Sunday, May 8, 2011

Dehydration Contributes to Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Hormones that may be Affected by Hypothalamic Dysfunction           

The hypothalamus is the master gland controlling the activity of most other glands in the body.
This small gland coordinates a phenomenal portion of the body’s activity. The hypothalamus receives and transmits messages from the nervous system and hormonally through the circulatory system.

Because of its broad sphere of influence, the hypothalamus could be considered the homeostatic regulating center. It regulates appetite, monitors blood sugar, blood volume (fluid level within the circulatory system), and metabolism. It is the coordinating center for much of the autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system is like our little robot that controls all of our unconscious functions including breathing, heartbeat and digestion.

Low Vasopressin (anti-diuretic hormone). 
This causes decreased ability to hold on to fluid resulting in frequent urination and increased thirst. 
Dehydration then occurs despite increased water intake.  Because vasopressin is also a stimulus for adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and adrenal function, low vasopressin could also result in decreased adrenal function.  Both dehydration and low cortisol (a hormone secreted by the adrenals) can increase the susceptibility to NMH.

“How do you tell who has the worst case of FMS or CFS?  By the size of their water bottle.”

Dehydration can cause many of the chronic symptoms seen in FMS and CFS including NMH, depression, excess body weight, high blood pressure, fatigue, low back and neck pain, and headaches.

Dehydration depletes the neurotransmitter serotonin. A reduction in serotonin is associated with insomnia, increased pain and depression and is a major cause of fibromyalgia!

From Dr. Batmanghelidj and his book “Your Body’s Many Cries for Water” comes the following;
“The human body is composed of 25% solid matter (the solute) and 75% water (the solvent). The brain tissue is said to consist of 85% water...It is the solvent-the water content-that regulates all functions of the body, including the activity of all the solutes (the solids) that are dissolved in it.

The disturbances in water metabolism of the body (the solvent metabolism) produces a variety of signals, indicating a “system” disturbance in the particular functions associated with water supply and its rationed regulation. Let me repeat, every function of the body is monitored and pegged to the efficient flow of water. “Water distribution” is the only way of making sure that, not only an adequate amount of water, but its transported elements, hormones, chemical messengers and nutrients first reach the more vital organs…

However, since water shortage in different areas of the body will manifest varying symptoms, signals and complications now labeled as disease, as soon as water is offered as a natural solution, people may think this could not be so!”

I recommend my patients drink pure water-half their weight in ounces on a daily basis.

The above material comes from my book “Treating and Beating Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.”

You can read more about my book by clicking the link below-

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Electromagnetic Fields And Poor Sleep

Artificially generated electromagnetic Fields (EMFs) are produced when alternating current passes through electrical wires or a portal device, like your cell phone. The energy that's produced, known as an EMF, exerts pressure and impacts everything around it including the cells in your body.

The Earth has its own static electromagnetic fields, with magnetic poles located roughly at our North and South Poles. We don't fully understand these magnetic fields. We do know that many of our basic bodily functions, including sleep and sense of direction are largely controlled by these fields.

For decades, numerous scientific entities including the World Health Organization have been telling the public that there are almost no credible health risks from excess exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs). The official public-health-agency position is that, aside from a small increased risk of childhood leukemia, consumers are perfectly safe no matter how many appliances litter their homes and offices, or how many power lines exist nearby.

However, this view is being challenged by dozens of studies including the $8 million, seven-year study by the California Electro Magnetic Fields (EMF) Program.
"To one degree or another, all three of the scientists who worked on the EMF Program are inclined to believe that electromagnetic fields (EMFs) can cause some degree of increased risk of childhood leukemia, adult brain cancer, Lou Gehrig's disease and miscarriage," says Dr. Raymond Neutra, one of the scientists who wrote the report.

I’ve been educating my fibromyalgia patients about the potential dangers of excess EMFs for several years now. I’m particularly concerned EMFs and their ability to deplete normal melatonin levels. Low melatonin levels contribute to poor sleep- linked to numerous health conditions including anxiety, depression, fibromyalgia, obesity, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, hypothyroid, low metabolism, accelerated aging, heart disease, high blood pressure, chronic pain, diabetes, and migraine headaches.

The Importance of Melatonin
The pineal gland is located at the base of our brain, and the ancient Greeks considered it the seat of the soul. This thought may not be far off, since the pineal gland is responsible for releasing melatonin, an extremely important hormone that plays a vital role in regulating the body’s sleep-wake cycle.

Melatonin is a potent antioxidant that plays a part in preventing cancer, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, diabetes, colds, chronic inflammation, fibromyalgia, mood disorders, headaches, and heart disease.

Once a curiosity to scientists, melatonin is now known to slow down or perhaps even reverse the effects of aging. It’s also a powerful antioxidant that, unlike other antioxidants, can cross the blood-brain barrier and attack any free radicals floating around in the brain. This is perhaps one reason why it is so important in preventing Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, two illnesses that attack the brain.

Normally, melatonin levels in your body begin to rise in the mid-to-late evening, remain high for most of the night, and then decline in the early morning hours.
But some things can work against your body’s production of melatonin. Levels gradually decline with age, and some older adults produce very small amounts or none at all.
Melatonin is also affected by a person’s exposure to light.

Levels start to rise as the sun goes down and drop off as the sun comes up. The eyes are extremely sensitive to changes in light, and an increase in light striking the retina triggers a decrease in melatonin production. Conversely, limited exposure to light increases melatonin production.

Exposure to electromagnetic fields can also deplete melatonin. Do you keep any of these things in your bedroom? Electric clock or radio, electric blanket, sound machine, cell phone, electric telephone, electric fan, television, or computer? In fact, any plugged-in electrical device generates electromagnetic fields. I recommend you remove all EMF generating appliances from your bedroom.

Melatonin levels can also be decreased by certain drugs including non-steroidal anti- inflammatory (NSAIDs), antidepressants (SSRI’s), and anti-anxiety medications (benzodiazepines).

Sleep Hygiene
If you’re like some 20 million Americans who find it hard to fall asleep at night find it hard to fall asleep at night, you may be suffering from delayed sleep phase insomnia- a disruption of normal circadian rhythms. Removing those melatonin- zapping EMFs from your bedroom may be all you need to do for a good night’s sleep.
However, if your melatonin levels are really depleted, you may need to use over the counter melatonin replacement therapy. Studies have shown that 3-6 mg. of melatonin taken at 11 p.m. helps reset these rhythms while providing deep restorative sleep.

An alternative to supplementing is to get more melatonin in the foods you eat. Foods high in melatonin include oats, sweet corn, rice, Japanese radishes, tomatoes, barley, and bananas.

I recommend that before bed, you turn off the TV, computer, avoid all EMF generating gadgets (cell phones), and find a comfortable, quiet room (other than your bedroom) where you can read something pleasant by the light of a soft low-wattage lamp.

Relax and read or listen to soothing music for 30 minutes to an hour. Keep the lights low, and avoid any stimulation, especially the TV. Simply pour one cup of Epsom salts into a warm bath, and soak.

Sweet dreams.