Diary of Unknown Symptoms

Mystery of the Internal Vibration

Entry for January 15, 2007

Seems I’m not alone with my weird symptoms. I wonder how many of them have vitamin and mineral deficiencies or are effected by EMF exposure? I have mups!

Unexplained symptoms affect 5% of Canadians
Updated Fri. Jan. 12 2007 12:01 PM ET

CTV.ca News Staff

In 2003, five per cent of Canadians older than 11 had medically unexplained physical symptoms that could not be definitively identified through physical examination or medical testing.

Medically Unexplained Physical Symptoms (MUPS)

The symptoms, known as MUPS, are linked to conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and multiple chemical sensitivity, Statistics Canada reports. Gulf War syndrome is also considered to be a MUPS illness.

The results of the new Health Reports study were released on StatsCan’s The Daily news site on Friday. About 1.2 million Canadians had at least one of the three conditions. The study found the following key results:

About 2.4 per cent of the population experienced multiple chemical sensitivity — a condition in which people develop symptoms upon exposure to synthetic chemicals in doses that usually have no noticeable effect.

Fibromyalgia was found in 1.5 per cent of the population. People with the condition typically experience pain, lasting three months or more, in at least 11 of 18 specific areas.

Chronic fatigue syndrome, which is characterized by extreme tiredness, affected 1.3 per cent of Canadians.

Of Canadians who were found to have medically unexplained conditions, 14 per cent experienced at least two of the three listed conditions.

According to the 2003 Canadian Community Health Survey, twice as many women as men experienced each of the three conditions, and the conditions were all more common among Canadians with lower incomes. And the rate of mental disorder, such as depression or agoraphobia, was higher among people reporting medically unexplained physical symptoms, than among the general population.

Among the subject group, 21 per cent had at least one psychiatric disorder and the rates were highest among those who experienced chronic fatigue syndrome. By comparison, the rate of psychiatric disorder among people who do not have unexplained symptoms is eight per cent.

The number of people affected by MUPS is also linked to age, the study found. The proportion of people experiencing at least one of the conditions was 1.6 per cent for people between 12 and 24, and peaked at 6.9 per cent for people between the ages 45 and 64.

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January 15, 2007 Posted by | Health | | Leave a comment

Entry for January 15, 2007

Today is the start of the “official” candida diet. No sugar, no carbs and I’m switching back to eating garlic cloves several times a day. I stopped eating candy and chocolate bars a while back and reduced my sugar intake. My New Year’s resolution is to stop eating sugar altogether but I was still eating yogurt and breakfast cereal. I switched back to eating garlic and there was no difference.

What really needs to happen for a candida diet to work, it absolutely no sugar whatsoever and sugar of course, is in everything!

I had one apple* and scrambled eggs for breakfast, I’ve been munching on carrots all morning and a garlic clove every few hours and finally by the early afternoon, I’m starting to notice a difference.

(*I keep reading that fruit should be avoided with the candida diet and other sites say it’s okay in moderation.)

Now it’s war! Smell or no smell from here on in, I’m sleeping on the couch. This is working…

January 15, 2007 Posted by | Health | , | Leave a comment

Entry for January 14, 2007

I really feel like I’m making some good progress here:

POTASSIUM AND THYROID DISEASE

Studies show that potassium becomes very deficient in the hyperthyroid state. It can become so deficient that hypokalemic paralysis results. This is a condition in which the whole body becomes rigid because of potassium deficiency. There are reports in the literature of people found in a state of hypokalemic paralysis in the street. When they are taken to the hospital and revived with potassium infusions, they are often found to have hyperthyroidism. For an unknown reason this occurs at a higher rate among Asians. It may be genetic or dietetic (high sodium intake from soy sauce, perhaps??). There are indications that potassium deficiency may also be involved in hyperthyroidism and the rapid weight gain of hypos may be the result of potassium deficiency.

The four minerals, sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium are next to each other in the Periodic Table and form a square on the left side. There are strong interactions between these four minerals. The balances between these four minerals seems to be critical to health and are probably very critical for thyroid health. Excess amounts or deficiencies of any one of the four may severely disrupt thyroid function. Additionally there seem to be interactions between these four minerals and copper and zinc, which are two metallic minerals with critical thyroid functions. It seems that a copper deficiency interferes with the proper functioning of both potassium and magnesium, and zinc seems more related to sodium and calcium metabolism. Also all of these minerals seem involved in either the production, degradation, or cellular response to thyroid hormone.

Potassium, sodium, and lithium are alkaline minerals which are involved in the cellular pumps which regulate the transport of water and nutrients through the cell walls. There is evidence that a potassium deficiency can cause the cells to fill with water leading to an overall edema in the body. It’s possible that edema of the brain cells from potassium deficiency may be involved in chronic headaches. It’s also possible that potassium deficiency is responsible for the rapid increase in body weight seen in thyroid patients. This increase in body weight seems to occur despite calorie restriction and may be the result of swelling of all the body’s cells with water.

Indications of potassium deficiency include symptoms such as muscle weakness, which is a condition reported by many thyroid patients.

You will also see below that eating licorice can deplete potassium with possible fatal consequences. I would strongly urge anyone with thyroid disease to not eat licorice.

For these reasons I think studying potassium is critically important to understanding thyroid physiology.

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT POTASSIUM

From the book, “Healthy Healing” by Linda Rector Page:

“Potassium–an electrolyte mineral located in body fluids. Potassium balances the acid/alkaline system, transmits electrical signals between cells and nerves, and enhances athletic performance. It works with sodium to regulate the body’s water balance, and is necessary for heart health against hypertension and stroke, (people who take high blood pressure medication are vulnerable to potassium deficiency), muscle function, energy storage, nerve stability, and enzyme and hormone production.”

“Potassium helps oxygenate the brain for clear thinking and controls allergic reactions. Stress, hypoglycemia, diarrhea and acute anxiety or depression generally result in potassium deficiency. A potassium broth from vegetables is one of the greatest natural healing tools available for cleansing and restoring body energy. Good food and herb sources are fresh fruits, especially kiwis and bananas, potatoes, sea vegetables, spices like coriander, cumin, basil, parsley, ginger, hot peppers, dill weed, tarragon, paprika, and tumeric, lean poultry and fish, dairy foods, legumes, seeds, and whole grains.”

From the Nutrition Almanac by Kirschmann (excerpts): “…Potassium constitutes 5% of the total mineral content of the body…Potassium and sodium help regulate water balance within the body (potassium crosses over more easily); that is, they help regulate the distribution of fluids on either side of the cell walls and preserve proper alkalinity of the body fluids. Potassium also regulates the transfer of nutrients to the cells. …”

“Potassium is necessary for normal growth enzymatic reactions. It unites with phosphorus to send oxygen to the brain and also functions with calcium in the regulation of neuromuscular activity. The synthesis of muscle protein and protein from amino acids in the blood requires potassium, as does the synthesis of nucleic acids. It aids in keeping skin healthy and in keeping a stable blood pressure.”

“Potassium assists in the conversion of glucose to the form in which this substance can be stored in the liver as glycogen, and then to its useful form to do the body’s work. Protein and carbohydrate metabolism are dependent upon potassium. It stimulates the kidneys to eliminate poisonous body wastes. Potassium works with sodium to help normalize the heartbeat.”

January 15, 2007 Posted by | Health | , | Leave a comment

Entry for January 14, 2007

Potassium is found mostly in leafy green vegetables which I don’t eat, destroyed by sugar which I used to have a lot of and has a very important relationship with magnesium. Why didn’t I look at this before? Actually, I did try taking potassium for a while at about 300 mg a day but I didn’t notice any difference so I’ll start taking it at a higher dose. Today I’ll add three doses of 200 mg.

Potassium is a very significant body mineral, important to both cellular and electrical function. It is one of the main blood minerals called “electrolytes” (the others are sodium and chloride), which means it carries a tiny electrical charge (potential). Potassium is the primary positive ion (cation) found within the cells, where 98 percent of the 120 grams of potassium in the body is found. The blood serum contains about 4-5 mg. (per 100 ml.) of the total potassium; the red blood cells contain 420 mg., which is why a red-blood-cell level is a better indication of an individual’s potassium status than the commonly used serum level.

Magnesium helps maintain the potassium in the cells, but the sodium and potassium balance is as finely tuned as those of calcium and phosphorus or calcium and magnesium. Research has found that a high-sodium diet with low potassium intake influences vascular volume and tends to elevate the blood pressure. Then doctors may prescribe diuretics that can cause even more potassium loss, aggravating the underlying problems. The appropriate course is to shift to natural, potassium foods and away from high-salt foods, lose weight if needed, and follow an exercise program to improve cardiovascular tone and physical stamina. The natural diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is rich in potassium and low in sodium, helping to maintain normal blood pressure and sometimes lowering elevated blood pressure. The body contains more potassium than sodium, about nine ounces to four, but the American diet, with its reliance on fast foods, packaged convenience foods, chips, and salt has become high in sodium (salt). Because the body’s biochemical functions are based on the components found in a natural diet, special mechanisms conserve sodium, while potassium is conserved somewhat less.

Potassium is well absorbed from the small intestine, with about 90 percent absorption, but is one of the most soluble minerals, so it is easily lost in cooking and processing foods. Most excess potassium is eliminated in the urine; some is eliminated in the sweat. When we perspire a great deal, we should replace our fluids with orange juice or vegetable juice containing potassium rather than just taking salt tablets.The kidneys are the chief regulators of our body potassium, keeping the blood levels steady even with wide variation in intake. The adrenal hormone aldosterone stimulates elimination of potassium by the kidneys. Alcohol, coffee (and caffeine drinks), sugar, and diuretic drugs, however, cause potassium losses and can contribute to lowering the blood potassium. This mineral is also lost with vomiting and diarrhea.

Sources: Potassium is found in a wide range of foods. Many fruits and vegetables are high in potassium and low in sodium and, as discussed, help prevent hypertension. Most of the potassium is lost when processing or canning foods, while less is lost from frozen fruits or vegetables.

Leafy green vegetables such as spinach, parsley, and lettuce, as well as broccoli, peas, lima beans, tomatoes, and potatoes, especially the skins, all have significant levels of potassium. Fruits that contain this mineral include oranges and other citrus fruits, bananas, apples, avocados, raisins, and apricots, particularly dried. Whole grains, wheat germ, seeds, and nuts are high-potassium foods. Fish such as flounder, salmon, sardines, and cod are rich in potassium, and many meat foods contain even more potassium than sodium, although they often have additional sodium added as salt.

Functions: Potassium is very important in the human body. Along with sodium, it regulates the water balance and the acid-base balance in the blood and tissues. Potassium enters the cell more readily than does sodium and instigates the brief sodium-potassium exchange across the cell membranes. In the nerve cells, this sodium-potassium flux generates the electrical potential that aids the conduction of nerve impulses. When potassium leaves the cell, it changes the membrane potential and allows the nerve impulse to progress. This electrical potential gradient, created by the “sodium-potassium pump,” helps generate muscle contractions and regulates the heartbeat.

Potassium is very important in cellular biochemical reactions and energy metabolism; it participates in the synthesis of protein from amino acids in the cell. Potassium also functions in carbohydrate metabolism; it is active in glycogen and glucose metabolism, converting glucose to glycogen that can be stored in the liver for future energy. Potassium is important for normal growth and for building muscle.

Requirements: There is no specific RDA for potassium, though it is thought that at least 2-2.5 grams per day are needed, or about 0.8-1.5 grams per 1,000 calories consumed. The average American diet includes from 2-6 grams per day.

In cooking or canning foods, potassium is depleted but sodium is increased, as it is in most American processed foods as well. It is suggested that we include more potassium than sodium in our diets; a ratio of about 2:1 would be ideal. When we increase sodium intake, we should also consume more potassium-rich foods or take a potassium supplement. People who consume excess sodium can lose extra urinary potassium, and people who eat lots of sugar also may become low in potassium.

Over-the-counter potassium supplements usually contain 99 mg. per tablet. Prescription potassium is usually measured in milliequivalents (meq.); 1 meq. equals about 64 mg. About 10-20 meq. (640-1280 mg.) per day may be recommended as a supplement to the individual’s diet.

January 15, 2007 Posted by | Health | , | Leave a comment

Entry for January 14, 2007

What is potassium?

Potassium, sodium and chloride comprise the electrolyte family of minerals. Called electrolytes because they conduct electricity when dissolved in water, these minerals work together closely. About 95% of the potassium in the body is stored within cells, while sodium and chloride are predominantly located outside the cell.

Potassium is especially important in regulating the activity of muscles and nerves. The frequency and degree to which our muscles contract, and the degree to which our nerves become excitable, both depend heavily on the presence of potassium in the right amount.

How it Functions

Muscle contraction and nerve transmission

Potassium plays an important role in muscle contraction and nerve transmission. Many of our muscle and nerve cells have specialized channels for moving potassium in and out of the cell. Sometimes potassium moves freely in and out, and sometimes a special energy-driven pump is required. When the movement of potassium is blocked, or when potassium is deficient in the diet, activity of both muscles and nerves can become compromised.

January 15, 2007 Posted by | Health | | Leave a comment

   

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