The needle and the damage done: three weeks on intravenous thiamine

After discovering that thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency might be a factor in my insomnia, fatigue, brain fog, and chocolate/sugar cravings, I began experimenting with different formulations of it. Starting with the usual drugstore stuff, I moved on to two Japanese concoctions and then for a grand finale I tried a series of IV treatments to the tune of $1,700, almost none of it covered by insurance, with promising if not miraculous results. Why thiamine? I initially tried thiamine after discovering it is involved in GABA production, an inhibitory neurotransmitter that's a big factor in sleep. Thiamine is also involved in carbohydrate metabolism -- converting food to energy -- and I figured out a long time ago that my infuriating chocolate/sugar cravings must be caused by my brain's inability to process…
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A list of supplements that don’t work very well in the versions sold in the US

nutritional therapy, supplements
Updated October 22, 2020. Originally posted November 19, 2011. Over the years I've learned that some of the nutrient supplements on the shelves in the US don't work very well, either because a significant part of the population can't process them, or because the version used is poorly absorbed by the body, or because they are so cheaply formulated that the filler would make you sick before you could get enough of the active ingredient to resolve your deficiency. Here's everything I know so far. Needless to say, the better versions are more expensive and harder to find. Folic acid Processing this synthetic vitamin into its active form requires methyl groups and those of us who are methyl-challenged (low methylators) need to use the methylfolate version. Some sources say that…
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Headaches and migraines

symptoms and conditions
Updated 03/12/13: P5P, a form of vitamin B6, seems to have solved a lot of this. See related link below. My two migraine episodes were the usual tennis-ball-filled-almost-but-not-quite-to-bursting-with-boiling-oil-behind-your-right-eye kind of thing, caused by the old clich√© MSG. The first culprit was a Chinese restaurant. The second, after I "got healthy," was a package of sunflower seeds. All I'm saying is that never happened to me with Oreos. Later I developed headaches, but not full-fledged migraines, from the amino acid L-glutamine, which I used to heal my celiac-ravaged lower intestine. Apparently this is a common reaction for people who also react to monosodium glutamate (MSG). The body can convert glutamine into the amino acid glutamate. It was still very helpful but I had to be careful how much I used. As…
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