These are the treatment plans I followed while working to wean off prednisone and other meds in 2013/2014. This is not a recommendation to others. This is just what I did, in cooperation with my doctor, who is trained in both conventional and natural medicine. I pray that my experience can encourage and give hope to others. It’s been 5 years now. I’m not symptom free, but I live a great life, and I’m not on any medications. Healing IS possible.
10/8/14…I’m leaving previous treatment plan info below, but it’s been 1 year and 2 days since my last treatment plan update. I am still medication free, except for the occasional use of dexamethasone mouthwash (which is not ingested, so minimal exposure to the steroid). I avoid OTC meds as well, but have taken NSAIDs on very rare occasions. I’m doing the best I can with my diet, and taking the following supplements (though inconsistently): Natural Calm (yummy magnesium sup), Fermented Cod Liver Oil (makes my skin look amazing when I take it regularly, but it tastes horrific- the cinnamon flavor is the most palatable), and L-glutamine. I’m not currently taking a probiotic, but I eat lots of fermented sauerkraut and recently found Bubbie’s pickles (similarly fermented) at my local Publix. Score! So that does a pretty good job of keeping my gut inoculated.
Back in July (before I got back on my health kick), something went amok and I ended up in the ER overnight. The doctors said it was a bad case of strep (the worst they’d seen) despite a negative test result (they said the test they used was fast, but not as dependable, hence the “incorrect” results). But anybody who has experience with this disease knows how that goes. Doctors diagnose based on what they know, and they never know about this disease. I didn’t bother correcting them because what they did helped me, and I couldn’t speak anyway. Here’s my theory- I ran a 5k without proper training earlier that week, sent my body into a stress response, and what would’ve been a mild sore throat for most people exploded into an all out autoimmune war in my neck. By the time I got to the ER, I was struggling to get air down my throat, much less liquids (so I was severely dehydrated) or food (had lost several pounds from my already too-thin frame). They pumped me full of steroids, antibiotics, morphine, and liquids (2 bags and I still didn’t need to pee- the nurse was like, “Geez, you were DRY!”) And sent me home with more antibiotics and painkillers. It took me a couple of weeks to recover from that, but thankfully I didn’t come away with a fresh dependence on steroids or any other meds, so I was quickly able to go back to med-free status. This is how I prefer to balance my use of conventional vs. natural medicine. Conventional is necessary and fantastic in an emergency. Once again, it saved my life. But it’s not going to heal my long term, chronic condition. Natural medicine, good nutrition, and a balanced lifestyle is doing that.
So that’s my current treatment plan. Along with lots of Jesus. I go to church as often as possible, surround myself with positive people, listen to music that strengthens my faith and leaves thoughts of God’s unbelievable love circling in my brain. With everything I’ve been through, it’s crucial to guard my heart and protect my thought patterns. Music that is filled with hope and faith while acknowledging the pain and struggle we all experience to one degree or another… it’s been a life saver for me. Songs get stuck in your head. Make sure they’re good ones.
PREVIOUS TREATMENT PLAN
I’m leaving my previous treatment plan info below, but as of 10/6/13 I have weaned off of all prescription medications and am taking these supplements:
Pregnenolone Pure Encapsulations – Pregnenolone 30 mg at breakfast
Green Pastures Fermented Cod Liver Oil (Non-flavored) (for lots of omega 3’s and vitamins A, K, and D)
And eating/drinking tons of fermented stuff for probiotics: raw sauerkraut, kombucha, water kefir, coconut kefir, coconut yogurt
I also take Enzymedica – Digest Gold
Updated 3/29/13, 4/22/13
Chewable Prenatal Multivitamin (2 per day)
Fish Oil (3 per day) (anti inflammatory)
Evening Primrose Oil-Borage Oil-Flax Oil (3 per day) (anti inflammatory)
Borage Oil (1 per day) Update 3/29/13: switched to a combination oil including borage
Adrenal Support (2 per day)
(1 at night) (adrenal support) Update 3/29/13: upped this to 2 per night
Silymarin Milk Thistle (3 per day) (adrenal support)
Vitamin B12 (sublingual, 1 per day) (to balance mostly vegetarian diet) Update 3/29/13: eliminated B12 since it’s included in the MethylGuard supplement
(1 per day)… integrative doc predicted my Vitamin D levels would be severely low and recommended I take a stronger dose using sublingual drops, which I have been doing since 2/28/13 (5 drops per day) Update 3/29/13: levels were low, but not as low as expected… taking 3 drops per day (6000 IU total)
(1 per day)... integrative doc recommended a higher concentration/assortment of live cultures, and said he prefers the Garden of Life brand. Haven’t picked this up yet, but will soon. Until then, I’m taking plain old Acidophilus. He also suggested to take it at night, just before bed. Said it gives the bacteria a chance to establish itself in your gut without being digested along with food. Update 3/29/13: gradually increasing dosage up to 9 per day, all at once, just before bed and adding a bifido-specific strain (since I had NONE of that in my gut)
Digestive Enzymes (Enzymetica Brand is good) with every meal
Pregnenolone 10 mg, 3 at breakfast, 2 at lunch
DHEA 10 mg, 1 at breakfast
Grapefruit Seed Extract, 2 at breakfast, 2 at lunch
MethylGuard (B12, B6, Folate) to support homocysteine regulation since I have both gene mutations associated with the MTHFR enzyme. Very complicated. If you want to know, google it.
Prednisone 20 mg (1 per day)…until further notice, since I’m just likely to get sick again if I try to taper off.
Colchrys (3 per day)… not sure what this is doing at this point, but if I get off of it and need to get back on, it’s a hassle- stomach issues, takes a while to get into your system. We’ll see. I may get off of this in the next month or so if it’s not doing any good. Update 4/22/13, ran out of this medication and doc said to see what happens if I stop taking it. Fluconazole 200 mg (1 per day)… antifungal, to combat the candida the natural doc is sure has taken over my internal systems. He said to take it for 10 days, take 10 days off, and 10 days back on. This “pulses” the candida, more effectively killing it off, while giving my liver a break in between “pulses”. Update 3/29/13, 20 days on since every time I try to stop taking it, the thrush takes over my tongue.
I’m also using hydrocodone/acetaminophen pills and lidocaine mouthwash as needed for pain. Dexamethasone mouthwash (steroid) as needed. And Nystatin mouthwash (anti fungal) as needed.
Cipro (antibiotic) to combat bacterial infection in gut. 7 days on, 5 days off, 7 days on
Doxycycline 100 mg (antibiotic) to combat Lyme infection. 1 at breakfast and 1 at lunch
Nystatin 500,000 (antifungal) 2 with each meal, to combat the inevitable fungal overgrowth due to continued antibiotics