This parathyroid surgery alternative post is number IV in the series. If you missed number I, then start here: What I Didn’t Know. Now where was I…? Oh yes…
There was one final lab number that the surgeon really wanted to see before diagnosing me as primary hyperparathyroid: my parathyroid hormone blood level (PTH). If it was elevated, then the diagnosis was solid.
As soon as I completed the final lab draw, I rushed home and immediately took my first dose of boron. One soda-capful was equal to 3 mg of boron, which was an average daily dose. I was told to start there and work my way up slowly to 9 mg. What I did instead was to start there, and work my way up QUICKLY. Here is an excerpt from my diary:
“Started taking the boron last Tuesday, after getting my blood draw. I took 3 mg (1 t. of concentrate) to my water bottle. The next day, I did two water bottles with 3mg each. The following day I did 3, for a total of 9 mg, as directed by my doctor. I’m holding there, because my focus is really bad right now. I am also eating dates, raisins, and walnuts from S. California, as they have very high boron concentrations in their soil, which makes their produce a good source.”
I do not recommend that as a “slow” start. And my doctor just suggested stopping at 9 mg…not the speed at which I worked my way there.
My fatigue, mental fog, memory loss, hair loss, sleeplessness, anxiety, and…I can’t even remember what all else. (Dang memory loss.) Anyway…I felt awful. But I hung in there, and I faithfully took my supplement every week day!
I had read that it’s easier on the body to take the weekends off when loading supplements, so I only took my boron Monday through Friday. The fog gradually lifted, and I really began to feel better. This could be working!
Love, Hate, Labs
My first PTH lab test came back in. The top end of the spectrum of normal is 65.
My pre-boron level? 93.
This was definitely a classic parathyroid tumor!
Seven weeks into my boron therapy, we retested PTH. I was antsy and excited to see how all that boron was paying off!
But my labs came back with my pth level at 114.
I might have said a cuss.
Talk about discouraging. I went from below 30 points away from normal to almost 50 points away…that sucker must really be liking the boron!
I let myself really feel the disappointment all afternoon, but by the time evening rolled around, I knew it was time to get over it and just decide what to do. Only I didn’t know of anything to do. Was the therapy a fluke? Was I really just an idiot drinking detergent water?
This was new turf for my Doctor and I both. I decided that the only one who probably could answer my question the author of the Boron Conspiracy, Walter Last. So I decided to look him up and write him an e-mail. I briefly explained my desire to treat a parathyroid tumor with borax, and shared my lab results, asking for feedback on what I’d done wrong.
I hit send.
He wrote a short note, indicating some other factors that are often at play with parathyroid tumors, and then he wrote this:
“Initially, boron supplementation would increase hormone production of enlarged parathyroid the same as additional iodine increases hormone production of enlarged thyroid…remain for some weeks with 3 mg boron and 1 drop of Lugol’s and increase further only gradually; eventually sufficient supply should normalize both.”
I felt a new flush of hope. The rise in parathyroid hormone was normal.
I took his letter in to my next follow up appointment, and my doc and I came up with a supplement strategy to support my endocrine system through this stressful time, since my energy levels and hormone levels were really suffering.
I did additional research at home, and put together a protocol to stick to. I would follow this through. I needed to see if it will work. For myself, and maybe for others like me who really don’t love the idea of surgery. I’ll share my protocol below.
Right around the 6 month mark of being on boron, I went back in for labs.
This time, I had something to sing about!
My levels had dropped from 114 (4 months prior) to now 85.
NOW we are moving in the right direction!
I’m so encouraged by my progress so far! My doctors and I were going to give this a year, and then re-evaluate, but I’d love to be done with the continuous high blood calcium deal well before a year is up, and get on with the important task of rebuilding my bones and calcium stores. I’ll keep you guys in the loop as we move forward with labs and new challenges. So that’s my story, up to today. Which happens to be my REAL 39th birthday. I have SO much hope for this year.
And even if all of this ends up in me having surgery for some reason, I have learned so much that it’s totally been worth the roller coaster ride.
And now, I’ll show you what I take everyday. It’s really just a few extra things besides what I used to take just as an everyday supplement.
This is my daily protocol for treating the primary hyperparathyroid. This is not “one size fits all”, since a systemic issue like calcium depletion can affect each person differently. My protocol is based on my symptoms and lab tests, and is the end result of my Doctor’s expertise, my research, and my own comfort level (instinct?) on what I feel like is a good fit for me right now.
- Handful of pills:
- 25 mg. iodine (Iodoral)
- 400 mcg. Selenium
- 1,000 mg. Vitamin C tablet
- 2 capsules Vitamin Code Women’s Multi
- 1 capsule Vitamin Code B complex
- 1 capsule of milk thistle extract (a liver supporting herb…I highly recommend this for anyone who is experiencing hormone issues, weight loss, or both.)
- Boron/Mag/C Cocktail: boron concentrate (I’ve SLOWLY worked my way up to 2 capfuls now or 6 mg per day) in 8 oz. of this magnesium supplement, with one packet of Kroger’s version of Emergen C.
- 1/2 a small bottle of Zija (a whole food multi-mineral drink from the Moringa Olifera plant…this is why I only take half of a multi vitamin dose.)
- 25 mg. iodine (Iodoral)
- Magnesium/vitamin C cocktail just before bed.
- Skin brushing (when I remember) This is just really helpful for moving lymph, as well as to firm my skin.
- Trying to add in 20 minutes a day of high intensity exercise
- THM style eating- You’ve GOTTA read my next post!
- Trying to head to bed before 10 PM-important for adrenal recovery.
- 1 t. lemon flavored cod liver oil
- 2 T minty chlorophyll…I’m just like Iron Man. This is awesome stuff for energy slump days.
- Pregnenolone: a 5 mg tablet used as a suppository style…not orally, as it will be broken down by the digestive system, and is either largely ineffective, and possibly harmful.
This is a hormone precursor, or basic “ingredients” for the body to create a variety of different hormones. And the ones that are made with the pregnenolone are the ones that I’m at “post-menopausal” levels of when we tested.
This is only used on an ‘as needed’ basis, because I’m rather chicken about using “real” hormones…even bio-identical ones. One of my main concerns with bio-identical hormones is that using them can suppress your body’s natural endocrine production. That is not supposed to be the case with pregnenolone. I love that pregnenolone provides the endocrine system with the raw materials to create its own hormones…which makes a lot more sense to me than trying to figure out dosing amounts and a schedule for using bio-hormones.
This has really been a great fit for me, and I can go days and even over a week so far without needing to redose! I’ve noticed a BIG improvement with memory and energy with the pregnenolone.
…MUST Come Down!
Now, my friends, next come the ugly pictures. I REALLY needed to get some other numbers moving in the right direction: I NEEDED to drop some weight. I’ll dish on my weight loss success, complete with hideous before photos in the next post!