There has been a lot of discussion with respect to the treatment of Crohn's (and related IBD's) in the various forums. for instance are IBD's bacterial, if so can it be treated with a cocktail of antibiotics, does borody take foreign patients, etc.
I have what doctors in north america like to discribe as crohn's. i have done the standard drugs, imuran, etc and of course remicade and humira. i did a great deal of research over a 5 year period with respect to anti-MAP and came to the conclusion that there was a higher probablity that crohn's was simply a discription rather than a disease, that MAP was the true culprit, MAP is in everything and that for some reason a small percentage of individuals had adverse reactions to MAP in their bodies.
I contacted the CDD in australia and made an appointment with Dr/Prof Borody. It took about 6 months to get in to see him. The costs, including the trip, accomodations for a few days, the proceedures, assessments and prescribed drugs came to roughly $5,000.
Their clinic is top quality, everyone is very professional and pleasant. Within the first few minutes of conversation with borody you quickly understand that borody has forgotten more than most GI's will ever know. DO YOUR RESEARCH before you go, because when borody discusses your situation you will understand what he is talking about. Also remember, he was part of Marshall's team who won a nobel prize for medicine 10 years ago for the treatment of ulcers. Many of us will not remember that until Marshal, ulcers were thought to be caused by stress, and a variety of other causes...sound familiar?
about a week before you arrive you will be asked by borody's staff to obtain specific blood tests: iron, vitamin D, CRP, CBC, and a few others. As most of us know, Iron and CBC's are usually out of wack. Iron & Blood because they are leaching from the infections. Iron can be so bad that there is essentually nothing left in our bodies and taking Profirin and/or IV drips does little.
I was prescribed 4 antibiotics not 3. They are Ethambutol, Clofazimine, Rifabutin & Clarithromycin. Further I was prescribed Vitamin D and several Iron infusions. Two of the antibiotics are started at a low level to test your ability to consume and increased over a period of 3-4 months to full dosage.
Some background. MAP is essentually a bacteria in the same catagory as TB and Leprosy. Not unlike TB and Leprosy, the bacteria is very tiny and takes a long time to divide which means it takes a long time to kill. A culture will take from 9-12 months. Not unlike TB and Leprosy there are more than one strain and thus require different challenges. The drugs that I was prescribed are also used for TB and Leprosy - no one drug cures you from TB, Leprosy & crohn's and not all treatments are effective in curing all TB, leprosy and crohn's.
In the 6 months that I have been on the 4 antibiotics, i no longer require the vitamin D nor the iron. this basically means that i am healing. I feel great, actually i feel excellent. the only side affect to date is that one of the antibiotics causes my urin to change to an orange color and my skin has darkened; darkened so much i have the appearance of a suntan. this is good because not only do i feel great, i look much better too. The color change is not perminate, this will disappear upon discontinuation of the drug.
I will be on the cocktail for 18-24 months and then i will be cut back and put on a maintainance dosage. the amounts i am not sure of, but when i go back to see borody, and i very much intend to go back, they will advise. FYI, MAP is in everything, for some reason a small percentage of individuals can not cope with MAP in our bodies, MAP will return and our bodies will flare again, thus the maintainance dosage.
two of the drugs are very hard to come by in north america so i order the drugs from australia and they are delivered to me via courier. the cost of the drugs and shipping from australia to my home is about one third the cost of what i would pay for the drugs here in north america. total cost of the drugs per month...about $150 compared to one injection of humira in the $750 range.
would i recommend this to anyone. well all i can say is that it has worked for me. everyone has different symptoms, but my reseach suggests that crohn's is bacterial.
Finally, the staff at CDD are wonderful. i was given direct email addresses of the individuals i needed to communicate with and i have exchanged several over the 6 months. All have been fully addressed in a quick fashion. remember, australia is 15 hours ahead of us, sometimes i get a response back from australia before i sent it. (:>)
Oh one further piece of information, you can not do all this unless you have a sympathetic doctor who will be prepared to do some specific things for you. for instance, you will need regular blood test to see how you are responding to the drugs. Also i get two of the 4 antibiotics from australia, the other two will need to be prescribed by your local physician. Also there will be a time (havent got there yet) when another colonoscopy will need to be performed. it will be much cheaper to have it done in NA as opposed to travelling to australia to have it done. so your physician will need to order one for you.
I have simply scraped the surface, so if there are any questions please feel free to ask them. it may take a couple days to respond so if i don't respond immediately its because i have limited time to check back.