I received the following newsletter from Fibromyalgia Symptoms today and thought some of you might be interested in the info it contains. You can subscribe to this email from their site. I find this to be the best, most informed and up to date site on Fibromyalgia. It has acres of information for sufferers and Doctors.
I am particularly interest in the info on pH levels. I never knew the testing would be so easy and something we can do at home.
May 12 Is Fibromyalgia Awareness Day
People across the world are organizing, talking and publicizing. The goal is to create awareness of Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases (CIND). These diseases include Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS), Fibromyalgia (FM), Gulf War Syndrome (GWS) and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS).
May is the month to get the word out. Public awareness is crucial as FM is still misunderstood by many. In 1992, May 12 was chosen to be Fibromyalgia Awareness Day. Why May 12? This was the birthday of Florence Nightingale, who suffered from Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
This Year, the theme is CARE, an acronym for Contribute, Advocate, Research and Educate. People interested in participating can organize events such as a community walk, a picnic, or arrange a mall or farmer’s market tabletop event. You can also set up an informational table at your local library, gym, grocery store or health fair. If you are interested in advocating, contact The National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association. You will receive a free kit that includes posters, brochures, receipt books for donations and more.
Add Yourself to the Map
This is another way of making your presence known. Add yourself to the global map. When you plot your geographical location, you help build a picture of the global FM community.
Fibro and Food
We have looked at fibro and diet in the last few newsletters. And as we mentioned before, there is a decisive link between diet and inflammation. Fresh fruits and vegetables contain sterols that help stimulate our immune system and aid in reducing inflammation.
FM sufferers are finding that eating a mostly raw vegetarian diet is helpful in reducing their fibro symptoms. Read about this interesting study with its incredibly positive results. And guess what happened to those who returned to their original, less healthy diets? Their pain came back!
Yes, eating fresh vegetables reduces pain. This diet will not cure you, but the symptoms of your fibro flair will be less intense.
The pH Factor
The measure of acidity or alkalinity in our bodies is referred to as pH. It stands for potential hydrogen. The higher the pH, the more alkaline we are; and the lower the pH, the more acidic we are. To be healthy, our bodies need an acidic-alkaline balance. A pH of seven is considered neutral, with a range of 7.30 to 7.45 being ideal. Too much acidity can weaken our immune system, create gastrointestinal disorders, high blood pressure, cancer, obesity, diabetes, neurological disorders, osteoporosis, premature aging, joint pain, chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. When there is acidity in muscles cells, they do not perform well. Our pH levels must be slightly alkaline so our bodies can heal properly.
Is Your pH In Balance?
Acids are excreted in urine and are found in our saliva. You can find out if your body is neutralized with pH strips, which you can buy at your local health food store.
First, measure your urine either early in the morning before you eat or a few hours after dinner. Your urinary pH should be between 6.5 and 7.2. If it is below 6.5, you are acidic. To become more alkaline, you must eat more grenn leafy salads, nuts (especially almonds and chestnuts) and drink lemon water.
Saliva pH measures digestive enzymes that are made by the liver, stomach and pancreas. If the pH of your saliva is above 7.5, it is too high. You may find that you are bloated and have gas or constipation. If the saliva pH is below 6.5, your body may be making too much acid.
As the old adage goes, ‘You are what you eat.’ If you need to balance your pH, eliminate all wheat and sodas from your diet. Reduce your consumption of sugars, processed foods and meat. Eat more vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds and drink a glass of lemon water a day, making sure to squeeze half of a fresh lemon into your glass.
The Gluten Factor
To help balance our pH, we should be aware of how much wheat we eat. Today, an alarmingly large number of people are sensitive to gluten. In fact, a shocking study found that celiac disease has increased by 400 percent in the last fifty years. Another scary fact is that most people do not even know if they are sensitive to gluten as the symptoms are often masked and are misdiagnosed. (Ninety-nine percent of the people who are sensitive to gluten are unaware of it.)
Gluten is found in barley, spelt, kamut, wheat, rye and some varieties of oats (as well as triticale, which is a mix of wheat and rye). It can also be hidden in salad dressings, soup mixes and sauces. As mentioned above, gluten contributes to high acidity in your diet. But did you know that eating gluten can cause disease? The New England Journal of Medicine published a review paper listing 55 diseases that are caused by gluten. Among others, these include arthritis, lupus and almost all autoimmune diseases.
In fact, gluten sensitivity is now referred to as an autoimmune disease. It can be the cause behind other diseases. It results in inflammation and affects our brain, digestive tract and joints. It is worthwhile to find out if you are sensitive to gluten. You can ask your doctor to arrange for a saiva test or blood test. Or, try to cut gluten out of your diet for a month and see how you feel. You just may have more energy and clarity.
Spring is finally here. This new season offers exciting, healthful opportunities; we can embrace warm air and sunshine, exercise outdoors and will soon be enjoying a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Wishing you all a healthy, happy spring! If you would like to suggest topics for future newsletters, please be in touch.