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Canadian Karen

Any Phd Chemists Out There?

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Okay, so basically you guys know that I am celiac and have been unresponsive to diet. My antibodies have gone from well over 100 to 13 (within normal range) but villi are still completely destroyed despite being three years gluten-free and chronic watery diarrhea still rules my life. I have been diagnosed refractory.

My question is regarding weird cravings. I have been doing some research into this because I always wondered why when I was a child I used to eat the cigarette ashes out of ashtrays. At the time, my family thought I was one weird kid, but I now realize that this was Pica, and I was somehow craving minerals or nutrients I was missing due to the celiac.

Does anyone know if Pica also includes smells? For those of you who don't already realize that I am one Crazy Canuck ;) , this will cement it for you:

I have incredibly powerful urges to smell musty, dusty, basement smells, elevator shafts, etc. It's mostly the strongest when I have a headache (which is increasingly more often), and if I go down into our unfinished basement with the "musty, cementy basement" smell, or if I go near where dust is, I literally have to take deep breaths, breath it in deeply, thoroughly enjoy the smell, and literally almost get a high off of it! :blink: Even more, it seems to give some type of immediate relief to the headaches I am having....... I have even secretly gone down to the basement and laid on the floor on my stomach and just breathed in the cement smell......

Now, if this isn't one for the "Wild and Wacky Ways Celiac Disease Affects your Body", then I don't know what is!!!!! :P

Can anyone shed some light on what kind of chemical reaction/scientific explanation there would be for this? Or is this just one more notch in my "That Canadian Karen is one weird Chick" belt?

Thanks!

Karen


Karen

positive bloodwork, positive biopsy

Celiac, collagenous colitis, hypothyroidism

endometriosis (at age 20)

spinal stenosis (early 20's)

Biopsy August 2006 confirmed complete villous atrophy despite being gluten-free for years and bloodwork within range showing compliance with diet. Doctor has confirmed diagnosis of Refractory Celiac Sprue.

Endoscopy also showed numerous stomach ulcers, have started taking Losec.

Mother to Eileen 13 yrs

Rhiannon 8 yrs

Daniel & Connor 6 yr twin boys......

"Joyfulness keeps the heart and face young. A good laugh makes us better friends with ourselves and everybody around us."

Orison Swett Marden

Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.

-- Victor Borge

"An optimist laughs to forget. A pessimist forgets to laugh."

Tom Nansbury

"Doctor to patient: I have good news and bad news. The good news is that you are not a hypochondriac."

Unknown

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Wow--interesting.

I'm sure Steve will weigh in here when he sees this.

I also crave smells--gasoline and tar come to mind. I think Vicks Vaporub has some kind of sedating effect on me--I will breathe it in until I feel relaxed, and kind of spaced. :blink:

I've never had relief from a headache with a smell, though.

Isn't it amazing what comes out on this board! ;):D


Patti

"Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans"

"When people show you who they are, believe them"--Maya Angelou

"Bloom where you are planted"--Bev

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Well, there's no doubt that you're one weird chick ... :P ... I think gfp is the person to answer this question, I believe he has a lot of upper level chemistry under his belt. If he doesn't see this thread, you might PM him about it.


gluten-free 12/05

diagnosed with Lyme Disease 12/06

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I also crave smells--gasoline and tar come to mind.

Umm, okay, that is so much worse than a basement smell, you are officially weirder than Karen!!! :lol: I avoid those two smells at all costs!


gluten-free 12/05

diagnosed with Lyme Disease 12/06

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OK...Lisa's Theory:

Perhaps it is not the musty smell that gives you relief, but the moisture that generates the odor.

The basement floor would be more humid and cooler than the upper floors by holding moisture in the walls and floor. Your relief by the musty odor is an associative effect of the humidity.

Much like holding a cool damp cloth to your brow when you have a headache.

(anxiously :( awaiting Steve to knock the heck out of my theory) I thought it could make sense. :)


Lisa

Gluten Free - August 15, 2004

"Not all who wander are lost" - JRR Tolkien

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OK, here's the molecular biology theory (although I like the damp theory too).

Headaches can be caused by constriction or dilation of blood vessels. Suppose your's are caused (in part) by dilation. And suppose you have a very mild allergic reaction to dust/mold/etc that causes constriction of your blood vessels. Over time you've taught yourself that the smell relieves headaches, and now you seek it out.

Or, you are incredibly, primally sensitive, and what you are seeking out are the natural antibiotics that live in soil. Maybe you have secondary infections?

Or maybe it's just leftover from the pica.


"But then, in all honesty, if scientists don't play god, who will?"

- James Watson

My sources are unreliable, but their information is fascinating.

- Ashleigh Brilliant

Leap, and the net will appear.

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OK, here's the molecular biology theory (although I like the damp theory too).

Headaches can be caused by constriction or dilation of blood vessels. Suppose your's are caused (in part) by dilation. And suppose you have a very mild allergic reaction to dust/mold/etc that causes constriction of your blood vessels. Over time you've taught yourself that the smell relieves headaches, and now you seek it out.

Or, you are incredibly, primally sensitive, and what you are seeking out are the natural antibiotics that live in soil. Maybe you have secondary infections?

Or maybe it's just leftover from the pica.

Not sure its really chemistry but I agree with the moisture and mild allergic reaction....

It could be something similar to make you want to sneeze... because your body has some stuff to get rid if that not ittitating it enough to sneeze?

also crave smells--gasoline and tar come to mind. I think Vicks Vaporub has some kind of sedating effect on me--I will breathe it in until I feel relaxed, and kind of spaced. blink.gif

both of these though could just be associated with good childhood memories?

Sorry no chemistry really here but if for instance you used to get headaches and seek out a dark space or were afriad of the dark and hid in a dusty cupboard....

Gasoline and tar to me evoke 1976... a big heatwave summer in the UK. All the road tar melted (I got it everywhere)... but also the gasoline is like going on vacation or falling asleep in the car feeling all warm and safe... like on my way home from grannies...

I used to curl up in the back of the station wagon and so the smell to me reminds me of good times, tiring myself out with granny and then falling asleep on the way home...I can even associate rain on the car... that comfroting I'm inside but it sounds so cool thing???


Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt. (JC, De Bello Gallico Liber III/XVIII)

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Funny, I've also always LOVED the smell of gasoline, and wondered why. I suspected happy memory jogging, like gfp, but then my son, at the time six, said one day from the back of the car while I was filling up, "I LOVE that smell"! So it can't always be associative...he's inherited some weird thing, I suppose. :rolleyes:

Karen, I remember a couple of years ago we had a friend over who is a general contractor. He mentioned that he has been in a lot of musty basements, and was remarking that it is so weird how he LOVES the smell of dank places, and never wants to leave a job when he is in a damp cellar. The final thing he said was, "and doubly weird because I have a serious mould allergy, so I should not be hanging around there." Sensitivities causing cravings...?

Maybe some food for thought?


Emily

diagnosed type one diabetic 1973

diagnosed celiac winter 2005

diagnosed hypothyroid spring 2006

But healthy and happy! 253.gif

11 year-old Son had negative blood panel, but went on gluten-free diet of his own volition to see if his concentration would improve, his temper abate, and his energy level would increase. Miraculous response!

The great are great only because we are on our knees.

--Pierre Joseph Proudhon (1809-1865)

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I forget what t.v. show had this deficiency as a story line. It was years ago and I think social workers were trying to prove child neglect because this girl keep eating dirt and garbage stuff.

Does it help to take mineral supplements? I know we're all deficient in selenium and brazil nuts are about the only thing that's full of it. Basically our soils are depleted of selenium and so we're not getting it in our diets.

Gail


Gluten Free since Jan. 06

Gluten intolerant. DQ 0301 DQ 0602

Lactose intolerant.

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Hey Crazy Canuck - you could always move out to the wet west coast and feel mouldy all winter long :P the moss can take over anything here... says one fungal canadian to another...

likely you have tried everything, but have you given the specific carbohydrate diet a good try? I feel 70% better when I eat totally gluten-free, but I feel FABULOUS when I am strictly following the SCD. It focuses on nutrient dense foods (especially bone broths and homemade yogurts, I integrated some of Weston A. Price's recommendations into it) to help rebuild our reserves of strength, and in some ways is very similar to the paleo and elemental diets. Elaine Gottschall is one of my Canadian science heroines :wub: and think her book Breaking the Vicious Cycle is well worth reading. ...Doing it is the hard part!

I'm totally interested to hear what any PhD chemists around here think - are there any here? My marks in chem were so dubious :unsure: , I blame it on all the bagels I was eating... :rolleyes:

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I have nothing scientific to add in this ...um ... rather odd thread..but...

Gasoline and tar to me evoke 1976... a big heatwave summer in the UK. All the road tar melted (I got it everywhere)... but also the gasoline is like going on vacation or falling asleep in the car feeling all warm and safe... like on my way home from grannies...

LOL!! :lol:

Oh my goodness, yes! I remember that summer of '76 and the roads melted!!

..and I LOVE the smell of car exhaust fumes! :ph34r:


It's not enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what's required - Sir Winston Churchill

Nikki

Son diagnosed with Coeliac Disease Oct 2006 by biopsy (at age 13yrs)

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..and I LOVE the smell of car exhaust fumes! :ph34r:

What a bunch we are :lol:


Patti

"Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans"

"When people show you who they are, believe them"--Maya Angelou

"Bloom where you are planted"--Bev

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Karen, I am not a PhD or even a chemist, but the first thing that comes to my mind is that you might have some kind of mold/candida issue, and that that is what is making you crave damp basements. I don't see it as craving something you need, but rather something you shouldn't have, much the way we all used to crave bread and pasta because of our gluten issues.

Then again, penicillin is a mold--could you be craving antibiotics???? :blink: Could this be a Lyme issue?

I'll ask my husband if he can shed some light on this, but I think it might be more of a biochem issue?

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Okay, you guys like the smell of basements, gasoline, tar, etc. ... I like the smell of fresh baked chocolate chip cookies!!

Was '76 the year of the "gas shortage" here in the US? I think it may have been ... half our schools closed that year so they had some kids go to school Mon, Tues, Wed, and others Thurs, Fri, Sat. I don't actually have any memorable smells frm that year though. :)


gluten-free 12/05

diagnosed with Lyme Disease 12/06

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Okay you know when you are driving down a country road or the highway and you smell the squished skunk smell. I like that smell. So, I think we're a wierd bunch. Also, I like the smell of gasoline.


Tapioca intolerant

First cousin dx'd with Celiac Disease

Grandmother died of malnutrition b/c everything made her sick... sounds like celiac to me.

Gluten-free since June 2005

Dx with IBS February 2005

Blood tests both negative (or inconclusive?) for celiac (in 2002 and 2004)

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I love the smell of tar too. My most favorite place we ever lived was on a Marine Corps base in Virginia, from ages 5-8. They used to tar the roofs on base housing ever other year. It was such a great neighborhood. We lived on the edge of base housing, up against a wooded area. Tons of kids, the great outdoors, completely safe neighborhood, and the smell of the woods, honeysuckle bushes and tar. I still miss that place.

I've never been bothered by the smell of skunk. I mean it doesn't smell like roses, but it doesn't bother me at all. It's just a weird smell.

I was thinking candida too. Just like Lyme, it has a lot of the same symptoms as celiac. It's worth looking into.

Nancy


The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person who is doing it.

~Chinese Proverb

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Karen

Rather than go to basement try eating something that has natural (gluten-free) mold like melon or banana or something fermented and maybe it'll help....


Husband has Celiac Disease and

Husband misdiagnosed for 27 yrs -

The misdiagnosis was: IBS or colitis

Mis-diagnosed from 1977 to 2003 by various gastros including one of the largest,

most prestigious medical groups in northern NJ which constantly advertises themselves as

being the "best." This GI told him it was "all in his head."

Serious Depressive state ensued

Finally Diagnosed with celiac disease in 2003

Other food sensitivities: almost all fruits, vegetables, spices, eggs, nuts, yeast, fried foods, roughage, soy.

Needs to gain back at least 25 lbs. of the 40 lbs pounds he lost - lost a great amout of body fat and muscle

Developed neuropathy in 2005

Now has lymphadema 2006It is my opinion that his subsequent disorders could have been avoided had he been diagnosed sooner by any of the dozen or so doctors he saw between 1977 to 2003

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I forget what t.v. show had this deficiency as a story line. It was years ago and I think social workers were trying to prove child neglect because this girl keep eating dirt and garbage stuff.

Does it help to take mineral supplements? I know we're all deficient in selenium and brazil nuts are about the only thing that's full of it. Basically our soils are depleted of selenium and so we're not getting it in our diets.

Gail

Gail, thats not entirely true (no offense, its a subject I know a lot about), it really depends where you live and where the crops come from... (Honestly this is my specialist subject if I ever had to go on a TV quiz thing and my undergrad geology dissertation)....

The USGS publishes maps... without boring you with the geology, the US has some very monotonous geology... the dustbowl for instance is actually caused by too much selenium, the soil has so much its toxic and crops grown in it are toxic...

It depends massively where you live... where tyour crops come from etc. Selenium is one of those trace elements that has a very low tolerance between what you need, an ideal amount and a toxic amount...

If you phone your local state USGS office you should be able to ask someone about your area... don't just assume and take selenium suppliments because its quite dangerous...


Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt. (JC, De Bello Gallico Liber III/XVIII)

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Wow, that's good info to have...

Does selenium have a smell? :P Trying to bring both ends of the thread together...


Emily

diagnosed type one diabetic 1973

diagnosed celiac winter 2005

diagnosed hypothyroid spring 2006

But healthy and happy! 253.gif

11 year-old Son had negative blood panel, but went on gluten-free diet of his own volition to see if his concentration would improve, his temper abate, and his energy level would increase. Miraculous response!

The great are great only because we are on our knees.

--Pierre Joseph Proudhon (1809-1865)

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Wow, that's good info to have...

Does selenium have a smell? :P Trying to bring both ends of the thread together...

Its a metal..(technically semi metal like carbon and sulfur). (if that answers your question)

Salts can have a smell but if you can smell them you'd be already dead! So realitically its not useful....

Its present in very small quantities.... and its also needed ion very small quantities...

Your USGS office is really the best place to ask about your area....

The most practical test you could do at home would be a flame test.... selenium is a very distinctive azure blue...

It also eclipses the most common problem with flame tests which is sodium contamination... since its so bright...

added: Its not really just Selenium but many of the trace elements. The addition of these to suppliments sold country and worldwide is just downright irresposible really ...

Regarding selenium (although its just one of many) if you have a copper processing plant nearby then this is a common byproduct...

but the sensible thing is really to check your local USGS office.... (geologist do have a use :ph34r: )


Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt. (JC, De Bello Gallico Liber III/XVIII)

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(geologist do have a use :ph34r: )

You mean other than making other scientists feel less geeky? ;)


"But then, in all honesty, if scientists don't play god, who will?"

- James Watson

My sources are unreliable, but their information is fascinating.

- Ashleigh Brilliant

Leap, and the net will appear.

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Its a metal..(technically semi metal like carbon and sulfur). (if that answers your question)

Salts can have a smell but if you can smell them you'd be already dead! So realitically its not useful....

Its present in very small quantities.... and its also needed ion very small quantities...

Your USGS office is really the best place to ask about your area....

The most practical test you could do at home would be a flame test.... selenium is a very distinctive azure blue...

It also eclipses the most common problem with flame tests which is sodium contamination... since its so bright...

added: Its not really just Selenium but many of the trace elements. The addition of these to suppliments sold country and worldwide is just downright irresposible really ...

Regarding selenium (although its just one of many) if you have a copper processing plant nearby then this is a common byproduct...

but the sensible thing is really to check your local USGS office.... (geologist do have a use :ph34r: )

Hmmmmmm....... Verrrrry interesting.......

I wonder if perhaps my cravings have to do with the fact that one of the major employers here in Bowmanville is:

http://www.stmaryscement.com/saintmaryscem...tail.asp?LID=18


Karen

positive bloodwork, positive biopsy

Celiac, collagenous colitis, hypothyroidism

endometriosis (at age 20)

spinal stenosis (early 20's)

Biopsy August 2006 confirmed complete villous atrophy despite being gluten-free for years and bloodwork within range showing compliance with diet. Doctor has confirmed diagnosis of Refractory Celiac Sprue.

Endoscopy also showed numerous stomach ulcers, have started taking Losec.

Mother to Eileen 13 yrs

Rhiannon 8 yrs

Daniel & Connor 6 yr twin boys......

"Joyfulness keeps the heart and face young. A good laugh makes us better friends with ourselves and everybody around us."

Orison Swett Marden

Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.

-- Victor Borge

"An optimist laughs to forget. A pessimist forgets to laugh."

Tom Nansbury

"Doctor to patient: I have good news and bad news. The good news is that you are not a hypochondriac."

Unknown

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Gail, thats not entirely true (no offense, its a subject I know a lot about), it really depends where you live and where the crops come from... (Honestly this is my specialist subject if I ever had to go on a TV quiz thing and my undergrad geology dissertation)....

The USGS publishes maps... without boring you with the geology, the US has some very monotonous geology... the dustbowl for instance is actually caused by too much selenium, the soil has so much its toxic and crops grown in it are toxic...

It depends massively where you live... where tyour crops come from etc. Selenium is one of those trace elements that has a very low tolerance between what you need, an ideal amount and a toxic amount...

If you phone your local state USGS office you should be able to ask someone about your area... don't just assume and take selenium suppliments because its quite dangerous...

You would of course have a better understanding of this subject then me but I'm just repeating what I've been told for years. If you live in a cold climate during the winters you don't depend on just your area for fruits and vegetables. I just did a quick reference check on areas and found this:

SELENIUM

The selenium content of our food depends entirely upon the selenium content of the soil where the food was grown. However, nearly a third of the United States and three Canadian Provinces have soil that is seriously selenium deficient. This is unfortunate because selenium is a powerful antioxidant (a substance that prevents tissue damage from oxidization) and therefore is one of the best cancer-blocking agents. Selenium offers important protection against heart disease, as well. In fact, there is evidence that selenium can actually heal already damaged cells.

Additionally, selenium plays an important role in cleansing your body of heavy metal poisoning, such as may occur from exposure to mercury (as in dental fillings) or lead (as in old paint). It does this by speeding up the rate of heavy metal excretion in the urine and feces. Selenium also enhances your immune system in a powerful way and has been found to be very beneficial to chronic allergy patients.

Selenium is not only an effective tool against cancer and heart disease, but is effective in preventing the onset of other chronic degenerative diseases such as premature aging, multiple sclerosis, diabetes and arthritis.

Geographic locations in North America where the soil is low in selenium are Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Western New York, Massachusetts, Maine, Washington, Rhode Island, Oregon, New Jersey, Vermont, the Carolinas, Florida, West Virginia and Connecticut. The Canadian provinces of Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba are also selenium deficient.

I agree you should not rely on selenium suppliments and even be careful on eating to many brazil nuts but one or two aday is a great insurance policy.

Gail


Gluten Free since Jan. 06

Gluten intolerant. DQ 0301 DQ 0602

Lactose intolerant.

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Hmmmmmm....... Verrrrry interesting.......

I wonder if perhaps my cravings have to do with the fact that one of the major employers here in Bowmanville is:

http://www.stmaryscement.com/saintmaryscem...tail.asp?LID=18

Here's a stab at what it could be, if your soil is low in PH you add lime right. Adding lime raise the PH. If your area is rich in lime maybe thats what your body is craving by going down in the basement and breathing it in. I've even heard of adding ashes to the soil in place of lime all though its not as good, well you also crave ashes.

So could it be your body PH is low? Low is 0-6 which is acid, 6-14 is alkaline. Maybe its your body telling you to neutralize your PH levels.

Does that make any sense?

Gail


Gluten Free since Jan. 06

Gluten intolerant. DQ 0301 DQ 0602

Lactose intolerant.

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