If you read my last post, 30 Things About My Invisible Illness You May Not Know, you might have seen under item #10: “Each day I take 55 pills & vitamins plus sublingual sprays.”
When doing the “30 things” form, for Invisible Illness Awareness Week, we’re asked not to comment on this particular item, just put in the number – which is kind of interesting and leads to questions. Such as, “What the heck are all those 55 pills?!” and “Are those 55 different things?”
I thought I’d collect this snapshot of what I’m doing today. Please note that this is what I am doing because of things that my doctors have told me to do. If anything I talk about sounds interesting to you, I highly recommend talking to your doctor about it. You are a unique individual with unique needs that need to be taken into consideration. Okay?
I used to take 12 different medications. I’ve been able to come off of nine of those, but I’m still on three:
- Topamax (for migraines) (2 pills)
- Cymbalta (for fibro) (1 pill)
- Birth control pills (see #14 on this list) (1 pill)
I did start taking my tramadol (for fibro pain) again at night after I lost Mr. Bear, my 15-yr old cat (right), at the beginning of July to cancer. He was my baby. I’ll be coming back off that soon. (1 pill)
I take Armour thyroid (natural glandular) for my Hashimoto’s and low thyroid. (1 pill)
I also use several Shaklee products from Missy Baxter. She one of the People I Love:
- NutriFeron – Okay, this is seriously awesome stuff. It’s patented, designed by the guy who discovered our body’s natural interferon. It builds your immune system. Research has shown that interferon helps with chronic fatigue syndrome. I take it because it keeps me from getting sick as much. It used to be that if I’d get sick I’d be down for a month or two. Now, I don’t get sick much and if I do, I’m better in a week or two. I pretty much make all my clients get on this. =) (2 pills)
- B-Complex – WAY better than the other B-Complex I was using. Cut the hair fallout I was having in the shower down to about half! (2 pills)
- Vitamin D – There’s loads of good research linking fibromyalgia and vitamin D. Plus mine is low and I live in Oregon. I take 5,000 IU per day. (5 pills)
- Magnesium – Again, good research showing magnesium helps with muscle pain. It is also a good thing to take for IBS-C. (C for constipation. Ahem.) (1 pill)
- Omega 3s help with IBS, adrenals, heart health, etc. (4 pills)
I take several other supplements my doctor has prescribed. I’d get Shaklee’s if I could, but either A) they don’t have them or B) they’re not gluten-free:
- Iron – I tend to have low iron, which causes fatigue. (1 pill)
- Selenium – needed for my Hashimoto’s (2 pills)
- MyoCalm PM – to help with sleep (3 pills)
These three come from the same company as the nutritional program my doctor introduced me to and that I recommend to my clients:
- Melatonin at night helps me sleep. I’ve tried other melatonin, but this one ROCKS. It’s dual-layered, so it helps you get to sleep, then really stay asleep. (1 pill) (Update: This is no longer being manufactured. Boohoo!)
- A digestive enzyme and probiotic supplement to help my IBS and IBS and IBS. =) (2 packets/4 pills)
I use both the Orchard and Garden Blends from Juice Plus for their proven ability to boost the immune system. When I need it, I’ll do a double dose for double the immune boosting power. (4 pills, on a normal day; 8 pills, if I double it)
My acupuncturist has me taking two herbal blends from Evergreen Herbs:
- Run Chung Wan – for IBS (8 pills)
- Corydalin™ – for headaches (8 pills)
Last fall, my husband and I both had our neurotransmitters tested through NeuroScience, Inc. In doing that we found a bunch of really interesting things. For instance, I discovered that even though I was taking (at the time) a couple of things that were blocking my serotonin uptake, I still had dirt low levels of serotonin! Thanks to the results of this test, I take:
- 5-HTP sublingual spray – to boost my serotonin levels, helping depression, sleep, IBS, fibro pain, etc., etc., etc. (4 sprays)
- Kavinace – increases GABA, which studies have shown to help fibro; helps with anxiousness & sleep. (1 pill)
- DL-Phenylalanine – to boost several neurotransmitters which help with brain fog, depression, fatigue, motivation, cravings, and loads of other goodies. (currently 1 pill)
I’ve also had my cortisol tested twice, you can see the charts here and in this post, revealing that my body is kinda backwards. It’s much better than it was, but I still produce too much cortisol (think adrenaline!) at night. This means that even though my eyes may be closed and I might appear to be sleeping, my body is still trying to go-go-go!
We also discovered that I have almost NO cortisol in the morning when it’s supposed to be highest. My doctor said, “I wonder how you even get out of the bed in the morning!” I said, “I don’t!”
For that reason I take:
- Seriphos – shuts down cortisol production so that I can actually sleep! Wahoo! (currently, 1 pill)
- Cytozyme-AD – an adrenal glandular to give me adrenal support in the morning. Energy. Wahoo! (1 pill)
And that makes 55 pills + 4 sublingual sprays. Whew!
If you have any questions about my meal of pills, I’d love to hear from you. I’d also love to know, is there anything that you have found to be particularly helpful?
Photo of Mr. Bear taken by Terri McKee of Terri McKee Photography. All rights reserved. Used by permission.