OPC and the positive effects on Fibromyalgia

"Fibromyalgia is a rheumatic disorder characterized by chronic achy muscular pain that has no obvious physical cause. It most commonly affects the lower back, the neck, the shoulders, the back of the head, the upper chest, and/or the thighs, although any area or areas of the body may be involved. The pain is usually described as burning, throbbing, shooting, and stabbing." (Prescription for Nutritional Healing, James F. Balch, M.D. and Phyllis A. Balch, C.N.C., Published 1997.

Muscle Pain and Weakness
Pain is the primary symptom of fibromyalgia. The pain usually starts in one area, such as the neck or lower back but spreads over time. Most commonly people with fibromyalgia complain of widespread pain and achiness, similar to the symptoms associated with a bad bout of the flu. Sometimes the pain is described as gnawing or burning.

Fibromyalgia is a syndrome of chronic, recurring, diffuse aching and stiffness, especially of the whole back and neck. It is a very common condition, accounting for as many as one in every ten patients visiting medical clinics. Its onset may be either abrupt or gradual. Patients with fibromyalgia develop tenderness in certain distinct soft tissue areas - so-called "trigger points" that, when touched, tend to transmit pain to different parts of the body. The muscles, while not developing spasm as such, are taut. The joints, the hands, the feet feel swollen, even though swelling cannot be seen by others.

Fibromyalgia & Fatigue
In fibromyalgia, there is no development of joint destruction, no crippling or deformity. There is, however, significant fatigue, depression, and nervousness. Fibromyalgia may be primary (meaning that it can occur alone) or it may be secondary to another condition that causes pain or disrupts sleep.

Fibromyalgia is closely associated with poor quality, unrefreshing sleep--what is also described as non-restorative sleep. Patients with the disease wake up in the morning more exhausted than when they went to bed. This feeling of extreme fatigue does not ease up in a matter of minutes as normally happens; it may persist for hours. Any poor sleep may precipitate fibromyalgia; on the other hand, the disease itself may lead to poor sleep. Since most patients with fibromyalgia have a poor sleep pattern, it is difficult to know which came first, the disease or the sleeping problem.
In one sense, it doesn't matter. As the saying goes, whether the stone hit the jug or the jug hit the stone, it's pretty hard on the jug, and the patient suffering from fibro-myalgia often enters a vicious cycle of poor sleep, fatigue, and pain.

How Fibromyalgia is Commonly Treated
Without knowing exactly what causes Fibromyalgia, practically all physicians currently attempt to simply mask patients' symptoms of the disease with powerful drugs, as their only alternative: Anti-Inflammatory Drugs are among the most commonly diagnosed treatment for fibromyalgia.
This treatment has side effects that include "Cortisone Derivatives: POTENTIAL SIDE EFFECTS: fluid retention, potassium loss, muscle weakness, thinning of the bone with breaking of the bones, ulcers in the stomach and duodenum, pancreas inflammation, thinned fragile skin, 'black and blue' marks on skin, diabetes, poor wound healing, face redness, glaucoma, excess sweating, cataracts, decreased growth in children." (1)

"One way joints are damaged is by free radicals attacks. Thus, a number of studies attempt to stop pain and halt the progress of the disease by using free radical scavengers in strong doses.

A free radical is an unstable molecule, often a form of oxygen that reacts with other molecules in a destructive way. An excess of free radicals can cause different medical conditions, depending on which tissues are attacked. The free radicals may attack DNA (your genetic inheritance) and cause cancer or birth defects; if they attack your pancreas, they can cause diabetes; in blood and blood vessels, they can cause cardiovascular disease; in the eye they can cause cataracts." (Antioxidants, Your Complete Guide, by Carolyn Reuben,1995)
Has physical pain gradually restricted your activities?
Chronic pain is persistent, disruptive, and restrictive. It occurs regularly. It disrupts your day-to-day activities. It restricts your ability to move, to take care of yourself, to be independent.

Do I Have "Arthritis"?
Inflammation of a joint is called arthritis. Inflammation of a tendon, tendonitis. An inflammation may be confined to a small part of the body (localized), such as a single joint or tendon, or it may be widespread, as occurs in certain inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Arthritis is a nonspecific term used to describe general inflammation and pain in a joint.

Arthritis simply means 'joint inflammation' and what it describes is not so much a specific disease as a condition, a symptom that can result from any one of over 100 causes, ranging from viral and bacterial infection to bad nutrition, to the side-effects of certain medications. The sad irony is that many of the problems people call 'arthritis' -- that incurable, inevitable scourge of old age -- are very often afflictions that are highly treatable.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic disease, with chronic inflammation of the joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons. Arthritis is not a simple disease in any form, affecting not only the bones and joints, but also the blood vessels, kidneys, skin, eyes and brain.

There are more than 100 different types of rheumatic diseases, many causing different types of arthritis. Depending upon the type of arthritis, the associated inflammation may flare up in one joint or many, may limit itself to the joint only, or might spread to the muscles, tendons, ligaments, internal organs, and even the skin.

What is Fibromyalgia?

The fibromyalgia syndromes (myofascial pain syndromes, fibromyositis) are a group of disorders characterized by achy pain and stiffness in soft tissues, including muscles, tendons (which attach muscles to bones), and ligaments (which attach bones to each other). The pain and stiffness (fibromyalgia) may occur throughout the body or may be restricted to certain locations, as in the myofascial pain syndromes.

Alternative names for fibromyalgia include fibrositis and fibromyositis. The term stands for 'inflammation of fibrous connective tissue,' though there is no true inflammation seen in biopsy specimens under the microscope. Connective tissue is supporting tissue of the body, including ligaments, tendons, and muscles. To the unfortunate victim of fibromyalgia, it feels as if these soft tissues are inflamed.
Rheumatism? That's what it used to be called, but today it is known as fibromyalgia.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic condition that continues to befuddle researchers. A simple causal factor has not been found. Most of the conventional therapies are of short-term value at best. Many make the condition worse...
Rheumatoid arthritis is an example of a condition where the body is actually at war with itself. This is called an autoimmune condition. In such conditions, for a single reason or a pattern of reasons, the immune system begins attacking the body's own tissues. In rheumatoid arthritis, antibodies develop to target the joint tissues. The result is the chronic inflammatory character of this arthritis.

Muscle Pain and Weakness
Pain is the primary symptom of fibromyalgia. The pain usually starts in one area, such as the neck or lower back, but spreads over time. Most commonly people with fibromyalgia complain of widespread pain and achiness, similar to the symptoms associated with a bad bout of the flu. Sometimes the pain is described as gnawing or burning.

Fibromyalgia is a syndrome of chronic, recurring, diffuse aching and stiffness, especially of the whole back and neck. It is a very common condition, accounting for as many as one in every ten patients visiting medical clinics ... Its onset may be either abrupt or gradual. Patients with fibromyalgia develop tenderness in certain distinct soft tissue areas--so-called "trigger points" that, when touched, tend to transmit pain to different parts of the body. The muscles, while not developing spasm as such, are taut. The joints, the hands, the feet feel swollen, even though swelling cannot be seen by others.

Fibromyalgia and Fatigue
In fibromyalgia, there is no development of joint destruction, no crippling or deformity. There is, however, significant fatigue, depression, and nervousness. Fibromyalgia may be primary (meaning that it can occur alone) or it may be secondary to another condition that causes pain or disrupts sleep ... Fibromyalgia is closely associated with poor quality, unrefreshing sleep--what is also described as nonrestorative sleep. Patients with the disease wake up in the morning more exhausted than when they went to bed. This feeling of extreme fatigue does not ease up in a matter of minutes as normally happens; it may persist for hours. Any poor sleep may precipitate fibromyalgia; on the other hand, the disease itself may lead to poor sleep. Since most patients with fibromyalgia have a poor sleep pattern, it is difficult to know which came first, the disease or the sleeping problem. In one sense, it doesn't matter. As the saying goes, whether the stone hit the jug or the jug hit the stone, it's pretty hard on the jug, and the patient suffering from fibromyalgia often enters a vicious cycle of poor sleep, fatigue, and pain. One interesting research conclusion that bears up the close association between sleep (or lack of it) and fibromyalgia: normal people kept awake for several days develop trigger points similar to those found on patients with fibromyalgia.

"How Do You Know?"
There is no definitive diagnostic test for fibromyalgia at present, but to be diagnosed with fibromyalgia you must have acute pain in 11 of 18 specific points up and down the spine, and in the shoulders and neck. Chances are high that the pain is also accompanied by sleep disturbances, chronic fatigue, anxiety, and depression. Gastrointestinal disturbances and irritable bowl syndrome, headaches, urinary tract problems, and nasal congestion are also common.

Fibromyalgia Trigger Points
Patients with fibromyalgia develop tenderness at certain soft-tissue areas in the body. The illustrations show the locations of the so-called "trigger points" associated with fibromyalgia. In order for a doctor to make the diagnosis of fibromyalgia, the patient must experience pain on at least 11 of the 18 possible trigger points.

OPCS BLOCK HISTAMINE PRODUCTION
"OPC is an abbreviation for "Oligomeric ProanthoCyanidins," natural health supporting compounds found in plants. OPC's are concentrated in fibrous parts of fruits and vegetables and are often destroyed by cooking.

Histamine is produced in two ways: 1) Under the influence of hyaluronidase in mast cells; 2) by decarboxylation of an amino acid called histidine. OPC hinders the HD enzyme and thereby inhibits (prevents) the production of histamine.
It has been known for centuries that OPC counteracts allergic reactions. Masquelier explains the anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic activity of OPC, on the basis of their antioxidant activity. Free radicals activate the release of histamine and other mediators and they are also produced by these mediators. This is how free radicals form essential components in the development and perpetuation of inflammations and allergic reactions." (OPC in Practice, by Bert Schwitters in Collaboration with Prof. Jack Masquelier)
Masquelier's discovery of OPC's has a well documented proven record of 50 years of scientific research and human studies, conducted through universities, scientific institutes, hospitals and clinics by medical practitioners, dieticians and specialists of various professions.

How does OPC's help the immune system?
The good news is that OPC is great at neutralizing peroxynitrate. It also reduces the amount of superoxide available that makes peroxynitrate and it helps to regulate the nitric oxide production so that it stays in balance. That means your immune system works better, your joints hurt less, and your blood flows better, all because of OPC.