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    Susan LymeRA
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    First, if your AP doctor does not also focus on healing your body nutritiously, find a 2nd doctor who does.  Good nutrition is the foundation to getting well.  You can't build a house without a foundation.  It won't stand.  Same with getting well.

    Get on an anti-inflammatory diet.  For a time, you may have to give up meat, but probably not forever.  You just need to get the inflammation down.  Definitely give up sugar and processed foods.  Nothing pre-made.  Drink lots of water. Lemon is a detoxifier.  So are cruciferous vegetables (brocolli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, asparagus)  You will need lots of supplements to build up your body.  But you need a doctor to help you determine which supplements.  I am a firm believer we don't have runaway immune systems.  Our immune system is fighting invaders and it is working overtime to deal with the bugs, the drugs, the toxins.  Don't add bad diet and poor nutrition to the mix.

    I just recently found a doctor within 30 mins of me that practices both conventional and nutritional medicine.  She will not replace my rheumatoid/AP doctor but  I hope she will provide me with a family doctor who is local and who understands all I am doing to fight RA.  She and my doctor both attended the Institute of Functional Medicine. (link provided) I haven't met her yet, so this is not a recommendation of her.  But she has a great website with lots of good information and I am including it at the end of my post.

    In the beginning I was swollen from head to toe.  Oh, pillows were definitely my best friend.  I found a doctor who literally saved my life and he did it without any drugs.  I did begin Minocycline 100mg MWF as soon as RA was diagnosed which I obtained from another rheumatologist who of course did not believe in it.  I have been doing this ever since (2 1/2 yrs) but the mino alone was not enough for me.  I guess I am one of those 20% for whom it would have failed not because it isn't effective, but because I was so sick with so many things. Also, 1 yr ago my doctor switched me to doxy as I was having some lupus symptoms from the mino.  She also gave me other antibiotics because I tested positive for h. pylori, babesia, mycoplasmas, clamydia pneumoniae, ebstein barr virus.

    I was sick, sick, sick with toxins. Toxins from bugs, drugs, metals,bad diet, stress.  I did lymphatic massage and it did nothing but spend my money.  My body couldn't eliminate the toxins.  The wonderful doctor who saved my life did so by identifying foods I was sensitive too, identifying nutrients I was deficient in and supplementing them, tons of enzymes because I was not digesting my food properly and he gave me IVs of glutathione and lipostabil.  Testing revealed heavy metal toxicity as well.  When you get this sick, your body just ceases to function properly and all the toxins we encounter everyday begin backing up in us.

    Glutathione is something I will probably take the rest of my life.  It is something our bodies make naturally.  It is concentrated in our livers and lungs but also found in every cell of our body.  It is absolutely necessary to detoxification and studies have found that elderly people who are healthy have high levels of glutathione and all of us who are chronically ill have low levels. 

    When I met this doctor, I could barely walk.  I was so swollen all over I looked like the Michellin Man.  I will never forget this doctor looking at my live blood sample and saying to me in the most serious tone “You are very sick”.  I thought to myself “Mister, I did not need a bloodtest to tell me that”.

    OMG!  Today, I am not that person any longer.  I am so incredibly, miraculously and gratefully better.  I still have RA, but it is an occassional nusiance now instead of an everyday reality to be dealt with.  I wake up in the mornings, stretch and get out of bed thanking God that I am painfree. 

    Yesterday, I spent 5 hrs at the barn with my horses.  I am training my 2 yr old horse.  Training horses is risky business.  I have been doing it all my life and I know how to make it as safe as possible, but a young horse is very unpredictable and 2 yrs ago, I would not have even dreamed I would ever again be training a younster.  I rode him for an hour out in the fields and trails.  He is such a good boy and was perfect for me.  My heart just sang with joy.  When I got back to the barn, I brushed my other 2 horses and the farrier came.  (blacksmith)  I always enjoy chatting with him.  We see eye to eye on just about everything.  After he left, I cleaned out my trailer, dumped a 5 gallon bucket of water and put the entire trough (not so big but about 35 lbs) into the back of my pick up truck.  All of these chores are very physical.  I also have a 4 mth old horse(the one in my picture) who I am training the basics.  We mastered trailer loading this week.  We have already mastered haltering, clipping, leading, cleaning hooves.  All this is physical hand work and I am once again able to do it.  Praise God!!!!!!!

    Getting to this point of health took a lot of work and determination, especially where diet is concerned.  Taking pills is so easy, but making sure you eat nutritiously is hard in this day and age when all the foods available to us are chemical laden, heavily processed and preserved garbage.  Fruits and vegetables, organic when possible is our best defense against cancer.  Buy them fresh or frozen, not canned and not covered in sauces.  The sauces are laboratory garbage.  Buy organic and local whenever you can. 

    Glutathione to aid in detoxification (oral glutathione is a waste of money)  I would gladly pay for and take the IVs once a month for life because I can readily feel the difference it makes, but my doctor has found a simpler way.  Suppositories.  I take one every 3 days and it works great.  Keeps the toxins moving out of my body.  Incredible stuff.  You don't use these suppositories to make you go to the bathroom.  You want to retain it at least 30 mins to be absorbed by the rectum. 

    I also take NAC which is a precursor to glutathione and encourages our body to make more of it.  Whey protein also does this but I am allergic to cow proteins so whey is out for me. 

    NAC does not make the noticeable difference in my body that glutathione does.

    I am hoping I don't have to take an antibiotic the rest of my life but I am prepared to do so if necessary.  The AP therapy is the safest medicine out here and effective for so many.  In fact, as my health improved, the doxy is certainly able to help me better than it possibly could when I was so inflammed and it most certainly gets its share of credit for my well-being today.  But, I know for a fact if I go back to eating my bad diet, I also go back to joint pain.

    BTW, I take no pain killers.  Don't need them and haven't needed them for 2 yrs.  There are two times now when I have pain.  If I attempt to eat cheese. (Sometimes I just really want a pizza) or whenever the doctor goes after the bugs.  Herxing occurs in my joints.  Cutting out dairy stops the one and adding glutathione when killing bugs stops the other.  How wonderful to have control over this disease.

    We are not doomed to be sick.  We just have to work 20 times harder to enjoy health than a normal healthy person. 

    Some websites to read:

    http://www.functionalmedicine.org

    http://www.harborhealth.info

    http://www.vrp.com/articles.aspx?page=LIST&ProdID=1181&qid=&zTYPE=2

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