Update: The Master Cleanse, is it all Hype?

Is it all Hype?

(Below is the detox stage I’m in)

Stage 2 (Day 3 To Day 7)
“Fats, composed of transformed fatty acids, are broken down to release glycerol from the gliceride molecules and are converted to glucose. The skin may become oily as rancid oils are purged from the body. People with problem-free skin may have a few days of pimples or even a boil. A pallid complexion is also a sign of waste in the blood. Ketones are formed by the incomplete oxidation of fats. It is suspected that the ketones in the blood suppress the appetite by affecting the food-satiety center in the hypothalamus. You may feel hungry for the first few days of the fast. This effect is temporary. The desire to eat will disappear. Lack of hunger may last 40 to 60 days, depending on whether you are on water or juice.

The body embraces the fast and the digestive system is able to take a much-needed rest, focusing all of its energies on cleansing and healing. White blood cell and immune system activity increases. You may feel pain in your lungs. The cleansing organs and the lungs are in the process of being repaired. Periodically, the lymphatic system expels mucoid matter through the nose or throat. The volume excreted of this yellow-colored mucus can be shocking. The sinuses go through periods of being clogged, then will totally clear. The breath is still foul and the tongue coated. Within the intestine, the colon is being repaired and impacted feces on the intestinal wall start to loosen.”-therawfoodsite

Journal Update-Day 3:

My husband and I have just about had it with this fast.  We’re starving!  Although I’m not terribly weak, I know I really want some food…and any food will suffice!  Reading skeptical information about cleanses and how they don’t really work makes me all the more want to break this cleanse.  But then I’ll always wonder, right?  Hopefully I’ll keep up the discipline and be able to tell you first hand from a Rheumatoid Arthritis sufferer if it made a difference.  Along with that of course is we’re all so addicted to eating.  We eat out of boredom, out of frustration, out of every emotion there is.  We’re addicted to the chemicals released when we eat food like endorphins, and we’re addicted to the sensations of food itself.  We also use food as a social event. I could have gone to lunch today with co-workers and I’m sure I would have had a great time, but I had to pass.  If I had gone out, normally speaking, I would have ended up eating very fatty foods to a point where I was full.  So I do think it’s a good thing that I’m teaching myself not to be addicted to food for all the wrong reasons.  I hope the lessons learned are here to stay….that is if I can just get through this cleanse!

I did not take Serracor-NK last night, but went ahead and drank the smooth move.  I read again how important it is when taking the Master Cleanse to drink it at night, and that when it comes to side effects of the fast, if you’re having any trouble it will probably resolve itself in a day.  So my husband and I decided to go ahead and give it another shot, saving the tea back for tonight as well because we don’t want to have to go out and by more smooth move tea.

Well, last night I was regretting the choice again because my stomach was acidic and I woke up with abdominal cramps needing to have another BM…twice.  Sure this Master Cleanse is cleaning me out, but I didn’t plan on loosing sleep over it.  Again I woke up tired.  I went ahead and took Tums last night to give me a small amount of relief and this morning I popped a Zantac which is an antacid pill.  I’m guessing I’m not allowed to do these things, but come on, I have to.

I realize too that when it comes to the fast, if I end up cheating even a little that at least I got through the ten days.  If cheating means I gave it my best shot, well then that’s the best I can do.  Some people think the fast won’t work even if you cheat a tiny bit but I know that raw fruits and vegetables also detoxes you, only much more slowly.  I have not cheated thus far, but I am certainly on edge and feeling the need to have something, even if it’s only romaine lettuce.  We’ll see if I can take another day of this.  Wish me luck!!

Choosing the Alternative Route

An Apple A Day Keeps The Doctor Away

An Apple A Day Keeps The Doctor Away

This evening I visited my on-line Rheumatoid Arthritis Support Group. I visit the group, not because I’m in pain, but because I want to share information. I used to visit daily to receive support from the wonderful people who share their heartfelt stories. Because I’ve experienced the lowest of lows with RA I feel like I can relate to my fellow online friends and offer the support they need now that I feel great. It’s tough however when I read post after post about their failing medications. I wish for all of our sakes, the choices were easier to make and that drugs given by doctors worked consistently.

I have a theory that when the body’s immune system is suppressed, the body will continue to fight and cause the immune system to boost and the drugs to stop working. The opposite of that, is that by taking alternative medications, the body is given a chance to heal and correct itself. If given enough time and the right medications, I do think this is possible.

One of my friends from the online support group who had disappeared for the past 6 months wrote to me. She had started on Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) when I started and began antibiotics when I began Serracor-NK. She is now in complete remission. Not only is she not having RA symptoms but she has quit taking LDN and antibiotics for many months now. So what happened? Well I think her body corrected itself, and hopefully it will stay that way forever. If for some reason it goes haywire again, perhaps LDN and antibiotics will again be the ticket to a better functioning immune system. And as well, antibiotics are on the back of my mind, in case Serracor-NK ever decided to stop working. I have complete faith that LDN will continue to work simply because I know other people who have been on LDN for years. One man in particular, Larry has noticed slight changes. He has Multiple Sclerosis, and it wasn’t until his fifth year of taking LDN that he was able to snap his fingers for the first time since MS had started. Now that’s exciting! I know to some people, it’s like, big deal, but when you have an autoimmune disease, it’s little things, liking being able to sleep through the night, make a fist, walk down or up a flight of stairs without issues that can put a very big smile on your face. At this point, I can’t tell what LDN does, I just know my pleurisy has never come back, nor has my chronic sore throat or blurry vision. I am hoping that just like Larry, LDN will continue to heal my body over time.

Before I even began alternative medications, I thought about it from day one. I already had a distrust towards doctors and the medical system for many many reasons throughout my life. Don’t get me wrong, I still go to the doctor, or at least I did when I had insurance. I believe as well, you can to a certain extent, help the medical system help you and not just go through life with blinders on. I have fought at times for certain medications or doses, and even for specialists. Getting your doctors to work for you, rather than you working for them is difficult and exhausting but in the end, it can be worth it.

I noticed early on that people on the support group who had RA generally didn’t have their perfect “cocktail” or drug mix that took away their symptoms. If they did, it seemed to be temporary. It was just a matter of time before their liver enzymes were up or the drugs stopped working. Tonight for instance, there was a post about methotrexate and prednisone not doing the job it was suppose to. The methotrexate dose was raised and yet she still wasn’t feeling better. Not only that, the raised dose of methotrexate had caused more hair loss and flu like symptoms. Inflammation was still a problem so an additional medicine was going to have to be introduced. She was frustrated and feeling confused how having a rheumatologist was helpful. The reality is, RA can be so severe that even the extreme fatigue, hair loss, flu like symptoms and yet dealing with some inflammation, flares and brain fog is still a better condition than not being able to walk or get a simple task done. It’s just sad to me, that the doctors and pharmaceutical companies only seem to offer drugs that will eventually harm you. If your autoimmune disease doesn’t do the trick in hurting your body, then perhaps the medications will. My opinion of this is conspiracy, I hate to say it, but I do think that in a world where sick people make pharmaceutical companies money, it would make sense that keeping them sick would be the answer. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that biologics and chemotherapy drugs used for RA give you less inflammation but in the end can lead to other autoimmune diseases or even Cancer.

I remember just before I stopped taking methotrexate and started taking LDN, I had done a little survey with the support group asking about daily symptoms, how many drugs they were on, and how long they had had RA. As well, had they ever experienced remission and what was the best they had felt? What I found was, the majority of people suffered from daily symptoms of RA, side effects from the drugs they take, and hadn’t experienced remission. Not only that,many people were still trying to get their symptoms under control, adding more medicines which meant more money out of their pocket and more side effects. The majority of them knew I was going to start taking LDN. Some cheered me on. Some people worried and asked me how I could choose this when it was DMARDS and Biologics that were suppose to stop the disease from causing deformation. I would explain that prednisone, which most people were taking was causing bone loss, and that until their disease was completely under control, they were probably experiencing bone deformation. As long as the disease is active and you have inflammation, regardless of what drug you’re on, joint erosion and deformation could still be in the process.

Even I have bone deterioration and that was under the supervision of a Rheumatologist and under the right drugs, including a DMARD. I have barely any swelling now, on alternative medications, and I know as long as I do have swelling I’m probably harming my joints. But knowing that prednisone which my doctor had me on for a year, harms my joints as well as other parts of my body makes me feel like the alternative route is the best way to go. How can I complain when I’ve had the least amount of swelling since the onset of RA. I wake up pain free every day. I would love to have complete flexibility in my wrists, which I don’t but I’m hoping in time it will still happen. You’ll have to keep up on my progress to find out. Either way, I’m still genuinely happy that I made this decision because I have no side effects with the supplements I take and LDN, except for good side effects like lower cholesterol and more energy . I can drink if I want to, and I almost never have a flare. If I do have a flare, I’m not even sure if it is a flare because the swelling and pain is so minimal. Possibly the best side effect that I never expected…..I have more hair than I have had in years. :)

Low Dose Naltrexone and Why YOU Should Take It!

The Promise of Low Dose Naltrexone Therapy

Low Dose Naltrexone is taken in the form of 3mg to 4.5mg respectively speaking. It derives from the drug, Naltrexone which is taken in higher doses, generally around 50mg but can go up to 300mg. Though LDN comes from Naltrexone itself, it works in a completely different way, boosting the immune system. How does this non toxic drug work? When taken at bedtime, the body mistakes the low dose of Naltrexone as a brief blockade of opioid receptors. What this means is, your body thinks that something is trying to block it’s endorphins and thus, overcompensates, producing more.

“Naltrexone itself was approved by the FDA in 1984 in a 50mg dose for the purpose of helping heroin or opium addicts, by blocking the effect of such drugs. By blocking opioid receptors, naltrexone also blocks the reception of the opioid hormones that our brain and adrenal glands produce: beta-endorphin and metenkephalin. Many body tissues have receptors for these endorphins and enkephalins, including virtually every cell of the body’s immune system”-www.lowdosenaltrexone.org

A doctor named Dr.Bihari who graduated from Harvard had been working with patients who were taking heroin. Naltrexone prooved to be very successful in stopping heroin’s effects, basically in its tracks. Naltrexone is considered an “opioid receptor antagonist.” As time went on, Bihari’s research evolved. Some of his patients who had taken heroin had contracted HIV and so Bihari’s focus took a turn to help his suffering patients.

In 1985, Bihari discovered that a much smaller dose of naltrexone (approximately 3mg once a day) improved the immune system of a person with the virus HIV. As a neurologist, this discovery soon led to other findings. Not only did LDN help with AIDS patients, but has been said to help with Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Cancer and other autoimmune diseases as well as Autism.

“LDN at bedtime each night is believed to produce a prolonged up-regulation of vital elements of the immune system by causing an increase in endorphin and enkephalin production.”-www.lowdosenaltrexone.org

I have been on LDN for 376 days now. I have greatly benefited from its effects. It did reduce an enormous amount of swelling. My blurry vision and chronic sore throat went away, along with my most painful symptom, Pleurisy. I survived on just LDN for almost a year, but decided to add Serracor-NK to the mix which has improved me to a point of near remission. I know several other people with Rheumatoid Arthritis that LDN has helped tremendously as well as a couple of people with Parkinson’s and many people with Multiple Sclerosis. Luckily the Internet provides the resources needed to learn about a drug and it’s effects, when otherwise I would have never known about it.

Because our bodies are so vastly different, it’s impossible to know for sure if LDN will work for you. But because LDN is virtually non toxic with side effects that are so minimal you may not even notice them, and they are likely to be gone within a week, such as insomnia, LDN is a great choice if you’re trying to reduce inflammation, boost the immune system, and stop or slow the progression of disease like Parkinson’s.

If LDN is such a low cost drug, ranging around $1 a day, why isn’t the information of LDN more widely spread? The reality is, pharmaceutical companies are big business. Autoimmune diseases have some of the most costly drugs offered as options. People spend thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars on their health. Sick people keep pharmaceutical companies in business. It’s no surprise as well that a lot of drugs like methotrexate for example, can lead to horrible complications as well as injures your intestines. It makes perfect sense to me, to start with your least toxic options first and if they don’t work, then move onto other medications. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to get a doctor to prescribe LDN. Your best bet is to go through a neurologist because they are more likely to have heard of LDN or to seek out a naturopathic doctor.

Clinical trials are being studied at Universities, but most clinical trials are funded by big pharmaceutical companies. Because Naltrexone was already approved in 1984, a pharmaceutical company can’t reserve a patent on LDN and therefore can’t make big money. If money didn’t make the world go round and people’s health and wellness were really at the top of our priorities, I honestly don’t think so many people would be sick and there would be a cure for cancer.

Is Rheumatoid Arthritis OUR fault??!! (A venting story)

Normal Hands vs. Arthritic Hands

Normal Hands vs. Arthritic Hands

Written by: Lisa (anonymous last name) Edited by: Sarah May

I have a wonderful group of well-meaning friends. They all know about my condition, which my mother and my mom’s mom also have (my grandma had all her knuckles replaced several years ago and has severely deformed hands).

Nevertheless, I keep getting these emails and such about WONDER DIETS that will PURGE MY SYSTEM of the RA. How if I eliminate fungus (mushrooms, antibiotics) I will heal. How if I give up this or that or balance my chi or add yin to my yang or take up underwater basket weaving that I will have a miraculous recovery. PUH-LEEZE!

Did I drink too much Diet Coke? Was it my years of smoking cigarettes in college? I didn’t start eating red meat until I was in my 20s. Maybe I never should have started?

I don’t know. I’m just so FRUSTRATED. I don’t want to waste time on wondering WHY or HOW the RA happened, because now I have it and I have to live with it.

I am all for trying anything to help. Hell, I’m even trekking to Montana to see a Native American shaman this summer to see if he can pull the negative stuff out of me :-)

But I feel like people are looking at me with question marks in their eyes, peering into my soul, wondering *if* anything is wrong with me.

Maybe this irritates me so much because I wonder the same things, too. Sometimes I wonder if anything is wrong with me.

I see my swollen hands and have dreams about pain when I’m asleep. When I have flares I cry. I feel defeated by RA. But I can’t help but wonder … what is it?!

I am sero-negative so far (dx’d six months ago). My sed rates were up, but then went down at my last test. I want PROOF. I just want to know WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME.

And I want the people I love to quit questioning it. I don’t have the energy to try every stinkin’ diet, fast, medication or method. I am TIRED (the doctors call it “fatigued”) and I am SORE and I just want to make it through the day and change my baby’s diapers and get dinner on the table and clean clothes in the drawers.

Can’t I do that in peace, without having to wonder if I CAUSED MY RA?


Love you all, my kindred spirits.

Soft hugs all,

An Autoimmune Disease Connection?

One thing you have to know about me, is I’m always on the verge of a new theory. Because I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, this whole world of autoimmune diseases has entered my life. Before Rheumatoid Arthritis changed my life, I had two other autoimmune diseases. Necrobiosis lipoidica is a skin disease I developed on my shins. I have one large plaque perpendicular to the other on each shin. People ask me from time to time if I played soccer, or how I got those burns. When I first got this, I was 19 and the skin disease litteraly seemed to happen overnight, and the plaques have grown larger over the years. They have a shiny appearance. This was my first experience of what an autoimmune disease was like. I realized that I only had so much control over my body. The scars were irreversible. I soon got over the strange looking scars on my legs and started wearing shorts again in the hot summers of California. When people asked me about it, I thought about making up some great story about how I ran into a burning building to save a litter of pups. Those ideas were fleeting however and instead, I always found myself telling the truth, that I had a rare skin disease. The word disease scares a lot of people. Some people would look at me with shock or horror, and some would look embarrassed as if they asked me an inappropriate question. Perhaps they had, but I realized that people unless exposed to this type of thing, can often walk with blinders on. Some people are more sensitive, and some are not but I didn’t hold it against them. Perhaps this was my opportunity to show a person that though I was pretty and fit, I too could have a skin disease, and a rare one at that.

Later, in my middle twenties during some of my peek years of stress, I went to my gynecologist complaining of lactating breasts. I was not pregnant. Luckily she was a smart lady and on top of things and she immediately gave me a thyroid test. Sure enough, I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism. I was pleased to know that a little pill, taken every day would solve the symptoms I was having which ranged from muscle tenderness, weight gain, brain fog, joint pain, and extreme tiredness. I had been making excuses for this and that, thinking not enough sleep, overwork, etc. were the cause of my symptoms. This was an easy fix to a disease that ran in my family, so I wasn’t worried at all and didn’t fixate on the fact that I had a new disorder.

Years later, when my body seemed to become crippled overnight and I discovered I had Rheumatoid Arthritis, autoimmune disease became a topic I brought up more frequently with family and friends. Because of my illnesses, I was paying more attention to other people and what they had, and wondering how these things seemed to come about.

One of the things I can’t help but do is come up with ideas and theories. Two days ago I was thinking about my father’s disease, Parkinson’s. His brother also has Parkinson’s and so I do realize that there’s a family link. I wondered, why was it a man’s disease and why is it that “nearly 79% of autoimmune disease patients in the USA are women”?-Wikipedia

I have always felt that there are a variety of factors that cause autoimmune disease. They involve, toxins, genetics, stress, health, and injuries. There could be more, but these are the ones that immediately come to mind. Rheumatoid Arthritis for example, can be brought on by an injury, infection or bacteria. This is called “reactive arthritis“. I learned this year from Michael J. Fox’s website, that a person who has experienced head trauma has a larger chance of getting Parkinson’s.

Reading some time ago that women consume 4 pounds of lipstick in a lifetime, I started to wonder, were women consuming more toxins than men? Of course, I just looked it up and it turns out it’s 4 to 9 lbs of consumed lipstick. Wow, that’s a lot! If I only consume 4 pounds in a lifetime, that would put me at 1 1/2 pounds consumed so far. By the way, do you know what chemicals you’re eating exactly? Neither do I. I know I should use cosmetics that are safe, but what does that mean really? Not only do women consume lipstick, but they wear perfumes, lotions and other makeup, all forcing our bodies to inhale and absorb more chemicals. I also know of course that women have a variety of other things that make them more susceptible to autoimmune diseases. Offhand, hormones and childbirth are two factors that have direct effect on autoimmune diseases. Basically, anything that causes trauma or puts the body out of balance seems to increase the chances of causing an autoimmune disease. It would be an easy assumption that childbirth in itself is the main reason why women are more likely to get autoimmune diseases. I just don’t want to let lipstick off the hook just yet.

But what about men? Why would Parkinson’s in particular be mostly a man’s disease? Well, here’s my theory….. If women were more susceptible to autoimmune disease because of consumption of toxins as well as hormones, then wouldn’t it make sense that men are more prone to Parkinson’s because of head trauma?

It’s not to say that women can’t experience head trauma, but doesn’t it seem likely that men are more likely to experience head trauma? Boys tend to be rougher at play and in high school many young men become involved in sports like hockey and football. Though women can also become involved in sports, and by the way, women can also get Parkinson’s, it seems possible that Parkinson’s could be mainly a man’s disease because men are more likely to experience a head injury at some point in their life, leaving them more susceptible.

And maybe this theory sounds totally crazy, so correct me if you think I’m wrong. Obviously, there seems to be many factors involving autoimmune disease and this is just one of my many thoughts regarding cause and effect relationship.

%d bloggers like this: