Alternative treatments??

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New Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 9/26/2008 3:00 PM (GMT -6)   
I've been reading up on some alternative therapies and ran accross 2 that are very interesting.  The names are: AloeElite and Serovera and both are 100% natural with no side affects.  Has anyone tried either of these?  If so, what was your result? 
I'm 45 yr. old female.  I was diagnosed with UC in April 2008.  I am currently taking Asocol, 8 pills a day.  I can't remember the last time a real "regular" BM.  All I want is to be able to have a regual BM once a day like it used to be before I got UC.  Inititally the Asocol helped some.  The Dr. had me try taking 12 pills a day since June to try to get the BM's to once a day.  That never happened and I don't like to be on any meds.  So, I cut it back to 8 a day since mid-July.   I have yet to have a regualr BM. 
I feel tired all the time and have no energy to speak of.  In the past month I've noticed some blood in my stools (diareha) at times.  I never had that before.  My stomach/intestines make loud noises throughout the day, loud enough that others can hear it.  I sometimes have terrible gas too.  It's difficult to be at work when these things are occuring.  This sucks!
I had to go for blood work yesterday and I'm scheduled to see my Dr. next week.  I want to talk to him about these alternatives.  Please let me know if you have tried either and what you thought about it. 
I'm so glad I found this site.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 3402
   Posted 9/26/2008 6:13 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome to HealingWell!

Be very weary of the aloe products (or any product) that advertises to cure UC. The ONLY cure is surgery.

You should not have to settle with what you are experiencing. If Asacol isn't working for you, there are other meds to try. Sometimes it takes a few tries to find the right meds for your body.

Have you tried probiotics or fiber?

How many BMs per day? What is the consistency?

There have been members here that have had luck drinking lily of the valley whole leaf aloe vera juice. This disease is very individual and there isn't one thing that works for everyone. Others have had luck with the SCD diet. Many have had luck with rectal meds.

I suggest reading through lots of old posts for more information. There are a couple of options for searching on this site. There is a google search and another search box above in a blue "ribbon" that crosses the page.

In another thread to a newbie, I recommended a book by Jill Sklar. (The First Year: Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis) I'd suggest you look into it as well. It's one book I refer to often - great basic information on the IBDs.

Keep looking through posts and continuing to ask questions. Knowledge is power!
Pan-colitis and GERD diagnosed May 2003
Osteopenia (hip and spine) diagnosed Feb 2006
Status:  Remission?!?!?
Asacol 12 per day,  Azathioprine 100mg, Aciphex, Forvia, and Pro-Bio
Remicade: 1st infusion 06/17/08:  Next infusion: 10/07/08
Last Prednisone dose:  7/15/08
Co-Moderator UC forum:  Keep HealingWell running smoothly:

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 298
   Posted 9/26/2008 11:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Be aware that occasionally aloe can have laxative effects, especially the juice. Alot of companies claim that if it heals on the outside it will heal the inside as well. True to some extent. However, healing is only truly achieved by reducing the stress (inflamm) on your colon and no amount of supplementation can counterbalance meals that cause inflammation.

Try keeping a log of the foods you eat. One of those little ones are good for putting in your back pocket with a halved pencil through the ring binder. After you have compiled some info in your notes rate them on a scale of how they agree with you... gas, bloating, the big "D", or even blood. Stay away from any item you can identify in your stool!

After a few weeks, jot down the best digested foods on a separate sheet-- these are your "comfort foods". Use these foods to your advantage during a flare and give your colon some time to heal by concentrating on eating only those items and derivatives of them. A digestive enzyme may assist in digestion and assimilation of nutrients used for healing.

Take some metamucil and a reputable probiotic (Bifidus and L. Acidophilus are good) supplement on an empty stomach 2-3 times/ day. The bacteria will digest the fiber and combined with your comfort foods and some good advice from an experienced GI doc, you will be on your way to a healthy BM in no time. Your stools will float and look a little funny at the beginning but it gets better. Remember to consult a professional before trying anything you are not sure of. Hope this helps.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 517
   Posted 9/27/2008 4:13 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome to HealingWell. I don't know about those alternative therapies, but when I was on Asacol I felt the same way: run down, tired all the time, not enough energy to anything besides the basics to keep my life going. The Asacol did keep my UC under control though. I quit taking it because I thought I might have allergy to mesalamine, and within two weeks of my last dose, I was in my first full blown flare. Been trying to calm things down since then. You will see many people recommending probiotics, and I couldn't agree more. Sometimes I felt that my probiotic helped more than the Asacol, at least I could tell immediately if I missed a probiotic dose. When looking at probiotics, if you try one that doesn't work for you, don't give up on them. Many people have to try a variety of them before finding one that helps. And I can't say enough about keeping a food journal. It is one thing to keep mental notes about your diet, but being able to see it in writing makes it more real to me. Good luck in getting in to remission.
36 y.o. male
Diagnosed w/ moderate UC in May '06 - currently flaring
Asacol, Florastor, VSL#3, Wellbutrin XL, Prozac, multi-vitamin, Allegra, Lialda, Colocort retention fluid, Prednisone 15mg and tapering down

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 1198
   Posted 9/27/2008 4:59 PM (GMT -6)   
I believe in alternative remedies, but having used many over the past few weeks I am not convinced.

Diagnosis Oct 07 and then Aug 08: Inditerminate Patches of Mild Colitis (including Rectum) - Currently Minor Bleeding
Medication: 1000mg Asacol Enema, 800mg Asacol Tablets x 2 a day.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 2855
   Posted 9/27/2008 6:03 PM (GMT -6)   
I agree, try the dietary approach. Maybe sensitivity to certain foods is what is causing the noise it your gut. Mine has calmed completely and my UC is in remission since I stopped eating gluten. If you are determined to avoid meds and they aren't working anyway, maybe this is causing your distress and you should be tested.
If UC is bleeding ulcers in your colon, how did your doctor conclude you had it if you had no blood?? I wonder if that is what is really wrong. But I'm not a doctor!
49 year old female attorney, diagnosed UC/pancolitis 1985, no surgery but much suffering.
Asacol/5ASA maintenance for 20+ years, usually 3 pills 2x day. 
Currently tapering OFF prednisone from lingering flare;
August 2008 sought care of naturopathic doctor. Tested gluten intolerant and started gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free (other sensitivities) etc. diet which resolved flare. Also Replete probiotic. Slow-release iron and B-12 shots for anemia.

New Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 9/29/2008 6:03 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you all for your replys.

I was diagnosed in 4/08 after a colonoscopy. I do know some foods that seem to make it worse however, I can't remember eating any of them.

I'm not sure of what Probiotics are??? Are they a prescription of some sort? Guess I need to do some research on that one.

I kept a food journal for my first maybe 3 months, then fell out of the habit cause things were getting better. Maybe I need to start it up again. I hate having to write things down, but if that's what it takes I guess I can do it.

I purchased the book by Jill Sklar yesterday and it has been great reading so far. So much information.

I'm seeing a new GI dr. on Wednesday because mine moved away. I plan to ask him about seeing a nutritionist and to see if he would be comfortable to be my primary care physician possibly. I've been wondering if the meds my current primary dr. gave me for my viral/cold could have started the flare-up. It was a medication that dried up my sinuses and it did, a lot! Maybe it affected other areas as well? I don't know, I'm only guessing at this point.

Yesterday was a horrible day, lots of tears were shed. It's a bit better today, but I'm still taking the Imodium. It certainly does make me tired too. Hoping the dr. will be able to start fixing things on wednesday.

Again, thnk you all for you imput, I plan to sty in touch.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 678
   Posted 9/29/2008 6:55 PM (GMT -6)   
I cannot take 5ASA's. I recommend probiotics, I take Primadophilus Reuteri. Metamucil really helps. Omega 3 supplements are good. Do a search online for the anti-inflammatory diet. The book, "Eating right for a bad gut" is a good read. Hope you find something that works for you. I know how it feels to forget the last time you had a solid BM. It was almost a year for me and now all is good.
31 yr old female, currently pregnant. Due 1/09.
Diagnosed 2/29/08 with Mild Universal UC
I've had UC since 2000 but was in remission for most of those 8 years med free
Lialda Colazal & Asacol made symptoms worse, MUCH worse
Not taking any more meds for now. Trying a holistic approach.
Dare I say...REMISSION.

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 9/29/2008 7:44 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm either allergic or non-responsive to oral rx used for IBD, luckily I've had success with altering my diet (no processed foods/drinks, no refined sugar, substitutes, artificial sweetners), regular exercise and natural products (which my GI encourages me to continue with) bee propolis, omegas 3-6-9, fibre supplements, vitamins A and C-calcium ascorbate...and probiotics (which I forgot to mention~brain-fart~).

And every morning a few cups of chamomile tea with honey.

My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)

Post Edited (pb4) : 9/29/2008 11:36:14 PM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1201
   Posted 9/29/2008 8:16 PM (GMT -6)   
I am always amazed when I read of people who haven't heard of probiotics. Wouldn't you think that would be one of the first recommendations that a GI doctor would give? If he's worth his weight in salt, you'd think he'd be up on the latest research/studies, and there are more of them showing probiotics are definitely beneficial for those with IBD. Of course, then he's not getting any kick-backs from the pharm. companies when he does that, is he. I had to find out about them from my next-door neighbor, and I wouldn't be without them today.

Probiotics help restore the good bacteria that has been wiped out, from things such as antibiotics. In the absence of the good bacteria (probiotics), fungi such as yeasts can grow out of control. Probiotics squeeze out the yeast that had been allowed to proliferate unguarded. For those whom the probiotics work, does it make sense that they could very well have a fungal problem, if after taking the probiotics, they notice an improvement with symptoms?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 1198
   Posted 9/30/2008 12:41 AM (GMT -6)   
I am currently not taking a Probiotic but am going to order the Digestive Advantage today.

Diagnosis Oct 07 and then Aug 08: Inditerminate Patches of Mild Colitis (including Rectum) - Currently Minor Bleeding
Medication: 1000mg Asacol Enema, 800mg Asacol Tablets x 2 a day.

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 123
   Posted 9/30/2008 9:45 AM (GMT -6)   
I tried the AloeElite for a while. It seemed to help for about 3 months, and then I had a major flare. So, now I don't know if it was really helping or not. It is expensive. I had about the same response with Slippery Elm. It seemed to work for a few months, too.

This is such a strange disease, you never know for sure what is working and what isn't.
49 - male
Asacol 9/day
Citalopram (anxiety/depression)
experimenting with fish oil and probiotics

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 2204
   Posted 9/30/2008 9:46 AM (GMT -6)   
I've never had a GI talk to me about probiotics and I've seen several. In fact, I've never had a GI talk to me about ANY natural supplements, no matter how many successful studies are behind them.

I would be wary of expensive aloe products. You can get the same healing effects with George's Roadrunner Aloe Vera and it's cheaper and has the laxative component removed.

Alot of folks have problems with Asacol and some report it making symptoms worse, rather than better. I switched to the older drug, Azulfadine (Sulfasalazine) and felt much better.
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.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 517
   Posted 9/30/2008 4:10 PM (GMT -6)   
I've had doctors who never mentioned probiotics to me, but when I say I'm taking them, I've never had a doc tell me to stop. As more doctors become aware of probiotics, I'm sure more will recommend them. If you see a new doctor who isn't hip to the pro-b movement, maybe you whould educate them. My current doc is almost fanatical about pro-bs, and he spends a lot of time educating the others GI docs at his practice on the advantages of them.
36 y.o. male
Diagnosed w/ moderate UC in May '06 - currently flaring
Asacol, Florastor, VSL#3, Wellbutrin XL, Prozac, multi-vitamin, Allegra, Lialda, Colocort retention fluid, Prednisone 15mg and tapering down

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