If you’ve been following my blog or social media, you know that I’m all about a drug-free, holistic approach to healing. While this is still true and what I strive for, there are a few milder medications I have to take to keep everything under control for now. This in combination with my primal diet approach, exercise, supplements, and lifestyle usually keep everything under wraps. So today, I thought I’d share all the medications and supplements I take on a daily basis and how I know when to place restock before I run out, and stay organized. **reminder that just because these work for me, doesn’t mean they’ll work for you. Everybody’s body and health needs are different. I wanted to use this as a way to give ideas and show support**
Let’s start with the medications:
-This is a drug a lot of doctors opt to begin with when a patient is first diagnosed with mild Crohn’s disease or colitis. It is a aminosalicylates class drug and works by helping to coat the intestines and reduce inflammation in the colon. Although I would like to not be on Asacol, it has very few side effects (none that I experience), and is much much better than a biologic health wise. The only thing that concerns me is the effects it can have on kidney function, so I get this checked every 3 months and drink tons of water.
-I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned this, but when I was 16, I started having unbearably horrible chest and throat pain that would keep me up all night long. After months and months of testing and a Hida scan that finally gave us the answer we were searching for, they realized that I had a non-functioning gallbladder. Like, 0%. They gave us the option of removal or the option of taking medication. We chose the medication in hopes of avoiding the cons that can come along with full removal, and I haven’t had any trouble ever since. Ursodiol basically works by helping to put bile back into your gallbladder and break up gallstones. And fun fact my dr. told me just the other day, this actually comes from the gallbladder’s of bears! 🐻
3. Low-dose Naltrexone
-This medication is highly debated for its use in to treat IBD, but the studies completed have shown amazing results including complete remission! My functional medicine doctor was the one that actually prescribed this, because it's such a low risk, mild medication. Another fun fact *this is usually used to combat drug addiction relapse. This results in me doing a lot of explaining to each new doctor I see. It basically works by keeping the immune system from attacking itself. But, anyways, I haven’t had any side effects and I feel like it’s really been making a difference! Look up studies!
On to supplements
1. Magnesium Buffered Chelate
-Emphasis on the buffered chelate (magnesium that you normally find in the drugstore never worked for me until I switched to this). Most magnesium supplements are a type called magnesium oxide which is harder to absorb, and especially hard for those with pre-existing malabsorption issues. I know I literally mention this in like, all my posts ever, but I am one of the few people with Crohn’s that doesn’t have diarrhea. It’s almost always constipation for me. Magnesium has been a life changer. Before magnesium I was taking Miralax religiously (and being told it had no short or long term side effects 🙄), and this has completely replaced it! Look into it.
-This is in my top 3 supplements I could NOT live without. I was always always having stomach pain that felt like intense indigestion that would literally send me home from work and class all the time. I don’t know how this works and I don’t care. It works.
3. LV-GB complex
-This helps to support bile flow and goes back to my gallbladder problems and liver enzyme levels. Before I was on this supplement, my liver enzymes were dropping, and upon taking this, my levels are back up and totally normal.
-If you've done a lot of research on anti-inflammatory foods, you probably have across the anti-inflammatory benefits of turmeric (or curcumin (the chemical within turmeric)). It's great! The problem is it is difficult to absorb in pill form, especially for people with IBD or malabsorption problems. SR stands for sustained release, and the Meriva is curcumin combined with phosphatidylcholine for easy absorption. I am the queen of malabsorption and this makes a huge difference.
5. Blood Builder
-When I first found out I was anemic, I started taking iron supplements which brought my levels back to normal, but made me nauseous and constipated. This is why this specific supplement is so great! It is specifically formulated to fight against both of these things, and has kept my levels up to normal.
-This helps with blood circulation, bone strength, immunity, and cardiovascular health. This is a tiny little pill that I take only once a day with my fattiest meal.
7. Evening Primrose
-This also makes my top 3 supplements. I don't want to go into too much detail, because I spent a lot of time on this in my "period hacks" post, but this completely regulated my period, took away my intense cramps, and made me a lot easier to be around.
8. Ortho Digestzyme
-Also top 3. Like I mentioned above, I've always struggled with malabsorption and digestive issues where...let's just say things don't digest. 2 of these with each meal have made such a difference and have taken away that feeling of food just sitting there in my stomach for hours on end.
9. GI-Revive Powder
-I take this before one meal a day (and L-glutamine with another) which serves the purpose of coating my intestines before food. This has also helped to reduce my acid reflux and actually was why I was able to get off of Omeprazole.
10. L-Glutamine Powder
-This is also helps to coat the intestines and aids in the protection of muscle tissue. I put some in a small amount of orange juice right before a meal and rotate it with my GI-Revive
11. DGL (Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice)
-This is another supplement to protect my intestinal lining (it better be protected at this point!!) by improving the mucus lining of the intestinal wall and stomach. I take this 3x a day before each meal. This one is my favorite simply because it is in chewable form so I'm able to take it even when I'm out of the house.
12. CoQ10 Swirl
-CoQ10 works as an antioxidant in the body. It supplies our cells with energy and regulates blood pressure, as well as fighting against inflammation. I take the Barlean's CoQ10 Swirl brand for a high EPA/DHA and easy absorption.
13. Intra-Max Liquid Vitamin
-I was take Alpha-base tablets as my multivitamin, but I have problems swallowing pills, and these were the main one's getting stuck in my throat. I switched to this liquid brand, because it is easily absorbed and is a super natural formula with no fillers. So far so good!
14. ProBiotic 225
-This comes in powder form, so I just slip it into my morning smoothie or some sort of juice once daily. I'm sure you've heard about the benefits of probiotics and putting that good bacteria back into your gut (especially after years of antibiotics)! This is another great, easily absorbed brand.
15. Fish Oil
-I use the Viva-Naturals Omega 3 Fish Oil due to the high EPA/DHA and the high concentration from the supercritical extraction method they use. This is great for your heart, brain, skin, eyes, and helps to reduce inflammation.
16. CandiBactin AR and BR
-This is not a long-term supplement for me, but rather to get rid of my sibo. I only have a few days left until I'm finished with my last bottles, but the BR works by purging unwanted compounds from your body, while the AR works by creating a healthy intenstinal environment. I had the choice between taking short-term antibiotics or longer term herbal antibiotics, so I chose these. I think there is a time and place when conventional antibiotics are needed, but if there is any possibility of them being avoided, I will always try something else first.
17. Garden of Life Sinus
-Basically all year round I have some sort of sinus issue going on. I don't know if it is is the Tennessee air or just something about my body, but my ears are almost always congested. This really helps to knock down the irritation in a way more natural way than Zyrtec.
Clearly, my pill amounts are just too large for a traditional pill case, so for the longest time, I would get out each pill individually before every meal, and it took foreverrrrrr. That's when I discovered these little baggies with AM, PM, and "Other" markers on the front. Every Friday I take these little baggies out, mark the time of day, and fill them with my pills for the entire week. Easy peasy. Also what I'm doing for my upcoming vacay and I can almost guarantee my life is going to be 10x easier.
I didn't realize how many supplements I took on a daily basis until I typed this post, but wow.... Whatever works, right? Like I said at the beginning of this post, this supplement list was formulated for my specific deficiencies and needs (based on blood work) by my functional medicine doctor, so I'm not saying this is what everyone with IBD should do. Talk to your doctor and see what works best for you! I hope this was beneficial and gave you some sort of direction in your health journey. Don't forget to like, subscribe, and share this post! Follow me on all my social media outlets for updates throughout the week (I usually post daily). You can find these on my "home" page of my blog. If you have any posts you'd specifically like to see, message me or leave a comment and let me know! Thanks for reading!