Diary of Unknown Symptoms

Mystery of the Internal Vibration

Entry for June 26, 2008

I met with the Naturopath and review some of my successes from the amino acid test back in January. Told her about the successes with Rutin, Sam-e and Lipoic acid and what a difference it made. Then I explained about the new problem.

She starts the routine examination and she knows about my history with Mitral Valve Prolaspe and because this new pain is a chest pain not unlike the pain I’ve had in the past, she wants to check it. Good idea!

She does the standard stethoscope test and says she can’t hear it the abnormal rhythm associated with MVP. She asks me to crouch down and she wants to listen while I move to an upright position. She said it’s another way for listening for MVP. I’ve had so many different doctors listen to my heart but nobody’s done that before.

“Nope, I can’t hear it.”

A HUGE smile went across my face. That’s the first time a doctor has told me that I don’t have Mitral Valve Prolapse. I’ve seen so many different doctors in the past three years and of the ones who checked my heart, they heard something different. My magnesium must be in balance. The cardiologist told me it was a normal variant and it was nothing to worry about. He’s probably right but what they don’t tell you is that it can fixed and should be.

She checks a few more things and does a couple of muscle stretches and afterwards I take a deep breath and it doesn’t appear to bother me as much. Did the stretching work? I think it did. She suggests making an appointment with the chiropractor within the office. She introduces me to him and I book an appointment for Saturday.

December 7, 2009 Posted by | Health | , , , | Leave a comment

Entry for November 24, 2007

Off to the Naturopath with my notes in hand. I’m expecting a lot and hoping for a miracle but I’m doubtful at the same time. I just want to put an end to this once and for all.

I explained my main reason for the appointment and that my hunch is that my potassium has gone too high because of multiple doses of arginine. Then, we spend a long time reviewing the notes on an item by item basis. I give her a date and a comment description and she’ll ask the occasional question and take her own notes. Understandably, this took a bit of time and we went through everything. I ended the summary by indicating my interest in amino acids and the possibility of a deficiency test. I also told her about a book I was reading called “The Edge Effect” by Dr.  Eric Braverman. Such a brilliant book but sadly, she had never heard of it.

The second part of the appointment was a medical exam. She had me sit down on the examination chair and she did a number of standard things and was very, very professional and even did the Chinese pulse diagnosis! She was very thorough when listening to my heart. I was very interested to know if she could hear the mitral valve prolapse (Also called Right Branch Bundle Block.) She said she could hear it but it was very faint.

She would do some research regarding the treatment of high potassium levels and get me with a price for the amino acid test. I like her. She seems to listen and is okay following my direction. I’m very interested in the amino acid test, if it’s accurate.

May 30, 2009 Posted by | Health | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Entry for March 28, 2007

Back from the Iridologist. I have my iridology report from last year and my camera. I’m hoping that she’ll let me take some photos of the foot bath to record the progress.

She starts by asking me a bunch of generic health questions and fills out a form as we go. I answer her questions but I don’t go into too much detail for each question. At the end of the questionnaire, she takes a picture of each iris. The pictures are not that great and I show her how to use the camera in macro mode. I’m a little worried at this point but she is also unhappy with the results and switches to an iridology machine that looks like a huge microscope. She records my iris markings on a iridology iris chart and comments on the anxiety and stressed adrenals. She also mentions that she sees white marks on my liver and kidneys. She asks me if there is a genetic heart condition in my family: Nope none. She doesn’t say anything more but I know that the previous iridology reading had mentioned the same thing.

I already knew about the stressed adrenals and I’ve changed my lifestyle and added vitamins and minerals for the past year with little results. So I asked her how long it would take to correct the stressed adrenals. Her response? TWO YEARS!

She continues and makes a comment on the thyroid and asks if I have taking anything for thyroid support. I’ve never taken anything to support the thyroid and she explains that this could be one of the reasons for my low energy. She suggests taking a multi glandular support supplement for the thyroid and adrenals. As we get into get into a bit more detail, I mention about magnesium and mitral valve prolapse. Turns out, she has MVP as well! I continue and mention Plantar Fasciitis and she has that as well. Then I explain how I believe the two are connected from a lack of blood circulation and how it disappeared taking niacin for a few days.

She was very interested in my research and asked me if I had thought about getting into the health industry because I seemed so knowledgeable.

We talked about my discovery with zinc and copper and I explain about how I had a hard time with the ratio. She suggested alternating the dosage every other day. One day of zinc, copper the next. She tried kinesiology on a few of her supplements and I really didn’t show anything in a strong kind of way. I’ve always found that kinesiology is a bit of a hokey kind of science but I don’t fully understand how it works…

After about 30 minutes, she takes my to another room for the Ion Foot Bath. I ask her if I can take some photos and she doesn’t mind. I place my feet in some really warm water and away we go!!

March 28, 2007 Posted by | Health | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Entry for March 23, 2007

March 23rd 2004. It’s been three years since I was diagnosed with mitral valve prolaspse. I remember the date because it’s my father’s birthday.

I’m on vacation from work next week and I plan to do some things around the house that haven’t been dealt with since the move in November. I also plan to dig up my health notes and go through them to find the summary papers from the iridologist. I never googled the things that she wanted me to take and I had always planned to but just never had the time. I remember they were expensive aromatherapy oils and that was one of the reasons I didn’t continue with her. If I can find out what they are and what they can do, maybe I can find some missing clues…

Today for some reason I had early afternoon magnesium loss. Around two o’clock my hands were cold and I thought it was weird because I just had my lunch not so long ago. I had a egg salad sandwich. I took one of my evening magnesium and was better. By four o’clock my hands went cold again and I took another magnesium. Not sure what is causing the magnesium loss as the only thing I’ve changed recently is the potassium and chromium. So I skip my evening vitamins and only take one magnesium, the enzymes and the adrenal complex.

So this is clearly not working. Tomorrow I’m going to lower the zinc intake and only take magnesium and the enzymes with a multivitamin. Forget the other stuff… for now…

March 23, 2007 Posted by | Health | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Entry for March 09, 2007

A while back I posted a comment from a web site regarding a link between mitral valve prolapse (magnesium loss) and candida.

“One doctor has reported that over 80% of the women who have been diagnosed as having mitral valve prolapse suffer from an overgrowth of candida albicans.”

Knowing what I know now, I’d be willing to bet that that the reason there is a link is because women taking birth control are creating a higher copper ratio, leading to a zinc deficiency causing an environment where candida than thrive and eventually, leading to magnesium loss.

Birth Control Pills and Copper Intrauterine Devices

One of the side effects of the pill is that it tends to raise copper levels in the body. This is due to the close association between the hormone estrogen and copper levels.

Several hundred milligrams of copper a year can easily be absorbed from a copper IUD. Many women still use the Copper-7 intrauterine birth control device, although it has been taken off the market. The only intra-uterine birth control device sold today, however, is a copper-T. These devices can be very harmful for women prone to high copper levels.

March 9, 2007 Posted by | Health | , , , , | Leave a comment

Entry for February 15, 2007

Same as yesterday: No vibration last night or this morning. There is definitely a difference and I’m beginning to think it has to do with the additional copper intake. I started to wonder if this was the reason for my weak knees? A copper deficiency effected my ligaments? I need to do more research and I come across a link between copper, candida, stressed adrenals, neurotransmitters, serotonin production, thyroid hormones, myelin sheaths and??? Mitral Valve Prolapse!

My jaw almost dropped to the ground…

COPPER

Copper is the body ís natural anti-candida agent. Farmers often spray copper sulfate on fruits and vegetables to kill yeast and molds. Water departments may add copper compounds to drinking water for the same reason. Copper may be added to swimming pools and hot tubs to control yeast. Copper favors aerobic metabolism which disables yeast.

Candida Albicans

Everyone with candida has a copper imbalance. When copper is out of balance, our bodies cannot control yeast overgrowth. This often lead to chronic candida albicans infections that are resistant to treatment.

Adrenal Glands

Most often, copper is present but not available to the body. This is due to deficiency of ceruloplasmin, a copper binding protein. Adrenal hormones are required to produce ceruloplasmin. Underactive, exhausted adrenal glands or sluggish liver activity cause a decrease in ceruloplasmin production. As a result, copper is not properly bound and is less available to the body. Until the copper-adrenal-liver condition is corrected, candida is difficult to control.

Birth control pills impair copper metabolism. Some antibiotics act by removing copper from the liver. Steroid therapy slows the adrenal glands which makes copper less available. All can cause or aggravate candida.

Nerves

Copper is critical for energy production in the cells. It is also involved in nerve conduction, connective tissue, the cardiovascular system and the immune system. Copper is closely related to estrogen metabolism, and is required for women’s fertility and to maintain pregnancy. Copper stimulates production of the neurotransmitters epinephrine, norepinephrine and dopamine. It is also required for monoamine oxidase, an enzyme related to serotonin production.

Copper is also important for the production of the thyroid hormone called thyroxine and is necessary for the synthesis of phospholipids found in myelin sheaths that cover and protect nerves.

Conditions

Physical conditions associated with copper imbalance include arthritis, fatigue, adrenal burnout, insomnia, scoliosis, osteoporosis, heart disease, cancer, migraine headaches, seizures, fungal and bacterial infections including yeast infection, gum disease, tooth decay, skin and hair problems and female organ conditions including uterine fibroids, endometriosis and others. Mental and emotional disorders related to copper imbalance include spaciness, depression, mood swings, fears, anxiety, phobias, panic attacks, violence, autism, schizophrenia, and attention deficit disorder. Copper deficiency is associated with aneurysms, gout, anemia and osteoporosis.

COPPER AND CONNECTIVE TISSUE

Copper is required for collagen formation. Copper deficiency is association with atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular conditions. Excess copper or biounavailable copper often cause connective tissue problems, interfering with the disulfide bonds in connective tissue. Symptoms may include stretch marks, tendon and ligament weakness, mitral valve prolapse, skin and hair problems and other conditions affecting connective tissue.

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

Entry for February 06, 2007

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The other day I came across a web site that suggested a magnesium deficiency could cause something called Hypermobile joints. I’ve never heard about this so I do some googling…

Anxiety and Psychiatric Disorders

Magnesium deficiency causes increased levels of adrenaline, which can lead to a feeling of anxiety. Rats who become magnesium deficient have an increased level of urinary catecholamine excretion (a by-product of adrenaline).

People who have mitral valve prolapse have also been found to have an increased state of anxiety and have an increased level of urinary catecholamine excretion, the exact same condition found in rats who are Mg deficient.

It is not surprising then, to find that people with mitral valve prolapse are usually low in magnesium, and that magnesium supplementation alleviates the symptoms of mitral valve prolapse and reduces the level of urinary catecholamine excretion, i.e. it also reduces the anxiety symptoms.

Researchers in Spain found a correlation between anxiety disorders and hypermobility. In fact, they found that patients with anxiety disorder were over 16 times more likely than control subjects to have joint laxity. If you put the study results together, then there’s a link between anxiety and hypermobility, a link between anxiety and mitral valve prolapse, and a link between mitral valve prolapse and hypermobility.

These studies tell us that anxiety disorders occur in many people who simply have mitral valve prolapse and/or joint hypermobility, meaning anxiety disorders are not specific to EDS or any particular connective tissue disorder.

Joint Hypermobility

Introduction

If you have joint hypermobility, this booklet will help you, your family and friends. It explains what joint hypermobility is, what causes it, the usual symptoms, and what can be done to treat it. It also explains what you can do to help yourself – such as avoiding certain sports which will make your symptoms worse.

Joint hypermobility is not a type of arthritis (it just means that you can move some or all your body joints in a way that most people cannot) and it only affects a small number of people. It can be very mild with few symptoms and not need treatment, or it can be more severe in which case the joints may be easily dislocated. It can also help some people, for example dancers and musicians, who need flexibility in their joints in order to perform.

What is joint hypermobility?

If you have joint hypermobility, some or all of your joints will have an unusually large range of movement. You may have known that your joints were very ‘supple’ even from an early age. You may have been ‘double-jointed’, or able to twist your limbs into unusual positions. Athletes sometimes train to achieve what they call ‘flexibility’. Some doctors call it ‘joint hyperlaxity’.

How is hypermobility measured?

Variations between one person and another make it difficult to measure hypermobility. For many years the most popular system was that devised by Carter and Wilkinson and modified by Professor Peter Beighton. This system is often referred to as the ‘Beighton score’ and is still in use.

If you think you may have hypermobility, you can check your own ‘Beighton score’ using the tests shown in Figure 1.

Give yourself 1 point for each of the five simple tests you can do. Do the tests on the arm and leg on both sides of your body, so the maximum score is 9 points. Most people score less than 2, and only about three or four in a hundred healthy people score 4 or more points. If you score 4 or more in the tests and have had joint pains (arthralgia) in four or more joints for longer than 3 months then it is likely that you have hypermobility, but you should still consult your doctor to determine whether hypermobility is the cause of the symptoms in your joints, or whether something else is causing the pain.

Although the Beighton score is a useful guide, doctors will now consider other factors and symptoms in order to confirm a diagnosis of hypermobility. The ‘1998 Brighton Criteria’, as they are known, allow for the fact that some people have hypermobility in fewer than four joints, and that hypermobility may also affect parts of the body besides the joints.

February 10, 2007 Posted by | Health | , , , | Leave a comment

Entry for February 05, 2007

With me focusing on potassium lately, I came across this article that mentioned a prolonged deficiency causes the body to lose calcium and potassium.

Magnesium (Mg)

Functions: Essential for enzyme activity; aids in the body’s use of the B vitamin and vitamin E, fats and other minerals, especially calcium; helps provide good bones and muscle tone; contributes to a healthy heart; balances acid alkaline condition of the body; helps prevent build-up of cholesterol; necessary for normal, healthy heart functions.

Signs of Deficiency: Muscle cramps, kidney stones and damage, heart attacks, atherosclerosis, disorientation and nervousness, epilepsia and faulty protein utilization. A prolonged deficiency causes the body to lose calcium and potassium, creating a deficiency in those and other metals; involved in protein synthesis.

Sources: Sesame, sunflower, pumpkinseeds, nuts (especially almonds), and whole grains, green leafy vegetables.

A Mineral for All Symptoms

Several studies indicate that many people with mitral valve prolapse are low in magnesium. Moreover, in one study by researchers at the University of Alabama School of Medicine in Birmingham, people with mitral valve prolapse who took 250 to 1,000 milligrams of magnesium daily had a 90 percent decrease in muscle cramps, a 47 percent decrease in chest pain, and a definite decrease in blood vessel spasms.

This study revealed other benefits, too. People had fewer heart palpitations, the rapid or irregular heartbeat that’s accompanied by a fluttering sensation. Magnesium also helped to regulate heartbeat in those with a type of arrhythmia called premature ventricular contraction. People taking magnesium also reported fewer migraines and less fatigue.

Magnesium has a body-wide calming effect, Dr. Weiss says. “In addition to being jumpy and irritable and nervous, many people with mitral valve prolapse also have muscle fatigue and stiffness throughout the body, and magnesium helps with all those things.”

People who are going to respond to magnesium generally do so fairly quickly, within a week or less. If you have heart or kidney problems, check with your doctor before taking supplemental magnesium

Kava Calms Jittery Nerves

If anxiety and irritability continue to be a problem even after someone has been taking magnesium for a few weeks, Dr. Weiss recommends kava, a South Seas herb. Kava eases anxiety but doesn’t leave you feeling spaced- out or produce a hangover effect, he says.

Kava’s talents shine in several European studies. In one, people taking 100 milligrams of kava extract three times a day for four weeks had fewer signs of nervousness. They were also less likely to report symptoms of heart palpitations, chest pain, headaches, and dizziness than people taking an inactive substance (placebo).

Dr. Weiss recommends 100 milligrams two or three times a day. Take one dose before bed to help you sleep, he suggests.

February 10, 2007 Posted by | Health | , , , | Leave a comment

Entry for January 25, 2007

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Day two and I have another batch of celery and cucumbers. Now we are getting somewhere. I check in the mirror and the thrush is slowly getting better! But why? So I do some googling…

I’ve just started taking St. Johns Wort again so does this have any connection with candida?

St. Johns Wort (Wound-Healing and Antibacterial Actions)

St. John’s wort acts against a wide variety of bacteria. In one study, it was found to be more effective than the antibiotic sulfanilamide against the Staphylococcus (staph) bacteria responsible for many hospital epidemics. The bacterium that causes tuberculosis, the fungus Candida, and the gastrointestinal parasite Shigella have all responded to St. John’s wort. These findings are particularly important because of the increasing incidence of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria.

WOW! I’ve also started eating celery and cucumbers. Let’s see if that has any effect on candida? I looked up cucumbers but they didn’t have anything really significant so what is the main nutrient in celery? Vitamin K. Huh? Not a common vitamin and I can’t say I’ve seen that in any health food store and I’ve been to so many. Here I found a link between candida, mitral valve prolapse and…Vitamin K.

Candida (systemic yeast) infections have been linked to vitamin K deficiencies. An overgrowth of candida albicans or other kinds of yeast can crowd out the helpful bacteria in the digestive tract that make vitamin K. People who eat a lot of sugary foods, an unusually high proportion of alkaline foods and/or take antibiotics tend to be at high risk for Candida infections.

Not consuming enough vitamin K from one’s diet can contribute to a deficiency. Dietary vitamin K is highest in leafy green vegetables such as lettuce, kale, broccoli and collard greens. These are foods that many people don’t eat frequently.

The primary symptoms associated with vitamin K deficiencies are osteoporosis and prolonged bleeding times. Other symptoms that occur frequently in conjunction with osteoporosis and prolonged bleeding times in connective tissue disorders are mitral valve prolapse, scoliosis and hypermobility.

Mitral valve prolapse, scoliosis and hypermobility tend to occur in conjunction with each other whether they occur as an “isolated” conditions or together as features of defined genetic disorders. In fact, most connective tissue disorders have scoliosis, mitral valve prolapse and hypermobility as primary features.

And found this on a site regarding Mitral Valve Prolapse:

Most features of the Mitral Valve Prolapse syndrome can be attributed to direct physiological effects of Magnesium deficiency or to secondary effects produced by blockade of EFA desaturation. These include valvular collagen dissolution, ventricular hyperkinesis, cardiac arrhythmias, occasional thromboembolic phenomena. autonomic dysregulation and association with LT, pelvic fibrosis, autoimmune disease, anxiety disorders, allergy and chronic candidiasis.

Mitral Valve Prolapse: Magnesium deficiency and secondary symptoms of anxiety, allergies and chronic candidiasis. I’m a walking text book for all of the above…

January 25, 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 07, 2007

Depression & Anxiety Treatment with Diet

The Links to Magnesium Deficiency

A recent study noted that people with optimistic outlooks were more likely to live longer, and that pessimists were more likely to die from heart disease. The results of the study are often interpreted as optimism helps people live longer. I think that the study results may not have necessarily been interpreted correctly. Association does not equal cause and effect. Just because optimism and better heart function statistically occur together does not prove that either one causes the other.

Magnesium deficiency is a known factor in heart disease as well as anxiety. Another possible reason people with more optimistic attitude live longer is that they may be happier and less worried because they have sufficient magnesium levels, which in turn may also have a protective effect on their hearts.

Undoubtedly there are many factors involved in anxiety and depression, and a magnesium deficiency may be just one of many possible factors. However, studies do show that:

In the U.S. and many other industrialized countries, magnesium deficiencies are relatively common in the general population, especially in women.

Anxiety disorders are also highly prevalent among the general population, especially with women.

Multiple studies, readily available on PubMed, have confirmed that magnesium deficiencies can be a cause of anxiety and other nervous disorders.

Anxiety disorders are more common in people with conditions such as migraines, TMJ, hypermobility, irritable bowel syndrome and especially mitral valve prolapse (MVP). Perhaps it is not a coincidence that these conditions have also commonly been linked, either directly or indirectly, to magnesium deficiencies.

A recent report from Britain linked poor diet to rising cases of depression, ” Increasing rates of anxiety, depression and irritability could be due to a poor diet that lacks the essential chemicals to keep the brain healthy, according to a leading mental health charity.”
If you put all of these known facts together, then it would seem highly logical to screen people suffering from nervous disorders, anxiety and depression for magnesium and other nutritional deficiencies before putting them on antidepressant drugs or treating them with counseling type therapy. This would be especially true for people manifesting other symptoms commonly associated with a magnesium (Mg) deficiency such as heart palpitations, mitral vale prolapse, migraines, fibromyalgia and TMJ.

In the U.S. the most common forms of treatment for anxiety seem to be counseling and/or drug therapy. Yet these treatments are illogical and may be counterproductive when nutritional deficiencies or other biochemical anomalies are the main cause of a person’s anxiety and depression. One can spend hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars talking to a therapist, but it seems like a pointless attempt at a solution if a person’s mental health issues stem from a nutritional deficiency effecting his or her nervous system.

Anxiety and Psychiatric Disorders

Magnesium deficiency causes increased levels of adrenaline, which can lead to a feeling of anxiety. Rats who become magnesium deficient have an increased level of urinary catecholamine excretion (a by-product of adrenaline).

People who have mitral valve prolapse have also been found to have an increased state of anxiety and have an increased level of urinary catecholamine excretion, the exact same condition found in rats who are Mg deficient.

It is not surprising then, to find that people with mitral valve prolapse are usually low in magnesium, and that magnesium supplementation alleviates the symptoms of mitral valve prolapse and reduces the level of urinary catecholamine excretion, i.e. it also reduces the anxiety symptoms.

Researchers in Spain found a correlation between anxiety disorders and hypermobility. In fact, they found that patients with anxiety disorder were over 16 times more likely than control subjects to have joint laxity. If you put the study results together, then there’s a link between anxiety and hypermobility, a link between anxiety and mitral valve prolapse, and a link between mitral valve prolapse and hypermobility.

These studies tell us that anxiety disorders occur in many people who simply have mitral valve prolapse and/or joint hypermobility, meaning anxiety disorders are not specific to EDS or any particular connective tissue disorder. Marfans also have mitral valve prolapse and joint hypermobility which would lead one to conjecture that they, too, have anxiety related disorders. As it turns out, a connection between Marfans and anxiety related disorders has been noted.

January 7, 2007 Posted by | Health | , , , | Leave a comment

Entry for January 02, 2007

Well I’ve had some time to do the research and what I’ve found is somewhat disturbing.

Too much serotonin damages blood vessels, particularly in the lungs, and may also harm heart valves. Such damage may have led to primary pulmonary hypertension and heart valve lesions in a small number of the millions of Americans who took the anti-obesity drug combination from 1992 until 1997, when one of the drugs, fenfluramine, was voluntarily withdrawn by its manufacturer. The other drug, phentermine, is still used to treat obesity. Because the two drugs were never in one pill, their use in combination didn’t require U.S Food and Drug Administration approval.

I can’t find anything that directly says that 5-HTP will effect the valves of the heart but in my case, I know it was the same pain I get with my mitral valve so I’m not taking the chance. The articles all seem to mention that raising serotonin levels could harm the heart valves and that’s exactly what 5-HTP does. It could be partly my fault because I should’ve started at a lower dosage. Not the way I want to start the new year…

Serotonin is absolutely essential for your brain–and thus your body–to function properly. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter, a chemical that carries vital signals from one cell to the next. Without adequate levels of serotonin, those signals cannot move at the proper speed or intensity. What’s more, serotonin acts as a kind of master control chemical. The activities of many other important brain compounds–including those that govern your muscle movements, your state of alertness, your mental activity, even your ability to fall asleep–depend on serotonin.

But poor diet, lack of exercise, use of harmful substances such as caffeine or alcohol, and overall physical and emotional stress can rob your brain of the ability to make enough serotonin to meet your body’s demands. This produces a range of significant complications: depression, obesity, insomnia, migraine headache, chronic fatigue. Increasingly, scientists, doctors, and other health experts around the world are coming to recognize that this group of complaints all arise from problems with basic brain chemistry. The disorder has a name: serotonin deficiency syndrome.

And here’s the exciting news. All of these maladies can be corrected through the same technique: by raising serotonin levels.

Serotonin was first discovered about fifty years ago. Since then an enormous amount of research has been done to unlock the secrets of this multitalented molecule. In the past few decades, findings in the laboratory have led to the development of many potent serotonin-active compounds. Among these are Prozac, the popular antidepressant, which enhances the mood-regulating activity of serotonin; Imitrex, a treatment for migraine headaches, which works by activating serotonin nerve pathways to constrict blood vessels; and Redux, the appetite suppressant that was recently removed from the market, which controls eating by delivering a dose of serotonin to the appetite control centers in the brain. Other serotonin-altering drugs relieve anxiety, enhance sleep, and ease muscular and skeletal pain.

But these medical miracles come with a pretty high price tag. The side effects of synthetic serotonin drugs can be severe. To take just one example: In September 1997 Redux and its chemical cousin fenfluramine, part of the “fen-phen” combination, were yanked off the market. The reason? Doctors suddenly discovered these drugs had caused permanent damage to heart valves in as many as one third of the people who took them.

Fortunately, there’s a better way to overcome serotonin deficiency. But because of the way the body makes neurotransmitters, you can’t simply take a dose of serotonin as a pill or a tonic. What you can do, though, is provide your body with the raw material it needs to produce its own serotonin.

That raw material is called 5-hydroxytryptophan–5-HTP for short.

5-HTP is not a synthetic drug. It is a compound produced by the body from tryptophan, an amino acid found in many foods. It can be very difficult to consume enough tryptophan in the diet to overcome serotonin deficiency. However, 5-HTP can also be extracted from plants. This form of 5-HTP is now widely available–without a prescription–as a nutritional supplement. As you will learn in this book, 5-HTP promises to revolutionize the treatment of serotonin-related emotional and physical conditions.

January 2, 2007 Posted by | Health | , , , , | Leave a comment

Entry for January 01, 2007

I had some weird chest pain yesterday and it was exactly like the pain I get with my mitral valve prolapse. Just like a quick pinch or quirk and then nothing. I haven’t had this feeling in a very long time and certainly not since I started taking my daily dose of magnesium.

I took three capsules of the 5-HTP yesterday so maybe I took too much but I took it exactly as directed. I’ll only take two today and see if it has any effect.

January 2, 2007 Posted by | Health | , , | Leave a comment

Entry for August 25, 2006

Came across two interesting things today from Doctor Google:

  • Boron is essential for proper magnesium metabolism.
  • Thiamine may be critical for magnesium metabolism and possibly selenium metabolism.

Could it be possible that the reason Benfotamine has such an effect was due to the connection with magnesium? I’ve also come across something called Coenzyme Q10. Here’s what I found:

Coenzyme Q10 is a substance naturally produced by the body, but is also contained in all plant and animal foods. This coenzyme is also known as ubiquinone. Coenzyme Q10 is an essential component of the body’s process that makes the energy molecule, also known as adenosine triphosphate (ATP), from the food we eat. If coenzyme Q10 levels are compromised so is the ability of the body to make energy. All body processes depend on energy and so, ultimately, does good health. CoenzymeQ10 has also been shown to possess antioxidant properties. Both coenzyme Q10 and the mineral magnesium are key nutrients in the production process that yields the energy molecule, known as ATP (adenosine triphosphate).

Found this review on Amazon regarding a book on Mitral Valve Prolapse called “Natural Therapies for Mitral Valve Prolapse.”

“My wife suffered from mitral valve prolapse for several years until we discovered the many healing benefits of appropriate nutrient supplementation. Now that we take chelated magnesium and coenzyme Q10 daily for heart health, her MVP symptoms have disappeared. Anyone wishing verification of the role of magnesium in mitigating the symptoms of mitral valve prolapse can find it discussed in Dr. Carolyn Dean’s excellent book The Miracle of Magnesium. Another excellent book which also discusses the role of supplemental magnesium in relieving MVP is The Magnesium Factor by Dr. Mildred Seelig.”

– David Schryer

I decide to see if I can contact David to find out what the dosage was for magenesium and Q10. I’m also curious to find out how long it took. I click on his profile to get his email address and it says he’s a retired research chemist! He may be the perfect person to talk to so I send him an email.

In the meantime, I’ll need to do some more research on the magnesium metabolism…

August 25, 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:

Anxiety
Attention Deficit
Confusion
Depression
Diarrhea or Constipation
Faintness
Fatigue
Hyperventilation
Incoordination
Insomnia
Intestinal Problems
Muscle Cramps
Muscle Tightness
Muscle Twitches
Pain
Poor Memory
Seizures
Tinnitus
Vertigo�

Major diseases associated with magnesium deficiency are:

Angina Pectoris
Anorexia
Arrhythmias
Asthma
Atherosclerosis
Attention Deficit Disorder
Auricular Fibrillation
Bulimia
Cancer
Cardiomyopathy
Chronic Fatigue
Chronic Bronchitis
Congestive Heart Failure
Cirrhosis
Depression
Diabetes
Eclampsia
Emphysema
Fibromyalgia
Gall Bladder Infections and Stones
Hearing Loss
Heart Attack
Hyperactivity
Hypercholesterolemia
Hypertension
Hypoglycemia
Immune Deficiency
Infections (Viral and Bacterial)
Intermittent Claudication
Kidney Stones
Migraine
Mitral Valve Prolapse
Osteoporosis
Panic Attacks
PMS – Pre menstrual syndrome
Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy
PVC’s
Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy
Strokes

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 16, 2006

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Had a slight vibration when I went to bed and a slight vibration when I woke up this morning. I was kind of disappointed with this after going two days without any vibration thinking the magnesium was having an effect and then I realize why I was vibrating. Yesterday morning I bought a large milk and had it with my oatmeal and on top of that, I’ve been taking vitamin D. I made the mistake of having another large milk this morning for breakfast so I expect I’ll still be vibrating tonight but this is definately another clue and a magnesium deficiency has never been more obvious than today.

I’ll be furious if magnesium turns out to be my problem because my health troubles from the past year could’ve been avoided with a simple suggestion.

I had a ECG two years ago and was diagnosed with Mitral Valve Prolapse and not one doctor mentioned Magnesium. I’ve had two more ECG readings in the past year and again, no one even suggested it. I had one with my full physical on June 20th, 2005 and again March 22, 2006 when I went to the walk in clinic with chest pain.

I showed my diet diary to my regular doctor and to the naturopath and looking at it now, it couldn’t be more obvious that B vitamins and especially magnesium was deficient from my diet. Magnesium was never mentioned and in fact I was told it was normal.

Four different doctors from the walk-in clinics, my main doctor, a naturopath, a gastro specialist, an acupuncturist, a chiropractor, an iridologist, an osteopath and not one person suggested a magnesium deficiency. The osteopath was really great and my problems don’t really relate to his field of study so I can’t really expect him to know about magnesium or nutrition at all but he was the only one who said that he may not be able to help me from the very first visit.

The naturopath gave me a calcium/magnesium supplement on Jan 14th but I’m not sure why because it was the same day we reviewed my hair analysis and both my calcium and magnesium showed within the normal range.

So according to all of these doctors and specialists, I don’t appear to have a magnesium deficiency so let’s review by symptoms:

My symptoms for a Magnesium Deficiency:

01) Peripheral nervous system tingling
02) Vibratory sensations
03) Muscle Weakness (foot and knees)
04) Mitral Valve Prolaspe
05) Anxiety
06) Muscle twitching
07) Chocolate cravings
08) Photophobia
09) Back ache
10) Heart palpitations
11) Fatigue
12) Lack of energy
13) Sleepiness
14) Lack of Enzymes
15) Easily startled
16) High blood pressure
17) Unregulated blood pressure
18) Cold hands and feet
19) High rate of cavities

Nineteen symptoms of a Magnesium deficiency. I never mentioned the mild symptoms but isn’t it the doctor’s role to ask the questions and troubleshoot the symptoms?? Even if I had mentioned all the symptoms I really don’t think they understand the importance of magnesium deficiency or a nutritional one. It should never be up to the patient to do the troubleshooting.

August 15, 2006 Posted by | Health | , , | Leave a comment

Entry for July 14, 2006

I was googling chest pain this morning and I came across an article regarding mitral valve prolapse. It detailed sharp chest pain as a symptom. Interesting because when my doctor sent me to the emergency two years ago, the specialist seemed rather annoyed that I was bothering him because all of the tests came out normal. I asked him if the pain was due to the mitral valve prolapse and he said no. “It could be anything.” was his direct response. So was my sharp pain due to mitral valve prolapse or allergies as my acupuncture doctor suggested?

Mitral Valve Prolapse

Mitral valve prolapse usually has no symptoms, but some people experience palpitations (sensation of rapid or strong heartbeat) and chest pain. Chest pain associated with mitral valve prolapse differs from that of typical angina in that it is sharp, does not radiate, and is not related to physical exertion. Other symptoms include fatigue, light-headedness, and shortness of breath.

My chest pain was sharp, did not radiate, was not related to physical exertion and I did have shortness of breath.

Not one doctor or specialist told me it was a symptom of mitral valve prolapse.

Not one doctor or specialist ever mentioned or suggested that it could be linked to a magnesium deficiency.

July 14, 2006 Posted by | Health | , , | Leave a comment

Entry for June 29, 2006

I find it mildly amusing that a Magnesium deficiency is linked to Mitral Valve Prolapse.  Two years ago I had a sharp pain in my chest and was diagnosed with a Right Branch Bundle Block or Mitral Valve Prolapse. At the time, they told me it was a normal variant and it was nothing to worry about. Was this an early sign of a Magnesium deficiency? If 80 percent of Americans have a Magnesium deficiency, wouldn’t that make Mitral Valve Prolapse a normal variant?

Mitral Valve Prolapse: The Links to Magnesium Deficiency

Though they do not appear to be widely known, there are a wide variety of medical research studies from various parts of the world that link MVP to magnesium deficiencies, and/or that show improvement of MVP symptoms from magnesium treatment. These studies include:

A study in Denmark showed that Cavalier King Charles spaniels frequently have both MVP and low magnesium levels.

A study in Paris found a link between magnesium deficiency, latent tetany, hyperventilation syndrome, spasmophilia, chronic fatigue syndrome, neurocirculatory asthenia and mitral valve prolapse syndrome.

Russian researchers found that patients with mitral valve prolapse appeared to suffer from magnesium deficiency. Magnesium therapy completely or partially reduced the symptoms in more than half the patients.

In a paper from in the American Journal of Cardiology, researchers from Poland concluded that that many patients with heavily symptomatic MVP have low serum magnesium. They also concluded that supplementation ofmagnesium leads to improvement in most symptoms along with a decrease in catecholamine excretion.

Researchers in Romania found that magnesium therapy should be applied consistently and for long periods of time to control latent tetany (severe muscle cramps) and to prevent MVP.

A paper in the journal, Magnesium, noted that magnesium deficiency hinders the mechanism by which fibroblasts degrade defective collagen, increases circulating catecholamines, predisposes to cardiac arrhythmias, thromboembolic phenomena and dysregulation of the immune and autonomic nervous systems. The paper authors noted that magnesium therapy provides relief of MVP symptoms.

Another paper from the journal, Magnesium, found that out of the 24 patients with MVP who underwent 16 weeks of treatment with magnesium 29.2% became asymptomatic between the 4th and 12th weeks, in 45.8% one or two symptoms of a psychic nature persisted (e.g. anxiety, depressive tendency), and the remaining 25% showed an improvement, albeit, a less marked one.

A 1985 study found that in a group of patients with MVP, low magnesium levels were found to be statistically significant. The researchers assumed magnesium to have an important role particularly in causing the rhythm and neuropsychic disturbances in pathogenesis of mitral valve prolapse.

In a 1975 study in France, researchers reviewed the role of the low erythrocyte (cellular) magnesium in MVP.

Magnesium Deficiency in the Pathogenesis of Mitral Valve Prolapse – “Most features of the MVP syndrome can be attributed to direct physiological effects of magnesium deficiency or to secondary effects produced by blockade of EFA desaturation. These include valvular collagen dissolution, ventricular hyperkinesis, cardiac arrhythmias, occasional thromboembolic phenomena. autonomic dysregulation and association with LT, pelvic fibrosis, autoimmune disease, anxiety disorders, allergy and chronic candidiasis.”

Many medical web sites state that MVP is a normal variation in the population because it is so common. I’m not so sure this is a valid conclusion. Being common does not mean the same thing as being normal, or even desirable. Thirty percent of the adult U.S. population is obese, however no one is saying that obesity is “normal”. There are many conditions such as breast cancer, heart attacks and osteoporosis that are even more common than mitral valve prolapse, but that doesn’t mean that any of these conditions are normal, let alone desirable.

Many people in the U.S. and other Western countries do not get the RDA of magnesium, so it actually would be expected then that many people would have signs of magnesium deficiencies.

A research paper from France notes that a marginal primary magnesium deficit affects a large proportion of the population (15 to 20%). The study noted that while 6 mg was the RDA for magnesium, most people only took in slightly over 4 mg. In another study from France, 77 per cent of women and 72 per cent of men had dietary magnesium intakes lower than recommended dietary allowances;23 per cent of women and 18 per cent of men consumed less than 2/3 of the magnesium RDA.

Things aren’t much better in the U.S. According to a paper from State University of New York, since the turn of this century, there has been a steady and progressive decline of dietary magnesium intake to where much of the Western World population is ingesting less than an optimum RDA.

As such, perhaps the high levels of mitral valve prolapse seen these days in the developed, Western countries are indeed common, but not “normal” at all. Perhaps they merely reflect signs of a growing magnesium deficiency among people in developed countries who tend to consume diets high in calcium (which can cause a magnesium imbalance) , high in processed foods and low in magnesium rich foods, such as nuts and vegetables.

June 29, 2006 Posted by | Health | , | Leave a comment

Entry for April 07, 2006

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Today I receive a message that the walk in clinic from last week wants to see me about the ECG test results. This is interesting. He said he would only call if there was something other than the RBBB. I arrive there straight after work and meet with the doctor.

He shows me the results from the ECG and yes there is a Right Branch Bundle Block just like I said. There is also something else scribbled “J-Point Mutation ….” and beside that it reads “Normal Variant”. Never heard of that one before but if it’s a normal variant, I won’t worry about it.

He reviews the blood test results again and says my Triglycerides (3.55) and Hemoglobin (172) were slightly above normal but everything else looked fine. I have no clue as to what he is talking about so I take the test results and head home.

Triglycerides (3.55) Greater than 2.30 is above normal.

 Hemoglobin (172) Greater than 170 is above normal.

So nothing found again. Not really sure why he called me in. I do know one thing, people don’t get sick on Friday nights…the place was empty. Took my blood pressure at Sobeys and it was 130/79. Perfect reading.

Still vibrating…

April 11, 2006 Posted by | Health | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Entry for March 29, 2006 *WD*

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Follow up with the walk in clinic. Doctor said the test results were fine. All of my numbers are within the safe range. He mentions that my cholesterol is just slightly above normal but it’s not a concern as I didn’t fast before taking the test. He mentions that my Triglycerides are above normal and seems confused by it but doesn’t say anything more.

The ECG wasn’t back from the specialist but he said the variation is most likely the Right Branch Bundle Block and if he finds out that it isn’t, he’ll call me back.

Fine by me. Nothing wrong with my heart. What caused the weird chest pain? Why did the vibrations get stronger and go away with Vitamin C? NO IDEA! He gives me a photocopy of the results and I take a brief look at it and notice that my Hemoglobin, Hematocrit and RBC are slighty above the normal range but he never mentioned it. Must be nothing to worry about.

Triglycerides : Anything over 2.3 is above normal and mine is 3.55.
Hemoglobin   : Anything over 170 is above normal and mine is 172.
Hematocrit     : Anything over 0.49 is above normal and mine is 0.51.
RBC                   : Anything over 5.70 is above normal and mine is 5.83.

Other than my Triglycerides being really high, the others are only mildly over the normal range. If eating pears stopped the vibrations and assuming it was Vitamin C, how much Vitamin C does a pear contain? Back to Google…

One Bartlett Pear
97.94 calories

Vitamin C: 6.64 mg

What? Only 6.64 mg per pear? Eating two – three pears a day will stop the vibrations. I’m having up to 2500 mg of Vitamin C a day and it doesn’t always work to stop them!! Is it the Vitamin C or something else? Maybe the extra fibre helps too. Who knows! Maybe I should be eating a food high in tryptophan and take the Vitamin C at the same time?

What bothers me the most is the fact that I’m convinced that my problem is related to the electromagnetic fields but a reading twenty-four inches away from the wireless intercom was in the safe range. It’s obvious to me that it’s not safe and thank god we didn’t end up using it as a baby monitor. It was listed as one of the suggested uses in the instructions.

March 29, 2006 Posted by | Health | , , , , , | Leave a comment

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