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From Our Readers – Comments & Suggestions 12-17-08

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Blood Pressure Problem on Milnacipran

Re: The letter, “Awaiting Milnacipran’s Approval” – by a patient who took part in a clinical trial of milnacipran and said it helped her.

I too took part in the clinical trial for Milnacipran. While it did have some positive effects, for me the side effects were much worse. My blood pressure went through the roof and I developed blisters on my face and hands. I had to be pulled at of the study due to the potential health risk. If you try it when it becomes available please be careful and make sure your physician monitors your blood pressure. Thankfully my blood pressure has returned to normal and the blisters have disappeared but I know that I can never take it again and it is disheartening when I would love to have some relief. – oldwildcat

Note: Milnacipran is in line to potentially be the third drug to receive FDA approval for the treatment of fibromyalgia. It is a selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor that is being used in a number of other countries but has not yet received FDA approval for use in the U.S. As of December 8, the manufacturers – Forest Laboratories and Cypress Biosciences – reported positive results from a phase III study they claim confirms the findings of two previous phase III studies, stating they intend to present further results “during 2009.”


Vitamin D and Mood

Re: “Vitamin D and mood disorders among women”

I have been taking Cod Liver Oil capsules for many years now and if I run out & don’t replace them promptly it is only a matter of days before my mood drops considerably. Initially I took them as a simple and inexpensive supplement. Now I know that my body was leading me well, and even though, living in New Zealand, I get plenty of sunshine, that extra Vit D & A is critical to improving my mood. I have ME & Fibromyalgia. – Susie


Filing for SSDI While Working Part Time

…Technically, as long as you are making under around $900.00 GROSS per month, you can apply for disability. However, many people say that it makes the disability a lot harder to prove. If there is any way that you can do without your job, it would help your case not to be working… If you do a search on the Internet, there is a booklet called “Winning SSDI While Working.” You can find the booklet at http://www.disabilityfacts.com/Bookstore/Booklist.html Hope this helps – Medicationlotus

Note: This is one of a list of resources offered for a fee by Physicians’ Disability Services, Inc. They explain -“This special issue describes how some applicants may obtain SSDI benefits before they stop working. More than 1.3 million workers a year apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. Most of them have stopped working. However, because of their bills, some applicants must continue to work despite their disabilities until their benefit checks start coming. This booklet is for them. Available as print or e-book.” The e-books can be downloaded using free Acrobat Reader download. Most cost $5.


Electromagnetic Health & Sensitivity

Re: The new website on electromagnetic fields (EMF) – ElectromagneticHealth.org

[The impact of microwave/electromagnetic radiation exposure associated with wireless technologies] is a very important emerging public health issue globally. Please learn more about it… through audio interviews with experts, videos, podcasts, and the new E-book Public Health SOS: The Shadow Side of the Wireless Revolution, at http://ElectromagneticHealth.org. Thank you for your attention to this important subject. – Camilla Rees

Note: This site is a project of Wide Angle Health, LLC, a health education and advocacy organization headed by CEO Camilla Rees. Its stated mission is to offer “a place where media, business, government and the public can learn about electromagnetic health issues from interviews with leading experts; petition Congress to change exposure guidelines; and support worthy non-profit groups dedicated to EMF advocacy, education and research.”


Odd Evening Burst of Energy

Re: “Reduced Brain GABA in Primary Insomnia”

I have to say how helpful it is to receive the ProHealth catalog of supplements, vitamins, etc. I review the items I am interested in depending on what symptom I’m looking to address & then bring the catalog with me to my Doctor’s office for him to make the final decision.

I just added back in Glucosamine SULFATE, and I noticed an improvement in my knees where I was getting new pain and a “burning sensation.” I had eliminated the sulfate because I did not think I needed it & it took me many weeks to figure out what did I change. My foggy-ness did not help the situation either! My top supplements I know I cannot go without would be: FibroSleep, ZMA, GABA.

What is also great about calling ProHealth for your supplements, you might speak to a Customer Service Rep who can relate to your symptoms & is familiar with them. That is how I discovered the GABA. It was recommended & it eliminates an “odd burst of energy” I’d get in the evening. That extra burst of energy was keeping me awake and interfering with my sleep. Even my doctor did not know how to get rid of that burst of energy I’d only get at night. GABA did the trick… Ah, sleep feels so good when you get it! – Elaine


Benign Positional Vertigo Dizzy from Calcium Crystals in Inner Ear

After the hurricanes of 2004, I woke up one a.m. with the room spinning when I moved my head from side to side or up or down! I was an RN and didn’t know what it was! VERY SCAREY.

The doctor showed me the recommended exercises (you can find them online but I don’t feel they help) and explained to me that the barometric pressure from the hurricane loosened a tiny grain of calcium from my middle ear that caused the spinning sensation.

I have had it several times since, but now that I know what it is, I am no longer afraid of the feeling. You just have to be very aware of your head movements for a few weeks till it goes away. I had a co-worker who said she got it from riding in jets, but that doesn’t do it with me. – Cindy


Remedies for CRS (Can’t Remember Stuff)

Re: Tips for Teacher Suffering Brain Fog…FM Message Board

I bought a mini cassette recorder and keep it in my pocket. It has a voice command on/off and whatever I need to remember I record it right away. You didn’t mention what grade you taught, but I used to sub for our local high school. I was upfront with the kids and told them about my CFIDS and said “You know what? I suffer from CRS “Can’t Remember STUFF! Aha! You thought I was gonna say? Hmmmmm?” And that gets a laugh and inevitably someone will spit out the word and I say “Yeah, that too! Well I’ll help you if you help me. I’ll give extra credit to anyone who writes sticky notes for me to remember stuff!” By the end of the class, I usually had about a jillion post-it notes stuck to my desk. Some were really helpful. Others were hilarious. You can modify this activity for any grade and make a game of it AND a learning tool. Hope this helps! – Stacey


Cold & Flu Immunity Support

Q: How do I boost immunity against colds and flu? – James M

A: While many nutrients may help us bolster our resistance to infection during cold and flu season, when we asked ProHealth’s customer service reps about this, they advised us that two little-known supplements stand out. Both help the immune system take care of itself naturally.

One is EpiCor®, a yeast culture-based nutrient used only in livestock feed until the mill owner’s insurance company asked why employees were never sick. Their research soon found that the antioxidant-rich product supported a four-fold increase in the activity of Natural Killer cells – the “guard dogs” of the immune system. And recently,
a double blind placebo-controlled study linked supplementation with Epicor to reduction of “all types of minor complaints” and allergic reactions, likely owing to a measured increase in red blood cell and mucosal immune health.

The other notable immune support nutrient with fascinating science behind it is Transfer Factor Essentials, which demonstrably nourishes NK cells and supports their ability to dispatch infectious intruders.


IBS – or Celiac Disease?

I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, costochondritis [inflammation of cartilage connecting a rib to the breastbone], IBS, post-herpetic [shingles] neuralgia, and several other unknown pain syndromes in 1996. The ensuing IBS complaints were so unpredictable that I was having accidents in public places.

Several years ago my 76-year-old mother was diagnosed with Celiac disease [gluten intolerance]… She also has the skin blisters (dermatitis herpetiformus) that some CD patients have. Since all the women in my family have autoimmune problems, she suggested I go on the gluten-free diet. I went cold turkey – and miraculously found a total reversal of the IBS!

This was never even considered by my doctors and now I want to get the word out for others who might really be suffering from the same thing. My suggestion for ProHealth would be to include Celiac disease in your health sites. I just wonder how many IBS patients really have Celiac disease – and suspect the number might be very large.

Some may feel the gluten-free diet is too restrictive, but there are many wonderful substitutes out there for wheat, rye, barley, triticale & spelt…like Quinoa (keen-wah), buckwheat (which is not wheat at all), potato flour, brown rice flour, tapioca flour, and many others.

Gluten-Free Pantry sells wonderful cake, brownie, and cookie mixtures, as does
Namaste brand, so you really never “go without” goodies. I’ve even found lovely pre-made breads & biscuit mixes, something this southerner missed terribly.

If you suffer from IBS, might I suggest you go gluten-free for a while and see if it helps? If you have celiac disease, you’ll never want to eat gluten again because you’ll SO enjoy the absence of bloating, pain, straining, or rushing to the bathroom within a matter of days or weeks. – greenthumb


Environmental Illness, and Help Finding an MD

“Research Panel Reports Gulf War Syndrome is Real”

Gulf War Syndrome is Environmental Illness. 30% of those who went to the Gulf have it, and 15% who were not deployed also have it. In fact 15% of the regular population have it to some degree, and 5% of civilians are disabled from it.

It is huge, and I am trying to get the AMA to change their position on this whole group of conditions for all of our benefits… You may be interested in seeing my lecture at the Cleveland Clinic explaining the field of environmental medicine and how it treats all of the environmentally ill, regardless of where and when it started. See
“Environmental Health and Illness: Why the Controversy?” (At the Cleveland Clinic site, scroll down to September 10.)

I can assist in locating a physician if you need to find one who treats this condition (e-mail Lisa@nagy1.com) or look at my website (http://www.environmentalmedicineinfo.com). Sincerely – Lisa Nagy, MD
Note: This information has not been evaluated by the FDA. It is generic and anecdotal, and is not meant to prevent, diagnose, treat or cure any illness, condition, or disease. It is very important that you make no change in your healthcare plan or health support regimen without researching and discussing it in collaboration with your professional healthcare team.

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