Fight, flee, float

Naval exercises in training for battle involves scenarios whereby the ability to fight is reduced, so then priority shifts to preservation of the vessel. The CO called this ‘move’, but as it’s my blog I can call it fleeing to refuge *. If immobilized, all focus is redirected onto staying afloat. Fibromyalgia is considered a dysfunction of the ‘fight or flight’ autonomic nervous system, the symptoms testing ones strength and endurance much like my military example.

blowfishA Patient Reported Outcome site ranks consumer opinions of generic treatments. The highest rated treatment for fibromyalgia with more than just a few believers is guaifenesin protocol. Promoted by Dr Paul Amand, it’s based on a cough mixture and restricted dietary exposures. The only controlled investigation of effectiveness found no benefit during a yearlong double-blind trial, although they were unconcerned about alleviating any discomfort due to snot and sicca – secondary Sjogren’s. An Eli-Lilly advisory board member Prof Bennett assures us of no medical basis for any of the claims (regardless of its history as a muscle relaxant). Alternative medicine provides hope of refuge, but empirical evidence should be sought before fleeing the healthcare system. Ask on a patient forum …… and then flee.
The first dozen treatments are all off-label and appear ahead of the three US FDA approved medications. These two SNRI anti-depressants and an anti-convulsant have been re-tested for effectiveness in 5 trials each, and the Cochrane Collaboration concluded in review that the two SNRIs “provided a small incremental benefit over placebo in reducing pain”, and no effect on fatigue or sleep. Pregabalin gave “small benefit over placebo in reducing pain, fatigue and sleep problems”, and only 11% more participants reported much improvement. Life-preserving dependence upon pain relievers offers the sufferer little more than help to stay afloat.
A few patient advocates have taken up the fight to resolve FM. This blog adds to their voices.

* The RAN mission is to ‘Fight and win at sea’. Glad their intent isn’t to get a draw, or do it up the rivers. Contrast the Indian Navy: ‘Hit first, hit hard, and keep hitting’.  When the Oz and US Navy’s still had their heads down on Somali piracy doing Hazard Risk and Cost Benefit Analyses, the Indian ships went in pursuit. Successfully, without the need to make movies about it.

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: HealThy Self | F'n Myalgia

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