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RSD and Endorphins...

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RSD and Endorphins...

Post  byrd45 on Sat Jan 24, 2009 7:43 pm

General : Weekly Dicussion-Endorphins and RSD
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From: byrd45 (Original Message) Sent: 9/22/2005 11:21 AM
Hi Everybody,

This week I thought it would be interesting to discuss Endorphins and RSD. I have been told that Endorphins are affected because of the RSD but really didn't understand what my doctor was talking about until I read some of this information. Now I understand why he keeps telling me how much walking and water exercise are helpful to people with RSD and why he insists that Narcotics really don't help with the pain as much as other medications. The following information was really helpful to me and I hope you enjoy reading it as well:


natural painkiller: a substance in the brain that attaches to the same cell receptors that morphine does. Endorphins are released when severe injury occurs, often abolishing all sensation of pain.

Narcotics and Chronic Pain of RSD

The management of acute vs. chronic pain requires a completely opposite approach. Whereas in severe acute pain the use of narcotics in vital and essential, in chronic pain application of narcotics is contraindicated and dangerous.

Approaches such as the use of Dilaulid as a focal perfusate in the RSD extremity make no sense. Although the narcotic results in immediate relief of pain it is followed by an exaggerated painful withdrawal.

Oral or intramuscular (i.m.) application of narcotics flood the CNS with resultant inhibition of endorphin formation followed by severe pain of withdrawal.

For the purpose of lasting analgesia - in chronic pain of RSD - the CNS should be stimulated to form more endorphins. The use of narcotics results in a marked inhibition and reduction of endorphins. Exercise and proper nutrition stimulate the formation of endorphins.

The chemical treatment of choice for chronic pain of RSD is antidepressants or ACTH, both of which raise the concentration of endorphins in CNS.

This is from another site where they are discussing how important some type of exercise is to us (walking or water exercise are good options) because exercise triggers the release of endorphins in the body.

Blümberg, Jänig and Koltzenburg have discovered a new source of pain. It originates from the deep chemoreceptor c-fibres in muscle and bone. These chemoreceptors become activated with inactivity. Intermittent walking reduces the incidence of deep pain." (1 ) This explains why exercise is crucial in treating RSD/CRPS. Physical activity also triggers the release of endorphins, pituitary gland hormones, that function as natural opiates. Endorphins are considered to be 200 times more potent than morphine.(6) The word endorphin means "morphine within".

Many people with chronic pain do not manufacture enough endorphins, this causes two problems. The first is that your body is sending inappropriate pain messages, and it is not releasing endorphins to protect against the pain. The second is a lack of sufficient endorphins causes hypersensitivity to pain. There are ways we can work to increase our endorphins naturally and with medications.

Naturally occurring endorphins can be obtained by: 1. Exercise 2. Biofeedback, Meditation, Prayer 3. Bodywork, Massage, Hydrotherapy 4. Laughter. Endorphin research suggests that there is a link between our emotional state and the health and well-being of our immune systems. So pleasant memories, exercise, sexual activity, laughter, are all ways we can increase our levels of endorphins and therefore help our body to fight pain through its own natural chemicals.(7)

Here is the website if you want to read more

This is some more information that explains about what Endorphins are and how they are released in the body. Also how important laughter is to all of us.

Endorphins belong to a class of biochemicals commonly referred to as neurohormones that act by modifying the way in which nerve cells respond to transmitters. The discovery of this class of biochemicals has an unusual and interesting history. In the 1960s, biomedical researchers studying the causes and effects of opium addiction had detected what they suspected were "opiate receptors" in brain tissue. Since it seemed quite unlikely that humans (or other vertebrates) would contain a specific receptor designed for a chemical derived from the poppy plant, the researchers focused their attention on biochemicals that might be synthesized in the brain itself. Early in the 1970s, several small peptides were isolated that appeared to possess natural analgesic properties, and these were collectively termed enkephalins and endorphins. The modification of neural transmissions by these biochemicals now appears to be responsible for the insensitivity to pain that is experienced by individuals under conditions of great stress or shock. The effectiveness of analgesic opiate derivatives such as opium, morphine, and heroin is an accidental side effect that derives from the ability of these substances to bind to neurohormone receptors despite their very different structure.

Four distinct groups of endorphins have been identified to date. They have been termed: alpha-endorphin, a polypeptide with 16 residues; beta-endorphin, a polypeptide with 31 residues; gamma-endorphin, a polypeptide with 17 residues; and sigma-endorphin, a polypeptide with 27 residues. These different types of endorphins, like all known polypeptide hormones, are synthesized in a "prepro" form that is one gigantic polypeptide with a signal sequence and additional sequences that are cleaved out during posttranslational maturation of the polypeptide. The most interesting example of this is the pituitary multihormone precursor termed pro-opiomelanocortin that contains the sequences for beta-lipotropin, melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH), endorphins, enkephalins, and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). After synthesis, this peptide is cleaved in the pituitary to generate ACTH and beta-lipotropin, while processing in the central nervous system produces endorphins and enkephalins, along with some other products.

Endorphins are most heavily released in the human body during stressful events or in moments of great pain. The rush of endorphins into the system at such times is often felt as a queasy or nervous feeling in the stomach. However, the amount of endorphins released by individuals varies so that an occurrence that stimulates significant neurohormone secretion in some people will not necessarily do so in others. In addition to stress and pain, endorphin secretion may be triggered by the consumption of certain foods, such as chocolate and chili peppers. Indeed, the characteristic increase in bodily endorphin levels caused by chocolate is believed to play a significant role in its often being turned to as a comfort food in times of stress. Moreover, due to the endorphin release associated with chili peppers, they have been utilized in various kinds of medical treatments, especially as part of therapy for chronic pain, and are sometimes considered an aphrodisiac. Certain kinds of physical activity have been associated with endorphin secretion in recent years as well. Undergoing massage therapy or acupuncture, for example, is believed to stimulate endorphin release, and the natural painkillers may be responsible for the euphoric feelings known as "runner's high" and "adrenaline rush."

Perhaps the most unusual activity believed to be able to stimulate the body's secretion of endorphins is laughter. Medical studies have shown that good belly laughter can reduce stress hormones, decrease pain, lower blood pressure, and even boost the immune system. Due to such findings, laughter has begun being used as a sort of adjunctive therapy to other forms of medical treatment. Contemporary interest in the therapeutic capabilities of laughter was sparked in the 1970s when a book written by Norman Cousins was published, which related his use of Marx Brothers films and humorous stories to help alleviate pain he had been suffering from ankylosing spondylitis, a disease that attacks the connective tissues of the body. Though Cousins initially received significant criticism, his work was fully vindicated in 1989 when the Journal of the American Medical Association published an article by Swedish scientist Lars Ljungdahl entitled "Laugh If This Is a Joke," which argued that "a humor therapy program can increase the quality of life for patients with chronic problems" and "laughter has an immediate symptom-relieving effect for these patients, an effect that is potentiated when laughter is induced regularly over a period." Thus one might be inclined to agree with the great American humorist Mark Twin who suggested, "The human race has only one really effective weapon, and that's laughter."

I hope you enjoyed reading about Endorphins and how they help pain levels as well.

I think I am going for a walk I'm convinced it helps. How do you feel about endorphins? Have you noticed you feel a little better when you meditate, laugh or take a walk? I remember when I asked my doctor why I am so tired all the time and he suggested taking a short walk everyday and I looked at him like he had two heads. I remember thinking if I am already exhausted how could that possibly help? Well after reading about it I feel enlightened to say the least. Do you have any thoughts about Endorphins and RSD. I would love to hear your opinion or experiences as always. Just add it to this post. Remember keep smiling



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From: byrd45 Sent: 9/28/2005 9:32 AM
Any thoughts on this?

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