Tag Archives: pain

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./

Cuddle cure – oxytocin relieves pain

Oxytocin is a hormone released only from the hypothalamus but which has functions throughout the body. A primary role is during late pregnancy when levels increase during labor and delivery contractions. Pain relief would be important during labor and delivery. Oxytocin was recently found to have pain relieving affects. Read more: [http://neurosciencenews.com/pain-oxytocin-neurology-3808/]

*This is filed under prenatal care because it would be helpful information to incorporate into childbirth education classes. Nature provides internal pain relief. “Breathe, massage, relax,” was my primary tip for labor and delivery. The body and muscles need oxygen and stress and fear can cause a tendency to stop breathing rather than breathe deeper which is what over-worked muscles need.

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

 

“Health is not a product.”

According to Pete Egoscue, a human anatomy specialist, health is an individual responsibility rather than a product that can be bought and sold. He states that “Health is not a product,” on page 48 of the book, The Egoscue Method of Health Through Motion: A Revolutionary Program That Lets You Rediscover the Body’s Power to Protect and Rejuvenate Itself, (Harper, 1992), by Pete Egoscue with Roger Gittines.

The human body is designed to move in an upright position throughout the day and the involuntary actions of the lungs and heart are assisted by the voluntary actions of walking or running. Sitting or laying down for long hours can train the body to expect there to be continued lack of motion which can then lead to feeling pain when moderate exercise does occur. Similarly, poor posture habits over time can lead to feelings of chronic pain, and the painful feelings may be experienced in areas of the body that aren’t obviously related to posture or exercise habits. Correcting the underlying posture problems and strengthening muscle groups in a balanced way can sometimes correct the feelings of pain with out having to have surgery or replacement of painful joints. [1]

Pain from poor posture according to the book can sometimes be felt in areas of the body that you wouldn’t expect such as migraine headaches or TMJ pain in the jaw (temporomandibular joint pain). [1] I first read this book decades ago and I did find the exercises helpful for coping with migraine pain and with other aches and pains that I may not have noticed initially until there was improvement in the more severe condition. The book includes detailed guidance for evaluating which areas of the body might be problem areas for the reader and then continues with descriptions of exercises and practice routines for retraining the muscle groups in a balanced way.

/Disclosure: This information is provided for educational purposes and is not intended to provide individual health care guidance. Please see a health professional for individualized health care services./