Monday, April 20, 2015

Health Fads

I don't know if it's the same where you are living, but in my area there is this big health fad right now that's called "Thrive". It's a supplement system that is along the lines of Herba Life and what not. Most of my friends are doing it right now and are raving about how much it has done for their health and energy and yadda yadda yadda.

This meant that when I went to a friend's house recently for a girl's night I got the whole sales pitch and it was so unexpected that I didn't even get to bring out a Chronic Illness Bingo Card!

By Carolyn Thomas @ HeartSisters
This situation would have been a mark on the "My friend was cured by-" "Have you tried....?" and the "You should try this diet" spaces.

I was told to check out the website and see all the people that have Lupus that are using this and how they are doing so much better now, etc, etc.

Well, that may be, but the problem is that out of the first three ingredients two of them make claims to boost the immune system. Further down there were more immune boosting supplements in the ingredients.

Now, for those that haven't been keeping track: Autoimmune disorder = Immune System Too Over Active So It Tries To Take Out Everything. This is why those of us with autoimmune disorders take immunosuppressants. The goal of treatment is to make the immune system not be some overactive mess and boosting the immune system would work counter to those goals.

My rheumatologist, and other rheumatologists, have all said that unless you have an active infection I and other people like me should not be taking anything that will boost our immune systems. This makes sense to me as a more active immune system increases the likelihood of flaring which is also the same principle behind us flaring when we get sick.

For my friends that are "Thrivinig" more power to you, for those Lupus patients that are "Thriving" I hope you've discussed it with your rheumatologists. For me, I will choose to keep on with what I am doing and not increasing my risk of flaring.


  1. I love this piece. I was a health conscious person before I got Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis. My diet was mostly plant based, I chose organic, and tried supplements. So, I have lots of buddies who make their living selling Herbalife, Synergy, Forever and such. I get a lot of promises...
    When I give them a lecture about autoimmune diseases, they pause for a second and turn to their next "victim". It's sell, sell, sell, with no medical background. Every specialist doc I've asked about these products has told me not to take them.

    1. Exactly, Paivi. They always seem surprised when the person they are trying to sell this stuff to asks in depth medical questions. It's sad because you know your friends want you to try it because they honestly believe it will help you and it shocks them to learn that it will more than likely cause you more problems.
      These companies really need to be more responsible with their claims.

  2. Hey Wit -- you should start a Facebook page to link to your blog so we can be updated of your new posts and easier to share with others. I am really enjoying your writing and IF you are attending the Vasculitis Conference in Jacksonville I would love to meet you. I have linked to your blog from my site because you are witty and inspiring for others with Vascultitis

    1. Aw, thanks Suzanne :) I really appreciate the compliments and you linking my blog on your site!
      Unfortunately I can't make it for the conference, but if I ever can go to one I'll be sure to let people know as I would love to meet up with others too!