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.

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.

Articles + handout: Can mindfulness be empirically studied?


Empirical definition of mindfulness:  

‘full attention to internal and external experiences as they occur in the present moment’ and ‘an attitude characterized by non-judgment of, and openness to, this current experience’

-Gotink et al. (2015, p.2)

Article 1:  Mindfulness systematic review article

Article 2:  Buddhist mindful vs contemporary psychology paradox article

Article 3/handout:  10.MindfulnessinEverydayLife

Recently, lots of people have been talking about being mindful, but I never really got the concept or understanding on how to be mindful, and I always questioned it validity, so I researched it.  I found a lot of articles trying to empirically test if mindfulness does have a physical and mental effect, and most conclude that mental change occurs in relation to depression and anxiety, but physical change is yet to be seen.  In any case mindfulness is used a therapeutic technique for people with chronic illness and is also becoming fairly mainstream. I’ve lost my mindfulness and wish to become more grounded by using the techniques outlined in article 3/handout.  I hope you enjoy learning about the empirical evidence around mindfulness, and give it a try yourself!  Make your own conclusions.  Did it help you?  Thanks for reading, and be aware and eat with care 🙂


Article 1: Gotink, R, Chu, P, Busschbach, J, Benson, H, Fricchione, G, & Hunink, M 2015, ‘Standardised Mindfulness-Based Interventions in Healthcare: An Overview of Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses of RCTs’,  Plos ONE, 10, 4, pp. 1-17, Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost, viewed 12 June 2015.

Article 2:  Huxter, M 2012, ‘Buddhist mindfulness practices in contemporary psychology: A paradox of incompatibility and harmony’,Psychotherapy In Australia, 18, 2, p. 26, Informit Health Collection, EBSCOhost, viewed 12 June 2015.

Article 3/handout: