Vitamin D and the Itch Response

I know some of you are confused by the last couple of post.  It is not straight forward when dealing with pain.  One thing that you should be aware of is that itching is pain.  This is a medical fact as I was reminded by my sister-in-law a retired nurse anesthetist.  It may be only the beginning of pain but pain none the less.  The human body is a system that requires biological action like taking in food and oxygen and elimination of waste products.  Also health is determined by the spirit or mood or emotional response or whatever you want to call it.  In modern medicine, it is called the placebo effect.  A person responds to the care he is given in either a positive or negative manner.  This includes the person’s care for their own well being.  Failure of any of the system requirements can lead to illness.

Perhaps you have never considered what happens on a neuron as the signal passes along from the central nervous system, CNS, to various parts of the body.  It is a chemical/electrical action.  First stimulus causes the neuron to fire.  When this happens, gates in the neuron’s axon open and allow sodium to flow into the axon and potassium to flow out.  The gates open by a voltage response that is above minus 50 millivolts.  The voltage as the gates open goes positive along the length of the axon as the signal travels along to about positive 30 millivolts.  After the signal has passed, sodium/potassium pumps take the sodium out of the neuron and the potassium back into the neuron until a resting voltage of about minus 70 millivolts is achieved.  When this signal hits the synapse, a voltage gated calcium channel opens and allows calcium to flow in and trigger the release of a neurotransmitter, most commonly acetyl choline.  This stimulates the next neuron and the signal continues along the nerve length.  If this is confusing for you, I would suggest that you watch this flash animation that is produce by Harvard.  It shows the nerve action signaling in the body and how the action potential works.

As an aside, this small electrical requirement to operate the sodium/potassium gates for your cells is the reason that it only takes ten millivolts from an outside source to stop your heart when the path of current flow is directly across your heart.

It has been estimated that fifty percent of the energy that is produced by your body is used to keep ions on the correct side of cell walls.  Without a balance of the calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium, failure of your CNS and cell function is inevitable.  All of your brain and nerves are made of these types of cells.  This includes the heart.  The heart is made of over sixty-five percent neurons.  Thinking with the heart is most likely a reality, because these cells are the same thing that is in the brain.  Not mentioned in my description of the nerve signal above is magnesium.  The function of magnesium is extensive, but it is the ion of choice for ATP to ADP, or the cellular energy chemicals.  The balance of calcium and magnesium in the mitochondrial bodies where energy is converted is crucial.  This required balance of magnesium with calcium in the heart is primarily responsible for heart rhythms.  Obviously, the balance of sodium and potassium is also crucial.  Any imbalance will result in muscle cramps and pain.

So how does vitamin D come into play with this chemical/electrical dance that is occurring in your cellular signaling pathways?  The vitamin D acts to increase the activity of biological systems as it is one of the primary hormones in your body.  It increases the immune response to pathogens as well as stimulating other cellular activities.   If you are mineral deficient as your body gears up for health, it lets you know in the form of either a tired feeling or perhaps even a rash.  I remember growing up; I was so vitamin D deficient that anytime that I went in the sun in the early spring, I would break out in a bright red raised rash.  My mom would be frightened that something was seriously wrong and encouraged me to stay out of the sun.  This was a mistake. The solution was to spend more time in the sun or not to become deficient in the winter.

The other action that occurs with vitamin D in combination with other nutrients is cartilage enlarges as it fills with fluid, primarily water.  Vitamin D does not act alone on cartilage.  The other nutrients must be available in sufficient amounts.  This increases the cushioning effect by the cartilage for all of your joints.  Now imagine in your back where you have thirty three vertebrae with nerves coming out at every junction, going to various parts of the body.  As the cartilage gets thicker, it will cause a pulling and stretching of the nerves.  I like to think this is the nerves finding their new ‘home state.’  In my case, each cartilage increased about a tenth of an inch over a ten month period.  With the thirty plus disc, this caused me to increase in physical height by three inches.  As the nerves found their new home state, there was considerable pain including a significant amount of itching.  Now that my spine has healed all of that pain has disappeared.  It did not happen quickly.  I estimate that there was healing of the bone and cartilage that went on for five years.  The only issue that I have now is where the operation occurred on L4-L5.  The cartilage was so damaged, that it was not able to repair.  It is just gone. When the nerve gets pinched at this location, then I can have some pain in my left leg, itching, rashes, and even lesions.

As far as my discussion of Morgellons syndrome, I was horrified at the lack of competence by the doctors involved as well as the CDC.  There was no pathogen found, so as far as the CDC was concerned, it was all from the persons mental condition.  I believe this syndrome is an effect of spinal degeneration or other locations that are the origins of the nerve pathways.  This mechanical pinching will result in various symptoms including itching. I was horrified as one patient was described as having the lesions spreading up his arm with no known cause.  Eventually his arms became paralyzed and he died.  It is my belief that this person had spinal stenosis in his cervical disc and the nerves were so compressed he was having multiple symptoms.  I suspect he died because the cervical discs are also the origin for vital functions like breathing.  It is sad to think of the diagnosis delivered to persons that are suffering from a mechanical failure of the nerves.  I now wonder at how many cases of misdiagnosis are made for shingles.  As it usually occurs in people over fifty, I suspect many of these cases are ‘trapped’ nerves and not a reoccurrence of the chicken pox virus.  If your doctor says shingles, asked him to run a test for the presence of the virus.  If there is no virus, then you most likely have a pinched nerve.

Your take from this?  Exercise, eat lots of greens for potassium, supplement with magnesium because our soils are deplete, eat enough garlic, onions, and egg yellows to get an adequate amount of sulfur, go into the sun on a regular basis in the summer and supplement with vitamin D in the winter, and pray every day to sustain your spirit.  At all cost protect your ‘heart’ as it is the well spring of life.  – Pandemic Survivor

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Nerve Impingement in Back Results in Dermal Lesion on Toe

Last post, I described how nerve impingement in my back lead to dermal stress that included numbness, uncontrollable itching, crawling sensation in the skin, lesions, and a disturbed mental state from not knowing the cause.  If I had addressed the symptoms with a physician, he most likely would have passed it off as a mental illness.  I can hear the words now, “if you would just stop scratching the skin, it will stop itching and heal.”   Most physicians have not been exposed to this type of trauma, and as the deficiency in vitamin D becomes worse in the general population, I would expect to see more of this type of dermal stress.  I remember well the last time I addressed the rash on my leg with my neurosurgeon and suggested that it was caused by the nerve impingement in my back.  He just looked at me in disbelief.

As many of you know who are regular readers, my spine healed except for the disc between L4-L5.  I had two surgeries performed at this location.  The disc has all but dissolved or disappeared according to the MRI’s that I had done.  Even though there is no disc, the vitamin D and other nutrients and exercises that I do control the pain well enough that I do not need a spinal fusion at this point.  I do not have pain in my back and I am willing to put up with some numbness that moves about on the left leg and foot.  The nerve impingement on L4-L5 left changes as the two vertebrae move trapping the nerve.  Depending where on the left nerve root the impingement occurs, results in different locations of numbness on my leg and foot.  Because there is no support at this location, sometimes the nerve on L5-S1 becomes involved as well.  This happened this past week. If you will observe the foot on this dermatome, you can see the dermal nerve pathway between L5 continues through the fourth toe of the foot.

This past week there was an uncontrollable itching in this area of my left foot and numbness that was felt through the center of my foot between the toes and the ball of my foot.  It also felt like there was something crawling under my skin on this foot.  The fourth toe was particularly irritated.  After two days the lesion showed here appeared on my fourth toe.  Please note the angular position of the small toe is a result of a stress fracture that I received in college that was not properly set.  Upon closer examination, you can see the dermal nerve fiber that is in stress that caused the wild sensations in my toe and the lesion.  I have drawn arrows pointing out the dermal nerve.

Location of Lesion

 

Dermal Nerve Fiber

Dermal nerves are not normally this easy to see.  They typically ‘hide’ under the dermal layers.  Because the nerve was stressed it is easier to see.  These photos were taken two days after the initial irritation began.  I was traveling and not able to decompress the lumbar region in my back to relieve the nerve stress.  After two more days I was able to decompress on my inversion table and the lesion looked as shown here. The itching, numbness, and crawling skin stopped shortly after the first decompression attempt. You can see from the photograph the lesion has turned into a normal looking wound that is in the process of scabbing over to heal.  Also please note that the dermal nerve has disappeared as it is no longer in stress.

Wound After Spinal Decompression

I do believe that this is exactly the same thing that has been described as Morgellons Disease or Syndrome.  It amazes me that the neurologists have not been able to make the connection between the nerve involvement in the back or point of nerve origin and the dermal eruptions along mapped nerve pathways.  The thing that has stumped the physicians that were examining the dermal lesions in Morgellons Syndrome, are the fibers that appeared.  The fibers have been tested and were found to not be of any known fabric.  It should be easy to test the fibers to see if they are consistent with a myelinated nerve fiber.  The stressed nerves fibers that I have seen in the past will become black as they die.  It has been reported in Morgellons that the fibers had other appearances and may be the result of the degree of myelination of the fiber.

I have noticed that some relief can be obtained from the itching by increasing the amount of potassium intake. After more potassium, the feeling in the concerned areas is more like numbness and pain than the itching crawling sensations.  I suspect his is due to the firing along the nerve axons with the potassium and sodium gates and pumps and the availability of potassium.

Ah, the difficulty of being a physician in an insurance and government controlled health paradigm.  If it is not written in the medical literature, then physicians will not make the leap necessary to make a correct diagnosis to prevent personal attacks on their credibility and liability exposure.  I have often wondered if it was just incompetence.  I now believe this failure to diagnose is more about personal safety and protection of the doctor and the fact that most are over worked.

Stress will kill you.  Whether it is caused by nerve compression or mental anguish – find relief!  – Pandemic Survivor

 

Itchy Legs and Feet – Vitamin D Cause or Solution?

One of the things that I discovered during my years of pain was the cause of itchy legs.  The itchy legs would drive me crazy to say the least.  The first episode of this was a year before my first back surgery in the winter of 1997.  I was on a long road trip into the Shenandoah Valley and it was very cold and snowing.  I ran the heat on high most of the way to the valley which took me approximately four hours.  My right leg started itching and it was close to the heater discharge, so I assumed that the heat was irritating the skin.  The irritation on my leg persisted into the late spring.  My doctor thought as I that it was just itchy dermatitis.  We treated it with topical steroids and it seemed somewhat to respond but not heal.

In the spring of 2003 before my second back surgery, my legs became inflamed and erupted with little red bumps that broke open after twenty four hours.  This was kind of scary because the steroids did not seem to help it that much.  I had the problem on both legs from the tops of my feet to above my knees.  What was really frightening was that it started around my ankles and took about six weeks to go all the way up my legs.  I remember my oldest brother coming to see me and he said that it looked like infections on diabetic’s legs that would not heal.  The legs continued to be inflamed until I had back surgery and it just went away.  I assumed that it had something to do with all the antibiotics that I took after the surgery.

After my vertebral disc healed, I told everyone that I knew about how I had grown three inches taller in less than a year.  It was shocking and amazing to see the expressions on their faces as they were used to looking me in the eyes, but my eye level had changed.  The first response was always, how much did I take and what type of vitamin D.  Then later on I would see them and they would respond about how much their legs were itching and they had cut back on their vitamin D and it stopped.  I also continued to have the problem off and on until two years ago when they started to itch and I correlated the itch to a compressed nerve in my back.  I did a round on my inversion table and it was like magic.  The itching stopped.  What was even more amazing was one of the bumps was as large as half a golf ball.  After hanging, it completely returned to normal in about thirty minutes.

I came to the conclusion that nerves that are compressed will give you a severe case of dermal inflammation that has many symptoms.  I recently found a disease that has not been identified as a disease because the CDC can find no pathogens that are the cause – Morgellons Disease.  It seems the foundation no longer exist out of frustration I suspect.  I know exactly how they feel.  The funds were donated to Oklahoma State University.  http://www.healthsciences.okstate.edu/morgellons/index.cfm

Symptoms:

  • Physical
    • Sponanteously Erupting Skin lesions
    • Sensation of crawling, biting on and under the skin
    • Appearance of blue, black or red fibers and granules beneath and/or extruding from the skin
    • Fatigue
  • Mental
    • Short-term memory loss
    • Attention Deficit, Bipolar or Obsessive-Compulsive disorders
    • Impaired thought processing (brain fog)
    • Depression and feelings of isolation

Yes, I had all of those including what I thought were fibers that I had rubbed into the openings from fabrics.  The fibers I observed were black.  I now believe these to be nerves that have died.  It is no wonder they could find no pathogens.

Have you had itchy legs that could be associated with nerve compression or that you thought happened because you were taking vitamin D?  – Pandemic Survivor

More on itchy legs

Winter – Relieving Back Pain Without the Sun

It is that time of year when viral infections ravage the populations in the form of colds and the flu.  Disease states worsen and are manifest as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.  More pharmaceuticals are prescribed to relieve illness and the side effects are extremely destructive as this is the third leading cause of death.  Young and old people alike die at higher rates from the reduction in the total state of health.  Winter, an evil time of year, calls for renewal and the hope of spring.  And the effects of reduced health are the pain alarms going off all over the body, in particular the central nervous system as characterized by back spasms.  Longing for the warmth of the sun, a state of blue sadness envelops us.

Ah, but then the sun rises higher in the sky and we once again reach a state of hope as renewal is just around the corner.  What are we to do as we wait?  Celebrate life and enjoy the understanding that this sadness of winter is not necessary.  It truly is a matter of nutrition and getting the essentials from the sun that are available in abundance in the summertime.  So two things happen that impact the quality of life.  First at latitudes further away from the equator, we lose the exposure to ultraviolet light as the angle of the sun declines during winter.  Second, we do not have access to a large of abundance of fresh unprocessed foods.  Not enough ultraviolet light and we do not make enough vitamin D, the hormone that is the master of our biological systems through the connection with the sun.  Processing foods for food safety destroy the enzymes necessary for biological thriving.  All of the minerals necessary for the body electric normally consumed in fresh foods are lost in the water of the cook pot.  And worse, potable water safety has driven us to systems that take all of the minerals out of our drinking water.

As you know if you read this blog regularly, I have recovered from a number of very serious diseases that were stealing my life.  This by the consumption of supplements because we are not getting the require essentials for life through our modern systems of living.  So here is what I personally take to sustain my biological systems.  But before I state those, I would like to say that the less pharmaceutical products that you take, the better chance of survival you have.  When you take more pharmaceuticals to offset the side effects of what you have already been prescribed, be extremely careful as you heading done a path of complexity that our medical professionals struggle to solve.  There have not been any double blind placebo controlled studies that describes what happens when you are taking more than two things in combination.  The more pharmaceuticals you take the more complex it gets.  The average number of prescriptions for people over sixty five that are on Medicare/Medicaid has sky rocketed to fifteen.  The complexity of this many things combined is beyond the scope of most physicians.  Nutrition is just the opposite of this as variety is critical to obtain the essentials for life.

Consider that I weigh two hundred thirty pounds and am now six feet two inches in height – adjust according to your weight:

Vitamin D3 -10,000 IU per day from all sources.    As this hormone is added to many different products and you make it from the sun, it is necessary adjust what you require as a supplement of just vitamin D3.  It is not how much you take that is important, it is what level of 25(OH)D3 is in your system.  This is the amount of vitamin D to keep my results between 60 ng/ml – 80 ng/ml.  Brand type is important because all brands do not replenish your systems the same.  The only way that you know is through testing.

Vitamin A – 5,000 IU per day – Vitamin A from fish liver oil.

Vitamin C – 4000 mg per day

Vitamin B – whatever is in my multiple vitamins plus a 100 B-complex per day.

Multiple Vitamin – Here I make sure that it has the trace elements that are necessary.  This includes the essentials of manganese, molybdenum, and silicon. I depend on this tablet to contain my required vitamin E.

Magnesium – 800 mg per day as a chelate, ie. – malate, glycinate, etc.

Calcium – 800 mg per day

Sulfur – Triple strength glucosamine, chondrotin, and MSM – like Osteo – Biflex or Schiff’s brand.  Here I want to be sure that it has hyaluronic acid.  This is usually two caplets per day.

Or – 4000 mg MSM  Methalsufonylmethane

Or – One fourth to one half teaspoon of Epson Salt (magnesium sulfate, pharmaceutical quality) in my morning beverage.

If you do not want to practice variety in your sulfur consumptions, then stick to the triple strength products.  I also eat a lot of garlic, onions, and eggs – all very rich in sulfur.

Iodine – 12.5mg Iodine/Iodide

Potassium – I try to use as much potassium salt as a substitute for sodium salt as possible.  If I feel any cramping – I will drink twelve ounces of low sodium V-8 juice which gives you about 1000 mg of potassium.   In general, your salt consumption should be about five grams of potassium and five grams of sodium each day.  If one is higher than the other, then try to make the potassium consumption higher than the sodium through diet choices.  Typical American diet is about 1.5 grams of potassium and 7 grams of sodium.

Fish Oil for omega-3 fat

Five hours per week of exercise at the gym.  This is essential for nutrient flow along with spinal decompression using an inversion table.

I take no prescription pharmaceuticals.  The medical professionals say that you cannot grow new cartilage.  I disagree.  The above nutrients and lots of exercise that allows the flow of replenishing fluids to cartilage have given healthy cartilage.  Spacing in my spine has increased enough to clear all of the nerve roots to relieve pain.  The one place that the cartilage had completely disappeared has not grown new cartilage.  All other joints are now healthy.  None of the above supplementation would be necessary if I ate lots of raw foods and drink natural mineral rich water and lived in the sun.

Faith and Hope brings the very spark of life – Love!  – Pandemic Survivor

Vitamin D Best Benefit – Infection Fighter

Vitamin D has now been revealed as a significant hormone in the function of animals.  This includes everything from fighting infection to preventing a host of chronic diseases.  It has also been shown to have pathways on over 2700 genes or more than ten percent of our genome.  With so many benefits, there is a huge disconnect in the medical profession that any one thing can be this significant to life.  But if we pause and think about it, this hormone is produced in our skin after exposure to the sun.  This is our connection to the sun or the energy source for the biomass of the earth.

With this understood the question becomes, what is our best benefit.  I think that the best benefit is definitely as an infection fighter.  Just small amounts have a significant impact on colds and the flu or any infection that is a result of viruses.  Forget about all of the science studies and think how much healthier the population is in the summer as opposed to the winter.  This can be directly linked to the amount of exposure to the sun.  If you think about the last time you had a cold in the summer, it was most likely because you had not been exposed to the sun or it was not a viral infection.  Do not get me wrong.  Vitamin D fights other pathogens as well, but typically it requires higher levels of the hormone to effective.

Linus Pauling in his book, “How to Live Longer and Feel Better” argued that taking supplements was necessary to fight many diseases including the big three killers, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.  His thought was the need in particular for vitamin C to help fight off these diseases and colds and the flu.  He states that the less infections that you have during your life time, the probably for a longer healthier life exists.  It is interesting how the medical community shunned him and his ideas on vitamins.  How could this be for the only man that had two unshared Nobel Prizes?  The science community eats its own when a member interferes with the opportunity to make money.  The general comment of the medical community is ‘it is only vitamins’.

Think about your children for a minute.  If you are sure that they are getting an adequate amount of vitamin D and vitamin C how unlikely they are to have colds, the flu, and yes asthma attacks.  If you are a parent trying to get through these early years of exposure to a highly contagious environment then supplements are your best friend.  Think about yourself.  I have not had a cold since 2004 because of this combination of supplementation.  Now in the winter, I have to be creative to come up with an excuse to not be at work.  Sometimes I miss my colds for this reason and then I think of all the misery.  You really do not need an excuse to take off from work for your ‘mental’ health.

Here is the best summary of the benefits of vitamin D and what levels to take to prevent colds and the flu.  It is provided by Dr. Mercola.  If you do not already receive his newsletter, then I encourage you to sign up as he provides a wealth of information.  “The Vitamin That Can Cut Your Flu Risk in Half”  Vitamin C and Vitamin D and its summer all year – Pandemic Survivor

Comment on Health Care and Nutrition

In 2008 the US health care cost as a percent of GDP was approximately 16 percent, up from a mere 5 percent in 1960.  That has since risen to about 18 percent.  This means that the new health care plan, commonly referred to as ‘Obamacare’, that was passed by Congress was an excuse for the health insurance companies to raise rates.  Balance this with what we were told when the administration was forcing the passage of this bill.  The next closest country to the US is France and Belgium at approximately 11 percent.  Consider that the UK is at 8.7 percent and Canada is 10.4 percent.  Couple that with the highest corporate tax rate in the world and we wonder why manufacturing has gone elsewhere.  This is worse because in the US the companies ‘have’ to pay for health insurance (another form of tax) where in other countries; it is built into their taxes.  Just think how sick our population has to be in order to sustain such a large percentage of GDP.  The US has a health care insurance system and government corruption that has run amok.

So, you would think that the US health care system would rank number one in the world because of the spending.  The most recent data that I could find on rankings by country for health care quality was in 2000.  I am sure there was pressure from the US to stop WHO from ranking.  WHO ranked France as number one as you might expect since their spending as so high.  However, the US was ranked at 37 – in between Dominica at 35, Costa Rica and Slovenia, Cuba at 39.  Do not expect this to change when the priority for a former Secretary of HHS had ‘markets before mandates’ ranked as four and to ‘value life’ ranked last at nine.  It “is the economy stupid” and it is more important than your health so do not depend on your government to give you the best advice for being well.

There are seventy-seven million ‘baby boomers’ that are currently retiring at the rate of more than ten thousand per day.  As far as the government is concerned, the solution to reducing the debt burden is to have these folk die off.  The quicker the better to keep the health care industry from deriving huge profits from illness as these folks are dying and driving our debt higher.  If you eat well and get enough iodine, magnesium, sulfur, vitamin D, vitamin C, and potassium then you may be able to beat the system.  Remember the rebellion of the youth in the sixties?  Now the old timers, aka boomers, are going to be revolting about good nutrition.  Have boomers who live healthy lives and helped their parents to stay alive become ‘enemies of the state’?

Reference:
http://www.photius.com/rankings/healthranks.html , http://www.kff.org/insurance/snapshot/OECD042111.cfm

Reversing Alzheimer’s Follow-Up

My wife’s sister took her mother to lunch today.  Mother-in-law remembered she was going to lunch and was dressed and waiting.  My nephew went with them and his remark was how wonderful her face was starting to fill out.  That is an amazing recovery for someone with a prognosis of needing to be placed in a memory care unit.  The question has occurred to me; is my mother-in-law an anomaly?  Maybe she was not getting Alzheimer’s but had some other form of dementia.  We certainly pray a lot and I am sure that God is involved, but maybe this is more for you and the person you know with has Alzheimer’s.

Consider what Ronald Roth said in his article, Alzheirmer’s: Nutritional Causes, Treatments and Prevention;  “The positive response to sulfur-raising therapy I have observed in patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease has been inversely proportional to the progression of the disease, with sulfur levels of every patient tested having been from significantly below-normal in early stages, to totally deficient – or no longer being measurable – at late stages of the disease.”  He also says that in other types of dementia, the sulfur level is not low.  The question for Ronald Roth is, how much more positive would the results have been if the patients had a vitamin D3 raising therapy as well.  In another post, I will discuss how vitamin D aids in control of the sodium sulfur co-transporters.  In other words does vitamin D3 regulate the body’s sulfur level.

So why are you waiting?  Sulfur as MSM, Vitamin D3 in enough quantity to get the serum level of 25(OH)D above 50 ng/ml, and phospholipids ( I suspect that phosphadityl choline is the best, but fish oil, krill oil, or other omega-3’s may be as effective.  However, a diet of several egg yolks per day would work too as egg yolks are rich in suffer and phospholipids).  These nutritional substances are very safe and should not have a negative effect so there is really no excuse but to try it.  Discuss it with the doctor and go for it.

Memory improved while living well in the sun, eating egg yolks, and drinking hard water where the sulfate has not been removed – Pandemic Survivor