Question: What supplements would you recommend for a person with multiple myeloma?
Dr. Hibberd’s answer:
Multiple myeloma is a disorder of the immune system that produces extra proteins that can be detected in urine. The proteins invade tissues, organs, and bone marrow, and cause dysfunction. It becomes life-threatening if not treated adequately.
Since patients are typically placed on chemotherapy that usually includes prednisone (an immunosuppressant), it is unwise to take supplements without the guidance of a doctor. Even simple calcium supplementation may be a bad idea if your calcium levels are high.
Sometimes iron, folate or vitamin B-12 may be recommended to support your bone marrow, but do not start these without medical advice to do so. Vitamins in the form of a daily multi-vitamin may be OK, but it’s better to spend your time, effort, and money on healthy fresh food than taking sometimes worthless supplements.
Ask your doctor if you have any deficiencies that need supplementation, otherwise leave the drug strategy to your oncologist/hematologist. Antioxidant and CoQ10 supplementation can be used on an as-needed basis only, and is not recommended for all myeloma patients. You want to minimize the drug load on your body, not add to it. Be sure that your treatment has not induced type 2 diabetes, and work on optimizing your diet with regular physical exercise.
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