Supplements Needed in Lupus
Ted, I've been reading your responses to peoples' questions about lupus online and and I have one of my own. Was my doctor's diagnosis of lupus correct?
I was diagnosed almost six years ago at the age of seventeen with "mild lupus." Apparently, I had enough symptoms (fatigue, missed menstrual cycles, indigestion, tooth decay, some joint pain) and a few of the blood markers (low white cell count, positive ANA, low compliments, etc.)
I was immediately put on Plaquenil and at the time I thought perhaps it made me feel better. I've been on it ever since.
The reason I ask if I actually have lupus is because the following changes have nearly eradicated my lupus symptoms.
1.) After researching thyroid problems, I pursued investigation of my thyroid and found that it was quite low (nearly out of range). Thyroid medication has been incredible. I got my doctor to treat both T3 and T4.
2.) I had allergy testing completed and found out that I am allergic to gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, corn, potato, almonds, cashews (to name a few). I feel tremendously better on a diet of buckwheat, quinoa, vegetables, fruit and meat. My bloating is almost gone. My tendency to become lethargic after meals is gone.
My doctor had me tested for celiac disease but my blood tests came back negative. I'm fairly positive that I must have the disease. I think the fact that I have been not eating wheat for the last year has contributed to the negative blood test. I have experienced far too many symptoms that are in line with celiac disease: thyroid issues, dental problems (four root canals and over 37 cavities by the age of 20), menstrual problems, IBS, vomiting (no connection with dental problems which started at the age of 13), many allergies, constipation (excruciating stomach cramps), diagnosis of lupus, etc. I also used to be ravenously hungry all the time--a low blood sugar feeling if I didn't eat every two hours.
My lupus "symptoms" were never extreme in the first place. At seventeen, my main complaints were indigestion, tooth decay, brain fog, and tiredness. Nearly all of those are gone with my current lifestyle and a great homeopathic doctor who managed to get my menstrual cycle back with some herbal remedies. At the moment, I'm the healthiest I've ever been and I think it should keep on getting better. I still struggle with fine tuning my diet. I don't digest food well enough and I'm pretty convinced this is due to all the allergies and the resulting leaking gut syndrome. Hopefully, a allergen free diet will help to heal my intestines. Every time my doctor ups my thyroid medication, I feel better. My quality of life is quite good. I workout four days a week. The only times I find myself having problems is when I accidentally eat something I'm allergic to.
So, how do I get myself off Plaquenil? Did I really have lupus in the first place or was it misdiagnosed gluten intolerance? Is it possible all of this started with gluten intolerance that built into lupus? What is Plaquenil doing to me right now? Is it helping, hindering? Should I stop cold turkey or gradually taper it off?
Honestly, I'm really curious to see if my bloodwork can be changed. I'm willing try and see if I can be "cured." You've listed a variety of supplements in other responses to emails. Would you be willing to fine tune your list of supplements and dosages to my specific case? I've already changed my diet so now I just need to start addressing the supplement issue.
Thank you for your time and patience with my lengthy email. And thank you for putting information out on the web about lupus. It makes a lot of logical sense to me.