Saturday, April 10, 2010

Muscle Spasms in Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

I found this article the other day and thought it was very interesting, thus I share. I already take B-12 and iron, next to add on my list, calcium, and malic acid or magnesium. I tried TSH many years ago as I heard it was good for fibromyalgia, but I had a bad reaction to it. 

Muscle Spasms in Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
by Adrienne Dellwo

Muscle spasms are a source of considerable pain in fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome -- our muscles clench and just won't relax, sometimes in spite of multiple treatments.

 I learned something fascinating about muscle contraction recently. It seems counter-intuitive, but it actually takes more energy for a muscle to relax than to contract. In fact, it takes twice as much. Weird, eh? Here's how it works:
When a muscle contracts, small pouches in the cells release calcium.
For the muscle to relax, the cell needs to pump the calcium back into the pouch.
When energy is low, the cell can't perform that job and the muscle stays contracted.

More and more, researchers are looking at how our cells and the mitochondria within them function to uncover what's going on in fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. It's becoming more accepted that we've got dysfunction there, so that helps clarify why our muscles refuse to unclench.

I almost always have muscles in spasm. For the past several weeks, my neck muscles have been taut, hard and painful. I've had some temporary relief from acupuncture and cupping, but very little help from massage, heat, ice, stretching, topical muscle creams, etc. Once I learned about the connection to low cellular energy, I started taking more of the supplements that can boost it, and wouldn't you know -- on the days that I've taken more, the muscles have been more relaxed. Since I'm not taking maximum dosages of any, I'm now planning to increase them permanently.

According to some research, supplements that can increase cellular energy and mitochondrial function include:

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Dirty Banana

We discovered a new drink at The Sandals Regency La Toc in St.Lucia called "The Dirty Banana".In a blender combine:
1 banana
rum (dark or light, doesn't matter)
coconut cream (in St. Lucia this is apparently readily available in the grocery stores, according to our bartender. In the US try Pina Colada mix)
now blend well. Ask for it or try it at home, remember to ask for it EXTRA DIRTY!

one time I asked for a Dirty Banana the bartender made it with Bailey's Irish Cream, I discovered later he slipped me a BBC, a Baileys Banana Colada instead, but it was good too!

Great Drink - Bailey's Banana Colada (bbc)Ingredients:
  • 1 oz. Bailey's Irish Cream
  • 1 oz. Rum (Preferably Dark Rum)
  • 1 oz. Banana Liqueur
  • 1 Banana
  • 3 oz. Pina Colada Mix

Instructions: Put banana and liqueur into blender until it is a thick paste. Add Bailey's Irish cream, pina colada mix and rum. Blend well then add 1 cup of ice and blend again until smooth.

St Lucia

I have to tell you the Sandals Regency in St Lucia was amazing. The resort parts of the island, and the water beautiful. The Diamond Waterfall, gorgeous.
Wednesday we left home before the crack of dawn. Our flight departed at 7:15 to Miami and we were required to be at the airport 2 hours before the flight. We were glad we complied when we saw the long line not only at security, but to check our bags also. Luckily we didn't have to pay any of the ridiculous checked bag fees going internationally. My best friend and cousin Kim were happy I came through with my promise to make my sugar free banana nut muffins.
We arrived at the resort mid afternoon to be ushered into an office type room. They gave us each a glass of this really bad champagne, and explained a few things to us. One weird thing is you can not pay for items in the gift shops at the resort with cash or credit only charge to your room. And, you have to put a credit card on file on which they keep a $600 deposit on for incidentals.Deb and I went to our room, unpacked, and showered to go for dinner. We got dressed up and went to the italian restaurant called Armando's. They had a terrific antipasto bar with a wonderful basil pesto salad dressing that I must figure out how to make.Deb had the pork which came with a squash risotto, and I had the steak which came with gnocchi. Her pork and my gnocchi were terrible, pork was sliced then grilled so it was dried out. Her risotto and my steak were wonderful. I was full on just the salad and steak alone. We ordered panacotta which was supposed to come in a strawberry margarita soup, but did not. The panacotta itself was about the size and shape of 1/2 an egg, with spots of rubbery strawberry gel on the plate. We also ordered the cannoli which had a chocolate filling. The filling was very yummy, but the cannoli shell itself was a little chewy instead of crunchy like we have here. After dinner we met my cousin's and their friends at The Cricketeer Pub for the separate bachelor and bachelorette parties.
that's me!!

At the Cricketeer we discovered a drink called "The Dirty Banana" which was delicious, Deb and I drank a few a day our entire time there! For the bachelorette party we decided to forgo clubbing, due to the long day and to instead hang out downstairs and listen to the live band. We all told embarrassing stories about Mindy, and played a great game of "I never". Everyone loved the gift bags, and prizes I made. I think Deb and I were asleep by 11.
Thursday Debbie and I woke early, had breakfast at The Pavillion then laid by the pool.I had fresh mango at The Pavillion with a petite croissant for breakfast every morning, the mango was fantastic, I couldn't get enough! In fact for lunch I had more if there was, with a salad and vinagrette dressing, YUM. Let me tell you, my best friend is a skinny girl, dang she can eat! Deb is hungry every few hours, I have little appetite. Don't ask me how I gained almost 10 lbs on the trip, I was sure I actually lost weight until I got on the scale. Thursday afternoon I napped then Deb and I were off to the wedding. The wedding was on the beach and so beautiful!!! Mindy was a gorgeous bride, and her new husband very handsome. The reception was on the lawn overlooking the beach. They even had a calypso band! The bartenders and servers kept us completely entertained. I took my chocolate dessert back to the room after the reception and checked my blood sugar level before eating it. The dessert had a vanilla bottom and a chocolate mousse top (about the size of a large marshmallow). I didn't care for the bottom and didn't want that much sugar anyway so I just ate the mousse which was delicious.

Mindy & Jared                                 Me, Mindy, & Deb                                               my cousins, Kim & Mindy

Did I mention how wonderful the staff was at the resort? Thursday morning when Deb and I were at the pool I asked a worker where the nearest market was so I could buy some coke zero. He said "we have diet coke". I explained something in diet coke causes me to throw up, and I can't drink regular coke because I am diabetic. He asked for our room number and said he'd find me some, no problem. True to his word a few hours later he knocked on our door with 5 or 6 bottles of coke zero in his hands. I thanked him and he said no problem, he just ran into Castries to the supermarket. I tried to pay him for them, but he wouldn't take my money. All I can say is "Thank you Dexter!!!!".
Friday morning Deb and I met our group at The Pavillion for breakfast before all heading off on The Soufriere Adventure Cruise. A van picked us up at 8:30 a.m. and took us to the marina. The crew was fantastic. We enjoyed a leisurely cruise around the island. We took another van in tour of the island itself to The Diamond Waterfall. The waterfall and short, 15 minute hike, was beautiful. I twisted my knee somehow on the boat, I think, and didn't think I was going to make the hike but I took it slow and just made it. I knew my knee was done though so when we got to the volcano I chose to stay in the van rather than walking back down the mountain with everyone else. After the volcano we went to lunch. I ate some salad with clear dressing, but was afraid of trying anything else. I am allergic to black pepper so I had to be very careful. Finally the van took us back to the marina where we went back on the catamaran. Once back on board and out to sea we stopped for some snorkeling, which I absolutely fell in love with! That night the resort held a street parade which included a steel drum band and lots of food. Deb tried the oxtail but I stuck to shrimp cocktail and tossed salad.
Saturday, we met our crew at Armando's for breakfast were I broke my tradition and had a slice of french toast and a slice of ham. It was yummy!!! We took a taxi van into Castries to the 100 year old Castries market. The market was terrific. My knee was killing me, I was in tears a few times from the pain, but I ignored it. Stupid, I know but it was the last day of a once in a lifetime vacation, I didn't want to miss out.Most of the booths at the market had the same things in them, similar prices. You can get baskets of fresh spices at good prices, button up Hawaiian style men's shirts for about $15 each, beautiful women's wraps that can be worn as dresses, and cheap t-shirts. Anything wood carved was more expensive, and not necessarily made in St Lucia! I was about to buy a wooden motorcycle for my husband when I noticed the box (with a picture of the motorcycle on it) said "Made in China", so I cancelled my purchase. The gang all had lunch at The Pavillion again, then back to the pool for the rest of the afternoon. That night Deb and I went back to Armando's. She had penne puttanesca with chicken, I had the steak again, but this time requested the squash risotto.
I'd like to be able to say all my worries were for naught, but they weren't. But, I planned, I brought wraps, and braces. I planned rest periods. I came home with 2 swollen ankles, a swollen knee, and back of thigh, 2 swollen hands, and a terrible flare, but damn, it was worth it!