No, You Don’t Have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

SEID should not be relegated to the misfit land with those other “diagnoses of exclusion,” but should instead, ideally, be viewed as a diagnosis that is actively made. Maybe the SEID patient will now not only start to be diagnosed, but also heard.

Ashley Graham's Curves versus James Brown's Moves

We, men and women, boys and girls, should not feel compelled to strive for perfection, but we should care about our bodies. My concern is that the embracing of curves will be a substitute for taking care of oneself, for fighting the sedentary life that seems to envelop so many of us, and for not giving up on the effort it takes to exercise.

A Choice Between Chronic Pain and Dementia?

Dementia is a much-feared condition. Patients want to know what medications that might increase the risk of this condition should be avoided.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Versus Myalgic Encephalomyelitis

Whether one is considering CFS, ME, or CFS/ME, the challenges seem daunting, whether it be in the diagnosis or the treatment of these conditions. These challenges seem beyond daunting when one stops to consider that we are still waiting, in 2015, for the right name for the CFS/ME phenomenon.

Implanting Weight Loss

How times have changed. Some 40 years ago we watched a couple of prime time television shows about a bionic man and woman. The devices built into those television heroes allowed for super-human running speeds and the ability to jump heights unheard of. Today, we have different goals for our bionic men and women: Maybe one less pancake, one less bag of chips.

Inheriting Suicide

According to the current psychiatric literature, adoption, twin, and family studies have established that suicidal behavior is familial. Disturbingly, what is passed down from generation to generation is suicide or suicide attempts, and not just suicidal ideation. Photo: Google.

Smiling Again with Laughing Gas

And so, maybe it is time to look at what we already have: Although ketamine has gained interest in recent years as a rapidly acting potential therapy for treatment refractory depression, researchers say an even better option may lie in another well-known agent with a similar mechanism of action ― nitrous oxide, better known as laughing gas. (Image from Google.)

High Definition Dupe

We supposedly know how full of misinformation the internet can be. But is it time to turn a jaundiced eye away from Dr. Oz? Are we being snookered in HD?

Why Do You Gain Weight When You Exercise?

You begin a rigorous exercise program because it could not hurt to lose a little weight and, as I tell my patients, such exercise can improve many things, including chronic pain. But then you find you are gaining weight. Is it time to raise the white flag and buy that cookies-of-the-month club subscription?

Before the Veteran, Before the Pain

And the weekly supermarket ad encouraged me to remember our vets in print just a font size or two larger than the words “serving suggestion” under the adjacent photo of a garnished rib-eye steak—for sale at a Veterans Day low price.

Five Facts Regarding Sleep Terrors and Nightmares

Disrupted sleep is the fuel that keeps the fire of chronic pain roaring. Dreams, sometimes of the frightening variety, can keep us from a sound sleep. But there are other terrors lurking in the dark of the bedroom. We are often told the unknown can cause fear; maybe a little learning about why our EEGs go bump in the night can assuage at least a little of that fear:

The Ghost of Pregnancies Past

For centuries, theologians have grappled with that line in Exodus 20:5, which states: “For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me.” From a genetic viewpoint, the iniquity of the fathers might occasionally miss its target, only to hit that innocent bystander, Mom.

Damned If You Do, Dead If You Don’t

If heroin use increases, death from heroin increases (as does the spread of HIV and viral hepatitis). And we should all wonder what the crackdown on prescription opioid abuse is accomplishing.

Why You Are Demented?

Those who took low-dose benzodiazepines, or who took only occasional high dosages, did not have their Alzheimer's risk increase for the five years they were studied after having been initiated on these agents. In contrast, those who frequently took long-acting benzodiazepines, or who took any such drugs regularly over several months, suffered a more disturbing fate.

Old Drugs, New Worries

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) approximately double the risk for venous thromboembolism (VTE), including deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, according to an article published last month in the journal Rheumatology.

The Fatty and Not the Fat

We have all heard about the literal and figurative impact the obesity epidemic has on the weight-bearing joints: early and relentless degenerative arthritis as our knees and hips struggle against that out-of-range Body Mass Index, cartilage deteriorating along with the will power to try another diet, worsening knee pain making exercise less desirable and less feasible.

Why Mexican-Americans Do Better Than Others Academically

It is more about the way families view their horizons, the most successful with extraordinarily high expectations for those horizons. If the heights expected are not attainable, the disappointment may be as emotionally draining as being yelled at during piano lessons. (Photo from "Time" magazine.)

I’m Feeling It

Although prior research has not unequivocally specified these pathways at the anatomical level, some evidence, both theoretical and empirical, suggest that emotional reactions influence the experience of disease and non-disease-related pains. Other studies suggest that treatments directed at negative emotional responses reduce suffering associated with pain.

Pee-Shy: When You Don’t Go When You Gotta Go

For many experts, paruresis is most easily defined as an inability to urinate in public restrooms, particularly when other persons are present or may enter the room, that is often associated with considerable avoidance behavior, and is therefore best classified as social phobia behavior. (Photo; GooglePlay)

Biopsychosocial Chronic Pain

The degree of chronic pain suffered is varied, and does not always correlate with the changes seen on x-ray, or even MRI. Psychosocial factors are consistently associated with the symptomatology of OA: Pain and restricted function are associated with more depressive symptoms, and the existence of depression has predicted which patients might worsen over time.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Working With Chronic Pain

If you have chronic pain and are in the workforce, you should make every attempt to settle into an occupation that isn't too physically demanding and allows you to work at your own pace. Research into these issues has been performed, and the results have allowed for a rough approximation of the good, the bad, and the ugly in the job market.

I Feel Your Central—or Maybe Peripheral—Pain

A patient may meet criteria for the diagnosis of fibromyalgia, but many fibromyalgia patients meet criteria for other functional somatic syndromes, not to mention a variety of psychological afflictions. It could be that chronic pain patients do not improve as quickly as we (and they) would like.

Oh, to Live the Hispanic Paradox

Why are Hispanics throwing predictions of life span out the window? There have been several proposed hypotheses to describe these findings. Most notably, the “salmon bias hypothesis,” cultural influences, and, of course, genetic variation, are theories that have been put forth. The salmon bias hypothesis assumes that foreign-born Hispanics return to their country to die.

Colorado: The Land of Pot-Smokers and Busy Cardiologists?

“Smoked my stuff… Going to California with an aching in my heart.” : It appears marijuana use may increase the risk of cardiovascular events, particularly in younger adults, with fatal consequences.

This is Your Brain on Hope

Maybe as health care professionals we now have an excuse to slow up for a moment or two, to not be hopping from examination room to examination room. There is indeed, at least in some instances, a biochemical basis for hoping and believing.

Between a Man and His Gynecologist

Heard in a gynecologist’s office last week: “Now, slide your bottom toward me, and move your sack to the left.”

The Man in Your Life May Be Intimidating You to Be Pain-Free

Suddenly, lab animals are not just research tools in a cage, but creatures with the ability to sense (via smell) the presence of the male of many species—that mammalian half that is responsible for much of the aggression in the world—and NOT feel their pain, or your pain.

The Brain as Predictor of Chronic Pain and Illness Relief

For RA—and probably other inflammatory illnesses—the immune system acts as a sort of sensory organ, participating in the transmission of information about tissue damage and joint swelling to the brain. Perhaps the immune system is exquisitely sensitive, perhaps even prescient, when it comes to sensing what drugs are going to work for a given patient.

Glucosamine for Osteoarthritis: Who Knows?

It is no surprise that glucosamine has become one of the most frequently used alternative medications worldwide due to its chondroprotective properties, despite the fact that its efficacy has been called into question more than once over the years.

Religion and Chronic Pain: Avoiding Hysteria

This is one of those times of the year when many of us do reflect on religion, whether it has meaning for us, or what has it done for us lately. It is a time of the year that can have a significant impact on the psyche of individuals suffering from chronic pain.