There is a very dramatic pattern that has been emerging among Crohn's sufferers today. Based on my reading and research, I see, an increased trend in people taking on more of an active role in managing and controlling their own Crohn's Disease condition. It is becoming popular for example, for people with Crohn's to choose more holistic or homeopathic approaches to their treatment, using healthy alternative choices of natural supplements, vitamin and food offerings, that sometimes are very successful in effectively treating Crohn's, sometimes to the point of even eliminating the need for prescription drugs altogether.. I'm hearing that the goal of many people seeking holistic medicine is to obtain the end result of getting their life back on track from Crohn's as smoothly as possible, and without the risk of the potentially dangerous side effects chemically derived prescription drugs can give them. Some Crohn's sufferers have complained that the side effects from prescription drugs were far worse than dealing with the Crohn's disease itself. One lady wrote "my GI doctor urged me to consider Mercaptopurine or Humira. In researching these drugs, I learned that they were quite toxic and could have extreme side effects, including bone marrow toxicity and lymphoma. For me, the risk did not seem worth it - why treat a debilitating disease with a drug that could potentially leave me with another more life-threatening one?"
Why and how are people becoming more aware and informed about holistic approaches and their worth in controlling Crohn's Disease? For years many now, Crohn's patients have been frustrated with the limiting and harsh treatment options available to them from the medical/drug establishment. One gentleman wrote "I too have come up against a lot of skepticism (and even strong opposition) when bringing up holistic/natural treatment approaches at local support groups". "But I'm sticking with a holistic approach - not only because I've had the most success with it in terms of seeing improvement in my condition, but also because it makes me feel like I am in control of my disease, not the drug companies". There was at one time really only two choices available to Crohn's Disease patients, either to elect to have major surgery (if granted by the attending physician), or opting to take a chance on potentially toxic prescription drugs with accompanying side effects like cancer, liver disease, skin, joint, and bone damage or suppression of the immune system. Folks with Crohn's hoped and prayed that there would be some kind of medical break through in technology (some new miracle drug), that would solve all their Crohn's problems, but sadly, it never came to be. Sometimes Crohn's patients were even ridiculed and looked down upon by some traditional medical professionals for even asking for healthier alternatives, or holistic ways of treating their Crohn's.
Thankfully over the past decade or so, a different kind of break through occurred that impacted the world of medicine, the drastic advances in computer technology, resulting not only in the increase of power and sophistication of personal computers but their accompanying ease of use ushered in by of the internet. Since then, Internet site alternatives (like Web MD and many others), have popped up and prospered, offering millions of Crohn's disease sufferers now the vital information they so badly needed in order to seek out and bettor understand their condition and available treatment options. With the rise of internet technology, came also the availability of internet blogs, chat rooms, forums, and online medical journals, making laymen even bettor informed than in earlier years. From such venues, I have discovered holistic natural treatments I never knew existed, like papaya, Aloe Juice, Slippery Elm, Cats Claw, the SCD Diet, L Glutamine, and powerful anti-oxidants/anti-inflammatory agents like OPC-3, and pycnogenol now available online for Crohn's people to try. Not only is it now more convenient to research this stuff, but you can also arrange to buy it online and have it shipped within a few days, in some cases free, to your very doorstep.
I must mention though, even with all the abundant information on holistic alternatives on the internet these days and all the possible choices it opens up to Crohn's sufferers, it still is imperative to seek out the advice of a skilled yet open minded licensed and board certified gastroenterologist, adequately schooled in the digestive system before proceeding in trying anything new. Though the chance of natural supplements reacting with currently prescribed medicines already being taken or causing an allergic reaction with you is not great, it still is it is only prudent to check it out first with a licensed and board certified professional.
I've suffered myself from a brutal form of Crohn's Disease (specifically Ileitis) for a period of 39 years. At the time I contracted Crohn's, little was know of the disease at all, regarding its diagnose and treatment possibilities. After suffering through the Jr. high School and Sr. high school years, and early college, unaware of what the ailment I had was, finally after all the physical and emotional anguish, my condition eventually came to a head in the spring of 1971. It was then that I had a blockage leading to a completion perforation of my intestine, the part connecting to my small bowel (Iliem). The life saving emergency surgery I had, was particularly serious, resulting in the loss of several feet of my intestines and a re-sectioning of my small bowel. However, with the Lord's help and very capable surgeon, I did pull through, and without the need for a colostomy bag. Since then, I have always felt close to other people experiencing Crohn's or other related autoimmune disease/digestive disorders like IBD, or Colitis, wherever they may be. For those out there feeling lost and alone (like I was), suffering from one of these diseases, hopefully this information will give you the tools you need to get the support and help you need in both the medical and patient help support community.