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Saturday, October 26, 2013

ULCERATIVE COLITIS : ALTERNATIVE TREATMENT







ALTERNATIVE IBD TREATMENTS

After my diagnosis and year-long treatment, I chose to consider alternative approaches to see if I could remedy my symptoms from another direction. Education drove me. My willpower took me the rest of the way there. OK, I know it took me 20 years. I'm a slow learner. I've been where I am today since 2001 and I feel great, no inflammation, and no symptoms of inflammation whatsoever. And you wouldn't believe the variety of food I can eat. I had no idea there were so many vegetables, fruits, plants, beans, nuts and seeds, other than potatoes, white rice and some peas. Sometimes, in desperation, we do what's right for us because we're afraid not to. Being afraid of my symptoms was a motivator, too.

My world opened up when I was diagnosed with ULCERATIVE COLITIS.

NUTRITIONIST

To learn how to eat to live, I needed to start with a nutritionist. At the time of my suffering, I was all ears to what I could and couldn't eat and how I should prepare my meals. I didn't always like the answers, but I got the point: I had to eat smaller portions, more often, and in the right combinations of nutrients.

The other good news, my food choices cost me nothing more than buying and cooking real food. Going marketing was actually fun and quick. Because all the healthy food is on the perimeter, the outside edges, of the typical market layout, that's where I get most of my food stuffs. If I need a can of soup, tuna, or beans or a jug of water, I know the aisle they're on. I stay away from most of the aisles because that's where all the processed foods are.

Food Shopping Tips: Don't market when you're hungry. Hungry shoppers are often impulse buyers of processed foods. Have a snack before you go so you're not tempted. Many fruits and vegetables can be bought frozen with confidence. They're often flash frozen shortly after being harvested and all the good nutrition is preserved. Great thing about frozen, you don't always have to be in the mood for a particular veggie. They last a good long time in the freezer, too, so fear not. Have your veggies when YOU want them because in the freezer they won't spoil. However, be aware that anything in the freezer will, over time, experience some freezer burn. Try to eat the entire bag of frozen fruit or veggies as soon as you can so they stay flavorful when you cook them. Frozen veggies are also good in smoothies and smoothie soups that you can make yourself.

In my journey, I wanted to know what was right for me and just DO IT. Whatever it took, short of going back on medication. I had to turn my sacrifices into assets that I'd never let go of. Like I said, it took me 20 years without medication after my first year of treatment. ULCERATIVE COLITIS turned my head around. Several times. Good thing, I like green pea soup.

Methinks, regardless of a patient's medical treatment, eating healthy, clean, whole foods and exercising regularly will probably not be in conflict with your treatment. However, always talk to your doctor first, of course, before eating healthy and exercising. There might be conflicts for some patients and only your doctor would know this for sure.


FASTING

Fasting has been used for thousands of years to give the body a rest and help it detoxify and heal. Hippocrates, the father of Western medicine, extolled the virtues of fasting in his writings. Many world religions have used fasting as a way to focus on both physical and spiritual healing. Fasting is also becoming an accepted method of detoxification for nutritionists and health practitioners.

HOW DOES FASTING WORK?

Digestion is hard work and the body takes a lot of energy to do that job. Fasting gives the body time to slow down, to rest, and to use the body's energy for calming the system. During the first day of a fast, the body burns stored sugar, known as glycogen. After this, the body burns fat for fuel. During the second to third day, the body goes into what is called ketosis. During ketosis, the liver converts stored fat into chemicals called ketones, which can be used by the brain, the heart, and muscles for energy. As fat is burned for fuel, stored toxins (pesticides, preservatives, additives) are released into the bloodstream, to be metabolized by the liver and the kidneys.

How often and for how long one fasts depends on a person's health. Many practitioners recommend fasting 2-3 days at the turn of each season. Others may fast one day a week. For the experienced, the basic fast is a water fast, and practitioners will drink only water for up to 5 days. Juice fasts are not as intense as a water fast because the nutrition prevents ketosis from occurring. Carrot, lemon, apple, beet, celery, wheatgrass, spriulina, barley, grass, and other super green foods. Fasters should consume eight 8 oz glasses a day (64 ounces).

MEDITATION, MINDFULNESS, and SELF-HYPNOSIS

Prior to my diagnosis, I was fortunate enough to be introduced to self-hypnosis and meditation. I found them to be powerful tools in the management of my dis-ease. Currents in those two disciplines inspires the concept behind Mindfulness. These disciplines appealed to me because of their inherent visual nature. I learned to direct my energies inward and visualize healing. Positive thinking, an optimistic outlook, a hopeful disposition, all help send positive, healing energy to affected areas. I used what I learned from these disciplines during every treatment. I used my mind and my body to visualize healing and to tap into my own healing reserves. This Mindfulness, if you will, kept me in the present, kept me focused on the healing process, and with it I helped support my emotional, spiritual, and physical well-being. It gave me time for myself, something a lot of us neglect. Because the treatments are close to an hour in duration, it gave me plenty of time to direct my positive healing mental energy to my entire existence there in the acupuncturist's office.

YOGA

Yoga is another option for both exercise and centering ones focus and energy. Taking a yoga class gives me the time I need for myself and my own healing. I really love Hot Yoga, where the room is heated to about 100 degrees. Of course, only if you like to sweat...a lot! I just feel so cleansed and invigorated after my sessions. For you, always consult with your doctor to see if you're healthy enough to indulge.

ACUPUNCTURE - HOW IT WORKS

I know what you might be thinking: NEEDLES! And I really haven't a clue how it works. I just know, for me, acupuncture was a gift. Wheat led me to consider acupuncture was that it has a 3,000 year track record for its healing abilities. I entered into treatment based on that recorded duration of practice.

I was told that the needles were so thin, you barely felt a twinge. They were right. These needles are so thin, they can enter a single pore in your skin. Although a little nervous and tense at first, I quickly learned to relax into the procedure. It's an interesting bodily experience, for sure. There is no pain whatsoever. getting used to what I was supposed to be feeling during the treatment, was a journey unto itself. Very quickly, I was able to give my acupuncturist valuable feedback during each and every needle.

Each treatment lasts about 45-60 minutes. Depending on your ailment, an acupuncturist will determine where needles should be inserted. Once a needle is inserted, the acupuncturist will gently twist and turn the needles, kind of like tuning into a station on the radio. When a needle taps into your individual "chi", or energy, you have a unique sensation in that area of insertion. When all the needles are in place, be open for feeling the flow of energy within your body. The concept is this: The needles connect the energy to the body's natural healing capabilities. Devotees to the treatment will go maybe once a month or every six weeks. Just to stay balanced. When I was sick with UC, I had to go a few times a week for the first month or so, to jumpstart my body's own defenses. I think of the needles as radio relay towers in miniature. The needles tap into, connect and synergize a body's own power until the body's energy is balanced and working like a fine-tuned Ferrari.

That was my experience. I don't see an acupuncturist currently as my health is strong. It's not a life sentence is my point. I go when I need to.


FECAL TRANSPLANT

Hope may have arrived as an ALTERNATIVE TREATMENT for battling a C. diff invasion.

Are you ready?

A Fecal Transplant. That's correct. A FECAL TRANSPLANT.


WHAT IS A FECAL TRANSPLANT ?


I'm glad you assked (pun intended, of course). And when I tell you, you're going to say "Eeewyuck!". Be thankful you don't have to drink it. And if someone ever feels the way I say I was feeling, they'll say, "Eeeew-where do I find out about this?"

A FECAL TRANSPLANT goes like this:

In a doctor's setting, a patient is diagnosed with a C. diff infection, an infection of really bad bacteria. The patient's doctor places a medical order to obtain stool from a healthy donor. Upon receiving the healthy donor stool, the patient returns to the doctor's setting for the procedure. At the time the FECAL TRANSPLANT procedure is to be performed, the doctor mixes the healthy donor stool with saline (salt water). Then, through a tube inserted into the patient's rectum, the patient is administered the dose of healthy stool, bathing the affected areas in good bacteria. The healthy bacteria from the donor stool provides an army of the good guys to once again crowd out the bad bacteria, changing a sick microbiome into a healthy one. The good bacteria, the good flora, now back in gut control, prevents C. difficile from recurring.

A FECAL TRANSPLANT is like an ocean of PROBIOTICS being added to an environment that is woefully lacking. If patients also exchange their processed food choices with more plants, fruits and veggies, patients should continue to see improved management. Adding a quality PROBIOTIC to a patient's daily regimen might be something a patient might consider. After consulting with their doctor, of course.

Interesting stuff if you ask me. It just makes so much sense.

There's a Dr. Colleen Kelly, a gastroenterologist at Brown University, who is doing FECAL TRANSPLANT research.

Naturally, these professionals cost money. However, not surprisingly, they cost less than a visit to an internist or specialist doctor. Check with your insurance company to see if they cover any alternative treatments, including acupuncture and counseling or talk therapy. Counter-balancing the negative with the positive is a strategy worth considering.

Always do your own homework.


HELMINTHIC THERAPY - Information taken from Wikipedia

Also, check out this article online (copy and paste into your browser: http://news.health.com/2010/12/01/worm-therapy-shows-promise-for-ulcerative-colitis/

Current research and pharmaceutical therapy are targeted at the treatment of CROHN'S DISEASE, ULCERATIVE COLITIS, INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASE, multiple sclerosis, asthma, eczema, dermatitis, hayfever and food allergies.

While it is recognized that there is probably a genetic disposition in certain individuals for the development of autoimmune diseases, the rate of increase in autoimmune disease incidence is not wholly a result of genetic changes in humans; the rise of autoimmune related diseases in the industrialized world has occurred in far too short a time to be explained this way.

There is evidence that one of the primary reasons for the increase in autoimmune diseases in industrialized nations is the significant change in environmental factors over the last century. It is posited that the absence of exposure to certain parasites, bacteria, and viruses is playing a significant role in the development of autoimmune diseases in the more sanitized Western industrialized nations. The development of vaccines, hygienic practices, and effective medical care have diminished or eliminated the prevalence and impact of many parasitic organisms, as well as bacterial and viral infections. While many severe diseases have been eradicated, humans' exposure to benign and apparently beneficial parasites has also been reduce d commensurately. Lack of exposure to sufficient benign antigens, particularly during childhood, is sometimes suggested as a cause of the increase in autoimmune diseases and diseases for which chronic inflammation is a major component in the industrialized world.

Although a complete explanation of how environmental factors play a role in autoimmune diseases has still not been proposed, epidemiological studies have helped to establish the link between parasitic infestation and its protective role in autoimmmune disease development. Environmental factors include exposure to certain artificial chemicals from industrial processes, medicines, farming, and food preparation.

WHAT EXACTLY IS HELMINTHIC THERAPY?

Helminthic therapy is a type of immunotherapy. Helminths are - ready? - parasitic worms, such as hookworms and whipworms. I know. YUCK and EWWWWWW!

Helminthic therapy consists of the inoculation of the patient with specific parasitic intestinal helminths, aka nematodes.

In short, Helminthic therapy is the treatment of autoimmune diseases and immune disorders by means of deliberate infestation via inoculation with a helminth or with the ova of a helminth.


There are currently three closely related Helminthic treatments available.

They include 1) inoculation with Necator americanus (hookworms); 2) inoculation with Trichuris suis ova (TSO), aka pig whipworm eggs; or 3)inoculation with Trichuris trichiura ova, aka human whipworm eggs.

Sounds a bit disgusting and more than just a little unnerving. But wait.

If you're in pain, it might be a natural treatment worth considering. If a doctor is showing me a scalpel in one hand, and Helminthic therapy in the other, I'm with the worms. I think I could live with the worms before I could live without 12-36" or more of my intestines. But that's just me, the little worm, talking. As I've encouraged, you've got to answer this for yourself.

ULCERATIVE COLITIS : REMISSION v. CURE







For more ideas regarding IBD management, copy and paste this link into your browser: http://www.pinterest.com/graybecker/IBD/

Also check out: http://www.pinterest.com/graybecker/FoodforGoodHealth


Ok, so I was diagnosed with an IBD, an inflammatory bowel disease called Ulcerative Colitis, and modern medicine doesn't know the etiology, the cause, or the pathology of the disease. It's a mystery disease. Modern medicine will tell you even today, they don't know how all these people are getting sick. Patients may have a genetic predisposition, or allergies or, who knows? Food? No, maybe, maybe not, we don't know (and we don't care). Eat whatever you want, don't eat certain things, we don't know, it's all a mystery. Maybe go easy on the dairy and red meat. Here's your prescription.

For all us sufferers, modern medicine has figured out how to suppress a patient's immune system responses so a patient can choose, with their doctor's consult and advice, to no longer feel the symptoms, the pain. If the treatment works, and a patient's symptoms subside, a patient can go into what's referred to as 'remission', the term modern medicine uses to describe their idea of disease management.

A patient should know, going into medical treatment, it's the best modern medicine has to offer. And remission usually lasts As long as a patient stays on the prescribed medicine of choice, of course. Modern medicine will also warn each patient to stay on the medication or the side-effects could be even more dire.

Never-ending treatment, symptoms, remission, symptoms, remission, symptoms and remission. The beautiful, colorful, kaleidoscopic goal of modern medicine. The message is, for inflammatory bowel disease, you need medicine for life. If you believe otherwise and want to discontinue treatment, you will be warned by your doctor not to discontinue treatment, that a decision to discontinue treatment at any point is a bad idea. A difficult position for a patient to find themselves in, to be sure.

I'm just a messenger here. Probably a bad one. Remember to do your own research.

THAT IBD REMAINS A MYSTERY, WORKS IN FAVOR OF THE POWERS THAT BE

HOW a patient gets IBD, HAS to be a mystery because the mystery works in favor of the powers that be, in my opinion.

IBD has a diagnosis, has behaviors and biomarkers that medical diagnosticians and gastroenterologists can identify.

The mystery, however, HAS to be part of the story. Modern medicine depends on the mystery. It absolves everyone of responsibility if things don't work out, if treatments don't work out. Remember, doctors are practicing medicine. In some cases, they're practicing on you.

Mystery diseases also make it easier for researchers to appear to work hard to figure out a cure. And it appears they are working hard, of course, and with your donations, they'll be that much closer to the cure. It would be horrible if they were looking in the wrong places. Almost criminal, given the number of fatal side effects documented each year as the result of immune suppressant treatment.

Suppressing your immune system for any duration of time can lead to Superbug infections resistant to all current antibiotics, to surgery, cancer and death. Notice how many people in the obituaries are dying of 'pneumonia?' Superbug infections resulting from immune suppressant treatment, often for years. Just an uneducated guess, of course.

But, after all this time, they have to be looking in the right places for a cure. Right? Right?? Modern medicine wants cures, don't they?

So far, though, modern medicine has only developed treatments that will stop the pain and disease from feeling symptomatic. Remission of disease is the primary goal, not cure. Thinking about it, how could they cure a disease they claim not to know the cause of? Of course they can only come up with a treatment. A cure would require knowing the etiology and pathology of the disease first or at least discovering it along the way to a cure. If the cause is 'forever unknown', then shooting bullets in the dark is all I can expect. If modern medicine doesn't know the cause, we have to trust they're doing the best they can by guessing the answer over and over. How many immune suppressant therapies are there? Let me count the ways.

Why? Why don't we know what causes it? Are we looking hard enough? Is the current culture of overprescription and drug invention stacking the deck against what used to be the 'Healing Arts?' Does a student doctor end up with such debt that they're forced into alliances that preclude long-term treatment? Is treatment all about making money? Why is it that modern medicine can only create substances that suppress the immune system? Why aren't they looking into immune system boosters? Why aren't they figuring out how to harness a body's natural healing power and improve that?

Questions, questions, questions. I've got more silly observations.

Someone else might say, 'Graham, you're so silly. Don't you understand, this is all part of the 'Upside Down World' we now live in?'

Since 1996, when big pharma was given the green light to market their products directly to consumers, some of us have become obsessed with self-diagnosis. Commercials provide images and words in such an interesting way that you're encouraged to discount the side effects and ask your doctor about such and such a drug.

It's become more important to find medication for what ails you. Modern medicine discounts nutrition (who really likes eating broccoli anyway) and leaves consumers with the impression that you need to live your life the way you want. Medicines, the 'magic pill,' will be there to catch your fall. High cholesterol, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, heartburn, gerd, IBS, IBD, no worries. We gotta pill or treatment or surgery for that.

There's a belief that medicine production is simply human beings providing what nature accidentally left out. Our modern medical miracles take away the pain. All someone has to do is take their medication. Medication is as good or better than food and you should ask your doctor about each. Because it's medication. And everyone should look forward to being on at least one medication as they grow older. Drug commercials children see today (Hey parents, how about all those ED commercials during televised sports? Those are fun to explain!) are designed for that long-term side-effect: creating the mindset for being open to becoming lifelong prescription drug takers. There is also the perpetuation of the myth that there's a 'magic pill' for everything that ails you. We are a pill-popping, magic pill seeking culture, one that seeks to perpetuate itself. There could be millions of reasons to keep us where we are, in treatment. Maybe even billions of reasons.

With 6 billion people on the planet, that's a lot of diagnosing to do. Everybody's got something, right? If we can diagnose it, we can try to treat it. And if we can treat it, the inventors get treated.

Besides, you can buy healthful food at the market. Modern medicine can't make a living handing out marketing lists. Modern medicine will gladly tell you what medication exists for your ailment, to be sure. Since modern medicine gives only lip service to nutrition, you're on your own when it comes to feeding your face. The latest and greatest drug invention and treatment for whatever, that's what gets their motor runnin'. It's better if the patient sees it that way, too. Then if/when the treatment fails, there's something wrong with you, the patient/your body, not the doctor or the treatment.

The law appears to be: Modern medicine is not responsible for failed or failing treatments. They are doing the best they can. You can't expect miracles.


Jessa Note to mah friendly readahs: I'm jes' speculatin' heyah, mahnd ya. Gots no credentials fer any o' this, y'know. Thank gudness my nonsense probly hazza scientis' that can be refutin' it all. Always consult yoah doctah befoah yah do anything stoopid. And don't be afraid to ask questions. Ahl's I know is, Butt Detective Colonblow's got questions. Lots o' questions. You might make a list yo'sef.


So, methinks, if modern medicine with all its $billion$ in research and development can only come up with immune suppressants and a variety of antibiotics to treat IBD, then suppressing and hiding the symptoms is most of what modern medicine has to offer. After all, the reasoning goes, if you don't feel it, then it's not there. And when symptoms don't appear after treatment, a patient is said to be 'in remission.' And that's the next best thing to being cured. Right?

I'm not privy to the latest figures mind you and cannot be sure of course, but I don't believe antibiotic or immune suppressant treatments have "cured" one person. Not one person. As a matter of fact, I believe if someone had been cured, it would be front page news. So, I've believe modern medicine can only claim victory in the category of 'remission'. But not 'cure.' For patients under care, remission has to be the agreed upon and hoped for goal. And remission means that once the treatment is discontinued, remission could end, too, and symptoms could return.

It's a Ferris wheel merry-go-round for sure. Where it stops, I certainly don't know. I can see it spinning, though.

And, if I say I've managed my IBD diagnosis of Ulcerative Colitis without medication, does that mean I've 'cured' one more person than all of modern medicine? Until I'm convinced otherwise, I could certainly be seen as a possible test case for naturopathic management of an IBD diagnosis. It's certainly a bold claim from a nobody on the internet. It might be best to ignore me. You can bet modern medicine is.

Certainly, however, I'm not 'in remission' in a clinical sense. I haven't seen a proctologist for treatment of my diagnosis since early 1982. (I would never advise that to anyone, of course.) I haven't been taking any medication since 1982 and the symptoms of my diagnosis have been totally gone without a single flare-up since 2001.

In summary, modern medicine talks about an IBD patient under successful treatment as being 'in remission'. From modern medicine's point of view, remission of symptoms has to be good enough for both doctor and patient. It's not a cure, but it offers the next best thing: Not feeling your symptoms. Which are there, hiding, most likely only until your medical treatment's effectiveness comes to the end of its efficacy.

I have to believe that doctors really wish to do no harm to their patients, that managing IBD and pain are two of the most difficult challenges modern medicine has. But medical treatment options abound and there's a lot of money to be made by big pharma and the doctors beholden to them and their treatment incentives. Stock holders are betting on it.

Since there's simply no medical livelihood in giving a patient a marketing list as a prescription, it would be silly to look there. I mean, if you're a doctor, that's probably the FIRST place to look. They MUST have already looked there, right? Silly for me, then, to do that for myself. What could I possibly find there that would be relevant to MY situation?