Are you or someone you care about suffering from muscle pain, abdominal pain, neurological symptoms including numbness and blurred vision, nausea, fatigue, gut irritability, severe digestive problems, and symptoms of an impaired immune system including severe reactions to some foods? Are you unable to find a diagnosis that will enable treatment? Have you tried everything?
My wife had all of these symptoms to the point that she could barely get out of bed most days and would cry from the continual pain and despair. She became afraid of eating because almost everything hurt. We tested for literally everything. We did find that she has Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, but now has it under control. But that was it – nothing else was found after literally dozens of kinds of tests. We actually had to wrestle with doctors to get some of those tests ordered – including the one that found Hashimoto’s, which that doc tried to shame us out of demanding.
Life was getting to the point where we were seriously talking about the “Thelma & Louise” solution. She couldn’t face living this way and I couldn’t face living without her.
I know that many people are going through something similar, and haven’t been able to find a doctor who could help. As you probably know, most docs don’t like to see patients who they can’t “cure” with a prescription. Anything else and you are put into the “difficult patient” category and they start working hard to convince you that you are causing your own problem. Women especially find male doctors suggesting that their problem is what used to be called “hysteria”. Most doctors where we live simply didn’t believe her and told her so, and it got to the point where she stopped trying to get medical help from such idiots.
We are both reasonably intelligent people and we have spent literally years reading everything that might offer a clue. We are careful what we read, and most of what we pay attention to is on the fantastic NIH database PubMed, which has ONLY peer-reviewed medical journal articles. There are so many diseases and conditions with some or all of her symptoms, but no definitive answers emerged.
My wife has always taken nutritional supplements including probiotics. She is very careful about the quality of what she takes, and we learned long ago to check what is actually in the supplement in addition to its “main” ingredient. For example, it is very hard to find Vitamin C that doesn’t include “citrus bioflavonoids”, and she reacts violently to all forms of citrus, pineapple, cherry, etc., so we have always been careful.
I’m getting to something that may be important for you to know, but had to give you some background.
Here it is.
Several years ago one of her doctors, a really brilliant female naturopath with a full MD and a background as an ER physician, recommended that she begin taking a Zinc supplement. Specifically she recommended Zinc Picolinate, because it is a form of Zinc that is “more easily absorbed”.
So after looking around we settled on a Bluebonnet brand 50mg Zinc Picolinate supplement, once daily with a meal. It became part of her everyday program, and we never questioned its value.
Then for some reason – perhaps a guardian angel whispering in our ear – two weeks ago we decided to look into Zinc toxicity, and up popped a bunch of citations, but the Mayo Clinic’s comments were a revelation. According to Mayo, the UPPER LEVEL of daily intake of Zinc for an average adult is 40mg. That’s zinc from ALL sources, not just a pill. Even 40 mg/day is WAY excessive for most people, but going over that can lead to exactly the list of symptoms that my wife has been experiencing, all getting progressively worse over time because Zinc toxicity is cumulative. There it was – she was POISONING HERSELF WITH ZINC.
And how do we know that? She stopped taking the Zinc supplement and within two days ALL of her symptoms began to decrease. It has been almost two weeks and almost every symptom is GONE. She has energy, her muscles don’t hurt, she can eat without pain, she can be active without crashing and burning, her brain fog is gone, and her spirit is strong again. She can even eat a little popcorn. With butter! (Goat butter – she’s not ready to risk cow dairy yet.)
We are even hopeful that once the toxicity that has been building up for years is gone (it can be gradually excreted, although some damage may be permanent – we don’t yet know), perhaps she will be able to enjoy a more varied diet, even – please God – the occasional pasta dinner and maybe even an egg and piece of toast with butter for breakfast. It’s probably too much to wish that she could also enjoy a glass of OJ, but who knows?
If you, or that person you care for, are taking a Zinc supplement in the “standard” 50 mg dose, you are exceeding the UPPER LIMIT according to the Mayo Clinic and you might want to consider leaving it out of your diet for a week and just see what happens. It appears that this has been the problem all along for my wife. This is surely not the only health issue she faces, nor the answer to everything, but it seems that we have just received a miracle.
Perhaps this simple solution will help you. It appears to have worked for us. Good luck to us all. God bless.
The mosquito-borne Chikungunya virus has been spreading rapidly throughout the tropics and today is present virtually everywhere from 20˚ North to 20˚ South of the Equator, and in many places well North and South of the Equatorial Zone as well. (See map below) It threatens to make tropical vacations for pasty-white SnowBirds a thing of the past, and it is decimating indigenous populations in the tropics. Its debilitating effects can last a lifetime, and those most at risk are newborns and the elderly.
(On left – Ae. aegypti; On right – Ae._albopictus)
This extraordinarily painful viral infection, with an long list of very dangerous potential side-effects, is transmitted by the same mosquitoes that carry Dengue Fever – which also appropriately known as “Bone-Break Fever”. Dengue Fever causes pain in the deep tissues and joints that is as severe as that of a broken bone, and by all accounts Chikungunya is even worse.
There is no cure and no really effective treatment and the really bad news is that for some people who contract the disease, especially those over 65, the pain can last for months and in some cases, forever.
So, what does it do, and what does it feel like?
According to the Centers For Disease Control “The majority of people infected with chikungunya virus become symptomatic. The incubation period is typically 3–7 days (range, 1–12 days). The disease is most often characterized by acute onset of fever (typically >39°C [102°F]) and polyarthralgia. Joint symptoms are usually bilateral and symmetric, and can be severe and debilitating.”
“Other symptoms may include headache, myalgia, arthritis, conjunctivitis, nausea/vomiting, or maculopapular rash. Clinical laboratory findings can include lymphopenia, thrombocytopenia, elevated creatinine, and elevated hepatic transaminases.”
“Acute symptoms typically resolve within 7–10 days. Rare complications include uveitis, retinitis, myocarditis, hepatitis, nephritis, bullous skin lesions, hemorrhage, meningoencephalitis, myelitis, Guillain-Barré syndrome, and cranial nerve palsies.”
“Persons at risk for severe disease include neonates exposed intrapartum, older adults (e.g., > 65 years), and persons with underlying medical conditions – e.g., hypertension, diabetes, or cardiovascular disease. (Planning a Caribbean retirement cruise? Taking the grandchildren?)
Some patients might have relapse of rheumatologic symptoms (e.g., polyarthralgia, polyarthritis, tenosynovitis) in the months following acute illness. Studies report variable proportions of patients with persistent joint pains for months to years. Mortality is rare and occurs mostly in older adults.” (So who really cares?)
“Chronic pain can affect mood in patients wanting to return to a pre-Chikungunya quality of life.” (Don’t you love it? Chronic pain can affect your mood. OMG!)
There is really no protection. Check out what CDC recommends to “protect” yourself:
1. Use air conditioning or window/door screens
2. Use mosquito repellents on exposed skin
3. Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants
4. Wear permethrin-treated clothing
5. Empty standing water from outdoor containers
6. Support local vector control programs
Thank you, Oh Wise Ones. How about – stay away from the tropics? Well, it seems that isn’t going to work either because lo and behold, Chikungunya-carrying mosquitoes have already begun appearing as far North as Alaska and as far South as South Africa, for example.
And of course if you are one of the millions of poor people living in the Caribbean, Africa, SE Asia and elsewhere in the tropics, you be sure to get yourself into some air-conditioning, wear permethrin-treated long sleeved shirts and pants, get rid of that standing water, and support your local vector control programs, y’all hear?
The final bit of disturbing news about this nasty virus is that when an uninfected mosquito (any species) feeds on the blood of an infected person (or other warm-blooded mammal) it becomes a carrier and transmits the virus to everyone that it subsequently dines on.
I’m offering all this gruesome news (and gratuitous snide comments) as a preface to saying – and I know that you are ahead of me here dear reader – that I think it is likely, and even probable – that the painful, dangerous, even life-threatening symptoms of Chikungunya, that can’t be cured much less effectively restrained by any currently available medications- the best advice seems to be take a tylenol and grit your teeth – could be effectively treated with Coca Leaf tea, perhaps with a few additional anti-inflammatory herbs like Nettles thrown into the teapot for good measure.
The reason that this makes sense to me is that, as I have pointed out in this blog here, and here, here, here, and here – one of the many powerful healing powers of Coca Leaf is its whole-body anti-inflammatory properties. It is well-known in Peru and Bolivia, as it was well-known in 18th and 19th Century European and American medicine, to be a specific cure for inflammatory diseases like Arthritis/Rheumatism, and of course it is a specific for joint pain relief, which is where Chikungunya wrecks its greatest havoc.
So the good news is that if Chikungunya ever spreads as far South as Peru or Bolivia the Indigenous Peoples will be well-protected by Mama Coca. The bad news is, of course, that anybody in the Northern or Southern Hemispheres who visits the tropics, like on a Caribbean vacation or cruise, and who contracts this evil disease, is just going to have to suffer. Your governments have decreed it, and you will just have to suck it up and obey. But what the hell – CDC says it isn’t fatal except for geezers, it just makes you wish you were dead. So stop complaining and go file for disability. Or, get out there and change the laws just the way as you are doing with Cannabis. It’s your choice.