So I promise I'm not gonna sound like a health nazi for this entire blog. And I'm sure at some point you'll be wondering, "Do you care/know/think about anything other than CFIDS?" Don't worry, I ask myself the same question... quite often actually. But living with this illness can accurately be described as being transplanted into a newborn baby's body abandoned by mom at prom. Nothing is so harsh and unforgiving when you have your parents' mistakes and lessons to learn from, but we patients have no such parent. Doctors pass us around to other doctors like a hot potato, so we have no option but to self-diagnose and self-treat. Yes even if we're fortunate enough to find a CFIDS expert. In order to get better from this, one thing is clear: there is no magic pill (yet, and I don't think there ever will be), and attacks are required on more fronts than any other disease I can think of (endocrine, immune, gastrointestinal, autonomic nervous system, cardiovascular, mitochondrial, etc). So you can understand why I may sound like my head's stuck in the proverbial armpit of CFIDS.
I am Jack's one-trick pony, but I'll try to ride this ass with some flair.
In my last post, I talked about some ways to guesstimate your vulnerability to CFIDS. The CDC most recently estimated 2.54% of the U.S. population suffers from this illness, causing a total loss of about $25 billion in some studies. CFIDS has been measured to be more prevalent in women than AIDS, breast cancer, and lung cancer. Yet this is nothing like West Nile or avian flu... it doesn't pick its spots at certain times and places; CFIDS is a non-discriminating pandemic illness and will likely only become a greater problem with time. (Topic for a later post)
Apocalyptic-sounding note aside , I dare say what I have learned about CFIDS and what we can do to prevent it would be applicable to many other chronic illnesses. So here goes:
There are many supplements you can take to keep your immune system in tip-top shape all the time. But let's be honest: if I weren't sick, someone would have to pull my beautiful hair to take a Centrum a day. But while we're on that topic, if you're going to take a multivitamin, you might as well sit on your bottle of Centrum before taking it cuz you might get more value out of your own excrement. Excuse the imagery.
1) A good multivitamin is one that has precursors to glutathione (the ultimate antioxidant produced by our bodies) and mimics the body's basic chemistry and supports the methylation cycle (which is happening a billion times per sec in your body). With these elements, the multivitamin should stimulate gentle detoxification and kickstart your immune system (in a way that Airborne's vit C never could all by its lonesome).
2) On top of that, I would take one thing to kindly escort the germies on their way outta my body. The term "detoxification" has become such a fad due to detox centers and other expensive therapies. This is unfortunate, because even well-meaning doctors not trying to make a quick buck advocate supporting this most important pathway. Also, despite what infomercials may lead us to believe, detoxification doesn't stop and end with a colon cleanse. The liver, gallbladder, kidneys, and gut are all equally involved. Critics say your body is naturally able to detox everything it needs to, to which I respond it's true...if our daily food intake and environment aren't the most toxic they've ever been in the history of mankind. 'Tis the hand we dealt ourselves, so we have to make necessary adjustments. I've heard enough top-notch MD's suggest chlorella that I trust it to be a truly magical detoxifier. King's Chlorella is supposed to be the highest quality brand. But if I were healthy, I'd probably take something like MaxGXL, which has all the glutathione--the body's master antioxidant--precursors (and once again, imitating and augmenting the body's natural chemistry seems the safest and also most effective form of supplementation). Increasing glutathione also eases the burden on the liver, keeping our body's "sink" unclogged.