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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Cures or Hype?

I have watched videos and read testimonials on different blogs and sites for the past couple of days. I watched the trailer for a documentary that is to be released soon dealing with food and chronic diseases. Everyone, it seems, is jumping on the bandwagon of "curing" diabetes, fibromyalgia, hypertension and a myriad of other diseases so common in our society today. I have to wonder, what exactly is the motivation? Is it money, fame, or a sincere desire to help?

A few sites tout their system or treatment as revolutionary and the cure for fibromyalgia and CFS. One that I viewed tonight dealt with electrical impulses. The doctor in the video stated that you would have to be screened and then it would be decided if you were a candidate for treatment.

A new documentary "Forks over Knives", the trailer I spoke of previously, looked at the western diet as the cause of all our chronic illnesses. This appeared to advocate a vegan diet and called for the exclusion of all animal products in the layman's diet.

Another website called attention to vitamin D and the miracle of adding "their" particular supplements to the diet. I have personally tried this approach with no reduction in symptoms noted over a 3 month period. I did have the bloodwork done and was diagnosed with a low level of the vitamin and took the doctor recommended dosage.

Of course, there is the virus factor that has been bandied about too. This one remains interesting to me but does not appear to be attracting the interest of a majority of researchers.

The most plausible research to date seems to be the CNS link to trauma and the onset of CFS/fibromyalgia. No cure has been suggested but I believe more will be said about this topic in the future.

Okay, that all being said, what do all these sites claim? Cures: supplemental vitamin D, certain herbal supplements, vegan diet, electrical stimulation of the brain, chiropractic, magnets and so forth. I have tried a few of these and with little noted results. My chiropractor has been of the most benefit with heat packs, manipulation and electric stimulation directly to the muscles, however, this is symptom management, not a cure.

I believe that as chronic pain sufferers, we want to believe these claims. We want to believe the hype. We want to try the products or services in the hope that, just maybe, our pain will be gone. That we can rejoin the normal world. A day, week, month or lifetime of no more unrelenting pain. I fear that we are often throwing our money, faith and even health down a rabbit hole. If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is not a good idea. I am not against new ideas but I hate the idea of someone capitalizing on my pain, as if my suffering was something to be played with, to be trampled into the dirt for a profit. I am confident that the research currently being done will shed light on this condition, but until that happens let common sense be your guide. Find a good doctor and stay with him. Find something that works, even if it is as old school as my trusty heating pad. In addition, don't ignore the role of faith and prayer in dealing with the daily pain and fatigue.

Until a cure is found, buyer beware my friends! God bless.

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