How Can I Stop Craving Sugar?

Sugar cravings come from over-consumption of…sugar! The more sugar you eat or drink, the more you crave. However, eating a moderate amount of naturally present sugars, such as those found in fruits, 100% whole grains and dairy, doesn’t really pose any health threat. But added sugars and high fructose corn syrup, which creep into everything from sodas to cereals and yogurt to bread, can fuel sugar cravings, cause weight gain, add to body-wide inflammation and increase your risk of type 2 diabetes.

The best way to reduce sugar cravings is to READ FOOD LABELS. Then you’ll see just where added sugar is hiding and you can avoid it. Words like malt, dextrose, fructose, sucrose and anything that says syrup indicate the product contains sugar in disguise.

You can also control sugar cravings by keeping your blood sugar levels steady. Never skip breakfast and make sure every meal provides a balance of protein and carbohydrates. This decreases the glycemic load and prevents blood sugar and insulin spikes. Also, eat a small meal or snack every 3 to 4 hours. And exercise for at least 30 minutes a day.

Is it Bad to Eat Before Bed?

If you think eating before bed is a diet downfall, well, you might be right.

Some studies indicate we may not burn calories as quickly at night. But one thing is certain, if you eat late at night, chances are you’re adding excess calories to your daily diet. And that can add up to extra pounds. Plus, if you have pre-diabetes or diabetes, late night eating can cause blood sugar spikes.

You need to tailor your medication routine to your food intake and then stick with that plan.

What are the Problems With Obesity?

Excess fat cells trigger body-wide inflammation that’s associated with type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, problems with fatty liver, kidney disease, sleep apnea and infertility. Excess weight also damages joints and makes osteoarthritis extra painful. And obesity has been linked to dementia.

There are also emotional repercussions. Obesity can lead to low self-esteem, depression, social withdrawal and may make a person a target of bullying.

How Can I Stop Emotional Eating?

Learning to control emotional eating is much more about what goes on in your mind than what goes on in your stomach.

The first thing is to acknowledge your emotional attachment to food. Then you want to recognize the symptoms of your emotional eating.

Generally, emotional hunger is sudden and urgent, and you reach for junk food without really being aware of what you’re doing.

You also want to identify feelings that fuel your impulse to eat when you’re not really hungry. Is it anger? Sadness? Loneliness? Tension? Anxiety?

You may need to talk with a therapist to unravel this connection completely, but you can improve your impulse control yourself.

How Can I Lose Belly Fat?

Belly fat – also called visceral fat – is particularly dangerous for your health. It surrounds your organs and fuels body-wide inflammation that increases your risk for heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers and dementia.

To lose it you need to adopt a healthier diet that focuses on high fiber foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes and 100% whole grains. In addition, you need lean proteins such as fish and skinless poultry, and healthy fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids. Your goal is to eliminate processed foods – remember many baked goods contain harmful trans fats – that’s partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. You also want to cut out simple carbs that the body sees as sugar – and excess sugar is stored as fat.

To lose belly fat it is also important to reduce stress. The stress hormone cortisol causes you to store fat around your middle. So make sure to get regular exercise. Buy a pedometer and aim for 10,000 steps a day.

What’s the Best Diet for Weight Loss?

The best diet for weight loss is one in which you take in fewer calories than you expend every day.  And one that you can stick to. We do know extreme diets that eliminate whole categories of foods, leave you hungry and unsatisfied and can slow your metabolism, making it harder to lose that excess weight. Fad diets do not work in the long run.

In order to sustain permanent weight loss you need to make healthy lifestyle choices, including a diet based on vegetables, fruits, lean proteins and some whole grains and healthy fats. Make sure you watch your portion sizes! Healthy choices have calories too.

Regular exercise is also important to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. You should aim for 1 to 2 pounds weight loss a week. And studies prove building in diet days off help you stick to your plan and actually lead to more weight loss.

What is a Calorie?

A calorie is a unit of energy derived from food. Our body uses this fuel so it can do everything from breathing to secreting hormones to running a mile.

On average, your body needs 1,000 to 1,400 calories a day to keep your organs functioning, respiration going smoothly, and your brain focused.

If you take in more calories than you expend, the excess is stored as fat. If you eat fewer calories than that, you’ll lose weight.

How Low is Low Carb?

Low carbohydrate diets ask you to reduce your carbohydrate intake from a recommended 225 to 325 grams a day to between 50 and 150 grams. The idea is that eating fewer carbs lowers the amount of glucose in your blood and that makes your body burn fat instead of sugar for fuel. The result? Weight loss. But over time that can deprive you of essential nutrients found in carbohydrate-rich foods like grains, vegetables and fruits.

A low-carbohydrate diet also increases the amount of protein and fat you consume. There’s no health advantage to eating excessive amounts of red meat and saturated fats.  In fact, they’re associated with elevated cholesterol levels and heart disease and a greater risk of colon cancer.

So if you’re interested in losing weight and keeping it off, eliminate processed foods and simple carbs. A healthy diet should include complex carbohydrates found in vegetables, fruits and whole grains.

Does Hypnosis Work for Weight Loss?

Few studies have shown a direct link between hypnosis and physical weight loss. Hypnosis can help with your mind-set towards weight loss, though. Because hypnosis focuses more on the mental part of weight loss than the physical, it may help motivate you to get started or keep going. This will fuel the hard work you’re already putting in to lose those extra pounds. The physical part of weight loss is all you – meaning you have to put in the work at home or at the gym.

Hypnosis only encourages a different way of thinking about your body in relationship to food and fitness – so in this way, it can be beneficial.

Can I Lose Weight Without Exercise?

Technically, you can lose weight without also doing daily exercise. Weight loss is all about creating a calorie deficit – meaning that you burn more than you consume. That’s why exercise, plus diet changes, are an important part of a weight-loss and weight-control plan.

First, exercise helps create a significant calorie deficit – after all, you can burn 600 calories with an hour in a spin class.  Second, exercise builds muscles, which burn more calories than fat even when you’re at rest. So exercise helps amp up your metabolism.

While you can lose weight without exercise, it’s healthier to adopt a whole food diet plus a routine of regular physical activity that gets your heart pumping and muscles working.

Losing Weight: 5 Tips on Portion Size

This is the first in a series about lifestyle changes that lead to a lighter and healthier you.

The weight loss secret that’s often overlooked: It’s about the portion size!

1) Watch Your Portion Size

Losing weight is a matter of eating less and moving more. Calories in minus calories burned determine your weight.

That’s it in a nutshell.  Wait, not so fast!

Weight loss also has to do with the types of foods you eat and when. More importantly if you want to keep the weight off, you need to make permanent lifestyle changes or it will just creep back on. Here are some small changes you can make which can  add up to big results, a lighter and healthier you.

2) Give up the Supersize, and it’s ALL Supersized!

Watch your portions.  It bears repeating: Portions do matter. Even healthy foods contain calories. Our brains have been hijacked by photos, commercials of skinny women holding super-sized cereal bowls, and monster size portions at restaurants.  This means many of us need to retrain the brain to recognize the correct portion size.

3)  Re-Learn to Measure by Eye

Try this trick at breakfast:  Pour yourself what you think is a serving size of cereal.  Let’s say the nutrition label says a serving size is 2/3rd cup.    Then, in another bowl, measure the actual 2/3rd cup serving. Chances are you poured two to three times the serving size in the first bowl.  This means that without realizing it, you may have been eating two to three times more cereal than you should. No wonder the pounds are not coming off even though you increased your activity level!

Try this at lunch and dinner: Replace your large dinner plates with smaller salad size plates.   Your brain will register that you have a full plate, even when smaller servings fill it up. If you fill up a big plate, your brain will signal you to finish what’s on your plate before you stop eating.  When you have a smaller plate, your brain will register that you’re satisfied when you finish, even with the smaller portion.  This is because the brain sees the full serving on the smaller plate the same as a full serving on the large plate.  Again, measure until you know exactly what a serving size looks like.

4) Quick Ways to Measure Portion Sizes

Here are some quick measurement guidelines.

  • Your fist equals about 1 cup
  • The palm of your hand is about the size of a 3 to 4 oz serving of chicken, fish or meat
  • Your thumb equals about 1 oz (cheese)
  • A tennis ball is about a half cup of fruit or vegetables
  • Your thumb tip is about 1tsp
  • A small handful of nuts is about 1 oz (20 almonds)

An easy way to keep portions from creeping up: Serve yourself from the stove.  Avoid bringing serving bowls to the table.  It is too easy to keep having additional servings. If you have to get up from the table to get a serving, you will be less likely to overeat.

5) Tips When Dining Out

We all know when we go out to eat, the portions sizes are at least twice what we need to be eating. Try ordering a salad (dressing on the side) and appetizer instead of an entree.  Or, ask to have half your entree wrapped up to take home before they serve it. Consider splitting an entree with someone.

Enjoy What You Eat

Remember eating is supposed to be enjoyable.  Eat slowly.  It takes time for the brain to signal the stomach that it’s full. Enjoy your food.

How Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Helps Fibromyalgia Symptoms (video)

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT is a form of psychotherapy based on the belief that our thoughts influence how our body feels.  It has been shown that CBT produces results in less time than traditional therapy.

Research shows that taking control of your own self-care improves symptoms of fibromyalgia.  Limiting drinking and partying, positive thinking and keeping a journal are usually included in CBT.  Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has also been linked to improved sleep in patients with fibromyalgia.

Researchers do note, however, that the positive effects of this therapy may not be permanent.

For more answers to your fibromyalgia questions, watch the other videos in this series.

 

 

This video was created by Healthguru.com and Dr. Betty Keller; Dr. Keller practices at the Optimal Wellness Center in Franklin Lakes, NJ.

Improve Fibromyalgia Sleep Quality (video)

Quality sleep is a big issue for people with fibromyalgia.  Persistent pain in muscles, tendons and ligaments can flare up randomly, even when you’re asleep or trying to sleep.    Lack of sleep is known to increase pain sensitivity — which can cause a whole cycle of sleeplessness, pain, and more sleeplessness.

How to increase your quality and quantity of sleep

There are a few things you can do to create better quality sleep patterns.  Set a regular sleep routine, going to bed and waking up at the same time every day.  Relax and soothe sore muscles by taking a bath in Epsom salts, or oils such as juniper or chamomile right before bed.  De-stress by practicing yoga or meditating, as stress is known to increase the pain of fibromyalgia symptoms.  Try changing your sheets:  natural fiber bedding to allows you to be more comfortable. People with fibromyalgia are known to have fluctuating body temperatures; controlling temperature changes with natural fiber sheets can reduce painful flare-ups.

Avoid alcohol, caffeine and exercise right before bed.

Recommended sleeping positions for people with fibromyalgia

Sleeping on your side is recommended for people with fibromyalgia.  It puts less pressure on tender spots.  Experiment with pillow arrangements for support and comfort.  Be sure to place your pillow so that you don’t create unnecessary stress on tender spots, especially by putting pressure on your neck.

Try different sleep positions, nightly routines, and ways to control stress until you find solutions that make you more comfortable and give you the support you need for a good night’s sleep.

 

This video was created by Healthguru.com and Dr. Betty Keller; Dr. Keller practices at the Optimal Wellness Center in Franklin Lakes, NJ.

 

Mind-Body Treatments (video)

Fibromyalgia can be difficult to treat, and mind-body therapies have been shown to be more effective than traditional treatments.  Reducing the stress that causes pain by relaxation and meditation are among the best mind-body options.  Other options include:  Biofeedback, hypnosis, breathing exercises, yoga, tai chi and guided imagery.

For more information on how to take control of your fibromyalgia therapy, watch the other vides in this series.

This video was created by Healthguru.com and Dr. Betty Keller; Dr. Keller practices at the Optimal Wellness Center in Franklin Lakes, NJ.

Get the Most from Your Doctor’s Appointment (video)

If you suffer from body-wide pain and suspect you might have fibromyalgia, you should visit a doctor for a proper diagnosis.  To get the most from your doctor’s appointment you need to be prepared ahead of time.

How to Prepare for Your Visit to the Doctor

  1. Create a timeline outlining the length of time you’ve been experiencing pain, how often and where it’s located.
  2. Rate your pain on a scale of 1-10 for each pain location.  Note how often the pain interferes with your daily life and how it affects your sleep.
  3. Bring a list of all your medications, over-the-counter and prescription, and include dosage, frequency and amounts.
  4. Write down any other types of treatments you’ve tried and the results of those treatments.  Bring copies of recent lab and medical records.
  5. Most importantly, write out any questions you have for the doctor.

It’s a good idea to bring someone along with you to either take notes or help you remember the discussion during your visit.

 

 

This video was created by Healthguru.com and Dr. Betty Keller; Dr. Keller practices at the Optimal Wellness Center in Franklin Lakes, NJ.

Fibromyalgia – Muscle and Joint Damage

Fibromyalgia is a syndrome, not a disease, triggered by over-activation of nerves.  It doesn’t damage your muscles, tendons and joints, but it may cause pain, stiffness and tenderness resulting in less physical activity.  Without physical activity muscles become weak and can’t provide enough protection to your joints, which become sore and stiff.  These muscles remain sore because they cannot repair themselves as well as someone who isn’t suffering with fibromyalgia.

Researchers have found that people suffering with fibromyalgia have elevated levels of a nerve growth factor and a chemical nerve signal called Substance P, in addition to low levels of Serotonin.  Through this research it is thought fibromyalgia is a neurological condition and not a muscular or joint condition.

 

 

This video was created by Healthguru.com and Dr. Betty Keller; Dr. Keller practices at the Optimal Wellness Center in Franklin Lakes, NJ.

Why Does Fibromyalgia Interfere with Normal Sleep? (video)

People with fibromyalgia often have trouble getting a normal night’s sleep.  The sharp and severe or dull and monotonous pain makes it hard to fall asleep or the pain often will wake you up after you have dozed off.  Sleep deprivation decreases the ability to tolerate pain and may actually increase pain.

Insomnia triggered by the pain and discomfort of fibromyalgia often becomes chronic.  There have been reports that people suffering from fatigue due to lack of sleep has cost them their jobs.  Often people are misdiagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, instead of being properly diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.

Schedule an appointment and talk with your doctor about ways of getting better quality sleep with Fibromyalgia.

 

This video was created by Healthguru.com and Dr. Betty Keller; Dr. Keller practices at the Optimal Wellness Center in Franklin Lakes, NJ.

 

 

Do Rheumatologists Treat Fibromyalgia? (video)

As a physician specializing in the treatment and diagnoses of arthritis and diseases of the joints, muscles, tendons and bones, a Rheumatologist treats chronic pain, including the pain associated with Fibromyalgia.  You can choose to see a Rheumatologist, but ultimately, you may get the best results from a team of doctors who communicate with each other and coordinate your care.

Careful management can help you control pain and fatigue and restore your quality of life.

This video was created by Healthguru.com and Dr. Betty Keller; Dr. Keller practices at the Optimal Wellness Center in Franklin Lakes, NJ.

 

Stress Reduction Techniques for Fibromyalgia (video)

Stress affects the symptoms of people suffering from fibromyalgia and make it worse.  There are lifestyle changes you can make to reduce stress, such as biofeedback, practicing breathing exercises, regular physical exercise, yoga and meditation.  A healthy diet and quality sleep are also recommended.  Making positive changes to your lifestyle will have a positive effect on the pain associated with fibromyalgia.

Please contact your physician to schedule a consultation to talk about your stress level and what you can do to improve it.

This video was created by Healthguru.com and Dr. Betty Keller; Dr. Keller practices at the Optimal Wellness Center in Franklin Lakes, NJ.

Is Fibromyalgia All in My Head? (video)

Fibromyalgia is difficult to diagnose.  It is considered as a syndrome, not a disease. A syndrome means it is a cluster of symptoms appearing together.  It is not caused by depression or a psychological disorder.

Fibromyalgia is a real neurological condition.  Don’t let anyone try to convince you the pain and fatigue is all in your head. 

 

 

This video was created by Healthguru.com and Dr. Betty Keller; Dr. Keller practices at the Optimal Wellness Center in Franklin Lakes, NJ.

Fibromyalgia and Fatigue (video)

Insomnia triggered by the pain and discomfort of fibromyalgia often becomes chronic.  There have been reports that people suffering from fatigue due to lack of sleep has cost them their jobs.  Often people are misdiagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, instead of being properly diagnosed with fibromyalgia.

Schedule an appointment with your doctor to find out how you can improve your sleep.

 

This video was created by Healthguru.com and Dr. Betty Keller; Dr. Keller practices at the Optimal Wellness Center in Franklin Lakes, NJ.

Fibromyalgia and Headaches (video)

A common symptom of fibromyalgia is headaches.  Many people suffering with fibromyalgia have headaches regularly every day.  There are many reasons for this, such as muscle spasms, sleep apnea or TMJ, Temporomandibular Joint Disorder – all triggers for chronic tension headaches.  Low levels of magnesium, which is common in people suffering with this syndrome, is known to increase chances of migraines.  Chronic pain causes people to be exhausted all the time and causes migraine headaches.  Not getting get enough sleep also causes migraine headaches. 

Fibromyalgia is associated with low levels of the neurotransmitter, Serotonin; and a lack of Serotonin will trigger migraines.  Headaches and fatigue intensify fibromyalgia pain making it that much harder to cope with the pain.  Depression becomes a greater risk too.

If you suffer from headaches regularly, see your doctor for a proper diagnosis. 

 

This video was created by Healthguru.com and Dr. Betty Keller; Dr. Keller practices at the Optimal Wellness Center in Franklin Lakes, NJ.

Drugs Specifically Approved to Treat Fibromyalgia (video)

There are currently only three drugs approved by the FDA to treat fibromyalgia. They are Lyrica, Cymbalta and Savella.

Lyrica

Lyrica was created to treat epilepsy. Lyrica calms down accelerated nerve signals associated with fibromyalgia and decreases pain messages that produce discomfort common with fibromyalgia.

Cymbalta

Cymbalta is an anti-depressant known to increase levels of Serotonin and Norepinephrine to help control and suppress pain. Research indicates increased levels of Serotonin and Norepinephrine help reduce painful nerve signals associated with fibromyalgia.

Savella

Savella is used to treat depression, but in the United States is only approved to treat fibromyalgia. It increases available levels of Serotonin and Norepinephrine thereby reducing pain and improving physical function.

If you think you may be suffering from fibromyalgia, see your doctor for a proper diagnosis.

This video was created by Healthguru.com and Dr. Betty Keller; Dr. Keller practices at the Optimal Wellness Center in Franklin Lakes, NJ.

Is Fibromyalgia a Real Disease? (video)

Fibromyalgia is difficult to diagnose.  It is recognized as a syndrome, not a disease, by the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American College of Rheumatology, the Arthritis Foundation and the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.  Describing fibromyalgia as a syndrome means it is a cluster of symptoms appearing together.  It is not caused by depression or a psychological disorder.

Fibromyalgia is a real neurological condition.  Don’t let anyone try to convince you the pain and fatigue is all in your head.  There are currently three FDA-approved drugs used to treat it and insurance companies have designated its own special code for insurance forms.

See your doctor for more information.

 

This video was created by Healthguru.com and Dr. Betty Keller; Dr. Keller practices at the Optimal Wellness Center in Franklin Lakes, NJ.

How Can I Learn to Cope More Effectively with Chronic Pain? (video)

If you are experiencing chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia, relief can be found by seeking professional counseling and help.  There are pain medications and steps you can take to control your pain and live your life again.  Start by acknowledging your feelings, eating healthy, getting restful, quality sleep, adopting a physical exercise program and seeking professional help.  Biofeedback is beneficial when used with cognitive behavioral therapy to control pain and regain control over your body.   Make yourself familiar with the triggers that cause your discomfort and create a plan of action to work with them.

Don’t suffer in silence.  Seek the help you need.

 

This video was created by Healthguru.com and Dr. Betty Keller; Dr. Keller practices at the Optimal Wellness Center in Franklin Lakes, NJ.

Depression and Fibromyalgia (video)

The relationship between fibromyalgia and depression runs deep.  Fibromyalgia patients are thought to have low levels of the mood and pain moderating brain chemicals such as Serotonin, Norepinephrine and Dopamine and chronic surges in Cortisol, the stress hormone. These low levels of brain chemicals are triggers for increased sensitivity to chronic pain, and they are also risk factors for depression.

People with fibromyalgia are more apt to experience clinical depression and anxiety than people who do not suffer with the condition.  Depression does not cause fibromyalgia.  Chronic pain associated with fibromyalgia triggers depression and anxiety and worsens the symptoms.

If you have fibromyalgia and are experiencing depression, see your doctor to discuss your treatment options.

 

This video was created by Healthguru.com and Dr. Betty Keller; Dr. Keller practices at the Optimal Wellness Center in Franklin Lakes, NJ.

What is the Connection Between Sleep Problems and Pain? (video)

In order to get a restful night’s sleep, we must experience cycles of light sleep, deep sleep and RIM (rapid eye movement).  Chronic pain caused by fibromyalgia interferes with the needed cycles of sleep causing the body to remain in the light sleep stage.  If deep sleep is never reached, we wake up tired and feeling as if we never slept at all.  These feelings are intensified in people with fibromyalgia by increasing their pain and other symptoms.

Studies have also shown that severe sleep problems create a greater risk of developing fibromyalgia, especially in middle-aged and older women.

Fibromyalgia can be difficult to treat.  Please see your physician for a proper diagnosis.

 

This video was created by Healthguru.com and Dr. Betty Keller; Dr. Keller practices at the Optimal Wellness Center in Franklin Lakes, NJ.

What are the Most Common Tender Spots Associated with Fibromyalgia? (video)

Fibromyalgia triggers pain radiating throughout the body from the neck to the toes.  Muscles feel stiff and achy.  These pains leave you feeling overly sensitive to the slightest touch.

How do you know if your pain is from fibromyalgia? 

It is found with fibromyalgia that there are tender spots where pain is substantially stronger, especially when touched.  These tender spots are found primarily around the joints, but not within the joints.

How are you diagnosed with fibromyalgia?

To be diagnosed with fibromyalgia, you must have pain in at least 11 of the 18 tender spots.  The spots are on both sides of the body in the following locations:

  • Front of the Neck
  • Chest
  • Back of Neck
  • Back Shoulder Area
  • Shoulder Blade Area
  • Outer Elbows
  • Inner Knees
  • Sides of the Hips
  • Buttocks

The reason for the tender spots is not clear.  They are usually superficial and located under the surface of the skin.  Inflammation is not found in the surrounding muscles or joints.

If you feel you have pain in these areas and suspect you might be suffering from fibromyalgia, make an appointment to see your doctor for a proper diagnosis.

 

This video was created by Healthguru.com and Dr. Betty Keller; Dr. Keller practices at the Optimal Wellness Center in Franklin Lakes, NJ.

Can Psychotherapy Reduce Chronic Pain? (video)

How does Psychotherapy treat chronic pain? 

There is a link between pain and the brain.  Our thoughts, moods and behavior respond to chronic pain.  A person suffering from chronic pain is three times more likely to develop mood or anxiety disorders than someone who doesn’t suffer from chronic pain.  Also, a depressed person is three times as likely to develop chronic pain than someone not depressed.  Treatment for fibromyalgia should include treating the psychological effects of pain.

It’s been said when depression is treated, pain might fade.  When pain fades, depression is likely to go away.  Psychotherapy teaches how to lessen and control psychological distress associated with chronic pain, helps ease depression or anxiety and teaches stress management skills. Following psychotherapy treatment allows people with fibromyalgia more control over their lives and improves pain and mood.

 

This video was created by Healthguru.com and Dr. Betty Keller; Dr. Keller practices at the Optimal Wellness Center in Franklin Lakes, NJ.

What are the Most Common Side Effects of Fibromyalgia Drugs? (video)

The FDA has approved three medications to treat and manage fibromyalgia.  Those medications are Lyrica, Cymbalta and Savella.  Each of these medications work for some people and can cause side effects.

Common side effects of each medication are:

Lyrica

  • Mild to moderate dizziness;
  • Sleepiness;
  • Blurred vision
  • Dry mouth; and
  • Swelling of the hands and feet

In rare cases, a severe allergic reaction can cause hives, swelling of the face and trouble breathing.  Avoid drinking alcohol while taking Lyrica.

Cymbalta

  • Constipation;
  • Dry mouth;
  • Nausea;
  • Dizziness upon standing may occur when first starting Cymbalta due to a drop in blood pressure.  Have your doctor check your blood pressure from time to time while using Cymblata;
  • Decreased appetite;
  • Decreased sex drive;
  • Drowsiness; and
  • Increased sweating.

Savella

  • Nausea;
  • Constipation;
  • Dizziness;
  • Sweating;
  • Insomnia;
  • High blood pressure;
  • Increased heart rate; and
  • Excessive sweating.

Before taking any medication for fibromyalgia, discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.  In rare cases in teens and young adults, a fibromyalgia medication may cause suicidal thoughts and actions.  Be particularly alert to any behavior indicating this kind of mood change.

Always check with your doctor before taking this or any medication.

 

This video was created by Healthguru.com and Dr. Betty Keller; Dr. Keller practices at the Optimal Wellness Center in Franklin Lakes, NJ.

Can Fibromyalgia be Cured? (video)

While some patients go into remission with the help of lifestyle changes and medical treatments, there is no known cure for fibromyalgia.  There are many different ways to manage and control the pain, but fibromyalgia is considered a chronic condition.  An occupational therapist and a physical therapist provide different ways of coping and managing the pain for many patients.  Along with the three prescription medications available today, alternative treatments have also been known to provide relief and improve symptoms related to fibromyalgia.

See your doctor for more information on managing the chronic pain of fibromyalgia.

 

This video was created by Healthguru.com and Dr. Betty Keller; Dr. Keller practices at the Optimal Wellness Center in Franklin Lakes, NJ.

Who Gets Fibromyalgia? (video)

Characteristics of Fibromyalgia

The cause of fibromyalgia is unknown and is difficult to treat.  It is characterized by chronic pain in the muscles, tendons and ligaments.  Of those people with fibromyalgia, most are women.  Anyone can develop fibromyalgia, but women are seven times more likely than men to suffer from the syndrome.

Fibromyalgia generally occurs between the ages of 20 to 50 and the risk increases with age.  People who have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis or autoimmune diseases, like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis or anklyosing spondylitis have a greater risk of developing fibromyalgia.

Other Risk Factors 

Insomnia and sleep problems are a risk factor for fibromyalgia.  People who consistently get a good night’s sleep are less likely to develop fibromyalgia than someone with chronic insomnia.  People with fibromyalgia have fluctuating levels of Serotonin, which helps regulate sleep and mood.  Low levels of this brain chemical can make you overly sensitive to pain.

Although we do not know what causes fibromyalgia or how to prevent it, we do know those living with it share these traits or risk factors.

 

This video was created by Healthguru.com and Dr. Betty Keller; Dr. Keller practices at the Optimal Wellness Center in Franklin Lakes, NJ.

What to Take for Fibromyalgia When Painkillers Aren’t Enough (video)

If pain killers don’t provide pain relief for managing your fibromyalgia, discuss with your doctor what other options are available to you.  There are three FDA-approved drugs on the market now.  They are the anti-convulsant, Lyrica, and Serotonin and Norepinephrine, reuptake inhibitors or SNRI’s like Cymbalta and Savella.  Making certain lifestyle changes can also provide relief when pain killers aren’t working.

Prescription Medications

Lyrica

Lyrica calms down the accelerated nerve signals associated with fibromyalgia, decreasing the pain messages producing discomfort.

Cymbalta

Cymbalta is an anti-depressant that increases levels of Serotonin and Norepinephrine to help control and suppress pain.  Research indicates that increased levels of Serotonin and Norepinephrine help reduce painful nerve signals associated with fibromyalgia.

Savella

Savella also increases the available levels of Serotonin and Norepinephrine thereby reducing pain and improving physical function.

Lifestyle Changes

Choosing positive over negative is a first step you can take for reducing pain.  Switching to an anti-inflammatory whole-food diet, including vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, nuts, legumes, whole grains, healthy fats like Omega-3 Fatty Acid and nutritional supplements may help reduce your pain.  Avoid foods you may be over-sensitive to and keep a food journal to pinpoint those foods.  Other alternative treatments include cognitive behavioral therapy, regular exercise, massage, acupuncture and relaxation techniques, like meditation and yoga.

See your doctor to discuss a treatment plan that works for you.

 

This video was created by Healthguru.com and Dr. Betty Keller; Dr. Keller practices at the Optimal Wellness Center in Franklin Lakes, NJ.

 

 

Sam-E and Fibromyalgia Pain (video)

Could Sam-E be Beneficial to You?

Research has found Sam-E relieves symptoms of osteoarthritis and depression.  How it benefits fibromyalgia is mixed.  The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine suggests benefits could be tied to the anti-depressant effects of Sam-E.  Studies show people using an injectable form of Sam-E experienced reduced pain, fatigue, stiffness and a depressed mood.  Only some people taking it by mouth benefitted from Sam-E.

Check with your doctor to see if Sam-E is right for you.

 

This video was created by Healthguru.com and Dr. Betty Keller; Dr. Keller practices at the Optimal Wellness Center in Franklin Lakes, NJ.

How Can I Prevent Fibromyalgia Flare-ups? (video)

Fibromyalgia is a syndrome characterized by chronic, full-body pain and tenderness in the joints, muscles, tendons and other soft tissue.  Researchers aren’t clear what causes it and there is no known cure for the condition.  A few possible triggers have been uncovered and thought to aggravate fibromyalgia in those suffering with the syndrome.

Possible Triggers – It’s possible physical and emotional stress, illness or infection and abnormal pain responses may trigger flare ups.  Some triggers can be avoided by lifestyle changes.  Other triggers are responsive to psychotherapy or managed with medications and complimentary treatments.

Prescription Medications for Managing Fibromyalgia  – There are only three FDA-approved medications for the management of the pain associated with fibromyalgia.  They are:  Cymbalta, Savella and Lyrica.

Lyrica – Lyrica is an anticonvulsant that calms down the accelerated nerve signals associated with fibromyalgia, decreasing the pain messages producing discomfort.

Cymbalta – Cymbalta is an anti-depressant that increases levels of Serotonin and Norepinephrine to help control and suppress pain.  Research indicates that increased levels of Serotonin and Norepinephrine help reduce painful nerve signals associated with fibromyalgia.

Savella – Savella also increases the available levels of Serotonin and Norepinephrine thereby reducing pain and improving physical function.

Alternative Treatments – Yoga, meditation and acupuncture help ease pain for some.  Supplements such as Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Vitamin D, Vitamin B Complex, Lysine and Magnesium work for others.  Sometimes people experience pain relief just by eating a healthy diet or soaking in a hot bath.

Each fibromyalgia case is unique.  What works for one person might possibly trigger a flare up in another person.  Work with your doctor to find what preventive therapies work best for you.

 

 

This video was created by Healthguru.com and Dr. Betty Keller; Dr. Keller practices at the Optimal Wellness Center in Franklin Lakes, NJ.

Natural Dietary Supplements (video)

Could supplements help treat symptoms of fibromyalgia? 

Research organizations list supplements as a complimentary treatment providing benefits to patients with fibromyalgia, but there is no conclusive research to support the benefits:  Three supplements might help manage the pain: Sam-E, 5-HTP, and capsaicin.  There are no FDA regulations for supplements and there may be limited information about the ingredients, side effects and dosage.

5-HTP or 5 Hydroxy Tryptophan – A supplement made from the seed of an African plant that is said to help raise available levels Serotonin.  The University of Maryland Medical Center has said that 5-HTP can improve fibromyalgia-related pain, anxiety, stiffness and fatigue.  They do note that more studies are needed.

Sam-E – Research has found Sam-E relieves symptoms of osteoarthritis and depression.  It’s still not clear how it benefits fibromyalgia.  The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine suggests benefits could be tied to the anti-depressant effects of Sam-E.  Studies show people using an injectable form of Sam-E experienced reduced pain, fatigue, stiffness and a depressed mood, but only some people taking it orally benefitted from Sam-E.

Capsaicin – Capsaicin is a chemical providing fire to hot peppers used in topical creams and in high potency 8% patches to block pain messages.  One study found that a single 60 minute application in patients with neuropathic pain provided pain relief for up to 12 weeks.  Talk to your doctor about using over-the-counter creams or the patch.

It is extremely important to make an appointment to speak with your doctor to discuss any supplements you want to try and be sure they work with other medications you are taking.

 

This video was created by Healthguru.com and Dr. Betty Keller; Dr. Keller practices at the Optimal Wellness Center in Franklin Lakes, NJ.

Alternative Treatments for Fibromyalgia Pain (video)

In addition to the medications recommended by your physician, there are many alternative treatments for control of fibromyalgia pain.  Here are a few examples of alternative treatments you might want to try:

  1. Acupuncture to reduce muscle pain;
  2. A nice massage to reduce stress and depression;
  3. Physical exercise – very important in managing fibromyalgia pain; 
    1. Water therapy to reduce muscle strain;
    2. Light aerobics; 
    3. Yoga class, while practicing relaxation techniques, to help with depression and sleep issues; 
  4. Experiment with herbs and nutritional supplements to help reduce anxiety and pain; and  
  5. Some people find aroma therapy to be very relaxing, thereby reducing stress.

Discuss with your doctor which alternative treatments you have tried and the affects that resulted. 

 

This video was created by Healthguru.com and Dr. Betty Keller; Dr. Keller practices at the Optimal Wellness Center in Franklin Lakes, NJ.

Can Fibromyalgia Go Away? (video)

Medications relieve the pain and discomfort associated with fibromyalgia, but it will not go away on its own.  There is no known cure for fibromyalgia. By following treatment set out by a physician, adopting healthy lifestyle changes and avoiding stress, remission has been known to occur.  Remission can last as long as 2 months before reoccurring.  There is one reported case of a 20 year long remission.

Please make an appointment to see your doctor if you feel you are suffering from fibromyalgia.

This video was created by Healthguru.com and Dr. Betty Keller; Dr. Keller practices at the Optimal Wellness Center in Franklin Lakes, NJ.

 

How Physical Therapy Helps Fibromyalgia (video)

Regular exercise is important in managing fibromyalgia.  A physical therapist will create and implement an exercise routine that targets your symptoms using special body therapies and special stretches to relieve tension.  A physical therapist will also help you correct those lifelong bad habits contributing to your pain.

See your doctor to discuss whether a physical therapist is right for you.

 

This video was created by Healthguru.com and Dr. Betty Keller; Dr. Keller practices at the Optimal Wellness Center in Franklin Lakes, NJ.

More Energy with Chronic Pain and Fatigue (video)

People with fibromyalgia experience a loss of energy, along with constant pain and chronic fatigue.  There are effective ways of regaining your energy, but you have to be realistic.  Below are 3 tips to regain energy:

No. 1:  Stress Less
If you have less stress, it is less likely pain flare-ups will occur.  This will improve your chances of getting a good night’s rest also.  Acupuncture, acupressure, therapeutic massage, aroma therapy, water therapy, breathing and relaxation techniques and counseling and/or support groups all help reduce stress.

No. 2:  Adopt a Healthy Diet

Your body needs the right fuel to function optimally.  Pain and stiffness reduction can occur by improving your diet.  A whole-food based, anti-inflammatory diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, such as legumes, nuts, whole grains, and healthy fats found in flaxseed, fish, avocadoes and walnuts.  You should avoid eating overly-processed foods, such as white bread, cookies, cakes and crackers.

No. 3: Regular exercise. 

Decrease pain and boost mood with regular aerobic exercise combined with strength training.  You will also experience more energy, less pain and better sleep.  Start out gradually and increase your exercise as your strength increases.  Stress hormones aggravate fibromyalgia symptoms and can be minimized by practicing yoga or tai chi.

For more answers to your fibromyalgia questions, check out other videos in this series.

This video was created by Healthguru.com and Dr. Betty Keller; Dr. Keller practices at the Optimal Wellness Center in Franklin Lakes, NJ.

What to Tell Your Doctor About Chronic Pain (video)

It’s critical to discuss your pain symptoms with your doctor, no matter how small, to obtain a proper diagnosis.  A fibromyalgia diagnosis is based on a physical exam and your symptoms.

Use this checklist at your next doctor’s appointment:

  • Exact location of pain: Neck, shoulders, elbows or knees – common tender spots with fibromyalgia
  • Pains that come and go: Not just the pains you are experiencing the day of your appointment
  • Ongoing pains in other parts of your body – also symptoms of fibromyalgia
  • Headaches
  • Painful menstrual periods
  • Digestive problems
  • Sleep habits -Sleepiness during the day – interference with your job or other daily routines

Your doctor needs to know every kind of pain you are experiencing to properly diagnose your symptoms and determine if you are suffering from fibromyalgia.  Make an appointment to see your doctor today.

This video was created by Healthguru.com and Dr. Betty Keller; Dr. Keller practices at the Optimal Wellness Center in Franklin Lakes, NJ.

What Kind of Doctor Treats Fibromyalgia? (video)

Fibromyalgia can be difficult to treat, and not all doctors may understand it. You need to find a physician who listens to you, who has treated many cases of fibromyagia, and who has an interest and knowledge in treating it.

General practitioners, neurologists, rheumatologists or pain specialists may be qualified. It’s important to find a doctor who listens to you so you can find a treatment plan that works for you. Ultimately, you may get best results from a team of doctors who communicate with each other and coordinate your care.

Careful management can help you control pain and fatigue, and restore your quality of life.

This video was created by Healthguru.com and Dr. Betty Keller; Dr. Keller practices at the Optimal Wellness Center in Franklin Lakes, NJ.