Trouble in Paradise

Is the whole world becoming worse
and are we all living under a curse?
Or has it always sort of been like this
with tragedies as a hidden miss,
happening in far away places
to other perhaps less outspoken races?
Have horrible things been mentioned less
by the often shallow western press?

Now that we ourselves have victims become
we have stopped being so utterly numb.
The terror has settled in our own backyard
and accepting that fact is damn hard.

aparnir þrír

Cherish the moment

Another moment has passed
and you were so harassed
that you didn’t even notice at all
the moment that you’ll never recall.
Too many oblivious moments add up

so it’s about time you consider to stop
smell the roses as you along them pass,
cherish every moment you possess.

Having fun at the airport

Waking up at the crack of dawnxray
trying to control a huge yawn,
you stand in the long line
looking forward to sip some foreign wine.
Leaving your home as an honest person
you now suddenly change into the criminal version;
“Put your belt and shoes in the tray,
no liquids, by the way!”
The voice so demanding and rude
– obey or we will shoot!
With your personal belongings removed
they need to have your body approved;
“Stand with your hands above your head
are you concealing metal or lead?
Don’t you dare to speak or smile
or they’ll put you in their file.
They’ll have you x-rayed to the bone
you’ve never felt so alone.
“Beep, beep” and your taken aside
don’t you dare to put up a fight.
Now they’ll feel you up and down
thank God you wore a long gown.
Your self esteem sinking to the ground
you try not to make a sound.
You pass the test one more time
and will have your chance to sip some wine,
you get your belt and shoes on back
and think to yourself what the heck;
it’s the price for modern traveling to pay
thanks to the bloody terrorists, ay?

Has the world gone completely mad?
Willingly we put up with being considered bad
all obey without uttering a word
forming a silent compliant herd
thinking it’s the price for safety to pay
but surely they could come up with a better way…

Vitamin D and fibromyalgia

A hormone rather than a vitamin
The importance of vitamin D is without doubt one of the hottest health topics of recent years.  In Iceland we had the good fortune of enjoying the presence of Dr. Michael Holick, professor at Boston University, as the main speaker at a conference held in October 2011 on this important vitamin.
Dr. Michael Holick, has spent a large portion of his life´s work researching vitamin D. His research as well as the research of other scholars has revealed that every single cell of the human body contains a receptor for vitamin D and that the vitamin is really a hormone rather than a vitamin. The body produces vitamin D in the skin from sunlight and throughout history most people have been getting their vitamin D through their skin as well as getting some from certain types of food like oily fish, cod liver oil, eggs and mushrooms. If sunscreen is applied our ability to produce vitamin D from sun exposure is greatly diminished.


Are we not getting enough vitamin D?
With increased usage of sunscreen and less consumption of oily fish there has been an increase in vitamin D deficiency all over the world. In his book „The Vitamin D Solution“, published in 2011, Dr. Holick explains the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and the consequences of such a shortage. He states that at least 50% if not 90% of the American population is suffering from a shortage of vitamin D and that the situation could be described as an outbreak. The book also states that vitamin D shortage is in deed the most serious disease in the world and is connected to disease prevention and in many cases the treatment of diseases like heart diseases, cancer, stroke, infectious diseases, diabetes, depression, insomnia, muscle weakness, fibromyalgia, arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis,  psoriasis, MS and high blood pressure. It has also been shown that those who suffer from obesity are more often than not suffering from severe vitamin D deficiency that can keep the vicious cycle of obesity going.


Vitamin D and Fibromyalgia

One of the most serious forms of vitamin D deficiency known is a disease that most people think of as a disease of the past; or rickets. In the last few years there has been an increase in confirmed cases of rickets in the US and Europe, all connected to an increase in vitamin D deficiency. Another disease but less known and also caused by vitamin D deficiency is osteomalacia. Osetomalacia has also been called rickets of adults and is characterized by undefined aches and tenderness of bones and muscles as well as a relentless lack of energy. These symptoms are almost identical to the ones of fibromyalgia and Dr. Holick asserts that osteomalacia is often misdiagnosed as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome or even arthritis.
In Dr. Holicks´ experience 40-60% of those who seek his help and have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome are in reality suffering from osteolamacia caused by vitamin D deficiency. He has been very successful in treating these individuals with high doses of vitamin D and sensible exposure to sunlight. Dr. Holick warns that if physicians do not rule out vitamin D deficiency as a possible cause for undefined aches in muscles and bones the correct treatment can be delayed significantly.



Smoking and muscuoloskeletal symptoms

In the year 2007 the author, Ingibjörg Loftsdóttir and Stefán Hrafn Jónsson, conducted a study at the University of Akureyri, Iceland on smoking an musculoskeletal symptoms

Symptoms from the musculoskeletal system, e.g. back problems, widespread pain and muscle aches, are common problems and often the cause for absence from work and diminished quality of life. The objective of the study was to explore if there is a connection between smoking and symptoms from the musculoskeletal system like some other research had implied.

Data and methods: The research was based on data from a questionnaire from the year 2000 administered by the Icelandic Research Centre for Occupational Health & Working Life among those employed in geriatric care facilities employing ten or more workers. The relationship between symptoms from the musculoskeletal system and smoking was explored while accounting for biasing factors such as the influence of body mass index, age, physical workload, profession, marital status, exercise, age and sex using multiple regression.

Results: Those who smoked daily and those who had stopped smoking had significantly more symptoms from the musculoskeletal system than those who had never smoked. Those who smoked less than daily did not have significantly more musculoskeletal symptoms than those who did not smoke.

Conclusion: Even though smoking only explained 2% of the variability of symptoms from the musculoskeletal system this explanation matters quite a bit in light of the fact that 14.2% of the nation still smokes daily according to a survey from April of this year (2012). The morbidity of musculoskeletal symptoms among the nation is also high as prior research has shown or 56% among men and 65% among women.