Minocycline 100 mg – once daily
(Began 10/18/2012 – present day)
Sulfasalazine 1000 mg – twice daily
(Began 6/28/2013 – present day)
Meloxicam 7.5 mg – once or twice a month
(Took daily: 6/6/2013 – 8/17/13)
Rifampin 300 mg – once daily
(Began 8/5/2010 – 4/29/2011)
Azithromycin 250 mg – Mondays and Thursdays
(Began 8/5/2010 – 4/29/2011)
* High quality multivitamin
* Vitamin D3 – 2,000-4,000 iu (My D level is through the roof! Woohoo!)
* Vitamin C (ascorbate powder, corn free) – 6 grams (3 divided doses)
* High quality probiotic
* Omega -3 oils – 4,800 mg – (2 divided doses)
* Water – LOTS of it!
* Whole foods diet (Plenty of it organic, local). Grain, gluten, dairy, sugar, soy, artificial and natural flavor (can also have MSG) free as much as possible. This makes a HUGE difference! Restaurant food and anything processed or pre-packaged is not anyone’s friend!
* Deep breathing, stretching, prayer, quiet time
* Epsom salt bath (Hot bath, cold rinse when I can get one in.)
* Fresh air and sunshine and barefoot walking on the earth (Wonderfully therapeutic and free!)
* Good night of rest (As often as possible.)
* Taking time to do things I enjoy/relieve stress
Once every four-five weeks
* GENTLE Chiropractic adjustments (It’s keeping me moving! And it has helped me avoid surgery (thus far) for a bulging disc in my neck that my neurosurgeon said required surgery.)
When the pain becomes overwhelming
* Acupuncture (Incredible results! Also a key component in my ability to avoid surgery on my c-spine.)
Diagnosed in July 2009 with seronegative rheumatoid arthritis. Diagnosed in September 2010 with psoriatic arthritis. Symptoms first evident in June of 2007. The naturopathic protocol above was designed specifically for me by my Doctor of Naturopathy–a Registered Pharmacist, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist, Homeopath and Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine in an attempt to help manage my chronic illness on a daily basis. My vitamin, supplement and diet protocol has gone through many stages and trials and still changes from time to time depending on my body. Over the past few years, I have withheld a vast multitude of various foods and products from my diet and my body to help relieve the burden on my body and to investigate whether or not certain foods and chemicals (dyes, fragrances, preservatives) cause me trouble. They do! I have also done numerous detox protocols and have been tested for toxicity from heavy metals, chemicals, food. All present problems on some level. My current protocol is currently helping to keep the inflammation mostly at bay (minus days when crazy weather blows in, I go crazy and eat “bad” food with slight abandon, or my body goes wackadoodle with inflammation), my energy levels up and my immune system strong. (Ha, ha, did I just call my immune system strong?!)
I have also followed an intensive gut healing protocol to help support the integrity of my digestive system since 70% of our immune system stems from there. If even a pinhole size lesion occurs, any type of food can potentially aggravate the body. I had an Elisa Act blood test done and learned that my immune system was reacting negatively to green tea, ginger, almonds, flaxseed oil, and red grapes to name a few. Those things were in my diet in huge amounts! They are supposed to be good for you, but they were making my body irritable due to gut penetration I believe. The blood work also revealed that my immune system reacted negatively to chemical dyes, formaldehyde, silicone (often labeled dimethicone on beauty products), and turpentine.
On August 5, 2010, I added an antibiotic protocol because diet and supplements were not getting the job done on their own. And believe me, I tried. But something else was going on. I struggled for a long time over the pharmaceutical route I would take because on the one hand I had the immune suppressant/biologic drugs and a cocktail of other things that would probably/hopefully help, but not truly address what was causing the inflammation, or I had a long-term antibiotic approach, involving the very type of drug I was trying to keep out of my kids and I the best I possibly could, that might address and battle what was destroying me and my bones and tendons. I had to make a decision though because whatever was going on needed to be stopped.
I then read the work that documented that roughly 10,000 patients had benefited from a long-term course of antibiotics at the core of their protocol. On the Road Back website, I found a multitude of others both young and old that have benefited. I’ve connected with some of them and they are extremely helpful and have incredible information to share. There are forums for asking all kinds of questions and places to read testimonials. Antibiotics are known to possibly make the going very tough at the outset (which is a good sign with this approach and happened with me), with improvements gradually appearing over time (months, sometimes even a year or more). It is known to take longer for some that have experienced the disease more intensely and for longer. At the same time, I scoured my insurance plan for information on biologics and other autoimmune related drugs to know where I stood if I needed them. And I flooded my body with good things–whole organic foods, local meat and eggs, vitamin C and D, fish oil, healthy fats, probiotics, etc.
My current rheumatologist (God love him!) prescribed two antibiotics and I gave them a go for nine months to potentially kill mycoplasma–which is the name given to a unique group of microorganisms that fall in the category between the bacteria and viruses. I chose antibiotics because I believe that mycoplasma had set up camp a long time ago in me.
“Mycoplasmas, unlike viruses, can grow in tissue fluids (blood, joint, heart, chest, and spinal fluids) and can grow in living tissue cell structures without killing the cells- as some viruses and bacteria do. Mycoplasmas are frequently isolated from the oral or genito-urinary tracts of normal population and are found to infect females four times more often than males, which just happens to be the same incident rate in rheumatoid arthritis and other related disorders. Mycoplasmas can attach to specific cells without killing the cells and thus their infection process can go undetected. No symptoms suggests no disease. In some people the attachment of mycoplasmas to the susceptible cell membranes acts like a living thorn, a persistent foreign substance, causing the host’s immune defense mechanism to wage war. This allergic type of inflammation often results in heated, swollen, and painful inflamed tissues. In such cases the mycoplasma may not be isolated from the inflamed tissues but is detected by the host’s serum antibody level. A positive response would indicate that mycoplasma has infected the host.”
I experienced what I believe are remarkable improvements. Pain and inflammation diminished (slowly, but surely) and range of motion improved in some areas and returned completely in others–Praise the Lord! My rheumatologist told me he has used antibiotics as a last line of defense with his other patients, after they have tried all of the other drugs. I asked him about his results and he said they were good. So, I became his first patient to try it as a first line of defense. But I had to ask. He calls it an alternative therapy. It was a miracle in my life.
While on antibiotics, I took high doses of probiotics and supplements to support my liver. As poisonous as the antibiotics were, I fared well while on them in the grand scheme of things. I recently completed another round of a supplement protocol to cleanse my liver and repair my gut to help detox and heal from any damage that occurred from long-term use of antibiotics. (December 2011-February 2012)
As of October 18, 2012, I have begun a second antibiotic protocol. After enjoying over a year and a half without any medications and staying true to a whole foods diet (gluten and dairy free), I am giving this approach another go due to inflammation and pain resurfacing in my body.
As of February 21, 2016, I am still on the same antibiotic protocol I began over three years ago. It has truly been a saving grace in my life and I am thankful that I have had success with another antibiotic protocol. Figuring out through trial and error (and stubbornness to give up certain foods), I have discovered the beauty of eating well and eating what makes my body perform best. Gluten and most grains are not my friends. Down right enemies at times in my past. Sugar. The devil. I cook most of my food and tread with caution when I eat out. Let’s just say that sometimes my body will down right reject what I consume even when I’m trying to be careful!