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.

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