Putting one’s entire health history online is not always a wise idea but I’m doing this for sole purpose of being helpful to people who might be sharing similar health challenges and are not able to find solutions.
Over the years I’ve discovered that my symptoms are so erratic that no doctor or “specialist” was able to put it all together. In fact, most of their advice made my condition worse. Having spent my savings in doctor fees, tests and supplements I’m slowly finding solutions myself and feeling better every month. I am recovering from an advanced ‘adrenal fatigue’ with a plethora of complications that come with it – insomnia, gut issues, liver stagnation, fatigue and by now I am 100% convinced now that my root cause is MERCURY TOXICITY.
Once I finally realized that I’m dealing with heavy metals it was an eye opening moment because there it was – an explanation to all of this insanity I’ve been going through. I still do not have all the answers and going through many ups and downs but things are more stable now (see my rolling updates below). Mainly because I changed my approach to a very gradual and careful healing process. Overall, last five years had been the most debilitating, frustrating, hopeless years of my life but I learned a lot. If you want to learn my story I highly recommend reading it here. If I can help any of you to get better then this entire journey through hell was well worth it.
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Insomnia – Severe and Chronic
From a very sudden onset of insomnia (as described in more detail on My Story page) things settled into a condition that would manifest in several ways:
1. I either have chills in the body and can not fall asleep or I wake up from chills in my body around 1 or 3-4AM. Those chills also manifest as some slight spasms or pulses of cold running down from abdomen to my legs and my extremities would be very cold too. During some periods I want to urinate even if the bladder is empty, having cold and irritating spasms running down my leg. I learned I could do some deep breathing and bring the heat back and fall back asleep.
During this “disturbed” sleep phase I noticed that meals eaten later than 6PM wake me up a couple of hours after I fall asleep and I feel stress, restlessness and irritation. Normally what helps is a warm cup of water and the body relaxes.
2. Second type of insomnia is more severe and manifests differently – in intense episodes. Basically what wakes me up about 3 hours after I fall asleep is warmth/heat in my body. I feel alert and can not go back to “rest” mode. These can last for months (as it is now, which I feel was triggered when I caught a cold virus and bacterial bronchitis.) These episodes are the most debilitating and disturbing as I feel like a walking zombie during the day.
Heat in Abdomen Following Meals
This has been one of the very first and most persistent annoyances I’ve been experiencing. About 30-45 minutes after eating I start feeling heat around my abdomen center. It is not burning or painful, just kind of hot – right below my rib cage and belly button. Years later I also noticed that it is worse when I’m reclining. I’ve searched everywhere for the answer but have not been able to solve this riddle. The working theory I have is that is bile back-flow caused by either ileocecal valve dysfunction, the so called excessive liver yang (TCM) or visceral hypersensitivity – related to overactive central nervous system.
I feel very similar heat during stressful moments as well. Seems like this symptoms gets a bit better in the winter and worse during summer.
Terrible Stress Response & Heart Palpitations
Any slightest stress would send my heart pounding with blood pulsating in my temples. I was extremely irritable, snappy and sensitive to sounds, light and any bodily stress. My stress response was completely over exaggerated and it took me days to recover from stressful events.
Food sensitivity: can not drink milk, can not have any raw garlic or onion, or any ginger, no radish, nothing warming as it would keep my body hot and awake. Could not eat any raw salads or veggies as it would make me cold or simply keep me awake at night. Can not eat or drink anything cold – can not sleep and feel that heat in abdomen. Later I figured out that all histamine rich foods keep me awake at night too.
Raw foods …. later I learned this was due to spleen qi deficiency (TCM), aka weak digestion which stresses the heart and adrenals (kidney jing).
Pulsating Spasms from Abdomen Down to Genitals and Legs
This one was one of the first and nastiest symptoms. Sometimes after meals I would get these irritating pulses or contractions that would start in my abdomen and run down to genitals all the way to my feet. This was particularly bad at night – pulsating cold feeling, almost making me twitch or convulse from discomfort.
I later noticed this phenomenon was exacerbated by raw or hard to digest meals. I live in a country where potato dumplings (think gnocchi) or potato pancakes are a staple. These starchy foods were the worst culprit. So I started watching my food better and realized that these pulses would be much lighter after easily digestible meals. It took me more years to realize that I had developed a very sluggish and weak digestion (spleen deficiency in TCM) and these spasms were actually running along the spleen energy meridian.
Pyloric Valve Dysfunction
This one was hiding from me for years. I bet you haven’t even heard of this body part as well. Pyloric valve is a band of smooth muscle at the junction between the stomach and the duodenum of the small intestine. It basically controls the flow of digested food from the stomach to the small intestine. If the valve is inflamed and malfunctioning you are going to have contents leaching both forwards (undigested foods getting into small intestine) and backwards (bile flowing back into the stomach). In both cases one is bound to develop a ton of symptoms like SIBO, pain, H Pylori infections and so on. Which is exactly what happened to me.
Sensitivity to Cold
I was often awakened or prevented from falling asleep due to being too cold or too hot at. I was very sensitive to any cold surface, feelt as if cold is rising up my legs if I step on anything bear feet. One of the worst is feeling are chills from 10:00am-12:00am, preventing me from falling asleep. These chills are not alleviated by extra blankets, only by certain breathing techniques, hot water, sesame oil on the feet and herbal supplements. This most likely due to hypothyroidism or spleen qi deficiency (TCM).
I’ve learned that climate plays a major role as well. My symptoms and sleep gets worse during rainy days and cold winter days. When I travel to Mediterranean climate zone (such as California, Italy, Greece…) my symptoms magically improve in about three days: I have more energy, sleep better and improved appetite. I’ve heard I’m not alone and people resolve variety of health issues like asthma, high blood pressure, fatigue merely by moving to warmer climate zone.
Constant lower back pain
This symptom i is one of the earliest ones (started years before insomnia) and has been very persistent too. No yoga or back strengthening exercises were helping. It was this nagging, burning pain in lower back. It slowly alleviated after half a year of Qi Gong and herbal formulas. This was due to kidney jing defficiency (TCM), aka adrenal fatigue.
Prone to catch any passing cold (super tough recovery afterwards
It seemed I was catching every bug that was going around. It was taking me long to recover, especially if the cold causes fever and cough. Even after cold was gone I would experience debilitating fatigue (crash) and super bad insomnia for weeks afterwards.
Unable to Tolerate Strenuous Work or Exercise
Total in intolerance for any strenuous exercise – seems like any routine that is slightly more intense (running, light weights, cardio, even yoga) causes abnormal fatigue (crash) and disturbs my sleep at night even more.
This has been with me over the years as well. Initially, I though this was ear damage after a few nights out (lightly put) at the techno clubs of San Francisco but now I’m pretty sure that my tinnitus is related to kidney jing deficiency, aka adrenal fatigue. As I’m slowly recovering this symptom is getting better. By the way, a prolonged use of Zolpidem (Ambien, Stilnox) will also cause nasty tinnitus but it goes away about two weeks later after quitting the meds. Over the years I’ve noticed that my tinnitus and lower back pain corresponds with stressed kidney Yin – this happens either through inappropriate use of herbs (that are too yang or too yin consuming), catching a cold or periods of very bad insomnia.
This is one of the most annoying and most persistent symptoms. Comes in various shapes and sizes and progressed over the years turning into debilitating type a couple of years later after insomnia started). It manifests as heavy legs, very low energy to do anything. In other words – total exhaustion.
Extreme fatigue bouts (aka adrenal crashes)
My system seems to be extremely fragile and I’m very prone to adrenal crashes. They can be triggered by various supplements, colds (especially bad from respiratory related colds – bronchitis really wiped me out for months). Adrenal crashes is when the crap really hits the fan for me and I can hardly drag my feet or talk longer than a few minutes without hyperventilating like an old dog in Florida heat.
I drink a lot and pee a lot. Nights are just like days, need to get up and pee twice a night even if there is no much fluid to pee out.
Strange Sinus Popping Sounds
This started about three years into my condition. I usually notice these popping sensations in my sinuses, usually the right one. My sinuses are dry and usually cause no issues but I thought this is a peculiar symptom that may mean something to someone with experience.
TCM Organ Clock Observations
9-11am feel a bit cold and experience cold feet, especially toes;
12pm-14pm pretty bad post lunch fatigue;
14pm-17pm general feeling of tiredness or fatigue;
9pm-11:30pm might be experiencing chills if ate bitter food, drank bitter tea, had yin tonics, etc.;
1:30am-2:30am wake up like clockwork, usually pretty hot and restless;
4am is often second wakening. Few years ago this was from inner chills but now usually from feeling hot.
My tongue has always stayed this this way with variations of it being totally covered with grey coating or it being thicker. I’ve had it analyzed by a few TCm experts and I heard various interpretations but they were all inconclusive.
Paradoxical Reactions to Supplements
I can confidently state that I managed to screw with my sleep more than it would have happened “naturally.” This is because I was desparate and chasing one pill after another but 95% of all supplements I tried made my condition worse.
In general, supplements that are too Yin (Vit C, A) and bitter herbs (dandelion, burdock root, Swedish bitters) make me too cold and experience inner chills, which prevent me from falling asleep for hours. Yet later I can wake up hot and not able to sleep from that. Sometimes it is quite the opposite: I would feel hot at bed time and not able to fall asleep and feel chills later at night.
Rolling Updates: What I’m going through now:
Early Fall 2016
SLEEP: I survive mostly on antihistamines and by rotating Zolpidem on and off. Pretty much have to assemble my sleep from few intervals and get out of bed extremely tired.
ENERGY: Worst it has been. Seems like I’m living in one total crash. Hardly make it through the day, come home exhausted and can’t wait to lock myself in a room and just be at peace. Life totally sucks and feels hopeless.
GUT: Poor appetite, slow digestion, food sensitivities persist.
DIET: Quit all gluten a month ago (all dairy had been cut out for a while now). There’s somewhat of a relief but nothing major.
Started doing QiGong.
Early Spring 2017
SLEEP: Still waking up three hours after falling asleep hot. Sometimes I’m able to fall asleep after drinking water but often I’m not. Insomnia has not gotten much better even though there are periods when I’m able get through the night without too many wakings or wondering around.
ENERGY: All day fatigue, especially bad in afternoon. Difficult to talk for longer periods at work. Hoarse voice where I have to clear my throat. In general, it just feels like exhaustion. Even if I had four or five hours asleep, I feel tired during the day but not much sleepy.
GUT: I’m experiencing various gastro intestinal issues like lack of apetite, bloating, food sensitivities. Still feeling heat in abdomen following meals. Heat is especially bad from dairy or wheat products which I cut from my diet a year ago.
DIET:I try to stay modified Paleo but all include some non glutenous grains like buckwheat and rice. Eating fruits twice a day like mangoes and apples.
OTHER: I feel strange sensations in sinuses, sometimes popping as if there were some bubbles. Heat in stomach is about the same.
SUPPLEMENTS: Magnesium, B6, D3, K2, Fish oil, tried NAC, R-Alpha Lipoic Acid, Biotin (disaster), Milk Thistle, Ginko Biloba, SAM-e (disaster).
QiGong: making slow and steady progress and I would say that my overall health is very slowly improving but I have many setbacks where I lose hope again. This has changed me over the years where I’ve become neurotic about any food I touch and hyper vigilant to all body sensations. Even though this winter I felt real signs of depression and hopelessness I try to keep a positive attitude and know that I can get through this if I just can just understand what exactly I’m dealing with.
Mid Summer 2017
SLEEP: Finally improving to the point where most night I feel like I had enough and I feel more rested. This has all been thanks to exeperimenting with a few TCM herbal formulas which restore kidney jing and nourish the heart and blood, as well as promote harmony between liver and digestion.
GUT: My appetite has recovered quite a bit. I still feel bloated in afternoon if I don’t take the herbal formulas but I feel like my detox pathways are working much better now.
DIET: I’m able to eat more foods that I enjoy like goat cheese, kefir, oats, some nuts, even some rye bread but I have to be very careful and watch I don’t overindulge in sweets.
ENERGY: Also slowly improving. I still don’t have enough fire to last through the day without feeling fatigued but I feel like my battery is slowly recharging.
OTHER: Popping sensation in the sinuses seem to have gone away. Heat after food is somewhat less noticeable.
SUPPLEMENTS: Various TCM formulas, magnesium, B6, D3, Hawthorn, Fish oil. In general the strategy is to use mostly Chinese formulas from now on to nourish the spleen, build kidney jing, cool liver yang, nourish heart and blood (TCM).
QiGong: Doing at least one practice once a day but I feel I would be recoveing much faster if I gave it more time and did two practices – total of 2 hours.
Hi Tadas! Wow…you’ve seen alot of misery. I can actually relate to about half of it. I will gladly reply with my thoughts, but it’s going to require a little more time than I have right now. It’s actually 2:44 a.m. and I have to get up early tomorrow (today) for a little trip up north we’re taking. Yes…insomnia has reared it’s ugly head tonight! I’m not surprised as I ate some chocolate begore bedtime. I knew better…but…I’m also overheated…probably from histamine. It hasnt been a good weekend at all. I’m really looking forward to our weekend getaway…fall colors and all of nature.
I can tell you this though tonight…I’m seeing B1 deficiency all over the place with your history. Are you taking Benfothiamine? Have you removed Mefifoods from your diet yet? If so, have you experienced any relief yet? I’ll try to finish this in the next couple of days. You definitely need some respite from your afflictions. We’re going to work on calming and healing your overtaxed CNS. Take care! Mo
Hi Maureen, yes please, get some rest if you can. 🙂 No point of hanging out on insomnia blogs at 2:44am. 🙂 Nature is very healing, this should be of great relief, especially after a hot night in bed from a banana. Seriously – we’re in the same boat with this one! 😉 I’ve taken B1 for a while but I usually take some other supplements so I wasn’t sure whether it was doing anything at all. WHat are Mefifoods? I’m taking magnesium, some Chinese herbal formulas and CBD oil to help my CNS – seem to be really helping. Maureen, this heat you’re experiencing at night could be coming from your liver. Try things like good quality Milk Thistle, some roasted dandelion coffee and avoid any liver heating foods like wheat, dairy, tomatoes, alcohol, etc. When I take those I have way less heat at night but my problem is that those same things cause bad chills and fatigue for me. If I didn’t have those chills I could be dealing with this heat much better at night. If these a hormonal flashes then I have some good herbal formula suggestions for you too.
Sorry it took so long to reply…busy week! Here’s my semi-professional take on your history…
You’re a Northern European who spent 13 years in Cali, probably eating lots of raw plants and plant oils…salads, fruit, olive oil, veg oil, nuts, seeds, avocados, etc. Spending time at discos I imagine you drank alcohol semi-regularly. You definitely got away from your traditional Latvian foods, especially animal fats.
These symptoms are related to B1 deficiency…
June 2013…”lots of wine” depletes B1
Heat sweating…B1 def causes mito malfunction…causing overheating
Lots of chills. Not sure exactly, but I notice I get chills (briefly) when a gallstone is moving (yours are sometimes after bitter herbs…major bile mover). I have some pain there too. Also, I notice I get them now on MTHFR protocol@ 4:00 a.m. when I’m not supporting it properly with electrolytes, glutathione, etc. Dr. Lynch says poor methylation causes us to pee alot at 3-4:00 a.m. too.
Overheating while stressed…again def mitochondrial dysfunction…B1 deficiency/CNS/salicylates
Raw food…weak digestion. B1 is all about metabolizing our food…carbs/fats/proteins. B1 supports healthy gut lining and motility (energy), and makes our neurotransmitters.
Spasms…from CNS (like AFib).
Lethargic after starchy meals…B1
These are specifically from salicylates (heat may also be from histamine)…
Heat…irritation…restlessness 1:00 a.m.
Heat around abdomen?
(4 main symptoms of aspirin overdose…overheating, overbreathing, hearing loss, tacchycardia)
As far as your doing better in warm climates, we N.E.s have a gene that lets us handle cold temps. But linolenic acid,from plant oils, inhibits the gene. Personally I have always loved the tropics…but I also grew up with too much plant oils and not enough animal fats (even though I’m from Wisconsin with all our dairy and sausage!).
“Medfifoods” was supposed to be Mediterranean foods. Did you look at my sister’s N.E.D. PowerPoint on her website? It explains it all…why we need to avoid plant oils and eat lots of animal fat and liver and broth. Why we need to avoid sals. She doesn’t talk about mitochondrial diseas (yet) or much about B1 (yet), but these are coming. http://www.salicylatesensitivity.com
is a great resource too. I remember a year ago when, after my sis and I realized we were sal sensitive, Joan put it all together. WE DON’T NEED TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO CONSTANTLY BE AVOIDING MEDITERRANEAN FOODS IN AMERICA…WE JUST NEED TO TURN BACK TO THE DIET OF OUR ANCESTORS BECAUSE EVERYTHING SHE HAD RESEARCHED THE LAST 10 YEARS POINTED TO IT. The N.E.D. is full of B1…especially from grains (rye, barley, and oats), greens, and pork. Sal sensitivity was the ‘light bulb’ moment! Another AMAZING resource is Weston A Price Foundation. They have lots of info on why plant oils have almost killed us…and why animal fat is the medicine! There’s also an article about plant toxins/poisons (sals) called Plants Bite Back. All their articles are long and sciency…something to sink your teeth into!
My FB page has lots of great articles too, but you have to spend time going far back to find lots of gems.
“Nourished Body and Soul” (look for the heart-shaped pat of butter icon)
If I’ve forgotten anything I’ll let you know.
Let me know what you think!
Hi Maureen, thank you so much for your insights. To be honest, I’ve been in so many directions with theories, deficiencies and supplements that it has become almost impossible to digest and grasp it all. You’re right, this could be due to B1 deficiency but other deficiencies have the same symptoms too but most importantly why would I be deficient if I had a pretty balanced diet, foods rich in B1. Even now my diet I’ve taken B1 before but not benfothiamine. Even now my diet is full of eggs, oats, organic rye bread (although rarely as I’m suspecting gluten sensitivity), meats, etc. I suppose I can pursue this direction by reducing Med foods (mainly alive oil) and try the benfothiamine to see what changes. I’m going to read your sister’s site now… found the link on Youtube from your previous comment. I’ve read about those studies behing Plants Bite Back after I did my organic acids test and it showed very high oxalates. My nutritionist at that point had me limit oxalate and lectin rich foods. I did that for a month but did not feel much difference. Could you let me know what it is again? By the way, as you can see from my blog posts I’m heavy on Chinese Traditional Medicine. They too have many theories but some that I’m positive about are so called spleen dampness, qi deficiency and kidney jing deficiency. My next approach is to try herbs for the so called GU SYNDROME, which is when there are some sort of deeply lodged pathogens and parasites that are causing all these wacky neurological and digestive symptoms. Also waiting for those genetic results to see whether there’s are methylation issues.
Update: Just read the PPT about Northern European Diet. Wow. If all this is true then I might know how I screwed up my health in California by eating foods and meals from all over the world. 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing this. I’ll read it again and print some pages for my fridge. Going to go a head and integrate some more foods that I’ve been avoiding. Here’s the link you provided before on Youtube link location for the presentation.
Oops! I apologize for typing Latvia. I meant Lithuania. Besides potatoes, what would you say are the traditional dishes?
I forgot to talk more about B1…the wonderful and amazing! 8D
Have you started taking Benfothiamine yet? You mentioned to me to take it slow on PQQ due to it’s strength and A.F. (which I have). Thanks!
I began Benfothiamine 2 months ago and now I can FINALLY tolerate things again! I HAD BECOME SO SENSITIVE TO THINGS I WOULD ONLY BREAK OPEN CAPSULES AND TAKE MAYBE 1/4th or less. Now I take 1/2 to a whole pill. Wow!
There isn’t enough good info online about B1, but enough to get started. Look up Dr. Lonsdale as he is the big proponent of it. He’s 93 so he may not be around too much longer. He’s not a fan of modern medicine…I like that guy!
He has 4 books I’d like to buy, including professional ones that cost $100 each. But check them out on Amazon.
I could go on and on about B1…but I’ll stop here.
I have B1 already in my cabinet, you think I should start with that? I will order Benfothiamine too. What dosage do you tink I should start with, keeping in mind I’m very sensitive to supplements? Maureen, how do your food intolerance manifest? I’m curious whether you AF will start getting better too.
Hey Tadas! Are you around? I am anxious to hear your thoughts on my sister’s website/diet…and if you’re trying it with any success.
I was just talking to my sister and she happened to mention Lithuania in relation to sourdough rye she is attempting to make. This is one of the key health foods on the diet…especially with regards to the natural bacteria from rye, and how important these particular bacteria are for our Microbiome. There was a bakery in Chicago that made this bread, and they just went out of business. They were even located on Lithuania Avenue! So now Joan has to start making it herself. She says there are so many different types of recipes that she doesn’t know where to start.
Is there any chance your family has a particular favorite recipe that you like?
Yes we have awesome rye bread. I buy one that is made in a super traditional way – organic, sourdough, made in a clay oven by a few farmers that have the method passed down from their grandparents. I don’t know any recipes as I just buy it at the farmer’s market. Not sure if your sister can do it on her own without getting some sort of a starter kit with all that bacteria and so on. I do eat this bread here but with some guilt and if anything gets worse I have to stop right away because I’m not sure where it is some inflammation from gluten or what. This is the biggest challenge for people like us – at any given day we might try different foods ans supplements and if things go south we’re left baffled no knowing what to blame. If I knew gluten was not an issue I’d be eating this bread every day 🙂
hey, I can relate to a lot of symptoms you listed. Especially to the insomnia of course.
You said that you can’t tolerate sport/exercise because it makes your insomnia worse (I am the same). I’d like to ask if your performance while doing sports is below mediocre?
Do you sweat more than other people doing the same activity?
Do you feel a tightness in the chest sometimes?
Do you have asthma?
Yes, below mediocre for sure. I don’t think I sweat more, perhaps less. Not much tightness in the chess and no asthma but these could be all related to your liver. Have you done any tests to check on your liver function? It can be backed up/toxic from issues in your gut or simply your life style.
you mean western liver tests? At least there my liver looks fine. But i def got liver issues from a tcm point of view.
I also did a feces test and it showed a disturbed gut flora. (But most probiotics aggrevated my insomnia of course)
How is sweating and asthma related to the liver? I read that both can be related to lung qi deficiency (and I got some throat issues as well)
Sweating less than you should could also be related to some lung pattern I think. But if you don’t have any trouble catching a breath and your chest doesn’t feel tight, than prolly not, mh
Yes, western liver tests. I have liver issues too but tests didn’t show anything either. In TCM of the possible reasons for asthma is spleen qi deficiency, liver plays a direct role in that too. Sweating can be from liver yang. Liver is our largest organ after skin and it can run hot, overheating entire body, draining kidney yin (another possible reason for asthma) and so on. Have you tried any heat clearing Chinese gentian herbs? Have you tried Milk Thistle? Best of course to consult with TCM guy but I would experiment with some liver yang balancing herbs and see how you feel.
Ah very interesting. Maybe because of the spleen qi deficiency my doc said that my herbal tea should also adress my asthma.
What is a gentian herb?
I tried stuff like chinese skullcap but it gave me insomnia as well. I think cool/cold herbs are especially problematic with me. I only tolerate feverfew for longer periods of time.
I definetly know how liver yang rising feels like, but I gotta say my insomnia didn’t revolve around running hot at night that often.
I thought about milk thistle as well for detoxifying back then but didn’t purchase. I got calcium-d-glucarate and berberine instead (both give me insomnia, of course….)
I wasted so much money on supps where I could only take 1 to 3 pills, getting more severe insomnia from it and then had to abonden the bottle. I think I will stick to formulas first.
Gentians are basically Chinese bitters, most of them are considered heat clearing, liver yang pacifying herbs but if cold herbs are problematic then avoid them, except for Bupleurum (chai hu). You poor guy, going through same thing as I was being so sensitive to all the herbs and supplements. I’ve gotten much better but man that took a long time and as I often say in my video the biggest difference was made by daily Qi Gong practice. Hang in there and keep looking for answers.
it sounds like you have all the symptoms of adrenal fatigue. Have you ever done a 4 point saliva test to measure cortisol and dhea levels?
You’re so right, Matt. These are all signs of adrenal fatigue and this is what I was chasing all these years to no avail. If it was purely adrenal fatigue I should have been out of it long time ago but as I learned there is something else draining those adrenals and in my case, at the very bottom of it all is mercury toxicity.
Hey, it’s been a while.
I managed to cure my insomnia and I am fully back to normal. Actually it’s been like that for two months now, so I am sure I found the solution for me.
I was wondering whether or not to come back to your blog and post my solution because you guys here will probably think I am crazy. I don’t even mind that too much, because if someone would have told me this 6 months ago I would have raised both eyebrows over this myself. But who cares, nobody knows me here anyways.
As I posted here already, I developed insomnia in feb/march of last year. I lived with it (more or less) for 14 month. It was crazy. It caused me A LOT of trouble for my career education. I felt miserable, agitated („wired“), sometimes scared for no reason at all, desperate. And of course this draining feel of not having slept for real in such a long time.
So I tried everything I thought that would make sense. I am only writing this so you don’t easily assume my cure was due to a placebo effect: I had myself checked by 2 doctors, supplements, diet, microbiome stuff, anxiolytic medical drug, yoga, TCM and probably other stuff I already forgot.
TCM herbal tea made my insomnia bearable, it was a huge relief, but you just feel that you are not cured. I was not quite healthy. Plus: If you stop drinking the tea, everything returns.
Nowadays, it’s a no-brainer to me why TCM couldn’t cure me.
However, you see, if my severe insomnia could be cured by a mere placebo effect, I should have benefited from that way sooner.
One day, approx. 14 month into my insomnia, a thought crossed my mind: „Funny coincidence, you installed that SSD disk in your tower pc only a few days before all this insomnia bs started.“
I am not kidding.
I was fully aware about my new drive for all those 14 month. But I never even made a guess in the direction that something like this could affect my health in any way. The tower PC is in my sleeping room and I use it every day, but I have always shut down all electronic devices completely before I go to bed.
The story is actually a little more detailed but I keep it short:
Having had this idea, I thought: fuck it. I don’t lose anything if I try it and remove the SSD from my PC. What can I say? 36 hours after removing the drive from my PC, I had my first nap in 14 months. It was fucking beautiful. Still remember this. It was only 50 minutes, but I did sleep for real. In the middle of the day. You guys will understand how precious this was to me.
It actually took around around 6 days in total until I grooved back into my „old self“ with normal sleep habits. I also could feel this nasty feeling of agitaion fall off of me. The phrase „wired but tired“ resonated a lot with me during those months. I thought this was an effect of my sleep deprivation. But maybe this wasn’t caused by a lack of sleep but was another direct cause of my solid state drive.
Well, the obvious question is: how can a disk affect my sleep? You probably heard the answer to this somewhere already and laughed it off: It’s electrosmog / electrosensitivity / emf.
This really is a thing. After having had this experience, I researched it, and there is actually A TON of scientific evidence, that electrosmog is bad for our health. The way this is communicated to the public (more like: how the opposite is communicated to the public) is atrocious. This is no tinfoil hat stuff. There are various effects described if you look around the internet. Sleep disturbances are touted to be one of the more probable effects.
Only thing that’s still a little bit odd is that you will find a few emf gurus are recommending ssd disks because they are said to radiate less emf. However other anti emf gurus say that there is something especially problematic about SSD’s. Maybe they emit yet a different radiation or a special frequency, who knows. I know they definetly do something.
Well and there you got the reason why TCM could never cure me. What good is accupuncture once or twice a week for 1 hour, if you got something poisoning in your home every day for several hours. Sure I did drink the herbal tea everyday and it helped a lot. It pulled my body „in the right direction“. But I didn’t feel truly well. Because I was exposed to something sickening every day that pulled me just in the other direction.
My advice for you guys is: think long and hard back to when you developed insomnia. Think about the days and weeks before that. Did your exposure to computers or electronic devices in general change? Can be everything from a new mobile phone to a newly built power line near your flat or a so called smart-meter in your basement.
It’s worth a try. And don’t make the petty mistake I did and think that a device couldn’t affect your sleep if it’s not turned on while you are asleep. This stuff can mess you up during the day time in a way that lasts. As I said, it took me almost a week to get my sleep back.
Thank you for sharing your story
I’ve had insomnia for years now along with tinnitus, hyperacusis.
I would appreciate some tips; I’ve tried all the herbal combos for sleep such as valerian, passion flower, hops, holy basil, lemon balm…none of them have worked! The only thing that does work is diazepam (a benzo)
I haven’t slept before 2am-3am for months and often will wake up around 6-7am and then can’t go back off to sleep. It feels as though I have high levels of stress hormone running through my body. If I take another diazepam then I can at least sleep until midday and feel rested. This of course is wholly impractical especially when you have to do things during the morning. Alcohol will completely disrupt my sleep if I consume too close to bedtime. I don’t enjoy getting into bed any longer….it really does just feel me with despair!
I have looked at a few of your suggestions herbal wise. Perhaps it is related to liver and kidney? I got my testosterone checked and that came back normal. I thought that could be an issue.
I have practiced tai chi before and we used to do a few warm up Qigong exercises. I may get back to it if I can find a course.
I hope you can help – thank you
Thank you very much for sharing all those links and advices and your experience. I don’t feel alone anymore, only I am a bit sad for discovering your YouTube videos and blog until now. I have been an insomniac for more than 15 years. During the first years, I tried with non-recipe remedies such as valerian, later during 5 years with diphenydramine and 3 years with clonazepam; clonazepam was the only thing that helped me to sleep during all night, but staring with one drop and ending with 5 mg (and now I can’t remember many things from those years). One year ago I used zolpidem but those were the worst days of my life (I couldn’t sleep, and the secondary effects were a disaster). Four months ago, I quit zolpidem and decided to try again “natural remedies”. My symptoms are similar than yours, I can fall sleep easily at 10 pm, but I wake up at 2-3 am, sometimes at 1 am, and I can’t sleep again (only several periods of 15-20 min). I wake up to urinate even I don’t have too much urine; with the mouth dry and felling heat.
I tried melatonin but no improvement about the duration of sleeping; only I feel that I sleep more deeply. I tried De-press, a combination of L-tryptophan, valerian extract, Melissa, magnesium oxide, saffron and vitamin B6 and other pill of L-theanine, and no improvement, after 2 weeks. Then, I decided to buy two big boxes of magnesium bisglycinate, because it was the Holy Grail, but it worsen my insomnia after 3 days taking it. Yesterday I ordered myo-inositol, and I have very high expectations, because I read that an excess of cortisol (the alertness hormone) could cause those waking up. Inositol regulates cortisol excess, but the effect is noticed after several days taking it. After watching your videos and reading the commentaries, I know that this type of magnesium chelate is not suitable for me and for many people. But, I saw the video about inositol and I feel more lost than never. Anyway, I will try the myo-inositol. I will follow some of your advices like, avoiding eating after 6 pm, trying Qi-Gong; quitting the Mg-bisglycinate and try with other type of Mg.
Did you find a solution after those years of experimenting the Chinese medicine? Any other advice?
Hi Juan, welcome and I’m glad we found each other! If you read the section about Mercury you’ll learn that I finally had discovered that all of my health issues are caused by heavy metal toxicity. Have you ever had any amalgam fillings ir think you could have been exposed to heavy metals in any way? Do read though some of that materials. Simply taking supplements won’t fix this, you need to address the root cause.
80pct of the symptoms sound like hypochondria and over awareness of normal sensations. “warm sensation in abdomen after eating” well no shit. The popping sounds in sinus sounds to me like (probably stress induced) TMJ. I had most of the aforementioned symptoms too, went away almost all by keep at it with exercise, good diet and stress reduction strategies like meditation.
The most interesting point in your story, for me at least, is where the first 20pct of your symptoms came from that started this stress cascade into the other 80. Sometimes I think were just sensitive people, in tune with something that is wrong in the world. Worked in IT by any chance in Cali? Hope ur feeling better soon. Best of lucks and stay strong.
I wish it was that easy, I wish it was all in my head 🙂 Heard too many arguments like this before. As you see from my other posts: my root cause is mercury toxicity. I did work in Bay Area but not in IT, sales. Stress was not the primary cause, it only compounded the problem.