I hope everyone is feeling chipper and as pain free as possible today.
Well, you know me, if I find something interesting about FM, I have to share it with my buddies.
First thing is, on ebay, there is a book that is for sale that has been written by our fellow Fibromites from all over the world and is being sold to promote FM Awareness Day. You'll have to check out ebay to see exactly where the proceeds go.(not sure) But it is a book and it's titled Fibromyalgia Life's Stories
and like I said, it is a compilation of "our" stories.
Okay, second, I found some interesting information regarding all these anti-D's that our docs seem to "throw" at us when they first dx us with FM. ( you know how I hate these things, personally!
Well, in Dr. Rodger Murphee's book, some of you all are familiar with his books, he talks about these anti-D's in depth, so I'd like to share a little bit of what I found in his book and his research.
Dr. Murphee addresses the importance of serotonin and sleep.
****Jeremy, there is a whole section of information about restorative sleep in this part of his writings that is really interesting to you.**** Dr. Murphee lists some of the medications that, in his opinion, DO NOT help with resorative sleep, and the ones that do. I can list those later, since a lot of us are taking some of these meds. Anyway, this is a little part of what Dr. Murphee says in his writings. I also want to note, just for board policy, that this material can be shared and reproduced with the permission of Dr. Murphee. He WANTS us to get the news out. The following info is taken from the research he has done and that I have saved in my own file and put together so I can share with others, all info is available publicly. So this information, although I have changed some of the content around, is shared with permission. I have tried really hard not to break any of the board rules, and I have also tried to "reword"(in some places) Dr. Murphee's findings so that I am not plagerizing him(sp?).
Dr. Murphee author's a book titled: Treating and Beating Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - A Patient's Self-Help Manual.
that provides the info about each subject. I believe this is a new addition to his book (A Patient's Self-Help Manual) already out titled "Treating and Beating FM and CF" (shortend, for space) This is a new "self help manual" out in April that address certain single problems we have with FM/CFS and takes us step by step showing us how to treat the ailment "naturally" and then there is a quesitonierre to help us understand exactly how these symptoms are affecting our lives and how we are best helped. Kind of a question and answer section for each ailment. Some of the info in this post is taken from parts of this book and manual as well as other sources of info that Dr. Murphee has written. The Importance of Serotonin and Sleep
∑ Serotonin, a neurotransmitter, helps regulate sleep, digestion, pain, mood, and mental clarity. Normal serotonin levels help:
∑ raise the pain threshold (have less pain).
∑ you to fall asleep and stay asleep through the night.
∑ regulate moods. It is known as "the happy hormone." (*I like that!
∑ reduce sugar cravings and over-eating.
∑ increase a person's mental abilities.
∑ regulate normal gut motility (transportation of food-stuff) and irritable bowel
∑ syndrome (IBS).
Here is some more info about serotonin that Dr. Murphee states in his book:
The amino acid (found in protein) tryptophan turns into 5-hydroxytroptohan, which turns into serotonin, and then into melatonin. Vitamins and minerals are essential, too, of course. A deficiency of any of the synergistic (I had to look this word up, but thought it was good for us to learn!
) nutrients magnesium, calcium, and vitamins B6, B12, B1, and B3 will prevent the production of serotonin. Prescription medications can block the production of these nutrients and so deplete serotonin.
Dr. Murphee says that we are naturally built with a "savings account" of the following chemicals, serotonin, dopamine, noriepinephrine, cortisol, DHEA, HGH, and others, these help us deal with stress. And everytime we experience stress or some kind of incident with our FM or CF Syndrome, it depletes this "savings account". He says that we are emptying this savings account by making more "withdrawls" than "deposits". He then goes on to discuss how we make "deposits" of these chemicals by obtaining deep restoritive sleep which makes serotonin. And since us Fibromites usually do not obtain deep restorative sleep, we don't make enough serotonin to replace what we lost during the day, so it's a vicious cycle. Here's where the anti-D's come into play. You know some of our docs push those SSRIS at us to "increase serotonin". Well, here is what Dr. Murphee has to say about these meds. Why Not Just Take an Antidepressant?
Antidepressant drugs have been used with varying degrees of success in treating the sleeplessness of FMS and CFS. Many patients are on Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIS (Prozac, Paxil, Celexa, Lexapro, Zoloft, etc.). SSRIS are supposed to help a patient hang on to and use his or her naturally occurring stores of serotonin. This is like using a gasoline additive to help increase the efficiency of your car's fuel. But most of the patients Dr. Murphee sees, he claims, are running on fumes; there is no gasoline in their tank (no serotonin in their brain)! A gasoline additive (SSRI) won't help. SSRIS don't make serotonin, they only help a person hang on to and use the serotonin they already have.( *I did not know this, my doc never told me this part!) Unfortunately, most individuals with FMS don't have any serotonin. There is nothing to reuptake. (*Hmmmm.....)
No one has a SSRI (anti-depressant) deficiency.
This is where Dr. Murphee recommends 5HTP. He says it's like pouring gasoline straight into our "tanks". This is what he says about 5HTP: "5HTP is a derivative of the amino acid tryptophan. When taken correctly, it turns right into serotonin. Serotonin is the neurotransmitter or brain chemical that is responsible for regulating your sleep (getting you to sleep), raising your pain threshold (decreasing your pain), and elevating your moods. " He says that using this amino acid may take awhile to help build up your serotonin but he believes it is so much better than taking those scripts. Dr. Murphee also believes that 5HTP helps the additional problems: depression, FMS, insomnia, binge eating, pain, and chronic headaches. Now, mind you, these are just his determinations. He is a doctor, but he uses a homeopathic method to treat FM/CFS which may not be for everyone. A lot of folks are comfortable taking their prescriptions.
Okay, here is the part where he addresses all those sleep meds we take. He says that they simply "knock us out". We are not naturally falling into deep restorative sleep. If you don't dream for instance, you are simply medicated, you are not in natural sleep. I gotta say, I take one of these meds, and I am afraid to wean off of it, because it DOES, help me sleep straight through the night, but I DO notice that I usually wake up in the same position that I went to sleep in. I DO dream though. Not all the time, but I do. I like the idea that I'm not tossing and turning because of my back, I cannot turn myself over without help or support. Dr. Murphee claims that most of us will feel "hung over" in the morning while taking these sleep meds. I do feel that. Here is the list of meds that he says DO NOT (in his opinion) obtain restorative sleep: Sleep Medications that don't Promote Deep Restorative Sleep:
∑ Gabitril (tiagabine) and Neurontin (abapentin)
∑ Zanaflex (tizanidine)
∑ Xanax (alprazolam), Ativan (lorazepam), Valium (diazepam), Tranxene (clorazepate dipotassium), Serax (oxazepam), Librium (chlordiazepoxide), and Restoril (temazepam)
∑ Soma (carisprodol) is a muscle relaxant that can be very sedating.
∑ Klonopin (clonazepam) ***this is what I have been taking for nearly 3 years for sleep, I also take Soma, and have tried Zanaflex***(Klonopin is an anti-anxiety med, as are some of the other med's listed)
∑ Unisom (doxylamine) is an over-the-counter antihistamine. Sleep Medications that do Promote Restorative Sleep
∑ Trazadone ***I have taken Flexeril and Trazadone, and they haven't helped me, personally***
Okay, there you have it. I just had to tell you about the anti-D's (hate those things! LOL) and in Dr. Murphee's book he address how exactly to use 5HTP so that it benefits you the most. Also, just a bit of info for those of us with CFS. There has been research that shows that 5HTP does not work for CFS patients. It is recommended that for those of us who have CFS, 5HTP be taken during the day, if possible, to help build up serotonin during the day. Now they recommend Fibromties use it at bedtime as well as during the day, depending on how it helps them. There is info in Dr. Murphee's book and on the web as to how to use 5HTP if you choose to go that route to help you increase your serotonin.
I hope some of you get a little "out" of this info. Roll it around in your mind. It's not for everyone. I don't take anti-D's, but I do take Klonopin for sleep. I DO believe that there can be alternatives to some meds we are taking.
Enjoy the read.
Here's wishing you a good spirit,
P.S. I want to add, (thanks to marshwiggle!) to please be sure to check with your doc before trying any of the therapies mentioned here or in any book that promotes "homeopathic" treatments using supplements and amino acids.