Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.

Can Supplements Treat Multiple Myeloma?

Thursday, 21 Feb 2013 10:14 AM

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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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