Tag Archives: irritability

nErD does not stand for nearest Emergency room Department

I ran across the term nErD yesterday and I wasn’t sure what it might mean. My first thought as a health professional trained in medical acronyms was that it might have something to do with the ER or Emergency Room Department. In addition to the adult ICU (Intensive Care Unit) there is also a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) but there isn’t a neonatal emergency room department to my knowledge.

To my chagrin after a few seconds of puzzlement I noticed another reference to the term — “nerd” — and I felt like I should probably go see the movie “Revenge of the Nerds” again just as a refresher course.

Emergency Rooms have been on my mind for a while so that might explain my jumping to that idea first. At some point in the past I’ve shared this idea but I’ll reshare it because it could help provide safe and effective health care at an inexpensive price.

A patient can spend a lot of time waiting in an Emergency Department, to be seen or to be treated or for the test results to be ready or for the specialist to stop by. Some of that waiting time could be spent in a relaxing and potentially healing Epsom salt foot soak or bath.

Magnesium deficiency is estimated to be a problem for as many as 70-80% of the U.S. population. It can be an underlying factor in many chronic illnesses and chronic pain conditions and can be involved in acute substance abuse or mental health situations. A foot soak in Epsom salts can take slightly longer than a soak in an Epsom salt bath to achieve results but both can be helpful for relieving muscle cramps and some other types of pain such as migraines. Mental upset due to alcohol or other substance abuse or mental health conditions can also be soothed by soaking in Epsom salts. The amount of time to soak would vary depending on how deficient the person was in magnesium and might even be helpful as a diagnostic screening for magnesium deficiency (the mineral is largely stored within the interior of cells or within the bones so blood tests for magnesium only catch extremely severe cases of magnesium deficiency).

Excessive magnesium absorption can relax the muscles too much and may cause slowing of the heart rate and smooth muscle relaxation can also cause watery bowel movements. A hospital protocol might involve having an attendant start a patient with a non-open wound pain situation or upset mood in an Epsom salt foot soak or bath. The patient would be instructed on the early symptoms of excessive magnesium absorption and to let the attendant know if/when the first fluttery heart beats or relaxation of sphincter muscles was occurring. Typically a 20 minute Epsom salt bath is a good length of time while a forty minute bath might cause excess relaxation. Research suggested the ideal routine for a patient with difficulty absorbing magnesium from dietary sources would be approximately twenty minutes in a bath with one cup of Epsom salts every other day or three to four times per week. Taking the baths more often though can lead to symptoms of excess magnesium occurring sooner than twenty minutes, based on my personal experience with Epsom salt baths.

Alcohol and some other substances that are used excessively can cause magnesium deficiency which can cause irritability and even increase the risk for violence.

So if you or a loved one is upset or in pain that is not due to an open wound then it is possible that a trip to your bathroom for a Epsom salt bath might be soothing enough to skip a trip to the nearest Emergency room Department (you know, the nErD).

Excerpt from a previous post with more info about safely taking Epsom salt baths:

Time for an Epsom bath perhaps.

Epsom salt baths can be a well absorbed source of magnesium because skin absorption will bypass a problem of poor intestinal absorption of magnesium. Calcium tends to be preferentially absorbed by the intestines, especially when there is an imbalance in vitamin and hormone D levels and poor intestinal absorption of magnesium over time can easily lead to symptoms of magnesium deficiency. Symptoms of magnesium deficiency are usually labeled something else by the medical profession because the problem is not obvious on lab tests until it is quite severe because the body takes more magnesium from the bones as needed up until the point where osteoporosis is severe  enough to cause a shortage of stored magnesium.

Soaking in a bathtub for twenty minutes that has one cup of Epsom salt to a half full bathtub, and one teaspoon of a cooking vinegar such as apple cider vinegar to balance the alkalinity of the Epsom salt, can be a cure for a bad mood as well as various achy muscle cramps if magnesium deficiency is an underlying problem. Negative symptoms can occur if you stay in the bath too long. Excess magnesium absorption can cause loose watery stools for an entire day, not just once. Falling asleep in the bath can also lead to more life threatening symptoms of a weak, and fluttery heart rate, or even lead to coma and/or death — so twenty minutes to forty minutes is probably safe for a deficient person while someone who isn’t deficient might notice a weak slowing heart rate sooner than the twenty minute average that a person deficient in magnesium might find only as calming and soothing to  their mood and muscles. A person who was deficient but who then started taking the baths regularly might start noticing the weak heart rate sooner — get out of the tub then, even if its not been twenty minutes — shower and rinse time. Research on the therapeutic use of Epsom salt baths recommended one cup Epsom salt to the half full/full bath and use up to three to four times per week, but not daily.

I can’t find the actual research study {here it is: http://george-eby-research.com/html/absorption_of_magnesium_sulfate.pdf }  among the following posts of mine (see below) but Dr. Oz has an article on the baths also and recommends the twenty minutes a few times a week also: [http://blog.doctoroz.com/oz-experts/restoring-magnesium-levels-with-epsom-salt-baths]

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.

 

Imagine what it is like to a be person with High-Functioning Autism; a video link

Altruism can be easier if we understand that we all have differences. Some of us have more differences than others but we are all human and we all have feelings. Some of us may have difficulty with the brain handling sensations. During typical health the brain filters out background noises and helps the eyes focus on the more important areas that are in view, such as people’s faces. For people on the autistic spectrum the brain may not be able to filter out excess sensations or to focus as well on specific sights or sounds. Background noise can make conversation more difficult.

This short video presents the sensations that a child with high-functioning autism might be experiencing throughout their day — sensory overload:

Video shared on YouTube by Mark Hutten, M.A. , host of a channel dedicated to parents and their “special needs” children, and which is sponsored by Online Parent Support, LLC. The video is shared here for educational purposes without permission from Mark Hutten or the Online Parent Support, LLC, organization.

Imagine taking a shower but it hurts. In fact it feels like being caught in a hailstorm,” – I can relate to that statement and the rest of the video, at least at times when I’m more tired, stressed or undernourished. A magnesium bath can soothe the mood and the body while a shower can feel painful — to some people at least.

Being well nourished and well rested and not over-stimulated can help a person’s body and brain cope better with stimulation. People with Attention Deficit Disorder may also have problems with over-stimulation or with an increase in problem symptoms when overtired or overly hungry and blood sugar levels drop, leaving the brain without a quick source of energy. The brain needs sugar from the diet or from storage and our bodies can only store a small amount of glucose compared to fats or proteins. The protein can be converted to glucose for the brain but fats can not be reconverted into glucose for use by the brain.

Magnesium is also important throughout the brain and body and undernourishment of magnesium can cause increased  inflammatory chemicals that lead to pain and deficiency can also cause irritability. Why shower when you can take a bath?

Excerpt from an older post, Substance P, neuropathic pain, migraines, and the cannabinoid system, April 8, 20016: Time for an Epsom bath perhaps.

Epsom salt baths can be a well absorbed source of magnesium because skin absorption will bypass a problem of poor intestinal absorption of magnesium. Calcium tends to be preferentially absorbed by the intestines, especially when there is an imbalance in vitamin and hormone D levels and poor intestinal absorption of magnesium over time can easily lead to symptoms of magnesium deficiency. Symptoms of magnesium deficiency are usually labeled something else by the medical profession because the problem is not obvious on lab tests until it is quite severe because the body takes more magnesium from the bones as needed up until the point where osteoporosis is severe  enough to cause a shortage of stored magnesium.

Soaking in a bathtub for twenty minutes that has one cup of Epsom salt to a half full bathtub, and one teaspoon of a cooking vinegar such as apple cider vinegar to balance the alkalinity of the Epsom salt, can be a cure for a bad mood as well as various achy muscle cramps if magnesium deficiency is an underlying problem. Negative symptoms can occur if you stay in the bath too long. Excess magnesium absorption can cause loose watery stools for an entire day, not just once. Falling asleep in the bath can also lead to more life threatening symptoms of a weak, and fluttery heart rate, or even lead to coma and/or death — so twenty minutes to forty minutes is probably safe for a deficient person while someone who isn’t deficient might notice a weak slowing heart rate sooner than the twenty minute average that a person deficient in magnesium might find only as calming and soothing to  their mood and muscles. A person who was deficient but who then started taking the baths regularly might start noticing the weak heart rate sooner — get out of the tub then, even if its not been twenty minutes — shower and rinse time. Research on the therapeutic use of Epsom salt baths recommended one cup Epsom salt to the half full/full bath and use up to three to four times per week, but not daily.

I can’t find the actual research study among the following posts of mine (see below) but Dr. Oz has an article on the baths also and recommends the twenty minutes a few times a week also: [http://blog.doctoroz.com/oz-experts/restoring-magnesium-levels-with-epsom-salt-baths]

Previous posts on magnesium deficiency and Epsom salt baths:

1) Autistic kids wash up happier in an Epsom salt bath, .

2) Hypomagnesemia symptoms and causes list, .

3) Magnesium deficiency can cause irritability, anxiety, and chronic degeneration, .

4) Note to self: Epsom salt bath first, keyboard second; Irritability, Schizophrenia, T. gondii, and hormone D, .

/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./

Note to self: Epsom salt bath first, keyboard second; Irritability, Schizophrenia, T. gondii, and hormone D

My back was so sore after writing my last post that I took an Epsom salt bath when I was done and my back felt much better and I was less cranky. The research on Epsom salt baths had suggested three to four times per week so I hadn’t taken a bath that morning but I was fairly irritated while writing and my back got more and more cramped while I worked. My take home lesson: take an Epsom salt bath first thing in the morning and the job of editing or other tasks may be more pleasant.

Summary points that I’ve learned the hard way –

  • elevated hormone D can cause severe irritability.
  • elevated Thyroid hormone can cause severe irritability.
  • elevated Parathyroid hormone can cause severe irritability.
  • magnesium deficiency can cause severe irritability.
  • Psychiatric drugs and talk therapy can not correct symptoms that are actually caused by elevated hormone levels or nutrient deficiencies.
  • Even if you arrest the person or commit them to a psychiatric unit and force them to take the psychiatric drugs, they wouldn’t help an underlying physical problem.
  • “US prisons home to 10 times as many mentally ill as in state hospitals,”
    http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/4/8/mental-illness-prison.html

I’ve just been reading a new book about mental illness and infection. There is strong evidence that schizophrenia and bipolar disorder may be caused by an intracellular parasite such as Toxoplasma gondii or a retrovirus HERV-W. A boy named Edwin F. Torrey made the study of schizophrenia his life’s work after his sister became ill with the disease. At the time his sister was diagnosed the current theory was that the condition was due to the child having a psychologically ambivalent mother. [3, pages 38-75]

The boy wondered why he didn’t get schizophrenia too, if that could really be the cause. To him it seemed like his sister had gotten a sickness and he went to medical school and kept working on the question of what might have happened to his sister because he didn’t think his mother could possibly have caused it in his sister without affecting him too. He found that the disease does have seasonal patterns which generally suggests an infectious cause. He also found it in historical references surfacing suddenly in the medical literature as a ‘new’ disease around the same time that keeping house cats became popular. [3, pages 38-75]

Toxoplasma gondii is an intracellular parasite that can be spread through cat feces. Pregnant women are advised to avoid cat litter boxes because the parasite can pass to the fetus and can be deadly to the expected infant. It may also be a good idea to advise children under age thirteen to also avoid catboxes because that age group seems to be more associated with getting schizophrenia later in life if they had also had a pet cat during that part of their early childhood. [3, pages 38-75]

Why some people get sick from T. gondii while others don’t may have to do with underlying imbalances or deficiencies in vitamin D or hormone D. The active hormone D has been found helpful in animal studies for fighting the Toxoplasma gondii infection but only when given within an effective range, not at excessive doses. [1, 2]

HERV-W is a retrovirus that we all have within our genetic code but which only becomes active in some people – and levels of the retrovirus activity has been associated with level of schizophrenia symptoms. The research team theorize that an infection with T. gondii might be triggering an activation of the HERV-W retrovirus which then may cause an increase in cytokines and brain inflammation. [3, page 70]

Acceptance of people who have schizophrenia may vary between countries or regions around the world according to studies by the World Health Organization conducted over nearly twenty years. The results “revealed that people with schizophrenia in developing countries were far more likely than those in the United States to marry, hold a job, and maintain their social status. Americans with schizophrenia are far more likely than schizophrenics in the Global South (Africa, Central and Latin America, and most of Asia) to commit suicide, while the latter are more likely to recover.” The difference is believed to be due more to cultural differences between the regions than due to a possible difference in biology. Some psychiatrists consider the WHO studies to be flawed and deny the results. [3, page 42]

— Another summary point – Telling people that their symptoms are psychosomatic, or that they are due to delusions or malingering or lying, when the person is actually reporting physical symptoms, might be psychologically damaging to the person as well as missing an opportunity to use the list of symptoms to do a differential diagnosis and identify and treat the underlying problem.

  1. The Effect of Vitamin D3 Alone & Mixed With IFN-γ on Tachyzoites of Toxoplasma gondii… /mice-excess D3 not helpful

  2.  1,25(OH)2D3 inhibits in vitro & in vivo intracellular growth of apicomplexan parasite T gondii./D3 at < a max dose/

  3. Harriet A. Washington, “Infectious Madness: the Surprising Science of How We “Catch” Mental Illness,” (Little, Brown & Co., 2015, New York)  [Amazon]

/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./

 

Magnesium deficiency can cause irritability, anxiety, and chronic degeneration

Inspirational quote: “Whenever I have a problem I sing, then I realize that my voice is a lot worse than my problem.” (and I feel better about my problem).

And then I take an Epsom salt bath to help treat irritability and the muscle cramps that can result from a magnesium deficiency. Some people may be more at risk for chronic magnesium deficiency due to intestinal malabsorption of the nutrient. Calcium may be preferentially absorbed within the intestines instead of magnesium.

Magnesium deficiency may affect levels of the brain neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, which may cause mood changes if it is not in balance with other more calming neurotransmitters. [Neurotransmitters and mood] The supplement choline is a precursor for acetylcholine and some users have noticed depressive affects with use of a high dose. [Acetylcholine and mood]

Taking the calcium supplements seemed to help reduce the elevated parathyroid hormone level but more recently they have seemed to cause a very rapid increase in muscle cramps and severe irritability. A magnesium bath every morning helped my mood change from rage to feeling like singing. It was kind of incredible to have my mood change so rapidly for reasons that were actually physical events — first I felt extremely angry shortly after swallowing a 100 mg calcium supplement and then I felt joyful after soaking in a bathtub for twenty minutes (soaking forty minutes or more can actually be dangerous because too elevated magnesium blood levels can cause an extreme slowing of the heart rate — don’t try that at home).

I haven’t had a psychiatrist tell me about the risks of magnesium deficiency to the mood or the benefits of an Epsom salt bath for the mood but I can hope, I can share information, and I can enjoy the benefits of Epsom salt baths while I wait. Eventually maybe psychiatry will recognize that the brain is connected to the body and that it is built out of nutrients, not out of pharmaceuticals.

Not surprising: People Reward Angry Men But Punish Angry Women, Study Suggests. Magnesium is effective and inexpensive and proton pump inhibitors are dangerous but patent protected. Get angry because the advice being sold as healthcare at an expensive profit may be causing harm over time. [PPIs and fracture risk, C difficile risk, FDA warning]

There may also be a gender bias regarding creativity, and provision of pain medication. There is also gender inequality in autoimmune disease — the majority of sufferers are female and the length of time between first onset of symptoms and diagnosis can be many years or even decades. Fifty million Americans are estimated to be suffering from some type of autoimmune disease (AD) and 75% of them are estimated to be female for reasons that are not clear at this time. [AARDA, Autoimmune disease in women]

“AARDA-conducted studies reveal a lack of trust in prescribing physicians, very likely fostered by the fact that the average AD patient may see more than four doctors in as many years before receiving a correct diagnosis. Also, more than 40 percent of AD patient report they have been told they were “too concerned about their health” or that they were hypochondriacs.”   –AARDA Launches “3-Second Adherence” Public Service Campaign.

I have been told that my physical symptoms are all psychosomatic so often that I really have no desire to go back  to anyone claiming to provide evidence based medicine. The evidence suggests to me that fifty million people are at risk from a system that doesn’t know what causes their condition or how to help them but who at the same time are willing to make random expensive guesses because after all they are just gambling with the patient’s time, money and long term health not their own.

Maybe eventually more health professionals will succumb to autoimmune illness themselves and then they will be more motivated to find more effective treatments that actually work on the underlying problems of nutrient deficiencies and metabolic imbalances. The body needs to be well nourished in order to make sialic acid for white blood cells to be able to properly identify damaged or improperly labeled cells such as the improperly labeled autoimmune antibodies and then to destroy the defective cells with a magnesium fueled enzymatic death (apoptosis).

I can hope, and I can share, and I can continue to try to take care of my own health.

/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./

 

Secondary Hyperparathyroidism, calcium deficiency and irritability

Not eating regularly is bad for mental health. Avoiding food groups is also not good for health in general because trace nutrient deficiencies can impact many areas of the body.

It turns out that some of my mystery symptoms may be due to secondary hyperparathyroidism – and irritability is one of the symptoms. Other symptoms can include fatigue, heart arrhythmia (heart palpitations), Atrial Fibrillation (rapid heart rate), hair loss, and itching. The list seemed eerily familiar.

Secondary hyperparathyroidism can be due to deficiency of calcium and/or vitamin D. To skip to the point – I started taking calcium supplements yesterday and today and I am already feeling somewhat better. Potentially my hair may start growing back within six months of improved calcium intake.  And maybe my early stage bone loss, osteopenia, will improve too.

And I made an appointment with my family physician too, and will eventually call the endocrinology office but it is a little unsettling to be told you have an elevated lab value several months after the blood work was done. I had been informed about some of the labs and didn’t think to ask if there were any other results. My hyperparathyroid hormone level was two to ten times higher than the normal range — June 15 — grouchy, yes, but soon I hope to start feeling better and less grouchy. My heart symptoms are more rapid than irregular, and I have to stop or slow down to get the heart rate to slow down, and it was less of a problem today than yesterday. So sometimes old news is still good news – or at least useful news.

/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./