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Naturopathic doctor, herbs tincture and alcohol intolerance

Discussion in 'Addressing Biotoxin, Chemical & Food Sensitivities' started by Boule de feu, Jul 22, 2010.

  1. Boule de feu

    Boule de feu Senior Member

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    This week, I started seeing a naturopathic doctor. I have too many meds intolerances, and my GP is shaking his head - not knowing what to do next.

    The ND suggested that I take a St. Francis tincture : astragalus - codonopsis - echinacea.
    However, I just found out that there is alcohol in this solution. Since July 1st 2006, I haven't been able to take one sip of alcohol. I experience severe face flushing (very hot to the touch), really bad nausea, burning in my stomach, I feel drunk, and sometimes I also have edema (especially, the feet). This morning, I tried the tincture and felt pretty awful but not enough to quit yet. We will see.
    Do you think it's from the herbs or the alcohol?

    However, while searching the internet on CFS and alcohol intolerance, I found an interesting article with a pretty amazing conclusion:

    We present self-report data to support the previously
    anecdotal observation that chronic fatigue syndrome
    patients reduce or cease alcohol intake. It may provide
    additional support for the nosological distinction of CFS
    as a discrete entity, particularly DIFFERENTIATING FROM
    DEPRESSION. Comparison with other illnesses linked with
    acquired alcohol intolerance may also provide some aetiological
    clues, linking with theories such as NEUROENDOCRINE,
    IMMUNOLOGICAL and COGNITIVE attribution.

    http://www.kcl.ac.uk/content/1/c6/01/47/68/PDF-123.pdf

    What is even more surprising with this article is that one of the author is
    SIMON WESSELY! I thought he was convinced that CFS is a somatoform disorder
    (mental factors) and not a distinct physiological entity?

    Who else is suffering from SUDDEN alcohol intolerance?
  2. Sallysblooms

    Sallysblooms P.O.T.S. now SO MUCH BETTER!

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    I have never been able to have alcohol. I never use things with any of it.

    Can he just give the supplements without the alcohol? There are so many excellent ones that help so much.
  3. LaurelW

    LaurelW Senior Member

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    Hi,
    I have the same problem with herbal tinctures. My mom is an herbalist and is always giving them to me for one thing or another. They often work well and don't have much in the way of side effects. Sometimes you can find the same herbs in a non-alcohol glycerin solution. With the alcohol, though, I found that if you put the dose in some water and boil it for a minute or two, the alcohol evaporates.

    I'd be careful about taking echinacea--it upregulates a part of the immune system that is commonly already too upregulated in PWCs and causes more body aches and malaise.
  4. SOC

    SOC Moderator and Senior Member

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    You can take astralagus and echinacea is forms that don't involve alcohol. Both are readily available in pill form. Many, if not all, of us are alcohol intolerant, I know I am. I avoid alcohol as much as possible and wouldn't take an alcohol-based tincture.

    Dr Mitkovitz said during some Q&A that you could potentially increase your XMRV viral load by using meds/supplements that increase NK cell count, but that meds/supplements that increase NK cell function without increasing NK cell count might be efficacious.

    I'm not sufficiently knowledgeable to be willing to take the risk that an "immune enhancer" is increasing my XMRV load.

    Add to that the fact LaurelW mentioned -- that many of our symptoms are due to an already upregulated immune system -- I just don't think it's worth the risk at this point of adding more complications to an already screwed up immune system.

    That said, I would take any immune regulating med/supplement that Dr Klimas prescribed. I trust her to know about immune systems and ME/CFS. :D
  5. Alexia

    Alexia Senior Member

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    I also have problems taking herbal tinctures that have high alcohol levels. You can evaporate the alcohol, it's very easy. Put the drops of the tincture in a small amount of hot/almost boiling water (like 15ml or 30ml) and then stir vigorously with a spoon for some minutes. Let it cool down for some more minutes and you will see that the alcohol is mostly gone.
    I was told it would be better not to boil the water with the tincture because you can reduce the qualities of the herbs.
  6. LaurelW

    LaurelW Senior Member

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    That's good to know, Alexia. Thanks for the advice--will use this method in the future.
  7. sela

    sela Senior Member

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    in answer to your question, i got fairly sudden alcohol intolerance when i was about 40.
  8. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    Alcohol Intollerance is so common in CFS/ME that some CFS experts wanted it added into the CFS diagnostic criteria.

    Its best for those with CFS/ME to avoid Alcohol and you need to tell your ND next time you see her/him it's something you shouldnt be having. There is usualy other options for taking the meds.. eg infusions as dried herb teas (steeped in water) or as herbal pills. You could make your whole situation worst with the alcohol .. maybe give the ND a ring to ask him for a way you can have without the alcohol.

    Ive got alcohol intollerance.. i can get a quite wild hot flush from it.. just a tiny amount
  9. Boule de feu

    Boule de feu Senior Member

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    Thank you so much for the info. I am so lost right now. It seems that there is a controversy for each item I look up...

    I haven't been tested for XMRV, yet. So, for now, I will go ahead and take the echinacea. I told my ND that I felt my immune system is in overdrive (I haven't had a cold since July 2006 - My whole family has been pretty sick), but after listening to me, she came to the conclusion it was the other way around. So, who is right? I understand that it could turn ugly. However, I am pretty stubborn and I am ready to try anything right now. Has anyone tried the echinacea and got pretty sick from it?

    How long for the herbs to kick in ? I have been pretty sick since I've started taking them but it might not be related at all. It feels like I have some kind of "tremor" inside me. It's hard to explain. It's like I'm shivering but from inside... as if a drill was functioning, non stop.

    I will talk to my ND about the echinacea and the alcohol. I might add some boiling water to the tincture as directed by Alexia. =-)
    It would probably solve the problem.

    I have another question.
    My ND would like me to double up the VITAMIN D. I would be taking 2600 IU. I know that the Marshall Protocol advises against it.
    Other researchers say that the vitamin D helps in fighting cancer. My oncologist just found an anomaly on my breast. The vitamin could help.
    What should I do?

    I also doubled up the EPA-DHA 720 (I'm taking 6 softgels a day). I'm afraid to ask what you think of that... =-) !
  10. tolduiwuzsic

    tolduiwuzsic

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    sorry no answers but I just realized how absurd it is that we have to depend on each other for medical advice...not to sound unappreciative of the support I get daily from you guys but this is so sad...how the hell is it okay we have been left out here to fend for ourselves in this maze of malady? I saw an ND for the first time also this week and I have so many questions. I have had such weird, unexplainable side effects from different medications and supplements. She suggested I totally give up gluten and dairy and take echinacea (same concerns here Boule)

    My brain is soooo tired trying to figure it out....i'm afraid of so many things- divorce, disability, job loss, passing an illness on to my child and mainly dying without ever figuring out what was ever wrong with me. I'm so sorry I don't have any answers and I hate to sound so depressing but it's just all so exhausting and absurd. We are all so obviously ill...yet we KNOW so much more than the medical professionals it's so scary.
  11. Boule de feu

    Boule de feu Senior Member

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    I feel for you. And you are TOTALLY right!
    I wish I would have a solution for you... and for me. Hang in there.
  12. ggingues

    ggingues $10 gift code at iHerb GAS343 of $40

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    Concord, NH
    I have another question.
    My ND would like me to double up the VITAMIN D. I would be taking 2600 IU. I know that the Marshall Protocol advises against it.
    Other researchers say that the vitamin D helps in fighting cancer. My oncologist just found an anomaly on my breast. The vitamin could help.
    What should I do?

    I also doubled up the EPA-DHA 720 (I'm taking 6 softgels a day). I'm afraid to ask what you think of that... =-) !

    I take 5000 IUs of Vitamin D, down from 8000 this winter.

    I also take Fish oil liquid, only 1 teaspoon a day though, I do not think that more fish oil would be an issue? Although, I am not familiar with the Marshall Protocol.

    Hope this helps!

    PS I have also never seen a Naturopathic doctor.
  13. Boule de feu

    Boule de feu Senior Member

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    Thank you for your answer, ggingues.

    This morning, I called my ND. I'm still waiting for her to call me back. Things are getting worse, here. I feel like I have been poisoned (more like a food intoxication) from the tincture I have been taking. At first, I thought I was going through a relapse or a flare, but now, I'm pretty sure that it's the tincture that makes me sick. The only explanation is the alcohol in it or I have a reaction to the astragalus. I was hoping to talk to her today but I will just quit the tincture and see what happens tomorrow.

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