Thursday, January 14, 2010

Uveitis....cross your heart, hope to die,

Stick a needle in your eye!

Yup, that's what I said... "Stick a needle in your eye!" LOL

Well only it is not so funny... NOR fun! ;)

Ahhhh the Subtenon Steroid Injection. One of the tricks doctors have up their sleeve to treat primary acute anterior and intermediate Uveitis.

They literally stick a fairly long needle down the side of your eyeball to place steroids behind your eye. The thought just makes you queasy, doesn't it?

But not to worry... it doesn't hurt! (Or so the doctor said) UNTIL 5 seconds later.
Then you're begging for someone to just poke your eye out and be done with it. LOL

I may not be a standard case (I don't do anything "normal" LOL ) but I can tell you that the area where he gave me a shot hurt for YEARS... yes years! And my left eye lid drooped for years after that also.
I don't know if he hit a nerve that he shouldn't have (like he would ever admit to such a thing) or what might have transpired BUT I hope to die, NEVER stick a needle in my eye again! :)

Uveitis is another autoimmune disorder that can have serious ramifications if not treated promptly (untreated, it can worsen and lead to more severe eye diseases, such as glaucoma or cataracts, or even loss of vision.) AND will probably have ramifications when treated conventionally.
You can't win on this one... cross your heart, hope to die....stick a needle in your eye. ;)

Uveitis is an inflammation of the uvea. The uvea is very important because its many veins and arteries transport blood to the parts of the eye that are critical for vision.

Uveitis causes pain (lots) and sensitivity to light and the eye gets red. Vision may become blurred and/or you may see spots floating in your eye.

I was diagnosed with a more serious Uveitis and edema in my left eye (OS) but also had it in right eye (OD.

Besides feeling very sick with other problems this was my first venture into a body out of whack. I only wish that I had the foresight at that time to research it in depth.

I was put on steroid drops (Prednisolone Acetate) and Cyclopentolate and in about 1 month had resolution. Only to have it return 3 more times.... MORE steroids! I then developed Glaucoma and took Alphagan P (lowers eye pressure) and Timolol Maleate (reduces internal pressure in the eye)

It was a long haul with continual Ophthalmologists and eye specialist and doctor visits and in the end the steroids gave me cataracts (more severely in the left eye) and I was pronounced legally blind because of the cataracts. I was blind for about 1 year while they treated the Glaucoma and got it under control so they could do cataract surgery.

Now honestly I do not know if there is a natural substance that one can take for Uveitis. You do not want to take chances with your eye sight. It is a precious gift.

I know that they will sometimes recommend Methotrexate. It is an anti-inflammatory agent used for diseases associated with active immune system or inflammatory conditions. Methotrexate works by making the immune system less active and suppressing the blood cells that cause inflammation.

And let me tell you... it IS one scary prescription with side effects that seem worse to me than the disease.
No thanks, I'd rather not add lymphoma to my list of problems.

So when you hear that old saying "Cross your heart, hope to die, stick a needle in your eye" .... run like hell!!!!!! LOL :wink:


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Some common herbs...

Herbal Remedies:

Herbs are long noted as a safe way to strengthen and aid the body's systems.
As with any therapy, you should work with your health care provider to get your problem diagnosed before starting any treatment.

Herbs are available as dried extracts: capsules, teas powders.
Or glycerites: glycerine extracts.
Or also as tinctures: alcohol extracts.

Unless otherwise indicated, you can make teas with 1 tsp. herb per cup of hot water. Steep covered 5 - 10 minutes for leaf or flowers, and 10 - 20 minutes for roots. Drink 2 - 4 cups per day. You may use tinctures alone or in combination as noted.

Garlic: (one of my favorites) According to researchers, it is a natural antibiotic. Researchers have also determined that garlic has antiviral and antifungal properties.

Fresh whole garlic clove: 2 - 4 grams per day of minced garlic clove (each clove is approximately 1 gram)

Aged garlic extract: 600 - 1,200 mg, daily in divided doses

Tablets of freeze-dried garlic: 200 mg, 2 tablets 3 times daily, standardized to 1.3% alliin or 0.6% allicin. Products may also be found standardized to contain 10 - 12 mg/Gm alliin and 4,000 mcg of total allicin potential.

Fluid extract (1:1 w/v): 4 mL, daily

Tincture (1:5 w/v): 20 mL, daily

Oil: 0.03 - 0.12 mL, 3 times daily

Green Tea: standardized extract, 250 - 500 mg daily, for antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and immune effects. Use caffeine-free products. This is a exceptional herb to make tea from its leaf.

Turmeric: standardized extract, 300 mg three times daily, for inflammation and antioxidant support

Milk Thistle: Recommended dose is 200 - 400 mg one to three times per day or silymarin-phosphatidylcholine complex 100 - 200 mg two times per day. This is the most renowned herb for liver health, milk thistle contains antioxidant flavonoids, which protect liver cells from damage by preventing toxin absorption and enhancing regeneration. BUT If you think you have a liver problem, you should see a doctor, as liver disease can be life-threatening. And as I said before: "We only have one liver." ;)

Bilberry: standardized extract, 80 mg two to three times daily, for antioxidant and vascular system support.

Ginkgo: standardized extract, 40 - 80 mg three times daily, for antioxidant and blood vessel support.

Holy basil: standardized extract, 400 mg daily, for anti-stress and antiviral protection.

There are many more advantageous herbs on the market that we will touch upon as time goes by but please remember to consult your health care practitioner before using any herbal product, especially if you're taking a prescription drug. Tell your doctor about all drugs you're taking, including nonprescription medications and vitamins. Many herbal remedies can interact with other drugs.

Always follow the instructions exactly as noted on the bottle. If you take too much of an herb or take it inappropriately, you may get no benefit from taking it or put yourself at risk for potentially dangerous side effects.

If you experience some unexpected symptoms from a herbal agent, contact your doctor and/or if you have other health concerns that would normally require medical attention.


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Weight Gain and Thyroid tests

Are you perplexed because you are putting on "unexplained" weight even though you maintain a healthy diet and a good level of exercise?

Do you keep asking your doctor why this is happening, to which he/she does yet "another" T3 and T4 thyroid test which shows normal values and then you are told that it is not your thyroid that is causing the problem.

This is a very lengthy and complicated problem that I can not possibly explain in full detail (without writing a whole book) as there are so many factors that contribute to all the variables... your endocrine system, Hypothalamus disorder, Hypopituitarism, AUTOIMMUNE problems and many, many more.

So lets just touch on your thyroid for now...

Every cell in the body depends upon thyroid hormones for regulation of their metabolism.

The thyroid plays an important role in all this activity; it has something of a managerial position. Without the thyroid bossing everybody around, lots of work around the plant wouldn't get done -- or at least wouldn't be up to quality standards. Don't go thinking the thyroid is the top dog, however. It gets its marching orders from the pituitary gland, which in turn answers to the part of the brain called the hypothalamus. But instead of memos to conduct all this communication, the body uses hormones.

The th­yroid's main job is to produce two very special hormones. T3 and T4!
(The ones the doctors seem to concentrate on solely and largely base their evaluations on these levels alone)
They both have deliciously unpronounceable names, but luckily, they also have abbreviations if you're not in the mood for a tongue twister. The first one is triiodothyronine and the second one is thyroxine (or tetraiodothyronine).

After they're released by the thyroid, these little guys hitch a ride in the bloodstream and get to work. Like door-to-door salesmen or restaurant flyer distributors, the hormones stop at each and every cell, knock on the door and tell the cell if it needs to be consuming more oxygen and nutrients -- thereby stepping up its rate of metabolism -- or vice versa. The hormones also have a hand in stimulating heart muscle contraction and nerve function, increasing the utilization of cholesterol and nutrients, ensuring normal growth and brain development -- some pretty important stuff!

BUT what if your problems/symptoms is NOT caused by low levels of T3 and T4? But your doctor just doesn't/won't check any further?

You may have to push for it but ask/insist that your Rheumatologist does a complete ANTI-THYROID ANTIBODY lab test.

If you have a HIGH Thyroid Antithyroglobulin Ab that may explain all the problems you are having with weight gain as well as all the other symptoms, such as:

Sluggishness in the morning
Poor concentration and memory
Low-grade depression
Dry skin
Hoarse voice
Thinning hair, skin
Coarse hair
Being very sensitive to cold and having cold hands and feet
Low body temperature
Muscle pain
Weakness or cramps
Low sex drive
Fluid retention
High cholesterol
A thick tongue
Swollen feet
Swollen eyelids
A dry mouth
Absense of the outer third of the eyebrows

This is when your thyroid "hormones" (not your thyroid directly) comes under attack by your body’s own immune system. Normally, substances called antibodies protect you from dangerous bacteria and viruses. These antibodies play a role in the destruction of the thyroid hormones by the immune system.

When I first became very ill I put on 30 lbs in 1 month for no apparent reason. And couldn't take it off regardless of how hard I tried. I am by nature a thin person and from a family of thin people.

I can't tell you how many T3 and T4 tests I had repeatedly with the same normal values and NOTHING being done about it. I knew by the way I was feeling and by my extensive research that there was "something" going on pertaining to my thyroid somehow!

I finally insisted that my Rheumatologist test "everything imaginable pertaining to my thyroid. Walla..... very high titers of Thyroid Antithyroglobulin Ab.

Try googling (or whatever search engine you prefer ;))about this little know antibody. You won't find much and nothing of any help. And the doctors will want to do a "wait and see" to see if the body corrects it and/or if the thyroid just quits working.

After 8 years I decided to take things into my own hands (you'll find I do that alot AND I highly recommend you take your health into your own hands "responsibly" as well) and did some research....

I started myself on 500 MG of L-Tyrosine, with a few days of the week doing 1000 MG (along with a regiment of other herbs for other problems) And I immediately dropped 25 pounds in a VERY short period of time.

Now to "unintentionally" test this result I quit taking all my herbs and supplements. It gets expensive and when you have CFIDS everything is a effort to do.

Guess what? I immediately put the weight back on. No change of diet or exercise during all of this time.

I am currently back on the L-Tyrosine and the other supplements and lost the weight except for alittle of it... I am getting older, after all.

In one of my other postd I mentioned L-Tyrosine. Tyrosine is very essential to the structure of almost all the proteins that are present in our body.
Thyroid hormones that have a role in all the procedures in our body also contain Tyrosine as an important part of their structure. L-Tyrosine can help bring the thyroid gland function in normal position.

Please... again... I am not a doctor and since it is my own body I feel free to experiment upon much research.

If you are taking prescription thyroid hormone medication, it is important NOT to take L-Tyrosine without direction from your doctor. Do not take L-Tyrosine if you have high blood pressure.
As with any therapy, you should work with your health care provider to get your problem diagnosed before starting any treatment.


Monday, January 4, 2010

Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome Symptoms & Natural Herbs

One of things I would like to touch upon is Chronic fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome. It is so prevalent and yet so little is known about it, what the multiple factors are that causes this insidious illness AND what to do to combat it and its symptoms.

I am wondering how many of the symptoms that is listed in this video may affect anyone here that has CFIDS or CFS?

Treatment is very individualized depending upon exactly what element of your body is "currently" being attacked.

I do know that remaining positive is of utmost importance, especially if you are a long term sufferer.

During my run with this illness I have changed the natural medicines to combat whatever current problems are most troubling.

I currently take the Omega 3 Fish Oil, a combination of Zyflamend and Turmeric to battle inflammation and inhibit the cox 2 enzyme, Moducare and Plant Enzymes that "help" restore, strengthen and balance the out of wack immune system, L-Tyrosine which has really helped with the antibodies that attack my thyroid hormones and also serves as a mood enhancer. And of course to that conglomeration, a very good vitamin that I researched to make sure it has many of the additional natural herbs that helps with the everyday issues.

It has herbs like Grape seed oil that is a good antioxidant. Quercetin is also a anitoxidant and a natural anti-histamine and anti-inflammatory. Bilberry is a powerful anti-inflammatory. The herb is also a powerful antioxidant and has glucoquinine (lowers blood sugar levels). Bilberry contains flavonoids that protect the collagen structures in the blood vessels of the eye. And there are about 18 other natural herbs include within this vitamin. It is called "life Force.


Saturday, January 2, 2010

Cholesterol lowering drugs versus Omega 3 Fish Oil

First, please let me state that I am not a doctor and am not giving you medical advise. These are just my own findings that have worked for me or that I have researched. Please always check with your doctor, Naturalist, Homepath or whoever you consult for your health issues.

When a person has Autoimmune problems there are many body functions that are also out of wack... for numerous reasons.

I'm guessing if I ask how many of you are one "Statins" to lower your cholesterol there will be alot of hands waving in the air.
Some of these meds are: Zocor, Crestor and Lipitor and a few others.

Have you ever noticed that your doctor will "recommend" regular liver function tests while you are on this medicine? Doesn't that make you wonder "why?"

The reason is that these drugs can and/or DO affect your liver function! And it can takes years for your liver to recover.... or not!

WHY would we willingly want to take something that can damage one of our organs that is irreplaceable? I see alot of hands go down now.... ;)

You can lower your cholesterol dramatically with just high grade or pharmaceutical grade #Omega-3 fish oil! While at the same time helping maintain your Triglyceride levels AND possibly reducing the risk of coronary heart disease.

I take approx. 6000 MG a day of Omega-3 fish oil. And that alone has corrected my cholesterol level.

I was put on a statin and my liver function went down the tubes. AND the doctor wanted to give me more meds to help with what the statin was doing.

I researched and came up with this alternative approach. I took myself off of the Statin and went on the Omega-3 only. Within months my cholesterol level was dramatically lowered and at a normal level. It has taken longer for my liver tests to normalize.
I told the doctor what I had done and he "KNEW" that alternative method.... that works.

But we know.... doctors do NOT get kick backs from pharmaceutical companies if they prescribe things like Omega-3 fish oil.

Yes, it is going to be a bumpy ride fellow Warriors, so hold on tight and feel free to post your own experiences, recommendations, problems and ways you have survived or circumvented your doctor's advise.... He/She is only doing what they have been trained to do. ;)


Welcome to the World of Autoimmune Dieases!

Please bare with me as I am under construction.

I look forward to many discussions about the ever growing problems and complexities of those pesky things that bombard our immune system: autoimmune problems/dysfunctions.
Whether it be CFIDS, Thyroid, Mixed Connective Tissue Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis and the list goes on.... and on!

We'll cover natural herbs choices over prescription meds and help each other survive the care of our doctors.