Thursday, February 25, 2010

Whole grains - neat package of nutrients.

Whole grains are much more than just added fibre in our diet. Research now tells us that the benefit is in the "package" of nutrients (sound familiar).

Professor Slavin from Minnesota University is reported by as saying that "the individual components of whole grains have an additive and synergistic effect."

This means that the combined nutrient components in whole grains is greater than the sum of the individual component parts. Or to put it simply 1+1 >2 (one plus one is greater than two).

So what are some whole grains?
They are the entire grain seed of a plant. Also known as the kernel, it is made up of three key parts: the bran, the germ, and the endosperm.

Whole wheat, whole oats/oatmeal, whole-grain corn, popcorn, brown rice, whole rye, whole-grain barley, wild rice, buckwheat, bulgur (cracked wheat), millet, quinoa, and sorghum are the more common grains.
Less well known are amaranth, emmer, farro, grano (lightly pearled wheat), spelt, and wheat berries. Spelt is is popular now because of it's higher protein and nutrient content.

Stone-ground corn and polenta have the germ intact so are closest to the whole grain in any ground cornmeal. You can even get whole grain couscous.

Quinoa, not really a grain but considered as one, is another ancient grain which is considered to be almost a wonder food as it contains complete protein. A friend told me that she uses quinoa instead of couscous.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

More on antioxidants - mixing the colours.

Red  and yellow and pink and  green purple and orange and blue f
I can eat a rainbow too.oods.

I've thought a lot about this and come to the conclusion that to consume a diet rich in antioxidants for me it's best to think about colour and variety.

If, for example, I'm making a snack box of dried fruits, nuts and seeds, I'll put about the same quantity of as many varieties as I have to hand. Then from the container I take a mix of any amount I want when I want it. That way I know I'm eating a good range of antioxidants in the unique packages nature intended.

In the same way I roughly cut a selection of fruits trying to have a mix of colours. When I shop I now choose a selection of different fruits rather than a bag of oranges or a big bunch of grapes.

Why colours?

Reds contain lycopene and anthocyanims.
- red apples, strawberries, bets, red potatoes, tomatoes.

Yellow/orange contain varying amounts of antioxidants eg vitamin C, carotinoids, bioflavonoids.
- appricots, mangoes, oranges, sweet potatoes & carrots.

Blue/purple contain phytochemicals.
- blueberries, eggplant, dark grapes, plums & rasins.

Greens contain antioxidants lutein & indoles.
- avocadoes, green apples, green grapes, kiwifruit, peas & beans,broccoli.

I now take my time to eat and take pleasure from the eating.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Placebo - positive implications for those with chronic pain.

Dr Damian Finniss of the Royal North Shore Hospital Pain Management Research Institute lead experts in a paper published in the Lancet this month. 
"Essentially, placebo effects change the way our brains and bodies work, complementing the effects of medical or other therapeutic treatments, often leading to reduction in symptoms." This has positive implications for people with chronic pain.

Explain Pain - a noigroup video.

What do antioxidants have to do with CRPS/RSD?

First suggested by Sudeck in 1942, Dutch researchers' studies supported the theory that oxygen derived free radicals are possibly the mediators of mechanisms leading to some of the neurological symptoms of CRPS. They found

  • high oxygen supply with tissue hypoxia in CRPS extremities;
  • a diminished oxygen availability to the skeletal muscle tissue affected by chronic CRPS;
  • and several deficiencies in the skeletal muscles of CRPS sufferers.
Studies in Holland have centered around free radical scavengers as treatment for CRPS. There are many ongoing studies with DMSO, NAC in Holland.

Free radicals are atoms or groups of atoms with an odd number of electrons and can be formed when oxygen interacts with certain molecules. Once formed these highly reactive radicals can start a chain reaction. Their chief danger comes from the damage they can do when they react with important cellular components such as DNA, or the cell membrane. To prevent free radical damage the body has a defense system of antioxidants.
Antioxidants are molecules which can safely interact with free radicals and terminate the chain reaction before vital molecules are damaged. Although there are several enzyme systems within the body that scavenge free radicals, the principle micronutrient (vitamin) antioxidants are vitamin E, beta-carotene, and vitamin C. Additionally, selenium, a trace metal that is required for proper function of one of the body's antioxidant enzyme systems, is sometimes included in this category. The body cannot manufacture these micronutrients so they must be supplied in the diet.
Vitamin E : nuts, seeds, vegetable and fish oils, whole grains (esp. wheat germ), fortified cereals, and apricots.
Vitamin C : Ascorbic acid is a water soluble vitamin present in citrus fruits and juices, green peppers, cabbage, spinach, broccoli, kale, cantaloupe, kiwi, and strawberries.
Beta-carotene is a precursor to vitamin A (retinol) and is present in liver, egg yolk, milk, butter, spinach, carrots, squash, broccoli, yams, tomato, cantaloupe, peaches, and grains. (NOTE: Vitam A has no antioxidant properties and can be quite toxic when taken in excess.)
Research now shows that we can substantially affect the level of anti-oxidants in our bodies by eating fresh fruits and vegetables.

Google "antioxidants for crps" to learn more.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Significant improvement in CRPS patients in Netherlands physical therapy study.

Jan-Willem Ek, Jan C van Gijn and colleagues from the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at Bethesda Hospital in The Netherlands studied 106 patents suffering severe physical impairments from CRPS Type I. Their research involved Graded Pain Exposure.

They reported no adverse effects and more than half of patients regained full physical movement. This is significant. 

In the case of CRPS there is pain regardless. Protecting and avoiding things that cause pain only increase weakness and disability. This study adds to the growing evidence that with CRPS it is really a case of "more pain more/real gain".

Pain exposure physical therapy may be a safe and effective treatment for longstanding complex regional pain syndrome type 1: a case series
By Jan-Willem Ek, Jan C van Gijn, Han Samwel, Jan van Egmond, Frank PAJ Klomp, and Robert TM van Dongen is published online now in the journal
Clinical Rehabilitation, published by SAGE.

The article will be free to access online for a limited period from 

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Jimmy has suggested two more things to add to my list.

I like that Jimmy says "Get your level checked". Remember that even "natural" supplements can interact with other things so always let your doctor know when you change what you take.


I would add 2 more possibilities

Vitamin D3 -- get your level checked. Vitamin D actually a steroid and an immune modulator -- it helps turn on the immune system when it is needed and turn it off when the immune system is in danger of running off like wildfire. I've been taking 10,000 IU daily (it takes 40 IUs to make a MICROGRAM -- 1,000 MICRGRAMS to a milligram so my dose is 250 MICROGRAMS which equals .25 milligrams -- so what sounds like a huge dose is a little dose. Vitamin D deficiency is widespread -- and it has huge, huge health impacts.

Grape seed extract -- Vitamin C works in a protective role because it is an antioxidant and can stop runaway inflammation caused by the nerve's immune system through the glial cells before it gets started. Grape seed is the most potent anti-oxidant ever, about 100 times more powerful than Vitamin C. It builds capillaries and has been proven to help wound healing.

Thank you for your wonderful website.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Another look at my list of what has helped me with pain and symptoms of crps/rsd.

I'm in remission now but I have this blog as a reference if I have a problem again. One of the most helpful things for me was this list.

With CRPS/RSD I have learned to take one day at a time. Many things have helped in in my journey to wellness.
Having breaks between major flare ups is a blessing and an indication that I'm on the right path. Here are some of the things I've found to help with pain and symptoms. Click on the links to find out more.

I am a sufferer not a professional. These things work for me about which I am very thankful. If you think something may help you check first with your treating practitioners.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Jennifer Trueland's lead article in Frontline Magazine about innovative pain therapy for chronic regional pain syndrome.

Dr David Butler and Dr Lorimer Moseley are acknowledged as pioneers of graded motor imagery as part of a three stage process culminating in mirror therapy for the treatment of pain such as complex regional pain syndrome. Jennifer Trueland's article is well worth a read as it's a good explanation of the three step process recommended by our Australian doctors of physiotherapy.

Promising new treatment for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome - Science Daily

ScienceDaily (Feb. 7, 2010) reports — "Scientists at the University of Liverpool have discovered that treating the immune system of patients with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CPRS) leads to a significant reduction in pain."

"The results of this study may change the future treatment of patients with CRPS, and have an impact on research in other severe chronic pain areas."

Acording to Wikipedia Intravenous immune globulin (IVIG) is used as treatment for immune deficiencies, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. The precise mechanism by which IVIG suppresses harmful inflammation has not been definitively established but is believed to involve the inhibitory Fc receptor

Professor Paul Zollinger's Netherlands research showed that you can prevent the development of CRPS post colles wrist fracture by taking vitamin c after injury. It is thought that inflammation plays a part in CRPS. I wonder if it is the ability of this treatment to suppress inflammation that makes it so effective. 

Andreas Goebel, Andrew Baranowski, Konrad Maurer, Artemis Ghiai, Candy Mccabe, and Gareth Ambler. Intravenous Immunoglobulin Treatment of the Complex Regional Pain Syndrome: A Randomized Trial. Annals of Internal Medicine, 2010; 152: 152-158 DOI: 10.1059/0003-4819-152-3-201002020-00006 

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

New website - Hospital News.

Check out the new medical website Hospital News. I hope that they post news about the new brain science and the implications for pain. You'll find a range of topics including pain articles.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Great strategies for coping with pain.

How to Cope with Pain has another great post on strategies to help manage pain. Recommended!
Custom Search
Gadget by The Blog Doctor.