Diary of Unknown Symptoms

Mystery of the Internal Vibration

Entry for February 13, 2008

Licorice Root is an excellent alternative to St. John’s Wort? My Doctor’s alternative was Paxil.

Licorice Root

Licorice root contains many anti-depressant compounds and is an excellent alternative to St. John’s Wort. As a herbal medicine it has an impressive list of well documented uses and is probably one of the most over-looked of all herbal wonders. Licorice is useful for many ailments including asthma, athlete’s foot, baldness, body odor, bursitis, canker sores, chronic fatigue, depression, colds and flu, coughs, dandruff, emphysema, gingivitis and tooth decay, gout, heartburn, HIV, viral infections, fungal infections, ulcers, liver problems, Lyme disease, menopause, psoriasis, shingles, sore throat, tendinitis, tuberculosis, ulcers, yeast infections, prostate enlargement and arthritis.

Hundreds of potentially healing substances have been identified in licorice as well, including compounds called flavonoids and various plant estrogens (phytoestrogens). The herb’s key therapeutic compound, glycyrrhizin (which is 50 times sweeter than sugar) exerts numerous beneficial effects on the body, making licorice a valuable herb for treating a host of ailments. It seems to prevent the breakdown of adrenal hormones such as cortisol (the body’s primary stress-fighting adrenal hormone), making these hormones more available to the body.

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August 20, 2009 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 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!!

January 22, 2007 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

Entry for October 17, 2006

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Four capsules of the new magnesium is still not enough. I raise it again to six capsules. Two at each meal for a total of 1500 mg. I have my follow up doctor’s appointment on Friday and I’m not sure what to tell him other than the St. John’s Wort has done absolutely nothing. I’m still eating 2-4 bananas a day and I don’t feel any improvement. I’ve noticed that if I miss taking the B complex, I get this weird feeling in my head. Almost like the tingling with the riboflavin but it’s more mild. I still suspect a B6 deficiency so I’ll stop taking my B complex vitamins and try taking B6 by itself for a while but this time I’ll try something different. I have B6 in a 250 mg dose and usually I take it twice a day. This time, I’ll split the pills and take four throughout the day at 125 mg.

There’s been a lot of talk in the news lately about the cost of eating healthy. Drinking carrot juice will give you botulism, eating spinach will give you e-coli…chemical residue in our fruits and vegetables… It never seems to end. And now we have the new breakfast sandwich at Tim Hortons.

Tim Hortons Breakfast Sandwich

Innocent-looking sandwich packs a wallop of fat and sodium.

Nutritional breakdown:

Sausage, Egg and Cheese: 500 calories, 34 g fat (20 g saturated, 0.5 g trans), 32 carbohydrate (1 g fibre), 18 g protein, 920 mg sodium

Bacon, Egg and Cheese: 400 calories, 24 g fat (17 g saturated, 0.5 g trans), 31 g carbohydrate (1 g fibre), 16 g protein, 740 mg sodium

Analysis: Tim Hortons is now offering some protein at breakfast time this is good news. The bad news is that the protein comes with a lot of saturated fat (a day’s supply) and sodium (one-third of a day’s supply).

Health Canada recommends a total of 20 g per day of saturated and trans fats. Well, if you pull up to the drive-in and order your Sausage, Egg and Cheese Breakfast Sandwich, you should just turn around and go home, because you will have had your entire day’s intake of saturated and trans fats. The daily value (DV) for sodium is 2,400 mg, which is about the amount of sodium in 1 tsp of salt. The breakfast sandwiches have 740-920 mg of sodium.

When I asked Tim Horton’s about this, company spokesperson Diane Slopek-Weber stated that their customer research overwhelmingly told them that the most popular choice for a hot breakfast sandwich, was one that included egg and meat. Given their wide menu selection and ordering options, their customers can choose for themselves.

Alternative: The Breakfast Sandwich is made to order, so you can ask for a multigrain bagel instead of the tea biscuit, with only egg and/or cheese. This will change the nutrition breakdown to 380 calories, 10 g fat (so you can keep driving to work).

How does it compare to McDonald\’s? The Sausage McMuffin with Egg has 440 calories, 26 g fat (10 g saturated, 0.4 g trans), 29 g carbohydrate (2 g fibre), 20 g protein, and 930 mg sodium. The Bacon & Egg McMuffin has 310 calories, 14 g fat (5 g saturated, 0.3 g trans), 29 g carbohydrate (2 g fibre), 16 g protein and 710 g sodium.

This becomes a lesson in relativity. Tim Hortons has created something so bad, it makes McDonalds look good. Perhaps this should be their new marketing position.

Take it or leave it: Keep driving.

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

Entry for September 21, 2006

Went to my doctor today for another riboflavin injection. I mentioned the magnesium injection again and he is still reluctant but we have a good discussion. I explain how I thought I was hanging on with the vitamins and that the riboflavin is only one of the symptoms and not the root cause.

He wants me to try St. Johns Wort. I’ve always heard of it but I have no clue what it does so I ask him. He says he doesn’t want to interfere with the results and wants me to try it and tell him if it has any effect so I agree to get some. I push for the magnesium injection again and says he has no problem doing it if I can find it (haha) but wants me to use St. Johns Wort for three weeks slowing increasing the dosage weekly until I see him again in three weeks.

I don’t have a problem trying St. Johns Wort but it’s still not dealing with the root cause. I’m hardly deficient in St. Johns Wort? I pick some up on my way home and I take one capsule with my lunch.

When I get home I use doctor google to find out more:

Medically Valid Uses:

St. John’s wort has been used successfully to treat mild to moderate depression. Several studies have indicated that it is as effective as many prescription antidepressants when used to treat mild or moderate depression. St. John’s wort is not useful for treating major or severe depression.

Externally, oily hypericum preparations have been used in the treatment of injuries, muscle pain and first-degree burns.

Unsubstantiated Claims:

Please note that this section reports on claims that have NOT yet been substantiated through scientific studies.

Traditionally, St. John’s wort has been used as a muscle relaxant to relieve menstrual cramps and as a mild tranquilizer.

Although without scientific confirmation, it is also claimed to function as a nerve tonic (has a beneficial effect on the nervous system), as an anti-inflammatory (decreases swelling), as an astringent (contracts the tissues or canals of the body), as a vulnerary (brings about healing in wounds and inflammation), as a antineoplastic (cancer fighting) and as an antiviral. For instance, it is claimed that it may possibly help inhibit viral infections, including herpes and HIV.

St. John’s wort has also been claimed to be good for nerve pain (neuralgia), anxiety, tension, nervous debility, stress, irritability and insomnia. It is also claimed to ease the pain associated with fibrositis, sciatica, rheumatoid arthritis, menstruation, itching and burning of hemorrhoids, and itching and irritation caused by vaginitis.

When used externally, St. John’s wort has been claimed to possibly speed the healing of bruises, wounds, varicose veins, mild burns and sunburns.

St. John’s wort can interfere with the absorption of iron and other minerals.

Okay, so he wants me to take St. John’s wort for anxiety and for general nervousness. But it can interfere with the absorption of minerals??!!!! You’ve got to be kidding…

September 22, 2006 Posted by | Health | , , , | Leave a comment

   

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