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A Canary's Eye View — Challenges
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Plenty of Symptoms, No Diagnosis

Doctors are at a loss when I present my list of symptoms. It doesn't fit any pattern they're familiar with. In fact usually they only want to deal with a small group of them. But I can't help thinking there's some underlying condition. For one thing, everything either started or got a lot worse at the same time.

That was at menopause, but my symptoms are hard to pin on hormone changes alone. I keep looking for explanations; knowing what's going on would help figure out how to deal with it.

Anyway for the record, here's the whole list:

"Liver attacks" (my term) — see this page

Chronic pain / Cumulative Trauma Disorder
  • The problem:
    • Feeling as though nerves are being pinched in wrists, elbows, and spine — see Bibliography on Hormones and Nerve Pinch
    • Arms hypersensitive to any constriction; cuffs with elastic in them make my wrists ache, rolling up my sleeves to cook makes my arms ache.
    • Painful muscle spasms in jaw, neck, right shoulder & back
    • aching in both wrists, more on the right; aching and sometimes shooting pains in both elbows, more on the right
    • Pain around the upper part of the mid trapezius, near spine
    • Muscles can do more than nerves can tolerate: if I overwork (and it’s hard to tell what will be too much) then two days later I’m in a lot of pain from the pinched nerves.
  • What helps it:
    • Natural progesterone
    • Manipulating prostaglandins by not eating much carbohydrate in last meal of the day

Dental problems

  • An incompetent dentist in France removed amalgams and crowns without first making a model of my bite. That was in 1989. My current dentist is still trying to build a bite that works. The temporary dentures I wear do not permit me to chew anything; everything I eat has to be soft enough to mush around in my mouth with my tongue.
  • TMJ
  • Minor ones every day
  • Major ones with liver attacks

Bad digestion

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome, doesn't respond to fiber
  • Food reactions at least half the time I eat.
  • Supplements I need upset my stomach.
  • Abdominal pain / difficulty digesting food; gets extreme with liver attacks
Allergies / Sensitivities — sometimes I talk about my sensitivities as "allergies" because people are more used to that word. But technically, I probably don't have classical allergies. My main symptoms seem to point to a different mechanism. Here's a complete list.

Difficulties with hormone replacement therapy
  • Estrogens exacerbate most symptoms
  • Natural progesterone ameliorates most symptoms
  • Natural testosterone helps with feebleness but also exacerbates the same other symptoms as estrogen. (Severe exacerbation with methyl testosterone, a synthetic.)

Neurological problems

  • Difficulty concentrating, spaciness, disorientation
  • Dizziness
  • Poor memory, especially vocabulary
  • Clumsiness / lack of coordination (I actually do walk into doors!)
  • Difficulty sleeping (Melatonin helps, but does not eliminate this)
  • Panic easily

Bad reaction to exercise

  • aching all over
  • headache
  • migraine aura
  • feels just as though I'd eaten something bad or been exposed to a chemical I can't tolerate


  • Bruise easily, small injuries leave scars.
  • Very frequent exhaustion and feebleness
  • Muscle cramping in back (calcium helps, melatonin relieves completely)

NOTE: Please do not suggest treatment for these conditions; I have enough possibilities I'm checking out now. I will report here on what helps.

If you're a canary with similar symptoms, if your symptoms are similar to mine, and if you have some idea of the underlying mechanism, I would be interested in . (My research is currently in the direction of investigating mercury poisoning.)

18 December 1999