Recent episodes featuring Jayson Sacco
Hello and welcome to this episode of The Ankylosing Spondylitis Podcast. I hope everybody is doing fantastic as this episode reaches you. It’s been just a great couple of weeks going on here as far as health wise, I mean, I've been dealing with some fatigue, but, you know, I hope everybody is feeling great, fighting the fatigue that you can keep up that good battle against Ankylosing Spondylitis. So recently I joined a service that pushes any reviews that that come in from anywhere in the world and I received two of them. One of them was from Australia, and it was from amwave, and this was from November of 2019. And they wrote, “I really enjoyed the well researched content and practical relatable tips.”Well, thank you and amwave, if you are listening, please reach out to me through the website I'd love to get in touch with you. The other review came in from the United States and it was left in January 19th by somebody that goes by wiscobri, and same with you, if you are listening, please contact me through the website. And they wrote,”Such a great podcast full of relevant conversations related to AS. Anyone living with AS will benefit from and relate to these open and honest chats.”That's what it's all about. I just want to do these things so that all of us that have Ankylosing Spondylitis can somehow relate, listen and not feel so alone. And before I do this week's Question of the Week, I thought I would point out that you may have heard an ad that I ran at the beginning of each episode The last few episodes for Joy Organics. I had Courtney Garber on an episode or two episodes ago talking about Joy Organics line of CBD products. So I encourage you to go out there and check there'll be a link in the show notes. Anything that you buy, it does create a small payment back to the show to keep it going. So I really appreciate it. If you follow that link and you're in the market for CBD products, I really appreciate it if you consider Joy Organics. So the Question of the Week, this week, I kind of decided to, instead of speaking a specific question, I'm going to pick one that I've seen a recurring theme for over the last several years, and that's something to use of DMARDs or otherwise known as biologics. And what I thought I would do is over the next few months, I'm going to start releasing some episodes, and doing some episodes on the DMARDs. There's really, I think, a lot of confusion out there. And I'm going to start at the maybe the 30,000 foot level, and then work down to a more more granular level of each type of product. I think some of the things that are being posted, may not factually be correct, but I don't know? The best way to to approach each of those. So I thought what I'd do is just anyway, do a number of different episodes, starting off at the real high level about biologics and working down to a more granular level, they won't all come at one time, they will come over a series of, you know, several months. So, you know, if you have really good or bad experiences with biologics, I'd love it if you went out to spondee podcast calm and contacted me to let me know what happened. And are you 100% able to relate that use of the biologic to the condition that developed where you told 100% by doctors that this is what caused it? We know this is what led to it? Or is it just anecdotal that you developed something around the same time that you took the biologic, and you're relating to that I'd love to know and try to see about putting some of that information together for a show as well. So you get no judgment. I don't. You're 100% able to believe anything. You want as far as what might or might not have happened with your medical treatment, I just want to be able to get it all together to share with everybody that listens. So that's this week's Question of the Week. It's really more of a statement of the week. But more to come on it and I look forward to really going more in depth with this topic and finding some great guests to help really delve deep into this subject of DMARDs or biologics. In this week's episode, I want to talk about chronic illness, living with chronic illness. It's something that we all experience; there are certain things that we encounter certain things that we deal with, that I thought I would address in dealing with chronic illnesses. There was a book written about 10 years ago called How to be sick by Tony Bernhard. I'll have a link to this in the show notes for you if you want to go over and look at it. Its subtitle of the book is a Buddhist inspired guide for the chronically ill, and their caregivers. And this is really something that whether you have AS, or you're living with somebody or caring for somebody with AS these are kind of eight things that maybe each of us as we deal with our journey in having Ankylosing Spondylitis and what it means to each of our lives, probably really needs to come to grips with. So this article was by Teresa Burchard, and I'll have a link to it as well. She really encapsulated a lot of what I think we all deal with and in one way or another, you know, “life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass” said Vivian green. “It's about learning to dance in the rain.” And that's a quote that the author wrote about dealing with chronic illness, and she herself had dealt with a chronic illness for six years with a Treatment Resistant Depression, little bit different than Ankylosing  Spondylitis, but still something that can cause you chronic pain, disease, mental anguish, everything. So in here she talks about, “I'm shifting my energy from finding a cure, to learning how to live around the illness.” turning to people with debilitating conditions, like fibro, lupus, chronic fatigue, AS, as well as meditation teachers, and thinkers. For instructions on how to manage painful symptoms, here are a few of the items that this author picked up on the way and tips on how to dance in the rain and where to find the courage to try again tomorrow because that's really what it comes down to, is we have to know that when we go to bed at night, we're going to get up in the morning and we're going to tackle that dragon again that disease AS and what it does to us. You know, I can remember many many days. When I would be having extremely bad flares and my hips, and it would take me 30 to 45 minutes just to get out of bed, because I had to move so gingerly one leg at a time, because of the just massive amounts of pain it sent through my hips, through my spine, everywhere. So, you know, I've lived with all this different pain through my whole life and there's certain things you you come to grips with, as you advanced with the disease as you age, and it's always a learning experience. So number one, Let go of the blame. Former law professor, Tony Bernhard, who wrote the book, contracted a mysterious viral infection on trip to Paris in 2001. In how to be sick, she wrote; “I blamed myself for not recovering from the initial viral infection, as if not regaining my health was my fault. A failure of will somehow or a different deficit of character. This is a common reaction for people to have towards their illness. It's not surprising given that our culture tends to treat chronic illness as some kind of personal failure on the part of the afflicted. The bias is often implicit or unconscious, but it's nonetheless palpable.”I read that and I was really kind of struck by it because it really goes to the core of when we look at Ankylosing Spondylitis or we feel how others look at us, that they somehow view that we're maybe faking it, that we're maybe not in the pain that we are, you know, as a kid, again, I always relate back to constantly being told that I was lazy, and that that really chewed into me and stayed with me for all my years until now I still deal with it in certain areas where I think something all of a sudden, I'm like, man, I can't be lazy. I gotta do this whether I feel like doing it or not. You still do it, and sometimes to the detriment of how I think feel the next day or the next several days. But, you know, that's something we all have those little things that were said to us, maybe not so little. But all the items have built up through years and years of dealing with this. And we really have to learn to let go of a lot of that as best we can. And use that energy that we use to hold on to any of those negative thoughts and use that to the betterment of ourselves, towards healing ourselves. So, however you choose to do that is your own path you have to follow whether that be through therapy, whether it be through religion, whatever process helps you, I encourage you to please follow it. Number two, Distinguishing your illness from yourself. I've said this many episodes over and over. I have Ankylosing Spondylitis, Ankylosing Spondylitis does not have me. We all know that in many ways, and I, I'm even reluctant to use this word, we see things of ableism I guess is the best way to put it, where people are doing their normal day to day activities. And look at us funny if we can't if we need to ride a cart through the grocery store, if it takes us longer to do certain things and that type of issue can again build up on you. So it's very important that you work with anybody that's helping you, anybody, your family, your friends, to let them know that you have Ankylosing Spondylitis, but you are not Ankylosing Spondylitis, you are, whoever you are. AS is just a part of you. It might not be a part you like. It might be a part that some days takes up all of the energy and attention and other days not so much. But again, you are not Ankylosing Spondylitis and you have to really figure out the best way to separate yourself from that. So I hope you find it if you share this episode with others that maybe are caregivers for you or others you know with as who maybe don't have as deep and understanding these episodes may help them have a better understanding and allow them as well as you to distinguish your illness from yourself. Number three, Address envy. According to Bernhard, the author, envy is a poison, crowding out any chance of feeling peaceful and serene in the mind. I can certainly understand this. I look at people doing different things, whether it be on social media, whether it be on TV, or whether it just be friends that live locally around me looking doing these different things and saying, Wow, I really wish I could do that. I wish I could still do that I wish I could still hike like I used to wish I could still do this or that. And sometimes you have to watch and make sure that it's great to remember what you couldn't, couldn't do, and whatever skill set you had and some particular item, but don't ever if you can, don't ever let that overtake your ability to still interact with your friends, and just congratulate them on what they're able to do and just remember the good times and share stories and laughter with them if if you can, because that's really going to be best to keep you interacting with people. The author wrote, “The antidote to this is a Buddhist term ‘Mudita’ meaning sympathetic joy, joy and the joy of others.” The idea is to be happy, as the author said, from her husband and friends to try and enjoy joy, their joy. So, you know, maybe they're enjoying a great hike that they did, and your friends come and tell you about it and you're able to mentally picture what they did, and enjoy that they're so happy from it. And maybe there's another activity that you guys can all do together next time because you're not able to hike or whatever, you know, Bernhard the author says, “it's okay to fake that term Mudita in the beginning, good will, will eventually enter our hearts and minds and bodies until it's a genuine expression.” So, again, if you are thinking along those lines, you know, as fake it until you actually learn the best way to internalize that and, and be happy for everybody around you for what they can do. There might be things that some of them can't do that you're capable of doing and they may want to be envious of you or better yet learn from you. Number four, Honor you limitations. You know, chronic illnesses are tough on people or people that are people pleasers, because the pleasing types, they can no longer escape by in their low maintenance ways. You know, as the author says, “it only took me a few years of suffering, the consequences to figure out that it's far more painful to not assert myself and cause a setback the last months than it is to say, I'm sorry, but I can't honoring my limits.” She says means I choose to stay home from a family vacation. And that type of a decision is painful, it can be difficult to make, because you're missing out on memories you're missing out on time with your family. Those are certainly things you'll never get back. But I know it's very easy for health to deteriorate and need to protect that and make sure that you are again, honoring your limitations knowing what you think, can't do that something that I'm 50 years old now. I'm not sure I 100 percent do that yet. I know I've pushed myself many times and paid for it for days and days where I'm just in excruciating pain. So it's one I work on. It's one I hope you can work on. It's one I hope you can find peace with.Number five, Connect with universal suffering. This one I kind of had to think about and go through what the author was saying. It really is more of something I've thought about before but anyway, she says there's a famous Buddhist tale of a brave woman whose only son had died around his first birthday. She says to Buddha, “can you revive my dead boy? Buddha replies, yes, but I will need a handful of mustard seed from a house where no child, husband, parent or servant has died. She returned to Buddha empty handed because death had visited every house.” Now when I say this, I don't mean any disrespect to any parents that has lost children. It's really just a, it's an overall reminder and a very powerful reminder that, that suffering is merely part of the universal suffering that all of us as human beings endure. So if I can place my pain in proper perspective, my heart opens and empathy for others. What I really look at what she says that is, my personal philosophy has always been, I'm just glad I can get up at a daily basis and take care of myself, because there's always somebody that's worse off. That doesn't mean that my pains not important. That's not in any way trying to diminish my pain, or to diminish anybody else's pain. That's strictly the way I personally try to keep order in my mind as to how I deal with my Ankylosing Spondylitis. You are certainly entitled to deal with your pain in any way you see fit. So, again, I hope you can come to some way of understanding how you fit into this concept of universal suffering. And what we have is a bad enough disease, but I hope you're able to as you deal with it, put it in perspective of what you're dealing with. Number six, Use your pain for good. This one you kind of say what, Rick Warren, pastor of the Saddleback Church in Orange County, the five love lessons, I think, is what it's called his book. He said, I'm certainly not going to waste this pain, about the sudden suicide of his son Matthew in April of 2013. One of the things I believe in that God never wastes are hurt, and that oftentimes, your greatest ministry comes out of your deepest pain, whether you're religious or not. What we can take away from that is that we We have our deepest pain with ankylosing spondylitis. I know I've had many times where I'm just excruciating pain. I'm up all night. And I'm sitting there and it gives me time to reflect, as best I can, on my personal situation, what I can do to not only cope with my pain, but can I help anybody else? Whether you have ankylosing spondylitis, or maybe it's just a person that needs help putting their groceries in a car because they're dealing with a young child and getting them in a car seat, and maybe the weather's not as nice or the weather's hot or whatever. There's all sorts of little ways that you could benefit other people without having to even think about what as is done to you are doing to you. And so, use your pain to come up with a way for for good. That's just all I can do is hope that you take out of this show. Some way to stop. Think about when you're in your deepest pain, and you're trying to deal with it. How could someone best help you? How can I help you? How could it just a phone call to do we want to talk when you're having a lot of pain? If so, reach out to me on my website, provide a phone number. And we'll talk through your pain, whatever it is that you're needing, you know, let somebody in your family know, let a friend know. Reach out on one of the communities on Facebook and ask for some connection with people. There's always somebody on those forums.Number seven, Let go of expectations. Anyone who's been sick for over a year, they know the disappointments of new treatments that promise to be yet or the cure of, you know, that might end this nightmare. And we see this all the time on the Facebook forums, you know, should I drink celery juice? Should I go to a vegan diet? Should I go to an all meat diet? Should I do this? Should I do that? There are all sorts of things being thrown at you. I'm not saying any of those things are bad. Just make sure that if you get so excited about one thing, even if it does not help you at that point, that doesn't mean that's the end of all the options. Good example. I'm now on my third biologic from doctor. The first two, they worked okay, but not long term. This third one has been fantastic now going on almost two and a half years. So if that first biologic treatment doesn't work well for you. Don't despair. Don't get down in the dumps. I know we all want the first thing that comes out to work. But move on. Let's try something different. Let's see what the next option is to help you in your quest to lessen the pain and slow down the progression of Ankylosing Spondylitis. She writes, “our suffering arises from our desire for certainty and predictability” says Bernhard, when we try and let go of our yearning for control, we can begin to know peace within. She writes, “imagine living in a world where we've let go completely, and it's okay. If we can't go to that family event. It's okay. If a medication doesn't help. It's okay. If a doctor is disappointing, just imagine inspires me to let go a little, then it's easier to let go a lot. And every once in a while, I let go completely and momentarily bask in the glow of that blessed state of freedom and serenity.”, let go of expectations as best you can. And then finally number 8, Find your tribe. You hear that said a lot. But really, that can be just as...
Hello, and welcome to this episode of The Ankylosing Spondylitis Podcast. This is your host, Jayson Sacco and I hope everybody is having a fantastic day. You know, personally these last few weeks, I've been really dealing with some what seems like extra amount of fatigue. And I don't seem to be the only personal loan as I read through the Facebook forums, notice a lot of questions on fatigue and how do you handle it? What do you do and where's it coming from?  It sucks and whatever else, you know, people are talking about. So this week's Question of the Week is going to be what do I do about the fatigue? Well, we all know that with Ankylosing Spondylitis, we have increased inflammation, and that inflammation can lead to sometimes excessive fatigue depending on on the level of inflammation. So there's really a couple things we can look at now. In my case, I don't know if so much the fatigue is caused by inflammation or if I'm just not sleeping well enough at night, I think that's really my issue, not getting a quality enough sleep. When I do get some sleep, and I have a Cpap machine, and my mask just hasn't been sealing. My mask is old and I need to replace it. So I think that will fix some of the issues. But we all know that for a lot of us, the main culprit is inflammation and how does it dovetail in with creating the fatigue? Well, if you have inflamation issues, you know along your spine and your hips, wherever they can release a chemical that has a role in the fatigue that we deal with. So that's just one thing you want to think about is if you're feeling fatigued is the underlying symptom really inflammation that's just not being treated properly via medication. So we also know that with these we want to aim for sound sleep, which is me. So this particular paper that I was reading, gave a few tips. Some of these are easier said than done. Go to bed at the same time every night, including weekends. Well, that's fairly easy to do since I don't have much of a social life. So going to bed at the same time is usually not that hard. Take breaks throughout the day instead of naps. Well, that's interesting because I tend to fall asleep in odd spot. So you know, I can just konk out in the middle anywhere. So it's not really an issue of taking a nap. It's just a maybe a power 10 minutes that I might be out. Another item is do relaxing pre bed activities, such as deep breathing exercises. Avoid sleeping in on the weekends, or vacation days. I don't generally do that. I'm pretty much up between six and seven every morning. Take a warm bath before bed. That's probably not what I'm going to try. But if it helps you, great. I'd love to have a hot tub. I think that'd be fantastic. And then regulate the temperature in your bedroom. Well, mine stays, you know chillier than the rest of the house. But that's just a function of the way that this particular place is built. So another thing you can do is check for anemia. I know I have anemia and I take 50,000 IUs of iron once a week. But if you're getting frequent headaches, dizziness, shortness of breath, or have some pale skin, that could be signs of anemia, and you want to talk to your doctor about that addressing that might help you sleep better. I think it's really a function of doing all of these but you know, address each one, one at a time. There are some dietary considerations. I know myself, my snoring, which is my sleep apnea is a function of the weight I've put on, I need to lose a fairly large amount of weight for me, and I think in doing that, I would have less sleep apnea and thereby less fatigue, and maybe less inflammation. Get some exercise. Again, easier said than done. But there's always something we can do. I try to do some exercise before I go to bed or while I'm watching TV. You have to figure out what fits best for you, your pain levels, your ability, what what you're capable of doing. So those are just a couple of really basic things to consider with the fatigue and really more designed around before you go to bed, the more we might be able to wear ourselves out before going to bed, the better we might sleep. So it's just something to consider and see if that doesn't help you out at all. And now on to today's topic, and I came across this article and it is about a year and a half old. But I don't think that much has changed in relation to this topic. And that is, you know, Ankylosing Spondylitis in Men and Women. What are some of the differences? Now, we know Ankylosing Spondylitis is a form of arthritis and autoimmune disease. There is some question of whether maybe the classification might change but for right now, that's kind of where it sits an inflammatory disease. We know that it affects the spine. It can cause pain, can limit range of motion and it involves flares. You'll see many people talk about flares and I'm having a flare up that can cause you know, acute symptoms, and then maybe followed by a remission, but flares there is no timeframe, you know, it's going to last a week, it's going to last two days, it's going to last six months. You don't know it's a big unknown. So hopefully, if you get one, it's followed by a period of remission where it's not such a severe set of symptoms for you to deal with at that point. Now, Ankylosing Spondylitis can vary a lot from person to person, symptoms can be severe, but as we know not everyone with AS develops spinal fusions or has serious complications. Some people might have a much more mild case where others might be much more severe. Mine developed very young, very hard hitting. So by the time I was 14, I was in extreme pain and that lasted for a good 15 or so years, and then, you know, it was brief bouts of remission in there. But by my mid 30s, it started changing a little bit. Come into my 40s I had more pain, second I had more hip replacements. And then now I've been on a good biologic that works for me for the last couple years and that's really made a huge difference. So anyway, symptoms can be severe, as I said, but not everyone with AS develops, you know, the spinal fusions are as the serious complications. What we do know is that neither age nor gender affects the severity of the disease. So that's kind of interesting, and that's good to know and what was once thought, you know, to be more prevalent in men, and there still is a few more men diagnosed versus women diagnosed. I think that number like I've said in other episodes is really going to come in parody as more and more women are properly diagnosed and are not left off on the sidelines with some different diagnosis just to, you know, get them into medication and move on, then this delayed diagnosis and women can then mean that they may have more of an advanced disease due to being you know, misdiagnosed for X number of years, however long it took them to get their diagnosis. There is some research that does suggest there are differences in the way men versus women get the disease, and function with the disease and the progression of the disease. But the findings have been kind of inconsistent. So, you know, there is nothing at this time that says you're going to see this in women and this in men, but they are trying to look to see which way each of the sexes is developing and advancing with AS, and then part of the problem is that research has focused heavily on men. But again, as with the items that starting to change, as more and more women are diagnosed or their misdiagnosis is corrected. So some recent studies have included more women, but there's not enough data yet to reach from conclusions about the differences and sexes with AS and well the exact cause of AS is not clear. There is a pretty good idea that genetics play a role. One risk factor for as is having a family history of the disease. I find this interesting because in my family, well, we don't know that many generations back. I'm the only one with it. So I am the entire family history of Ankylosing Spondylitis for my family. But I know there's others, fathers, daughters, mothers, sons, you know that it's passed down from from generation to generation. We know that as Ankylosing Spondylitis progresses, you know, the pain becomes more debilitating and can cause a reduced range of motion. You might also experience pain in other areas of your body. You know, be your hips, neck, shoulders, feet, those are all susceptible and many more to damage from Ankylosing Spondylitis. As some people, you know, they're only going to have maybe some very intimate and back pain, very minimal back pain and discomfort, while others can be quite severe. Mine is quite severe where I've had already the fusing of the spine, and some fusing in my neck. So, you know, everybody's going to be different. I’ve met people that have had it for a number of years and have had very little in the way of fusing so it's great for them that that's the version of Ankylosing Spondylitis that they got. It can be debilitating as we know and then it can eventually lead to disability. Early symptoms, you know, fevers loss of appetite, fatigue, anemia, inflammation of the eyes, iritis and uveitis I've done episodes on all of these in a bit more detail that you can find in my past episodes.Genetic predisposition. You know, many people with AS have a gene called HLA-b27. However, having this gene doesn't mean you'll develop Ankylosing Spondylitis and on the other side of that, not having this gene, you could still develop Ankylosing Spondylitis. So the link between HLA-b27 and Ankylosing Spondylitis, we do know varies by race and ethnicity. For example, among Caucasians, about 95% of those who have as test positive for the genes, about 80% of people from the Mediterranean countries do, well, only about half of African Americans with AS test positive for this gene. So again, these are all areas are looking into and it's really stuff that can change on a year by year basis as more and more research is done on Ankylosing Spondylitis with age, arthritis is also can sidered a disease that comes about as you're older, it's what the seniors will get, as I used to think when I was much younger. But Ankylosing Spondylitis commonly occurs in people between the ages of 17 and 45. Some younger, some older, some people are diagnosed as early as kids and that was me. Others I see are getting their diagnosis as in their 40s and 50s. But maybe have had problems since the 20s. The age of onset is about the same and men and women. It was previously thought that men with AS are more prone to pain in the spine and back than women. But there's been more research done. That indicates that back pain is the main symptom for both men and women seeking diagnosis. In addition, it's found that women have more neck hip and knee pain, while men generally might have more foot pain. Again, these are general items. You as a woman could have, you know a ton of problems in your feet and little in your hips, I am a man I had a ton of problems in my hips. So they're general. But again, everybody's gonna be different, you know, reproductive health concerns, as affects men and women during their peak reproductive years, but does not really appear to affect fertility. It can affect and you'll see this if you read through any that the Facebook forums is the function, the ability to be intimate the ability to create kids can be slowed down or minimized or even reduced, not because of inability to be, you know, create the children. But because of the pain associated with conceiving, caring and birthing the children, women with AS who are pregnant or trying to conceive, really want to talk with their doctors to find medications that can help them keep inflammation under control, and have even seen some women online comment that once they became pregnant, and got into the pregnancies that put them in a remission from Ankylosing Spondylitis. So obviously you can't spend the rest of your life pregnant. But that's been beneficial for some of those women over those nine month periods. Symptoms such as a stiff spine, back pain can continue throughout pregnancy, and NSAIDs, you know, non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs, like ibuprofen or Advil can help relieve some of that pain, but can cause harm to your unborn child. So, don't just take them because you used to take them. Anything you're putting into your body when you're pregnant, as you well know, can affect the baby. So make sure to talk with your doctor about what's appropriate for your pregnancy. As a side note, really not dealing with pregnancy or fertility or anything like that. But I came across an article from a magazine. It was a study done back in 2015 was when it was published and it was called Sexual Dimorphism in the Th17 Signature of Ankylosing Spondylitis. I'm not going to go real deep into this because I butcher it with all my medical terminology pronunciations. But what I will say and I'm going to put a link to this in the show note is the conclusion was kind of interesting. The conclusion read the results of the study demonstrate distinct sexual dimorphism in the activation status of the immune system, in patients with AS, particularly in the Th17 access, this demorphism could underlie sex related differences in the clinical features of AS and could provide a rationale for sex specific treatment of AS. I found that really interesting, the whole study, as I read through it, and I hope you'll take the time to read it is, you know, five years ago, they were looking in many years past, but this study was looking at how might we treat men and women that get this disease? We already know that there could be some differences in the way the disease presents itself between men and women, we do know that those differences that the way the disease presents itself may result in women being taking a lot much longer time to be treated, which could then result in, as we said earlier, a much more severe case because of the delay in treatment. So I really think it's interesting that we have this disease here and it gives us all the some of the same characteristics, some of the same problems, but can present itself in so many different ways that they're even now looking at, is there a way to treat men versus women so that both sexes get the proper treatments? It's not who's gonna get the better treatment? Who gets it worse? It's how do we look at this disease? Or do we even look at this disease based on a men versus women's situation? And then how do we treat it from there? So I just I find that very, very interesting, and I think that is a very well needed and long overdue way to determine this disease and look further into it. So finally, we know that if you have Ankylosing Spondylitis, whether you're a man or a woman get help, the sooner the better. I personally am a believer in biologics. I like them for myself. I thought they've done well. I know other people can have some quite adverse reactions to them. So talk to your doctors about what is the most appropriate way for you to treat your Ankylosing Spondylitis after diagnosis. You know, it's important to see your rheumatologist at least once a year. You're probably going to want to start off every six months but at least once a year, even if you feel that your symptoms are mild. And then lastly, we all know that there's no cure for ankylosing spondylitis, but it's the early detection that both men and women need and that can help to control how it disease progresses. By giving you the early treatment, so anyway, early treatment, early diagnosis can help alleviate pain and prevent the disease progression of both men and women. So, well, there are some interesting studies done to say, you know, how do we treat the different sexes Overall, we all tend to get the same symptoms, get treated, get documented, if it gets to a situation where you're looking to apply for disability, at least here in the States. I don't know how it works in other countries, but at least here in the States, that documentation is going to be critical. Did you get in there? Did you do everything the doctor said? Did you continue to show worsening symptoms to the point where the disability becomes needed. So you control that by making sure you stay in and visiting the doctor and making sure that you discuss with him or her how that disease is progressing in you. So, again, I can't thank you all. Enough for hanging out with me. It's great to have you guys here and interact with you online. And I look forward to many more episodes of talking with everybody. Take care and have a wonderful day. Here you can access the links for Joy Organics. We do earn a small commission from anything purchased via the links. This does not affect the price of any items.
Welcome to this episode of The ankylosing spondylitis podcast. This is going to be a little bit different of an episode today I'm really excited. I've got Courtney Garber on and Courtney is the Assistant Store Manager and CBD Educator of the Fort Collins, Colorado retail store for Joy Organics, which is a CBD manufacturing company, retail sales. They just cover all sorts of different angles and have a great line of products. So I'm really excited to have you on Courtney, how are you? Courtney - Good. How are you doing? Jason? Jayson - Fantastic. I'm really excited because CBD is one of those topics that there's so much information out there and there's so many people that want to consider it for their chronic pain issues, anxiety, whatever it may be, and they just don't know where to start. So it's really great to have somebody on that can kind of take my listeners by the hand and start them on the journey.Courtney - Yes, and I appreciate you having me on.  Every day I encounter people that just have gotten a lot of misinformation from the web or even from family and friends. So it's really good to have educational material to kind of clear up a lot of these issues.Jayson - It is because there's so much being written about CBD, that it could help things like anxiety, PTSD, chronic pain, Parkinson's, epilepsy and the list goes on. But I think the key is, let's say that I was, you know, or any of my listeners were to walk into your store, where would you start with them? How do they even know how much CBD to take? What products appropriate? How do you guys help them determine that?Courtney - Yeah, so often when people walk into the store, the first question we asked them is what brings you in today, they will reveal like what they're trying to treat. They might even come in specifically asking for products that will help with this. What we do at the store is we don't like definitively say this product is going to work for whatever you're trying to treat, kind of just describe how the different products work, and then they can make an informed decision what they think will work best for their condition, and we often describe to CBD does affect everybody. So Individually, it does take a little experimentation in the beginning to find the right product and the right milligrams to take.Jayson - I wondered about that. So like a lot of drugs, things like weight can even affect the amount of your dosage. So is that something you find also with, say CBD oil is somebody that is a 250 pound guy is going to need more than 120 pound woman.Courtney - You know, interestingly enough, so often when people come into the store and from our feedback, it's not necessarily by weight. We have a lot of repeat customers in the store. So we do get a lot of feedback. Sometimes people need very small amounts and sometimes people need very large amounts. It really depends on how their endocannabinoid system is functioning. So when we recommend milligram strength for people, but with CBD, it does affect everybody. So individually, a perfect example is my significant other. We both have taken the same amount of CBD for pain issues. And for him, it made him drowsy. He does weigh more than me. I'm a pretty slender woman. So often people will just start off with a low milligram amount and increase it until they're getting the effects they need. Some people do require just a small amount to feel the effects more some people do need a larger amount other people do need to take it kind of consistently for a few weeks to really benefit from the full effect. We have a lot of customers that use the lowest drink tincture for sleep and we have some customers that need to take two of our highest drink soft gels for sleep so it does really very often I will ask people if they're sensitive to other medications and supplements and usually that's a prime candidate for someone using like a lower strength or some people do require higher amount or some people do need a smaller amount. The goal CBD is really to take the least amount possible get relief, there's really no advantage to taking too much for your body.Jayson - Okay, so really when I want to say drops, but it's the proper terminology is tinctures. And so if I come in and I see the bottle says 30 milligrams is that the total THC (I said THC in error, it should be CBD) in that entire bottle? Is that like per dropper full?Courtney - Yeah, so that's actually a huge issue in the industry. And often, especially in the beginning companies started labeling their products with the whole milligram of the bottle. Some companies do put on the back the serving amount so you can see how much CBD you're actually getting for dropper full serving.Jayson - Oh, and your website breaks all that down. So if I actually would have just clicked on it, it shows it all there.Courtney – Yeah and we actually we just did a whole rebranding of all of our products to make that more clear to our customers just a couple of weeks ago, all of our products in the store they were labeled 500 milligram, 1000 milligram or 1500 milligrams drink for tinctures.Now on the front, it is clear how much you're actually how much CBD you're getting per serving, Jayson - Joy Organics line of CBD products, all of them are THC free, Correct?Courtney - Correct. They are also a broad spectrum CBD product which means that we are including all the other natural elements of the plants like the terpenes and the flavonoids and everything that kind of helps to give it that entourage effect. They do make products with CBD isolates and not just CBD by itself but it tends to be a more effective product when you combine them with other minor cannabinoids.Jayson - Okay when I look at say like the soft gel tablets or the tinctures are both of those kind of like, mixed with olive oil so you'll taste that when you consume them.Courtney - Yeah, so for the tincture specifically it's mainly flavor preference and some people just find that certain carrier oils work better for them for our orange and lemon use coconut oil and then for our unflavored and our bench olive oil for our suck job it is a murder in coconut oil in like a gelatin. Oh wow. And then you just swallow the tablet digestive of your stomach absorb the CBD oil. Yeah, so when when you use a tincture, you're mainly absorbing it under your tongue. So it tends to be more fast acting it could be a better product if you're if you have any digestive or like absorption issues with the soft gel, you do have to swallow it and digest it though it does take a little bit longer to feel the effects are soft gels in particular and other companies use like special technology with the soft gels, we use nano motion, which helps the soft absorb better into your system. It's also water-soluble. So if you think of your blood being water, anything water-soluble is going to absorb better into your bloodstream. Jayson - Say I come in to visit with you and I say my issue is chronic pain from the Ankylosing Spondylitis, which myself and the listeners will have and maybe anxiety is the key with CBD oil to consistently take it. It's one of those you don't take it like when you're in pain, but you take a little bit every day. Courtney - Yeah, so some people do use it as needed. You're definitely going to get more benefits from it, taking it as a daily supplement. It's really going to start you know balancing out your endocannabinoid system, even how you perceive pain. It helps with a lot of the issues that are associated with pain, like injuries and sleep disruption.Jayson - Really so I would talk with my doctor let him or her know that I will want to add in a CBD supplement just to make sure it doesn't mess with any of my other medications but then it looks like you've got products available from the soft gels and the tinctures that we talked about to gummies some mixed with melatonin or curcumin, did I say that right?Courtney - Yeah, so curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric. So a lot of people already kind of supplement that if they're having like joint pain or arthritis.Jayson - And then you've got the selves which I think are real interesting is just rub on your hands or knees or wherever.Courtney - Yeah, often people start with that if they're a little wary of trying CBD. Even though our products are THC free and there's no like psychotropic effects. Topicals tend to be really effective too, because they're fast acting. However, they don't always affect all types of pain. You're really treating the inflammation from the outside in. So sometimes the internal option just might be more beneficial or lot of our customers do combine the two to get optimal results. Jayson - And again, since it is THC free, it's not going to show up on a drug test if you get randomly drug tested through your employer or anything of that nature.Courtney - Yeah, that's a great question. A lot of companies will 100% say no. We responsibly explain to our customers that you know, your best bet is to go with a product that is broad spectrum or CBD isolate. No CBD company can legally make that claim. Jayson - Okay. Courtney - Sometimes people will take like at home direct test, it doesn't really differentiate between different cannabinoids so you could get a false positive from at home drug tests, doing like a blood test for work. So it should be able to differentiate between CBD and THC. Jayson - Oh, I see. So it could give a false reading on what you're taking. Courtney - Yeah, and it is an unregulated industry right now. So some issues people have had is you know if they're not doing the proper third party lab testing Trying to kind of prove that their products have no THC or even sometimes products with trace amounts of THC can build up to detectable levels over time. Jayson - Okay, so it's really going to be how often you in the amount you take and and really who manufactured what you're taking?Courtney – Yeah! Jayson - Which is why I always say don't buy CBD oil from the gas stations.Courtney - Yes, definitely, or you know, we often get people that come in here and they're kind of shocked by our you know, prices because they got something really cheap on Amazon but you don't really know where that cannabis was grown. It could be grown in China, which they don't have much regulations on pesticides or heavy metals, we always recommend whether you're buying our product or another company's products that you want to make sure that they're providing third party lab results. You know, that show that has no pesticides or heavy metals and actually shows that their product contains CBD, which I think is important. Jayson - I noticed as I was going through Joy Organics website, there's lots of third party research available on on all the products. Courtney - Yeah, as a company, we're really trying to lead the industry for like good quality testing, just like the CBD world is the Wild West. So is the laboratory testing? It's not very regulated as well and as a company, we're really striving to kind of go above and beyond quality. We have adopted actually, other states requirements for microbial testing and pesticide testing that is actually higher than Colorado.Jayson - Interesting. So, we talked about all the positives. You mentioned drowsiness, but is there any really known bad side effects? I mean, everybody's going to react differently. But is there anything that they kind of you want to keep an eye out for?Courtney - Yeah, well, definitely drowsiness. Some people do experience kind of like a diuretic like diarrhea effects from it. If you are on any medication, we just always recommend to check with your doctor because there really aren't enough studies at this point to kind of determine how CBD might affect how your liver absorbs and breaks down these medications combined with CBD, so if you've got any liver issues, From pharmaceuticals that you've been taking another weakend liver you definitely want to let your doctor know about this and really any medication you know often people are on anti-anxiety or anti-depressants. They just feel comfortable going ahead and taking CBD. Anything like a blood thinner we definitely recommend people talking to their doctor as well because CBD can act like a natural blood thinner.Jayson - Oh, okay. Where does the hemp come from that you use to make your CBD oil?Courtney - Yeah, most of our hemp is grown in Colorado after the farm bill passed though we have started to expand our farms within the United States but I'm all of our cannabis is organically grown CBD is extracted from the flower of the plant. And we use co2 extraction, which you always want to look for a company that's using a clean extraction method and that's important. Jayson - I've seen that mentioned in multiple spots. What exactly does co2 extraction do versus what you might find in other processes?Courtney - Yeah, so co2 is To be the cleaner, some companies use things like butane, which are the risk for that is you might end up with like residual solvents left in your oil, which is something like butane, you definitely don't want to consume.Jayson - Yeah, I don't know that I would want to use butane that's in lighters and stuff like that to ingest after a cleaning process gone through us.Courtney - So we use co2 extraction, and then food grade ethanol for our purification process. Okay, combined knowledge is supposed to be the cleanest method. But we also we test for residual solvents to make sure like none of them are left in the product.Jayson - Okay, so I'm going to see all this. If I look at the lab results. Courtney - Yeah. Jayson - Oh, interesting. So as I look at this, from a consumer standpoint, I walked into Joy Organics, let's say you're at the Fort Collins store, and I come in there and one of the things as I was looking at the products was, unfortunately my vice is soda. I drink way too much of it and that high fructose syrup I know is bad. My Ankylosing Spondylitis, not to mention weight and everything else, you have this energy drink mix that caught my eye. Just add it to water?Courtney - Yeah, we saw him in little five pack and I usually recommend adding it to like 24 ounces of water or you can just do like half a packet, okay? It's really to add as much water for your flavor preference, the energy drink, it's got the same water soluble powder that our soft gels do. So you you do end up feeling the effects pretty fast upon drinking it. And it's something that a lot of people kind of, you know, drink gradually throughout the day or you know, if you have like a long shift at work, or maybe going on a long height tends to be a really effective product for thatJayson - In a lot of times again, I know as your job there is you're not a doctor, and this is not medical advice. We're just trying to talk about what we see across broad spectrums of people. But if I take like an energy drink and drink that over the day, would that be considered maybe in place for that day of what I might have done for a tincture or should I still do the tincture as well?Courtney - Well the energy drink it only has about 12.5 milligrams of CBD so really depends on what you're trying to treat and how CBD affects your endocannabinoid system. Jayson - Got it. Courtney - Often people do replace you know, tea, coffee, but if you're really trying to treat maybe like severe pain, you might need to like supplements other different CBD products.Jayson - So it's I think in my mind, I've got 12 milligrams 12 and a half milligrams from the drink, but I usually use 30 or 40 or 50, whatever the amount is. I'll do my tinctures and I'll do a drink and I might be good for that day. Courtney - Yeah and you know, into some different products affect everybody differently. When I started, I did really try all of our products out but I found the soft gels were like the best product for me as a daily supplement.Jayson - Okay, okay, so you just took one of those a day and called it today.Courtney - Yeah, it is my favorite product. I use it specifically for chronic pain. It's just something it's easy to swallow. I can take it on an empty stomach without feeling nauseous. Just take it with my morning vitamin and just kind of gets me through the day and it helps me forget about my pain.Jayson - Oh, great. So know for anybody listening, I'll have in the show notes, a link to Joy Organics, which is the website where you can see everything we've been talking about. But I'm also going to link to at the very top, there's a series of tabs and one of them is called Learn and there's a link on there called Ultimate CBD Guide and this thing is massive. I really, unfortunately just discovered it a couple days ago and it is just an amazing wealth of information. Going back to not only historic data on CBD oil, but all the stuff that you at Joy Organics have discovered as you grow the business.Courtney - Yeah, actually, when all of us started here at the store, we didn't know much about CBD. So it was a great beginner's guide to kind of just dive into it and really learn about it because it is a really complicated subjects and talking about can happen noise and then the cannabinoid system and you could easily easily get lost and how it's actually working in your body. But if you just really understand that supplementing CBD is really just balancing that your endocannabinoid system, which your endocannabinoid system really is responsible for kind of regulating and modulating all of your bodily systems.Jayson - Now if anybody wants to come into your store, where you're at? Courtney - We are about hour and a half north of Denver. Jayson - Okay, so you're a little ways from Denver.Courtney - Yeah, we're more closer to the border.Jayson - Oh, okay. But it's still an achievable drive for anybody that wants to come up and visit and see the full line of products.Courtney - Oh, absolutely and then we also have a have a customer service line too, if people are more remote and they are just like us at the store and they help people answer credit questions and educate them as well.Jayson - There's an 833-456-9723 which will be in the show notes and that goes right into your online ordering and your assistance via the phone, correct. Courtney - It does. Yes. Jayson - I also see you have stores in Austin and Wichita. Courtney - So there is some other locations that people can go to definitely and the store in Austin, Joy's daughter Danielle runs and then Joy's best friend, Kim runs the one in Wichita, very good family and friends running the extra stores. Jayson - So you've got the...
Hello, and welcome to this episode of The Ankylosing Spondylitis Podcast. I hope everybody's doing fantastic today; I apologize if the audio quality is off a little bit. I'm fighting a bit of a head cold, so I can't really tell if I'm sounding clear or not. I'm real happy to be here today and be able to record and talk with everybody about what I think is a really cool resource. But first, I want to do this week's Question of the Week. You know, as I was going through the Facebook forums, I happened to come across a very simple message that somebody had wrote, and it just said, “I can't go on anymore. I can't do this anymore.”And I thought about it in, you know, my first response was, yes, you can, because we all have been there. We all have thought that, you know, it gets to a point where there's any given time where your pain is pretty severe and you just think I can't do this anymore. But as people with Ankylosing Spondylitis, we can do it, we do do it. We do it every day, we do it every hour, and we just survive. That's the way it goes. Now, that's not to take away from anybody's pain and say that it's less or that it doesn't belong or that they're thinking about it the wrong way. Because we all have that pain, we all deal with it. First, if you really do think that you're in a potential where you're going to hurt yourself, there is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255. So first, if you do really think that you may hurt yourself, please reach out to them or reach out to anybody that is on the forums. There's just a bunch of great, great people that are willing to talk with you, listen, empathize, and work through any issues you're dealing with. So again, when I see these messages of saying I just can't do it anymore. I certainly understand we've all been there, but please reach out and get the support you need, if you're not getting it from a significant other, or family member, reach out to any of us on the boards. There's just a great number of people there that would be willing to talk with you, I'm sure, either through chat or through a phone call to make sure that you are in a good place. So, don't ever think that suicide is your only option. I did some research and a new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that 10% of the more than hundred thousand suicide deaths included in that study occur to people with chronic pain, though the study you know, can't prove that chronic pain was a contributing factor. The lead author Emiko Petrosky, medical epidemiologist with the Center for Disease Control, did note that mental health issues were more common among those with chronic pain, and that the proportion of suicides by people with chronic pain had increased from 2003 to two Thousand 14 as the number of people with chronic pain rose. So the answer isn't that people with chronic pain aren't strong enough. They not that they just need to toughen up as so many people tell us if you have chronic pain, you know, you know what it's like to deal with some get the appropriate help, whether that be reaching out to the Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a therapist, family, or just any of us. We're here to help support you in any way we can. Now, onto this week's topic. A few months ago, I came across a great website called ankylosingspondylitis net. Now, many of you may be familiar with it. I actually was not at the time when I came across it. And it found it to just be a fantastic reservoir of information. There are tons of articles on the website written by people with Ankylosing Spondylitis. So it's not that it's just people telling us how they think we might feel. It's really people that are dealing with Ankylosing Spondylitis. And one of the contributors and how I found the website was through Jed Finley, who hosts one of the Facebook forums/pages called Living with Ankylosing Spondylitis. It was through here that I followed some of his writings back to and as I went through the website, it found just great, great resources. When you get there again, it's, you'll find in the upper left corner, a menu section. And when you click on that, it opens up a whole world of information to you. And you'll find Q&A stories forums, in some very good information if you're just being diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis. You'll find all sorts of links to what it is? What are the different types, you know signs and symptoms, diagnosis treatment, living with AS, mental health and then special sections of it all broken down, you can go right to it and just delve into all sorts of great topics that are written by people with AS. I was so impressed with the site that about a month and a half ago or so I was able to partner up with them to help to moderate some of their Facebook forum information for the Facebook pages. So it's really fantastic and I really am extremely excited to be partnered up with them. But again, the website itself has got so much great information that I see questions all the time from people about, well, what are some of the basics What do I expect? You know, if you go to basics. And it says what is Ankylosing Spondylitis and it breaks it all down his symptoms. It talks about how the curvature of the spine is affected, how the SI joints are affected, who generally gets Ankylosing Spondylitis and we know that that number of statements that it’s a men's disease is starting to change. And we're seeing more and more women diagnosed properly with it. So it's becoming much more parity, men to women in this. So it's just all sorts of great information out there to help you in your search for additional pieces of the puzzle that you may be looking at. You know, it's also what if you've been diagnosed, you go to diagnosis, and it talks about maybe the challenges you've dealt with with getting diagnosed. Some of the criteria doctors look at some of the diagnostic tests being used. And then at the bottom, there's always going to be links to articles like there was a great one called finding a good rheumatologist, or pain in your emotions. Those are done by the editorial team, but you can Then go back up and search on some of the different authors that work in the community section like Jed and, and any of the other ones and delve into the articles that they've written as well. I just got a great one out there right now that talks about, you know, going bowling with Ankylosing Spondylitis. So there's all sorts of fantastic information available to people that either have or think they have a closing spondylitis. You can follow along on these articles and see that there's just such a fantastic outpouring of information for people. These people that write these articles really want to help. It's just a great place. I can't say enough good things about it. The thing that I really like is under the community section, you can go to a section called share your story. I encourage people to do that. Go out here and write about your journey with ankylosing spondylitis. How were you diagnosed were you not diagnosed yet and put it out there to share for others to read because Well, we all have a differently. There are people that can take a lot of good information away from reading about others, battles with Ankylosing Spondylitis to best know how to approach their doctors and talk about it. So it really I wanted to make sure that in my desire to provide information and support for everybody with ankylosing spondylitis, I bring to light the different tools that and resources that are available. So on top of this website, this is just one in a family of websites that this company runs. So if you have anything else besides Ankylosing Spondylitis, if you scroll all the way to the bottom, you'll see that there are other just other sister sites that you can then go and explore. If you have psoriatic arthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, or irritable bowel syndrome or whatever, there's different Ms. There's all sorts of different options out there where you can find additional support for anything you may be dealing with. So Again, I encourage you, this episode is fairly short, because I want you to go to and explore it yourself. Read the fantastic articles, join the community, sign up for their email list and get access to new stories when they're published in know that they're there. So take advantage of it. Take advantage of their Facebook page as well as any of the other Ankylosing Spondylitis support Facebook pages, and I look forward to interacting with you all online. You guys have a great day. And if you have any questions, don't hesitate to reach out. I'm happy to touch base with you.Suicide and Chronic Pain: support the show. If you use any of the below links, I earn a small commission. It will not adjust the price you pay.Joy Organics – Use code spondypodcast15 to save 15% off your order. have to cut and paste to new browser.
Hello, and welcome to this episode of The Ankylosing Spondylitis Podcast. I know I've said it before, but I've got to say it again. We've hit over 12,000 downloads across the world with this show. If it wasn't for all you listeners, none of this would be possible. I love hearing from everybody. It has been just amazing to hear everybody's stories of how they have dealt with AS, and I wanted to point out I got an email the other day from a listener. And this one was really cool and it's reads; “Hey, oh my goodness. I'm so thankful I found your podcast. Thank you. I'm in Namibia and for so long. I have felt so alone. I felt so many times that people think I'm making it all up. It's crazy and my doctors in South Africa because there isn't even a rheumy here. People don't understand. Anyways, listening now to Loss of Our Old Life and I can so relate. I'm so sorry for all you have gone through. I lost an eye and then also had cancer. Like so many of us losing so much and yes mentally it’s such a hard battle. Thank you for raising awareness!!!Thank you! Without listeners like you, I wouldn't be doing this. I started this off just to kind of bring out what my experiences were. But now, it's grown into so much more as I get to hear from everybody from all these countries around the world. There's like 195 or 192 countries in the world and we have had downloads from at least 71 of them. Means over a third of the countries has had somebody access the show and at least listened to it once. That's amazing to me. So and it's again, it's all because of you guys, all of us who have Ankylosing Spondylitis, and the caregivers of people that have Ankylosing Spondylitis. I absolutely thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you've done to help make this show so successful.And now, under this week's Question of the Week, as I was going through Facebook forums, I noticed a question that said, “Do you feel that you're using your Ankylosing Spondylitis to be a victim or have a victim mentality?”  So I kind of read that a couple times, and this is going to be completely my feelings on this, but I got a little bit angry because I've been dealing with this for so long. Let me preface that by saying, my feelings are not your feelings, we're all going to have this differently. But I thought about it. I said, I didn't ever want to be a victim, to appear to be a victim. Even after multiple hip replacements, fused back, fused SI joints, fused neck, there was plenty to say poor me, but I really have wanted to spend my life trying to find the good side. Now, yes, all the damage AS has done to my body is not good. But the good side of it is I've met some phenomenal people and all of you across the world who share AS with me, and that is something that I can talk to any of you and we're all going to have similar experiences and be able to, in many ways empathize with each other, consoling each other. So I saw this article, there's an author, Lisa Marie Basile, (see link at end). And in early January of 2020, you know, just this month, she wrote an article; it's titled, As a New Year Begins, I'm Seeking the Silver Lining with AS, and I thought what a great title. In the article, she goes on to discuss what she's dealt with in her life, and how it's adjusted her viewpoints on different things. She had a challenging childhood and she says, “I found strength and resiliency instead of weakness and fear”. And that's really what I want everybody to try and take away from this. If you go through the pain of Ankylosing Spondylitis, the challenges that we deal with having Ankylosing Spondylitis the day to day just activities, trying to get them done, raise kids, you know, work a job, all of it with Ankylosing Spondylitis, that instills in you a strength and resiliency that many others do. Have, they may look fine on the outside, they may be capable and quote unquote, normal people that are able to do anything that they want to do, whether it be in the gym or you know in life, but I'll bet you they don't have that strength and resiliency that you do, and remember to take that away. I want you to read this article by Lisa, that you are filled with empathy, compassion, and understanding for people that others just will never understand. And so take that strength you have internally take that resilience you have and use it to your advantage and rise up and don't let as take control of you. Remember, I am not Ankylosing Spondylitis, but instead, I have Ankylosing Spondylitis, it does not have me. So in this week's episode, I wanted to look at medical marijuana and the use for Ankylosing Spondylitis. As I was looking around the website a little bit, I went to, which has just a great amount of resources for people with Ankylosing Spondylitis and they had a really good article on medical marijuana for Ankylosing Spondylitis as we know, medical marijuana, recreational marijuana, you know, it all comes from the cannabis plant. The cannabis plant itself has been used for thousands of years and for all sorts of different treatments of all sorts of different ailments. Obviously, for recreational purposes to get high. Well, recreational is generally illegal in many spots, United States, many states, including where I'm at in Michigan, is making it legal. And it's now illegal to use recreational weed even though at the federal level, it's still an illegal drug and possession could land potentially in jail. So as you go about and decide whether you want to try medical marijuana or not, you have to look at what your state laws are. Will you be violating state laws? Are you comfortable if it requires violating state laws doing that for potential benefits of feeling better. It's really what it boils down to. And then if it's illegal in your state, you find it beneficial. You find it helpful, and it's illegal at either the recreational medical level, then you might want to consider working with legislation and voting to legalize it at the state level, the more states that pass it, eventually the federal government's got to look and say, Hey, we can't just keep this at a a legal level and all the states are saying, forget you, we're going to do what we want to do. So what are the active ingredients in medical marijuana? The active compounds in the cannabis plant are called cannabinoids. There are dozens of cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. The two well known ones that everybody relates to and talks about our THC and CBD, cannabis oil and deltaninetetrahydrocannabinol say that, you know, 10 times real fast. So THC has been associated with reduction of nausea and pain, increased appetite and psychological effects like euphoria, altered sensory perception, you know, which can give you that high effect make you feel high. On the other hand, CBD does not produce any intoxicating effects. It has more a sedative effect on some people, and that's what can help to reduce the pain and possible inflammation. So how does medical marijuana work in the body? Well, scientists have discovered that the human body has an endocannabinoid system ECS or within the body. This system is distributed throughout the body and it plays a part in how we regulate our body ,I should say regulates functions like pain, immunity, inflammation, you know, even things like bone health. So the ECS is comprised of the cannabinoids that the body produces the receptors on which they act and the enzymes that are involved when you introduce THC and CBD. To these they have similar structures to those internal cannabinoids and they work on the same receptors they work to modify how those are each feeling which gives you your your fork feeling, reduction of pain and so forth. What research has been done on medical marijuana? Well, several studies have been done on medical marijuana for different conditions. You know, there's a lack of high quality research. And it's really, probably over just the last few years that we've seen any real idea put in to generating good research on what medical marijuana can do for you besides just anecdotal information. There's also different perspectives, whether they be religious based or nature based, whatever, that can inhibit some of these studies, so there's still a long way to go. But there is something that appears to be in THC and CBD that can help different patients. More research is needed to fully understand the potential risks and the benefits of cannabis and to understand how it may or may not be helpful to people with arthritis. like AS. What are the side effects of medical marijuana? Well, everybody's going to be different like any medication. Again, I'm not a doctor, this is not a recommendation for you to use medical or recreational marijuana. It's just trying to get some of the information out there so that you can have that discussion with your doctor, he or she is going to be the one that is best able to walk you through some of the items you might need to know about this. So some common side effects that have been seen in various research studies of medical marijuana include dizziness, drowsiness, feeling faint or lightheaded, fatigue, headache, impaired memory, and disturbances and attention concentration thinking and decision-making. And that doesn't mean you're going to get any of these. So just know that those have just been some things have been seen, but you may get some you may get none. Again, more research is needed to understand the long-term safety of medical marijuana. What we as humans can expect out of it. There are also some people that should not use medical marijuana, including those that are allergic to cannabis and those who have or high risk of schizophrenia, or other psychotic illnesses. I'm going to have links to this article and its references so that you can look into that more. The other thing I wanted to touch base on when we're talking about possible side effects is is marijuana addictive? You know, that's really still out there. There was a article at the National Institute of Drug Abuse on marijuana and it's addictiveness, you'll hear people on a lot of people say that marijuana is not addictive. You'll hear others say, Oh, I was addicted to it. I was addicted to it. Well, I think both of those are probably wrong to a certain degree. And this article really summed up kind of my thought process on it. They find that a very, very small amount of people may become addicted to marijuana far smaller than the number of people out there that say that they were addicted to it. What in reality most of these people have is what is called a marijuana use disorder and that is akin to a dependency on it. Now dependency and addiction are two separate things. Addiction, like many know, whether it be alcohol or harder drugs is very, very difficult to walk away from very, very difficult to end a dependency. In most cases, they found people with dependencies could walk away and be cleared out of their system and in a week and a half, two weeks, so there's a big difference there in what a dependency is, versus an addiction. And again, I'm going to go back to that as we go through it. People who use marijuana frequently often reported irritability, mood, sleep difficulties, decreased appetite, cravings, restlessness, and other various forms of physical discomfort that peak within the first week after quitting, and then last for up to two weeks after they've quit. Marijuana dependency occurs when the brain adapts to a large amount of the drug by reducing production You have insensitivity to its own Endocannabinoid neural transmitters. So again, to say that you're adicted means that you would have smoked just godly amounts of marijuana or ingested through edibles or whichever form you were taking it far more than the average person. If you've taken it for a while, and you like that feeling, and it helped you to function during the day, and you felt that you would not be able to quit, that's a dependency that's not an addiction. So this article points it out very succinctly. And shows that really looks to be around 9% or less of people become addicted to marijuana, which is a very low number. So you don't want to say well, 9% of people become become addicted. The other 81% that can handle it and and do it well, should be ignored and so it should be made illegal. I'll have a link to this article. But again, it's dealing with dependency versus addiction, two different things. The third thing is this article was published a few years ago. And it points out in an additional piece to it, that potency of marijuana is increasing; it's no longer the same stuff that we would get in the 80s and 90s. As potency rises, these numbers are subject to change a little bit, it's still gonna take a lot more research to see where that goes. And then finally, what are the different preparations of medical marijuana? How can you use it as a patient and I covered some of this, it's very similar to what I talked about in the prior issue on CBD oil. Medical Marijuana comes in a variety of forms, including inhaled oral and topical preparations. Smoking marijuana may have many of the same cancer causing chemicals as tobacco smoke and inhalation by vaporisation is another option. Oral ingestion of medical marijuana is available and edibles like candies or other sweets, cannabis oil and drops are delivered under the tongue. And finally, topical applications are available in ointments and gels, which can be smeared on the skin. As with any complimentary therapy, you want to talk to your doctor, before trying this, your doctor is going to be the best person to tell you what is the proper way to take medical marijuana, what is the best way for you to use it so that it doesn't interact with any of your other medications. So again, I encourage you all to talk to your doctors. If you have any curiosity about it read this article and full look at some of the references that are there and, and good luck in your endeavors to decide if medical marijuana is right for you. Whether that helps with your pain, whether it be just CBD oil that helps with you, once you found what works for you. It'll hopefully help you long term and, you know, I really wish you the best of luck as you go forward with that. Thanks. And I hope everybody has a wonderful, wonderful day and I look forward to talking to you all in the future.Lisa Marie Basile article:
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