Aloe Juice, other additional supplements

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LMills
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Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1753
   Posted 8/23/2008 8:53 PM (GMT -7)   
I was just wondering if anyone has tried this? I'm staying on my prescribed medicines no matter what, but I am also looking into additional natural/herbal supplements as well. I want to try aloe, BUT I have heard in addition to being a natural anti-inflammatory it is also a laxative, and one of my biggest problems with Crohn's is diarrhea and fluid loss(I just keep losing green liquid..).
The same goes for metamucil. Is it used to relieve constipation or is it used to relieve diarrhea?

I have a list so far of potential things to try, and I'm sure you will be hearing about how they work in the months to come as well as what my dietitian(IF the insurance covers it) has to say:

digestive and lactase enzymes

chamomile-relieves gas and stress

ginger-relieves stress

meadowsweet-lessens bleeding

plantain-anti-inflammatory

coconut oil-anti-inflammatory

mixture of chamomile, meadosweet, and marigold-anti-inflammatory

I take caltrate chewable calcium with vitamin D to help counter the effects of prednisone and chewable vitamin C tablets for immunosuppressant preparation. I also take acidophilus and bee propolis.

I'm wondering about the effect of taking alinia, an antibiotic, while taking acidophilus, a probiotic. Who knows? I've also tried kefir which helps in getting down the foul tasting prednisone.

Anyway! If any of you have any information or want to share what you have tried and how it has or has not benefited you I would be really grateful. Reading posts like this in other places has helped me a lot so, I'm hoping it will do the same for the rest of those who surf around looking for information from REAL people about their disease and what they may be able to do(consider the relativity of the treatment on each person).
20 years old, Diagnosed with severe Crohn's and colitis in May of 2008.
Currently taking:
Prednisone, pentasa, alinia, bentyl, prilosec, tandem plus, and the occasional ultracet
Surgery for ectopic pregnancy(very possibly due to Crohn's inflammation) in July of 2008.
Due to start Imuran September 17 depending on blood results.


Keeper
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 1058
   Posted 8/23/2008 10:13 PM (GMT -7)   
First - chewable vitamin C - erodes your teeth over time. Better would be something called "Ester C". It is basically calcium ascorbate, so it is neutralized for better absorption and it also provides a small amount of extra calcium (only about 80 mg extra if I remember).
Aloe can be useful, but it contains a component that can irritate some people with Crohn's. Try googling Crohn's + "aloe vera".
Alinia - never heard of it, but you need to take a probiotic when you take antibiotics. Antibiotics can trigger IBS on top of Crohn's, so you want probiotics to help avoid that. Something that I saw recently makes Lactobacillus casei a must-have for Crohn's. It showed an ability to reduce TNFalpha (like Humira etc.) without the undesirable immune suppression. You should take the antibiotic early in the day and the probiotics at least 2 or 3 hours later.
Kefir - if it is a commercial product, you need to take lactaid with it or verify that it is aged long enough to remove all the lactose. Most commercial products are not fully aged as it makes them taste too acidic for most tastes. Applies to yogurt too. It is very valuable because it supports your existing beneficial gut bacteria.
Herbs - you need to check to see if the herbs are anti-inflammatory because of NSAID content. If they have salicylates, then they can trigger a flare. Don't quite know where to look for that. Maybe someone else has experience with those herbs? I have heard good reports about coconut oil for us. There is a story about a guy who wrote a letter to Dear Abby many years ago claiming that he cured his Crohn's by eating coconut macaroons!!! Now there's a therapy for me!
Someone else here (pb4?) recommends Prodiem as a fiber supplement. It is safer than most others including metamucil for Crohn's. He reported that it helped D.

IMHO, the most useful thing that you can do is the probiotics and kefir or yogurt with the caution about lactose in mind. In addition to the potential anti-inflammatory effects from several Lactobacillus species, Bifidobacter brevis was reported to competitively displace other common gut bacteria that are known to be connected to abcesses, fisulas and D, if you consume a whey product like kefir to support the Bifidobacter.

LMills
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1753
   Posted 8/23/2008 10:28 PM (GMT -7)   
I tried googling that but did not get a straight answer..I'll keep researching though. I've told myself all day to get my physics homework done, but I've been online researching Crohn's related things instead. I can't say it's time wasted though.

Is Ester C in tablet form? The only reason I ask is that my stomach still sometimes has difficult in getting down tablets so I turn to liquid and chewable as often as I can.

The alinia is still pretty new. It's an antibiotic my doctor prescribed recently. He's put me on everything, within reason and safety, that he can think of to get my Crohn's under control until we can try other therapy. I'd like to get better beforehand though to avoid the harder immunosuppressants if possible though I'm willing to take anything to stay well.

Cured by coconut macaroons...if only! But you never know with this disease do you? haha..

I have been looking into the lactase enzymes because of the lactose factor. I was also told though that things like kefir, yogurt, and certain cheeses like cheddar are easier on the stomach than milk for example because the enzymes are already broken down pretty well in them. I've been able to tolerate the kefir and extra sharp cheddar cheese so far. My boyfriend ordered domino's and was able to request thin crust with cheddar and EASY on the sauce(there was none when we got it) and it was okay. I probably won't ever order it again just because I want to be cautious, but it was nice to know it was tolerable. So long as a paper towel is used to blot the grease off of the cheese first..

Good to know about the metamucil. I have a new package that has been sitting in my cabinet but that I've been afraid to touch because it says natural thickening laxative, and I am thinking I have enough of that..I really don't need a more active digestive system or I will die from the dehydration. Some things just seems a little unclear and look like they're their to treat constipation which I do NOT want.
20 years old, Diagnosed with severe Crohn's and colitis in May of 2008.
Currently taking:
Prednisone, pentasa, alinia, bentyl, prilosec, tandem plus, and the occasional ultracet
Surgery for ectopic pregnancy(very possibly due to Crohn's inflammation) in July of 2008.
Due to start Imuran September 17 depending on blood results.


LondonRed
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 1184
   Posted 8/23/2008 11:40 PM (GMT -7)   
The "AloeElite" product is very expensive but it is supposed to get fantastic results for thousands of people. It is a combination of Aloe Vera (anti-inflammatory) and L-Glutamine (known to heal the colon).

For Probiotics the one most people with IBD seem to be taking is Primadophilus Reuteri by Nature's Way. Another good one are the powders by Natren which is recommended by Jinni Patel in her book "Listen to your Gut".

The hard and fast rule though is take what works for you, it's trial and error. I would never come off my meds but I am going to give those a try.

Diagnosis Oct 07 and then Aug 08: 2 Patches of Mild Chrohn's Colitis (unconfirmed)
Medication: 4000mg Pentasa a day, 5mg Clipper Steroid (Beclometasone dipropionate)


yellowroseoftexas
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 45
   Posted 8/24/2008 12:24 AM (GMT -7)   
I take a small amount of aloe every day. I hate the taste, but disolve a little manuka honey in it to make it more palatable. You can't eat anything hot after. I can't say that I have noticed a HUGE difference, but when I do take it all the time my crp stays below 7.

I also take glucosomine, vit D and Omega 3-6-9 along with the bog standard multi-vitamin. I don't take any of these every day, just when I remember or am feeling low. I try instead to get things from the food in my diet. I know I don't absorp very well so eat some interesting combinations sometimes, especially if I am anemic. I took my iron from 7 to 12 in two weeks on diet alone, so it can be done.

Everything is such a trial and error and so individual for each person that your best bet it to do the research and then try it out. Most herbals take a few weeks before you notice anything.

All the best,

amy

Post Edited By Moderator (ivy6) : 8/24/2008 2:19:45 AM (GMT-6)


LMills
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1753
   Posted 8/24/2008 4:42 AM (GMT -7)   
Yes, I've heard quite about the less than desirable taste of aloe, but I suppose if it works then it's worth it. I'll just have to see. It just scared me off because some people said it was also acted as a laxative.

As I've said, I want to avoid any laxative like the plague.

Thanks for your input guys. I'll definitely be looking in to those things :)
20 years old, Diagnosed with severe Crohn's and colitis in May of 2008.
Currently taking:
Prednisone, pentasa, alinia, bentyl, prilosec, tandem plus, and the occasional ultracet
Surgery for ectopic pregnancy(very possibly due to Crohn's inflammation) in July of 2008.
Due to start Imuran September 17 depending on blood results.


EMom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 990
   Posted 8/24/2008 7:48 AM (GMT -7)   
Some 8 or 10 months ago we had a thread here about coconut macaroons.... it was great! I think someone at that time posted this link. Really interesting... Prompted me to get more coconut, coconut oil and coconut milk into our diet.

http://www.coconutresearchcenter.org/

Also, I agree with Keeper that vitamin C in chewables will erode the enamel of your teeth. One thought might be to buy the Ester C in capsule form (mine is like this), break them apart and sprinkle in a small bit of water. Shoot it back quickly to avoid your teeth! (I have no idea if this will work or if it's even palatable. Just a thought...) Also, "Ester C" was some kind of patented process (I can't explain it) and they recently won the rights to that particular name. I buy another brand using the exact same process, just can't call it "Ester C" anymore. It's a little cheaper. If you ask at your local health food store, they can direct you accordingly.

Most digestive enzymes contain Lactase to help with lactose digestion. We wouldn't be without them. Lots of other great digestive things included. I like Ultra-Zyme, by Nature's Plus, but there are other good brands on the market.

Lastly, I can't say enough about the home-made yogurt that ferments for 24 hours to remove virtually all lactose. VERY high in probiotics! Store bought yogurt (even the expensive ones) doesn't compare in probiotic content and is only fermented for about 4 hours leaving lots of lactose behind. But just like capsules of probiotics, you should eat your yogurt a couple hours before or after taking an antibiotic. (I believe it was Osprey who said he eats a small amount of home made yogurt before each meal as a sort of "primer") Also, you're right about cheddar cheese. Actually any hard cheese that it *aged* is supposed to be low in lactose.

Do you have a dietitian who actually knows about all this stuff????

Good luck to you, LMills!!! :-) :-) :-) Keep us posted!
Mom to 16 year old boy diagnosed in June, 2007.
Omega 3s, digestive enzymes, probiotics, iron, vit. C, calcium w/D3, a good multivitamin, SCD legal yogurt, weaning off Asacol.
Started The Maker's Diet in Sept. '07. Gradually learning/using more SCD recipes, too! (cooking challenged)


Keeper
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 1058
   Posted 8/24/2008 11:14 AM (GMT -7)   
Just an afterthought - there are a couple of products that were designed by Jini Patel Thompson (author of Listen to your Gut) specifically for Crohn's. There are links on her web page: http://www.jinipatelthompson.com/
You find the links at the bottom of the page. about Ester C - it originally came out as an Ascorbyl Palmitate tablet - hence the name. It was very expensive, but boasted superior absorption (and a few other benefits). They discovered that merely neutralizing the vitamin C provided the same absorbability benefit at a much lower cost. Since the stuff is neutralized, it should be much easier on things, but if it is not, you could try dissolving it in water (sorry, I've never tried this and I don't even know if it dissolves properly).

LMills
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1753
   Posted 8/24/2008 6:32 PM (GMT -7)   
Well, now I feel disappointed. I just paid 17 bucks for a thing of chewable tablets, and now I'm wary of using them. I suppose I'll just bite the bullet, finish the container, and make sure to brush my teeth after I take them. What a letdown. Thanks for letting me know though! I'll be sure to check in to Ester C tablets instead.

I really like homemade yogurt, but I don't have the time, place or energy to make it currently...There is a woman in my apartment complex who makes her own so I may look in to paying her for it. I did find one store bought yogurt that is pure yogurt with 6 live active cultures in it. It doesn't seem to upset my stomach, but the homemade mixture seems so much better.

I don't have a dietitian as of yet because I have to check and make sure my insurance will cover it, but there was one that visited me during my last hospital visit that seemed to know quite a bit about these things. We talked a pretty good length about various probiotics so hopefully I can see her again and share her information with the rest of you!!

Thank you guys so much for the links by the way. They're really great :) It's nice to get information like this. I will be sure to share what the effects of these things are as soon as I get my hands on them. I know it varies for each of us, but I feel like all of the individual experiences combined can still form a sort of rough guide line.
20 years old, Diagnosed with severe Crohn's and colitis in May of 2008.
Currently taking:
Prednisone, pentasa, alinia, bentyl, prilosec, tandem plus, and the occasional ultracet
Surgery for ectopic pregnancy(very possibly due to Crohn's inflammation) in July of 2008.
Due to start Imuran September 17 depending on blood results.


Peggy0011
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 8/24/2008 9:32 PM (GMT -7)   
Coconut oil and shredded coconut help a lot, but the effect can take several weeks. Buy organic shreaded coconut because the ordinary baking type has propylene glycol and sugar in it.

There are some very good books by a former Crohn's patient named Rubin S. Jordan who has a very good holistic approach. It takes discipline, but there are NO side effects. All traditional medicine used to fix one thing can really mess you up in another area. I have used his recipes and coconut oil to straighten up my guts (constipation, headaches and cronic heart burn). My daughter has Crohn's disease and it greaves me so much to see her following traditional treatments that never make her better in the long term. She wants quick fixes and grows worse each year.

You need to remember that the body took years to get sick and can take some time to heal. I pray you all will find your health again.

Keeper
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 1058
   Posted 8/24/2008 10:48 PM (GMT -7)   
Well, I don't know how long it will take to get "better". The current opinion is that the body has formed an immune reaction to normal gut bacteria. Immune reactions are good for years - in fact I recently heard that some survivors of the 1912 flu epidemic still have immunity to that strain. What we have to accomplish is to maintain the mucous membrane of the gut at optimum strength. That separates the body's immune system from the bacteria in the gut. 5-ASA promotes healing of the gut mucosa, but has a collection of side effects. The other option is to alter the bacteria in the gut to eliminate the ones that have triggered the immune reaction. This would require that we know what those bacteria are and have some idea how to rid the gut of them. Oddly enough, more research has been done on "competitive exclusion" - good bacteria driving out bad ones - in chickens than in humans. The principle is well documented - in chickens - that bacterial dosing of chickens can eliminate salmonella, for instance. It is also well known that feeding of different chicken feed or using complex sugars like mannose or lactose will alter the bacterial population of the gut. Just try to find comparable info on people!
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