Inside The Race for a Celiac Disease Treatment

If Leslie Morrison had a wish list, it would be for a treatment to heal or at least relieve symptoms of celiac disease other than just following a gluten-free diet, which she does to the best of her ability.

“If I get glutened, it takes three to five days of terrible pain and brutal fatigue to recover – somewhat,” says the TV news researcher and mom of two teens. “It takes so long to get my system back under control. I’ve yet to find anything that provides relief. It’s like the drug companies are unaware of a whole untapped market out here.”

For Morrison and for a majority of those with celiac disease for whom adhering to a gluten-free diet is not enough, there is good news: the scientific community is aware of this issue and help is coming. The question is how soon.

“It’s not going to be tomorrow or even next year,” cautions Dr. Joseph Murray, a gastroenterologist and celiac expert at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. “But I hope we’ll see a different, expanded treatment landscape about five years down the road. It won’t be a flood of treatments but there should at least one, maybe two, that are aimed at making life easier for people with celiac disease.”

Currently, a gluten-free diet is the only treatment for the condition that is thought to affect one in every 100 people. Those with the disease cannot tolerate this protein that is found in wheat, barley and rye products. In fact, to prevent gluten from crossing the gut barrier, their immune systems will mount an attack that damages the villi, finger-like projections in the wall of the small intestine that act as guardians of the gate.

Unfortunately, this means that other key nutrients don’t get absorbed either. This leads to a diverse array of seemingly unrelated symptoms, such as anemia, bloat and brain fog, which make the condition difficult to diagnose without a blood test, which looks for specific celiac markers, and an intestinal biopsy.

Although there has been an explosion in recent years of gluten-free food choices, adhering to the diet is not easy at the best of times. Murray notes that to avoid gluten altogether, you’d have to make the sacrifice of never going out. “It would be a life of social isolation and restrictions,” he says.

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic have revealed that up to 70 percent of celiac patients who follow a gluten-free diet still suffer symptoms from low levels of contamination and may have intestinal damage that will not heal, no matter how careful they are.

Another problem, Murray says, is that if you assiduously avoid gluten, you miss out on a lot of antioxidants and may be at risk for other health issues. “All this is to emphasize that to maintain optimal health and avoid discomfort and pain, it’s not enough to just follow a gluten-free diet. There have to be more treatments available. People need hope – and help.”

What kind of help might it be? It could be a pill that binds gluten before it is absorbed into your system, or one that breaks it down with the help of enzymes. It may be a drug that manages to interrupt both the immediate and delayed effects of gluten in your system, or one that targets the enzyme that modifies the gluten molecule in order to minimize its effect on the immune system in the first place.

Or it might even be what Murray and other top celiac experts, including Dr. Alessio Fasano, a pediatric gastroenterologist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, call the Holy Grail: a cure.

It could come in the form of improved screening and DNA mapping to identify who is at risk, then bombarding them with microorganisms that teach the body to tolerate gluten before it can do harm or, much more likely, a vaccine that would get rid of the need for a gluten-free diet in the first place.

Fasano is heading a big international study that’s following 500 infants, who are at risk of developing celiac disease, from birth to the age of 5. The study team is monitoring thousands of factors to determine which elements, or combinations of elements, lead to the development of the condition. The factors include genetic risk, antibiotic exposure, mode of birth delivery, breast or bottle feeding, vaccination schedule, family medical history and more.

“Our goal is to develop a strategy to stop celiac disease from occurring at all,” says Fasano. “It’s an almost impossible mission, but it’s the future of medicine.”

Inside the Pipeline

Until the future arrives, some of the more promising treatments being tested right now include:

Larazotide Acetate: This oral peptide drug, being developed by Innovate Biopharmaceuticals Inc., is designed to make the gut less permeable, or ‘leaky,’ in celiac lingo. The idea is to keep the gut’s “tight junctions” in a normal state so that if gluten is accidentally consumed, it doesn’t cross the intestinal barrier and trigger an immune response. The drug is expected to begin Phase 3 clinical trials in 2018 and has received a fast-track designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In studies conducted so far with 800 celiac patients, the drug has reduced clinical symptoms of the disease.

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“The idea is to give one set of patients a pill before meals and follow them for 12 weeks to see how they do compared to another set of patients taking a placebo,” said Murray. “It appears that a lower dose works while higher doses did not.”

The upshot? If it is proven to work and is approved for sale, you should be able to eat out with far less worry about accidental glutening, though celiac patients still must follow a gluten-free diet. Remember, says Murray, “that it’s not a passport to eating gluten with impunity.” He notes that some gluten will still get through, since it’s sneaky.

Saliva Rothia: Researchers at the Henry M. Golden School of Dental Medicine were looking at how proteins in general break down in saliva when they discovered an enzyme in a bacterium called Rothia that pulverized gluten as if it were Pac Man. That happy accident has led to a new stream of study that has moved beyond petri dishes to study the effect of the so-called ‘subtilisin,’ or protein-ingesting enzyme on the tiny digestive systems of mice. In so doing, they have found another bacterium, B. subtilis, which produces an enzyme similar to the Rothia one and is already safely consumed in Japan in a fermented soybean dish called ‘natto.’

“In terms of getting future FDA approval for the enzymes, it’s a benefit if one is already considered food grade,” said one of the lead researchers, Dr. Eva Helmerhorst.

Recently, the research has proven that modified subtilisin enzymes actually cleave and detoxify gluten in mice. “These promising results pave the road for the application for the application of these food-grade enzymes in clinical settings and to offer a novel enzyme digestive therapeutic solution for celiac patients,” says Helmerhorst.

Latiglutenase: There were high hopes that this combination of enzymes would break down gluten and encourage the healing of damage in the mucosal lining of the small intestine. But the results of an initial Phase 2 clinical trial by the now-defunct Alvine Pharmaceuticals Inc. surprised everyone. It turned out that even patients given a placebo improved.

Scientists at ImmunogenX, a California-based biopharmaceutical that purchased and is developing the drug, remain optimistic. They have re-analyzed the data and discovered that latiglutenase may help to relieve the symptoms of celiac patients who are following a gluten-free diet but still experience discomfort and pain. “A lot of work has gone into figuring out what went wrong with the earlier trial and we know how to avoid a placebo effect,” said Jennifer Sealey-Voyksner, ImmunogenX’s chief science officer.

In late 2017, the company received a grant from the National Institutes of Health for a two-year blinded study of latiglutenase. “We’re going to accentuate how latiglutenase can reduce symptoms,” Sealey-Voyksner said. “At this point, it’s the best way to get the therapy to market.”

BL-7010: BioLineRX, a drug development company based in Israel, has the rights to a non-absorbable polymer that is supposed to bind gluten in the gut, preventing the formation of peptides that set off an autoimmune response. Attempts to reach the company were not successful, but a company news release states that the drug polymer sequesters gliadins – the protein particles in gluten that cause an immune reaction. The drug is excreted with the protein from the digestive tract, thus it does not get absorbed into the blood. It has made it through a second phase of testing.

TIMP-Gliadin: Two companies – Takeda Pharmaceuticals International and the Cour Pharmaceutical Development Co. – have joined forces to develop this compound, which is composed of the protein particle and Toleragenic Immune Modifying nanoParticles. Takeda spokesperson Kelly Schlemm says it’s too early to talk public about current trial results or when more definite results can be expected. But one of the rock stars of the celiac world, Dr. Daniel Leffler of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, has joined Takeda’s U.S. division as the medical director of clinical science gastroenterology. He was reluctant to comment about the research, too. Stay tuned.

Nexvax2: This vaccine is one of the most exciting developments in treating celiac disease. Allergic Living magazine has followed this since it was the kernel of an idea in an Australian laboratory in 2003. Now, it’s about to enter a Phase 2 trial run by ImmusanT in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The principle behind the vaccine is similar to that of allergy shots, in which patients would develop gluten tolerance through a series of injections. The company has completed four Phase I studies that have looked at safety, tolerability and dosing.

“We’re going slow to go fast,” said ImmusanT CEO Leslie Williams. “There are so many aspects to this clinical program and to understanding the disease. We have been methodical in nailing down the dose and the regimen and the biomarkers, in order to understand what’s happening physiologically and immunologically with the patients.” The next phase is working on the durability of the patient’s response to the vaccine, with the end goal of getting rid of the need for a gluten-free diet in the first place. The company has received $40 million in funding for further research.

Egg Yolk Therapy: The theory is that antibodies in the yolks of chicken eggs neutralize gluten, thus allowing people with celiac disease to include a bit of the protein in their diet without having to worry or suffer symptoms. Hoon Sunwoo, an associate professor in the pharmaceutical sciences department at the University of Alberta, Canada, says that, if successful, the therapy would be an adjunct to the gluten-free diet rather than a potential cure. It would allow people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity to allow a limited amount of the protein into their diet. “The product intercepts gluten before it can act on the sensitive part of the gut in people with celiac disease,” Sunwoo tells Allergic Living.

The Road Ahead

Understandably, drug development companies are reluctant to give timelines because of what Murray, of the Mayo Clinic, calls the vagaries of research and the need to find funding for each phase. Back in 2011, for example, Leslie Williams bravely estimated to this writer that the Nexvax2 vaccine would be on the market in 2017. Obviously, that is no longer the case.

“Drug development is complex,” she says ruefully. “At the end of the day, we want to present a thoughtful, sound clinical program. There are no shortcuts.”

For Alice Bast, the CEO of Beyond Celiac, the Pennsylvania-based not-for-profit that brings patients and experts together to increase awareness of the condition and advance research, no one drug trumps the other. “We want all of the current drugs in the pipeline to be successful so that our community has options,” she said. “One size doesn’t fit everyone. Some people might not like the way in which a particular drug works.”

While optimistic there will be research success, and soon, for Bast it is still too early to know which option is most promising, and she notes that any one of these drugs could get stopped in its tracks in the course of clinical trials. “All we know is that the gluten-free diet is not enough, she says. “And, that our disease needs to be taken seriously.”

Lupus: Things to Avoid

If you have lupus or  a condition that predisposes you to lupus, such as undifferentiated connective tissue disease (UCTD), there are certain foods and medications that you should avoid. The substances listed below have shown to induce lupus signs and flares and should be avoided by people with lupus or autoimmune diseases suggesting “pre-lupus.”

(1)    Sunlight

People with lupus should avoid the sun, since sunlight can cause rashes and flares. Some people are more sensitive to sunlight than others, but all people with lupus are advised to be cautious when they are outside. Of course, it would be impractical to completely avoid going outdoors, but try to be prepared. Carry a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 70 and be sure that your sunscreen contains Helioplex, an ingredient that blocks UV-A and UV-B rays, both of which are harmful to people with lupus. Apply sunscreen to all areas of the body, even those covered by your clothes, since most normal clothing items only protect your skin to the level of SPF 5. In addition, carry a hat with you when you know you will be outside. Certain sportswear manufacturers now make hats with SPF built into the material, which may be helpful for people with greater photosensitivity.

(2)    Bactrim and Septra (sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim)

Bactrim and Septra are antibiotics that contain sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim. They are grouped as “sulfa” antibiotics because they contain a substance called sulfonamide. Bactrim and Septra are often prescribed for bacterial infections, especially urinary tract infections. They are also sometimes given prophylactically (i.e., to prevent infection), especially in people taking immunosuppressive medications. However, it is very important that you avoid Bactrim and Septra, because these antibiotics are known to cause an increase in sun sensitivity and lower blood counts in people with lupus, resulting in lupus flares. Several medications can be used instead of Bactim or Septra for the prevention and treatment of infection; perhaps the most frequently used substitute is Dapsone (diaminodiphenyl sulfone) to prevent Pneumocystis pneumonia.

(3)    Garlic

Scientists believe that three substances in garlic—allicin, ajoene, and thiosulfinates—rev-up your immune system by enhancing the activity of white blood cells, particularly macrophages and lymphocytes. Scientists also believe that the sulfur components of garlic help to prevent and suppress cancer in the body. For this reason, garlic is often used as a supplement to combat colds and infections. Unfortunately, the enhancement of immune response is counterproductive in people with autoimmune disease such as lupus, because their immune system is already overactive. As a result, people with lupus and lupus-like signs should avoid cooking with garlic and adding it to food. Of course, a tiny amount of the herb will not harm you, but try to consciously avoid purchasing and preparing foods with garlic.

(4)    Alfalfa Sprouts

Alfalfa sprouts contain an amino acid called L-canavanine that can increase inflammation in people with lupus by stimulating the immune system. As a result, people with lupus and similar autoimmune conditions should avoid alfalfa sprouts completely.

(5)    Melatonin and Rozerem (ramelteon)

Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland in your brain that regulates other hormones in the body that control how your body reacts to daily patterns of light and dark. Melatonin release is suppressed during the light hours of the day and stimulated by dark, helping you stick to patterns of nighttime sleep and daytime wakefulness. As a result, melatonin is often used as a sleep aid over other medications. Melatonin and melatonin-containing supplements should be avoided in people with lupus and other autoimmune disorders because they may stimulate the immune system. In addition, people with these conditions should also avoid the prescription sleep aid Rozerem (ramelteon), because it mimics melatonin in the body. It is important that you understand the necessity of avoiding both melatonin and Rozerem, since sleep aids are often used to help people with fibromylagia and other conditions to attain normal sleep patterns. In general, be sure that you speak with your physician before taking any new medications or supplements.

(6)    Echinacea

Echinacea is often used as a dietary supplement to boost the immune system against colds and other illnesses. However, because Echinacea boosts your immune system, it may cause flares in people with autoimmune diseases such as lupus. In fact, Echinacea supplements sold in Europe bear warning labels that advise against use by people with autoimmune diseases. As a result, people with lupus and other autoimmune diseases should avoid these supplements. In general, it is important that you speak with your physician before taking any new medications or supplements.

The Sad Reality About Remission with Lupus

Though there is no cure for lupus, the word “remission” tends to bring a lot of hope and comfort to those around me. While remission is the goal I have been hoping to achieve for the past year-and-a-half, I have to admit that its prospect doesn’t bring me as much relief as it once did.

Every time I see my nephrologist, part of me is dying to hear him tell me that things are looking better. Positive test results mean that slowly, but surely, we’re quelling my lupus into remission. Remission is the ultimate and only goal I can hope for, and while I’ll undoubtedly be overjoyed the day I reach it, I have to think about the reality of it all.

The reality is that although remission is the very best outcome for someone with lupus, it’s not nearly the same thing as a cure. Remission essentially means dormant. And while it’s a heck of a lot better to have your lupus be in a dormant state than in an active one, forgive me if I don’t breathe a sigh of relief.

I used to believe that reaching remission would mean that I finally would feel safe. I used to think that getting there would mean finally getting back the peace that was taken from me when I was informed my body was essentially destroying itself. However, after losing a friend to leukemia earlier this year, not long after she had gone into remission, I was forced to realize that remission is only temporary, at best.

The sad reality is that remission is not forever. Just like dormant volcanoes have the potential to erupt at any moment, my lupus has the potential to flare or become active once again. And nothing about that can bring me relief. I know this view of remission is incredibly cynical, if not entirely depressing, but it’s also the undeniable truth.

If I’m lucky, I’ll reach remission in the next 12 months. And while it may bring some peace for a short time, I can’t ever let down my guard. I have to believe that when I least expect it, lupus will come back to haunt me. I have to hope that eating right, keeping myself physically fit and healthy, and keeping an eye out for all the telltale signs, is enough to keep lupus at bay.

But the thing is, I know it won’t be.

The fact that it’s a part of me means there will never be a time when I’m truly safe from it. I’ll spend my entire life fighting for control of my own body, hoping I can hold off lupus for just that little longer.

Being in remission with lupus will be like slowly winding up a jack-in-the-box. It doesn’t matter how slowly I go or how ready I think I am for it, as time goes on, eventually — and no one knows for sure when – it’s going to jump out and surprise me.

TIP SHEET: NEUROPATHIC FACE PAIN AND TRIGEMINAL NEURALGIA

All tips are in the patient’s own words. These tips are anecdotal only and are not endorsed by FPA. They are intended for information purposes only, to supplement a visitor’s general knowledge. It is not intended to replace or in any way supplement or qualify the services of a qualified medical professional and/or other appropriate healthcare professional or their advice.

Acyclovir

I have both classical TN as well as the continual toothache pain of atypical TN. Acyclovir took care of the typical pain in that it reduced the length of time the attack lasted from 30 days to 7 days and also reduced the pain level from 10 to 4 during the 7-day event. The atypical TN pain is a nuisance and can be handled by narcotics if necessary. Mostly, I just deal with it.

It’s not for everyone but perhaps it will be a solution for a few. This disease has always felt like a herpes attack on an internal nerve. I get hints of what is to come, mild attacks that ramp up over time, peak and then recede.

Air conditioning

My atypical flares from the air conditioning at work. I have discovered a mix of Abesol (the store brand) mixed in with Lansinoh Diaper Rash ointment (found at Target) give me a little bit of numbness with something that blocks the air somewhat from my trigger points. The Lansinoh has the highest content of Lanolin (15.5%) and Zinc Oxide (5.5%) of any ointment or cream I have found. I first apply a light mix of it with the abesol, then apply a heavy coat of just the Lansinoh on top. The zinc oxide rubs in clear, however, it does show some with the heavy coat, so what if it works! Doesn’t work 100% but it definitely helps take the edge off.

B Complex of Vitamins

I am a nutritional medicine student who is working with a woman with trigeminal neuralgia – she has had an operation which has stopped the pain of this condition. However, she has other health problems including obesity, high blood pressure, and blood sugar imbalance. For this case study, I would like to recommend a supplement which contains the B complex of vitamins (B6 is in the form of pyridoxine-5-phosphate 25mg). The B vitamin contains B3 (25mg), B1 (15mg) B2 (15mg) and B5 (50mg).

I was in remission for several years and found one thing that was a definite trigger to my TN,  Vitamin B12 pills at a higher dose.

I have B12 deficiency and have to take Methylcobalamin to keep the levels at a good level. (I can’t take injectible cyanocobalamin because I’m allergic to something in the solution).

I found out that when I take more than 3 tabs, it fires up my TN with a vengeance, so I generally take just 2 tabs. The good news is that the tremors stopped completely and my memory is much better than it was. I always tell people that if they are having those kinds of problems to get their levels checked. It’s made a huge difference.

I even did my own tests to see if it was the B12 that was triggering it, and it started doing the “firing” of the nerve every time I increased it that same day, so I”m very careful not to go over that.

Bean bag

I just wanted to give you some information about my TN problem. I have discovered that if I heat a bean bag up as hot as I can stand it or hotter, and place it on the pain (mine is on my right side kind of in the ear) and sit down for about 10 minutes with the bean bag on the pain area…..IT GOES AWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I think it has something to do with the heat. It relaxes the nerve and it goes away. NO MORE PILLS FOR ME!!!! I have tried pills, rest, crying works sometimes, too. But the heat works for me. Hope this information helps somebody. No more doctor visits either, which at one time I was told I was very difficult to treat and another pill was given. NO MORE PILLS FOR ME. YEAH. NO MORE DR APPTS. I have had this pain for 20 years and it took at least 10 years for someone to finally figure it out. It took a real good friend to help with the pain by saying try this, try this, try this………HEAT WORKS. Just wanted to pass this info to you.

Blue Star Ointment

About the same time I started applying Blue Star ointment to the side of my face and forehead each night before I went to bed, I think this also may be part of the reason for my relief; I don’t know for sure but I am continuing with both remedies.

Brand name Trileptal

My medication (trileptal ) became generic several months ago. At first, I was delighted as I felt it would be a great savings. Now I am back on the Brand name because on the generic I began to feel a great deal of sensitivity and was quite uncomfortable.I spoke to several friends who had problems with generics. I began to think that maybe my problem was a result of generic and apparently I was right for as soon as I went back on the brand name, my sensitivity is minimal. For anyone who is on a generic and may be experiencing problems, please consider going back to the Brand name.

Cervical Collar

I now put on my cervical collar (purchased at local pharmacy), place a hot (microwaved) bean bag on my scalp, and presto – gone in under an hour!

Collagen and Co-Enzyme 10

My pain intensity and frequency has lessened since I have been taking Collagen and Co-enzyme 10 in capsule form.

Disney

Well, Space Mountain seems to be 2 for 2. I was progressively getting worse last week, to the point that I saw a dentist and my doctor to absolutely rule out any teeth/sinus issues. They both ruled out ‘standard ailments’. So we headed to Disneyland on Friday night … since I went on Space Mountain again on Saturday, after the first 1/2 hour after the ride, I have not had the symptoms reoccur. I honestly believe the jarring of ride and not being able to see where you are going to prepare yourself for the turn creates a situation where your neck ‘snaps’ more effectively. If you would like to follow-up with me, please feel free.

FYI – My trigem seems to be ‘unofficially’ triggered by hard core exercise. Both instances when I have had it has come after working with a personal trainer and ‘pushing’ myself to my physical limits. I had just starting working towards a run/walk for a 5K …

Anyway, I hope that someone else will be able to benefit from the ‘Disney remission’ … It is a whole lot more fun the drugs and surgery!

Ear plug

I have been a TN patient for at least 10 years. Recently attacks seemed to occur more frequently. One of these occurred while I was on a tour bus overseas. One of the passengers suggested that I use an ear plug that she had received on the plane to stop any vibrations in my ear. I have since used an ear plug when I am in a car, at a concert, or on other occasions where there are loud sounds or other kinds of vibration. It works like a charm. I would just like to share this simple solution in the event that it may help others.

Effexor XR

FYI – I discovered by accident that effexor xr 150 mg was controlling my tn. Last summer I stopped the med in a desire to be drug free and had pain returning after 2 weeks. After months of tegretol, lyrica, and other anti-anxiety meds I went back on effexor 75 mg and have regained control. My brother who had his nerve cut and capped twice, but after time the nerves regrew has recently started effexor and is finding it getting control of his pain. Hope this helps someone.

Elasto-gel Cranial Cap

I use an elasto-gel cranial cap for relief of pain from occipital neuralgia. It is good because my pain starts on the top of my pain and radiates down the back of my head where the occipital nerves are. It sits on the back part of the trigeminal nerve.

Other uses include for pain in your temple(s). If you get headaches, migraines, the cap is wonderful! It also reaches the neck.

It is a good idea to purchase 2 or 3. It takes a while to get cold enough (about 2 hrs.) So if you have another one, you can swap. I also have one at my parents’ house.

Elderberry Syrup

I had TN for 7 years. You all know the story, so I don’t need to describe what it’s like, but it was bad.

A friend found a remedy in a 60’s era herbal book; another friend gave me the ingredients, and I made it up. However, you can also order elderberry syrup.

It is elderberry syrup mixed with a preservative such as brandy. I made the elderberry syrup myself like this: take a gallon of elderberries, clean and take the berries off the stems, rinse in water. Put into a pot with enough water to cover the elderberries and maybe another 3-4 inches in depth of water. Boil for an hour or so. Mash the elderberries with a potato masher to get all the juice out of them. Pour first through a sieve and then through cheesecloth to get all the solid particles out. Sweeten with corn syrup to taste (it doesn’t taste very good without being sweetened). Add the alcohol. Probably anything from 10-25% alcohol will do. I use a decent brandy. Pour into a wine bottle that you have thoroughly cleaned and rinsed with boiling water. Cork or cap. It will keep in your pantry for a long time.

To start, take a fairly small amount (remember, this is medicine)– three times a day with each meal. I take about the equivalent of a shot glass or 1/4 cup.

You can get elderberry syrup from iHerb.com or a place called Wyldwood Farms in, I think, Kansas. Both will send it to you. Mix it with the brandy and rebottle. The alcohol intensifies and quickens the healing effect. I have speculated that this works because of elderberries’ antioxidant content, but there must also be some anti-inflammatory effect as well. It has worked for me and my cousin’s wife.

Fish oil

I just wanted to let you know that I have had terrible pain for the last month. New pain started also around my eye under and above. I started taking fish oil in the syrup form, coq10 100 mg. I started on Tuesday of this week and in the middle of the night on Thursday I could blink without any pain. I still have some small face pain but the eye was the worst!

I was taking 3 400mg tablets per day of Tegretol when I read about someone who was getting good results taking Omega 3 Fish Oil. I started taking 1200 mg of Fish Oil every time I took a Tegretol and soon found I could reduce Tegretol to 2 tablets per day and continued to reduce until now I have been four months without medication.

Inflamation Nation

I read the book INFLAMATION NATION by Dr. Floyd Chilton. Bottom line, if you take EPA/DHA with GLA (all fatty acids) you can block the prostaglandins and luekotrienes that carry the pain messages to the brain. Has helped me at least 50%. Folks might want to read the book-available at B&N. It also tells you which foods trigger pain(foods high in AA, archidonic acid) & to avoid them completely. 60 recipies in back of book.

Myelin Sheath Support

I had Trigeminal Neuralgia and tried gamma knife (ok for 3 years), then MVD (ok for 3 years), then it started coming back. I discovered “Myelin Sheath Support” from Planetary herbals on the Internet, felt some relief after 6 weeks, total relief after 3 months, and have not had a problem since. I take 2 pills on an empty stomach in the a.m. and again in the p.m. I have made no other changes at all. Please let your patients know about this and give it a try. It really works (and I had tried EVERYTHING ELSE before I found this)!

Noxzema

Noxzema soothes and eliminates tingling nerve sensations.

Peppermint Candies

I was taking a few drugs that dry the mouth. I started taking peppermint candies to keep my mouth fresh. Read an article that said: “years ago when people fainted oil of peppermint was used to revive them, it made the ganglion nerve more active.” I realized the candy was probably irritating the nerve and made my pain worse.

Steam

I and my brother both suffer from this problem and we have found a way to deal with it without using drugs although my brother at times uses Tegretol tablets for pain relief. I wanted to tell the members of your association about the drug-free treatment we use:

Bring water to boil in a kettle (a small one would do) with a spout. Slowly bring the nostril of headache-side to it and inhale the steam carefully. When it is done very slowly, there is no problem of burning. Sit on a stool or chair and continue this for about 20 minutes or a little longer until the pain vanishes quite suddenly. It is more effective when steam is carefully and slowly inhaled through only one (left for me) nostril by closing the other nostril with the tip of a finger. While doing this, blow the nose several times to remove any phlegm that may have got loosened. Applying a small amount of a balm such as “vicks” at the tip of the nostril may help as well but not essential.

Practice Healthy Habits

Get adequate rest, eat a healthy diet and engage in regular exercise. (Ask your doctor which exercises are safe for you.) Relaxation techniques like meditation, visualization, hypnosis, and biofeedback may also help you feel better.

Care for your Emotional Health

People in chronic pain have been found to have an increased incidence of depression, anxiety and sleep disturbances. Your physician may want to prescribe medication or may suggest cognitive behavioral therapy (like relaxation techniques and psychological therapy). It may also help to share your thoughts and feelings with loved ones and to join a support group. (TNA has support groups throughout the country and across the world).

Know Your Treatment Options

There are many options for treating your pain beyond prescription and over-the-counter medicine. Complementary and alternative therapies include biofeedback, meditation, relaxation techniques, yoga, acupuncture and physical therapy. There are also interventional treatments for specific types of pain (like electrical stimulation and injections). Ask your doctor which is best for you.

8 natural solutions for joint comfort

Millions of people suffer from sore and inflamed joints, caused by hundreds of different conditions. Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and gout are among the most common. They’re frustrating conditions, made even more so because effective, safe pain relief is so hard to find.

The most popular prescribed medicines for arthritis are anti-inflammatory drugs, but many find the side effects unbearable. Then there are the safety worries. Two of the most widely prescribed arthritis drugs, Vioxx and Bextra, were withdrawn in 2004 and 2005 because of concerns about increased risk of heart attack and stroke in patients. A similar drug, Celebrex, is still prescribed, although studies have shown similar risks.

More and more people are seeking safer, more natural treatments – and this doesn’t mean relying on folk medicine or old wive’s tales. Many natural remedies for joint pain have been studied and shown to be effective, and there are now dozens of natural arthritis supplements available.

The following 8 supplements are some of the best: studies show they ease pain and inflammation, and some even prevent further damage. Here’s what you need to know.

The 8 best natural ways to relieve joint pain

Turmeric

This spicy pantry staple has a long history of use in medicine as well as in the kitchen. Traditional Ayurvedic medicine has used turmeric to treat inflammation for centuries in India;  while modern research is building evidence to show that this ancient remedy really works. Animal studies have shown that turmeric can reduce joint inflammation, possibly by inhibiting the production of our bodies’ inflammatory chemicals, prostaglandins, and leukotrienes. Many experts now agree that turmeric can reduce joint pain and inflammation.

Resveratrol

Resveratrol, a compound found naturally in red grape skins and Japanese knotweed is being investigated as another potential treatment for joint pain and inflammation. Researchers have discovered that injections of resveratrol helped reduce joint inflammation and slow down cartilage damage in animals. It’s thought that a resveratrol supplement could replicate the same anti-inflammatory effect, and research is ongoing and promising.

Fish oil

Research by Joseph Maroon MD, author of The Longevity Factor, shows that fish oil supplements could have similar anti-inflammatory properties to resveratrol. Both fish oil and resveratrol block the same ‘nuclear factor kappa B transcription factors’ that cause inflammation. He recommends that his patients take a combination of resveratrol and high-grade fish oil supplements to relieve painful, swollen joints.

Glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin

Of all the natural treatments for joint pain, glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin are backed by the largest body of evidence. Studies have shown that these two supplements relieve joint pain and inflammation, and can even prevent the progression of osteoarthritis. Glucosamine protects and helps produce cartilage, while chondroitin helps slow cartilage breakdown. Although they work separately, their benefits are known to be greater when taken together.

SAM-e

SAM-e stands for S-adenosylmethionine. It doesn’t sound too natural, but it’s a molecule found in almost every tissue and fluid in our bodies. It is well known as a natural treatment for depression (suffered by many people living with severe joint pain), and many studies and clinical trials have also shown that SAM-e relieves moderate osteoarthritis pain. Taking a SAM-e supplement delivers sulfur to your cartilage, where it helps strengthen your joints. In Europe, SAM-e is regularly prescribed by doctors for the treatment of both osteoarthritis and depression.

MSM

MSM – or methylsulfonylmethane – is an organic form of sulfur, one of the key chemical components in our food. MSM supplements are generally used to relieve muscle pain, but there is some evidence that MSM can also help relieve joint discomfort. It hasn’t been shown to preserve cartilage, but it may enhance the effectiveness of glucosamine and chondroitin when taken with those supplements.

Vitamin D

Being low in vitamin D is a common deficiency, but a dangerous one for people with osteoarthritis. Those with low levels of vitamin D may lose more cartilage than those with higher levels, so it’s a good idea to take a vitamin D supplement if you have osteoarthritis. If you are deficient, it can help stop further cartilage loss, although unlike the supplements mentioned above, it won’t relieve pain.

Popular home remedies for joint pain

Eat: Bananas, garlic cloves fried in butter, fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids

Drink: Carrot juice (try adding lemon), apple cider vinegar (mix two teaspoons with the same amount of honey, dissolved in a glass of warm water)

Massage: Use an arnica cream, warm olive oil or make a camphor rub (mix one teaspoon of camphor oil with one teaspoonful of sunflower oil)

Move: A warm bath with two cups of Epsom salts dissolved into the water can give some pain relief, as an alternating hot and cold compress. Exercise improves joint flexibility and bone strength (exercising in water can reduce pain)

Top Five Natural Herbs For Nerve Pain: What Does Science Say?

Dennis is a middle-aged individual who loves going outside and being active. One day, he noticed rashes and blisters around his shoulders. Within a few hours, these have spread into his arms and he can’t stop the itchy, painful feeling. After a checkup, the physician named this condition shingles, a reactivated form of chicken pox. Within a few days, the rashes and itchiness cleared up but why does he still feel a stabbing pain around the areas where it occurred?

What causes our nerves to go haywire?

While the shingles of Dennis was resolved in the above case, it left behind a very unfortunate consequence. The reactivated virus caused the damage to the nerves of Dennis. This is clinically termed as post-herpetic neuralgia. Neuralgia, or simply nerve pain, can be a symptom of other diseases as well. For example, one of the symptoms of multiple sclerosis is trigeminal neuralgia, in which a sharp, stabbing pain is felt by the patient in his face.

Nerve pain occurs for a variety of reasons. In the case above, it was because of a virus which damaged his nerves. In some cases, it’s because of a disease, like in multiple sclerosis, wherein the myelin sheath of the nerve has been damaged. Hence, the nerve isn’t protected anymore and can be affected by even simple non-damaging stimulus. Or in the case of diabetes, it’s the high sugar that damages the nerves. Other times it can be because of pressure that is laden to the nerve.

Common treatments for nerve pain

Usually, patients with nerve pain are prescribed anti-convulsants. While these medications aim to control seizures, they can also help relax the nerves and at least reduce pain impulses. Sometimes, anti-depressants would also be given to patients. Opioids can also be given, but they aren’t as effective to nerve pain as compared to nociceptive pain. As always, with long-term use, these chemical medications can have adverse side effects and patients might even build tolerance for them.

It is our aim to lessen the pain you’re feeling

That’s why we have curated this list so that you can find some of the best natural herbs for nerve pain. Backed by clinical studies and researches, these are the most powerful herbs that can alleviate the pain you’re feeling. With medication, there really is no one size fits all approach. You might need to experiment, try one herb at a time and hopefully, at least one of these can help you.

1. Nigella Sativa (Oil/Seed)

Commonly referred to as black seed, nigella sativa is native to the regions of India and the Middle East. Nigella sativa, mainly its seeds, have been used as a flavoring spice even during ancient times. It has various flavors that give that distinct taste to any dish yet its health benefits shouldn’t be taken for granted. Prophet Muhammad is believed to have said once, “Let fall these black seeds upon you, these contain cure for all diseases except death.

SativaScientifically proven to reduce nerve pain and nerve damage, black seed oil.

In a study by Amin and colleagues, they tested the effectiveness of nigella sativa on rats that have been subjected to neuropathic pain. Specifically, they isolated the thymoquinone compound of the herb. The result was that the compound was able to reduce levels of both malondialdehyde and ionized calcium-binding adapter molecule 1, important markers of oxidative stress and microglial activity, respectively.

In another study, researchers tested on a clinical trial of streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats.  They created various control groups, with some rats receiving no treatment, some receiving just nigella sativa and some receiving just thymoquinone. It was found that both nigella sativa and thymoquinone were able to reduce the myelin sheath breakdown in rats that received the treatments.

2. Spinach (Supplements)

The superfood of Popeye is a great source of alpha lipoic acid. This compound is known for its anti-oxidant and neuropathic-relieving properties. One expert in the field, Dr. Weil, even recommends it for those suffering from nerve pain. The problem is, you only get alpha lipoic acid in minute amounts in spinach so you can also opt for supplementary tablets if you want to maximize its effects.

SpinachDue to its anti-oxidant effects, the alpha lipoic acid in spinach can help relieve nerve pain as well.

There are many studies available online with regards to clinical trials highlighting the efficiency of alpha lipoic acid for patients with diabetic neuropathy. For example, this study investigated on patients with diabetic sensorimotor polyneuropathy after giving them alpha lipoic acid supplementation. The result was that there was a significant pain reduction after the treatment period. In another study, alpha lipoic acid was given intravenously instead and again, the neuropathic pain of the patients were significantly reduced.

The way that alpha lipoic acid works is two fold. First, it scavenges for reactive oxygen species. Reactive oxygen species inhibit the transmission of GABA neurons, which play a role in reducing the pain in the nervous system. Second, it is able to induce the production of anti-oxidants such as glutathione, vitamin C and vitamin E, which helps reduce the oxidative stress in the body. Further, in the case of diabetic patients, alpha lipoic acid also helps in the uptake and disposal of glucose.

3. Hypericum Perforatum (Supplement/Topical)

Hypericum perforatum is commonly known as St. John’s wort. This perennial herb is native to the continents of Europe and Asia. Nowadays though, you can easily find it around the world. The herb is a known treatment for depression. Its main compound, hyperforin, inhibits the uptake of both dopamine and serotonin, thereby altering the mood of the patient. In recent times, the neuropathic-relieving effects of this herb is being studied as well.

St. John's WortBy blocking the influx of calcium in the membrane, hypericum perforatum induces analgesia.

In a recent study, researchers investigated on the effects of hypericum perforatum on rats that were induced with sciatic nerve injury. Sciatica is one of the diseases in which neuralgia is a symptom of. They found out that this herb works primarily by inhibiting the TRPM2 and TRPV channels. With this suppression, calcium cannot readily enter the cell and so nerve pain transmission is blocked.

In another study, aside from investigating the effects of the herb on calcium channels, the researchers also studied its effects on oxidative stress and apoptosis. Again, rats were subjected to spinal cord injury-induced oxidative stress. The results were significant, as oxidation markers such as reactive oxygen species, apoptosis and caspases  were reduced after treatment of the herb. Glutathione, an anti-oxidant, was also remarkably increased after the treatment.

4. Lippia Graveolens (Dried)

Lippia graveolens is simply Mexican oregano, a popular medicinal herb in Central America, especially Mexico. Mexican cuisine is known for its aromatic and flavorful dishes. But did you know that Mexican oregano is packed full of flavonoids, including the pain-relieving luteolin? Make sure you get the dried version of the leaves, as this has the most amount of luteolin.

Mexican OreganoMexican oregano, in the dried form, contains a high amount of luteolin, a potent analgesic compound for neuropathy.

In an animal clinical investigation, the efficiency of luteolin in diabetic neuropathy was investigated. The rats were separated into groups and were given various dosages of luteolin. The foremost effect of the compound was the reduction of plasma glucose, an important effect for diabetic patients. Similarly, oxidative enzymes such as reactive oxygen species and malondialdehyde were significantly reduced by the treatment. Markers for anti-oxidant reactions were generally increased after the treatment as well.

In another clinical study, rats were subjected on a sciatic nerve-ligated injury. This time, the researchers created control groups, one was given just luteolin and the other was given luteolin and morphine. Alone, luteolin was able to reduce the neuropathic pain that the mice felt. But in combination with morphine, the result was more significant, perhaps shedding the light for a possible treatment with both for humans.

5. Fermented Soybean

Fermented soybean is simply soybean that is allowed to ferment over a low or acidic pH. There are many types of fermented soybean such as tempeh, miso, soybean paste and natto. These derivatives are rich in protein, vitamins and minerals. It is also rich in a compound known as acetyl-L-carnitine. In the Philippines, this compound is advertised as a weight reducer. But aside from that health benefit, it also offers relief from nerve pain.

NattoResearches about the effectiveness of acetyl-l-carnitine for pain reduction are still few, but its potential cannot be denied.

There are a number of studies highlighting the pain-relieving effects of acetyl-l-carnitine. But they are still conflicting, since the exact way of how the compound works isn’t certain yet. In most studies, this compound is shown to have an effect on acetylcholine uptake. By doing so, the neuropathic pain is decreased as acetylcholine levels are enhanced in the cell.

On a recent study though, a group of researchers challenged this accepted theory. In their research, they have found out that acetyl-l-carnitine works primarily by activating metabotropic glutamate receptors, specifically mGlu2. The researchers related the NF-KB pathway to the process but instead of being deactivated, they postulated that it was activated by acetyl-l-carnitine. This is because activation of this pathway can lead to analgesia through the activation of u-opioid receptors.

More researches are being done every year

Neuralgia is one of the most complicated pains in the medical world. When it comes to nerve pain, the only thing that we can do is manage it. There are some cases of nerve pain patients who have reversed the damage almost completely, but they are rare. The common notion is that, the earlier you are able to treat the damage, the better your chances of recovering are.

Do not ever give up, the treatment for your pain might just be around the corner. With the number of healing herbs in the world, there must be at least one that might work for you. Just remember that combining them might not be such a good idea. It’s best to try one herb at a time so you can decipher whether it’s working or not. Plus, interactions can occur with using many herbs at the same time.

Have you tried any natural herbs for your neuralgia? Did it work for you? You can share your experiences in the comments section below.

Divorce From A Psychopath Or Narcissist Is Never Easy

Psychopath-

Noun– A person suffering from a chronic mental disorder with abnormal or violent social behaviors

Narcissist-

Noun– A person who has an excessive interest in or admiration of themselves

These two types of extensions to be by far the worst kind of people, you can both be married to and therefore divorce from, as their lack of empathy and obsessive need to win and inflict pain on others, seems in many cases to have no end.

Almost unanimously when I hear of people taking their exes to court over and over, or divorces that drag out for years even decades, I already in my mind have a presumption that there is a good chance that these cases involve a person with one of these disorders.

Besides the obvious facts that divorce from these people is often, more dismal, and highly contentious, they are often harder to move on and recover from, here are a few of my tips on moving on from a psychopath or narcissistic ex.

1. Realize that in most cases, you would have been targeted by your ex for your giving or passive nature, generally, a psychopath or narcissist are looking for the givers of the world to feed off, as emotional vampires do. You will have often been young, naive or have the persona that you want to believe the best in people, these traits in you are on the surface great traits, but to a narcissist or psychopath, they make you the perfect prey. Forgive yourself for the lack of judgment in marrying these people, they often are extremely charismatic and won’t always reveal their true motives, until after marriage and or children, when they know it’s harder for you to escape. Once you can forgive yourself and see the pattern or red flag behaviors it will be easier for you to spot this in new people and break the cycle.

2. Understand that even though for many years you were probably emotionally abused and made to feel not worthy or enough, you are and always were enough, this projection on you is nothing about your worth and always everything about your ex’s tactics to control and hurt you. Your reaction to them would have been their drug of choice for many years, and this dynamic must be broken once and for all.

3. Let go of the fact that many people around your ex will probably buy into their dramatic victim playing, you may feel anger towards, your ex’s friends, family or work colleagues who have bought into the narcissist or psychopaths award-winning dramatic acts, over the course of the divorce. Let this anger go, remember those people are now no longer a part of your life as your ex shouldn’t be, don’t blame them, as they can only see the side they have been shown by your ex. Anger is always a wasted and draining emotion you owe it to yourself to let it go.

4. Spend some time analyzing the true dynamics of what your relationship and marriage were, often in these abusive relationships we are so bamboozled by the gaslighting, playing a victim, and emotional abuse inflicted we can’t see the wood for the trees. Once we have divorced and exited these relationships, it will take a while for you to begin to see things exactly how they are. If you are looking for clarification, there are a lot of great articles about narcissists and psychopaths on the internet, that will explain in more detail their behaviors and relationship dynamics, once you really understand what you are dealing with things seem clearer.

5. Seek support, whether on dreams recycled or join our Facebook group or any one of many online support groups, understand you are not alone, when you connect with other people who have been through or have recovered from these relationships you feel a lot less isolated and making new friends after a divorce is always an important part of moving on.

6. The top 1 thing everyone after divorce from a narcissist or psychopathy needs to do is disengage. I cannot stress how important this is, disengage fully and forever. These people are not fixable, and will never change. Expect at first the antisocial behaviors to escalate, but whatever they do to get a reaction do not fall for it. Stand firm in your disengagement, three-word text response only for child coordination, no emotion, no aggression, no anything, whatever you feel good bad or otherwise, never let them see your reaction. Eventually, the abusive ex will start to look and then sadly find a new target/victim to emotionally feed off.

7. Lastly and in my mind most importantly work on yourself and self-love, your psyche and ego will often be shattered by this type of ex, the stronger we make our selves the less our ex will be able to hurt us, and the stronger and happier we will be in ourselves. Daily positive action, whether, in work, health, or goals gets us to this better place quicker. Throw in a huge heap of daily positive affirmation, and you will feel much more like your old self quicker.

The process of healing and moving on from any divorce won’t be easy, an abusive relationship, will be even harder, but rest assure you leaving these abusive unions, is a huge victory for you, and you should be applauded for having the courage to stand up and say enough is enough. Once you realize that in that act alone you have already won, the possibility to create a happy new life are endless. Having the strength to leave makes you unstoppable, so go out and create the best life you can, you may not feel like it at this moment but you are already halfway there.

How to Enjoy Summer Despite Having Lupus

Summer means a lot of fun yet a lot of sun. For families with kids, summer is always the best time to go on trips and vacations. But for people with lupus, summer can mean more pain and discomfort. Fortunately, you can keep lupus at bay while traveling. Enjoying summer with lupus is entirely within reach. This time, you just have to be extra mindful when it comes to overdoing any activity or spending more time under the sun. Taking care of yourself is the key. Follow these tips to have an enjoyable summer trip with your family and friends.

1. Exercise: With or without lupus, making time for exercise is important for everyone. For people with lupus, exercise can strengthen your bone density, lower your risk of injury, improve your outlook, and relieve tension. To avoid aggravating your symptoms by working muscles and joints too much, start out slowly. It’s important that you’re fit and strong, because you will be doing a lot of walking on vacation.

2. Sun and Safety: Overexposure to the sun can lead to rashes or even hot flashes. Here are some things you can do to avoid these symptoms:

  • Avoid the midday sun as it’s at its strongest.
  • Enjoy your view from under a shady tree or an umbrella.
  • Apply sunscreen every two hours during the day with at least 30 SPF, hitting spots that are easily overlooked like the backs of your knees or behind your ears.
  • Always head down to the poolside or beach with a cover-up on. Vests and cooling scarves should come in handy while out and about.
  • You can be sensitive to some sunscreens. So, do some trial and error beforehand to find the right one that suits your skin.

3. Get Rid of the Insects: For people with lupus, insects like mosquitoes, flies, gnats, and bees can do harm. A lot of lupus patients have experienced a severe reaction to bug bites. To lessen your risk of insect bites, make sure to:

  • Apply an insect repellent lotion before going out, especially when you’re camping. Use repellents that contain Diethyltoluamide, as they are considered to be very effective.
  • Avoid exposing your skin especially around sunrise and sunset when insects tend to be most active. Be sure to wear some cover-ups. The long sleeves and long pants you use to shield UV rays can also be used to protect yourself against those insects.
  • Stay away from areas near water such as swamps and ponds where mosquitoes could dwell.
  • If you ever get a bite, wash the bite spot with water and soap. Do not scratch it to avoid infection. If the area is swollen and it’s in pain, take painkillers like Paracetamol or Ibuprofen. A cold compress can also help reduce the swelling.

4. Avoid Potential Contagions: Since lupus causes a negative immune system response to your body, people with lupus are more prone to contracting viruses and infections. Thus, avoid large crowds where contact is unavoidable. You also have to avoid direct contact with loved ones or friends who are suffering from a cold or viral infection. Always wash your hands thoroughly or use a sanitizer to get rid of potential contagions.

5. Eat Healthy: There is no special diet for lupus, but eating healthy is still important. Generally, people with lupus should have a well-balanced diet which includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. A moderate amount of meats and fishes are also good. Maintaining a well-balanced diet helps in reducing inflammation and other symptoms.

6. Plenty of Water: Make sure to drink enough water throughout the day. The 8-glasses-a-day idea is not a rule, but, you should be sipping water regularly. It can help push out toxins from the body, and it can help the sluggish digestive systems that many lupus patients experience.

7. Enough Amount of Sleep: To avoid the symptoms of extreme fatigue and weakness, make sure to get enough sleep. Enjoying summer with lupus is more achievable if you’re well rested. Sleep for no less than eight hours at night. If you stay up late one night, take a long nap the next day. You don’t want to drain yourself too much throughout the trip.

Before Your Trip

Know your triggers.Before going on a trip, you need to identify your triggers. Most lupus sufferers experience flare-ups due to certain triggers. Track your flare-ups by triggers or stressors. Every person who has lupus has different triggers. The most common triggers are sun exposure, emotional stress, certain foods, colds or infection. Knowing your triggers can help you avoid them so as to not aggravate a flare-up of your symptoms. Don’t forget to care for your body while on your trip. Simple measures can help prevent lupus flares from coming. Be prepared with the things you need while traveling. Here are some useful items that will make your summer pleasurable and safer:

1. Sunglasses. Use sunglasses to protect your eyes from the rays of the sun as well as the breeze. The wind can actually make your eyes flare up. Look for darker sunglasses with wide sides. Great sunglasses offer UVA/UVB protection.

2. Eye drops. Many people with lupus will experience dry eyes issues. So, if you’re like them, keep your eye drops handy.

3. Hats. Covering up during the hot season may sound weird, but exposure to the sun can lead to damaging effects like butterfly rashes and severe flare-ups. Hats never go out of style. So, it isn’t weird to wear a hat, even in the summer. People use this as an opportunity to showcase their style and individuality.

4. Cleansing wipes. When walking around outdoors, having an oil-free hypoallergenic cleansing wipe is a smart idea. Wipes are great for wiping up your sweat. They can also act as a great cleanser for removing oil and dirt from your face.

5. Cooling blankets. Cooling blankets are now widely available. They can even be purchased online. They can be pretty expensive, but you can use them all year round. Many people with lupus experience night sweats. A cooling blanket can get rid of those night sweats. Get the type of cooling blanket that lasts for a couple of hours and doesn’t leave your sheets damp.

6. Medicine. Your medicines are your safety net. You don’t want to feel helpless when having flares on vacation. You don’t just bring your medicines because you want to enjoy your summer vacation, but it’s primarily because you are away from you doctor, your own bed, pharmacy, etc. Having a debilitating pain in your hotel room isn’t an ideal get-away. Also, make sure to let your family or friends know where your medicines are.

 

Final Thoughts

Enjoying the summer with lupus means taking precautions. Tailoring your activities to the morning or evening hours is in fact preferable. For pregnant women, it is not advisable to go on summer trips. According to LupusUK.org, pregnant women with lupus have increased the risk of miscarriage. Also, it is best to consult your doctor if you seem to have a reaction such as swollen glands or difficulty in breathing. Make sure your family or friends who are with you on the trip have your doctor’s contact number. Throughout your trip, try to relax whenever you feel stressed or tired. You don’t have to participate in all activities. Your loved ones will surely understand and would gladly make you feel safe and comfortable.

How Summer Heat Aggravates Nerve Pain [And What You Can Do About It]

With summer around the corner, have you noticed the symptoms of your neuropathy getting worse?

For many people with nerve damage, extremes in heat and humidity can exacerbate their nerve pain. There are a number of reasons why hot weather may be making your symptoms worse. Among the most common reasons are that:

  • Heat and humidity can increase inflammation
  • Heat, combined with dehydration, can starve nerves of important oxygen & nutrients
  • Exposure to sun (without proper sun protection) cause burn already sensitive skin
  • Hotter weather is often associated with lighter, less protective footwear (i.e. flip flops), which can aggravate nerve pain in the feet

What can you do to beat the heat and stay cool and comfortable this summer? First off, take a look at the # products that can help:

 

BedJet Bed Cooling Fan


Getting a good night’s sleep is hard enough when you have nerve pain. A hot bedroom can make it that much harder. The Bedjet cooling fan nestles under your bed and pumps cool air under your sheets, helping you stay comfortable so you can sleep better.

Not only that, but it has a heating function for the winter months as well. This is especially beneficial for neuropathy sufferers because cold feet reduces circulation.

Bedjet bed cooling fan

 

 

Cooling sheets


If you need a cooler bed but don’t want to go as far as a cooling fan – a good pair of cooling sheets may be just what you need. These sheets from QVC.com feature Nanotex technology to wick away moisture from your skin – keeping you cool and comfortable.

 

“Chill Pal” Summer Cooling towels


If you’re going to be out and about and air conditioning isn’t an option – help regulate your body temperate with a cooling towel. Just drape one of these ice cold towels around your neck for lasting coolness!

Chill towel summer cooling towel

 

Tips for keeping your home cool


Thermostat

 

In addition to the products mentioned above, try a few of these simple suggestions to help keep your home cool this summer:

Decorate with naturally cooling plants

Decorating your home with the right indoor plants can help cool it naturally – as well as create a calm, relaxing environment. Check out the video below for a few plants that can help cool your home.

Solar powered attic fan

Hot, stagnant air in your attic can create an oven-like effect on your home. Not only does this make for an uncomfortable living environment, it also makes your air conditioner work harder to cool your home – meaning a bigger power bill each month.

If you don’t already have one, a solar powered attic fan can help cool your attic space without eating up your electricity bill.

Switch your ceiling fan direction

Did you know you can change the direction your ceiling fan blows – and that it can make a huge difference in your comfort? In the summer months, change the ceiling fan to blow COUNTER-clockwise. This helps circulate the air better and create a more effective cooling breeze in the home.

In the winter months, change it to clockwise to help push warm air down towards the ground.

A few extra tips for staying comfortable this summer:


Lastly, a few extra tips for staying cool. When possible, stay indoors and avoid long time exposure to the sun. Wear light, breathable clothing. Most importantly, drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. This will help both your nerves as well as your overall wellness during the hot summer months.

If Someone’s Truly A Narcissist, They’ll Never Do These 7 Things

Never expect a narcissist to apologize.

Narcissism is more rampant now than it ever has been. In the world of social media and internet connections, we are granted the opportunity to broadcast all aspects of our lives to our social circles. We are given platforms for glorification, praise, and worship. We are giving other people the chance to get a good glimpse of what our lives are like. And the best part is that we get to choose what parts of our lives other people get to see. That is why there are so many narcissists these days. People are too caught up with getting Instagram or Facebook likes. They think that their self-worth depends on how many Twitter followers they have. They will do anything they can to project an image of importance and value to the people around them. These people will become overly self-obsessed to the point wherein they might actually believe the lies that they are trying to sell about themselves.

Dating a narcissist can be very difficult. The reason for that is because they tend to be very selfish and self-obsessed individuals. They rarely ever think about other people unless it concerns other peoples’ perceptions of them. That’s why a lot of people will tend to avoid dating these narcissistic types of individuals. If you are having trouble trying to figure out whether a person is narcissistic or not, then this list is here to help you out. Here are a few characteristics of self-obsessed narcissists.

1. They will never apologize.

Narcissists think that they can do no wrong. They hold themselves to such high-esteem to the point wherein they think that they are always right about everything. That is why whenever they do screw up in life (and they do screw up all the time, as all people do), they will never admit it by saying sorry. They think they are above apologies because they think that everything that goes wrong in the world is always the fault of other people.

2. They will never assume the responsibility for their faults.

These narcissists think that they are perfect human beings. They never accept whenever they stumble or fall. They always want things done their way. Whenever they commit a blunder, they would never be one who takes ownership of it. They would always find a way to pass the blame to someone else because, in their eyes, they are virtually incapable of being imperfect. If something goes right, they think that it’s because of them. If something goes wrong, they think that it’s never their fault.

3. They will never be introspective.

For someone who is a little self-obsessed, a narcissist can lack lots of self-awareness. Though they think of themselves all the time, they rarely ever see themselves in an objective light. They will never be the kinds of people who will meditate on their philosophies or reflect on their actions. They are impulsive and they will do anything that they fancy. They aren’t very analytical beings and they always act on their own accord without much thinking.

4. They will never be forgiving.

Aside from being the kind of person who never apologizes, a narcissist is also the kind of person who never accepts apologies. They think that because they are supposedly perfect individuals, they are entitled to anything that they desire. They always expect the world to bend at their will and they will never tolerate anything less than their expectations. They are not forgetful people and they will always hold a vendetta against the people whom they feel have wronged them.

5. They will never be thoughtful or selfless.

There are few things more miserable than dating a narcissist who never thinks twice about you. These narcissists will never be generous. They would never act out of kindness unless they know that it would serve their best interests. Everything that they do in life is only motivated by their own selfish desires. They are not the kind of people who would do things out of the pure kindness of their hearts without expecting anything in return. There always has to be something in it for them.

6. They will never reveal their true emotions.

The narcissist loves being the center of attention. They thrive under the spotlight and they absolutely adore it when all eyes are on them. They are also incredibly skilled at putting up a façade of themselves. Narcissists lack the kind of self-awareness that is necessary for people to really understand what they are feeling inside. Since narcissists don’t truly understand their emotions, they will always tend to close their feelings off to people on the outside. It’s their way of protecting themselves from something they don’t really understand.

7. They will never be empathetic or sensitive to other people.

If a narcissist has difficulty grasping his/her own true feelings, then what more with other people? They don’t really have a good read of other people’s emotions. That is why they can come off as being very insensitive and tactless people. They will speak their mind regardless of how their words can impact other people because they don’t really care that much.