My first journal entry on Daily Strength: Aug 8, 2007

To those of you who wake up every morning in pain, or sit for a few minutes and have trouble getting up……or feel weak, tired…. depressed…….. or have people who don’t really understand……… to those of you who keep trying everything you can to get rid of your flare, hoping to just get back to your normal self……….. and to those of you who are saddened that you can’t do the things you use to do……..like pick up a child, or open up that bottle of water, or take off your bra. Yes, there are days I can, but plenty of days that I can’t. And to those of you that read online things like, “arthritis is possibly caused by poor diets, lack of exercise, unhealthy lifestyle…etc.” and get frustrated because you exercise everyday, eat healthfully and always have, etc…………………

I can relate………and, I want to hear from you!!!

I’m certainly not going to loose hope that I can’t get back a semi normal lifestyle. Plus, with medical advancements, you just never know.

But for now, I continue on my journey wanting to hear from all of you……..in our quest to improve the life we have and to share with each-other R.A. which I truly believe no one understands until you have it.

For instance, I love to exercise and I always have. When I exercise I do feel better. But during a time when I’m not having a flare……..I still can’t do….say… yoga. There are just simply things I can not do. I can’t bend my wrists like I use to……and I’ve lost a lot of strength. When I’m not in a full blown flare, I excersize as much as possible while I can. When I am going through a flare (which I am now) and just so you know, I’ve been on prednisone for 8 months………and now I’m on methotrexate for the first time as well as still on the pred. I’m having of course nausea and hair loss. It sucks and I’m not sure I really want to be on this medicine. At first I thought I did, but I just don’t know anymore…….even though I don’t have any better ideas. But anyway, exercise baffles me. Because now that I’m flaring again hard core, I’m still going to the gym. When I get there it takes all of my effort to get myself moving. But once I start moving, it gets a bit better……and continues to improve slightly (never like it use to) but enough that I’m feeling more confident and happy. The moment I stop…..like literally take a step off the elliptical, I feel as though I’m right back to normal again, meaning pain and stiffness, and it takes all of me to get myself out of the gym and back in the car. Sometimes I have to pull on my legs to get them up on the elliptical.

How many of you have tripped on your way into the shower because it’s too hard to lift your legs? Or how about…..how many of you have worried about your driving skills now that it’s difficult to turn your head and the steering wheel? Any of this sound familiar?

On my last day to drink for a long time which was Sat when I went to this amazing wedding. I drank too much of course, champagne, etc. I exercised that day already so I could feel better in the evening. I took prednisone and plenty of pain killers. I know, I know, terrible on my liver. I didn’t start Methotrexate until last night which was on Doctor’s advice………he knew I’d be bingeing on sat. Anyway, my point: So there I was at the wedding, tipsy, dancing, and having a great time…..the most limber and energetic I had been in a while. And a woman I know who is a friend of mine and knows of my R.A………we were walking partners and with my last flare I had to stop the early mornings… Anyway she said, mockingly, “Your rheumatoid isn’t bothering you now is it?” and it felt so……….you know, like you must be faking this sort of thing.

O.k. now you heard me vent. Ahhhh, this is what a journal is all about.

Serracor-NK: Reverse the Disease Process

Supplements that can reverse the disease process

Supplements that can reverse the disease process

Serracor-NK is a supplement that you can buy on-line from www.biomediclabs.com . This blend has tremendously improved my Rheumatoid Arthritis. First I noticed not having stiffness at night. Then I noticed getting out of bed and not feeling pain when my feet hit the floor.

Disease activity is in direct correlation to inflammation. If you can decrease inflammation, then you have less disease activity which means less destruction on joints and organs. Side effects from this supplement were only beneficial. It reduces high cholesterol, improves circulatory health, induces viral cleansing and I never expected this one… hair thinning-gone! Expect to have the same amount of hair that you had as a teenager! (Of course, individual results may vary). Perhaps my hair loss was being caused from my body attacking itself. After all, Lupus causes hair loss and even though I was diagnosed with RA, I do get a lot of Lupus-like symptoms. I had thought my hair loss was simply hereditary. I’ve always had great hair but the amount of hair I’d loose in the shower still bothered me. Methotrexate caused me to loose even more but when I stopped Methotrexate I noticed that during a flare, I’d still loose more hair than normal. Now I lose almost no hair at all. It’s amazing! Serracor-NK works by removing excess Fibrin in the body. If your inflammation is not caused by excess Fibrin, then Serracor-NK probably won’t work for you.

“Recent research has shown that fibrin plays a key role in the inflammatory response and development of rheumatoid arthritis.-Wikipedia

For some people, experimenting with a supplement doesn’t sound like a good idea to them. I already felt that the medicines prescribed normally for Rheumatoid Arthritis are experimental, so trying supplements were a natural choice for me. A recent study in WebMD about Biologics shows that though they help with symptoms, they’re not the medical breakthrough doctors and patients were hoping for. Biologics like Enbrel are a very new choice of therapy. There are no guarantees. Although people feel safe taking a drug like Methotrexate because it has been around for a long time, I don’t find this any more consoling. Methotrexate is a drug that yes is widely prescribed by doctors but because it has been tested for so long, it is a fact and not a theory that taking this drug increases chances of cancer, digestive issues, Alzheimer’s and other disconcerting possibilities. It seems likely that at some point, you will suffer from some side effect. From my support group, Daily Strength, I commonly see people who have to temporarily stop taking Methotrexate because their liver enzymes were elevated. What this means is, their liver is getting damaged and they have to stop a medicine that is reducing pain, inflammation and joint damage, putting them behind with their therapy. I have been happily surprised that since starting Serracor-NK, I have not had to deal with a single flare. I feel healthy and can participate in most social events and activities without RA holding me back. Bottom Line: “The findings suggest that RA patients’ medical needs are not being totally met”WebMD

After having been on traditional medications for over a year and then switching over to Low Dose Naltrexone and Serracor-NK, I can honestly say that stiffness, inflammation and quality of life have greatly improved. I do believe that I’m getting increasingly better. This kind of feeling wasn’t happening on Methotrexate and Prednisone. I would go to the gym several times a week and find myself unable to work out as hard. I lost a considerable amount of muscle and since then have been able to improve my exercise routine. If you do decide to try Serracor-NK, make sure you don’t expect miracles right away. Just like immune suppressant drugs, these things take a while. I didn’t really feel a difference until the end of the second month and even then it was a small change. By the third month I was extremely impressed and the fourth month, I felt even better. Unfortunately, you do have to take a lot of pills. That’s the downside….and it sucks. But the alternative is even worse in my opinion. I would much rather take pills everyday, all day long than have to deal with the amount of suffering caused from taking a drug like Methotrexate. For some people, they never experience side effects. I did experience many side effects and I worried constantly about side effects from methotrexate years down the line.

At the height of my RA, I couldn’t even sit up from the couch without a helping hand. Now I can run, lift a full pot of coffee and wake up early in the morning with ease and without the worry of morning stiffness.

If you are looking to avoid the toxicity of chemotherapy drugs, the side effects of corticosteroids, and the expense and issues involved in Biologics, then you have come to the right site. There are so many options out there but coming up with a plan that tailors to your disease and your body can be difficult. Immune suppressive drugs work so well across the board because they don’t have to figure out the problem. They work by suppressing the immune system to a point that the body simply stops reacting. My theory however is that your immune system will eventually try to figure out a way to overcompensate by being suppressed. This is just my theory and I am in no way suggesting that you stop your DMARD. On the other hand, for some people who are looking to find an alternative, I think these are great solutions. What if they really do reverse the disease process? All I can say is, get back to me in 10 years and I’ll let you know. Hopefully I’ll have the answer we all hope for which is yes, you can reverse the disease process if you catch it in time.

Depressed?

Are you getting too much copper?  Depression is one its many side effects.  Are we getting too much?   Perhaps we are.  It’s in our foods and depending on where you get your water, it may be in that too.

Why drinking water?   The switch from galvanized water pipes to copper water pipes could be the issue.

My initial instinct was to find the foods that were high in copper and eliminate them.  On further investigation however, I learned that zinc helps  remove copper very slowly.  It shouldn’t have been a surprise to me that when I looked up foods that were highest in copper, they were also highest in zinc. Apparently, it’s a delicate balance and the foods we eat understand that balance.  If food like clams have  that precise balance of copper and zinc, then wouldn’t it make sense that our bodies do too?  This is why I think, we probably are getting too much copper due to copper pipes, among other possibilities.  If it’s in the water, even if it’s not in our drinking water, then I would think we’re probably getting too much copper from other sources like restaurants foods, processed foods, etc.

What are the symptoms of too much copper? “Excessive intake of copper can cause abdominal pain and cramps, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and liver damage. In addition, some experts believe that elevated copper levels, especially when zinc levels are also low, may be a contributing factor in many medical conditions including schizophrenia, hypertension, stuttering, autism, fatigue, muscle and joint pain, headaches, childhood hyperactivity, depression, insomnia, senility, and premenstrual syndrome.

Postpartum depression has also been linked to high levels of copper. This is because copper concentrations increase throughout pregnancy to approximately twice the normal values, and it may take up to three months after delivery for copper concentrations to normalize. “

The beginnings of Wilson’s Disease could also be a factor.  But don’t jump to conclusions without getting all the facts. There are benefits of an increased copper intake for some people.

“Short-term increases in the copper intake may help to reduce the fever, swelling and reduced joint mobility among rheumatoid arthritis sufferers. “ On the other hand, too much copper can lead to premature arthritis.

It makes me wonder, knowing that autoimmune diseases are on the rise.  Is copper partly to blame? Knowing as well that copper can lead to neurological issues, would people with neurological diseases benefit from taking zinc?

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