Struggle with Supplements

This can be a curse and a blessing both at once.

With many supplements I can tend to forget that I need to be careful. One type that I’ve recently found out I need to be especially careful of is adaptogens.

And now that I think about it, the other supplements I’ve tried and have had adverse reactions to may have also been adaptogens.

Two of those are kava and kratom.

Kava I can live without. Ok, well I can live without both and have been doing that but kratom also had some great benefits as well as some adverse issues for me.

But first kava: That stuff would do it’s job at night, making me tired as hell so I could sleep. But then sleep has not really been an issue for me for the most part. Sure I’ve had nights where I had difficulty sleeping, like when I’ve been angry or had too much coffee that day or drank it too late in the day. (I am super sensitive to coffee too.)

I admit, I used it a couple times for that sleepy, drugged out feeling. The main problem with kava though is that it makes me so agitated the next morning to the point of being mean.

With kratom, that’s a bit more complicated. There are different strains of this leaf. Red, green, white and yellow. There may be more, but those are the ones I’m familiar with.  I’m mostly familiar with the first three. I tried yellow once but don’t remember much about the effects other than it didn’t do much for me.

The red strain, which is indicated mostly for pain but also sleep, did pretty much the same as kava so I didn’t take that often, even though I had some. I actually had built up a collection of the three strains, but the red, I tended to hold onto since it had the worst adverse effects for me. I still liked to play around with it once in a while mixing it with other strains or just downing some for the sleepy feeling.

I’m not saying this like it’s a good thing. It was a form of emotional numbing when I’d take the red, for sure.

The green and white was my mix. If I mixed the right ‘brand’ and right amount of each, this would take every single trauma symptom away. I felt…well…normal. I felt confident to go out in public. I was more tolerant than I usually am. I was patient, I was friendly again, no hyper-vigilance, I had drive and motivation. It was like a miracle. Because I also wasn’t hyper, like I tend to get on coffee.

But like with every other supplement that gives me such “miraculous” results there was a price to pay on the other end. And those adverse effects weren’t always consistent, so for quite some time I felt it was worth it since, while kratom was in my system, there was no more PTSD. I mean who wouldn’t want that?

But, the white gave me heart palpitations at one point. So I stopped taking that but the green alone would only make me tired.  So I would stop it all for a period of time and introduce it back. And for a while, other than making me tired at night (which was fine with me) I wouldn’t have an issue. I’d go back to taking it daily and all felt fine.

But when I started to wheeze as if I’d been smoking a pack of cigarettes a day, I became alarmed and wondered what the hell it was doing to my lungs and still my heart, since I had not forgotten about the palpitations.

What made me think of all the above this morning is that I had taken some maca yesterday. And this happened once before, which is why I think I may have been able to put two and two together.  It made me agitated. Now I took four capsules after building to it and not feeling much of anything previously. But it turns out that 4 capsules is to many.

The agitation was awful. I was pissed off at everything. Pissed about having to go to DBT group last night. Pissed that B for some reason left the lid for the laundry detergent loose. Pissed that I had to drag the recycle bin back into the garage, still full of trash because B had mistaken yesterday for a recycle day. Pissed that the blanket and towel he washed yesterday were damp because he ‘thought they were dry’ and took them out of the drier too soon.  And what kicked it all off, was that the cat threw up (again) while I was trying to get myself together AND get something done before I had to drive the half hour to DBT.

Maca is supposed to help with stress, not cause it. But apparently too much will have the opposite effect it’s supposed to. I also decided to take it for female hormone imbalance, not just cortisol.

With this one, I’m not sure if I’m going to continue taking it. I could just down the dose and take one or two caps. But when I read that it could cause the thyroid to have problems, I took pause and need to take that into consideration.

I’m so sensitive that when I take magnesium at night, I still feel groggy from it the next morning.  And that’s just magnesium for fucks sake.

When it comes to putting anything into my body, I have to remember that I am super sensitive. And sometimes I forget.  This can be a curse because the effects can be so harsh. But I see it as more of a blessing because it’s an easy way for me to tell that what I’m doing is probably not a good idea. It’s an added bonus that the warning signs display themselves so quickly so I’m not grappling to figure out what is having the effect.

Moral of the story: Listen to your body. Just because everyone is raving about a supplement and they are having good results doesn’t necessarily mean you will. I know this is really true for me anyway.

What’s your experience with supplements?

Advertisements

Progress Report, Daily Details + Link and Video for Childhood Trauma

I did nothing toward the logistic progress of any book yesterday.

I have some things listed on eBay and something sold so I packaged that up.  That task seems to still take me longer than I’d like. But I was more efficient about it than I’d been in the past. Maybe breaking it up into chunks was helpful for me. PTSD can really do a number on focus and organizing.

I made sure to not get too anxious about doing it right away. Just because an order comes in doesn’t mean you can’t eat first if you’re hungry. So that’s what I did. In between I got some laundry going too, since I had to go to the basement to get the big box of bubble wrap anyway.

During the actual bubble wrapping and boxing the items, I listened to a video on Self healing trauma. I’ll link it below. The guy has a website too so I’ll link that as well.

My meals were on the healthy side: A smoothie for breakfast; a salad with chicken and the ranch dressing I made yesterday from cashews, for lunch; and poached eggs with cheese and rice for dinner.  The cheese isn’t the best choice but eggs with cheese is just so tasty.

I had also done some reading in the morning, so my breakfast didn’t happen until about noon. And I spent too much time on Facebook during the whole of yesterday.

I got out for that bike ride, just as I’d planned but don’t think it’s a good idea to include that in my exercise plan anymore for now.  I do need to get outside more though, so I’m thinking along the lines of walking on flatter ground for short distances. Soon it will be getting darker much earlier so I will need to get that in earlier, perhaps before eating dinner would be ideal.

I had some really bad and scary heart palpitations last night that started after dinner and got worse as the night went on. So by the time I went to bed, things inside my chest were quite uncomfortable and alarming.  This isn’t completely new and I’d experienced them before after some somewhat high intensity cardio. High intensity for me means pushing up a few hills on my bike.

Given past eating habits, fairly recent weight gain and my continual depression and grieving process, this isn’t so surprising. I said the palps aren’t new, but they are new in the bigger picture since I’ve only been experiencing heart palps for the last couple (if that) years.  They are mostly mild, when I have them but I’ve experienced more intense ones, one other time before last night.

At first I thought they were coming from having eaten the salad dressing which contains some olive oil and sesame oil. In the past with careful observation, I’ve noticed the palpitations have started immediately after consuming concentrated oils, such as the two mentioned. But then I realized, although the oil may have contributed, it was the bike ride that was the real culprit.

I took a few supplements that I’ve heard and read from some naturopath doctors that are good support for the heart. One I included was niacin and I believe that opened up my blood vessels enough to get the palpitations to stop and regulate my heart again.

I hadn’t taken niacin for quite some time and the last time I did, it hadn’t had such an intense effect. But last night it only took one capsule and within ten minutes (if that) my skin felt like it was kinda burning. Not generally a pleasant feeling. But feeling that, made it feel like it was working for me all over. The skin on my face particularly was pulsating, my sinuses were swelled up and I had to breathe from my mouth, but my heart had calmed down so I in turn did also.

Please note this DISCLAIMER: That I said I BELIEVE the niacin helped. I am not a doctor and I don’t KNOW for sure if this helped. Do not take this as medical advice. Do not take this as a claim for a cure. Whether it stopped my palps for the moment or not, it certainly did not cure the problem. Such an issue as heart palpitations calls for seeing a doctor.

Click here to check out the website I referred to above. The website is called Wild Truth written and run by Daniel Mackler.

The video I watched yesterday also with Daniel Mackler: