25th Mar 2017
Its been 42 days since my 8th Humira injection and I am starting to feel the effects wearing off. Particularly in my right ankle joint and plantar fascia where the pain has been slowly building up these past few days. Today is also day 77 on the AIP protocol and I’m pretty sure the diet has played a part in slowing down the disease progress.
Recently I decided to seek a second opinion for my condition in the form of a naturopathic doctor. After googling for local naturopathic medicine practitioners, I decided to pay Dr. Radhika Kamat at Osteopathic Treatment Centre a visit.
I’ve read about how Naturopathic Doctors aim to understand the patient as a whole and will try to find the root cause of the problem and address that instead of simply diagnosing and treating symptoms like conventional medicine. True enough, the first session was almost an hour long and Dr. Kamat posed a series of questions that very thoroughly tried to find out more about my background and understand what led me to the state I am in today.
After giving her my background from competitive kayaking to the onset of my autoimmune disease, she asked about any family history of autoimmune or health problems, then about past gastrointestinal problems, my past supplementation history, stress levels, looked at my past blood tests and finally examined my abdomen, particularly the gastrointestinal area where she knocked and listened for sounds. She was particularly interested in past gastrointestinal issues as most autoimmune diseases are linked with intestinal permeability.
Dr. Kamat’s conclusion:
- My body is producing abnormal amounts of inflammation for some reason and the inflammation is pooling at sites of old injury like my plantar fascia. I guess these sites are more susceptible to being inflamed.
- My current diagnosis of Ankylosing Spondylitis may be a misdiagnosis as my spine isn’t as badly affected as my peripheral joints. (Will have to check with my rheumatologist again on this.)
- Possible sensitivity (I may be predisposed) developed from taking supplements for so many years – proteins, weight gainers, casein etc.
- Thinking back now, I did have explosive diarhhoea episodes almost every morning when I was taking those supplements, particularly one period when I took Casein before bed
- Possible environmental heavy metal or toxin exposure – these need further tests to confirm
- Possible gut microbiome dysbiosys – also need further tests done
She prescribed me the following supplements to bring down the inflammation in my system and heal the leaky gut. Dr. Kamat also wanted me to test my vitamin D levels to see if they are low as vitamin D is a potent anti-inflammatory.
- Curcumax Pro – 2 tab, 3x/day
Bioavailable curcumin, boswellia extract and quercetin for inflammation and pain. Dr. Kamat believes this would work very well for the pain and told me to increase the dosage if needed.
- Magnesium (glycinate) – 3 capsules before bed
Apparently, almost everyone’s magnesium levels aren’t optimal. However taking too much at one go might cause disaster pants so I eased into this, adding one tablet a night over 3 days. Still, I had some loose stools on some mornings.
- Fish oil – 3 capsules after breakfast and again after dinner
Another anti-inflammatory, she was very particular about the brand of fish oil I was taking and felt safer if I took the one she recommended. I guess the fish oil industry has become so big that you just can’t trust any brand off the shelves to provide well sourced, good quality oil.
- GI Repair – 3 tab/day
For healing the gut, I made the mistake of taking all three at one go after lunch upon reaching home. This gave me a bad stomach ache which I thought I could sleep off but after 2 hours, was only relieved when I drank some hot Pu-Erh tea. I now take one tab after each meal.
- Probiotics – 1 cap before breakfast
Diet: I distinctly remember her saying, “… and definitely no gluten for you!” when she was enquiring about my diet. Seeing as I was already on the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) which cuts out all grains, nuts, seeds, nightshades and dairy, there wasn’t much she could add except that I ate a more whole-foods, plant based diet and try to go organic as much as possible, if $ permits.
I will be posting a follow up post in a few days!
In the meantime, do you have any experience with Naturopathic Doctors or other forms of alternative medicine that you’d like to share? Do comment below!