The more I learn about supplements, the more I’m shocked and hopeful that my future with Rheumatoid Arthritis is nothing to fear. I started this blog because I’m on a quest to fix my Rheumatoid Arthritis, whatever that means. If you have an autoimmune disease then you are probably somewhat like me, always researching. I’ve had RA now for 2 1/2 years and I have come a long way. Please know that when I talk about supplements, I am in no way pushing anything, but rather, I am sharing my experience with you. I am in no way, shape or form connected with any sale of a product and since the beginning of this blog, have not made any money thus far to put towards my very expensive monthly regimen that keeps me fairly limber. I do hope that one day I can get “help” towards my costly supplements but if I don’t, I will survive because I’d rather starve than be without them. If there is a particular website mentioned to buy a product, then that’s only because I think they’re the cheapest, friendliest and fastest place to get it from, and not for any other reason whatsoever. I enjoy helping those who help me!
Today I started on Calaguala also known as “Kalawalla” from American Nutrition. It’s a blend of Polypodium Leucotomos and Samambaia Rhizome….now say that three times fast! Luckily, it’s in liquid form and this $15 bottle according to serving size, should last me ten days, which is a bit out of my means but if it works, then great! It’s also tasty thank goodness! I added it to my coffee and couldn’t even tell a difference. Each small droperfull has a naturally sweet flavor. I’m still on the lookout for something cheaper, so if anyone has any suggestions, do tell! I first heard about Polypodium Leucotomos in this months Shape magazine. It states:
Supplement your protection. Researchers have found that taking the extract of the South American fern Polypodium leucotomos (PL) in supplement form can help halt UV-induced skin damage and skin cancer. “In human studies, PL has been shown to decrease inflammation and prevent cellular mutations and photoaging,” says Leslie Baumann, M.D., a Miami Beach dermatologist.
Anything about inflammation and I immediate look it up. Just as I suspected, this extract not only does wonders for your skin but for autoimmune disorders such as Psoriasis, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus, to name a few. I found dozens of people on the Internet that claim this stuff works. Here’s a quote from someone on Revolution Health:
This stuff is GREAT!For the first time in 4 years I am feeling almost normal. I mean when I used to sleep my legs were tingling and felt weird. Now I don’t notice them anymore. My stamina is increasing and I can almost walk again. My eyesight is greatly improved. I think I can now drive again! It has only been 1 month. I can’t wait till the end of 6 months. I’ll let you know what happens…….
News Flash! Kalawalla is ok as I mentioned. However this is still not fast enough.
It sounds like to me, like with everything else and autoimmune diseases, there’s simply no cure-all. Once you start feeling better you expect to continue to feel better, and better and better….. but it seems like a drug or a supplement can only do so much. It doesn’t matter if you’re on steroids, chemotherapy drugs, CRAB drugs, antibiotics, or supplements. The reality is, inflammation and the disease process is complicated. My thoughts are, if you find something that’s working for you and it improves your immune system, then stay on it because who knows how you’ll do in the future…maybe even better. I also find that a lot of people give up on supplements early on whereas if their doctor tells them that for example, methotrexate may not work for four months, they’ll stick with it for four months. I can tell you FOR SURE that both Low Dose Naltrexone and Serracor-NK work for me but it took at least two months. I still have inflammation. I don’t have flares but there is still some inflammation in my fingers and wrists. The longer the inflammation exists, the more damage that is done, plain and simple. Compared to where I was earlier in the disease process which meant I was nearly unable to bath and cloth myself, I feel like a million bucks. I am hoping that soon I can stop the inflammation for good in my fingers and wrists. I’m happy that Kalawalla comes in liquid form because it’s one less pill I have to take. And I’m happy that there’s yet one more option out there for me.
Supplements are tricky too. My brother told me over the weekend, “more isn’t necessarily better”. I explained to him that each supplement works differently and that inflammation is complicated. Inflammation can be caused by a variety of things and it can cause a variety of things! My journey can feel very alone at times as I try my best to make scientifically based decisions on what to put into my body. If you think about it, if you’re seeing a doctor for Rheumatoid Arthritis, something I understand well, you start out with NSAIDS. When those don’t work you ADD Prednisone. When the RA progresses, you ADD Methotrexate or Sulfasalazine. Then your doctor might suggest to ADD Plaquenil and later, a Biologic. It’s like there’s no end to adding and adding of the drugs. Some people may think I’m taking too many supplements but the reality is, if I were on normal RA drugs, I’d be on multiple ones. At one point in time, early on in the diagnosis, I was taking Prednisone, Sulfasalazine, NSAIDS and Methotrexate. And you know what? I STILL wasn’t in remission!!! That’s why I stopped everything and figured, Heck, maybe there’s something else out there that works and doesn’t ruin my body in the meantime. RA is damaging enough to my body and I’d rather not take on all the damage that happens when you take steroids, NSAIDS and DMARDS long term. A recent article inWebMD states, “Biologics for Rheumatoid Arthritis: No Cure-all” explains that Biologics aren’t all that promising either-WebMD. So that is why I’m always touting about supplements. I think they’re safer and make you feel better…..but this is my story and my journey so it’s up to you to decide what’s best for you.
Unfortunately, there hasn’t been much research on PL. According to About.com,
“Studies on Polypodium leucotomos, which have mainly been animal or test tube studies, have found that Polypodium leucotomos is an antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory and immune effects.”
I’m not one to shy away from experimentations ever since LDN, a drug that sounded too good to be true, and decreased dramatically the amount of inflammation in my body. Hopefully soon I’ll know whether PL is really working. For now, all I can do is hope that total remission is just around the corner.
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