Monthly Archives: June 2015

Articles: What causes Fibromyalgia and Chronic fatigue syndrome, and what can help?


Article.1 link:  body awareness and fibromyalgia article

Article.2 link:  effects of exercise on osteoarthritis, rheumatoid diseases and fibromyalgia

“Medically unexplained symptoms (MUS) are somatic symptoms that cannot be (adequately) explained by organic
findings or where no clear organic etiology can be identified
after an appropriate medical examination. Fibromyalgia
(FM), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and non-cardiac chest pain are all examples of
clusters of symptoms, which belong under the broad umbrella of MUS. “

“These patients usually present
with back pain, headache, chest pain, fatigue, pain in arms
and legs, gastro-intestinal symptoms, joint pain and dizziness (Van Dieren and Vingerhoets, 2007).”

-pg.35 article 1 reference

My mom asked me if I could post about fibromyalgia, as the doctor told her that her radiating/ roaming pain and fatigue could be due to this condition.  The problem with fibromyalgia, and similarly chronic fatigue syndrome and even IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), is that there is no physiological explanation for the symptoms or onset of symptoms, so its pretty tricky to diagnose.  These conditions are some-what diagnosed as stemming from more neurological issues like mental or emotional trauma or depression, but its pretty hard to say for sure.   I’ve posted a couple articles about these conditions. The first article is about becoming more aware of one’s body and thus reducing the symptomology of FM (fibromyalgia), and the second article encompasses arthritis (rheumatic and osteo), FM and systemic lupus
erythematous (SLE), and how exercise can have a beneficial effect on the symptomology of these conditions.  Hope these help to shed a bit of light on to these debilitating conditions, and I hope this is can be a jump-off point for continued individual research into these health topics and many more. Thanks for reading, and be aware and eat with care 🙂

Picture ref:

Article.1:  Courtois, I, Cools, F, & Calsius, J 2015, ‘Meta analysis: Effectiveness of body awareness interventions in fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome: A systematic review and meta-analysis’, Journal Of Bodywork & Movement Therapies, 19, pp. 35-56, ScienceDirect, EBSCOhost, viewed 27 June 2015.

Article.2:  Kelley, G, & Kelley, K 2014, ‘Effects of exercise on depressive symptoms in adults with arthritis and other rheumatic disease: a systematic review of meta-analyses’, BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 15, 1, pp. 1-19, Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost, viewed 27 June 2015.

Study Week Blog.5: I can’t not study! And the fundamental flaw with our system

So last week I mentioned that my motivation was completely lacking and that I was fine with failing my last exam because I would have another chance to do the course again next year in Canada…..well…. I couldn’t do it!  I can’t not study!  I mean really, what is the whole point of going to school if you aren’t going to cement the learned information throughout the semester to study for the final, as that’s when it all makes sense.  The information learned adds to the bigger picture and builds on the already learned knowledge from previous semesters!  That’s the point!  Any-ways  I ended up studying for my pharmacology which turned out to be less torturous then expected.  One of the most interesting things I learned was how many adverse drug reactions one can experience when taking some of these drugs, and it really makes me wonder if the risks vs the benefits are really worth it.  I mean I guess Warfarin use for people with dysfunctional blood-coagulation is a life saving, so obviously the benefits out-weight the risks, but something as simple as birth control pills should really be considered more, or at least more education around birth control pills should be obtainable from the conventional health system.  I know when I on birth control pills I was never really told what adverse health effects could occur.  Some of these include:  thromboembolism; increased risk of cervical, breast, hepatic tumour; hypertension; headache; irregular bleeding; weight, breast, mood, vaginal discharge, libido change; fluid retention; chloasma; rash; Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis; GI upset; cataract; lab test changes: liver, adrenal, renal, thyroid function, carrier protein levels, carbohydrate metabolism, coagulation, fibrinolysis parameters; others….. and this is only 1 brand (Brenda-35 ED) of OCP (oral contraception pill) available on today’s market. I understand that the product (OCP’s) come with health warnings within the package, but as a teenager I never thought twice to read the warnings, I definitely would have been benefited by being told these effects by my health professional, which I wasn’t.  Looking back on it now, how could I have been an educated consumer if no one would even help start my education?  Before I started in natural health college I didn’t realize how in the dark the average consumer is in when it comes to pharmaceuticals and health in general.  Now talking about it, I always go back to the question, is it the consumers responsibility to become educated or is it the system in general that keeps the consumers some what ignorant??  I mean you have to pay to get access to academic journal databases and even if you do get access, which can be restricted, the average individual has not been taught the general skills to even read most medical journals.  I feel like this is the fundamental flaw with our system.  We learn all about obtuse triangles and algebra, but how many of us actually learned practical life skills throughout junior and high school??  I sure as hell didn’t learn about how to do taxes, apply for bank loans, or something like debt management.  Any-ways the point to all of this is that education is absolutely fundamental to the general understanding of health.  As individuals we need to go to libraries and really research into our own health rather then just going to a doctor and getting handed a pill.  Its time to put the medical system into our own hands, with caution of course.  Also to conclude this will be one of my last school blogs for awhile as I will not be returning to school any-where from 6 months to 1 year as the intake for my course in Canada might only be one opportunity per year.  In the mean-time I will be experimenting with my new found knowledge, doing diet analyses, trying supplements, making creams/lotions/natural health products, as well as looking into growing medicinal herbs, so please keep posted for these interesting experiences to come. I hope to post all about what things worked, what didn’t and I hope to pay for access to medical journal databases to continue to post academic journal articles about general and natural health.  Hope you keep in mind that keeping educated, especially about your own health, is a huge tool for the betterment of your life, and that this knowledge seeking ability is in your hands, so get out there!  Thanks for reading, and be aware and eat with care 🙂

Ref:  OCP adverse health effects from MIMS online database:

Articles: Want to be happier and sleep better? Tryptophan!

Link to Article 1:  Effects_of_tryptophan-rich_bre

Link to Article 2: Gourd seeds and carbohydrates increase tryptophan levels article

So article.1 dives into the mood and sleep regulating nature of tryptophan, which is an amino acid found in proteins, dairy, grain, and beans, but is also produced within the body from exposure to bright, outdoor light, and through exercise.  Tryptophan is metabolized through a series of biochemical pathways and eventually becomes 5-hydroxytryptamine, which is the neurotransmitter serotonin (happy regulator), and then is converted into melatonin (sleep regulator).  Both of these are important for an individual to feel happy and have a good night’s rest.  The article presented compared the effects on mood and sleep when groups of subjects were exposed to dim light and a light tryptophan containing breakfast, dim light and a rich tryptophan containing breakfast, bright light and a light tryptophan containing breakfast, and a bright light and rich tryptophan breakfast.  Now the tryptophan breakfast was a protein shake derived from egg protein, but tryptophan, as mentioned, is found in proteins like eggs and beans, as well as grains and dairy products, so many of these foods are included in breakfast. To no major surprise the exposure to bright light coupled with a tryptophan rich breakfast saw an increase to serotonin and melatonin plasma (blood) levels after about 5 days.  So if your looking to feel a bit happier and have a better sleep maybe try eating eggs with whole grain toast in the morning, and getting outside to exposure yourself to the sun’s healthy rays (in moderation) + include moderate daily exercise. Maybe even try your known little experiment to see if it makes a difference, I’m going to give it a go, and I’ll write about in my next post.


Article 2 is a short pilot study that gave subjects gourd seeds (pumpkin seeds) + carbohydrate sources, and found that after 2 weeks anxiety levels decreased significantly.  So maybe try adding some pumpkin seeds into one’s daily routine, like adding them into smoothies!

Thanks for reading, and be aware and eat with care 🙂


Article. 1: Fukushige, H, Fukuda, Y, Tanaka, M, Inami, K, Wada, K, Tsumura, Y, Kondo, M, Harada, T, Wakamura, T, & Morita, T 2014, ‘Effects of tryptophan-rich breakfast and light exposure during the daytime on melatonin secretion at night’, Journal Of Physiological Anthropology, Academic OneFile, EBSCOhost, viewed 19 June 2015.

Article. 2: Hudson, S, MacKenzie, J, & Hudson, C 2007, ‘Protein-source tryptophan as an efficacious treatment for social anxiety disorder: a pilot study’, Canadian Journal Of Physiology & Pharmacology, 85, 9, pp. 928-932, Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost, viewed 19 June 2015.