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Oral vitamin D zaps longtime case of psoriasis
PEOPLE’S PHARMACY JOE AND TERRY GRAEDON
Q. I have had psoriasis for more than 35 years. A few years ago, my doctor suggested vitamin D, as my blood level was low. Much to my surprise, my psoriasis began to disappear almost immediately.

Several patches had proved impossible to cure with other medications. When my blood test showed a normal level of vitamin D, the doctor asked me to cut back the dosage. I did, and the psoriasis returned.

I now take 5,000 units of vitamin D per day, and that keeps my psoriasis in check. Regular monitoring of my vitamin D level shows that I am in the middle of the acceptable range with this dosage.

Dermatologists have embraced topical vitamin D-like prescription creams, foams and ointments for psoriasis (American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, August 2012). Calcipotriene (Calcitrene, Dovonex, Sorilux) is pricey, however.

Many doctors may have forgotten that oral vitamin D also can be helpful (Journal of Dermatological Treatment online, Jan. 21, 2012). More than 25 years ago, Japanese researchers noted that oral vitamin D-3 reduced the symptoms of psoriasis without side effects (British Journal of Dermatology, October 1986).

Drug withdrawal

Q. I took Lexapro for anxiety and depression for four years before my doctor switched me to fluoxetine (which didn’t work) and then to Pristiq. It also was supposed to help with my hot flashes. This drug worked for a while, but then the benefits seemed to fade, and the side effects caught up with me. I was tired all the time and developed diarrhea and fuzzy thinking. I also gained a lot of weight.

I wanted to get off Pristiq, but when I halved the dose, the symptoms were unbearable: dizziness, headache, mental fogginess and “brain zaps.” Little things made me so mad I would lash out. I can’t believe my doctor put me on these drugs without an exit strategy. Help!

Neither the Food and Drug Administration nor the manufacturers have developed clear guidelines on how to get off antidepressants such as citalopram (Celexa), desvenlafaxine (Pristiq), duloxetine (Cymbalta), escitalopram (Lexapro) and venlafaxine (Effexor). That’s why your doctor had no exit strategy.

Withdrawal symptoms such as electric-shock sensations in the brain, vertigo, irritability, digestive distress and fatigue may be eased with a very slow step-down in dose over several months.

Glycerin helps cramps

Q. I suffer with severe cramps in my toes and legs when I am in bed. Soap under the sheet made no difference, but a friend suggested glycerin instead. I found a bottle at Wal-Mart, and it is the best $3.88 I’ve ever spent. I put a few drops on my toes at bedtime and sleep peacefully all night long.

Glycerin is a clear liquid used as a lubricating ingredient in soap or other personal-care products. You are not the first reader to report that it helps prevent cramps.

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Replies to This Discussion

The last tip about GLYCERIN is very timely as i live with and take care of an old couple and HE is having bad cramps in his legs and toes at nite so we r looking for any possible solution.. ALSO...I take 10,000 IU of Vitamin D3 at first sign of sickness and it knocks it out..

When i worked i had a lot of cramps . Seemed every time i moved i got another . He told me to have doctor give me a prescription for Quinine . I can tell ya one thing it worked . Just one capsule stopped the cramps . If they were real bad i would take two . After i got injured and went on disability i don't have cramps anymore .

I know for a fact that vitamin D upped my immune system, most of my life I had 2 colds per year until I started taking vitamin D, since I started taking it 13 years ago I have had 2 mild colds that lasted 3 days instead of the 10 days it usually took to shake them off.

I've heard about the quinine also for leg cramps. I used to get an occasional charley horse but haven't for a long long time. If it comes back I'll try it.

i take vitamin D too, take calcium with D and then in the winter i take extra D, since i dont get the daily sun, found that it definitely helps with the mental attitude, i feel much better overall. as Lifesighs also says, i have not had a cold in years, even they have been running thru the office...

for the occassional leg cramps, i take a holistic pill by Hyland, that does have quinine in.. also do some reflexology-- pinch your upper lip and you can kinda feel the leg spasm ease up, or maybe it's just you're distracted by the pinch!! ... they also have one for restless legs, which works great, i use it a 'sleeping pill' seems to calm me right down and sleep is easy....

i do swear by the vitamin D.. but they will probably come out with the dangers of too much...

I have been taking B 12 and vitiaman D for over a year now . I don't ever drink milk . Doc said my Vitiman d was low . So i began taking it . I haven't had a cold in a long time .

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