Diary of Unknown Symptoms

Mystery of the Internal Vibration

Entry for July 22, 2006

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NDP Leader Jack Layton Gives Blood for Toxic Chemical Tests
Environmental Defence testing blood of federal politicians for harmful chemicals

Toronto , Ontario – NDP Leader Jack Layton gave a blood sample today as part of ongoing work by Environmental Defence to measure the contamination of Canadians by harmful chemicals.

Layton is the first federal politician to give blood to be tested for toxic chemicals. Environment Minister Rona Ambrose, Health Minister Tony Clement and Liberal Environment Critic John Godfrey have also volunteered to have their blood tested. Environmental Defence has requested blood samples from Bloc Québécois Leader Gilles Duceppe.

Layton ’s blood samples will offer a snapshot of his exposure to a broad range of chemicals, some of which persist in the environment and build up in our bodies. Many of the chemicals are found in everyday products, such as furniture, TVs, food packaging, cleaning products and clothing. The chemicals have a range of potential health effects and are associated with cancer, developmental and reproductive damage, respiratory illnesses, hormone disruption and damage to the nervous system.

“It’s astonishing how many MPs still refuse to make the connection between the products we use today and enduring health effects,” said Layton. “The NDP has taken the lead on protecting communities by proposing Parliament outlaw cancer-causing pesticides. This blood-test challenge goes a long way to raise awareness for all Canadians especially law-makers and those responsible for producing products that lead to health problems.”

In total, Layton’s blood will be tested for 102 compounds that fall under seven broad categories: PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls); stain repellants and non-stick chemicals (known as PFCs, or perfluorinated chemicals); organochlorine pesticides (such as DDT); organophosphate insecticide metabolites (such as the breakdown products of malathion); heavy metals (such as mercury and lead); air pollutants called PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons); and, flame retardants (PBDEs, or polybrominated diphenyl ethers).

As part of its national Toxic Nation campaign, Environmental Defence has measured the levels of toxic chemicals in the bodies of two groups of people – adults from across Canada, and family members ranging in age from 10 to 66. Results from those two rounds of tests found Canadians are contaminated no matter where they work, play or go to school, how old they are or where they live.

“Kids, parents, grandparents across the country are all polluted with a range of harmful chemicals,” said Dr. Rick Smith, Executive Director, Environmental Defence. “We expect that our tests of MPs will turn up similar levels of contamination as all other Canadians. But, it remains to be seen which MP will be the most toxic.”

Layton ’s blood samples will be sent to two independent laboratories for analysis, and results of all of the politicians’ blood tests will be available in the fall.

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July 22, 2006 Posted by | Health | , | Leave a comment

Entry for July 22, 2006

Virginia teen fights for right to pick Hodgkin’s treatment

Abraham Cherrix, 16, went through chemotherapy for Hodgkin’s disease that left him so weak that his father carried the 6-foot-1 youth from the car to the house. Doctors tell him he needs a second round of chemo to get rid of the cancer that reappeared in February.

Abraham says no, and his parents are backing him up.

Now the Virginia family is in juvenile court, the parents are charged with medical neglect and the Accomack County social services agency has joint custody of Abraham. The agency asked the court to order the boy to undergo chemotherapy.

A court hearing continued Tuesday. Each side plans to appeal an adverse ruling, family lawyer Barry Taylor says.

Abraham and his family are treating his cancer with an herbal remedy four times a day and an organic diet under the guidance of a clinic in Mexico. The remedy, called the Hoxsey method, has not been clinically tested, and there is no scientific evidence that it is effective, the American Cancer Society says.

Although he is not old enough to cast a vote or buy an alcoholic drink, Abraham argues that he is old enough to make decisions about treatment to save his life.

“This is my body that I’m supposed to take care of. I should have the right to tell someone what I want to do with this body,” he says. “I studied. I did research. I came to this conclusion that the chemotherapy was not the route I wanted to take.”

Abraham — full name Starchild Abraham Cherrix — lives with his four younger brothers and sisters and parents in Chincoteague, where his dad, Jay, runs a kayaking outfitter and his mom, Rose, home-schools the kids. A lump on Abraham’s neck discovered last year turned out to be Hodgkin’s disease, which has a high survival rate with treatment — 85% of patients are alive five years later, according to the American Cancer Society.

Chemotherapy and radiation left Abraham bald, racked with fevers and too weak to play tag with his siblings. “His legs would buckle under him. It pretty much devastated him,” his mother says.

Another round, at higher doses, “would kill me, literally. No joke about it,” Abraham says. “The first round of chemo almost killed me in itself. There were some nights I didn’t know if I would make it.”

Mary Parker, director of the Accomack County Department of Social Services, declined comment, citing privacy law. So did a spokesman for Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters in Norfolk, Va., where the Cherrix family says Abraham was treated.

In Texas last year, a court ordered 13-year-old Katie Wernecke to live in a foster home for five months while she received chemotherapy for Hodgkin’s disease. Her parents wanted her to take intravenous vitamin C instead. The court returned Katie to her family after she finished chemotherapy and allowed the alternative treatment. Her website says she is “doing very well … but she is not cancer-free yet, so there is still a battle to win.”

Other families refuse treatment for children for cultural or religious reasons: In 1999, a Massachusetts court ruled that a hospital could give 17-year-old Alexis Demos a blood transfusion after a snowboarding accident even though her Jehovah’s Witness faith led her to refuse it.

In deciding whether a child or parents can refuse medical treatment, courts consider the child’s age and maturity and the family’s reasoning in declining treatment, but also whether the treatment has been shown to work and whether the child has already had the treatment, says Arthur Caplan, director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania.

“The easiest cases to get a court to order treatment is when the children are young and the treatment is absolutely as efficacious as we have,” Caplan says. That, he says, includes treatment for Hodgkin’s disease, which “has a proven track record.”

“The hardest ones are 17-year-olds who’ve had (the treatment) before, it doesn’t work that well, and they sound like they really understand what’s going on,” he says.

Rose Cherrix says her son is getting medical care, just not the care that his doctors recommend. “We tried their way, and it didn’t work,” she says. “We truly want to see him get better, and whatever it takes for him to get better we will do. But if he doesn’t have a very good chance of coming through this chemo, which he doesn’t, I’d much rather him have quality of life.”

July 22, 2006 Posted by | Health | | Leave a comment

Entry for July 22, 2006

Teen loses fight to use alternative cancer treatment

Friday, July 21, 2006; Posted: 7:53 p.m. EDT (23:53 GMT)

NORFOLK, Virginia (AP) — A judge ruled Friday that a 16-year-old boy fighting to use alternative treatment for his cancer must report to a hospital by Tuesday and accept treatment that doctors deem necessary, the family’s attorney said.

The judge also found that Starchild Abraham Cherrix’s parents were neglectful for allowing him to pursue alternative treatment of a sugar-free, organic diet and herbal supplements supervised by a clinic in Mexico, lawyer John Stepanovich said.

Jay and Rose Cherrix of Chincoteague on Virginia’s Eastern Shore must continue to share custody of their son with the Accomack County Department of Social Services, as the judge had previously ordered, Stepanovich said.

The parents were devastated by the new order and planned to appeal, the lawyer said.

Stepanovich said he will ask a higher court on Monday to stay enforcement of the order, which requires the parents to take Abraham to Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters in Norfolk, Virginia, and to give the oncologist their written legal consent to treat their son for Hodgkin’s disease.

“I want to caution all parents of Virginia: Look out, because Social Services may be pounding on your door next when they disagree with the decision you’ve made about the health care of your child,” Stepanovich said.

Phone calls to the Cherrix home went unanswered.

The lawyer declined to release the ruling, saying juvenile court Judge Jesse E. Demps has sealed much of the case.

Social Services officials have declined to comment, citing privacy laws.

After three months of chemotherapy last year made him nauseated and weak, Abraham rejected doctors’ recommendations to go through a second round when he learned early this year that his Hodgkin’s disease, a cancer of the lymph nodes, was active again.

A social worker then asked a judge to require the teen to continue conventional treatment. In May, the judge issued a temporary order finding Abraham’s parents neglectful and awarding partial custody to the county, with Abraham continuing to live at home with his four siblings

July 22, 2006 Posted by | Health | , | Leave a comment

Entry for July 22, 2006

With no luck at the pharmacies or the health food stores my wife suggested that I try the Naturopath. I send her an email to see if she can order it. It is after all, a natural supplement. Here is my email:

I visited my regular doctor yesterday and we suspect that I have a Riboflavin deficiency. My Thiamine blood test came out normal so I suggested that I need Benfotamine (fat soluble B1) to help the neurological effects caused by the B2 deficiency. He is now going to refer me to a Neurologist but I suggested a pharmaceutical supplement called Riboflavin (Tetra) Butyrate for better absorption. I’ve tried several pharmacies and health food stores with no luck. I did manage to find a lab near Montreal called Kabs that have it.

Is it possible for you to order this for me?

One of the things I’ve noticed about these vitamin/mineral deficiencies is that there doesn’t seem to be any consistency. One site says one list of symptoms and another says something else. I’ve come across Riboflavin deficiency before but I discounted it and despite no improvement taking 300 mg a day, it lead me to believe it was something else.

July 22, 2006 Posted by | Health | , , , | Leave a comment

Entry for July 21, 2006

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I get home and discover that there is a pharmacutical company near Montreal that has Riboflavin Butyrate posted as one of the supplements they can supply. This is great as they are in Canada and might be easy to find a pharmacy that deals with them. I send them an email to see if they provide me with a company that can get it for me.

I continue from pharmacy to pharmacy and even tried a few health stores. I came up with nothing but the pharmacy in our Loblaws said they would make a few phone calls and get back to me. I give them the name of the web site and they will try to contact them.

I also leave my name and number with the health food store and they will call me back as well.

I have an idea. If the water soluble vitamins are being wasted because of my intake of water during the day why not take them at night? The body will absorb the vitamins durning the eight hours overnight while I’m sleeping.

I’ve tried drinking less water during the day but I find it’s really hard to cut down. And that’s a great thing because I used to hate drinking water.

So I take one 100 mg water soluble B2 supplement before I go to bed. Let’s see what happens.

July 22, 2006 Posted by | Health | | Leave a comment

Entry for July 21, 2006

Into the doctor’s office again for the mysterious internal vibration. He walks into the room and since I haven’t seen him in six months he asks me how he can help me today. I explain that I still have the internal vibration and for the past six months, I’ve done my own research and have a hunch that it’s related to a Riboflavin deficiency. I continue my story with the effect of a supplement called Benfotamine and explain about how the B1 blood test came up normal.

He thought it was weird that I relied so much on a B1 suppliment when there wasn’t a deficiency. I’ve had the vibration for over a year now and he suggests going to see a Neurologst. With Benfotamine having an effect on my neurological symptoms, he suggests that I may have something called Wernicke’s Encephalopathy. I’ve come across Wernicke’s Encephalopathy before as you can get it from untreated Beriberi.

So I continue explaining my research about how vitamin B1 is essential for creating the myelin nerve sheaths and how a B2 deficiency can cause the reduction of them. One of the symptoms includes a vibration feeling along with dry itchy eyes that are sensitive to light and the chapped lips and how I’ve had both for years. I’ve been taking B complex and high doses of B2 for months with no improvment so I tell him about the fat soluble version of B2 called Riboflavin Tetrabutyrate. He pulls out one of his large medical books and he doesn’t find it listed. He pulls out a second, then a third.

One of the books mentions about the treatment of a Riboflavin deficiency using B2 injections. He can’t find the supplement in his medical books so he suggests that I try the pharmacies to see if they have it. If they do, he’ll write a percription for it. Failing that, he’ll do the injections.

This is great news!!! I check at the pharmacy in his building for Riboflavin Tetrabutyrate. They don’t have it in their computer but she suggests going to a hospital pharmacy as they might have more distributors to order from. Great idea! Sunnybrook is one of the largest hospitals in the city, it’s close by and on the way home.

I stop into the Sunnybrook pharmacy and ask for Riboflavin Tetrabutyrate. After a bit of research she pulls up nothing. One of Toronto’s largest hospitals and they don’t have it and can’t order it for me.

July 22, 2006 Posted by | Health | , , , | Leave a comment

   

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