFatigue.com. If I’m honest, some days it’s hard to keep working and putting out content, but your emails, blog post comments and social media comments help me to stay motivated, and your personal stories and concerns keep me inspired. We are all in this together!

As the New Year approaches, I have so many great plans for FedUpwithFatigue.com and am looking forward to what 2017 will bring. Gentle hugs to each and every one of you!

Now on with the top 10 list…

1.

My 6 favorite things for fibromyalgia relief

A few of my favorite things for relieving the pain and fatigue of fibromyalgia.

It doesn’t surprise me that this post took the No. 1 spot on my top posts of 2016 list. After all, it was really inspired by you, my readers! At least once or twice a week, I receive emails from readers who are desperate for relief. I found myself repeatedly typing out the same list of tools that I use to help relieve my own pain and fatigue. Then, one day I had an epiphany: I should put all of that information into a blog post, so it would be available to everyone!

This “6 favorite things” post is now about six months old, but I still use everything on it except hemp CBD oil. In September, I received my medical marijuana license and have transitioned to using cannabis-based CBD products, but I still think hemp CBD oil is a great option for those who live in states where medical marijuana isn’t available.

2.

Three new fibromyalgia drugs could be on the way

Two new fibromyalgia drugs are currently in clinical trials, and a third one will be tested next year.

At No. 2 on the list is my post on new fibromyalgia drugs in the works. Again, it’s no surprise that this post landed near the top of the list since I know so many fibro sufferers are desperately trying to find new treatments to relieve their symptoms. Unfortunately, there has been one change since this post was published: Trials on TNX-102 SL have been discontinued after it failed to adequately relieve pain in fibromyalgia patients.

But on a brighter note, the most exciting new drug mentioned in this post is IMC-1, an antiviral/anti-inflammatory combo that’s heading to phase III trials early next year. I suspect it’s going to be a game changer for fibro sufferers who have underlying viral infections.

3.

Ask the doctors: Is fibromyalgia progressive? 

I asked fibromyalgia specialists around the country to weigh in on one question: Is fibromyalgia progressive? Do symptoms worsen over time? Here's what they had to say.

Regardless of what the research says, I think many of us feel our symptoms are worsening over time. I know mine have. So, I thought it would be interesting to ask some of the top fibromyalgia doctors (three of which have fibromyalgia themselves) and researchers in the country to weigh in on the issue: Is fibromyalgia progressive? I think you’ll find their answers interesting.

4.

It might not be “just fibro” – it could be Lyme disease

Lyme disease is commonly misdiagnosed as fibromyalgia. That's why it's so important to get the RIGHT testing to rule it out. (FYI: The western blot available through your doctor's office is NOT the right testing!)

In May, I was diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease, and all of a sudden a lot of the health issues and symptoms I’ve been dealing with for years finally made sense. Since my diagnosis, I’ve found out that Lyme is frequently misdiagnosed as fibromyalgia. In fact, I’ve lost count of the number of people I’ve talked with who were first diagnosed with fibro and later went on to be diagnosed with Lyme. It’s really no surprise why this happens. Lyme testing is grossly inaccurate, and Lyme and fibromyalgia share many of the same symptoms.

If you think you may have been exposed to Lyme – (you don’t have to recall having a tick bite; in fact, about 30% of Lyme patients don’t remember ever being bitten by a tick) – then I urge you to read this post and take steps to be properly tested (i.e. please don’t rely on testing by Labcorp!) and evaluated for Lyme. I suspect millions of fibro sufferers actually have Lyme disease and don’t know it. That’s a real tragedy because Lyme is treatable, and it’s possible to recover from it. The same can rarely be said for fibromyalgia.

5.

Winning your fibromyalgia disability case

Attorney Jonathan Ginsberg from Ginsberg Law Offices in Atlanta, Georgia, shares his best advice for winning your fibromyalgia disability case.

This post would be extremely helpful for anyone who is filing for disability for fibromyalgia. In it, Atlanta-area attorney Jonathan Ginsberg shares his best advice for winning your fibromyalgia disability case.

6.

Cymbalta’s withdrawal symptoms prompt lawsuits

Thousands of Cymbalta users are suing drugmaker Eli Lilly, claiming the company wasn't forthcoming about the frequency or severity of the drug's withdrawal symptoms. | Fed Up with Fatigue

This is the first of two Cymbalta-related posts that made the top 10. I started covering the lawsuits associated with Cymbalta’s withdrawal symptoms in 2014. This post gives a good summary of Cymbalta’s withdrawal symptoms and the ensuing lawsuits. Since this published, the lawsuits have been settled. (No. 9 on my top posts for 2016 list covers the settlement.)

7.

Could fibromyalgia be caused by an endocannabinoid deficiency? 

Some emerging research indicates fibromyalgia, migraine and irritable bowel syndrome may be tied to a deficiency in the body's endocannabinoid system. This could explain why cannabis benefits so many fibromyalgia sufferers.

So many in the fibro community (myself included) are successfully using cannabis for pain relief. Well, it turns out there may actually be a scientific reason for why cannabis works so well for some of us. A leading cannabis researcher thinks those of us with fibromyalgia may actually be deficient in endocannabinoids. Using cannabis is simply supplementing what our bodies are lacking, much like you would take vitamin D to supplement a deficiency. This post explains how fibromyalgia, migraine and IBS may be linked and why cannabis may be so effective in treating all three conditions.

8.

12 fibromyalgia bloggers share their best tips for reducing symptoms

Top fibromyalgia bloggers share their best tips for reducing fibromyalgia symptoms. | FedUpwithFatigue.com

One of this year’s highlights has been getting to know some of my fellow fibro bloggers better. In this post, I reached out to 12 fibro bloggers and asked them to share their best strategies for reducing symptoms. Their responses are both diverse and enlightening.

9.

Eli Lilly settles Cymbalta lawsuits

Eli Lilly and Company has settled hundreds of lawsuits involving patients who claim the drugmaker was not forthcoming about the severity of Cymbalta's withdrawal symptoms.

This post covers drugmaker Eli Lilly’s settlement of the Cymbalta withdrawal lawsuits. I have readers contact me nearly every week, asking if they can be added to the lawsuit. Unfortunately, the answer is no. At this point, you would need to pursue your own case using a personal injury attorney.

10.

More insurance companies are now paying for fibromyalgia blood test

Medicare and some private insurers, including Blue Cross Blue Shield, UnitedHealthcare and Aetna, are now paying for the FM/a fibromyalgia test on a case-by-case basis. EpicGenetics, the company that developed the test, offers free assistance to determine if your insurance will cover the test.

This is the most controversial post on the list. I still get readers who email me or leave a comment saying there is NO test for fibromyalgia. Well, actually there is! Most doctors don’t know about it, and the leading U.S. rheumatology association doesn’t recognize it, but it does exist, and some insurance companies are now paying for it. Details are at the link!

Honorable mention

As fibromyalgia patients, our physicians often tell us that opioids won't decrease our pain, but what does the research REALLY say about using opioids for fibromyalgia? You might be surprised!

The use of opioids for chronic pain has been under attack throughout 2016. Sadly, I keep hearing again and again how physicians are weaning their patients off opioids, leaving them in pain with few other options for relief. As a result, we’ve lost some in the chronic pain community to suicide this year. It’s common these days for physicians to say opioids are not an effective treatment for fibromyalgia. In fact, my own rheumatologist told me that. In this post, I decided to look at the research and see if what he said is actually true. Turns out, the research doesn’t support his statement.

Well, that’s it for this year’s top 10! Was there a particular post on FedUpwithFatigue.com that helped you this year or you found really interesting? Any suggestions for future posts? If so, I’d love to hear about it in the comments! Best wishes to you and yours during the coming New Year! 

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Comments

  1. Linda Williams says:

    Just wanted to tell you how great your blog is. I have several chronic health issues…. Some doctors say Fibro is one of them, although I think that we haven’t found the root cause. Anyway, you always have information that I find useful info on your site and have even shared some with my PCP…Kudos

    • Donna Gregory/FedUpwithFatigue.com says:

      Thank you so much, Linda! I’m so glad that you find the info on my blog useful. I tend to agree w/ your comment about fibro possibly having a root cause. My view of fibro is changing, and I’m starting to see it more as a collection of symptoms than as an actual disease in and of itself. When I think about our symptoms, my gut reaction is that our bodies just don’t go haywire for no reason. There has to be an underlying cause for why the body is doing what it is doing. For me, I think that underlying cause is Lyme and probably adrenal/thyroid issues. I think there are probably numerous underlying issues that lead to the same result. I’m hoping to cover some of those in upcoming posts during 2017. I hope you’re able to find your underlying cause b/c that will get you closer to the right treatment and hopefully closer to finally healing or at least being able to manage it as well as possible.

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