Diary of Unknown Symptoms

Mystery of the Internal Vibration

Entry for June 15, 2006


Dear Dr. Google…

I’ve been taking high doses of niacin for over a month and although there is some improvement, I still have the mysterious internal tremor and low stomach acid. I forgot to take my acidophilus this morning and I had the head pinching. It disappeared when I took the acidophilus so something is obviously still wrong. Maybe it’s not a niacin deficiency at all? I have nervous system symptoms that are effected by diet. It has to be a nutritional deficiency, I just don’t know what kind.

With the Iridology charts and the deep lines at the top of my iris suggesting something effecting the cerebrum part of my brain, I start looking up symptoms with the cerebrum. With iridology some practitioners feel they can diagnose severe disease well before symptoms present themselves. So let’s see what I find out. I start reading about a whole bunch of scary neurological disorders and nothing matches my symptoms. It has to be a nutritional deficiency.

I start googling vitamin deficiencies and I look up every one. A, B, C, D, E, K etc. After reading them all and not finding anything as a possible match, I decide search for vitamins deficiencies that can effect the brain or more importantly, the cerebrum. This time I come across a more detailed decription of a Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) deficiency.

Vitamin B1 Deficiency

Vitamin B1 (thiamin) deficiency may result from a deficiency in the diet. People whose diet consists mainly of polished (refined) white rice are at risk of vitamin B1 deficiency, because polishing removes almost all of the vitamins. Alcoholics, who often substitute alcohol for food, are at high risk of developing this deficiency.

Symptoms

Early symptoms are vague. They include fatigue, irritability, memory impairment, loss of appetite, sleep disturbances, abdominal discomfort, and weight loss. Eventually, a severe vitamin B1 deficiency (beriberi) may develop, characterized by nerve, heart, and brain abnormalities.

Brain abnormalities due to vitamin B1 deficiency occur primarily in alcoholics. Brain abnormalities may develop when a chronic vitamin B1 deficiency is suddenly worsened by a rapid, substantial decrease in the vitamin B1 level (which can be caused by an alcoholic binge) or by a sudden increase in vitamin B1 requirements (which may occur when an undernourished alcoholic is fed intravenously).

Diagnosis and Treatment

The diagnosis is based on symptoms. Tests to confirm the diagnosis are not readily available. All forms of the deficiency are treated with vitamin B1 supplements.

A balanced diet containing all essential nutrients will prevent a thiamine deficiency and the development of beriberi. People who consume large quantities of junk food like soda, pretzels, chips, candy, and high carbohydrate foods made with unenriched flours may be deficient in thiamine and other vital nutrients. They may need to take vitamin supplements and should improve their diets. Usually there are other deficiencies in the B vitamins that will also need treatment.

Excess thiamine is excreted by the body in the urine, and negative reactions to too much thiamine are rare. Thiamine is unstable in alkali solutions, so it should not be taken with antacids or barbiturates.

Thiamine should be taken daily, with the dose depending on the severity of the disease. Additional supplements of B vitamins, a multivitamin and mineral complex, and Vitamin C are also recommended. Other alternative therapies may help relieve the person’s symptoms after the thiamine deficiency is corrected.

So maybe I had multiple B vitamin deficiencies? Another web site talks about how a B1 deficiency can lead to a disease called Beriberi :

Beriberi – this is caused by thiamin deficiency and affects the cardiovascular, muscular, gastrointestinal and nervous systems. As well as the above symptoms, a person with ‘dry’ beriberi may have: nerve degeneration, nervous tingling throughout the body, poor arm and leg coordination, and deep pain in the calf muscles. Symptoms of ‘wet’ beriberi include: an enlarged heart, heart failure and severe oedema (swelling).

Thiamine Deficiency And Dependency

The coenzyme thiamine pyrophosphate, the active form of thiamine (vitamin B1), participates in carbohydrate metabolism through decarboxylation of -keto acids. Thiamine also acts as coenzyme to the apoenzyme transketolase in the pentose monophosphate pathway for glucose. Deficiency causes beriberi with peripheral neurologic, cerebral, cardiovascular, and GI manifestations.

Another site lists another set of symptoms:

Deficiency Symptoms: Depression, constipation, impaired growth in children, shortness of breath, numbness of hands and feet, weakness, fatigue, nervousness, sensitivity to noise, loss of appetite.

Inhibits Absorption: Tobacco, stress, fever, coffee, alcohol, surgery, raw clams

Enhances Absorption: B-complex, sulfur, manganese, niacin, B-2, folic acid, C, E

And then another says one of the Neurologic signs is a….TREMOR.

Pathophysiology
Nutritional disease results from Thiamine deficiency

Symptoms : Weakness, irritability, Nausea, Vomiting, Burning feet, Pruritus

Signs

Neurologic: Tremor, Diminished reflexes in lower limbs, Muscle atrophy

Cardiac: Congestive Heart Failure, Pedal Edema , Pleural Effusions

And yet another:

The following systems are most affected by beriberi:

Gastrointestinal system

When the cells of the smooth muscles in the digestive system and glands do not get enough energy from glucose, they are unable to produce more glucose from the normal digestion of food. There is a loss of appetite, indigestion, severe constipation, and a lack of hydrochloric acid in the stomach.

Nervous System

Glucose is essential for the central nervous system to function normally. Early deficiency symptoms are fatigue, irritability, and poor memory. If the deficiency continues, there is damage to the peripheral nerves that causes loss of sensation and muscle weakness, which is called peripheral neuropathy. The legs are most affected. The toes feel numb and the feet have a burning sensation; the leg muscles become sore and the calf muscles cramp. The individual walks unsteadily and has difficulty getting up from a squatting position. Eventually, the muscles shrink (atrophy) and there is a loss of reflexes in the knees and feet; the feet may hang limp (footdrop).

Cardiovascular system

There is a rapid heartbeat and sweating. Eventually the heart muscle weakens. Because the smooth muscle in the blood vessels is affected, the arteries and veins relax, causing swelling, known as edema, in the legs.

Musculoskeletal system

There is widespread muscle pain caused by the lack of TPP in the muscle tissue.

A thiamin deficiency also produces Warnicke-Korsakoff syndrome, sometimes called cerebral beriberi, a disorder of the central nervous system.

Muscles shrink (atrophy) and there is a loss of reflexes in the knees and feet? Could this explain my Plantar Fasciitis? A B1 deficiency is linked to the Gastrointestinal system and the Nervous System. The two things I have symptoms for. The two things I’ve been telling the doctors about and now I have a link to the cerebrum.

What is Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome?

Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome (WKS) is a neurological disorder. Wernicke’s Encephalopathy and Korsakoff’s Psychosis are the acute and chronic phases, respectively, of the same disease. Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome is a combination of  Korsakoff’s syndrome which constitutes confusion, aphonia and confabulation and Wernicke’s encephalopathy which is nystagmus, opthalmoplegia, coma and, if untreated, death. It is also known as cerebral beriberi, which is beriberi (thiamine deficiency disease) in the brain. This results from severe acute deficiency of thiamine superimposed on a chronic deficiency. Usually found in malnourished chronic alcoholics.

Korsakoff’s syndrome, with symptoms of severe anterograde and retrograde amnesia, is caused by damage to mammillary bodies and other brain regions due to deficiency of thiamine. This is most often caused by chronic alcoholism, though other conditions including severe malnutrition, have been known to cause it. An association of Gayet-Wernicke and Korsakoff’ syndromes frequently observed in alcoholic, nutritionally deficient patients with the Gayet-Wernicke syndrome. Patients develop symptoms of the Korsakoff syndrome, mainly amnesia with a tendency to confabulate with or without polyneuropathy.

I don’t think I’ve gotten to the point of the Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome so it appears what I could have is a B1 deficiency that may led to it. Scary stuff…and it’s starting to make a bit more sense.

I’ve had this very weird feeling in my head almost from the time when the other symptoms started happening around July 2005. If I tilted my head back and kept it there for 5-10 seconds, when I try to bring it back, my head has a heavy sluggishness feeling. Almost like the fluid trying to balance itself. It dosen’t happen all of the time and I didn’t quite know how to explain it so I never mentioned it. The Cerebellum is the part of the brain below the back of the cerebrum and it regulates balance, posture, movement, and muscle coordination.

Down to Shoppers Drug Mart to pick up 100 mg of B1 suppliment.

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June 15, 2006 - Posted by | Health | , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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