sorry to hear all this kiki.
the closest i came to losing my drivers license was when as it turned out, i was zinc deficient.
zinc is known to be low in ms and diabetes patients. there are also studies linking low zinc and seizures.
Serum zinc and magnesium in type-2 diabetic patients
Serum zinc level was significantly lower (mean 2.03 +/- 0.39 mg/dL) in diabetic patients as compared to control subjects (4.84 +/- 4.217 mg/dL, p = < 0.001).
at the very least that suggests you may benefit from a zinc supplement (but this abstract has probs, see math note below).
the lower your zinc level, the higher your ammonia level will go. the CNS is very sensitive to elevated ammonia.
some hyperammonemia symptoms:
Particularly evident are neurologic symptoms – including poor limb coordination, dysdiadochokinesia, hypertonia, ataxia, intermittent tremors and seizures, lethargy, as well as decorticate or decerebrate posturing.
ZINC DEFICIENCY CAUSING HYPERAMMONEMIA AND ENCEPHALOPATHY...http://meeting.chestpubs.org/cgi/conten ... 36/4/37S-d
Zinc deficiency was also considered amongst other etiologies of hyperammonemia. The zinc level was found to be 50 microgram per deciliter [JL edit: that's 7.65 umol/L]. In addition to standard therapy with lactulose, zinc therapy was initiated and ammonia level started trending down.
fyi optimal serum zinc level seen in healthy controls 18.2 umol/L.
During the course of her evaluation she was found to have an ammonia level of 437 micromoles per liter (mol/L)...
fyi for ammonia "Reference serum levels are less than 35 µmol/L
if you can get tested for both zinc and ammonia that might be a start.
if not, pick up a bottle of zinc powder capsules and do the taste test to see if you are deficient.http://www.msrc.co.uk/index.cfm/fuseact ... pageid/653
The test solution is zinc sulphate in purified water, at a concentration of 1 gram/litre...
Grade one response: no specific taste sensation: tastes like plain water. This indicates a major deficiency of zinc requiring a supplement of at least 150 milligrammes (mg) of zinc per day.
Grade two response: no immediate taste is noticed but, within the ten seconds of the test, a `dry' or `metallic' taste is experienced. This indicates a moderate deficiency requiring a supplement of 100 mg of zinc per day.
Grade three response: an immediate slight taste is noted, which increases with time over the ten second period. This indicates a deficiency of minor degree requiring a supplement of 50 mg of zinc per day.
Grade four response: an immediate, strong and unpleasant taste is experienced. This indicates that no zinc deficiency exists. If this is the response to the first test done then obviously the diet already contains sufficient zinc and no supplement need be taken. If this is the response, however, after a period of zinc supplementation then the diet, prior to the supplement being given, must be assumed to have been deficient. Thus, if a relapse to this deficient state is to be further prevented a regular maintenance dose of zinc is required. One 15-20 mg dose per day is usually sufficient for this purpose.
During any period of supplementation the taste test should be repeated at appropriate intervals and the subsequent dose of zinc adjusted according to the above instructions. In addition, it should be noted that when starting any programme of zinc supplementation the starting dose should always be a minimum dose of 15-25 mg. This is then increased slowly in the following manner stopping at the required level as demanded by the results of the taste test. Thus in the first week: take one 15 mg (or 25 mg) dose per day. Second week: two 15 mg (or 25 mg) capsules or tablets per day. Third week: one 50 mg dose per day. Fourth week: two 50 mg doses per day. Fifth and subsequent weeks: three 50 mg doses per day.
The reason for this protracted introduction is that zinc treatment, in the presence of zinc deficiency, may initially induce a feeling of fatigue or depression: a slow introduction reduces this possibility.
if you don't want to bother with the test, it's pretty cheap to try supplements and see if they work for you. but do follow the staged introduction outlined above. my doc said just take 100mg/d for a month. i used to get really sick to my stomach when i did as she had recommended. we had to break it down into 50mg morning and night.
hope that helps Kiki
MATH FOOTNOTE RE THE STUDY ABOVE
i would love to get that 2.03 +/- 0.39 mg/dL converted to umol/L to see how close it is to (or more likely far from) 18.2, BUT, using a standard units conversion factor it doesn't make any sense. i think there is a typo in the units in the article.
NHE, check my math?
zinc conversion factor: µg/dL * 0.153 = µmol/L
first we have to take mg to µg, and 1mg = 1000 µg, so
2.03 mg = 2030 µg/dL
2030 µg/dL * 0.153 = 310 µmol/L - that is seriously wrong.