Originally published November 19 2013
Toxic environment now causing mysterious, debilitating pain in arms and legs; doctors baffled
by Jonathan Benson, staff writer
(NaturalNews) The long-term health consequences of our increasingly polluted environment and food supply appear to include an unusual pain condition that strikes out of nowhere and leaves its victims in a near-constant debilitated state. Referred to in the medical literature as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, or CRPS, doctors say they have no idea what causes this strange illness or how to cure it, yet the number of people who suffer from it continues to rise.
One such person is Daphne Cuebas, who recently shared her traumatic story with CBS 2 News in New York. Cuebas recalls just waking up one morning with severe and excruciating leg pain that left her unable to function normally. This pain was also accompanied by severe leg swelling that made it difficult for Cuebas to even walk. And the worst part is that these symptoms, which came seemingly out of nowhere, happen constantly and unexpectedly.
"I just got up one morning and the pain just started," stated Cuebas to CBS 2 News. "I can't eat, I can't sleep, I can't function."
Alexandra Annaloro, who is just 21 years old, suffers from similar pain on a regular basis. Except in her case, uncontrollable leg shaking is another hallmark of this strange disease. Annaloro says she has a hard time getting a good night's sleep and often has to stop whatever she is doing during the day to deal with seizure-like leg shakes that often last several minutes or more.
"I can't walk for 10 minutes," she told reporters. "Once 10 minutes is up, I'm done. There's days that I cry a lot. It's hard."
Conventional medicine says CRPS has no known cause or cure What is causing this mysterious illness? The conventional medical system says it does not know but admits that it is a disorder of the nervous system. CRPS is believed to trigger erratic nerve synapses that send constant pain signals to the brain, misleading it into believing that there is actual pain taking place, when in fact it is these signals that are causing the pain.
"We call it cross-talking of the nerves," stated Dr. Sudhir Diwan, a pain management specialist, to CBS 2 News about the condition.
Most often, CRPS affects either the arms or legs and typically brings with it major swelling or sensations of burning, or both. People who suffer from the disease also say the areas where it crops up tend to become extremely sensitive, so much so that even light touching or pressure to the area can cause extreme pain.
"I actually thought of ending my life," added Cuebas, who had to quit her job because of the extreme pain.
As far as conventional treatments for CRPS are concerned, doctors say physical therapy can help patients manage their pain. There is also a stimulator device available that sends electrical signals through the spinal cord to help dull the pain. For Cuebas, the best solution was getting a special device implanted into her body; known as an "internal pain pump," the device releases tapered doses of morphine directly into her knee.
"On the McGill Pain Index, a chart that doctors use to measure their patients' pain levels, the condition ranks extremely highly, receiving a score of 42 out of 50, higher than both childbirth and amputation," explains the U.K.'s Daily Mail about the severity of CRPS. "Researchers at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke are studying new approaches to treating the illness, but the consensus is that early treatment -- within three months of developing symptoms -- is the most effective."
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