Amusing effects of correcting nutritional deficiencies

self-experiment, side effects, symptoms and conditions
(This is a repeat of a 2011 post.) These "side effects" happened more than a few times following supplementation of some duration. 1. Vivid dreams. This effect of vitamin B6 is fairly well-known. Some members of Yahoo's pyroluria group (pyroluria is a condition in which vitamin B6 is chronically deficient) say that you're at the right dose when your remembered dreams are pleasant, and that you're on too much if they are too vivid or jittery-making, but I've never come to any conclusion myself. 2. Random, pointless memories. I've occasionally experienced this when repleting with big doses of calcium, magnesium, iron, or B12, all closely associated with memory. At the same time I realized I could recall long-forgotten Photoshop commands or go to the grocery store without a shopping list,…
Read More

Scary leg pain resolved with calcium

nutritional therapy, self-experiment, supplements, symptoms and conditions, Uncategorized
(This is a repeat of a 2011 post.) Before my gluten-freedom (which commenced April 4, 1998) I became aware of a constant, aching bone pain in my legs -- not a tissue or a muscle or a joint thing -- that was most noticeable when doing the dishes or standing in line at the airport. In 2000 or so I realized that if I didn't take vitamin B-complex, along with biotin and vitamin B12, for two days, by the third day my legs would hurt so badly my jaw would do that shaking thing and I'd start breathing in the kind of way that makes your fellow shoppers at the grocery store edge away from you. Since I took B-complex/etc. every morning for years, though, I sort of forgot about…
Read More

Another early nutritional therapy success: hypoglycemia

self-experiment, side effects, supplements, symptoms and conditions
I had this for years without knowing what it was. At its worst, I had to eat every 45 minutes or my brain would do that revving/screaming/wheels spinning thing (silently, I mean; I'm pretty sure no one else could hear it). If I drank fruit juice alone without food, I'd get woozy and almost pass out. Long periods without eating would leave me shaking and practically comatose. However, when my doctor tested me for it with blood tests and an oral glucose tolerance test, they came back negative. All this resolved after I started taking magnesium and biotin. I don't remember how much magnesium I had been on -- 500 mg/day? -- but when I added 2,000 mcg of biotin, after a few weeks I could go for eight hours…
Read More

Iron-induced cystic acne

side effects, supplements, symptoms and conditions
(This is an update of a 2011 post.) Except for several regrettable weeks in 1995 when I was drinking seven cans of Pepsi a day, I have rarely been bothered by anything but the occasional pimple despite heavy chocolate abuse, which I'm guessing is offset by my heavy water drinking. But then ten years ago, in a desperate attempt to get some energy, I started taking about 100 mg of iron a day. I had taken iron off and on, sometimes for years at a time, sometimes at 150 mgs at a time, but had never been able to get my ferritin levels past 26. Conventional doctors feel this number is fine, but... don't get me started on how stupid lab ranges are. Even though iron had done nothing for…
Read More

My very first nutritional therapy success: carpal tunnel syndrome

supplements, symptoms and conditions
(This is a repeat of a 2011 post.) This was straightforward enough: vitamin B6. Carpal tunnel syndrome was endemic among my fellow data entry workers in XYZ insurance company's workers' comp processing department. About every tenth woman there (we were 98% women) wore a wrist brace. I escaped their fate until a few years later at another typing-intensive job, by which time I had already heard about the connection with vitamin B6. I don't remember how much I used, but it wasn't crazy -- maybe 100 mg a day? I might also have been taking B-complex, which would be another 50 mg of B6. It didn't take long to work -- a month at most. I continued to take it long after the pain disappeared, as I was nervous about…
Read More

Successes and failures treating chemical sensitivities

nutritional therapy, supplements, symptoms and conditions
(Last updated July 2022.) I first noticed that I was reacting to some chemical substances around 2002, when I developed splitting headaches from paint used in my apartment, even the low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) stuff. Around the same time, wearing mascara and lipstick became unbearable. My eyes would become blurry and my lips cracked. My lips were pretty much blue from low iron so the no-lipstick look did not suit me. Vitamin B6 a brief success Several months of taking vitamin B6 got rid of the reaction to paint, and eventually I could wear my usual drugstore mascara and lipstick again ... for a few months. Luckily I was able to find health-food store versions that I continue to tolerate. (The reaction to paint never returned, actually.) In 2014, toward…
Read More