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…
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Fun with ancient psychoactives: blue lotus and African dream root

Uncategorized
My interest in the mind-bending end of self-experimentation started after reading about DMT, the active ingredient of the now-infamous ayahuasca brew*, in Rick Strassman's The Spirit Molecule. Sadly, DMT turned out to be a no-go. I wouldn't know where to get it, and I don't have the attention span to watch a stove for hours while rendering the plant material, or a decent exhaust fan to keep alarming chemical smells from wafting down the halls of my apartment building. Luckily, there do exist legal, if less exciting, substances to dabble in. My first two choices, blue lotus and African dream root, were purchased from an online botanical supply store considered reputable and reliable by various commenters on erowid and reddit. Blue lotus The ancient Egyptians loved this stuff and memorialized…
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And then there was the time vitamin B-complex drove me insane…

side effects, supplements, Uncategorized
One of the first things you discover when you start investigating nutritional therapy is that vitamin B-complex formulations are badly designed. Never mind the dubious value of having most of the B vitamins in the same milligram amounts when no one can really say just what ratio they should ideally exist in. (Here's a chart by Ronald Roth at Acu-cell.com illustrating the unbalancing effect that causes.) And never mind the fact that the majority of the complexes use forms of the vitamins that really don't work well in people with stressed or overworked livers -- cobalamin instead of methylcobalamin, folic acid instead of methylfolate, and pyridoxine instead of P5P (two types of vitamin B6). And what livers among us these days are not stressed and overworked? The biggest problem with…
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Perfume therapy

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I just finished reading Alyssa Harad's Coming to My Senses, about her discovery of perfume, and was inspired to set forth my own approach toward arming oneself against the world with scent. I rank perfume up there with recorded music and books when it comes to tools for mental health. Approximately every four years I will forget to put perfume on in the morning and three hours later I will stop short and think, Oh-my-god-I’m-not-wearing-perfume-is-it-Alzheimer’s? For those of you who were not convinced of the power of scent by my earlier post on the psychoactive properties of frankincense, allow me to address a few potential barriers to perfume appreciation. It doesn't have to be expensive. Decant services such as The Perfumed Court allow you to buy samples starting at about…
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Chronic illness and “nice” people

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I recently started thinking again about a phenomenon I first experienced at the nadir of my health woes 14 years ago, and several times since. I wondered briefly about it each time it happened, but was too beleaguered and distracted to dwell on it. To wit: on several occasions I developed noticeable symptoms over a short period of time that were visible to others. Twice I developed slurred speech, stammering, and word loss. For a while my memory was so bad I couldn't repeat a telephone number back to you or remember articles I had edited two months before. I also once gained 21 pounds in six weeks (a 15% weight gain). Not one person ever mentioned any of this to me. Not my closest friends, not family members, not…
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Seven things I’ve learned from chronic, undiagnosed illness

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During the years I was figuring out the celiac-nutritional deficiencies-liver damage thang, I had a few revelations that probably otherwise wouldn't have been visited unto me until later in life. Several of these were a result of aphasia episodes, wherein my speech became slow and halting and would occasionally just stop mid-sentence. 1. People listen to the pattern of your voice before they listen to what you say. When the aforementioned speech weirdness caused me to break off in mid-sentence, coworkers and friends would laugh as if I'd said something funny, even though I hadn't and even though I clearly had not finished my sentence. Maybe they just thought I was making a half-assed attempt at comic timing. Several years later I discovered with a certain acquaintance that when I,…
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