Semi-Remission by: Juicing Veg, Sunflower Seed & Spinach Diet, Vit E Enema, Fibre, VSL #3

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Rio in Maryland
Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 891
   Posted 3/11/2009 3:18 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone.

Following up on my previous post, I had been flaring non-stop for over 3 years, and have tried many different treatments and medicines.

My diet is vegetarian, and soon after getting diagnosed I stopped alcohol, caffeine, most gluten products, processed foods, foods with high sugar content, and any dairy that is not fermented or aged. I have also visited some of the best doctors in the USA, England, and India but they all offer very similar treatments.

I have been on 175 mg Azathioprine (for 15 months) and 4800mg Asacol (for 36 months) and at various times have tried prednisone, predfoam, pentasa/canasa suppositories, but have not seen much of an effect until recently when I made some changes - many based on what I had read on the forum. However, rectal treatments (such as suppositories) do work, and are an important complement to oral drugs.

3 months ago began doing Vitamin E enemas (Sheldon's therapy). After a week or so this helped get more formed BMs - and then adding psyllium powder to my diet made it even better. I had tried psyllium husk in the past but that may have been too rough for my colon, and crushed psyllium powder may be smoother and easier to digest. Also, once I started taking psyllium powder the migraines stopped as I think that helped get all the waste and toxic build-up out of the system; otherwise I would get a severe migraine ever 2 weeks. I am now taking metamucil wafers instead of psyllium powder, and have much less gas now and don't feel as bloated.

I started juicing spinach and carrots, and also began following the spinach and sunflower seed diet (Cfromutah's diet) 6 weeks ago and am not seeing blood in my BMs anymore, less urgency.

Adding in VSL 3 has helped reduce the number of BMs to 3-5 a day and for the past couple of weeks I am actually able to sleep the whole night without having to get up to go to toilet. I had tried VSL3 as well as other probiotics in the past but did not see much of an impact then.

Right now, my daily routine is:


AM Juice 1 large bag of spinach and a handful of carrots. Pour through sieve several times before drinking so that no residue or pulp gets through and I'm only drinking juice. Stir in 1 pouch of VSL3. It tastes better than it sounds and is an excellent energy boost. I am not juicing any fruit.


2 Metamucil wafers before meal, with VSL3
Light meal PLUS 1/2 can sauteed, canned spinach; and sunbutter (2 tbsp) or 1/3 bag roasted unsalted sunflower seeds
1 Metamucil wafer after meal


2 Metamucil wafers before meal, with VSL3
Light meal PLUS 1/2 can sauteed spinach; and sunbutter (2 tbsp) or 1/3 bag roasted unsalted sunflower seeds
1 Metamucil wafer after meal


100mg Azathioprine, 2400 mg Asacol
Once or twice a week: Vitamin E enema, or Canasa suppository

I drink about 6-8 x 0.5 litre bottles of spring water during the day.
Also, I have been meditating and doing yoga every evening and I strongly feel that has helped too. There are some specific yoga exercises that are supposed to unblock and balance out energy; and according to Eastern medicine a lot of illness is a result of blocked energies and/or energy imbalance in the body.

Hope the feedback above helps (and I need to update my signature)
Rio, 33 year old male
175 mg Azathioprine
8 x 400 mg Asacol

Post Edited (Rio in Maryland) : 3/11/2009 4:53:38 PM (GMT-6)

James l
Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 3/11/2009 4:57 PM (GMT -6)   
wait, Rio. so you are saying that you did not benefit that much from taking various kinds of probiotics? and also do you take vsl#3 ds or just the regular vsl#3. I'm got the prescription for Vsl#3 ds and I'm paying only 20 dollars for a month supply.
JAMES - 19 Years old. 2nd year in college.
5'11. Pre-med student
Was bodybuilding for middle weight class at 175lb with 6%bf. then BOOM. UC kicked in for the first time in my life
Diagnosed with UC in Feb 2008. Lost 25lb in three weeks. Bloody hell diarrhea
Flare up in june 2008. took more antibiotics. Harder flare
Took prednisone for two months then 6mp. But I decided to get off on both.

10/08Started drinking hard liquors and once drank 15 shots in an hour.
Next day flare up.
11/08 Started anti-yeast regimen. I crapped out so much yeast. still crapping out yeast.

On: No med but zinc, cod liver oil, coral calcium, probiotics, threelac, alpha lipoic acid, chlorella, sea salt, garlic, aloe vera

in semi remission

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 458
   Posted 3/11/2009 5:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Do you think you will eventually try to wean yourself off your meds?
Dx:  UC Proctitis 2006 
Meds:  None so far. Garlic works to ease flares. My GI laughed when I told him and said it was just coincidence. 
Started Meds:  Apr 9 08 500mg 5ASA (salofalk) to ease flare, tapering, stopped. 
Diet:  Regular fresh garlic, Biobest yogurt daily, Omega 3 supplements, very limited junk food, carbs and processed food, low fat diet.  Lots of fresh fruit and veggies (limited potatoes). 
 Added: tumeric and probiotics.

Rio in Maryland
Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 891
   Posted 3/11/2009 5:23 PM (GMT -6)   

When I first took probiotics I did not feel much of a positive effect - and in fact the first time I tried VSL3 I felt a lot worse with more bleeding and still kept using it for over a month. It may have been that my colon couldn't handle such a strong dose of good bacteria at that time, and I should have built up from 1 sachet a day instead of doing 3 a day from the beginning - I'm not sure.

But, I definitely think that probiotics are important and it's a matter of trying some out to see what works well for you; so that's why I tried VSL3 again.

I take regular VSL3, and have not tried VSL3DS. I don't have insurance at the moment, but as soon as I get insurance I will try to get a prescription too as it's expensive.
Rio, 33 year old male
175 mg Azathioprine
8 x 400 mg Asacol

Rio in Maryland
Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 891
   Posted 3/11/2009 5:28 PM (GMT -6)   

I think it's too early for me to do that, although I have reduced the dosage of azathioprine from 175mg to 100mg and asacol from 4800mg to 2400mg. I figured that if azathioprine was going to work for me, it would have done so within 1 year at most, especially as it's supposed to kick in within 3-6 months.

I'll wait to meet with my doctor to decide what to do, but for now I would rather stay on the meds - I'm not in complete remission yet, so I don't want to do anything too drastic.
Rio, 33 year old male
175 mg Azathioprine
8 x 400 mg Asacol

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 166
   Posted 3/11/2009 7:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello All,

Where can we get this VSL3 or VSL 3 DS.
can we get it in Walgreens or CVS?
My GI is ready to give the prescription for that?

Thanks in advance

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 114
   Posted 3/11/2009 8:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Happy Living :)
We get it through the Wal-Mart comes in a refrigerated box and must be refrigerated upon arrival. Please be aware that this is industrial strength Probiotics.  After my daughter's jpouch surgery, she started with 1/4 of the packet for a few days until she felt her body could handle a bit more and stepped it up a little at a time.  You may experience some additional gas/abdominal discomfort until your body adjusts.  It comes in a powdered form and can be mixed into yogurt, pudding, smoothies...anything cold.  It's not great mixed with just water....Any questions, please feel free to click on my name and email me.

20 yo daughter w/ Pancolitis
diagnosed 8/30/06
Step 1 colectomy/jpouch creation 11/27/06
Step 2 takedown 2/9/07
21 yo Daughter diagnosed with right shoulder, bilateral wrist, 
bilateral elbow, bilateral knee, and bilateral ankle avascular necrosis
(aka Osteonecrosis) as a result of Prednisone use

Post Edited (Buckeyeinfl) : 3/11/2009 7:26:42 PM (GMT-6)

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 51
   Posted 3/12/2009 12:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Rio, you must be withering away on that calorie intake. I know you probably don't want to upset the balance right now that your experiencing, but your body is probably in starvation mode. Its good to see that your feeling better. I juice also, the carrots make everything tolerable to drink due to their sweet taste. You ever think about eating the pulp, hahaha I have.
26 year old male, diagnosed back in 2000 with UC.
My maintenance drugs consist of fish oil and acidophilus.. I take prednisdone when I have a flare up to get it under control. My bum likes me at the moment.

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 229
   Posted 3/12/2009 12:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Your post is interesting as you are using both natural and alternative methods and some potent meds experimenting to see what works. I agree with what you say about meditation and yoga, ones energy and how it is used or misused is very much related to how and if dis-ease is manifested. Unfortunately most Yoga "teachers" have very shallow knowledge.

Regarding the VSL #3 which I use with sulfasalazine to maintain remission my experience with it is that it is far more useful when going towards or while in remission. It may work while deeply in a flare but it requires really massive doses. Without a prescription VSL #3 is cheapest if bought through there web site.

Rio in Maryland
Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 891
   Posted 3/12/2009 12:50 PM (GMT -6)   

I have actually put on 5 lbs in the past couple of months, and I think I'm getting a good amount of calories from all the sunbutter/sunflower seeds and sauteed spinach - I've never been a heavy eater, so I get by well enough on a lower amount of calories.

I haven't tried eating the pulp yet (....and don't think I'll try it anytime soon!) but if your body can handle it then go for it.
Rio, 33 year old male
175 mg Azathioprine
8 x 400 mg Asacol

Rio in Maryland
Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 891
   Posted 3/12/2009 1:00 PM (GMT -6)   

Yes, I think a combination of traditional and alternative treatments is the way to go for me. It just takes some patience and persistence to keep trying different therapies till something works.

I bought VSL3 from a local pharmacy at the same rate as the online price, but have also noticed that some of the other pharmacies here are marking up VSL3 by about 10-15% from the online price.
Rio, 33 year old male
175 mg Azathioprine
8 x 400 mg Asacol

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