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When is it time to give up on my horse?
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DrDeb
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 Posted: Thu Jun 13th, 2013 08:45 pm
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Gee: Correct on all counts. Commercial products, especially if mixtures, frequently do not provide an effective dose. This is very much true for glucosamine supplementation but also true for many other things.

You could, of course, increase the amount you're feeding of the commercial product until you got to the effective dosage that Pauline recommends -- that would be easy enough to calculate. However, since it is a mixture you'd not only be increasing the Mg but also the Cr, which might exceed safe limits (I don't know that it would, because I don't know what the safe limits or toxicity threshhold for Cr is).

Increasing the amount of the commercial mixture you're feeding might also not be cost-effective; you can also figure this out. Is it more expensive to feed enough of the commercial mix to get a therapeutic result, or would it be cheaper to buy MgCl flakes?

Another consideration is bioavailability, i.e. what the absorption rate actually is. For MgCl it's pretty high, for MgO it's not (that's why MgO so easily produces diarrhea, which again is why it's the primary ingredient in products like 'Milk of Magnesia').

In my own discussions with Pauline, but also with Marit Arana who is our local Ph.D. nutrition advisor and an old friend of mine, they tell me that there is also special benefit in feeding the chloride ion, i.e. that the Mg is bound to Cl and not to aspartate, citrate, oxide, or what-have-you.

And speaking of that -- you should also actually monitor your horse's NaCl intake, i.e. how fast he eats his salt block. It was easy for me to do this with Ollie because he lives alone in a private pen. If you have yours in with other horses, you'll have to take an average I guess. Weigh a brand-new salt block before you put it in there, then let 30 days elapse and weigh whatever remains, if any, then divide and find out what the average daily consumption has been. 4TBSP is NOT what "any horse" will eat; what one horse eats per day of ordinary salt varies enormously. This may be one thing at the root of the apparent intractability of your horse's hard crest and tendency to easily become laminitic, despite your persistent and intelligent efforts --- he may not really be eating much salt, and if that's what you determine, you'll have to do as our friend Jenny Paterson in New Zealand does, and salt his feed.

Pauline, can you jump in here on this query? I've seen this guy's horse and I kid you not, you'll never see such an IR prone horse in your life. They're already doing a lot of the right things but the crest is still hard as a board and he teeters continually on the brink of laminitis. He lives not in a drylot per se but out on the local prairie-top in a paddock with a couple of others equally founder-prone -- the paddock contains literally nothing this time of year but sunburned wild oats (about like straw, cows starve on it) plus a low percentage of totally inedible weeds, which they do not eat. There is nothing toxic that I could see. What's to do?? -- Dr. Deb

 

Last edited on Thu Jun 13th, 2013 08:49 pm by DrDeb

Pauline Moore
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 Posted: Fri Jun 14th, 2013 02:50 am
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Hello Gee

Since writing that article late 2010, it has become ever more apparent that optimizing the benefits of magnesium for adult horses is directly dependent on minimizing the amount of calcium in the diet. As calcium inhibits magnesium absorption, dietary calcium from any source (feed, supplements, water) will reduce the effectiveness of any magnesium supplements fed.

If your horses’ drinking water is not acidic, then it is likely whatever degree of alkalinity is present in the water is coming from calcium. As your horse appears to have severe signs of IR, it may well be that he is severely magnesium deficient. Dr Lawrence Resnick and his research team at Cornell established in the 1980s that ‘low cellular magnesium causes metabolic syndrome’ and that ‘insulin increases magnesium loss’. It may pay you to get a water analysis to determine the calcium content, and even consider switching to rainwater if that is possible.

It will also be essential for you to eliminate all excess calcium from feed sources. Look closely at any processed feeds you are using, scrutinize labels for added calcium or limestone and do not feed hay that is high in calcium, eg alfalfa or clover. Similarly, beet products are naturally high in calcium so will not be helpful even if low in sugar. Also be wary of any feeds based on soybean or soy hulls because of the thyroid-suppressing effect of soy isoflavones. The last thing any IR horse needs is an underactive thyroid. Can’t tell you how many stories I hear about horses improving dramatically once soy has been eliminated from the diet.

Whilst these suggestions may sound extreme, evidence from many horses indicates their importance in achieving the desired result. Time and again, horses do not fully respond to magnesium supplements until calcium has been minimized. As little as 20g per day of a calcium supplement can be enough to cause significant regression in a horse that was doing well on magnesium only.

Having reduced calcium as much as possible, it is then easier to get the most out of whichever magnesium supplement is used. Magnesium chloride has a high bioavailability because it is already in ionic form; it is not dependent on efficient gastric function for breakdown in the stomach as is magnesium oxide. There is no way to pre-determine how much magnesium your horse will need as every horse has different needs. Of my own 3 horses, the one who weighs the least is the one who needs the most magnesium.

I would not recommend using alkaline magnesium oxide for your horse as excess gut alkalinity may already be a problem if your water is high in alkaline calcium. This is one of the factors that can be involved in enterolith formation. Mag oxide could be useful for other situations where excess acidity is an issue.

Chromium is important but can be toxic in excess, so I’d suggest finding a plain chromium supplement that you can feed independent of anything else. Salt also is important as Dr Deb has already explained.

Best wishes, Pauline

ruth
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 Posted: Fri Jun 14th, 2013 08:06 am
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Hello Pauline,
Do you have any more thoughts on the feeding of bran, a traditional feed in the UK that has fallen greatly out of favour in the last few decades as it is reputed to block the absorption of calcium. The bran available now in the UK is usually wheat bran. Many thanks, Ruth

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 Posted: Fri Jun 14th, 2013 04:11 pm
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Thank you Pauline and Dr. Deb.  We are awaiting our MaCl order, and will start that slowly as suggested.  We were never considering simply inreasing the current product containing MaO, as wife is aware of Chromium worries.  Forage fed is limited to teff grass; we sent some in for sugar/carb testing just yesterday.  We've stopped letting him out on even the poor pasture Dr. Deb described.  I'll get the water fully tested.   Only rain water might be a project, but could be done (if we get rain) - I have a big tank I pump "seaonal creek" water into, that is later used to sprinkle arena.  I could move one of those closer to barn, and fill trough from that if that water tests better. Currently the vet has him on L Thyroid or L Thyroxin, have to look at canister to remember which one.  Supplement also includes LMF NCS stage one, 8 ounces/day, which does contain some soy product, and some calcium.  We'll chack into other options there.  I will write back once some time has elapsed and we've done the MaCl.

Pauline Moore
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 Posted: Mon Jul 1st, 2013 12:04 am
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Ruth

Bighead disease (nutritional secondary hyperparathyroidism) is also known as 'Bran Disease' because the phytates in bran bind to calcium and other minerals, making those minerals unavailable to the horse. This is similar to the effect of oxalates in tropical grasses - a common problem here on the east coast of Australia.

I am not wanting to prevent absorption of calcium or any other mineral; the horse needs an adequate supply of all minerals including calcium. The problem I have found is with an excess of dietary calcium that reduces the amount of magnesium the horse can absorb, thus adding to a functional magnesium deficiency.

Pauline

DrDeb
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 Posted: Mon Jul 1st, 2013 05:24 am
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Pauline, this seems the perfect place for me to jump in here with a new idea, or at least a new question, that your previous post prompted.

Obviously, it's not a question of your telling people to totally eliminate calcium from the horse's diet; for good health, there has to be a balance of calcium and magnesium and also phosphorous and potassium salts for that matter, along with the "normal" sodium salt. It is with IMbalances in all of thse that both you and Jenny Paterson have been working.

As to Geedubya being able to totally eliminate calcium -- he will not be able to, no matter what he does, because where we live out here in this desert -- or what WAS a desert a century ago before they put the irrigation system in on my particular patch, and what still IS a desert twenty miles west of here where Geedubya lives because the irrigation system does not extend that far -- calcium dust blows in the very air, every time the wind blows, and it will settle onto the surface of any water such as in a livestock tank, and then become dissolved. In addition, we can ask Geedubya whether they have to scrub their coffee pots and cooking pots with vinegar, or whether they use a lime-and-rust remover when cleaning their toilet bowls, or if there's a limy crust that tends to build up around the bases of all the faucets in the house, from their well water (that Aussies call "bore water"), which around here is just about universally hard (that is, contains calcium and other salts). Or maybe Geedubya has a water-softener so they don't get the limy crusts and so their clothes washer will work better.

Now, here is something that has recently dawned on me, and I'd like to hear any comment that you can make on this. A few years ago I sent you a copy of the water-quality report for my village, so that you could review it for the sake of general interest and comparison with conditions where you live near Brisbane. Since that time, several changes have occurred in our local area that have caused the water-table to drop and thus the wells that supply the water to my village are drawing from deeper levels and a wider underground "cone", and as a result our more recent water reports indicate that the level of aresnic in our water is now marginally over what the U.S. and California governments consider safe.

As the local authorities still consider the water safe to drink, despite elevated levels of dissolved arsenic, I continued to drink the tap water, and I now think that this was unwise as leading to chronic (rather than acute) arsenic poisoning, which causes the following problems in humans:

(1) Hair thinning and loss (I have never in my life seen so many women as there are in this local area with baldness, particularly affecting the fore part of the scalp and the hairline over the forehead; in the worst cases the woman will have the whole top of the head bald and be as wispy-haired as a 90 year old, despite being in her 40's).

(2) Exacerbates symptoms of arthritis and promotes "systemic" arthritis, i.e. pain and inflammation about equal in all joints and irrespective of whether the person is obese or thin, athletic or sedentary.

(3) Exacerbates insulin resistance and promotes the development of Type 2 Diabetes.

(4) Characterized by muscle cramping, i.e. "restless leg syndrome" after one lies down in bed, but also unexpected and sudden cramping of any muscle in the body upon only mild exertion; or a general feeling that the muscles are "sticky"

(5) Interferes with/reduces blood flow to the extremities (probably contributes to restless leg syndrome, but also may affect "feeling" in toes and fingers or make it very easy for arms or legs to "go to sleep" after sitting or lying in one position for any length of time, i.e. watching TV with your arms resting on the arms of a chair).

(6) Has deleterious effects on kidney function and promotes the need to get up multiple times during the night to urinate (this is not like a bladder infection where there is a strong urge to pee but very little urine, rather, the quantity of urine is voluminous and its quality is thin and watery). This leads in turn to a feeling of almost-continuous thirst, and as with the need to urinate, this is similar to what occurs in diabetes.

I myself began to notice many of these symptoms in myself, beginning a number of years ago, before the water report noted elevated arsenic levels (arsenic levels prior to that time were fairly high, but not over the government-recommended maximum). In the last few years, however, concomitant with increase in the arsenic levels, my symptoms got worse.

Now, when I had back trouble last autumn, I spent a whole month in Los Angeles getting the necessary treatment and then recuperating at the home of friends who live there. Both while in the hospital and while at their home, I drank water filtered by reverse osmosis, which removes 99% of arsenic. And guess what -- after a couple of weeks down there, I found that I did not need more than 1 magnesium pill per day to stave off the muscle cramps and "restless legs", and the need to urinate at night also cleared up almost entirely.

This effect lasted for about two weeks after I returned home and once again began drinking the local tapwater. But then, gradually, I began to need more magnesium again, until back to the original fairly large dosage.

Now, I noticed this but chalked it up to my having been on painkillers and other necessary drugs while at the hospital -- I figured they had altered my metabolism somehow. But! when I read your post to Geedubya, the thought absolutely clicked as to WHY switching horses to rainwater works. Because I know for sure that Geedubya's rainwater contains plenty of calcium. However, it does not contain arsenic!

I am now thinking that we have been missing an important factor -- since arsenic is a component, and an increasingly problematic component -- of drinking water worldwide. Anything pumped out of the ground is liable to contain it, and as greedy agriculture and greedy politicians conspire to create policies that suck the water table down ever lower, the arsenic levels are likely to rise. What I think we have been doing -- Jenny in particular since she sometimes has to supplement with really large amounts of magnesium -- is using the magnesium to either outcompete arsenic in terms of cellular uptake, or else to counteract, and thus mask, the effects of chronic arsenic poisoning.

Now here is another thought. Andrew Weil, and other M.D.'s with a knowledge of herbology, have stated that eating 1 to 3 cloves of raw garlic (or the equivalent amount of active garlicin taken in the form of an 'odorless' garlic tablet) is materially helpful -- slower, but ultimately as effective as chelation treatment in a hospital -- in removing arsenic from the body. Unlike mercury and lead, arsenic binds to the sulfur compounds in garlic and in bound form is much easier for the kidneys to excrete.

Based on this, I wonder if part of the efficacy of the supplement 'MSM' -- which is largely composed of sulfur compounds -- isn't due to the same effect in removing arsenic from the horse's body (or the human's, as people take MSM also).

It's early days yet, but I can report this as to my own self-treatment: a week ago, I decided to entirely stop drinking the tap-water in my village. I went out and bought distilled, reconstituted water (i.e. water that has been purified by distillation, so that it does not contain any arsenic; but that has had calcium, magnesium, and other salts added to it to give it flavor and so that it is properly osmotically balanced, i.e. it is dangerous to drink pure distilled water as it contains no electrolytes). This is the best I can do on a short-term basis. If this experiment proves to eliminate most of my symptoms, I will have a reverse-osmosis system that is guaranteed to remove arsenic installed in my house, like the one my friends down in L.A. have.

Further, I have begun taking a fairly high dose of odorless garlic daily. What I can report so far is a noticeable lessening of symptoms, but let us see what the situation is in another month. I am scheduled to be in Kansas for most of July, and there too I intend to stay on purified, arsenic-free bottled water, and continue to take the garlic, so as to continue the test.

Ultimately, although I am of course interested in helping my neighbor Geedubya, I also have to think here of Alex, whose horses' symptoms are also fairly noticeable and seem somewhat intractable. I sure would like it if Alex could have sound horses, as she has worked so hard to breed good ones!

Let me know what you think! -- Dr. Deb

Evermore
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 Posted: Mon Jul 1st, 2013 09:21 pm
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Dr Deb - your post got my attention big time. I spent a couple hours reading up on heavy metal toxicity. I am very curious if this is the key to one of my horses being not quite right. Physical issues/neurological issues. Vets all scratching their heads.

My question is how to go about testing for potential heavy metal toxicity. Blood test? What about hair analysis? Hooey or credible test?

 

Pauline Moore
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 Posted: Tue Jul 2nd, 2013 05:57 am
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Evermore - The link below contains a discussion (p. 16) on the negative and positive aspects of testing for arsenic toxicity by hair sample analysis. Came across it this afternoon while searching for background on As toxicity treatments etc.

http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/dwq/arsenicun4.pdf


Dr Deb - Fascinating!
I've been known to rant on at length about the potential dangers of heavy metal contamination in cheap brands of magnesium chloride and also in kelp and seaweed products, so you won't have any trouble persuading me you could be on to something here.

More later.

Pauline

DrDeb
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 Posted: Tue Jul 2nd, 2013 08:31 pm
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Great, Pauline, I'd be interested to hear anything you come up with on this.

As to Evermore's question, here is a dub from Dr. Andrew Weil, M.D.'s newsletter -- I consider Weil to be a very reliable source of information and recommend his online newsletter to everyone. Despite the use of hair analysis for arsenic poisoning in numerous detective novels and on TV, the presence of arsenic in smaller amounts can come from many sources, external as well as internal, which makes hair analysis problematic and the results difficult to interpret. Ultimately, I think we will find that we need to rely upon the city or county government's regular testing procedures to find out what the arsenic levels are in drinking water, and then upon blood tests for its presence in the body. See what Weil says:

"I've written about another type of hair analysis on this site in the past. Some "alternative" practitioners recommend these tests to assess mineral levels in the body and then prescribe dietary supplements on the basis of the results. However, the only accurate way to get this information is by measuring levels in blood. Exposure of hair to substances in shampoos or hair dyes can distort results. Furthermore, some mineral levels can be affected by your hair's color, diameter, growth rate, the season of the year, your geographic location, and your age and gender.

Furthermore, normal ranges of minerals in hair have not been defined, and no correlation has been established between levels in hair and other indicators of nutritional status. The concentration of a mineral in your hair could be high even though you may actually be deficient in it. Or vice versa.

Finally, there are no standards for hair analysis of mineral status, which means that it's likely you could get different results if you sent hair samples from the same person, taken at the same time, to more than one laboratory.

I would be suspicious of any nutritional deficiency or disease diagnosed via this method alone. If you suspect that you might be deficient in some vitamin or mineral, check with your physician. A blood test can set your mind at ease or demonstrate any need to increase your intake of specific micronutrients."

Evermore
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 Posted: Wed Jul 3rd, 2013 03:43 pm
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Thank you Pauline and Dr. Deb.

I ran across some information that I thought I would throw out. The article discussed the benefits of MSM on heavy metal detox - forgive me, not sure if MSM was part of this thread - the article also stated that rainwater contains MSM. The sulfur in MSM, as with the garlic, helps to alleviate or detox the body of heavy metals.

Pauline, did you write earlier in this thread that your horses prefer rainwater? Could the advantage of the MSM in the rainwater be another contributing factor to the improvement in the horses health?

Interesting thread. As always I keep learning coming to this forum. Thank you.

 

 

 

Pauline Moore
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 Posted: Thu Jul 4th, 2013 01:24 am
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Dr Deb - As with many other toxic elements, it appears to be the inorganic form of As that is the problem. It seems that organic As can be excreted from the body quite easily and is therefore considered harmless, although maybe that depends on the efficiency of each person’s or horse's own body.

Much of the research is coming from India and Bangladesh as As poisoning via groundwater is widespread. The report linked to in my previous post is a review of recent research worldwide, prepared by Dr D N Guha Mazumder of the Institute of Post Graduate Medical Education and Research in Calcutta. It seems that blood is not a sensitive biomarker of exposure to As via drinking water; urine giving a better indication. It’s a long report but worth reading, although it is rather pessimistic about treatment outcomes.

Selenium is mentioned in several sources as a means to remove arsenic from the body. Here’s one example that also looked at calcium and magnesium, finding that selenium was the most effective:
http://www.degruyter.com/view/j/aiht.2010.61.issue-2/10004-1254-61-2010-1993/10004-1254-61-2010-1993.xml

"Protective Effects of Selenium, Calcium, and Magnesium Against Arsenic-Induced Oxidative Stress in Male Rats"

Perhaps you are right about your own need for magnesium being influenced by As exposure, but selenium might be worth looking into, although it also can be toxic in excess. I would not want to give a horse selenium without first doing soil and forage tests to determine their current intake.

Another approach you may want to consider is homeopathics. Found a BBC news item reporting that Professor Khuda-Bukhsh and colleagues at the University of Kalyani tested a homeopathic remedy on mice that had been exposed to arsenic. They found that a drop of Arsenicum Album three times a day reduced arsenic levels in the mice dramatically in just 72 hours.
"The potentised homeopathic drug Arsenicum Album not only has the ability to help remove arsenic from the body, but these drugs in microdoses appear to have the ability to detoxify the ill-effects produced by arsenic in mice"
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/3208528.stm

Before you go to the expense of installing a water filtration system, I’m going to play Devil’s Advocate and suggest we also need to differentiate between the effects of As toxity and simple excess calcium relative to magnesium need, or other unknown factors.

As I understand it, if magnesium intake does not meet the body’s needs, then calcium will be relatively in excess (regardless of how much or little is ingested) and therefore the effects of calcium excess will be present. The greater the consumption of calcium, the greater the need for magnesium.

Most of the items on your list of As toxicity signs can also be signs of excess calcium/low magnesium. For example, restless leg syndrome, muscle cramping and ‘sleepy’ extremities are all associated with low magnesium. I also occasionally experience episodes of each when I get slack about my own magnesium intake – I drink only rainwater, and have done for nearly 20 years. Changes to urination can be caused by magnesium-deficit induced IR and fluid retention. Excess estrogens, relative to progesterone, can lead to fluid retention, and also hair loss, as can hypothyroidism – once again low magnesium can be involved as Mg is important for hormone balance.

We now know from Alex that her town water supply tests at less than 1 ppb for As, well within the 10 ppb limit currently considered acceptable by most government agencies. The water analysis for that area also does not appear to be abnormally high in calcium - yet some of her horses have had issues with IR and consequent hoof problems. However, in a state of magnesium deficit even tiny amounts of additional calcium seem to have a disproportionate affect on the horse, so maybe some humans can also be that sensitive. I often refer to the horse ‘Hopper’ whose story is included in the Digital Cushion thread. Just 20g of a calcium supplement per day was enough to cause physical regression is this 600kg horse. I'm wondering if drinking low-calcium water in LA and now at home, is enabling you to get the full benefit from whatever magnesium supplement you are using, thus reducing the amount you need?

Best wishes
Pauline

Pauline Moore
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 Posted: Thu Jul 4th, 2013 01:36 am
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Evermore

My horses have always drunk rainwater so whatever MSM may be naturally present was not enough to help my TB, Rory, through the many years when his feet were weak and tender. Some of his story is documented in the Digital Cushion thread.

I am now giving Rory MSM daily, starting about 6 months ago. The main reason is that he is an old horse, and I figure a non-drug anti-inflammatory has to be a good idea for him. He is a little less flexible than he used to be but does not show any signs of arthritic problems, and is now finally fully sound after sustaining a severe hoof injury some 18 months ago.

In terms of palatability, most horses show a preference for water that is slightly alkaline. The more acidic it is, the less they like it.

Pauline

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 Posted: Fri Jul 5th, 2013 09:49 pm
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Hi Dr. Deb, Pauline, and everyone,

just wanted to comment that homeopathic treatment could indeed be very helpful in such a situation. They have since done several follow up studies showing very good results in treatment of people chronically exposed to arsenic contaminated water in India.

You can read the first study here:
"Can Homeopathic Arsenic Remedy Combat Arsenic Poisoning in Humans Exposed to Groundwater Arsenic Contamination?: A Preliminary Report on First Human Trial"

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1297497/

and a recent follow up study here:
"A Follow-Up Study on the Efficacy of the Homeopathic Remedy Arsenicum album in Volunteers Living in High Risk Arsenic Contaminated Areas"

http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2011/129214/


As always, it is important to note that it is best to be treated personally and specifically by a fully trained and very experienced classical homeopath to find the best treatment for a person's own unique symptom picture. This is especially the case in chronic cases with a complicated symptom picture. Dosing and repetition of remedy, reaction to remedy, etc. all need to be very carefully monitored by someone who knows what they are looking for.

That said, if I was in a situation where I could not find experienced help, I might try several doses of Arsenicum Album in low potency (preferably 30C) and then carefully observe what happened. Personally, I would use 2 globules (the small white pills) stirred into an 8 ounce glass of water, taking one teaspoon three times over the course of two days. If I noticed an amelioration I would wait to repeat the dose as long as that lasted (several weeks to months even). If I were very sensitive to medications, I would stir a teaspoon of water from the first medicated glass of water into a second glass of water and dose from that.

I would also likely go ahead and investigate / treat my water further, as contaminated water would be considered a "maintaining cause." Good constitutional / chronic homeopathic treatment can make a person less susceptible to such influences, but still better to avoid it where possible. This could be an important factor if you happen to live on or near an orchard or land that used to be an orchard. Probably true for intensive agriculture in general as well, but orchards especially were intensively sprayed with lead arsenate for decades.

I think it is reasonable that magnesium could partly be ameliorating the effects of chronic low arsenic exposure. For instance, arsenic is known to compete with phosphate in several biochemical reactions. I think the ATP (adenosine triphosphate) cycle could well be affected, and ATP needs to be bound to a magnesium ion to be active. You can find a good overview of arsenic toxicology here:

http://toxsci.oxfordjournals.org/content/123/2/305.full


Anyway, just wanted to post the studies in case anyone finds them helpful. They are interesting reading as well.

Best wishes.

geedubya
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 Posted: Thu Jul 11th, 2013 03:58 pm
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Hello again, I'm updating info relative to my posts.  Hay test results came back after three weeks! - hay is 12.27% sugar, 1.69% starch - this was an over the phone conversation with the Vet; we'll see the actual report Monday, 7/15, when we take our horse in for a follow up appointment.  Water tests - I had one sample from the trough, filled by hose from our well, and one from tanks I fill with a pump from a seasonal creek that runs in the winter.  Results, all in ppm, are:  trough, Na-17, Ca-12, Ma-4, NO3-25, with a pH of 8.9.  Creek, Na-3, Ca-5, Ma-2, NO3- 9, with a pH of 7.1  We are now feeding all horses MaCl, with the one with laminitis up to 40 ml twice a day of a solution comprised of 1 tbsp per 100ml of water.  Still slowly increasing dose every 4-5 days, as stool not clearly soft.  Will we also notice a softening of the crest?  Horse has been kept in stall on vets orders, and does not appear stressed (the calmness from Ma may be at play?), and shows no distress on front feet. He has glued-on wood shoes, that do not extend to his toes.  He is still on the L thyroid.  I'll post again after vet check, and when we have MaCl dose at best level according to stool appearance.  If cleared, we will make sure horse has exercise.   Thanks again all.

Last edited on Thu Jul 11th, 2013 04:11 pm by geedubya

DrDeb
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 Posted: Mon Jul 15th, 2013 04:48 pm
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Hello, all -- This is Dr. Deb writing from the University of Kansas Museum of Natural History, my usual home-away-from-home for a month each summer.

Wanted to give you all another idea on this. As you know from reading my previous post in this thread, like many people I suffer from night-time leg cramps. These are relieved by taking a dose of magnesium (citrate, oxide, glyconate are the compounds readily available at the pharmacy or health-food store -- any will work).

While I've been here, of course, I've needed to go get some sundries at the grocery store, Walgreens Drugs, Wal-Mart and so forth. While cruising for shampoo at Wal-Mart, I also needed some rubbing alcohol and there, on the same shelf, was a product I'd not seen before: "Morton's Epsom Salt Lotion". The bottle says, "all the benefits of an Epsom Salts bath -- without the bath."

Remembering that Pauline had mentioned that Mg is readily absorbed trans-dermally, I thought, h'm, let's try this. So, before turning in that evening, I slathered on/rubbed in a generous dollop of this lotion, onto the calf muscles which are those generally affected by cramps. And, deliberately, I did not take the Mg pill that I would usually have to take before retiring.

And lo and behold! Not a single muscle twinge all night long!

This is not only good news for those who suffer from "restless leg syndrome", it's also a suggestion for geedubya....maybe another way to get Mg into the horses would be to stand 'em in a warm Epsom Salts bath, i.e. just buy a bag of Epsom Salts and mix with water in a big flat rubber feed tub, and have the horse stand in it for five or ten minutes. The soles of their feet should uptake the substance readily. This would be better, I think, than trying to give the animal a bath with it.

Would enjoy hearing your take on this, Pauline. Cheers (they're growing corn out here this year but it's still hot, so I am only too glad to be in the nice cool Mammals laboratory during the day) -- Dr. Deb


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