I know, I know.......this looks CRAZY, doesn't it?!? But these supplements have been recommended to me by my LLMD or by my naturopath. Do I really need them? I believe I do, and for these reasons: my doctors SAY that I need them, I've learned about the purpose behind each one for Lyme healing, AND I'm feeling SO much better after one year of antibiotics + supplements. There is no way that I'll be going off these anytime soon just to see what would happen! I need to keep my immune system boosted in the best way we know how, in order to keep the spirochetes in check.
Here is how I keep track of them - the handy, dandy pill organizer. I used to think that pill organizers were just for the elderly. WRONG! I don't know how I'd remember to take them all if it weren't for my organizer. I fill it up every weekend, and I'm good to go for the week. I typed up a chart on my computer of all of the medications and supplements that I take at various times of the day, and I use this to help me fill the organizer each week. But I'm getting pretty good at knowing what goes where, without the cheat sheet.
Now those of you who have joined the Lyme Club will understand all about this and won't question me. However, if there should be someone else looking at my blog who is not well acquainted with Lyme, I'm sure it will raise an eyebrow or two. Here is the purpose behind the pills.
The antibiotics - Obviously to kill the bacteria
Nystatin - To help prevent yeast overgrowth while on the antibiotics
Digestive enzymes - To help with food digestion, which is a common problem in Lyme
Probiotics - To replace healthy bacteria in the intestines and prevent c. difficile
Vitamins - To boost the immune system
Supplements to help deal with specific symptoms. E.g., CoQ10 for heart palpitations, B6 for nervous system symptoms, omega 3 for brain function
Supplements to deal with specific deficiencies common in Lyme patients. E.g. iron, magnesium
Thankfully, I take most of these supplements with food, so I just have to remember to have my pill organizer with me at each meal. As recommended by my first LLMD, I take the pills at the beginning of my meal, after a bite or two of food. This means that the rest of my meal will land on top of the meds/supplements in my stomach. I have found that this method prevents the heartburn that I experienced when taking them at the end of my meal.
So where should you purchase your supplements? I get them from several different places, depending on the supplement: the drug store, Costco, the grocery store, the health food store, or my naturopath. I've read that it's best to get "pharmaceutical grade" supplements and not "drug store" brands. However, I have to balance that information with the COST. Combined, these supplements are expensive, and have put quite a dint in our monthly family budget. Buying everything from a health food store would get really costly. If I can get certain supplements at Costco in bulk, I go for it. With others, I choose a lesser priced drug store name brand. I get my magnesium from my naturopath because I want a really good one that will be well absorbed. It's good to do your research and weigh it out.
So, as you can see, taking the supplements has a purpose. I'm not sure yet what supplements will be required once I have finished with the medications. I haven't thought to ask that question, as I'm not quite there yet. But for now, I'll continue to follow this protocol.