The Reaction Chronicles

I’ve been adding a supplement or trying a drug or testing a food every few days for a while, holding off before and during my period and if I am reactionary. I have recently had some of the most violent side effects to some of the most innocuous substances and I still find it incomprehensible. In my old life — that old Elizabeth who started 10 supplements at full dose on the same day — I never would have believed that such a small amount of something “harmless” could cause such an extreme reaction. Most notably, ElectroMix electrolytes paradoxically causing extreme blood pressure crashes, D-ribose causing extreme blood sugar crashes and Dr. Yasko’s All In One vitamin causing such terrible bone and muscle pain and cramping from the waste down that I didn’t sleep for three days and was considering going to the hospital and begging for an epidural.

I wanted to chronicle these trials so I remember. Here are my notes from the last four months. No note means no discernible reaction.

  • 4/26/14: Started CoQ10 100mg
  • 4/23/14: Started Thorn Bio-gest
  • 4/20/14: Started Now Foods Yucca
  • 4/15/14: Started Prednisone (bad sleep, swollen hands and feet, grumpy, facial hair, very bad tachycarrdia)
  • 4/13/14: Started Thorne Riboflavin 5 phosphate
  • 4/12/14: Started 2 Fish oil capsules
  • 4/10/14: Started Calm magnesium + calcium
  • 4/3/14: Changed Zyrtec brand
  • 4/1/14: Started Dr. Yasko’s All In One vitamin (unimaginable pain from waste down in bones and muscles; spine muscles jumping; worst reaction ever)
  • 3/26/14: Started D-ribose (terrible BS crashes)
  • 3/25/14: Started Desonide cream and tried Valium (horrific headache, stuffy nose, SOB)
  • 3/24/14: Started Dr. Yasko’s digestive enzymes
  • 3/22/14: Tried Baclofen (bit of a headache)
  • 3/21/14: Started Molybdenum and Vivite face wash
  • 3/19/14: Started Finacea, Cereve face wash and clindamycin lotion.
  • 3/11/14: Tried Electromix (terrible BP crashes)
  • 3/8/14: Tried L-glutamine (sickest day in months)
  • 3/6/14: Started Jarrow Formulas Acetyl-l-carnitine
  • 3/5/14: Started Zyrtec
  • 2/27/14: Tried egg (very bad next day)
  • 2/26/14: Tried fish
  • 2/24/14: Tried avocado
  • 2/21/14: Started Zantac (terrible stomach pain and nausea)
  • 2/15/14: Tried gelatin again (helped sleep)
  • 2/14/14: Tried Valium (headache, stuffy nose)
  • 2/12/14: Tried Cannabis pill again
  • 2/5/14: Tried Thorn Medibulk
  • 2/4/14: Tried Benadryl for sleep and gelatin (hungover next day)
  • 2/2/14: Tried Tizanidine
  • 2/1/14: Tried egg, avocado and cannabis oil (very bad next day)
  • 1/26/14: Tried egg (itchy throat spot, very bad next day)
  • 1/20/14: Tried citrus
  • 1/5/14: Tried soy (bad headache)
  • 1/31/13: Tried Ativan (dopey, headache, bad the next day)
  • 12/24/13: Tried Trazodone again
  • 12/19/13: Tried Trazodone again
  • 12/16/13: Tried Trazodone
  • 12/12/13: Started PS
  • 12/6/13: Tried corn (next day bad bowel and headache)
  • 12/3/13: Started probiotics

Other reactions of notable mention:


10 thoughts on “The Reaction Chronicles

  1. kneillbc says:

    It’s such a crazy puzzle, isn’t it? In hospital, I tried a potassium pill, had an anaphylactic reaction!!! The IV Potassium- no problem at all. I have no idea which of the ‘fillers’ in the pill were the problem- there are SO many names, some of them have multiple names, it’s impossible to figure it all out- let alone predict what will and will not work or react. Add on the fact that the reactions come and go…and any day, anything could set you off, right? I couldn’t take Benadryl (even the injection) this January- I would get a full blown anaphylaxis. Now, I can take it without any problem (but I save it for when I really, really need it.)

    Hang in there, and keep writing things down. I find I really have to keep thinking ‘do I NEED this, is it working as it should?’, if not, then out it goes! I wonder how much $ I’ve wasted on drugs and supplements that I react to, or that haven’t worked like they were supposed to!

    Remember that as ‘weird’ as your doctors say you are, you aren’t alone.

    PS- My new pain doc said to take magnesium but NOT calcium, as magnesium helps, but calcium can add to neuropathic pain…I haven’t done any additional research though.

    PPS- anything with a gel-cap is out for me- how about you?


    • E. Milo says:

      Oh, Karen, anaphylaxis to a potassium pill is terrifying! Living life like that gives you PTSD. I seem to be ok with capsules. I just started calm magnesium with calcium, which seems to be ok when straight calcium powder gave me the worst headache of my life. I have osteopenia and get very little calcium in my diet, so I do like the idea of supplementing a little bit. My pain hasn’t gotten worse, thankfully.

      Btw, I can’t remember your password! You can email me if you don’t want to post it on here. 🙂


  2. I’ve been on Gabapentin since the brain surgeries. I wonder if I stopped it I might feel different. But…….I need to not get massive headaches like I had. 🙂


    • E. Milo says:

      Gabapentin was one of the few drugs I did ok on, but I never got above 200mg. Headaches suck all life out of what life we have, so I would do anything to avoid them!


  3. You are not alone. I have reactions to all kinds of things!


  4. bertieandme says:

    Such a brilliant idea to write it all down – I so wish I’d done that over the years. I wish there was a doctor or researcher or gvt department somewhere that we could all write to and who would start collating this info – no-one believes I can react to just about everything and I thought I was totally alone until I looked into mast cell disease and found others who were just like me. In fact, I might look into whether I can do some sort of survey on my blog that people can fill in and when I get enough info I’ll look into reporting it to the CDC or UK health department or something!


    • E. Milo says:

      That’s such a fantastic idea. The only way I figured out that the electrolytes were causing my blood pressure crashes were because Yasmina (the low-histamine chef) mentioned it and it was like a lightbulb- it was the only thing I was doing different. I would never have believed it.

      I haven’t been keeping track up until now, unfortunately. A friend shared her list of reactions that she had written down for doctors and I thought, I have to have that! I’ve tried so many benzos for sleep and I just know I decided against them, but I couldn’t remember WHY. You always think you’ll remember, but never do… xo


  5. Christine says:

    It helps me to know I’m not the only one who has reactions to so many things!

    Liked by 1 person

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