Diary of Unknown Symptoms

Mystery of the Internal Vibration

Entry for August 18, 2006


I’ve heard about Kevin Frankish and his sudden panic attacks. I think he has a magnesium deficiency and sent him an email telling him about the book I am reading by Carolyn Dean: “The Miracle of Magnesium”.

Here’s his story:

Kevin Frankish Dealing With Panic Attacks
Wednesday July 12, 2006

He’s the calm, collected face of Toronto’s number one morning show, Breakfast Television.  But Kevin Frankish recently revealed that behind the cool exterior he’s been experiencing crippling panic attacks. 

For Frankish, the attacks came totally out of the blue and didn’t seem to have a recognizable trigger. 

“All of a sudden my heart starts racing, my entire body turns warm. You just feel like you are about to lose control.”

“They came out of nowhere,” adds CityNews Production Floater Andy Boehme.  “He didn’t now what the heck it was when it first started.”

Kevin has been dealing with the panic attacks for the past couple of months. At times they were so bad while he was on air they would have to go to commercial break.

“I would see a look of confusion in his eyes and not necessarily panic but he thought he was going to faint and that’s what I thought, too,” adds Boehme.

Last week Kevin took his “B.T.” team by surprise when he shared his problem with viewers.

“Our viewers needed a explanation. It would be 6:30 and one minute, you would see Kevin and for the rest of the show he is gone. And I had to explain to our viewers first of all and then I got flooded with emails. And everybody said, ‘I had them, I had them. And hang in there. And some e-mails would hurt me, and they would say ‘I have them all the time so basically I stay home.’ ”

On Wednesday’s edition of B.T., Kevin interviewed an anxiety expert to let sufferers know they are not alone.

“As far as children, anxiety is number one disorder for children in Canada,” explained therapist Jim Hall.  “And with adults it runs neck and neck with depression.”

“We have to get it out in the open,” Frankish adds.  “This is not something to be ashamed of. It is not something to be ashamed of so talk about it.”

Then I came across his personal update in his blog:

Panic Attacks
July 12, 2006

It is very true…there IS strength in numbers!
A few weeks ago when I suffered my first panic attack on the air, I was alone. 

All of a sudden now, I am not just part of a crowd, I am among friends.  Since revealing my problem on the air, you have sent me your e-mails and stopped me on the street to tell me your stories. Panic attacks, or anxiety attacks, affect millions of people in North America.  Some people hide in their homes, lose their jobs, turn to drugs or alcohol.

How is it possible that the impact and reach of something more common than most diseases is kept so quiet. In a word “Shame!”

For some reason we are ashamed to admit to a problem of the mind.  We aren’t shy to tell someone we have a cold, or a broken leg…but we fear what others will think of us if we admit to panic attacks. 

Folks, this is as much a physical problem as it is a mental problem.  A thought, a trigger, releases chemicals into our bodies to deal with stress.  We overdose on this stuff.  When it happens…it is real! 

We were thrilled to invite Jim Hall on the show this morning (pictured above).  He is a therapist that deals with people who suffer from anxiety.  He suggests dealing with this problem head on.  While he recognizes the benefits of drugs to help control the problem in the short term, he points out that counseling, exercise and other relaxation techniques go a long way. 

To my colleagues at Breakfast Television and CityNews, thank you for your support.  To my doctor Mike McConvey, Homeopathic Doctor Bryce Wylde and Acupuncture Doctor Susan Macrae…thank you!  But most of all…there is Beth.  My beautiful wife puts up with enough from me…having her help me through this and be by my side brings meaning to the phrase “for better or for worse.”

Now, to all of you suffering from this…listen up.

The first thing you are going to do for me is talk to someone…anyone!  A friend, a family member, a priest.  Admit it to yourself and don’t be ashamed of it.

Next…go see a doctor. 

Next…eat better, sleep better, exercise.

Next…consider acupuncture and/or massage.

Next…talk more about it with someone.

Next…natural remedies like Rhodiola and Niacin to help build up your stress busters.  (try to consult a homeopathic doctor first)

Next…talk more about it with someone.

Next…STAND YOUR GROUND!  Do not let this keep you trapped at home.  Do not let this rule your life…you rule it.  It will pass.  It will not kill you.

Next…realize you are not alone.

I would love to hear your stories and keep up with your progress, especially if you have no one else to talk to.  e-mail me at kevinf@citytv.com.  I am trying to answer all the e-mails but I am getting so many so please don’t be frustrated if you don’t get a response.  I read every single e-mail.

I continue reading his blog and find the one posted two days ago. He has a summer cold, feeling lousy, has insomnia and aching all over. More symptoms of a magnesium deficiency. He has a very high profile homeopathic doctor so why wasn’t magnesium mentioned in his update??

Hello From the Sick Bed
August 16, 2006

O.K., I’m not really confined to a “sick-bed” but I feel lousy. It is just after midnight and I can’t sleep.  I have fallen victim to a summer cold.  I ache all over.

August 18, 2006 Posted by | Health | , , , | Leave a comment

Entry for August 18, 2006

I came across this article last week. Another mention of Mitral Valve Prolapse and the link to Magnesium:

Magnesium: The Essential Mineral Critical For Youth And Health

Magnesium is the most critical mineral required for electrical stability of every cell in the body. Its major role is at and in the cells so that blood levels, whole blood, serum, plasma, and even white blood cell levels of magnesium do not give an accurate picture of optimal magnesium levels. In fact, serum levels of magnesium are low only in acute alcoholics and in severe starvation. Magnesium stored in bones is stolen by the body to maintain the narrow range of serum levels required for life.

Eighty percent of American women and seventy percent of men do not eat even the recommended daily requirement of magnesium. And soil throughout the world is deficient in magnesium except in Egypt. Thus, most foods today, even those supposed to have a high content of magnesium, are low themselves. As a single essential nutrient, magnesium may be responsible for more diseases than any other nutrient! There are many reasons for this widespread deficiency: nutrition, stress and drugs. White flour has had removed 85% of its magnesium. Considering the fact that almost 20% of calories come from white flour, essentially a junk food, this inadequate food is responsible for about 17% “loss” of magnesium. Chemical fertilizers, high in nitrates, phosphates, and potassium, deplete soil magnesium so that even most whole wheat is basically borderline.

Farmers are well aware of the major impact of magnesium depletion; horses and catfle may die from “grass staggers,” an uncoordinated gait, severe muscle spasms and even seizures. All this is curable by magnesium supplementation, if caught early enough.

The second junk food which has no magnesium, and indeed no real nutritional value, is white sugar. The average American consumes 42 teaspoons of sugar per day, 210 calories, or about 10% of caloric intake.

Add 15%, minimum, for protein and 35%for fat, both lacking in magnesium, and it is obvious that at least 77% of our food has no magnesium. Furthermore, both fat and protein interfere with absorption of magnesium.

And then there is that enigma of modern life, “pop,” which is phosphate of soda, a major stumbling block in magnesium metabolism. At an average of 24 to 36 oz. per day, the ultimate junk non-food, pop, is one of the unsung, unrecognized villains in disease promotion.

Other major magnesium detractors include the 550,000 different chemical pollutants released every year into our air, soil and water. Pesticides, herbicides, and ammonia, widely used in agriculture, seriously stress the body, affecting every aspect of metabolism. One of the major pollutants is aluminum, which blocks many normal magnesium functions. Aluminum, the non-essential and highly toxic mineral, is used to wrap foods and to store pop, beer and even juice. The acid pH of many juices and of pop leaches aluminum out of the containers. And to compound matters, antiperspirants and most baking powder contains aluminum. Any of the toxic metals, aluminum, cadmium, lead, arsenic, and mercury may block magnesium metabolism.

In addition, the clinical stressors mentioned above contribute to the overall stress reaction – an increase in “adrenalin,” cortisone, blood sugar, and insulin. And both adrenalin and cortisone lead to increased excretion of magnesium in the urine. Noise and electromagnetic pollution also elicit this biochemical stress reaction leading to magnesium dumping. And then there is the Future Shock of modern life. All emotional/mental stress further aggravates the adrenalin, cortisone induced magnesium depletion.

And to compound the remarkable attack upon magnesium, there is a huge arsenal of prescription drugs that deplete magnesium. These include most diuretics, hydrochlorothiazide, chlorthalidone, furosemide, bumetanide; antibiotics – gentamicin, carbenicillin, amphotericin B; cortisone/steroid drugs such as prednisone and dexamethasone; digitalis/digoxin; antiasthmatics including ephedrine and pseudophedrine; laxatives; chemo therapeutics – cisplatin, vinblastine, bleomycin, cyclosporine, methotrexate, etc. And, of course, those non-prescriptions – nicotine and alcohol. It’s a near miracle that we survive in modern society!

Stress begets stress. The lower your magnesium level, the lower your threshold for new stress – thus, you become increasingly more sensitive – more adrenalin, greater magnesium loss, greater sensitivity, etc. Soon the intracellular magnesium level is no longer 10 times that of serum and the cells are in a chronic state of hyperexcitability. Anxiety, irritability, anger, depression and mood swings are just the tip of the iceberg of magnesium deficient symptoms:

Attention Deficit
Diarrhea or Constipation
Intestinal Problems
Muscle Cramps
Muscle Tightness
Muscle Twitches
Poor Memory

Major diseases associated with magnesium deficiency are:

Angina Pectoris
Attention Deficit Disorder
Auricular Fibrillation
Chronic Fatigue
Chronic Bronchitis
Congestive Heart Failure
Gall Bladder Infections and Stones
Hearing Loss
Heart Attack
Immune Deficiency
Infections (Viral and Bacterial)
Intermittent Claudication
Kidney Stones
Mitral Valve Prolapse
Panic Attacks
PMS – Pre menstrual syndrome
Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy
Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy

In perhaps no illness is magnesium deficiency more relevant than myocardial infarction or acute heart attack. On average, patients given intravenous magnesium have a 50% greater survival rate than those who do not receive magnesium. No drug is more effective than magnesium in reducing mortality from a heart attack. No drug is as safe. Indeed, I consider failure to give magnesium to such a patient significant negligence.

Another major disease in which magnesium deficiency is rampant is diabetes. Just glucosuria, the spilling of sugar in urine, depletes magnesium. Indeed there is an inverse relationship between glycosuria and serum magnesium. In severe diabetic crisis with ketoacidosis, extreme magnesium loss is common.

More critically, magnesium is an important co-factor in production of insulin by the pancreas. Normal total body magnesium is essential for glucose metabolism. Thus, the rampant magnesium deficiency in our society may be a contributing cause of diabetes.

Insulin resistance, muscle spasms, atherosclerosis, cardiac arrhythmias, and even the increase in vascular disease in diabetes may be related to magnesium deficiency.

Another heart-rending illness, cerebral palsy, may be the result of magnesium deficiency. Mothers given intravenous magnesium just before giving birth are much less likely to have children who develop cerebral palsy.

Diagnosis Of Magnesium Deficiency

Serum or blood levels of magnesium are a waste of blood, money and time except in acute alcoholism, starvation or diabetic acidosis. There are only two tests worthwhile: magnesium loading and intracellular spectroscopy.

Magnesium Loading

Although this test is considered the standard by the few physicians who at least recognize the possibility of magnesium deficiency, the test is somewhat tedious and frustrating to patients. First one has to collect every drop of urine for exactly 24 hours. The urine is then analyzed for total magnesium and creatinine output. Then the patient is given intravenously a specific “load” of magnesium and a second 24 hour urine is collected and tested for magnesium and creatinine. If less than 50%of the administered magnesium is excreted, this is “proof’ of magnesium deficiency. In fact, if less than 20% is excreted, “borderline” magnesium deficiency is suspected.

Intracellular Spectroscopy

Much simpler and the test I prefer is a simple tongue blade scraping of the frenulum of the tongue.

Then the cells are placed on a slide and sent for x-ray defraction. At about the same cost as the magnesium load test and much better patient compliance, this test also gives intracellular levels of magnesium, calcium, potassium, sodium, chloride, and phosphorus, as well as equally important ratios. If your physician won’t order this important test for you, find another physician. If you have any of the symptoms or illnesses listed earlier, it is extremely wise to have this test done.

Magnesium Replacement

Except in patients with kidney failure, some magnesium supplementation is advisable. The problem with oral magnesium is that all magnesium compounds are potentially laxative. And there is good evidence that magnesium absorption depends upon the mineral remaining in the intestine at least 12 hours. If intestinal transit time is less than 12 hours, magnesium absorption is impaired. There are two oral forms that may be considered: 25%magnesium chloride drops (Magic Drops) or magnesium taurate. The drops are extremely strong tasting, salty and bitter. At least 50% of patients refuse to use the drops after a taste test! Twenty drops per day are recommended. It requires 3 to 6 months for replacement to be accomplished.

Magnesium taurate at dosages of 250 to 500 mg., if well tolerated (no diarrhea) by the intestines, is better absorbed than any other oral tablet or capsule. This approach requires 6 to 12 months.

August 18, 2006 Posted by | Health | , , , , | Leave a comment

Entry for August 18, 2006

Woke up with no vibration…this is definitely working. Now that I understand homeopathic remedies a little better, I decide to look up the remedy that the naturopath gave me. It was called “Calc Carb” and here is what I find:

Calcium Carbonate

The Calc  Carb type is generally plump, chilly and under-active. Perhaps due to a slow metabolism, they are sluggish and have a shy contemplative nature. They tend to be unambitious and non-competitive and are great procrastinators. They lack confidence and avoid responsibility.

They can have a big appetite with a liking for sweets, cakes and eggs and be overweight. They are easily tired and can suffer with head sweats or joint abnormalities.

Weak areas of the body include the bones and teeth, bowels, ears, nose and throat, glands and skin.

This remedy is made from calcium carbonate, which is derived from the oyster shell. The type of person needing this remedy is quiet, cautious and very sensitive. Generally they are very healthy and enthusiastic in their work. In contrast, when they become ill, they become introspective and lacking motivation.

Calc Carb is often used to treat back and joint pains, headaches, ear or eye infections, eczema, thrush, digestion, PMS.

So she gave me calcium. No wonder it had no effect and didn’t work. I’m guessing she gave it to me for the suspected “candida” treating the thrush and digestion. I don’t have any of the other symptoms it’s used for.

Knowing what I know now, I’m not quite sure why she gave this to me. She gave me this homeopathic remedy on my first visit and my main symptom was neurological. The stomach bloating and digestion problems were the secondary symptom. At the time I don’t believe I had any thrush and I know for sure she didn’t check my tongue.

That’s another thing I find weird. If there was a suspected candida overgrowth, wouldn’t I be displaying thrush on my tongue and shouldn’t that be an obvious place to check? The accupuncture doctor was the only one to even look at my tongue and she never mentioned candida.

August 18, 2006 Posted by | Health | , , , , , | Leave a comment


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