I haven’t mentioned my good friend Sherlock (I’m Watson, of course!) in a while. Well, the reason is simple. Back in November (2008), she decided to see what would happen if she stopped taking curcumin for a few months, whereas I decided to test feverfew.
[Note: I still haven’t had my blood tests done, for a variety of reasons. A lot of folks here have the flu, which means that the hospital lab is filled with dreadful coughers…and why do they always end up sitting next to me in the waiting room? 😉 ]
At any rate, I admit that in the past I too have been tempted to stop taking curcumin, just to see if my markers would remain stable. Last spring, I even asked my haematologist what she thought about my forgetting about curcumin for a couple of months. To my utter surprise, she told me that it would not be a wise move at all. Well, if she says so…!
So, back in November, just as I began my feverfew experiment, Sherlock ended her daily curcumin intake. She continued to take fish oil capsules, and I seem to recall that she also took Zyflamend (I could be wrong about that). She caught a chill in early January and came down with a terrible cough and sinus infection. She told me that she hadn’t been that ill in years and wonders if it could be because she stopped taking curcumin, which is both anti-viral and antibacterial. That could well be. Anyway, she went through three cycles of different antibiotics, poor dear.
She finally had blood tests done in early February 2009, 5-6 days after finishing her last cycle of antibiotics. She still had the remnants of a cough, though, as I recall, and that is something to keep in mind as we look at her test results (below), which, by the way, she authorized me to publish. I won’t bother mentioning any markers that more or less remained the same.
Compared to her October 31 2008 tests, her February 3 2009 tests are as follows:
· ESR went from 26 to 69.
· Calcium, from 9.1 to 10.1.
· Uric acid, from 3.7 to 4.3.
· Total protein, from 8.1 to 9.4.
· Her CRP went from <1 to <9, so there must have been an increase of some sort. I would like to note that is extremely annoying to have such an inaccurate reference range for CRP.
· M-spike, from 2.42 to 2.76. Her m-spike has never been this high.
· But her monoclonal component went from 29.9 down to 29.4. Go figure.
· A good thing: her IgM went from 0.17 to 0.23. But her IgA went from 0.11 to 0.10, and her IgG, probably because of her recent illness, was on the high side; it went from 31.30 to 35.50 g/L.
Ah, one more rather interesting number: her haemoglobin didn’t increase that much during this period (remember that curcumin is an iron chelator). It went from 12 to 12.3. Almost no variation.
So, how to interpret these results? Not easy. Sherlock believes in curcumin almost as strongly as I do (and began taking curcumin again right after having these tests, incidentally). These February results, however, don’t seem to prove much, in my opinion. In spite of the slight increase in m-spike and whatnot, she still seems to be more or less stable, which of course is excellent. Matters might have been different if she had stayed off curcumin for at least six months AND her markers had continued to worsen. But she stopped taking curcumin for only three months. Plus, the illness, the antibiotics, the lingering cough…hard to say…but any thoughts are welcome, as always!
Final comment: Sherlock is fine, now. That’s the important thing!
P.S. I haven’t been doing any research, answering e-mails or blogging lately. I apologize. It hasn’t been an easy period…I have been distracted by some not-so-good family news. One of Stefano’s relatives has just been diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer. He is 40 years old and has a 4-year-old son. I am still in shock, as is the whole family. And my mother-in-law has also not been well. Quite the opposite, in fact. Nope, this has not been a good period. Still isn’t. But we are all trying to be optimistic…the glass is still half full, not half empty…and life goes on…yes indeedy.