Sick Days, No thanks!!

Vomiting is one of the many side effects of Methotrexate

Vomiting is one of the many side effects of Methotrexate

Being part of a support group, I check daily posts written by fellow RA sufferers. In a recent post called “MTX questions” a person asked what others do in regards to taking their MTX, (Methotrexate). Do they take it Friday and feel sick on Saturday or do they take it Sunday and feel horrible for Monday? This is a common question and it gets addressed often. For those of you that don’t know, Methotrexate is a chemotherapy drug, also known as a DMARD and it works by suppressing the immune system. For those of us with an autoimmune disease, the common thought is that an autoimmune disease means an overactive immune system. I have found information that states autoimmune diseases are simply the body confusing healthy tissue for non-healthy tissue, meaning it’s not a system that’s overactive as so much it is an immune system that isn’t working correctly. Suppressing the immune system does not make it work correctly. Instead, it keeps the body from destroying itself, kind of. Methotrexate may cause damage to the liver, intestines and sometimes the lungs, just to name a few. Although it doesn’t seem like methotrexate is a good option, doctors don’t present many other options when you get diagnosed with RA. And you can’t go on living with uncontrollable inflammation. Inflammation in itself, if left uncontrolled can cause cancer, intestinal damage, organ damage, other diseases and with RA will most likely cause joint erosion and deformation. So although taking a toxic drug like methotrexate seems out of the question, not taking it is just as scary.

It’s no wonder I kept searching for alternative options. I was tired of dreading my weekends. On Monday and Tuesday I still felt like I was a little bit “sick” from the methotrexate. If you haven’t taken this drug and it hits you hard like it did with me, this is what I experienced: The next morning after taking methotrexate I would feel more swollen, more painful and more stiff. My kidney area always felt like it had been kicked in the night and this would last until later in the evening. I would feel extremely fatigued and as if I had slept on rocks. Imagine you haven’t slept in 2 days. That’s how fatigued I felt. Or imagine what the flue feels like. That’s exactly how it was, resting both Saturday and Sunday so I could prepare for the following work week. Even running a low grade temperature wasn’t out of the question, of course this could have just been my RA at work. My hair would always fall out in mass amounts on Saturday and it would lessen as time went by. My eyes would be somewhat bloodshot and I would generally feel less hungry than normal for a few days. I wouldn’t exercise over the weekends. Instead, I would try and “recover” until the week started again and try to summon up energy to get myself to the gym after a few days of shaking off the methotrexate side effects. Heck, I was one of the lucky ones that didn’t throw up after taking methotrexate, a common side effect. As time went on having Rheumatoid Arthritis, I found myself becoming weaker and weaker. Workouts were less effective. My resistance level became less and less on the eliptical machine. I no longer did weights because the swelling of my wrists and fingers made it impossible. I continued to at least work hard at strengthening my knee joints. I figured that was the most important-being able to walk, so I made it my top priority.

When I finally freed myself of the methotrexate hangover, I felt like I was on the right path. And speaking of hangover, being on methotrexate meant you couldn’t drink a drop of alcohol because the drug itself does a # all on it’s own to your liver. Being off the drug meant I could drink again. Though I know alcohol is a poison, I tested my theory out on my own liver….just how bad can it be compared to methotexate? I was getting monthly blood tests because doctors have to keep track of how your liver is functioning and I would closely monitor my tests. At one point in time, just 10mg of methotrexate (a very small dose) elevated my liver enzymes. Yet when I went off this drug, one weekend I purged on alcohol. I came in for my test and didn’t tell them I was off of methotrexate. When the results came in, my liver was functioning better than it ever had while I was on methotrexate. Go figure!!

So truly, the reality is methotrexate is hard on your body. For those of you that take it, I feel for you. If your side effects are bad, giving up your weekends to a drug is a horrible thing to experience. I wish you all the best of luck in your journey with an autoimmune disease, or if you know someone who has an autoimmune disease please be compassionate as I’m sure they could use the support.

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.

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