As I mention on my page on chronic, undiagnosed illness, my estimate of how many Americans share my experience with inscrutable health issues has evolved over the years from maybe 10,000 to at least three million.

In my online interactions with other sufferers, I’ve found we have a habit of shouting from the rooftops once we find a treatment that works, convinced it is the cure we’ve been looking for. Then we discover that although we’ve regained a significant amount of ground, it is not getting us all the way to however we picture good health. As a group we’ve narrowed down a lot of causes — gluten, mold, Lyme, heavy metals, parasites — but the onion just keeps unfolding.

What do you think is behind all this? How do you see the situation? What do you think is happening? Please keep it to 500 words. I am pretty sure that will fit in the comment box.

As always, a million thanks to everyone who has commented on the site.

Publishing info

The content on this page was first posted in March 2018.

Marjorie smiling, wearing an orange shirt.

Marjorie R.

Marjorie is the creator of, a record of her and her guest authors’ experiences with non-prescription health solutions. She is a third-generation nutritional-therapy self-experimenter.

12 thoughts on “Call for essays: WTF is happening?”

  1. A few things are possible:
    – a deficiency is only temporarily addressed
    – a, or multiple, genetic variation requires constant supplementation but it’s hard to know
    – sometimes the body has multiple biochemical pathways, so supplements help some things but maybe worsen others
    – underlying gut damage, yeast, or mold causing more and more problems
    – there are many factors that caused poor health in the first place, and it takes time to heal

    I found your website today. I have genetic family history or chemical sensitivity, mild childhood problems, chemical and mold exposure that tipped me over the edge, celiac. This last year I finally cleaned up my diet and improved my sleep and brain. Many different little things helped. Taurine, Melatonin, shalijit, bananas, B vitamins, liquid B12, all helped. Starting from a baseline diet that was healthy for me was crucial for me though. I didn’t believe in the “leaky gut” theory, still not sure I do, but I do believe that food problems lead to gut problems lead to vitamin and neurotransmitter problems, which lead to brain fog, anxiety, fatigue, insomnia, and pain. As well as migraines. The chain of correlations can be traced one-by-one through journals if you know how.

    • Jen: Thank you for your reply! You’ve touched upon many familiar struggles. By “journals,” are you referring to recording observations about food intake, mood, energy level, as part of self-experimenting?

  2. I honestly think those of us that are sick with these seemingly never-ending, onion-like conditions are simply a product of our times. We are born toxic and live in a toxic environment, in spite of our best efforts to eat and live healthy and “do all the right things” (and through no real personal fault of our own).

    We have inherited generations’ worth of toxicity and just happen to have been dealt a bum hand, whether due to genetic predispositions, growing up in toxic conditions, being exposed to infections, or some combo of these. I do think as time goes on, more and more “healthy” people will become chronically sick because, as humans we’ve created an environment that’s not conducive to true, lasting health. It’s just a matter of time before it catches up with even the strongest among us. To think we are somehow immune because we are humans, when all other species on this planet are suffering and becoming extinct, is fantasy. We are doing this to ourselves and have been for some time. The balance is finally starting to tip as our toxic creations catch up with our ability to live unaffected by them.

    As people who live in a first world country, we have the expectation that life shouldn’t be this way. We should be healthy and happy and living the American dream. As much as I wish that were reality, it isn’t. I think “mystery illnesses” are the by-product of generations of humans being out of sync with Nature and the consequences of our actions. Mother Nature doesn’t discriminate and she always has the last word.

    The fact so many are becoming chronically ill should be an indicator that something we’re doing as a species isn’t working.

  3. Interesting! I have to agree with vitamin D having a strong effect on health. I used to live in the south and discovered after moving north how important it is to mental and phyical health. Oddly I discovered D2 form works better for me than the D3.

  4. That is quite interesting results from niacin and sun. Is this something you recommend? I can relate to the evolved and upgraded feelings. When I had my experiences it was like “oh so this is who I am!” and nothing could mess with my good mood. Happy go lucky feeling 24/7. Amazing, I want it back!

    • Yes, exactly. Me, too.

      I wouldn’t recommend the niacin, since the phenomenon lasted less than a day and was never repeated even though I took niacin for years.

      I think that avoiding the sun has been a disaster for our health, but no one wants to hear it. I try to get as much sun as I can on my body (not my face), but it is difficult nowadays with work schedules, and it’s annoying to have everyone warning you about skin cancer. i think sun gives you a lot more than just vitamin D.

      At the time I had that experience in the sun, I was living at 42 degrees north, where you can only get sun strong enough to create vitamin D for about 3 months a year. I had been sitting in the June sun for several hours a day, trying to sweat out mold toxins, for at least three weeks before I experienced that effect. I was working part-time from home at the time. I have since moved to the much stronger SoCal sun.

      In high school I read a short story, which I want to say was by Oscar Wilde or one of those wealthy New England women writers —Edith Wharton?, about young honeymooners visiting the ruins in Greece at the turn of the last century, during which the groom has a similar experience. When I googled to try to find the story again, I found that there is a long history of inducing hallucinogenic effects by staring into the reflection of sunlight on metal, silver, or water. I made a half-hearted attempt at that with a stainless steel asparagus steamer but had no luck.

  5. THanks for your response.

    The best results Ive had from probiotics was a technique created by a doctor (technician/chiropractor?) named david Webster which involved clearing out the colon with enemas then taking an overnight retention enema of probiotics ( an entire bottle of probiotics capsules emptied into small amount of water with added sweet whey. After the initial retention enema it was required to take sweet whey everyday to feed the bacteria.

    I cant find any info online about him or technique but did find this book…which I probably have somewhere in storage =)

    He used to have a practice where he performed it, then he created a kit which he sold online (this was 14 years ago?).

    Anyway after a few days after a successsful implant I felt like my old self again, even my thoughts and mood were effected drastically. However I could never keep my good bacteria alive for more than a few weeks and eventually the probiotic that I used for the implant didnt seem to work at all.

    Fasting for days seems to bring back some results. Im thinking maybe a fast combined with a probiotic enema might do some good, if I can find a reliable probiotic. The one Mr. Webster used and the one I got good results with was human origin.

    The effect on my mood and thoughts was the most interesting and fascinating experience. I was most surprised when some moods I thought were character traits just melted away.

    • Thanks for sharing your experience with that therapy. Definitely supports what they say about 95% of who we are being our gut biome. I had a similar experience with mental changes four times, in which in the space of about five minutes I felt my entire personality becoming more solid, or fleshed-out, or evolving, or upgraded. In each incident I had been doing things that dilate the brain’s blood vessels quickly — a big dose of niacin, and long exposure to very strong sun on my head while my body was kept cool. Verrrrrry intriguing. Didn’t last, but the memory did.

      I will check out that book. Thanks again for the info.

  6. I would love to hear others comments on this as well!
    For me personally I know it has to do with my gut bacteria (lack of the good or disbiosis). Everytime I’ve had any antibiotic for more than a few days my health has taken a dive (permanent) . I’ve experimented with uncountable number of probiotics and different regimens over the past 15yrs in effort to regain gut health but nothing works 100% to get me back to the level of health I had before taking antibiotics. Probiotic enemas seem to be the way to go…

    I feel like the only way back for me could be fasting, I feel best after a fast and feel it resets some things in the gut. Im wondering if you have tried fasting and if so have you found it helps?

    • Thank you for your comments!

      It is appalling what antibiotics can do. I never had luck with probiotics either but I was also in a moldy environment at the time and have not tried them since. Do you have any experience with fulvic acid or trace minerals? I’m looking at those now but don’t know a lot yet.

      I want to try fasting, as I feel better physically, but so far I haven’t been able to schedule it in, as on the second day I develop a low mood and a feeling like something is sitting on my brain. (I posted this on the other comment, too. I’m a little disorganized). I have made a point to fast 12 hours a day for about 17 years. I do recall seeing a fairly mainstream article about reversing diabetes with a week-long fast.

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