A True Cancer Story

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1     For those who missed the daily tips, blogs etc, sign up for the free e-zine which will have the weeks tips and the blogs. Send an e-mail to fibro@drgenemartin.com, write e-zine in the subject, and you’ll receive the e-zine every Friday. I’ll need your full name. Also make sure your spam filter is not intercepting it.

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My New Year’s Resolution-Being Judgemental

Announcements

1     For those who missed the daily tips, blogs etc, sign up for the free e-zine which will have the weeks tips and the blogs. Send an e-mail to fibro@drgenemartin.com, write e-zine in the subject, and you’ll receive the e-zine every Friday. I’ll need your full name. Also make sure your spam filter is not intercepting it.

2    I’ve created a FREE DVD. It covers various topics to make your lives easier. From how to talk to your doctor to the real scoop on pain management groups to exercise, to social situation etc etc. Please go to www.drgenemartin.com to get yours. One great piece of feedback is people telling me how the chapter on “how to speak to your doctor” about fibro is especially good. In other words, how not to have the doc dismiss you in 5 minutes. I’m really happy these are helping. So far we’ve sent out over 2100. Again it is FREE and meant to be a help to those I can’t help in person. (The the way, the feedback has been great and these are non-profit projects).

My New Year’s Resolution

For the past 25 or so years, I’ve always made the same New Year’s resolution, and unfortunately, I’ve never been able to live up to it. I fail much more often than I succeed. My excuse, I’m human.

What is this resolution? No, I don’t smoke, I don’t drink, I don’t procrastinate, I exercise daily, I’m not overweight etc etc etc. (these are the common ones people always talk about.)

My New Year’s Resolution is always: I will not be judgmental, I will not judge people. You know something; this is possibly the hardest one to keep. We are so conditioned to judge, that we don’t even realize we do it, yet we do it constantly.

Since my practice is limited to Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, every time I receive a call from a prospective patient, certain thoughts run through my head. Will this patient be difficult, will he/she show up, if this person becomes a patient, will they follow instructions and will they constantly complain. I also question myself: Will I be able to help this patient and will I do the best I possibly can. Yes; I even judge myself (in fact we all do).

Interestingly, time after time, I’ve always found my patients to be lovely, warm, certainly compliant and just the nicest people. I always do the best I can and really do care about all my patients, yet I judge myself.

So, why do we all judge.

I’m not sure, I suppose it starts when we’re children, our parents, (though they generally love us), want us to do well in school so we try to live up to their expectations, the teachers judge us, our friends judge; as we get older and work, our employers and co-workers judge us.  Add to this all the advertising and media of the perfect woman with the gorgeous looks, the perfect housewife, raising her 3 children while even working a full time job, the television shows where the characters are handsome, witty and charming ; thus we can’t help but compare ourselves and we start comparing others and making judgments.

Interestingly, the great majority of times, when we judge somebody, without knowing anything about them, we are wrong.

Ever been in an elevator with a person who has an angry look on their face, perhaps you say good morning and get a snappy reply back. We judge, but for all we know, that person might have just received a notice that they are being audited by the I.R.S., or found out that their child received an “F” in algebra, or even that they were given a work project that is due in 3 hours. Perhaps, someone close to them just passed away. We really know so little.

Now, what about the person with Fibromyalgia? Since it is so often invisible, one day a person might feel good enough to smile, the next day, they might look and feel miserable and be in no position to chit-chat. In fact, I would bet that there are many people with Fibromyalgia whom you see daily, yet you have no idea that they are sick.

Add to this, the constant judgments you receive from the many different doctors you see. Sure some are nice and caring, but you’ve all had those Docs who give you 5 minutes of their time and feel that it is a privilege for you to pay them $450.00 for these minutes. How about the Docs who deny that you are sick?  What about those doctors who tell you that the symptoms are in your head. What about the disabled fibro patients who cannot get disability after applying again and again. It’s easy to become judgmental and distrustful (it’s close cousin).

Yet, as I had mentioned, being judgmental is not good nor is it healthy, sure there are some pretty nasty people out there, but I would guess that most people are nice, want to be liked and want to live a healthy and safe life. Being judgmental is a cycle, the more we judge, the more we get in the habit of judging.

I continue to make the same resolution year after year, perhaps over time, I’ve gotten better, but will I ever reach the point of being a non-judgmental person; most probably not, but I’ll keep trying.

I’m only human.

Dr. Gene Martin, D.C.

Fibromyalgia Relief Center of the Bay Area

520 South El Camino Real, Ste 520

San Mateo Ca. 94402

650-558-1010

E-mail: fibro@drgenemartin.com

Web: http://www.drgenemartin.com

Skype: dr.gene.martin

Why isn’t there more Research being done to find a cure for Fibromyalgia?

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1     For those who missed the daily tips, blogs etc, sign up for the free e-zine which will have the weeks tips and the blogs. Send an e-mail to fibro@drgenemartin.com, write e-zine in the subject, and you’ll receive the e-zine every Friday. I’ll need your full name. Also make sure your spam filter is not intercepting it.

2    I’ve created a FREE DVD. It covers various topics to make your lives easier. From how to talk to your doctor to the real scoop on pain management groups to exercise, to social situation etc etc. Please go to www.drgenemartin.com to get yours. One great piece of feedback is people telling me how the chapter on “how to speak to your doctor” about fibro is especially good. In other words, how not to have the doc dismiss you in 5 minutes. I’m really happy these are helping. So far we’ve sent out over 2100. Again it is FREE and meant to be a help to those I can’t help in person. (The the way, the feedback has been great and these are non-profit projects).

Why isn’t there more Research being done to find a cure for Fibromyalgia?

This is an excellent question, which also has many answers, Firstly, there is so much confusion and misunderstanding about Fibromyalgia that many researchers do not know where to begin. Another reason is that Fibromyalgia is not a well known illness among the general public. Ask the average person about Fibromyalgia and they’ll probably either say that they never heard of it, or that it is “that pain disease.” I know this for a fact as I ask this question constantly, not just to the people I meet, but also to many doctors and other health care professionals. One reason for this is that Fibromyalgia is such an isolating illness that many sufferers don’t even speak about it. When they do they are met with blank stares and sometimes even accused of being a malingerer (faking the illness).

Still, another reason for the small amount of research is that research itself is very expensive; costing in the millions and tens of millions. The Government does fund research, but in the times of troubled economics, that research money is drastically reduced. This is the case at the present. Many scientists rely on grants from organizations for their research, but again, with a slow economy, the money is not as plentiful.

Fibromyalgia is not a glamorous illness; the average person cannot see the symptoms as they are so internal. After all, how can you tell if a person is suffering from the “Fibro Fog”? You are more apt to believe that this fibro sufferer is mentally impaired, or perhaps even suffering from dementia. Fibromyalgia pain is a type of pain that cannot be described unless you experience it yourself. (Can a man ever understand how painful childbirth can be?).

Therefore, Fibromyalgia is virtually invisible to the average non fibro patient. Very little visibility means no demand for more research. I’ve heard that anywhere from 2 to 6 percent of the population have Fibromyalgia and I believe this number to be on the low end as so many times, fibro people are not diagnosed properly. You never see walks in the park to find a cure or telethons to raise money for fibro research. For years, women had to scream to get more funding for breast cancer research.

Much of the research money comes from large pharmaceutical companies who do have the resources, scientists and laboratories to do the research, but remember that these companies are also businesses and their goal is to make a profit. There is much more money to be made finding medications to combat high cholesterol or heart disease, than to find a medication for Fibromyalgia. After all, a much larger percentage of the population deals with high cholesterol. I believe that Pfizer must have never in their wildest imagination thought that Lipitor (a cholesterol lowering medication), would become the huge largest selling medication in the history of Pharmacology.

If Fibromyalgia affected a larger percent of the population, you’d see a lot more research being done. If people with fibro opened their mouths more, yelled and made a fuss you’d hear much more about it in the media and the population would be much more familiar with it. Everybody knows and fears colon or pancreatic cancer, but how many people know anything about Fibromyalgia?

One last note, one of the reasons you see so many ads for Lyrica in the media is that Pfizer is about to lose it’s patent on Lipitor which will mean a drop in their income, thus they are pushing their other products in a big way. We’ve all seen the commercials of the woman who is taking Lyrica and appears to be totally fine, normal and living a healthy life. Those of you with Fibromyalgia know that this is just not the case. At best and if you are one of the lucky ones, it lessens the pain a bit, but certainly does not bring yu back to normal health.

Dr. Gene Martin, D.C.

Fibromyalgia Relief Center of the Bay Area

520 South El Camino Real, Ste 520

San Mateo Ca. 94402

650-558-1010

E-mail: fibro@drgenemartin.com

Web: http://www.drgenemartin.com

Skype: dr.gene.martin

Should I Force Myself to Exercise?

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1     For those who missed the daily tips, blogs etc, sign up for the free e-zine which will have the weeks tips and the blogs. Send an e-mail to fibro@drgenemartin.com, write e-zine in the subject, and you’ll receive the e-zine every Friday. I’ll need your full name. Also make sure your spam filter is not intercepting it.

2    I’ve created a FREE DVD. It covers various topics to make your lives easier. From how to talk to your doctor to the real scoop on pain management groups to exercise, to social situation etc etc. Please go to www.drgenemartin.com to get yours. One great piece of feedback is people telling me how the chapter on “how to speak to your doctor” about fibro is especially good. In other words, how not to have the doc dismiss you in 5 minutes. I’m really happy these are helping. So far we’ve sent out over 2000. Again it is FREE and meant to be a help to those I can’t help in person.

Should I Force Myself to Exercise?

Yes and No, first, pain is a signal that something is wrong in your body. If your pain is bad and you can’t exercise, don’t. More importantly exercise is important but the key is never to push yourself.

You might have to start slowly with some stretching for perhaps 15 seconds the first day, than up to 1/2 a minute. Start with only one part of your body i.e. the arm or the leg. In time you can increase to more. If you experience a flare, you’ve done too much wait for the flare to subside and cut down the time… It must be a slow step by step program. In time you’ll be able to do more.

For those who push it and then are on your back for 2 days, than push it again and again are on your back for 2 days, you are doing more harm than good. When you push it yourself, you are ripping fibrous tissue, which is painful, but you are also allowing a lot of lactic acid to re-enter the body, hence the flare.

Go slow, step by step; if you’ve been sick for a while, it might take you months before you can start walking or doing other exercises for any period of time, but have patience, it will come. This will not cure the fibro but will keep your muscles from atrophying and keep your body healthier.
For those of you with severe Fibromyalgia or who might be bedridden, there are still very mild stretches that can be done while in your bed, stretching the arms, legs, hands etc. Again the key is to go very slow. If you experience a negative reaction, you’ve done too much, wait a day or two and then start at a slower pace.
If your pain and symptoms are so severe that exercise or stretches are out of the question, then don’t, at least until you are better stabilized. Explain to your doctor that you can’t at this time and do not let anyone force or pressure you. Remember that doctors with the best intentions cannot understand what you are experiencing unless they are living in a Fibromyalgia body. Exercise is not a treatment for fibro but a way to prevent atrophy, to keep the joints more mobile and to improve your health. You know your bodies better than anyone else; go at your own pace.

Dr. Gene Martin

Fibromyalgia Relief Center of the Bay Area

520 South El Camino Real, Ste 520

San Mateo Ca. 94402

650-558-1010

E-mail: fibro@drgenemartin.com

Web: http://www.drgenemartin.com

Skype: dr.gene.martin

Anger

Announcements

1     For those who missed the daily tips, blogs etc, sign up for the free e-zine which will have the weeks tips and the blogs. Send an e-mail to fibro@drgenemartin.com, write e-zine in the subject, and you’ll receive the e-zine every Friday. I’ll need your full name. Also make sure your spam filter is not intercepting it.

2    I’ve created a FREE DVD. It covers various topics to make your lives easier. From how to talk to your doctor to the real scoop on pain management groups to exercise, to social situation etc etc. Please go to www.drgenemartin.com to get yours. One great piece of feedback is people telling me how the chapter on “how to speak to your doctor” about fibro is especially good. In other words, how not to have the doc dismiss you in 5 minutes. I’m really happy these are helping. So far we’ve sent out over 1200. Again it is FREE and meant to be a help to those I can’t help in person.

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Anger

Yesterday, we received a post on my Facebook page from a woman who was obviously very angry and possibly mentally ill. She ranted on and on about how Fibromyalgia does not exist, how it is only a way for the “so called” fibro sufferers” to collect money from the government so they can sit at home all day and watch TV, courtesy of our tax dollars. I truly believe that this is an example of misguided anger.

As you can imagine, she upset quite a few people.

This got me thinking last night and though I was going to write on another topic, I, instead, chose anger. Here is the reason why and this applies not only to people with Fibromyalgia, but to all people in general.

Remember that I am speak from the perspective of the U.S.A, but I suspect that this is much more wide spread.

We live in a very skeptical and angry world. We constantly feel lied to us by our politicians, by the media and in addition, we live in a constant state of fear. Fear of cancer and other illnesses, fear of terrorist attacks, fear of all the info we receive daily about our food we eat, our air we breath and even our diet. We tend to escape, at least for a couple of hours by watching mindless television programs mostly consisting of these reality programs.

Here in the states we are watching our economy crumble, watching the level of our education and schools constantly decrease and in fact we see food lines growing bigger and bigger, something not seen since the great depression of 1929. Yet, we spend billions per day on outside wars, on supplying money to other countries (not loans, but free money) and the entire situation becomes very confusing.

The industrial crooks steal hundreds of millions from our retirement account, get caught, pay a tiny percentage back and spend a couple of years in a “country club” prison. Is it no wonder there is so much anger around us?

Yet anger is poison, it not only makes us feel anxious, but it interferes with our health, it decreases the efficiency of our immune system and makes our lives miserable.

I’m 58 years old and have been around long enough to see that no matter which president is in power, democrats or republicans, not much has changed. Our fears might be directed in other ways, for example, the cold war, but now that this is passed, it’s now terrorism. It’s no wonder there is so much anger. When I listen to politicians speak, I could swear that I’m watching “theater”. What they say changes from day to day, depending on who they are talking to.

When it comes to the global scene, I suspect there is not much we can do, however on the more local and personal level there is.

1 If possible, try to eliminate the negative, non-affirmative angry people from your lives, you don’t need that type of stimuli. Try to surround yourself with uplifting, positive people.

2 Stay away from those people who are always taking and taking, they sap your energy and contribute nothing positive to your state of mind and health. This includes those people who constantly talk about themselves and appear to really have no interest in you. They are selfish and egocentric. Be with people who are interested in what you say, who tend to look at things from a positive perspective and who are will to be optimistic and make you feel better. We all know these types.

3 Minimize your intake of watching the news, most news is sensational, not a means to report current events. The media is owned by a handful of huge conglomerates and they know that sensationalism is what sells. the days of Walter Cronkite are unfortunately gone.

4 Try to not harp on the negative, this will become easier as you wean yourselves away from the above mentioned situations and people.

One of my patients had mentioned to me that she met a man who became so angry, he went postal. I had never really heard that expression and it did not exist 20 years ago. It now means a person who gets so angry that their behavior becomes erratic and dangerous. The term “postal” is a reference to a few years back when angry people were going into post offices and shooting people for no apparent reason.

These might sound pretty self-evident, but these are decisions I have made 25 years ago. Of course I have my moments of anger, but all in all I’ve found my life to become much more enjoyable and less stressful. There might be a huge amount of angry people out there, but I guarantee that there are also caring, uplifting and plain nice people with good hearts. It might take a bit of effort to find them, but once you do, you’ll be so happy you did.

Dr. Gene Martin

Fibromyalgia Relief Center of the Bay Area

520 South El Camino Real, Ste 520

San Mateo Ca. 94402

650-558-1010

E-mail: fibro@drgenemartin.com

Web: http://www.drgenemartin.com

Skype: dr.gene.martin

Why don’t People and Doctors really understand that I am Ill?

Announcement

Have you tried this diet and that diet as a way of getting rid of your Fibromyalgia, all with poor results. Find out why diet is not the answer (though it might help a bit). I created a FREE DVD which is filled with answers, tips and other information to help you improve your Fibro lives. Go to http://www.drgenemartin.com to get yours!

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Today’s Blog: Why don’t People and Doctors really understand that I am Ill?

Every wonder people with Fibromyalgia are so misunderstood? every wonder why some doctors will insist it doesn’t exist? Every get so frustrated because it seems impossible to explain what you, as a person with Fibromyalgia, is experiencing on a day to day basis. The following story is one of the reasons, read it and try to be non-judgmental as you go along.

A True Story

Have anyone of you eve been to New York City? I mean NYC in August on one of those hot and humid days, where you can smell the city, where it’s hard to breath, where the smoke seems to rise from the streets and where it is almost impossible to feel comfortable due to the perspiration dripping down from your face on to your clothes.. Well this is a true story that occurred on one of those days at about 4:00PM just as rush hour was starting to happen. The setting is the IRT (a subway line), with broken air conditioning and the first group of workers heading home after a sweltering day of work at their desks in the thousands of similar office buildings that make up downtown Manhattan.

As it was still the beginning of rush hour, there were a few seats left in the subway car. The train stopped at a station and a man entered with his 3 children, aged 5, 7 and 10 years old. Each of the children had a can of Coca Cola in one hand and an ice cream bar in the other hand.The father found a seat, the train began to move and this was the signal for the children to start acting like children. the children began to run up the aisle of the train, they grabbed the bars (people who stand hold on to) and swung themselves around and around while their soda went flying. each time the train would lurch, one or more of the children would lose their balance and fall on one of the other passengers laps, sticky fingers and all. All the while, the father, sitting his his seat, just looked down at his feet.

If you know anything about NY’ers, they were becoming very angry at the children and the father, the hot and humid weather was no help for their moods. They began grumbling under their breath about how the father was not watching the kids, how the kids could get hurt and more importantly how one of the children could hurt one of the passengers as they lost their balance. The father did not seem to notice anything amiss which just angered the passengers that much more.

Would you not agree with me that the father is being very irresponsible overall?  Would you agree that all the passengers had every reason to be angry and that something sooner or later had to occur? I certainly would be furious with the situation, and I’m sure that you would be too!

This scenario continued as the train kept moving, yet there was an older woman who watched the situation closely and saw something different, something that no others on the train were able to see. Being an elderly woman, she carefully stood up, as the train moved, walked across the aisle to the man and asked: Sir, is everything alright, are you alright? The father of the children did not say a word, just continued to look down. The elderly woman than asked: Sir, is there anything I can do to help you?

The father of the children looked up into the elderly woman’s eyes and said: My children and I are headed home and returning from the hospital. My wife of 15 years has just died from Breast Cancer and I don’t know, for the life of me, how I’m going to tell my kids that their mother is never coming home again.

What you’ve just experienced is called a Paradigm shift! A dramatic change in your thinking that would have seemed impossible before. W can all experience a paradigm shift in the way we look at our health, our lives and other things. The point is that paradigm shifts are very difficult to change. It generally needs to be something emotionally dramatic, like the above true story.

Dr. Gene Martin

Fibromyalgia Relief Center of the Bay Area

520 South El Camino Real, Ste 520

San Mateo California, 94402

Phone: 650-558-1010

E-mail: fibro@drgenemartin.com

Web: http://www.drgenemartin.com

Skype: drgenemartin


Consumerism and Fibromyalgia

Announcement

I have created a Free DVD that runs abut 1 1/2 hour and has chapters on exercise, nutrition, support groups, how speak to your fibro doctor..probably about 20 different topics in all. These are free, my goal being to help as many fibro people as possible to improve their quality of life as much as possible. Go to http://www.drgenemartin.com to get yours. We’ve sent out over 1,000 so and the response and feedback has been great.

Consumerism and Fibromyalgia

 This blog will deal with Fibromyalgia, but please read on, it will take a while, some background is important.

For most of recorded history, a nation’s economy was based on agricultural. Thomas Jefferson, certainly a brilliant intellect and a founding father of the United States was adamantly opposed to any type of industrialization and felt that real human values were based on working the land. He and another founding father Alexander Hamilton were at odds on this issue and fought about it constantly. Hamilton believed that a national bank was essential so that money could be lent so industrial businesses could be funded in order to grow our economy and to compete with Great Britain, the world power.

Looking back, Hamilton’s views seem obvious, but it’s always easier to view things in hindsight. The fact was that Jefferson’s views and policies shaped his administration (he was the third president), and things really did not start to change until decades later. Additionally most U.S. citizens not only worked the land but felt that this was the way for growth, a way to maintain their moral and religious values and something that had been handed down for thousands of years.

The industrial revolution began to change things, but still, by the time of the Civil War, the majority of the country was still based on agriculture.

After the war, the U.S. was still agriculturally based, though industries were growing. New consumer goods were starting to be produced; however the majority of Americans (In fact the majority of the world’s population) were still poor. They certainly could not afford these items which were really luxuries.

As an interesting side note, Issac Singer, the inventor of the sewing machine was the first to come up with the idea of extending credit, so people could buy his machine. Decades later, Henry ford capitalized on this idea because he realized that he might produce millions of Model-T Fords, but if the consumer could not afford to purchase them, than what was the point.

Still, after the “Great War” (WW1), most were still poor and with the depression of 1929, the majority of Americans and the world struggled just to find food to eat. The depression of 1929 was the longest depression the U.S. ever experienced, and, despite what we might have been taught in school, it lasted until the beginning of WW2. Roosevelt’s “New Deal” plan helped somewhat, but the reality was that it only made a very small dent in the affects of the depression, which had now spread worldwide.

WW2 changed everything, the U.S. geared up to a war economy, jobs paying high wages became plentiful, yet Americans were still concerned with producing commodities for the war effort. When the war ended, the U.S. found itself reaping the benefits by becoming the wealthiest and most affluent nation in the world. This was a first in the history of man. Americans had money to spend on cars, washing machines and all the other consumer goods which made life easier. In fact Las Vegas was a direct result of this new prosperity as people would travel to a city to gamble, knowing full well that they would leave most of their money at the casinos. This type of behavior would have been unthinkable, just a generation before.

Disneyland, in California was the brilliant brainchild of Walt Disney. For the first time, companies were marketing their products directly to the ‘Baby Boomer” children. For the first time, there was a level of affluence, never seen before.

As we became more smitten with new consumer goods and new technologies, we unknowingly began to pay a very steep price. Americans began to lose their sense of purpose and life became much more stressful. A wonderful book which explains this very clearly is: “The Man in the Grey flannel suit”, by Sloan Wilson (later made into a movie with Gregory Peck).

As the decades progressed we became so used to having our cars, wide screen televisions, appliances etc that the money made by these now huge conglomerates reached billions of dollars of profits. Money is a powerful motivator and has the ability to buy our politicians and congress. It also buys our media, tells us who to elect for public office, in essence it does the thinking for us.

Thus, what price have we paid?

  • We drink Polluted water and eat harmful food.
  • We sit in front of the television and rarely exercise, thus we are an overweight nation.
  • We are concerned with our jobs, the fact being that we are replaceable.
  • We are controlled by the media, which reports the truth these days.
  • We are smitten by the Paris Hilton’s and Lindsey Lohan’s of the world.
  • Our attention spans have dropped to 5 or 10 minutes at a time. (A century ago, Henry Clay, John Calhoun and even Abraham Lincoln could keep an audience mesmerized with their oratory skills and messages for three hours at a time, as could Martin Luther King.)
  • We are told that the key to health is to take more drugs (by the way, how do you keep your children away from recreational drugs when every commercial and advertisement is about a new wonderful drug to make your life better – a lie).
  • We do not read and our children leave high school without the ability to write well.
  • Year by year we are actually becoming less and less healthy.

 All of the has caused us to become more and more stressed out, many cannot get through the day with Valium, an anti-depressive or anti-anxiety drug. We all know that stress is one of the leading causes of Fibromyalgia, and if you have Fibromyalgia, stress (physical, chemical and or emotional always makes it worse.

 Is it a wonder that the incidence of Fibromyalgia is growing so fast. I think not!

Dr. Gene Martin, D.C.

Fibromyalgia Relief Center of the Bay Area

520 South El Camino Real, Ste 520

San Mateo Ca. 94402

Phone: 650-558-1010

E-mail: fibro@drgenemartin.com

Web: http://www.drgenemartin.com

Skype: dr.gene.martin

 

My Father – A Hero

Announcement

I have created a Free DVD with Tips and The Do’s and Don’ts for People with Fibromyalgia. The idea is to help improve your quality of life. Go to my web page at http://www.drgenemartin.com for details.

My Father

My father died on Christmas evening 2010 at 11:00PM. He was 88 years old. He had suffered with congestive heart failure and knew that he had two or three years left to live, though he was getting weaker by the day, yet never complained.

For those who are familiar with CHF, you’ll know that at times the fluids back up into the lungs creating a feeling of drowning and this certainly would happen. He would cough and panic, but would ultimately get through it.

Yet during this entire ordeal, he never complained; in fact he was always more interested in my mother, my sister, myself and the grandchildren. These were his priorities.

My father was a true hero, he saw horrible action during the Second World War, yet never spoke of it. He was awarded various medals however we knew nothing of this until we were going through his belongings after his death. He never once mentioned them.

I was the last one to have a talk with my father while he was still lucent. He explained that he knew what was happening and he wasn’t scared. He told me that he loved me, the last words he ever said to me.

My father’s greatest trait was that he had a good and caring heart. To me, this is the most important trait a person can possess.

His death was gentle and painless as he was asleep for his last 2 days under the influence of Morphine, which we administered at home. He wanted to pass away at home surrounded by his family and even the family dog. This is what happened.

We all desperately miss his warmth and his generosity, he truly was the type (stereotypical as hit might sound) to give a less fortunate person, the shirt off his back. He really cared about his fellow man. Yes, he was a hero.

Fibromyalgia sufferers are also heroes, they never complain to friends and loved ones. Of course they get angry at times of how they are treated by their doctors and the public who are so ignorant of this illness. When it comes to family, friends and loved ones, people with fibromyalgia are more concerned with not burdening others with the private hell that they go through on a day to day basis.

On the outset, this might appear good, but I believe that people with Fibromyalgia need to be more vocal, perhaps not angry and not complaining, but more vocal. After all, how are the public and doctors ever going to understand what living with fibro is all about?

I’m very excited about a book that will be published in the next weeks, chronicling Fibromyalgia from the patient’s point of view. My hope is that this will help spread the word. In fact, while this book is being ready for publication, another book (a sequel) is in the works and we hope to have this out by December.

Most people I’ve met and/or treated with fibro had good hearts but were always confused as to why nobody understood their illness. Well, we are changing that, step by step.

There are many true heroes in the world; Michael J Fox comes to mind. I don’t personally know him nor does he know me; however as a leading man and successful actor he was struck down in his prime with Parkinson’s disease. Yet he never complained. He struggles from day to day and does what he can to educate the public about Parkinson’s.

There are many like Michael. I equate my father and all those suffering with fibro with Michael.

I miss my father at times I hear his voice very clearly, guiding me. He truly was a hero. So are all those suffering with Fibromyalgia.

 Dr. Gene Martin

Fibromyalgia Relief Center of the Bay Area

520 South El Camino Real, Ste 520

San Mateo Ca. 94402

Phone: 650-558-1010

E-mail: fibro@drgenemartin.com

Web: http://www.drgenemartin.com

Skype: dr.gene.martin

What You Eat Affects Your Health –

Announcement

I have created a free DVD with Tips and The Do’s and Don’ts for People with Fibromyalgia. The idea is to help improve your quality of life. Go to my web page at http://www.drgenemartin.com for details.

What You Eat Affects Your Health-  Illa Jarvis, Nutritional Consultant

It’s easy to be tempted by cheap, convenient food. Money is tight, fast food is easy to find, and ready to eat. Unfortunately, this is where the benefits of commercially produced food end. Cheap ingredients do not contain the nutrients our brains and bodies depend upon to function properly. They contain pesticides, herbicides and other chemicals that tax our liver and brain. Ultimately, these foods do considerably more damage than good.

Let’s look at some examples…

What we find in most of our markets and restaurants is meat from animals that live under terrible conditions and are fed the cheapest food possible, namely corn and soy. Corn and soy are crops that are subsidized by the government. This means that the farmers are paid to grow these foods in excess, making these foods extremely cheap.

But growing enormous amounts of food requires a lot of work. The solution? These crops are genetically modified (GMO) so they can withstand the weed killer known as Round-Up, saving farmers time and effort. Unfortunately scientists have found Round-Up to be unsafe for human consumption (1). The large corporations that produce Round Up and GMO seeds have significant political influence so these foods are still produced and appear everywhere, including cow and chicken feed. Unfortunately cows cannot digest corn and soy, causing them to become sick. These animals are treated with antibiotics to keep them alive under unhealthy conditions and fed hormones to make them grow as quickly as possible. As a result, the meat, milk and eggs we find in most markets and restaurants contain antibiotics, hormones, as well as Round-Up, all of which compromise our health.  To top it all off, these foods are low in nutrients, since the animals were never fed a nutritious diet to offer benefits to us in return. You can learn more about the meat industry and GMO foods in the film Food Inc.

Better sources of animal protein are grass fed organic beef, and lamb, free-range organic poultry, and eggs and small species of wild caught fish. Choosing these foods ensures better health for us, promotes the ethical treatment of animals, and benefits the environment as well.

Good plant sources of protein are legumes such as beans, peas and lentils, in combination with grains. (Check out the recipe for bean soup further in this book for preparation tips.) Unfortunately, processed soy is added to hundreds of prepared foods to increase protein content and to make these foods more marketable. These foods include nutrition bars, protein powders, pasta, vegetarian foods, dairy-free foods, and infant formulas. Check ingredient labels for “soy protein isolate.”

While soy makes these foods “healthier” by increasing their protein content, ironically most soy is genetically modified, and contains Round-Up. Processed soy also has been shown to be a common allergen, difficult to digest and increases the body’s demand for vitamins E, K, D, and B12. Health foods that contain soy are often promoted as “Natural,” but this claim is meaningless. There are no qualifications that a food must meet to earn this title. There’s nothing natural about processed soy; only a laboratory can convert it into the variety of flavors and textures we find in boxed foods. (2)

Corn is largely hidden as high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in our foods. HFCS is in everything from soda pop, to canned soup and bread. After years of denial by the corn industry of the ill effects of HFCS, bad press has caused some companies to switch to sugar as a “healthier” alternative. Producers have taken measures to rename HFCS to “corn sugar” on ingredient labels in an effort to disguise its presence in packaged foods. (3) But the truth is, all processed sugar is damaging to our health, regardless of its form and source. Obesity and tooth decay are just the tip of the iceberg. Heart disease, diabetes, mood disorders, frequent illness, and digestive problems are all results of constant sugar and HFCS consumption. (4) The film King Corn beautifully shows how the corn industry works.

So how do you reduce sugar without feeling deprived? Check the sugar content on the labels of all canned and boxed foods. Don’t switch to foods that contain artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, which converts into wood alcohol when heated, or Splenda essentially sugar that is bound to chlorine. These sweeteners are problematic in their own right. Instead, choose simpler, more natural foods like home made tomato sauce instead of canned, homemade soup instead of canned soup, oil and vinegar instead of sweet salad dressing, and plain yogurt with berries instead of the sweetened stuff.  Do your best to choose foods that contain 10 or less grams of sugar per serving, and consider if the listed serving size is realistic. If you crave chocolate, get dark chocolate with high cocoa content instead of milk.

And what about fruit? An orange contains about half as much sugar as a can of soda, 4 grams of fiber (which slows down the impact of sugar on the body), nearly 100 mg of vitamin C, and other nutrients. So eat an organic piece of fruit and skip the soda when you want a treat.

Unsurprisingly, corn and soy are the most common sources of fat found in packaged food as well. Fat has gotten a lot of bad press in recent years, but in truth, we need some good quality fat to function properly! The fat you eat affects your brain and nervous system, controls inflammation, hormones, and your ability to heal, and makes strong bones. Unfortunately, soybean and corn oil are not well cut out for the job. They are often chemically processed to create shortening or margarine. These solidified liquid oils have been restructured or “partially-hydrogenated” and contain trans-fatty acids or “trans-fats.” I tend to think of these as “Franken-fats” since the fats are created in a lab and not found in nature. Our bodies have no clue how to use these fats, and studies have shown that they increase risk of heart disease by lowering HDL or “good cholesterol”, increase LDL or “bad cholesterol”, to lower insulin resistance, thus increasing risk for diabetes and much more. (5) Corn and soy oils are high in a fat known as omega-6, which spoils or goes rancid when it is exposed to oxygen. These oils are bleached, which ensures that they have been allowed to go bad, and deodorized, so you can’t tell by smelling them. Rancid oils contain free radicals, wandering electrons that damage our cells and cause serious inflammation in the body.

It is also critical that omega-6 fats are in balance with another essential fatty acid known as omega-3, which is found in organic free-range eggs, wild cold-water fish and certain seeds. Most people eat far too much processed foods that are high in omega-6, and don’t get enough omega-3, causing such common issues as cardiovascular disease, mood disorders, joint pain and inflammation, dry skin, and brittle nails. (6)

Healthy sources of fat include olive and coconut oil to cook with, raw nuts, seeds, and foods that are high in omega-3 such as sardines, wild salmon, flax, and hemp seeds.

Kudos if you enjoy five servings of fruits and vegetables every day, but please resist drowning an otherwise healthy salad in dressings that contain HFCS, partially-hydrogenated oils, and other unpronounceable chemicals.

How fruits and vegetables are grown matter as well. Have you ever seen an old potato or onion sprout?  This has become a rare occurrence since farmers have started spraying these crops with an anti-sprout chemical, allowing these vegetables to exist in storage longer. Many insecticides are banned due to high toxicity, and yet they still show up on our food because these pesticides are in the soil. Here’s a list of fruits and vegetables that contain the most pesticides, and should be bought organic whenever possible:

Apples

Peaches

Celery

Strawberries

Domestic Blueberries

Nectarines

Bell Peppers

Spinach

Cherries

Potatoes

Imported Grapes

Lettuce

Buy organic fruits and vegetables when they are in season. Not only will you skip the scary chemicals, get the nutrients that are only found in ripe, fresh food, such as vitamin C and E, at a lower cost, but also your food will taste better! A winter tomato that only looks red will never hold a candle to a summer tomato that was allowed to ripen on the vine. It’s best to wash non-organic fruits and vegetables thoroughly with soap and water, and peel whenever possible, since most of the chemicals are on the skin. (7)

Choosing and preparing delicious food is a simple when you have good ingredients. You will feel satisfied with less due to the increased nutrients, and you will feel happier and healthier without the burden of pesticides, herbicides and toxins on your body. For more tips on how to cook and prepare food, check out the recipe section at the end of this book.

(1) http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/24/us-monsanto-roundup-idUSTRE71N4XN20110224

(2) Daniel, Kaayla, The Whole Soy Story, New Trends Publishing, Washington D. C. 2007 p.93

(3) http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/09/14/a-new-name-for-high-fructose-corn-syrup/

(4) Appleton, Nancy PhD, Lick the Sugar Habit, Avery, Santa Monica, CA, 1985

(5) Enig, Mary G. PhD, Know Your Fats, Bethesda, Silver Spring, MD, 2000 p. 204

(6) http://www.omegaresearch.com

(7) Http://www.consumerhealth.org/articles/display.cfm?ID=19990809222752

Dr. Gene Martin

Fibromyalgia Relief Center of the Bay Area

520 South El Camino Real, Ste 520

San Mateo Ca. 94402

Phone: 650-558-1010

E-mail: fibro@drgenemartin.com

Web: http://www.drgenemartin.com

Skype: dr.gene.martin

 

Christmas Vegetarian Recipes

For those who missed the daily tips, blogs etc, sign up for the free ezine which will have the week’s tips and the blogs. Send an e-mail to fibro@drgenemartin.com, write ezine in the subject, and you’ll receive the ezine every Friday. I’ll need your full name. Also make sure your spam filter is not intercepting it.

 

Some Christmas Vegetarian Recipes.

 

Christmas is a couple of days away and with it comes a lot of eating. For People with fibromyalgia, over eating or eating large portions are a sure fire way to lead to a flare. I decided to add some more vegetarian recipes for today’s blog, as natural foods are much easier on the fibro G.I.system then processed foods we most normally eat. Be aware, that these recipes, being Vegetarian does not mean that you can eat more; it just means that you might not experience the “stomach” problems so prevalent with fibromyalgia.

That being said, be safe, take care of yourselves, don’t push it and have a good Christmas.

 

Nut-Stuffed Mushrooms

Ingredients:

5 large flat mushrooms (1 per person plus 1 extra mushroom for the stuffing)
1 large onion
2 garlic cloves
2 tsp olive oil
60g mixed unsalted nuts (brazils/hazelnuts/almonds/walnuts)
1 tbsp vegan margarine
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1 tbsp chopped fresh herbs e.g. parsley, fennel, dill, chives
salt and pepper to taste.

Method:

1. Cut the stems from the mushrooms and finely dice these along with one whole mushroom.

2. Preheat the oven to 400F/200C/Gas Mark 6.

3. Finely dice the onion and crush the garlic cloves.

4. Place the onion and garlic in a saucepan with the olive oil and sweat them in the oil until the onion is soft and beginning to brown. Add the chopped mushroom stalks and sweat the vegetables for a few more minutes.

5. Lightly toast the mixed nuts in a medium oven or grill and remove the skins.

6. Grind the mixed nuts fairly finely in a food processor or using a mortar and pestle and add to the pan along with the margarine, dried herbs, fresh herbs and salt and pepper to taste. Mix to combine.

7. Place the field mushrooms, stem side up, on a baking tray. Divide the mixture between the mushrooms and spread over the surface of each one.

8. Bake in the oven for 5-8 minutes or until the tops are beginning to brown and the mushrooms are just cooked. Serve 2-3 mushrooms on each plate along with a salad garnish.

Carrot & Butternut Squash Mash

Ingredients:

110g/4oz carrots
½ medium butternut squash – about 600g/generous 1lb
Soya milk
1-2 tbsp vegan margarine (e.g. Pure) or olive oil
Salt and pepper

Method:

1. Peel the carrots and chop them into small pieces.

2. With care, cut the squash in half, and then scrape out the seeds using a knife.

3. Take one half and peel off the skin with a potato peeler, then chop into small chunks.

4. Place carrot and squash into a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to boil, and then turn down and simmer on a medium heat for around 20 mins, or until both have become very soft when tested with a fork.

6. Using a colander, drain the vegetables then return them to the saucepan. Use a potato masher and mash until smooth and creamy, adding a dash of soya milk to make slightly creamy. Add a little margarine or olive oil also if desired. Mash until mixture reaches desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Tofu Turkey – a vegetarian low fat alternative to Turkey

Here’s an original tofu turkey recipe that will surprise your friends and family   this tofu recipe, is very tasty.  You can adjust the taste by marinating longer or shorter or adding more water.

This recipe yields 8 moderate servings.  To serve more add another tofu block per 3-4 people and marinade longer.

Tofu Preparation

Two blocks of water packed extra firm tofu
Vegetable or olive oil for browning

Prepare Tofu

Drain tofu of all water and press tofu blocks firmly with cheese cloth or paper towel to remove excess water.
Cut each block into desired shape:
Tofu Triangles – Turn block on side and cut into 4 1/4’s.  You can cut into 1/8’s for thinner crispier texture.  Turn back up face and cut across each diagonal to make 4 triangles.
Tofu Strips -Turn block on side and cut into 4 1/4’s.  You can cut into 1/8’s for thinner crispier texture or halves for thicker chunkier texture.  Turn back up face and cut in half one way and 1/4’s the other way to get strips.
Tofu Slabs – Turn block on side and cut into 4 1/4’s.  You can cut into 1/8’s for thinner crispier texture or halves for thicker chunkier texture. Then face up cut in half on the short horizontal to make squares.

The best preparation is to deep fry in olive or vegetable oil for a chewy meaty texture.  For a low fat option bake for 45 minutes on one side and 15 minutes on the other at 350 degrees F.
Add to marinade.

Marinade

3 tablespoons vegetarian chicken-flavored powder.
3 cups boiling water
1/2 tablespoon pickling spices
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary crumbled
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme crumbled
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram crumbled
1/2 teaspoon dried sage crumbled
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 whole garlic clove peeled thinly sliced
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Prepare Broth

Dissolve vegetarian chicken-flavored powder in boiling water.
Add pickling spices, rosemary, thyme, sage, marjoram, pepper, garlic and oil.
Add tofu to marinade and let sit in fridge for the following amount of time:
Tofu Triangles – 35 minutes
Tofu Strips – 45 minutes
Tofu Slabs – 1 hour

If you have cut your tofu to the chunky option you will need to add another 30 minutes to the above times.  Experiment with to get the flavor to your own taste.

The Dinner

Drain tofu from marinade and let sit for a moment to drain dry. You can use the marinade again for a smaller amount of tofu or as a soup base or to flavor gravy.
Then Bake Tofu at 35 degrees F for 25 minutes or my favorite option
Lightly fry in pan using butter.  (You can also use olive oil or your favorite spray though the later option does not add to the flavor and is therefore one we choose not to use at the Cheese Factory Restaurant unless our customers request it).

Baked Acorn Squash

This recipe,   yields 8 servings

2 acorn squash, approximately 1-1/4 lb each
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 cup orange juice
2 cups water
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1-1/2 teaspoon salt

Quarter each squash and remove seeds
Place the sections in a 10 x 12 inch baking pan, cut side up.
Combine the rest of the ingredients in a small sauce pan; bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
Pour the sauce over the squash and cover with foil.
Bake in a preheated 400 degree F oven for approximately 45 minutes.  Remove foil and allow to cool.
Store the squash in the liquid and marinate for 24 hours in refrigerator.  Reheat in microwave or in a moderate 350 degrees F oven for 10 minutes or until just heated through.

This dish has a refrigerated shelf life of up to one week and the flavor only improves the longer it marinates.

Pie Pastry Shell

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
1/4 cup cold vegetable shortening, cut into bits
1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
4-6 tablespoons ice water

Dough makes enough for one 9″ or 10″ pie shell.

Pumpkin Pie Filling

3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon unsalfured molasses
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups canned pumpkin puree
3 large eggs, beaten lightly
1 3/4 cups whipping cream (sweetened whipped cream flavored with vanilla as an accompaniment if desired)

The Shell By Hand

Blend flour, butter, vegetable shortening and sugar with fingertips in bowl until the mixture resembles meal.
Add ice water, toss mixture until water is incorporated.
Form the dough into a ball.
Knead dough lightly with heel of your hand against a smooth surface for a few seconds to distribute evenly.
Dust dough with flour and chill it wrapped in plastic wrap for at least 1 hour, or for up to 2 days.

Fibromyalgia Relief Center of the Bay Area

520 South El Camino Real, Ste 520

San Mateo Ca. 94402Phone 650-558-1010

E-mail: fibro@drgenemartin.com

Web: http://www.nomorefibro.wordpress.com

Skype: dr.gene.martin