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  • How I found hope.

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    Old 07-15-2016, 06:20 AM   #1
    AnotherThrowawa's Avatar
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    Thumbs up How I found hope.

    I've been on a long journey with my health issues. They have mostly manifested on my mood, concentration, energy and memory. And I do have diagnosed mental health issues, but I don't know that what I have found to work for me is just restricted to resolving those. For those who don't like long reads there's a tl;dr down the bottom.

    I'm not saying that my journey solved everything. It did, however, give me hope that I could operate on the level that everyone else expects me to be on, and so I've gone from being barely employed in a casual position that I could barely do to a part time position and doing a university course at the same time, doing really well, with the prospect of a full time position the minute I get out. I can get out and socialise without people believing I dislike them because I don't have the energy to engage. I'm that self that I had only small peeks of up until now.

    Basically, what lead me down my current track is when the Dr did a blood test for Vitamin D, and found me deficient. So I took a Vit D supplement. I was dubious it would have any effect, I had no noticeable depression more than usual, none of the symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency that I knew of, but what the hell, I could see little harm.

    Boy was I wrong, within the next couple of weeks my horrible memory became just below average memory, and *music*. Suddenly I enjoyed music to a degree I never had before. This wasn't a return to normal, this was a boost.

    And then summer came, so I stopped the Vit D supplement, as much out of curiosity as anything else. And over the next few weeks, I felt my memory fuzz and music became harder to enjoy, I also became more agitated making harder to concentrate. About a month after, I went and got another Vit D blood test. It was 58, no deficient at all. Regardless, I went back on Vit D, and yep, the improvements came back. This kind of blew my mind a little, I had always thought that you took vitamins to address a deficiency, and once that was a addressed they were essentially expensive urine that increases your cancer risk marginally.

    So I tried a Vit B12 supplement, mainly because I saw that it was in energy drinks to potentially give drinkers more energy. And sure enough, that improved my energy levels and my concentration, it also solved my speech difficulties. I stopped accidentally mixing up similar sounding words or words with similar meanings, as well as problems switching words. It's never stopped me communicating, as it doesn't happen that often, but it does cause confusion from time to time. I got a blood test for B12 before I started, and it was fine, no deficit there.

    So then I decided to take a full multivitamin that covered everything. But I found that approach not very effective, taking the full multivitamin alone led to a decline on both memory, enjoyment of music, concentration, and energy, and made it harder for me to sleep. I could feel, however, that I was boosted in other areas even if I had trouble putting my finger on them.

    So I returned to Vit D, Vit B12, and tried to experiment vitamins in the B class, B1, B2 and B3 mainly. I could tell that B2 had a positive effect, but it was only moderate. So I took a vit B complex vitamin, both because I wasn't sure which ones were having an effect, and taking them all individually was a pain. And that was definitely an improvement.

    I then tried taking Omega 3, and it did give me more energy. I did however find that taking too many tablets actually made me become more aggressive.

    I was also told around that time that I had an iron deficit. The GP's I'd seen kept saying that was an artefact of how much fluid I drink, but I decided that taking an over the counter supplement, which was good, it stopped the arrhythmia my sleep medication would cause, after a while I stopped it once I told one of my doctors about it and the freaked out. I think they were concerned I was taking one of the prescription ones which can be dangerous. Regardless, I stopped it, and I realised that I felt less washed out. So now I only take it if I experience arrhythmia, which hasn't been for a while.

    I also started taking a calcium and magnesium supplement, which helped with my joint pain and the amount that my joints crack.

    I also started experiencing nerve pain in my fingers and toes, if I pressed on certain area's I would feel a weird sort of pain. I googled it had saw that it was linked to Vit B6 supplements, so I stopped the multivitamin, and that went away, and I also felt less washed out again.

    I did notice, however, that my mood was significantly down, and I had less energy. So now I decided to try other vitamins in the B group to find which one it was. I struck lucky the first time when I picked Vit B5 off the self, which is lucky considering most stores don't sell it. The best way to describe the impact B5 has as /holy ****/. I took one tablet and it was like a really good caffeine boost without the impatience and instability caffeine has on me. Suddenly my mood was good without being unbalanced and I had energy. But my speech difficulties came back to a degree. I did, however, get some nasty pimples but they seem to have been temporary. So I doubled my Vit B12 dose, and started experimenting with the right dose for Vit B5. I also started taking Vit B2, as I heard that it is connected to Vit B5, and I do feel that there was some improvement, some of it hard to define, others, like solving my constipation issues, were quite clear. Vit B2 might have helped with the speech issues as well, not sure about that.

    And here is where I'm up to now. I do have a diagnosis of Bipolar Type II, and I probably have ADHD and Aspergers, but I've never had a proper diagnosis on those. I do take Lithium and Seroquel for the bipolar. I do have a family history of bipolar on my fathers side, and on my mothers side I know people who swear by the supplements they take. And while I can only speak from my experience, given the relatively low risk (but there still are risks) when it comes to this stuff, hopefully other people who experiment along these lines might find this helpful to do their own experiments. I don't know if the persecution drugs I take might deplete my nutrition levels and I'm now readdressing the balance, I know that there is some evidence out there for vitamins for ADHD and aspergers, but it's possible this is a hereditary thing from my mother, who has none of these conditions but still swears by supplements.

    I would say that the effect was probably around a 20% to a 75%, I'm hardly a vegetable even without the vitamins, I am fully able bodied and I managed to (barely) complete a university degree without any of these vitamins, so it's not like I was seriously disabled, but it did make it hard for me to hold down a job and work towards the future I wanted.

    I should also say that I do have a properly nutritious and varied diet and I do go outside. It's not that I don't have fast food, and the nutrition in food does have an impact (I now realise why I used to be in a better mood if I had a steak the night before), but it seems that the effect seems to deplete very quickly.

    I should also point out that there is evidence that taking vitamins can increase your cancer risk. You can overdose on some vitamins, you really should google them for that (if nothing else) before you try one, the effects can be rather nasty and serious.

    So tl;dr with other bits of information like dosage I didn't include for those interested:

    Lithium: Causes pimples, need to drink lots of water, stabilise mood, greatly reduces irritability and feeling rushed.

    Seroquel: Helps with sleep, also stabilises mood

    Ranitidine: Prevents acid reflux. Without it I have great problems eating food while stressed for some reason. Makes you get drunk more quickly.

    Vitamin D3 1000 UI: Improved memory, Greatly increased enjoyment of music, Improves mood, Removes agitation/improves focus.

    Vitamin B12 100 ug: Coherent speech, Accurate word usage, Concentration

    Omega 3 2000mg: Improves energy. Taking much makes me aggressive. I found it you leave it out the capsules become rather soft, and I read that they degrade over time, so I store it in the fridge.

    Calcium & Magnesium (plus a bunch of other stuff, including 200UI vit D3 because I can't find a brand without it): Joint pain

    Vitamin B5 125mg: Improved mood, Improves Energy, Makes speech more incoherent, temporary nasty pimples.

    Vitamin B2 100mg: Bowel Function, other (Corrects the incoherent speech caused by Vitamin B5?)

    Vitamin B Mega Supplement: Was having an undefined positive effect, most likely due to Vitamin B5 that I was not taking separately at the time, but discontinued as I was receiving nerve pain points in my extremities and feeling washed out, I suspect that it was to do with taking too much Vitamin B6

    Centrum: Stopped taking this. I suspect the iron in it was more than I needed.

    Iron (equivalent 5 mg): Stops arrhythmia caused by seroquel, taking it for too long made me feel washed out.

    Metamucil 2 tablets, addresses constipation issues.

    Vitamin B1: No effect

    Vitamin C: Only if I'm craving oranges

    Movicol: No longer taking this, Vitamin B2 does the same job.

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