I have had many questions lately about the supplements and medications I take and about what each of them do. I answer people about this individual supplement and that individual supplement but I want to use this blog entry to not only inform people of what I take, but what each one is for. I want to make it VERY clear that I am not recommending any of these supplements and medications for any of you. Like medications, supplements come with some risks at times although my overall experience has been that they are much lower risks. They also come with significantly less side effects. I do see an integrative medicine doctor and traditional medical doctors who prescribe and/or approve this entire list. This is NOT medical advice and should not be considered as such. It is a combination that seems to be working well for me at the moment. So don't even consider coming after me with a lawyer because you have been forewarned!
The reason I am going through all of this in a blog entry is because I am feeling better recently. I think I can attribute that to other things besides this list such as the Paleo diet, yoga, exercise, stress management, and massage. However I feel strongly that this list has played a big part in my current state of health and I feel that keeping this information to myself would be a crime. We all need to commiserate and share ideas in our path to wellness. I am not saying that I am the vision of perfect health whatsoever but over the past one-two months, there has been an overall improvement.
I still struggle with many of my Sjogren's issues on a daily basis. But I also have a relatively predictable pattern to flare ups of my symptoms after overexerting myself such as a day trip or an unusual amount of activity in one day. It dawned on me today that after getting married five days ago, I have yet to physically crash in a way that I am used to. Although three days ago was a bit rough, it never got to the point of what I have experienced in the past.
So here we go:
Levothyroxine 88mcg dailyRestasis 1 drop each eye 2x/day
Zantac 150mg at bedtime
Low dose naltrexone 3mg every day at bedtime
Tramadol 50 mg (1-2) ever six hours as needed for pain
Temazepam 15 mg (1-2) at bedtime as needed.
The Zantac I am on only for another few days. I have been on it since January and it is the last of my GERD/esophagus meds to come off of. I will be restarting drinking apple cider vinegar to help with rebound reflux when I come off the Zantac next week.
Restasis is for dry eyes related to the Sjogren's. It is expensive but does help some; enough so that I am willing to deal with the money aspect. Also, there was some concern about dry eye progression and my risk of corneal ulcerations so I am faithful about taking it.
Low dose naltrexone (LDN) is an alternative medication prescribed by my integrative medicine doctor for managing Sjogren's. There is research on it showing success with other autoimmune illnesses but no studies on the effect it has on Sjogren's. I feel strongly that it helps with some of my symptoms and so I deal with the insomnia issues that come with it; especially since that is the only side effect. If you go searching through my blog, you will see a few entries about LDN.
I rarely use Albuterol anymore for my asthma since I started allergy shots and LDN but I list it so the docs know I have it. Tramadol is for pain and works well for me although it also gives me insomnia. My use of it has decreased over the past few months.
Temazepam is a sleeping medication. Like Albuterol, I rarely use it but I have some on hand for desperate situations. I found that if I take it on a regular basis, it stops working after a while and it can be habit forming. Also, Medicare drug plans do not pay for it. I have yet to get it filled while on Medicare so not sure of the cost. I am constantly working on dealing with insomnia issues but I refuse to take sleep medications regularly. What constitutes a "desperate situation?" When I am on massive doses of prednisone or the two-three nights before my wedding day.
Trader Joe’s Omega 3 (400mg EPA:200 mg DHA) 1200mg (3 capsules) daily: I started taking this for depression and anxiety years before I found out I had Sjogren's however it also treats inflammation.
Vitamin D 5000 units daily: I was found to be extremely deficient in Vitamin D around the same time my autoimmune symptoms started. Many people with autoimmune disorders also have Vitamin D deficiency.
PB 8 probiotic (14 billion units) 2 capsules daily: Provides good bacteria for my gut. One of the integrative medicine theories behind autoimmune disorders is something called leaky gut and the probiotics help to restore balance in this area.
Biotin 8mg daily: Temporarily taking this due to my hair loss from an autoimmune medication I stopped taking two months ago. Apparently it takes several months for the medication to stop causing hair loss. I have noticed some effect but not a lot so far.
DL-Pheine 500mg daily in the morning: Helps with joint pain, especially pain related to rheumatoid arthritis, which is a possible secondary diagnosis for me. I have noticed some relief since starting this. Made me a bit hyper when I started it so I switched it to morning without any further issues.
GABA 750mg at bedtime: An amino acid that can help with sleep. It has helped me more than any other natural sleep aid but not as much as when I occasionally take temazepam. Actually, many other natural sleep aids such as melatonin and valerian have an opposite effect on me.
Prenatal multi-vitamin 1 daily: Nobody get excited, I am not pregnant. I have chosen to take a prenatal instead of a regular multi-vitamin because I found out through blood work that I am deficient in copper and Vitamin A and the prenatal has higher concentrations of those as well as other vitamins.
Mastica 500 mg 2x/day: Recently started this for my GERD and esophagus issues. Treats intestinal inflammation, GERD, and gastritis. I take it in conjunction with the Zinlori and aong with apple cider vinegar, I have managed to get off massive doses of Nexium.
Zinlori 1 tablet 2x/day: A zinc based supplement for the stomach to help with GERD and esophagus issues. Promotes healing of the gastric lining. I have had zero side effects from this and the Mastica.
Petadolex 50mg daily: The other name for this is butterbur. There has been research that shows butterbur can help alleviate migraines. This is one of the best things anyone has ever given me. It has allowed me to come off a potent anti-seizure medication that was being used to treat my autoimmune related migraines.
Refresh Celluvisc eye drops up to 6x/day as needed: Over-the-counter drops I use as needed which right now is about 3x/day. I have tried at least seven or eight different brands of eye drops and these are the only ones that work well for me.
Allergy shots for molds, trees, cat, dust, grass, weeds: I was found to have multiple allergies to all of these things. There were very few molds, trees, grasses, or weeds that I was NOT allergic to. I get five shots every week.
That's my list. My hopes is that someday the list for both the prescription medications and the supplements will get shorter. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them in the comment section of this post.