Posted in chronic pain, health, migraines, MRI, physical health

10 Reasons Why an MRI Scan is Valuable

(Image: Para-sagittal MRI of the head, with aliasing artifacts (nose and forehead appear at the back of the head)

MRI Scans Explained

What is an MRI scan?

MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scanning is a medical investigation that uses an exceptionally strong magnet and radio frequency waves to generate images of your body.

Why would I need an MRI scan?

An MRI scan is one of the most sophisticated diagnostic tools available to help a referring clinician understand the cause of your particular health issue.

What can be diagnosed by an MRI scan?

By scanning the relevant sector(s) of a patient’s body, an MRI scan can help to diagnose the following: Continue reading “10 Reasons Why an MRI Scan is Valuable”

Posted in chronic pain, health, migraines

Botox highly effective for more than easing Chronic Migraine Pain

Chronic migraine is defined as having migraines 15 or more days a month.  I was amazed that this treatment eases migraines, as well as, other disorders.  (The image above shows Botox injection points)

New guidelines from the American Academy of Neurology suggest that Botox can be used as a “safe and effective” way to treat chronic migraine headaches, among other neurological disorders.

Botulinum toxin is normally used as a cosmetic treatment to smooth out wrinkles, but it can also reduce muscle contractions and the transmission of pain signals by blocking the release of neurotransmitters from nerve endings.

The authors of the updated guideline reviewed scientific studies on the four preparations of botulinum toxin available in the United States.

Chronic migraine is defined as having migraines 15 or more days a month, the study authors explained.

Spasticity has many causes, including multiple sclerosis, stroke, and head or spinal-cord trauma, according to the guidelines. Simpson is with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.

Continue reading “Botox highly effective for more than easing Chronic Migraine Pain”

Posted in Hashimoto's Disease, health, thyroid, thyroid gland

What is Hashimoto’s disease? (thyroid gland)

Hashimoto’s disease, also called chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis or autoimmune thyroiditis, is an autoimmune disease. An autoimmune disease is a disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks the body’s own cells and organs. Normally, the immune system protects the body from infection by identifying and destroying bacteria, viruses, and other potentially harmful foreign substances.

In Hashimoto’s disease, the immune system attacks the thyroid gland, causing inflammation and interfering with its ability to produce thyroid hormones. Large numbers of white blood cells called lymphocytes accumulate in the thyroid. Lymphocytes make the antibodies that start the autoimmune process.

Hashimoto’s disease often leads to reduced thyroid function or hypothyroidism.

Hypothyroidism is a disorder that occurs when the thyroid doesn’t make enough thyroid hormone for the body’s needs. Thyroid hormones regulate metabolism—the way the body uses energy—and affect nearly every organ in the body. Without enough thyroid hormone, many of the body’s functions slow down. Hashimoto’s disease is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the United States.

What are the symptoms of Hashimoto’s disease?

Continue reading “What is Hashimoto’s disease? (thyroid gland)”

Posted in chronic pain, health, migraines, pregnancy

Pregnancy Often Leads to Changes in Migraines

Women who suffer from migraines may notice changes in their headache patterns when they’re pregnant, experts say.

For example, many women will have fewer migraines during pregnancy.

“If you suffer from migraine, there’s a good chance your migraine attacks will improve during pregnancy,” Dr. David Dodick, chair of the American Migraine Foundation, said in a foundation news release.

Research has shown that 50 to 80 percent of women who have migraine before pregnancy may notice a reduction in migraine attacks, especially in the second and third trimesters, likely due to a rise in estrogen levels,” said Dodick, a professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic School of Medicine in Arizona.

Women who have migraines associated with menstruation are particularly likely to have fewer attacks during pregnancy, the study authors pointed out.

Continue reading “Pregnancy Often Leads to Changes in Migraines”

Posted in acupuncture, chronic pain, health, PTSD

Consider this Way to Relieve Chronic Pain

Some of the earliest medical acupuncture texts have survived since 200 B.C. and are still being used to teach students today. When you consider the fact that acupuncture has been used to treat patients for nearly 3,000 years, microsystems acupuncture is a relatively new practice.

Ear acupuncture, or (auricular therapy), is a type of acupuncture that approaches the ear as a microsystem of the body. Similar to reflexology, it treats this one body part in an attempt to treat symptoms elsewhere.

It was popularized in the 1950s by a French doctor, Dr. Paul Nogier, and was created as a bridge between Eastern and Western acupuncture. These days, most acupuncturists will use it in tandem with full-body acupuncture.

Practitioners insert very fine needles into set points in the ear, often prompting quick — sometimes immediate — results. Ear acupuncture can be used to treat chronic pain, isolated injury, stress, addiction, and more.

Let’s dive into this new variation on an ancient healing practice:

How does it work?

Continue reading “Consider this Way to Relieve Chronic Pain”

Posted in exercise, health, pain

Do You Have Nighttime Leg Cramps? Find out Why

Have you ever been woken up in the middle of the night by a strong cramp in your leg that felt as if it was going to tear your muscle apart? A nighttime spasm or tightening of a muscle is a common, usually harmless, occurrence that most often affects muscles of the calf, thigh or foot.

I can vouch for the agony of nighttime cramps, occurring for me at times, waking me up and leaping out of bed.  Awfully painful.

It can cause a lot of pain and steal away a chunk of your precious sleep. Although no one is immune to them, cramps are more common in older people, and about 1 in 3 people over the age of 60 experience them regularly.

There are some simple steps you can take to prevent the cramps and ease their onset. In some cases, it’s also important to look for the underlying cause and address it.

What Causes Muscle Cramps?

Continue reading “Do You Have Nighttime Leg Cramps? Find out Why”

Posted in health, medications

7 Ways to tell if your Poop is Healthy

Sometimes I wonder why I’m fascinated with these odd topics, but when questioned, it’s always worth investigating.  Today it’s the topic of poop written in an article posted on Prevention.com!

7 Things Your Poop Says About You

1.  If your poop is…Hard, in pieces, and you have to strain to pass it

It may mean: You’re constipated—but you probably already knew that. “However, some people assume that if they go to the bathroom every day then they’re not constipated, but if your stool is consistently hard and comes out in pieces rather than a soft, single piece that passes without much effort, you may be constipated,” Sheth says.

The most common culprit is inadequate fiber intake. The average U.S. adult only downs about 15 grams of fiber a day—a fraction of the recommended 25 grams per day for women and 38 grams per day for men. Read labels and keep a food journal for a week to track how much fiber you’re actually taking in. If you’re falling short, bulk up your diet with additional fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, and seeds.

2. If your poop is…Black or bright red

It may mean: Something in your G.I. tract is bleeding. “Most of the time blood in the stool is due to something as benign as hemorrhoids,” Sheth says. Since it could also be due to an ulcer in the stomach or colon cancer, it’s crucial to alert your doctor anytime you notice blood in the toilet bowl.

Certain over-the-counter medications, such as Pepto-Bismol, can turn your stool black. It occurs when sulfur in your digestive tract combines with bismuth, the drug’s active ingredient, and forms bismuth sulfide, a black-colored substance. The discoloration is temporary and harmless and may linger several days after you stop popping Pepto. Continue reading “7 Ways to tell if your Poop is Healthy”

Posted in cell phones, health, migraines

Can I get Migraines from my Cell Phone?

Are you constantly on your smartphone during the day? What about the Internet, PC or tablet during the day then perhaps keeping you from going to bed at a decent hour at night? This may be triggering your migraines.

Where’s the link between cell phones and migraines?

Close to 5,000 young adults (around 20 years old) participated in a study, completing surveys asking about screen time exposure (glow) on devices such as PCs, TV, cell phones, or tablets if they noticed headaches (either migraine or non-migraine) occurring.

Results revealed when screen time increased, so did the odds of experiencing a migraine (without aura). Results showed no connection with non-migraine headaches.

Why is screen time linked to increased migraines?

It’s tough to pinpoint the exact biological link, as it differs for each person.

For some, it could be the blue light from a television or phone screen or the brightness or the shining glow of the light which could be a trigger for a migraine. Even more complex, linking screen time may reduce an overall migraine threshold, therefore, exposure to other migraine triggers could trigger an attack. It’s the vulnerability if you are susceptible to migraines.

Continue reading “Can I get Migraines from my Cell Phone?”

Posted in fibromyalgia, health, physical health

Symptoms of Mold Exposure …What to look for ~ or is it just Allergies?

mold1

Symptoms of Mold Exposure

People often mistake the symptoms of mold exposure for other things. They might think they are experiencing seasonal allergies, like hay fever. They might wonder if they are allergic to pet dander. They might think they just have a cold or sinus infection since mold symptoms resemble those common conditions. Of course, if you realize you have a mold problem in your home, you might suspect your symptoms are related to mold.

Many people don’t realize they have a mold problem until they start getting sick, though. That’s because mold often grows in places where it’s hard to spot, like inside walls, inside heating ducts, and under flooring.

We encountered mold in an apartment we lived in for about 5 years.  The building was about 40 years old, and although the property and building were well maintained, the carpets in the bedrooms appeared old. We used to watch T.V. in one of the rooms, however, my husband has asthma and always had huge breathing problems while living there.  We’ve moved from that building a couple of years ago and his asthma has improved greatly in our new place.  Makes you question, what was lurking in those walls or under the carpets?

Common Symptoms of Mold Exposure

The most common mold symptoms are similar to symptoms of exposure to other environmental allergens, and include things like:

Continue reading “Symptoms of Mold Exposure …What to look for ~ or is it just Allergies?”

Posted in chronic pain, health, migraines

Want to know 7 other pains worse than childbirth?

As a chronic migraine sufferer who has never given birth, I’m incapable of comparing pain. On a scale of 1-10 (as doctors insist on using), my excruciating pain sometimes exceeds 10+, but, I can envision childbirth close or equal. Let’s face it, any horrible pain is a horrible pain.

7 Horrible Types of Pain (not in particular order)

1.   Toothache

2.   Migraines

3.   Trigeminal Neuralgia

4.   Gout

5.   Serious Burns

6.  Pudendal Neuralgia

7.  Cluster Headaches

I’m only including this image of the ‘pain scale’ similar to what docs have used to measure my chronic migraine pain.  It irritates the crap out of me because, how can you assess your pain accurately on a scale?  When my neuro asks me, he peeks at my chart from the last visit and says “oh, we’re worse than last time“.  Me:  “So doc, any suggestions?“, Doc:  Stunned look, clears throat.

1.  TOOTHACHE Continue reading “Want to know 7 other pains worse than childbirth?”

Posted in chronic pain, depression, health, poetry

You Know You…….and invisible illnesses

YOU know you are strong inside despite what mental or chronic illness has dealt you.

YOU know you are doing the best that you can, with what life has handed you.

YOU can pat yourself on the back right now, for a job well done. Mastering and surviving each day with an illness, in my eyes, is a full-time job.

Only YOU will know when it’s time to return to the working world; if that is your goal. It’s alright to be coached and nudged, but you are really the best judge.

Only YOU know the blackness felt during depression – how the pitch black mud swallows you up and is unforgiving, or the isolation.

Maybe YOU don’t know how very precious you are, and that you didn’t ask for this illness, and you didn’t choose to be ill, and that mental illness is not a character flaw.

YOU will find society’s thinking and attitudes on invisible illness stigma still remain, but with education, perhaps people will alter their opinions and/or judgment.

But YOU know YOU, and that is all that is important.

Written and copyright by Deb McCarthy/2017

Originally posted on my blog “Living in Stigma

Posted in chronic pain, exercise, health, migraines

Headaches after Exercising? Tips to avoid

Heads heartbeat:

Avoiding an after-exercise headache

You have a great work-out, then BOOM! – the dreaded after-exercise headache hits. Sometimes it’s right away, sometimes a couple of hours after you’re done exercising.

What’s causing it?

There are a number of things that can cause after exercise headache. If you already suffer from migraine, chances are that your exercise is triggering the migraine chain-reaction. It may be that the symptoms are a little different than what you’re used to – don’t let that throw you off. Chances are, it’s still a migraine.

Continue reading “Headaches after Exercising? Tips to avoid”

Posted in chronic pain, fibromyalgia, health

New Discovery for Fibromyalgia Could Aid Diagnosis 

Researchers discovered a neural signature that identified fibromyalgia with 93% accuracy, according to a 72-patient” study.

These results build off of other important previous work and have to be replicated using other samples of fibromyalgia patients. They represent a natural step in the evolution of our understanding of fibromyalgia as a disorder with an important brain component.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.painmedicinenews.com

Posted in health

Eye Care 101: Warning Signs Of Disease You Should Look Out For

Eye diseases tend to be insidious, which means that by the time you notice that something is wrong with your vision, the disease has progressed so far that it may or may not be possible to reverse it. Here are some warning signs of eye disease that you should look out for to prevent and…

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.yourwellness.com

Posted in arthritis, health, pain

What is Psoriatic Arthritis?

Psoriatic arthritis is a type of arthritis that typically develops in people who have skin psoriasis. Both are autoimmune diseases, meaning the immune system attacks parts of the body. With psoriatic arthritis, the immune system attacks the joints.

Symptoms of psoriatic arthritis include pain, swelling, and stiffness in the joints, usually in fingers, toes, ankles, knees, and wrists. Some people have very mild cases of psoriatic arthritis, while others experience it more severely. The disease can also go into remission, giving you periods where you feel “normal.” Both men and women are equally at risk for psoriatic arthritis, and it usually appears between the ages of 30 and 55 in those who have psoriasis. 

Because psoriatic arthritis shares many symptoms with other forms of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, it can be difficult to diagnose. Your doctor will want to know what your symptoms are when they started, and whether you have a family history of the disease. Although there isn’t a cure, there are a few different medications for psoriatic arthritis that can help you manage the symptoms.

If your psoriasis isn’t severe, over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen (like Motrin and Advil) or naproxen (as Aleve) may help. More serious cases usually require stronger drugs, such as disease-modifying antirheumatic agents (DMARDs) or biologic therapy.

Sources of article, and more on symptoms, treatment etc. http://www.health.com/psoriatic-arthritis

 

Posted in chronic pain, health

How do survivors pee after the pain of Female Genital Mutilation?

Image:  Wikipedia  A campaign against female genital mutilation – a road sign near Kapchorwa, Uganda.

**This article may be upsetting for some readers

Female genital mutilation (FGM), also known as female genital cutting and female circumcision, is the ritual removal of some or all of the external female genitalia. Country based surveys on the rates of FGM suggest that 200 million women have undergone the procedures in 27 countries in Africa, as well as in Indonesia, Iraqi Kurdistan and Yemen, with a rate of 80–98 percent within the 15–49 age group in Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Guinea, Mali, Sierra Leone, Somalia, and Sudan. The practice is also found elsewhere in Asia, the Middle East and among communities from these areas in other countries.

This article appeared today on BBC News.com Magazine

Some 200 million women and girls across 30 countries have been affected by female genital mutilation (FGM). But how do survivors live with the pain of peeing, periods and childbirth?

“The first time you notice your physicality has changed is your pee,” says Hibo Wardere.

Hibo, now 46, was subjected to what is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as “type three” mutilation when she was six. This means all of her labia were cut off and she was then stitched together, leaving a tiny hole she compares to the size of a matchstick.

Continue reading “How do survivors pee after the pain of Female Genital Mutilation?”

Posted in chronic pain, health, sciatia

Low Back Pain Emergencies Could Signal Neurological Injuries

When physicians pick up a chart in the emergency department and see that the chief complaint is low back pain, most have a similar reaction: not another lumbosacral sprain, not another drug-seeker, or not another patient nothing can be done for. Most often, the cause of the low back pain is benign, and many physicians feel ill-equipped with the tools needed to help these patients in any significant way.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.acepnow.com

Posted in health, lupus

Testimony: Living with Lupus

December 8, 2014. It was the first day at my first big girl job. I remember sitting in training and I started having this unbearable chest pain. I took some Aspirin and waited for the pain to subside. I’ve had chest pain before, but it was nothing like that. A few days later, I […]

via Testimony Series Part 5: Living with Lupus. — Padishia Smith

Posted in health, mental health, relationships

31 Honest Answers to ‘How Are You?’

I was hoping an article about this very subject would appear.  Whenever meeting someone for lunch, a colleague that I haven’t seen since 2011 or a gathering, I’m usually fumbling around for words.

This article appeared in The Mighty.com written by 

When someone asks, “How are you?” do you answer honestly?

This question is often thrown around as a casual greeting, so much so that we default to “I’m good!” or “I’m fine!” — even with our closest friends and family. And while we’re maybe less hesitant to open up about a stomach ache or that we’ve come down with the flu, our true emotional state can feel like a dirty secret — we don’t want to give it up.

So we asked our Mighty community — people who experience disability, disease, mental illness, parent children with special needs and more —  how they’re really doing. What we got was a collection of honest, inspiring and heartbreaking answers.

How are you? This lovely article continues @
http://themighty.com/2015/11/31-honest-answers-to-how-are-you/

originally posted on my blog “Living in Stigma

*Mine would be: “No it’s just another day with a migraine, my head is throbbing so badly right now I just want to go to bed”.

Posted in health, medications

Blister Packs for Medications ~ Not just for Seniors

My doctor recommended this method of taking medication and it’s been pure bliss! Here I assumed it was a courtesy for seniors only.

As far as medication goes, remembering to take the required doses morning, noon or bedtime was causing chaos. I would neglect to take this med or that med, refilling prescriptions on time, and every medication had its own pill bottle. Stuffing that 14 or 7-day plastic organizer every week was a pain in the neck.

My pharmacy fills the organizer bi-weekly without a fee, (some pharmacies charge) and either my doctor calls a prescription in or the pharmacist calls my doctor for refills (preventing trips to the doctor). I pick them up, all organized, sealed and distinctly marked. How much simpler is that?

I still have to remember to take them!

Image source: google.ca

More on blister pack usage @

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blister_pack

originally posted on my Niume.com blog

Posted in health, migraines

Essential Oils for Headaches

The most common headache treatment is a painkiller, but these pills come with a host of ugly side effects, like kidney and liver damage; plus they don’t deal with the root of the problem.    The Top 4 Essential Oils for Headaches - Dr. Axe:

*I use peppermint oil for migraines and it helps at times, and purchasing a diffuser is also effective (plus your house smells like Christmas!)  Also, I purchased a separate peppermint oil in a roll-on form using it on the back of my neck (can be useful on the forehead by hairline).  This didn’t help at all with my severe migraines.

I found that some grocery stores sell essential oils in their pharmacy product section and are much less expensive than stores set up that sell only oils.  Also, on the internet, there are big savings also.  I purchased the diffusers via Costco.

*To note also, my husband has asthma and finds the eucalyptus oil beneficial in a diffuser.

Have any of these oils benefited you?

Posted in chronic pain, health

PAIN IN THE NECK? IT MAY BE CONNECTED TO YOUR JAW!

Temporomandibular Joint (in short TMJ!) PAIN IN THE NECK? IT MAY BE CONNECTED TO YOUR JAW! We all suffer from neck pain from time to time. For some of us it is a regular problem & others it can be intensified when we are feeling stressed. Let’s take a look at the anatomy of our […]

via Pain in the neck? It could be coming from your jaw! — The Mobile Massage Therapist.

Posted in health, migraines

Migraine Doc: Was he my “Captain Miracle”?

Isn’t waiting for a specialist (doctor) appointment enough to frost your socks sometimes?

Preparation, tolerance, frustration and waiting are all involved in this entire process.

Firstly, the wait for the family doctor’s appointment and specialist’s referral, followed by a phone call from the specialist’s office, where you now have a scowl on your face due to the clerk informing you that the initial appointment won’t be for at least six months.

I’m uncertain about you, but when the secretary calls, a pen is rarely handy to write down information or directions on how to get to the appointment. Ending the conversation they say “we’ll be sending you some written instructions in the mail also.”

The written instructions arrive, however, they are terribly confusing. Illegible pages photocopied at least 100 times over, you will feel doubtful walking into the hospital with this crappy information, for fear of ending up in the laundry area. As for the road directions, best to utilize your own maps.

Now the wait for the specialist appointment, followed by the big day of the actual appointment…and then wait is on. Where you wait in the waiting room….and wait….and wait…and wait some more……

You recognize you are in a dilemma when, after driving two hours and upon arriving, the receptionist slides open her plexi-glass window, takes your name, shuffles through files twice mumbling, “Were you scheduled for an appointment today?”. “Yes, at 11:00 a.m.”, “Hmmm…How do you spell your last name again?” “OK, just have a seat and we’ll be right with you”. A commotion develops by the filing cabinets, receptionists are in a huddle, peer up at you, once, twice, when suddenly, “yes, you are booked for 11:00 a.m., but he is backed up a bit”. Continue reading “Migraine Doc: Was he my “Captain Miracle”?”

Posted in chronic pain, health, migraines

16 Things People With Chronic Pain Want You To Know

 :

It’s not just in our head. The pain is there and always would be even if there is no apparent reason for it. Our pain is real and will not just go away after we take some pills for a week or two. It would always be there and we have learned to live with it. Here are 16 more things we wish you knew about us!

1. We Don’t Make a Mountain out of a Molehill

You think you can imagine our pain? Now multiply that amount by 10. No matter how sympathetic you are, studies have proved that people tend to underestimate other people’s pain. Chronic pain by default is hard to imagine unless you have experienced it in your life. It’s invisible, but it is always there. We urge health care not out of hypochondria or the need for attention, but because of our severe physical state.

2. We Need to Balance Actions Carefully

We use the Spoon Theory.  We have a limited amount of spoons each day we could use for different actions. Getting up, getting dressed, taking a shower, driving, walking, picking up the phone — each action requires us to use one of our precious spoons. On good days, we finish with a few spoons left so we can do something fun. On bad days, we borrow spoons from the next day and need extra recovery afterward. So if we suddenly cancel our plans with you or tell we can’t do it now — it’s just because we ran out of spoons today. Try to understand this.

Continue reading “16 Things People With Chronic Pain Want You To Know”

Posted in health, migraines

Migraine Relief? ‘Daith piercing’ is becoming popular for migraine and headache relief.

living in stigma

I’ve included two articles on the subject of ‘Daith Piercing’, a positive and negative. Personally, I have never heard of this procedure before now, however, upon reading these articles, I’ve decided this wouldn’t be for me.

fourstateshomepage – by Kheslleen Dimanche ~ According to the Migraine Research Foundation, migraines are an extraordinarily common disease that affects 38 million people in the United States. After several people posted their social media accounts that daith piercing has brought them relief, others are jumping for the fix.

“I’ve had a constant migraine for two and half to three years, and I heard it helps,” said Jenny Wagner, received daith piercing.

Wagner says since struggling with migraines, she and her mother felt piercing the daith was worth a try.

“Spending over a thousand dollars a month on doctors and then spending $40 on a piercing is way better,” said Wagner. She says prior to getting…

View original post 265 more words