Diary of Unknown Symptoms

Mystery of the Internal Vibration

Entry for December 30, 2006

I’ve been telling my doctor for sometime now that I have some really low vitamin B deficiencies and luckily convinced him to give me a riboflavin injection. I noticed several improvements but he seems hung up on the anxiety diagnosis from the neurologist. Any research on B vitamins suggest that they all work together so if you have one deficiency, you’ll have several and my doctor didn’t seem interested in pursuing it any further.

Found this tonight from who else? Doctor Google:

Anxiety and the Vitamin B complex

Deficiencies of members of the vitamin B complex appear to be common in patients with agoraphobia (fear of open spaces). (1) The same is likely to be true for other anxiety-related conditions. We will review the evidence suggesting that individual members of this family may affect the experience of anxiety.

Inositol Supplementation

Inositol is a key intermediate of the phosphatidyl-inositol cycle, a second-messenger system used by several noradrenergic, serotonergic and cholinergic receptors. Since ingestion has been shown to raise inositol levels in the cerebrospinal fluid, this nutrient could potentially serve as an anti-anxiety agent.

Indeed, when a group of 21 patients with panic disorder either with or without agoraphobia received 12 grams daily of inositol or placebo in random order for 4 weeks each, the inositol supplement was associated with a significantly greater reduction in the frequency and severity of panic attacks and of agoraphobia than the placebo. Moreover, while the efficacy of the nutrient was judged to be comparable to that of imipramine, its side effects were minimal.

Niacinamide Supplementation

Niacinamide has been shown in an animal study to have benzodiazepine-like actions including anti-conflict, anti-aggressive, muscle relaxant and hypnotic effects. In contrast to niacin, it passes readily from the plasma to the cerebrospinal fluid where it is taken up into brain cells by a high-affinity accumulation system, suggesting it is the preferred form of vitamin B3 for the treatment of anxiety.

Lactate (which is associated with anxiety) reacts with niacinamide-adenine dinucleotide [NA[D.sub.+]] to form pyruvic acid and reduced NAD (NADH + [H.sup.+]). The equilibrium of this reaction favors lactate and NA[D.sup.+]), but it can be driven by adding excess NA[D.sup.+]. It may be that supplementation with niacinamide helps to drive the reaction, thus reducing lactate concentrations.

Anecdotal reports suggest that niacinamide has anxiolytic effects comparable to the benzodiazepines, and it may be particularly effective for patients whose anxiety is secondary to reactive hypoglycemia. Typical dosages are between 500 mg twice daily and 1,000 mg 3 times daily. Hoffer believes that the optimal daily dosage is just below the amount that produces nausea.

Thiamine Deficiency

Elevated lactate may also be caused by inadequate pyruvate dehydrogenase activity resulting from a thiamine deficiency or dependency. In that case, the conversion of pyruvate to acetyl CoA is inhibited, fostering its conversion to lactic acid. Symptoms of a prolonged moderate thiamine deficiency may include fearfulness progressing to agitation as well as emotional instability and psychosomatic complaints.

When more than 1,000 healthy young men were studied, those who were chronically borderline thiamine-deficient were currently feeling significantly more anxiety–although they were not customarily nervous individuals. There are no published studies on the repletion of a borderline thiamine deficiency to treat anxiety.

Vitamin B6 Deficiency

Gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA), an inhibitory neurotransmitter which is involved in the regulation of anxiety, requires vitamin B6 for its synthesis; thus a deficiency of this vitamin may theoretically result in heightened anxiety. Vitamin B6 is also required for the conversion of tryptophan to serotonin, a neurotransmitter suspected of being involved in anxiety.

When over 1,000 healthy young men were studied, those found to be chronically deficient in vitamin B6 had a significantly greater tendency to become anxious, although they were not significantly more anxious at the time of the study. Also, in an open trial, patients with hyperventilation syndrome who also had abnormal xanthurenic acid excretion (an indicator of vitamin B6 deficiency) improved following the administration of pyridoxine and tryptophan, suggesting that a marginal B6 deficiency, by causing serotonin depletion, may have produced the syndrome.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Anxiety may be part of the neuropsychiatric syndrome seen in advanced cases of pernicious anemia which is well-known to be caused by B12 deficiency. When cobalamin levels of more than 1,000 healthy young men were studied, those who were chronically borderline vitamin B12-deficient were significantly more anxious at the time of the study–although they were not customarily nervous individuals. Whether B12 supplementation reduces anxiety when the vitamin is borderline deficient remains to be investigated.

References

1. Abbey LC. Agoraphobia. J Orthomol Psychiatry 11:243-59, 1982

2. Benjamin J et al. Inositol treatment in psychiatry. Psychopharmacol Bull 31(1):167-75, 1995a

3. Levine J et al. Inositol treatment raises CSF inositol levels. Brain Res 627(1):168-70, 1993

4. Benjamin J et al. Double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial of inositol treatment for panic disorder. Am J Psychiatry 15(7):1084-6, 1995b

So I’ve had a blood test for vitamin B12 and Thiamine and both were normal. Still waiting on the results from the vitamin B6 test. I’ve long discovered the Niacin deficiency with some great results but not for anxiety and Inositol I don’t know much about. I believe it’s included in B complex.

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December 30, 2006 Posted by | Health | , , , , , , , | 1 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 September 03, 2006

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A while back I had mentioned to my mother about having a B12 deficiency because she is a vegetarian. Her symptom is that she has sometimes has a nerve tingling on the top of her head. It’s the same kind of tingling that I have so I suspect that it’s related to the myelin sheath. She doesn’t seem to think it a vitamin deficiency so I did a bit of research and I came across this:

MYELIN SHEATH of NERVES

B12 is an essential part of maintaining the fatty acid balance in the myelin sheath, which is the living insulation cable around our nerves.  Cholesterol is an essential part of the myelin sheath which is 80% phospholipids and 20% proteins.  Essential fatty acids EPA and DHA which are found in fish oils concentrate in myelin.  B6 is needed for its development and growth.  Taurine stabilises electrical activity.  Carnitine inhibits degeneration of the sheath and thickens the fibres improving nerve conduction, particularly if diabetes is present.
 
CARNITINE RETENTION in BODY

Low B12 levels also contribute to carnitine loss through the kidneys.  So again where carnitine retention is essential for polio survivors, ensuring good levels of B12 are very important.
 
DETERMINING B12 LEVELS

The simple test is to look at the moons on your fingernails.  Good B12 levels will give you white moon that come a third of the way up the thumb-nails.  We should have moons on all fingers, thumbs are the last to go.  If in doubt, ask your doctor to do a blood test for B12.  While he is at it ask for folic acid & thyroid function test (include T3, T4 as well as TSH) because low thyroid levels will increase your cholesterol levels as well as contributing to fatigue. When thyroid levels are low we feel the cold.

My parents came down today for a visit so I asked my mother if I could look at her fingernails. She had very little or no white moons in her fingernails so I asked if I could take a picture.

September 3, 2006 Posted by | Health | , | Leave a comment

Entry for August 16, 2006

I was talking to my mother the other day about my recent discoveries and I was explaining about tingling in my head and how it was related to the myelin sheath. She told me that she has felt the same kind of tingling in her head and often wondered if it was the same as mine. She says it’s very mild and doesn’t happen all of the time. My mother is a vegetarian and has been for most of her life so there’s no way that it could be related to riboflavin and magnesium deficiencies.

I grab my newest book “Encyclopedia of Nutritional Supplements” and I take it into work. It’s a long commute so it’s perfect reading. I look up myelin sheath in the rear index and to my surprise there is a listing for page 127.

It talks about the role of vitamin B12 in the development of the myelin sheath and I already knew that. But it goes on to say that vegetarians often need B12 supplements as significant quantities are found in animal foods.

I think my mother has a B12 deficiency so I call her up and tell her to see her doctor for a blood test and she agrees. She says that she has taken B12 from time to time but never noticed any difference. Doctor Google?

Does this affect all vegetarians?

Reports from around the world reveal that many long-term total vegetarians (vegetarians who do not use any eggs, meat, fish, poultry or dairy products) are especially at risk of vitamin B12 deficiency. Unfortunately, many total vegetarians fail to recognize the seriousness of B12 deficiency. Total vegetarians often have low serum B12 levels and may manifest neuropsychiatric disorders. While oral B12 supplements can restore serum levels of B12 and eliminate macrocytic anemia, the neurological disorders may persist even months after treatment. In some cases the damage done to the nervous system is not reversible.

On rare occasions a lacto-ovo-vegetarian (one that uses dairy products and eggs, but no meat, fish or poultry) may also have a low serum B12 level if their intake of vitamin B12 containing foods is very low. Most of those with low serum B12 levels can correct the macrocytic anemia with oral B12 supplements or an injection of B12. In one study, the serum B12 levels of adult lacto-ovo-vegetarians dropped 35 percent only two months after switching to a total vegetarian diet. This rapid drop may be the result of low B12 stores in the liver. It should be emphasized, however, that vitamin B12 deficiency most often occurs in total vegetarians.

Vitamin B12 also maintains the fatty sheath, called myelin, that surrounds and protects nerve fibers and promotes their normal growth. Like insulation around copper wires, this sheath allows your radiating network of nerves to send their electrical messages without short-circuiting. When B12 is missing, the myelin sheath breaks down, which eventually leads to nerve damage.

August 16, 2006 Posted by | Health | , , , | Leave a comment

Entry for June 22, 2006

Back to my regular schedule of high dose  B vitamins with the exception of the Niacin and my weird symptoms are a lot better today.

It’s now the afternoon and I decide to call the doctor’s office for the results. I tell the secretary that it’s been four days since the test and I was wondering about the results. After she shuffles around for a bit, she comes back on the phone and says only one test of the four have been completed. “Which one came back?” I asked hoping it was the B1 test. Nope, my B12 results were in and the level was 408. Anything in the range of 200 – 300 pg/ml is considered a deficiency.

So my level of B12 is fine. What about the other three?

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

Entry for June 16, 2006

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He wants to test for B1, B12, RBC folate and CRP. I had never heard of CRP so I look it up when I get home.

C-reactive protein (CRP) is a plasma protein, an acute phase protein produced by the liver.

Function
 
CRP drawn from PDB 1GNH. CRP is a member of the class of acute phase reactants as its levels rise dramatically during inflammatory processes occurring in the body. It is thought to assist in complement binding to foreign and damaged cells and affect the humoral response to disease. It is also believed to play an important role in innate immunity, as an early defense system against infections.

Diagnostic use

CRP is used mainly as a marker of inflammation. Measuring and charting C-reactive protein values can prove useful in determining disease progress or the effectiveness of treatments. Blood, usually collected in a serum-separating tube, is analysed in a medical laboratory or at the point of testing.

Various analytical methods are available for CRP determination, such as ELISA, immunoturbidimetry, rapid immunodiffusion and visual agglutination.

Viral infections tend to give a lower CRP level than bacterial infection.

How to lower: Exercise, lose weight, stop smoking, flaxseed, aspirin, niacin, statins, alcohol, clean teeth

If niacin will lower the C-reactive protein, then I don’t think I have to worry about that. B1 is the vitamin I want tested so it’s interesting that he also wants to test my level of B12. Doctor Google?

B-12 and the stomach
Stomach problems can contribute to a B-12 deficiency in two ways.

First, irritation and inflammation of the stomach can prevent the stomach cells from functioning properly. When functioning improperly, the cells may stop producing a substance required for B-12 absorption called intrinsic factor (IF). Without IF, B-12 cannot be absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract into the body’s cells.

A second way for stomach problems to create B-12 deficiency is through inadequate secretion of stomach acids. Lack of stomach acids (a condition called called hypochlorhydria) gets in the way of B-12 absorption since most B-12 in food is attached to proteins in the food, and stomach acids are necessary to release the B-12 from these proteins.

The above stomach problems that can contribute to B-12 deficiency have a wide variety of causes. These causes include abuse of over-the-counter antacids, abuse of prescription medicines used to control stomach acidity, and stomach ulcers (also called gastric ulcers), which may themselves be due to infection with the bacteria, helicobacter pylori.

WOW! This guy is right on the money. Looks like I’ve found a great doctor. Ironically, in the same walk in clinic I went to in the first place.

June 16, 2006 Posted by | Health | , , , | Leave a comment

Entry for May 24, 2006

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Here comes the sun…

I take my regular dosage of vitamins but this time without B2 and have my usual breakfast. I start the day by doing some yard work outside and it’s a great bright sunny day and not a single cloud in the sky. After a couple of hours being outside, I realize that my eyes aren’t itchy like they have usually been and in fact, my eyes don’t seem to be as sensitive to light anymore. I walk around in the bright sun looking at the sky and there is definitely a difference.

I ask Doctor Google about the effects of B6:

What is the function of vitamin B6?

Much of the body’s chemistry depends upon enzymes. Enzymes are proteins that help chemical reactions take place. Because vitamin B6 is involved with more than 100 enzymatic reactions, its function in the body is diverse and far-reaching.

Support of nervous system activity

The role of vitamin B6 in our nervous system is very broad, and involves many aspects of neurological activity. One aspect focuses on the creation of an important group of messaging molecules called amines. The nervous system relies on formation of these molecules for transmission of messages from one nerve to the next. (The molecules can be classified as “neurotransmitters” for this reason.) Amines are one type of neurotransmitter in the nervous system. They are often made from parts of protein called amino acids, and the key nutrient for making this process happen is vitamin B6. Some of the amine-derived neurotransmitters that require vitamin B6 for their production include serotonin, melatonin, epinephrine, norepinephrine, and GABA.

Deficiency symptoms for vitamin B6

The key role of vitamin B6 in the nervous system also results in many nerve-related symptoms when B6 is deficient. These symptoms can include convulsions and seizures in the case of severe deficiency. The critical role of vitamin B6 in the formation of red blood cells means that B6 deficiency can also result in symptoms of anemia, malaise, and fatigue. When anemia is exclusively related to B6 deficiency, it is usually classified as hypochromic, microcytic (pernicious) anemia.

Nutrient Interactions

How do other nutrients interact with vitamin B6? As a member of the B vitamin family, B6 has key interactions with many of its family members. B6 is essential for making vitamin B3 (niacin) from the amino acid tryptophan. In Down’s syndrome, for example, some of the problems related to vitamin B3 deficiency appear to be lessened by intake of vitamin B6. Vitamins B2 and B3 are both needed to convert vitamin B6 into its various chemical forms, and imbalances in vitamin B1 metabolism create imbalances in vitamin B6 metabolism. B6 deficiency can also reduce the body’s absorption of vitamin B12.

Could I have a deficiency in B6 AND B12? I do another search on the effects of B12:

What is the function of vitamin B-12?

Forming red blood cells

Perhaps the most well-known function of B-12 involves its role in the development of red blood cells. As red blood cells mature, they require information provided by molecules of DNA. (DNA, or deoxyribose nucleic acid, is the substance in the nucleus of our cells which contains genetic information.) Without B-12, synthesis of DNA becomes defective, and so does the information needed for red blood cell formation. The cells become oversized and poorly shaped, and begin to function ineffectively, a condition called pernicious anemia. More often than not, pernicious anemia isn’t caused by a lack of B-12 itself, but by a lack of intrinsic factor — the stomach-made protein required for the absorption of B-12.

Developing nerve cells

A second major function of B-12, less clearly understood than the first, involves its participation in the development of nerve cells. A coating which encloses the nerves — called the myelin sheath — forms less successfully whenever B-12 is deficient. Although the vitamin plays an indirect role in this process, supplementation of B-12 has been shown to be effective in relieving pain and other symptoms in a variety of nervous system disorders.

What factors might contribute to a deficiency of B-12?

Stomach problems can contribute to a B-12 deficiency in two ways.

First, irritation and inflammation of the stomach can prevent the stomach cells from functioning properly. When functioning improperly, the cells may stop producing a substance required for B-12 absorption called intrinsic factor (IF). Without IF, B-12 cannot be absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract into the body’s cells.

A second way for stomach problems to create B-12 deficiency is through inadequate secretion of stomach acids. Lack of stomach acids (a condition called called hypochlorhydria) gets in the way of B-12 absorption since most B-12 in food is attached to proteins in the food, and stomach acids are necessary to release the B-12 from these proteins.

The above stomach problems that can contribute to B-12 deficiency have a wide variety of causes. These causes include abuse of over-the-counter antacids, abuse of prescription medicines used to control stomach acidity, and stomach ulcers (also called gastric ulcers), which may themselves be due to infection with the bacteria, helicobacter pylori.

Stomach problems can create B-12 deficiency through inadequate secretion of stomach acids. That’s exactly what I had!! Niacin seems to have fixed my symptoms of low stomach acids but what about the twelve months I had low stomach acid? Do I have a B-12 deficiency as well? B6 is involved with more than 100 enzymatic reactions and I know I’m low on enzymes. I ‘m still talking an enzyme supplement with every meal.

I check for the daily doses of B6 and B12.

  • RDA for vitamin B6 = Males 14-50 years: 1.3 mg
  • RDA for vitamin B12 = Males 14 years and older: 2.4 mcg
  • My multivitamin dosage: B6 = 10 mg & B12 = 15 mcg

I take a look at the B complex that the naturalpath gave me back on January 14th and the two vitamins with the highest dosage are B6 & B12.

  • B1 = 50 mg
  • B2 = 25 mg
  • B3 = 80 mg
  • B5 = 50 mg
  • B6 = 250 mg
  • B12 = 100 mcg

Her instructions back then were to take it twice a day! I stopped taking the B6 complex pills because I had a weird chest pain whenever I took them. Let ‘s see what it does this time. I’ll add it to my morning pills and take it once a day to start. I’ll also add the calcium/magnesium suppliment as well.

May 24, 2006 Posted by | Health | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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