Tag Archives: mood

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.

 

So, “we have nothing to fear but fear itself,” psychiatrists and their prescription pads, an unhealthy microbiome, and the occasional suicide bomber

In 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt said “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” during his first inaugural speech as a newly elected President of a United States. The country was suffering from the Great Depression and many people were unemployed and struggling to survive. You can hear his inspiring words from that day in a short excerpt from the speech, and read the full transcript at historymatters.gmu.edu: [http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5057]

So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. – Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1933, First Inaugural Address, [http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5057]

Fear can paralyze and divide us at times when we need to take action and work together to make changes that help stabilize the situation causing fear.

There are a lot more psychiatrists with prescription pads than there are suicide bombers and lots more individuals with unhealthy microbiomes than either psychiatrists or suicide bombers. The odds of encountering a psychiatrist may be lower than the likelihood of meeting someone with an unhealthy microbiome or having the bad luck of being in the vicinity of a suicide bomber.

The psychiatrist with a prescription pad writing olanzapine/Zyprexa prescriptions may be turning otherwise non-violent people into violent people (who may or may not also develop diabetes or other unpleasant side effects); and the individual with an unhealthy microbiome may have anxiety or other negative mood symptoms because of the neurotransmitters that are being produced by the types of bacteria colonizing the intestines. Some types make positive mood neurotransmitters and some types make anxiety producing neurotransmitters. Read more about the intestinal microbiome and mood: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0166223613000088]

We have been trained by advertising to fear too many things, silly things like whether someone might notice our body odor, or whether our outfits are the currently popular style, or whether the little one will get accepted at the best preschool so that they will have a better chance of later being accepted at the best university. The only thing we have to fear is fear itself because it disables us from making decisions based on our values rather than basing them on advertising messages.

Note for anyone who may be trying to wean off of olanzapine/Zyprexa, based on patient forum comments and my own experiences with the medication: (with your psychiatrist’s approval and guidance) Cut the tablets into smaller and smaller fractions and gradually taper off the drug over several days/weeks/whatever it takes; and taking a tablet of ibuprofen every four-six hours when stopping the medication may also help with withdrawal symptoms from the olanzapine/Zyprexa, because ibuprofen’s anti-inflammatory and pain relief functions are also due to it preventing the breakdown of our natural cannabinoids, however ibuprofen doesn’t cause psychiatric affects or withdrawal symptoms,  so it must not be affecting the cannabinoids in quite the same way as olanzapine/Zyprexa.

/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./