Tonight, as I sit here writing this post, I am overwhelmed with gratitude.
Just a few short months ago, our 13 year old daughter was seriously ill. One day, she couldn’t walk. She was severely fatigued. She had a mysterious
fever that came and went without warning. She complained of severe pain. The joints on her hands would swell up, then the next day the swelling would be gone. Her appetite decreased, and she lost weight. Our active daughter became disinterested in everything.
We persisted with the doctor, and more blood work was done. The early diagnosis looked like Lupus. Her blood work, especially , her ANA and her double strand DNA were stratospherically off-the-charts. She was immediately admitted to the hospital. Her hemoglobin and white blood cell counts were so low, she was just one point from a blood transfusion. Her C-reactive protein levels (CRP) were 30 times higher than normal. When she met her rheumatologist he examined her and said, “You don’t act as sick as your tests say you should be.” She was treated for 5 days. As soon as she got home, we followed the protocol the doctor prescribed and I started her on a full Shaklee supplement program. She is a champ and follows her protocol every day. (You can learn more about our introduction to Lupus here)
At her one week follow up, the doctor was surprised at how much better she looked, and released her to do any activity she wished.
At her 6 week follow up, her blood work showed nearly normal blood work and NO inflammation. Except for occasional fatigue and hair loss, she had no other Lupus symptoms. Her doctor was encouraged and noted how well she looked.
At her 4 month follow up the doctor was SHOCKED. Her blood work was PERFECT. (The ANA and double strand DNA was not tested again). I asked her doctor, “Were the results good for someone on immunosuppressants?”
The Rheumatologist said, “no, it’s really good.”
Me: “You mean good for a ‘normal person’”?
She has no Lupus symptoms except for hair loss and difficulty sleeping. She can tolerate the sun. She beat back a virus in the same time as the rest of the family members who caught the virus. (This is unusual for Lupus patients. A simple illness can be more severe and set off a Lupus flare). She had no pain, no fatigue, no rashes, no swelling of the joints, no involvement of her major organs. We are able to step down the steroids to a lower dose. She is still on the Plaquenil and the mycophenolate (CellCept). Still, the doctor did not expect to see these kinds of results! He couldn’t stop talking about how good she looked.
Our goal with her supplement program was five- fold:
1) Strengthen her immune system so that it would function properly
2) Lower the inflammation
3) Protect her organs
4) Protect her body from the side effects of the drugs
5) Support her gut. Steroids can create leaky gut
Is her Lupus (SLE) cured? No, she still has the antibodies. Using an integrative approach has helped our daughter achieve results far greater than a pharmaceutical approach alone. Given that Lupus (SLE) is a lifelong disease, it is critical that we employ every tool that we can. My husband and I do not want to merely manage her symptoms and keep the disease quiet. We respect her physician’s knowledge, but we know that traditional medicine has its limits. We do not want to use a medication until she can no longer tolerate it, or it causes cancer or kidney disease, only to use another medication with a different set of side effects. We want the best lifelong health possible.
We used the following Shaklee products. We are not making any claims. Shaklee’s products are far superior in quality and purity to other brands out there. Shaklee is one of the most, if not the most, researched brand in the supplement industry. Shaklee products were instrumental in my recovery from life defining allergies. In our family, we simply do not trust any other brand.
Vitalizer Gold – 80 nutrients including CoEnzyme Q10, extra D, extra calcium, and a powerful anti-oxidant, N-acetylcysteine. Vitalizer includes a probiotic to help support a healthy gut.
Iron + C – as a young woman, she needs the iron.
Vivix- a unique resveratrol blend product that is exclusive to Shaklee. Resveratrol has been shown to protect DNA, lower inflammation, promote a healthy immune system.
Formula I – an immune system supplement that specifically helps the T-Helper cells
Vitamin C – to promote healthy immunity, to help offset stress, and to help her fight infections. It’s also excellent for skin, blood vessel health and connective tissue.
Vita D3 – Studies are showing that Lupus patients and those with autoimmune disease are low in this nutrient. One study showed that 10,000 IU daily lowered inflammation in Lupus patients. We have her on 5,000 IU daily, until we get her to about 70 mg/dl.
Vitamin E with Selenium – antioxidant. It helps with inflammation and protecting cell membranes. Vitamin E helps protect tissues and is helpful in a woman’s reproductive cycle.
Osteomatrix (Calcium mineral blend) – because she is a teenager and because steroids can thin the bones. Calcium also helps the central nervous system, and helps regulate heart rhythm.
Carotomax – There is one-half dose in the Vitalizer, but I wanted her to have more to protect her organs and to protect her skin from the sun. If she is going to have a lot of sun exposure, we increase the Carotomax and use the Enfuselle SPF 30 sunscreen.
Omegaguard – EPA/DHA blend. To help lower inflammation, protect her organs and to promote brain health.
B-complex – Shaklee’s B-complex blend is complete. To help with hormones, hair, skin and nails, and to help with brain function.
Shaklee 180 or Energizing Soy shakes – the soy protein helps the immune system, helps build red cells to prevent anemia, and helps the bones increase the uptake of calcium. It also helps increase the HDL – the good cholesterol. Because of the inflammation in Lupus, cholesterol levels are problematic. The smoothees help her get a lot of extra nutrition without a lot of extra calories. The Shaklee 180 smoothees have been clinically proven to improve lean muscle mass as well.
Optiflora System – the steroids are a serious threat to the integrity of the intestines. We added extra prebiotics and probiotics through the Optiflora system to support her gut, immunity, nutrient absorption and brain function.
The above regimen is what our family has chosen as part of an integrative approach to helping our daughter with Lupus. This article is not intended to replace medical advice.
If you are coping with autoimmune disease, I hope you find this encouraging. I strongly believe that an integrative approach to chronic health problems offers the best hope and quality of life. Please post your comments or questions below. To learn more about the products we used, please visit my site.