After the last post, when I was writing about reducing the amount of supplements I take, I started to get excited about the possibility of not having to take pills with every meal. What a difference that would be. With that in mind, I’m reviewing the supplements I’m currently taking and considering what to stop and when.
The current list is much smaller than the one I was taking last year, and that one smaller than the year before. As I’ve coiled, I’ve found that I don’t need as many supplements to be able to function on most days. As the herxes get less, I reduce the supplements more and more. This allows the bacteria to come out of hiding and get killed, with the idea that either I’ll get rid of the entire infection, or I’ll reach a point that my body can keep the last few dormant cells in check on its own.
Current Supplement Schedule
I take supplements for a variety of reasons. The key ones are: increased nutrition because I had such poor intestinal absorption for so many years, detoxifying agents to clear out herxes and toxic by-products of active bacterial infection, bone building supplements for osteopenia and sex hormone regulators to prevent illness during my menstrual cycles.
These are pills I take to make sure I’m getting the minimum I need in my body to allow for healing and daily activity. Included with the nutritional supplements are digestive enzymes to increase the likelihood that the food I eat gets digested and absorbed.
Another way that I’m improving my digestion is with probiotics. I used to take probiotic supplements, but now I prefer probiotic foods. I’m including them with the supplements because I am rigorous about taking them daily, and when they aren’t available, I take probiotic pills.
- Mulitvitamin (Thorne V, 1 pill twice a day, which is 1/3 of the recommended dose on the bottle)
- Digestive Enzymes (Jarrow, 1 pill with each meal, which is half the recommended dose)
- Probiotic foods (cultured cabbage daily, kombucha most days, sheep milk yogurt most days, miso occasionally)
I take pills to keep my kidneys and liver clear and functioning. Daily consumption helps me keep the herx symptoms from getting worse by preventing the toxins emitted by the bacteria as they die from building up in my body.
I also take quite a lot of antioxidants to keep my blood clear of toxins. Antioxidants, like vitamin C, taken in sufficient quantities, can suppress Lyme and other bacteria. So the trick is to balance how much I take to assist in detoxing without preventing the bacteria from staying dormant and in my body, unaffected by the coil machine.
Note: I use VitaCost for most basic supplements, so if no brand is listed, it is VitaCost.
- Milk Thistle (cleans the liver, 150mg, 2 pills once a day)
- Renavive (an herbal formula for dissolving kidney stones, also a kidney cleanse,1 pill three times a day)
- N-acteyl Cysteine or NAC (an amino acid that is transformed into glutathione -a powerful antioxidant- by the liver, protecting the liver and cleansing the blood, 600mg, 1 pill twice a day)
- Vitamin E (an antioxidant, 400iu, one per day, plus whatever is in the mulitvitamin)
- Vitamin C (an antioxidant, 1000mg, 1 pill per day, plus whatever is in the multivitamin)
- Alpha Lipoic Acid (an antioxidant, 100mg, 1 pill per day)
- Sulforaphane Glucosinolate (a derivative of broccoli, an antioxidant, NuMedica BrocColinate, 60mg, 1 pill per day)
These antioxidants are what I’m weaning myself off of. Sunday, I reduced the alpha lipoic acid to its current level and went down to 2000 mg of vitamin C per day. I’ve already started to feel the Lyme get more active, with joint pain and popping noises. Today I went down to the current 1000mg of vitamin C. Over the next weeks, I’ll be removing additional antioxidants. It is both liberating and frightening to do so.
(Note: On Sept. 20, I decided to stop the alpha lipoic acid for now, with some extra on hand in case I want to take an antioxidant after the others run out. By Sept.21, the Lyme symptoms included increased fatigue, needing extra sleep, loose stools and all over body aches.)
I just wish I thought of this before I went and reordered the vitamins I’ve been taking. It gets pretty expensive to take so many. I could have saved some money if I’d made the plan to reduce my consumption of them last week. For the ones I haven’t reordered, I plan to stop them as I run out. This means that by the time the next flare starts at the end of January, I may no longer be taking the last five supplements on the list above.
As I’ve discussed several times on the blog, I ended up with osteoporosis as a result of Lyme Disease and the other tick-borne infections I have. Part of it was the very poor digestion. Part of it was my sex hormones tanking. Part of it was being on a steroid to raise my blood pressure. But the biggest issue was several years of being unable to walk or move around. Bed rest tells the body to stop building bones and instead mine them for their minerals.
So these days, as I’ve become more active, improved my digestion, stopped taking the steroid, and regulated my sex hormones, I’m doing my best to encourage my body to build up my bones again. I’ve consulted with several doctors about what supplements to take for this purpose and done a fair amount of reading on the subject. This is the regimen I’ve come up with. I take all the pills at one meal.
- Calcium (250mg, once per day plus whatever is in the multivitamin)
- Magnesium (200mg, once per day plus whatever is in the multivitamin)
- Krill Oil (Twinlab cardio version, 625mg, once per day)
- Vitamin D3 (4000iu, once per day)
- Vitamin K2 (100mcg, once per day)
Sex Hormone Regulators
When I finally decided to address problems with my menstrual cycle, I discovered I had PCOS. I used metformin (a drug for insulin regulation, since insulin regulates sex hormones) for several years to treat it. Things got a lot better, with less illness during each menstrual cycle. I’m pretty sure the infections flared as my hormones fluctuated wildly, so regulating the hormones with metformin reduced the extent of the flare each month.
I started having new problems with my cycle earlier this year. I looked into alternative approaches to support my sex hormone system and cycles. I ended up with two herbs. The first one, Vitex, helps with progesterone regulation. It has already resolved the new problems I was having earlier this year, particularly with severe PMS. The other supplement, DIM, is a broccoli extract that regulates estrogen and seems like it might replace the metformin. I’ve been on it for about a month and a half. If it doesn’t work sufficiently after 4 months, I’ll consider other alternatives.
- Vitex (PhysioLogics, 400mg, 1 pill once per day)
- DIM (IndoleGard, 75mg per pill, 2 pills once per day)
Coiling and Supplements
I’ve read differing opinions on the internet about the use of supplements, herbs and antibiotics while also using a coil machine. I think that, in the end, if the goal is to get completely well and not need the supplements to function, eventually, one has to stop taking them before one stops coiling.
That said, I’ve been very considerate of my body’s needs. I didn’t stop taking the supplements for an ideological reason, because it reduces the amount of active bacteria in my blood, just to make the coil work better or faster. As my health has improved, I’ve stopped taking quite a few supplements, most recently Co-enzyme Q-10 earlier this summer. I took it when I had a lot of heart symptoms, as a way to protect my heart from damage caused by the infections and the toxins the bacteria produce. However, as my heart symptoms diminished, I stopped taking it. I have some on hand, in case the heart symptoms come back in the absence of all the antioxidants.
For now, I’m doing my best to eat well and ride the waves of symptomatic days and low-symptom days. The latter have increased in frequency over the years. Even as I provoke the Lyme to come forward by getting rid of the suppressing supplements, I feel confident that I’m on the right track…and that I can handle the next round of symptoms and herxes.