Category Archives: fibromyalgia

Nuphorin for anxiety relief

Note: I am not a medical professional. Anything shared here is based on my personal experimentation and not meant as medical advice. Do not alter your protocol without discussing it with your doctor.

Vitavana offered me a bottle of Nuphorin free of charge for my review.  My views on this and any product I review are my own. 

I am not a fan of pharmaceuticals, but I know when to stop experimenting When no other options work, I take my meds. If the side effects nullify any of the medication’s benefits, I discuss the options with my doc and we’ll work together to find an alternative solution.

Before I found a drug and supplement protocol that worked for me, my doc suggested I try an anti-anxiety medication for help with pain and stress relief.  Fibromyalgia and chronic pain patients sometimes also deal with depression and anxiety, so sometimes the addition of anxiety medication may reduce those issues and help take the edge off of pain.  With daily pain hovering in the 6-7 of 10 range with flares and spikes in the 9-10 range, I figured I should try.  I was willing to try anything.

After three months of Cymbalta and her side effects, it was time to try a natural option.  I’ve heard that GABA, 5-HTP, magnesium, and vitamin B all have positive benefits for some anxiety symptoms, so the search for a supplement was on.  I didn’t want to add many more pills to my protocol, so I focused on combination supps.  Vitavana offered me a sample of Turmerex and I noticed the company also had an anxiety relief supplement available.  They offered a sample of Nuphorin and asked that I give it a try and share an honest review.

Nuphorin Anxiety Relief may be a good alternative for those using alternative options for anxiety or stress management. Each vegetarian capsule contains Ashwagandha extract, GABA, Chamomile, 5-HTP, DMAE Bitartrate, Vitamin B-1, Vitamin B-2, Niacinamide, Vitamin B-6, Folic Acid, Vitamin B-12, Calcium, and Magnesium.  The ingredient list did not worry me, so I stuck to the recommended dose of 1-2 capsules a day (one with breakfast and one with dinner) and wished for good results. I did not feel the blah haze the came with the Cymbalta and I didn’t feel the need to binge eat.  My heart hate went back to regular, my eyes stopped throbbing, and that, uh, loving feeling came back.  Hubby was happy about that.

If you’re currently using supplements for anxiety relief, Nuphorin Anxiety Relief is worth a try.  Each 60 capsule bottle is $39.95 with free shipping for Amazon Prime Members.  Vitavana offers a 60 day money back guarantee, so trying Nuphorin is risk-free.

I’ll share more about my protocol in other posts.  Finding the right mix of pharmaceuticals and supplements was just one part of the process.

Need turmeric? Try Turmerex.


I know my post yesterday focused on how my current protocol has little to no effect on my pain flares.  But before and after flares, I’m relatively pain-free. I’ve found the combination of prescription meds and nutritional supplements that work for me. Vegetarian-friendly formulas for Glucosamine and MSM, Magnesium, Calcium, and Zinc, protein and superfood blends, and turmeric work wonders.

Because I’ve shared far and wise about my love of turmeric and its benefits, Vitavana approached me and offered a free bottle of its professional-grade supplement.  I gave it a try and definitely feel the difference between it and a lesser-quality supplement.

 

Turmerex Turmeric 95% Extract comes in a easy-to-swallow vegetarian capsule.  Each capsule contains 712.5mg of curcumin and 5 mg of BioPerine.  Curcumin is the active compound in turmeric that’s reported to help reduce inflammation and boost the immune system.  BioPerine is a patented form of black pepper that boosts the body’s ability to absorb the curcumin.  It does not upset my stomach, even when the recommended daily dose is doubled. I take mine in the morning with breakfast because when I don’t, I feel it. Unlike some supplements, Turmerex has no real flavor and I can easily swallow it without water.  I also add turmeric to my food daily.  It’s included in at least one meal every day when I’m at home or have a prepared dish with me.

Life before turmeric and life with turmeric are totally different.  I do not ache as much with it in my protocol. I could not tell you how much the inflammation is reduced, but it is.  I am not as still or creaky first thing in the morning of after a longer session working at my desk.

Remember, I am not a health professional.  Anything I share here has been tried by me, and sometimes the experiments are unsuccessful.  I recommend you discuss any changes in your protocol with your doctor. 

If you make turmeric supplementation a part of your protocol, give Turmerex a try.  Each 60-capsule bottle is $39.95 with free shipping if you have Amazon Prime.  Vitavana offers a 60-day money back guarantee, so you could try the bottle and risk-free.  Turmerex is made in the US in an NSF-certified, FDA-compliant facility.

I’ll share more about what I take and why in other posts.  What works for me may not work for you.

Do you take turmeric?

Flare week two

Your friendly neighborhood Sherrie isn’t feeling very friendly.   The frustration,  anger, sadness, and grump are strong in this one.

Frustration stems from an inability to control pain when it’s in an uncontrollable state.  My daily routine, relaxation,  and even meds only aggravate the pain sensors and make me stabby.

Anger comes from the same place as frustration,  but is magnified by the limited mobility, lack of meaningful exercise,  and fear of the flare continuing past week two.

Cue the sadness.  Once fear comes around,  the tears are sure to follow.  I’m only 46.  If this is what 46 feels like, what will 56 bring?   If I need assistance to stand now, I might need more assistance later.  And what if the degeneration speed increases with time?  How am I supposed to train when I can barely stand?  

Yes, it gets that bad sometimes.  It’s hard to tell when people see me smiling and pushing through.

Once anger passes, the general grump sets in.  Why are people calling me?  Why do I need to cook?  These dogs need to feed themselves.   Bah, humbug.

The longer the flare, the longer this cycle lasts.  I know flares are temporary,  but while living through one, logical thinking flies out the window.  And laughs at me.

Why do I share?  Because it helps keep me sane.  And to let anyone reading this know that the feelings are real and you’re not crazy.  Or alone.  Chronic conditions can do a number on your body, mind, and spirit.

If you need me, give me an hour or so.  I’m riding out the flare from my bedside workstation.   Thank you, flexible scheduling!

Peace.

Inside a Fibro flare

All pain sucks.  It sucks the energy out of the body and mind.  Extended pain due to injuries takes a toll on the injured.  Days (or weeks) of pain seem impossible to handle until the pain eases as the injury heals.  With spinal issues, I ache daily.  When Fibromyalgia rears its ugly head, it’s agony.  Before it fully attacks, Fibro toys with me.  It pokes, prods, and smacks at different body parts before jumping on full force.  Fibromyalgia makes pain worse.

The early indications of a fibro flare throw my days off.  Yesterday started off great.  We attended the boy’s apprenticeship signing ceremony and had a fairly relaxing morning after that.  By early afternoon,  a dizzy spell hit that took me out for a few hours.  Out cold.  I didn’t see it coming.  By early evening,  my ankle began to tingle.  Tingle isn’t the right word, exactly.   The pain fell between a tingly sensation and pins and needles.   When it happened,  I knew – June’s flare is coming.

This morning,  on went the anke support.  Suppirts ease the pain and keeps those joints stable.  By 9 am, the knees, elbow, and shoulder tingling kicked in. All at once, the discomfort level rose.  I made a note to change my training plans (no lifting) and took the preemptive dose of anti-inflammatory herbs and meds.  By 10:30, my overall pain level went from 3 to 7 as my spine joined the pain party.  I had to switch from a seated to reclining position for work.  By day’s end, I’ll resort to prescription medication and an early bedtime.

The pain will either increase or remain at the 8-9 range for a few days.  Light either annoys me or hurts.  Sunglasses outdoors are a must, even if I’m in the yard with the dogs.  Otherwise,  it feels like heat rays boring into my brain.  There is no movement without pain and no comfortable position.   I’ll smile and socialize, but I’d rather be aslleep until the the flare passes.  I’ll eat because I have to,  not because I’ll want to or enjoy it.

Within a week, the pain level will drop to the 5-7 range with occasional spikes to 7-9.  Within two weeks,  I’ll be back to my usual self.  Some flares end sooner while others drag on for weeks.  While the general symptoms stay about the same,  something new pops up from time to time.  In May, it was a shap, stabbing pain in my hip sockets.

That’s what it’s like for me when a flare strikes.  If someone you know mentions a flare, be kind.  They’re not trying to blow you off.  Pain makes people angry, sad, frustrated,  and forgetful.  And hopefully,  it’s only temporary.

Until next time, I may or may not be in a blanket fort with a book or two and the Roku remote.  Peace.

Book review: Rachel Pires’ Diet Enlightenment


I received a free copy of this book to review via Tomoson.com.  My views are my own and I do not recommend anything if I don’t believe in it. 

There are certain times of year when the diet season kicks into full gear.  You know, pre-beach season, pre-holiday party season, ‘New Year, new you’ promotions, and so on.  Many, me included, look for the magic button that makes weight loss easy and helps the healthy living mentality stick.  I don’t know about you, but the struggle is especially hard when my body rebels in some way (thanks Fibro and spinal arthritis). It’s not always about the popular method used for weight loss, but the right method that makes it work and stick.  Rachel L. Piers has been there and came out on the other side.  She found the magic button and it made all the difference.  In Diet Enlightenment: The Real Secret to Weight Loss, Pires shares her story and hopes to help the rest of us find it, too.

Rachel Pires is a wife and new mother, dancer, scuba diver, and second degree black belt in Taekwondo.   She writes for the Educational Testing Service (ETS) and is a weight loss advisor and blogger on Livestrong.com.  What does an education writer know about dieting?  Quite a bit, actually.  She’s traveled down the weight loss road a few times and did not achieve the success she sought until she found the right one.

Like many experts say, almost any plan can help one lose weight at first, but plans that involve removing certain food groups don’t always work long-term.  Pires wrote Diet Enlightenment with the voice of one who’s been through it. She focuses on calorie counting as the basis for diet success and explains how to calculate what you need and how to stick to the plan.  While she isn’t a nutritionist or dietician, she does seem to have a handle on the diet industry (Chapter Two), calorie counting (Chapters Six and Seven), successfully sticking to a plan while eating out (Chapter 10), and listening to one’s body (Chapter 9).  She also explains how healthy eating isn’t always the road to Thintown (Chapter 3).  Pires’ writing style is friendly and encouraging.  She explains that it can be easy and simple to lose weight and keep it off with the right mindset.

I nodded my head or agreed aloud as I read this one, which amused my dogs.  Chapter Three is my truth – I either gained or maintained while focusing on healthy foods without thinking of calories. I also gained weight after my initial loss on Atkins.  Since my diagnoses, listening to my body is required and I can see how listening when it comes to hunger and satiety is equally important.  While I’m not a strict calorie-counter these days (thanks to the 21 Day Fix eating plan), I can appreciate the information in this one.  A book like this one might have saved me from a few missteps in my weight loss attempts. The chapter on listening to your body makes this one a great read.

Diet Enlightenment was released last April. Pick up a paperback ($12.99 suggested retail) or PDF copy ($10.99 suggested) directly from Tate Publishing or find it at your favorite bookseller. Connect with Pires on Facebook or Twitter to ask questions or let her know what you think of the  book.   Have you read it?  Let me know your thoughts.

Entering my 46th year

Howdy, y’all.  I’m 46 now. I’m now six years older than my father was when he died.  In some ways, I’m healthier.  In others, well, you know the deal.

At my last appointment, my rheumatologist said she didn’t know what else to try because various meds did not have much of an effect.  She also joked that I’m one of the rare types who lose weight on Cymbalta rather than gain.  Ha, ha.  (Note: I went off Cymbalta and gained everything I’d lost.  I’ve since tweaked my menu and am back on the losing track.)  she also had no answers for me about my swelling hands or glands on my neck. I am not amused.  I have an appointment with my primary later this month.  Maybe she’ll have answers for me since I had blood tests a few weeks back.

I’m tired, frustrated, and still fighting.  Going more natural in conjunction with some meds to find the optimal balance and solutions.  I’ll always have arthritis and Fibromyalgia.  How my body handles them is what will change.  I’m listening to my body more and found the ideal training schedule.  I wear my pedometer every day and strive to get in more steps each week.  I eat more leafy and non-starchy plants than bread and other starchy goodness.  I eat less sugar.  I drink lots of water and herbal teas, especially those containing adoptogenic herbs (Organic India’s Tulsi Teas are my favorite).  I’m getting more sleep and taking Melatonin for help on bad days. I nap when necessary.

I will get better.  I will improve my quality of life. It’s getting better every day. Cheers!

How are you celebrating the newest year of your life?

Good and bad days

We all have days when we feel pretty dang good.  Our moods are good.  We sing along with the radio and maybe dance, too.  We hit our workouts with enthusiasm and leave it all on the floor.  The workday flows smoothly and the kids go to bed without a fuss.  Those days rock.

Oy, bad days.  We feel like there’s a rainstorm overhead.  Work is a mess, the kids fight and whine about everything,  and you cannot stop dropping or tripping over things.  We burn dinner.  We feel overwhelmed and fall into bed only to stare at the ceiling most of the night.  Those days do anything but rock.

Today is in-between for me.  I’m singing and dancing in my seat, but there is no dancing.  I’m barely coordinated enough to walk.  And don’t get me started on cooking.  My mind and body are not on the same page and a fibro flare is around the corner.  But it’s okay.  This will pass.  I will survive and thrive.  And dance.

What kind of day are you having?

Handmade beauty with Beauty by Shea

You know how people tell you that many commercial health and beauty products are bad for you and how we should go more natural?  What they don’t tell you is how expensive it is to go more natural.  Sticker shock is a killer!  But once you get over the shock you hit Google and Pinterest.  Once you hit Google and Pinterest, you find recipes for the health and beauty items you need.  And sometimes you realize that you have most of the ingredients on hand.  Then you go into the kitchen and blend, giggling all the while.   Sometimes you share these handmade products with friends and family.

That’s my story.  I drifted away from handmade a little, but learning more about Fibromyalgia and environmental sensitivities sent me back into the kitchen.  I make my own laundry detergent, dish soap, all-purpose cleaner, body wash, shampoo, deodorant, and skin cream.  The family doesn’t always share my enthusiasm for my handmade concoctions, but the addition of Shea Butter to the skin cream recipes brings them around.

Beauty by Shea photo.
Beauty by Shea photo.

I regularly make my own foot cream and muscle rubs with essential and coconut oils, but the family wasn’t fond of the coconut oil base.  Adding Shea Butter seems to do the trick.  It thickens the base and the products leave no oily or sticky residue when applied.  I had the chance to try Beauty By Shea’s Pure Organic Unrefined Raw Shea Butter and jumped on it.  This was not my first purchase of raw Shea Butter so I knew what to expect.  My package arrived quickly (thanks to Amazon Prime) and I was impressed from the jump. Real, unrefined Shea Butter is firm-textured at room temperature, has a creamy ivory color, and a faint fragrance on its own that blends perfectly with any added fragrance.

I use it straight up on my elbows and knees to help soften the rough skin. Just a touch is all you need. For my hands, I use a 60/40 blend of Shea Butter and Coconut Oil without added fragrance as a nightly hand cream.  In cold weather when my hands are particularly dry and cracked, nothing beats a 90/10 Shea/Coconut blend, especially when its still warm and has a hint of added fragrance. I reach for essential oils because I’m cutting out as much junk such as artificial fragrance as possible.

This is the start of something wonderful.  Sherrie Thompson photo.
This is the start of something wonderful. Sherrie Thompson photo.

When I need to pick up more Shea Butter, Beauty By Shea is where I’ll shop.  The 1 pound bricks regularly sell for $19, but right now are on sale for $11!  That is an unreal deal!  I may order another bag now so I’ll have it on hand through cooler months and for holiday gifts.

Do you make your own household or beauty products?  What are your favorites?

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Painsomnia is real

It’s a little after 2 am and I’m wide awake.   I don’t want to be.  It’s nothing new, really,  because insomnia is my frenemy.  What is fairly new is pain-induced insomnia.   Thanks to fellow spoonies, I now know that painsomnia is real and unfortunately common.

So, what do I do when painsomnia strikes?  It depends.   Tonight I’ve played around on Instagram and Facebook.   Sometimes I work if I have a deadline around the corner.   If I’m still awake in an hour, I’ll go pack lunches for the family.   Or not.  The thought of the 5 am alarm going off while I stare at the ceiling is a downer.

I’m going to meditate for a while in corpse pose and hope I can drift off.  If not, I’ll see you later.

Do you get insomnia?   How do you cope?

 

Review: Ozeri WeightMaster Digital Bath Scale with BMI and Weight Differential Detection

I try to avoid the scale. I know, weight is a measure of health (so they say), and there’s a scale hop required at every doc’s visit and one at the physical therapist’s office.  We always had a scale growing up and for some reason were expected to have one.  I didn’t have one during my single days and didn’t care, but for some reason just had to have one once the life with hubs, kids, and dogs started.  For some reason I felt like we needed one.

I hate the scale in general.  It mocks me when I think I look smaller and feel lighter.  It jumps out from under the bed and kicks me in the toe.  It calls to me when I ignore it for too long, taunting me.  Yes, I’m aware it may not happen that way, but it feels like it.

I had the opportunity to move on up to a prettier, less bossy scale and jumped at the chance. The timing was perfect because physical therapy was in full swing and so was my tweaked eating plan.  I figured it wouldn’t hurt to add something else new
to the mix, even if it was as intimidating as a scale. The Ozeri WeightMaster Digital Bath Scale with BMI and Weight Differential Detection has a long name, sleek look,  and nice features.

See, I told you it was attractive.
See, I told you it was attractive.

The first thing I noticed when I opened the package is how attractive the scale is. This baby is a nice-looking slab of
tempered glass with non-slip pads that are gentle on my hardwood floor.  It came with batteries (nice) and clear instructions on
setting up separate profiles for multiple users.  The Weight Differential Detection tracks changes from your last weigh in,
and averages of the last three and seven weigh-ins.  How cool is that?  I like this feature because I can accurately track my
results alone.  Granted I had to teach the family to switch between profiles, but that was no biggie – when they paid attention.

The WeightMaster accepts weight up to 400 pounds.  I don’t want to need that weight limit, but it’s nice to have that option.  It also measures Body Mass Index (BMI), but honestly I try to ignore BMI measures myself because it doesn’t paint a clear picture of health.
I do love the Color Alert Technology which displays a green light for a loss and red light for gain.  If I wanted to gain weight, I might find this annoying.  But I’m all about gains in health and losses in fat and pants size.

I almost bought a different scale, but am glad the Ozeri WeightMaster fell into my lap.  Not only is it accurate (compared to the doc’s scale) and attractive, it’s engineered and manufactured in the USA.  More companies need to stay here instead of trying to move out of the country (I’m  looking at you, Burger King). Ozeri stands behind their products with a 100% Hassle-Free Satisfaction Guarantee. Pick up the WeightMaster in (black or white) or check out Ozeri’s other scales.  I won’t get on the scale more often, but when I do, it will be the WeightMaster.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.