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Here's what worked for me...

Posted by Dorothy on 3/08/99 at 00:00 (005365)

I was out one Sunday (Feb. 1994)(wearing very good sneakers) and my heel started to feel 'tired' -- By Monday I could hardly walk. By Wednesday I had a diagnosis of a heel spur. The first prescription: custom made orthotics. These did no good despite repeated adjustments and the cortisone injections (3) did no good either. (I consulted the medical journals and decided that surgery was a very, very last resort.)

Finally (six months after first attack) the doctor decided to have the orthotics sent back for major adjustments and I went out and bought Mephisto sandles -- hard foot bed with higher arch support than Birkenstocks. This gave me my first relief -- not pain free, but better. At the same time I went back to swimming and started doing my hamstring stretching exercises in the pool. At the same time I stood in the water and lifted myself up on my toes and down for a count of 30 (5 times a week after lap swimming). A couple of weeks later I began to feel that my feet were getting stronger and better able to handle walking. I still wasn't pain free, but better.

About this same time I tried Reflexology (which had worked very well for some neck problems) and though the reflexologist made no claims I eventually did 3 one-hour sessions over about 8 weeks. I felt then and still feel that these sessions helped first by loosening up the tension in my feet and also by doing whatever unexplainable stuff reflexology does. (I had MORE pain immediately after each of these sessions, but after about 3-4 days the pain would lessen.)

By the time I got my orthotics back I was feeling OK with a level of pain I felt I could live with. The adjusted orthotics worked like majic! I went back to work absolutely without pain. (Sept. 1994) I'm convinced that the work I did, in combination with the adjusted orthotics, really did the trick.

Last year I stopped swimming for a couple of months -- too busy. But the pain started to come back. I went back to the pool and back to standing on my toes and stretching my hamstrings and stretching my feet on the pool steps. It took a few weeks but I'm back to being pain free. Occasionally I get a 'twinge' that reminds me that I have to keep up my foot stretching and strengthening exercises. I use the Birkenstock blue insole in 'normal' shoes and my custom ($400) orthotics in my Avia sneakers. (Everybody has a 'best' brand of sneakers but it takes some hunting.)

My message: hang in there! Try to listen to your body. Find a way to get strong. Don't walk on the beach in bare feet. Try on lots of shoes until you find something that helps. Try the non-invasive New Age stuff -- it can't hurt and it might help.

Good luck. God bless...


Re: Here's what I use

Robin B. on 4/19/00 at 00:00 (019009)

I have been taking bromelain since the end of July 1999 and I swear by it. I'm doing about the dosage that Nancy described in her email. Right now, I wouldn't be caught without my bromelain. It has really helped me a lot, and I have had absolutely no adverse effects from it.

I buy from the Vitamin Shoppe (Scott's book has a link or go to Vitaminshoppe.com). I buy 300 capsules for anywhere from $16 to $19. This lasts me about 2.5 to 3 months. As far as I can determine, I am getting 500 mg, and 600 gdu's per cap. The gel dissolving units are apparently what's important and I think Lynne's email addresses that better than I could explain. But I'm not so sure about her higher dosages.

From the research I have done, 2000 gdu's per day is considered a healthy dose -- so (I hope) I am getting 1,800 to 2,400. Usually I take 3 capsules a day, sometimes 4 (if I'm mall-walking and on my feet a lot). I really hate to recommend this, but you might be better off buying a new supply with a higher dosage per cap rather than gobbling lots of 100 gdu caps to get up to 1800 gdu's.

Take it on an empty stomach -- as much in between meals as possible. I start first thing in the morning when I am barely out of bed. Then I do one about 11 am and maybe 3 p.m or 4 pm. Sometimes I do one at night around 9 or 10 pm. If you take it on a full stomach, it will work as a digestive enzyme, which is what it is.

It took about 10-14 days for the effect to make itself known in my case. It doesn't seem to take forever to kick in, the way glucosamine does. I do hope you try it and get some benefit -- if it works for you, it is a wonderful, non-prescription, non-harmful enzyme.


Re: Here's what I use To: Robin

Helene M on 4/20/00 at 00:00 (019038)

I believe you made one incorrect statement. I just bought the 500 mg. bromelain capsules from the Vitamin Shoppe. According to the label, it's one gram which contains 600 GDU's, not one capsule. One capsule is 500 mg, which equals 1/2 gram. That means one capsule is only 300 GDU's, not 600. So if you take 3 capsules per day, you are getting 900 GDU's, not 1,800 GDU's. I've been taking 4 per day so I guess I'm getting 1,200 GDU's a day. I hope that's enough. Anyway, please correct me if you think I'm wrong. Math was never my best subject in school.

Re: Here's what I use To: Robin

Robin B. on 4/20/00 at 00:00 (019047)

Thanks Helene, that is good information -- although I am disappointed to learn that I'm not taking the dosage I thought I was. I am worse in math than anyone. I guess I just read the front of the bottle where it says 500 mg, 600 gdus -- and presumed they were referencing a per unit dosage. Hmmm, on the other hand, maybe I am NOT disappointed after all. I am having very good luck with 3 or 4 caps a day (even if that is only 900-1,200 gdus)so maybe there is no need for me to swallow more.

On one hand, I'm tempted to swallow about 3 more caps a day. On the other hand -- I feel real good now and my tendency is rarely to increase a dosage of anything if I don't have to. It's one to think about a bit. Thanks for setting me straight.


Re: Here's what I use To: Robin

Helene M on 4/20/00 at 00:00 (019053)

You're welcome. The label is deceiving since it says: 500 mg/600 GDU. I had to read the small print on the back of the label to realize the 600 GDU's are per gram. I wonder why they don't just say: 500 mg/300 GDU. Anyway, it's encouraging to know that only 900 GDU's a day are working for you. You might as well stick with that dosage. As they say, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Hope it works as well for me.

Re: Here's what I use

Lauren B. on 4/26/00 at 13:02 (019420)

Robin:

Does Bromelain affect your stomach at all? I have lots of trouble
with anti inflammatories. Does it affect the say way?


Re: Here's what I use

Robin B. on 4/19/00 at 00:00 (019009)

I have been taking bromelain since the end of July 1999 and I swear by it. I'm doing about the dosage that Nancy described in her email. Right now, I wouldn't be caught without my bromelain. It has really helped me a lot, and I have had absolutely no adverse effects from it.

I buy from the Vitamin Shoppe (Scott's book has a link or go to Vitaminshoppe.com). I buy 300 capsules for anywhere from $16 to $19. This lasts me about 2.5 to 3 months. As far as I can determine, I am getting 500 mg, and 600 gdu's per cap. The gel dissolving units are apparently what's important and I think Lynne's email addresses that better than I could explain. But I'm not so sure about her higher dosages.

From the research I have done, 2000 gdu's per day is considered a healthy dose -- so (I hope) I am getting 1,800 to 2,400. Usually I take 3 capsules a day, sometimes 4 (if I'm mall-walking and on my feet a lot). I really hate to recommend this, but you might be better off buying a new supply with a higher dosage per cap rather than gobbling lots of 100 gdu caps to get up to 1800 gdu's.

Take it on an empty stomach -- as much in between meals as possible. I start first thing in the morning when I am barely out of bed. Then I do one about 11 am and maybe 3 p.m or 4 pm. Sometimes I do one at night around 9 or 10 pm. If you take it on a full stomach, it will work as a digestive enzyme, which is what it is.

It took about 10-14 days for the effect to make itself known in my case. It doesn't seem to take forever to kick in, the way glucosamine does. I do hope you try it and get some benefit -- if it works for you, it is a wonderful, non-prescription, non-harmful enzyme.


Re: Here's what I use To: Robin

Helene M on 4/20/00 at 00:00 (019038)

I believe you made one incorrect statement. I just bought the 500 mg. bromelain capsules from the Vitamin Shoppe. According to the label, it's one gram which contains 600 GDU's, not one capsule. One capsule is 500 mg, which equals 1/2 gram. That means one capsule is only 300 GDU's, not 600. So if you take 3 capsules per day, you are getting 900 GDU's, not 1,800 GDU's. I've been taking 4 per day so I guess I'm getting 1,200 GDU's a day. I hope that's enough. Anyway, please correct me if you think I'm wrong. Math was never my best subject in school.

Re: Here's what I use To: Robin

Robin B. on 4/20/00 at 00:00 (019047)

Thanks Helene, that is good information -- although I am disappointed to learn that I'm not taking the dosage I thought I was. I am worse in math than anyone. I guess I just read the front of the bottle where it says 500 mg, 600 gdus -- and presumed they were referencing a per unit dosage. Hmmm, on the other hand, maybe I am NOT disappointed after all. I am having very good luck with 3 or 4 caps a day (even if that is only 900-1,200 gdus)so maybe there is no need for me to swallow more.

On one hand, I'm tempted to swallow about 3 more caps a day. On the other hand -- I feel real good now and my tendency is rarely to increase a dosage of anything if I don't have to. It's one to think about a bit. Thanks for setting me straight.


Re: Here's what I use To: Robin

Helene M on 4/20/00 at 00:00 (019053)

You're welcome. The label is deceiving since it says: 500 mg/600 GDU. I had to read the small print on the back of the label to realize the 600 GDU's are per gram. I wonder why they don't just say: 500 mg/300 GDU. Anyway, it's encouraging to know that only 900 GDU's a day are working for you. You might as well stick with that dosage. As they say, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Hope it works as well for me.

Re: Here's what I use

Lauren B. on 4/26/00 at 13:02 (019420)

Robin:

Does Bromelain affect your stomach at all? I have lots of trouble
with anti inflammatories. Does it affect the say way?