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Naturopath information.

August 9, 2009

This is information from the naturopath that I sent to those who were interested.

I’ve been meaning to give several of you a rundown of my appointment with the naturopath because you’ve all given me good information and suggestions. What follows is the naturopath’s take on what I should do to get through chemo, which will differ a bit from what I end up with in “maintenance mode” after chemo. So, some of the things you suggested she said will line up with some of her ideas for later, but we didn’t get into much detail about later yet.

One thing to note is that as I was leaving she said, “I have a good gut feel in your case.” This is the third medical professional who has used those exact words to me with out prompting.

Also, she drew blood a couple of days ago, and we don’t have those results yet, so that will affect some of the information and dosages below. We do know from previous blood tests that I’m slightly hypothroid and slightly high in cholesterol. She had some thoughts that those might be showing as “slight” because of some sort of other inflammatory issue like, you guessed it, cancer. It’s a load on the system all the way around.

One quick thought about yesterday’s brain thing that I thought I’d share with you few. I was feeling very very very very fuzzy brained for these last few weeks, even before the brain diagnosis. Some I think can be put down to the heat and pollution and stress of what’s been going on. However, I have to say that after a thorough brain zap and a good night’s rest, that general fuzziness is completely gone, even though the general stress level hasn’t gone down. The brain guy said I might have an immediate “better” and “aha” moment in some way like that. Many symptoms from brain tumors are subtle and well compensated so we live with them until it’s far too late to do a thing about them. I am, again, very grateful that we caught this early.

Also, if you know of anything the naturopath suggests that is way off on the fringe, let me know. One suggestion she had that borders on “whoo whooo” is high-dose IV Vitamin C treatments. I need to ask the oncologist about that, but if anyone knows anything about it, please let me know.

Supplements/herbs. The goal is to increase the efficacy of chemo while reducing side effects.

  • For help with sleep during chemo (I had a hard time sleeping before): 20 mg Melatonin before bed. Melatonin is also an immune booster and anit-inflammatory. I’ve been taking this for the past few days and it’s helped me sleep.
  • For bowel/tummy problems (hate that…. one of the worst side effects in my opinion): Magnesium citrate and slippery elm bark as needed.
  • Fish oil 1500 mg EPA, 1500 DHA per day. This is a terrific anti-inflammatory and it’s also great for your skin. I’ve been doing this for the past several years and the naturopath is convinced it’s behind the “indolence” of my cancer. Note: I highly recommend it, but run it by your doctor since it’s also a blood thinner.
  • Meriva (tumeric), 500 mg/day. Has been shown to prevent breast cancer from spreading to the lungs, but only in studies on mice. I figure “it’s a spice,” so what the heck.
  • Boswellia (frankincense), 200 mg/day. Immune booster and anti-cancer agent.
  • Coriolus versicolor, 900 mg/day. This is a mushroom extract:
  • Green tea extract. I think it’s 900 mg/day, but I can’t remember exactly. We’ve all heard a lot about the benefits of green tea, and I drink gallons. She said to keep drinking it and to supplement it to get through treatment.
  • Vitamin D. I’ve been taking 1500 mg/day for several years. Again, she said “good” and said that it’s another that’s been contributing to the cancer’s indolence. However, part of the blood work is checking my vitamin D levels so we can adjust up or down — probably up.
  • L-Glutamine (I need to get the dose…). This is a non-essential amino acid that she recommends taking it to reduce the neuropathy (damage/flashing pain in nerves in feet and hands) caused by one of the chemos I’m getting. I’m all for that. It was painful last time.
  • Ground flax seeds — again, I’ve been eating them every day for several years. Again, “good,” and contributing to cancer’s indolence. Keep it up!

Food/eating/lifestly habits:

  • Mild exercise 5 days/week. I’ve been doing mild to moderate for years and will continue as I have the energy. Well, no, I’ll force myself to a degree because I always feel better afterward. I’m also going to see about adding a yoga class if I can find one close to the house. I “seized up” quite a bit last time and moving and stretching helps a great deal.
  • Cleaning: No toxic cleaners. No bleach. I’ve been bad about this and am in the process of de-toxifying the house.
  • Cooking/storing: Favor glass and stainless steel over plastic since some plastics mimic estrogen, especially when heated (this has been in the news – I’ve been switching over the years, but have more work to do. I just picked up some great glass storage containers as Costco, and need to go back and get another box of them.
  • Cosmetics: Go with the organic stuff. This is another thing I’ve been doing — nothing toxic in the cosmetics. (
  • Eating during chemo: Protein and FIBER on each plate, low carb (but not “no carb”). Eat lots and lots and lots of veggies. Lots. On the day of chemo, though, eat something sugary because it makes the tumor cells lively and receptive to whatever’s running around in my system — like poison. And so, with Marie Antoinette, I say to the cancer cells, “Let them eat cake!”
  • Cooking oils:  Use only extra virgin oilive oil and grapeseed oil. If you need to cook something in high heat (extra virgin olive oil burns at high heat…) use extra virgin coconut oil.
  • Protein: Concentrate on vegetable sources, though no soy. Protein rebuilds the cells damaged by chemo. Eat lots of oats, brown rice, quinoia, amaranth, nuts, etc. Concentrate on walnuts in my case (yum) and almonds. If I eat animal sources (which I will because I live with carnivores and I like meat), then eat fish (deep, cold water fish), and organic HORMONE FREE free range chicken and turkey, organic eggs, and low or nonfat yogurt. This is going to be expensive…..
  • Sugar: Limit refined sugar (except on chemo days). Use local, organic honey moderately for sweets. Use a sugar substitute like Stevia (plant-based, sweeter than sugar) or Xylitol (sugar alcohol from birch).
  • DO NOT EAT: High fructose corn suyrup, margarine (trans fats, partially hydrogenated…), processed and smoked meats, “fake foods.”
  • General rules: Whole foods, cruciferous veggies, darkly pignmented berries, mushrooms (shitake, maitake, crimini, coreolus) legumes and grains. We all know this stuff. She also added that I should be eating lots of yams, garlic, and onions, and add a small piece of kombu seaweed to soups and broths. She also said to eat beets. I need to get my head around that one. Not fond of beets.
2 Comments leave one →
  1. Annette permalink
    August 10, 2009 6:15 am

    Jill – That vitamin C stuff does not sound right. Before following any of this advice, you need to run it all by your oncology pharmacist. Everything. Remember – no anti-oxidants, because they will cancel out the chemo. Chemo is an oxidizer and that’s how it kills cancer. There are other things that interfere as well. I had to bring in all the supplements I took to my oncology pharmacist before I started chemo, and she went through them all saying, you can’t take this, you can’t take this, you can’t take this……. I still have some supplement bottles marked with a big X and “not w/chemo” written on them. I’m almost positive vitamin C was in the can’t take pile, as well as fish oil and a few other things – flaxseed I think.

    Please don’t neglect to do this. I think of you all the time. You’re doing great.

  2. Cristina permalink
    August 12, 2009 8:52 am

    Check out the prices in Fred Meyer for the organic stuff. My favorite TV dinner from Kashi averages a dollar cheaper there ($4.19)than in other stores ($5.39 to $5.99). There is a “natural/organic” equivalent of the Entertainment book that is sold at WF and other spots. I did save money… And of course, Ballard Farmer’s Market is my favorite market.

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