Here’s what I did:
Just before I started playing around with diet I was on:
- Enbrel (a TNF blocker and immune suppressant)
- Methotrexate (immune suppressant)
- Seasonal (birth control)
- 40 mg Cipralex (depression)
- Minocycline (skin issues)
- Dapsone (skin issues)
- 40 mg Adderall (for hypersomnia)
- T3 (for arthritic and ankle pain)
- Gravol – nonprescription – to sleep from the Adderall
- a couple more every now and then
I was having arthritic symptoms even while taking the immune suppressants I was on, so I was pretty unhappy with them. I had been on them since I was 7 or 8 and still needed multiple joint replacements at age 17 so I was pretty sure they weren’t doing a good enough job anyway. I looked into the side effects of methotrexate and how toxic it is and decided to stop. This was before any dietary changes or even thoughts of dietary changes. I didn’t notice a difference when I stopped taking it. When I realized that maybe gluten was causing arthritic issues I stopped taking Enbrel as well. I did this because I wanted to be able to see if diet would actually change something, and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to tell if I was still on the meds.
I stayed on everything else.
I started the strict diet in September 2015, and when I started realizing that there was a microbiome issue, I stopped the antibiotics. Only after my depression lifted in November did I taper down the dose and remove it completely. I met a physio that helped my ankle pain and I stopped the T3’s in November as well. Only after my fatigue went away did I remove the Adderall and Gravol (January 2016), When the only medication I was left taking was birth control, I stopped taking it after reading studies linking it to not nice things. I wasn’t medication free until I was 4 months into the diet. The reason for this was because I didn’t actually believe changing my diet would get rid of my depression, or skin issues, or everything else, so I saw no need to remove my medications.
Here’s what I recommend:
Don’t stop taking your medications. This change in diet should be drastic enough for you to be able to see a major improvement even with the medications. If the diet helps, you can decrease dosages and hopefully remove the medications altogether. They shouldn’t stop you from seeing your progress. If you aren’t on medication, and you’re okay enough to test out diet, I do recommend doing that before you take medication. From my experience, medication does not solve the issue, it’s like putting a band-aid on top of sliver, you need to remove the sliver. If you’re already on medications (especially ones like antidepressants or immune suppressants), you can definitely try the diet, see how you feel after a month, and then decide. I wouldn’t recommend stopping the meds right away because it takes a while for the diet to get rid of symptoms anyway, no point in suffering more.
I have read quite a bit about hormonal birth control, and statins. Those do look like bad ideas. Those medications I would look into a bit more and decide for yourself. Antidepressants definitely you don’t need to remove until you feel better. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments!
UPDATE: 2022 – Psych med withdrawal is real, can be extremely severe for people, and can be insanely dangerous. Wean down slowly and if your doctor doesn’t know about withdrawal, get a doctors that knows about it. Some people need to literally dissolve their medications in water and then wean down that way because of the withdrawal – check out outro.com to hopefully find a doctor that can help. The lion diet helps massively avoid withdrawal but it’s still risky if you’ve been on a high dose psych med for a long period of time.