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Stiff Person Syndrome
by Gary F. Zeolla
This article is continued from Stiff Person Syndrome: Part Five.
White and Black Treatments
It is now March 27, 2003. And once again, a lot has happened in the six months since I wrote the last installments to this article. As indicated in Part Five, once the two-week flare-up ended I started working out at the gym again. And my lifting began to go very well. And I also slowly began to gain some of the weight I had lost. However, all of the same symptoms continued: the morning stiffness, fatigue, pain, insomnia, congestion, reactions to environmental items, and even episodes of being paralyzed.
But then in October something interesting happened. I was thinking that maybe the dye in my bath towels and washcloths might be a problem, so I purchased all white ones. But the first time I used them I got very congested. So upon some self-testing, I determined that I needed to do a treatment for the color white and the bleaching agent used to make things white. I know it sounds weird, but in NAET theory you can actually be “allergic” to a particular color. It has something to do with the different wavelengths that are involved in different colors. [Anytime I say in this article that something sounds silly, weird, or strange, it is and should not be believed. I was a fool have done so.]
And it wasn’t just white cloth that I was reacting to but white paper as well. And if you think about it, this would include a lot of things! Books, newspaper, copy paper, printer paper, bed sheets, socks, underwear, the list goes on of things I was reacting to. As such, I figured this would be a very significant treatment. So I talked to the doctor, and she suggested I do a home treatment, which I did. But also interestingly, it took about a week for the color white and the bleaching agent to clear. But once it did, I could handle the white towels and wash clothes without problems.
Then right after the white treatment, I was getting out my winter clothes. And as I was unfolding my black Pittsburgh Steelers’ sweat suit, I got very itchy. Then I remembered that I hadn’t worn this sweat suit the previous year for just this reason. It made me itchy to wear it. So once again, I did some self-testing and determined I needed to do a treatment for the color black and the inks and dyes used to make items black. And again, it wasn’t just black cloth that was a problem, but black plastic, and black ink. And again, this would include a whole long list of items and would be a significant treatment. So I a self-treatment for such items, and again, it took several days to clear. But once it did, I was able to wear my Steelers’ sweat suit without problems.
And then, over the next few days I began to notice that environmental items that previously bothered me no longer did. And further testing determined that after the white and black treatments, a long list of items that hadn’t cleared yet began clearing. And over the next couple of weeks I felt very fatigued, but it was due to my body clearing all of my remaining allergies. So it seemed that in some way I needed to treat for white and black before my body could clear the rest of my allergies. But what the doctor and I couldn’t figure out is why the testing hadn’t shown that to I needed to treatment for these colors earlier.
But whatever the case, after this point I began to notice a very clear difference in my reaction to environmental allergens. Things that previously bothered me no longer did. Now some things still do bother me, but the reaction is nowhere near as severe as it used to be. [Wrong! Things got much worse after this.]
By December 2002, I had seen significant improvement. My morning stiffness, pain, congestion, and fatigue were all improving, but they were still nowhere near “normal.” And in some other ways I seemed to be getting worse. Most specifically, the use of my computer would really exhaust me. Just a few minutes of typing would leave me very fatigued. And it wasn’t just the computer, but I also got very tired using the treadmill at the gym. When the weather was nice I was up to walking 2 miles in 30 minutes. But when the weather turned colder I decided to start using the treadmill at the gym. But just five minutes on the treadmill would leave me exhausted. But my self-testing indicated that EMF radiation had fully cleared, along with the rest of my allergies.
I also had another episode of being paralyzed on December 8th. So I made an appointment with the doctor to see if she could determine why, if all of my allergies had cleared, I was still having problems. She confirmed that all of my allergies had in fact cleared and that no additional NAET treatments were needed. However, she also determined that what was contributing to my problems were numerous nutritional deficiencies.
Remember, for a very long time I was reacting to just about everything I ate. So I was barely eating and lost a considerable amount of weight. In addition, as discussed in the article A Better Approach to Supplements, if one is allergic to a food one cannot properly absorb and utilize the nutrients it contains. Also, one can be allergic to nutrients themselves. And again, if one is, then the nutrient cannot be properly absorbed and utilized. So as a result I became deficient in various nutrients.
I also need to mention that my having followed a vegetarian or near vegetarian diet for most of the preceding 20 years probably also contributed to these deficiencies. Some of the nutrients I was deficient in, such as zinc, are ones that are commonly low in vegetarian diets. In fact, my problems really began back in the summer of 2000 when I was following a full vegan diet. So what I believed happened is that my nutrient levels were rather low from the years of following a vegetarian or near vegetarian diet. Then when I tried the vegan diet, this further depleted my nutritional stores. Meanwhile, I was slowly developing allergies to various foods and nutrients. And all these factors together contributed to my developing the deficiencies. So what this means is, I no longer following nor particularly recommend a vegetarian diet. I especially would not follow or recommend a vegan diet. Such diets might be good for some people, but many others will run into problems as I did.
Yes, there can be benefits from a vegan diet. But such benefits can be attained from eating a healthy diet that includes animal products, without the risks of a vegan diet. So if I ever publish a new edition of my book Creationist Diet, I will probably re-title the chapter on “Benefits of a Vegan diet” to “The Benefits and Potential Drawbacks of a Vegan Diet.” Let me make it clear, I still stand by most of what I wrote in my book. But I would definitely like to tone any recommendations for a vegetarian diet. [Yes, a vegetarian or vegan diet can cause nutritional deficiencies. But treating such does not involve taking expensive supplements but eating meat and other healthy animal foods. And I did write the new book: God-given Foods Eating Plan. It is much better than my previous book on nutrition and the Bible.]
All that said, I had been able to eat normally and was no longer following a vegetarian diet for some time. I also had been taking some supplements. But in situations like this, it can often take high does supplements to overcome deficiencies. So the doctor prescribed some specific supplements to overcome these deficiencies. Also, I had been taking mostly Twinlab supplements. But then I figured that if I had been taking Twinlab products for some time and was still deficient in so many nutrients, then maybe the Twinlab products were not as high quality as I thought they were. So I switched to Jarrows Formulas supplements, a brand that I had noticed an improvement with before. And within days of switching from Twinlab’s Daily Two Caps to Jarrows’ Multi Easy Powder, I began to sleep better at night. [For why this was not such a good idea, see the two-part article Folly of Mega-dose Supplements.]
As indicated above, I had an episode of being paralyzed on December 8, 2002. After a full month had passed without any more such episodes, I was getting hopeful that such a flare-up wouldn’t happened again. But then, on January 19, 2003 I spent the entire day paralyzed. It just happened to be the day of the NFL championship games. And I am sure many men in the country didn’t move from in front of their TV sets the entire day, but in my case, I had no choice! The best I could determine with my self-testing was that this episode was yet another “healing crisis.” I also had “healing crises” of other sorts. There were several days when I spent the day so exhausted I could barely move. And at other times I had flare-ups of pain that were almost unbearable. [These were not "healing crises" but my SPS continuing unabated by the NAET treatments, as evidenced by the fact I have continued to have such episodes on occasion many years later.]
The worst such episode occurred about two hours after I had gotten home from the gym. I had put in a bench press workout without any problems, had come home, eaten, and was lying down to rest. When I went to get up, my left elbow was killing me. The pain radiated into my upper arm and forearm. As the evening progressed, the pain got worse. It was to the point where couldn’t use my left arm, and simply put it felt like my arm was broken. But I had done nothing to injure my arm let alone to break it. The next morning my left arm was still in pain, and I still couldn’t bend or use it. Also, I felt sick and fatigued. So I spent the day lying around doing nothing.
Previously, the doctor had mentioned about the concept of “retracing symptoms.” She said that sometimes as a person heals they experience the symptoms they had experienced in the past. And my self-testing now was telling me this was such a case. [More silliness] But I couldn’t remember my arm ever hurting this much. But then I remembered about my bicycle accident. Among other injuries, I had sustained a hairline fracture in my left elbow. But still, I didn’t remember it hurting like this. But then, at the time I was in the hospital drugged up with morphine. In any case, by that evening the pain had mostly subsided, and I was able to use my arm again. The next day I went to the gym and worked out without any problems.
I had many other episodes like the one with my elbow, but through it all I seemed to be gradually improving. All of my symptoms were slowly becoming less severe. But still, I was really getting tired of these healing crises, and my healing did seem like it was dragging on.
I had another appointment with the doctor in February. And at it, she once again confirmed that all of my allergies were clear. She also determined that all of my nutrient deficiencies had been corrected. So I could stop most of the individual nutrient supplements I was taking. But I am still taking and will probably continue to take the Jarrows’ multi. As I discuss in my Creationist Diet book, I do think that taking a full spectrum multiple vitamin/ mineral supplement is a good idea for anyone. [But not a meg-does sup like that one.]
But otherwise, the doctor determined that I didn’t need to do anything to fully recover that I wasn’t already doing. Just keep watching my diet, working out and the like and I should eventually recover. This was encouraging, but what was discouraging was the time period. Her testing showed that it could take several months for me to fully recover, and that I could expect to continue to experience some healing crises and episodes of retracing of symptoms along the way. [This was just her trying to explain away why her treatments naot worked.]
Over the next few weeks, I hadn’t had any major such episodes. But then on March 25, I spent the day being paralyzed. I was really hoping and praying that I was over that problem. But it was encouraging that this time it had been over nine weeks since the last such episode. So such episodes at least are becoming less and less frequent. Of course, I'm again hoping and praying that this episode will prove to be the last. [It wasn't, not by a long shot.]
As of this writing, I still have a problem with morning stiffness. But it is not as severe as it used to be. In fact I have “progressed” from needing to take a hot bath to only a hot shower. I had learned from experience previously that a shower didn’t loosen me up as much as a bath, but now a shower is all I need. During the day I am much looser than I used to be. A major problem I was having was bending down to pick something up off of the floor. But now, I can do so with only some difficulty.
The fatigue is improving. I don’t need to rest as much during the day as I used to have to. I am even slowly being able to use my computer for longer periods of time without becoming fatigued. Hence how I am able to get this article written. The feelings of pulling muscle still continue, but the pains are nowhere near as severe or as frequent as before. I still get congested from time to time, but not as much as before. And there are still times when I get congested from exposure to various environmental items. But it doesn’t last as long as it used to. And most of all, I no longer fear that such an exposure will leave me paralyzed. In fact other than some minor congestion, exposure to former allergens doesn’t seem to cause any problems. And as a bonus, I am sleeping better at night than I have in a long time. But the most exciting thing has been how well my weightlifting has been going. [All of these problems have waxed and waned since this time, so I had not gotten better. But I have continued to lift weights with varying degrees of intensity based on how I am doing at any given time].
As mentioned in a previous part to this article, about a year ago, my bodyweight had dropped to 106 pounds, the lightest I had been since tenth grade. I gained some weight last summer, but then lost a little bit of weight during the two-week flare-up back in August. When I started working again on September 12, 2002 I weighed 108 pounds. As of this writing, I am up to 117 pounds. And most of this gained weight has been muscle. In fact, a comment I have been receiving a lot lately is how much more muscular I look. Even back in February, during my last appointment with the doctor, she was amazed at how good I looked. And with this increased musculature has come much increased strength. In fact, I began handling such heavy weights in the gym on the three powerlifts (squats, bench presses, and deadlifts) that guys in the gym were starting to ask me when I was going to enter a powerlifting contest.
I powerlifted in college, but it has now been almost 21 years since I competed. And even just few weeks ago I wasn’t even considering it. The biggest problem is that powerlifting meets usually start in the mornings, and with my morning stiffness, it would be difficult. However, as my lifts continued to go up, I began to think seriously about competing again. When I was at the doctor’s office I mentioned about the possibility. She was very excited at the prospect of me doing so, but she thought it would be best if waited a few months until I was more fully recovered.
I live in western Pennsylvania, but there was a contest in eastern PA in July I was looking at, so I tentatively planned on entering it. But then I found out about a contest being held in Ohio on April 12 called the Iron House Classic. This was sooner than I was hoping for, but various points about this meet made it look to about the best situation I would find for a contest, so I decided to enter it. I am now earnestly preparing for this contest. The page Training Routine and Cycle (2/5/03 - 4/12/03) provides details on how my training is going. And after the contest, I will add a “Contest Report” to the end of this page. However well I do at the contest, with all I have been through, it is nothing short of miraculous that I am planning on competing again. And I praise God that I am doing well enough to do so.
My performance at the contest on April 12 can only be described as perfect! I successfully completed all nine of my attempts, won two first place trophies (open and masters in the 114 pound weight class), and broke six IPA World Records! Everything went as I had hoped and planned. Full details on my performance at the contest are posted at Iron House Powerlifting Classic - 2003.
As far as entering this contest before I was fully recovered, I barely slept the night before the contest, but I had slept very well the whole week before, so I still felt good in the morning. I was somewhat stiff in the morning as usual, but a hot shower loosened me up. By the time I started warming up for squats I was very loose and had problems sinking my squats. The only one of my symptoms that I really noticed was that I began feeling rather fatigued when I was warming up for deadlifts. But adrenaline and caffeine pulled me through. I was exhausted afterwards, but I made it! And with how well the contest went, it was all worth it!
With as good as I felt and performed at the Iron House Classic, I thought this meant I was basically over my health problems. So I was looking forward to getting back in the gym afterwards and really seeing my lifting take off. But this didn't prove to been the case. Instead, after the contest, I had a relapse and a rather severe flare-up of being paralyzed for a couple of days. But by a month after the contest, I finally started to feel better again, and my training once again started going well. So I hope and pray and have confidence that this improvement will continue. Moreover, with all I’ve been through it is rather miraculous that I’m able to lift weights at all again let alone as well as I have been. So I thank God for how well I am doing health-wise and in my training and for how well I did at the contest I entered.
February 2, 2015 Update
I continued to compete for the next six years. But I also continued to have occasional episodes of being paralyzed for hours or days at a time, but they became less frequent. My last contest was in June of 2009. The week of that contest I had a significant allergic reaction to paint, so the NAET treatment I had for such did nothing. As a result of that reaction, I did not sleep the rest of the week and thus that contest did not go well. Then my health deteriorated over the next year. In August 2010, I had an episode of being paralyzed. All the while, my allergies worsened.
Eventually, I could no longer work out with any degree of intensity and lost my appetite, and thus my bodyweight once again dropped to 106 pounds. As a result of those problems and others, my health and emotional and spiritual states continued to decline. It got to the point where I was a physical, emotional, and spiritual wreck. But in the fall of 2013, things began to turn around. I discuss the reasons for this turnaround in my articles Regaining Muscular Bodyweight and Strength posted on this site and Steps to Being Emotionally and Spiritually Uplifted posted on my Christian Web site.
At this writing, I even have plans to enter my first powerlifting contest in six years. But I am still experiencing generalized stiffness that is hindering my training; my allergies are worst than ever, and I still struggle with all of the other problems mentioned throughout this six-part article. So I am still struggling, but with much leaning upon the LORD, I am doing managing these problems much better than I was, so for that I am thankful.
Links and Books in this Article
For convenience sake, below are all of the various links and books that have been mentioned in this five-part article. The links are in the order in which they appeared first appeared, and the books are listed alphabetically.
Restless Leg Syndrome
Dr. Winer’s Pain Release Clinic
Emotions and Fibromyalgia
Stiff Person Syndrome Sites
Dangers of Applied Kinesiology and NAET
NAET Web site
NAET and Applied Kinesiology
Proper NAET Treatment Method
Self, Home, and Surrogate Testing
A Better Approach to Supplements
Training Routine and Cycle (9/12/02-2/1/03)
Suffering and Spiritual Struggles
Training Routine and Cycle (2/5/03 - 4/12/03)
Iron House Powerlifting Classic - 2003
Godlfarb, Sylvia PhD. Allergy Relief . New York: Avery, 2000.
Nambudripad, Devi, M.D.The NAET Guide Book. Buena Park, CA: Delta Publishers, 2001.
Say Goodbye to Illness. Buena Park, CA: Delta Publishers, 1999.
Wharton, Jim and Phil Wharton. The Wharton’s Stretch Book Times Books, 1996.
Zeolla, Gary. Creationist Diet: Nutrition and God-given Foods According to the Bible. AuthorHouse. © Gary F. Zeolla, 2000.
Overcoming Back Pain. © Gary F. Zeolla, 2001.
For a follow-up to this six-part article, see Stiff Person Syndrome Setback.
Disclaimer: The material presented in this article is intended for educational purposes only. The author is not offering medical or legal advice. Accuracy of information is attempted but not guaranteed. Before undertaking any diet, exercise, or health improvement program, one should consult your doctor. The author is in no way responsible or liable for any bodily harm, physical, mental, or emotional, that results from following any of the advice in this article.
Stiff Person Syndrome. Copyright © 2001-2003, 2015 by Gary F. Zeolla.
The above article was posted on this Web site March 27, 2003.
It was last updated May 12, 2003.
The 2012 Update was added August 15, 2012.
The final update was added February 2, 2015.
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