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Silent Death – Serotonin Syndrome / This Should Be a Huge Hydrogen Size Boom in the AMA and Pharma's Faces!!

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Silent Death – Serotonin Syndrome / This

Should Be a HUGE Hydrogen Size BOOM

in the AMA and Pharma’s Faces!!

 

( Hey !  Q ……. If by God’s Will you somehow come across  this article and material, would you please consider bringing it forward so the “Great Awakening” can be further awakened to this huge and valuable knowledge that may save many lives (as in, mass shooting victims …. most supposed mass shooters are / or were on SSRI’s) and set many thousands free from their pharmacological enslavement !
 
Thank you, Sir. )
 
 

Silent Death – Serotonin Syndrome

 
April 12, 2018
 

serotonin syndrome

It started very slowly; at an almost non-existent rate. My mother, then about 84 years old, broke her ankle. She had been extremely active, playing table tennis regularly in a senior club; she was also a bridge champion almost all her life. She even joined online bridge groups and beat everyone on the internet too. When they asked how old she was, her partners and competitors just flipped that she was in her 80s and a bridge champion. She was sharp as a tack!

The ankle that broke needed surgery with plates and screws. She was restricted to bed for 6 months and then to wheelchair for life. While her ankle was healing she was in bed and could not play bridge, she lost her skills and partner. She was also dependent on others and became depressed. I would rather say she was angry with life for what happened to her rather than depressed but she insisted that she was depressed. She paid a visit to a neurologist begging for an antidepressant.

The neurologist prescribed half of the smallest possible dose of Mirtazapine, a simple serotonin that on its own is capable causing major damage but she received a very small dose. As she started taking the medicine, very tiny changes developed in her personality but they were so mild as to almost unnoticeable. In retrospect, we see what happened – hindsight is always 20/20.

First Signs of the Impending Doom

The first sign that she had too much serotonin in her brain was that rather than feeling calmer and happier she became more agitated; she was unhappy with people around her, criticized everything, nothing was good enough. Then bowel incontinence started and she had trouble holding her stool until she reached the bathroom; her bowel incontinence further limited where she dared going so she felt angrier. She became very easy to irritate and was pissed at the whole world.

What I have just described took four years to evolve so we did not see the connection of all these changes to the serotonin medicine. Then one day as I was refilling her medicine, the drugstore ran out of Mirtazapine and they placed her on an SSRI called Zoloft instead—the doctor changed her prescription.

An SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor) is a very different medicine from the old small dose serotonin my mother received. While Mirtazapine merely provided a small extra dose of serotonin to the brain, Zoloft forced her brain to make serotonin 24/7.

How SSRIs Work in the Brain

To understand what SSRIs do, envision a sink with an overflow hole on the top, in case you left the water running. This will allow the extra water to flow back into the drain and if you have an automated sink that is connected to this backflow, the sink would know it is full and would turn the faucet off. This little overflow hole in the brain cell is called reuptake. It does exactly what the overflow does. If it senses that enough serotonin was made, it shuts down serotonin manufacturing of the cell until it senses that more is needed. However, SSRIs inhibit the reuptake receptor, i.e. plug it up. Just as your sink will flood your house with water if the overflow is plugged up, so does the brain fill up with serotonin as long as the reuptake is inhibited. This makes the brain cell manufacture serotonin forever, regardless how much is needed and how much it already has made.

Reuptake inhibitors serotonin syndrome

Only a small percentage of serotonin is made in the brain, less than 10%, and 90% is in other parts of the body. The intestinal tract uses most of the serotonin to pass the food through the intestines with proper speed—this explains why having too much serotonin in one’s body causes bowel incontinence. Serotonin also functions as part of memory and cognition, and it is also a vasoconstrictor. Serotonin is a dangerous substance that predisposes the patient to diabetes 2. Thus it is no surprise, in retrospect, that we saw changes slowly from Mirtazapine but very fast changes as my mother was moved to take an SSRI. Suddenly changes took place at a drastic pace:

  • Day one of the change to SSRI was a confusion day. She was clearly agitated, confused, and bowel incontinence became a permanent feature
  •  
  • Day two she was angry staring up at the ceiling all day in bed, refused to eat or do anything. The commode had to be moved into the bedroom though she barely made it that far without accident.
  •  
  • Day 3 she fought the whole world, nothing was right. She set in a corner totally agitated
  •  
  • Day 4 she called me on her cell phone at 5 am (we lived in the same house, with me right above her) asking when breakfast was served in this house. I rushed down and found her sitting at the edge of her bed in total confusion. I put her back in bed and told her breakfast will be served at 9 am so she should go back to sleep.
  •  
  • Day 5 is when the moment of recognition hit me. She called me again on the cell phone at 5 am. I ran downstairs. She was seated at the edge of her bed, totally naked with her bathrobe barely on. Her entire closet was on the floor; she pulled everything off every single hanger and shelf. I ran up to get the blood pressure meter. Her blood pressure was so high the cuff gave me error twice before I was finally able to read her blood pressure. The systolic was over 180 (120 is ideal), I don’t remember the diastolic but it was over 100. I called the ambulance and off she went to the hospital.

In the hospital, I tried to tell every doctor what her history was with the SSRI. I am a medically trained professional in neuroscience and though not a medical doctor but a researcher, I can identify a serotonin syndrome when I see one as long as I know the history that led up to it.

For my biggest surprise, and why I am writing this article, is that physicians rarely recognize serotonin syndrome. No one believed me when I told them that I suspected that my mother was suffering from serotonin syndrome. No one listened to me when I asked that they test for serotonin syndrome. I received comments like this from a psychiatrist: “Your mother cannot have serotonin syndrome, it is too rare.” Serotonin syndrome is not rare but the doctors who identify it are, and he was one of the many who did not recognize serotonin syndrome when he saw it. Another doctor told me that “she may have serotonin syndrome but we cannot test for that and cannot treat for it.” In fact, testing and treatment are both available for serotonin syndrome. The problem is with the doctors who do not ask any questions and only make assumptions based on the patient’s age (she was 88 at this time) using profiling assume that anyone over the age of 80 must have dementia. They diagnosed my mother with Alzheimer’s type dementia (something we were able to see via autopsy to have been the wrong diagnosis). She was misdiagnosed and mistreated with the wrong medicines until she died. There was nothing I could do. I suspect that for those of you who are not scientists like I am, the task is even more daunting. So prepare for the fight of a lifetime.

Unfortunately, the symptoms of many illnesses or conditions resemble that of the symptoms of serotonin syndrome. The surest way of knowing if you or your loved one has serotonin syndrome, is if serotonin medicines have been taken for a long time and symptoms slowly worsened over time or if new serotonin medicine was just introduced. If three of the following symptoms appear, take the patient to the nearest hospital via ambulance immediately, stand guard and get ready for a fight to save a life!

  • Agitation or restlessness
  • Confusion
  • Rapid heart rate and high blood pressure
  • Dilated pupils
  • Loss of muscle coordination or twitching muscles
  • Muscle rigidity
  • Heavy sweating
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Shivering
  • Goose bumps
  • High fever
  • Seizures
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Unconsciousness

The importance of this long introduction is that today more people take SSRIs than ever before hence the increased odds of ending up with serotonin syndrome, and that serotonin syndrome is misdiagnosed. More people take multiple types of SSRIs or mix SSRIs and other medicines with serotonin, such as triptans that are so often prescribed for migraineurs. Serotonin syndrome is fatal if it is not attended to very quickly. Unfortunately, it was indeed fatal for my mother.  I run a large migraine group and one of the first things each member has to do is answer a few questions via private messaging. One of the questions is about the list of medications they take. I go through every single medicine and provide a full analysis and if I find they are at risk of serotonin syndrome they are given all information to talk to their doctors. A very large percent of the new migraineurs joining take two or more serotonin medicines at once. Checking for possible serotonin syndrome is essential.

Additional information to help you to select a good hospital for your care: Medicare has created a program aiming to reduce mismanagement of patient care. They provide a score to each hospital based on the number of mismanaged cases, which includes hospital induced delirium as well as other cases. Hospital induced delirium is the new name for serotonin syndrome in many hospitals and you may find it listed as the official cause of death. Medicare assigns a score to each type of condition and sums up the incidences of misdiagnosis and mismanagement per hospital. Those hospitals that rank over the 75 percentile receive a reduction of payment from Medicare until they improve the care.

I wish that doctors were just as well trained in recognizing serotonin syndrome as they are trained to write prescriptions for serotonin. Since doctors are so unaware on how to recognize serotonin syndrome and because the consequence of that oversight is fatal, it is best to consider your options carefully before accepting serotonin prescriptions. Serotonin medicines are prescribed for everything, but when we look at what they actually help is very minimal.

To get serotonin without medicines, eat those foods that put you to sleep after lunch: turkey has lots of serotonin. Head out to the sun. Sun releases serotonin. If you live in a cold region where sun is rare in the winter, invest in a home sun-lamp. The light it releases initiates serotonin release in your body. Enjoy a pleasant walk; go shopping; watch children play in a park; go to social gatherings. Anywhere full of happy friends or people in general will supply you with feel-good hormones that will help ease any depression. There are many treatments on their way for depression and one of them is the same treatment as for migraine and anxiety. Join my migraine group to learn more.

This article was published originally on Hormones Matter on November 30, 2015. 

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Hormones Matter needs funding now. Our research funding was cut recently and because of our commitment to independent health research and journalism unbiased by commercial interests we allow minimal advertising on the site. That means all funding must come from you, our readers. Don’t let Hormones Matter die.

Angela A Stanton, PhD

Angela A Stanton, PhD View all posts

Angela A Stanton, PhD, is a Neuroeconomist who evaluates changes in behavior, chronic pain, decision-making, as a result of hormonal variations in the brain. She lives in Southern California. Her current research is focused on migraine cause, prevention and treatment without the use of medicines. As a migraineur, her discovery was helped by experimenting on herself. She found the cause of migraine to be at the ionic level, associated with disruption of the electrolyte homeostasis, resulting from genetic mutations of insulin and glucose transporters, and voltage gated sodium and calcium channel mutations. Such mutations cause major shifts in a migraine brain, unlike that of a non-migraine brain. A non-migraineur can handle electrolyte changes on autopilot. A migraineur must always be on manual guard for such changes to maintain electrolyte homeostasis. The book Fighting The Migraine Epidemic: How To Treat and Prevent Migraines Without Medicines – An Insider’s View explains why we have migraines, how to prevent them and how to stay migraine (and medicine) free for life. Because of the success of the first edition and new research and findings, she is now finishing the 2nd edition. The 2nd edition is the “holy grail” of migraines, incorporating all there is to know at the moment and also some hypotheses. It includes an academic research section with suggestions for further research. The book is full of citations to authenticate the statements she makes to be followed up by those interested and to spark further research interest. While working on the 2nd edition of the book she also published academic articles: “Migraine Cause and Treatment” Mental Health in family Medicine, November 23, 2015, open access “Functional Prodrome in Migraines” Journal of Neurological Disorders, January 22, 2016, open access “Are Statistics Misleading Sodium Reduction Benefits?”, Journal of Medical Diagnostic Method, February 3, 2016, open access “A Comment on Severe Headache or Migraine History Is Inversely Correlated With Dietary Sodium Intake: NHANES 1999-2004” Angela A Stanton PhD, 19 July 2016 DOI: 10.1111/head.12861 not open access, membership required to read it. Dr. Stanton received her BSc at UCLA in Mathematics, MBA at UCR, MS in Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University, PhD in NeuroEconomics at Claremont Graduate University, and fMRI certification at Harvard University Medical School at the Martinos Center for Neuroimaging for experimenting with neurotransmitters on human volunteers. For relaxation Dr. Stanton paints and photographs. Follow her on Twitter at: @MigraineBook

May 21, 2013
 

 

There’s a lot of valuable data to be gleaned from the

comments so I’ve included them as part of the article.

Please spread this everywhere you can, who knows

how many lives it might save ?

 


 

63 Comments

  1. BB says:

    Can you please email me? No one will listen to me and this is very important. I am scared and a mother of a young child. I know for a fact I suffered seratonin syndrome and have been put back on seratonin drugs. Everyone around me is convinced my symptoms were just that of anxiety and I swear they are not. Would love to email you my story and get some much needed advice.

  1. Dear BB,

    Thanks for your comment. I am a scientist blogger on this website and don’t take private emails–I have several thousand people I work with in several FB groups. It would be impossible for me to get emails from thousands of people who read my posts and would like to share their stories with me. There is only one me and so that is impossible. However, HormonesMatter is always looking for stories told my those who are suffering. I would recommend you write it up as a story and send it to the site owner under info@hormonesmatter.com and the site owner will publish that. Or, alternatively, you could just post it as a comment–like the comment you just made–and it will publish that way and I can respond to that. The best way to recover from serotonin syndrome is by stopping the serotonin medicine(s). If you feel it is causing you serotonin syndrome–which is entirely possible–you need to reduce and then quit that medicine. I don’t know why you are taking serotonin medicine, so the reason would also be helpful. Many people who receive serotonin medicines gain no benefit from them. Also, there is no such law or regulation that you must follow your doctor’s orders of a prescription. So you have choices.

    Looking forward to reading your story either as a comment or as a story on this blog.

    Best wishes,
    Angela

  1. Hi David,

    Thanks for your note. Very sorry to hear about your heart attack but glad that you are doing fine now. I looked up the medicines you are/were taking and none is connected to any heart problems alone, however, the combination of Tramadol and Fluoxetine can cause serotonin syndrome–well each alone can cause serotonin syndrome actually. Fluoxetine is an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) and Tramadol is an opioid that acts like an SNRI (serotonin–norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor), so you definitely were serotonin overdosed. I would suspect that the heart attack was unrelated though the effect of serotonin cannot be ruled out. Serotonin does affect the heart by causing vasoconstriction (constricting the blood vessels thereby increasing blood pressure) and in some people vasodilation (dilating the blood vessels and reducing blood pressure). This combination can compromise a heart that is otherwise weak, unhealthy, or has some congenital issues.

    The systolic impairment that your echocardiogram showed may indeed be the outcome of such mixed messages, particularly since your heart is otherwise normal.

    I have a patient I am working with who had a heart attack and now sports a stent. Yet, when I asked this person to get a CAC scan, a Coronary Artery Calcium scan, which shows calcium deposits in the arteries in the heart, I found something interesting. People with heart attack usually have very high scores on the CAC scan but this person had almost nothing! This is important, because one can get a heart attack from having too much homocysteine buildup in the blood. Homocysteine is an amino acid, which needs to be removed, else it sort of “gums up” the blood, and can cause major atherosclerosis-like residues on the artery wall, but which have nothing to do with atherosclerosis. The cause of this homocysteine buildup is the person’s inability to methylate folic acid into folate… yep, vitamin B9. It is that simple in many cases, only doctors never ever look past their noses. Just about every processed food you eat is fortified with folic acid, and a large percent of the population cannot methylate that and get sick as a result.

    I recommend you do two things to get to the bottom of this and find out if your heart attack was really caused by your heart–meaning high atherosclerosis level, so need to see the CAC score, or high homocysteine levels in the blood, which then leads us to homocysteine causing your heart attack. If neither is the case, we can entertain the serotonin medications and the possibility that they somehow caused a heart attack. It is not possible to directly check serotonin because your brain serotonin can only be measured by a spinal tap (and good luck getting that), and in the blood they can only measure the serotonin that is circulating to help you eliminate your food by bowel movement by creating the wave-like motion of your intestines. So direct measurement is impossible but we can look at indirect measures of the cause of your heart attack by other means.

    The homocysteine test is simple, ask your doctor for a blood test for it. The healthy range is 2-14 though there is a narrower range that I consider healthy and which doesn;t need special B vitamins, which is 2-8. If you are over 14, your heart attack was likely caused by your inability to metylate B9, in which case this will repeat in the future unless you start B9 methylation precursors supplementation: B2, B6, and B12–all of these need to be in active sublingual form. B12 needs to be sublingual methylcobalamin. I also would take a small dose of B9 in methylfolate form, which is pre-methylated. These will remove homocysteine from your blood.

    In terms of getting the CAC score scan: it is not covered by insurance (though not expensive) and most doctors have no idea what it is, yet a prescription is required to get it. Only university medical centers or research hospitals provide CAC scan, which is simply a CT scan but with heart electrodes on you. It is a 5-minute procedure. The radiologist then provides a number (please pay extra to get your own report–they will send you a DVD of the actual scan plus the score), which is the score, Anything under 100 is healthy and shows no atherosclerosis of concern. So if your score is less than 100, your heart attack was likely initiated by something other than your personal health–meaning maybe the medicines or serotonin syndrome. If your score is greater than 100, your metabolic health is questionable and potentially your heart attack would have happened with or without the medicines. If your score is over 100, you need to look into improving your nutrition.

    Please follow up and let us know how your tests are coming along! I wish you well and good health after your recovery.

    Angela

  1. Dear Wendy,

    Thanks for your comment! Indeed, there are gene markers for that susceptibility–I am also sensitive and would react “manic” actually according to my genetics. Unfortunately no doctor ever checks–it is not part of “routine care” to check any genetics. In fact, even when specifically asked for, it is still usually refused. So we are all guinea pigs for medicines without knowing how we react to them in advance–often finding out too late the cause of our response to a drug.

    Thank you for the information about desiccated thyroid replacement medicine and serotonin. It will help everyone.

    An additional quick note: hypothyroidism is often the result of not consuming enough iodine. Have you tried to increase your dietary iodine? Hypothyroidism can also be autoimmune problem caused by consuming foods you are sensitive to. The most usual suspects are grain (not gluten but all grains), eggs, dairy, and nuts. To test, quit all these and then slowly add them back one by one. The biggest difficulty is that improvements from quitting grains may not show up for 3+ months because they block off your entire metabolic system and the cells need to be replaced across the board. That takes time.

    I did the above autoimmune food elimination and in my case I had such incredible response to removing grains that not only did my thyroid go back to normal (I also consume extra iodine) but a host of other autoimmune conditions disappeared, including my asthma, which is driven by grains! I had no clue about that. My arthritis and all allergies also went away. So try it.

    Best of luck,
    Angela

  1. Dear Christian,

    Thanks for starting an SSRI awareness foundation. I would be honored to be a part of it. I will join your FB group as well. Thanks for the information and the invitation.

    Best wishes,
    Angela

  1. Matthew says:

    Putting my thoughts in order to make a publishable article would be quite hard for me. In the SSRI toxicity workup linked, many tests are mentioned, but not what results would constitute SSRI toxicity. My earliest results of those tests are from a few months after discontinuing SSRI’s, and not out of range, though I could check with the hospital I was taken to after suicide attempt to see if they maintained those records. An awful reflection of the state of mental health: as I was released from the first hospital and sent to a mental hospital for the remainder of a 72 hour hold, the doctor at the mental hospital screamed at me that I ruined my liver and was a druggy because of the high level of opiates in my system… all of which the first hospital administered. My liver may have been inflamed temporarily, but it was fine quite soon after. Absolutely nothing was done to counteract the actual brain or systemic bodily injury of the gassing, and certainly nothing was done to test for prescription drugs as a cause. They simply switched me to another brand of each, and when let out another doctor gave me a different brand of both. Hard to believe, but it seems I lost 20-30lbs of muscle in just a couple weeks and could hardly walk; even though I was a powerful partner in Pas-de-deux, among many other powerful activities. (Men in ballet such as myself mostly throw and catch advanced level ballerinas) I didn’t like to go out in pubic because people would look at me and be horrified by my skeletal appearance, then gay men were constantly hitting on me after I gained a few pounds with the assumption that my apparent anorexia was intentional. No care was given for my physical problems from that incident, nor the physical problems that led up to their assumption that my problem was depression.
    Good point about the diet, though my case goes much further than that. I cannot tolerate any carbohydrates, few proteins, and only the highest quality fats. I’ve been on a liquid diet for 18 months as I can digest nothing else. Would SSRI toxicity still be causing such issues after so many years?
    You mentioned the pain and suffering I “went” through. It never ended, and apparently won’t.

  1. Mathew, we can help pull the story together. You wouldn’t need every detail, just broad strokes to give others a sense of what happens. We can take what you have written as comments, format and prepare something for you to review and edit, if you are willing.

  1. Matthew says:

    I’m completely shutting down due to a three-fold attack by my property management company, and cannot divert my mental/emotional resources to writing a document at this time. I may have to move, with nowhere left to go. [as I composed this, the local temporary manager just wrote to tell me that the tripling of my rent was completely wrong and will handle it for me tomorrow – it seems orchestrated, but I’m glad I have local management on my side]
    Can you see my email address, and can you write to me directly so I don’t have to keep this page open and refresh it?

    I have no diet name that I know of, but turns out I only eat a small subset of the Low FODMAP diet. I cannot tolerate egg yolks, and to eat beef (when I tolerate it) I have to cook it to mush and only eat the pure protein after pouring off fat, and same goes for chicken. I guess I’m starving my brain. I could eat butter, though have not been. Fish oil doesn’t do well for me lately. Even olive oil tolerance has gone down, and that was my major fat. I’m not tolerating anything that feeds my brain! (and this is new, I was eating a more varied diet until a collapse in November 2015.) I’m mostly eating pure protein. I’m going to Costco right now to buy several gallons of milk and pounds of potatoes for this week (already having egg whites and protein drinks in large quantities) and whatever else I think I can consume. Wish I knew what fats you mean. I’ll try to see what they have.

  1. Hi Lyn,

    Thanks for your note. A few things are important to discuss. Curcumin is held in great tradition in Indian medicine but it seems that most research is coming from there and several had to be retracted for falsifying data. It is really hard to get a good understanding on what curcumin does–we know that food is medicine and I am sure that curcumin also has some properties that help certain health conditions–it seems to be used for depression in many articles, mostly experimented on mice. I cannot make heads or tails out of curcumin and its serotonin connection by reliable research.

    In terms of Amitriptyline, yes, there is a definite possibility of trouble. It is an SNRI with serotonin reuptake inhibition being the strongest. The trick with genetics is to understand why a particular condition may exists in connection with genetic predisposition. In your case, the thing to look at are two genes: CYP2D6 and CYP2C19 (not sure your genetics company looked at that). These genes are responsible for how you metabolize drugs–meaning the speed with which they break down. There are several categories, of which 2 can get one into trouble: the extremely slow metabolizers–the drug takes very long to exit the body and it can then cause more effects, including inhibiting the neurons’ reuptake longer, forcing serotonin release longer. If this is very long, and you are due to take another pill before the first one cleared from your body, in time this can pile up to serotonin toxicity, e.g serotonin syndrome.

    The other case is if you are an ultra fast metabolizer. In this case your body gets an overdose immediately and then quickly all effects stop. For example, ultra metabolizers of medicines don’t get any benefit from most pain killers because they metabolize them very fast but they get overdosed first. Many migraineurs are ultra fast metabolizers–I am one of them–and so time release medicines don’t work as time release as they get to be metabolized very fast. Of course, you can see from this that an overdose is eminent immediately after the drug is taken but it clears from the body very fast.

    So if you were to use any genetic evidence, it would have to be these two genes.

    I am not sure if there is a way to connect Amitriptyline to mitochondrial damage–basically no drug can be connected to mitochondrial damage since there is no mitochondrial “memory” to look at what caused what. There are hundreds of thousands of mitochondria in every cell and in neurons they number in the millions. If they were all damaged, we would not have this conversation, since without some properly functioning mitochondria, you would not be alive. So that also makes it more difficult to find which mitochondria is damaged, where they are, and from what they are damaged. See the difficulty?

    However, you seem quite well now in terms of your brain functioning so likely your serotonin syndrome passed–meaning serotonin syndrome doesn’t last for a very long time. It is fast–within days–and if the serotonin medicine continues, the person is dead. So the fact that you are here and writing, means that you no longer have serotonin syndrome. So there is not much you can do about past events that were not caught in time.

    In terms of your cognitive decline: all reuptake inhibitors cause a cognitive decline independent of serotonin. As you read the article I need not repeat how reuptake inhibitors work, but some reuptake inhibitors change the shape of the reuptake and even after you quit the drug, the reuptake is not able to work. So these drugs are neuro-degenerative. They all are; every single one of them. The best thing you can do is to slowly reduce that drug and after you are not takign any medicine, increase your serotonin the right way. By far the biggest serotonin booster is the sun, so spend some time on the sun every single day. Heavy resistance training exercise or intense running/hiking also boost serotonin. Turkey, the food after which everyone tends to fall asleep, is serotonin rich. Since you had/have depression, one of the most important things you can do is to remove those foods from your diet that enhance depression: refined carbohydrates–all processed foods, juices, smoothies, shakes, anything with any flour, anything sweetened in any way–even with substitutes, naturals, or honey–all canned prepared foods, etc., should be stopped by you. Focus on eating whole fresh foods that you make from scratch. It needs not be fancy or expensive but it needs to be fresh and prepared by you. Like, in the US, in all grocery stores, those who eat healthy whole fresh foods never visit the middle isles of the store but shop “on the periphery”.

    Research shows that for many people, the LCHF (low carbs high fat) diet is the best–particularly if you have a very sensitive brain, like you do with depression. To boost the health, recovery, or replacement of damaged mitochondria by healthy ones, intermittent fasting appears to initiate the best job–minimum 16 hours of only water and salt, and with some regularity; I practice this almost every day. It helps your cognition to recover, it rebuilds the brain and all mitochondria that are damaged get replaced. So there are options for you but you need to stop that medicine first. It interacts with the ketogenic metabolic process (it blocks H1 and H2 receptors that cause major problems for the drug to find its way in the fat burning metabolic process and it ends up as an agonist instead) and 16+ hours of intermittent fasting will bring you into the ketogenic metabolic process. So please reduce this drug and stop it before you start anything I mentioned.

    Good luck to you!
    Angela

  1. Hi Brandy,

    Zoloft (sertraline–see the comment I just posted on that for Mina) is an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) that alone can cause serotonin syndrome but Cymbalta and Zoloft are both doing exactly the same thing!! You have been overdosed and are indeed having a serotonin syndrome. I just ran a drug interaction check at drugs.com’s website for you because I suspected that you have many interactions. I found that you have MAJOR and MODERATE interaction between several of your medicines and you also have what is called “therapeutic duplication” which means you are taking more than one medicine for the exact same purpose and thus you are overdosed.

    Here are your interactions:

    MAJOR:
    sertraline cyclobenzaprine
    Applies to: Zoloft (sertraline), Flexeril (cyclobenzaprine)

    Using sertraline together with cyclobenzaprine can increase the risk of a rare but serious condition called the serotonin syndrome, which may include symptoms such as confusion, hallucination, seizure, extreme changes in blood pressure, increased heart rate, fever, excessive sweating, shivering or shaking, blurred vision, muscle spasm or stiffness, tremor, incoordination, stomach cramp, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Severe cases may result in coma and even death. You should seek immediate medical attention if you experience these symptoms while taking the medications. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. Your doctor may already be aware of the risks, but has determined that this is the best course of treatment for you and has taken appropriate precautions and is monitoring you closely for any potential complications. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

    MAJOR
    sertraline duloxetine
    Applies to: Zoloft (sertraline), Cymbalta (duloxetine)

    Using sertraline together with Duloxetine can increase the risk of a rare but serious condition called the serotonin syndrome, which may include symptoms such as confusion, hallucination, seizure, extreme changes in blood pressure, increased heart rate, fever, excessive sweating, shivering or shaking, blurred vision, muscle spasm or stiffness, tremor, incoordination, stomach cramp, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Severe cases may result in coma and even death. You should seek immediate medical attention if you experience these symptoms while taking the medications. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. Your doctor may already be aware of the risks, but has determined that this is the best course of treatment for you and has taken appropriate precautions and is monitoring you closely for any potential complications. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

    MAJOR
    cyclobenzaprine duloxetine
    Applies to: Flexeril (cyclobenzaprine), Cymbalta (duloxetine)

    Using cyclobenzaprine together with Duloxetine can increase the risk of a rare but serious condition called the serotonin syndrome, which may include symptoms such as confusion, hallucination, seizure, extreme changes in blood pressure, increased heart rate, fever, excessive sweating, shivering or shaking, blurred vision, muscle spasm or stiffness, tremor, incoordination, stomach cramp, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Severe cases may result in coma and even death. You should seek immediate medical attention if you experience these symptoms while taking the medications. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. Your doctor may already be aware of the risks, but has determined that this is the best course of treatment for you and has taken appropriate precautions and is monitoring you closely for any potential complications. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

    MODERATE
    sertraline gabapentin
    Applies to: Zoloft (sertraline), gabapentin

    Using sertraline together with gabapentin may increase side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, and difficulty concentrating. Some people, especially the elderly, may also experience impairment in thinking, judgment, and motor coordination. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with these medications. Also avoid activities requiring mental alertness such as driving or operating hazardous machinery until you know how the medications affect you. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

    MODERATE
    sertraline meloxicam
    Applies to: Zoloft (sertraline), meloxicam

    Using sertraline together with meloxicam may increase the risk of bleeding. The interaction may be more likely if you are elderly or have kidney or liver disease. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. Your doctor may already be aware of the risks, but has determined that this is the best course of treatment for you and has taken appropriate precautions and is monitoring you closely for any potential complications. You should seek immediate medical attention if you experience any unusual bleeding or bruising, or have other signs and symptoms of bleeding such as dizziness; lightheadedness; red or black, tarry stools; coughing up or vomiting fresh or dried blood that looks like coffee grounds; severe headache; and weakness. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

    MODERATE
    cyclobenzaprine gabapentin
    Applies to: Flexeril (cyclobenzaprine), gabapentin

    Using cyclobenzaprine together with gabapentin may increase side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, and difficulty concentrating. Some people, especially the elderly, may also experience impairment in thinking, judgment, and motor coordination. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with these medications. Also avoid activities requiring mental alertness such as driving or operating hazardous machinery until you know how the medications affect you. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

    MODERATE
    gabapentin duloxetine
    Applies to: gabapentin, Cymbalta (duloxetine)

    Using gabapentin together with Duloxetine may increase side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, and difficulty concentrating. Some people, especially the elderly, may also experience impairment in thinking, judgment, and motor coordination. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with these medications. Also avoid activities requiring mental alertness such as driving or operating hazardous machinery until you know how the medications affect you. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

    MODERATE
    meloxicam duloxetine
    Applies to: meloxicam, Cymbalta (duloxetine)

    Using Duloxetine together with meloxicam may increase the risk of bleeding. The interaction may be more likely if you are elderly or have kidney or liver disease. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. Your doctor may already be aware of the risks, but has determined that this is the best course of treatment for you and has taken appropriate precautions and is monitoring you closely for any potential complications. You should seek immediate medical attention if you experience any unusual bleeding or bruising, or have other signs and symptoms of bleeding such as dizziness; lightheadedness; red or black, tarry stools; coughing up or vomiting fresh or dried blood that looks like coffee grounds; severe headache; and weakness. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

    THERAPEUTIC DUPLICATIONS

    Therapeutic duplication is the use of more than one medicine from the same drug category or therapeutic class to treat the same condition. This can be intentional in cases where drugs with similar actions are used together for demonstrated therapeutic benefit. It can also be unintentional in cases where a patient has been treated by more than one doctor, or had prescriptions filled at more than one pharmacy, and can have potentially adverse consequences.
    Duplication
    Antidepressants

    The recommended maximum number of medicines in the ‘antidepressants’ category to be taken concurrently is usually one. Your list includes two medicines belonging to the ‘antidepressants’ category:

    duloxetine (active ingredient in Cymbalta (duloxetine))
    sertraline (active ingredient in Zoloft (sertraline))

    In terms of your symptoms that you are listing you are definitely starting serotonin syndrome. Please visit your nearest ER (don’t make a doctor’s appointment but head to ER), take your list of medicines, take this note I wrote here–specifically because I want them to see the interactions and the therapeutic duplications) and you tell them what you have!! Don’t let them stop you from what you have to say. If you feel you need a more powerful voice, take a friend who has no fear of what we call “white coat effect” to be sure you are not discounted.

    Unfortunately many doctors have no idea what they are doing (I call them clueless doctors) because they were never told about the interactions and also never were taught to recognize a serotonin syndrome.

    Please head to the ER a.s.a.p.

    Best wishes,
    Angela

  1. Amanda says:

    Please help me. I am bedridden with multiple symptoms. Went to my local ED after husband called poison control (who said I had SS and to head to the ED) Despite having a complete history of meds and symptoms gradually onsetting in the past year, including psychotic and mania, i was denied SS by simple blood and urine tests which I know doesn’t diagnose SS. I was given 1mg ativan shot and sent home which stopped the tremors for now and a histamine for sedation. I work in the medical field and cannot get my PCP or Hospital to write me even an excuse to take 1 week off of work. I’m still being directed to take all the meds I’ve been on and increase the Benzos. I know you are a busy lady, but I would love to send you my history and know what you think about it. We;ve looked up everything possible on the web and everything points to SS but no one will listen. I’m probably going to lose my job because i can’t function. If you can, please email me. -Amanda

  1. Dear Amanda,

    I am very sorry for what you are going through. Since I am a PhD and not an MD, I cannot guide you in any way in place of an MD. However, since I just had anotehr person contact me with a similar problem who was on over 20 medications, 5 of which were therapeutic duplication, I asked her to go back to her family doctor to have that cleared up. Her doctor refused saying she was not the one who prescribed all those and didn’t help her. Then I asked the patient to head to the doctor(s) who prescribed those to her–she was no longer in touch with them. I next recommended she visit the ER to have the doctors there help her. They refused.

    After that she managed to get a hold of one of her doctors–I think her neurologist–who said that while she can help her clean up her medicines, a patient doesn’t need any permission from any doctor to stop or reduce a medicine!

    Therefore, if you believe you have serotonin syndrome, please ask your pharmacist which medicine (assuming you take more than one) is causing the problem. Then you can slowly reduce little by little or if your symptoms are very bad, take a bigger cut but don’t quit any medicines cold turkey because that can really hurt you!

    I wish you the best of luck and please keep me updated!

    Angela

  1. Tracey Pinkerton says:

    Dr. Angela,
    I am in same situation as Amanda, except for the fact that I have been stuck inside my home now for almost 3 years! After going to EVERY TYPE of specialist (and all of them receiving a full list of my VERY DANGEROUS “Therapeutic Duplications” – 14 Interactions), I have all but given up hope. I have begged my doctor to help…and she is one of the MANY CLUELESS DOCTORS.
    You could get a Grant, and start a Clinic just for the Tens of Thousands of us that, right now, are Silently Dying because of Medications our doctors have failed to research. But, hey! At least THEY got some good gifts from the Drug Reps, right?
    I know that I am in the Severe to Critical stage of my Serotonin Syndrome. I have taken 300mg. of TOPAMAX since 2002, along with 400mg of Celebrex. Within a year of those drugs, I was MOVED BETWEEN 3-4 Anti-depressants​ AND varying dosages of each, before settling on CELEXA which I’ve now been on for 14 years. AT THE SAME TIME, my “Psy-quack-atrist” and my doctor were trying to work through 3 DIFFERENT ADHD Medications / Doses to find the right fit. From 2003-2012, I think, I was on varying doses of ADDERALL (2008-2012, with the last two years at 30mg).
    **BETWEEN 2008-2011, I began showing MAJOR behavioral changes, and LOST EVERYTHING – including my ability to Reason, Remember, Focus, and Control my Emotions… I lost 4 Jobs; 1 home; a 10 year relationship; the REALLY CLOSE RELATIONSHIP I had with my now grown children; the use of my left hand, possibly (some of the accident) due to my inability to focus on the job I was doing; the respect of my peers, in the Counseling Profession…so much more….After this period, I ended up spending a little bit of time in one of our “special hospitals”, because of Suicidal and Homicidal Threats!
    In the last year, my ADHD MEDICATION was changed to VYVANSE, and was worked up to Max dose of 70mg.
    After all that, ONLY MORE DRUGS WERE ADDED. Lamictal, Gabapentin, Ativan…
    EVERY SYMPTOM LISTED UNDER THE SEVERE CATEGORY ON THE MAYO CLINIC SITE DESCRIBES ME – but I cannot find an Inpatient Center that will HEAR ME SAY “It’s SS. I need to be MEDICALLY DETOXED FOR SS, and Monitored Carefully. I need to have My Serotonin Levels Monitored – whatever that entails (checking other body systems)? I need Mental Health intervention, to assess what Medications I ACTUALLY NEED, and what diagnoses may have been artificially created by Therapeutic Duplication. And, I need to be set up with Regular Visits with a local “SMART, ON-POINT PSYCHIATRIST / Physician” who will stay on the treatment plan that I truly need to follow.

  1. Oh my, dear Tracey. I am so sorry to hear what you are doing through. Unfortunately I must agree: there are many clueless doctors out there though I am shocked to hear that you cannot find a single good doctor who can help you. I was contacted by another person in a similar situation like yours and an MD responded to her plea suggesting that a patient never needs an approval for not taking a medicine. Since I am not an MD, I cannot advise you in any which way. But I can tell you what I would do (and what I did).

    I use this drug interaction site to check for interactions “drug interaction checker” and used to print out all MAJOR interactions. I then would scroll to the bottom to find THERAPEUTIC DUPLICATION and print all that out as well. I would head to a pharmacy and ask for consultation with a pharmacist to see what he/she says. Not all pharmacies are willing to discuss interactions and therapeutic duplication but worthy a try.

    If that doesn’t work, and no one is helping me, I would help myself. That is basically what I did with migraines… No one could help so I just took matters into my own hand. I studied up on each medication–they are pretty well described on wikipedia (usually under generic name) and find those with the worst reputation and most side effects. I would start tapering very slowly one medication at the time, starting with the therapeutic duplication types. That is because since they are duplicates, they do the same thing, and it is least likely that removing a duplicate will cause any trouble–it will likely improve things.

    However, some of these medicines take a very long time to reduce and quit. When I was in the process of reduction I removed a tiny bit from one day but kept the rest until my body got used to the change then would remove a little bit from another day 3 days away as well and stay that way for some time and so forth until every day of the week was at the reduced dose and then repeat chopping off a little more. This also allowed me to see if I had any bad reactions for the reduction so I could stop the reduction if I had to–I never had to.

    This worked very well for me. It does take a very long time to come off on SSRIs–some can take over a year to taper off from it but at the end there is nothing more important than safety. Having SS looming in the background is not safe, so you should look into what I did. Some SSRIs and voltage gated calcium channel blockers may leave permanent damage or just a longer lasting damage that heals over a long time.

    Do the best you can. Your writing is very clear and coherent, you sound really good and quite capable to do as you wish. I am sure you can achieve miracles. <3

    Best wishes,
    Angela

  1. Hi Leah,

    How scary! May I ask what kind of a headache do you have? Where exactly is the pain located? Does it respond to any OTC? I am not trying to diagnose only trying to exclude some possibilities that would not show up in the scanners. Headache is one of the top most common side effects of Zoloft–while takign it. There is no mention of it (or of anything else) after you stop taking it.

    I copy-pasted here all the adverse reactions from wikipedia:

    Very common (>10%)

    Fatigue
    Insomnia
    Nausea
    Dry mouth
    Diarrhea
    Headache
    Ejaculation disorder
    Dizziness
    Sweating
    Common (1-10%)[edit]
    Agitation
    Anorexia
    Constipation
    Dyspepsia (indigestion)
    Decreased libido
    Sweating
    Tremor
    Vomiting
    Impaired concentration
    Nervousness
    Paroniria (i.e., depraved or morbid dreaming/nightmares)
    Yawning
    Palpitations
    Increased sweating
    Hot flushes
    Weight decrease
    Weight increase
    Myoclonus
    Hypertonia
    Bruxism (teeth grinding)
    Hypoaesthesia
    Menstrual irregularities
    Sexual dysfunction
    Rash
    Vision abnormal
    Asthenia
    Chest pain
    Paraesthesia
    Tinnitus (hearing ringing in the ears)

    Uncommon (0.1-1%)

    Hypertension (high blood pressure)
    Hyperkinesia
    Bronchospasm
    Oesophagitis (swollen oesophagus)
    Dysphagia
    Haemorrhoids
    Periorbital Oedema
    Purpura
    Cold Sweat
    Dry skin
    Nocturia
    Urinary Retention
    Polyuria (excessive urination)
    Vaginal Haemorrhage
    Malaise
    Chills
    Pyrexia (fever)
    Thirst
    Pollakiuria
    Micturition disorder
    Salivary Hypersecretion
    Tongue Disorder
    Osteoarthritis
    Muscular Weakness
    Back Pain
    Muscle Twitching
    Eructation (belching)
    Dyspnoea (air hunger)
    Epistaxis (nose bleed)
    Oedema peripheral
    Periorbital edema
    Syncope
    Postural dizziness
    Tachycardia (high heart rate)
    Urticaria (hives)
    Migraine
    Abnormal bleeding (esp. in the GI tract)
    Muscle cramps
    Arthralgia
    Depressive symptoms
    Euphoria
    Hallucination
    Alopecia (hair loss)
    Urinary Retention (being unable to pass urine)
    Pruritus
    Amnesia memory loss.
    Urinary incontinence
    Eye pain
    Asymptomatic elevations in serum transaminases
    Abnormal semen
    Melaena (black faeces due to a bleed in the stomach)
    Coffee ground vomiting
    Haematochezia
    Stomatitis (swollen mouth)
    Tongue ulceration
    Tooth Disorder
    Glossitis (soreness/swelling of the tongue)
    Mouth Ulceration
    Laryngospasm
    Hyperventilation (breathing more often than required to keep one’s blood sufficiently oxygenated)
    Hypoventilation (breathing less often than required to keep one’s blood sufficiently oxygenated)
    Stridor
    Dysphonia (voice disorder)
    Upper Respiratory Tract Infection
    Rhinitis (irritation/inflammation inside the nose)
    Hiccups
    Apathy
    Thinking Abnormal

    Rare (<0.1%)

    Allergic reaction
    Allergy
    Anaphylactoid reaction
    Face oedema
    Priapism
    Atrial arrhythmia
    AV block
    Coma
    Peripheral Ischaemia
    Injury
    Vasodilation Procedure
    Lymphadenopathy
    Involuntary muscle contractions
    Galactorrhoea (lactation that is unrelated to pregnancy or breastfeeding)
    Gynaecomastia (swelling of breast tissue in men)
    Hyperprolactinaemia (high blood prolactin levels)
    Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid gland)
    Syndrome of inappropriate secretion of antidiuretic hormone (SIADH)
    Pancreatitis (swollen pancreas)
    Altered platelet function
    Haematuria (blood in the urine)
    Leukopenia (low white blood cell count)
    Thrombocytopenia (low blood platelet count)
    Increased coagulation times
    Abnormal clinical laboratory results
    Hyponatraemia (low blood sodium)
    Conversion Disorder
    Drug Dependence
    Paranoia
    Myocardial Infarction (heart attack)
    Bradycardia
    Cardiac Disorder
    Suicidal Ideation/behaviour
    Sleep Walking
    Premature Ejaculation
    Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar)
    Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
    Hypercholesterolaemia (high blood cholesterol)
    Vasculitis
    Aggressive reaction
    Psychosis (hallucinations and delusions)
    Mania (a dangerously elated mood)
    Menorrhagia (an abnormally excessive amount of menstrual bleeding)
    Atrophic Vulvovaginitis
    Balanoposthitis
    Genital Discharge
    Angioedema
    Photosensitivity skin reaction
    Enuresis
    Visual field defect
    Abnormal liver function
    Dermatitis
    Dermatitis Bullous
    Rash Follicular
    Glaucoma
    Lacrimal Disorder
    Scotoma
    Diplopia
    Photophobia
    Hyphaema
    Mydriasis
    Hair Texture Abnormal
    Neoplasm
    Diverticulitis
    Choreoathetosis
    Dyskinesia
    Hyperaesthesia
    Sensory Disturbance
    Gastroenteritis
    Otitis Media
    Skin Odour Abnormal

    Unknown frequency

    QTc prolongation
    Anaphylactoid Reaction
    Allergic Reaction
    Allergy
    Neuroleptic malignant syndrome. A potentially fatal reaction that most often occurs as a result of the use of antipsychotic drugs. It is characterised by fever, muscle rigidity, rhabdomyolysis (muscle breakdown), profuse sweating, tachycardia, tachypnoea (rapid breathing), agitation.
    Stevens-Johnson syndrome a potentially fatal skin reaction.
    Toxic epidermal necrolysis another potentially fatal skin reaction.
    Torsades de pointes a potentially fatal change in the heart’s rhythm.
    Cerebrovascular spasm
    Serotonin syndrome similar to neuroleptic malignant syndrome but develops more rapidly (over a period of hours instead of days/weeks for neuroleptic malignant syndrome)
    Bone fracture
    Movement disorders
    Diabetes mellitus
    Dyspnoea
    Jaundice yellowing of the skin, mucous membranes and eyes due to an impaired ability of the liver to clear the haem breakdown by product, bilirubin.
    Hepatitis
    Liver failure
    Persistent Sexual Dysfunction

    So yes, it is likely caused by the medicine. The reason why you still have the headache maybe from the inhibitor not letting go of the neuron’s reuptake (sensor that the neuron made enough) and so you may also not be making and releasing enough neurotransmitters. Hopefully this is temporary only taking longer than you expected to release. Let me know how it goes! There may be a few things to try if it is not improving soon.

    Hugs,
    Angela

  1. Leah says:

    Hi Angela,
    Thank you so much for the brief reply! It’s hard to describe them. I want to say headaches but I’ve had headaches before from normal stressors that go away when I sleep them off or take a few Advil. These are sharp pains almost spasm like. They last for a few seconds, occur on different parts of my temples, forehead, top scalp area if that makes any sense. I don’t want to say zaps, because I don’t know what that feels like but it could be. I notice that occur when I get excited, become agitated or simply have sudden eye movement. This is also so strange,new, and scary to me to say the least. What you are saying makes a lot of sense. Through research on these drugs I’ve learned that even with a small dose of any type of antidepressant it can’t take a while for the brain to return to homeostasis granted no permanent damage has been done.

  1. Hi Leah,

    It seems you may be getting cluster headaches… just an estimation. If it is cluster headaches, what you may want to ask your doctor to prescribe is oxygen (in those tanks or oxygen concentrator machine you can plug into the wall or on battery but they are pricey). I think trying an oxygen tank and using oxygen at the first sensation of a stab may help. Cluster headaches respond to oxygen if started early.

    Unfortunately, ibuprofen can also cause rebound headaches; one needs to be careful of all medicines! 🙁

    Indeed, the brain takes some time to return to homeostasis. To help it to do so, if you stop all added sugars, it will provide a huge help! The brain doesn’t do very well with sugar. Plus, it will benefit you entire mood and how you feel. So there is hope! 🙂

    Best of luck!

    Hugs,
    Angela

  1. Susan Reid says:

    I get Cluster headaches. I found out they were Cluster, and not Migraine, when I was put on Prozac. But only because I questioned my doctor about a possible drug interaction between Prozac and Imitrex! When I asked her about taking them together she had to look it up online. She came back and said that Serotonin Syndrome was a possibility, but it was very rare and I shouldn’t worry about it! Well, I don’t trust doctors so I did my own research. That’s when I figured out that my “migraines” were really Cluster headaches! I should NEVER have been taking oral Imitrex. I got a prescription for Oxygen and it worked really well until I went off Prozac. That year, 2016, my Cluster headaches were horrific! Oxygen did nothing! Even when I went up to a very high flo rate. The only thing that made the oxygen work again was Benedryl. (I discovered that year, that Cluster headaches are also known as Serotonin headaches and Histamine headaches!) I was on Prozac for over a decade.

  1. Hi Susan,

    I am glad you did your research and found out you had cluster headaches and not migraines. Most doctors cannot tell the difference between any headaches let alone define what a migraine is or what a cluster headache is. Even academic literature is confused, and depending upon what academic journal you read, you will find different definitions. This can make everyone’s life miserable, as it made yours. Very sorry about that. Interestingly, after you mentioned Benadryl, and antihistamine, I looked up research on that. I am a migraine specialist and not cluster headaches–though I do have plenty of cluster headache sufferers in my group, so it was worthy of my time. Indeed, you do release high histamines during an attack, so an antihistamine is a great choice. In terms of Prozac (or any SSRI or SNRI or triptans), indeed, the problem is that depending on where they take the serotonin level measurement during the attack, it is low serotonin in some places (such as blood) and high in some other places (such as the spinal fluid–which is what is in your brain as well). And so the message is mixed and confuses doctors. If serotonin is low in the blood but high in the brain, I am sure they don’t know how to relate to that. It does take some figuring out but here it goes.

    Over 90% of all serotonin is made and used by our intestines and thus it is not in our brain. Only 10% max is made and used by our brain. I am quite positive that many doctors don’t know this and that your doctor, who had to get on the internet to check interaction probably would not have known that. I don;t actually blame your doctor–at least she admitted she needed to look up the interaction and at least SHE LOOKED!!! Most doctors would not even take the time to find out. So actually she seems to have been a pretty good doctor in some ways! Better than most, though I understand you ended up getting hurt. And that needs an explanation, given that we know that for cluster headache, serotonin levels differ depending on where it is measured.

    It is assumed that giving triptant (serotonin) or SSRIs or SNRIs are good for everything froma tooth ache to the death of your child. It is a crazy world out there when it comes to these dangerous drugs. Prozac is an SSRI, and so it is supposed to increase brain serotonin such that it blocks the natural “how much do I already have” sensor (reuptake), so the brain cell thinks it has not yet made enough. This an SSRI forces the brain into a serotonin machine at all cost. While takign any serotonin medicine only transfers little serotonin or SSRI into the brain because of the blood brain barrier, enough gets through to mess with this reuptake mechanism. And in the brain, when something is blocked from being used, communication is broken and degeneration starts.

    In your case, you had more than enough serotonin in your brain during a cluster headache attack but not enough in your peripheral blood supply and so it probably increased serotonin in your blood to higher levels, which was good, but it also forced the brain to make more, which was bad. When you stopped Prozac–and I don’t know how you stopped, since these drugs have warning on them to not just quit because of discontinuation syndrome–your brain had to re-establish its lost reuptake functions and connections. This takes time–hence the warning about discontinuation syndrome. This could have been the cause of your current struggle, not sure. The standard of care, believe it or not, is triptans or a preventive, such as an SSRI, for cluster headaches. Most doctors have no idea about oxygen either. So you are ahead of the game.

    So hold tight and allow serotonin to be rebuilt naturally: go on the sun as much as you can; it has a normalizing function.

    Best wishes for you!

    Hugs,
    Angela

  1. Dear Mina,

    I am very sorry to hear that your niece got serotonin syndrome. It seems like she has a very severe reaction. Severe serotonin syndrome damage may take a very long time to recover since in addition to the extra serototonin that must clear, your niece is also going through severe withdrawal at the same time. Tramadol is a narcotic and stopping that causes major withdrawals. Sertraline is the one that caused her serotonin syndrome (like in the article my mother’s death).

    The hospital did not do its treatment properly. For serotonin syndrome she should have received: muscle relaxants, benzodiazepines like diazepam (Valium), serotonin-production blocking agents such as cyproheptadine, oxygen, drugs that control heart rate and blood pressure (it can be too high or too low). These all in addition to intravenous (IV) fluids.

    It is also possible that her brain is still not free from all the extra serotonin since she didn’t receive serotonin blocking agents plus after stopping SSRI, like Sertraline, the brain often doesn’t know how to make or stop making serotonin–there is recovery time needed for the “inhibitor” to be removed from the receptor and this time is very much individual. Unfortunately, sometimes the damage is permanent.

    Please take your niece back to the ER and explain to them what she is going through so they can run some tests and see if she is suffering withdrawal, still has too much serotonin, or suffered permanent damage.

    I wish her well and a big hug to you for reaching out to try to help her! <3

    Angela

  1. Dear Tom,

    I removed your other post so it only appears now once in the right place. I am very sorry to hear about the cancer returning for your wife, metastasized. I am certain that you completely got it right and she was suffering more from the serotonin syndrome building up than the chemo therapy itself, which is brutal on its own.

    You have a perfect question about why doctors are so good at prescribing all these medications without looking at interactions. At one level I agree that they are not reading only writing and so they are not aware of what is what but another part of me tells me something else: ignorance. It is, indeed, very easy to find out about drug interactions; here is a website I always use for convenience since it does a perfect job, fast, efficient, and is always correct–it is also free.

    I am confident that every single doctor has a drug interaction checker either on their phone or on the computer when they prescribe a medicine only they don’t think it is appropriate to look. I feel (my experience with some of my doctors) is that they are time pressured and feel that they may look less knowledgeable if they need to look things up in front of a patient. Yet those doctors who actually do take the time to look, develop more trust. After all, everyone is human and doctors can forget or make mistakes; looking it up is actually reinforcing trust. I don’t think they realize this.

    I also found, on my own experience, that the majority of doctors have very narrow field of specialty and don’t ever test the waters of integrative medicine or study other fields of medicine to broaden their understanding. As a result, they pretend they know enough even if they don’t. This is very sad because lives depend upon their decisions.

    And finally, medicine applies a cookie-cutter approach and only symptom treats today. This can be very dangerous, as it was the case for your wife who received such interacting medicines. It remains your job and the job of the rest of us to keep an eye out for our loved ones and learn enough to stop the doctors from making mistakes. It is hard work because most people are not trained medically or scientifically. It is lucky you had the knowledge to look up the interactions and the guts to pass the information on to the doctor. Most people feel intimidated until it is too late.

    I congratulate you for your strength and wisdom and wish your wife all the best in a successful chemotherapy treatment and remission.

    Hugs,
    Angela

  1. Oh my Paula, I am so sorry about your father! Indeed! How come they did not know!? It is further confusing to me that they did not see his liver cancer at such advanced stage since that comes with symptoms that are actually visible–such as the yellowing on the skin. Also, bone cancer is extremely painful from the very beginning so I find that too highly unlikely to have contributed to his passing in the hospital. I am not sure I believe in the autopsy findings of the hospital at all.

    When my mother died–in hospital like your father–I asked if they would do an autopsy (they did not want to since “she died from a stroke” but I wanted to find out if she had serotonin syndrome as I diagnosed or Alzheimer’s as they diagnosed, which I knew she did not have). The hospital told me that they will only do autopsy such that it confirms the final cause of death–meaning not the original cause but the “end” cause, which in the case of my mom was a stroke and in the case of your father was multiple organ failure.

    In checking on the three medications your father received, I find that fentanyl has a protein binding capacity at a high level of over 80% with metabolic pathway that is hepatic; sertraline is also hepatic with an even higher protein binding ability than fentanyl (95%); and Zofran is also hepatic with the least protein binding but still over 70%. All 3 are liver damaging–this explains the liver damage they have found and I very seriously doubt that it was cancer. All three drugs are excreted renal–this explains the high CO2 level since his electrolyte was completely out of homeostasis and he was experiencing dehydration.

    All three drugs modify serotonin in some way and Fentanyl and Sertraline alone each can cause serotonin syndrome. Combine the three and for sure he had serotonin syndrome.

    Since they said that he had endocrine liver cancer, that is a metastatic state of the liver from cancer elsewhere, so the primary cancer would have had to have been the bone cancer or perhaps a third cancer they have not diagnosed. Bone cancer is extremely painful from the very early stages on so it is very hard for me to accept that he was not in pain with a bone cancer! Liver cancer, in addition to the yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes, also comes with extreme fatigue. Based on your description of your father joking and feeling well in the ER, I am having a very hard time seeing him with 2 types of cancers, one that changes appearance and stamina and the other that causes extreme pain. It does not add up.

    It would have been very painful for you to get an independent autopsy I am sure. However, the findings the hospital presented you with do not line up well with me at all. Furthermore, knowing that it is not in the interest of the hospital to tell you that “oops we goofed up,” your chances of finding a true cause from the very hospital that caused his death is highly unlikely.

    I am very sorry about the death of your father and I hope I did not ignite further pain–that was not my intention only I feel that knowing the truth may help closure. It helped me when I received the autopsy I ordered independently from the hospital and found out that my mom had no Alzheimer’s at all. It does not change the outcome but it changed me.

    I wish you all the love and comfort I can over the internet! <3
    Angela

  1. Dear William,

    Thank you for your note and write up. It is truly a miracle that you are with us so time to celebrate for that a little and come out of depression since you could have died an agonizing death and here you are, looking for solutions! I applaud you for that! <3

    I have a question or two: you mention pain doctor but not what kind of pain you have. Some forms of pains (like migraine) can be treated without medicines very successfully so if that is what you have, you may want to give that a try and join my group. If by pain you refer to anxiety, nervous breakdown and depression, I recommend you try to change your diet to be “depression and anxiety friendly.” It is now well understood how sugar works the brain into anxiety: it first activated the dopamine system to make you feel good, releasing dopamine and then once you run out of sugar “on the brain” your brain releases adrenaline and THAT causes anxiety.

    So by stopping sugar, you can intervene in the depression/anxiety creation process and prevent it–or at least get on the right road to be able to manage it or deal with it. Whatever permanent damage you may have had from the medicines may or may not be permanent–it is dependent on your age and damage type and damage strength. There are ways to “change” the brain and repair it. First you need to stop all sugar and refined carbohydrates, which irritate and cause damage (as noted above) and then get on brain repair:

    From the much literature and my personal experience (as a migraineur, I also fight anxiety though not depression all my life, since age 19 actually), I found that the simple task of reducing carbs and increasing animal fats in my diet completely changed my brain. I no longer experience any of the typical anxiety, etc., and also am migraine free (I don;t take medicines either). It seems that so far everyone making this diet change benefited greatly and studies are now under way to use a rather strict therapeutic version of this nutritional approach (ketogenic) to literally cure many CNS disorders, such as depression, Parkinson’s, MS, migraine, seizures (for that it is already used as treatment!), cancer (also used as treatment), and type 2 diabetes (also used as treatment), and some more like autism where research just started and great strides have already been made.

    It is best to work this nutritional approach under the supervision of a specialist because in my opinion many people are doing it wrong–but experts are hard to find. You are welcome to join my keto mild for migraine group, which has an expert team connected to it whom you can hire (I am not affiliated and don’t even know them, only a member found them and used their services), which is a learning group and sharing of experience group on how to “fall into” the ketogenic nutritional approach without getting hurt.

    I hope you find these helpful.

    Best wishes,
    Angela

  1. Oh wow! I am so sorry to hear this! My heart goes out to you! <3

    Hugs,
    Angela

  1. Dear Sally,

    I am very sorry about what happened to your partner. I hope that the report contains all information about the necessary findings to tell what happened. To tell if your partner had no Alzheimer’s type dementia is not extremely hard since that disease changes the brain’s structure to the point that is visible in the scanner–not sure if they had taken and MRI of his brain while alive, close to his death. If yes, the autopsy report and the MRI combined can help determine if he had Parkinson’s type dementia but not necessarily if it is drug induced if they find it. They can merely see if he indeed had that.

    Regular dementia (not Alzheimer’s) does not necessarily show changes in the brain. Some studies show that plaque buildup (the very thing considered to be the hallmark of dementia) is either present or not; there is no association (causal or otherwise) with dementia and plaques.

    I don’t know how old your partner was; age also matters because dementia shrinks the brain. Brain shrinkage is an expected feature of the aging brain but not in the young. The information I am providing to you here is not an evaluation but so you can see that even the best of experts in the field may not be able to help you if you don’t have the CNS (brain and spine) examined by an autopsy including all that is necessary and if you don’t have MRI records.

    To find a good expert for the analysis, your best bet is likely in a medical teaching university, or, if you feel that a district attorney would take the case on as a criminal act, he/she will have experts on the stand looking at the records to decide if your partner had dementia of any kind or not and if the cause can be determined.

    When my mother died, I donated her CNS to one of the best known teaching universities where I live to do the autopsy and I specifically asked them to check for dementia. I was told that the equipment needed for such is very specific and needs to be handled by a specialized coroner who has such–likely a criminal investigator’s chosen coroner. But even then, showing that the dementia is caused by the drugs may only be possible if an MRI shows that prior to drug treatment his brain was such and after drug treatment his brain became such and the time passed was too short to have ended up with such high level dementia. It is a battle that we have to fight against huge waves also because too many people are labeled with Alzheimer’s disease for convenience sake simply because the symptoms of many other diseases, such as serotonin syndrome, present identically.

    In my mother’s case, she was labeled with Alzheimer’s disease and that could immediately be excluded since neither the MRI nor the autopsy showed any deterioration of the kind in the brain that would indicate Parkinson’s.

    It is a sad state of matter that I cannot help you any better. I am not familiar with experts in the field who can or are willing to give such analysis myself.

    Best wishes; my heart goes out to you.

    Angela

  1. Roxanne says:

    Hi

    I am very sorry to hear this but also glad i found it. I am sorry for your loss and all through the stupidity of some medical professionals. My sister is going through the same situation as your mother. I don’t recognise her anymore – she is like a whole different person. Her mental health doctor has prescribed: zoloft 200mg, serequel 100mg morning and lunch 50mg dinner and a slow release bedtime, valdoxane 1 tablet at night. Pluse valium 5mg 3 times a day and morphine for pain and NAC 3 tablets in the morning and 3 at night.. Also heart medications. In the last 2 weeks she has stopped zoloft and valdoxane and is now on something new. She has collapsed and sick since yesterday (02/04/2016) and now when she rang her mental health doctor she said she has “Serotonion Syndrome” and to stop everything except valium and go to hospital if she gets worse. How can a doctor prescribe 4 different types of mood stablizers like that? I am so angry. She is a whole different person. I don’t know what to do.

  1. Hi Roxanne,

    Sorry for the late response, I just found your comment now by accident. I am very sorry about your sister! I have an answer for your question but it is not appropriate to write it here. I think you know what my answer is based on my story about my mother and my experience with her doctors as well as the many members I help in my migraine group, many of whom come to the group with over 20 medicines all prescribed by the same doctor. The “nice” answer is that they get paid by pharmaceuticals to prescribe medicines so they prescribe, need it or not. Not all doctors are like that! Unfortunately many are!

    Best luck for your sister and I hope that she is going to recover fully! She had a competent doctor who recognized it!

    Hugs,
    Angela

  1. Hi Sheri,

    Sorry for the delayed response but I am out of the country with limited internet access so responding from my phone; please excuse typos.

    Sorry to hear about your daughter. Unfortunately there is not one test that can conclude that your daughter has serotonin syndrome. Here is a link to what can be done to at least exclude the chance that she may:http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/serotonin-syndrome/basics/tests-diagnosis/con-20028946

    In general, some of the symptoms you describe fall into many categories so it is really only possible to tell if she slowly comes off the medication (cannot just stop else she may end up with seizures) and see if things improve.

    On the other hand, there is an ancient diet used to treat seizures and now experimentally also autism: ketogenic diet. It seems to resolve seizures over 90% of the cases. My personal opinion is that the ketogenic diet helps because the brain is over 70% fat and our modern diet is low fat. So the brain cannot make the necessary repair. The ketogenic diet for children with seizures is about 80 – 90% fat and the remaining small percent is protein and carbs.

    This diet also works for migraines and many other brain conditions. It is my finding that carbohydrates are very destructive to the brain and especially so for those who are glucose sensitive. People with seizures and migraines are glucose sensitive. There us a strong correlation between these conditions and metabolic disorders.

    So I recommend you consult with a ketogenic expert and try that method. I personally find that members with migraine do extremely well on a less strict version of this diet that I call keto mild. It will be detailed in my next edition of my book.

    In terms of alkaline water: I am personally very much against that. Each of our organs requires a specific pH level for health. Saliva, for example, needs to be slightly acidic to protect against incoming bacteria and also to help predigest our food. Making a body too alkaline makes the body vulnerable to infections. Please check with a medical professional (not a naturopath) about the acidity level needed for your child to remain healthy.

    Hope I managed to answer with few typos by phone.

    Hugs,
    Angela

  1. Sheri says:

    Thanks Angela. This is very helpful.

  1. Thanks for your comment Derrick. You provided a very much appreciated comment. It was not added because it is complex and I tried to keep the article as simple as possible. This medicine does cause hypoxia in lab animals. It is likely to cause the same in humans. I see blood test results from many of my group members and some show enlarged red blood cells, which is an indirect measure of this hypoxia effect that was overridden (or tried to be) by the body by increasing red blood cell size to allow the cell to carry more oxygen. After these migraineurs stop they medicines (like voltage-gated calcium channel blockers, voltage gated sodium channel-blockers and serotonin medicines) they end up with enlarged red blood cells. It is yet to be seen if the red blood cells revert to regular size after some time of recovery. It is too soon to tell since most of the members in my group who stopped these medicines had done so less than 6 months ago–it takes a long time to quit these medicines by titrating down very slowly. Plus the body’s recovery is also slow and age dependent. It will be interesting to see if the body is resilient enough to change the bone marrow’s instructions in producing regular sized red blood cells.

    Thank you for you constructive comment!

    Angela

  1. Thanks Carol. I am quite familiar with the names and the books. I am also very much in agreement with you on mineral deficiencies and must add that in the migraine group (that is my main focus for now) I start by removing everyone from all vitamins and metals and herbs and send each for blood tests to check what (if anything) they are deficient in BUT everyone gets instructions to take magnesium. We also found a website that explains which magnesium does and what and everyone takes magnesium according to their condition. On one of my website where I keep some of the testimonials from migraine members (you find it here: http://stantonmigraineprotocol.com/testimonials/ ) you can see that since every person takes different magnesium based on need, significant improvements are achieved in heart condition as well as brain and whole body.

    In terms of general mineral imbalances: yes, my book “Fighting The Migraine Epidemic: How To Treat and Prevent Migraines Without Medicines – An Insider’s View” is specifically discussing one key types of group of minerals: those that make up our electrolytes.

    I just published an academic journal article on what actually happens when migraineurs start to balance their electrolytes that is publishing in Volume 11, issue 2 of the Journal of mental Health in Family Medicine and can currently be found here (it may move):

    http://www.mhfmjournal.com/abstract/migraine-cause-and-treatment-0.html

    In this article I explain how migraines respond to proper electrolytes: they vanish. It is that simple. Thus to provide support to your suggestion: indeed, I would think that a very large percent of our diseases (both of the body and that of the mind) are the result of our poor diet, too much sugar, not enough proper minerals and water. I am in full support of your argument!

    Hugs,
    Angela

  1. Carol says:

    Wow… So impressive Angela! I am so happy to hear of all the knowledge you have amassed regarding magnesium, other minerals and electrolytes and that you incorporate it into your protocols for migraines. Minerals and electrolytes are so foundational to our health but it is amazing how they are so ignored in the mainstream med community for the most part. I look forward to reading your links and learning more!! I still get a little confused about which magnesium type is best for what, so I look forward to seeing that info… and will share in the files of the MAG fb group. Best to you. I will be following your work!

  1. Thanks Carol. I actually published an academic journal article on the subject of migraines and the need for minerals just recently–it is still in press but can already be accessed. This particular article focuses only on a limited number of minerals and magnesium is not one of them becuase of limitations of space and the required explanations but it helps you see the connection of migraines and the importance of minerals. It also shows you why the medical community has been blind to this for so long. I hope you enjoy it:

    http://www.mhfmjournal.com/abstract/migraine-cause-and-treatment-0.html

    For some reason the supplementary material is not included in the article but is available upon request.

  1. Gloria Simonot says:

    Angela,
    I have been seeing a doctor trained in “functional medicine” and when I asked about the minerals, his reply was that they did NOT learn anything about them!! I was flabbergasted!! He seemed to only know about fatty acids and aminos, etc. He and another doc with an online newsletter did not seem to realize that SOME people cannot convert betacarotene to Vitamin A since they are missing some components for that process!! It seems like we are quite a bit on our own with dealing with our health (of course, I was sick when I was 12 — now 69 — so I am USED to finding my own answers from literature)!!
    I recently made a comment to a doctor (turned out she was a naturopath in an admin position) that if the medical community would only take proper care of the older generation there who not be any need for them to seek “euthanasia”!! Older people can be functioning participants in our society. Two of my aunts are over 90 and still contributing and very lively — the older one still plays bridge and treated herself to a 90th birthday present by going to the track in Los Angeles and riding 6 laps at 175 mph with a racing driver!! Now she talks about going again!

  1. Hi Gloria,

    You sent chills through my veins reading about the high doses of tryptophan. While it is an essential amino acid that we must consume, serotonin, and all triptans (hence the similarity in the name) are derived from it. High doses of it CAN cause serotonin syndrome! I usually ask everyone to stop taking this supplement in my migraine group because they take many other medications and so this can cause SS plus other undesired interactions.

    One of the reasons why you are likely having trouble absorbing minerals and vitamins from your food is because Celiacs have a damaged intestinal and gut lining. It is very difficult to find food that you do not make on your own that is without some gliadin protein (or some other proteins that are part of the gluten family). I am not a Celiac and also tested negative to all grains (for the same reason you did… stupidly stopped grains many weeks before the allergy test… duh) but, to give you an example for a non-allergic reaction of someone who ate bread and grains all her life with no problems, after stopping all grains I ate hash browns inn a restaurant last Sunday and boy did I pay for that! And I had no clue I was sensitive (not allergic apparently and clearly not a Celiac) but the price us sensitives pay is

    1) inability to absorb nutrients even from pills;
    2) lack of proper gut flora for absorption of nutrients in general.

    Thus it is not enough for a Celiac to go grain free. A Celiac must also take a good 2-3 months of probiotics until the proper gut flora is established–normally probiotics is enough for a week or 2 weeks max but for Celiacs the damage is so great that the bacteria cannot even establish fast enough well enough. It is totally pointless for most people to take vitamins – I had that tested in my migraine group with B-12 as someone just had a blood test after taking B-12 pill and had been taking it forever and was still low. Monthly injections of B-12 are recommended. I am not sure about the rest of the vitamins and minerals. Magnesium comes in many shapes and forms and given your status as a Celiac, your absorption will greatly depend on what magnesium is best for you.

    Some time ago I found this page that gives a very good explanation of the top 10 magnesium types (both good and bad) so you can see which may be the best for you.

    http://www.naturalnews.com/046401_magnesium_dietary_supplements_nutrient_absorption.html

    However, a word of caution: magnesium citrate has the highest bio-availability but it is also a laxative! Given your Celiac status I would avoid that particular kind of magnesium.

    I hope this is helpful!

    Angela

  1. Thanks Carol. I considered doing that (up front explaining what SS was) but then I changed my mind because I wanted it to be emotional and it is a very emotional story for me. I cried my way through the article because of the loss of my mother and how I lost her. So it is also filled with typos but I decided to let it go since it reflects what it is like to witness someone with SS and feel helpless more than coldly tells you facts.

    Not everyone gets SS from one SSRI and I see many people in my migraine group who take more than 3 types and are still OK. One never knows when the threshold will be crossed. Because serotonin builds up in the brain with the assumption that it is needed, if it is not needed and builds up to toxic levels is when the problems show up. This threshold is different for each person of course. It is also dependent on what one does during the day.

    Only a small amount of serotonin is needed in the brain and how much is used versus how much is made is individual. However, if the 100 years old person exhibits three of the above list of symptoms (the three of these symptoms is as per NIH that you find here:
    https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/007272.htm )

    I recommend that you print the instructions out on the link above and hand it to the medical staff/care taker of that old lady and that they stop serotonin immediately and follow the protocol for treatment. I see you have some other comment as well. I respond to that separately.

    Hugs,
    Angela

  1. Carol says:

    I am so sorry that your poor mom suffered in this way. To go from such a thriving life and bright mind to depression, anger and confusion that could have been alleviated must have been devastating for you and especially when you knew what was going wrong. My mom fell and broke her ankle at 81… and it was the beginning of the end for her. Her medical mismanagment was so frustrating as well… she developed IBS and her gastroenterologist did nothing to alleviate the horrible symptoms. It is what eventually killed her 6 mos later, and I now know it could have been treated. After her death I learned that her long term endocrinologist had so mismanaged her thyroid treatment following its removal that the last 25 yrs of her life were needlessly horrible for her; it actually destroyed her life. I of course had no idea at the time about the thyroid treatment being so wrong…. it must have been even more heartbreaking for you to KNOW what was happening and yet no one would listen. My personal feeling is that doctors tend to view the elderly as about to die in general and so they just want to make as much money on them as they can. Harsh view of things, but I saw so many things that convinced me of that. Thanks so much for explaining a bit more about how SS works. I will definitely forward this link to my dear friend Dee who is her caregiver…. right now. So take some comfort that your heart-breaking story will help others. Blessings. Carol

  1. Gloria Simonot says:

    Carol,
    I am so sorry to hear that your mother’s thyroid problem was not handled appropriately. My mom was in the same boat — We are in Saskatchewan in Canada and sometimes I wonder about the medical care. It seems like for the doctors — ANYWHERE in the lab range is just fine but IF one reads the literature for many lab results the best levels are in the middle or the “upper” range. That is not true of the TSH lab range — one doctor commented to his patient that if one was hooked up to an IV that gave the optimal thyroid hormone levels — the TSH SHOULD theoretically be 0.00! AND the endocrinologists here wanted mine to get to the middle of the range!!?? And I have Sheehan’s syndrome so my pituitary is just limping along and not working that well. SIGH!! We do so much need to learn and be our own advocate. Yesterday my doctor wanted me to add an antidepressant to my Tryptophan prescription because of my “anxiety” — I told her that my “anxiety” is because the doctors are not being helpful for my situation!! AND then she screwed up my prescription — ordering the “summer” dose instead of the “winter” dose!!

  1. Oh my goodness Jean-Marie! I felt my blood pressure rise as I read your comment here! Not one of them treated your serotonin syndrome correctly! It is a miracle that you are alive! My gosh. Glad you are with us!

    I hope you are not on any serotonin medicines anymore. If you are not already in my migraine group, please join! There is much we can do to help you. Please ask to be let in and remind me of your comment here so I know who I am talking to. I am just cleaning the group out of people who are there for decoration but we are still close to 2000 so I do not know if you are in or not: https://www.facebook.com/groups/219182458276615/

    Looking forward to trying to help you as best we can!

    Hugs,
    Angela

  1. Gloria,

    I am also working on fibromyalgia and have a group specifically for that but it is still very small.

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/738392076228348/

    Many of the members in the FM group are also members of my migraine group and use the migraine protocol. It apparently benefits them though does not “cure” the disease. However, I have a few ideas (I am always full of ideas for better or worse) and so I want to ask you a question: Have you had Mononucleosis or any other types of encounter with the herpes virus, like a cold sore or similar, when you were a child?

    Angela

     

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    Total 3 comments
    • Wife & i

      Very good article (alert) what most people don’t understand is natural serotonin is in the morning air – no need for this manufactured crapioaker of big farma! I understand, lot of people are nightowls, at least stay up past dawn & be outside!

      Years ago i worked 12 hr shifts working 3 & 4 day weeks (alternate) but shift would end at dawn, these were the healthiest years of my life!

      God
      Bless

    • Andy

      the U.S. medical system KILLS a quarter MILLION citizens every year – they do not die from their illness, but are outright KILLED by the U.S. medical system

      approximately 106,000 people are killed each and every year by the correct use of correctly prescribed medications

      approximately 125,000 people are KILLED each and every years in U.S. hospitals by error – wrong drug used, wrong body part removed, wrong patient treated, instruments left inside patients,,,, and the list goes on

      each and every decade that is approx 2.25 MILLION people killed by the medical system which is supposed to save lives – where is the MSM coverage? where is the public outcry? where is the govt program to reduce or eliminate this???

      NADA!!! and you think seratonin killing a paltry few more is going to what? generate a hydrogen sized BOOM? how naive

      • Knarlydawg

        I said …. “This .. SHOULD .. be a huge hydrogen size BOOM in the AMA and Pharma’s Faces!!”, not because of the deaths caused by the Syndrome (which is bad enough), but rather because these SSRI’s are almost always being used by most, if not all of the “supposed” mass shooters. If this info is true then there’s a h3ll of a lot of people out there who’s problems are being exasperated by increasing their levels of serotonin, thus hundreds or thousands of potential mass killers in the population. Sorry that I didn’t clarify that point. These SSRI’s are at least as responsible for the deaths in these mass shootings as guns are.

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