Category Archives: The Guinea Pig Reports

Turmeric powder

Guinea Pig Reports: Turmeric & Curcumin

Turmeric powderOur first GP Report is here – and our first candidate in the completely unscientific, non-double-blind, un-controlled Trauma Dolls trial is turmeric.

The Experiment

Turmeric & curcumin.

Specifically, turmeric & curcumin capsules. These, to be precise. Turmeric Curcumin Gold from Nutrigold, 500 mg capsules, 2x daily.

Cost

At the above link (Amazon), the bottle of 120 capsules cost $26.92. At the rate I’m taking them (2x/day), that bottle will last two months, so the per-month price is roughly $13.50.

The Science

Many studies have indicated turmeric can help relieve pain symptoms:

The Plan

Simply take two capsules a day with meals – one with lunch and one with dinner. In my case, that translated to roughly noon and six PM.

While you can certainly add turmeric to meals, a lot of people don’t care for the taste.

I, however, would not be one of those people.

In fact, this idea hit me after I recently treated myself to Indian food, after not having any for quite awhile. Then the next day, filling out my pain log, it suddenly occurred to me that I never had a pain flare-up after Indian food. I knew about the studies into turmeric’s effectiveness in pain treatment, so I figured it was a solid choice for our first GP report.

Still, I figured (for reasons spelled out below) that the capsules would be the safer choice here.

The Results

Believe it or not, they were pretty significant. On a completely arbitrary and subjective scale of 1 to 10 guinea pigs, where 1 guinea pig is “zero effect” and 10 is “off the charts awesome”, I’d place the turmeric/curcumin capsule regimen somewhere around 5 guinea pigs.

Guinea pig in toy carGuinea pig in toy carGuinea pig in toy carGuinea pig in toy carGuinea pig in toy car

 

 

Our official TD-GP Reports Guinea Pigs – aren’t they adorbs?

The impact took a few weeks to show up, and oddly, I didn’t really notice the impact until I forgot to take the capsules two days running. On day #3 after that 2-day period, I had a fairly ugly flareup of the fibromyalgia symptoms.

I went back on the capsules on day #3, and haven’t missed a dose since. I also haven’t had a flare-up since.

Also, though, I’ve noticed an improvement in my other significant pain area: the swollen/spasming muscles that result from my scoliosis and degenerative disk disease.

That area (lumbar to mid back, on the left side) has also improved in terms of the constant, chronic achey pain I usually experience. I’d quantify it roughly somewhere around a 20% improvement. It still hurts, but noticeably not as often and not as intensely.

Side Effects

I honestly haven’t noticed any at all. It should be noted, though, that it can decrease clotting/increase blood flow, and that it can possibly cause nausea and intestinal distress in some folks.

Turmeric can also stain, big time – definitely get the capsules, if you want to try this at home – and may potentially irritate skin, though I didn’t experience any of that.

Bottom Line on Turmeric/Curcumin?

A big fat YEAH, baby. This one’s staying on the regimen.

What’s Up Next for the GP Reports?

Royal jelly and bee pollen – whee! Stay tuned – just started taking that one last week.

Wondering what this is? It’s the first in a series of posts I’m planning here at Trauma Dolls recounting my experiences with a succession of new treatment options, measures, etc. called the “Guinea Pig Reports.” You can read more about the series here.

Photo credit: Steven Jackson Photography via photopin cc

Just Call Me “Subject A” – or Guinea Pig. Guinea Pig Works, Too.

Guinea pig with x-box remoteSo I’ve been thinking.

A lot.

About a lot of things, but mostly – lately, anyway – about my relationship to my health.

All this brain-drain was prompted in large part by the growing realization that I was no longer happy or contented with the status quo.

But I wasn’t ready to do anything about it – not until quite recently.

I said in that “Something’s Gotta Give” post that I could only really see three options ahead of me, aside from the status quo, which I was no longer willing to accept: to write about coping instead of thriving (which left me feeling cold), to give the site to someone else (which left me feeling rather more like a failure than I was prepared to feel), or to change my life.

Sometimes, the questions answer themselves.

So, I decided to go with option #3.

And here’s what that’s gonna look like.

Project Guinea Pig is a GO

I’m going to experiment on myself.

I’m going to try, sequentially, different treatment protocols of a conservative measure. (‘Cause I’m not gonna go around taking various prescription or illegal drugs. I’m not stupid.)

As for what kinds of conservative measures: I’m not taking anything off the table – unless it violates my common sense rule. That is, I don’t do anything that will impact my body, my mind, my kid, or my wallet if it is ridiculous on its face.

So, in this case, there will be no pseudo-science. No “cure” claims.

But short of that, I’m up for just about anything.

And the best part: after I’ve tried each measure for 30 days, I’ll write about my experience here on Trauma Dolls in a wrap-up post.

So everybody wins. Even if whatever it is I’m trying that month doesn’t do fuck-all for my pain levels, you’ll find that out, too. And maybe that will help you figure out what you should try – or avoid.

The Project Guinea Pig Rules

Now, I don’t have a crap-ton of funds available for this endeavor, mind you. So, this experiment may be somewhat limited by practical considerations.

But even so, I think there’s a lot out there that either (A) I haven’t tried before or (B) tried years ago when I wasn’t on medication and discarded because I didn’t see any significant improvement.

I’ve given this a lot of thought. I’m not looking for miracles here. I’m looking for stuff that works, though. So, I’ve settled on the following guidelines for this endeavor:

  1. I must try each supplement, approach, treatment, etc. for at least 30 days. The only exception: if I turn out to be allergic to it. Obviously, I’m not gonna risk anaphylactic shock.
  2. I will only try one new supplement, approach, etc., at a time. That way, we’ll be able to tell more accurately what’s behind any change in my pain levels or general health.
  3. I do reserve the right to continue taking or following any supplement, approach, etc. that proved beneficial. So, for example, I might try supplement A in month 1. In month 2, assuming “A” works well, I might add supplement “B” while continuing to take “A.”
  4. I’ll do at least one write-up for each thing tried – I may or may not add to that, if events warrant.
  5. All posts will be gathered under the category of “The Guinea Pig Reports.”
  6. I will give detailed descriptions of whatever’s at bat that month – how I take it, where I got it from, etc.
  7. I will link to whatever source I used to acquire the thing (or learn the moves, in the case of physical therapies). But I will never use affiliate links for these posts. Click with assurance.

Wanna Be a Guinea Pig Too?

I am not advocating trying out new treatment protocols/measures willy-nilly here, mind you.

But if you’re already planning to try something out for yourself, and you’re willing to commit to it for at least a month, why not write up your experience for other Dolls? Drop me a line here and let’s chat about it.

Photo credit: Of Corgis & Cocktails via photopin cc

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