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On Tegretol, Retaining Water, And Needing Help…

Written by Wellness Club on July 22, 2009 – 8:44 pm -

Carla writes:

Dear Nurse Mark,
I’m in desperate need of help!! I take Tegretol, which causes anti diuretic hormone excess but it’s the only medication that works for me, so I’m forced to continue taking it
I’ve put on well over 20+ lbs. of water retention that I just can’t get rid of! I know that there are prescription drugs that work as “vasopressin antagonists” but they can be very dangerous. I’m searching night and day, for hours on end, for an alternative treatment for myself but I am really confused, I mean, I’ve read about aquaretics, osmotic diuretics and urea, all as natural treatments for the disorder but I need a professional’s wisdom and guidance. I can’t afford your full fee of $450 for the full telephone consultation but I’ve been told that you’re the best and was advised to contact you.
Can you please, please help me??
Thank you so much,

Hi Carla,

We will do what I can for you, but I’m sure you’ll understand that our advice must be limited – it is neither legal nor ethical for us to provide detailed medical advice to someone who is not an established patient – that is, someone for whom we are not in possession of full medical records and related medical information. We have written about this several times before, and we have written to explain why we do not work for free.

As you probably know, Tegretol, a drug which is approved as an anticonvulsant and specific analgesic for trigeminal neuralgia – is also often prescribed for the conditions of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. According to Novartis, the patent-holder and maker of the drug, it comes with some very serious and even life-threatening side effects. Water retention is one of the least-serious of it’s side effects!

Just as Tegretol is a very serious drug, so too are any of those conditions for which it might be prescribed. Without knowing a lot more about you, about your medical history and condition, and about your living circumstances and lifestyle we would simply be shooting with our eyes closed – and that’s not a good thing!

Since you say you cannot afford Dr. Myatt’s New Patient Consultation fee (which actually works out to somewhere between $27 and $41 per hour given that there usually 8 to 10 hours of research work done on your case before your hour-long consultation, and then 2 to 6 hours of research and report and recommendation preparation following your consultation – would a plumber work that cheaply?) I must assume that you are not likely to be able to afford vitamins or other supplements either. That is too bad, because an investment in Dr. Myatt’s skills and advice, and some carefully chosen supplementation could possibly save you from a lifetime of the expense, the risk, and the unpleasant side effects of a very toxic drug – to say nothing of perhaps actually correcting the condition that “requires” you to take this drug.

Neurotransmitter testing might be a good idea – but it is not inexpensive, and the results are not easy for the layperson to interpret accurately so interpretation could be yet another expense.

Corrective supplementation for neurotransmitter imbalances is not cheap either – and not likely to be covered by insurances like your Tegretol may be. Still, there might be something to be said in favor of a treatment lacking Tegretol’s potentially lethal side effects…

So, what can we suggest that could be low-cost or no cost?

A ketogenic diet has been demonstrated to be highly therapeutic for epileptic conditions. We have also had clinical success with the use of a ketogenic diet in other neurologic and psychiatric conditions and would certainly recommend this diet for someone suffering either schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. The Atkins diet is an example of a ketogenic diet. Dr. Myatt has improved upon Atkins, and places her patients on The Myatt Diet which in addition to being ketogenic is also corrective of a number of dietary deficiencies and resulting hormonal imbalances. (You did know that neurotransmitters are hormones, right?) Either way, you will be in ketosis when you are turning your ketosticks pink or purple.

The ketogenic diet tends to act as a natural dieuretic and so is very effective at clearing the body of excess water.

Another low-cost or no-cost corrective technique we have found is vigorous exercise – an hour a day of good, vigorous exercise such as gym-work, weight training, dance, vigorous hiking, biking, or swimming just to name a few examples has worked wonders for a number of Dr. Myatt’s patients.

Patients with bipolar disorder (one reason that Tegretol might be prescribed) often benefit from taking the mineral lithium. Unfortunately the commonly prescribed form of lithium is lithium carbonate which must be given in large and potentially toxic doses since it is poorly assimilated. For this reason many patients do not tolerate it at all well and refuse to take it because of it’s side effects. A much safer alternative might be lithium orotate – it is much better assimilated, can  be used in far smaller and safer doses, and therefore tends to create fewer unpleasant side effects.

For further information about neurotransmitters and corrective supplementation, please visit our webpages here

More information and treatment suggestions for mood disorders can be found here

We understand that money is tight – and that Dr. Myatt’s New Patient Consultation fee may seem steep. That is why Dr. Myatt has begun to offer her Brief Telephone Consultations at only $40. Many people find that even this brief time with Dr. Myatt can help them to clarify and focus their self-help efforts and to cut through the noise and misinformation of the internet that may be confusing them. For many folks even this Brief Telephone Consultation has been life-changing.

I hope this has been helpful for you, and we wish you every success in your efforts to deal with your challenges.

Nurse Mark

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