Seasonal Confessions: Do You Believe in the Great Punkin?

Santa Fe, NM

Pneumonia is really bad. I hope you are much better and taking it easy. My D.H. had it twice one year. He also has asthma and everything he gets goes to his lungs. He has some steroid inhaler stuff but won't use it unless he is half dead.

Denver, CO(Zone 5b)

I'm like that too. I can't stand the steroid inhaler. It gives me a sore throat. I guess I better start using it. This is my second round of pneumonia in 6 months. I probably should go see a respiratory doc soon. I better be better by Saturday. I started scheduling people to see me again starting Sat (I'm an acupuncturist - and yes, I'm taking all the - uh - yummy - herbs too).

Helena, MT(Zone 4b)

Jude, that sounds miserable. I'm self-employed, too. But insured through DH's job, FWIW.

Even if you had gone to a doc, they probably wouldn't have tested for H1N1, as the CDC changed the reporting criteria as mentioned above.

DH gets horrible bronchial & lung stuff every time he's sick. It's not asthma in his case, but I wonder if it's a cytokine storm.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cytokine_storm

Denver, CO(Zone 5b)

yeah - I'm insured through my DH's job too. Thank gawd for that!
I'm not expecting to get tested to H1N1 - this all started with what i thought was just a clogged sinus/allergy thing that decided to move down to my lungs all at once (literally w/in a couple of hours - it was weird). Your link was interesting. I am on and ACE inhibitor drug, but I've been on it for literally decades and at a very, very low dose. It's never bothered me before. I think all the stress of dealing with my MIL and my own mom over the last 2 years has finally caught up with me and my body is screaming for me to slow down. Well it sure slowed down these last couple of weeks!

Santa Fe, NM

I'm also insured through my D.H.'s job, altho he is retired, we kept the insurance. Jude, You're an acupuncturist! How nice. Best pain reliever there is. Worked great on my broken toes!

Helena, MT(Zone 4b)

Acupuncture, how incredibly useful!
Immunization is primitive by comparison.

Denver, CO(Zone 5b)

I love doing it. It's just so hard to treat oneself though! Maybe if I were a contortionist as well...

Dolores, CO(Zone 5b)

Hope you are feeling much better now, Denver Jude! Take good care of yourself!

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Hope you are through the worse DJ.

Denver, CO(Zone 5b)

Thanks!
I'm not coughing up colorful stuff anymore, so that's good.

Ennis, MT(Zone 4a)

Glad you are starting to mend. I suggest we all make a pact to quit getting sick. I am sure ready to have a go at that!

Denver, CO(Zone 5b)

you said it!

Helena, MT(Zone 4b)

Jude, that Wikipedia article on cytokine storms states "It is believed that cytokine storms were responsible for many of the deaths during the 1918 influenza pandemic, which killed a disproportionate number of young adults.[1] In this case, a healthy immune system may have been a liability rather than an asset. "

This is a very misleading statement. Dr. Tenpenny explains that mortality rates were highest in the military. WWI soldiers had about 30 chemical warfare agents tried out on them. She believes that neurotoxicity was responsible for the cytokine storms, not "a healthy immune system".

She also points out that bird flu kills primarily people who have been exposed to Agent Orange in Asia. Same phenomenon. ("Fowl. Bird Flu: It's Not What You Think")

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Jude, I have recently come to truly respect acupuncture. I am not generally an alternative medicine type, but I have been having neuropathy, and pain in my neck and shoulder and arms. I am seeing a neurologist but he orders an MRI then you have to wait 6 weeks to get another appointment to find out what is causing your pain! Ouch!

So I turned to acupuncture and it is really helping, to my utter amazement. My acupuncturist is determined to have me cured by the time I get in to see the neurologist. I think she just might do it. I am totally impressed with the power of acupuncture and find it mysterious and interesting. Congrats on getting into the field.

Swine Flu. I am supposed to be old enough that I don't need the shot because I was around during the Asian Flu in the 60s. We'll see. I actually take the flu shots, but don't have much expectation that they will help stop the flu. Last year I had the flu shot and got the flu any way. I think flu shots are great protection against the previous year's flu. not the current year's flu. But I take them on the chance that they will help.

Santa Fe, NM

I think flu shots are sort of like magic talismans or religious relics. If you believe in them they might work.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Maybe that is why I got the flu even though I had the flu shot -- I didn't really believe in them. Actually, they did test me to see what kind of flu I had and it wasn't the one covered by the flu shot last year.

Helena, MT(Zone 4b)

PJ, I hope your neuropathy heals and troubles you no more. I have a friend who has peripheral neuropathy, and it's sadly keeping him from dancing and hiking. He has a lot of mercury fillings, and mercury exposure is known to trigger all kinds of neurological problems. You could conceivably be making things worse with flu shots.Unless you are insisting on the mercury-free, single-vial shots, they all contain about 25 mcg of mercury.

Denver, CO(Zone 5b)

Paj - I am so glad you're getting acupuncture for the neuropathy pain! Feel well!

Helena, MT(Zone 4b)

I found a partial list of swine flu vaccine ingredients here: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/11/05/Swine-Flu-Vaccine-Ingredients.aspx

The article is very long, but if you scroll down, you'll see ingredients listed for four different vaccines.

This one is Sanofi-Pasteur's:
* Inactivated A/California/7/2009(H1N1)v-like virus propagated in embryonated chicken eggs
* Prefilled pediatric syringes and single-dose vials are mercury-free
* Multi-dose vials contain 25 mcg of mercury per 0.5 ml dose
* Formaldehyde (up to 100 mcg). Formaldehyde is classifed as a probable human carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and as a known human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
* Triton-X 100 (Polyethylene glycol P-isooctylphenyl ether) is a toxic detergent
* Sodium phosphate
* Sodium chloride (table salt)
* Gelatin
* Sucrose (table sugar)

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

No wonder you get a little red spot on your arm.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

I am lucky in that I have very few fillings and the ones I have are mostly ceramic or plastic or something. I certainly will consider foregoing the flu shots -- which I don't have much faith in anyhow or insisting on the mercury free ones. I certainly have no love of mercury or any other heavy metal in my body. There goes
I did know that neuropathy could be caused by toxic substances -- never made the connection with mercury. Does that mean I have to get my old fillings redone?
Once again my frame of reference has been dented. Must process. Time for more gardening.

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

Vaccines, in principal, should work and for diseases that are deadly. For diseases with mild symptoms, they don't have added value. The garbage in them and the fact that they are put out for things they make no difference with is more evidence that the pharmaceutical industry cares about $ and not a wit about us.

Helena, MT(Zone 4b)

Nicely put, Dave-who-is-Dave.

Birdlet, do you actually have any metal fillings? If not, then Hooray, no worries. If yes, then get thee over to a mercury detox forum to discuss the particulars. I have no training to be able to tell whether replacing fillings is your best move.

Doctors tend to be uninformed. At this stage of the game, mercury detox is still an experiment, very complex, and very dangerous if done without looking at your metabolic status (are thyroid & adrenals functioning optimally?-- not usually, with mercury toxicity).

If you end up doing a urinalysis for heavy metals, please talk to me first, because I can steer you away from the most dangerous chelating agent they use for those tests. I would be so horrified if you had any long-term troubles from somebody unknowingly administering one of those.

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

So which chelating agents do they use?

Helena, MT(Zone 4b)

The three most commonly used are:
DMSA (dimercaptosuccinic acid) - usually capsules
ALA (alpha-lipoic acid) - capsules -- It moves mercury across the blood-brain barrier (in either direction, so watch out)
DMPS (dimercapto-propanesulfonic acid) - If injected (DMPS push), it can cause permanent neurological damage, the worst anecdotal reports being from people who still have mercury fillings.

I had a night of acute neurovisceral pain after a DMPS push. The next day, I found the DMPS Backfire website. I was pretty horrified at some of the stories. That particular urinalysis showed the most elevated mercury levels. Conclusion: it's very risky to move that much mercury out of your tissues. Some redistribution is inevitable.

Reno, NV

I'm actually planning the get the vaccine. Mairly because of the population I work with. I've heard that they're planning to inclued people who work with prison populations as high risk. It's nice of them, usualy they don't. I never get the regular flu vaccines. I pretty much get exposed to most things that go around and rarely get sick anymore.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Picante, I do have some metal fillings that I have had since my childhood and teen years. Maybe 2 or 3. Never had any more until recently -- again just a few, no metal. I did start taking alpha lipoic acid because someone told me it helped neuropathy. Did I get steered wrong? The Dr. was okay with it.

Duchess, I thought, somehow that you worked in real estate. Do you sell houses to ex prisoners ? Or did I get the wrong impression.

Santa Fe, NM

Duchess, just because I have not gotten a flu shot does not mean that I think you shouldn't. I would have gotten one if it had been more convenient just because my D.H. and his parents are so convinced I should have one. Pajarito, I don't really know what neuropathy is. I hope it is only a temporary condition. Dentists these days like to replace metal fillings. I thought they just chipped away at 'em, so to speak, until they had them all re-done with whatever they think is better. Frankly, I assumed it was just a way for them to make money if they couldn't find any Major repairs to do. ( shrug. )

Helena, MT(Zone 4b)

PJ, the alpha lipoic acid is a fabulous antioxidant, and if you are tolerating it, if it's not making anything worse, I see no reason to worry. The way to find out if it's making things worse is to stop taking it and see if anything changes.

Andrew Cutler says that ALA can transport mercury into your brain when your blood levels are higher than your brain levels. But that's not usually the case unless you are already taking chelating agents or have current exposure to mercury.

That's not terribly scientific, but bodies are unique and complex, and what helps you may make another person sicker. Or something you can't tolerate now may be something you need later.

Roybird's right that there's been a trend to replace metal fillings. Many dentists have privately come to the conclusion that the ADA has been lying and mercury fillings are toxic, especially since the WHO admitted this. The problem is that if they do not take measures to protect you from swallowing fragments or absorbing mercury vapor, you will get exposure from having them drilled out.

It's best to go on the mercury detox forums and read people's stories, ask questions, and then make your own decisions about 1) whether you want to replace them and 2) who to hire and what protective measures you require.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Thanks for the info on ALA. Maybe I will stop taking it and see if anything gets better. My dentists have not said boo about replacing my metal filings win non-metal ones -- I guess I could ask. Probably dental insurance wouldn't pay for this, but if it is a health hazard maybe I would be willing to pay for it myself.
Roybird, neuropathy is generally a permanent condition unless you can find what is causing it and remove your exposure to it. It is characterized by a burning or prickling sensation which can be quite severe, in your feet, legs or arms. It is common in severe diabetics, but I am not diabetic. It can be caused by alcohol, but I gave up alcohol for a while and saw no improvement. And it can be caused by toxic chemicals -- but I don't really use any toxic chemicals that I know of. Even my neurologist has neuropathy and says you just take various medications to control the pain. Frankly, I think the medications are pretty inadequate and it is hard to sleep through the night because they wear off in 4 to 6 hours. So you have to wake up in the night and take more then try to go back to sleep -- not easy for me.
It can also be caused by problems in the spine -- which may be what is behind mine also. I have had an MRI of my lumbar spine which shows a little something -- but they don't think that is what is causing my problem. And they have taken an MRI of my cervical spine which shows lots of problems but it was taken on October 9 and I couldn't get a neurologist appointment until December 1. Thank god the greatest medical system in the world doesn't make you wait to see a doctor . ( I know I am bad.) I have been doing accupuncture to subdue the pain while I wait to see the neurologist and find out what if anything they can do about my pain. So far the acupuncturist is doing a much better job than the neurologist.

Denver, CO(Zone 5b)

I have treated various forms of neuropathy with acupuncture and everyone said their symptoms got a lot better. I don't think it will 'cure' neuropathic pain, but it certainly can do a lot to reduce and manage it.

Ennis, MT(Zone 4a)

Sheesh, Paj, what a mess!

Dentists are not going to tell you your mercury amalgam fillings are bad for all sorts of reasons, most of them legal. Losing your license for going against standard dental practices is a serious challenge, and the official position of all dental authorities is that they have been doing perfectly ok plugging mercury into fillings for years and years and years. After all, how could they survive all the lawsuits if they said otherwise?

But if mercury is classified as a hazardous material and has to be handled according to those regulations both before and after it is inside your mouth, what on earth makes it non-toxic while it is in there??? Most competent dentists these days are happy enough to replace the mercury fillings and may be greatly relieved when you decide to do so, but they cannot tell you that straight out. You can't really go ask them if you should, you just have to tell them what you have decided you want. That lets them off the hook they are stuck on professionally.

Then you can ask them what they can to alleviate any problems of ingesting the materials during removal. A rubber dam is a good start on that.

Helena, MT(Zone 4b)

Dental insurance covered my filling replacements. (As in it paid about half--you know how that goes.)

I have one possibly helpful idea for you, PJ. There are a number of practitioners scattered around the country who have a machine designed by Hal Huggins that measures the electrical current produced by your metal fillings. In a nutshell, the higher the current, the faster they are corroding and discharging mercury ions.

If you can find someone who has the machine, I would get them tested. This should tell you whether it is an urgent matter or not. Huggins' protocol for filling removal is partly based on these currents. He has observed that if the "high-discharge" fillings are not removed first, the patient often gets sicker.

Hal Huggins is the Colorado dentist who was "excommunicated" for his outspoken position on mercury amalgams. He practices in Puerto Vallarta now. His book is "It's All in Your Head".

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

I have heard of that book, I think, picante. Gee, this is a whole new idea for me. I think I will discuss it with my dentist because I have to go in on Tuesday. I will take what she says with the appropriate grain of salt. If they are no longer using mercury fillings, they must not think they are all that great. Hmmmm. I will definitely talk to my dentist about filling replacements.
Are these discussion groups you are talking about on DG or elsewhere?
Thanks for telling me your experience with neuropathy, Jude. That's kind of what I had come to expect.

Helena, MT(Zone 4b)

Two more thoughts:
Do you have gold in your mouth (crowns, crown seats)? Gold and mercury in the same mouth generates electrical fury.

Do you have signs of metabolic problems? With a low metabolism, toxins build up in the body, as the rate of excretion diminishes. List of symptoms here:
http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/long-and-pathetic/

Note that you can have raging hypothyroid symptoms with normal labs (TSH, T3 and T4 all in range). That's because the lab ranges are off, and because there is no way to measure the cellullar action of thyroid hormone.

Other than tracking your temperature.

This message was edited Nov 7, 2009 11:25 AM

Helena, MT(Zone 4b)

Cross-posted with you, PJ. The most "popular" mercury detox forum seems to be Andrew Cutler's. I'm not sure of the URL. I haven't been on it; I just see people referring to it a lot on the thyroid and adrenals forums where I post my questions.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Well, picante, I checked the list of symptoms and I do have some of them, but not most of them. I have been told that I am a high energy person -- or used to be -- but now I have slowed down a lot, probably due to pain. Also, being 65 might have something to do with it. I have thyroiditis in my 20's. It was stress induced, but went away when I solved the marital problems I was having. No indication of thyroid problems since. I do have sleep apnea, but I do not have most of the symptoms on that list.
I will check out the forums you mention. Clearly there is a lot to learn. I have a friend, an artist, who got mercury poisoning from paint in the 80's when the EPA didn't regulate it. She does describe the low energy and thyroid problems. Not sure I have them.

Santa Fe, NM

I went ahead and googled neuropathy and found that it can be caused by a variety of things, as Paja said. I suppose that finding the cause would be the best idea but sometimes that is not so easy. I imagine acupuncture would help a lot with the pain. Chi gung can help with chronic conditions like back pain but I wouldn't say it could cure the source of the problem.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

The neurologist, who also has the same problem, says that in about 30 per cent of the cases the cause is never found. This does not encourage me. Sure would be nice if the medical profession got a little better at finding out what causes this problem.

Santa Fe, NM

I hate to say it but it seems that as we get older it gets harder for the doctors to diagnose our problems. Maybe there are more possibilities to choose from! I hope the pain is under control.

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