Sunday, March 18, 2012

Reaction to Bottled Water (Headaches and Numbness)

In January I started to feel poorly again. I didn't really understand but thought maybe it had to do with being bored as I didn't have winter work so I wasn't getting as much exercise as when I'm running around teaching and with papers to grade while trying to accomplish a lot during the week. I was starting to have weird headaches and low energy too. In Februrary I went home for two weeks and felt really good while at home (seems natural!). The headaches disappeared, the achy feeling in my back let up, and I had more energy. OK, I was going home, but still, I didn't exercise much at all at home. It was cold outside and my aging parents are becoming more and more housebound in the winter so we pretty much had a low-energy, low-key 2 weeks together (not my choice of lifestyle). In March when I came back, the headaches started again - mild at first but getting more and more noticeable. Odd, because I've never been one to have headaches and my diet was careful and good.

Then this past week, hell really started. The headaches became really bad and my arms became numb - 5 long days of numbness with the intensity varying throughout the day. I'm not sure when the numbness started as I've had arm problems (pinched nerves, reaction to sugars, swelling at the wrists ...) off and on since this Candida struck. I just try to ignore it if I can, but I've never really experienced anything like this ... numbness in my arms that lasted for days and days and days??? It's been really bad all week, horrendously bad, and to the point where my hands became very weak, especially the left, and it was hard to type, or even hold things. Yesterday was probably the worst - I was walking across my kitchen room with a half-eaten bowl of soup and the bowl just slipped out of my left hand ... SHATTER and SPLAT! My hand didn't even register it slipping!

Then last night before I called my parents I picked up a bottle of Korea's best bottled water, SamDaSoo, what I've principally been drinking since January, that is, since I was on winter vacation and didn't go to work every day and have filtered water, and also because in February I moved away from the subway line and so no longer felt like carrying a bottle of filtered water home every day after work. Anyway, I picked up the bottle and took a good chug on it before calling my mom and another huge headache hit and within seconds numbness descended into my arms and down my back. I REALIZED THE NUMBNESS IS CAUSED BY THE BOTTLED WATER, SAMDASOO. After we talked on the phone, I thought I'd try another bottled water, Seoksu, which I had bought that afternoon. It was so much cheaper so I thought I'd test it out. SAME THING WITH SEOKSU - BIG HEADACHE AND NUMBNESS DOWN THE ARMS!

Yesterday morning before going to church, I posted on Facebook the problem of the numbness caused by bottled water, Samdasoo and Seoksu, and if anyone knew where I could get testing. A colleague (thankfully!!!) did some research for me and suggested that my symptoms fall under arsenic poisoning and that arsenic has been located at toxic levels in many water sources - tap and bottled - throughout the world. On the first website he suggested, I found this statement that matches my symptoms: "When someone is suffering from arsenic poisoning, he or she may first experience headaches. Later, headaches will transform to a lightheaded sensation. Numbness and a tingly feeling in the hands and feet may also occur at the onset of poisoning."

He also wrote: "Arsenic poisoning is a medical condition caused by elevated levels of the element arsenic. The dominant basis of arsenic poisoning is from ground water that naturally contains high concentrations of arsenic. A 2007 study found that over 137 million people in more than 70 countries are probably affected by arsenic poisoning of drinking water.[1] from wikipedia. Seems very possible it can come from drinking water, and from the link above your symptoms match some of the signs."

Then he explained a little about tap water and bottled water: "Although more often found in contaminated ground water, it's also well known that bottled water is no better than tap water in many cases. Often just repackaged tap water with some minor chemical treatments and sold at a profit. There are numerous articles about that." The site he suggested that I read more on is titled "Bottled Water Not Better".

Arsenic poisoning does make sense on another level. In my hair analysis test of January 30 this year, arsenic did register as a toxin. I've never had arsenic show up on my two previous tests, each about 10 months apart. But on this last test, arsenic was the toxin that registered the highest in my body. It registered in the "low range" at 0.102 with 0.3 registering as high ... but for it to show up where it has never registered before does create cause for some concern considering the symptoms.

Yikes! I'm ordering an arsenic poisoning water test kit and testing both my house water AND SamDaSoo so I can perhaps KNOW why I'm reacting so terribly. This is not living!!!


  1. I will post again on this after my water testing kit and arsenic testing kit come. If there's something hazardous in the water supply, then people MUST know. Will also send my "report" to the company and hope for change.