Diary of Unknown Symptoms

Mystery of the Internal Vibration

Entry for January 22, 2007

I’ve been thinking a lot about my issues lately and I’m having a hard time trying to figure out why I’m losing my magnesium. What is the factor? My doctor wants me to take paxil and I have refused. I have a follow up appointment with him on Friday but I’m going to cancel it. I have nothing more to say to him. In fact, maybe it’s time to see another doctor.

I’ve been trying the higher dose of potassium and pantothenic acid without much success. Tonight I’m going to try St. John’s Wort again but I’ll start by taking three a day.

How does St. John’s extract work?

Originally it was thought that the action of St. John’s wort extract as an antidepressant was due to hypericin acting as an inhibitor of the enzyme monoamine oxidase (MAO) – thereby resulting in the increase of CNS monoamines such as serotonin and dopamine. However, newer information indicates that St. John’s wort possesses no in vivo inhibition of MAO.

At least two other mechanisms have been proposed: modulation of interleukin-6 activity and inhibition of the re-uptake of serotonin. The modulating effects of St. John’s wort extract on interleukin-6 (IL-6) is the most interesting as it proposes a mechanism by which St. John’s wort interacts with the link between the immune system and mood. The immune system and the nervous system share many common biochemical features and regulatory interactions. In regards to IL-6, this cytokine is heavily involved in the communication between cells within and outside the immune system. In relationship to the nervous system, IL-6 is known to modulate hypothalamic-pituitary-end organ axes, especially the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. The hypothesis is that an elevation in IL-6 results in activation of the HPA axis leading to elevations in CRH and other adrenal regulatory hormones – hallmark features in depression. St. John’s wort extract has shown an ability to reduce IL-6 levels, hence this action may explain the clinical effectiveness of St. John’s wort extract.

St. John’s wort extract has also been shown to inhibit the re-uptake of serotonin similar in fashion to drugs like fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil), and sertraline (Zoloft). The study demonstrating a 50% serotonin re-uptake inhibition utilized the 0.3% hypericin content standardized extract at a concentration of 6.2 mcg/ml and did not attempt to identify the active inhibitors. Even though the authors of the study concluded “that the antidepressant activity of Hypericum extract is due to inhibition of serotonin uptake by postsynaptic receptors.”

An important point must be made – until pharmacokinetic studies demonstrate that St. John’s wort components pass across the blood-brain barrier a primary site of action outside the central nervous system cannot be ruled out.

Are there any other indications for St. John’s wort extract?

One of the key indications for St. John’s wort extract in my clinical practice is in the treatment of fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is a recently recognized disorder regarded as a common cause of chronic musculoskeletal pain and fatigue. Although fibromyalgia may be the “pop” diagnosis of the 1990s, it is a real clinical entity estimated to affect about 4% of the general population. Although fibromyalgia is a disorder that has many facets, the central cause of the pain of fibromyalgia are low levels of serotonin. As a result of a chronic low level of serotonin, the sensation of pain is great exaggerated.

Although St. John’s wort extract can certainly be effective on its own, in my clinical experience I have found that the combination of St. John’s extract (300 mg, 0.3% hypericin content), magnesium (200 to 250 mg), and 5-HTP (100 mg) three times daily seems to work better than using any of these three supplements alone.

Low magnesium levels are a common finding in patients with fibromyalgia as well as in chronic fatigue syndrome. Magnesium supplementation has produced very good results in both conditions part of which may be due to its importance to serotonin function.

One of the primary benefits with St. John’s wort as well as 5-HTP relates to their ability to improve sleep quality. One of the key findings in patients with fibromyalgia is a reduced REM sleep and an increased non-REM sleep.29 In addition, the deeper levels (stage III and IV) are not achieved for long enough periods. As a result people with fibromyalgia wake up feeling tired, wornout, and in pain. The severity of the pain of fibromyalgia correlates with the rating of sleep quality. What I mean by this statement is that when patients with fibromyalgia get a good night’s sleep they have less pain. Conversely, when they sleep poorly, they feel terrible.

What is the best dosage schedule for St. John’s wort?

The dosage of St. John’s wort preparations are based upon the hypericin content. The overwhelming majority of the studies in depression have used the St. John’s wort extract standardized to contain 0.3% hypericin at a dosage of 300 mg three times daily.

This article recommends the combination of St. John’s Wort along with  magnesium and 5-HTP for good results. Forget it, I’m not going anywhere near 5-HTP again. So basically, St. John’s Wort does exactly the same function as paxil. So when I tried it the first time with no results, why would my doctor decide to put me on paxil instead? In fact, why didn’t he tell me that if I was unhappy with taking paxil to continue with St. Johns Wort for a longer period of time?

It doesn’t make any sense!!

Advertisements

January 22, 2007 Posted by | Health | , , , , | Leave a comment

Entry for January 22, 2007

1169525870-hr-856

For some reason my wife was looking at my fingernails and commented on the fact that they all have little ridges running in vertical lines. But what does it mean? One web site suggested a magnesium/calcium deficiency another offered this analysis:

Fingernail Health – Some indicators of what your nails are telling you!

Your nails are a reflection of the health and wellness of your body. You can tell you a lot from looking at fingernails. It is true that abnormalities of the nails can often provide early clues to common medical problems or severe systemic diseases. Take a few moments and examine your unpolished fingernails under a good light. You will gather a new appreciation for how your lifestyle affects your nails and overall health.

Wasting away of Nails; Nail loses luster and becomes smaller, Injury or disease

Thickened Nail Plate: Poor circulation; fungal infection; heredity; mild, persistent trauma to the nail

Pitted Nails sometimes yellow-to=brown: Eczema or psoriasis; hair loss condition

Very soft Nails: Contact with strong alkali; malnutrition; endocrine problems; chronic arthritis

Spoon shaped Nails: Iron deficiency; thyroid disease

Clublike Nails – swollen finger ends: Chronic respiratory or heart problems; cirrhosis of the liver

Horizontal ridges: Injury; infection; nutrition

Longitudinal ridges: Aging, poor absorption of vitamins and minerals; thyroid disease; kidney failure

Colorless: May indicate anemia.

Red or deep pink: Can indicate a tendency to poor peripheral circulation.

Yellow: Could indicate fungus, diabetes, psoriasis, use of tetracycline, or heredity.

White, crumbly, soft: May be a result of a fungus infection

No Moons: Possible underactive thyroid; genetics

Overlarge Moons: Possible Overactive thyroid; genetics; self-induced trauma (habit tick)

Complete loss of Nail: Trauma

Nail Plate Loose: Injury; nail psoriasis; fungal or bacterial infections; medicines; chemotherapy; thyroid disease; Raynaud’s phenomenon; lupus

Brittle, split Nails: Nail dryness, nails in contact with irritating substances (detergents, chemicals, polish remover); silica deficiency

Pale, brittle nails, spoon-shaped or with ridges down the length – can signify anemia; this lack of iron can be due to inadequate nutrition

Thick, distorted fingernails can signify a fungal condition: If you have a fungal infection distorted fingernails could also be due to arterial sclerosis, so see your health care conditioner to rule that out.

Clubbed fingernails can signify a problem with your blood flow. See your health care practitioner.

White spots on your nails – is often due to a vitamin or mineral deficiency.

Brittle and lifting easily from your nail beds, along with dry skin, always feeling cold and hair falling out – could indicate a problem with your thyroid gland;

Excessively flexible nails, may signify deficiency of calcium and sometimes protein.

Infected Nails: RED, TENDER, SWOLLEN, PUS: Bacterial or yeast infection

Whitish hue at base of fingernails, may signify liver trouble. If it’s a matter of cleansing your liver, taking milk thistle (silymarin) capsules, available at your health food store;

Splinters that don’t hurt – could be subacute bacterial endocarditis, a very serious condition. See your health care practitioner immediately!

Purple or black: Usually due to trauma, or may also be a sign of vitamin B12 deficiency.

Bluish nails – probably means you aren’t getting enough oxygen; combined with a cough and shortness of breath means heart failure or chronic lung trouble and you should see you health care practitioner;

A Brown or Black streak:, that begins at the base of the nail and extends to its tip could be a diagnostic clue to a potentially dangerous melanoma. See your healthcare provider.

January 22, 2007 Posted by | Health | , | 3 Comments

Entry for January 22, 2007

Antidepressants boost fracture risk: Study

January 22, 2007
Canadian Press

Older adults who take daily doses of such popular antidepressants as Prozac and Paxil are more prone to falls and have double the risk of fractures, says a Canadian study, adding one more side-effect that patients must consider before taking the medication.
Participants in the McGill University study who had been taking one of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, for at least five years had twice the risk of wrist, ankle, hip and other fractures compared with those not prescribed the drugs.

Daily use of SSRIs was also associated with a four per cent reduction in bone mineral density of the hip and 2.4 per cent of the lower spine, researchers found. The risk of falling was also higher among those taking the pills, which can cause a drop in blood pressure and fainting in some people.

“Depression is common in the elderly, and the elderly population is increasing in Canada and most of the western world,” said Dr. David Goltzman, a Montreal endocrinologist and senior author of the study, published Tuesday in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

“So depression is increasing as the population ages and the use of SSRIs is increasing at a phenomenal rate,” Goltzman said, noting that prescriptions for the medications soared by more than 30 per cent between 2000 and 2004.

“And that puts a lot of people at increased risk for fractures over and above the risk that they already have as a result of the fact that they’re aging and are taking other medication which may also predispose to osteoporosis.”

But Goltzman stressed the findings do not mean that people should stop taking the antidepressants.

“I think that if they need an SSRI, if their physician feels that they need it to treat their depression . . . they need to be treated with the appropriate medication,” he said. “It just means individuals should be aware this is a side-effect and they should probably also take general steps in order to prevent osteoporosis.”

Those steps include engaging in weight-bearing exercise, eating a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D, and avoiding smoking and alcohol.

Goltzman also suggests that older patients should have their bone density tested when they begin taking an SSRI and again after they have been on the drug for a period of time to see if their bones are thinning.

The study tracked 5,008 Canadians aged 50 and older for five years, including 137 who reported using SSRI antidepressants daily. In this smaller group, 18 people or 13.5 per cent had fractures during the study period, compared with 317 people with fractures, or 6.5 per cent, among 4,871 who didn’t take the pills.

The research is part of the much larger, 10-year Canadian Multicentre Osteoporosis Study (CAMOS) funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, drug companies that include Eli Lilly Canada and Merck Frosst Canada, the Dairy Farmers of Canada and the Arthritis Society.

Dr. Robert Josse, director of the Osteoporosis Centre at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, said the SSRI study provides “an important observation which is actually consistent with all the other data that exists.”

Even without SSRI use, an estimated one in four women and one in eight men over age 50 will develop osteoporosis; the risk of an associated fracture is 40 per cent for women and 15 per cent for men, said Josse, who was one of the investigators for the overall CAMOS study but had no involvement in the SSRI portion of the research.

“One has to be doubly vigilant in those people who anyway merit evaluation for osteoporosis,” he said. “And amongst the questions we’re particularly interested in and we should add to our risk factor profile is the use of SSRIs.”

Dr. David Healy, an expert in psychopharmacology at the University of Wales College of Medicine, said researchers are finding more and more side-effects associated with SSRIs, which he believes are vastly over-prescribed.

Previous research has shown that the drugs may increase the risk of bleeding in the gut and brain (a cause of stroke), have been linked to possible birth defects when women take the medication during pregnancy and may induce suicidal thoughts in some people, he said.

Furthermore, pre-marketing clinical trials of the medications show that the proportion of subjects who responded to pills containing active drug (50 per cent) was only slightly higher than the proportion who reported feeling better after taking dummy pills (40 per cent), said Healy. That suggests that for many patients, depression can resolve on its own over time or through discussion with a doctor or therapist, he added.

“But given that actually so few people comparatively are specifically helped by the drug, then it seems to me that people need to be informed about all of the risks so that they can work out whether this is a risk that they’re happy to take,” said Healy, who does prescribe the drugs to patients under certain circumstances.

In a statement responding to the study, the maker of Zoloft called depression “a serious problem in the elderly that is under-diagnosed and under-treated.”

“SSRIs are an important option for the treatment of depression in this population,” Pfizer Inc. said. “As the authors note, the risks must be balanced against the benefits gained by the treatment of depression.”

January 22, 2007 Posted by | Health | , | Leave a comment

Entry for January 22, 2007

Alcoholism, Candida, Diabetes & Hypoglycemia

It might be hard to find the commonality in this list but all of these issues are related to the inability to process sugar easily. Sugar issues are out of control in today’s world because of the modernization of the food industry.

Nature in her wisdom built signals into the inner workings of the human body. Each organ has an affinity and need for a particular mineral. The pancreas is the organ that largely controls sugar levels in the body and it has an affinity for the mineral chromium. When the pancreas requires additional chromium, the only way it can tell the brain to go find some is to make us crave something sweet. Sounds pretty simple, “need energy, eat something sweet, natural sweets contain chromium, everyone’s happy!” Sugar cane, maple syrup, dates, figs, all of the brown, sweet foods naturally contain chromium.

So what’s the problem? The food industry decided that white is better than brown. Then they created machinery that takes the brown out of these natural sweets. Can you guess where the chromium is in these foods? You’re correct if you said, “in the brown part!” Now comes the real problem. When the body needs chromium, the message is “eat something sweet” and the craving will go away. When you eat something sweet that has had the chromium removed, the craving doesn’t go away. This starts a vicious cycle of cravings and addictions, to say nothing of sugar imbalances and weakness of the pancreas.

Brown sugar contains no chromium. Commercial brown sugar is refined white sugar to which caramel coloring has been added. Most maple syrups contain no chromium, in fact, they don’t even contain maple syrup! They’re high fructose corn syrup with artificial coloring and flavoring added. The more natural sweeteners, like Sucanat® or Sugar in the Raw, do contain chromium so they’re more able to satisfy a craving, but they have a glycemic action in the bloodstream so they should also be used in moderation.

High blood sugar and low blood sugar are self-explanatory as sugar issues but alcoholism and candida might need additional explanation. Alcohol is a highly refined carbohydrate that goes into the body as a simple sugar. Candida is an opportunistic organism whose diet is almost exclusively sugar. Sugar also provides a sticky environment for candida to become entrenched and resistant to the normal cleansing processes of the body.

Where do you start? Obviously, you want to supplement with chromium. The most natural form is called GTF Chromium (glucose tolerance factor). It’s most readily used by the body without the irritation caused by other forms, such as chromium picolinate. It only takes small amounts of this inexpensive nutrient for you to notice a difference in sugar and carbohydrate cravings.

A combination, aptly called Sugar Reg™, contains chromium in addition to other herbs and minerals known to reduce cravings and control sugar levels in the blood. Again, it’s nice to have a combination that blends several components that work together without having to open a lot of different bottles and trying to figure out the correct proportions of the nutrients.

Another important supplement is the amino acid l-Glutamine. This amino acid is critical for brain function. This requirement of the brain is one of the main reasons for the ‘sweet craving’ signal from the pancreas. The brain works so hard and so continuously that it requires the most energy of any organ in the body. L-Glutamine quickly raises energy levels and improves cognitive function within minutes, in addition to turning off the cravings like a switch. Many alcoholics and drug addicts report almost immediate results when taking this supplement sub-lingually.

A great boon to those who suffer from candidiasis is the sweetener called Stevia. This no-calorie sweetener is 50 times sweeter than sugar and is nutritive, unlike its white sugar counterpart.

January 22, 2007 Posted by | Health | , , | Leave a comment

Entry for January 22, 2007

Okay…Candida Diet: DAY ONE (Second attempt)

I start the day with my vitamins and a few drops of oregano oil.

Driving into work, it snowed over night so the traffic was a nightmare. We were running late and I missed my train. When that happens, my wife drops me close to the subway near her work. As I was driving I felt a weird chest pain but this time it was different than any other time.

I felt a pulsing pinching pain on the left side of my chest. Usually when I get a similar pain, it happens once then goes away. This time, I could feel multiple pinches and five seconds apart. Because I had never felt this weird sensation before, I quickly grabbed a dose of my homeopathic magnesium and the timing between the pinching moved slowly apart until it disappeared altogether.

It never happened again for the rest of the day. Forget the oregano oil, I’m switching back to the garlic. Starting today.

Clearly there are supplements that are not safe. That was scary!

January 22, 2007 Posted by | Health | , , | Leave a comment

Entry for January 20, 2007

This diet is impossible and I’m not seeing any real noticeable difference so I had a bowl of cereal for breakfast. I shouldn’t have stopped the diet but I really need to do my research about what I can eat. I’ve been trying all week but I’m finding that I’m hungry all the time and there is nothing I can easily snack on. One of the things I have is plain oats and it’s a struggle to eat. I’ve read that oatmeal is okay to eat but it’s also a carb. Could this be why it doesn’t appear to be working?

I find a good site with a detailed list of foods that I can have and it’s off to do our weekly shopping. This time it’s serious.

I’ve been taking the oregano oil a couple times a day and I’ve noticed some weird mild chest pain. The side effects said that it could make the blood thinner and the heart pump faster so maybe it has an effect on the mitral valve? It’s only a guess but it’s the same weird kind of vague chest pain.

January 22, 2007 Posted by | Health | , , , | Leave a comment

Entry for January 19, 2007

Still trying the coconut oil four times a day. It’s made a slight impact but not the results I was looking for. That same friend of my wife mentioned that Oregano Oil is supposed to be as strong as garlic but without the smell. I do a bit of research and decide to pick some up at the local health food store.

Candida is a fungus that infects millions of people. Wild Oil of Oregano contains powerful antifungal agents that eliminate Candida effectively and safely. Take 1-3 drops under the tongue or with juice 3 times daily. Some cases may need more aggressive treatment by filling a gel or vegi cap with 5-8 drops of the Oregano oil and taking that once a day with a meal. Continue the treatment for as long as necessary. Avoid foods that contain sugar and refined flour as these feed the Candida. Be sure to drink 8-12 glasses of pure spring water daily to help flush toxins from the blood. These toxins are generated when the Candida dies from coming in contact with the Oregano oil. Prolonged treatment and more aggressive dosages may be required.

Isomeric phenols (primarily carvacrol) in oregano oil in dilutions as low as 1/50,000 destroys Candida albicans, the Aspergillus mold, Staphylococcus, Campylobacter, Klebsiella, E.coli, Giardia, Pseudomonas, and Proteus. Another phenol constituent, thymol, boosts the immune system. These compounds also act as free radical scavengers (shield against toxins) thus preventing further tissue damage while encouraging healing.

January 22, 2007 Posted by | Health | , , | Leave a comment

Entry for January 18, 2007

Tonight we had a problem with the car on the way home from work. There was a grinding noise coming from the front wheel of the passenger side. I take it into Canadian Tire to see if they can look at it. It sounds like some ice is caught inside the wheel. I was with my wife and our baby was in the back seat.

I ask one of the oil changers about it and half reluctantly, he agrees to take a look. They lift the car up on the hoist and takes a quick look and finds nothing. He said I’ll need to get a brake inpection. I drive the car over to service and it’s almost seven o’clock. He tech says he can’t do anything tonight so it will have to wait until tomorrow morning. I can’t leave the car behind because we’d have no way of getting home and we would need a car seat for the baby.

We really need to rent a car if we are to leave our car for a repair so we go driving looking for a car rental. We actually found one not too far away and as I knock on the window, I look at my watch. It’s ten minutes after seven.

The guy comes to the door to tell me that he is closed for the night. I explain that my car has no brakes and I have a baby that will be looking for food very soon. He smiles and agrees to help me. I fill out the paperwork and ten minutes later, I have a new car. I drive around to meet my wife in the parking lot and we try to install our car seat in the new vehicle. After a few minutes trying every way possible, we don’t have the proper connections to make it work.

We install the car seat back into the other car and we drive back to her parents house to change and feed the baby. Now that we have the rental car, I can drive the old car back to Canadian Tire to get it fixed and leave it overnight. It’s a short bus ride back so it’s not a big deal.

I drop the car off and walk back towards her parents house. So the old car is getting fixed and we have a rental car with no baby seat so we’ll have to stay overnight. I was very close to a Swiss Chalet and by this point, I was starting to get real hungry. Trying to keep with the candida diet, I order the quarter chicken meal with grilled veggies. I also picked up some dinner for my wife and her parents. Her father picked me up and we went back home. I was so hungry, after my meal that I ate two bread buns. It was against the diet but I was starving.

After dinner we needed to make a trip back to our own house for a change of clothes and supplies for the baby. Got back to the house around eleven o’clock. What an evening…

Still vibrating… in someone else’s bed…

January 22, 2007 Posted by | Health | , | Leave a comment

   

%d bloggers like this: