Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Formatting problem

Sorry about the dark color format that makes reading difficult. Something got messed up when I posted an article last week. Will try to rectify. For now, when on the home page, the topics and search bars are down at the bottom of the page.


Can Your Mattress Kill You? - Softpedia

Here's another bed article you might want to read as part of my "Search for the Perfect Bed" series. Lots of scary info about what foam beds are made of.


Saturday, April 13, 2013

Some more thoughts about Parkinson's and alternatives

My Parkinson's doctor says all of the shenanigans I have doing to stop my PD is a waste of my money, time and energy. He told me of a patient of his who went broke and ended up homeless, spending all this money trying to find a cure. The poor guy did stem cells treatments which were very expensive, hyperbaric oxygen treatments and other heroic efforts. That PD doc says I should be living my life and forget all about the IV and the Lyme disease and the glutathione and everything that is so expensive. And when I told him about the woman I know who was, by her PD doc declared symptom free after using Chi Gong, and didn't need her PD drugs anymore, he just sayed, "She didn't have Parkinson's, because there is no cure for Parkinson's yet." So I guess that's an admission that sometimes people are misdiagnosed with Parkinson's. So, why doesn't he just say "Try everything you can afford. Why not?"

I have a hard time understanding why a compassionate doctor after hearing that somebody cured themselves with an approach that is essentially free, wouldn't look into it, be interested or encourage the patient to at least try it. It's pretty cynical to assume that he doesn't want to admit that possibility simply because it could eat into his business, or into the business of big Pharma. I don't really think that doc. works this way. Maybe I am naïve.

In the allopathic, straight medical world, researchers and practitioners believe that the gold standard for Parkinson's diagnosis is response to Sinemet. If you take Sinemet and you feel and function better, then this is conclusive that you have Parkinson's disease, a.k.a. shortage of dopamine. Ergo, the quickie diagnostic test is to take Sinemet and see what happens. Sinemet increases dopamine availability in the brain. Your brain is McMessed-up, you have movement problems, depression, constipation, so take this pill and tell me how you feel in the morning. The theory is you've run out of dopamine because the substantia nigra has deteriorated for unknown reasons. So, we can help you but we don't know the cause, and we can't stop the progression of the disease. Maybe we can slow it down some.

However, other influences can cause tremor and parkinson-ism. Other things can cause the brain to produce less dopamine.The list is pretty long, if you search the Web a bit. Manganese poisoning, for example. Wilson's disease. Pesticide poisoning. Late stage Neuological Lyme disease. There are lots of physical, organic potential causes to rule out. I hope to rule them all out some day. Process of elimination is one way to discover a cure. At least for single individual. I'm working on it slowly. Since I test high for a number of microbes such as Borrelia, Protomyxzoa, and Bartonella, I should think that would be enough to imply that perhaps my situation is the result of infection.

Of course, one explanation is that the drugs I have taken, the antibiotics, Chinese herbs, or other pharmaceuticals such as those for sleep that I used for a while, way back when, may have caused it due to some oxidative stress or other side effect that was brought on by taking those drugs. I was always careful to read the warnings and potential side effects of drugs before I would consider taking them. So, if one of the side effects of an antipsychotic medication (these are sometimes used in very low doses for sleeping problems) such as Zyprexa, is tardive dyskinesia, then I was very cautious, looking for any signs of movement weirdness. And, as I recall, I quickly stopped taking any drugs that might cause future movement problems out of my regimen. However, I did take some herbal remedies, and who knows what those have done. They can easily be misunderstood, considered benign, misused and are not measured for accuracy of doses, and you really don't know what you're getting in some of them. For example, I tried Kava Kava, GABA, Piracetam, and many vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. I'm still taking a bunch of CoQ10, some heavy metal detoxers such as IMD, chlorella, cilantro, and so on. We always seem to think of those things as being innocuous, but who knows what they do in certain combinations or concentrations.

Might an antidepressant drug that messes with the balance between dopamine, serotonin, and norepinefrine help? The SSRI medications actually kind of trick dopamine producing cells into producing serotonin, so it looks as though SSRIs are not a good choice here. But there are known foods that will increase dopamine, including meat, almonds, bananas, apples and berries.

But this is all causation that only takes into consideration the physical body. But there is much more to a person than a physical body. Being a psychotherapist intern, I have a lot of respect for the power of the mind and the state of one's emotions and life circumstances to affect the body. Certainly not a new concept, but one that keeps needing to be revisited ever since Descartes separated the mind and the body. According to his philosophy, widely known as Cartesian dualism, the mental does not have extension in space, and the material cannot think. But we all know that the mind and body are intimately linked. I wouldn't be surprised if Dopamine reduction occurs when people are depressed. Dopamine is the "self congratulations, you've done a good job" kind of neurotransmitter that helps us know what's good and what's bad. For example, if somebody is feeling bad about themselves (e.g. guilty, perfectionistic, depressed, humiliated) they would produce less dopamine. So, maybe psychological work, trauma release, EFT, EMDR, working down at the soup kitchen, etc. could help produce dopamine.

There was a psychologist at the Recovery from Parkinson's Summit said that she had noticed (and was doing a study of) people who have had some kind of trauma a couple of years before they got Parkinson's. Maybe there's something to that. I have called her, because she asked me to be in touch with her after the conference. I haven't heard back yet.

That's all for now, more to come. Please comment if you have points of view. You have to open this post by double clicking its title. It will open in a new window and have a comments box at the bottom.

Personal check-in / Torso shakes are back...

I have a feeling like electricity running all through my body when I wake up in the morning. Even if I take slow-release Sinemet CR at bed time, it just feels like I am vibrating internally, through my trunk, legs, arms, everywhere. Some people with Lyme disease report this, and it can be the result of infection, but I'm wondering if people with Parkinson's do, too. It's a very high speed feeling. Not like an 8 cps tremor – it's faster – but a tremor sensation, nonetheless. I felt it most strongly in the heart area when it first began a few years ago, but now it is spreading through the whole body. It usually decreases when the Sinemet, etc kicks in. (I'm taking (1) 25-100 Sinemet, 2 mg Artane, and 100 mg of gabapentin, every four hours that I am awake.)

For a couple of years, I could make this feeling go away if I sat quietly and closed my eyes to meditate. It would just vanish, so long as I stayed meditating. Meaning, within the meditation session. So, that was a lovely way to still be awake and experience non-tremor in any part of the body. My whole body would just relax and feel very calm and centered. But I guess things have progressed. Or regressed. Now the sensation is much stronger and I require some pharmaceutical help for that to work.

Of course I have the usual worries that I've created a monster. By taking Sinemet, have I reduced my brain's ability to produce dopamine? And then the downward spiral of having to take ever-larger doses, eventually accompanied by dyskinesias.

I had a long talk with my Lyme doctor yesterday about all kinds of things, including heavy metal detox strategies. I'm going to begin on those hopefully next week. We'll do a challenge test using a heavy metals chelator such as DMPS or DMSA, and a six-hour urine collection. Then look for the metals. Then, based on that, we'll figure out a detox protocol which will probably entail - among other things - using intravenous glutathione and phosphatidylcholine (PC, for short).

I'm starting to see faint tremoring in my left fingers. This is a drag. My left hand was the steady one, and seemed invulnerable, or at least I hoped it was. But, as people with PD know, unilateral appearance of PD is typical, slowly spreading to bilateral. In my case, the strange thing is that I have had kind of a cross wiring, with my right arm and my left leg first affected. Then the right foot, and now beginnings of the left hand. If anybody knows if the cross-wiring thing is indicative of anything in particular, please comment. [To comment you have to open an article by double-clicking on it in this list. The post opens then, with a comment window below it.]

I made a video of close-ups of my hands so you can see the tremoring. I'll see if I can post it to YouTube and add it here, later.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Downgrade your Windows 8 to Window 7?

I heard on BBC news today that Microsoft stock (MSFT) dropped today, as a result of slow WIndows 8 sales. The story also reported that desktop and laptop sales are flagging.

Well, even though I didn't get to write a book about Windows 8 as I had expected to (long story), at least I get to gloat a little bit. It was way back in Sept, 2011 that I wrote this blog entry. Check it out :

After checking on that, hit the Back button or come back to this tab, and check out this interesting solution for those who decide they do not appreciate all the not-so-well-integrated features of Windows 8.

BBC E-mail: High LEAD levels in US rice imports

I saw this story on the BBC News iPad App and thought you should see it.

** High lead levels in US rice imports **
Researchers reporting at the American Chemical Society meeting say they have found high levels of lead in samples of rice imported to the US.
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** Disclaimer **
The BBC is not responsible for the content of this e-mail, and anything written in this e-mail does not necessarily reflect the BBC's views or opinions. Please note that neither the e-mail address nor name of the sender have been verified.