The amazing, but under appreciated, Vitamin D

Protect yourself from the harmful rays of the sun

We have been warned, time and again to apply sunscreen frequently and limit any direct, unprotected contact with sunlight. We have been told that we’ll get skin cancer if we don’t use sunscreen.  The war against natural sunlight has been ongoing for years now. Now, not only do we have a plethora of sunscreen products to keep that dreaded sun from harming us, but we can also buy clothes and sunglasses that block the sun’s damaging rays as well. So, thank goodness, there are plenty of products to keep us sun free and healthy! And, we all lived happily ever after, right?

What about Vitamin D?

Vitamin D? I thought we were talking about the rays of the sun! Well, almost everyone has heard of vitamin D. But, many don’t realize that direct sunlight on our uncovered skin is the best way to get Vitamin D. But…wait…sunlight is bad for us! Or, is it? Here are some interesting facts about Vitamin D.

  • Our skin synthesizes sunlight and converts it into vitamin D.
  • It is recommended, by those who really do want to see you get and stay well, that we each get at least 15 minutes of uncovered sun per day.
  • Vitamin D is a key ingredient to enabling our bodies to fight off illness and disease.
  • Vitamin D from the sun is plentiful in most parts of the US between April and September. Wow, that’s strange! About the time of year that we are not able to get as much vitamin D from the sun, cold and flu season begins. In fact, some say that there really is no ‘Cold and Flu’ season. But rather, low vitamin D season.
  • In wintertime, if you live north of Atlanta Georgia, you will get almost no natural Vitamin D from the sun. Even Florida residents, they say, can only get about 10% of what they need in the winter, due to the increased angle of the sun.
  • If you live in the mountains, you might be able to get Vitamin D from the sun year round. This is said to be due to the fact that you are a little closer to the sun and the atmosphere is thinner.
  • People who are obese may not, in many cases, get the vitamin D they need. This is because Vitamin D is a fat soluble hormone and so, in these people, it may get stored in fat and might not be readily accessible to the body.
  • Dark skinned people might need more sunlight than light skinned people. This is because dark skin acts like a natural sunscreen, blocking much of the sun’s effects.
  • Vitamin D supplements may not provide all of the benefits that natural Vitamin D generated by the sun can provide.
  • If supplementing with Vitamin D, it is possible to overdo it. When this occurs it can cause something called hypercalcemia.
  • Although most doctors never check Vitamin D levels, your Vitamin D levels can be checked by routine blood work. The normal level should be somewhere between 50 and 90.
  • A low vitamin D level can be an indicator that you have a pathogenic infection. Some say that Vitamin D levels will return to normal once pathogenic infections are reduced or eliminated. When Measuring vitamin D levels it might be best to measure both 25(OH)D and 1,25(OH)2D, to get a clear picture of actual Vitamin D dysregulation.
  • Vitamin D plays a key role in regulation of inflammatory processes.

Vitamin D and pathogenic infection

Vitamin D plays an important role in managing pathogenic infections. The problem is, many of the pathogens that can make us really sick, especially those associated with chronic disease, know this and take actions to dysregulate our Vitamin D. Note that ‘VDR’, as mentioned below, stands for Vitamin D Receptor.

Here is a link to the study that the above excerpt is taken from. It’s an interesting read that once again assures us that just when we think we understand something about how our bodies work, we find that things are way more complicated than we ever imagined. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4160567/

What about skin cancer?

Yep, there it is. Skin cancer. For me, the jury is still out on how much of a causal effect the sun has on skin cancer, or Melanoma. I’m just not convinced that too much sun is the only factor in the development of skin cancer. Personally, I believe that in many cases viruses and bacteria play a key role in the development of many cancers. But, it may be years before we know the full truth. My biggest question about skin cancer is this: ‘Why does skin cancer often occur on areas of the body that do not get regular sun exposure?’.

Here is a link to an article by Dr. Mercola that questions the hypothesis that too much sun exposure alone causes skin cancer.  https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/11/20/deadly-melanoma-not-due-vitamin-d-deficiency.aspx

Yes, too much sun can be harmful

Now, even with all of the information that I have presented above about how we really do need a certain amount of sunlight to maintain good health, I’m not saying we should overdo it. My goal this spring is to get good sun, like 30 -45 minutes 3-4 times a week. And, like every year, I’m sure I will feel my best once I am again able to achieve this amount of sun exposure. We can get what we need and be reasonable at the same time, by doing the following:

  • Plan your exposures to get what you need, without overdoing it.
  • Try to cover exposed skin with shade or clothing when you have reached your limits, as opposed to applying sunscreen (Because who really knows how that is affecting us all).
  • Avoid burning.

Consider using natural sunscreen

Astaxanthin is a supplement that is said to provide natural sunscreen benefits from the inside out. I personally take astaxanthin, but I haven’t taken it long enough to vouch for the sunscreen benefits. Here is a link to learn more about Astaxanthin: https://www.drweil.com/vitamins-supplements-herbs/vitamins/is-astaxanthin-a-better-antioxidant/

Some final thoughts on sun exposure

Personally, I feel like we are greatly misguided about sun exposure and Vitamin D. I know that I always feel better in the spring, summer and fall when I am able to get adequate sunlight. I also believe that too much sun ages your skin faster than usual. So I think you have to strive for balanced exposure. That balanced exposure time will likely be different for everyone. And just remember, too much of a good thing can be bad.

Vitamin D is a complicated issue. I do believe that Vitamin D is very important to our health. But even more so, I believe that monitoring our Vitamin D levels is more important than we ever realized as it can be an important indicator of pathogenic infection. So, ask your healthcare provider to check your Vitamin D level frequently. And, if you find that it is consistently low, it may be an indicator that you might be harboring an infection that is steadily preparing your body for long term habitation.

At any rate, good luck on your health journey and…see you outside!

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A natural approach to treating Fibroids

I am not a doctor. I do not have formal medical training. But, when my sister asked me if I knew of anything natural that could treat extended irregular periods, heavy bleeding and cramps I told her that it sounded to me like she had fibroids and I began looking to see if I could identify a natural way to help her fight this horrible condition.

This is what I found

If you have read some of my other posts, you will likely begin to see a pattern when I say that I believe that viral, bacterial, parasitic and or fungal infections are at the root of fibroids. In fact, my research has shown that viral and bacterial infections can be at the root of many, many human ailments in which doctors have failed to provide a reasonable cause.

Stealthy Infections

When we think about an infection, we typically think about symptoms that somewhat correlate with a certain bacteria or virus. For instance, when we think about the virus that causes Chickenpox (varicella zoster), we think of a horribly itchy rash that covers our body. However, the same virus that causes Chickenpox also cause Shingles, which affects the nerves and is often more painful than itchy. What’s my point? My point is that I believe that infections can not only work together for greater pathogenicity, but that they can work quietly, under the covers let’s say, causing a myriad of issues that we don’t readily identify as symptoms of an infection.

Ever had a Urinary Tract Infection? Is it possible that the same bacteria that bless you with your occasional UTI’s are also responsible for your Fibroids? There are many, many human maladies that doctors and scientists say that they simply do not understand what causes them. I believe that the main reason for this is that doctors are trained to believe that certain bacteria and viruses can only cause certain symptoms. However, I believe that this couldn’t be farther from the truth.

A plan of attack

As I began reading as much information as I could find about Fibroids, it began to see a pattern emerging. Fibroids are almost always treated with invasive, surgical procedures and doctors do not really have a proven, non-invasive treatment plan to address them. And, the worst part is, that we allow ourselves to be invasively treated without questioning whether or not there might be another approach. An approach that leaves us with all of our organs in place.

So, as I began trying to create a list of suggested treatments for my sister, I felt that I would need to address bacteria, viruses, inflammation and tumorous growths. And, based on that theory, this is what I suggested:

  • Bio-Fibrin– To help fight against Biofilm(Hardened bacterial colonies), tumors and fibrous tissue.
  • Ultimate Monolaurin– To fight pathogenic infections (Bacteria, Viruses, etc)
  • Lactoferrin– To steal back the iron that bacteria have sequestered, limiting bacterial growth as well as stabilizing our iron stores. Lactoferrin, I feel, is very important for when addressing any urinary related infections.
  • Crushed garlic- I advised that she crush a clove or two of garlic and let it sit for 15 minutes before consuming it, twice daily as a natural antibiotic.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar(Bragg brand organic with mother)- 2 tablespoons 1-2 times daily in water or juice
  • Olive Leaf Extract- Natural antibiotic
  • Additionally, she researched and took Fibro Defense (which also contains antibacterial ingredients, BTW)

Steady as she goes

As my sister began taking the supplements that I suggested, she began to report that she was starting to feel a little better and that her bleeding was subsiding. But, her journey wasn’t without question. In fact, more than once I had to reassure her that it took her a while to get into this mess. And, it would take her a while to get out of it as well. Anytime we spoke, I tried to remind her to be patient and stay the course.

A few months had passed when she texted me and said that her pain and bleeding had returned, now worse than ever. This news was disheartening, to say the least. Did this mean that the supplements weren’t working? Have the fibroids grown? I have really grown to trust supplements and other natural medicines and could not really fathom why she seemed to be getting worse.

And then the phone call

After visiting the ER at least twice and being scheduled for a DNC, my sister called to say that she had passed a large amount of tissue, blood and clots over the course of several hours and that she was feeling better. Now this was good news! On re-visiting the gynecologist, she was told that the fibroids had died and that her uterus had passed them naturally and that the process of elimination was the catalyst for her intense pain. It hadn’t been an easy journey for her but…no DNC was required and no partial or full hysterectomy was needed.

On hearing the news, I took a deep breath, thankful that we somehow managed to bypass any serious traditional medical intervention while literally curing her of the fibroids. Yet again, more proof that you should do your own research and take control of your own healthcare. Doctors are pretty good at figuring out what ails us. But, once we have an idea of what is going on we should make our own treatment choices.

If this article helps you overcome your fibroids, please leave me a comment and tell us your story so that others can be encouraged as well.

Her Story, in her words

I would like to share my story about how I took a natural approach to healing my fibroids.

I have always had short periods with minimal cramping and bleeding.  Back in September, I started my period on the 9th and did not quit bleeding until Oct 2nd.  The bleeding was heavy and the cramping was uncomfortable.  I was afraid there was something seriously wrong with me.  I talked with my brother and we both did some research on my issue.  My brother was sure that it was most  likely fibroids from everything he had researched.  I also assumed that was more than likely what was going on with my body.

We decided I should take the natural approach, I mean after all if I would have rushed to the Dr he would have wanted to do a hysterectomy right away.  I wasn’t ready to be cut on and I knew the bad side effects that go along with a hysterectomy at age 43.  My brother researched the appropriate supplements that would help heal my issue.  In the mean time I had stopped bleeding Oct 2nd but only for 5 days then started bleeding again.  This was interrupting my life!!!

I was in constant fear of bleeding through my clothes, becoming anemic and spending all my time in the bathroom.  My brother started me on a regimen of supplements to aid in killing bacteria in my body and replacing the iron that I was losing from all the bleeding.  I was a bit hesitant that this would actually work because none of this was from a pharmacy prescribed by a Dr.  I am a nurse and my instinct was to go see my Dr and take whatever he prescribed for me but I decided to take my brothers advice instead.  My brother suffers from RA and with supplements, he has managed it without any of the harsh pharmaceutical drugs.  As a nurse I am well aware of all the nasty side effects that come along with each medication.  Some of the side effects outweigh the benefits of the medication so why do we take these?  Well because our Dr says to!

So at age 43 I decided enough is enough and that I’m going to take a more natural approach to curing my female issues.  I began taking supplements, apple cider vinegar and pressed garlic everyday.  It took me a week to get in the routine of taking all of it but that is because I wasn’t use to taking anything except a multi vitamin.  After about 2 weeks my bleeding and cramping slowed down a bit.  I tried to get plenty of exercise and changed my diet.  I researched foods that would aid in estrogen control.  The main feeder of fibroids is excessive estrogen.  I needed to try to balance my hormones in order to shrink the fibroids.

I also found a supplement called Fibro Defense.  I take it twice a day.  It has Ginger, Black Cohosh, Maitake mushroom and an antibacterial cleansing Pau D’ Arco.  All of these ingredients are beneficial in reducing swelling of fibroids and normalizing breast and uterine health.  So basically here is a rundown on what I take daily and let me mention I have ABSOLUTELY NO SIDE EFFECTS to any of these natural supplements!!!

What I have taken for my Fibroids

  •  Daily multivitamin
  •  Selenium 200 mg (which by the way if women took 200 mg of selenium each day we could reduce breast cancer by 80%)
  • Lactoferrin twice a day
  • Ultimate Monolaurin 3 times a day
  • Vitamin C 6000 mg daily
  • apple cider vinegar (2 tablespoons of  daily mixed in my bottle of water with crystal light)
  • Olive leaf extract 2 capsules a day
  • Bio fibrin 3 a day first thing in the morning with my coffee.

 I know this sounds like A LOT but I promise it becomes routine and it’s easy to do!  I mean after all these are all very beneficial to your overall health!!!

So, back to my bleeding.  I finally stopped bleeding the end of October and didn’t have a period until late Nov.  That period was a about 11 days long which is longer than normal for me but much better!!  Then came December and something amazing took place in my body!  You are probably not going to believe me because honestly its hard to believe myself.  I started my period but this time it was much worse.  The pain and the pressure in my lower abdomen was horrible!  I started using a hot pad to aid in the cramping and was taking ibuprofen for the pain.  Two days later the pain became too much for me to handle!

My husband drove me to the ER.  They did blood work and a UA.  They couldn’t find anything wrong so I was diagnosed with menstrual issues and sent home on progesterone and a pain pill.  The next day the pain and pressure worsened and this time my mom took me into the ER.  The ER PA decided to do multiple tests to figure out what was causing all my pain.  I had extensive blood work done, a CT with contrast an intra vaginal ultrasound.  The CT showed my uterus enlarged and thickened.  The technician doing my ultrasound had a hard time of finding my ovaries because my uterus was in the way.

My PA came in with the results. My white blood cell count was elevated (which is good and  means my immune soldiers are fighting off an infection), my CT showed all normal organs and lymph nodes but an enlarged uterus and my ultrasound showed a lot of blood, tissue and fluid in my uterus!  The PA consulted with a Gynecologist and she wanted me started on an antibiotic right away then she wanted to see me two days later in her office.  I went home on an antibiotic and Tramadol for the pain.  Then around 2am the horrific pain and pressure was back!  Ladies if you have had children I would compare my pain to labor!!

I woke my husband in tears and back to the ER we went!  I was in so much pain I Couldn’t get off the floor in the ER room.  They gave me a shot of Toradol and that didn’t ease it at all!  Then came back in with a shot of morphine. Finally i was able to crawl off the floor! I was sweating, exhausted and weak.  My husband was beginning to become frustrated with the hospital staff.  The ER treated me like I was a drug seeker.  They sent me home on H.  MORE DRUGS!!!

The next day I went to my parents to stay so my mom could help take care of me. The pain and pressure were still there but tolerable.  Then around 6pm I went to the bathroom and passed some tissue.  Later that night I felt a gush of fluid come out of me!  I went the bathroom and couldn’t believe what I passed out of my body!  I literally passed a toilet full of old blood, tissue, fluid and clots.  I started suddenly feeling the pressure improve and the pain was better!

I spent most of the rest of night going to the bathroom passing fluid, tissue and clots.  The next day was my Gynecologist appointment and I was feeling better!  She did an ultrasound first thing and said that she wouldn’t have believed I was ever sick if she wouldn’t have already seen my ultrasound from the hospital.  My uterus was back to normal and only a small amount of clots remained.  She removed them to biopsy them.

She said my cervix had dilated so my uterus could rid all the necrotic (dead) tissue, clots and fluid.  Its amazing!  She didn’t have to intervene with any surgery because my body did what its made to do!  I was given a shot of progesterone to aid in the excessive amount of estrogen.  I am 43 and pre menopausal so my body is slowing down on progesterone production which is allowing an excessive amount of estrogen.  Estrogen feeds fibroids!

She sent me home on an antibiotic and told me to rest!  Guess what! I still have all my female organs but my fibroids are gone with no DNC or hysterectomy!! I decided to increase my vitamin C and olive supplements to aid in immune healing.  I lost 4 and a half pounds of fibroids and clots out of my uterus!  Fibroids can grow to be very large and painful!  My gynecologist told me to keep up the good work with my supplements and everything else I was doing!  So, its been 3 weeks now and I feel like me again! No bleeding, no bloating, no pain and no pressure.

Ladies, if you suffer from heavy, painful periods, lower abdomen and back pressure(especially when you urinate), weight gain, anemia, intermittent bleeding and clots then you may also be suffering from fibroids. See your Dr to make sure it’s not something more serious. If you are diagnosed with fibroids, I encourage you to try a more natural approach first.

I believe my body did what it was supposed to do with the help of my supplements and change in diet.  There are alternatives to modern medical interventions. Please explore your options and take control of your health!  I hope this information helps even some of you women that are suffering.

Good luck and God bless!

Helpful Links:

https://ask4ufe.com/could-reproductive-tract-infections-cause-fibroids/
https://search.proquest.com/docview/1805299421
http://www.natmeds.net/blog/fibroids/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5330647/

Cannabis for our Warfighters

Haven’t they given enough?

Our service men and women are among the best that our country has to offer. For decades, our sons and daughters have served their country and sacrificed for us. Often, to the extent of giving their lives to ensure our freedom. As a result , our surviving warfighters have suffered, and are still suffering, from the injuries of war, both physically and mentally. And, the VA and our government have not been the most accommodating in helping them heal and move away from the pain and suffering that has, in many cases, become a daily struggle for many of them.

It’s easy to understand the pain caused by visible injury. Sometimes though, injuries can be completely invisible. These types of injuries, the injuries that cause us paralyzing depression or uncontrollable anger, are often misunderstood and minimized by many around us. But, it’s these kinds of injuries that lead our vets to divorce, loneliness and suicide.

Image result for 22 veteran suicide

Cannabis can save our heroes

Many, many vets with war injuries, both physical and mental, have reported that cannabis has not only alleviated their symptoms, but has often even saved their lives. Yet, at a federal level, cannabis continues to be illegal, causing many of these vets to have to treat their symptoms in secret, just to stay alive. This is a serious affront to our men and women that have fought and sacrificed for our country. When something is so effective as to not only heal, but save our vets lives, we have an undeniable responsibility to allow them untethered access.

Cannabis has long been known to reduce stress, relieve pain and anxiety and even cure cancer. But more importantly for our vets, it can act as an antidepressant that promotes sleep and can reduce the nightmares that are common to many of our warfighters.

Needs more clinical studies

You hear it all the time. Cannabis needs to be more closely studied and researched before we allow widespread use. Well, I hate to break the news to you, but this is one of the oldest medicines in the world and it’s been tried and tested for hundreds, if not thousands of years. It’s time to cut the crap, remove this plant from the controlled substances schedule and allow not only our warfighters, but anyone of legal age to use it. If you have severe pain….you should be able to use cannabis. If you have uncomfortable periods…you should be able to use it. If you have insomnia, headaches, depression…or PTSD…you should be able to use cannabis.

Stop the madness

Mr President, members of the House, members of the senate. Right now is the time to legalize marijuana. Right now and not a minute longer. Because, with each day that passes, were losing as many as 22 more of our veterans. Truly the best of the best. And, we’re letting them down. We’re letting them die. Let’s stop the lies, stop the misinformation and let our vets use the one medicine that will allow them to climb out of the foxhole and re-integrate with their families and society. We owe this to them.

Here is a very compelling video of an American Legion Press conference reinforcing the Legions support of Medical Marijuana use and research for veterans. If you can’t watch the whole thing, fast forward to the testimony of the two wounded veterans and surviving mother of a veteran that died at the hands of opioids.

https://www.theatlantic.com/notes/2017/02/why-shouldnt-war-vets-get-weed-for-their-wounds/518001/

Herxheimer (Healing crisis)

 About Herxheimer (Healing crisis) The Jarisch–Herxheimer reaction is a reaction to endotoxin-like products released by the death of harmful microorganisms within the body during antibiotic treatment.

Herxing is a well known reaction when killing off harmful bacteria and viruses. You’ve heard the saying that sometimes things have to get worse before they can get better. Well, that is exactly how herxing works. The problem is that it often feels like you are just plain getting sicker and it can be really, really confusing.

At first, when you start successfully treating yourself with antibacterials, antivirals and all of the other things that start killing off pathogens, it can seem like somewhat of a roller coaster. There are a lot of ups and downs. And, there were so many times that I literally cried because, even though I was really hitting the treatments hard, I felt like I was going backwards. But then, a couple of days later, I seemed a tiny bit better than before.

Just remember, these pathogens are making you feel miserable while they are alive and thriving. But, when they die, they are like toxic sludge in our system and until we get them out by sweating and excreting waste products, they will continue to make us feel miserable.

I’ve seen time and again where someone has written a product review of a fantastic antibacterial, or something, and have said something like ‘This gave me a headache and made my stomach upset and I’ll never take it again!’. Yep…that’s herxing. Unfortunately, that person will likely never get better.

If you have severe herxing from a treatment, don’t keep making yourself feel bad. Simply discontinue taking it for a few days and then restart, maybe a little slower next time and the build up again gradually.

Either way, stay the course and remember that this is a war (which is a series of battles) not just a single battle.

I hope this helps!

Is it a real remission? Only time will tell.

For those that have followed my progress in one way or another, you likely know that in researching my disease, I stumbled onto information that pointed to pathogenic infection as the primary underlying cause behind not only my RA/RD, but (possibly) many other autoimmune disease as well. I had been well trained by western medicine, that the only way to get better, is to take pharmaceutical drugs, made in a lab. But, I’m here to say, that except for a brief but uncomfortable stint with Celebrex, I have not used pharma drugs, and I have managed to stay ok. And sometimes, like now, better than ok.

Now, I’m not going to say that my journey has been all sunshine and butterflies, because it has not. I’ve spent a lot of money trying different supplements. And, some have helped, and some not as much. There have been ups and there have been downs. And, there have been ups…and well, you get the picture…

It’s been a long and brutal journey for me (and my family), and I never quite know what’s around the corner. But, through the ups and downs, I am proud to say that I’ve kept my treatments natural. Have I always eaten a perfect, natural diet? Please! No, I have not. But at the same time, I have managed to abstain from taking any pharmaceutical drugs that are known to carry harmful side effects. When I see ‘New and worsening cancers’ as a side effect, I choose to ‘Just say no’.

Chronic Illness

Even if you are attacking it successfully (ie, seeing improvement), chronic illness can be like riding a never ending roller coaster. I’ve been really sick. And…then I’ve been better. I’ve felt really close to normal sometimes. And, then I’ve returned to a place where I remember that I am not just fighting a cold. It’s something much more than that…Something ‘insidious’. This disease has brought me back to the reality of its ‘insidious’ nature, time and time again. Problem is, I’m stubborn. Sometimes, for me, it takes a few times to really stick. It still hasn’t stuck. But, I’m sure the disease will keep trying. That’s the nature of these types of diseases. And, that’s why many of us shudder when we feel like we are heading back into the throes of our illness after a period of relief. Completely and utterly…Insidious.

Chronic illnesses, like RA, MS CFS, FMS, Diabetes (and on, and on, and on) can seemingly come from nowhere and advance so subtly that, no matter how hard you try, you can’t seem to find what it is that has brought you to this new place of un-health and discomfort. I would now believe that (often) our chronically diseased state begins many years before we even realize that things are not quite right.
With personal knowledge of at least one person who successfully traced their disease back to a vaccination, even winning reimbursement in the vaccine court (National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program), I often wonder if this trail of misfortune does not (sometimes) begin at childhood. Someday, maybe we’ll all know the answers. As for now, we can only speculate.
In my case, I remember feeling very healthy throughout most of my life, with some occasional random (wierd) health issues that would sometimes make me believe that I either had cancer or some kind of heart dysfunction. Generally speaking, however, I would often remain illness free, when others had the flu or other seasonal illnesses. Overall, aside from little wierd things here and there, I always felt healthier than most. I had no allergies (either environmental or food based) and no ongoing illnesses that I could really put a finger on.

What do I believe brings us to into these diseased states?

Well, I don’t claim to have any ‘conclusive’ answers to this question. Although, I do believe that many diseases can be caused by pathogenic bacteria, viruses, yeast, fungal and or parasitic infections. And, for me, treating my disease as such has led me to a much improved state. However, if I were to speculate, even just for the sake of discussion, about what might lead us into the diseases, these would be my guesses:
Irresponsible vaccine schedules that lower our immune system, allowing opportunistic pathogens to take hold in our bodies.
Potentially contaminated vaccines.
Environmental conditions like heavy metal contamination.
Overuse of antibiotics that reduce the health of our gut natural biota (which they say our immune system relies on heavily)
Processed foods, GMO foods, refined sugars, drug and alcohol abuse
– Carryover from childhood illnesses
I’m pretty sure that that list could go on and on…and on. Truth is, I believe that we live in somewhat of a hostile environment, in this day and age, and I fear it will only get worse.

Remission? Or, just a high point in my illness?

Yes, I have come to a point where I haven’t felt the fangs of RA for a period of several weeks. How long will it last? Will this new found symptom free state hang around? I don’t know. Remember, we are talking about an insidious, bone bending, pain inducing, wheelchair filling disease. Am I cured? I would like to think so! YES! Woohoo!! But (Dangit…always has to be a but!), the reality is that…well…probably not. But, you know what? I came to this point without using pharmaceutical drugs. I came to this point without harmful side effects. And, even if I do roll back down the other side of this peak…I’ve been here once, and I’m growing more and more confident that I’ll be here again. Insidious…..meet stubborn! You…are like the bully that knocked me down on the playground and told me to stay there. And, I am the skinny kid with freckles that is just too damn stubborn to listen.

The truth about Medical Marijuana

I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again. Marijuana (Cannabis), when used responsibly, is medicine. When I first  began researching my illness, I found an immense amount of information stating that cannabis, especially in the form of Cannabis oil or Rick Simpson Oil, has been used to successfully treat RA and other autoimmune type disease, as well as cancer. And, although it remains illegal in my state, my worsening symptoms and the ongoing fear of permanent disability, made the risks of trying it seem far less important than the reality of the damage and pain that my disease was causing me. And, that was one of the best decisions (I feel) that I have made during my journey with RA. Because, you see, cannabis oil (for me) has not only alleviated my pain, over time. But, I feel it has also been highly curative.

And, believe it or not, this is nothing new. Before cannabis prohibition, doctors frequently prescribed cannabis for numerous ailments. Personally, I no longer believe that it was outlawed to protect us, but for other reasons that were driven by politics and money. Now, at least 30 states have some form of medical marijuana program and 8 others have approved use and possession by anyone over 21. So, as Bob Dylan said, ‘The times they are a changin’. They are just changing very slowly.

Now, there is no one thing that can treat diseases like RA. But, cannabis, I have found, is a heavy hitter when it comes to safe, gentle effective treatment of these types of diseases. After using one form of cannabis or another for more than a year and a half, I am healthier and now completely pain free. And…because I have come to a point where I feel healthy and pain free, I have even been able to stop its use altogether (for nearly a month at the time of this writing), without any type of withdrawals or signs of addiction. But…they tell us it is addictive?? Maybe it can be in some circumstances where it has been highly abused, I don’t really know. My experience, however, was different.

And then there’s the ‘Gateway drug’ theory that has been disproven time and time again. Well, I’m here to say that that part is completely true! It is a gateway…to better sleep and an increased state of health. See, they were right all along! But seriously, never, ever while using cannabis in any form did I ever have any desire to do anything stronger or different. I’ve always theorized that the only reason it could ever be considered a gateway drug is due to the unscrupulous people that users have been forced to be around simply because of it’s illegality.

In other words, a user goes to his ‘guy’ to purchase cannabis. But, that ‘guy’ is not upstanding and tries to push meth, heroin cocaine etc. to this person, who never would have been exposed to the other drugs, had they not had to resort to purchasing underground from this moron. People in states where it is legal are able to purchase from safe, legal, licensed dispensaries that are forced to ensure that the product is free from pesticides and contaminants. And in these states, the ‘guy’ eventually has to go find a real job. Additionally, the ‘guy’ never paid any taxes. Legal cannabis has brought millions of dollars in tax money that has been used for schools, scholarships, etc.

Now, like anything, cannabis might not be for everyone. But, for me, it eased my pain, gave me wonderful, all night sleep, and slowly, but surely, helped to alleviate my symptoms. All of this without a single harsh side effect. So, even if you do not agree with cannabis, please give those that want to use it as a tool against their disease the opportunity to see if it can help them as much as it can help me. It’s time for the age of misinformation about the risks and benefits of cannabis, to come to an end. I’m not sure how I’ll fare by not using it. But, given it’s current legal status, weighed against the fact that I am doing much, much better at the moment, I regretfully am choosing to currently refrain from it’s use. Were I as sick today as I was a year and a half ago, I would do it all over in an instant.

Learn more about my cannabis oil experience here: https://healing-naturally.org/2017/04/13/cannabis-oil-for-rheumatoid-arthritis/

Some afterthoughts

Blood work from 10/21/16

Just to show how my bloodwork results improved within the first several months of treatment

  • CRP (An indicator of overall inflammation or infection) levels have dropped from 12.9 in mid-July to 1.1.
  • ESR (Another indicator of inflammation or infection) dropped from 26 in April to 6.
  • Vitamin D stores have risen from 15 to 92. To me, this says that the bacteria is no longer dysregulating my vitamin D. Before my last blood work, I had already been supplementing for well more than a month and it was still low, but my outward signs of infection were still pretty prevalent at that time as well.
  • TSH is still dysregulated. BUT, my thyroid is now, once again, producing T3 and T4. My functional med doctor explained this to me by saying that my Pituitary gland is still having to yell (work harder) at my Thyroid to get my it to produce T3 and T4. But, the Thyroid is actually  working now (listening).

Some really important things to keep in mind as you begin treating yourself naturally

  • There is hope for you! I know you feel like you are lost to a life of discomfort and disability. But…there is hope!
  • It seems to me that diet changes alone might be able to lessen symptoms. But, I know far too many people who have extreme health diets, and still have these types of diseases. So, although I’m not saying an extremely healthy diet is bad, I don’t feel like it is as effective as supplementing with some of the amazing natural medicines that can’t be found in our normal diets. I think we need both. A little better diet combined with natural supplements.
  • Even using all of the best supplements, recovery from these diseases takes months and months, if not years. My progress was always so slow that sometimes it seemed I was standing still. I think these diseases so radically affect our entire bodies, that it takes time to recover and rebuild.
  • There are ups and downs. I literally had times where I started crying, because I would have a return of symptoms after feeling previously a little better. I finally began to understand that sometimes the result of healing, or bacterial die-off, causes symptoms to temporarily worsen. And, that if I just hung in there, things would be a little better tomorrow. And…they were.
  • If it makes you feel worse, it might just be making you better. I’ve read thousands of supplement reviews and invariably see the 1 star review that says something like ‘Made me feel awful. I’ll never use this again!’. Just because taking a supplement makes you feel worse, doesn’t mean it was the actual supplement itself that ‘caused‘ the discomfort. It is likely that a healthy person, taking the same supplement, would have no adverse reactions. Why? because for them, there are no toxins in their bodies created by the die-off of the bacteria that was killed by the supplement. If it makes you feel drastically worse, back off for a day or so and then resume at a lower dose, building back up to a full dose when you can.
  • If you are like me, as you start getting better, without pharmaceutical drugs, your belief in the traditional healthcare system will be shaken. And, you’ll wonder why your doctor doesn’t know about these things. In fact, you’ll begin to question a lot of things about our country’s healthcare.
  • For what it’s worth, I cannot isolate any negative side effects from the treatment course that I have taken. None.
  • These diseases can cause brain fog, depression and even anger and despair. Hang in there! With treatment, these undeniable psychological symptoms will subside. At least this was the case for me. I now feel clear headed and no longer fight with daily depression.
  • It only stands to reason that the longer you have been sick, the longer it will take to recover. And, unfortunately, some disease damage, like joint disfigurement, may never go away. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t live an otherwise healthy life!
  • And lastly…Many of the people that you tell about how you have treated yourself naturally, without pharma drugs, will plain and simple question whether or not you’ve gone off the deep end. Even though they see that you are doing better and recovering, they still will not release their hold on their belief in traditional medicine. In my case, I’ve learned to be very choosey about who I give full disclosure to. I have grown to have such a strong empathy for those with serious disease that I want to tell everyone that I see. But, unfortunately, it just does not work that way…yet.

What happens now?

Well, who the heck knows, really? Insidious…remember? I have reduced some of the supplements that I am taking. But, basically, I feel like I need to keep trudging ahead, as usual. I might be at the start of a week long, month long or year long remission or maybe something more. Who really knows! The way these diseases go, I could wake up in severe pain tomorrow morning. I really don’t know! What I do know though, is that I am fighting the good fight! And, I’m doing it as naturally as possible, which has truly paid dividends by giving me better overall health! So, if you are taking the pharmaceutical route, and that is working for you…ok. But, if you are unhappy with your current path, there are other options. My journey has, at the least, proven that.

 

UPDATES

Update from 10-22-17

It’s now been a few months since I stopped taking the cannabis oil and a month and a half since I stopped taking all forms of THC (Vaping and infused coconut oil). I had no problems stopping or remaining that way.  I have not gone critically backwards, so far, by not taking any form of THC. But, I do feel like I stopped too soon and notice a little more hip stiffness at times as well as some lingering (minor) foot pain issues. Neither symptom is there all the time. But, it is definitely more frequent than it was while I was using some form of cannabis.

Steady, all night sleep has become more elusive.  And, at times I have had some rather uncontrollable depression (Meaning that it felt like it came from the disease and not from things in life that I was dealing with). Normally, when I would have depression, cannabis would pull me right out of it, sometimes in minutes. Working through the depression that this disease can bring was difficult without it, for sure. I do believe that at some point I want to return to treating myself with cannabis as I felt like my body was more easily able to maintain a normal, healthy state than it does without it.

As far as feeling like I am ‘sick’ or feeling like I have an active infection, I no longer do. I feel like I have made outstanding progress. I do, absolutely and without doubt, feel like the combination of Cannabis and cannabis oil, Antibacterials, antivirals and biofilm disruptors has not just made me feel better, but has been healing and even curative. Am I completely cured at this point? In short, I don’t think so. I feel like the pathogen(s) that have caused my illness are still inside me, just waiting for the opportunity to grow and thrive again. But, again I have come a long, long way!

So, with almost 2 years of being chronically ill with an ‘autoimmune’ disease, I have formed some strong opinions. In short, let’s wake up people! Tell your congressmen and women that cannabis is a medicine and that we should all be able to have access to it. It should be available to everyone, in every state, not just for those that fit under stringent state medical marijuana qualifications.

I am proof that it is medicine and should not be listed as a schedule 1 drug that has ‘no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse’. I have experienced the medically curative properties of marijuana. I was not led to other drugs, in fact it even helped to moderate my alcohol use. And, when I felt like it was time to stop (at least for a while) I simply stopped.

Let’s stop the bold faced, reefer madness driven lies and let cannabis begin to heal our very broken country. The truth is out in the open now and it’s time end the charade. At this point, keeping cannabis illegal is, I feel,… a crime against humanity.

Update from 12-6-17

Unless something crazy happens, this will be the last update I make to this post. I have, as of about a month ago, returned to using cannabis as I came to the realization that my foot nerve pain, depression, sleep issues, hip discomfort and other nagging maladies were faring better while I was using it regularly.

Since returning to using cannabis for my RA, I have felt better overall, and have not suffered from the debilitating depression or nightly insomnia, like I did after I stopped using it. My foot issues have been way, way better, as well. In fact, after I stopped using cannabis, the nerves and joints in my feet were causing increasing amounts of discomfort, especially after sitting for a while. This discomfort is now, again, 85% better. I still get some kind of nerve discomfort at different times. But, this occurs so much less now that I almost completely forget about it through most of my day.

I’m really glad, actually, that I stopped using cannabis for a couple of months because it allowed me to really quantify just how much cannabis was helping me. I feel healthier and happier now and feel like I am back to my old self. I do not regret my period of cessation. But, at the same time, I know now that my best course, by far, is to continue treating myself with cannabis. I will follow up this post, very soon, with a post about my experiences (good and bad) as someone who has treated themselves illegally with cannabis. Until then, if you are sick like I was but afraid to try cannabis as a treatment for disease, I hope that I have helped to convince you that cannabis is not the Devil’s lettuce as it has been portrayed. But, when used responsibly, can be healing, curative medicine.

My short list to healing

Note: This is not meant to be medical advice. It is simply a summary of what worked for me. Everyone’s illness can be a little different because there are so many things that can positively or negatively affect us when we are afflicted with these kinds of diseases. Also note that I am talking about RA in the post, but I believe that if I had a different disease, like MS, Crohn’s, IBS, Fibromyalgia, Lupus, etc., I would be giving the exact same account of my treatment. Also note that if you are working on a tight budget, my minimal short list is shown at the bottom of this page.

I’m so happy to report that I am ‘slowly’ doing better with each passing week and month as I continue on my healing journey from RA. But, it has been a long, long ride. It hasn’t been easy. It hasn’t been simple. And, for me (Not having a short list myself) it hasn’t been cheap. I’ve tried a lot of different supplements. Some helped, and some didn’t. And, it wasn’t always easy to tell between the two. But, unfortunately, since the allopathic medical system is so clueless and broken, you simply have to use a trial and error kind of approach to figure out what works and what is hype.

So, in this post I am aiming to help those of you who are desperate to find some kind of answer, with the goal of giving you the benefit of my experience. I hope that you find this helpful. I also hope to eventually see some comments from those that have benefitted from this information.

Good, bad and the ugly

Nothing can quite prepare you for an illness that can affect every part of your body, including your mental wellness and overall cognitive abilities. It doesn’t matter how amazing you think your diet is or how often you exercise. I have read articles written by people that actually ‘teach’ extreme healthy diets, that can’t recover from these diseases. RA, MS, FMS, CFS, Lupus and the many other ‘Autoimmune’ diseases are insidious, stealthy and way more complicated in their pathology than you could ever imagine. In fact, they are downright scary.

With that said, I no longer believe that the body is simply going haywire and attacking itself. That is ludicrous. I also no longer believe that these types of illnesses are incurable. And lastly, I now believe that pharmaceutical approaches are more harmful than helpful. And, most doctors, even the so called amazing rheumatologists, are simply clueless about ‘healthy’ approaches to healing. The biggest takeaway that I have found is that ‘Things are not always as they seem’. So, moving forward, I beg you to keep an open mind.

Most people will not understand your struggle

I did not understand illness and disability before my RA. I had compassion, but not as much empathy. And, like everyone else, I believed that natural treatments were mostly hype. When I got sick, and limped everywhere I went, people looked at me differently. It was almost as if I they thought I was simply trying to get attention. Although I was really sick and failing more each day, I still looked athletic and fairly healthy. And, when people think of disease, they think of people that look visibly sick. These diseases are special in the fact that you can look pretty good on the outside, but be broken as hell on the inside. Just accept now that ‘most’ people will not understand what you are going through.

Not just your body

I would have never imagined that an illness like this could have such an immense effect on my mental wellbeing and stability. When I began to have brain fog, trouble concentrating, trouble making a ‘plan’, depression and anger, it really opened my eyes to the possibility that illness can cause psychological issues that can become pretty problematic. I immediately began to think about those suffering from autism, bipolar, depression and other psychological dysfunction and how they may also be ‘illness’ driven.

For me, depression, anxiety, brain fog and lack of concentration have been a huge player in the course of my disease. In fact, I would say that these symptoms have been the most difficult to deal with because they can even affect your ability to help yourself and make good treatment choices.

Treatment is complex, but you can start simple

It’s very easy to overwhelm someone that is new to natural treatments. We are well trained by the medical institutions and pharmaceutical companies to believe that the only way to treat an ‘incurable’ illness is to go to the doctor and get a pharmaceutical drug. We are also trained to believe that pharmaceutical companies have our best interest at heart. So, it goes against our grain and we resist (I did) anything that doesn’t come from a prescription bottle.

So, what I’m trying to say is that this can be overwhelming, especially when you are living with one of these diseases that makes it hard to think clearly. So, here is the short list of how I would approach healing from one of these diseases if I had to start today.

Medical Marijuana

Personally, I believe that medical marijuana (Cannabis) is one of the most important treatment options that a person can try. Cannabis has been proven, in lab tests, to be antibacterial and antiviral. It has also proven to be anti inflammatory, anti-cancer and a good counter attack against depression, stress and anxiety. And, I find that cannabis heals gently. It is not the only answer. But, if you have the ability to benefit from this amazing plant, I highly suggest that you give it a shot.

There are many different strains, that come in many different forms and can be taken in many different ways. The bottom line, though, is to just get as much into your ailing body as you (reasonably) can. When asked which strains to use, I would say just mix it up. I recommend using a mixture of strains. But, personally, I have found Strong Indicas to help me the best (Indicas are sedating, pain relieving and relaxing). However, again, mix it up. Each different strain can literally have a different beneficial effect and can help more or less with different issues. I do, however, highly recommend that you obtain (or make yourself) the concentrated full extract cannabis oil or ‘Rick Simpson’ type of oil that you take by mouth, as this is the most powerful, and healing method that I have found. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t vape flower or vapable oils, or take cannabis infused coconut oil, because these are helpful as well. But, the extract seems to be a really heavy hitter when it comes to healing.

What should I expect when I start using cannabis for healing?

There is no overnight cure or single substance that you can take that will make you better overnight. Cannabis is the same way. The first thing you might notice when you start taking cannabis oil is the wonderful sleep that it brings with it. This, in itself, is necessary to healing. When I first started taking the oil, I would sometimes sleep as late as 9am, not waking a single time during the night.

As far as healing, you won’t notice any real change overnight. Even though this is powerful medicine, you have a serious illness that progressed over months or years and things are not going to change in an instant. So, be patient and diligent and you should begin to notice some subtle changes in inflammation and pain, as your treatment continues.

Although I don’t recommend smoking cannabis, vaping can alleviate fatigue and stress and can bring an overall feeling of wellbeing. So, experiment with different strains and methods and, if you are like me and many others that have written testimonies on the use of cannabis for healing, you should begin to (slowly but surely) begin to feel a little better.

Note: Your mileage may vary. What works for one person might not work as well for another. Also, please don’t consider this as treatment advice. I am simply listing what I found to be helpful and healing to me. And, because I was so desperate for that healing, I often ‘shotgunned’ it, trying several things at once. So, I can’t definitively say that one thing worked better than another. I honestly think that the totality of everything I tried, played some part in my recovery. So please use this as a resource, but do your own research as well. Also note that my research has indicated that the following treatments are not only effective against RA, but also most other autoimmune diseases like MS, CFS, FMS, GWI, Crohns, IBS, etc.

Antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and antiprotozoals

There are many, many things that help eradicate the kinds of infections that can cause these kinds of serious illness. Some are better than others. The key is to start slowly and work your way up. The reason that you have to start slowly is because once the germ killing begins, you might have some healing crisis or Herxheimer. What does that mean? It means that you might (will) feel a little worse before you feel better. This is likely due to the fact that the dead and dying bacteria leave you with more toxins that your body has to address and remove. Expect it. And, when it happens, just know that it means that you are making a dent and headed in the right direction. So, again. Start slowly.

NOTE: I currently take all three of the supplement listed below

  • Samento (Nutramedix) Samento is a form of Cat’s claw that is an all natural antibacterial. Start with only 2 drops (yes 2 drops) twice a day and slowly move it up to the recommended dose of 30 drops, or more, each day.
  • Banderol (Nutramedix) Banderol is also a butt kicker (to the bacteria) and might even have the ability to disrupt the deep colonization (Biofilm) that these infections can establish to conceal and protect themselves from the immune system. Again, start with just a couple of drops a couple of times a day, and move up slowly. Trust me on this one.
  • Takuna (Also Nutramedix) This one, as far as I can tell, is more directed at viral invaders as I have found that there is never just a single infection, and often times, some of those infections are viral like Varicella Zoster (Chickenpox and Shingles) and Epstein Barr (Mono). I believe that these infections can hang out for years without causing any real symptoms. But, they can add to the overall depth of the illness once the immune system becomes compromised.
  • Olive Leaf extract. 1-3 capsules 3 times a day. Nature’s way Olive Leaf ExtractSeagate brand Olive Leaf Extract (More expensive) Olive Leaf extract is a natural antibiotic with Antibacterial, antiviral and immune building qualities. Olive leaf extract benefits
  • Cat’s Claw. Recommended brand Raintree Cat’s Claw. I also recommend these Cat’s claw drops as well. Prima Una De Gato I take both kinds, switching between the two often. Cat’s Claw is anti inflammatory, antibacterial , antiviral and is used for many different gut issues, like IBS and Crohn’s as well. Cat’s claw benefits
  • ‘Myco’ (Heavy hitter) supplement. 3 pills twice a day (start with 1 pill twice a day for a week)  ‘Myco’ supplement by Raintree This is an antibacterial supplement that was created with Mycoplasma in mind. This is a powerful antibacterial, antibiotic. Please be sure to take a probiotic with this as i think it has the ability to affect good gut bacteria as well as bad bacteria.
  • Oregano oil. 1-3 pills, 1 – 3 times daily. Now Brand Oil Of Oregano.  Oregano Oil benefits Oregano oil is Antibacterial, antiviral and antiinflammatory.
  • Lauricidin. Lauricidin. Lauricidin is made from coconut oil and is a highly concentrated version of monolaurin, which is the active ingredient in coconut oil. Lauricidin is said to be immune system building as well as antibacterial and antiviral. Lauricidin information.
  • Borax water. For this, it is recommended that you add 1/8th to 1/4th teaspoon of borax to a liter of water and sip it throughout the day. To me it doesn’t taste great, but it doesn’t taste horrible either. Borax is said to have the toxicity of table salt. Some have reported taking this every day for extended periods of time with no real side effects. Borax water is supposed to have good antibacterial qualities.

Something for Biofilms

Scientists are starting to believe that most serious illnesses comes, almost entirely, from bacteria and viruses that have established protective (Biofilm) communities. These communities can be responsible for the failure of antibiotics and can make the immune system almost useless in defeating the infections due to the protection that they provide against, well, almost everything. So, we have to make it difficult on these infections by taking away their ability to thrive in protected communities. One thing I have learned is that I do believe that Biofilms are very important in chronic disease. And not all biofilm are susceptible to the same substances. So, because scientists are still learning about these communities, information on how to counteract them can be difficult to find.

  • (RECOMMENDED) Bio Fibrin – Bio fibrin, was, I feel a game changer for me. I’ve listed some of the supplements below that are known to be able to destroy biofilms and Bio Fibrin contains most of them in one supplement. I highly recommend that you use this supplement as your biofilm buster. The recommended dose is 5 per day (which I currently take). Make  sure you take this on an empty stomach or it will simply help you digest your food and won’t hit the Biofilms. I take mine first thing and then wait 30-40 min before eating.
  • (RECOMMENDED) Lactoferrin– Lactoferrin is said to be an excellent biofilm buster as well as just an overall pathogen buster. This supplement is iron related, but does not supply iron. What it does do, as I understand it, is this: Bacteria are known to sequester iron, or…steal it from you, to use for their own growth (Anemia anyone?) Lactoferrin is said to take that iron back and put it where it was supposed to go in the first place. So, you give your body the iron it needs AND take fight pathogens and biofilm at the same time. I am told this is especially effective for people with recurrent UTI infections as well (for the same reasons). If you have any history of any type of urinary or uterine issues, this might b a good fit for you. Otherwise, it’s possible that it may help anyone with RA or other autoimmune disease, not sure, but it has ft well into my regimen. I take 1 per day, with food.
  • Serrapeptase Serrapeptase is said to have the ability to help dissolve biofilm formations. It also allegedly helps remove scar tissue and fibroids. It has many positive health benefits and I remember feeling a little better after I started taking it.
  • Quercetin with Bromelain These heavy hitters have many positive health effects, including antiinflammatory effects. The reason that I take it, however, is that it is said to have the ability to disrupt biofilm communities so that they have a much more difficult time protecting the infectious agents. Again, when I started taking this I did feel a positive difference. In fact, this is one of those supplements that I would recommend for almost anyone because of its wide reaching healthful effects.
  • NAC– NAC is also said to be helpful in controlling and destroying Biofilm communities.

Other helpful supplements

There are several other supplements that I have taken that I feel have had a positive impact on my illness. But, if you are not in a financial position to take them all, just do what you can. I’ll summarize at the end of this blog article.

  • (RECOMMENDED) Foundation (Multivitamin) by Inspired Nutrition. This has a wide spectrum of great stuff in it and have has some probiotics built in.
  • (RECOMMENDED) Ultimate Monolaurin– The praise for monolaurin (comes from coconuts) never ends. It is said to kill a wide variety of pathogens and simply be a super healthy supplement at the same time. I currently use this.
  • (RECOMMENDED Bioastin (Astaxanthin) This is a super powered antioxidant that is also supposed to help vision, skin tone and is supposedly a natural sunblock as it builds in your system. This is the same stuff that make salmon, lobster, shrimp and flamingos pink. I feel that when I started taking this it knocked out my chronic fatigue.
  • Vitamin C– When you’re sick, your body can handle a lot of vitamin C. I highly recommend taking it for not only the obvious health reasons, but for its powerful antioxidant abilities. I typically take as much as 3-6 grams daily.
  • Magnesium– Magnesium is necessary for several essential bodily processes and if you’re sick, you are probably deficient in magnesium.
  • Probiotic/prebiotic– Probiotics help to replace the good bacteria that the bad bacteria (and antibiotics, even natural ones) have killed. This is VERY important and I recommend taking at least 3 per day (with meals and especially right before bed) to help recover the functionality of your good gut bacteria.
  • Fish oil– Fish oil helps repair the body and provides omega 3’s. I currently take 2-4 of these a day.
  • Vitamin D3 with K2– I guarantee that if you have a serious illness, you are vitamin D deficient. Vitamin D helps our immune function. You can also get vitamin D directly from the sun (15 minutes of mid-day sun without sunscreen will help).
  • Turmeric– Turmeric is said to be a super food and supposedly helps with everything from depression to inflammation.
  • Borax water For this, it is recommended that you add 1/8th to 1/4th teaspoon of borax to a liter of water and sip it throughout the day. To me it doesn’t taste great, but it doesn’t taste horrible either. Borax is said to have the toxicity of table salt. Some have reported taking this every day for extended periods of time with no real side effects. I can attest that Borax water is very helpful in clearing infections. And…it’s really cheap. You can buy a box that will last forever at most grocery stores for under $5.00. NOTE: Borax water might give you loose stools initially as it begins to cleanup your gut biome. Hang in there and it will stop in time.
  • (RECOMMENDED) Apple Cider Vinegar Apple Cider vinegar is a time-tested superfood that has positive effects throughout the body. And, it’s very cheap and very simple to take. ACV is said to affect how nutrients are absorbed, be good for the gut biome, help you maintain a healthy weight and much, much more. Simply put 2 teaspoons in a short glass of water or sugar-free juice and drink it 2-3 times a day, preferably before your meals, but anytime is fine. NOTE: Should be organic, with the ‘mother’.

Healthy diet and exercise

And of course, a healthy diet can help a lot as well. I mention this last because many will tell you that if you were just eating healthy, you wouldn’t be sick, which is a big bunch of crap. Will it help? Yes. Will it have the ability to do what all of the stuff I’ve listed does? Highly, highly doubtful. These are very, very serious illnesses that require more than just a paleo, vegan or other supposedly ‘super healthy’ diet. I believe that a super healthy diet can mask or temporarily alleviate symptoms. But, eradication of the illness itself is another issue altogether. However, there are some really basic things that you can do that I believe may help.

  • Reduce refined sugar- Sugar feeds bacteria and yeast and cancer. Even if you take good supplements, too much sugar could counteract your progress.
  • Reduce dairy- I did not stop consuming all dairy. But, I did switch from Milk to Almond milk for cereal, drinking and cooking. Personally, I think this is a great move. I do still eat cheese. But, I don’t miss milk at all, at this point.
  • Fresh fruit and veggies- Eat more fresh (Organic if possible) fruit and vegetables. This goes without saying.
  • Gluten free?- Some might kick me for saying this. But, I believe that the reason going gluten-free helps so much is because of dysfunction caused by illness. In other words, I believe that if you take care of the illness, other things like Gluten intolerance, might be alleviated as well. But, it might help in the short-term to reduce your gluten. If so, go for it. I was actually found to have the Celiac marker in my initial blood tests. However, I have found that as I have recovered, this has not been any kind of remarkable issue.
  • Exercise You might laugh when you read this, thinking to yourself that you can barely walk, much less exercise. Do what you can , when you can, just don’t hurt yourself. Exercise is very important for healing and can help rid the body of toxins created when the bacteria die off. If you can jog, then jog. If you can work out with weights, do it. If all you can do is take a slow walk down the road, do it. Anything and everything you are able to do to be active, should be done.

Short List Summary

So, here it is. If you are working on a budget, this is the minimum that I recommend you take to help yourself heal. Again though, I cannot overstress the effectiveness of cannabis in the treatment of these diseases as well.

  • Borax water, 3 times a day
  • Apple Cider Vinegar, 2-3 times a day
  • Samento, 3 times a day, 2 drops each to start.
  • Bio Fibrin, 5 caps on an empty stomach once daily

That is my absolute minimal budget list. This doesn’t really address all possible infection types, but it is a great start. If you are able to get and take more of the things I have listed, do it. Otherwise, take and do what you can afford, knowing that it might just take longer to experience defined healing.

And remember, this a war, not a battle. It takes time, patience and persistence. And, it doesn’t happen overnight. Hang in there, though! Knowing the truth about these illnesses and the things that ‘Really’ help to clear them up, is the first step in getting back to a more normal you.

Good luck, God Bless and if this helps you, leave me a comment below.

Brain Fog

We are complicated.

Our bodies possess a complex collection of functional tools like our brain, eyes, limbs, heart, joints and other organs that help us to make our way through life. Life is good when everything is working the way it is supposed to. But, if one of these crucial systems begins to fail, it can completely change the game for us in no time.

Introducing brain fog.

For me, brain fog comes and goes, but seems to be more prevalent when I’m hitting the antibacterial, antiviral and anti fungals harder than usual. In many cases, when it hits me, I lose my concentration and become forgetful. And, I can no longer pull myself to successfully work. It just isn’t there. I simply have a hard time concentrating and it is far more difficult to problem solve and making decisions.

Brain fog is really exactly like it sounds. It can come upon you quickly and subside just as quickly or it can come on gradually and maybe last for years. I don’t pretend to know all of the mechanisms that can cause brain fog, but from what I’ve found so far, some of the reasons might be:

  • Infection- Bacterial, viral, fungal and parasitic infections are far more prevalent in society than ever before. Infections consume resources that we need to stay healthy and can block the uptake of others. I have a feeling that a great majority of brain fog is related to some kind of pathogen. Many diseases like Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lyme Disease are well known for their ability to fog your brain. I am a firm believer that infection can and does cause a great deal, if not most, behavioral disorders and diseases like ASD, Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia. And, I can attest, that the way my thoughts and emotions have been constantly in disarray during my battle with this disease, that these infections can affect your mind as much as they can affect your body and central nervous system.
  • Healing crisis- Recently, I added a new supplement to my RA toolbox (Stevia by Nutramedix *NOTE ON STEVIA BELOW) and have been experiencing some intense healing crisis (herxheimer). During this healing crisis my brain fog has kicked into high gear and my motivation, into low. I can only imagine the amounts of toxins that are generated when we effectively slaughter invaders like this. But, I have a distinct feeling that these toxins are often much of the cause of brain fog. Detox anyone?
  • Environment- Molds, EMF, vaccinations, heavy metals, barometric pressure and so on could definitely play a role in brain fog.
  • Diet- Some say that wheat, gluten or other food allergies can cause brain fog. I do believe that this is true. But, I think that there is likely a infectious reason behind the food allergy. For instance, it is said that those who have a Candida overgrowth crave sugar. In my opinion, diet changes that help with these diseases are not helping because our body is suddenly broken, it is helping because of some kind of interaction with the underlying infection.
  •  Injury- Of course, brain fog could come from traumatic injury as well.

Treatment of brain fog

Hmmm. Well. I don’t know if there is any one cure-all for brain fog. I believe that to effectively eliminate it, you basically have to eliminate the cause of the issue itself. So, instead of buying supplements to boost your brain and clear your head, I recommend trying to work on clearing the illness or infection that is behind it as well as implementation of some kind of detox.

In visiting Earth Clinic, I found a couple of suggestions:

  1. Apple cider vinegar- They say that taking a couple of tablespoons of ACV a few times a day can effectively kill brain fog. I believe that this might come as a result of ACV’s ability to help clear toxins from the body. Either way, ACV has been touted time and time again for several healthy benefits. So, for me it’s a no brainer. As of today, I’m getting back on the ACV wagon. I’ll post an update letting everyone know how I fare. I use the Bragg brand of ACV ‘with mother’. Simply pour a couple teaspoons in a small glass of water (or a low sugar juice) and drink it down.
  2. Extra virgin cold pressed coconut oil- We’ve all heard the goodness that coconut oil can bring to our lives. Many say that eating a spoonful of coconut oil 2-3 times a day can help to eliminate brain fog and give you added energy as a bonus.

Well, one thing is for sure. Both of these remedies are super well known for their health benefits and I have found that both can play an huge part in fighting a bacterial infection. So, it sounds promising. I’ll keep you posted with my findings.


UPDATE: The brain fog that I had for so long diminished at this time to the point where I no longer notice anything other than some occasional,minor lack of concentration. I believe that if you just continue to attack the pathogens that are causing your issues, the brain fog will be diminished as other symptoms lessen. So, I don’t have a distinct treatment answer for this, other than just to keep attacking bacteria, viruses and biofilms.


*NOTE ON TAKING STEVIA*– Stevia (Nutramedix) is said to be an effective biofilm buster. While I do believe that there is something to that, I also have to report that I experienced what seemed to be a reduced level of testosterone while taking it. While I believe it to be effective, especially if you are really sick, I urge caution with this one.

Due to my somewhat negative experience with Stevia, I discontinued taking it directly, and instead am now adding a few droppers full to each new large bottle of listerine mouthwash that I buy. This seems to be working well and helping to keep my mouth in great shape, while not affecting me physically in any noticeable manner. After discontinuing the direct Stevia dosing, it took about a month to feel like I was back to normal.

11-16-17 ANOTHER POSSIBLE OPTION: A lot of reviewers have stated that Pinella, by NutraMedix (Awesome company) helps tremendously with brain fog. I have not taken this and no longer have brain fog. but, if you do, this might help:

Here’s the link:  Pinella by NutraMedix

 

 

 

Some thoughts about chronic disease

Before falling victim to Rheumatoid Arthritis, things were different for me. Obviously, before the illness, I didn’t have regular joint pain and inflammation, as well as the other numerous symptoms of the disease. But, that’s not the only thing that was different.

I was once, like most of us are, completely confident that the doctors at the local hospital had the latest and greatest information and treatment options for whatever it is that ails us. I also had this cookie cutter image of various diseases, including cancer, and felt that if I were unlucky enough to catch one, that my future would look dismal. I mean hey, if you look around you at the people that are afflicted with serious disease, you rarely see those people come back to a state of wellness anywhere close to what they were before. Well, that is…if they choose to treat themselves using traditional medicine.

We are trained, from birth, to believe that the best medical advice comes from our traditional (allopathic) medical doctors and that the best medicine is made in a lab and sold in a pharmacy. We, as a society, have been told that any kind of medical solution that does not come from a doctor’s office is snake oil and is unproven and unsafe. When you begin to see that this isn’t entirely true….it changes your entire outlook on, well, just about everything.

So, as you read on, I urge you to open your mind. Because, just when we think we know everything…

Autoimmune disease 

So, with an autoimmune disease, our body suddenly, and without reason, begins to attack itself, causing all sorts of things like inflammation, painful joints, nerve issues, sleep problems, cognitive issues, heart and organ issues, and on and on.

This is typically what we are told: ”

Your body’s immune system protects you from disease and infection. But if you have an autoimmune disease, your immune system attacks healthy cells in your body by mistake. Autoimmune diseases can affect many parts of the body.
No one is sure what causes autoimmune diseases. They do tend to run in families. Women – particularly African-American, Hispanic-American, and Native-American women – have a higher risk for some autoimmune diseases.
There are more than 80 types of autoimmune diseases, and some have similar symptoms. This makes it hard for your health care provider to know if you really have one of these diseases, and if so, which one. Getting a diagnosis can be frustrating and stressful. Often, the first symptoms are fatigue, muscle aches and a low fever. The classic sign of an autoimmune disease is inflammation, which can cause redness, heat, pain and swelling.
The diseases may also have flare-ups, when they get worse, and remissions, when symptoms get better or disappear. Treatment depends on the disease, but in most cases one important goal is to reduce inflammation. Sometimes doctors prescribe corticosteroids or other drugs that reduce your immune response.”

So, no one knows what causes these diseases that all look eerily similar with just a few different symptoms from that of many of the other ‘autoimmune’ diseases.

After living with and researching RA myself, here are my thoughts:

Note: These are opinions based on the wealth of information that is now becoming available from various researchers and other resources. You can take it or leave it. I feel that it is simply my obligation to share the information that I have found to be closer to the truth than that provided by the medical community.

  • Autoimmune theory- I no longer believe that our bodies simply go rogue and start attacking itself for no reason. Could it be a thing in some cases? Maybe, anything is possible. But, I no longer feel like we can blame these disease on immune systems that finally decide to stop playing by the rules and begin trying to cause us great pain and discomfort or even death.
  • The Pharma approach- Many of the pharmaceutical treatments for these types of disease are designed to lower the immune system so that it stops aggressively attacking us (for no reason of course). Somehow…that doesn’t seem right to me. To me, that would be like turning off the stoplights on a busy Saturday night because traffic is too heavy and it is causing high wait times. The traffic light is doing what it is designed to do. It is not the cause of high traffic and certainly turning it off is not going to fix the issue.
  • Cause and effect- Doctors are trained to believe that a certain cause always results in certain illness affects. In other words, if you have influenza, you have the influenza virus. And, the symptoms of the virus will be much the same for you as they are for me. In most cases, this is absolutely true. However, I now believe that this isn’t always the case. I don’t think that doctors are purposefully mistreating us. I just think that they have been as misdirected by the medical establishment as we, the patients, have.
  • Bacteria, viruses and fungi can be at the root of most common diseases- I have read articles that state that researchers believed that diseases like Rheumatoid Arthritis might have a bacterial origin as early as 1935. The problem with the theory is that the type of bacteria that can cause these diseases are often stealth bacteria that are not easily detected in simple blood work and can often only be found by using a test called PCR (Polymerase Chain reaction) )that actually looks for the DNA of the bacteria. These tests are expensive and not always covered by insurance. A pioneer in the field of Microbiology, Dr Garth Nicolson, (www.immed.org) found a direct connection between these types of bacteria (Mostly Mycoplasma, but also those associated with Lyme Disease) and the growing list of autoimmune diseases that we are facing at an unprecedented rate. With everything I have experienced and read since being diagnosed with RA, I believe this wholeheartedly. So, maybe that immune system is doing exactly what it is supposed to do…fighting off an infection. I will begin posting information soon about how I approached my RA treatment and embarked on the path to healing.
  • Food allergies, diet and Gluten- Although I don’t claim to know the mechanism that causes it all to happen, I now believe that certain foods cause reactions due to the way that certain bacteria, viruses and fungi interact with it. In other words, certain foods will make an infection either thrive or diminish. You can easily find articles that declare that a certain diet will diminish the symptoms of certain illnesses. I do believe that many of them are true and effective. However, I think there is a missing piece to that puzzle and that is the ‘why?’. Why is it that someone all of the sudden has an allergy to a food that they have been able to tolerate all of their life? Here is another one of those areas that we just accept, and maybe change our diet, and move on. But, what if the reason you are now having a reaction to a certain food is because you now have an active infection that is using those foods to further its own existence in your body. I do, wholeheartedly, believe that if you remove the infection…you might eventually lose the intolerance to those foods.

Summary

In summary, what we are told by doctors, pharmaceutical companies and the media about chronic illness, may not be the whole story. The key is that we must not just blindly trust our healthcare providers and we must do our own research and take control of our own health.

Biofilms

BIOFILMS Biofilm explanation

Mycoplasma are a stealth virus . Not only can they change shapes and evade or even turn off the immune system. They also have the ability to form what’s called a ‘biofilm’.

Biofilms are basically a group of bacteria or viruses that have surrounded themselves with a protein like coating that protects them from the immune system and antimicrobials. (Mycoplasma are not the only critters that can create biofilms. In fact it seems that most bacteria and viruses can.)

This, I believe, is why it takes so long to defeat these types of infections. I believe that the bacteria have the ability to grow in the biofilm, in an unrestricted manner. Then, every so often, they release more bacteria into the system that attempt to re-infect the host. I also think this is one of the main reasons why someone ends treatment prematurely, thinking that they are feeling worse and therefore thinking that the treatment is not working. It also might account for the ‘ups and downs’ of these types of illnesses.

So, at some point we have to address biofilms. If we don’t, the bacteria will come out of hiding and reinfect the host…repeatedly. NOTE: I highly recommend that you do not start treating for biofilms right away. I recommend that you treat with antimicrobials (lightly first, then more heavily with time) and then, after about 3-4 weeks, begin attacking the biofilms. Otherwise, I think that you will have a heavy die off that could overwhelm your system.

Natural Biofilm Dissolvers

  • Serrapeptase – Serrapeptase is an enzyme produced by serratia bacteria in the intestines of silkworms.  The enzyme only dissolves dead or damaged tissue such as Fibrin, the building blocks for Biofilm.  Once the enzyme dissolves the fibrin, Bacteria is exposed to antibiotics and the immune system. This is what I use. I currently take about 4 – 6 capsules spread throughout the day. these should be taken 30 min before a meal or well after a meal. Other uses for serrapeptase are:
    • Heart health
    • Pain relief
    • Anti inflammatory
    • Fibroid dissolver
    • Helps with cancer patients
    • UTI’s
    • Here is a link with some information about serrapeptase, but also many testimonials that outline what it has done for different people that have used it. http://www.helpherself.com/serapeptase/ 
  • Lumbrokinase – Lumbrokinase is an enzyme produced by earthworms.  It is commonly used for breaking up biofilm by dissolving the fibrin that it consists of.  Lumbrokinase is said to be more powerful than Nattokinase.
  • Nattokinase – Nattokinase is an enzyme produced from Natto, a Japanese food made from fermented soybeans.  It is commonly used for breaking up Biofilm by dissolving the fibrin it consists of.
  • Bio-fibrin– Bio-fibrin is a supplement that is designed for use against biofilm aBiofibrinnd contains 2 of the 3 enzymes listed above as well as several others that are known to be heavy hitters. Personally, I take 3 Serrapeptase and 3 Bio-fibrin each morning, first thing and then wait for at least 35 minutes to eat.  Personally, I feel like keeping biofilms under control is a key to good overall health, much less a true key to rising above chronic illness.

Remember, Healing takes time

Rome wasn’t built in a day and you did not become less than healthy in a day, either. I feel so much better now than I did when I first became ill. But, it has been a long and slow process. In fact, January 2018 will mark two years since I first began to experience the life changing illness that swooped down upon me like a phoenix. So, set your sights on wellness and just start moving forward. One foot ahead of the other…