Unfortunately a lot of us are in moderate to extreme pain and that is no way to live. I know from personal experience how much pain and inflammation comes along with Rheumatoid Arthritis and the anguish it causes both yourself and your family.
When you have autoimmune diseases it is necessary to find ways to help manage your symptoms and find the causes. Some of the ways I have had to manage include medications and supplements.
Inflammation is a signal that there is something going on in your body. The immune system goes after anything that is foreign and tries to destroy it – injuries, bacteria, infections, viruses. When you have autoimmune diseases, the damage has been done and there often is no turning back. Some of the ways you can combat the pain and inflammation that goes along with these diseases is to supplement your diet with herbs and natural defenses, or with pharmaceutical medications. There are other supplements that can also be used, such as multi-vitamins and minerals.
There are many physicians, nutritional doctors, naturopathic doctors, functional medicine practitioners, et al, that are available on-line to help with those decisions as well, but I would strongly recommend using your own health care team to assist you with your needs. The internet is great, but for some health issues, I think it’s best you get your own health care team involved.
There are so many supplements out there that it can be overwhelming just looking at them. Here are some of the things that have been recommended to help me with my issues:
(I am in no way proposing that you do these things as EVERYONE is unique. My suggestion to you is that you work with your Naturopathic Doctor, Functional Medicine Practitioner, and your doctor/specialists – your health team to determine what, if anything, you should consider for your own health.)
Natural/herbal and other Supplements:
Mastic Gum – for ulcers; Cats Claw for digestive issues, ulcers, arthritis
Reishi Mushroom Extract for immune system support, lungs, liver; R+NAC SR – N-Acetyl-Cysteine for liver, neurological issues; L-Glutamine for gut function, immune system support; Turmeric capsules an anti-inflammatory, pain, heart, anti-coagulant +; Beta Glucan for immune support; Leaky Gut Support to help repair gut lining due to intestinal permeability; Olive Leaf Extract a natural antibiotic/antiviral for co-infections connected to RA; Collagen help repair joints, helps leaky gut;
Bone Broth Protein for digestion, arthritis, immune system boost, allergies; Multi-vitamin and minerals for overall health and well being; Cholesterol Balance to help maintain healthy cholesterol levels; CoQ10 for heart and neurological health; Krill Oil (omega 3) for heart, brain, cholesterol, arthritis
Propranolol for Essential Tremor (neuological); Synthroid for Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (30 years – half of thyroid is gone); Leflunomide (Arava) for Rheumatoid Arthritis; Prednisone for pain and inflammation due to RA
It is such a personal decision to make to take any form of supplement or medication to aid in your healing journey. I know it was a very difficult one for me, especially going on Leflunomide. But, there comes a point in everyone’s life where they have to determine what is best for them and whether the benefits outweigh the risks.
Some things that have to be considered are ongoing blood tests, possible liver/kidney/heart or any major organ damage, and all the other possible health risks that accompany pharmaceutical medications. How far into the process are you at the point you have to make decisions? Are there alternatives to big pharma’s medication and over the counter drug route – if so what are they and are they appropriate for you? What are the long term implications? How do you/your family feel about it? Cost? Accessibility? Is it actually going to help? I know, these have all come in to my mind at points in time when the decisions have had to be made. As I mentioned, it’s not an easy decision. But, when you are in pain and inflamed – any relief looks good! Especially when you are unable to take NSAID’s (Ibuprofen, Aleve, Advil) for inflammation or now even Tylenol for pain! Enter Turmeric.
I’ve done a complete post on Turmeric, but it is such a powerful spice, with so many benefits, it’s hard not to mention it again. I cannot believe that it only took 3 days for my pain and inflammation to go down when I first started using this wonder spice. It actually managed to help me stop using Tylenol Arthritis for my hands – as that was the only thing that managed to help with the pain then, but of course not the inflammation. Consequently, I still had a lot of pain all the time. Once Turmeric came into my life 3 times a day in my tea, that all changed in short order. I know there are a lot more herbs and spices that will help, but for me, this was my magic bullet!
Joy McCarthy of Joyous Health posted this article about inflammation and how to relieve some of the discomfort that comes along with it using food as your medicine. Read it here.
My hope is that you never suffer any kind of inflammation/pain, other than what your body needs to heal itself for very minor issues.
Have a blessed day!