I don't do the herbal route but there are several people here who do - I hope they will jump in.
Yes, you got that right. CRABs stands for the first letter of each of the approved dmd's - Copaxone, Rebif, Avonex, Betaseron. They all get lumped together because they all do pretty much the same thing. My neuro refers to them as the Pepsi-Coke challenge. they are the same but the choice depends on your personal preferences.
We can handle any lingo you want to throw our way - if we cant figure it out, we will always ask.
THANKS.... THIS WAS CUTE") I JUST LEARNED SOMETHING NEW AGAIN TODAY! LOL NiCe
Come on guys or girls...I need your input :)
As Lulu mentioned there are some who are going the herbal route or just not using any of the CRABS or herbals.
And perhaps there are some who used to go that route and no longer do.
I will add what I use for alternative MS help. I had a bad reaction to Copaxone and since I have had breast cancer, my neurologist felt the interferon based drugs were out so now I get monthly IVIG infusions.
However, the following supplements are helpful for me
Vitamin C - 3000 mg day in divided doses
Vitamin D - 6000 ius day (D is usually low in MS folks)
Complete B complex
Methylcobolamin (B12) 1000 mg day sublingual
L-Tryptophan 1000 mg before bed with fruit juice (builds seratonin, instead of antidepressant) helps with pain and sleep problems
L-Tyrosine 1000 mg first thing in morning (good for mood, energy and dopamine production)
EPA-DHA omega 3 fatty acid gels. Anti inflammatory 2 gels twice a day
l-Glutamine 500 mg twice a day on empty stomach (good for gut integrity and anxiety)
Magnesium citrate 600 mg day
Although I don't take it, I understand Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) can be very helpful
As for herbs, well... I take milk thistle to keep my liver moving. :)
I try to do as much exercise as I can each day either stretching, walking with my walking poles, pilates or tai chi.
Meditation helps: I have several guided meditation routines on my iPod and listen to at least one of them once or twice a day.
Journaling; writing down whats going on with my life so I don't whine and moan to my family over and over.
As I am underweight, I try hard to eat 4-6 times a day, with organic fruits, veggies and meat. I sort of follow the Paleo diet but add in more carbs since I need the calories!
Things to avoid, or so I understand... Sugar, Wheat (gluten) Dairy, Legumes. I do eat yogurt daily with ground flaxseed and a fiber supplement for gut mobility, and i do eat green beans and peas even though they are legumes. I do eat the occasional sandwich with whole wheat bread. I use only olive oil for non cooked food and coconut oil for stir frying and other high heat cooking. I make a smoothie with fresh cranberries each day to head off any bladder issues. I hate antibiotics and UTI's are common with MS folks.
I hope that helps some.
Oh I forgot to add something...
LDN, low dose naltrexone. Its a drug, originally used full strength for heroin abuse,but used at lose doses at bedtime, from 1.5-4.5 mg, it helps some people with endorphin production, which makes you feel good and has anecdotally helped some symptoms of MS and helps prevent recurrence of cancer, etc. It's inexpensive and does no harm. No real side effects. However, most of the evidence is anecdotal and there have only been small studies done.
The drug is cheap, old and no pharmaceutical company wants to bother with it in clinical trials as there is no profit in it. But it might be worth a try. One gets it compounded by a specialty pharmacy. There is a good pharmacy in Florida for this. They have been compounding LDN for years and ship all over.
hi, I was thinking of looking into some kind of Herbal help...but can you take that with taking Gabapentin and Amantadine ...?? or do you have to stop all meds
I take Iron, folic Acid, Vit D... multi vit for over 50s... and other Rx meds..
so I don't know if I can take more of a Herbal Med with all this I'm taking?
guess I could ask the MS specialist??
Becareful of the supplements that support or enhance the immune system like
Vitamin C. Our immune systems are not suppressed and do not need enhancing. My neuro spoke to me of problems where the wrong supplements appeared to be causing increased relapses.
I can see the Vit C for a cancer survivor, tho.
Alpha Lipoic Acid is used in Europe at the higher doses for neuropathy, specifically Trigeminal Neuralgia.
I have been impressed with the embracing of complementery and alternative medicine by the Rocky Mountain MS Center. Here is a link. It costs to join ($20), but I have found it useful.
I tried a Chinese herbal combo for my spasms, and it didn't do a thing for me. Basically, I take a multi vitiamin, L-Lysine for my herpes, as an antiviral (works better than Acyclovir for me, for some reason...), and until I just read Quix's post here, some extra Vit. C. I'm quitting that!
I'm all for complimentary medicine, but there's totally a place for allopathic medicine as well. Personally, I think they all oughta be integrated.
Wow I knew not to take anything that would enhance the immune system but simply hadn't thought of Vit C like that, thanks Quix for the info.
tonyad - I see LDN mentioned above, I could be wrong but I have a feeling that you can't take that along with the CRABS. I don't know for sure though.
You can take LDN with Copaxone but not supposed to with the interferons, like Avonex, Rebif or Betaserone.
Thanks for that Jessica, it is worth knowing, I am on Betaseron and I thought that LDN was completely ruled out for me if I was taking a DMD but if ever I decided that I wanted to give it a try I'm sure that there wouldn't be a problem for me to switch to Copaxone.
Thanks to all of you for your responses.
I have learned quite a bit and got good information.
As for the LDN, that is one of the things I was trying to remember the name of because
I have heard of it before I was dx and thought it might be a good idea and maybe safer to use than the CRABS? I'm just thinking out loud........
Of course I would not use the LDN with the Copaxone!