This week’s headlines (week of August 3, 2015)


Top stories …

More than $5 million in funding for ME/CFS research has been cut from the (U.S.) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2016 budget. This is a BIG, BIG deal for the ME/CFS community because research dollars are already scant (see Cort Johnson’s stories below). The Solve ME/CFS Initiative is leading an effort to have the money restored. They are asking the public to email members of the U.S. Senate’s budget committee. Details, including email addresses and a form letter, are available here.

Ever wonder why we don’t have better treatments for fibromyalgia and ME/CFS? Cort Johnson from Health Rising explores “How Fibromyalgia got to be the Worst Funded Disease in the National Institutes of Health.” This is a follow-up to Johnson’s earlier post, “The NIH’s Blindspot: The Real Reason ME/CFS and FM Funding Stinks.”

A new Oregon Health and Science University (U.S.) study finds tramadol/acetaminophen improves quality of life in chronic pain patients, reports Fibromyalgia News Today. Have you tried this combination? Did it help? I’d love to read your comments below.

Research and treatments …

As a follow-up to a link in last week’s news roundup, U.S. physicians weigh in on new Scottish study that found drinking alcohol can help ease fibromyalgia pain. No shocker here: They say drinking isn’t the best way to cope with chronic illness.

Turkish study finds functionality is lower and fatigue is higher in patients with fibromyalgia and vitamin D deficiency.

Aquatic exercise may be more beneficial for fibromyalgia patients than cardio or stretching, according to a new Turkish study.

One of the world’s leading experts on medical marijuana discusses its use among the chronically ill. Yes, you can enjoy the benefits of medical marijuana without getting high, he says.

Philadelphia (U.S.) area firm focused on developing synthetic cannabinoid therapies for chronic pain sufferers is scheduled to offer public stock this week.

Many with fibromyalgia (myself included) find magnesium supplements to be helpful in reducing pain and soreness. Coconut Mama shares “5 Ways to Get More Magnesium.” (This is an older post, but thought it was worth a share.)

Living with chronic illness …

Columnist Pat Akerberg writes about “When Your Friends Disappear” following a chronic illness diagnosis.

About.com’s Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue expert Adrienne Dellwo compiles a helpful “Back-to-School Shopping List for Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.” (You can bet stretchy pants with an elastic waist are on this list!) And with the first day of school looming for many (and already passed for others), here are some “School Tips for Students with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.”

CFIDS (another acronym for ME/CFS) & Fibromyalgia Self-Help shares “Four Pacing Success Stories.” If you’re unfamiliar with the term “pacing,” here’s a helpful primer on “Pacing: What It Is and How to Do It.”

You might want to print this article out and give it to your physician if you have ME/CFS: Dr. Charles Lapp, one of the U.S.’s top ME/CFS and fibromyalgia docs, chimes in on “How Your Doctor Can Help if You have CFS/ME.”

This workshop may be of interest to my London readers:


Raising awareness …

Just a reminder…This Saturday, Aug. 8, is Severe ME Awareness and Remembrance Day.

Daughter’s ME/CFS diagnosis inspires new photography exhibit by UK artist and student.

Canadian woman with fibromyalgia and others plan to walk 1,050 km to raise awareness for fibro.

Giving back …

Before you toss your empty pill containers, consider donating them to the Malawi Project. Hospitals in Malawi, Africa, need your empty containers to store medicines. (Otherwise, they end up wrapping medicines in small bits of paper.) Click here for details on how to donate. (You’ll need to scroll down to the bottom on the page and click on the flier for the “Prescription Vial Program.” Sorry, I couldn’t find a better link on the site.)

Off topic …

Why your antidepressant may actually be making you even more depressed.

I thought of my deceased mom (who also had fibromyalgia) when I read “7 Lost Household Arts You Should Revive” from Country Living magazine. We grew up on bed sheets that still smelled like sunshine after hanging on the clothes line all day, and I remember her warming up soup atop the wood stove when our power would go out after a snowstorm. Good memories. I miss her every day.

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