Saturday, January 30, 2010

A Cosmic 2 X 4...Alpha Lipoic Acid

A Cosmic 2 X 4 is an attention-getting mechanism from Spirit, God, or the heavens above that ensures I "get the message." Picture a 2 X 4 banging me over the head until the message sinks in.

This often comes in the form of a word or a phrase coming at me (just showing up) repeatedly, sometimes for days, until I finally "get it." I'll open a magazine--there's that word. I'll get a phone call and someone will have a question about that word or topic. An "accidental" click of the mouse, an over-heard conversation, a TV comercial, a piece of paper falling off my desk face-up and there it is...again!!

All of these not-so-subtle hints usually means that I need to do something with this word. In this case, talk about it... The word? NERVE PAIN.

Twelve years ago, when I decided that I was unwilling to be subject to permanent prescriptions for this syndrome, I chose to use a natural approach and began researching supplements, herbals and trial and erroring multiple treatments like acupuncture, chiropractic, and much more. After the first month of research I began taking Magnesium, Malic Acid, Omega 3 EPA-DHA and a multi-vitamin. And I read that antioxidants were helpful too. The anti-oxidant I chose was Alpha Lipoic Acid because it is generally considered a super-antioxidant. It actually cleans up Vitamins C and E, then puts them back to work. Being a fat soluble AND water soluble antioxidant, it can do it's job anywhere and everywhere in the body, unlike other territory-specific antioxidants.

This combination of supplements, along with the other alternative therapies I was doing (and some things I was NOT doing any more) proved to be quite beneficial for my particular brand of Fibromyalgia symptoms, especially the pain.

But it wasn't until I began doing even more in depth research for my book, Managing Fibromyalgia - Getting to know Your Aggravators that I discovered how I had "accidentally" (if you believe in accidents) stumbled onto the one supplement that had helped my NERVE PAIN ten years earlier. I had assumed that my sizzling, tingling and burning skin, numb and tingling fingers and toes, and electric shock-like zaps of pain shooting up my legs and down my arms had been helped by just the right the combination of everything I had chosen to use, and do.

But in my research, I found out that this antioxidant, Alpha Lipoic Acid, had been used for 30 years in Germany, Switzerland and most of Europe for Diabetic Neuropathy...NERVE PAIN. It's not only used for diabetics, though. In fact, there are more than one hundred different types of periferal nerve pain according to the National Institute of Health (NIH), and Alpha Lipoic Acid is used for many of them in Europe, and by many Naturopathic, Holistic and knowledgeable Physicians here in the states.

An interesting note by Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum in his book Pain Free 1-2-3, tells that Benedryl, the antihistamine, also helps nerve pain for some people, although they don't really know why. He says Capsaicin also helps some people because it helps neutralize Substance P.

For more information about Alpha Lipoic Acid:
check out Univ.of Maryland Medical Center at
Or check out the article on,
Or check out the Mayo Clinic

NOTE: before taking any supplements please ask your doctor if they may be right for you. Please tell your doctor all the supplements you may be taking in order to avoid any unwanted interactions.

Keep smiling everyone! It's Important! *:)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Fibro Notes, Acid-Alkaline Factor

"Fibro Notes" are born from our local Fibromyalgia Support Group, which meets the second tuesday of each month.

September of last year (2009) I invited A wonderful couple to come speak at our Fibromyalgia Support Group, and demonstrate their Kangen Water Filter. Not only did they inform us of the acididty of our local water and numerous bottled waters, they also stressed the importance of the antioxidant nature of alkaline water. We had all brought small water bottles to take home samples, but they had brought 20 or so clean, empty milk jugs to give us even more free samples! This alkaline water was much appreciated by all who took it home-- which was everyone, of course!

Chronic illness and diseases of all kinds, Fibromyalgia, osteoporosis, arthritis, even cancer included, tend to run amok in a body that is acidic. In fact, Acidity breeds illness. And it makes it much harder for ANY kind of treatment of bring the body back to "normal."

The correct balance of acid to alkaline in the diet is 25% acidic foods (and drinks) to 75% alakline. The problem lies in our Western diet where these percentages are dramatically askew! With powerful acidics such as soft drinks, hydrogenated foods, trans fats, sugar, artificial sweeteners, and the everyday "normal" stuff like coffee, white bread, meats and refined-everything, it's nearly impossible to keep up that alkaline percentage!

Alkaline water helps raise the body's alkalinity, as do most fruits and vegetables (maybe that's one reason we're always told to "eat our fruits and veggies"). Onions and garlic, parsley and olive oil are all alkaline, as are green tea and herbal tea. A slice of lemon or lime added to your regular drinking water or tea will also help. Even though these and other citrus fruits like oranges are acidic to start with, once they enter the body they are converted to bicarbonates - Alklines. There is a new 0 calorie sugar substitute called Just Like Sugar, which has a pH of 8 that will help add to your alkalinity.

A few websites that tell more about the importance of acid-alakine balance are:,

Keep smiling everyone! It's important! *:)

Friday, January 22, 2010


Hello Everyone! Anyone!

This is basically a place where I intend to post helpful information about Fibromyalgia, and about how you can help YOU. Everyone is different, as is everyone's particular brand of Fibromyalgia. So the idea is to pick and choose what resonates with you and your particular style of this compound complex disorder. Not everything works for everyone. But the more you know, the better choices you can make.

I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia nearly 12 years ago. After the first month of Flexeril and Elavil, even though they helped tremendously at first, I realized that I didn't want to be raising the doses and become dependant on these or any other prescriptions. I asked my doctor, a D.O., if he could recommend anything natural that could help.

Little did I know that this simple request would open a floodgate of research, trial and error, visits to countless alternative and complementary websites of medical schools such as The University of Michigan Pain and Fatigue Research Center, University of Maryland Medical Center, The National Institute of Health (NIH), medical abstracts from, WebMd. and numerous other sites. All the while trying this and that, experimenting with different methods of treatments such as Acupuncture, Chiropractic, Massage therapy, Magnet Therapy, Light Therapy.

Much less did I realize that it would ultimately lead to my writing Managing Fibromyalgia- Getting to know your Aggravators (Treble Heart Books 2008), available at my website (along with more Fibro information and other helpful stuff), and, and

Although meditation and deep breathing exercises were already a part of my life back then, I found that when you're in pain it's REALLY hard to empty your mind and breath evenly... try as you might. I needed to be centered enough to get to a place where I COULD meditate. The deep breathing actually hurt sometimes, because my neck and shoulders would clamp up like a vice to where I couldn't move my head!

My doctor ended up giving me trigger point injections just so I could move! That helped a lot. But he said it could clamp up again. So I started doing a few neck and shoulder exercises - very slowly, very gently, two or three times a day to strengthen the muscles. I couldn't move my head far to the left or right or up or down, but I moved it just a slight bit farther each and every day until it became normal again. That was about two months after I was diagnosed, and I am still doing these exercises daily, twelve years later. I'm doing loads of other things too. And as I go along, I'll fill you in.

I have started a Fibromyalgia Support Group in my home town, near Notre Dame, in the heart of the country, and I will be inserting what has come to be called my "Fibro Notes," and other bits of info as I come across it. STAY TUNED.

Friday, January 15, 2010


Please check back soon for notes and articles on Managing Fibromyalgia