alternative medicine???

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colongirl!
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 37
   Posted 6/28/2010 4:45 PM (GMT -6)   
hello all! i am 31 yrs old and have been diagnosed with uc 2 years ago... i seem to flare up @ least once a year and that pretty much puts me on prednisone for 6 months out of the year and apriso daily since jan. 2009... i am one of those that HATES being on prescription drugs (plus i would like to get pregnant soon) so just wondering if there's anyone out there that has had any success with alternative medicine and has been drug free???
oh ya, my uc is considered "moderate to severe"... ugh!!!
ailments: ulcerative colitis since feb 2009.. stomach ulcer.. allergies.. dizziness & fainting .. insomnia .. RLS ..

may have(?) acid reflux .. anxiety .. endometriosis

meds: prednisone 40mg/day (tapering next week)... apriso 4/day.. prevacid 1/day


quincy
Elite Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 25732
   Posted 6/28/2010 5:28 PM (GMT -6)   
There are many suggestions of alternative, or should I say supportive treatments/remedies, etc for UC and good immune support.

I will firstly suggest you have your vitamin D checked and to make sure you are treated for h. pylori if that's the cause of your stomach ulcer.

As well....rectal meds....please consider them.

quincy

imagardener2
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 3749
   Posted 6/28/2010 6:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Don't forget to take folic acid before and after getting pregnant (among other vitamins). I second Vitamin D3.
In remission April 2010 after 10 years of suffering and no remission ever
Jan 2010 started SCD diet (modified to remove dairy, fruit & juices)
Bleeding stopped in 3 days, 95% remission in 5.5 months
Diet: Gluten/grain-free, fructose-free (blueberries OK), dairy free (swiss cheese OK), starch-free
I eat: Protein(meat/fish/eggs,no soy), nuts(soaked/roasted), non-starch veggies, nut-flour muffins
Daily: fish oil, Vit D3 2000 2Xday with oil/fat, veggie juice, sunflower seeds, probiotic VSL#3
homemade yogurt and some fruit OK at 5.5 month remission :-)
Highly recommend: the book "Life without Bread" and the Specific Carbohydrate Diet


notsosicklygirl
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 10316
   Posted 6/28/2010 7:01 PM (GMT -6)   
I have tried a lot of supplements and dietary changes but never had much luck seeing improvement without medication. I wish I could say otherwise but unfortnuately, it's not the case for me. Maybe in the future I will try some vitamins and supplements again with a different outcome.
March 07: DIagnosed with Mild Proctitis - Canasa as needed.
August 08 - December 08: FLARE & Anemic - Started Asacol!!
January 09 - December 09: REMISSION!! Asacol (9) + Canasa 1g AM/PM
December 09 - January 10: FLARE!! Asacol + Prednisone + Canasa
February 10 - April 10: Colazal + Prednisone + Canasa
May 10 - June 10: Lialda + Cort Enema + Prednisone
Current: Mild / Moderate Active Pancolitis: Prednisone, 6mp, klonopin FEELING OKAY!!


imagardener2
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 3749
   Posted 6/28/2010 7:46 PM (GMT -6)   
Although I am not med-free I wanted to answer your question. Years of Rx never did anything I could detect to help my UC. My remission (first time in 10 years of UC hell) came with diet modification, Specific Carbohydrate Diet. It's not alternative medicine just an alternative diet.
I take the bare minimum of meds, just Balsalazide.

If you are still having symptoms be careful about dropping all meds in favor of something "alternative". I was pretty sick of taking meds that did nothing to help but gave me unpleasant side effects so I understand your goal. Just be careful not to make things worse.

Probiotics are a good place to start. I take VSL#3.
In remission April 2010 after 10 years of suffering and no remission ever
Jan 2010 started SCD diet (modified to remove dairy, fruit & juices)
Bleeding stopped in 3 days, 95% remission in 5.5 months
Diet: Gluten/grain-free, fructose-free (blueberries OK), dairy free (swiss cheese OK), starch-free
I eat: Protein(meat/fish/eggs,no soy), nuts(soaked/roasted), non-starch veggies, nut-flour muffins
Daily: fish oil, Vit D3 2000 2Xday with oil/fat, veggie juice, sunflower seeds, probiotic VSL#3
homemade yogurt and some fruit OK at 5.5 month remission :-)
Highly recommend: the book "Life without Bread" and the Specific Carbohydrate Diet


AMK77
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 678
   Posted 6/28/2010 8:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi colongirl! I have had great success with alt. medicine. I had to try it as 5 ASA's made me very sick. I became pregnant shortly after my diagnosis. Thankfully, pregnancy was great for my UC and I went into remission. Shortly after delivery I had to take antibiotics and I had a flare. I took pred for 3 weeks and had to be tapered quickly as I was ready to have a breakdown. (I'm sensitive to meds) My GI was pushing 6mp at the time and there was no way I was going to take it. I looked for something natural that was safe for a nursing woman. I found applied kinesiology. I looks funny, but it worked. I also took probiotics and fish oil. Reiki was great too. Long story short. My first scope 2 years ago showed angry pancolitis. My last scope in April showed an almost normal colon. The biopsies came back with no signs of colitis. Now my GI says he isn't 100% I had UC! I'm pretty sure I do as I have had symptoms on and off for 10 years. I'm not saying this will work for everyone, but it worked for me. If you have any questions, let me know. I'm happy to help!
Amy
33 yr old female, mommy to 2 girls
2/08 Mild Pancolitis/ 4/10 scope showed almost normal colon!
UC since 2000/Dx'd 2008
Cannot tolerate mesalamine. Currently take probiotics, fish oil & various Standard Process supps. Cut out soda drink green tea. Trying Applied Kinesiology & Reiki.


colongirl!
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 37
   Posted 6/28/2010 8:59 PM (GMT -6)   
thank you so much to everyone that replied... =)
i know i wont do anything drastic like go off all meds unless i get the ok from my dr. but i definitely will try all the vitamins and supplements suggested and really try to alter my diet... the specific carb diet sounds hard for me since everything i like has gluten in it! haha... but i am one who will try anything... so we'll see! thanks!
ailments: ulcerative colitis since feb 2009.. stomach ulcer.. allergies.. dizziness & fainting .. insomnia .. RLS ..

may have(?) acid reflux .. anxiety .. endometriosis

meds: prednisone 40mg/day (tapering next week)... apriso 4/day.. prevacid 1/day


zucchini
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 370
   Posted 6/28/2010 9:35 PM (GMT -6)   
I'd definitely try the SCD (Specific Carbohydrate Diet).  I've recently started it and it's not too terrible to follow.   (I have 2 little kids already, before I had any idea I would ever develop UC)  I read recently somewhere that if you get pregnant while in remission you would most likely stay in remission, but if you get pregnant during a flare, you would probably be flaring all during pregnancy.  I don't know how true that is, but I thought it was pretty interesting.  Make sure to take all your prenantal vitamins, get good exercise, sleep well, all that stuff. 
 
The Fish oil and probiotics should all be perfectly safe to take while pregnant (and trying to control UC) too.
Ulcerative Colitis Diagnosed April 2010, age 37
I'm still pretty new at this but wanting to do what I can without medication.
Trying the "Specific Carbohydrate Diet" to manage symptoms, so far it seems like it might be working... Started SCD in June 2010
 
 


Heidi33
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 205
   Posted 6/28/2010 11:40 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm going to a Kinesiologist next monday. I'll let you know. OH and SCD is amazing. You can still make most breads out of almond flour so its not too bad. Probiotics helped me almost immediately. I'm too scared to stop taking my meds. I'm on 8 Apriso a day because my last flare was horrible. I just added tumeric and l-glutamine too.

subdued
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 3231
   Posted 6/29/2010 1:19 AM (GMT -6)   
Yes.

Fecal transplantation
Probiotics
Vitamins and supplements
Diet
Meditation and breathing exercises
...
Colitis is in remission. No longer get IBS.
 
Figuring out how to reduce a flare or get into remission is a trial and error experience. Don't expect your GI to have all the answers. He was trained in making diagnoses, prescribing medications, and surgically removing the colon. He was not trained in alternative treatments. That's why they are called alternative treatments.

What works for me: Fecal transplantation, Probiotics, Anti-inflammatory foods, No HFCS, No crystalline fructose, No foods high in fructose, No artificial sweeteners, No pro-inflammatory foods when flaring, vitamins & supplements, Lexapro (for stress).


NuffinButtTrouble
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 671
   Posted 6/29/2010 9:34 PM (GMT -6)   
colongirl...if you want to hear my story send me an email...good luck!
Diagnosed: Ulcerative Colitis January 2007, but had symptoms long before
Herbal Parasite Killers: Cloves 500mg, Super W Blend 365mg, Black Walnut Hull Tincture
Probiotics: Culturelle x5 daily (x3 in the AM and x2 in the PM)
Multi-vitamins: Centrum x1 daily, Hema-Plex (Iron) x1 daily, B12, Copper, Zinc
Therapy: Initially did Colon Hydrotherapy, but not needed now.
Diet: No processed/refined sugars
Results: Colon has healed itself of ulcers and is 100% normal.


Peety
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 2838
   Posted 6/30/2010 10:41 AM (GMT -6)   
I suggest seeing a Naturopathic doc, I think they are in the best position to guide you through the possibilities with a goal of being drug-free. But know that it might not be possible.
49 year old female attorney, diagnosed UC/pancolitis 1985. 
Asacol for 20+ years with Prednisone & Rowasa for flares (But nothing since Remicade). 
Food sensitivity test by Naturopath showed wheat/gluten, other intolerances, helped some. 
Remicade started April 2009 (Humira denied) and doing great~ learning what normal is~ wow


erinkate23
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 78
   Posted 6/30/2010 11:24 AM (GMT -6)   
Probiotics and watching my diet worked for me for 3 years.
 
That being said, I was so anti-prescriptions that I let a flare go too long on alternative medicine.  The result - a flare that wouldn't go away and an 8 day hospital stay when my baby was 5 weeks old, and 2 near misses where I almost had to have immediate surgery to stop the bleeding. 
 
I could have avoided that by taking Lialda once a day to prevent a flare.  The ASA medicines are really very tame (as prescriptions go).  They're safe to take during pregnancy, and have very few side effects for most people. 
 
If I had known where my UC road would take me, I would have stayed on my ASA meds.  Now I'm on Remicade and 6MP plus Lialda, either for the rest of my life or until I have my colon removed, plus all the side effects that a 9 month stint with prednisone will give you.  No fun.
 
Diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in 2006; flare free for 3 years, then baby did me in.
  • Remicade (4 week intervals)
  • 6-MP 50mg started 5/10
  • Lialda, 4x1.2g since 11/09
  • Prednisone @ 10mg, tapering off, down from 60mg
  • Hospitalized for 8 days in April '10, 2 days in ICU, flagyl cipro and steroids, oh my!
  • Meditation, reiki, probiotics and low-gluten diet.

Flaring since 11/09 @ 19 weeks pregnant....Joyfully welcomed David James into the world on 3/6/10. 

June 2010 - Looks like the remicade is finally working, cautiously entering remission!!  First prednisone will go, then we'll see what else we can get out of the medicine cabinet.


BostonGirl
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 6/30/2010 11:37 AM (GMT -6)   
Colongirl- I did acupuncture before I got pregnant to help get out of a flare. I would highly recommend trying it out.

notsosicklygirl
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 10316
   Posted 6/30/2010 12:25 PM (GMT -6)   
erinkate23 said...
Probiotics and watching my diet worked for me for 3 years.
 
That being said, I was so anti-prescriptions that I let a flare go too long on alternative medicine.  The result - a flare that wouldn't go away and an 8 day hospital stay when my baby was 5 weeks old, and 2 near misses where I almost had to have immediate surgery to stop the bleeding. 
 
I could have avoided that by taking Lialda once a day to prevent a flare.  The ASA medicines are really very tame (as prescriptions go).  They're safe to take during pregnancy, and have very few side effects for most people. 
 
If I had known where my UC road would take me, I would have stayed on my ASA meds.  Now I'm on Remicade and 6MP plus Lialda, either for the rest of my life or until I have my colon removed, plus all the side effects that a 9 month stint with prednisone will give you.  No fun.
 

You shouldn't beat yourself up over stopping the 5ASAs. I always took mine and I still ended up in a terrible flare that was not controllable with 5ASA drugs. It could have happened to you regardless. Just because you take the meds daily doesn't mean you will be able to avoid a flare forever.


March 07: DIagnosed with Mild Proctitis - Canasa as needed.
August 08 - December 08: FLARE & Anemic - Started Asacol!!
January 09 - December 09: REMISSION!! Asacol (9) + Canasa 1g AM/PM
December 09 - January 10: FLARE!! Asacol + Prednisone + Canasa
February 10 - April 10: Colazal + Prednisone + Canasa
May 10 - June 10: Lialda + Cort Enema + Prednisone
Current: Mild / Moderate Active Pancolitis: Prednisone, 6mp, klonopin FEELING OKAY!!


kate22
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 214
   Posted 6/30/2010 12:53 PM (GMT -6)   
ditto on what notsosicklygirl wrote...same thing happened to me.  i took 5asas religiously and still ended up in the worst flare of my life. this disease has a mind of its own.
UC since 1994
35 mg prednisone,50 mg mercaptopurine, folic acid, vitamin D, vegetarian diet


pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 17911
   Posted 6/30/2010 12:59 PM (GMT -6)   
My alternatives are listed in my sig below...I'm either allergic or non-responsive to traditional oral RX used to treat IBD and I have IBS as well so that's another reason I incorporated diet change....
bee propolis caps 500mg one cap twice/day
omegas 369 caps one cap twice/day
probiotics 10 billion cfu once/day
vitamins C-calcium ascorbate (easy on the gut) and vitamin A each once/day
Prodiem fibre supplement one cap before bed
I've also altered my diet (no junky stuff at all, processed, fast-foods, refined sugars, ect) and exercise regularly.
I went from 30+ bloody BM's/day with lots of lower back pain to an average of 5/day no bleeding no back pain and completely formed stools, still have severe urgency issues.
~~~~~~~~My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)~~~~~~~~


quincy
Elite Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 25732
   Posted 6/30/2010 1:03 PM (GMT -6)   
Some cannot tolerate 5ASA meds, but that doesn't mean they don't work for others. And.....yes, once again till I'm blue in the face....please try the rectal 5ASA meds in conjunction with the oral.

They do also help lessen the incidence of cancer in the colon....a good insurance as well.

Using meds doesn't mean one cannot use alternative/supportive therapies as well.
q

Zippy123
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 735
   Posted 6/30/2010 2:05 PM (GMT -6)   
I was going to add you can try about 500mg of boswellia 3 times a day for UC. Just an idea along with watching your diet.

"A small clinical study found that people with UC taking 550 mg of boswellia gum resin three times daily for six weeks had similar improvement in symptoms and the severity of their disease as people with UC taking the drug sulfasalazine. 42 Overall, 82% of patients receiving boswellia, along with 75% of patients taking sulfasalazine, went into remission."

princesa
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 2198
   Posted 7/2/2010 1:04 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm another that had better success with alternative methods than drugs, although I agree with Quincy - it doesn't have to be either/or. I take sulfasalzine (an ASA) and stay on a low maintenance dose as a little extra insurance.

The approaches that have helped me are in my sig. If you want a top three, I'd have to say a good quality probiotic in high doses to rebuild healthy gut flora, dietary changes to remove offending foods, and omega-3s in high doses to reduce inflammation.
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