Fibromyalgia: The Diet Connection

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  #1  
Old 03-15-2013, 07:50 PM
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Default Fibromyalgia: The Diet Connection

Rheumatology experts like Alex Shikhman, MD, believe the diversity of dietary approaches may have less to do with the impact on fibromyalgia, and more to do with treating a secondary, possibly undiagnosed illness. "When patients are helped by a specific dietary measure," says Shikhman, who is director and founder of the Institute for Specialized Medicine in San Diego, "it is often because of the presence of a secondary condition that does have a recognized response to diet. And when you take care of that, you do get some relief from all the symptoms. You feel better overall."

There are a number of co-existing health conditions that have a tendency to occur in people with fibromyalgia. Many of these have overlapping symptoms. These include gluten intolerance, gout (a form of arthritis), and restless legs syndrome. Some doctors believe food sensitivity itself could sometimes be responsible for some of the pain and fatigue of fibromyalgia.

Moreover, Holtorf points out that because each of these secondary conditions responds to a different dietary approach, it's not hard to understand why "different dietary recommendations are reported to work."

Shikhman believes that sometimes fibromyalgia may even be the wrong diagnosis. That's another reason, he says, we can sometimes see such dramatic and immediate response to so many different dietary measures.

"Sometimes, if you carefully note which foods a patient responds to," Shikhman says, "you can actually get a significant clue as to the true nature of their underlying health problems. And it might not always be fibromyalgia."
Fibromyalgia: Seven foods to avoid

While there may not be a single set of dietary guidelines that are right for all fibromyalgia patients, there are certain foods, or food groups, that appear to make a difference for a significant number of people. But remember,
avoiding these foods is not a guarantee that your symptoms will change. Also, avoiding one group may offer benefit while another may make no difference at all. Nevertheless, the experts WebMD talked to agree that eliminating at least some of these foods is worth a try.

1. Aspartame (NutraSweet). All the experts WebMD talked to agree that for a large majority of people with fibromyalgia, foods sweetened with aspartame could exacerbate fibromyalgia symptoms.

"There is a pain receptor in the nervous system known as NMDA," says McNett. "When pain turns from acute to chronic, it involves opening the NMDA pain receptor. Aspartame, which is classified as an excitotoxin, helps to stimulate this event." He also says people with fibromyalgia appear to already have overly active NMDA pain receptors, making them more susceptible to the stimulation.
2. Food additives including MSG (monosodium glutamate) and nitrates. MSG is an additive or flavor enhancer that's found in many processed and frozen foods and in some Asian cuisines. Experts say it can intensify pain symptoms in many individuals. Like aspartame, MSG is classified as an excitotoxin and has the same potential for affecting NMDA receptors.

The same is true, says McNett, for foods containing preservatives such as nitrates, commonly found in lunchmeats like ham or bologna or in bacon.

"A lot of people who don't have fibromyalgia can't tolerate nitrates or MSG very well. But one of the hallmarks of this condition is that it amplifies unpleasant reactions," McNett says. "So a stimulus that some people would find mildly unpleasant becomes very unpleasant in those who have fibromyalgia." Cutting these ingredients out of the diet, he adds, usually helps.
3. Sugar, fructose, and simple carbohydrates. There is no clear evidence that cutting out simple carbohydrates -- like sugar, cake, or white bread -- will have an impact on fibromyalgia. What it can do, though, is reduce symptoms of chronic yeast infection -- a fungus that thrives on sugars and may be a secondary condition contributing to the pain of fibromyalgia. This theory, however, is still being debated by experts.

"Cutting out sugary foods, particularly high fructose corn syrup, can make a difference in these patients," says Holtorf. "And that's independent of any weight loss that might occur when they stop eating these foods."

Shikhman adds that cutting out carbonated beverages sweetened with fructose may yield even more noticeable results. That's because the carbonation, he says, causes a metabolic reaction. This reaction results in much more sugar pouring into the blood much more quickly.

"It's this quick rise in blood sugar," Shikhman says, "followed by the subsequent fall that exacerbates the fatigue element of fibromyalgia. That, in turn, creates more cravings for sugar, followed by still more fatigue -- allowing a vicious cycle to develop." Cutting out the sugar, he says, particularly soda, can result in better, more even control of blood sugar. Better control will help reduce fatigue and at least some of the related pain.

4. Caffeine -- including coffee, tea, colas, and chocolate. Because it is considered a stimulant, many fibromyalgia patients turn to caffeine-rich beverages as a source of energy. But McNett says the boost you get is false -- and can quickly exacerbate fatigue.

"The problem with caffeine is that the 'up' is relatively brief and transient," he says. "And it's followed by substantially longer and deeper sedative effect."

Because people with fibromyalgia are already tired, McNett cautions, those sedative effects can be much more powerful. "They are starting off from a point of fatigue, so the sedative qualities are amplified -- leading to a much deeper and long lasting sense of fatigue."

The good news is that cutting out caffeine can make a difference within less than a week. "Most patients begin to see a difference in their fatigue level almost right away," he says.

5. Yeast and gluten. Although these are two separate food substances, they frequently appear together -- particularly in baked goods like cake, donuts, and bread. For this reason, cutting out one, usually means you are cutting out both. That can actually yield two separate benefits for people with fibromyalgia.

In the case of yeast, some doctors say it fosters the overgrowth of the yeast fungus in the body. This overgrowth may cause or exacerbate much of the joint and muscle pain experienced by people with fibromyalgia. Research, though, has yet to confirm this link.

Gluten can exacerbate a condition known as gluten intolerance. Gluten intolerance, Shikhman says, frequently results in a variety of stomach ailments and other digestive problems. It also is associated with fatigue in patients with fibromyalgia.

"I have seen people with and without fibromyalgia experience enormous positive changes in their health by simply cutting out gluten products," Shikhman says.

6. Dairy. Be they low fat or high fat, some experts say, dairy products -- particularly, milk -- have been known to drive the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Avoiding these products may help some people turn their health around.

On the other hand, if you feel as if milk is doing your body some good, keep chugging a glass or two of skim milk a day. It's got calcium to build bones and protein to build muscle, and it's fat free.

7. Nightshade Plants: Tomatoes, chili and bell peppers, potatoes, and eggplant. There are over 2,000 species of plants that that can be listed under the category of "nightshade." Those which are edible comprise a group that some say can trigger flares of various types of arthritis, including fibromyalgia.

"I have seen patients who do much better when they cut these foods out of their diet," says Holtorf. We're not sure why, but it seems to work in a significant percentage of fibromyalgia patients." At the same time, these vegetables are among the most nutritious. So if they don't trigger your fibro pain, don't ban them from your fridge.

Avoiding certain foods may help individual patients better cope with their disease. Nutritionist Samantha Heller, MS, RD, says, however, that most can also benefit from an overall heart-healthy approach to good eating.

"When you are eating a heart-healthy diet - one low in saturated fat, lean meats, and poultry and high in the fresh fruits and vegetables that don't cause you problems, your body is going to work in a more healthful way, " Heller says.

And while, she says, this won't necessarily reduce your fibromyalgia symptoms, it can help to reduce the risk of other ailments that can only compound your health issues.

"When your body is healthier overall," says Heller, "you may be better able to cope with any disease, and better able to respond to even small changes you make."

One small study published in the journal Complementary and Alternative Medicine in 2001 found that patients who ate a vegetarian diet consisting of mostly raw whole foods did see a reduction in their fibromyalgia symptoms.

Holtorf also believes that sticking to a heart-healthy diet may yield some specific helpful effects. "Patients with fibromyalgia have documented mitochondria dysfunction," he says. "This is the area of the cell where energy is made. Consequently, it's necessary to have high levels of nutrients to get the mitochondria to work and for energy to be produced." So, Holtorf adds, the higher your level of dietary nutrients, at least theoretically, the better off you might be.

What can also help, he says, is a high potency vitamin supplement as well as supplements containing omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids -- which are also found in foods such as fish oil, flax seed, walnuts, some fortified cereals, and eggs -- are the "good fats" that have been shown to have an impact on inflammation.

"For some fibromyalgia patients," Holtorf says, "they work extremely well." Then he adds, "It is definitely worth a try."
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  #2  
Old 03-15-2013, 07:52 PM
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Now the vegan take by Dr. McDougall.

Too long to post but read here
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Old 03-15-2013, 10:12 PM
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If you read Wheat Belly...much of what is in the Poster's article is the same. Interesting stuff!!!!!! Too long to get into here....so just directing you all to get a hold of this book and read it!
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Old 03-16-2013, 04:50 AM
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You guys are dead wrong. I had it in court documents filed by plaintiff attorneys that the only cause for fibromylagia ws the car acident slip and fall or golf ball that hit their client period period
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Old 03-16-2013, 06:25 AM
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Interesting. Seems to eliminate just about every food that people would normally eat. I guess that would fix the fibromyalgia all right
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Old 03-16-2013, 06:47 AM
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Interesting. Seems to eliminate just about every food that people would normally eat. I guess that would fix the fibromyalgia all right
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Old 03-16-2013, 06:54 AM
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fibromyalgia =

Term used by doctors that cannot find any cause for patient complaint.
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Old 03-16-2013, 06:59 AM
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Interesting. Seems to eliminate just about every food that people would normally eat. I guess that would fix the fibromyalgia all right

Look at this way does one live to eat OR eat to live!
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Old 03-16-2013, 07:09 AM
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fibromyalgia =

Term used by doctors that cannot find any cause for patient complaint.
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Old 03-19-2013, 11:17 PM
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fibromyalgia didn't exist until the drug Co's came up with a drug to treat it;
Doctors would tell their patients it was something else and there was no such thing as fibromyalgia .

There is a possible connection to Lyme disease but Lyme disease and
co/ infections have been disputed for 30 years now . Yet some research
claims 200,000 people a year are infected with lyme.

Modern Medicine ???:
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Old 03-20-2013, 02:11 AM
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Angry NO NO Not invented

Quote:
Originally Posted by gamby View Post
fibromyalgia didn't exist until the drug Co's came up with a drug to treat it;
Doctors would tell their patients it was something else and there was no such thing as fibromyalgia .

There is a possible connection to Lyme disease but Lyme disease and
co/ infections have been disputed for 30 years now . Yet some research
claims 200,000 people a year are infected with lyme.

Modern Medicine ???:
Not invented finally recognized. Fibromyalgia was ignored and said to be all in your head until recent times. They said it was what women got when they were depressed or lazy. They have found an inflammation of the nerve endings that they have no certain cause for. They only thing they are sure of is that it is somehow connected to Serotonin uptake which is a monoamine neurotransmitter. That is why the medications that they give for it are very similar and sometimes the same as those that are for clinical depression.
To say an illness that you don't have was invented is mean spirited. I am in pain every day and it is not funny at all. The day my mother tried to kill herself because she was tired of living with the pain wasn't funny either. All you who think is a laugh make me sick. I just hope you come down with something and think how funny you think it is.
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Old 03-20-2013, 05:39 AM
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Rheumatology experts like Alex Shikhman, MD, believe the diversity of dietary approaches may have less to do with the impact on fibromyalgia, and more to do with treating a secondary, possibly undiagnosed illness. "When patients are helped by a specific dietary measure," says Shikhman, who is director and founder of the Institute for Specialized Medicine in San Diego, "it is often because of the presence of a secondary condition that does have a recognized response to diet. And when you take care of that, you do get some relief from all the symptoms. You feel better overall."

There are a number of co-existing health conditions that have a tendency to occur in people with fibromyalgia. Many of these have overlapping symptoms. These include gluten intolerance, gout (a form of arthritis), and restless legs syndrome. Some doctors believe food sensitivity itself could sometimes be responsible for some of the pain and fatigue of fibromyalgia.

Moreover, Holtorf points out that because each of these secondary conditions responds to a different dietary approach, it's not hard to understand why "different dietary recommendations are reported to work."

Shikhman believes that sometimes fibromyalgia may even be the wrong diagnosis. That's another reason, he says, we can sometimes see such dramatic and immediate response to so many different dietary measures.

"Sometimes, if you carefully note which foods a patient responds to," Shikhman says, "you can actually get a significant clue as to the true nature of their underlying health problems. And it might not always be fibromyalgia."
Fibromyalgia: Seven foods to avoid

While there may not be a single set of dietary guidelines that are right for all fibromyalgia patients, there are certain foods, or food groups, that appear to make a difference for a significant number of people. But remember,
avoiding these foods is not a guarantee that your symptoms will change. Also, avoiding one group may offer benefit while another may make no difference at all. Nevertheless, the experts WebMD talked to agree that eliminating at least some of these foods is worth a try.

1. Aspartame (NutraSweet). All the experts WebMD talked to agree that for a large majority of people with fibromyalgia, foods sweetened with aspartame could exacerbate fibromyalgia symptoms.

"There is a pain receptor in the nervous system known as NMDA," says McNett. "When pain turns from acute to chronic, it involves opening the NMDA pain receptor. Aspartame, which is classified as an excitotoxin, helps to stimulate this event." He also says people with fibromyalgia appear to already have overly active NMDA pain receptors, making them more susceptible to the stimulation.
2. Food additives including MSG (monosodium glutamate) and nitrates. MSG is an additive or flavor enhancer that's found in many processed and frozen foods and in some Asian cuisines. Experts say it can intensify pain symptoms in many individuals. Like aspartame, MSG is classified as an excitotoxin and has the same potential for affecting NMDA receptors.

The same is true, says McNett, for foods containing preservatives such as nitrates, commonly found in lunchmeats like ham or bologna or in bacon.

"A lot of people who don't have fibromyalgia can't tolerate nitrates or MSG very well. But one of the hallmarks of this condition is that it amplifies unpleasant reactions," McNett says. "So a stimulus that some people would find mildly unpleasant becomes very unpleasant in those who have fibromyalgia." Cutting these ingredients out of the diet, he adds, usually helps.
3. Sugar, fructose, and simple carbohydrates. There is no clear evidence that cutting out simple carbohydrates -- like sugar, cake, or white bread -- will have an impact on fibromyalgia. What it can do, though, is reduce symptoms of chronic yeast infection -- a fungus that thrives on sugars and may be a secondary condition contributing to the pain of fibromyalgia. This theory, however, is still being debated by experts.

"Cutting out sugary foods, particularly high fructose corn syrup, can make a difference in these patients," says Holtorf. "And that's independent of any weight loss that might occur when they stop eating these foods."

Shikhman adds that cutting out carbonated beverages sweetened with fructose may yield even more noticeable results. That's because the carbonation, he says, causes a metabolic reaction. This reaction results in much more sugar pouring into the blood much more quickly.

"It's this quick rise in blood sugar," Shikhman says, "followed by the subsequent fall that exacerbates the fatigue element of fibromyalgia. That, in turn, creates more cravings for sugar, followed by still more fatigue -- allowing a vicious cycle to develop." Cutting out the sugar, he says, particularly soda, can result in better, more even control of blood sugar. Better control will help reduce fatigue and at least some of the related pain.

4. Caffeine -- including coffee, tea, colas, and chocolate. Because it is considered a stimulant, many fibromyalgia patients turn to caffeine-rich beverages as a source of energy. But McNett says the boost you get is false -- and can quickly exacerbate fatigue.

"The problem with caffeine is that the 'up' is relatively brief and transient," he says. "And it's followed by substantially longer and deeper sedative effect."

Because people with fibromyalgia are already tired, McNett cautions, those sedative effects can be much more powerful. "They are starting off from a point of fatigue, so the sedative qualities are amplified -- leading to a much deeper and long lasting sense of fatigue."

The good news is that cutting out caffeine can make a difference within less than a week. "Most patients begin to see a difference in their fatigue level almost right away," he says.

5. Yeast and gluten. Although these are two separate food substances, they frequently appear together -- particularly in baked goods like cake, donuts, and bread. For this reason, cutting out one, usually means you are cutting out both. That can actually yield two separate benefits for people with fibromyalgia.

In the case of yeast, some doctors say it fosters the overgrowth of the yeast fungus in the body. This overgrowth may cause or exacerbate much of the joint and muscle pain experienced by people with fibromyalgia. Research, though, has yet to confirm this link.

Gluten can exacerbate a condition known as gluten intolerance. Gluten intolerance, Shikhman says, frequently results in a variety of stomach ailments and other digestive problems. It also is associated with fatigue in patients with fibromyalgia.

"I have seen people with and without fibromyalgia experience enormous positive changes in their health by simply cutting out gluten products," Shikhman says.

6. Dairy. Be they low fat or high fat, some experts say, dairy products -- particularly, milk -- have been known to drive the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Avoiding these products may help some people turn their health around.

On the other hand, if you feel as if milk is doing your body some good, keep chugging a glass or two of skim milk a day. It's got calcium to build bones and protein to build muscle, and it's fat free.

7. Nightshade Plants: Tomatoes, chili and bell peppers, potatoes, and eggplant. There are over 2,000 species of plants that that can be listed under the category of "nightshade." Those which are edible comprise a group that some say can trigger flares of various types of arthritis, including fibromyalgia.

"I have seen patients who do much better when they cut these foods out of their diet," says Holtorf. We're not sure why, but it seems to work in a significant percentage of fibromyalgia patients." At the same time, these vegetables are among the most nutritious. So if they don't trigger your fibro pain, don't ban them from your fridge.

Avoiding certain foods may help individual patients better cope with their disease. Nutritionist Samantha Heller, MS, RD, says, however, that most can also benefit from an overall heart-healthy approach to good eating.

"When you are eating a heart-healthy diet - one low in saturated fat, lean meats, and poultry and high in the fresh fruits and vegetables that don't cause you problems, your body is going to work in a more healthful way, " Heller says.

And while, she says, this won't necessarily reduce your fibromyalgia symptoms, it can help to reduce the risk of other ailments that can only compound your health issues.

"When your body is healthier overall," says Heller, "you may be better able to cope with any disease, and better able to respond to even small changes you make."

One small study published in the journal Complementary and Alternative Medicine in 2001 found that patients who ate a vegetarian diet consisting of mostly raw whole foods did see a reduction in their fibromyalgia symptoms.

Holtorf also believes that sticking to a heart-healthy diet may yield some specific helpful effects. "Patients with fibromyalgia have documented mitochondria dysfunction," he says. "This is the area of the cell where energy is made. Consequently, it's necessary to have high levels of nutrients to get the mitochondria to work and for energy to be produced." So, Holtorf adds, the higher your level of dietary nutrients, at least theoretically, the better off you might be.

What can also help, he says, is a high potency vitamin supplement as well as supplements containing omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids -- which are also found in foods such as fish oil, flax seed, walnuts, some fortified cereals, and eggs -- are the "good fats" that have been shown to have an impact on inflammation.

"For some fibromyalgia patients," Holtorf says, "they work extremely well." Then he adds, "It is definitely worth a try."
This is an excellent well thought out outline by poster...........

Anyone who has tried an "elimination diet" will see that what he mentions is true.......however, when a person goes back to the "chain restaurants" who do use a lot of "flavor enhansors" or "excitotoxins", etc. the pain and inflammation will return.......ditto for those "heavy on the frozen or prepared foods" in the supermarkets.
Stauffers is a huge culprit.
Check out their website.

Fibromyalgia is a REAL pain.......no pun intended.

I know many folks who suffer with fibromyalgia as well as arthritis.....

Eliminating even some of the things mentioned will be helpful, especially for those with gluten intolerance.

Our food today is NOT the food we were raised on.
Our moms cooked from scratch with real whole foods.

Our bodies cannot tolerate the additives and preservatives in today's food supply:

Aspartame

Food Additives like MSG (Excitotoxins), flavor enhansors.....

Nitrates

HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP (in just about all processed and canned foods).......watch the movie "King Corn"....

YEAST and GLUTEN

Nightshade family of plants is difficult for those sensitive to them..........but definitely aggravates pain and inflammation in the body.

Once again, EXCELLENT POST..........
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Old 03-23-2013, 12:54 AM
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Trudy



My post was misunderstood ,

Fibromyalgia, IS a real disease, it was not recognized by doctors at that time; It's still not known what causes it. There are several doctors/researchers that found Spirochetes (Lyme complex disease) in many of these patients. When treatment for this was tried some got well. It's still controversial .

The illness was not invented , The name "fibromyalgia" was.
It's a syndrome, meaning a group of symptoms so it is not a disease but a condition.
I never said it was funny , I don't know where you got that from.




I have chronic lyme disease and co/infections since 2003; Many ER trips, Black outs, in a coma for months followed be a year in the Hospital, 2 years of rehab just to learn how to walk again and Lost my sight for weeks. I finally got out of my wheelchair and can function somewhat again with a walker. I do still have many of the symptoms but not as bad since years of treatment.

Last edited by gamby; 03-23-2013 at 11:55 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 03-23-2013, 03:44 AM
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Originally Posted by gamby View Post
fibromyalgia didn't exist until the drug Co's came up with a drug to treat it;
Doctors would tell their patients it was something else and there was no such thing as fibromyalgia .

There is a possible connection to Lyme disease but Lyme disease and
co/ infections have been disputed for 30 years now . Yet some research
claims 200,000 people a year are infected with lyme.

Modern Medicine ???:
I have some friends and relatives with severe fibromyalgia; they've tried every treatment going over the years, in addition to elimination diets, etc.
Full body massage seems to help a bit but nothing truly relieves the pain.

Years ago (in the olden days) it was called "muscular rheumatism".

Since William Gowers first described the condition in 1904, it has been called fibrositis, fibromyositis, myofibrositis, muscular rheumatism, tension myalgia, myalgia, rheumatic myositis, and myelogelosis.


The list is only partial: * Muscular Rheumatism * Interstitial Myofibrositis * Myofascial Pain Syndrome * Myofascitis * Trigger Points (Trigger areas, Trigger zones) * Myofascial Pain - Dysfunction Syndrome * Fibrositis
An important step was taken, say Travell and Simons, when formal definitions were developed....

fibrositis (fThe Villages FloridaThe Villages FloridabrThe Villages Florida-sThe Villages FloridaThe Villages FloridatThe Villages Floridas)
n.1. Inflammatory hyperplasia of white fibrous connective tissue, especially surrounding the muscles and causing pain and stiffness.
2. See fibromyalgia.

LYME DISEASE IS A VERY VERY SERIOUS CONDITION.......anyone who lives or vacations where deer ticks are, must be very cautious.
Many believe the connection to fibromyalgia to be REAL.

Last edited by senior citizen; 03-23-2013 at 05:25 AM. Reason: Changed mosquitos to ticks
  #15  
Old 03-23-2013, 04:56 AM
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I think U mean "ticks" not mosquito's
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