Leave Your Ego At The Door- Join “The Lupus Channel” Community!


Information is Power!  

My goal at “The Lupus Channel” Google community is to share all things Autoimmune-

Articles, Info, Blogs, Events, Videos & Vlogs, Webinars, Pinterest Boards, Support Groups, Research & Studies, etc on: Lupus Fibromyalgia Sjogrens Scleroderma MCTD (mixed connective tissue disease  & other autoimmune conditions

AND to help you connect to other people just like YOU & Me who learn from each other everyday by sharing experiences on how to most effectively manage our disease and have quality of life!  Nice to meet you & WELCOME!  JJ

A Special Note to Advocates:  Feel FREE to share your links to your groups, your posts & your contact on “The Lupus Channel”-I left my ego at the door- the objective is simply to reach the patients who need help!  TY so much!  I look forward to your posts!

Click HERE to JOIN “The Lupus Channel: Google Community

My goal is to share all things Autoimmune-Articles, Info, Blogs, Events, Videos & Vlogs, Webinars, Pinterest Boards, Support Groups, Research & Studies, etc on:

  • Lupus
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Sjogrens
  • Scleroderma
  • MCTD (mixed connective tissue disease
  •  & other autoimmune conditions

And to help you connect to other people just like YOU & Me who learn from each other everyday by sharing experiences on how to most effectively manage our disease and have quality of life!

Nice to meet you!  JJ

ps. I make lupus music videos to help spread awareness so that we can get closer everyday to a cure!  Here are my videos- HERE!

Hook up with The Lupus Channel on Twitter HERE!  And subscribe to my Blog HERE!
Also Please Join The Lupus Channel FB Group HERE!

My Personal Accounts
You can “Friend” me on FB- HERE!  And you can “Follow” me on Twitter- HERE!
Also-feel free to email me anytime HERE!

Your not alone with lupus or any autoimmune disease-there is tons of help out here!  Reach out TODAY!


Where Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Part Ways (and Where They Don’t)


Shared from ProHealth.com by Cort Johnson

Lately we’ve seen what appears to be a great deal of similarity in muscle issues in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia. We know that Dr. Bateman and others believe ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia occur on a fatigue-pain continuum – that they are similar disorders that differ in the amount of fatigue and pain present. They both predominantly affect women, and similar medications are used in both.

Both Dr. Natelson and the Lights, however, have found differences in ME/CFS + FM vs ME/CFS patients alone, and Natelson argues that they’re quite different disorders.

Now a recent study demonstrates an important way that this is so.

Reduced levels of BDNF – described as a nerve repair agent – were recently found in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and multiple sclerosis. The levels found – less 25% of normal – were stunningly low, and this suggested that neuron functioning was taking a real hit in both these disorders. Given the nerve damage found in MS, that result was expected for MS – but not in ME/CFS.

A recent Fibromyalgia BDNF study seems to portray a very different disorder. It examined BDNF and a marker of central sensitization (S100B) in the blood of fifty-six FM patients and then determined if this correlated with pain pressure thresholds (the threshold at which pressure starts producing pain). The lower the pain threshold, the more pain a person is in. The study did not involve healthy controls and thus did not, strictly speaking, determine if BDNF levels were higher or lower than normal in FM.

Microglia Activation and Central Sensitization

Before we get to the findings, let’s look at S100B. S100B is such an intriguing factor that it’s surprising it hasn’t been studied before in FM or in any other pain disorders. S100B upregulates two key cytokines, IL-1b and TNF-a, both of which may be involved in FM and ME/CFS. It also activates the nuclear transcription factor which Maes proposes underlies the inflammatory milieu in ME/CFS and depression. It is also considered a surrogate for microglial activation.

Study Findings

This study found that increased BDNF and S100B levels were associated with increased pain sensitivity in FM. Other studies have found increased BDNF levels in FM as well. These FM findings contrast sharply with the decreased BDNF levels found in ME/CFS.

With regards to BDNF, ME/CFS looks more like multiple sclerosis than it does Fibromyalgia.

High Levels of Excitation vs Low Levels of Nerve Repair?

While high levels of BDNF in FM look like they’re enhancing the activity of excitatory pain pathways in FM, low levels of BDNF in ME/CFS look like they may be impeding neuron repair and slowing down nerve transmission. Could FM be a disorder of brain excitation while ME/CFS is a disorder of brain loss and slowed functioning? Could it be that simple?

A quick look at the research findings in ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia indicate more overlaps than dissimilarities. Both are characterized by sympathetic nervous system activation, reduced aerobic capacity, increased lactate levels (in one place or another), reduced brain blood flow, decreased cortisol, and decreased grey matter in the brainstem.

Similarities between the ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia

Differences between the ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia

Central Sensitization – the Key?

It’s intriguing that the two major differences between the two disorders, increased substance P and BDNF in FM, are associated with central nervous system activation.

Given the high amount of pain and problems with stimulus overload, we’ve assumed ME/CFS is also a central sensitization disorder. Yet two markers associated with central sensitization that are elevated in FM, BDNF and substance P, are not elevated–or are actually lowered–in ME/CFS.

The excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate is also clearly increased in some parts of FM patients’ brains, but a CDC gene expression study suggested decreased glutamate uptake may be present in ME/CFS. At the Stanford Symposium Dr. Zinn described an ME/CFS brain characterized by substantial ‘slowing’. It was a brain that seemed to be more asleep than awake.

On the other hand, Jason has proposed that limbic kindling produces a kind of ‘seizure activity’ in parts of the brain in ME/CFS, and high levels of neuropeptide Y and reduced heart rate variability indicate the sympathetic nervous system is activated in both disorders. Klonopin (clonazepam), a nervous system inhibitor, is used in treating both disorders.

In the end it may be that, like the immune system in ME/CFS, parts of the brain are over- and under-activated in both disorders.


Increased levels of BDNF and S100B levels are associated with increased pain sensitivity in Fibromyalgia. They join a variety of other markers of central sensitization markers found in FM.

Differing levels of BDNF and substance P in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia suggest that the two disorders differ in important ways. However, the two disorders share many more commonalities than differences. The central nervous system could be, however, where the two disorders diverge.

Pain is common in ME/CFS, but it appears that the pain is, at least in part, being produced in different ways than it is in Fibromyalgia.


About the Author:  Cort Johnson has had ME/CFS for over 30 years. The founder of Phoenix Rising and Health Rising, Cort has contributed hundreds of blogs on chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and their allied disorders over the past 10 years. Find more of Cort’s and other bloggers’ work at Health Rising.


Rheumatoid Arthritis – Is Exercise Important


What do YOU think?  from Mayo-

Many people with rheumatoid arthritis tend to avoid exercise because they’re afraid that the activity might worsen their joint pain. But exercise is one of the key treatments to reducing the disability often associated with rheumatoid arthritis.

Regular exercise can boost strength and flexibility in people who have rheumatoid arthritis. Stronger muscles can better support your joints, while improved flexibility can aid joint function.

Exercise can reduce fatigue and ease depression. And better overall fitness helps prevent heart disease and diabetes, two life-shortening ailments that often accompany rheumatoid arthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritis also accelerates the loss of muscle mass that typically occurs as people get older. That’s why it’s important to do exercises that will build muscle, in addition to aerobic exercises, which strengthen your heart and lungs.

Studies indicate that exercise will not worsen rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. But if rheumatoid arthritis has severely damaged your hips or knees, you may want to choose low-impact exercises, such as swimming, water aerobics, walking or bicycling.



Sacro-Ill-Eeeeee-Itis? Reactive Arthritis? Spondylo-What?

Challenge: Day 2: Sacroilliitis Thank goodness it’s one sided! And I got a shot to help it this morning! Yay! Reiter’s Syndrome (aka Spondyloarthropathy/Reactive arthritis) flare up.

I can use this as a chance to identify with our male lupus friends- since Reiter’s is very much a male dominated disease! I “get” you guys!
Todays objective: Find exercises to help relieve pain so I can sit still and stop doing THIS: LOL!

More Info on Reiter’s (reactive arthritis) from Mayo:

Reactive arthritis is joint pain and swelling triggered by an infection in another part of your body — most often your intestines, genitals or urinary tract.

Your knees and the joints of your ankles and feet are the usual targets of reactive arthritis. Inflammation also may affect your eyes, skin and urethra when you have reactive arthritis.

Although reactive arthritis is sometimes called Reiter’s syndrome, Reiter’s is actually a specific type of reactive arthritis. In Reiter’s, inflammation typically affects the eyes and urethra, as well as your joints.

Reactive arthritis isn’t common. For most people, signs and symptoms of reactive arthritis come and go, eventually disappearing within 12 months.

The signs and symptoms of reactive arthritis generally start one to three weeks after exposure to a triggering infection. They may include:

  • Pain and stiffness. The joint pain associated with reactive arthritis most commonly occurs in your knees, ankles and feet. You also might experience pain in your heels, low back or buttocks.
  • Eye inflammation. Many people who have reactive arthritis also develop eye inflammation (conjunctivitis).
  • Urinary problems. Increased frequency and discomfort during urination may occur, as can inflammation of the prostate gland or cervix.
  • Swollen toes or fingers. In some cases, your toes or fingers might become so swollen that they resemble sausages.

The goal of treatment is to manage your symptoms and treat any underlying infections that may still be present.


If your reactive arthritis was triggered by a bacterial infection, your doctor might prescribe an antibiotic. Which antibiotic you take depends on the bacteria that are present.

For your arthritis signs and symptoms, your doctor may recommend:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Prescription NSAIDs, such as indomethacin (Indocin), can relieve the inflammation and pain of reactive arthritis.
  • Corticosteroids. Injection of a corticosteroid into affected joints can reduce inflammation and allow you to return to your normal activity level.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis drugs. Limited evidence suggests that medications such as sulfasalazine (Azulfidine), methotrexate (Trexall) or etanercept (Enbrel) can relieve pain and stiffness for some people with reactive arthritis.

Physical therapy

Exercise can help people with arthritis improve joint function. A physical therapist can provide you with specific exercises for your joints and muscles. Strengthening exercises are valuable for developing the muscles around your affected joints, which increase the joint’s support. Performing range-of-motion exercises can increase your joints’ flexibility and reduce stiffness.

During the physical exam, your doctor may examine your joints for signs of inflammation such as swelling, warmth and tenderness. Your spine and affected joints may be assessed for range of motion. Your doctor might also check your eyes for inflammation and your skin for rashes.

Blood tests

Your doctor might recommend that a sample of your blood be tested for:

  • Evidence of past or present infections
  • Signs of inflammation
  • Antibodies associated with other types of arthritis
  • A genetic marker linked to reactive arthritis

Joint fluid tests

Your doctor may use a needle to withdraw a sample of fluid from within an affected joint. This fluid will be tested for:

  • White blood cell count. If the joint fluid has an increased number of white blood cells, it may indicate inflammation or an infection.
  • Infections. If your joint fluid contains bacteria, you may have septic arthritis, which can result in severe joint damage.
  • Crystals. If uric acid crystals are found in your joint fluid, you may have gout. This very painful type of arthritis often affects the big toe.

Imaging tests

X-rays of your low back, pelvis and joints can indicate whether you have any of the characteristic signs of reactive arthritis. X-rays can also rule out other types of arthritis.

More at:  http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/reactive-arthritis/basics/tests-diagnosis/con-20020872

Stopping Immunosuppressants in LUPUS: NEW Guidance on How and When!


Lupus Article: Stopping Immunosuppressants in LUPUS: NEW Guidance on How and When!

A new study presented at the European League Against Rheumatism Annual Congress (EULAR 2014) showed that, for the majority of lupus patients who are in remission, it is possible to successfully stop immunosuppressant therapy without triggering a flare of their disease Within two years, it was possible to stop the immunosuppressant in about 70% of clinically stable patients. Half were successful within three years, and this proportion remained stable for up to five years.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/278127.php http://ow.ly/i/6EuXy

Lupus and Arthritis-Stopping Arthritis Pain: Advances in rheumatology progress to eliminate suffering!

Story by Julie Dean Kessler

There it is—that pain, the one that seems to holler, “inflammation!” It comes and goes, but each time it’s just as hard to endure. Or maybe it’s the nagging pain that’s a constant reminder of another chronic condition.

If it’s a musculoskeletal condition like ankylosing spondylitis (can cause vertebrae in the spine to fuse), or a disorder of the autoimmune system, like lupus (can attack almost any area of the body, from the skin to internal organs), a rheumatology department may be the best bet for diagnosing and treating the condition. Rheumatology is a sub-specialty of internal medicine, and the biggest rheumatology department in the region is at Franciscan Medical Specialists in Munster, where Dr.

Keith Reich is chair of the department and medical director of the infusion center.