Monday, July 22, 2013
The neurotransmitter Orexin.
This little baby really packs a wallop.
And can put us to sleep.
For the first time in thirty years the FDA is close to approving a drug that can help those with insomnia. People with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue have many a sleepless night and struggle with the choices that are out there.
I take opioids and muscle relaxers so the thought of adding a strong sleep aid is something I've always been afraid to take. I have had doctors prescribe Ambien but I've never taken it. I don't want to be on a lot of drugs, fall asleep and never wake up.
Maybe I shouldn't say I'm afraid. I have a healthy respect for drugs. They're powerful and shouldn't be taken lightly. I believe that doctors and pharmaceuticals have ingrained us with the belief that manufactured drugs are an easy fix. Even an antibiotic is powerful and we pop those like candy. Let me say, I'm not against drugs AT ALL. I just think that we need to be careful and examine what we take. I think we should have one doctor that knows everything we take and can monitor it. I do believe that our personal health care is fragmented. One doctor doesn't know what the other is doing. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could go to one place and have all the doctors treating our ills??
Anyway, back to the new sleep aid.
Merck has a new sleep drug before the FDA. It's called Suvorexant and it doesn't seem to have the same side effects as the sleep aids that are currently out there such as Ambien and Lunesta. What they do is act on the neurotransmitter GABA.
GABA (and glutamate) act to control the levels of excitement in the brain. Basically what this new drug will do is force your brain to go to sleep. Glutamate is an excitotoxin and can cause us to get out of control (brain wise) and GABA steps up to the plate and calms things down. It gives our brains the ability to take a break from our thoughts going at a rapid pace and slow down. If glutamate is the green light.....GABA is a yellow light.
The new drug is in a class called Dual Orexin Receptor Antagonists or DORAs for short. The neurotransmitter orexin is responsible for wakefulness and appetite among others. Again, that little neurotransmitter promotes wakefulness and Suvorexant targets that baby and works on it and so far it seems safe at lower doses. If you look up Orexin you'll be astonished by this neurotransmitter and what it is involved with in our system.
Quite simply, this drug blocks orexin.
I think I can handle that.
Sunday, July 21, 2013
The sky is cloudy and overcast.
It's going to rain.
I love it.
My body doesn't.
Does anyone else react to the weather like I do? I laughed at a recent study that concluded weather had no bearing on Fibromyalgia pain.
My fanny it doesn't.
At least I said fanny.
I, like many others, have different levels of pain. I call the worst pain voodoo pain and it progresses to OMG-make it stop. Right now I'm somewhere between the two. I feel like a Steve Miller song. Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right.
It's a barometric pressure free for all and I'm stuck right in the middle.
I feel like I'm on a never ending cycle right now. No sleep equals more pain. I take medication for the pain and muscle relaxers for the muscle spasms. I am too afraid to take something to help me sleep. I take an over the counter natural medication called Mid Nites. All they are is valerian and melatonin. It helps a little but it doesn't keep me from waking 2 or three times in the middle of the night. Why my brain won't shut off is beyond me. I can't just shut down and go to sleep. It doesn't matter that my bedroom is dark or that I've taken a hot shower before bed. I've tried all the remedies that say "do this and you'll get a good nights sleep." It doesn't matter at all. Alpha wave intrusion just won't let me reach the deeper levels of sleep and my body desperately needs it.
I look outside and the clouds are building again. I just opened the door and it's REALLY humid. This tells me I have no chance of getting relief tonight. My body hurts and this puts my attitude in the toilet.
Way in the toilet.
I'm thinking of life before Fibromyalgia and chronic pain. Big mistake. This brings me to my pity party for one. I feel myself getting frustrated for what could have been. I'm also crying because every single bone in my body aches.
4 or 5 of those make a nice snack.
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
What the heck are we eating?
Is it any wonder we're sick?
And while we're at it.....
why can't we know what is in our food?
I guess my question is: Why do we still allow additives in our food that is banned in other countries? There are foods that we think are healthy and then there are additives that are just gross.
Lets start with Brominated Vegetable Oil. Doesn't sound too bad, does it? It's basically an emulsifier but it's main ingredient is bromine. Bromine has been linked to birth defects and schizophrenia. It displaces iodine which may lead to thyroid problems. It's mainly found in sports drinks and soft drinks. Other countries have banned it's use.
What about Azodicarbonamide? This is basically a bleach. Whereas some countries wait for the flour to whiten....well, we get a little impatient. More than impatient...we want it NOW. Did you know that if we were in Singapore we could get 15 years in prison for using this chemical???? It's mainly used for sneaker soles and yoga mats. Who could taste it in the flour anyway?
You would think that good old milk would be healthy and good for you, wouldn't you? Well those cute little moo cows are injected with a growth hormone so they produce more milk. This IGF-1 (insulin growth factor) has been linked to breast, colon and prostate cancers.
How about a little arsenic with your chicken? The FDA allows it in the chicken feed because it promotes growth. Also the chicken looks pinker so it looks a lot fresher. Isn't that sweet? The European Union has banned the use of arsenic since 1999 and labeled it a carcinogen.
You know those yummy blueberry muffins? Do they really use blueberries? It could be propylene glycol. Just another chemical used to make fake blueberries. By the way, it's also used by the automobile industry to winterize RV's.
That puts a new perspective on those old muffins, doesn't it?
I think the one that I like the most is glyphosate. Ever had weeds in your yard and bought Round Up? That's what they spray on the crops. In fact, they spray so much that it's been found in the streams and even the air. We ingest this stuff. What does it do to us? Well, it has been linked to learning disabilities, obesity, birth defects, infertility and metabolic damage.
And I haven't even scratched the surface.
Why can't we have food that isn't filled with additives that can kill us?
Is it too much to ask for honest labeling?
Giving cows and chickens these chemicals.....well, it's frightening.
No wonder illnesses that were rare 30 years ago and running rampant today.
Progress has not been our friend.
Monday, July 1, 2013
They've just released a major break though in the fight.
They're besieged by requests for comments.
They graciously responded.
I guess I shouldn't say "they." After writing the post about the breakthrough I decided to go to the website and ask a couple of questions.
I identified myself and posed my questions. I mentioned that I wrote a blog and tried to keep up on the latest research. I then signed off respectfully with my name and the name of my blog.
I hoped I'd hear but I really didn't think that I would.
I was wrong.
The reason I didn't hold out hope was I tried this before. Not with this company but with the writers of a Fibromyalgia blog. I reached out and was basically told that since I wasn't published they wouldn't be responding.
Isn't that a sweet thing to do?
When I reached out to this company I still had visions of these research scientists and doctors not wanting to have anything to do with a lowly blog writer. What I encountered was a heartfelt email. Wrong. Make that two emails.
One email was documents that I could feel free to share and the other was a response to my questions and a wish for continued well being. Yes, they have tons of people writing to them, sharing their stories. Are they annoyed by this? No. They are gracious and willing to share what they know. They honestly want to make the suffering of Fibromyalgia and chronic pain go away and work tirelessly to that end goal.
I truly believe they're on to something. I didn't realize that trauma can cause an increase in the nerve endings. Genetics can also be involved.
What do I like the most?
The fact that he wanted Fibromyalgia sufferers to take comfort in one fact.
This isn't all in our heads.