So you want to take lithium…….

Many people are told by their doctors that they have to take lithium for “bipolar.” So you want to take lithium? If you do, this is what will happen….

There is a chemical in your blood called creatinine. The level of this blood component will indicate how well your kidneys are functioning.

As soon as you start taking lithium, your creatinine will start to rise. You can see this is a blood test called a Metabolic Panel. Your doctor may, or may not, order this blood test, but you should definitely have one done, and look at the results yourself.

The higher your creatinine, the lower your kidneys are functioning. You can take your creatinine level and run it through a formula and that will tell you your approximate kidney functioning. This is called GFR.

Your kidneys also break down as you age. They peak in functioning maybe in your 20s or early 30s. So if  your kidney levels are 80% and you are a young adult, you have reason to be concerned.

Is a little bit of kidney damage worth worrying about? YES! The problem is, that lithium causes this damage, but once damaged, they will continue to deteriorate, even if you stop the lithium. Twenty or 30 years from now you could be facing the end of your life, or you might spend the rest of your life on a machine.

I urge you to get your creatinine level and electrolytes tested and demand to see the blood test yourself. Usually on these blood tests you can easily see which levels are abnormal. Don’t expect your doctor to be honest.

After all, if your doctor were to tell you the truth, he would say, “Your kidneys were damaged by a prescribed pharmaceutical.” If he prescribed it himself, the likelihood of his admitting this is next to nil.

You might not die directly from kidney failure. Renal failure also causes heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and a host of other potentially fatal conditions. On your death certificate it’ll say “natural causes.”

I know better. Kidney disease is not “the silent killer” they claim it is. You will be wondering why you are having all these weird things happening, like swelling in your ankles, or cramping, often in your legs. It’s a “your-doctor-won’t-tell-you” killer. You will certainly get signs and symptoms, especially when your renal functioning goes under 60 percent. You can expect your doctor to make all kinds of excuses for the obvious signs of renal failure, so sad to say, you will need to do the research yourself, and monitor your own health. Your life depends on it.

Don’t be surprised if your doctor shrugs and says, “You can always go on dialysis.” That’s just more excuse-making. Do you really want to spend four to six hours a day, three days a week, on a machine? Do you really want this invasive procedure to take over your life? Do you want to be forced to quit your job so you can have these invasive treatments? Most people on dialysis have to go on disability. This is not something minor. Many cannot tolerate the dialysis, and die within the first year of starting it. I question the value of the procedure since it’s guaranteed to wreck your life.

If your kidneys are damaged, I recommend immediately starting on a salt-free diet. Just do that for starters, to slow the progression of this fatal disease, and look for my upcoming book, Life After Lithium, where I have all kinds of tips and pointers on how to survive after you’ve been given this horrible drug.

And those of you still living, please do what you can to get lithium carbonate off the drug market. It is not curative. It kills.

Here is the website for my book, where you can sign up for updates: http://lifeafterlithium.com.

PREVIEW, outline

Here is my tentative outline of the book. I’m planning under 40,000 words. I am hoping for something people can read in one sitting.

LIFE AFTER LITHIUM

My life as a patient
Before lithium
12 years of lithium “therapy”
Consequences

Lithium basics
Why are people given lithium?
Is lithium still used?
My doctor prescribed this. Doesn’t that mean it is safe and effective?
But doesn’t lithium save lives?
My doctor told me lithium is a salt, not a drug. Is this true?
Lithium is found in nature. Doesn’t that mean it’s natural?
How could lithium be dangerous if the FDA approved it?
But I get my blood drawn regularly. Won’t this protect me?

The consequences of taking lithium
Short-term effects
Long term consequences

Social and economic consequences of taking lithium
Psychiatric diagnosis
Risk of being prescribed or forced onto other harmful drugs
Risk of hospitalization

Taking your life back
Reviving your thyroid
Reviving your kidneys
Taking your life back

Life After Lithium
My life today
My wish for all of you

Endnotes

Please add your input! What if I…….

Good morning to everyone out there! I have just downloaded and am eagerly digging into Duncan Capicchiano’s website and e-offerings. You can find information about Duncan here:

About Us

I purchased his material last night. What he offers is truly impressive. He goes above and beyond what these usual money-making gurus do. I see nothing scammy about this product. He includes some goodies added in as extras. Some of the extras contain borrowed material which he credits to these authors and other naturopaths who contributed recipes and the like. What he also includes is a full, CD-length audio “pep talk.” This is not at all like your typical condescending pep talk written by a therapist. (Compare, say, to Marsha Linehan’s book, which is nothing but demeaning bullshit!)

I am noticing something amazing. All the naturopaths, or the ones that I have found that seem genuine and actually speak to you or somehow don’t seem scammy, all of them seem to have a few things in common.

Almost all recommend similar dietary changes. Now we may argue that there’s an insane amount of conflicting info out there. This is true, but we need to peel away the scams, the money-makers, the power-seekers, and those that just want to sell their stuff. Now once we have done this, take a look at the few (very few!) that remain.

(Note: if you are concerned about the number of scammy health gurus out there compared to genuine ones…then think of all the licensed MD’s out there who don’t know what they are doing or cause harm….Ratio’s about the same, right?)

Back to naturopaths. Now if we take all the honest ones and look at their messages, they do all say similar things. Each has a way of saying it differently, communicating that message in a way that speaks to some, but others may not find the naturopath’s message useful.

If what they say is true, then shouldn’t it speak to everyone? Not necessarily. It will ring true for you if communicated in a way that you can understand, that you appreciate, that strikes a chord, that educates…and all this has to do with the how of the message. The medium. The genre. Given that humans come from different cultural backgrounds, I can’t imagine we all soak up info exactly the same way.

I listened to the entire CD, which is not on kidney disease but on health in general, and am right now looking over the written material.

Capicchiano is spot on in every way. Almost. I see him waver here and there in his claims. I plan to tell him so because these minor details can be edited out of his material, or changed.

I believe that for the average kidney disease sufferer, especially if your GFR has dropped below 60, his material will be so helpful that you will not regret the purchase.

I do not see anything about lithium in there. I know as a fact that for those of us who took lithium, the protocol to survive and thrive after lithium-related kidney and thyroid damage is not the same as that which the average CKD sufferer might follow.

Capicchiano’s book is designed for the average CKD sufferer and likely is not totally relevant to most of us who took lithium. The material is immensely helpful and worthwhile, but it does not cover lithium-specific issues. Similar to other naturopaths, he recommends steering away from pharmaceuticals and staying healthy instead.

In fact, going to a kidney doctor for lithium-related damage quite likely will harm you or kill you. Some of the advice these doctors give is actually the exact opposite of what lithium survivors need to do to stay alive.

For instance, the typical kidney doctor will tell a patient to limit fluids drastically, even to limit to a pint of water a day. This will very quickly dehydrate a person who has the common lithium-related kidney consequence called diabetes insipidus (DI). In fact, adhering to water restriction and dehydrating yourself will further damage your kidneys, and could put you into renal failure.

Another example is potassium restriction, recommended to those with severe renal damage. I am finding this is not true at all. I lose potassium and even carry potassium supplements around with me when I go out on long trips (as PRN’s!!!).

What about protein? What about fat? What about caffeine and sugar? Can I eat legumes?

I do not think there’s any material out there to guide us. Lithium-damaged patients are dying because they lack information.

What if I published a short booklet on how to survive lithium? Do you guys honestly think there is a need for such a book? I don’t believe I need credentials beyond the very fact that I am alive, happy, vibrant, energetic, employed, feel a sense of purpose, have decent relationships, am strong and fit. And my GFR is 18.

At a GFR of 18 a person likely couldn’t even write this much, couldn’t concentrate, couldn’t sit this long, couldn’t do the research I regularly do, and likely couldn’t take care of daily needs either. Most people who have that low kidney functioning can’t walk or can barely walk. They are tired, so tired of being sick that some beg for dialysis. Not me!

If I did this, should I publish what I have taught myself, it would be groundbreaking material.  I could save people’s lives this way.

I have so often told myself if I could share just a little of what I have learned, give it away, or somehow impart it to others, maybe a few will catch on.  What do you think?

Of course, as anyone who writes about health does, I would add that little disclaimer that you are in charge of your health, that it is YOUR CHOICE to pick and choose from all the health material you can access, and you choose how to act upon that information. You choose to use what is relevant and discard what doesn’t work for you. As always.

 

Are you a lithium survivor? Yes, this means you!

I am a writer who is planning an anthology written by lithium survivors. If you ever took lithium, YOU ARE CHERISHED AND WANTED. Now’s your chance to write and get published. I need your stories! I’m a lithium survivor, too. Please contact me at julie@juliegreene.net.

And here’s a bonus, a link:

http://www.madinamerica.com/2015/03/long-term-use-lithium-can-cause-kidney-failure/

Oh gee, they are NOW figuring this out? The next Thalidomide……..

It’s easy to pull the wool over people’s eyes.

They’ve known the dangers of lithium for decades! Patients die! Why remain silent on this?

It wasn’t hard for me to pull up over 20 medical studies from researchers around the world. There were more, but it got too overwhelming.  They’ve known this drug kills people all along! If you were given a pill and told, “Most likely, this will shorten your life by at least 25 years,” would you take it? What if you were told, “Many studies indicate that there’s a 100 percent chance this drug will destroy your thyroid.” Would you take it? Would you take a pill that in most patients, causes not only lithium-induced nephrogenic diabetes insipidus, which means the kidneys fail to concentrate urine, but most likely, progressive renal insufficiency along with it?

In brief, they’ve known this drug kills people. They don’t want patients to know that.

I read one case study about a woman who was given an antidepressant following the death of her spouse. The study states that she showed manic symptoms following administration of the antidepressant. Mania is a common side effect of antidepressants, however, the shrinks put her on lithium anyway. Decades later, she went into renal failure. The study states that the renal failure was from the lithium.

Wait! So she was put on a life-shortening drug and kept on it for decades because of a bad drug interaction? Yes, this can happen. All they have to do is to grind it into her head that she is permanently bipolar. The diagnosis becomes identity, increasing mood swings.

And of course, I’m sure they told her, “You need lithium the way a diabetic needs insulin.” Doctors learn to tell their patients this, but they know it’s an inaccurate analogy. They are told that lying to patients is okay so long as the patients take their drugs.

All along, none of this was true. She never needed lithium.

Believe in possibility.