Saturday, October 11, 2014

Still truckin' - more ups and downs...

Recently I discovered that the Minocin brand had been sold in April 2012 to Onset Pharmaceuticals, a company specializing in skin care medications. Previously the brand was held by Triax, and before that Pfizer.

The previous brand owners were manufacturers of general antibiotics of all sorts. As I notice that I am having more difficulty staying in remission, I wonder if the new owners of the patent have possibly changed or used a cheaper source for the inert ingredient that carries the drug throughout the body. That is what happened with the generic brands of minocycline, and is why I can no longer use any of those (and I have tried every generic brand available in this area!)

Anyhow, I am finding that I have to be more and more careful about the foods I eat. Since my RA was triggered (and still is) by a leaky gut due to an undiagnosed year long bout with Giardia, which apparently turned my colon into swiss cheese, food products that have certain types of molecules will enter my bloodstream and create an "allergic" reaction, in the form of RA flares.

I originally discovered the link between food and RA as soon as I had been diagnosed. I immediately found that the following would trigger RA flares very shortly after eating: pork products, eggs, popcorn, tomatoes and other nightshade plants, all citrus.  Over the years, with the RA in remission and constant consumption of probiotic-filled yogurts and kefir and supplements, I have been able to return to a fairly normal diet, and eat in moderation of all of the previously "off my list" foods. Except for citrus.

More recently (in the past year) I have suddenly developed a sensitivity to gluten (brought on by a horrific reaction to a multigrain hot cereal containing barley, rye and oats). So now I minimize my intake of gluten.

I was on a tour of Ireland last month, and every single meal (served to the entire group with little choice) had huge amounts of delicious mashed potatoes as the main vegetable. Whether the main course was fish, ham, or beef, there was a huge mound of mashed potatoes. Often, the "starter" course would be a "cream of potato" or "cream of potato and carrot and turnip" soup.  Anyhow, about the 7th meal, flush with cream of potato soup and potatoes and beef, I found my fingers starting to swell up, with the joints getting larger. So after that, I had to avoid all potatoes. Not a bad thing, as I really did not need the extra calories. Unfortunately, the tour meals never offered a decent salad (an Irish salad seemed to be 5 tiny pieces of baby endive lettuce with a sliver of cucumber) or much in the way of green vegetables. All root vegetables. Don't go to Ireland for the food....tho the bangers for breakfast are wonderful!

So, that was just another reminder (potatoes are part of the nightshade family) that I am susceptible to foods, more now than ever.

But other than an issue with a trigger-finger a few months back (quickly relieved by a small cortisone shot in the hand, it did not return- plus my index finger on that hand, which had been partially bent for the past 7 years, is now totally straight!) and having to watch the diet, overall the RA seems to be staying in remission.  If I cheat and eat too much of things I know I should not eat, it does jump up and bite me!

I was able to make the swollen fingers and joints in Ireland go away by removing all potato and other trigger foods, and doubling up on the meds for about 10 days. Fingers went totally back to normal, started deflating within 36 hours.

Now I am back to the 3 days a week intake, and holding it together! I need to take more probiotics, as I ran out of the really strong supplements and have been doing with just the yogurts and such.

So, now at nearly 7 full years of remission due to using Minocin. With one general cortisone shot several years ago, and a few small ones in my fingers this past year.  At some point, someone has to realize there is a value to this treatment protocol!

I hope this information helps you! Let me know....

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