Does anyone else's UC look like mine? Anyone use alt medicine?

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BeijingBelle
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 20
   Posted 8/27/2008 6:28 AM (GMT -6)   
Symptoms began in autumn of 2007.

I am having flares that last for 2-7 days, with varying frequency. Sometimes asymptomatic for weeks (4-5) and then have a couple of flares a month. A flare for me means: mucous in my stool, cramping, nausea and extreme urgency (this is my biggest issue!). Before I joined this site, I thought I had a pretty bad case because some days I can't leave home until noon, but after reading this site I have what I think of as a mild case. I am managing (sometimes not very well) with OTC medicine, probiotic drinks, diet changes.

I would like to find some alternative meds, acupuncture, supplements - something! - is there anyone on this site who tries to manage without traditional medicine.

Please note - this is not a judgment of anyone who needs/choses prescription drugs, but I live in a foreign country and meds are difficult (and some are impossible) to come by.

Thanks in advance.
Belle

Peety
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 2855
   Posted 8/27/2008 6:03 PM (GMT -6)   
I have been going to a naturopathic doctor for about a month now. See below what he has me taking. The supplements are supposed to improve the health of my colon, over time. Testing (blood test) for the food intolerances/sensitivities had made a HUGE difference for me. He hasn't suggested accupuncture, although that's what I had expected initially. He has worked with (and written about) digestive diseases a lot, so I really pleased with this new approach. I'm down to 5 mg prednisone and plan to get off it, but probably won't give up my asacol.
I tried a couple of sessions of accupuncture in 1993 or 94, but then I got suddenly worse and had to give it up. But I am eager to hear if anyone has tried it.

Oh, know that natural medicine is really expensive, and usually not covered by health insurance!

It sounds like you might benefit from food sensitivity testing, your cycle of episodes might be caused by what you are eating.
49 year old female, diagnosed UC/pancolitis 1985, no surgery but much suffering.
Asacol/5ASA maintenance for 20+ years, usually 3 pills 2x day. 
Currently tapering off presnisone from lingering flare;
August 2008 sought care of naturopathic doctor. Tested gluten intolerant and started gluten-free, soy-free, etc. diet which resolved flare. Also Replete probiotic, DGL (licorice root, slippery elm), Permeability Factors. Slow-release iron and B-12 shots for severe anemia.
 


ANTIGUA9
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 8/27/2008 6:32 PM (GMT -6)   
I was having a flare about 5 months ago and after being on 30 mg of prednisone and 150 mg of imuran for a while I was still getting worse. So I decided to try accupuncture and within 2 days of the first treatment, the bleeding stopped. Within 2 weeks I was COMPLETELY better and down to 10 mg of prednisoneand able to completely taper off. But for whatever reason, when i started getting another flare in July, I went to the accupuncturist three times in two weeks with no changes in the symptoms whatsoever. So as with all other UC treatments, seems like something will work sometimes and not others.

BeijingBelle
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 20
   Posted 8/28/2008 2:59 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Peety and Antigua9,

Thanks for the replies. Peety, you are probably right that I would benefit from food sensitivity testing, which may be difficult to arrange in Beijing. I will ask around, though. I am currently paying $30 for an 8 ounce bottle of Pepto (yes, you read that correctly - $30!), so cost is not even an issue now! Just some relief/peace of mind at any cost. I have tried to pinpoint foods that could be causing flares, but so far have found no pattern. I also plan to start a food diary, but I am so sick of thinking about UC!! I know I HAVE to do it, but it will mean one more way I have to plan for my tummy. GRRR

I can't believe that a year ago I had never considered my BMs!! I was a once-a-day, an-hour-after-waking person and that was that. Now, I plan everything around my tummy. I know obsessing about it must make it worse. If I have to go out before 10:00 or 11:00AM, I have to start planning the day before with loads of Pepto and some Immodium. Also, a couple days into a flare I feel so weak and miserable! Just sick all over.

Thanks again.
Belle

princesa
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 2204
   Posted 8/28/2008 8:11 AM (GMT -6)   
Check out Jini Patel Thompson's book Listen to Your Gut for extensive information regarding alternative therapies.

Over the years, I've relied mostly on what you would call "alternative" therapies - dietary modifications, natural supplements and lifestyle changes - although I do take an ASA drug at a maintenance level for added security.
Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis spring 1999.
 
Maintenance dose sulfasalazine.
Probiotics, l-glutamine and fish oil caps. George's aloe vera juice. Oregano oil antibiotic, antiviral, antifungal. Long-term remission with only minor blips.
 
 


teezy369
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 8/28/2008 3:40 PM (GMT -6)   
hi beijingbelle. i am also an expat living and working in china (shanghai). i dont have uc, but i do have crohns, so i know a bit about what you are going through.

i have been taking a natural approach to maintaining my health. i still do not think i am healthy yet, but i have come a long way since a year ago. im curious to know what you are doing in China. pm me if you want to chat.
---

American expat living and working in China and loving it

Crohn's since 2005

Abandoned the Rx drug approach

Taking a natural approach to maintaining my health.


BeijingBelle
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 20
   Posted 8/28/2008 8:16 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Teezy -

I tried to PM you, but the option doesn't seem to be available on your profile. Also, your e-mail is unavailable. Please feel free to e-mail me, I have added my e-mail to my profile.

Looking forward to hearing from you.
Belle
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