OK, Now What?

Written by: SphynxCatVP
Link to original: http://sphynxcatvp.nocturna.org/articles/sc-teen-nowwhat.html
"Now what am I going to do?"
"I've got (x problem) and nobody's going to understand if I say it's vampirism..."

Questions along this line are usually asked by younger people, typically still in school and living at home. Quite often, this question is asked in the midst of panic, before having time to step back and reason things through. This list will go through some of the common problems I've seen mentioned in the past, and will cover point-by-point things that can be done, or things that should be checked for either by you or a medical professional. (You don't need to mention "The V-Word" when going to a medical professional - simply give them a list of problems and ask them to run appropriate tests.)

Always thirsty

Some of what you can check for

  • Diabetes.
  • Excessive caffeine intake (It forces you to pee more without replacing fluids).
  • Are you taking diuretic (also makes you pee more) medications?
  • Are you taking antihistamines (they dehydrate)?
  • Checked any other prescription medications for side effects such as dry mouth?
  • Not enough water / too much soda intake? (Water will rehydrate you, Coke/Pepsi/Gatorade/energy drinks/etc. will not.)

Some of what you can do

  • Drink lots of water - it never hurts to stay hydrated.
  • Reduce the amount of caffeine you take. If you quit cold turkey, there WILL be a caffeine withdrawal headache that starts in about 48 hours and lasts for 24-48 hours. The easier way to do it is to have just a *little* bit of caffeine - a cup of tea, for example - so that it doesn't cut off completely at first.

Photosensitivity - Eyes

Some of what you can check for

  • Temporary health conditions such as Conjunctivitis/Pinkeye.
  • Side effect of some medications.

Some of what you can do

  • Read the little paper(s) that comes with your prescription medications!
  • Eat bean sprouts, a handful daily - raw.
  • Take extra vitamin C & beta carotene (powder/capsule form).
  • Take other antioxidants as well.
  • Wear welding glasses or other dark UV-block shades.
  • Wear a hat over regular glasses or cheap sunglasses to keep glare out.
  • Get appropriate treatment if it's a treatable condition such as Pinkeye.

Insomnia / Trouble sleeping

Some of what you can check for

  • Excessive caffeine intake, especially within 4 hours of going to bed.
  • Artificial sweeteners (one side effect is insomnia).
  • Check prescription medications for side effects.
  • Bad sleep patterns/habits (midday naps, never sleeping at the same time each night).
  • Medical condition issues.

Some of what you can do

  • Add Niacin/B-3 (helps you get to sleep).
  • Stabilize sleeping patterns; always go to sleep at the same time each day/night (Particularly important for folks regularly working off-shifts).
  • Don't take midday naps - this makes it hard for you to go to sleep when you need to.

Too tired / Always need sleep

Some of what you can check for

  • Bad / old / lumpy bed.
  • Body pain, sore muscles, untreated Scoliosis, etc. (pain interrupts sleep).
  • Sleep apnea (commonly wake up every 2 hours).
  • Noisy sleeping area / new noises.
  • Prescription medications such as muscle relaxers.
  • Medical condition issues such as anemia or chronic fatigue.
  • Poor diet consisting mostly of McFood, junk food, sodas, candy, etc.

Some of what you can do

  • Take painkillers shortly before going to bed to give you as much pain-free sleep as possible. (Just realize that a habit of this can cause other health problems, so it pays to be sure you find the reason behind the pain.)
  • Reduce/eliminate noises in your sleeping area by closing windows, using a "white noise" generator, etc.
  • Take *at least* a multivitamin daily, preferably with a high-potency B-complex.
  • Improve your diet - eat lots of raw veggies/fruits (cooking, canning or freezing destroys nutrients).
  • Get medical testing done to see if you have a verifiable condition accounting for the continual fatigue.
  • Test not only for anemia, but for things like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome as well.

Physicial sun sensitivity (not just eyes)

Some of what you can check for

  • Side effect of some prescription medications such as hormone drugs (both synthetic and natural), oral contraceptives, specific medications such as Tamoxifen, Faloxifene, Feldane, Prilosec, Prevacid, and so on.
  • Side effect of some herbals such as St. John's Wort.
  • Family history - were you born with a sun allergy?
  • Some aromatherapy and perfume oils can cause photosensitivity when they're applied on the skin, such as angelica root, bergamot, cumin, ginger, grapefruit, lemon, lime, mandarin and orange oils.
  • Reactions to perfumes/dyes within such innocuous things as laundry detergent and bath washes can cause photosensitivity.
  • Some uncommon diseases such as Scarlet Fever also give you photosensitivity

Some of what you can do

  • Read the paper(s) that come with any prescription medications you get so that you know if photosensitivity is a potential side effect.
  • Cover up with long pants, sleeves, or long flowy things like robes or kaftans with sleeves.
  • Wear a hat with your sunglasses.
  • Use sunscreen! (Pick a variety with Titanium Dioxide or Zinc Oxide in the ingredients).
  • Stay hydrated! Water or fruit juice, no soda, "energy drinks", or Gatorade-like things.
  • Vitamin C:E in a ratio or 2,000mg (or more) vitamin C to 1,000i.u. vitamin E; This is a nutritional approach to reduce the effects of sunburn.
  • If it appears you're getting a rash upon exposure to sunlight, go to a doctor.

Allergies

Some of what you can check for

  • Get allergy testing to find out what you're actually allergic to.
  • Keep a food diary - if the symptoms happen after ingesting certain foods, or certain types of foods, it's most likely a food allergy or intolerance, either to a major food ingredient, or to a minor chemical ingredient.

Some of what you can do

  • Vitamin C, in high enough doses, WILL reduce allergy effects. You may need to go as high as 15,000mg/day before noticing any effect - adjust from there.
  • Depending on your allergies, you may need to keep your house/living space much cleaner, or get air filters installed (or stand alone units purchased), or at least avoid the allergens as much as possible.
  • If it's a food intolerance, simply avoid the food(s) in question. Learn to read ingredient labels if it turns out to be a specific ingredient.

Feel too hot

Some of what you can check for

  • Allergic reactions.
  • Heatstroke/sunstroke or sunburn.
  • Menopause (hot/cold flashes), PMS or Peri-Menopause symptoms.
  • Fever from being ill.
  • Too much physical work or being overweight/obese.
  • Not enough air circulating through the room/area (air that's not moving feels hotter).

Some of what you can do

  • Cold wet/damp clothes across the back of neck.
  • Drink cold water - stay hydrated.
  • If possible, spend most of waking time at night, when it's cooler.
  • Stay in air-conditioning as much as possible.

Feel too cold

Some of what you can check for

  • Fever from being ill.
  • Shock from physical trauma / excessive bleeding.
  • Being clinically underweight (Can you see your bones without an X-ray? That's usually an indication...)
  • Room temperature set too cold / furnace off or broken.
  • Poor circulation due to Reynaud's syndrome or other cold-related problems.
  • Anticoagulant or blood thinner therapy (Coumadin/Warfarin, Plavix, Asprin, etc.)

Some of what you can do

  • Dress in layers (can add/remove layers as you cool down/warm up).
  • Wear ample clothing - leave room to move in, but still be warm.

Eye problems (not photosensitivity)

Some of what you can check for

  • Medical problems such as glaucoma.
  • Foreign body in the eye, such as an eyelash.
  • Poor contact lens care (or good care but using bad products).
  • Exposure to allergens.
  • Cataracts - while it's not common for them to occur in young people, it's not unheard of either.

Some of what you can do

  • Eat bean sprouts - raw, daily.
  • UV blocking sunglasses to reduce further damage.
  • Vitamin C, lots of it, to promote good health.
  • Get a regular eye exam to catch things like cataracts.