Accupucnture and Naturopath..anyone treating with these?

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Stacy851
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 6/12/2009 5:58 PM (GMT -6)   
I was diagnoised in January with Colitis, possibly Crohns. I have for at least the last 12 years tried to "fix" an health problems (not that I really had any) naturally, before and after seeing a Doctor. My GI specialist was a complete *** (I was there on an urgent referral and he insisted I had a hemeroid, since I had fairly recently given birth and was irritated that I was "wasting his time") and once I questioned what the side affects were of Canasa and asked if there was any natural way of curing this he closed my folder and said to pretty much leave unless I was willing to take the meds.  I did leave and have been seeing a naturopath and an accupuncturist since January. It has been a rollercoaster as far as recovery goes, but things just arn't working.  I'm taking:   Similase GFCF 2-3x's per day, Permeability Factors 2-3x's per day, Oxyperm 2-3x's per day, Metal Magnet 1x per day, Pro-Flora Immune 1x per day.  As well as the occasional other suppliment. 
 
Canasa was $365 per month after insurance and has side effects that I'm not sure I totally understand, since my doctor closed the door on my face pretty much. I decided that I would put that $365 and apply it to natural healing first and if in 6 months I wasn't significantly better I would consider meds.  I have also changed my diet. I was a very healthy conscious person to begin with, but I did have a lot of wheat/gluten in my diet and some dairy. I now have no dairy, and very little wheat, but occasionally it gets in there. I am a singer for a rock band and I drank ALOT.  I love tequila and beer. I have for the last month given up both and have seen NO difference. Most of my diet consisted of fresh or lightly steamed veggies and I have not changed that. I have reduced the amount of sugars in my diet but not completely removed it. I'm sure there are many other things I have changed but can't think of at the moment.
 
I am getting worse. I have made an appointment w/another GI specialist that I had a referral from an "friend'. I can't get into him until 7/31 because he is on vacation. I made the appointment 3 weeks ago and today his assistant called (he leaves today for vacation for 5 weeks) and said that he looked over my file and prescribed "a medication for me". I explained that I was ok waiting the 6 weeks to see him before giving into western meds and she told me not to waste her or the doctors time if I wasn't willing to take the meds! I am a wreck.  I used to work out 15+ hours  a week, play with my kids, be the center of my social life, go for hikes, walks, jogs, be able to stay awake ALL day long!  I have been off the gym for 5 weeks now, literally spent 4 days in bed because I refused to go the hospital (the rest really did help though). 
 
Just want to know if there is anyone else out there with my mindset. Am I done? Do I give in and take the meds...what side effects do I have to "look forward to"? I'm angry, depressed, tired, frustrated and feel alone. This forum has let me know at least that I am not alone.
 
Sorry for the long winded "story", just wanted to try and get it all out.
Stacy


ickypoo
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 224
   Posted 6/13/2009 5:56 AM (GMT -6)   
You may need to compromise if your condition warrants - at least in the short term. This disease can be very debilitating if allowed to get out of control.

For a long term strategy, I would recommend the book "Listen To Your Gut" by Jini Patel-Thompson. She is a Crohns sufferer who developed a natural method for treating IBD. This book will provide you with a wealth of information, including an established method for treating the disease naturally.
Diagnosed with UC in 1990.
Current Meds: Sulfasalizine (2 g), Rowasa (now and then), Folic Acid (1 mg)
Supplements: fish oil, flax oil, glucosamine, CoQ10, fiber, aloe vera juice, probiotics.
Other: Raw Milk for breakfast. Currently exploring a raw milk fast one day/week.


kim123
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1201
   Posted 6/13/2009 9:12 AM (GMT -6)   
Stacy- I empathize with you. I can understand how frustrated you are. My doctor reacted the same way to me...all in my head...was stress-related as I had also recently just given birth when my symptoms first appeared...then,...if you are not going to take these drugs, you are wasting my time..., etc. Good for you for trying to fight this thing naturally, but as ickypoo alluded to, you may need the meds initially to get you over the hump, before you can figure out if natural methods will indeed help you. For me, I could not have survived without Rowasa. It helped me get my life back. Incidently, the other drugs I was on really did nothing for me, or made me feel worse. So, I started looking for a way to get off the drugs, an exit strategy, since doctors don't talk about that. I did change my diet, dramatically. I experimented with an antifungal diet, and got well again; basically eliminating all grains, all processed sugars/foods, most dairy and eating choices from most vegetables(no corn, mushrooms, potatoes), any berries, green apples, plain yogurt, all meat, fish, poultry.

Don't give up on experimenting with diet. You may need to eliminate ALL grains and sugar, (including artificial sweeteners), and all processed foods to give it a fair chance. I don't believe one can randomly eliminate some things in their diet and then say it does, or doesn't work for them. There is a science to the antifungal diet and the SCD. Sounds like the book, "Listen To Your Gut" may also follow along those lines, although I have never read it. (Note to self-I need to get that book. I keep seeing that title pop up here lately). If, for instance, your UC symptoms are fungal related (and you won't know for sure unless you experiment with the diet), then you won't get better until you eliminate ALL foods that feed fungus, such as grains, sugar, and supplement with natural antifungals, probiotics.

If you need the drugs to feel better, take them, but then start working on your "exit strategy". Good luck. Hope you feel better soon.

Dr-A
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2105
   Posted 6/13/2009 12:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Sometimes drugs are necessary. I try and help people get off meds, but I also understand that they are needed with certain conditions. When the body turns on itself its hard to fight it naturally. Just realize we are trying to keep our symptoms minimized until hopefully someone will find a cure.
Proctitis DX 1999, Pancolitis DX 2008
Golimumab study (100mg every 4 weeks)
L-Glutamine 5000 mg + 600 mg pyridoxal alpha-ketoglutarate
Probiotis/VitD3 5000IU+Ca/1000mg DHA


jeanneac
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 1907
   Posted 6/13/2009 2:09 PM (GMT -6)   
I tried natural methods for months at first but they didn't work nearly enough. Yea, doctors really don't want to mess around with us if we do not take their advice and meds. It is risky (law suit stuff.) Perhaps this is just my opinion. Again, my opinion, but it is rare that diet alone works, or we'd all be on it, ya know? Most doctors try the milder meds first like the 5ASA's anyway unless you are real sick.
I take colasal and my doc said it doesn't circulate much outside of the gut. I also take benefiber, probiotics (VSL #3) and fish oil. I feel the combination was good for me. You may find that a combination of natural and western meds will work for you. Don't mess around and let yourself get too sick. It took a few months for me to get the combination just right especially with the fiber. I still can't eat a lot of fiber, roughage or spicy foods but that's ok. I do miss eating tons of veggies like I used to though. And, I think I had a fairly mild case compared to others out there, especially in terms of bleeding. I was so glad to be on the colazal and get relief. Good luck to you! I hope you get some relief very soon.
diagnosed 1/09 with colitis & diverticulitis
 54 yo, colazal, fish oil, synthroid, cymbalta
good results w/ acupuncture


saposs
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 339
   Posted 6/13/2009 6:30 PM (GMT -6)   
I also tried natural stuff first...changed my diet etc etc.... but finally i decided to see GI. I would suggest get your flare under control first. Even i feel changing diet has not helped me much but i still stick to the healthy diet.
Right now -FLARING (after my Rubella vaccination)
Diagnosed in Jan'2009: Canasa suppositories 1000 nightly - worked for 2 months then re-flare
13 may: canasa 1000 X2 daily for 2 weeks - to start Lialda after 2 weeks if canasa double dose does not work
Lialda X2 started on 30th may.
Symptoms: Mucus, blood, constipated (not always), Lots Gas
Also gifted with Hypothyroid & have calicum deficiency family history!
Also started Probiotic from 23 Mar & fresh Turmeric root from 25 March'09- stopped both on 10th May


suebear
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 5698
   Posted 6/13/2009 7:49 PM (GMT -6)   

I used to think like you; that western meds were a waste of money and that surely this disease could be conquered by diet and eastern or alternative medicine.  I tried a lot of that over a 2 year period and found that, in my case, the alternative approach was a waste of money and didn't do anything to alter my sypmptoms.  I ended up having surgery which was the best decision for me.  Now 8 years later and looking back, I don't regret the choices I made in treating my UC but I have come to believe, which research supports, that keeping the inflammation at bay is key in keeping the disease in remission.  And according to research the best way to keep in remission is by taking maintenance meds.  I had 10 years of remission prior to surgery that was due to sulfasalazine.  It stopped working which led to my decision to seek alternative treatments.  It is true that much is known about UC; the disease is unpredictable and even with doing everything right, as I did for my first 10 years, doesn't gaurantee a long term positive outcome.  Do what you feel you have to do but don't be naive.  Understand the risks and potential outcomes from both eastern and western approaches.

Sue

 


dx proctitis in 1987
dx UC in 1991, was stable until 1998

1998 started prednisone, asacol, pentasa, nortriptylene, ativan, 6MP, rowasa enemas and suppositories, hydrocortisone enemas, tried the SCD diet, being a vegetarian, omega 3s, flax, pranic healing, yoga, acupuncture, probiotics

2000 lost all my B-12 stores and became anemic

2001 opted for j-pouch surgery- now living life med-free


Zippy123
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 735
   Posted 6/13/2009 9:50 PM (GMT -6)   
I keep having problems with the drugs so I been pretty much just using strict diet, vitamins, and anti inflammation herbals to try and control things for a little while now. I do have Sulfasalazine sitting on the cubbard in case, it was giving me some bad side effects, but If I need to need to use it, I will give it another try.

I think diet though is quite important in helping controlling it even if you are on drugs. Avoiding wheat, sugars, alcohol, so forth. Lots vitamin A,C,E, some D, good probiotic.

It is different for everyone, I just wish they would find a real cure for this disease. It is terrible people have to suffer with this.

princesa
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 2204
   Posted 6/14/2009 4:36 PM (GMT -6)   
I've been through the same struggle. I've yet to find a gastro doc who takes a complementary medicine approach - using both traditional and alternative methods. It's easier to find a doctor like this if you live on the east or west coast of the US or near a major metropolitan area. Otherwise, you're on your own with non-traditional methods.

IMHO, medications can be helpful/necessary if you're in crisis mode. They can help stabilize you so the natural therapies have a chance to work. The thing about natural approaches is they usually require trial and error to see what combination works best for your situation AND they are not normally fast healing methods. If you get impatient and give up too soon, you may miss the benefits you could have seen over the long term. For what it's worth, it took me over a couple of years of research and experimentation to find the combination that works for me. I've been mostly in remission for years now, although I do take a maintenance dose of an ASA for extra reassurance and because the risk of long-term side effects is low.


Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis spring 1999. Have been in remission for years with only a few minor blips.
 
Maintenance dose sulfasalazine. Probiotics, vitamin D, fiber supplement and fish oil caps. George's aloe vera juice and l-glutamine for gut healing. Mostly grain-free and dairy-free low carb diet.
 
 


julee70
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 486
   Posted 6/14/2009 7:29 PM (GMT -6)   
I think what princesa said is really key -- there are very few doctors, it seems, who encourage or accept an approach that mixes both medication and alternative therapies.

I've written about this before here, but hypnotherapy and acupuncture have both helped me a lot in the past. My doctor was perfectly accepting of it but it was I who had to find these treatments on my own. My doctor did once tell me about some kind of vegetable powder supplement of some kind that put one of her patients into remission. She had a jar of it in her office, so she was obviously showing it to patients.

about diet -- my new doctor is a pretty famous researcher and he told me that diet made no difference. His argument is that when people didn't eat (just got IVs) during studies, they still have colitis symptoms.
I know, I know, we all pretty much disagree with that, but it's an interesting thing to consider.

Many times I get the desire to say "to heck with drugs, I will take control of this myself." Unfortunately, I don't think that approach usually works all by itself without any medication at all. :(
-------
UC for the last ten years
Current Meds: 6MP since 2006, Lialda, Asacol foam, Lomotil
Past Meds: You name it; I've tried it. (Asacol, Colazol, Pentasa, DiPentum, Rowasa, Canasa, Cortenema, sulfasalazine, Cortifoam)
Alternative treatments I have had success with: Acupuncture, Hypnotherapy


kim123
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1201
   Posted 6/15/2009 7:13 AM (GMT -6)   

Princesa and julee70 make good points. I'm wondering about the IV study. I'm not convinced when I hear that diet doesn't play a role in UC symptoms just because there was no difference in symptoms of those taking an IV instead of real food. Firstly, an antifungal diet/supplements was the only thing that did help me get well, and secondly, one would have to know what the IV ingredients comprised of before agreeing to that argument. (Can you tell how stubborn I am!)

Changing diet should not be random and without specific science-based guidelines. UC symptoms have been known to have a fungal etiology, often in those who have at one time taken antibiotics, or been exposed to mycotoxins in food or the environment. If the IV used in the study had a high amount of sugar/carbs, there will be no improvement, as the only way to control fungus is to first starve it following a low carb diet, (in particular, free of grains and sugar), before allowing those foods back into your diet, in moderation. As well, diet change should be supported with supplements. For me, it was natural antifungals, and now probiotics and beta glucan.

 

julee70-who is your new doctor?


princesa
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 2204
   Posted 6/15/2009 10:19 AM (GMT -6)   
julee70 said...
about diet -- my new doctor is a pretty famous researcher and he told me that diet made no difference. His argument is that when people didn't eat (just got IVs) during studies, they still have colitis symptoms.
I know, I know, we all pretty much disagree with that, but it's an interesting thing to consider.
And yet there are other studies that show patients go into remission when put on predigested, liquid diets which allow the bowel to rest. My guess would be patients that still have symptoms when put on IV nutrition have some sort of bacterial, viral or fungal infection - or a combination - that's unaffected by dietary changes. The immune system is still attacking this foreign invader. As I've said before, my experience is diet is only one part of the puzzle.
Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis spring 1999. Have been in remission for years with only a few minor blips.
 
Maintenance dose sulfasalazine. Probiotics, vitamin D, fiber supplement and fish oil caps. George's aloe vera juice and l-glutamine for gut healing. Mostly grain-free and dairy-free low carb diet.
 
 


Stacy851
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 6/15/2009 4:15 PM (GMT -6)   
Wow! I didn't realize I had recieved all of these responses..I thought an email was sent when a new post was made, silly me!

Thank you all so much for your responses. It's a lot to process.

Julee70-how does the hypnotherapy help?

It's been suggested by both my naturopath and my accupuncturist that I take a week away from stress (life...cause that's so easy to do) and go to a meditation camp and learn how to meditate. Have any of you had experience with that?

I'm open to meds, but I just want to understand the difference between them all. I am 36 and I would think that a med prescribed to a 36 year old may not be the same med prescribed to a 66 year old. Long term affects may not come into play as much...I don't know. I've learned of about 10+ new meds to research and try and understand the difference now. I just want to live my life again and if meds along with natural resources & diet will get me there, than I am open to it...just not sure which meds. Not to mention some of the side effects seem almost as bad as the Colitis...am I wrong?

Thank you again for all of the input. The only way I'm going to get a hold of this I feel is through knowledge and you all seem to have a head start on me, so I'm going to sift through all of your old posts...ugh.
Stacy


julee70
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 486
   Posted 6/15/2009 7:28 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Stacy,
You can read about hypnotherapy and irritable bowel syndrome at this website:
http://ibshypnosis.com/
They haven't done studies yet with people w/UC, (I don't think) but I spoke with the researcher behind this particular website about 4 years ago and he thought that it was definitely worth a try for UC. He was (not sure if he still is) a doctor at Univ North Carolina - Chapel Hill medical center. I know the website looks lame, but he really is a doctor w/serious credentials.

The hypnotherapy definitely helped me relax my body in a new way. I use the technique all the time, nearly every night to fall asleep! The course is 6 or 8 sessions (I can't remember) and I took it with about 6 other women. It was with one of the psychologists listed on the website who had learned the process directly from the researchers at Univ North Carolina.

It's not really hypnosis the way most people imagine it would be like. It's more like guided imagery for deep relaxation. I really recommend it.
-------
UC for the last ten years
Current Meds: 6MP since 2006, Lialda, Asacol foam, Lomotil
Past Meds: You name it; I've tried it. (Asacol, Colazol, Pentasa, DiPentum, Rowasa, Canasa, Cortenema, sulfasalazine, Cortifoam)
Alternative treatments I have had success with: Acupuncture, Hypnotherapy


princesa
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 2204
   Posted 6/16/2009 7:57 AM (GMT -6)   
Meditation will help control stress and anxiety - for many, a key factor in flares - without having to take yet another medication.


Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis spring 1999. Have been in remission for years with only a few minor blips.
 
Maintenance dose sulfasalazine. Probiotics, vitamin D, fiber supplement and fish oil caps. George's aloe vera juice and l-glutamine for gut healing. Mostly grain-free and dairy-free low carb diet.
 
 

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