Friday, April 27, 2012

Fatigue Not A Factor In Fibro Pain Study States

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Stress-Proof Yourself for Less Flares

We all know that stress makes our fibro flares worse.  Frankly, stress can make anything worse.  According to the American Psychological Association, 75% of Americans suffer some type of symptom due to stress in any given month.  77% feel physical symptoms, while 73% experience psychological symptoms.  Money and work are the leading causes of stress and anxiety and almost half of Americans feel they are more stressed now than they have been in the past.  Statistically and logically speaking, stress is bad for us all if it's prolonged.

Health.com's latest issue explains that there are ways we can reduce our stress and live happier and healthier lives.  The major thing they stress (pardon the pun) is that we should all take a break and enjoy some pleasurable activities.

The article went into Harvard's recent survey of what makes us happy.  The highest ranking activity was sex (that's SO surprising LOL!).  Among the other top activities were exercising, talking, and doing housework. 

I can understand exercising, but housework?  Housework tends to be the bane of my existence.  It's never done and there's always more piled on your plate even if you've made a dent.  I have visions of the laundry hamper secretly becoming guppies because that thing seems to multiple in minutes!  And then there's the white carpet that's in the house... I could just look at it and stains will form-- I SWEAR!  NO LIE!  It's tasks like those that make me not want to have fun at my writer's group meetings or go for girl's night out.  I get stressed just thinking about leaving the house.

And most of us, including myself, tend to put any kind of fun on the back burner when our plates are full.  I know my husband yells at me all the time for doing this.  He knows better than I that housework will always be there but my sanity won't.  The problem with this is he doesn't understand that I tend to think having fun is a luxury that I can't afford to have.  There's always something left on my lists of things to do and my guilt of not getting things done wins out.

However, according to Health.com, one study shows that people who have fun are more likely to have lower blood pressure and cortisol scores as opposed to fuddy-duddies like me who choose to do work all the time. Studies like these, and the constant nagging of my husband, make me want to listen because I just might be missing out on flare-free happiness.

After reading this article I've decided to re-think my outlook on life and here's my top three anxiety antidotes that I'm going to incorporate into my daily life to relieve some anxiety and stress.

  1. Stop to smell the roses.  I love gardening but there are times when my work load has me avoiding the light of day.  This isn't good because the sun allows the body to absorb vitamin D, something that is hard for our bodies to absorb naturally through food or supplements.  The sun also helps us to feel less fatigued and feeling less tired is a plus for any fibromite!
  2. Tea and crumpets aren't just for the English.  Sipping an afternoon tea is actually beneficial to your health.  Studies have shown that tea drinkers are happier people.  That's a plus right there, but there's also other health benefits to certain teas.  Green tea has been shown to ward off heart disease, diabetes, and even dementia.  Earl Grey has been shown to be a mood lifter and raspberry black currant tea helps with menstrual and menopausal problems along with having natural anti-inflammatory properties.
  3. Accentuate the positive.  No one likes to hear anyone complain.  It's negative and brings us to an all-time low.  Instead of talking up a storm about the man who cut me off on the highway I'm going to try and accentuate the positive things.  Things like the good deal I got on a spring handbag to how cute my four year old looked when she helped me scrap the wallpaper off of the hallway walls are much more pleasurable events.  And accentuating these positives will help me ward off the negative effects of the stressful events in my day.

Stay fabulous!
Love and friendship,

Kimberley

Friday, April 20, 2012

My Gluten-Free Journey

Some of you may know that I'm prone to eczema skin flares.  They have been particularly bad for the past 5-6 years, especially on my hands.  It has been frustrating and at times down-right depressing to deal with because I had no idea where my flares were originating.

I read a book several years back called Eczema-Free For Life by Dr Adnan Nasir and Priscilla Burgess.  The book was good and suggested many things that I could do in order to help heal my rash.  This book was my last ditch effort to avoid getting yet another cream or cover-up for my problem because everything that I had tried over-the-counter and prescription-wise only worked for a short time.  I wanted answers beyond a magic pill and its empty promises. 

I diligently tried everything that was suggested in the book because I was desperate for relief.  Some of the suggestions were to add humidity to your home, wear all cotton clothing, get some sun, and use moisturizer with gloves at night.  I faithfully followed all of these suggestions diligently but I was still suffering pretty badly.

After these suggestions didn't work I almost lost hope of ever seeing clear skin in my life again.  I tried to live with the constant itch but it really started to irritate me.  I started another search on Google and came across a gal that was making a lot of sense.  She shares my belief that you truly are what you eat and that some things you eat will cause you aliments-- even skin conditions.  Her website and list of suggestions can be found here:

http://www.eczema-natural-healing.com/eczema-food-allergies.html

Much of what she discusses is a general rule to follow for Fibro sufferers and I had already been diligent in following her suggestions except for one, breads.  When I first came to her site I thought I was avoiding what I needed to avoid which is refined flours, but in today's day and age there is something else we all must avoid and that's quantity.

Many things that are made today are made out of wheat, soy, and nuts.  Three things that are causing major allergies in many people.  Some have found relief from avoiding these foods all together-- something I'm noticing myself by my starting a gluten-free diet.  My eczema symptoms, bloating, and irritable bowel have almost disappeared do to my avoidance of wheat.

Here's the problem I see down the road, though.  If we as a society have to continue to avoid things in our diet because food manufactures can't take a hint that quantity IS NOT quality, we are only substituting one aliment for another.  I think the best measure is to use an elimination diet to find the potential food culprits, avoid those culprits for at least a couple of weeks to a month, and then try to re-introduce those culprits back into your diet in a healthy way.  That being said, one should only have those foods in moderation.

There is nothing wrong with dairy, wheat, or soy, per say.  They all add benefits to your diet.  Dairy has been shown to aid you in the prevention of bone loss.  Soy potentially balances your hormones during menopause.  Wheat may help to lower your risk of heart disease.

As a firm believer in pure foods, I believe we do a disservice to ourselves when we completely eliminate something from our life.  Life is meant to be lived richly and that includes foods.  If we live like our forefathers and eat everything in moderation-- as long as it's pure-- I don't think you can go wrong.

My journey going gluten-free to aid in my skin issues has gone well.  My skin is almost completely cleared up.  I am quite happy with the results but I know my journey to a healthier me is far from over because feeling fabulous takes work.

Stay fabulous!
Love and friendship,

Kimberley

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Earth Day and Fibro and Fabulous

I wanted to share a lovely contest that Lulu.com is doing.  As you all know, I'm an avid gardener and anything that has to do with planting I'm ALL for!  I hope all of you can either participate in this great contest or help out an indie author who is.  The link to what the contest is all about can be found here:

https://www.facebook.com/Luludotcom/app_322805704439844

I've entered Fibro and Fabulous The Book and it's being offered at 40% off.  A link to the book can be found here:

http://www.lulu.com/shop/kimberley-linstruth-beckom/fibro-and-fabulous-the-book/paperback/product-6285933.html

Stay fabulous!
Love and friendship,

Kimberley

Uplifting Story About Fiona

Friday, April 6, 2012

When all else fails

Life can take turns we are not willing to take.  It can be dark, lonely, or just plain depressing.  During these times a flare can present itself as depression and it's hard to cope.

What do I try to do?  I get lost in the 80's... music that is.  That music springs me back to a time that was whole for me.

What should you do?  Find that hole that fills you.  It could be your adolescence, your adult  life, or your childhood.  It could also be something completely different.  Just fill your hole and life will be bearable.

Stay fabulous!

Kimberley

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