43 Things I Tried That Didn’t Cure Me

After over eight years of chronic illness, and almost as many trying every remedy under the sun, I suspect that my recovery may be just around the corner. I shouldn’t get my hopes up, but I can’t help it. I’m feeling giddy with anticipation.

After a few dozen phone calls to various pharmacies, I discovered that Costco can filled my generic itraconazole prescription for $40 if I bypass insurance, which is much better than the $700 I was originally quoted. Tonight, I’ll be picking up the prescription. Since I can’t risk a bad reaction during my current audit, I’ll be starting treatment Wednesday evening. According to my doctor, I may see improvements within a month.

As I look forward with hope and joy, I can now being looking back at the trials and tribulations and (almost) laugh. Not at everything, but at some things. One of those painful experiences that has developed a tint of humor is that various things I was willing to try to fix my body. From diet and exercise to medical tests and a conveyor belt of experts. From prescription medication and eastern healing modalities to elimination of chemicals and whack-job what-have-I-got-to-lose treatments. I have tried just about everything!

Just off the top of my head, here’s a little peek into the life and load of a chronically ill person on the path to recovery:

  • Eating organic
  • Abandoning harsh chemicals, in favor of vinegar and baking soda
  • Reiki (energy healing)
  • Jin Shin Jyutsu (basically, acupressure)
  • Prescription for depression (though, due to adverse reactions, that only lasted a few days)
  • Natural Relief 1222 pain relief ointment
  • Eliminating flour and sugar from my diet
  • Iridiology (the color and pattern of your iris reflect the health of your organs)
  • Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (show which minerals your body is using)
  • Parasite cleanse
  • Ozone therapy (syrupy blood was drawn, mixed with ozone, and re-injected)
  • Removal of cervical IUD (due to MCAS allergic reaction to PEG)
  • Switching from bleached cotton Roundup-laden tampons to Thinx period panties
  • Going vegetarian
  • Trying the low-FODMAP diet
  • Culturing my own probitics
  • A gazillion overpriced supplements
  • Getting rid of all scented candles
  • Getting a personal trainer
  • Participating in a fitness competition
  • Trying hot yoga
  • Going vegan
  • Making 100% of my meals at home (no eating out, nothing processed)
  • Intermittent fasting
  • Carnivore diet
  • Adopting a paleo diet
  • Ten months on fluconazole anti-fungal
  • Zofran anti-nausea (a useful band-aid for low blood pressure)
  • Trioral electrolytes
  • Full body PET/CT scan
  • Enduring a cardiopulmonary stress test (aka hell)
  • Suffering through a tilt table test (hell on steroids)
  • A lumbar puncture looking for coccidioides in my brain
  • Switching from non-stick to steel cookware
  • Replacing plastic kitchenware with glass and stainless steel
  • Cold showers
  • Sauna
  • IV glutathione
  • Peptides
  • Topical progesterone
  • Adrenal support supplements
  • Topical steroids for psoriasis
  • Topical immunosuppressive ointment
  • Probably dozens more I’ve forgotten about!

As promised, here are the handful of things that actually made a noticeable difference for me. Your mileage may vary.

  • Jack the dietician extraordinaire! He’s a genius in biochemistry and slowly helped me rebuild my body.
  • A bedtime elixir of taurine, glycine, and magnesium. I suffered from terrible tired-but-wired insomnia for years, but this blend allowed me to achieve restful sleep. OMG, good sleep was life-changing!!!
  • Low-dose naltrexone. I’m not sure the mechanism, but it’s great. I fill through PD Labs in TX and they are amazing for compounded med–best prices and great service!
  • Autoimmune protocol diet. When I deviate, I feel it. I’m hoping to one day be able to enjoy eggplant parm again but, if not, it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make.

There are lots of amusing things on the list that, had I not been in a state of extreme desperation, I would have never considered!

Have you tried anything on the list, or are you wondering if I’m a bit cuckoo?

What out-there treatments have you tried? Did anything surprising make a difference?

31 thoughts on “43 Things I Tried That Didn’t Cure Me

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  1. You have tried so much! Sounds like it could have been frustrating to try so many things that didn’t work, but at least you’re keeping a sense of humor about it 😊

    Are there any that you kept doing even though they didn’t cure you? Because maybe you enjoyed them? I’m curious about the carnivore diet ~ is it literally what it sounds like?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. With each new idea, I got excited that “maybe this will help me feel better”, so the frustration would quickly dissipate as I moved on to the next thing, haha! 😂

      What an interesting question! I still eat organic, avoid household chemicals, and use a topical immunosuppressive ointment , but that’s it. And carnivore diet is 100% animal products–meat, organs, eggs…wasn’t really my cup of tea.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. It really is incredible how, although we’re all part of the same species, different treatments help different people. I’m so glad to hear you’ve found some things that work well for you!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Your list is overwhelming but funny too. For example cold showers and sauna. Lots of contradictory things like vegan to carnivore diets. As for the sauna, my dad grew up in a Finnish family and they had Thursday saunas where the men would sauna together and then go and roll in the snow during the winter.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Anytime I read about a treatment or had a test recommended by a doctor, I was on it! After all the trial and error, I think I’ve found my final solution. It really is funny… and I felt terrible on the vegan diet and carnivore, and didn’t tolerate cold showers or sauna.

      I love the story of your father–his family was on to something! There’s been a lot of research that’s come out over the last 30 yeras supporting sauna and cold plunges for health and longevity. Both reduce risk of cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, stroke, and all-cause mortality. They’re good habits to adopt… if you can stand the heat and the cold haha!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. During our recent weekend in Mexico we went in a super hot jacuzzi and alternated with a cold pool. We felt greats My daughter, as a college swimmer, had similar treatments of heat and ice for her hurt shoulder and tired body for recovery.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I admire how you’ve tried. Obviously many things didn’t work for you but you systematically made the effort and kept track which seems like a healthy thing to do. On your list I’ve tried [and love] Reiki. I also went vegetarian for a while, but didn’t feel healthy, just kind of sadly hungry all the time.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I never thought of it that way, but I think I approached getting well the same way I would any other task or chore… it just took far longer than figuring out the most effective path for vacuuming the house. Yes, Reiki is great and I would love to try it again once my body is no longer so toxic. I felt similar on the vegetarian diet. On the other hand, my boyfriend has been a vegetarian for 20+ years, so I guess it works well for some.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’d be really interested to hear more about your bedtime elixir Erin. Sleep is a huge issue for me at the moment. I am so tired, but buzzing. No chance of undisturbed sleep :/

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    1. Absolutely, Susan! These recommendations came from my dietician and I’ve been doing nightly since around Jun 2019. None are harmful, I don’t think you can “overdose” on the aminos or minerals, etc. but check with a doctor to confirm you don’t have any contraindications.

      1. Low-dose Naltrexone*. I don’t fully understand the mechanism. For folks with autoimmune issues, it can be hit or miss. Dosage ranges from 1.5 to 4mg per day, typically taken at night. I paid $70/mo locally for years, but recently switched to PD Labs and can fill 6 months for $137.
      2. Taurine*. Activates GABA(A) receptors in a brain region that regulates sleep, and is involved in the creation of the “sleep hormone” melatonin in the pineal gland. Dosage is 6 g (6x 1,000 capsules or 2 tsp in water–powder is cheaper and not unpleasant). I use Life Extension brand powder, but am about to switch to Bulk Supplements, so they were just NSF certified.
      3. Magnesium L-Threonate (or mag glycinate)*. Helps relax the central nervous system. Dosage ~550mg (4 pills or 1-2 tsp in water). Note: many are deficient in magnesium, so taper up day-after-day until it gives you loose stools, and then return to the previous dosage, which is your personal ideal. I’ve used Life Extension Neuro-Mag capsule, as well as powder in water.
      4. Glycine. Promotes falling asleep quickly and deeper sleep, and reduces symptoms of insomnia. Dosage 4g/1 tsp powder in water. Use Carlson brand powder. Taste is not great, so I add vitamin C powder with #2, 3, and 4.
      **Take all the above approximately 15 minutes before going to sleep – there will be a 15-minute time-frame in which you *should* fall asleep easily. If you don’t, try an additional dose of taurine.

      Next, if you tend to wake throughout the night, it may be due to an issue with your blood sugar dropping and your liver responding by producing glucose, in turn leading to the tired-but-wired feeling.
      5. Tart cherry juice. Immediately before bed, take 1 Tbsp cherry juice. This gives your body a small amount of glucose for overnight.
      6. Oil (olive, MCT, almond butter, whatever!). Just after the cherry juice and before bed, 1 Tbsp oil/fat slows down absorption of the glucose, so your body has access to little hits of sugar throughout the night to support it’s processes.

      I know this is a LOT of info, but I hope it’s helpful! I’ve been on this protocol for about 4 years and it’s been life-changing to achieve half-decent sleep again. Let me know if you have any questions.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Looks like you tried quite a lot of things, Erin. The parasite cleanse caught my eye! What was that like?

    It’s great that after this long journey, you are on your way to feeling better again! 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We were working with a nurse for something else and she was insistent that almost all health problems originate from parasites in the gut… and those parasite cause people to act crazy when there’s a full moon. It involved a combination of herbal supplements and dietary changes aimed at killing and eliminating organisms living in your intestines. Perhaps TMI, but some people supposedly see stringy white parasites in their stool.

      I’ve talked to more practitioners since then and it’s a bit risky because you’re basically eliminating good and bad organisms in the intestines, so if an opportunist bad bacteria/parasite shows up, there’s a risk that that becomes dominant… worsening the gut health even more.

      Yes, I’m feeling very hopeful. I’ve been here before, but now it’s evidence-based rather than playing darts while blindfolded, so I feel much more confident. 😊

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Evidence based is definitely the assured way go. That’s so great Erin.

        And that stuff about the parasites truly is the stuff of nightmares! 😆 Oh my goodness, good thing I ate already. 🤣

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow – what a list! I love your openness to trying, it is amazing. But I confess I started giggling with the first one, eat organic. When I was 45 yrs old and went to my general practitioner and broached the subject of wanting to have a baby, the suggestion she actually wrote down on a piece of paper was to eat organic. Not a bad idea but I was pretty sure that wasn’t going to make me pregnant. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Wow! That’s a long list!

    I try different things too for my immune system, and keep the ones that work best for me. My latest ailment has been my digestive system giving me terrible pains and gas when I eat, so I added full complex digestive enzymes and Probiotics. I was feeling much better, then I backed away from the Probiotics for a few weeks and the pains came back, so I got back on them. I’ve been reading how so many health issues start in the digestive system so taking the Probiotics seems to make so much sense.

    Kudos to you for doing the trial and error method of figuring out what works for you!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I was on digestive enzymes and probiotics for several years and they made such a difference!

      Did you know you can culture your own probiotics? The majority of good bacteria in any capsule are already dead by the time you receive it, so you can open and dump the contents of a capsule into almond milk (higher sugar content feeds the bacteria) and let it sit on the counter at room temperature for 12-96 hours. It will thicken and sweeten within the first 24 hours, and the living bacteria will multiply into millions of times as much good bacteria.

      Thank you for your kind words and endless support, Tamara! I appreciate you. 😊

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Wow! That’s great to know! I’m going to have to try that! Thanks! It is always my deepest pleasure to be supportive!

        Liked by 2 people

  8. Your list reminds me of what a lifelong learner you are, Erin…naturally! Any lead you uncovered that might’ve contributed to improved health? You were on it! And I bet you’re right…as long and varied as your list is, I bet there are still a few things that you left out as you’ve been in ‘search and recovery’ mode about your health. Cheers to you for your good humor and resolve! xo! 🥰

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks, Vicki! Most of the trial and error was borne from desperation, which is kind of sad. But that continually searching (I think!!!) has finally led to the right solution, so my stubbornly persistence nature has worked out of me. I can’t wait to see what lesson lie ahead! 🥰

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Wow, you tried IV glutathione! I didn’t know an IV form of it existed. I used to sell glutathione supplements but stopped when it wasn’t the cure either (and mega overpriced for what they were).

    I found that switching to a plant-based diet helps me a lot but I slip up a lot. Also, drinking more water helps me. I started getting away from whatever is popular and going back to the bare bones basics. Sleep, water, diet. I stopped taking supplements and quit organic a while ago.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I did liposomal glutathione for awhile, then switched to IV. It’s really expensive in clinics, so my boyfriend and I learned basic venipuncture to administer for each other.

      Sleep, water, and a clean diet really are key! There are so many specific diets and approaches, but it’s really simple if you just stick to the basics.

      Like

    1. This is such an interesting website, Mark. Thank you for sharing! Reading though, I think me trigger was environmental + infection, ratheer than trauma, but I studied psychology/neurobiology in college and I suspect trauma is a huge factor for many in their chronic illnesses.

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      1. I suspect it matters how you define trauma, Erin. I define it as any acute or chronic experience that adversely affects the flow of energy and information throughout our brain and/or body. Under that definition, neglect and poverty would qualify, along with any other experiences that we might not ordinarily think of as trauma. Here’s another video you may find helpful …https://vimeo.com/171595344

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