Do you use holistic approach to health?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Solstice, Apr 21, 2003.

  1. Solstice

    Solstice New Member


    I am interested in connecting with others on this board who prefer to use a holistic approach to dealing with our health challenges.

    I have CFIDS and FMS and numerous other weird things that go along with these conditions. I've had it for over 20 years. I have used several medicines and most of them do not help me and I end up having adverse side effects.

    My natural inclination has always been to deal with health issues in the least invasive way with the least amount of medicine. I guess much of my attitude comes from my father who would rather do anything else than to take medicine.

    So, I am starting on some new paths here to try to get as well as I can be. I know I may never get over all of this, but I at least want to be as "functional" as possible. I have spent most of the last several years being far from functional.

    Please let me know what some of the things you have done are, and maybe we can compare notes about what works and what doesn't, in this natural realm.

    Thanks in advance,

    [This Message was Edited on 04/21/2003]
  2. averilpam

    averilpam New Member

    I think lots of people here are using natural therapies, some alongside prescription drugs, others not. I'm also interested in trying the holistic approach. Fortunately my pain levels are usually not so severe as to need to resort to painkillers (assuming they'd work) though I have to take antihistamines because I itch consantly if I don't. I have used 'alternative' therapies over the years for various problems eg hopeopathy, acupuncture, reflexology; all have helped me at times for different reasons.
    Right now I've been visiting here, reading lots of posts, as well as articles to try to decide where best to start trying to help myself. There are so many different supplements, natural remedies etc we could try it's mind-boggling and I realise if I try too many things at once, (apart from breaking the bank) I'll never know what works!
    It is obvious, if you keep reading, that what works well for some has no or a bad effect on others. I guess you have to decide which aspects you most need to tackle and start from there!
    I'm going to try bee pollen, and see how/if that helps as it seems to offer help for quite a few of my problems. I also take feverfew/vit B2/Magnesium which seems to be helping with my migraines.
    Good luck, there are lots of lovely people here who offer support and positive help. I'd say the best thing I've gained from coming here, is validation, and help to stay positive however depressed I sometimes get.
  3. pam_d

    pam_d New Member

    I'm like you, preferring to find natural alternatives....for one thing, I'm pretty convinced that I've found a few pieces of the "underlying puzzle" (so to speak) for me, and prescription drugs aren't going to address this. I believe, in my case, that my FM resulted from years of undiagnosed food allergies which resulted in leaky gut syndrome, which wore down my immune system over time. Luckily, in the past year, I've finally at least figured this out (I'm seeing a great allergist/immunologist who specializes in FM patients & uses traditional/natural methods), and now am starting on the long road back.....and since it took me about 20 years to "get sick" (my FM symptoms only go back 4 years, but I believe my leaky gut stuff actually started to develop close to 2 decades ago) I believe it will take me years to get well, but you've got to start somewhere!

    For me, I drink tons of water! Much more than I ever used to. I am on a 4-day rotation diet like many people with food allergies----I only repeat foods every 4th day, so I won't BECOME allergic to foods I AM able to tolerate. And I eat no dairy, gluten, soy, nuts, potatoes, corn, & some fish. This is because I'm allergic to these things, but I believe many people here may have hidden allergies due to the number of folks who say they've stopped eating wheat, or milk, for example, and report feeling much better. I hardly eat any sugar, either, though I DON'T have a systemic yeast problem, like so many others. I just don't really enjoy it! Almost everything I eat is fresh now----NO processed foods; that wasn't even so much a concious choice not to eat processed junk, as much as the fact that most processed foods contain something I'm allergic to! I eat more veggies than anything else, but not starchy ones.

    I take tons of supplements---magnesium, calcium, B-12 sublingual, C, folic acid, glutathione, milk thistle, just starting olive leaf extract.....I'm sure I'm forgetting some! And the most important things I take are probiotics between meals, and digestive enzymes. These are to hopefully support what I'm doing with my diet, and help me slowly heal.

    I (cautiously) will say that I think I'm seeing more energy & less pain these days......and like I said, it took me years to get sick, & may take years to get well. But at least I think I'm on the right track, at least with part of it. Still working on getting better sleep----tried the ZMA, but it kept me more awake.

    Hope this helps; I, too, am always anxious to see what helps in the "natural" realm....

    Healing Hugs,
  4. Solstice

    Solstice New Member

    Just wondering if you can tell me what "hopeopathy" is? Is it basically having hope??? :)

    How did the acupuncture go for you? I did it a long time ago, and at that time it was very effective.......gave me energy back. But then I tried it again a few years ago, and I just couldn't put up with the pain of putting the needles in and the schedule of going in for it.

    I have enough supplements in the various cupboards and drawers of my house to start a natural food store, and like you, I really don't know which ones to take anymore. I took many over the years. Mostly I got bloated from them.

    I think I need to address what ever is the problem for my digestion in order to have the supplements work. Leaky Gut? not enough enzymes? A different diet? I don't know.

    So now, I am back to taking just a couple of things. I think it is a good idea to start back on the supplements slowly to see what is having what effect.

    I do still take elavil every night. I have just tapered off of lexapro, an antidepressant. We will see how I do now after stopping that. Today is only my first day of none of it.

    I have been regularly taking MSM every morning with water. It's basically sulfer.......supposed to be good for our joints and other things....can't remember what all the benefits are supposed to be. When I have missed it for a few days, I have noticed that my joints hurt more.

    Some days......trying to do it daily..........I drink wheatgrass in the morning after my water. Wheatgrass is amazing. I grew it for awhile, but wasn't good at keeping up with it. Now I buy it in frozen little cubes and drink one or two in the morning.

    I also try daily to put a glass of juice in the blender with some superfood (very green), some bee pollen, and some flax oil. Not the most tasty thing around, but all good things.

    That's as far as I have gone so far lately. I think I will start adding coral calcium to the daily list. Just started that today.

    I started back on B12 shots recently. That seems to be helping.

    And I am doing light therapy.

    The other things I am interested in, I find I have only done them sporatically........when I feel well enough, and when I can fit it into my "busy" schedule, (like between naps!)

    Those sporatic things are: Reiki, journaling, meditation, drumming, walking, yoga.
    Things I want to start doing are: JMT therapy, PH testing and then determining what supplements are needed........or food.
    Myo yoga...........which is working with trigger points, and a better diet. (last year I did a raw food diet for 5 or 6 months, and I think I might want to get back to that this spring.)

    Thanks for your response Pam. Let me know what else you try and how it works for you.


    [This Message was Edited on 04/21/2003]
  5. Solstice

    Solstice New Member

    Funny........I was writing a response to the first Pam, and as soon as I did, then I found yours......another Pam. So, some of the things I said to the other Pam will apply here as well.

    I am happy for you that you have found out about the underlying problem for you. It sounds as if you are headed in the right direction. What a relief to find a good doctor who can work with you on this. How did they determine if you had the leaky gut problem?

    I am curious about the digestive enzymes. I have considered taking them. That is actually the reason I went on the raw food diet, but was not able to stick with it. What kind do you take?

    Also the probiotics is something I think I should take. I ordered some from a good sourse, and now can't find them! They are around the house somewhere, and as soon as I find them, I will start taking them.

    You are on a great nutritional diet. Good for you! Rather restrictive, but once you know what you need to do, it is easier to follow through with it. I don't really know what I am supposed to be eating......other than good food. And I must admit I have not been doing that. Some junk, like chocolate, which I love, and other stuff. I have got to get back to good things,

    healing hugs to you as well,

  6. pinkquartz

    pinkquartz New Member

    i have had a holistic approach to my life and the way i brought up my daughter for approx 31 years.
    sadly this has not stopped me getting so ill and i am not cured.
    But i have had success with some of the different illnesses and symptoms which i am very happy with.
    the problem is that because i have been ill for so long i don't have any money or i would be able to do alot more to help myself.
    in england we have to pay for the holistic approach direct and it is very expensive.
    our vitamins and supps are also far more expensive.
    i am only making this point to say i want to do more if only i had the money.

    good nutrition is the foundation.
    my nutritionst was so frustrated by my refusal to eat meat that she gave me an ultimatium of eat it or she wouldn't treat me !!! so i eat a little organic meat and she was right.
    i was seriously deficient in protein. having spent over 30 years either vegan or vegetarian has not been good for me.
    the extra protein and reduction of carbos is already making an improvement to my low blood sugar problem.

    i'm sorry i have run out of energy......i'll try to cont. tomorrow

    i'm on a bad day and helping a friend
    best wishes
  7. layinglow

    layinglow New Member

    I use natural or alternative methods as a first choice. There have been some downed systems that have not responded to herbal, supplements, or vitamins, and I had to go RX. On the other hand there were RX treatments that I could not endure--and had to go herbal. My first choice would be natural/herbal/homeopathic.

    The way I have organized my treatment is to list my symptoms from the greatest to the least. I have then researched each symptom as to find out the possible causes or disease processes which produce this symptom.

    I have had great success with this--and have overcome many symptoms. I think sometimes that many will try the treatments others are using and having success with, without trying to personalize. I think its the personalization that ultimately leads to success. One must be willing to experiment with various agents with each symptom.

    I also believe the first step is through diet/nutrition and lifestyle changes. Often these will reduce, and can even eliminate some symptoms. Next in line would be to find the supplements, vitamins, etc. whose deficiencies may be attributing to symptoms. Then treating any ongoing candida and other fungal, parasite, bacterial, and mycoplasma infections is paramount. Sleep ,pain, allergy, and toxin issues must be dealt with.

    Treating with herbs should be done with the same strict adherance to research, as RX'es. There are contra-indications, and side effects to herbs, also. They are not as readily found, either as those with RX'es. It will take you longer usually, to find these aspects of herbal treatment. Just as with prescription meds, we must arm ourselves with knowledge. Because something is natural doesn't mean it is benign when mixed with other herbs or medicines. As we saw on the board this weekend when mixing olive leaf extract with blood thinners. There was plenty of research--all of it saying that olive leaf extract had no side effects, I had almost come to that conclusion.
    Many hours later---I discovered it was dangerous with certain meds. This was not a side effect, but a dangerous contra-indication for its use.

    In all our treatment, we either must be prepared to rely on practioners who through experience, research and study, can lend their expertise, or we must be willing to do alot of research on our own. Best yet, is to research on our own, and then have a doctor, who appreciates pro-active patients, and meld the two together. I am fortunate to have a doctor as such, and who tries herbal/supplemental measures first.

    Best wishes on your quest for wellness--
  8. averilpam

    averilpam New Member

    but I'm not an enthusiastic cook and give in too easily to eating convenience food. I'm trying extra hard now to keep to fresh foods, including some (preferably organic) meat and not too much dairy. I've found if I can do the Hay diet (food combining, not mixing carbs and protein in the same meal) it gets rid of bloating and excess gas I normally have, but I can never keep it up for very long, Maybe I need to try digestive enzymes or probiotics. can anyone tell me the difference?
    As for the hopeopathy, well it must have been an opportune spelling mistake!! I know the hope that tomorrow will be better than today is a frequent part of my repertory!
    I've thought of trying Olive Leaf, but recently had a mega-migraine after taking echinacea (works in a similar way) for a few days - don't know if it was connected but I'm not ready to risk any more just yet.
  9. pinkquartz

    pinkquartz New Member

    i developed high blood pressure after coping for too long with too much stress, and rather than meds i am on supps from my nutrionist which seem to be doing a good job, there has been a slight hitch because the E.U .have banned the supp.that worked best along with the lipo-gen i was taking to help me digest fats. we are curently working on substitutes, which are helpful.

    i always look for the holistic remedy first and have only turned to meds. when essential.
    so i take painkillers, and i was put on tamezpam [its a benzo] 12 years ago as a sleep aid and i am still on it.
    but where it has become less effecient i have added in a mix of herbal tabs. supps and also melatonin.

    i take armour thyroid which is helping and recently have begun a trial period of low dose cortisol. Again this decision has been made because the herbs etc were not working, we intend to add them in soon and lead on to them, and not to stay on the cortisol too long

    i also take homeopathic remedies either prescribed by a homeopathic doctor i am seeing to help put me more into balance holistically.
    or sometimes i self prescribe, i know a bit about homeopathy as i studied it for a year before i became ill.
    it was one of my ambitions to be a homeopath !
    apologies for rambling..i am tired ..but as this topic is one of my long held passions i want to join in.

    i brought my daughter up wholly on homeopathy and she is 26 and still very healthy despite being busy with 2 kids and on her own after getting divorced.
    like other parents on this board, i have concerns she will follow in my footsteps and i warn her to cherish her health , though with typical teenage/daughter rebelliousness she did declare herself an unbeliever in homoepathy .
    but i point out to her how her hair ,skin and eyes are glowing and how healthy she is, and then i cross my fingers and hope she stays this way.


  10. Solstice

    Solstice New Member

    I am learning from your ideas!! Thanks. If others have more ideas or experiences, please share!!

    Thank You all and may we all have better days ahead.

  11. pam_d

    pam_d New Member

    I am taking the digestive enzymes from this site, called Vital Enzymes. Also, I found out about my "leaky gut" from my allergist. My only regret is not learning about it years sooner, I could've saved my body & immune system a lot of grief!! He did candida testing, thyroid, complete food allergy testing, blood & stool samples, hair testing (for metals toxicity). Very complete, and he could see from the results which vitamins & minerals I was deficient in, what I had too much of (like mercury & iron), and what foods were killing me! Definitely not all allergists do all of this, but it was well worth it, insurance paid for all but the hair testing (I think it was $40 or $50) because I truly believe it's at the root of my FM problems.

    It's a long road back, diet IS real restrictive because I'm allergic to so much, and I went through 2 months of denial before I really got serious, but now it seems pretty easy, and I'm pretty proud of the fact that I can do this----in fact, the discipline I've gained in this area is spilling over into other things, like I've been exercising pretty regularly, which I wasn't before. And I've lost about 10 lbs.

    Good luck to everybody.....looks like we are all finding ways to feel better as naturally as possible....

  12. Solstice

    Solstice New Member

    Thanks so much for sharing.

    Sounds like you are doing very well, and I admire your discipline!

    Do you know if the enzymes are plant derived or animal derived?

    Please let me know in the future how it is going with your healing,