I take both traditional and natural medicine, and have to disagree with some of the comments (respectfully, of course) :)
There is nothing wrong with looking to alternative and holistic medicine. There is no modern medicine that can cure Crohn's and so far doctors just prescribe lots of hardcore medicine that may or may not work, or cut you open and do surgery when they don't know what else to do. That to me is not the best approach to how I want to live my life.
That being said, I am currently (and recently) on Humira. I have been on 6mp and Remicaide. Both stopped working. What if I get to a point where no traditional medicines work for me? What do I do then? So MY approach is that I am really leaning a lot toward a more holistic approach. Before anyone dismisses the (what I believe to be equal importance) of modern medicine vs alternative preventative medicine, I thought I'd share some of the things that I do to keep myself healthy and that will hopefully work for me:
* I follow a meat and dairy-free Macrobiotic diet. My drs send me home with instructions to eat wonder bread and baloney sandwiches and drink it down with Ensure shakes- NO nutritional value, but low residue, so easy for them. I believe that there is a strong link between nutrition and diet and what we put into our bodies and how that affects the inflammation.
*I run and do yoga as often as I can. I also believe that there are so many emotional issues tied to the digestive system and it's important to address those too. Prayer and meditation are important to me.
*Seeing a natureopath or Chinese herbalist can help with additional supplements. For anyone who has not read The China Study, I'd recommend it. Some people in other parts of the world do not have the same rates of autoimmume disease and cancers that we have here, and that is a possible link.
* I try to get as much Vitamin D as possible - since where I live I can't get it naturally from the sun I take 5,000 units a day. New studies coming out have been promising in showing that Vitamin D reduces inflammation in the body.
* Accupuncture, massage for the lymphatic system, reducing stress, dry-skin brushing, using organic sesame oil for abdominal massage, digestive seeds (fennel, coriander, etc), trying to elimate nightshade vegetables (which for some people cause inflammation), etc etc
I think there are a thousand things you can do but it seems to me that a lot of people just go blindly on what their dr says and then wonder why they aren't in touch with their body. Maybe even at the very least looking into a holistic approach will make people more in tune with their body and will be able to heal in a different way. We don't know what works and what doesn't. Modern medicine is important but I also think it's a short-term cure and not preventative in any way.
So that's my two cents, I think that the two compliment each other very well but no one should be called out for being in denial about their disease because they want to look for alternatives so that someday they don't have to inject themselves with what could ultimately be poison or cause cancer in the long run. My GI dr throws every medicine under the sun at me, and some I choose not to take (after doing my own research, of course). I have also said "Enough" after the THIRD MRI in a week and a half was scheduled for me - when my dr wanted to put me in the hospital on IV steroids and fed intraveneously so I could be on bowel rest, even though I was still able to go to work and go to the GYM, I said no. When my dr said all my tests came back normal and I should just wait it out I INSISTED on a colonoscopy and they then took a second look at my tests and realized they were NOT normal and NOT indicative of what was going on in my body. but this is how these drs are trained but we don't know the long term effects of all this medicine and radiation so we should encourage looking at every possible cure, alternative or not.
I have gotten to the point with this disease where I know my body better than any doctor. This is because I learn as much as I can about alternative therapies. This does not make me in denial about the long term effects of Crohn's, it probably makes me MORE aware of what I can do to live the best life possible, which is what we are all striving for here.
This is all IMHO, but wanted to present another side to the discussion. I love this forum and think everyone is great and am thankful for all the support. :)
33 yr old Female
Currently on Remicade, starting Humira, 55 mg Prednisone, Multivitamin, Calcium, Probiotics, Vitamin D, a few other herbal supplements my natureopath has me on.
Eating a Macrobiotic diet, no meat or dairy, trying to cut way back on sugar and white foods. Trying to focus on a more holistic approach to healing.