Breast Cancer, Chronic Illness, Depression, Drug Companues, Exhaustion, Fibro, Fibro Life, Fibro Management, Fibromyalgia, Natural Medicine, Practical Fibro, Western Medicine

Big Pharma, New Lower Blood Test Numbers To Qualify You For More Of Their Drugs Sooner & Type 2 Diabetes, Cholesterol, Vitamin D3.

I initially started to put this on Painkills2’s comments when I reblogged her post about cannabis being more helpful and less damaging to us than various thoroughly unpleasant drugs that Big Pharma want our doctors to sell to us.

I found that I’d gone into Rant Mode, so figured I ought to just post my original “comment”…….with apologies to Jo for apparently hi-jacking her post –  please see the post before this one for the link to Jo’s site and her post about it –

Reblogged this on effingfibro and commented:
“I only wish it was legal here in the UK……can’t even get MM for cancer pain, never mind all the issues that fibro throws up on top. Apparently, or so my old GP told me, it’s only available here on prescription if you have MS. Nothing else justifies it. Probably because Big Pharma can’t make any money out of it. Makes me livid, the hold Big Pharma has on our health care system. It decries all natural medicine because it can’t make money from naturally occurring substances, then makes fake chemical versions of natural substances which it CAN make money from via patenting (lasts 20 years before others can copy their “original” drug, hence Valium became available as generic diazepam since I don’t know when, the 90’s or possibly earlier, I really don’t know. But that’s where they make their money, the first 20 years of a patented product).

The data is always skewed to showcase whichever new drug they’ve invented – nicked from the natural world – with no regard for side-effects. Big Pharma LOVES side-effects – more drugs needed to subdue the side-effects of the first, still more for the side-effects of the second…….and on you go. Don’t misunderstand me, there are some drugs which I personally couldn’t be without – literally in a couple of cases, because without them I’d die, but the majority of the UK’s health system is dictated to by the drug companies recommendations, so currently all the qualifying numbers from blood tests for type 2 diabetes and cholesterol levels have, in the past year alone, been lowered so that they can insist on patients being shoved onto metformin and statins sooner!

The side-effects of BOTH those drugs are awful, extremely deleterious to human health……which then creates further need for extra drugs to manage the side-effects.

I did a lot of research into all of this earlier this year, when my previously normal numbers suddenly put me into metformin territory and I refused point blank to take it. My cholesterol numbers were suddenly deemed “High” too, and I wasn’t about to take statins, either. They were actually already lower than they’d been for two years, the only negative change was in the definition of the numbers, not the numbers themselves. I’ve been able to massively reduce my “Bad” cholesterol (cholesterol is a much-misunderstood subject anyway) through taking very specific supplements, none of which are claiming to be cholesterol reducing products, I just looked at studies that had been done, decided what I knew about cholesterol fitted in with what the studies were saying, and built my own programme to combat it. No way was I going on statins! And my figures last month were too low to qualify for even these ridiculous new qualifying numbers they’ve come up with, so Ha!

Likewise, I am still reversing my type 2 diabetes, all with natural medicine supplements – herbs, nutritional things, so things like Gymnema, B3, biotin, GTF chromium, and others. I will NOT be scaremongered into taking yet MORE drugs. I need a sodding flat-bed truck to collect my monthly repeats as it is, thanks.
I’m sure if Big Pharma could somehow reinvent dope, MM would suddenly be recommended for a trillion different conditions. Likewise, the recent revelations about Vitamin D led Big Pharma to start “inventing” their own nasty synthetic chemical analogues. Before Big Pharma got wind about D3, the figures were – 75-200 nmol/l = sufficient. 50-75nmol = insufficient. Below 50 was deficient. Once Big Pharma saw how many people were taking way more than the recommended “maximum safe” dose of 400IU a day (bear in mind you’d make around 30,000IU in a sunny afternoon at the beach), they lowered ALL of those figures so that now you have to be less than 20nmol/l to be deficient, and anything from 60nmol is now deemed sufficient. The upper reference range of 200nmol seems to have come down to half that.

All this is because a lot of the pharmaceuticals are still waiting for their horrid analogues to be approved. Once they are, I expect the reference ranges will go back up again.

Even the Vitamin D Council seems to me to have been got at by Big Pharma, because in Feb 2013, they recommended 10,000IU a day, but by the June that same year, they’d changed it to 5,000IU instead. I wrote to them, telling them I was taking 20,000IU/day, and was finding it helpful with a lot of previously intractable symptoms, and asking them why they’d lowered their earlier recommendation. I expected some support for what I was doing, but instead got the most unpleasant mouthful back on email, basically telling me what umpteen doctors had told me – I was going to kill myself doing that. Well, I didn’t, because I know what else to take it with to prevent high blood calcium, which is the risk attached to taking too much D3. I have my bloods checked monthly, and even when my D3 has been up in the 800’s, my calcium is still very normal. I reduced to 5,000IU/d recently, and my last bloods showed a huge drop in levels – I went from 542nmol/l to just 132nmol/l, which explains why I’ve been more ill than normal lately. So I’ve upped my dose again.
Without high dose D3, I would certainly be on metformin AND statins by now, and be having to deal with a whole new batch of shitty, painful, horrible side-effects from them.

I just wish I could get cannabis over here, because then I probably wouldn’t get as much nausea, anxiety, muscle and bone pain, poor quality sleep, rubbish appetite, IBS, or depression. I know it helps with all those things.
Think I might need to convert this “comment” into a post – I appear to have gone off in Rant Mode! Sorry Jo!
L. X”

To add a little bit to that, it would also help with my nerve pain, and possibly with the actual damage that chemo inflicted on my nerves, too. I have peripheral neuropathy in my feet, and nerve damage to my bladder and bowels. There are a huge amount of symptoms that I am positive would bd helped by cannabis/pot/weed/hash, but it’s illegal over here again at the moment. It’s never been fully legal, but for a year or so, owning for personal use only was legal. Supposedly, we have a thriving black market in the stuff, and a news programme recently pronounced that cannabis is currently “easier to buy than sausages”. Well, I’d like to know where they’re hiding it, because I haven’t even seen any for years!

I’ll do more posts about Vitamin D3 another time, just know for now that if you take high dose D3, you NEED to take Vitamin K2 to send any excess blood calcium to your bones instead of it being dumped into areas of soft tissue like tendons, kidneys, and other very undesireable locations.

Also, please understand that I am NOT a doctor, and any health advice I give on my blog is my opinion, or my experience, and is not intended to be used as a diagnostic or treatment tool by anyone. What works for me might not necessarily work for you, and I am not responsible for any effects you may experience from trying anything I recommend. ALWAYS seek your own doctor’s advice before embarking on any supplements or natural medicine therapies, and do your own research, too. Don’t just take MY word for it – find out to your own satisfaction! 

I do a lot of research in my efforts to be well again. The way I see it, if you’re ill, you can never know too much about your body, how it works, why it’s got sick, and how you may be able to help yourself get well again.

Who cares more about you getting well than you? Even the most passionately caring doctor does not have the time, nor the detailed knowledge of our illnesses that is needed to try and find appropriate treatments or possible cures, that we do.

Investigate, research, ask questions, and never take a study as gospel. Just because someone wrote a paper about it doesn’t automatically mean it’s true. Many are skewed in favour of an interested party – and that goes for natural medicine, too, because the supplements industry is a big money industry. Not as big as the pharmaceutical companies, but still big, like the anti-sun industry is. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking all things natural must be good. Just because something is natural doesn’t mean it can’t do harm – arsenic is natural! Many natural medicine products deserve just as much respect as pharmaceutical chemicals do, because some are very powerful. You CAN have too much of a good thing! Also, many nutritional substances in our bodies have to be kept in very fine balance with each other in order for us to be healthy. It’s quite easy to throw out the normal balance between sodium and potassium, for example. If you’re on a low or no salt diet, or take a potassium supplement when you don’t need it, or take more potassium than you have salt coming in from your diet, you seriously run the risk of hyperkalaemia – high potassium – which is THE leading cause of all cardiac-related events in the UK. To me, knowing this means that the still-tenacious fad for No Salt diets as recommended by doctors in the US and the UK is one that is positively dangerous. If you want salt, in my opinion you should listen to your body and have salt. If you have low adrenal function, that will make you throw out more sodium than is good for you, and if you have this condition, you WILL crave salt. Obviously, there are some situations where monitoring or reducing your salt intake would be adviseable, like if you habitually stuff yourself with prepackaged, processed or tinned foods, because they can have very high amounts of hidden salt in them (even the sweet ones – did you know chocolate has salt in?) and you might not even be aware that you’re eating that much salt because processed food stops us from tasting the majority of it in that type of food. (If you took the same amount of salt that’s in a processed meal and applied it as plain old table salt to ordinary, plain food, you probably wouldn’t enjoy the taste very much). If you have clinically high blood pressure, they recommend you cut down on salt to stop it getting any higher (salt increases blood volume, which in turn increases the pressure in all your blood vessels).

So, ALWAYS consult your doctor before taking any supplements or following any advice that I give out on my posts. ALWAYS!  

Apart from any other considerations, like allergies, intolerances etc, there may be a clash between some natural medicine products and your meds or another health condition, which is why I keep saying check with your own doctor first.

If anyone feels in desperate need of a full, proper consultation with me, that can be arranged. It’s how I used to make a living before I got wrecked by chemo and radiotherapy, so feel free to email me and we can talk about it. Otherwise, talk to your doctor, do some research of your own, read some studies, examine the evidence, and make your own mind up. We get most of our natural health stuff from iherb in the US, and if you want, I can give you a discount code that will get you money off your first order with them (email me from the Contact Me section). I don’t work for them, and I don’t earn any money out of referring customers to their site (I wish I did!) but I do get points for me to use against my own purchases there. The reason we use them is because they are mostly a lot cheaper than the same products are in the UK, even after VAT and delivery have been added on. They carry a huge range, seem to me to be very good on price, and deliver quickly. I can get an order from iherb faster than from some UK companies! I’ve been getting stuff from them for more than ten years, so they’re an established company with a reputation to protect, not some fly-by-night bunch of cowboys.

Exhaustion, Fibro Life, Fibrolmyalgia

I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself

The last few months have been worse than before.

The last few weeks have been worse still.

The last few days have been the pits.

I’m just so tired. 

My brain feels like it’s trying to waddle through treacle. Thick, sticky, treacle. I can usually work out what I need to do to take the edge off the latest arrivals to the Party Of Fibro Symptoms. I can usually find a particular med, or a particular supplement that makes me feel better. I’m used to managing my symptoms. Dammit, I’ve had enough practice over the three decades I’ve been dealing with this .

But the last few days, I haven’t felt *just* fibro-ill. I feel ill-ill, like acutely-something-wrong-ill, as opposed to chronically-ill-ill.

And that scares me.

My insomnia has been replaced by sleeping like a corpse. Whereas before, my norm was to fall asleep for a few minutes or maybe an hour at a time from 11pm onwards, and finally “go to sleep” at dawn/ 4-5am, now I’m falling asleep at 11pm, waking up briefly then properly passing out by midnight. I’m not waking in the night. I’m not even waking when B brings me coffee and my yoghurt drink to take my morning pills with at 7.30am. I’m still asleep, buried deep inside a black blanket of unconsciousness, when he brings me breakfast at 8.00. It got so bad that we had to change my breakfast to a completely cold one. Congealed scrambled egg is never appealing. Plus, I’m waking up feeling even more nauseous than usual. I have to take my meds, plus some anti-emetics, before I can contemplate putting anything else in my mouth.

Then, when I’ve eventually dragged myself free from the clutches of the big black blanket, I find I’m in tears. I force my breakfast down me. I take my supplements. I try to keep the blanket off me, I push with all my might, but it takes all my strength; I fall asleep again.  I don’t wake for hours, sometimes not til tea-time. I’m sleeping all night, then again til 4.30pm. Then I’m asleep again – properly tucked-down asleep as opposed to dozing sitting up sleeping – by midnight.

I’m sleeping up to 20 hours a day again, just like I was when all this very first got critical, back in my thirties.

Yesterday, I had to buy, write and post Father’s Day cards, and a birthday card. A simple matter of stopping off en route to the doctor’s where I was already a week overdue for collecting my monthly meds. I was to get cards, go to the doctor’s, collect my meds, order next month’s, come home, write cards, address envelopes, stick on stamps, and get B to post them in the very nearby post-box that I can only make it to on a really good day.

I managed the cards very quickly. I was slightly waylaid by a conversation with a fellow blue badge holder, over a mutual rant about non-disabled drivers taking up the disabled spaces, but nothing lengthy.  She was a pleasure to talk to.

I got to the doctor’s, but by then was so utterly exhausted that for once I was completely unable to fill out my repeats. My brain just wouldn’t do it. Waddling through treacle, it refused to even look at the forms. It was too busy concentrating on how to take the next step forwards to start mental gymnastics, even the low-level, forward-roll type gymnastics of ticking boxes. I came home, went straight back to bed and fell asleep til tea-time.

I fell asleep again after tea. Woke up at 9pm. B was working late, so we broke our usual 9pm meet-on-the-sofa agreement and got there at 10pm instead. He posted the cards for me before joining me.

We were back in bed by 11.30. He was asleep immediately (he always is), and I was asleep by 12.30. Practically unheard of for me. I was always a night owl, even before insomnia proper was booting me up the arse on a regular basis.

I had nightmares. Horrible, violently imaged nightmares.  But I did sleep through. And then found myself smothered by that big, black blanket of exhaustion and depression and sleep this morning.

Was it because I dared to go “out” yesterday when I felt too ill to do so? Was it the conversation in the car park? Was it buying and writing the cards? Was it something I took? Something I didn’t take? Something I took too much of? Too little of?

I had to go again to the doctor’s today. Monthly blood test time. Ordinarily, I try to combine the visits. I collect scripts/meds when I have a blood test or my monthly GP appointment, but this month I’ve been so ill that I was over a week late collecting my meds, and had to make an emergency run yesterday. I only noticed I was running out of essential stay-alive meds when I realised my pot of them was nearly empty on Wednesday. I’m never late collecting them. Never.

I was too ill to do the repeats yesterday, so told them I’d bring them in today. Fat chance. I was too ill today too.

The first thing that penetrated the black blanket this morning was pain. I seem to have pulled a muscle in my shoulder during the night.  Then nausea. Then gut cramps.  Then my mouth tasting like a dirty bird cage. Then enveloping exhaustion. Then tears.

Much later, I dragged myself out of bed. Dragged some jeans and a sweatshirt jacket on over my pj’s. Dragged myself in for bloods. Sat in the waiting room, with my stupid rollator, head resting on my arms, arms resting on my rollator’s padded handles. My arms hurt. My legs hurt, being shoved under the seat of my rollator, where I had to have it close enough to lean on. Tears rolled down my face.

My nurse was running late. She’s lovely. She took my blood, with the minimum of pin-cushioning (she’s the only nurse out of the 5 there who can successfully cajole blood from my recalcitrant, chemo-screwed veins) and sympathised with me.

I was still in tears on the way out through reception. The equally lovely receptionist intervened with The Tissues. Another receptionist joined in her efforts to comfort me.  I just don’t know what’s wrong with me.

I just don’t know what to do with myself.

When I got home, B took one look at me and put me gently back to bed, practically having to carry me upstairs.

“I hate this. I just want to be normal,” I sobbed.

All efforts at staying awake failed. Despite managing to make a couple of comments on here first, the black blanket smothered me again. Again, I woke up to B standing there with food on a tray for me. Again, I felt sick, tearful, in pain, exhausted,  I’ve slept more than 12 hours already today. Even the phone ringing didn’t wake me up. I vaguely heard some distant noise, but couldn’t surface. I just couldn’t.

And I just don’t know to do with myself.

This isn’t a flare. Or if it is, it isn’t a normal flare. I feel too ill, too toxic, too exhausted. It’s taken hours to write this. I can normally write faster. I type fast, think fast. My downfall is usually that I have to keep going back and refining, editing, changing things. It isn’t usually that I can’t think what to say, but how best to say it.

But I’m smothered by a black blanket and my brain’s waddling through treacle, so if it’s just a bit rubbish today, please forgive.