Frequently Asked Questions
A consultation with a medical doctor is essential before any IV infusions to rule out any Liver, kidney or heart disease. High risk patients with epilepsy, diabetes, sickle cell disease or cancer also need to be identified by your attending Doctor.
Do you have IV Infusions? Is the place that you visit safe? Do they have all the medical equipment and training as per the medical standards required by the Department of health?
What is required?
- MCC approved vitamin infusions or compounded locally in a STERILE lab
- BLS - Basic life support for Registered nursing staff
- ACLS - Acute Cardiac Life Support certified Doctor present at premises at time of infusion
- ACLS emergency bag and Defibrillator
- Sharps container for needles
- Biomedical waste bin for medical waste
It is imperative to put your personal safety first when having intravenous vitamin transfusions, always check that the establishment meets the above criteria and has the equipment clearly visible.
At Health Renewal, customized intravenous vitamin therapy – as well as other non-vitamin infusion combinations- of the following vitamins, minerals and anti oxidants are combined depending on the cocktail chosen for therapy: Glutathione, Vit C, Vit B6 Pyridoxine, Vit B 12, Magnesium Sulphate, Manganese Sulphate, Zinc Sulphate and Selenium, EDTA and PPC (phosphatidyl choline). ). We can now also add Co-enzymes, Traumeel, Lymphomyosot, Testis Compositum, Engystol, Grippheel, Echinacea, Tonico and many more. These vital nutrients help treat a wide variety of health conditions. This direct form of highly effective treatment is administered in our Infusion Suites, a comfortable and relaxing environment located inside our centres.
- Skin Brightening Infusion Cocktail
- Healthy Hair/Skin/Nails Infusion Cocktail
- Chronic Stress Infusion Cocktail
- Detoxifiation/Anti Oxidation/Organ Cleansing Infusion Cocktail
- Hangover Recovery Infusion Cocktail
- Anti Viral Infusion Cocktail
- Vitality Cocktail
- Healthy Heart Cocktail Infusion
- Sport Bomb
- Gut repair
- Chronic Fatigue
- Adrenal Fatigue
- Brain Fatigue
- Weight loss
- Hair loss
- Hair Growth
- All prospective IV infusion patients must have a 30 minute pre infusion consultation with our experienced Functional/ Integrative doctors:
- This consultation will assess any Health risks that need to be targeted
- Lab tests may be ordered to assess renal function which is vital before any IV infusion
- Follow up blood tests may be ordered in 30 days to evaluate renal function after certain infusions
At Health Renewal our IV Solutions are:
- Made in a STERILE and registered lab
- Not contaminated with unwanted "floaters", and
- Do NOT cause any unwanted side effects
- All infusions are done by our registered nurses or doctors
- An ACLS certified Doctor is always present in the clinic when infusions are being done
- Our infusion doctors all have ACLS certification (acute cardiac life support certification) and are well prepared should any unwanted effects occur.
- A doctor or an experienced registered nurse perform the infusions
- Our registered nurses all have BLS (Basic Life Support) training.
- We have emergency equipment such as AED, emergency drugs etc present in the infusion ward
- Strict adherence to sterile protocols are adhered to.
Using non sterile labs for injections and infusions:
"Two pharmacists at the notorious New England Compounding Center have been charged with second-degree murder in the deaths of 25 individuals who received non-sterile steroid pain injections in 2012 and 2013, according to a criminal indictment unsealed today in a federal district court in Boston, Massachusetts.
The pain medicine in question — preservative-free methylprednisolone acetate — harbored fungal meningitis.
The two pharmacists, New England Compounding Center co-owner Barry Cadden and supervisory pharmacist Glenn Chin, along with 12 others named in the 131-count indictment, "knew they were producing their medications in an unsafe manner and in unsanitary conditions, and authorized it to be shipped out anyway, with fatal results," said US Attorney General Eric Holder in a news release.
All told, 751 patients in 20 states were infected with fungal meningitis after receiving methylprednisolone acetate shots produced by the now-defunct compounding pharmacy in Framingham, Massachusetts, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sixty-four of those patients died. In response, the US Food and Drug Administration has conducted more than 175 inspections of compounding facilities during the last 2 years to prevent similar outbreaks.
The 14 defendants in the federal case, who include a total of 8 pharmacists and two pharmacy technicians, are accused of introducing misbranded drugs into interstate commerce and other crimes, in addition to the murder charges facing Cadden and Chin.
The second-degree murder charges are framed as racketeering acts, according to the Department of Justice. Prosecutors generally do not need to prove that someone charged with second-degree murder specifically intended to kill someone, only that he or she acted with extreme indifference to human life, the Department of Justice stated.
The indictment holds Cadden, Chin, and others responsible for, among other things:
- Using expired and expiring ingredients to compound the steroid injections and falsifying expiration dates on documents;
- Autoclaving drugs for less than the 20 minutes needed for sterilization;
- Failing to properly test drugs for sterility;
- Failing to recall tainted drugs when microbial growth was later detected;
- Falsifying drug labels to conceal how expired or untested drug solution lots were mixed with other lots, and
- Failing to properly clean and disinfect the "clean rooms" where the steroid injections were manufactured. Cleaning logs were falsified to state otherwise, said prosecutors.
Cadden and several other defendants also are charged with pretending to dispense drugs on the basis of patient-specific prescriptions — what Massachusetts law requires of a pharmacy — when they actually were functioning as a drug manufacturer, distributing their product in bulk to customers. Fake prescriptions often bore the names of celebrities and fictional characters, such as Chris Rock, Wonder Woman, Bill Clinton, Harry Potter, and Jennifer Lopez.
If convicted on all counts, Cadden and Chin could be sentenced to life in prison, according to the Department of Justice. Stephen Weymouth, an attorney for Chin, said his client will plead not guilty.
"I am shocked almost beyond words that they brought back an indictment against him...that includes second-degree murder," Weymouth told Medscape Medical News. "It's just overreach on the part of the government. We fully intend to defend this case."
Bruce Singal, Cadden's attorney, said in a statement issued to Medscape Medical News that the fungal meningitis outbreak caused by the New England Compounding Center drugs was a "terrible human tragedy." However, "not every accident, and not every tragedy, are caused by criminal conduct."
"The US Attorney's Office should not indict people over the tragic consequences of noncriminal behavior," said Singal. "And it should not wage a public relations campaign to vilify citizens who have been found guilty of nothing.""
Scientific research has demonstrated that a variety of conditions can be treated from the use of IV nutrition/supplementation. A few of the conditions that may be helped using IV nutrition techniques include hypertension, COPD, asthma, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, diabetes, hepatitis and even the common cold.
Additional conditions that may be helped include:
- Poor detoxification
- Immune Enhancement
- Anxiety and Panic Attacks
- increased stress
- Depression and Mood Swings
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Memory problems and brain fog
- Heart disease/cardiovascular disease
- poor circulation
- Cold, flu, and other minor viral infections
- Digestive disorders - intestinal malabsorption
- post-gastric bypass
- pre/post surgery
- heavy metal toxicity
- Macular Degeneration
- Skin Brightening
- Improve athletic performance and endurance
- Thyroid support
At times, such as in times of stress, higher doses of vitamins and anti-oxidants are needed. They are also needed to combat viral illness, immune dysfunctions and cancer. Oral intake of such high doses is simply not possible due to cellular and mechanical absorption limitations from the digestive process.
Health Renewal is the perfect place for women and men to secure integrative and holistic health care from providers who give personalised care, partner with the patient to focus on the root cause of their illness, support their recovery, and help them maintain good health.
For those that can make the journey, we are happy to welcome new patients to the following branches for IV infusions:
Morningside, Parkhurst, Bedfordview, Fourways, West Rand and Illovo clinics. In Pretoria at Irene and Brooklyn as well as in the Western Cape at Cape Quarter, Claremont, Constantia, Stellenbosch and Willowbridge branches and KwaZulu-Natal at Umhlanga and Durban
An initial consultation with the Integrative practitioner at Health Renewal is mandatory and will be approximately 20 minutes. Your Health Renewal practitioner will begin working on a unique prescription plan which will include an appropriate IV infusion therapy. Your practitioner may also prescribe additional nutraceutical supplements such as Vit C and Alpha Lipoic Acid to complement the IV infusion.
All these recommendations will be summarized on a sheet/print out which you can take home with you. At Health Renewal, we have a great professional team made up of medical doctors and registered nurses and therapists to support you at any time. An added bonus is that you are not only improving your health and well being, any nutraceuticals/ supplements purchased will go towards loyalty points at any Skin, Body and Health Renewal branch.
For most infusions, weekly IV therapy for a period of 10 to 20 sessions depending on the condition is usually recommended. For Chelation therapy for the arteries of heart, twice weekly infusions are recommended
The infusion will be put up and monitored by our trained registered nurses. A doctor will always be available on site for assistance if necessary
IV Therapy is a minimally invasive treatment that is well tolerated by most people. A very small ‘butterfly’ needle or a micro-catheter/jelco, is used to infuse the prescribed supplements. There is a low risk of serious adverse side effects which may include a slight after-taste of supplements shortly after the infusion. Urine may also have a strong odor or color shortly after completion. Some patients may also experience a sensation of warmth and flushing or feel a cooling sensation as the IV is administered. Intravenous supplements are very safe, beneficial and easy in application.
Spend an hour every week giving your body what it needs. Relax in quiet, luxurious comfort of our infusion suites located in the peaceful surroundings of the Oasis Spa@Health Renewal centres.
In our comfortable, soothing IV Infusion Suite, you can get your revitalizing treatment while you read a book, listen to music, work on your laptop, or just relax! An added bonus at Health Renewal/Oasis spa is that whilst your vitamin and mineral infusion is gradually being absorbed, you can chill out with a facial, relaxation therapies and foot treatment options which include;
- Indian head massage
- Foot massage
- Manicure and/or Pedicure
IV infusions at Health Renewal are not suitable for patients who are:
- Pregnant or breast-feeding
- On mood stabilizers/epilepsy medication
- On blood thinners such as Warfarin, Plavix, Heparin
- Allergy to vitamin (any kind)
- Blood-iron disorders including thalassemia
- Blood-iron disorders including hemochromatosis
- Sickle cell disease
- A metabolic deficiency called “glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency” (G6PDD)
- Kidney stones, or a history of kidney stones
- Patient with cardiovascular problems
- Heart block
- Angioplasty: Straight before or straight after Angioplasty, a heart procedure
The medications that are contra indicated with IV infusions are mostly mood stabilizers prescribed for bipolar conditions and epilepsy.
Glutathione is a tripeptide (made of 3 amino acids) that is produced in the body in small amounts.
- Is an extremely effective antioxidant, which as we know means that it reduces free radicals in the body reactive oxygen compounds.
- It has also been shown to bind to toxic substances in the body especially the liver and assists in flushing the toxins out of the system.
- Glutathione is also an important player in the synthesis and repair of DNA, protein synthesis and enzyme activation.
The body produces glutathione naturally, and research has shown healthy intake of Vitamin C boosts its production. If glutathione levels are normal, the body’s ability to fight neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease is strong. If they are low, you are susceptible to a revolving door of conditions. Low levels are associated with hepatic dysfunction, immune dysfunction, cardiac disease, premature aging and death.
Every system in the body is affected by the Glutathione system, including;
- The immune system,
- The gastrointestinal system
- The nervous system
There are few other factors which are predictive of our life expectancy as is our level of cellular glutathione. Glutathione levels in our cells are predictive of how long we will live. Glutathione is called the “Master Antioxidant” without it- other important anti-oxidants such as Vitamin C and E cannot do their job adequately to protect your body against disease. No other anti-oxidant is as important to overall health as glutathione. It is the regulator and regenerator of immune cells and the most valuable detoxifying agent in the human body. Glutathione is water soluble, and easily destroyed by the body systems. An infusion of Intravenous Glutathione directly distributes this master antioxidant to every cell in our body and skin-without being destroyed by our digestive tract.
Oral glutathione breaks down in the stomach, losing its potency via the digestive system. Your body’s own enzymes break down the peptide bonds that hold the amino acids in glutathione together. But with intravenous infusion therapy, glutathione goes directly through the bloodstream to the cells. Extra glutathione is used by the body for strengthening the immune and other systems, and can also have a positive effect on various skin conditions including acne. As you can see, glutathione should be an important part of any supplementation regimen.
These benefits can be received through fairly reasonable dosages of Glutathione, making it an excellent addition to any IV supplementation regimen. At higher dosages, glutathione may also be effective at brightening skin. The intensive Anti Oxidant Infusion will boost your energy levels, heighten your immune system and illuminate your skin, literally, from the inside out!
- Smokers, alcohol users, adults age 40 years and above,
- If you exercise excessively/body builders;
- If you have the following:
- Low sperm count, liver problems and cataracts,
- If you are recovering from chemotherapy, the immunocompromised, low immune system
- If you are exposed to chemicals and pesticides,
- If you want an even toned skin
- Melasma/hormonal pigmentation problems,
IV glutathione is particularly effective in treating neurodegenerative diseases. Neurological disorders can result when free radicals destroy neurons that produce dopamine, a vital neurotransmitter. Glutathione inhibits free radical production, thus slowing the effects of these conditions while improving brain function. In fact, a number of clinical studies over the past two decades have demonstrated that glutathione is severely depleted in patients with Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.
IV glutathione infusions significantly reduce oxidative damage and death of dopamine-producing neurons, helping to improve patients’ symptoms and quality of life.
IV glutathione may improve the following:
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Fibromyalgia / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Liver disease including Hepatitis B and C
Other antioxidants in the body depend on glutathione as well. Glutathione recycles vitamins C and E after they have been oxidized—therefore playing a decisive role in their normal function.
- Ultraviolet and Other Radiation
- Household Chemicals
- Paracetamol Poisoning
- Cigarette Smoke
- Exhaust from Motor Vehicles
- Heavy Metals
- Other Environmental Toxins
- Viral Infections
- Septic Shock
- Dietary Deficiencies of GSH Precursors
- Enzyme Cofactors
Magnesium is one of the most important minerals; your body needs it to perform over 300 biochemical reactions necessary to sustain life. Deficiency of magnesium in your body can cause or worsen multiple medical conditions. Given as an IV, the Magnesium Drip effectively enhances the function of muscular and nervous systems. Many people are deficient in magnesium without even knowing it. You would be surprised at the difference patients feel after they have the Magnesium Drip; their jittery nerves are calmed and their tense muscles are relaxed instantly.
Treating deficiency of magnesium in the body can not only manage current conditions but also prevent disorders from developing in the future.
There are numerous conditions that can benefit from a Magnesium infusion:
- Anxiety: Often anxiety is treated with psychiatry through prescription medication. Many doctors do not take into account the fact that a lack of magnesium can stress your body and create or exacerbate anxiety. An estimated 50% of people do not have an adequate amount of magnesium in their bodies. The Magnesium Infusion may prove effective in the treatment of anxiety.
- Cardiac Arrhythmias: Magnesium deficiency causes major stress on the muscular system. The most important muscle in the human body is the heart. There is an intricate connection between magnesium and the heart’s electrical stability. Lacking magnesium may cause irregular heartbeats commonly known as arrhythmias. Magnesium IV therapy results in relaxation of the heart and dilates blood vessels. This allows the heart to work more efficiently.
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Some reports suggest that magnesium may be helpful in ameliorating the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome.
- Fibromyalgia: A severe deficiency of magnesium can cause the muscles in the body to be in a constant state of spasm. Since the muscular and nervous systems are both involved in the symptoms of fibromyalgia, there is believed to be a link between the disease and a deficiency in magnesium. Balancing of the levels of magnesium in your body through Magnesium IV infusions may improve and deter the symptoms of Fibromyalgia.
- Hypertension: Magnesium is a powerful vasodilator. When blood vessels are dilated, blood pressure comes down dramatically.
Vitamin B12 is a nutrient that helps keep the body's nerve and blood cells healthy and helps make DNA, the genetic material in all cells. Vitamin B12 also helps prevent a type of anemia called megaloblastic anemia that makes people tired and weak. Vitamin B12 can promote red blood cell formation and regeneration, improve physical strength, repair damaged nerves and to maintain the health of our nervous system. It can also concentrate on improving the memory-weakened state. Vitamin B12 helps to relieve numbness, pain and paresthesia.
B-complex is the agent responsible with the proper functioning of the most important processes in the body, such as: cell growth and division, the health of the skin, the normal development of the immune and nervous system, and the metabolic process. They play a major role in the activities of enzymes, proteins that regulate chemical reactions in the body, which are important in turning food into energy and other needed substances.
Some of the many benefits of the Vitamin B-complex are:
- Improves Metabolism
- Maintains Normal Skin Function
- Produce happy hormone
- Reduces Water Retention
- Promotes a Normal Appetite
- Increases Red Blood Cell Production
- Improves Liver Function
- Boosts Production of Energy
Vit C is a remarkable substance to use intravenously when the normal oral dose needs to be exceeded. Patients can get up to 10 times the nutrients in one IV treatment as they could get orally in one day. A good example of this is the use of Vitamin C when trying to overcome a cold-due to some sort of virus. The antiviral effects of Vitamin C are seen when blood levels are around 10-15 mg/dL. This level is achievable with IV therapy but not orally. Oral dosage typically results in blood levels around 1.2-4.0 mg/dL as compared to IV therapy where blood levels of Vitamin C can reach 50-90 mg/dL.
Diarrhea may occur when taking doses of 5 or more grams per day, and bowel tolerance is a maximum of 10 grams per 24 hours. Vitamin C in dosages of 25 grams or more take on a therapeutic role that is safe and effective in treating many clinical conditions. In studying the physiological role of Vitamin C, one realizes that it does a lot more than merely stop humans getting scurvy or giving them expensive urine. It is well known for immune stimulation, but also plays a part in collagen formation, hormone production and liver detoxification, wound healing and in slowing metastatic spread of carcinomas.
Zinc is an essential nutritional requirement and serves as a cofactor for more than 70 different enzymes including carbonic anhydrase, alkaline phosphatase, lactic dehydrogenase, and both RNA and DNA polymerase. Zinc facilitates wound healing; helps maintain normal growth rates, normal skin hydration, and the senses of taste and smell.
Zinc resides in muscle, bone, skin, kidney, liver, pancreas, and retina, prostate and particularly in the red and white blood cells. Zinc is an important chemical essential for human functioning. Zinc nutrition deficiency is insufficient availability of zinc in the diet or can be caused due to the malabsorption of zinc by the body. This condition is prevalent in young children, pregnant women, breast feeding mothers, and the elderly. Zinc plays a vital role in many aspects of the immune system. It helps in cell division, clotting, healing wounds, DNA synthesis, growth and development of the fetus and protein synthesis.
The inherent gastrointestinal problems, liver disease, kidney diseases, and certain other conditions and drugs can prevent zinc absorption by the body causing a zinc deficiency.
Top five signs of zinc deficiency are:
- Compromised immune system: Zinc affects cell activities. Zinc deficiency can cause reduced or weakened antibodies and compromise the immune system. Thus the deficient person will be prone to infection or flu.
- Diarrhea: A compromised immune system makes one susceptible to infection. One of these infections is a bacteria that causes diarrhea.
- Hair loss and skin lesions: Zinc is important for normal cell growth. Zinc nutrition deficiency weakens the cells, which can result in hair loss in case of cells on the scalp and lesions on the skin. This is one of the prominent signs of zinc deficiency.
- Loss of appetite and/or anorexia: A deficiency of zinc causes decreased loss of appetite. If zinc deficiency is not identified and treated, decreased loss of appetite can eventually lead to anorexia.
- Impairment of cognitive and motor functions: Zinc deficiency in a pregnant mother can not only weaken the mother, but can also cause damage to the fetus’s neurological system, impairing the motor skills and cognitive skills of the infant.
- Other signs of zinc deficiency are reduced fertility, rashes on the skin, spots on fingernails, sleep disturbance, loss of sex drive, loss of taste or smell, and in some cases mild anemia.
Selenium is a mineral that is needed in small amounts by the body to help regulate the thyroid hormones and support a healthy immune system.
- One of selenium’s most important roles is as an antioxidant helping to prevent cell damage due to free radicals.
- Selenium is incorporated into molecules of an enzyme called glutathione peroxidase (GPX). This vital enzyme protects red blood cells and cell membranes against undesirable reactions with soluble peroxides. Good selenium nutrition is of key importance for antioxidant defense as well as efficient energy metabolism.
- Several research studies have demonstrated the benefits of selenium supplementation in treating autoimmune thyroid conditions. One study found that selenium supplementation had a significant impact on inflammatory activity in thyroid-specific autoimmune disease, and reducing inflammation may limit damage to thyroid tissue. This may be due to the increase in glutathione peroxidase and thioredoxin reductase activity, as well as the decrease in toxic concentrations of hydrogen peroxide and lipid hydroperoxides which result from thyroid hormone synthesis. Selenium is required for the activation of an enzyme called glutathione peroxidase. This enzyme is an antioxidant that quenches hydroperoxides, "high energy" oxygen-containing molecules that are produced during the metabolism of fat and that are highly toxic to cells.
- Recent research showed that selenium could reduce the severity of some cancers. This is thought to be due to selenium inducing "apoptosis" (programmed cell death) in cancer cells
Manganese is a trace mineral that is present in tiny amounts in the body. It is found mostly in bones, the liver, kidneys, and pancreas. Manganese helps the body form connective tissue, bones, blood clotting factors, and sex hormones. It also plays a role in fat and carbohydrate metabolism, calcium absorption, and blood sugar regulation. Manganese is also necessary for normal brain and nerve function.
Manganese is a component of the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD), which helps fight free radicals. Free radicals occur naturally in the body but can damage cell membranes and DNA. They may play a role in aging, as well as the development of a number of health conditions, including heart disease and cancer. Antioxidants, such as SOD, can help neutralize free radicals and reduce or even help prevent some of the damage they cause.
Manganese may help some of the following conditions:
Osteoporosis: Manganese is one of several trace elements (including vanadium and boron) that are necessary for bone health.
Arthritis: People with arthritis tend to have low levels of SOD (an antioxidant that helps protect the joints from damage during inflammation). Some experts theorize that manganese may increase SOD levels.
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS): In one well designed clinical study, women who ate 5.6 mg of manganese in their diets each day had fewer mood swings and cramps compared to those who ate only 1 mg of manganese.
Diabetes: Some studies seem to show that people with diabetes have low levels of manganese in their blood.
Epilepsy: Several clinical studies suggest that people who have seizure disorders have lower levels of manganese in their blood.
53 Reviews (average: 5 out of 5)See all reviews
Brilliant overall service and experience with staff and doctor.
Al die staf by ontvangs is baie vriendelik, profesioneel en baie hulpvoordig. Dr Sedicka is werklik 'n aanwins - ek ervaar baie goeie resultate met haar behandeling.
I was at ease, comfortable and taken care of. Great service! It was my first treatment and I hate needled but it was great.
Cindy is very clear and supportive. She motivates well and is a good "Injector". I have referred other to her as I know she will be right for them and help them through the programme.
The staff at Health Renewal Cape Quarter are all very friendly and professional. They always provide good feedback and tips to keep the motivation going!
This is an effective, healthy programme, and I have seen and felt the results! The staff walk you through it all and offer support throughout! Body Renewal Diet is highly recommended.
I have found the staff at Health Renewal Claremont to be very professional, friendly and supporting. The staff (and Nurse Serena Pictor) are well trained and they are an asset to the branch. The service is excellent and I so appreciate the phone calls to remind you about your appointment. I love coming here and enjoying the beautiful surroundings! Thank you so much!
I have achieved fantastic results with the Body Renewal Diet Medical Weight Loss at Claremont Health Renewal. I lost 15kg all together. It is a manageable programme to be on and the Claremont team offer very good support!
The Cape Quarter Health Renewal team works to get you where you want to be! The rest is up to you!
Letter of commendation – Cape Town Dream Team
It gives me great pleasure to write this letter to thank you for your concern, kindness, compassion and assistance over the past 12 months. You have an amazing team in Cape Town. I call them “my Dream Team”, with Dr Graham as the leader of the pack and my miracle man!
I am overwhelmed with emotions. Today was the first time in 4 years that I have had the confidence to step out without any make-up (foundation) to cover up hyperpigmentation.
I have just come back from a follow up session with Dr Graham going over the latest blood test results – remarkable improvement from 2013. After a long and painful battle to get rid of the pigmentation, Dr Graham suggested further investigations and has probably saved my life.
I was diagnosed with Addison’s disease and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis following Dr Graham’s investigations. I was in complete shock when I got the news. A year earlier I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia so suffering from 3 auto-immune diseases came as a complete shock. My entire life changed.
I have been working for over 30 years and my performance went from a top achiever to virtually non-performing. I couldn’t concentrate. I was having tremors. I was anxious all the time. My hair was falling out. My body was retaining fluid. I suffered short term memory loss. I had hallucinations. I was moody. My whole personality changed. I felt worthless and incompetent and wanted to resign. L Our HR, Corporate Health and GP talked me out of it several times. Thankfully, my employer has a temporary incapacity programme in place to assist employees with rehabilitation.
I was booked off work for just over 3 months and returned to work in mid-January 2014. During my time at home, our business unit went through a restructure and our entire team was dissolved. I was hoping to be retrenched but was given another job which I really did not enjoy. As a result, the fibromyalgia flared up again.
The Rheumatologist prescribed a new drug, lyrica, starting off with 50mg daily increasing the dosage gradually until 175 mg twice a day. I was already taking Pixicam, Tramahexal, Tripiline and Altosec at the time and have been for about 18 months. Initially, I thought lyrica was the miracle drug. I had no more pain and my personally and sense of humour back.
However, when I hit 175 mg, I suffered severe side effects, I.e.
- Memory loss (my dog had a different name every day!)
- Slow responses
- Unstable on my feet
- I forgot common, every day words.
- I could not speak a full sentence without searching for the appropriate words
- I was restless at work and could not concentrate
- I could not co-ordinate an outfit for work despite my good sense for fashion
- I felt like a veil of fog was hovering over my brain
- I was trance like and could not respond to conflict situations or any situation that required a response
- I had no logic, cognitive and mathematical ability
- I burnt my leg one night during winter sitting next to the heater. I felt no pain and only noticed the burns the next morning.
The Rheumatologist disregarded my concerns. In fact he became sarcastic, personal and outright hurtful. I started to reduce the dosage on my own in an attempt to eventually wean myself off the medication.
During that time, I started seeing a Psychologist, who referred me to a doctor at Skin Renewal who became my pillar of strength. I explained to him that I wanted off all chronic medication. I started treatment in September and after only 4 months; I have achieved my goal…. No more chronic medication!
At the end of September, an alternative drug was prescribed by the Rheumatologist, Cymgen 60. Although I picked up a box at the pharmacy, the box is still sealed.
I will always be eternally grateful to Dr Graham for possibly saving my life and for helping me to rekindle personal passions such as fashion styling and interior decorating. In fact, I am considering doing a course in make-up because Dr Graham would always compliment me on the professional manner in which the pigmentation was always covered up. I have been off work now (for a second time) since July 2014. With the customized treatment plan consisting of a combination of IV Infusion, Supplements and Hormone treatment I have come to reap the rewards with phenomenal improved quality of life!
Thank you to the Cape Town team of Willowbridge and Cape Quarter for your concern, kindness and compassion. Big thanks to Donné Louw in Johannesburg for her patience, advice, compassion and assistance.
I had two goals last year and your team has helped me to achieve both. I am not quite ready to open the champagne yet but it will be soon. I still have work to do regarding my glands and antibodies in view of the latest blood test results.
The work that you do is amazing! Thank you so much for everything!!
Mrs P – Cape Town