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HOMEMEDICINEEmotional Health

Mental, Emotional & Spiritual Dimensions of Gulf Disaster

Published on July 6, 2010

Stressed Out In The Gulf and What To Do About It

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Kari Goodnough Devastating beauty June 2010 “Oil off the coast of Alabama”

Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Louisiana Office of Mental Health, Dr. Anthony Speier said, “We have been seeing an escalation of stress and symptoms. People are starting to grieve over what they see as the end of their lifestyle and work. Realities are setting in and there is a definite threat of people moving from sad to hopeless.” The mass public media though is not representing the reality of the mega-disaster; it is instead promoting the government’s and corporate agenda, meaning we know a lot more about how much money BP is spending then we do about the suffering of the people in the Gulf region. With every month this goes on the greater the area of contamination and harm becomes and eventually it could be many millions of people who will move from sadness to hopeless despair.

Blanchard, 51, said he and the fishermen who supply him spend a lot of time sitting around in his office trying to figure out what to do. “We start talking and pretty soon, before you know it, we’re all there crying,” he said. “I never seen so many grown men cry in my life. Tough men, you know? Tough, tough men. Tough as they come. Just break down and cry.” The world has always been a highly dangerous place. But now millions who have lived in comfort are going to be confronted with something that they are ill-prepared for, and we are not just talking about oil here.

Today’s Americans have a lot on their plate. Not only are they facing dire economic and financial crisis but now many millions will be exposed to a new threat: chemicals in air, water, sand, soil, and food as a result of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. People’s lives have begun to change and for many along the Gulf Coast and perhaps all of Southeastern United States it will never be the same again. If you think that’s a bit dire think about the news in the mainstream press sporting Bill Clinton himself thinking it’s a good idea to nuke the oil well and hope for the best. You know the big boys are sweating it when they allow something like that to enter the media stream.

It is important to understand the potential toxic effects and take appropriate protective actions to reduce exposure and harm. This is common sense and basic medicine but you tell me how institutions that are responsible for poisoning the environment and people’s bodies can protect and help the public avoid suffering and even dying from the intense toxicity that is expanding out rapidly from ground zero in the Gulf. We are getting reports that it’s starting to hit Texas so all the Gulf States are now involved. It is important to note that Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina are in harm’s way as well as the oil races up the east coast following the Gulf Stream. And the wind and the rain, my God, you would think people even in Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee would fear what’s coming down from the skies even without a hurricane.

There is a lot of toxicity to be pushed around. Normally when we are exposed to chemicals and heavy metals it’s invisible and often we don’t even smell it. When we can smell it then we should take the kids and run for it means exposure levels are too high. Last night I talked to an eminent physician in North Carolina, a Dr. Rashid Buttar. He is a toxicologist who was able to recover his own son from the dark veil of autism, so he really knows his stuff when it comes to getting the mercury (mostly from dental amalgam and mercury-containing vaccines) and other heavy metals out of children’s and adults’ bodies. We talked about my protocol for airborne toxicity and he agreed that sodium bicarbonate, glutathione, magnesium, clay, activated charcoal, selenium and iodine would constitute the basics of what people can use to protect themselves. He added that doctors who have the equipment, ozone should be administered to their patients’ blood.

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Dr. Buttar was very clear about the nature of persistent organic pollutants. He said the liver cannot get rid of them so that’s why they call them persistent. The hurtful effects though are not only to our bodies but also to our hearts, minds and even our souls. Yes it’s our souls that are going to increasingly be put on the line with impossible situations that challenge and tear us apart. The Gulf oil disaster is of biblical proportion; it qualifies and makes some of us think about apocalyptic riders. It might be time to get some bibles out and read the script that has already been written to describe current and supposedly near-future events.

The picture is becoming increasingly clear.Time says that the oil disaster continues to affect the bodies and psyches of Gulf Coast residents. “These are people in a serious crisis,” says Dr. Irwin Redlener, president of the Children’s Health Fund and director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University. “They’re at ground zero of a catastrophe.” The question is what shape the impact of that catastrophe will take – mentally, physically, and emotionally – on the people of the Gulf, now and for generations to come.” People in the most affected areas are losing sleep and peace of mind, meaning they are getting terribly stressed out.

Time says, “As catastrophic as the Gulf oil spill has been for the region’s environment and residents’ livelihoods, experts say the impact of the disaster on human health and well-being has not even begun to be quantified.” The Times was also concerned that workers are not being given sufficient safety equipment, including respirators.

“The illness cleanup workers and people in general are starting to feel – marked by headaches, fatigue, upset stomach, and problems with memory and concentration – has been dubbed toxicant-induced loss of tolerance, or TILT. People suffering from TILT lose the ability to tolerate exposures to household chemical products, medication or even food,” said Dr. Claudia Miller of the University of Texas Health Science Center. “Things like diesel fuel, exposure to fragrances, or cleaning agents that never bothered them before suddenly bother them,” said Dr. Miller.

“You see it all along the coast, this balancing act between mourning and trying to move on. There are some depressingly conspicuous signs that go beyond the tar balls rolling up on white sand. In Grand Isle, once an oceanfront haven for families, one homeowner erected a cemetery in his front yard with dozens of white crosses thrust into the grass and words scribbled in black to represent all that’s been lost: “Fishing.” “Brown Pelican.” “Shrimp.” But also: “Beach Sunsets.” “Sand Between My Toes.” “Our Soul.”

“I look out there and I see my life ruined,” Trahan, 53, said in his long Cajun drawl from the oceanside deck at Artie’s. “There ain’t no shrimpin’, there ain’t no crabbin’, there ain’t no oysterin’. Well, the only thing I know is shrimpin’. That’s all I know. Now you tell me, where do I go from here? It’s heartbreakin’, baby.” “With an uncertain future, anger, stress and fear can be overwhelming. Don’t wait too long to talk about it,” says a radio spot about a 24-hour counseling hotline put up by the state Department of Health and Hospitals.

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Appropriate Response

Tears are very appropriate at times like this so there is nothing wrong with grown men crying. There would be something wrong if they weren’t. It is exactly at times of great vulnerability – both emotional and physical – that we need to turn to things that strengthen us. And there is no doubt that the number one substance, the all-time heavyweight champion of the medical world, magnesium chloride, can and will come to the rescue.

Magnesium chloride is a nutritional substance that doctors sometimes use when they are really desperate to save someone’s life in an emergency room or intensive care unit, but today people all over the world are simply splashing it on their bodies for transdermal absorption. Kind of like splashing on aftershave lotion, it stings a bit for some people but gets absorbed in through the skin quickly.

In this essay we are focusing on the emotional and spiritual dimensions and here the magnesium can be most soothing and help us get to sleep. In the second edition of my Transdermal Magnesium Therapy book (available October 2010) are chapters on using magnesium for sleep disturbances, depression and emotional disturbances. Magnesium has always been the number one medicinal in my protocols for cancer, diabetes, heart and neurological patients. Though when dealing with airborne oil toxicity baking soda is ones best friend. But if one is concerned for levels other than protecting the physical body then magnesium weighs in most strongly.

Research published in the American Journal of Epidemiology in 2002 shows that when the diets of 2,566 children ages 11-19 were studied, less than 14 percent of boys and 12 percent of girls had adequate intakes of magnesium.

That means the children are incredibly vulnerable to the toxicity storm that is arising from the Gulf. Running through a toxic storm without sufficient cellular (not serum) levels of magnesium is like running one’s car up a mountain without oil. Little children are more vulnerable because they are closer to the ground then adults, thus exposing them to more environmental toxins. They are also bombarded with antibiotics and vaccines containing mercury. Pediatricians are so oblivious to the special vulnerability of babies and children that they don’t even adjust vaccine dosages down according to body weight.

Because magnesium is involved in so many processes in the body, once a deficiency develops, that deficiency can spiral out of control. A low magnesium level causes metabolic functions to decrease, causing further stress on the body, reducing the body’s ability to absorb and retain magnesium. A marginal deficiency can easily be transformed into a more significant problem when stressful events trigger additional magnesium loss. In the extreme situations, stressful events trigger sudden drops of serum magnesium, leading to cardiac arrest. Magnesium is considered the “anti-stress” mineral. It is a natural tranquilizer that functions to relax skeletal muscles as well as the smooth muscles of blood vessels and the gastrointestinal tract.

Even a mild deficiency of magnesium can cause increased sensitivity to noise, nervousness, irritability, mental depression, confusion, twitching, trembling, apprehension, and insomnia. Magnesium offers a powerful way to treat depression; it helps us to better deal with stress because large amounts of magnesium are lost when a person is under stress. Anxiety and panic attacks are addressed by magnesium by keeping adrenal stress hormones under control so it really helps in dealing with stressful emergencies.

All physiological processes deteriorate in the face of magnesium deficiency, vastly accelerating aging or the effects of toxic exposure. Cells age or self destruct (apoptosis) if damage cannot be repaired, and magnesium certainly helps when it comes to damage control. Magnesium deficiency is generally characterized by the declining ability to respond to stress, increasing homeostatic imbalance and increased risk of disease. It is widely researched and recognized that magnesium deficiency commonly occurs in critical illness and correlates with a higher mortality and worse clinical outcomes in the intensive care unit (ICU).[1]

Magnesium deficiency intensifies adverse reactions to stress that can be life threatening. Such reactions are mediated by excess release of the stress hormones: catecholamines and corticosteroids – which are increased by low magnesium and high calcium levels, and which further lower tissue magnesium. It’s important to point out that magnesium deficit and stress aggravate each other in a true ‘pathogenic vicious circle.’

Low magnesium intake is associated with lower measures of several lung functions (including lung capacity and airway flow).[2]

The accepted recommended daily dietary amount of magnesium is only 300-400 mg. Many professionals feel this to be a bare minimum. Some would say that 1,000 mg is probably more in the range of what most people need due to stress (measured by cortisol levels) causing magnesium to be dumped into the sweat in increasing quantities. That level might be fine for oral intake but what we really need to learn how to do is cover our body with about an ounce of what is called magnesium oil every day, maybe even twice a day if the threat warrants it.

Psychiatrists who treated people after Katrina and have held group sessions in oil-spill-stricken areas say the symptoms showing up are much the same: anger, anxiety, drinking, depression and suicidal thoughts become more common. Increased alcoholic intake, which happens frequently in times of stress for some people, depletes magnesium in our bodies. Alcohol increases urinary magnesium excretion by as much as 260% above baseline values; this occurs within minutes of ingestion.[3] Often by increasing magnesium, the perceived need for alcohol decreases while some of the depression and anxiety are alleviated.

While stress leads to magnesium depletion, magnesium deficiency causes stress-related symptoms such as insomnia, muscle tension, migraines, and irritability. You can avoid this vicious cycle by staying on top of your magnesium needs. Climb into a warm magnesium bath and feel the tensions slip away from your body and soul. It will simply help you cope. And don’t forget to eat some good chocolate; it too is very high in magnesium, which of course is the main reason people eat it for mood control.

Special Note: In terms of treatment I have just added: Iodine intake immediately increases the excretion of bromide, fluoride, and some heavy metals including mercury and lead. Bromide and fluoride are not removed by any other chelator or detoxifying technique. Dr. Kenezy Gyula Korhaz states that iodine chelates heavy metals such as mercury, lead, cadmium and aluminum, and halogens such as fluoride and bromide, thus decreasing their iodine-inhibiting effects, especially those of the halogens. Mercury is a trace component of all fossil fuels including natural gas, gas condensates, crude oil, coal, tar sands, and other bitumens. Cilantro extracts, juice, pesto, or leaves with chlorella are great for removing heavy metals. HMD, or what is known as Heavy Metal Detox, is a well-tested cilantro chlorella formula from Dr. George Georgiou, who is a naturopathic doctor in Cyprus; however his basic research was done in Russia at a metals foundry.

[1] Magnesium deficiencyin critical illness. J Intensive Care Med. 2005 Jan-Feb;20(1):3-17. Entrez Pubmed

[2] Gilliland, F.Det al. Dietary magnesium, potassium, sodium and children’s lung function. American Journal of Epidemiology . 2002; 155: 125-131.

[3]With chronic alcohol intake, body stores of magnesium become depleted. Reasons include inadequate intake, starvation ketosis, vomiting and diarrhea, and urinary excretion. http://www.mgwater.com/adequate.shtml

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Dr. Mark Sircus AC., OMD, DM (P)

Director International Medical Veritas Association
Doctor of Oriental and Pastoral Medicine

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For questions pertaining to your own personal health issues or for specific dosing of Dr. Sircus's protocol items please seek a consultation or visit our knowledge base to see if your question may have been answered previously.
  • Ed h

    Can ADHD in children be helped?

    • Maurice Guggisberg

      Dear Ed,
      Dr. Sircus has an entire protocol of a number of things that may help you. You can read about his protocol and about dosages in the ebook Treatment Essentials:

      http://drsircus.com/books/e-book/treatment-essentials/

      Or you can choose a consultation with Dr. Sircus for an in depth recommendation for you. He is available to take patients via his online clinic.

      http://drsircus.com/consultations/

      Please let me know if I can be of further help.
      Best Regards,
      Maurice Guggisberg
      IMVA Support Team

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