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!!

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

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 13, 2007

I remember running out of my omega 3 supplement for the first time and I had starting having weird symptoms. I figured at the time it was the omega 3 that was helping me but I could never figure out why. The answer? Low magnesium:

Magnesium has a multitude of different uses in the and is an essential cofactor of the enzyme delta 6 desaturase which converts vegatable derived omega 3 fatty acids to the brain critical omega 3 fatty acid DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) which is essential for the rapid release of dopamine. Thus if magnesium levels are low, DHA deficiency is very likely to exist. Low levels of serotonin in the brain are connected with low levels of the Omega-3 fatty acid DHA. This can again lead to increased stress and depression.

So now I’m wondering if my non refreshing sleep is from a serotonin deficiency from years of low magnesium?

There are basically two ways to rectify the Serotonin Deficiency Syndrome. One method is through the natural method of increasing tryptophan intake and the other through the use of anti-depressant medications such as Prozac. This is where the story gets very interesting.

There is a class of pharmaceutical medications called Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) anti-depressants. SSRI anti-depressants include Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft and others. Their method of treatment is to concentrate existing levels of serotonin in the brain so they stay in the synapse between nerves and facilitate communication. They do not create serotonin, as many people believe, but simply collect the existing serotonin so it is used more effectively. Some studies suggest that long term use of SSRI anti-depressants actually reduce serotonin levels. Serotonin levels are often low among people with anxiety disorders.

Our body chemistry is complex; many different hormones, neurotransmitters, and other substances influence how we feel. Serotonin is one chemical that has received a great deal of attention for its contribution to mood. It’s a neurotransmitter (a chemical involved in the transmission of nerve impulses between nerve cells) that’s formed in the brain and primarily found in three parts of the body — the brain, the lining of the digestive tract, and in blood platelets. In the brain, serotonin’s main effects include improving mood and giving you that “satisfied” feeling from food. It’s also thought to help promote sleep and relaxation.

Carbohydrate-rich meals often increase serotonin levels. However, manipulating serotonin levels through food may be very difficult to achieve because serotonin’s properties may have varying effects in different people. Some people may experience a temporary lift in mood after a carbohydrate-rich meal, while others may become relaxed or sleepy. Certain foods that increase serotonin levels aren’t the healthiest choices either. Believe it or not, candy and sweets, which are simple carbohydrates, have the greatest impact, but the effect will only last 1 – 2 hours. Complex carbohydrates (rice, potato, pasta) may increase serotonin levels, but not to the same extent because the protein content of these foods might actually inhibit serotonin production.

The  doctor wants me on Paxil but doesn”t really explain why except that it was recommended by the Neurologist. Probably to raise my level of Serotonin and “fix” the anxiety. Here’s an article that actually suggests that it could make things worse!

January 13, 2007 Posted by | Health | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Entry for January 05, 2007

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The day has finally arrived and the results are in. I was a little nervous about seeing him because I didn’t get his prescription filled for the higher dose of paxil. I’m hoping that I’ll ask him about the results, find a deficiency, agree to the injections and maybe he won’t even mention paxil.

His wife weighs me on the scale and I’ve dropped a few pounds. I now weigh 179 lbs and it’s the best weight I’ve been in years. I was just over 200 lbs when I started with my symptoms. My weight dropped to 180 when I had my gastro problems and couldn’t eat properly. Once I figured out it was a niacin deficiency and I could return to eating normal, my weight went back to 200 lbs. It was only when I stuck to eating healthy that I lost the weight again. I would eat oats every morning for breakfast and a couple of apples, pears and bananas throughout the day. I’ve kept up with this healthy diet ever since the acupuncture doctor made me understand the importance of a healthy diet.

He walks in looking quite happy and cheerful. He puts my file on the desktop and reads the B6 results as 397. The test came back as normal. My heart sank and I went really quiet. How the hell is that possible? Then he asked my how it was going with the higher dose of paxil.

My worse nightmare come true. The B6 test was normal and now I have to explain that I didn’t take his suggestion of paxil.

Slowly I explain that I didn’t take any paxil and he doesn’t seem bothered this time. I ask him if I can actually see the results and he hands me the paper.

“Pyridoxine normal range 20-90. My reading was above the normal range : 397.

He explained how the above normal reading was not a concern and he had done everything that I asked for. He suggested that I take a good multivitamin and that Paxil was now an option that I should consider at the advice of the neurologist. I explained that I was reluctant to try it until we had the results of the B6 level.

I left the doctor’s office with my tail between my legs. How is it possible not to have a B6 deficiency? I need to regroup. I need to document my current symptoms and continue forward. One thing I know for sure: I have a severe magnesium deficiency but I need to find out why. Maybe now is a good time to follow up with the nutritionist. Not the way I wanted to start the new year.

Doctor Google has failed.

Still vibrating…

January 5, 2007 Posted by | Health | , , | Leave a comment

Entry for December 08, 2006

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My follow up with the Doctor. I get weighed on the scale and my weight is 183 lbs. It’s getting better but my ideal weight should be around 170 lbs.

So the B6 test results…nowhere to be found??! He checked over his notes and he doesn’t have everything back yet.

Six weeks and no test results for a vitamin deficiency. This should really be no surprise because of my experience with the Thiamine test. The doctor said that they will follow up with the lab to find out what happened. (Why don’t they do this BEFORE the patient takes a day off work??) He mentions that there are seven other doctors with the same last name as him so usually when ever there is a delay, it’s sent to another doctor.

How reassuring…

He asks me about paxil. I told him that I had started taking it and it had no effect on the vibration. So what does he do? (I’m half expecting him to say let’s wait for the B6 test results.) Nope… instead it my worst fear. He has decided to increase the dosage and write the prescription.

He can write the prescription but this time I’m not going through with it. I’m not doing anything else until I get my B6 test results in my hand.

December 8, 2006 Posted by | Health | , , | Leave a comment

Entry for November 30, 2006 *Moving Day*

Moving can be very stressful so today will be a great test for my symptoms. The doctors seem to think that it’s stress related symptoms and they couldn’t be more wrong. It really annoys me that they think it’s stress related but I keep telling them it’s not and they brush me aside. I stopped taking paxil a few days ago so today will be a really good test. I didn’t really feel any effects good or bad from taking it and it had no effect on the vibration. If the deficiency still exists how is paxil supposed to correct the problem?

Having moved four times in the past six years we are no strangers to what is required to make a successful move, and the key for us has always been to hire professional movers. We moved from Oshawa to Markham and the weather was lousy. It rained all day long and well into the night, but at least the temperature was quite warm for the end of November.

We have never been so organized and prepared for a move, a feat that was not easily accomplished with our 1 year old daughter just learning to walk. We had 95 percent of our belongings packed and neatly labeled with U-Haul labeling tape that indicated the designation for each room and we were ready to go. The employees from the moving company commented on how organized we were.

The movers showed up with a truck at 8:15am. I took him around the house, room by room and by the end he told us that we wouldn’t be out of the house by 6pm and that all our belongings were NOT going to fit on the truck for one trip. I explained that the new owners would be moving in later today and legally we had until 6pm to get out. He promptly told my us that moves are very stressful and that we would most likely need to make two trips. He continued to tell us that there was no possible way for the new owners to have possession by 6pm and that there is the possibility that they might threaten to sue.

Throughout the morning, he attempted to pressure us numerous times to contact our lawyer to push for the key as soon as her office opened. They instilled in us a sense of panic and stress unlike the type of employee mentioned on their website who are “friendly, understanding, and dedicated to making your move as comfortable as possible.” His lack of professionalism made us seriously wonder if this wasn’t his first time working on a move.

As the move began, we asked one of the movers about wardrobe boxes for our clothing. He told us that they were already on the truck. We hadn’t even seen them let alone use them and it was never offered to us. We had to then scavenge around ourselves for a box for our suits and dresses and in the end we had to put them in a large stroller box that we found in our basement.

We have a strict non smoking household. We have a young child and I am allergic to cigarette smoke. We are not against taking a normal break for a rest and a cigarette break. But I was upset at the lack of respect they showed for our belongings as they sat in the half loaded truck sitting on our antique dining room chairs for cigarette breaks. We know that smoke can get into clothing and fabric which is why they should’ve at least had the courtesy to ask our permission.

The movers began taking open boxes containing last minute items such as bedding and towels that we were still packing or sealing. We told them not to take them as they were still needed and not taped closed. We were brushed aside and told that they would seal them for us. As we looked out the window we saw our unsealed boxes tossed on the truck with their contents falling out. It was still raining and the grass was starting to get very muddy. Not the sort of day to take anything out of the house unprotected in that manner.

As the movers continued to worry us about getting moved out by a reasonable time, they continued to push us to harass our lawyer to get the key sooner, a matter we both viewed to be none of his business. He was in talks throughout the morning with other drivers to see if he could get a second truck but to no avail. I suggested trying to get a U-Haul van to speed things up, and avoid requiring a second trip and the person in charge agreed that this would be a good idea.

Luckily we were able to, as in the end it is the only thing that made this move possible. At an additional cost of $200.00, it was the best money we spent all day. As I was walking up to the house from the U-Haul van, one of the movers commented that it was first U-Haul he ever saw that wasn’t broken down, such comments and attitudes are not only unprofessional, but don’t help to make our “move as comfortable as possible.” The movers helped us load the van, but wouldn’t allow us to use any of their blankets and we had to provide our own protection for our antique dining room table.

The movers had their undersized truck packed by 1pm. The head mover continued to tell us it was normal to require two trips in a move, something we have never had to do in our three previous moves. We unfortunately weren’t able to get into the new house until 4pm causing 3 hours of down time for the movers, which in past moves wasn’t an issue because they still would have been packing their truck with the entire contents of our house. We don’t have a large house, nor did we underestimate our belongings on the quote form, I just don’t understand how requiring more than one trip is considered normal. If the law states that an owner has until 6PM to move out then the moving companies should over estimate jobs, not under.

Our old house was a two bed room, 2.5 storey home with an unfinished basement and a loft with a family room and computer den. If two trips are so normal, then why when we filled out the on line form was this not mentioned as a possibility? It was never mentioned when I spoke to dispatch and booked the move. On our past move, we filled out an online form very similar to these movers and they had no difficulty estimating the truck size required. The home that TSC moved us from was a 3 bedroom, 2 storey home with a finished basement. We saved all of our boxes from the previous move and used every one of them again in this move. In fact, we only purchased ten small boxes to add to the previous total. Our only addition in belongings was a futon, a collapsible crib, a change table and three appliances, all of which were mentioned on the online form.

But all this was minor compared to the rude, disrespectful and unprofessional manner that we encountered once things started being moved into the new house.

The plan suggested by the head mover was to pack all the large items in their truck and the U-Haul leaving only small items and boxes left at our old house. Then, when we got into the new house, they would unload the U-Haul first so that I could bring it back to the old house to reload it all by himself. Because we still had belongings in the old house I stayed behind to gather what remained, leaving the movers alone in the new house. A big yet unavoidable mistake. The movers wanted to put all the boxes in the garage to make the move easier, but since it is a very small detached garage, we clearly requested that all boxes were to go to the basement unless marked for the kitchen, dining room and living room.

At around 7:30, as I was back at the old house loading the U-Haul in the pouring rain for a second trip, I received a call from the head mover to say that they were almost finished and could he quickly come to the house so that we could pay them. I explained to him that I was still loading the U-Haul van and at least an hour away. He still asked him to come over as he required our signature. He also wanted to know about the location of a china cabinet and a heavy corner cabinet. I clearly explained that the china cabinet was to go into the dining room and the corner cabinet was to go into the master bedroom. Because they made it sound like the job was almost completed, we decided it was best if I sent my wife ahead to meet with them. I was left to load the truck alone in the pouring rain, and she went ahead in the car.

When she arrived there at 8:30, she found the front door to the new house wide open, the truck was up the street with the back open, and none of the movers were in sight. She went into the house, found boxes and furniture carelessly dumped everywhere.

During the course of my telephone conversation with the head mover, I requested that the large heavy corner cabinet go to the master bedroom, that piece of furniture was sitting in the living room. She walked around our open, unattended new home for 10 minutes looking for any of the three movers and eventually found them sitting in the truck with their backs to the open door of our home having a break, a luxury my myself or my wife did not get all day.

When the movers returned to the house, she told them that the corner cabinet needed to go upstairs and asked if they could move another piece of furniture to the basement. This request was met with resistance and an argument from one of the movers and she was rather shocked at his response. He claimed he wasn’t told about the cabinet needing to go upstairs and behaved like the request was unrealistic. She told him that even if he didn’t know about the request for the cabinet to go upstairs, it still needed to go there. To her surprise he continued to argue.

She asked the head mover how much longer he thought they would be, and he felt it would be about another hour. My wife unfortunately needed to leave again to pick up our daughter, so she paid them up till 9:45, and told him that I would be there before they left with another load in the U-Haul truck. She paid him just following this altercation with one of his employees, and to our absolute shock the supervisor asked for a tip for “the boys”!!

When I arrived at 9:20, the movers had finished and were in their truck so I asked them if they could help me unload the U-Haul van, knowing that we were still paying them for another 25 minutes and they told me they couldn’t because they had another move to go to. He continued by saying that “if I wanted to offer more money he would approach the boys about helping!!!! So while we were still paying the professional movers to help us, I unloaded the U Haul van all alone in the rain and we still had one more U Haul trip to make and did not finish until 2 am.

We have moved 4 times now, in the last 6 years and never have we paid so much and had to work so long and hard ourselves to move. Never have movers treated our belongings and ourselves so unprofessionally and with such disrespect.

On moving day, you and your belongings are really at the mercy of whoever you have chosen to help you move. I would have expected better from a company with the numerous Consumer Choice Awards that this company has, and who charges the kind of rates this company charges. Our last move, everything fit on the truck and we were in our new home nicely settled in about 8 hours and we never lifted a finger, we only paid about $1000. They were very professional and all our instructions were met. This move about half of our belongings fit on the ‘professional movers’ truck, they took 10.5 hours to load and unload it, and I spent an additional $245.00 for a U Haul truck and gas and weren’t finished until 2 AM.

For the privilege of using an award winning company we paid $1800.00 and only half our possessions were moved! The employees were unbelievably unprofessional and our few instructions were met with arguments and confrontation. We were quoted 8 hours for the ENTIRE job, we ended up paying 15 hours for HALF the job and moved the other half ourselves.

Once we both returned to work and related our story to our co workers, many felt we deserved a full refund. We hired a moving company based on the strength of numerous Consumer Choice Awards, and unfortunately did not check the company’s track record with the Better Business Bureau. After doing a quick search, we learned that the company has had 48 complaints within the past 36 months. So out of curiosity, I decided to check our previous moving company as a comparison.

One complaint for the same time period. Enough said. And my symptoms? None. I took my regular routine of vitamins and dealt with the days events. What a day! We did manage to leave a small bonus for the new owner. We decided to leave the microwave behind…

December 6, 2006 Posted by | Health | , , | 2 Comments

Entry for November 17, 2006

I’ve had almost a week now to think about Paxil and it’s potential side effects. I’ve decided to take the doctor’s advice and try it. I know the side effects to watch out for and it is a very low dosage.

It’s probably better if I take it at night so it doesn’t effect me during the day so I take one pill before I go to bed.

Still vibrating…

November 19, 2006 Posted by | Health | | Leave a comment

Entry for November 13, 2006

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Follow up with the doctor for my test results. He told me that not all of them were in but the ones that did come back were normal. So I asked what my triglyceride level was. He said it was a reading of 2.4 and that it was within the normal range and that it was nothing to worry about because anything over 2.5 is considered above normal.

What an interesting comment. My last blood test with him my triglyceride was 3.55 and the only reason I knew that was because I had him fax it to the naturopath. 3.55 sounds really high and he never mentioned it. The doctor at the walk in clinic mentioned it was high but shrugged his shoulders and said nothing else about it.

So then he asked me about how I was doing on Paxil. I told him that I took his advice and did some research on it. I continued to tell him about the multiple side effects regarding this drug and I told him I wasn’t interested in taking it.

He got really annoyed with me and perhaps rightly so. He gave me a lecture about how it was such a small dosage and that it was mandatory for the drug companies to list all of the known side effects. It didn’t mean a person would get all of those different side effects from taking the drug, they are listed because everyone can have a different reaction.

He continued by saying that all of the drugs available to treat anxiety have the same side effects because they all have an effect on the neurotransmitters.

I wasn’t really happy with his reaction I left feeling guilty for not trying it. I was really hoping for the results of the B6 test.

When I get into work, I look up the web site for the lab and I send them an email asking about the turnaround time for a pyridoxine vitamin B6 blood test. The lab returned my email within two hours and here is there answer:

“Our stated turnaround time is 15 days”

15 days? Okay, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. It’s only been 11 working days.

November 13, 2006 Posted by | Health | , , | Leave a comment

Entry for October 20, 2006

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Let’s find out about the side effects in more detail for “Paxil CR”. Here’s what the official web site says:

Important Safety Information

Prescription Paxil CR and Paxil are not for everyone. Don’t take with MAOIs, thioridazine, or pimozide. Paxil CR and Paxil are generally well tolerated. As with many medications, there can be side effects. Some of the side effects may include infection, injury, nausea, diarrhea, dry mouth, constipation, decreased appetite, sleepiness, dizziness, sexual side effects, nervousness, tremor, yawning, sweating, abnormal vision, weakness, or insomnia. Talk to your doctor if you are taking prescription medication known as triptans, which are used for migraine or cluster headaches. When used in combination with Paxil CR or other anti-depressant treatments, these drugs may lead to potentially life-threatening complications.

Paxil CR and Paxil are approved only for adults 18 years and over. In some children and teens, antidepressants increase suicidal thoughts or actions. Young adults, especially those with depression, may be at increased risk for suicidal actions. Whether or not you are taking antidepressants, you or your family should call the doctor right away if you have worsening depression, thoughts of suicide, or sudden or severe changes in mood or behavior (for example feeling anxious, agitated, panicky, irritable, hostile, aggressive, impulsive, severely restless, hyperactive, overly excited, or not being able to sleep), especially at the beginning of treatment or after a change in dose.

Don\’t stop taking Paxil CR and Paxil before talking to your doctor since side effects may result from stopping the medicine, particularly when abrupt. Symptoms some patients have reported on stopping Paxil CR and Paxil include: dizziness, sensory disturbances (including electric shock sensations and tinnitus), abnormal dreams, agitation, anxiety, nausea, sweating, mood fluctuations, headache, fatigue, nervousness and sleep disturbances.

This is a very long list of side effects. In fact there are fourty side effects and I really don’t think it’s worth it for anxiety or not. My new magnesium is doing just fine with no side effects whatsoever. So he prescribed Paxil because I have general anxiety at the direction of the Neurologist which is funny because he didn’t recommend any medication to me. If fact, he made it appear that he was against it because it wouldn’t help me.

Let’s see what I can find out:

Anxiety, the body’s reaction to a perceived, anticipated or imagined danger or threatening situation, is a common occurrence. Most people experience it before or after a stressful event, such as an important presentation or a traumatic loss. A little anxiety isn’t always a bad thing, either: it can help motivate you to do your best and to respond appropriately to danger.

Sometimes, though, anxiety develops spontaneously, even when a stressful or threatening situation isn’t immediately apparent. When worry becomes so excessive and persistent that it limits or inhibits� a person’s daily activities, it becomes a disorder that needs to be recognized and treated.

What is generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)?
It’s only realistic to be worried about your finances after losing a job or your health if you start having chest pains. And it’s natural to be anxious about a sister who lives in a tough neighborhood or reports of a local flu epidemic or impending SATs. But generalized anxiety disorder isn’t about realistic or natural worries. GAD is about chronic, excessive worry concerning events that are unlikely to occur; it’s minor problems or concerns that wrap around your mind like kudzu and won’t let go.

Generalized anxiety disorder occurs when normal levels of anxiety become severe, prevent everyday activities, and persist over more than a few months. Normal life becomes difficult for people with GAD because they experience high levels of worry, dreading the immediate future and dwelling on what can go wrong, but feel unable to take action or control events. Generalized anxiety disorder affects 3 to 4 percent of the population at any given time, with women twice as likely to be affected as men.

According to the National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH), persons with generalized anxiety disorder anticipate disaster and are overly concerned about health issues, money, family problems, or difficulties at work. A co-worker’s careless comment about the economy becomes a constant vision of an imminent pink slip; a spouse’s criticism of a new outfit becomes dread that the marriage is over. People with generalized anxiety disorder usually realize that their anxiety is more intense than the situation calls for, though some convince themselves that their worrying is protective or otherwise helpful. Either way, people with GAD can’t seem to turn off the worry. Sometimes just the thought of getting through the day produces anxiety. Most people with GAD don’t avoid workplace or social situations, but they go about their activities filled with exaggerated worry and tension, even though there is little or nothing to provoke them. For others, the anxiety and physical symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder interfere significantly with work, social interactions, and everyday functioning.

There is no way that the above description is anything like me and my wife agrees. What a joke. I didn’t see this direction coming…

October 21, 2006 Posted by | Health | , | Leave a comment

Entry for October 20, 2006 *D*

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All last night I was planning on what I would say to the doctor and I have a plan.

First thing he ask me about was if I had any tingling. Nope, not since the first riboflavin injection. Secondly he asked me about taking St. John’s Wort. Nope, did nothing for me.

I started telling him about how I did some experiments and I’d like to go in a new direction. He seemed very interested so I told him how I found a magnesium supplement that seems to be working better than any of the others and he was happy to hear about that. Then I told him about how I stopped taking the B vitamins and I’d get a weird feeling in my head. So I continued only with B6 and the weird feeling never came back. His face was more interested and he said if I suspected a B6 deficiency, then we can test for it. GREAT NEWS!

Then he told me how he would like to follow the recommendation from the neurologist. Huh? This caught me off guard because he never mentioned anything about him until now. He said he’d like to give me something called “Paxil CR” in a very small dosage to start. He mentions that it is used for depression and general anxiety disorders and continues about the side effects and that if I didn’t like it, I could stop taking it. He said it may not have any effect and on a scale of 0-10 it may only have an effect of a 2. Hardly seems worth taking but I agreed to continue with his approach if he took mine.

He wrote out a blood test for pyridoxine and added B12 and folic acid. Since it was a blood test, I asked him to check my level of triglycerides and he agreed but he said it would now need to be a fasting blood test.

I go down to the pharmacy and they fill out my prescription. As the pharmacist hands it to me she says how it may cause drowsiness and dizziness and says it could be three weeks until I feel any benefits.

Not so sure I like the sounds of the side effects so I call my wife and explain what happened. She looks it up on the internet and reads me a few more of the side effects including suicidal and mentions that there is a listing for it on crazymeds.com! She is adamant that she doesn’t want me taking this medication and I agree. We’re both confused as to why the doctor felt it was neccesary to take paxil when I clearly don’t have the symptoms to justify taking it.

The only symptoms I still have are an internal vibration and weak muscles. All of my other symptoms have disappeared though my own methods of vitamins and mineral supplements.

October 21, 2006 Posted by | Health | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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