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hyperthyroidism (Graves disease) in George and Barbara Bush, 1991-- aspartame toxicity? Roberts 1997: Murray 10.9.2 rmforall

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  • Rich Murray
    hyperthyroidism (Graves disease) in George and Barbara Bush, 1991-- aspartame toxicity? Roberts 1997: Murray 10.9.2 rmforall
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 8, 2002
      hyperthyroidism (Graves disease) in George and Barbara Bush, 1991--
      aspartame toxicity? Roberts 1997: Murray 10.9.2 rmforall


      [Comments by Rich Murray are in square brackets.]

      Roberts HJ.
      Aspartame and Hyperthyroidism, A Presidential Affliction Reconsidered
      Townsend Letter for Doctors & Patients; May 1997: 86-88.

      Possible Insights into a Presidential Disease

      The affliction of former President George Bush and his wife with
      primary hyperthyroidism intrigued the medical profession.
      Public health sleuths sought some offending substance in their
      environment, especially the contamination of water at several "First
      residences. Failure to uncover such an agent led many to regard the
      occurrence of Graves disease in each spouse as coincidental.

      The encounter of two biologically unrelated stepsisters who developed
      Graves disease, as well as other aspartame reactors who became
      hyperthyroid, justifies considering the etiologic or contributory role
      of this chemical in the hyperthyroidism of President and Mrs. Bush.
      Such an association appears to have validity of these reasons.
      * There is information "from highly reliable sources" that they
      frequently consumed aspartame in the form
      of both beverages and a tabletop sweetener.
      * Being highly conscious of their weight as public figures,
      both spouses undoubtedly limited their caloric intake.
      * The 66-year-old President took pride in continuing his athletic

      [Also original text reproduced , pages 676-8,
      in Roberts, Hyman J., 1924- ,
      Useful insights for diagnosis, treatment and public heath: an updated
      anthology of original research, 2002, 798 pages,
      Palm Beach Institute for Medical Research, Inc.
      P.O. Box 17799, West Palm Beach, FL 33416
      fax 561-547-8008 dr.roberts@...

      and mostly quoted in Aspartame Disease, 2001, pages 431-436 (see below)]

      The consumption of products containing aspartame (NutraSweet) by
      health-conscious persons, coupled with a marked decrease of caloric
      intake and excessive physical activity, may trigger hyperthyroidism
      (Graves disease). Four cases are reported, including two biologically
      unrelated stepsisters. These individuals also complained of other
      symptoms frequently experienced by aspartame reactors when ingesting
      such products.

      Physicians should interrogate patients with recent Graves disease about
      aspartame consumption. These individuals ought to be observed for a
      possible spontaneous remission after stopping these products before
      recommending radioiodine treatment or surgery.

      Comparable complaints occured in four additional persons previously
      treated for Graves disease who consumed aspartame products. The
      occurrence of uinexplained palpitations,
      tachycardia, "anxiety attacks", headache, weight loss,
      hypertension, and other features in patients
      with prior Graves disease warrants specific inquiry about aspartame use
      when entertaining the diagnosis of recurrent hyperthyroidism.

      These observations appear relevant to the occurrence of Graves disease
      in both former President George Bush and his wife, Barbara.

      (Extracts) Case I : A 34-year-od university professor (environmental
      studies) developed classic primary hyperthyroidism
      after she began using considerable amounts of products containing
      aspartame-- specifically,
      4-5 cans of a diet soda daily, four liters of a diet cola weekly, 3-4
      servings of diet ice cream a day, and ohter products (gelatin; gum;
      breath mints). Such consumption was superimposed on her added capacity
      as a supervisor of aerobics classes to attain "the mean, fit look".
      She had enjoyed excellent health until then.

      The patient suffered severe sweats and attacks of sinus tachycardia (up
      to 180 beats per minute). Other suggestive aspartame-realated features
      included recent vascular headaches, bilateral decreased vision, dry
      eyes, tinnitus, severe dizziness, tremors, "numbness and shooting
      pains in the arms and legs," confusion and memory loss,
      slurred speech, extreme swings in mood
      (including thoughts of suicide that never had been experienced
      previously), personality changes (almost leaving her
      husband and children), a paradoxic gain of weight despite her physical
      activity, itching, abdominal pain, thinning of the hair, menstrual
      problems, and swelling of the lips, tongue and eyes.
      She then evidenced a goiter.

      She had been adopted by a couple unrelated to her parents.
      Her biologic mother was diabetic.

      She received propranolol and propylthiouracil. Radioiodine therapy was
      then recommended. Since no search for "an environmental trigger" had
      been attempted, this keen educator opted for a delay in order to review
      the events preceding her illness. She regarded a doctor's suggestion
      that her hyperthyroidism has been caused largely by stress as "a

      The only plausible factor that seemed pertinent was the considerable
      use of aspartame-containing products. Her extreme fatigue, headache,
      swelling of the eyes, depression, tachycardia and several other
      symptoms abated within a few days after abstaining from them.
      The thyroid studies progressively improved, and normalized within three
      months. An "accidental retest" from drinking aspartame-sweetened tea
      promptly precipitated most of her symptoms.
      There was no recurrence over the
      ensuing two years notwithstanding her cessation of all medication,
      continuing a full academic teaching schedule and aerobics instruction,
      and rearing three children.

      Case 2 This 39-year-old woman developed Graves disease after her
      stepsister (Case 1). She was an insulin-dependent diabetic who began
      using aspartame products to avoid sugar. Shortly thereafter, her blood
      glucose concentrations became highly erratic, coupled with loss of
      urinary bladder control (ascribed to diabetic neuropathy.)

      The patient sought advice from her stepsister when the diagnosis of
      hyperthyroidism was made. A comparable clinical remission ensued after
      abstaining from aspartame products, along with striking improvement of
      her bladder function and diabetes control. The latter are consistent
      with my repeated experience that aspartame products can cause loss of
      diabetes control, and aggravate or simulate diabetic retinopathy and
      neuropathy. (1-4)

      Case 3 A 43-year-old woman began ingesting two cans of aspartame
      containing diet cola, one liter of another aspartame soda, one glass of
      a dietetic mix, and one serving of an aspartame gelatin daily for two
      years to avoid sugar because of noninsulin dependent diabetes. She
      experienced multiple symptoms five months later that resulted in the
      loss of her job. They included palpitations, tachycardia, unexplained
      chest pains, severe headache, dizziness, two grand mal seizures, (5)
      paresthesias, slurred speech, "anxiety attacks,"
      swelling of the tongue, and painful swallowing [dysphagia].

      The diagnosis of Graves disease was subsequently made.
      She then chanced to read an article citing comparable complaints in
      persons having reactions to aspartame products. Her symptoms improved
      within weeks after avoiding them... and then disappeared.
      They recurred one month after resuming aspartame, coupled with neck
      discomfort and dysphagia attributed to "an overactive thyroid".

      Case 4 A 54-year-old woman had consumed increasing amounts of
      aspartame-containing products-- including 15 packets of a tabletop
      sweetener in hot drinks daily. She had been energetic until her health
      "mysteriously deteriorated with a bewildering number of symptoms so
      varied and strange that it didn't make sense". She did not smoke or
      drink alcohol.

      The diagnosis of Graves disease was made. She received methimazole and
      propranolol, with improvement of her tachycardia.

      The patient's other symptoms within the previous year included fatigue,
      anxiety, headache, "fuzzy mind," depression, recurring abdominal pain,
      tinnitus and insomnia. She had gained weight, despite "light eating
      habits" until losing weight when her hyperthyroidism became overt.

      The contributory role of aspartame products came under suspicion by her
      daughter, who had rarely used aspartame products, when she stayed with
      the patient for four days after beginning treatment for Graves
      disease. After adding the tabletop sweetener and drinking diet colas,
      she began to experience "extreme irritability which felt totally
      irrational and uncontrollable," depression, tremors, panic attacks and
      difficult breathing. These symptoms disappeared when she returned to
      her own home, but promptly recurred after purchasing the tabletop
      sweetener. "Then it clicked." She and her mother promptly improved
      after abstaining from aspartame products.

      Case Reports: Prior Graves Disease
      A 44-year-old executive developed headaches, blurred vision in both
      eyes, and irritability ("being short with my staff and clients.")
      These complaints began six months after consuming 2-3 cans of diet soda
      and chewing five sticks of aspartame gum daily. They abated after he
      avoided such products -- only to recur predictably on eight separate
      challenges. A subtotal thyroidectomy for Graves disease has been done
      in 1963.

      A 49-year-old female realtor had been treated for Graves disease five
      years previously. She experienced palpitations, severe dizziness,
      intense nausea, and an unexplained rise of blood pressure after
      ingesting three cans of diet soda and other aspartame products daily.
      Her symptoms disappeared within one month after stopping them. They
      promptly recurred on three separate challenges.

      A 43-year-old nutritionist had been treated for Graves disease 20 years
      previously. She developed severe depression and visual problems for
      the first time within two weeks after consuming 8-10 glasses of an
      aspartame drink daily.
      These complaints disappeared within two days after
      avoiding the beverage. She refused to ingest it again on a trial basis.

      A 59-year-old female writer underwent two partial
      thyroidectomies for Graves disease three decades previously, and then
      received radioiodine therapy. She suffered severe headaches, abdominal
      pain, bloat, and diarrhea after beginning to ingest diet colas, a
      tabletop sweetener containing aspartame (5-6 packets daily), and other
      aspartame products. These complaints subsided within two days after
      avoiding them...only to recur within 30 minutes on two challenges....

      Aspartame Consumption and Hyperthyroidism: Common Denominators

      The occurrence of Graves disease in these patients while consuming
      aspartame products is explainable by the cumulative effect of several
      factors. These include (a) voluntary severe caloric restriction, (b)
      increased energy demands relating to excessive exercise and other
      physical activity, and (c) metabolic derangements caused by aspartame
      and its metabolites. The latter include changes in satiety,
      alterations of neurotransmitter and hormonal homoestasis (insulin,
      growth hormone, glucagon, cholecystokinin) by the amino acid components
      of aspartame and their stereoisomers, and the effects of free methanol,
      a metabolic poison. (2,3).

      I previously emphasized the precipitation of Graves disease and
      thyroiditis following voluntary severe caloric restriction to lose
      weight, (7-8), especially with concomitantly increased physical

      The vulnerability of two stepsisters to hyperthyroidism also may have
      been influenced by their family history or past history of diabetes
      mellitus. It is widely recognized that diabetics have a greater
      tendency to develop thyropathies. Mention was made earlier that
      aspartame products can aggravate diabetes and its complications. (1-4)

      Possible Insights into a Presidential Disease

      The affliction of former President George Bush and his wife with
      primary hyperthyroidism intrigued the medical profession.
      Public health sleuths sought some offending substance in their
      environment, especially the contamination of water at several "First
      residences. Failure to uncover such an agent led many to regard the
      occurrence of Graves disease in each spouse as coincidental.

      The encounter of two biologically unrelated stepsisters who developed
      Graves disease, as well as other aspartame reactors who became
      hyperthyroid, justifies considering the etiologic or contributory role
      of this chemical in the hyperthyroidism of President and Mrs. Bush.
      Such an association appears to have validity of these reasons.
      * There is information "from highly reliable sources" that they
      frequently consumed aspartame in the form of
      both beverages and a tabletop sweetener.
      * Being highly conscious of their weight as public figures,
      both spouses undoubtedly limited their caloric intake.
      * The 66-year-old President took pride in continuing his athletic

      1. Roberts HJ. Reactions attributed to aspartame-containing products:
      551 cases. Journal of Applied Nutrition, 1988; 40: 85 - 94. [Pages
      630-638 in Useful Insights, 2002]

      2. Roberts HJ. Aspartame (NutraSweet): Is It Safe?
      Philadelphia, The Charles Press, 1989.

      3. Roberts HJ. Sweet'ner Dearest: Bitterweet Vignettes About Aspartame
      (NutraSweet), West Palm Beach, Sunshine Sentinel Press, 1992.

      4. Roberts HJ. Complications associated with aspartame (NutraSweet) in
      diabetics. Clinical Research 1988: 36: 489A.

      5. Roberts HJ. Aspartame (NutraSweet) associated epilepsy. Clinical
      Research 1988: 36: 349A.

      6. Department of Health and Human Services Summary of
      Adverse Reactions Attributed to Asparame. April 20, 1995.

      7. Roberts HJ. Hyperthyroidism and thyroiditis precipitated by severe
      caloric restriction. A report of 8 cases. Abstract 305. Program of
      the51st Meeting of the Endocrine Society, New York, June 27, 1969.

      8. Roberts HJ. The hazards of very-low-calorie dieting. American
      Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1985: 41: 171-172.

      Click on subject to see article


      This is an excerpt from nutritionist, Ann Louise Gittleman's book, Your
      Body Knows Best.....

      "What about Sugar Substitutes? Since we know that sugar will elevate
      insulin levels, creating the risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart
      disease, what about artificial sweeteners?

      I remember well the story of Jan Smith, from Idea Today (September,
      1991) who at 35 taught bench and low-impact aerobics and circuit
      She also drank a lot of diet soda sweetened with NutraSweet and ate a
      lot of sugar-free foods, also containing NutraSweet.
      Although she seemed to be fine,
      Jan suddenly began gaining weight, topping out at 30 pounds
      above her usual weight.

      She began losing her hair, her skin broke out, and she suffered from
      headaches, heart palpitations, and mood swings severe enough to be
      suicidal. Her cholesterol sharply increased and she developed ear and
      vision problems, shooting pains in her limbs and problems with her
      menstrual cycle. Jan worked out even harder to try to
      combat the weight gain, but then her blood pressure shot up.

      Doctors finally diagnosed Graves' disease and told her she had to have
      her thyroid removed or she would die.
      Fortunately, Jan had a background in environmental science.
      She began to investigate, and discovered her body
      lacked chromium, an essential mineral that aspartame (also known as
      Equal and NutraSweet) removes from the body. She linked her symptoms,
      including--surprisingly--her sudden weight gain, to the use of diet
      foods laced with NutraSweet that she had
      begun using in earnest about 18 months earlier.

      Within a month of quitting the NutraSweet and all the products it was
      found in, Jan's symptoms (and the extra weight) disappeared.
      Many people, in an attempt to avoid sugar, use sugar substitutes.
      Aspartame (known as NutraSweet and Equal) is an ingredient in more than
      3,000 foods, including diet sodas and diet foods like sugar-free yogurt
      and powdered drink mixes. Toothpaste, sugar-free gum, pudding, packaged
      desserts, dietetic foods, sweets for diabetics, and just about any
      product you can think of that used to have sugar in it now may have
      aspartame instead.

      Aspartame is a combination of three substances: the amino acid
      phenylalanine, aspartic acid, and methanol (wood alcohol).
      Each of these has been known to cause serious side effects.

      Phenylalanine, for example, lowers or blocks production of serotonin,
      an amine that sends messages from the pineal gland in the brain. This
      blockage is a potential cause of carbohydrate cravings, PMS symptoms,
      insomnia, and mood swings.

      In some circumstances, people may be getting excessively high levels of
      methanol; it is estimated that on a hot day after exercising, if you
      drink three 12 ounce cans of diet soda, you could easily be consuming
      as much as eight times the Environmental Protection Agency's recommended

      limits for methanol consumption.
      [Thus, 600 mg aspartame gives 66 mg methanol,
      which is 8.5 times the EPA daily limit for drinking water of 7.8 mg
      daily methanol.]

      Exercise can be a component in the dangers of aspartame. Jan, who now
      avidly supports the Aspartame Consumer Safety Network (ACSN) in
      Dallas, Texas 214-352-4268, pointed out that aspartame and its
      by-products (including free-form wood alcohol) can race
      through the system of very fit person who has a high metabolic rate.

      When you work out, the activity of all your body systems
      is intensified, and so are reactions to whatever is in the body at the
      time. Ironically, it seems that fitness instructors are particularly
      prone to
      drinking diet soda with NutraSweet in between classes,
      and so may be in the most danger.

      Far from being the answer to the sugar problem, aspartame has instead
      spurred numerous complaints from unsuspecting consumers, which now
      represent 80 - 85 percent of all food complaints registered with the
      Food and Drug Administration. Among 93 different symptoms are
      attributed to aspartame use, including dizziness, headaches, loss of
      equilibrium, ear problems, hemorrhaging of the eyes, and visual

      The dangers of artificial sweeteners have become so widespread that the
      Aspartame Consumer Safety Network now offers scientific information
      and acts as a clearinghouse of information on adverse reactions. Three
      Senate hearings have been conducted on the safety of aspartame, and the
      Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) in Washington, D.C.,
      now lists it as the third-worst additive.
      Since you never know how much you could be ingesting, I suggest you
      completely avoid any foods with added NutraSweet
      or any other artificial sweetener."

      Patricia Ziliani <trish@...>
      Subject: Graves Disease triggered by NutraSweet

      This article was in the Sunshine Connection and titled:

      Here is the article:
      Jan Smith, a fitness instructor and professor of environmental science
      at North Texas University, was diagnosed with Graves Disease
      (overactive thyroid) at age 35.
      Jan had suddenly gained 30 pounds, her hair started falling out,
      and her skin was breaking out.
      She suffered from headaches, mood swings,
      suicidal tendencies, heart palpitations, a sharp cholesterol increase,
      vision and ear problems, menstrual problems, excessive sweating and
      shooting pains in her limbs.

      When doctors told her if she didn't have her thyroid removed she would
      die, she felt otherwise. "If I hadn't been fit all my life I might
      have agreed, but I felt there was something else going on," she said.

      She eventually suspected that there was a possible link between her
      symptoms and artificial sweeteners, which she had begun using in diet
      sodas and other foods 18 months earlier. Within a month after she
      stopped using aspartame, Jan's symptoms disappeared.

      http://www.dorway.com/tldaddic.html 5-page review
      Roberts HJ Aspartame (NutraSweet) addiction.
      Townsend Letter 2000 Jan; HJRobertsMD@...
      http://www.sunsentpress.com/ sunsentpress@...
      Sunshine Sentinel Press P.O.Box 17799 West Palm Beach, FL 33416
      800-814-9800 561-588-7628 561-547-8008 fax

      1038-page medical text "Aspartame Disease: An Ignored Epidemic"
      published May 30 2001 $ 85.00 postpaid data from 1200 cases
      available at http://www.amazon.com
      over 600 references from standard medical research
      http://www.aspartameispoison.com/contents.html 34 chapters

      RTM: Roberts: the life work of a brilliant clinician:
      aspartame toxicity 8.2.2 rmforall

      RTM: Moseley:
      review Roberts "Aspartame Disease: An Ignored Epidemic" 2.7.2 rmforall

      Pages 431 - 436 in Aspartame Disease, 2001:
      4. Hyperthyroidism (Graves disease); Pseudohyperthyroidism
      [ This almost exactly reproduces his 1997 article,
      with only very minor changes, except as noted here.
      Two cases are added:

      Case IX-E-21: A Belgium correspondent with typical Graves disease
      became asymptomatic within two months after avoiding aspartame
      products. She had been "stubborn enough to convince my doctors to wait
      for some months" before instituting treatment after she made "the
      aspartame connection." By nine months, her tests had totally
      normalized without further intervention.
      Case IX-E-22: A nurse drank as many as three 2-liter bottles of diet
      cola daily for several years. Hyperthyroidism was diagnosed, and she
      received two courses of radioiodine treatment. Her symptoms persisted,
      however. They included depression, headache, joint pains, and
      "fibromyalgia". Her sister (a registered nurse) then informed her
      about aspartame disease when she also developed anxiety,
      tachycardia and suicidal thoughts.
      These promptly regressed after abstaining from aspartame.

      This comment is added: Describing conjugal Graves disease, Ebner et al
      (1992) commented: "It is possible that the phenotype for Graves disease
      is expressed only in the presence of a critical combination of genetic
      and environmental factors."

      The final section is omitted:
      Possible Insights into a Presidential Disease ]

      [Quite a lot of details about the health of President and Barbara Bush
      in 1991 were reported. "Fast, irregular heartbeat, called atrial
      fibrillation," is very serious. It is often a symptom of aspartame
      toxicity, as are many eye and vision problems, joint pain, and skin
      problems. Many users of Halcion report severe side effects.]

      From: clarinews@... (clarinews@...)
      Subject: Bush heads to mountain retreat for R&R
      Newsgroups: clari.news.gov.usa, clari.tw.education, clari.news.urgent
      Date: 1991-05-10 23:59:38 PST

      PRINCETON (UPI) -- President Bush, in his first trip outside
      Washington since being hospitalized for an irregular heart beat, picked
      up an honorary degree from Princeton University
      and dedicated two social science buildings Friday.
      Following doctor's orders, Bush returned from the Ivy League
      school and headed to the Camp David presidential mountain retreat
      for some much-needed rest.
      The president for the first time this week was without the
      heart monitor attached after his hospitalization last Saturday....
      Shortly before flying off to Camp David, Bush told reporters
      that he felt a little better at the end of the very hectic week that
      saw him hospitalized for 40 hours after his heart rate
      skipped erratically last Saturday while jogging.
      ``I'm feeling a little better than I did yesterday -- a little
      less tired,'' Bush said. And asked whether he would get some rest,
      he added, ``Yeah, next three days.''
      Diagnosed with Graves' disease and cautioned to curtail his
      activities for a short time, the usually energetic Bush planned to
      spend a long weekend at the mountain retreat,
      with a brief trip out Sunday to give a commencement address
      at Hampton University in Virginia. He plans
      to return to the White House Monday afternoon.
      Aides already announced that the president had begun to
      heed his doctors' orders, dispatching Vice President Dan Quayle
      to fill in for him on a scheduled trip to Chicago Monday.
      Once diagnosed, Bush promptly began treatment for a hyperactive
      thyroid, which will take up to four months to completely take effect.
      Graves' disease is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism, an
      overactivity of the walnut-sized, butterfly-shaped gland in the neck
      that regulates the metabolism.
      Spokesman Marlin Fitzwater reported that doctors felt the
      president had stabilized enough to remove the wiring that had watched
      his heart rate on a 24 hour basis. ``The medication is doing its job
      and the doctors felt continuous monitoring was no longer necessary.
      ``He does not have the wires on him,'' Fitzwater said.
      White House doctors and nurses continue to check the
      president's heart and pulse regularly, however.
      And for two to six weeks, Bush will
      continue taking the drugs digoxin and procainamide to control his
      heartbeat and the blood-thinner Coumadin
      to prevent stroke-causing blood clots.
      The president did ignore the doctors on one score, however.
      Though advised to avoid hugging or kissing his grandchildren
      for three or four days because of the low-level radioactive iodine
      he drank as part of his treatment,
      he couldn't resist at least two little children in New Jersey.

      From: TERESA SIMONS (clarinews@...)
      Subject: White House water looks OK
      Newsgroups: clari.news.gov.officials, clari.news.gov.usa,
      Date: 1991-05-31 14:20:21 PST

      WASHINGTON (UPI) -- The mystery about the White House
      water may be almost over, but there are no clues yet explaining the odd
      coincidence of both President Bush and his wife, Barbara, having
      developed thyroid problems....

      The search, however, is continuing for a possible link between
      the couple's matching cases of Graves' disease, as well as for
      a connection with a related affliction, Lupus, developed by their dog,
      Bush says he has been told that the chances of both he and his
      wife contracting Graves' are 1 in 3 million, and the chances of Millie
      also contracting a related disease, are 1 in 20 million.
      The National Institutes of Health has been asked to participate
      in an epidemiological study, which could take more than a year....

      From: HELEN THOMAS, UPI White House Reporter (clarinews@...)
      Subject: Backstairs at the White House
      Newsgroups: clari.news.politics, clari.news.features
      Date: 1991-06-05 14:56:42 PST

      WASHINGTON (UPI) -- ....
      President Bush remains under treatment for Graves' disease, a
      hyperthyroid condition, and is being monitored daily. But his doctors
      are gradually cutting down on the medicines prescribed to slow his
      heart beat and thin his blood.
      The affliction has slowed down the president, who is often
      described as ``frenetic,'' and he is not yet back up to par.
      He was disagnosed as having the disease after he suffered a
      fast irregular heartbreat, called atrial fibrillation, while jogging at
      Camp David. Bush says he has jogged once since then at the
      presidential retreat but only for a half mile.
      His doctors have given him the green light to jog, but Bush is
      not expected to run as often as he did.
      Meanwhile, his eyes appear to be somewhat affected by the
      disease, which also afflicts his wife, Barbara. Mrs. Bush has suffered
      more than the president with teary bloodshot eyes.
      The first lady, meanwhile, doesn't buy the suggestion that the
      first couple contracted the disease from White House water,
      which is still being tested for lead and other chemicals....

      The first lady says she is fast learning that it is not rare to
      have Graves'disease or for a husband and wife to suffer from it at the
      same time. She has received loads of mail, attesting to a
      similar affliction from well-wishers who give her advice.
      The letters also tell the Bushes to get off the drugs as soon
      as possible since they may have side effects such as procainemide,
      which slows the heart beat. Those who do take medicines say as a result
      they have little energy for chores or sports.

      From: STEVEN HEILBRONNER (clarinews@...)
      Subject: Bush says he passed checkup with flying colors
      Newsgroups: clari.news.gov.usa, clari.news.politics, clari.tw.health,
      biz.clarinet.sample, clari.news.top
      Date: 1992-03-26 14:34:29 PST

      WASHINGTON (UPI) -- President Bush underwent a four-hour annual
      medical examination Thursday and proclaimed his health as ``perfect''
      upon leaving Bethesda Naval Hospital.
      Dr. Burton Lee, the president's physician, said Bush is in
      ``excellent health,'' following a battery of tests, including X-rays,
      extensive eye tests and an examination of his bones and joints.
      Later in the day, White House press secretary Marlin Fitzwater
      reported that the president's checkup showed no evidence of skin cancer.

      However, he said the doctors did ``freeze'' with liquid nitrogen four
      very minute keratosis, wart-like skin growths, on the president's face.
      Fitzwater said the small dark spots will disappear within a few
      days, but had they been exposed to the sun for long they could become
      cancerous. Bush has had them removed on previous occasions over the
      years, he said.
      The president, meanwhile, told a gathering of black ministers
      at the White House that he had passed his annual physical examination
      with ``flying colors'' and was ``counting my blessings.''
      Lee said the 67-year-old president would continue a daily
      regimen of synthyroid, a synthetic hormone to treat his hyperthyroid
      condition, called Graves' disease.
      In addition, Bush suffers from mild degenerative osteoarthritis.

      He takes a an aspirin tablet every other day for health maintenence.
      Lee also said he would continue prescribing for the president
      the controversial sleeping drug Halcion. The medication was banned in
      Britain and has received intense criticism in the United States. Bush
      last took the drug following his collapse at a state dinner in Japan
      last January.
      Bush's clean bill of health comes amid his re-election campaign
      that is sure to test the president's stamina in the coming months.
      In 1988, Bush's health became a topic of intense speculation
      after questions were raised about the wisdom of his choice
      of Dan Quayle as vice presidential running mate.
      Lee said in an interview after the president's annual checkup
      that Bush was thoroughly examined for glaucoma, an ailment he said was
      mistakenly ascribed to Bush several years ago.
      On Thursday Lee said Bush suffers from ``elevated pressure'' in
      the left eye ``but the disease of glaucoma has many features
      and he has none of the features of it.''
      Bush underwent an extensive and time-consuming test of his
      retina, during which his pupil was dialated, he said upon leaving the
      But the president would not take medication to correct the pressure,
      Lee said.
      The president underwent a series of blood tests several weeks
      ago so the results would coincide with Thursday's examination.
      ``All the blood tests were done prior to this and he's fine,''
      Lee said.
      Bush also omitted a stress test Thursday, having taken one last
      October. Lee has recommended such a test annually and said he would
      probably not order another one until next year.
      But that will not stop Lee from urging Bush to spend more time
      away from the office and more time relaxing.
      Lee said of Bush, who weighs 193 pounds, just two pounds below
      his average weight: ``I would love him to go away for three weeks.
      I don't care how much activity he thrives on.
      I don't think it has anything to do with a guy his age. It has to do
      with the demands of this job. If you look at pictures of people as they
      go through the years of their presidency they take a hell of a
      Bush and his wife, Barbara, are scheduled to spend four days
      next month over Easter Sunday at their seaside home in Kennebunkport,
      Bush's Graves' disease was discovered when he suffered an
      irregular heartbeat while jogging at Camp David on May 4, 1991. He was
      briefly given drugs to control the palpitations.
      However, he now takes only the synthyroid regularly, Lee said.
      Barbara Bush, who suffers from the same hyperthyroid condition,
      quietly underwent her medical checkup last week, Lee said,
      and was found to be in good health. She did have some spots of skin
      cancer removed from her face, however, aides said.
      The public focused its attention on the president's health
      after Bush vomited and collapsed at a state dinner in Japan Jan. 8
      from what White House officials called intestinal flu.
      Bush is exceedingly active and performs many recreational
      activities in fast forward. Lee said there was nothing inherently wrong
      with this but said Bush is ``not superman. He's no different than
      anybody else.''
      Nonetheless, Bush has taken steps to reduce his fat intake, Lee
      said. ``He doesn't eat as much fat as he used to, grease, spice,'' Lee
      said. ``I think he's doing it largely on his own.''
      Lee defended his decision to prescribe Halcion for the
      president, though he noted Bush has not taken the drug since January.
      Many physicians and users complain that the drug hampers memory
      and that it is difficult to mentally and physically
      rebound after taking it.

      But Lee strongly defended its use, saying, ``If I think he
      needs a sleeping pill I'll give him a Halcion.
      I'm not going to say that I will not prescribe it anymore because I
      think it's a very safe sleeping medication, despite what you've read
      from the savants in the newspapers,'' he said.

      Triazolam [Halcion] - Side Effects Bipolar Medications Side Effects
      Common Side Effects:
      Check with your doctor if any of the following side effects
      continue or are bothersome:
      Clumsiness or unsteadiness; dizziness or lightheadedness; drowsiness;
      slurred speech

      Less Common Side Effects:
      Check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or
      are bothersome:
      Abdominal or stomach cramps or pain; blurred vision or other changes in
      vision; changes in sexual desire or ability; constipation; diarrhea;
      dryness of mouth or increased thirst; false sense of well-being;
      headache; increased bronchial secretions or watering of mouth; muscle
      spasm; nausea or vomiting; problems with urination; trembling or
      shaking; unusual tiredness or weakness

      Always Notify Doctor:
      Less Common: Anxiety; confusion (may be more common in the elderly);
      fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat; lack of memory of events taking
      place after benzodiazepine is taken (may be more common with triazolam);

      mental depression

      Rare: Abnormal thinking, including disorientation, delusions (holding
      false beliefs that cannot be changed by facts), or loss of sense of
      reality; agitation; behavior changes, including aggressive behavior,
      bizarre behavior, decreased inhibition, or outbursts of anger;
      convulsions (seizures); hallucinations (seeing, hearing, or feeling
      things that are not there); hypotension (low blood
      pressure); muscle weakness; skin rash or itching; sore throat, fever,
      and chills; trouble in sleeping; ulcers or sores in mouth or throat
      (continuing); uncontrolled movements of body, including the eyes;
      unusual bleeding or bruising; unusual excitement, nervousness, or
      irritability; unusual tiredness or weakness (severe); yellow eyes or

      Withdrawal Side Effects - Notify Doctor:
      More Common: Irritability; nervousness; trouble in sleeping
      Less Common: Abdominal or stomach cramps; confusion; fast or pounding
      heartbeat; increased sense of hearing; increased sensitivity to touch
      and pain; increased sweating; loss of sense of reality; mental
      depression; muscle cramps; nausea or vomiting; sensitivity of eyes to
      light; tingling, burning, or prickly sensations; trembling or shaking
      Rare: Confusion as to time, place, or person; convulsions (seizures);
      feelings of suspicion or distrust; hallucinations (seeing, hearing, or
      feeling things that are not there)

      Overdose Effects - Notify Doctor: Confusion (continuing); convulsions
      (seizures); drowsiness (severe) or coma; shakiness; slow heartbeat;
      slow reflexes; slurred speech (continuing); staggering; troubled
      breathing; weakness (severe)

      benzodiazepine dependency and withdrawal FAQ

      Rich Murray, MA Room For All rmforall@...
      1943 Otowi Road, Santa Fe NM 87505 USA 505-986-9103

      aspartame toxicity brief review: Murray 10.8.2 rmforall

      for 875 posts in a public searchable archive

      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/aspartameNM/message/862 long review

      RTM: FDA: objections to neotame approval 8.3.2 rmforall 38 pages

      re "dry drunk": Bisbort: danger to President Bush from aspartame
      toxicity: Murray: 2.24.2 9.29.2 rmforall
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