Tag Archives: trace minerals

Could you be Magnesium Deficient?

Loss of appetite, nausea, fatigue — the initial symptoms of magnesium deficiency. While initial symptoms can be minor, a magnesium deficiency may eventually cause noticeable problems with your muscle and nerve function such as tingling

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Minerals and Electrolytes – What Are They and How to Get Enough

I’ve always found the difference between electrolytes and minerals somewhat confusing. Some experts say it’s all the same, or is at least converted within the body to be all the same but I didn’t entirely get it. One of my goals in writing this week’s blog is to gain a better understanding for myself of the similarities and differences (and hopefully be able to convey this new understanding in a very articulate way to you)


I wrote up trace minerals some time ago in dealing with the arthritis in my hands. Regarding the post’s mention of coconut oil, see Coconut Oil – Why You Should Include it in Your Diet.


Mom Loves Water

Most of us are somewhat familiar with electrolytes and know about things like Gatorade to replenish but what I’m going to talk about goes way beyond drinking a sports drink after heavy exercise. While I hold strong that water is the most essential nutrient for the body, I know that water is not the only supplement our bodies crave. Our bodies are basically made up of the same things that make up the earth, so beyond water we need to think about the soil and thus what’s in (or supposed to be in) the earth’s soil. Minerals. Beyond water (or better yet, with our water) our bodies need replenishment of minerals.

I’ve always found the difference between electrolytes and minerals somewhat confusing. Some experts say it’s all the same, or is at least converted within the body to be all the same but I didn’t entirely get it. One of my goals…

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How Do I Get Relief from Arthritis in my Hands?

For more than 20 years I have suffered from arthritis of the hands. Because I am a journalist, I thought I had carpal tunnel syndrome for much of that time. However, I fell off my bike and broke a bone in my wrist when I was in my 50’s and the doctor, looking at my X-rays, said I had arthritis not CTS. Turns out about half the people in the country suffer from arthritis.

If you aren’t clear on arthritis check out my Page What you should know about arthritis. I have written more than a dozen posts on the subject. For the record, I am talking about osteoarthritis, the most common version, not rheumatoid arthritis. Mine is at the base of each thumb, so I have pain using my hands to button, unbutton, turn a key, etc. Just about anything I use my hands for. Yes, that includes typing this.

The acrylic cast build by the Hand Clinic

The acrylic splint build by the Hand Clinic

When I started doctoring, the Northwestern Memorial Hospital Hand Clinic built me an acrylic splint which I wore for several years. I stopped when I discovered trace minerals. You can read my post on that at the link.

I stumbled upon Naproxin Sodium 200 mg capsules a couple of years ago when I got Popeye Elbow and a doctor prescribed it to reduce the swelling. Turned out the Naproxin also relieved the pain in my hands, too.

The compression gloves I wear now

The compression gloves I wear now

When I discussed it with my internist, though, she said that there were some really dangerous side effects to regular use of Naproxin which is an NSAID (Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drug). So, she prescribed Pennsaid which is also an NSAID ointment. Since you rub it on instead of swallowing it, there is significantly less damage to your system that the ones you swallow.

I didn’t get much relief from Pennsaid and I also didn’t like sitting around for periods with both my hands covered with this drug. So I quit using it.

I picked up some Acetomenaphin (Tylenol) at Costco and started taking two 500 MG tablets every morning after that. I did that for a couple of years, but the pain relief benefits seemed to be tailing off and I didn’t want to up the dose. Continue reading


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The Mayo Clinic on Arthritis and Surgery

Since I suffer from arthritis in my hands daily, I hope I can be forgiven for being the slightest bit pre-occupied with it. When I was first diagnosed with it, about 10 years ago. At that time I was given an acrylic splint that I wore on my right hand. It partially immobilized the hand, but gave me a lot of functionality as my hand was stronger as a result. Living with pain is an ongoing and developing experience. I am not sure what will be next.

The Mayo Clinic offered the following in the Special Report of its Health Letter:

“Sometimes, more conservative treatments such as medications and physical therapy aren’t enough to relieve your arthritis signs and symptoms. In these cases, a number of surgical procedures may be considered to relieve pain, slow or prevent cartilage damage or restore mobility and stability. Common surgical procedures include:

“* Arthroscopic debridement – A thin tube (arthroscope) is inserted into the joint area through a small incision to suction away loose fragments of bone, cartilage or synovial tissue that may be causing pain. This is particularly helpful in treating ‘mechanical’ symptoms of arthritis, such as catching or locking.

“* Synovectomy – Often done in rheumatoid arthritis, this involves surgically removing inflamed synovial tissue to reduce pain and swelling, and possibly delaying or preventing- joint destruction.

“* Joint fusion – Often done when joint replacement isn’t an option, permanently fusing a joint in the spine, wrist or ankle or foot can reduce pain and improve stability, although flexibility of that joint is lost.

“* Joint replacement – Hip, knee, elbow and shoulder joints – and less commonly some of the joints of the hands – can all be replaced by artificial joints made of various materials. Advances continue to be made in artificial joint durability and the overall success of these procedures. In some cases, less invasive procedures such as partial knee replacement or hip replacements using smaller incisions are helping reduce recovery time. Modified anesthesia techniques, aggressive post-operative rehabilitation and better postoperative pain management are also contributing to quicker recovery times.”

Anecdotally, my brother had a titanium knee put in several years ago and he was discharged from the hospital the same day. That blew my mind at the time and still does.

The report concludes, “You may not be able to make arthritis pain totally go away or do everything that you once could. But you can make the most of what you can do, which includes fully utilizing the medical therapies available to you, leading a joint-healthy lifestyle and maintaining a positive attitude.”



Filed under aging, arthritis, trace minerals

Arthritis Pain and Trace Minerals

I’m not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV. The following is an anecdote about my experience with Trace Minerals and the arthritis that plagues my hands  which may be of some interest or value to you. I suffer from severe arthritis. On each hand at the base of my thumb the bones touch. This is called bone-on-bone arthritis and it is extremely painful for me to turn a key in a lock, open or close buttons or a flip top can along with myriad other simple hand movements. Because the right hand was worse than the left, the doctors created a special acrylic splint for that one. Its function was to partially immobilize my hand. This took away about 50% of my hand’s mobility. But, it also took away much of the pain I lived with daily. In addition, the splint also strengthened my hand and restored some dexterity previously lost to the affliction. I lived with a splint on my hand for over three years. The only time I removed it was to ride the bike because I couldn’t work the gear shift with it on. I substituted a spandex hand-wrap just to support my thumb while shifting gears.

My acrylic splint

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Alternative Treatments for Hand Arthritis – Harvard

Last week we shared with you an excerpt from a 44-page report by Harvard Medical School on osteoarthritis of the hand. You can read it here.

This week, we want to finish up with some offbeat treatments of hand arthritis discussed by Harvard.

The entire publication which covers The Healthy Hand, Arthritis of the Hand, Tendon Trouble, Exercise for the Hand, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and other Tunnel Syndromes, Traumatic Hand and Wrist injuries as well as handy gadgets for sufferers to use. This pretty much qualifies as everything you ever wanted to know about the hand, but were afraid to ask. Harvard Medical School offers special reports on over 50 health topics. You can order the complete Hands report here.

Holding a cup of coffee can be very painful to an arthritis sufferer

Following is an excerpt from the report: Many people with chronic, painful conditions like arthritis who don’t get complete relief from conventional therapies turn to alternative treatments. As with any therapy, some people find that certain treatments work well for them, while others find little or no benefit. Talk with your physician to decide which approaches might work best for you, and consult a licensed, certified practitioner for specific treatment and guidance.
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Filed under aging, arthritis, trace minerals