Trusting Your Doctor

I was speaking with a friend who just got results from her doctor, saying her liver enzymes were raised. The doctor advised her not to drink any alcohol. I immediately asked, “Are you taking Ibuprofen?” I knew her knee had been hurting her, and she wasn’t one to avoid over the counter medications. Her response was, “but my doctor said Ibuprofen would not raise my enzymes like that.”

I feel like I’ve heard this type of story a hundred times. You or a friend go to the doctor and something is wrong, and the doctor never gets to the bottom of it. Why? In many cases, I think the reason is because some doctors fail to listen or ask questions. They’re on a time schedule. They do a quick assessment. They make assumptions.

Though I’ve had some great doctors in my life, I’ve been disappointed just as many or more times. One of these visits was when I was fifteen. I had my wisdom teeth out. They weren’t quite in yet, but because of previous braces,it was suggested to remove the roots of the wisdom teeth before they formed, so my other teeth wouldn’t become crooked again. And despite how many times I went to the orthopedic surgeon to tell him I was in severe pain and something wasn’t right, he disregarded it, handing me heavier pain medications. He gave me codeine. The codeine didn’t help much, the pain was so severe. Finally, on my last visit, the surgeon realized I had an infection.  After a few days of antibiotics, my pain was gone! Had I simply believed the doctor was right and my pain was just a result of recovery, what could have happened if the infection had lasted longer?

For my friend, I knew she had gone in to see the doctor because her knees were bothering her. She’s a dancer and her dancing is very hard on her knees. I asked her how much ibuprofen she was taking each day. Knowing painkillers don’t work that great when you’re having chronic severe pain, I knew it was highly likely she was taking too much. It turned out she was taking over the maximum dosage. If the doctor had taken the time to really listen to his patient and ask questions, he would have figured this out. Instead, a patient with ill advice will continue taking the high dose of ibuprofen, further damaging her liver and her intestinal tract, later to find other chronic diseases up ahead.

I feel like our health system severely lacks preventative care. Without a doctor’s listening ear, problems go on unnoticed and as a result health care rises because ailments continue to spike. And when someone gets an ailment such as damaged intestines due to too much NSAIDs usage, autoimmune diseases like “leaky gut syndrome”, IBS, Crohn’s, Lupus, Fibromialgia and RA might be the result. Then what comes next? More painkillers, steroids and other various drugs that will further damage the body, causing more and more harm.

I’m not a doctor, so I can’t say what’s best. And because everyone’s chemistry is different, it’s hard to say how some people will react. But I do think that other choices are out there before you hit the drugs. Exhausting those choices first, in my opinion, is your best bet. For my friend, I can think of a few options off the top of my head that could help. Strengthening the muscles around the knee offer as a natural knee brace. I would suggest that she stops the painful movements in her dance class for a while and instead, works on reinforcing the muscles surrounding her knee. I would make this physical therapy a top priority and a continuous effort. Next, I would use a cream that’s great for the knees and will help bring down the inflammation. And when she’s resting at home and in pain, I would recommend that she elevates her leg and wraps an ace bandage around her knee to help push the swelling out.

Beyond that, of course there’s supplements that will reduce the swelling in her knee instead of using painkillers. For her liver, I would suggest considering three supplements that help the liver function. That I know of, those are milk thistle, N-acetylcysteine and SAM-e. SAM-e is particularly great because it would help her knee and her liver. N-acetylcysteine is a little more complicated because it pulls out toxic metals and requires additional vitamin C. Taking a supplement like Ultra Antioxidant from pro-health would cover the basics of what’s involved with this supplement in particular.

In the end, it’s important that you trust your doctor. If your doctor is not listening and not asking questions, life is too short…find one who will!

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 Keturah

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?

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Love you all, my kindred spirits.

Soft hugs all,
Lisa

Pulmonary Fibrosis

Scarring of the Lungs

Scarring of the Lungs

First, what is Pulmonary Fibrosis?   Pulmonary Fibrosis literally means lung (pulmonary) scarring (fibrosis). The lung scarring occurs in the tissue of the lung called the interstitium, which supports the structures of the lung (air sacs/alveoli). There are an estimated 130-200 related diseases called Interstitial Lung Disease that are similar in characteristics and can result in scarring. Pulmonary Fibrosis causes the lung tissue to thicken and become stiff. Scarring inhibits oxygen from entering the blood stream.”

Symptoms include “shortness of breath (dyspnea), especially during or after physical activity, and a dry cough.” -Mayo Clinic

What damages your lungs?  There are quite a few possible causes, including environmental factors, gerd, radiation, and various medical conditions, but don’t be surprised that it could be your medication. Many drugs can damage your lungs, especially chemotherapy drugs (methotrexate, cyclophosphamide); medications used to treat heart arrhythmias and other cardiovascular problems (amiodarone, propranolol); certain psychiatric medications; and some antibiotics (nitrofurantoin, sulfasalazine).”-Mayo Clinic

If you are in the advanced stages of Pulmonary Fibrosis, your doctor may give you little hope.  “No cure exists for pulmonary fibrosis, and current treatments often fail to slow the progress of the disease or relieve symptoms.”-Mayo Clinic

Before you give up, alternative medications may be your best option.  Why Enzymes work:  “Enzymes eat scar tissue and fibrosis. Fibrosis is scar tissue and most doctors learn in anatomy that it is fibrosis that eventually kills us all. Let me explain. As we age, which starts at 27, we have a diminishing of the body’s output of enzymes. This is because we make a finite amount of enzymes in a lifetime and we use up a good deal of them by the time we reach our 40’s (Cystic Fibrosis patients who have virtually no enzyme production to speak of, even as children usually don’t make it past their 20’s before they die of the restriction and shrinkage in the lungs from the formation of fibrosis or scar tissue).

So our body begins to dole out our enzymes with an eyedropper instead of with a tablespoon. Result: the repair mechanism of the body goes off balance and has nothing to reduce the over abundance of fibrin it deposits in nearly everything from simple cuts, to the inside of our internal organs and blood vessels. It is then when most women begin to develop things like fibrocystic breast disease, uterine fibroids, and endometriosis. We all grow arterial sclerotic (meaning scar tissue) plaque, and have fibrin begin to spider web its way inside of our internal organs, reducing their size and function over time. This is why as we age our wounds heal with thicker, less pliable, weaker and very visible scars.

If we replace the lost enzymes, we can control and reduce the amount of scar tissue and fibrosis our bodies have. As physicians in the US are now discovering, even old scar tissue can be “eaten away” from surgical wounds, pulmonary fibrosis, and kidney fibrosis even colloid years after their formation. Medical doctors in Europe and Asia have known this and used orally administered enzymes for such for over 40 years!

Sounds too good to be true?  If you have no options, why wouldn’t you try alternative medications.  According to Biomediclabs, Within 4 weeks, patients should notice improvement of their symptoms including shortness of breath and coughing with phlegm.  After a 3-6 month treatment, patients should have significant improvement in their lung structure.  We recommend that patients take a chest x-ray before and after the treatment and compare the diagnostic results to monitor their progress.”

Before I tried alternative medications, I didn’t truly believe in miracles.  Serracor-NK was created for Pulmonary Fibrosis.  I know it has changed my life, and I have Rheumatoid Arthritis.  I believe in this product because of what it has done for me.



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