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Author Topic: Has anyone tried to treat mctd naturally?  (Read 5621 times)
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Hischild
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« on: March 05, 2009, 11:05:11 pm »

Hi Everyone,

I was dx with mctd with lups/ RA overlap. Since my diagnosis in Oct.2008 I have been looing for natural ways to ease my symptoms. ( I mostly have osteoarthritis symptoms of the knee right now.)
I immediately started taking an herbal arthritis formula that seems  to have helped reduce my pain significantly. It took a few weeks. I am taking glucosamine sulfate, calcium, vitamin D and C. The most important and, I believe, most  helpful thing I'm taking is fish oil for inflammation etc.

Even though I have been in denial for awhile I am slowly coming to the realization that I really have health issues.

 I've got hip pain,
I've been having muscle aches in my back and arms, mainly. I've had muscle weakness in both calves of my legs,also I have had many times where I get sharp burning or stabbing pain in my shins, I have had many times of lapse of memory , especially with names of things and people (not family, though).
I've been through many times where I feel very little energy, When I get home from work I just want to sit at the computer
and surf the net and otherwise do nothing. 
I have refused to take the meds the rheumy prescribed because I need my immune system to fight the cellulitis infections I am prone to in my lymphedema affected legs. That is the main reason I need to try to treat myself naturally.
I have noticed a great deal of help from the fish oil recently since I have been taking 4 tsp. a day. I read on a health site that if 20 grams of fish oil is taken a day it will significantly reduce lupus activity. 
I have noticed that muscle aches go away, I haven't felt the muscle weakness in quite sometime, no more shin pain, hip pain is reduced, energy is better, and my memory....well, you can't have everything! rolleyes

If anyone else has tried anything natural please let me know what you tried and your results.

Thanks!! Have a great day!

Sylvia
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« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2009, 11:14:19 am »

Good Morning Sylvia

I heard alot of good things about fish oil but have not tried it. THe only vitamins I am on are calcium (I'm post menapausal), vitamin C & D,and folic acid for anemia.
If fish oil takes away the leg weakness I sure would be intrested as I don't walk that far for that reason.

Can I ask how long were you on it before you noticed the symptoms to go away?
This is intresting, I hope others chime in!
Kathy
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I look normal, as I have an "Invisible Illness". You can not catch it, you can not see it. It's called Lupus.My body is attacking itself on the inside.
www.LupusMCTD.com Represents:
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« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2009, 12:29:25 pm »

Hi Kathy,

I have been taking the fish oil for about 8 to 10 weeks now.  I recently (about last 4 weeks) have been taking 4 tsp
instead of the recommended 2tsp a day. Because I read something a friend gave me on this website  smiliereading
www.hacres.com  about lupus and fish oil. I think I started noticing the weakness leave me about when I started taking
4tsp of it. I can't be completely sure because I've been taking other things for awhile as well, but I know the fish oil is definitely helping me!! I forgot to take my evening dose wednesday and my moring dose on Thursday and when I got to work I was feeling super achy in my back and arms (like I had severe flu) I realized then that I had not taken my fish oil, although I didn't have a clue whether it was because of that
so I went home at lunch time and took 2 tsp.
In about 1/2 hour I was feeling better and by dinnertime the achy feeling was completely gone!

I know what you mean about the weakness.  rockingbabyWhen I first got that I felt that I could take pain better than that weak feeling! Ugh! I know that I'm not experiencing anything like some of you other ladies are so maybe it didn't take so long for me to get relief.

I have been reading a health newsletter for years from Dr. Mercola and he recommends Carlson's fish oil because he says it doesn't taste fishy because it isn't rancid and that it is free form mercury or other  contamination. (we sure don't need more problems, right?)
I have to say that it does not taste bad at all and it even comes in 2 flavors, lemon and orange. smiley
It is very expensive though, but if it works for you it will be well worth it! I can get it at my local healthfoodstore for $43.
It is a 16 oz bottle which at 4tsp a day will last me about 25 days.

Well, I hope this helps. Let me know if you decide to try it.
God bless! Have a great day!
Sylvia
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« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2009, 01:11:02 pm »

thank you Sylvia for the info.
It is a bit expensive but if it is working, then why not pay the price?

I might have a hard time swalloing the fish oil I thought it was a fish oil capsule not the actual liquid you drink/taste.
Ugh undecided

Keep us posted, if the more it's helping you or others, I would be more determined to at least give it a try regardless what it costs. I guess I could hold my nose and swallow.

It couldn't be as bad as what I recently had in the hospital it had something to do with a stress test I was going to have done to me. This stinky stuff I had a chaser of Milk of Magnesa I believe it was to swallow after it.
I was on the phone with Kim when the nurse brought it to me. Gosh I forgot what the nurse said it was for.Something about a binding agent for my blood?
I honestly don't remember but it was NASTY, like a fish oil..

I pray it continues to help you inprove.
Keep us posted how you are feeling.
Kathy

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I look normal, as I have an "Invisible Illness". You can not catch it, you can not see it. It's called Lupus.My body is attacking itself on the inside.
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« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2009, 02:13:54 pm »

Hi Kathy,

I am taking this liquid fish oil because it was recommended, but I think you could take a good fish oil capsul. I don't really know if it will work as well, though. I am sticking with I know is working for me.
It really doesn't taste yucky AT ALL!  REALLY it does not taste fishy AT ALL!
You could put it on a salad like any other oil, too!

Oh that stuff SOUNDS awful that you had to take.  Was it like a nuclear test? I had one of those once.  About 5 years ago. I remember having to drink something too, but I forget how it tasted.

Well if you try the liquid make sure it's Carlson's brand wink

Hope this helps
Sylvia
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« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2009, 03:36:26 pm »

Hi Sylvia

If I do try it I will get the Carlsons as it is working for you.
If you come across any website information feel free to share them or email it to me at LupusWebsite@aol.com

Thanks!
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I look normal, as I have an "Invisible Illness". You can not catch it, you can not see it. It's called Lupus.My body is attacking itself on the inside.
www.LupusMCTD.com Represents:
1) We are patients helping researchers build a future for the lives of others...
2) Where HOPE is a WORK In Progress
3) Pay It Forward~Giving Back To The Future Lupus/MCTD Patients
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« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2009, 09:57:36 pm »

WELL HELLO ALL JUST DROPED BY TO SAY HELLO , AND SEE HOW MY
GOOD FREINDS ARE DOING smiley AND TO LET YOU ALL NO THAT I WAS
APROVED FOR MY HOUSE YEA!! I AM SO GLAD TOO smiley I HOPE TO BE
IN THERE  NO LATER THEN THE END OF MARCH OR EARLY APRIL ,SO
THANK YOU FOR ALL THE PRAYERRS ,AND I HAVE HERD OF FISH OIL
BUT I HAVE NEVER TOOK IT BUT I NO A FEW PEOPLE THAT DOES TAKE
THE CAPSULES AND SIAD IT DOES WORK BUT THE SMELL OF THE CAPSULE
ARE ALFUL LOL ,BUT EVERY ONE HAS THERE ON THING SO I DONT
KNOCK IT ,AND FOR THE NEW FREINDS wave WELCOME TO THE LOOP[
I AM TESA AND I LOVE MEETING NEW FREINDS WHO UNDER STAND WHAT
WE GO THROUGH wink   STAY BLESSED AND NO GOD LOVES YOU AND SO DO I wave
((TESA))
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I JUST WANT TO SAY TO YOU ,WHEN YOU FEEL SAD JUST LOOK UP, AND ASK GOD TO GIVE YOU JOY ,AND HE WILL GIVE YOU THAT...STAY BLESSED,And be not afraid;go tell my brethren that they go in to Galilee,and there shall they see me .....
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« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2009, 05:15:49 pm »

Quote
WELL HELLO ALL JUST DROPED BY TO SAY HELLO , AND SEE HOW MY
GOOD FREINDS ARE DOING  AND TO LET YOU ALL NO THAT I WAS
APROVED FOR MY HOUSE YEA!! I AM SO GLAD TOO  I HOPE TO BE
IN THERE  NO LATER THEN THE END OF MARCH OR EARLY APRIL ,SO
THANK YOU FOR ALL THE PRAYERRS ,
(((TESA)))
♥♡♥♡♥♡♥♡♥
Good things come to those who wait!
You've been blessed!!!
 ~Kathy
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I look normal, as I have an "Invisible Illness". You can not catch it, you can not see it. It's called Lupus.My body is attacking itself on the inside.
www.LupusMCTD.com Represents:
1) We are patients helping researchers build a future for the lives of others...
2) Where HOPE is a WORK In Progress
3) Pay It Forward~Giving Back To The Future Lupus/MCTD Patients
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« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2009, 10:42:56 am »

Hello to everyone,
Thought I would add a few things as I have tried several natural things. I also use fish oil. Try Barlean's, it sounds cheaper and comes in lemon flavor. I am able to drink the tablespoons by themselves.

I can definitely relate to being in denial. I had a really hard time coming to terms with the fact that I really just needed to be on medication. Luckily I finally have some great doctors and am able to do a combination of both. I will tell you a few things I have tried, but just to let you know....I don't do anything without asking my rheumy first. Like you said we have enough problems.

First, call me crazy but I try to buy organic as much as I can. I also do not eat dairy and very little meat. The hormones scare me.
Pineapple is very good for inflammation, it contains bromelain. It is an enzyme that reduces swelling and inflammation.
I also juice and if you can stomach it I drink wheatgrass. You can google the benefits of it.

I do all of the in addition to my meds, and under my doctors care. I hope I did not ramble. Just to add one more thing. Be careful with herbal stuff. Sometimes it can really be tough on the stomach. I have digestive problems so it never did well with me.

Tammy
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« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2009, 11:31:45 am »

Hello to everyone,
Thought I would add a few things as I have tried several natural things. I also use fish oil. Try Barlean's, it sounds cheaper and comes in lemon flavor. I am able to drink the tablespoons by themselves.

I can definitely relate to being in denial. I had a really hard time coming to terms with the fact that I really just needed to be on medication. Luckily I finally have some great doctors and am able to do a combination of both. I will tell you a few things I have tried, but just to let you know....I don't do anything without asking my rheumy first. Like you said we have enough problems.

First, call me crazy but I try to buy organic as much as I can. I also do not eat dairy and very little meat. The hormones scare me.
Pineapple is very good for inflammation, it contains bromelain. It is an enzyme that reduces swelling and inflammation.
I also juice and if you can stomach it I drink wheatgrass. You can google the benefits of it.

I do all of the in addition to my meds, and under my doctors care. I hope I did not ramble. Just to add one more thing. Be careful with herbal stuff. Sometimes it can really be tough on the stomach. I have digestive problems so it never did well with me.

Tammy
Hi Tammy,
I can't speak for others, but I am intrested in trying anything that works for others at least once.
We have a few good stores where I live that offer organic foods.

I have bought some chicken that was obviously loaded with hormones and it was disgusting as the cicken brest was almost rubbery texture..GROSS to say the least!

I've bought tomatoes that have a fake look and texture to them. In fact the last tomatoes I had my son purchased. I never used them as they sat in my fridge on the top shelf. Generally they will look bruised and start to decay after a week or so.
Nothing was happening so I allowed them to sit so I could watch why they are not changing and finally after one and half months  I saw a tiny bruise like appearance. But it would NOT ROT! It would NOT DECAY!
Needless to say I still would not eat with the tiny bruise on it. I tossed them.
No way tomatoes will stay fresh like those 2 did.

Glad to see you posting!
Thank you for the info.
Kathy
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I look normal, as I have an "Invisible Illness". You can not catch it, you can not see it. It's called Lupus.My body is attacking itself on the inside.
www.LupusMCTD.com Represents:
1) We are patients helping researchers build a future for the lives of others...
2) Where HOPE is a WORK In Progress
3) Pay It Forward~Giving Back To The Future Lupus/MCTD Patients
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« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2009, 02:55:46 pm »

My Dear Sylvia;
First, let me say I am empathetic and sorry to hear you are suffering with these disease processes.
When I was in my 30's my doctor (German trained -Internist, Allergist, Rheumatologist) treated me with higher doses of Doxycycline. It helped.
          Herbs are also considered "drugs" and I have been warned by homoepaths and herbologist to be cautious when using herbs.  From my understanding from doctors and reading books others patients have written: Our immune systems are reacting to our own healthy cells and that we must be careful using anything that boosts the immune system because it could make us feel worse. Every person is a little different and some things work for one persoon and not another. I do use dandelion greens to help with  high blood pressure. My daughter is a nurse and chooses the "natural" way whenever she can. I know when I forced myself to exercise moderately (water exercises mostly) and ate a mixture of fresh garden herbs and greens ; I felt much better.  I see an awesome Rheumatologist and I do have scripts that help. I was on Remicade for 5 treatments. It helped a lot however I cannot afford to continue it.  So, I am adding one herb at a time and keeping track of any symptoms etc. In my case I have days where I seemingly did nothing different or wrong but I feel awful or have a flare. So, I think it is sometimes hard to judge if something works or makes you worse.
      There are some great books on gardening and the use of fresh herbs and food in the library.
We just started seeds for many herbs and veggies. I cheated and bought some seeds locally. My husband and I have a goal to eventually use all "Heritage" seeds for ALL the food we grow. ( The Heritage seeds have NOT been Genetically altered and have been propagated by seed alone for the last 100 yrs.) I am just getting back into gardening. Bill (hubby) is the BEST gardener. He lovingly takes care of my plants when the sun bothers me. I plant my herbs and greens close to the house....so I can get out on bad days and not ahve too much sun.
             I have been diagnosed with the following MCTD, Lupus, RA, Sjogrens, Osteoarthritis, Osteoporosis,Fibromyalgia , Reynauds (these are the Diagnosis's I remember right off hand) It seems that every couple of visits the Rheumatologist adds another diagnosis. I now let that go and try to keep myself functioning;the diagnosis does not mean much to me anymore.
The "brain fog" is one of the most disturbing symptoms.
I had hoped to find a Homeopathic Doctor. Herbs, from my understanding are not regulated by the FDA . That can be a good thing however that means that the herbs we buy OTC can vary in strength and potency. I have gotten extremely high blood pressure from taking St. Johns Wort. I live in a state  where  homeopathy is illegal in many counties; sad , but true. A homeopath who works under the license for massage was very helpful but super expensive and I just could not afford it.
So, long story short I like to take my herbs in the "fresh" form or home dried or in fresh teas .
I hope this is helpful and not too long.
Best wishes,
Hugs to all,
           Tigger (Chris)
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mtigger  (Chris)
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« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2009, 06:08:09 pm »

Vitamin E is a wonderful supplement that helps fight inflamation, but be careful as it is a blood thinner. Also, there are many foods that can help inflamation. Sweet potatos are my fave! Basically you want to go for the colorful foods and try to get a "rainbow" of color on your plate. For those of you who are interested in the fish oil, but can't get past the smell/taste, primrose oil (or evening oil of primrose) is an alternate. Check with your pharmacist first, though, as I believe it can interfere with certain meds such as Plaquenil. I hope this helps! Also, massage is another great natural way to help with those aches and pains as well as destress and relax  smiley
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Hischild
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« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2009, 09:18:39 pm »

Hello to everyone,
Thought I would add a few things as I have tried several natural things. I also use fish oil. Try Barlean's, it sounds cheaper and comes in lemon flavor. I am able to drink the tablespoons by themselves.

I can definitely relate to being in denial. I had a really hard time coming to terms with the fact that I really just needed to be on medication. Luckily I finally have some great doctors and am able to do a combination of both. I will tell you a few things I have tried, but just to let you know....I don't do anything without asking my rheumy first. Like you said we have enough problems.

First, call me crazy but I try to buy organic as much as I can. I also do not eat dairy and very little meat. The hormones scare me.
Pineapple is very good for inflammation, it contains bromelain. It is an enzyme that reduces swelling and inflammation.
I also juice and if you can stomach it I drink wheatgrass. You can google the benefits of it.

I do all of the in addition to my meds, and under my doctors care. I hope I did not ramble. Just to add one more thing. Be careful with herbal stuff. Sometimes it can really be tough on the stomach. I have digestive problems so it never did well with me.

Tammy

Dear Tammy,
Thanks for your input!  I have spent the last 5 months researching natural ways to help myself because I don't believe I should take the anti- inflammatory drugs because of the lymphedema in my legs.  I have been forced to look for an alternative answer for me. In the process I have found out there are many good alternative ways to reduce inflammation and thereby pain.
From what I have learned it sounds like you have also done some research. I know that I too should be eating quality food. I try to eat organic when I can too. I don't eat much dairy anyway so that's not a big problem for me. My husband (Mick) and I want to begin ordering organic meat on-line.  One of the first things I learned was that pineapple is good for inflammation too, and I try to eat that. I do juice too, but definitely not enough! I have tried wheatgrass and I don't have a problem with it. It is super good for anyone.
I'll tell you now what I have been doing since my dx.  Since November I have been taking an herbal arthritis formula that I buy on-line from pureherbs.info. I noticed in about a month that the pain from the osteoarthritis in my knee was somewhat better and a little later on the muscle weakness in my calves was gone.  I also began taking Carlson's fish oil sometime in December and I feel that it helped my muscle aches and some pain issues.
I should say that I have been basically doing this on my own but I have told my PCP and my rheumy what I am doing and neither one has a problem with it. The rheumy I speak of is my second one as I was not able to communicate well with my first one.
I took my last Ibuprofen on Feb. 26th.
On 3/18/09 I had a new round of blood tests done for my rheumy and I went to see her  last Wednesday.  She told me that all of the inflammation had calmed down and there was very little left in my body (only the osteoarthritis in my knee is still a very little problem). She said that we did not need to discuss any medication at this time! You can imagine how thrilled I was to hear that!
I had not been on any medication for 3 weeks before the tests, only the herbs, fish oil, (I forgot) glucosamine and vitamin D.
I am feeling so much better and all without medication! For me my regimen is working. I know that you and others may not respond like I do to this.
I feel I must give credit to whom credit is due. I prayed that the Lord would guide me to the right things for me to try and HE DID! So I want to publicly Praise the Lord for what He has done for me.
BTW I wanted to mention that  I found a cheaper way to get the Carlson's fish oil that I take. Go to amazon.com, they have it for $22.77 that's 1/2 the price of my healthfood store!!
I wish that everyone on this board could find an alternative, no side effect way to treat their health problems!
I know that I am far from out of the woods. I realize that I could still flare and all of that, but I at least feel I have a bit of control over my own health.
Sorry this was so long, but I hope it might help someone!

with love and good days to you all!!
Sylvia
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« Reply #13 on: March 28, 2009, 09:52:59 pm »

My Dear Sylvia;
First, let me say I am empathetic and sorry to hear you are suffering with these disease processes.
When I was in my 30's my doctor (German trained -Internist, Allergist, Rheumatologist) treated me with higher doses of Doxycycline. It helped.
          Herbs are also considered "drugs" and I have been warned by homoepaths and herbologist to be cautious when using herbs.  From my understanding from doctors and reading books others patients have written: Our immune systems are reacting to our own healthy cells and that we must be careful using anything that boosts the immune system because it could make us feel worse. Every person is a little different and some things work for one persoon and not another. I do use dandelion greens to help with  high blood pressure. My daughter is a nurse and chooses the "natural" way whenever she can. I know when I forced myself to exercise moderately (water exercises mostly) and ate a mixture of fresh garden herbs and greens ; I felt much better.  I see an awesome Rheumatologist and I do have scripts that help. I was on Remicade for 5 treatments. It helped a lot however I cannot afford to continue it.  So, I am adding one herb at a time and keeping track of any symptoms etc. In my case I have days where I seemingly did nothing different or wrong but I feel awful or have a flare. So, I think it is sometimes hard to judge if something works or makes you worse.
      There are some great books on gardening and the use of fresh herbs and food in the library.
We just started seeds for many herbs and veggies. I cheated and bought some seeds locally. My husband and I have a goal to eventually use all "Heritage" seeds for ALL the food we grow. ( The Heritage seeds have NOT been Genetically altered and have been propagated by seed alone for the last 100 yrs.) I am just getting back into gardening. Bill (hubby) is the BEST gardener. He lovingly takes care of my plants when the sun bothers me. I plant my herbs and greens close to the house....so I can get out on bad days and not ahve too much sun.
             I have been diagnosed with the following MCTD, Lupus, RA, Sjogrens, Osteoarthritis, Osteoporosis,Fibromyalgia , Reynauds (these are the Diagnosis's I remember right off hand) It seems that every couple of visits the Rheumatologist adds another diagnosis. I now let that go and try to keep myself functioning;the diagnosis does not mean much to me anymore.
The "brain fog" is one of the most disturbing symptoms.
I had hoped to find a Homeopathic Doctor. Herbs, from my understanding are not regulated by the FDA . That can be a good thing however that means that the herbs we buy OTC can vary in strength and potency. I have gotten extremely high blood pressure from taking St. Johns Wort. I live in a state  where  homeopathy is illegal in many counties; sad , but true. A homeopath who works under the license for massage was very helpful but super expensive and I just could not afford it.
So, long story short I like to take my herbs in the "fresh" form or home dried or in fresh teas .
I hope this is helpful and not too long.
Best wishes,
Hugs to all,
           Tigger (Chris)
[/quote
Hi Tigger,

Thank you so much for your thoughtful post. Yours  really interested me.

Thank you for your empathy for my health situation. I know you understand. It means alot.
You're absolutely right about herbs being "drugs" too! I did try to be careful choosing which ones to try. These are supposedly safe to take long term and I have not experienced any side effects as was told to me. It's also interesting that you said that it's not good to take things that will boost your immune system as we don't want it to attack us even worse because I thought about that while I was searching. I didn't come across any information about that one way or another though.
So, then I just thought about some things that we all need to do like get plenty of rest and I've always thought that getting rest will help to build your immune system. It doesn't seem to make sense to me to not eat healthy, not take vitamins, not to get exercise or to get enough rest because it might build my immune system and that that would be a bad thing.
I agree with you on the St John's wort. I have heard many bad things about it. Also ginko has side effects. I have tried to be careful.
I am so sorry for you as you have many bad  dx's.  I am glad you have a good hubby smiley Me, too!!It sounds like you are being wise about trying the herbs one at a time. I hope something works to help you feel better without side effects.
Your garden sounds wonderful! I should definitely try to grow my own food.
Well, if you read my answer to Tammy you will discover that I have had very good success with my regimen. I intend to add better quality food and just healthier eating, in general, to what I am already doing. I also need to lose about 30 pounds (that won't be as easy:) )
Well, thanks again for taking the time to answer my question!
God bless you!
Sylvia
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« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2009, 10:00:56 pm »

Vitamin E is a wonderful supplement that helps fight inflamation, but be careful as it is a blood thinner. Also, there are many foods that can help inflamation. Sweet potatos are my fave! Basically you want to go for the colorful foods and try to get a "rainbow" of color on your plate. For those of you who are interested in the fish oil, but can't get past the smell/taste, primrose oil (or evening oil of primrose) is an alternate. Check with your pharmacist first, though, as I believe it can interfere with certain meds such as Plaquenil. I hope this helps! Also, massage is another great natural way to help with those aches and pains as well as destress and relax  smiley

Hi Blacksapphire,

Thanks for your info! I didn't realize that vitamin E can reduce inflammation.
I love sweet potatoes too!
Does primrose oil have DHA and EPA in it,too?
MASSAGE sounds great! GREAT ideas!
Thanks and prayers for you for many good days this week!
Sylvia
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« Reply #15 on: March 30, 2009, 04:00:37 pm »

Vitamin E is a wonderful supplement. I work for a Breast Care Center and we recommend it all of the time for our fibrocystic patients to reduce inflammation in the breast tissues. Primrose oil is great for pain, it boosts immune function and helps with arthritis. The main ingredient is GLA, gamma linolenic acid. Massage also helps boost the immune system and improves circulation. Just be careful they don't go too deep, as massage can release toxins into the blood stream and you don't want to flood your immune system with toxins. Also, too deep can worsen the inflammation for the first couple of days. I'm actually dealing with that right now, it felt okay at the time, but the past 2 days I feel like I've been run over by a truck! I am so glad you found the information helpful and hopefully you are feeling well today. If not, better days are just around the corner!
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"There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won't cure, but I don't know many of them." -Sylvia Plath
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« Reply #16 on: April 01, 2009, 07:27:17 pm »

Hi everyone!

I just wanted to bump this up because I realized that since I answered the last three on this thread at the same time that only the last one probably got read.
Sylvia



Hello to everyone,
Thought I would add a few things as I have tried several natural things. I also use fish oil. Try Barlean's, it sounds cheaper and comes in lemon flavor. I am able to drink the tablespoons by themselves.

I can definitely relate to being in denial. I had a really hard time coming to terms with the fact that I really just needed to be on medication. Luckily I finally have some great doctors and am able to do a combination of both. I will tell you a few things I have tried, but just to let you know....I don't do anything without asking my rheumy first. Like you said we have enough problems.

First, call me crazy but I try to buy organic as much as I can. I also do not eat dairy and very little meat. The hormones scare me.
Pineapple is very good for inflammation, it contains bromelain. It is an enzyme that reduces swelling and inflammation.
I also juice and if you can stomach it I drink wheatgrass. You can google the benefits of it.

I do all of the in addition to my meds, and under my doctors care. I hope I did not ramble. Just to add one more thing. Be careful with herbal stuff. Sometimes it can really be tough on the stomach. I have digestive problems so it never did well with me.

Tammy
[/quote]

Dear Tammy,
Thanks for your input!  I have spent the last 5 months researching natural ways to help myself because I don't believe I should take the anti- inflammatory drugs because of the lymphedema in my legs.  I have been forced to look for an alternative answer for me. In the process I have found out there are many good alternative ways to reduce inflammation and thereby pain.
From what I have learned it sounds like you have also done some research. I know that I too should be eating quality food. I try to eat organic when I can too. I don't eat much dairy anyway so that's not a big problem for me. My husband (Mick) and I want to begin ordering organic meat on-line.  One of the first things I learned was that pineapple is good for inflammation too, and I try to eat that. I do juice too, but definitely not enough! I have tried wheatgrass and I don't have a problem with it. It is super good for anyone.
I'll tell you now what I have been doing since my dx.  Since November I have been taking an herbal arthritis formula that I buy on-line from pureherbs.info. I noticed in about a month that the pain from the osteoarthritis in my knee was somewhat better and a little later on the muscle weakness in my calves was gone.  I also began taking Carlson's fish oil sometime in December and I feel that it helped my muscle aches and some pain issues.
I should say that I have been basically doing this on my own but I have told my PCP and my rheumy what I am doing and neither one has a problem with it. The rheumy I speak of is my second one as I was not able to communicate well with my first one.
I took my last Ibuprofen on Feb. 26th.
On 3/18/09 I had a new round of blood tests done for my rheumy and I went to see her  last Wednesday.  She told me that all of the inflammation had calmed down and there was very little left in my body (only the osteoarthritis in my knee is still a very little problem). She said that we did not need to discuss any medication at this time! You can imagine how thrilled I was to hear that!
I had not been on any medication for 3 weeks before the tests, only the herbs, fish oil, (I forgot) glucosamine and vitamin D.
I am feeling so much better and all without medication! For me my regimen is working. I know that you and others may not respond like I do to this.
I feel I must give credit to whom credit is due. I prayed that the Lord would guide me to the right things for me to try and HE DID! So I want to publicly Praise the Lord for what He has done for me.
BTW I wanted to mention that  I found a cheaper way to get the Carlson's fish oil that I take. Go to amazon.com, they have it for $22.77 that's 1/2 the price of my healthfood store!!
I wish that everyone on this board could find an alternative, no side effect way to treat their health problems!
I know that I am far from out of the woods. I realize that I could still flare and all of that, but I at least feel I have a bit of control over my own health.
Sorry this was so long, but I hope it might help someone!

with love and good days to you all!!
Sylvia
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