Good news: Baths can be less exhausting than showers

Yes, autoimmune disease can be exhausting and it can be confusing for other people to understand because autoimmune disease may not have obvious symptoms. A person with an autoimmune disorder may suffer from severe pain or other symptoms throughout their body but not have lab tests that show obvious problems to a physician. Autoimmune antibodies are known for a few types of disorders and those can be screened for if the lab test is ordered but not all autoimmune antigens have been identified.

Magnesium deficiency may be an underlying issue though for many/most autoimmune disorders, so taking an Epsom salt bath can provide improved magnesium absorption through the skin and allow a person to sit down to wash their hair and shave their legs (if desired). No promises though, that a nap might not still be desired after the exertion of bathing while sitting, or before the exertion of blow-drying long hair.

Fibromyalgia and chronic pain problems may have autoimmune origins [3] and/or may have to do with our cell’s energy workhouses, the mitochondria, running out of their preferred energy source — magnesium. They use calcium but it can overwork them to the point of cell death. In normal physiology membrane transport systems, also called ion channels, carefully control how much calcium is allowed into the interior of mitochondria. Something called ruthenium-red (RuRed) and magnesium ions are involved in controlling the entry of calcium ions through the transport channels. [1, 2]

A deficiency of magnesium may allow excess calcium to enter the mitochondria and cause overexcitation and even lead to death of the mitochondria.

Mitochondria are actually similar to bacteria and have their own DNA that in nature always matches the mother’s mitochondria’s DNA but that is a different story.

(RuRed) – not a nutrient I didn’t know about – it’s a dye used in labs that selectively binds with some things but not others so it is used for identification purposes with unknown samples — roughly.

Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes.


“Spending my spoons with you;” aka: Autoimmune disease is exhausting

The Spoon Theory is a way a person with the autoimmune disease lupus explained to one of her friends just what it can be like to live with an autoimmune disease — exhausting.

Each day a person with autoimmune disease wakes up and has to go about the day like everyone else but just showering takes energy. Holding arms overhead to wash long hair is exhausting. Leaning down to shave legs is exhausting. Drying off, blow drying the long hair with arms overhead, carefully applying makeup . . . it is all exhausting.

Listen and learn about thinking twice before wasting a spoonful of energy, as the author shares her theory at a conference, The Spoon Theory written by and spoken by Christine Miserandino:

Be thankful for your spoonfuls of energy and your loved one’s; health is a blessing that is not doled out equally, but if you are careful, sometimes it can be maintained and improved.

“Only the development of compassion and understanding for others can bring us the tranquility and happiness we all seek.”
Dalai Lama XIV

/Disclosure: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./

As many as 80% of dogs with Parvo virus die from it, but mine survived

When my dog was a puppy she was very sick from Parvo virus. It causes severe vomiting and dehydration can be deadly. Intravenous fluids were given by a vet and she slowly recovered but had no appetite. Home cooked meats were accepted though but then she would relapse as I tried to ease her back onto regular dog food.

After months she was more stable and able to ease back onto the commercial dog food but prior to that it seemed that any fortified foods would make her sick again. Phosphorus and calcium from milk-bone type dog biscuits also made her sick. I had already been reading about the nutrient’s role in human infectious disease and so I stuck with the months of chopping home cooked meats for her.

I wrote about the story and included photos in this post:

I hoped that sharing the story would help other canines to survive parvo virus — just withhold extra vitamin D and excess phophorus and calcium while fighting the sickness. The virus must be/ may be one of the type of pathogens that have learned how to modify the vitamin D receptor metabolism. It is involved closely with the immune system and protecting against infection.

From a different old post: “Canada is farther north than most of the United States and yet their population’s average vitamin D level is normal (50 nmol/L). [5, 6] The number of Americans with vitamin D levels below 30 nmol/L increased between a study performed from 1988-1994 (45% > 30nmol/L, n=18,883) and one performed in 2004 (23% > 30nmol/L, n= 13,369) but there is some controversy over whether differences in how the lab test was processed might have skewed the results. [8]”

— I had been concerned in the past that this odd difference in population averages might be due to increased infection with pathogens that affect vitamin D in the US population compared to the Canadian population but after learning about the inhibition of CYP enzymes by glyphosate that makes more sense as an explanation for a populationwide difference. Some people have infections that affect vitamin D metabolism (see next paragraph for more info), but many many many more people eat food every day, and glyphosate is used on crops that are used as ingredients in most prepared foods.

From a different old post: Tuberculosis, I learned recently, is also a type of infection that interferes with normal vitamin/hormone D metabolic pathways. The vitamin D receptor (VDR) plays a role in the ability of white blood cells to kill infected cells and cancerous cells. Some pathogens have developed ways to suppress the Vitamin D Receptor’s activity so white blood cells aren’t able to effectively resist the infection process. Other pathogens that have been shown to reduce the activity of the Vitamin D Receptor, in addition to the pathogen that causes Tuberculosis, include the mold Aspergillus, the viruses that cause Epstein-Barr chronic fatigue syndrome and HIV/AIDS, and the autoimmune diseases sarcoidosis, Crohn’s Disease, and Rheumatoid Arthritis. Elevated levels of 1, 25(OH)2D are seen with the bacterial infections: “Elevated 1,25(OH)2D appears to be evidence of a disabled immune system’s attempt to activate the VDR to combat infection.” [page 19, 1]

I’m glad my puppy survived Parvo virus. It would be nice if more could survive deadly diseases, especially when it is as easy as not fortifying food – not adding something. All we would need is some dog food that isn’t fortified – but you can’t buy it because it doesn’t meet the dog food regulations.

Benicar and curcumin, an extract of turmeric, are both analogues – similar shaped – to hormone D. They can activate the vitamin D receptor and might help patients fight some of the diseases that affect the vitamin D receptor – depending on the type of infection. Receptors and hormones or their analogues act like puzzle pieces or a lock and key that fit together. The analogues might be similar to a master key/skeleton key that can fit in the lock and bump out any ligand/blocking chemical that the infection produced to inhibit the body’s immune system. The vitamin D receptor when activated can then activate aspects of the immune system.

/Disclosure: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./

Nutrient content found to be different in GMO soy; a link

Glyphosate tolerant GM soybeans were found to contain high residues of glyphosate and AMPA, a breakdown product of glyphosate. Nutrient content was also found to be different between the glyphosate tolerant GM soybeans and organically grown soybeans. The GM soybeans had less sugars, protein and zinc than the organically grown soybeans and had more omega-6, a less beneficial type of fatty acid.

Compositional differences in soybeans on the market: Glyphosate accumulates in Roundup Ready GM soybeans.

    /Disclaimer: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./

    Glycine, Cheerful Juice, and testing for glyphosate

    My experiences with taking a larger dose of the free amino acids glycine and methionine proved to my satisfaction that they are indeed essential for physical and mental health. In definition methionine is considered essential, we can not synthesize it and need an external source while glycine is considered nonessential, we can make it from other chemicals. For someone who can’t properly breakdown either though they might both be considered essential for health. It has been helping my mood and health.

    I’ve continued to take the amino acids in a half teaspoon dose since the evening I took the full teaspoon dose late at night and couldn’t get to sleep. Essential nutrients can often have ranges for how much is helpful; too little or too much of many things can cause different types of symptoms. The taste isn’t better but I’ve (almost) acquired the taste for it — the astringent tang of a Pinot Noir was the closest taste I could think of —  which does turn out to contain free amino acids, including methionine and glycine. []

    Probably a few people can relate to the idea of red wine being a “Cheerful Juice,” it turns out that the free amino acids may have something to do with it.

    What I did find is that having a genetic defect in the metabolic pathway of an essential amino acid such as glycine can have significant negative effects on mood and energy level and that simply adding an external source of the missing nutrient can have significant positive effects.

    The genetic defect that I have may be rare, I don’t know, but if glyphosate is able to substitute for glycine within physiology then an external source of purified glycine may also be beneficial for anyone eating foods based on ingredients that may contain traces of glyphosate.

    Testing for the presence of glyphosate would not be as simple as testing for the free amino acid however; if it had been incorporated into proteins in place of glycine, then the glyphosate would only be discovered by the lab test if the longer protein chains were broken down first into the free amino acids — and glyphosate if it had been incorporated into the protein instead of glycine.

    Another way to test to see if glyphosate is being incorporated into the structure of proteins in place of glycine would be to add radioactively tagged glyphosate into a system capable of assembling proteins and then test the new mixture to see whether the radioactively tagged glyphosate was used in place of glycine within the newly synthesized protein chains.

    Glyphosate was found within vaccinations that were independently tested by a non-profit group, Moms Across America, but the company Monsanto has since stated that the lab screening that was used was invalid and the testing system Monsanto used found no residue of glyphosate in vaccinations. [] — A test for free amino acids wouldn’t find glyphosate that had been incorporated into proteins of agar gelatin or viral proteins.

    Series on glycine and use as a supplement for genetic defect–nutrigenomics:

    1. Glycine is an Amino Acid with Neurotransmitter Roles, 10/15/2016,
    2. Cheerful Juice Lives Up to its Name, 10/20/16,
    3. Cheerful Juice; the morning after,  10/20/2016,

    /Disclaimer: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./

    Cheerful Juice; the morning after

    My late night serving of Cheerful Juice did help my mood after watching the presidential debate but I wasn’t able to go to sleep very easily afterwards. The full teaspoon dose of the free amino acids glycine and methionine left me not only with the cheerful mood and boost of energy but it also left me slightly jittery feeling with a more rapid heartbeat.

    This morning I tried a half teaspoon dose and within just ten minutes I’m feeling more cheerful but without the jittery burst of increased energy.

    So experimental results for my study group, size n=1, suggest that the 2 to 3 gram dose in a single serving may be safer than a dose of approximately 5 grams in one serving. When free amino acids can act as signaling messenger chemicals within the body or brain then they may also be able to act as excitotoxins in larger doses and overexcite cells possibly to the point of cell death.

    Moderation is generally healthiest within biological systems. Many chemicals or nutrients can be safe within a moderate range but then be dangerous when there is either too little or too much. My needs for an external source of the free amino acids dimethylglycine (DMG) and methionine are not normal due to my genetic defect in the gene that is needed to make an enzyme involved in breaking down more complex forms of the free amino acids.

    More on the gene defect involved in dimethyl glycine and methionine and a link to the genetic screening test I used is found in this post from March 30, 2016, . That post is a long list of notes rather than being an essay with a beginning and end, see #3, BHMT/1 (Call – T), Betaine-homocysteine methyltransferase (BHMT), for my notes regarding the specific defect and enzyme that prevents me from being able to fully digest protein foods — since birth — better late than never, I tend to say, but it would be nice for other infants and children to not have to suffer there entire lives due to underlying genetic defects that are now able to be screened for and managed with the use of dietary supplements.

    Series on glycine:

    1. Glycine is an Amino Acid with Neurotransmitter Roles, 10/15/2016,
    2. Cheerful Juice Lives Up to its Name, 10/20/16,

    /Disclaimer: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./

    Cheerful Juice lives up to its name

    Cheerful Juice lives up to it’s name as a post debate pick me up. ii had missed having some earlier in the day and was fairly cranky and tired after watching the Presidential debate Wednesday night. Even though it had gotten later, past midnight, I was cranky enough that I remembered forgetting my Cheerful Juice.

    So positive mood within half a glass, within 20 minutes, boost of energy by the full cup, within 50 minutes (now typing this instead of sleeping)– suggesting that for my genetic structure I do need the two gram dose — ~half a teaspoon, half a glass. The five gram dose, full teaspoon, full glass, might be a little more than I need at one time. Having a glass in the morning and evening has been beneficial on the few days that I’ve tried that, so simply spitting the teaspoon serving into two half teaspoon servings might be effective without causing extra symptoms.

    The burst of energy suggests overactivity might be occurring. Aspartic acid and glutamate are called excitotoxins because they can signal so much activity in a cell that it leads to death of the cell due to overwork. Glycine and methionine are more active as inhibitory messenger chemicals so they may not have the same risk as there would be with large doses of aspartic acid or glutamate, especially in combination with magnesium deficiency.

    Magnesium is an electrically active mineral that works from within the cell to provide energy for membrane channels that in normal health would control what is allowed into the cell – too much glutamate or aspartic acid or calcium simply wouldn’t be allowed in if enough magnesium was available to power the electric doorways in the cell membranes, (ie: magnesium selective ion channels).

    I’m keeping notes because this is a new area of study, there isn’t a handbook for dietary advice for all the genetic defects in metabolism. Some more deadly ones are known and screened for at birth so the infant can be put on a protective diet as soon as possible. PKU, phenylketonuria is the most well known example of genetic defects that can be managed with dietary changes.

    [See a previous post, Glycine is an amino acid with neurotransmitter roles, for more details.]

    It’s past 1:00am now, I’ll try to go to sleep and have some cheerful dreams — about an Amendment to the Constitution overturning Citizens United — or some other cheerful topic.

    /Disclaimer: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./

    The herbicide Round-Up found more dangerous than glyphosate alone

    The herbicide Round-Up contains glyphosate which is considered the active ingredient but research suggests that the supposedly inert ingredients in the mixed product make Round-Up as much as 125 times more dangerous to health than glyphosate alone. An international society for science has assembled a review of literature on the topic within the following article:

    Round-Up ready crops have been found to require more water and do less well in drought situations than normal crops. Pigs fed GMO based foods were found to become significantly healthier when the farmer switched to non GMO based feed for them.

    Glyphosate residues have been found to drop after individuals switched to a diet based on non GMO, organic foods and autism symptoms were found to improve for individuals who were switched to a non GMO organic food diet. Single case studies may be considered anecdotal and not worth considered but each and every patient is a single case study for themselves.

    How many people need to get sick in the U.S. before we decide that we would rather not be experimented on by agribusiness and the processed food industry?

    Excerpts from the article:

    Glyphosate widespread in the environment and in our bodies

    “Due to the official ‘safe’ status of glyphosate, data on how much we are being exposed have been scarce, forcing citizen activists and civil society organizations to find out for themselves. Friends of the Earth Europe commissioned an analysis of 182 volunteers across 18 EU countries and found detectable levels in 44 % of urine samples [13] with concentrations ranging from 0.16 ug/L average in Switzerland, to 1.82ug/L in Latvia. Of the UK citizens tested, 7 out of 10 were positive. In the US, urine samples show concentrations 8 times those in Europe [13]. The analysis, commissioned by Moms Across America, also tested 10 mother’s breast milk, which came up positive for glyphosate with levels ranging from 76 µg/L to 166 µg/L (76-166 ppb) (see [14]). These levels are 760 to 1600 times higher than the European Drinking Water Directive allows for individual pesticides, and raise obvious concerns as they fall within the range of concentrations at which developmental toxicity has been observed in animal studies (see below). This analysis is the only study on breast milk to date, as no government or public health body has found it necessary to carry out any study on bioaccumulation in internal organs and tissues or in breast milk fed to infants.”

    Health of American citizens deteriorating

    “One argument for the safety of GM food and their associated pesticides is that the US has been consuming them for years without ill effect. However, in the absence of labelling GM foods, it is illegitimate to make such a claim. On the contrary, there has been a drastic deterioration of public health in the US since GM crops were introduced. A new publication by Swanson and colleagues plots the rise of 20 chronic diseases using available US government data, all correlating closely with increasing glyphosate application to corn and soy crops, especially over the past several years. The diseases included cancers, Parkinson’s, autism, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, digestive disease and kidney failure [62]. Correlation does not prove causation, but such strong association certainly cannot be dismissed, especially in combination with the plethora of other evidence from laboratory studies, and the experiences of doctors in their clinics and farmers in the fields. For a detailed analysis of the study please see [67] Marked Deterioration of Public Health Parallels Increase in GM Crops and Glyphosate Use, US Government Data Show ( SiS 65).”

    Read more:

    /Disclaimer: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./

    Glycine is an amino acid with neurotransmitter roles

    Subtitle: Rebranding and the power of a name: “Essence of Meat-ade” or “Cheerful Juice.”

    Sub-subtitle:  Genetic defects in metabolism can affect the entire body due to lack of essential nutrients.

    Background: I was found to have eleven of thirty defects in the methylation cycle that were known to be more common in patients with autism spectrum disorder. The screening is not for diagnostic purposes at this stage but is available to consumers interested in the information for their own research purposes (which might include what to feed their child or themselves for better management of autism symptoms – but it is use at your own risk information rather than ‘evidence based’ medical treatment approved for a certain diagnosis).

    One of my genetic defects affects my ability to break down betaine into the free amino acids glycine and methionine (roughly, I would have to review the chemistry for the specifics). So armed with this new information I ordered tablets of each amino acid and started taking them each day as supplements. They seemed to help but it wasn’t a dramatic change in how I felt.

    A month or two later before reordering more bottles I considered the question of just how much glycine or methionine I might need each day if I had a defect that prevented me from digesting protein and releasing the essential amino acids. When I looked into how much glycine might be needed by the body each day, I didn’t find much research but there was some and the amount suggested was far greater than the amount I was taking in the form of a tablet — 200 milligram tablet compared to two grams of the essential amino acid as a minimum recommendation with up to ten grams being proposed as possibly beneficial. And no toxicity risks were mentioned. Two grams is equivalent to 2000 milligrams or ten of the tablets each day, which would be expensive and a lot of tablets.

    Many things that are available as supplements are also available in bulk as a powder that companies might use to make capsules or tablets for the individual consumer to purchase. The amino acids glycine and methionine were available online in a package size that was designed for individual use, possibly being marketed to people interested in body building or weight lifting.

    A teaspoon of a powder substance is roughly five grams, depending on the density of the powder. I decided to try one teaspoon of glycine and one teaspoon of methionine per day as that would easily provide two grams and might provide up to five grams per day.

    Results: Free essential amino acids are acidic — like lemonade — but taste a little like protein aka meat, so two teaspoons of free amino acids in water tasted VERY BAD. My nickname for the concoction became “Essence of Meat-ade” for the first day or two, however almost immediately after drinking the vile drink my mood became incredibly cheerful and I was suddenly filled with energy. I was amazed — how could a horrible tasting glass of water change my mood? I started looking forward to the drink and while I had started taking it in the evening I gradually switched to taking it earlier in the day and even twice a day occasionally, which would provide about ten grams of the powder.

    My mental nickname changed from “Essence of Meat-ade” to “Cheerful Juice,” it helped my mood so much that I loved the stuff no matter how silly my face looked while trying to gulp it down too quickly to taste. I was amazed, and a little sad to consider that I had been without “Cheerful Juice” for my first fifty years of life — but better late than never is a motto of mine. With a double genetic defect I wouldn’t have been able to release glycine or methionine from larger proteins for my entire life — and therefore wouldn’t have had the cheerful effects or boost in energy due to the incomplete digestion of my food.

    Why would a bad tasting drink give me a good mood?

    I knew the amino acids glutamine and aspartic acid can act as messenger chemicals within the brain so I looked up glycine and methionine and sure enough they both also can act as brain signaling chemicals.

    The rest of this information is about glycine’s role as a brain neurotransmitter. It doesn’t cover methionine but it also has roles in brain chemistry.

    Glycine is a Neurotransmitter: 

    Glycine has inhibitory and excitatory roles in the brain as a neurotransmitter – a type of chemical that can serve as a messenger between brain cells which are called neurons.

    “Interestingly, glycine receptors comprised of a1 subunits are efficiently gated by taurine and b-alanine, whereas a2-containing receptors are not (8). The a1 and a2 genes are expressed in the adult and neonatal brain, respectively.”

    ie-the type of glycine receptor found within the baby brain is not as well protected as the type found within the adult brain, later in the next paragraph:

    “Recently, the expression of a1 and a2 subunits has been shown to be developmentally regulated with a switch from the neonatal a2 subunit (strychnine-insensitive) to the adult a1 form (strychnine-sensitive) at about 2 weeks postnatally in the mouse (8). The timing of this “switch” corresponds with the development of spasticity in the mutant spastic mouse (5), prompting speculation that insufficient expression of the adult isoform may underlie some forms of spasticity.” [1]

    Background: Glyphosate is chemically very similar to glycine in that it may be incorporated into proteins but is not functionally the same. A protein containing glyphosate instead of glycine would be dysfunctional. Glycine provides methyl groups which are important for turning strands of DNA on and off, (DNA is the genetic material that acts as recipe cards for making proteins).

    If glyphosate is being physically incorporated within body tissues in place of the amino acid glycine, then the role of glycine within early fetal development discussed in the above excerpt might be part of the mechanism for how autism risk may be occurring during the prenatal stage of life.

    From a Marketing Perspective: How to sell something that tastes horrible but makes certain people feel great?

    From my experience working with special need infants and children I learned that sick children when given a formula they can tolerate will cheerfully start drinking the formula if it  isn’t making them feel sicker — no matter how bad the formula tastes — and some of them are like “Essence of Meat” because they are based on free amino acids that would be easy to digest and wouldn’t have the same allergy risk as the larger and more complex proteins.

    So how to market a specialty product? Target the special needs market, and pitch having the genetic screening done first in order to find out who needs the special product — and put the bulk powder in capsules  😉 , I tried to add lemon flavoring to make it more like lemonade but that didn’t change the flavor enough — I’m working on acquiring a taste for it instead.

    The genetic screening I had done is “For Research Purposes Only” but it was assembled by a specialist with a PhD and experience in genetics. She is not a medical doctor and no diagnoses are provided however some health information is provided I haven’t reviewed it yet and therefore can not provide any feedback regarding it.

    • The Methylation Cycle genetic screening test:
    • My results and my notes regarding the 11 defects, this is a list of notes rather than being in article format, see number three of the double defects for details about the gene BHMT/1 (Call – T), which is for the enzyme Betaine-homocysteine methyltransferase (BHMT):
    • An excerpt from that post regarding diagnoses that may be helped by use of dimethylglycine (DMG) and methionine as supplements : DMG has been found helpful in ADHD, autism, allergies, alcoholism, drug addiction, and chronic fatigue syndrome among other chronic issues. Methionine has been found helpful in treating depression, allergies, alcoholism and schizophrenia among other chronic issues.

    /Disclaimer: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./

    1. Steven M. Paul, GABA and Glycine,

    How many people in the U.S. are similar to me?

    The too long; didn’t read answer is:  Grand (estimated) total:   468.6 million U.S. citizens have conditions similar to conditions which I either still have or which I had experienced symptoms of in the past and which I resolved with alternative treatment or lifestyle changes. (See below for the conditions, statistics and calculations.)

    Yes, that number is more than the total number of citizens currently living in the United States, however many people have more than one chronic condition. So the number is an estimate of the number of people similar to me and the large size of the number suggests either that approximately every American citizen has at least one of the conditions that I mentioned having experienced and that some people may have two or more of the conditions in common with me — or it might mean that some people have several conditions in common with me and that others have none in common — statistics can be a representation of some aspect of reality rather than being facts.

    Mark Twain said quoted it best, “There’s three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” (–lies that are so damnable that you can’t recognize them as lies — perhaps.) He attributed the quote to Benjamin Disraeli but fact checkers have since found a written source attributed to Leonard H. Courtney in 1895.

    I don’t claim to be average or representative of the average U.S. citizen. But I do claim to have insider knowledge on coping with several chronic health conditions and in some cases successfully resolving the chronic symptoms. Which, having suffered through those symptoms, also leaves me motivated to try to help others resolve any similar negative health symptoms for themselves or for their loved ones.

    Chronic illness impacts work productivity and the ability to care for oneself or for others. Chronic conditions reduces U.S. productivity and total costs add up when the price of direct care costs is considered in addition to the cost of lost productivity by the patient and possibly the lost productivity of family members of the patient.

    So the more important part of statistics to consider might actually be which category the condition falls into — resolved with a possible cause and cure in hand, or a chronic unresolved condition with no known cause or cure and which might continue to occur at exponentially increasing rates.

    –Resolved or unresolved are very important differences to keep in mind when considering statistics about the frequency of chronic health conditions.

    I never claimed to be an experienced politician or celebrity spokesperson. I have claimed to be someone with experience in how health policies can negatively or positively impact one’s quality of life and to have professional experience speaking up for patients when they were faced with a medical system that wasn’t listening to their concerns as a patient or as a parent of a patient. I claim to be a nutritionist who is very concerned that our nation’s policies are hurting our ability to be productive healthy citizens and hurting our environment’s short and long-term ability to be a healthy productive environment.

    We can not just buy Russia (they banned all GMOs – so likely the nation is using less RoundUp herbicide as well) or terraform Mars if we destroy the U.S. landscape with agribusiness chemicals and overuse of genetically modified seeds.

    A number which I do not have in common with the average U.S citizen is zero- I am taking zero prescription medications on a daily basis, while nearly 60% of Americans are taking at least one prescription medication every day. [26]

    Health is Wealth: How much is an healthy organ worth? If you could buy one?

    Health is wealth because while money can help support health it can’t always buy it once it is gone. How much is an intact liver worth? The price of a surgery team and ongoing medications to prevent organ rejection — and happening to have a person with the corresponding blood type die at just the right time with an intact liver that they were willing to donate after death.

    How much is an intact thyroid worth then? Priceless because we haven’t figured out how to replace one. I still have my thyroid even though I have a condition where it is typically irradiated or surgically removed — I just avoided gluten instead, annoying but so is not having a thyroid – I know because I’ve worked with many patients who were on thyroid hormone for various reasons having to do with malfunctioning or missing thyroid glands.

    I may not be a billionaire or millionaire but I still have my thyroid and all of my other organs and body parts – at age 50 that may not be the average for U.S. citizens either but I don’t think there are statistics available for the number of people who still have their tonsils, thyroid glands and other original body parts.

    How much is fertility worth? The cost of fertility treatments? What if they don’t work and cost a lot anyway? What if the fertility treatments do work but not as well as natural fertility works? Who is harmed then? The hopeful parents who give birth to an infant with health problems or the infant that was created with methods that nature didn’t provide?

    Epidemiology is about numbers – the numbers representing different groups of people. Sometimes rates of the differences between groups are stable and stay somewhat the same in comparison to other groups. Sometimes rates drop or increase and finding out the reason why the rates changed for different groups can sometimes help lead us towards finding out the underlying reason for the differences.

    The following statistics show approximately how many U.S. citizens there are with conditions similar to some that I have been diagnosed with or experienced symptoms of and managed to resolve with the aid of alternative treatments or other lifestyle and dietary changes. In my personal opinion – a resolved history of a condition is much better than having an ongoing unresolved chronic health condition.

    Statistics on a variety of health conditions: 

    In 2020 the following numbers, representing rates of the occurrence of chronic conditions in the U.S., are likely to be different, and will likely continue to be different into the future. It will be interesting to see if our country manages to work towards solutions to the underlying reasons for some of the following chronic conditions, hopefully there will be exciting and positive changes rather than sad worsening of the following statistics:

    Fifty million people in the U.S. are estimated to have some type of autoimmune disease, and approximately 75% are female, or roughly 30 million Americans. [1,2]

    A survey of adults in the U.S. between age 18 and 44 suggests that 4.4% may have ADD or ADHD which does fall within the 3-5% estimate seen elsewhere. [3,4] How many people is that — roughly? First I would need to know how many citizens there are within that age group: “The latest data out from the Census Bureau gives a sense of how large this … 18-24: 31.2 million (9.7%); 25-34: 44.1 million (13.7%); 35-44: 40.6 ” [5] So 4.4 % of 115.9 million people would equal approximately 5.1 million people in that age group. And there were an estimated 321,418,820 citizens in the U.S. in 2015. And according to the last census count in 2010 there were 308,745,538 citizens in 2010. [6] And so 4.4% of the 2015 total would suggest that there may be as many as 14.1 million citizens in the U.S. with ADD or ADHD.

    About 8% of the population has PTSD, [7], or roughly 25.7 million people based on the 2015 estimate. [6] [Additional information on PTSD and psychiatric medications and traumatic brain injury and increased suicide risk: Army-psychologist:-direct-correlation-between-military-suicides-and-psychiatric-drugs/ I have used psychiatric medications in the past, one of which caused significant negative symptoms that may also have caused lasting changes in my brain’s prefrontal cortex cannabinoid receptors which are overactivated by the medication and which can cause suicidal thoughts during withdrawal from the drug. Traumatic brain injury may also been in my past, I have had SPECT Scans which showed evidence of some trauma and I have been in a car accident where I lost concussion after hitting my head on the windshield. (The SPECT Scans also supported a diagnosis of ADHD and showed smaller than typical temporal lobes which would have been from childhood rather than an injury – I’m just different since birth perhaps. – or from three years or so if it is associated with autism and a normal sized head circumfrence per this article the search engine found when I looked for “temporal lobe small size from birth associated with” – While I don’t have a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder I did have symptoms that were deemed not clinically significant by a psychiatric professional. I have since also had a genetic screening for defects in the methylation cycle that have been found to be more common in autism than in the average population and I had 11 of the 30 defects included in the screening test. But I don’t have a diagnosis so I’m not going to include the statistics for autism within my calculations for this post.)

    About 5 million people age 18 or older (and 80-90% of the patients are women) in the U.S. are estimated to have a diagnosis of  fibromyalgia. [8] My symptoms were similar but I never allowed myself to get unhealthy enough to match the diagnostic criteria. I found avoiding gluten and a few other foods significantly helped relieve my symptoms without need for further treatment (at the time there wasn’t a pharmaceutical treatment available and the condition was not believed to exist outside of a diagnosis of hypochondria or psychosomatic symptoms.

    About 4 million people in the U.S. are estimated to have frequent migraines, daily or at least 15 times per month. [9] Using several lifestyle strategies and dietary changes helped me stop having migraines at that level of frequency but I suffered from that severe a problem before I discovered a treatment protocol that helped resolve the problem for me. Migraines are still an occasional problem especially if I am exposed to mold and significant levels of cigarette smoke or other air pollutants or significant quantities of some food colorings and a few other food additives.

    Over 66% of U.S. adults are considered to be at a weight that is over the recommended range, [10], or roughly 212 million people based on the 2015 estimated census. [6] I have been at a weight that would be considered obese for many years and managed to lose the excess weight due to other changes in my health and lifestyle. the severe migraines left with such a limited diet that I lost weight and then after regaining it when my migraine problem had improved I managed to lose the excess weight again when I used a high dose iodine supplement to get my hypothyroid symptoms under control.

    An estimated 20 million U.S. citizens have hypothyroidism. [11]

    An estimated 11% of the U.S. population may be deficient in iodine, [12], or roughly 35.4 million citizens based on the estimated 2015 census. [6] See excerpt:

    Iodine deficiency is on the rise in the United States. Simple supplementation may not be the answer as the following issues also need to be addressed.

    Recent national survey data suggest that just over 11 percent of the total U.S. population, and over 7 percent of pregnant women, and nearly 17 percent of all reproductive-aged women, are deficient in iodine.

    The Total Diet Study, performed by the FDA, reported an iodine intake of 621 µg for 2 year-olds between 1974 and 1982, compared with 373 µg between 1982 and 1991. During this same time period, the baking industry replaced iodine-based anti-caking agents with bromine-based agents.

    In addition to iodine’s disappearance from our food supply, exposure to toxic competing halogens (bromine, fluorine, chlorine and perchlorate) has dramatically increased. [12]

    Two billion people worldwide may be iodine deficient according to estimates by the world Health Organization. [13]

    *Background info: I resolved my hypothyroid symptoms and excess weight by taking a high dose iodine supplement – caution – it is also important to take 200 mcg of selenium (or the approximate equivalent from food sources such as two Brazil nuts per day) daily when using iodine supplements as selenium is essential for the enzyme that breaks down excess amounts of thyroid hormone.

    Iodine deficiency and hypothyroidism may also place a person at risk for developing autism or for having a child who later goes on to develop autism. I have symptoms of autism spectrum disorder that were deemed “not clinically significant” enough for a diagnosis however I also have 11 of 30 genetic defects in the methylation cycle which are all somewhat commonly found in patients with autism spectrum disorder and I consider that clinically significant no matter what a psychologist might think.

    The incidence of autism has been increasing in children in the U.S. current and has reached roughly a rate of 1 in 68 children with an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis. The average prevalence within the population of Asia, Europe and North America suggest that one to two percent of people may have a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder, [14], or roughly 4.8 million U.S. citizens based on the 2015 estimated census. [6]

    In 2013, an estimated 24.6 million people in the U.S. over the age of 12, may have had a problem with addiction or abuse of alcohol or other drugs. [15]

    There were 1,246,170 registered medical marijuana patients in the U.S. according to 2015 census data. [16]

    Defects in the cannabinoid receptor system are known to exist which are also associated with increased risk for addiction and eating disorders. See excerpt:

    Excerpt, [17,page 334]: “It is important to note that, as with alcohol, marijuana, and heroin, a human genetic variant of the cannabinoid CB1 receptor gene CNR1 has been associated with susceptibility to cocaine and amphetamine dependence (Ballon et al. 2006; Comings et al. 1997; Zhang et al. 2004). [and genetic defects in the system have also been associated with anorexia and binge eating disorders but I’ll have to go back to the reference for that quote.]

    I have a defect in a gene that is required for phosphorylation which would be necessary for me to be able to make cannabinoids which are phospholipids — but I doubt there are reliable statistics available on the prevalence of the specific genetic defect.

    Statistics for the prevalence of anorexia and eating disorders varies but thirty million U.S. citizens may have an eating disorder and 0.9% of them may have the more life threatening condition of anorexia nervosa. [18] Based on the 2015 estimated census [6] roughly 2.9 million U.S. citizens may have the eating disorder, anorexia nervosa.

    The numbers of U.S. citizens receiving disability payments and considered not able to work has risen substantially in the last thirty years. There were 14 million working age citizens receiving disability payments in 2015. (Quotable Quote of the Day: “How come you didn’t consider becoming an astronaut?” ie – now that your body is destroyed, why didn’t you seek a desk job in the first place? duh, because maybe the person didn’t have the ability to train for those skills in the first place.) [19]

    A grand total of just those categories that Ii currently fall within or have experienced in my past but have managed to resolve with lifestyle changes or alternative treatments:

    • Autoimmune disease ~ 50 million U.S. citizens
    • ADD/ADHD ~                       14.1 million
    • PTSD ~                                  25.7 million
    • Fibromyalgia ~                    5  million
    • Migraines ~                           4  million
    • Overweight/obese ~     212 million
    • Hypothyroidism ~            20 million
    • Iodine deficient ~            35.4 million
    • Autism ~                               4.8 million
    • Addiction ~                         24.6 million
    • Anorexia nervosa ~            2.9 million
    • Eating disorders ~            30 million
    • Disability payments ~     14 million
    • Grand (estimated) total:   468.6 million U.S. citizens have conditions similar to conditions which I either have or which I have experienced symptoms of in the past and have resolved with alternative treatment or lifestyle changes. That total is larger than the total number of U.S. citizens based on the estimated 2015 census [6] but there are many people besides myself who have more than one health problem or diagnosis at a time.

    Disabled people in the U.S. are not counted within the statistic for unemployed people seeking work but I have applied for jobs and could feasibly handle employment so a look at that statistic reveals a few different numbers. The largest number does include retired people and those on disability [20] and all other non-institutionalized citizens over the age 16 which was roughly 92.5 million people of the 2015 estimated census. Breaking down the groups to only those people still actively seeking employment might leave just 8.3 million Americans.  [20]

    And why did I include statistics for hypothyroidism and iodine deficiency instead of statistics for hyperthyroidism? — because my hypothyroid and iodine deficiency symptoms were first. It was my use of a high dose iodine supplement that resolved my hypothyroidism symptoms and helped me lose excess weight however I stayed on the high dose supplement too long without using selenium and it was that which led to my hyperthyroid symptoms. The statistics for that condition are less available. Thyroid disorders are frequently grouped together as symptoms can go back and forth between low and high levels of thyroid hormone being produced. Thirteen million Americans may have a thyroid disorder or 27 million altogether may have a thyroid disorder with up to half being undiagnosed and unaware of the problem. [21]

    Now that I can believe as I was never diagnosed with hypothyroidism as my thyroid hormone levels were always normal and I was encouraged to seek psychiatric care for my hypochondria or psychosomatic symptoms but it turned out that my autoimmune thyroid antibody numbers had never been checked, just the thyroid hormone levels were checked. However if the thyroid hormone is being made with chloride, fluoride or bromide instead of iodine then the chemical might be present in a lab test but would be not be functional within the body. My use of a high dose iodine supplement also resolved my symptoms of fibrocystic breast pain.

    That condition, fibrocystic breast pain, is considered so normal that it isn’t even really considered a condition but as many as “half of all women” may experience it at some point in their lives — [22] — and maybe avoiding caffeine would help but otherwise hey don’t worry about it, it’s common and only women have the problem and pain for women is just something women are expected to have to cope with because Eve ate an apple or something like that. If you would rather consider what is causing the pain as pain is nature’s way of signaling that something is wrong then consider taking a high dose iodine supplement and selenium if you have extremely painful breasts throughout the month and especially during a monthly menstrual cycle.

    And/or if you are a man with this problem [23] then realize that both males and females need iodine in every gland of their bodies, just females have larger endocrine glands on average than men and therefore need more iodine on average than men, but men also need it so consider taking a high dose iodine supplement along with selenium rather than listening to doctors say that fibrocystic breast pain is a really common problem that women needn’t worry about as only women have breasts – false — fibrocystic breast pain is a common problem that may be associated with breast cancer in a few cases (so biopsies to rule out cancer are sometimes performed) [22] , and it can occur in men and women. So people besides myself should worry about fibrocystic breast pain. [See Dr. Brownstein for  his protocol for cleansing the body of excess bromide, chloride and fluoride with the use of high dose iodine and selenium supplements.]

    So neverminding the question of fibrocystic breast pain and hyperthyroidism, roughly, I represent 468.6 million U.S. citizens or roughly 145.7% — or in other words — I am as American as apple pie – which would have been a source of iodine until the iodine containing anticaking agent was replaced with a bromide containing anticaking agent.

    A few other stats, approximately 46.4% of U.S. citizens who marry end up getting divorced. [24] Roughly 30 to 60% of married partners have an affair during their marriage, more men than women are likely to have had an affair but the high divorce rate suggests that lifelong monogamy is not a biological standard for our species. [25]

    If at some point the services of a nutritionist are needed by our country, either instead of or in addition to a politician or celebrity spokesperson, then I’ll try to keep on keeping on no matter what other labels life attaches and be available to help in whatever capacity might be needed;

    however bipolar disorder and/or PTSD may actually represent a chronic change having occurred in my calcium/magnesium brain metabolism which can cause my emotions to be unpredictable and hard for me to control at times (Approximately 5.7 million Americans over age 18 years old experience bipolar disorder each year, [27].);

    and secondary hyperparathyroidism due to calcium/magnesium imbalance or deficiency can be managed but also can be difficult to cope with (especially when the condition is unidentified as a reason for the significant physical and mental symptoms it causes). (Statistics for secondary hyperparathyroidism would be meaningless in comparison to my case because the problem is only common in patients on dialysis for chronic kidney failure so the statistics about the condition are mostly available as a percentage of dialysis patients who develop secondary hyperparathyroidism and I am not on dialysis, I was just on too restricted of a diet with inadequate use of calcium supplements (I don’t use dairy products because it makes me congested.) However I have seen an article regarding the successful use of calcium supplements in a patient with autism who kept trying to self injure — the symptoms include negative thoughts of self injury which are hard to control — ie hard to not stop yourself from hurting yourself — really pretty unpleasant to have to cope with while being told that your mental health symptoms are just your imagined hypochondria or psychosomatic symptoms.

    A different article regarding an animal based study on calcium channel drugs and self-biting behavior in the lab animals, the opening lines:

    Self-biting (SB) and other self-injurious behavior (SIB) may occur in a number of different human disorders (1, 2). They are most commonly seen in developmentally disabled individuals with severe mental retardation or autism. These behaviors also occur in specific neurogenetic diseases such as Lesch–Nyhan syndrome, Cornelia de Lange syndrome, Rett’s syndrome, Tourette’s syndrome, and neuroacanthocytosis. The neurobiology of these peculiar behaviors is incompletely understood, and several animal models have been developed to study pathophysiology and potential treatments (3).

    And an article written to the layperson who might be a parent of child with autism with self injurious symptoms.

    It’s a problem in the ion channels and the balance of magnesium within the cell and calcium in the blood — it is critically important for the body to have the two electrically active ions in balance as they are both also messenger chemicals that can activate other functions within the cell or bodypart. The problem is that some people may have intestines that are no longer absorbing magnesium as well and which preferentially absorb calcium. Food aversions and cravings are common in patients with autism.

    What I have found helpful for my own health is to take calcium supplements every day since my diet is still fairly low in calcium rich food and to also take Epson salt baths every few days to increase my magnesium levels by skin absorption rather than depending on my unhealthy intestines to absorb enough magnesium. Too much calcium can make me very, very irritable and which can then be resolved with adequate magnesium absorption from the Epsom salt bath which can leave me feeling like singing in the bath within about 10-20 minutes of soaking.

    More on Epsom salt baths, how to’s and safety precautions — magnesium is a messenger chemical within the body and too much all at once can cause the heart and other smooth muscles to over relax and cause too slow a heart rate and possibly eventual coma and even death — don’t fall asleep in a Epsom salt bath:

    /Disclaimer: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./

    17. D. Kendall and S. Alexander (eds.), Behavioral Neurobiology of the Endocannabinoid System, Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences 1, DOI: 10.1007/978-3-540-88955-7_13, (Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009) Z. Justinova, L.V. Panlilio and S.R. Goldberg, “Drug Addiction” pp 309-346, [Amazon]

    Other references on the topic of the cannabinoid receptor system and addiction and multiple sclerosis:

    1. D. Kendall and S. Alexander (eds.), Behavioral Neurobiology of the Endocannabinoid System, Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences 1, DOI: 10.1007/978-3-540-88955-7_13, (Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009) Z. Justinova, L.V. Panlilio and S.R. Goldberg, “Drug Addiction” pp 309-346, [Amazon]
    2. Ballon N, Leroy S, Roy C et al. (2006) (AAT)n repeat in the cannabinoid receptor gene (CNR1): association with cocaine addiction in an African-Caribbean population. Pharmacogenomics J 6:126-130 [] Table 2: []
    3. Comings DE, Muhleman D, Gade R et al. (1997) Cannabinoid receptor gene (CNR1): association with I.V. drug use. Mol Psychiatry 2:161-168 []
    4. Zhang PW, Ishiguro H, Ohtsuki T et al. (2004) Human cannabinoid receptor 1:5′ exons, candidate regulatory regions, polymorphisms, haplotypes and association with polysubstance abuse. Mol Psychiatry 9:916-931 []
    5. Benyamina A, Kebir O, Bleche L, Reynaud M, Krebs MO,  CNR1 gene polymorphisms in addictive disorders: a systemic review and meta-analysis. Addict Biol. 2011 Jan;16(1): 1-6. doi: 10.1111/j. 1369-1600.2009.00198.x. []
    6. Kringelbach ML, Berridge KC, “Towards a functional neuroanatomy of pleasure and happiness,”  Trends Cogn Sci. 2009 Nov;13(11):479-87. Epub 2009 Sep 24. [ ]
    7. Podbielska M, Krotkiewski H, Hogan EL., “Signaling and regulatory functions of bioactive sphingolipids as therapeutic targets in multiple sclerosis.” Neurochem Res. 2012 Jun;37(6):1154-69.Epub 2012 Mar 27. [] *Two important lipids in the myelin sheath include “ceramide and sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P)”but their presence in food is not discussed in this abstract.
    8. Ho PP, et. al., “Identification of naturally occurring fatty acids of the myelin sheath that resolve neuroinflammation.”  Sci Transl Med. 2012 Jun 6;4(137):137ra73. [] *Phosphatidylserine and phosphatidylcholine are mentioned as targets of the autoimmune deterioration and some phospholipids were used therapeutically in this study.