In my first pregnancy 15 years ago, I got hit by CTS at 20 weeks gestation. It was miserable. I was a grad student as was my then-husband, so we didn’t have extra money for acupuncture and I didn’t know about more affordable options such as the student acupuncture clinic at AOMA or Austin Donation Acupuncture. So I bought braces that looked like the one in the upper left corner of the picture (which helped immensely), but I still suffered. About six weeks after delivery, my hormones receded, the CTS stopped and I was able to ditch the braces.
Because my baby died, I got pregnant again rather quickly (with twins), and my CTS returned at 10 weeks gestation. This time I was doing acupuncture for morning sickness, and so I also was able to experience its benefits for CTS. In my third pregnancy, the CTS didn’t return until 30 weeks, and once again, acupuncture helped. However, I still had to wear braces 24/7. With both subsequent pregnancies, it took until 10-12 weeks postpartum for the CTS to recede, likely because I was actively breastfeeding this time instead of trying to dry up my milk supply.
During my first pregnancy, someone had suggested to me that I try B6 for the morning. I did, and it made my morning sickness much worse. My body clearly didn’t like the B6. I was using a cheap brand I picked up at Target, not knowing at that point that there is a difference between supplement brands. Since then, I have learned a lot about supplements and vitamins. One of the things I have learned is that my body cannot use B6 in supplement form. I require P5P (pyridoxal-5'-phosphate), an activated form of B6 that takes some of the work out of the vitamin transformation.
I had heard about using B6 to help with CTS by the time the CTS returned again during my battle with Lyme Disease. This time, however, I tried quality P5P instead of cheap B6 and got great results. I was taking between 100 and 200 mg a day, though I have seen at least one website that recommended no more than 75 mg per day for pregnant or lactating women. Using P5P put my CTS into remission. I wish I’d known this during my pregnancies!
If you decide to check out P5P as an option, I recommend that you try a high quality brand. Some of the brands that I tolerate and recommend include Pure Encapsulations, Vital Nutrients, and Premier Research Labs (all available on the web or some available locally at People’s Pharmacy). To a certain extent with supplements, you do get what you pay for. It may take several weeks for you to get your B6 levels back up high enough for you to notice a difference if this is one of the causes of your CTS.
© 2013 Green Heart Guidance