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Medical follies

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Medical follies

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mucha mosaic
So. About a week ago, I ran out of the niacin dose I'm supposed to take and have been getting by on half that (I had about half a bottle of the 500mg tablets).
Within that week, there have been a few changes.

A: none of what is quaintly termed 'flushing' -- which is a polite euphemism for itching that is so torturous and so painful that you wind up tearing your own goddamned skin open and crying from how GODDAMNED HORRIBLE it is.
B: Dreams 3 nights out of 5: Dreams I was able to remember without effort.
C: A complete cessation of the feeling of lowgrade stress and crankiness that has plagued me for a goodly while (probably the last year): I suspect that this is a result of B (have I perhaps been simply /without/ REM state sleep?).
D: A lot less headacheyness.
E: no recurring indigestion/nausea.

Anyone here ever dealt with taking Niacin regularly in huge horse-pill doses? If so, were any of these side effects that you experienced? Did they go away ever? Did you take something with your niacin to get rid of them?
  • Sorry, I have no experience with large doses of niacin. In fact, when I was a kid, I used to avoid even the breakfast cereals that had lots of niacin in them. I generally opted for the ones with lots of marshmallows instead. Lucky Charms, Count Chocula, stuff like that.

    Niacin? "No way, dude!" was my response. Same for riboflavin -- in fact, it took me years just to learn how to pronounce "riboflavin". As I recall, I wasn't too big on thiamine, either.

    Carbohydrates, now... those were where my attention lay.

    Funny thing, too: I notice some of my favorite marshmallow cereals were Count Chocula and Lucky Charms. And now here I am, worshipping Celtic gods and dressing as a goth. Hey, maybe there is something to those theories about childhood influences!
    • Okay, but...

      Okay, but...
      This lovely site that gives us USRDA percentages for breakfasts tells us Count Chocula has 25% of the niacin you're supposed to eat per diem, as well as 25% of the riboflavin. Same percentages available in re: Lucky Charms.
      Interestingly, the same amount of both as is found in a serving of Cheerios, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, though ONLY ONE/FOURTH what's found in a serving of raisin bran; further, MORE than rather a lot of cereals offer.
      This concludes the breakfast portion of our flight; please return your trays to the upright and locked position, as we are approaching some turbulence.
      • Re: Okay, but...

        Wow. This leads me to realize that I do, indeed, avoid niacin. As far as breakfast cereals go, I usually go for raisin bran or shredded wheat, neither of which have much of it. I do take a B-complex (checking)... oh, nevermind. I do, indeed, get plenty of niacin (500% of DRV). I've been okay with it. But I take craploads of supplements that I alter depending on whatever comes up.
        • Re: Okay, but...

          I'm hoping to find somebody who's been taking (as a f'rinstance) 1000mgs of the crap per day (which is what I was prescribed).
          There are a lot of dreadful side effects (lack of appetite, nausea, lack of solid sleep, the flushing/itching/hellaciousness) that I'm wondering how someone (anyone?) else has coped with.
          Niacin is, by the by, VERY VERY MUCH something you should be keeping up on your USRDA of. ESPECIALLY if you're eating a lot of carbohydrates and/or saturated fats. Niacin bonds with bad cholesterol in your bloodstream and flushes it out, preventing one from experiencing interruptions of service in the delivery of oxygenated blood.
          (and I keep this ljicon around JUST FOR situations of health and / or knowledge discussion. I wonder if I'll get to the screaming skull on this thread... something says no)
    • Re: Okay, but...

      I don't really eat anything with saturated fat because A. I have inherited high cholesterol and B. hormones and saturated fat do not go well together, because taking testosterone tends to raise cholesterol levels anyhow. My main sources of carbs are in fruit and fiber, I don't really eat sugar (sucrose), and when I do, it is in usually in fructose or lactose form. Because sugar sugar has really intense effects on my brain and perceptions... like dizziness and such, disorientation, really icky effects. I'm pretty careful about what I put into my body, just because I have such intense reactions, and for health, of course. I take a lot of supplements (vitamins, amino acids, etc.), and I need to alter dosage a lot, because your body gets accustomed to stuff, or rejects stuff that was working well before, and you need to rebalance. But if I didn't take this shit, I wouldn't just be partially off my rocker, I'd be drooling next to a wall somewhere (oh.. wait a sec, lol). Anywho, I'll shut up now.
      • Bwaaaaaaaaaaahahahahahaah

        irony. I have found a huge delicious irony.
        A: here's a link about what NIacin does (http://www.fpnotebook.com/CV217.htm)
        B: here's a link about the #1 Side effect Of The Devil (http://www.fpnotebook.com/GYN146.htm)
        To quote the top of GYN146.htm:

        "Vasomotor Symptoms of Menopause
        Hot Flashes
        Flushing
        Hot Flushes"

        I'm having hot flashes.

        AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

        (and now you know why your mother was so cranky when she hit menopause if she was having these, good grief, these things are hideous)
        • Re: Bwaaaaaaaaaaahahahahahaah

          Lol... I went through those when I started hormones (and the menopause shit, though I don't think nearly as badly as if it had happened naturally). That actually makes a lot of sense... yeah.

          tee hee.
    • Re: Okay, but...

      oh! are you balancing out the B vitamins? as in, taking more than just niacin? You might want to increase B6 dosage, if you don't take enough of that. That's one of my big ones, I take obscenely high doses of B6 to keep my chemistry functioning rightly.
      • Re: Okay, but...

        hmmmn. No, I've not been taking B6 save as part of a multivitamin. This is advice that is recommended everywhere I've seen, too- B6, that is.
        I've been looking at a niacin-alternative that a friend who's a cardiologist recommended as a non-flushing alternative for niacin: it's 4 niacins bound to a B6, which is a lot harder for your body to digest (and therefore releases slower).
      • Re: Okay, but...

        B6 is *the* miracle vitamin. It does just about everything in a roundabout way, helps other things do their job properly.
      • Re: Okay, but...

        That's the stuff I saw recommended (when I ran into the same deal, not through experience, but when I was looking up PMS/cramps treatments recently). A Google on 'niacin itching flushing' or osmething like that yielded, at least, a ton of sites claiming that the fancy B6-bound niacin alleviated this problem, so apparnetly lots of people do indeed have the same problem. There was also some mechanics of it all mentioned, but I'm afraid I skipped over that part.
  • (no subject) -
    • that's certainly what I'm hoping, but we'll see what the little cardiomonkey has to say for himself.
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