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Glutathione supplements and numbness - advice needed

Discussion in 'Detox: Methylation; B12; Glutathione; Chelation' started by Kitsune, Mar 4, 2017.

  1. Kitsune

    Kitsune Senior Member

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    Hi - looking for some help with the seemingly endless quest to balance my supplements. It often seems like as soon as I find something that helps, it throws something else out of whack! I'll try to keep this as short and simple as possible; I did put a more general post about my 2 new supplements (alpha-lipoic acid and milk thistle) in the alt therapies forum, but this one will be more specific, so maybe @Freddd or anyone else with experience with these supplements, and glutathione and methylation, will have some ideas for what I could try.

    I've recently found that boosting my glutathione is really helping me get over the chronic fatigue. I was at a point where I was feeling able to start adding some jogging to my walks, even. But in the process of trying to balance my supplements (and dealing with some unanticipated very stressful situations) I'm not feeling so good now. Milk thistle (150mg once a day) seems to be a good thing for me in terms of energy, and it seems to work in synergy with the ALA (100mg once a day). Taking both is better for me than either on its own.

    However, the milk thistle is giving me side effects - insomnia, and more disturbingly genital numbness. It isn't complete numbness, but it's enough to be causing me problems as a married gal, and I know it's also an indication that I've developed an imbalance somewhere, which I obviously don't want. This is not an unfamiliar symptom. About 10 years ago I took SSRIs for the CFS and instantly developed the same type of numbness. I began taking ashwagandha and ginkgo biloba for it, and have blessed them ever since because they helped so much (and am still taking them as they seem to be a big help in general, even though I think I've been recovered from the SSRI damage for some time now). I don't want to try to increase my doses of those; I'd rather try to get at the root cause of this and address it. Should I be looking for some imbalance in sex hormones, or something in the methylation cycle that might be "off" due to my body making more glutathione?

    One more new symptom, besides the numbness and insomnia that are clearly due to the milk thistle, is evening anxiety. Again, not an unfamiliar symptom - it was one of the cluster I developed when I first got ill 12 years ago, though it disappeared when I started taking supplements. It's hard to pinpoint a cause, since I take the majority of my supplements in the morning, so it's obviously not directly following on from one of them as it's appearing 12 hours later.

    I have tried hard to find supplements other than milk thistle that might boost my glutathione, without success. In the past I've tried NAC and whey powder; the latter made me very ill with one dose. TMG gives me the numbness and makes me feel drugged but doesn't seem to do anything positive, which is why I'm suspecting now that anything which boosts my glutathione is probably going to give me the same unwanted symptoms. I also have to be careful with things that are stimulating because my body's quite reactive. I tried taking an extra 1,000mcg methylcobalamin but again, it just made me feel overstimulated without doing anything else. (I do already take a good B-complex with methyl Bs in it; will list below).

    I suppose I ought to just explain quickly that I did Freddd's protocol in the past and tried most of the supplements recommended for that. Got up to several thousand mcg of mB12 along with folate etc etc. Didn't seem to be giving me a great deal of help, and I developed an insatiable need for potassium that was very problematic, so I decided to stop and try other things (with, of course, thankfulness that I at least had the option to try this, and learned an incredible amount from it).

    Oh also - I'm eating a fairly strict Paleo diet that is also generally low histamine, as I discovered this particular problem last year. My supplements list below is designed to address this, along with the chronic fatigue, and also copper detox (which I began just before Christmas, as I seem to have numerous corresponding symptoms).

    Any ideas are very much welcome, thanks. I really am open to advice, as these new symptoms are troublesome.

    Breakfast supplements:
    Solgar digestive enzymes (ox bile, betaine HCl, pancreatin, etc)
    B-complex (Swanson) with 500mcg mB12 & 800mcg methylfolate
    krill oil
    D3 (10,000iu)
    zinc picolinate (22mg)
    vitamin C (1000mg)
    magnesium citrate (200mg)
    quercetin (100mg)
    black cohosh (to balance female hormones)
    black radish (liver support)
    manganese (8mg)
    alpha-lipoic acid (100mg)
    milk thistle (150mg)

    Lunch supplements:
    Solgar digestive enzymes
    vitamin C (1000mg)
    magnesium citrate (200mg)
    quercetin (100mg)

    Dinner supplements:
    Solgar digestive enzymes
    zinc picolinate (22mg)
    vitamin C (1000mg)
    magnesium citrate (200mg)
    quercetin (100mg)
    black cohosh
    black radish

    Before-bed supplements:
    vitamin C (1000mg)
    magnesium citrate (200mg)
    ashwagandha
    ginkgo biloba
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2017
  2. arewenearlythereyet

    arewenearlythereyet Biscuit Antagonist

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    This is a minefield ...I have numbness (but mainly hands and feet due to peripheral neuropathy). Thus is due to a lack of b12 and folate for me.

    I also did Fredds protocol mixed with a bit from rich v.

    The main thing I found that worked best was taking subdermal b12 oils which give you less wild ups and downs than the sublingual, and creatine which takes the burden off methylation generally (something like 50% of methylation is used up making creatine or something like that).

    I've never taken tmg or SAMe but do take phosphatidyl serine twice a day. I take magnesium orally and subdermaly (50% magnesium chloride solution and Epsom salt baths). Common reported deficiencies that seem to occur during methylation are vitamin b2, potassium, iron, manganese, copper and iodine so it's worth just checking what sources and levels you have for those individual ones. As I say it's a bit of a minefield.

    Numbness for me is still there but it takes years to come back apparently through long term folate b12.

    Other thing to note is to ensure you get adequate calcium in your diet or through supplements and maybe look at D ribose for mitochondrial support.

    Good luck
     
    Kitsune likes this.
  3. Kitsune

    Kitsune Senior Member

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    Is your numbness gradually going away? Best wishes for your recovery; it sounds like you've found some things that work well for you.

    I think I've supplemented just about everything you mention above at some point. We're all so different, and then what works for us at one time might not do the same another time. (I tend to have low cortisol in the morning and evening, for example, and did well on liquorice root for this years back, but can't take it now because it's overstimulating.) I don't do well on iron supplements even though my ferritin tends to be chronically low (this can be one sign of copper toxicity). I can't take potassium supplements because even a small dose gives me a high and a crash. Not sure about iodine, though I would be very hesitant there because the last thing I want to do is throw my thyroid out of whack. Also not sure that more than 500mcg of mB12 a day is a help for me. I used to have the extra 1000mcg lozenge daily, but forgot to take it once and went with it to see how I did; seemed fine.

    I've also gone down the route before of trying to address mitochondrial insufficiency, e.g. by taking D-ribose, CoQ10, etc. All too stimulating, sort of like using a cattle prod on yourself to try to make yourself get up. I have also tried various amino acids here and there, and I always react badly to them. Sometimes I want to say to my body, 'Well what do you want then?'. The only omission from my supplement list that is perhaps glaring is vitamin E, but I've tried it before, in various mixed tocopherols, and never noticed any positive benefit. The long-term backbone supplements of my regime have proved to be of constant help to me: vitamin C, magnesium, fish oil, B complex. I used to take 18g of vitamin C a day, and it helped my symptoms, but eventually I decided I needed to adjust to taking a more normal dose (which is now 4g a day) before I put anything too far out of balance. I was also taking the cheapest kind I could get, with some sort of 'flavanoid' that I don't think was actually good for me. I am now taking a straightforward C made from non-GMO tapioca.

    The glutathione boost is the only new-ish thing I've found after all these years that has seemed to help, but I don't know how I'd be able to go forward with it long-term without addressing these other symptoms it's causing. I know I'd get my feeling and libido back if I stopped taking the milk thistle, but I'd also have to kiss my newfound energy goodbye.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2017
  4. Learner1

    Learner1 Professional Patient

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    What brand of vitamin C is based on tapioca, please? I'm on a cassava based C from Allergy Research, but its hard to get.

    You've added ALA, milk thistle, and glutathione, which will all help with detoxing.

    Are you specifically trying to get rid of something, or, could you be accidentally be mobilizing something you weren't expecting?

    Your comments suggest you have toxicity issues - have you done any heavy metal testing?

    Have you tried P5P (B6)? It can affect neuropathy and is needed in our detox pathways.

    And have you worked on membranes, which could be affecting how your cells and mitochondria are taking up or releasing substances?

    And how's your digestion? Are you eating enough fiber, is it moving through you adequately or are you reabsorbing toxins?
     
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  5. jump44

    jump44

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    Its the milk thistle. It silences androgen receptors. I dont have the time right now to find references but if you do a search on milk thistle and DHT and androgen receptors(which you need working correctly in order for things to feel good down there) you will find it. Bodybuilders have opted away from using it in favor of other liver support just for this reason. And yes even if youre a female this will affect you. Hope this helps.
     
  6. Kitsune

    Kitsune Senior Member

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    Hi Learner1 - the C I am using now is Source Naturals Non-GMO C-1000. I'm in the UK, and that was a little tricky to find too. Almost all C out there, I understand, is synthesized from corn and made in China. Strange, isn't it? Cheap, I guess.

    You're right about the detoxing. I seem to have accidentally stumbled onto everything I've done lately. It started over Christmas when I decided I would try and see if I could populate my gut with better beneficial bacteria (though I'm not sure gut dysbiosis is really an issue for me now, especially with 7+ months on a clean diet). You know, when you're not sure what else to do you just try stuff sometimes, and I didn't believe this would be harmful. I wanted to 'make room' for the new bacteria in my gut but didn't have access to antibiotics, so decided to cut off all 'food' from carbs for several days to starve out some of the existing population. I ate nothing but protein and fat for all of my meals and went into ketosis. It was massively stressful for my system - but I had a surprise too. Suddenly my energy levels surged. I felt light on my feet. I felt like I could take off running. I had never felt like this in all the years I'd been ill. The bacteria I went on to take after this hardly matters, I think, become I'd come across something very interesting indeed that I wanted to learn how to replicate with a normal diet.

    After some experimentation, I discovered that I had developed histamine intolerance at some point. I won't go into all of that, but I've had plenty of proof that this was the case. By cutting way down on high histamine foods I found I had more energy and generally felt better, though I wondered why this had happened. I like my food, and having it limited indefinitely like that was a downer.

    More research, into areas that clearly have less science and more conjecture behind them, led me to the possibility that I might have a copper/zinc imbalance (which can affect histamine levels amongst other things). Again, I won't go into all the details there, but it seemed safe enough to me to start and stick to a zinc supplement. I developed anxiety and a weird pimply rash on my legs, which seemed like good enough evidence that I was starting to detox. As the symptoms became more uncomfortable, I started looking for ways to support the detox so that it wasn't so hard on my system. (I'd started my teenage daughter on a similar regime, because her copper symptoms appear to be worse than mine, and it's possible she started out with high levels from me. And I didn't want her to suffer either. I don't get headaches, but she does.) Hence the search for liver support. That's why I took milk thistle in the first place - it's only later, when my energy levels rose, that I did some research and found that it increases glutathione. I'm not taking pure glutathione; I think the ALA and milk thistle are boosting it.

    It's only been 2 months of the copper detox but it's gone so slowly. I had a hair mineral analysis done for myself and my daughter, but they were inconclusive; maybe it was too early in the detox for copper to show up as significant.

    Have been doing a bit more research today; just not sure what to do. Could I try taking methionine? Or maybe introduce vitamin E yet again to see if it makes a difference this time? I've been noticing that now I've had a clean diet for so long (which I think probably has enough fibre - I eat a lot of veg), supplements sometimes seem to have a more pronounced effect on me.

    I wasn't sure about my digestion, which is why I started on the digestive enzymes. I know they can't hurt.

    For cell membrane support, I think the fish oil must be helping, and I largely avoid omega-6 fats. For a while I tried very hard to get glycine into my system, but the best ways to do it are not ones I tolerate very well (gelatin and homemade bone broth are way too high in histamine for me, and pure glycine was also a non-starter when I tried taking it). Not sure what else I could try.
     
  7. Kitsune

    Kitsune Senior Member

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    I've come across this in research, but from what I can see there's not a lot of science behind it - maybe one study, possibly in vitro? But if you do have more info, and you have time, please share. I don't know what else to try if this is what milk thistle is doing to me, or if it's an effect worth putting up with. I went several days without the milk thistle and was back to dragging myself through my walks. My body seems to love the exercise, but it's like whatever is supposed to generate the energy inside of me doesn't want to know.
     
  8. jump44

    jump44

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    Yeah I havent looked in depth at the science- and I do believe theres more than one study. I also remember from my bodybuilding days before I got sick there was A LOT of reports of people getting this problem while taking milk thistle.
     
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  9. Kitsune

    Kitsune Senior Member

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    Hm, interesting. There's so little info out there about this. I don't suppose you know if people found a good (healthy) alternative?
     
  10. jump44

    jump44

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    Im not sure obviously what the mechanism is that milk thistle is making you feel better by, so Im hesitant to really say much.. But if its because its helping the liver then there are other options such as Tudca(which I find very helpful personally) that has no such side effects.
     
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  11. Kitsune

    Kitsune Senior Member

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    I think it's the extra glutathione. But the numbness, in particular, makes me feel like I've lost some of my humanity. That's how it always felt on the SSRIs too (as well as my feelings being zombie-fied along with it). I'm going to have to stop the milk thistle and put my new running things aside for a day I hope won't be too long in the future. Have just ordered Now Gamma E to try (again) - can't hurt and may help a bit. I wish I'd stashed it in the corner of a cupboard after the first time I tried it, LOL.
     
  12. Kitsune

    Kitsune Senior Member

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    I'm also taking black radish for liver support, which is supposed to help you produce more bile. I'm not aware of experiencing any side effects from that.

    It looks like I'm going to have to discontinue the small ALA dose I've been taking too, as I believe that's the cause of the palpitations I've been getting off and on. They've been particularly bothersome today. I seem to strike out with so many supplements I try. Well the vitamin E should not be harmful at least, so I'll look forward to taking that when it arrives.
     
  13. soundasacrystal

    soundasacrystal

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    This may sound ignorant as there is almost no scientific research behind it, but apple cider vinegar definitely boosts my energy and libido. So much so that I have to be careful not to overdo it. I wonder if combining ACV with milk thistle would counteract the negative side effects?
     
  14. Kitsune

    Kitsune Senior Member

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    I'd be interested to look into the mechanism behind that. I'm supposed to stay away from fermented things like vinegar with histamine intolerance, but in small amounts they usually aren't problematic.

    Just thought I'd post an update here. The ALA definitely had to go because the heart problems and anxiety it was causing were going through the roof. Not sure why 100mg a day would do that to me, but that's how it was.

    However, what's really causing me distress now is withdrawal from the milk thistle. I've been googling this a lot, but if there's little information out there about its possible side effects, there's pretty much none about withdrawal symptoms. I was only taking it for two and a half or three weeks, though I know that can be enough time for the body to get acclimated to something. For the first two days I'd stopped taking it, I simply felt better, and the genital numbness more or less went away. Then suddenly (and I mean quite suddenly) on the third night it came back. I've been fatigued since then, but the numbness has been the real feature; this is day two with no change.

    I know we're talking small amounts of time here, but this is really upsetting me, especially remembering what I went through on the SSRIs. Sometimes when I've been under a lot of stress in the past this problem has come back very briefly. Maybe something needs to upregulate now that I've discontinued the milk thistle. I'm used to the process from sugar addiction in the past: first three days or so, it leaves your system; then it takes a little while for things to adjust to the fact that you're not bombarding yourself with the substance anymore. I hope that's the case here, and that before long I'll find I'm starting to feel normal again. If not, I may be coming back here for some advice. Herbs . . . you have to be so careful with them sometimes. I've always thought it's best to stick with things that are intrinsic to the body, but the ashwagandha and ginkgo have helped me so much that maybe I got a little too complacent.
     
  15. antherder

    antherder a.k.a. Princess Dauer, Nematode Nation

  16. Kitsune

    Kitsune Senior Member

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    Thank you. That's quite an extensive list. Not sure what to make of it, though, as there are lots of healthy things on it. Exercise within my tolerance makes me feel better, and I seem to do fine with olive oil, quercetin, and pomegranate seeds.
     
  17. antherder

    antherder a.k.a. Princess Dauer, Nematode Nation

    @Kitsune, I'm not sure what to make of it either!

    I agree re being careful with herbs, ashwagandha really didn't agree with me, but glad to hear it helps you.
     
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  18. Little Bluestem

    Little Bluestem Senescent on the Illinois Prairie ❀❤✿Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ✿❤❀

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  19. Kitsune

    Kitsune Senior Member

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    Now that the milk thistle and ALA are out of my system, I'm really feeling 'flat' and still have the numbness, which just is not shifting. Actually I'm not 100% numb; I guess you could best describe it as a feeling that certain parts have partially seized up (it's hard to explain), coupled with anorgasmia. I don't want to get too personal or detailed, but it's a really distressing problem, and it hit me so suddenly after I stopped the milk thistle. I really want to try to find out why. (It seems ironic, as well, that I had this problem ON the milk thistle, then it cleared for a few days when I stopped the herb, and then it came straight back - though I would have to assume it was via a different mechanism this time.)

    I tried adding an extra 1000mcg B12 to my supplement regime in the morning, but all it did was overstimulate me. I also tried taking extra vitamin C, with the same effect. I've now introduced vitamin E to my supplement regime, just because it seemed like an obvious missing piece of the puzzle, but I haven't noticed any kind of effect from it yet.

    There seems to be no information on the internet about milk thistle doing this to someone. I've tried researching genital numbness/anorgasmia from the point of view of adrenal fatigue, hormonal imbalances, etc, but am just coming up with nothing. At this point it looks like all I can do is carry on with taking the supplements I've got, trying to rest up, and . . . praying. Really open to any advice or suggestions just now, though it would seem that any supplements that are meant to stimulate mitochondria, methylation, etc, or that are further up in the chain of chemical reactions in the body instead of being basic precursors to things that the body can use as it wants to, aren't working very well for me.
     
  20. Kitsune

    Kitsune Senior Member

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    This is the last time I will bump this thread before I've (hopefully) got something to say about feeling better. I just wanted to add that I think it would be a mistake to view the numbness in isolation, because I'm having other symptoms too: digestive upset (despite the digestive enzymes - which nevertheless are helping, because if I don't take them I feel worse), more fatigue than usual, heart flutters (I'm prone to palpitations, and in this case I think it's a signal that my system is under stress), a return of excessive evening sleepiness, and a depressed mood (though this could be more psychological than physiological at the moment).

    I think there's no question that stopping the milk thistle - even though it was a low dose that I took for 3 weeks max - has really slammed my system somehow. Maybe it really, really liked the extra glutathione. I've exhaustively researched other ways to boost it, but I already eat a good diet, and I either take or have tried most of the other supplements that are said to do so. I don't see that I have any choice other than to keep going as I am and hope that my current supplement regime will give me what I need over time to heal from this. It's upsetting, but well, I can keep some hope that a) it's unlikely to be a permanent situation, and b) I'm pretty sure I'm still detoxing copper, so maybe after a while I'll feel better from that; it hasn't been 3 months yet. Wish me luck x
     

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