Supplementation has been SO important in my healing fight against Crohn’s disease, thyroid disease and adrenal fatigue in order to prevent malnutrition and nutrient deficiencies. Because of a damaged GI system and chronic inflammation throughout my body, my gut does not absorb nutrients, protein, carbs, or fat effectively, and I am at a higher risk for nutrient deficiency. Plus, during past flares, I didn’t feel like eating due to decreased appetite, pain and anxiety. Also, since I have had surgery and am missing over half of my large intestine, digestion and absorption of nutrients is greatly affected. Lastly, the strong medications that I have been prescribed to control my disease interfere with the absorption of nutrients as well as lower my immune system. All that being said, it has been vital for me to make sure I am supplementing with extra vitamins and minerals in order to function as best as possible.
Even though I have healed SO much over the past year, I still plan to continue to supplement with everything that has contributed to making me healthy. It is ALWAYS best to get your vitamins and minerals through food. However, due to damage that has been done to my system from surgery and chronic inflammation over the years, it is going to be imperative for me to continue doing exactly what has made me healthy in order to STAY healthy!
Here is a list of supplements that have been vital to healing ME. Granted many of these are used to treat the majority of disease from cancer to thyroid disease to diabetes and heart disease, etc. And many “normal” healthy people would benefit from supplementing from some of these as well. But I am only here to convey to you what has specifically helped ME. And again, what works for me isn’t necessarily going to work for you! I have explained why I chose to use these particular supplements as well as the dosage that has been helpful to MY healing! Listed in alphabetical order, not relevance or importance in fighting disease:
- Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) – 300mg/day; powerful anti-oxidant that decreases oxidative stress, improves mitochondrial function, improves metabolism of vitamins/minerals/fats/glucose, decreases inflammation associated with cancer and autoimmune disease, decreases nerve pain and promotes healthy nerve function
- B-Complex – 1 serving/day, supplement needs to have methyl B12 and methyl folate for improved absorption and assimilation; boosts the immune system and helps prevent infection, helps with energy production, essential for healthy endocrine system, decreases anxiety/stress and enhances mood
- B12 – 5000mcg/day, particularly in the combination of methylocobalamin, adenosylcobalamin and hydroxycobalamin; I also get hydroxycobalamin B12 injections once a month; vital to the immune system and energy production, decreases homocysteine levels, enhances mental and emotional function; B12 is methylated at the junction of the small intestine and large intestine and since this has been disrupted in me due to my surgery, it is VITAL for me to supplement over and beyond what is recommended!
- Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) – 200mg/day; major antioxidant used by our cells to process energy, function properly, and carry out critical functions in our body; enhances immune function; crucial in the treatment of heart disease, high cholesterol, and cancer
- Curcumin/Turmeric – I don’t take a supplement, I use fresh turmeric root on my food (personal preference); targets inflammation, mega anti-cancer food, stops tumors and cancer cells from spreading
- Digestive Enzymes (protease, amylase, lipase, bromelain in particular) – 1 to 2 with each meal; helps in the treatment of all digestive disorders, stimulates the immune system, decreases inflammation, improves liver health
- EPA/DHA (omega 3s) – 2 to 3g/day, in split doses, in the form of fish oil or cod liver oil; decreases inflammation and pain, fights autoimmune disease, strengthens endocrine system and CNS, improves joint/bone health, protects the brain and heart
- Glutamine – 10 to 20g/day (depending on activity level), in split doses; most abundant amino in your body and is involved with many metabolic processes, important energy source for cells, promotes proper intestinal function and a healthy immune system, prevents infection, speeds recovery from exercise
- Glutathione (specifically liposomal) – 250mg/day, 3g IV infusions once a month and as needed for symptom presentation; our body’s most powerful and important antioxidant, fights autoimmune disease and essential for immune health, fights cell damage, promotes longevity, decreases stress, defense agent against all toxins
- Magnesium (specifically glycinate) – 400mg/day, also use a spray at night as this is absorbed better than an oral supplement; homeostasis mineral that is crucial in over 300 enzyme reactions in the body, needed for almost every bodily process (formation of new cells and ATP/energy), critical for health and longevity, #1 deficiency in the world (over 80% are deficient)
- Methylsulforryl methane (MSM) – 5g/day, in split doses; decreases inflammation and pain, helps with the absorption of nutrients, boosts immune system and gut health, speeds muscle recovery, improves joint health
- N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC) – 1200 to 1800mg/day, in split doses; essential for making glutathione, potent antioxidant, decreases inflammation, improves immune system, important for detoxification
- Probiotics – 1/day in the form of a supplement, use probiotic rich food as well (rotate between VSL#3 and Pure Encapsulations); critical for gut and immune health, essential after surgery/chemo/antibiotic use, balances the digestive system and fight bad bacteria in the gut
- Selenium – 200mg/day OR eat 1-2 brazil nuts/day; strengthens thyroid tissue and stimulates the production of thyroid hormones T4 and T3, helps with the conversion of T4 to T3 on the cellular level, protects against breast cancer
- Vitamin C – 3g/day, in split doses, in supplement form; also use Camu Camu powder (1 tsp/day – highest Vitamin C content in the worls) and Amla powder (1 tsp/day – 2nd highest in Vitamin C in the world and highest antioxidant content of ANY food!); I will increase dosage if I feel like I am getting sick; one of top antioxidants in your body, boosts immune system, detoxifies the liver, supports the adrenals/thyroid, restores CNS from neurotoxin damage; high doses of IV vitamin C will kill cancer
- Vitamin D3 – 5000IUs/day (dose dependent on blood levels); #1 anti-cancer vitamin, best source is the sun, protects against autoimmune disease, improves immune health, decreases fatigue, improves bone health, enhances sports performance and recovery
- Zinc – 60mg/day, in split doses: I will also increase dosage of this supplement if I feel like I am getting sick; major immune system booster, suppresses viral growth, deceases inflammation, strengthens the adrenals/thyroid, wards off the growth of tumors and cysts
I know this seems like A LOT!! But these have been crucial to my healing. And I rotate some of them in and out of my regime based on how I am feeling. There have been additional supplements but I won’t mention them here as they have not been the most important in my healing.
I want to briefly touch on the performance of exercise and it’s role in healing. You NEED exercise in order for your body to heal! Exercise increases T cell production (critical immune system cell) and improves immune function. It increases the circulation of blood and lymph to speed up healing. It prevents bone and muscle loss AND causes you to release those feel good endorphins that make you happy! 😊 BUT, and this is a BIG but, extreme exercise is counter-productive to healing and can be actually be detrimental to healing! Extreme exercise causes too much stress to the body, too much free radical production that causes oxidative stress and causes cell damage. It also produces too much adrenaline and cortisol, which suppresses the immune system. So this is why I have decided to retire from competiting in figure competitions. I achieved my 9 year goal of turning IFBB pro and it’s time to hang up my suit in order to heal. There is NO WAY I could successful heal and still compete…too extreme and too much stress on my body. And I am PERFECTLY AT PEACE with this decision!
Lastly, I want to talk about the importance of using environmentally friendly and “green” products and practices in your daily life in order to decrease your exposure to harmful chemicals. Not only do we get too many chemicals through what we put in our mouths, we also are exposed to many harmful chemicals in the air we breathe, the things we touch and put on our skin, the water we shower in and drink, etc. Here are some things you can do to make your home and yourself more chemical free:
- Make the switch to personal hygiene products that are all natural, organic, paraben free, sulfate free, gluten and dairy free, plant-based or vegan. This includes make-up, lotions, shower gels, shave gels, perfumes and colognes, etc.
- Make the switch to “green” and all natural household products such as laundry detergents, dishwasher detergents, cleaning products, paper products, etc.
- Use glass containers to store food instead of plastic.
- Use all natural, soy based candles and/or essential oil diffusers. We LOVE essential oils! Not only do they smell delicious, but they have SO many healing properties! We use essential oil diffusers in all of our rooms daily!
- Drink filtered water. I personally have a Berkey filtration system and LOVE it!
- Use a filter on your shower head to avoid the chlorine and other harmful chemicals in the water system.
- Use all natural, aluminum free deodorant. I personally like Lavanilla sold at Sephora.
- Fill your house with air purifying plants and/or invest in a good air purifier/ionizer.
That sums it up for today! Please reach out to me with any and all questions! Happy healing! 😊