Women Who Have Cured Their Autoimmune Disorders

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Feature image from KIRSTEN RICKERT

Here are three books by women who have healed their autoimmune disease.  This article is not intentionally about women only, I just couldn’t find any books written by men.  If you know any please add them to the comments below.

You can heal your lifeYou Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay, Hay House Publishing

Louise Hay is credited as a founder member of the self-help movement.  Louise was able to put her philosophies into practice when she was diagnosed with cancer.

Hay considered the alternatives to surgery and drugs, and instead developed an intensive program of affirmations, visualization, nutritional cleansing, and psychotherapy. Within six months, she was completely healed of cancer.

This book is hard to handle if you’re not ready to hear that you might be responsible for your own disease.  It’s an interesting read based on anecdotes and word of mouth, but there is also a truth that is hard to argue with.  That if your immune system can kill your platelets then your immune system is capable of stopping killing your platelets. Continue reading

Grapefruit – Is There a Problem?

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Grapefruit? What’s the Problem?

The other day I found myself with a grapefruit in my hand and an old wives tale in my head.  I don’t know why it came to me, but something was telling me not to eat the Grapefruit; something about grapefruit making the pill not work, like St John’s wort?

Then I doubted myself.  How can a grapefruit be an evil kind of citrus when all the rest are fine?

What was I going to do with the Grapefruit tree in my back yard, plumb and ladened with the most burdensome of citrus?  I started to ask a few friends if they had heard of this medication mixing myth.

I Started to Hear Conflicting Stories –

  • A friend of mine told me her mother could not drink Grapefruit juice while she was being treated for Breast Cancer – Apparently the nurses where quite insistent.
  • Another friend told me to eat plenty of Grapefruit as it is listed as a great food to eat on the alkaline diet, with mangos, limes, lemons and papaya.
  • ‘Grapefruits?  Oh yes, you should eat one every day – Very good for the fat burning’ they told me.
  • ‘Grapefruit? Oh no! Stay away from that one.

My current contraceptive pill warns me to stay away from St John’s Wart, but there is not mention of Grapefruit on the instructions –

Is it just an old wives tale?

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Related Search Results for Grapefruit.

I decided to find out weather or not the humble fat busting little sour drum could really cause that much damage.  I had to do some research.

I googled ‘Grapefruit and Medications’ Wow!

There is a lot of information out there to confirm that Grapefruits do in fact effect a lot of prescription medications.


‘Today, more than 30 commonly prescribed drugs carry a warning against mixing their use and grapefruits or grapefruit juice. This is not innocuous, because so many Americans have grapefruit for breakfast at a time when they also take their medications.'(1)

Here is the confusing part – Grapefruits do not interact with every drug.  

But WHY?

Reactions between Grapefruit and prescription drugs was first documented in 1989 by a Canadian Medical Scientist,who discovered that when he took felodipine with grapefruit juice his blood-concentration of the drug was four times as high as it should have been. In other words, a standard dose combined with grapefruit juice was four times as potent as it was without grapefruit juice. (2)

‘Grapefruit juice blocks special enzymes in the wall of the small intestine that actually destroys many medications and prevents their absorption into the body. Thus, smaller amounts of the drugs get into the body than are ingested. When the action of this enzyme is blocked, more of the drugs get into the body and the blood levels of these medications increase. This can lead to toxic side effects from the medications.’ (3)

What I found was that grapefruits seem to have the most disastrous effects on the drugs that people would probably keep quite private.  Drugs and medications used to treat mental health are the most susceptible to the enzyme dissolving grapefruit juice.  You just never know what people are taking…

CitruaJust Grapefruit?

What about other citrus?

Well it looks like it is just Grapefruits.  There is an emzyme in grapefruits that are not found in any other fruit at all.  Weird.  but true.

The truth is that Grapefruits might not have any effect on the medications and drug you are taking – But really? they aren’t that nice.  I am going to just steer clear I think.


 Other Medication-Effecting Foods

While researching I found this list that outlines others foods that may also effect medication and prescription drugs – Please note that this is only a small sample of medication-effecting foods and should not be taken as the only risk.

Grapefruit juice: Some statin drugs to lower cholesterol, such as simvastatin (Zocor), atorvastatin (Lipitor), and pravastatin (Pravachol); some blood pressure-lowering drugs, such as Nifediac and Afeditab ; some organ transplant rejection drugs, such as Sandimmune and Neoral (both cyclosporine); some anti-anxiety drugs, such as BuSpar (buspirone); some anti-arrhythmia drugs, such as Cordarone and Nexterone (both amiodarone); some antihistamines, such as Allegra (fexofenadine); the anti-malaria drugs Quinerva or Quinite (quinine); and Halcion (triazolam), a medication used to treat insomnia.

Licorice: The sweetening compound glycyrrhizin in black licorice may reduce the effects of some blood pressure drugs or urine-producing drugs including Hydrodiuril (hydrochlorothiazide) and Aldactone (spironolactone). It may increase the toxicity risks from Lanoxin (digoxin), used to treat congestive heart failure and abnormal heart rhythms.

Chocolate: Antidepressant Monoamine Oxidase (MAO) inhibitors (such as phenelzine (Nardil, Nardelzine) and tranylcypromine (Parnate) are just one category of drugs that shouldn’t be consumed with excessive amounts of chocolate and other caffeinated foods. Caffeine can also interact with stimulant drugs such as Ritalin (methylphenidate), increasing their effect, or by decreasing the effect of sedative-hypnotics such as Ambien (zolpidem). Using bronchodilators with caffeinated foods and drinks can increase the chance of side effects, such as excitability, nervousness, and rapid heart beat.

Potassium-rich foods (such as bananas, oranges, and green leafy vegetables): Can add to high potassium levels in the body caused by ACE (Angiotensin Converting Enzyme) inhibitors including captopril (Capoten) and enalapril (Vasotec) prescribed to lower blood pressure or treat heart failure. Too much potassium can cause an irregular heartbeat and heart palpitations.

St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum): Can reduce concentrations of medications in the blood, including digoxin (Lanoxin), used to treat congestive heart failure and abnormal heart rhythms; the cholesterol-lowering drug lovastatin (Mevacor and Altocor), and the erectile dysfunction drug sildenafil (Viagra).

Vitamin E: Taken with a blood-thinning medication such as warfarin (Coumadin) can increase anti-clotting activity and may cause an increased risk of bleeding.

Ginseng: May increase the risk of bleeding when taken with anticoagulants (blood thinners such as warfarin and heparin). Can also increase the bleeding effects of aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, naproxen, and ketoprofen. Combined with MAO inhibitors such as Nardil or Parnate may cause headache, trouble sleeping, nervousness and hyperactivity.

Ginkgo biloba: High doses can decrease the effectiveness of anticonvulsant therapy in patients taking seizure-control medicines Tegretol, Equetro or Carbatrol (carbamazepine), and Depakote (valproic acid). (4)



Grapefruit and Prescription Drugs: Mix Carefully – By Mark Bloom HealthDay Reporter, (1)(2) 

Grapefruit Juice Can Interact With Medicines! – Original Medical Author: William C. Shiel, Jr, MD, FACP, FACR Medical Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD, (3)

Grapefruit not only food that can Effect Medication – Michelle Healy, USA TODAY (4)

Vitamin K

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Feature image from BLUEBERRY BLONDE

When Vitamin K was discovered it received the letter K because of its ability to affect clotting in the blood. Its discovery was reported in a German journal, in which it was designated as the Koagulation Vitamin.  In English this compound was translated to the Coagulation Vitamin.

Vitamin K is a fat soluble vitamin that plays a critical role in blood clotting.  It regulates blood calcium levels and activates proteins involved in bone health.  Deficiencies of Vitamin K can result in anemia, bruising, bleeding from the gums and nose (we’ve all been there!) and a heavy menstruation in women.

Sources of Vitamin K

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my first spinach crop

Dark leafy Greens – Vitamin K is abundant in dark, leafy, high value greens such as Kale, Spinach, Collards, Brussels sprouts, Broccoli, Dandelion leaves or tea, Parsley and Lettuce.  Lots of these greens are easy to grow or cheap to buy making them the perfect natural vitamin K source.

blue berries

Dark Berries – Berries are also a great source of Vitamin K, particularly in such berries as blue berries, black berries, mulberries and cranberries.  These are not a easy to grow at home and are generally a bit more expensive to purchase than leafy greens.  Dried or frozen berries might be a better choice than fresh, depending on the season.

Vitamin K as a treatment for ITP

While there is no scientific data directly connecting Vitamin K to the treatment or prevention of itp, Vitamin K is still the best vitamin for your blood health.  In a survey conducted by the Platelet Disorder Support Association of American a number of patients who took Vitamin K felt it helped their platelet count and their bleeding symptoms.

Cutting out the Chemicals

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Chemicals in our Foods

There are too many ingredients in our food that we do not know enough about.  While traveling through Indonesia, I recently came across a bird nest flavoured product.  The indregients actually listed Bird Nest Flavour as a component.  What this could possibly be?  I have no idea.  Even when we actively read the labels of the foods we consume, we might be no where near understanding what we are putting into our bodies.  Food additives, colourings and thickeners may all be listed, but where did they come from?  What are they made of and how?  As a patient trying to manage my own AuIm Disorder, I have enough chemicals in my system as it is.

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‘bali markets’ image copyright meg@itpandme

Going Paleo 

In high school, I learnt about drugs and chemicals in the body from our PE teacher and the lesson that stuck with me was the basic maths of drugs and chemicals, 1×1=3.  I don’t know nearly enough about the drugs I am taking to be certain that they are compatible with the plethora of chemicals in foods today.  Nor can I find anyone who is certain.  Therefore, I am going to do the most logical thing.  I am going to cut out the chemicals and I am going to do this by ‘Going Paleo’.

‘Going Paleo’ is not for everyone.

If you haven’t already heard about the Paleo diet, here it is in brief.  It is the modern day return to the diet of the Paleolithic man.  Before modern mass farming, genetically modified foods, refined sugars and pre packaged foods, human beings lived on a diet free from chemicals, which consisted of nuts, eggs, seeds, meats, vegetables and fruits.

‘Going Paleo’ is not for everyone.  Vegetarians and vegans will probably find this sort of diet, high in protein and eggs, far from a sensible option in terms of eating but I am not a Vegetarian or a Vegan, and   ‘Going Paleo’ has come highly recommended from the Autoimmune Disorder community.

If you are looking for a great introduction and blog to read about cutting out chemicals, I have to recommend Sarah Wilson’s blog.  this is one of the first blogs I found on line and it was such a please to read and follow.  I now have a few of her Cookbooks and Detox Programs.  I am still baking her blueberry muffins four years later.