Alternative medicine for Crohn's: My trip to the Naturopath

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 510
   Posted 8/16/2008 2:50 PM (GMT -7)   
DISCLAIMER: I've always been skeptical about medicine, diagnoses, and doctors, particularly with what I'd usually call "touchy-feely hippie" medicine. My aunt, however, practices alternative medicine both on herself and her animals in her practice, which led me to this experience. So if anything, I went into it with a cynical eye.

BACKGROUND: I was diagnosed with moderate Crohn's in June 2007, right before my 19th birthday. Initially put on Asacol, which made me worse, and endured Prednisone for a number of months. Went on Remicade for about 9 months until I developed a reaction. For the past few months I've been controlling all my symptoms with diet, rather successfully, while deciding if I should try Humira. Recently, I've begun questioning whether I have true Crohn's as I do not suffer from the typical Crohn's symptoms and the Crohn's-like symptoms I do have are a result of something else.

As I said above, my aunt knows a naturopath in her area who uses a BioMeridian ( Machine. The machine uses acupressure points to determine which organs are "stressed" or "weakened" as well as measure the presence of toxins and food allergies. From there, the naturopath prescribes a regiment of nutritional supplements, homeopathics, and herbals. Initially skeptical, my aunt did her own sort of experiment, sometimes taking the pills, sometimes not, and found that taking the pills did bring her levels back up on the machine, suggesting it is accurate. After years of many food intolerances and issues, my aunt can now eat almost anything.

MY EXPERIENCE: Before arriving at the office, I filled out a scantron sheet which outlined my symptoms and how often they occurred. When I arrived, the receptionist ran this through a machine which then printed out what my problem areas were, based on the symptoms. To my surprise, they listed Liver/Gallblader Dysfunction as my biggest issue, followed by Digestive, Sugar Handling, and Foundational (relates to Vitamin B complex) issues. Aside from annual blood work, which has always been very good, I've never been told I have a liver/gallbladder issue, but I also don't believe it has been checked out fully.

The naturopath then began using the machine--I held some sort of metal tube in one hand while she placed a pen-like tool on the acupressure points on my hands and feet. After she tested all the levels, the machine found that my most stressed area was...Liver/Gallbladder! This was followed by Digestive, Thyroid, and a few other areas. The naturopath then began explaining the connection between the liver/gallbladder and digestive issues--if my gallbladder is obstructed then the bile from the liver has nowhere to go, and ends up irritating the digestive tract. I am going to research this connection more.

She then tested me for bacteria, parasites, and other toxins. The machine showed I had yeast (I have suspected I have a systemic yeast infection, thanks to miguelblanco!) as well as a fairly common parasite that could have been picked up a number of places.

Finally was the food sensitivity test. As I said before, I've been controlling my Crohn's with diet and through trial-and-error have cut out foods that I don't respond well to. I did not list any of this on the sheets I submitted to the naturopath. The machine, however, found me sensitive to Wheat, Corn Syrup, Corn, Mushrooms, and a few other things, all of which I had cut out based on my own trial and error!

From here, she came up with a supplement plan and entered it into a computer. The computer tests this plan against my current levels to see if the regiment would be successful, and so the naturopath can fine tune the plan.

I left the medical center (her office is located in an actual medical center) with four bottles of nutritional supplements all made from whole foods, two vials of homeopathics for the yeast and bacteria, and another vial of herbal liquid for the parasite. No matter my medical path (alternative or traditional) I am going to maintain my current diet.

CONCLUSION: Honestly, I'm conflicted. None of the pills/liquids I have can hurt me, so it might worth it to try for a month on this plan and see how I feel. I was surprised with the accuracy (though it could also be coincidental I suppose) or the machine, mostly concerning my food allergies. Similarly, I am weary of going back on an immunosuppressant, though Remicade did make a huge difference.

I do want to be open with my GI doc, but I also am fairly sure he won't approve of this path. On the other hand, I probably can't get in to see him for at least a month anyway, so once again, maybe it's worth a try. So I've begun the pills and we'll see what happens. I will surely keep you updated with how this plan helps me.
19, College Student, diagnosed June 2007. Remicade for 1 year, Now controlling disease with diet (wheat-free, low dairy, low sugar) and considering Humira. Had to scrap semester abroad plans due to disease, but doing well day to day.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 511
   Posted 8/16/2008 5:50 PM (GMT -7)   
I hope everything works out for you!! Let us know.
Living with Crohn's Disease since Jan./2000 but had a few years prior
I'm a true Crohnie with IBS and Arthrities too
Meds I have tried:  Too many to list- LOL
Meds currently on:  Prednisone 15mg and stuck
                           Methotrexate injections once a week 25mg
                           Folic Acid 5mg once a week
                           Wellbutrin twice a day
No Surgeries

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1034
   Posted 8/16/2008 10:29 PM (GMT -7)   
very very interesting. definitely keep posted on your progress.

i'd recommend giving the pills at least 3 months. sometimes herbs and what not can take a while to notice a clinical response. so in that vein i hope they are not too expensive. i'd also say do this independently of any medicinal treatments you are considering, like humira, to really give it a chance to see if what the naturopath suggested does indeed work. once you start combining therapies you have no idea what is working and what isnt.

parasites are common. most of us have some thing and dont know it. your food sensitivities are fairly common too. be glad dairy isnt as that too becomes common as one ages.

best of luck with school. i have a lot of empathy for you here. some days i wonder how i made it through getting a bs and masters. it was very rough as i was doing a 10 week quarter in 6-8 weeks depending on how sick i got, so i feel it is a great accomplishment that i not only graduated, but did so with a B average for my BS which was full of weeder courses.
Crazy Harry

Crohn's since 1993 (17 yrs old then)
surgery in July '05 - removal of 2 inches at ileum and 8 inches of sigmoid colon (had fistula into bladder)
Nov '05 developed colonic inertia; July '06 told i needed ostomy surgery
began maker's diet in August '06 - now feeling the best ever with no symptoms of colonic inertia and i kept my colon
med free as of 10/31/07

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 1058
   Posted 8/16/2008 11:41 PM (GMT -7)   
Give it a try! I can't help thinking that the immune suppression approach is wrong. Especially with observations that suggest that probiotics reduce inflammation by enhancing the immune system rather than suppressing it. See:$=relatedarticles&logdbfrom=pubmed

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 2481
   Posted 8/17/2008 8:25 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm a huge fan of natural remedies. I do a combination of natural and conventional, neither has put me in remission yet. ;-)

You could always try the meds for a bit and see how it goes, but the machine sounds like a crock to me. LOL. How can a machine that feels acupuncture points know you have an internal parasite? Usually this would require a stool sample.

Other than that, always be openminded, but do your research of course.

Best wishes!

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 244
   Posted 8/17/2008 8:58 AM (GMT -7)   
i have done a kinesiology study, with the allergy testing and the metal rod thing. it seemed to draw toxins to my sinus areas as well as giving me some flushing symptoms. i didnt buy any remedies, this was just to test the machine. i wish i could have finished my course, the doctor went to the west cost to make that money.
my food allergies were tested by doing reflexology. theory goes if im allergic to an item when it is placed on a certain area the tendon and muscles it is placed on will be weaker.(not the most scientific, they need a computer to tell exactly how much weaker you get). those items were then place on the machine to draw out antibodies(?) or antigens(?) to those items
"If thou wilt be observant and vigilant, thou wilt see at every moment the response to thy action. Be observant if thou wouldst have a pure heart, for something is born to thee in consequence of every action." -Rumi-
CD for 15 years diagnosed at age 11(i get the crohns cycle)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1034
   Posted 8/17/2008 9:06 AM (GMT -7)   
reynoldi -

i just had reflexology done. i was able to have it done for free, so i bit. the result said i was allergic to commercial eggs, but the organic kind are fine for me (ok....). it said my large and small intestine were weak (of course, the doc new i had i crohns), said i had a parasite (we probably all do). so basically the results were what i expected. dont know if i'll pursue the recommended course of treatment, which is herbs, probiotics and digestive enzymes seeing how i basically already take the majority of that stuff, just different brands.
Crazy Harry

Crohn's since 1993 (17 yrs old then)
surgery in July '05 - removal of 2 inches at ileum and 8 inches of sigmoid colon (had fistula into bladder)
Nov '05 developed colonic inertia; July '06 told i needed ostomy surgery
began maker's diet in August '06 - now feeling the best ever with no symptoms of colonic inertia and i kept my colon
med free as of 10/31/07

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 181
   Posted 8/17/2008 4:23 PM (GMT -7)   
My husband just brought the liver/gall connection up again this week...
i hd been goimg downhill and he is my caretaker, so needless to say its also making him sick...
he wants to find the cause of my problem, period...he keeps coming up with the no-gall bladder one for me PLUS my liver is poisoned...
he has me juicing and i will start some herbals during the week...
this is fascinating to get closer to the truth than experts do...
for 13 years i have been standing by the fact that 'there is a cause' and each of us can repair ourselves...
may not be perfect, but just might be close...
wish you well~mamadove
sorry looks like a 3 yr old did this...i cant move my arms turn

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 131
   Posted 8/17/2008 7:39 PM (GMT -7)   

That's really interesting. I never would have guessed they'd use a machine. Wow.
Did they recommend any other dietary alterations to deal with the yeast? (Like no yeast-containing things like bread?)

I've already had my gallbladder out. I now wonder if it could have remained. rolleyes Tough to argue with the docs and the pain when you turn yellow though... tongue

I made my appt for a naturopath too, but they were booked out over a month. I'll post my experience when I finally make it in there.

Oh- any massage or accupuncture or anything discussed?
Type I Diabetes- 29 yrs. (MiniMed Insulin Pump)
Celiac Disease- 8 yrs.
Crohn's Disease- (Nov. '06)
No meds at this time. (Don't agree with me.)

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