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Crohn's Disease Forum » Your Story » Success Stories » I feel better than ever! Healing, naturally, and holistically. Off medication, refused surgery.


09-06-2016, 02:31 PM   #1
joelsprechman
 
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I feel better than ever! Healing, naturally, and holistically. Off medication, refused surgery.

I'm so glad to be part of this community. Here's my story, which I published online back in May. I hope this is of service to other's who are on the healing journey.

Hello. My name is Joel Sprechman. In 2001, while working as a Sr. Multi-Disciplined Engineer with a Top Secret clearance, I was diagnosed with Inflammatory Bowel Disease, specifically Ulcerative Colitis and pancolitis, very severe UC spread throughout my entire large intestine. During 10 years of experimenting with many medicines, my disease only worsened, the side-effects, debilitating. I got tired and angry when doctors would tell me Iím fine, yet I knew, on the inside, I was not. I got tired of following board certified medical recommendations that led to worsening of the same symptoms, new symptoms, new diagnosisís, more pain, more time in the bathroom. Time away from my friends, hobbies, and family. I refused the chemotherapy type drug prescriptions and used nutrition, and natural therapies to heal myself.

Iím a former caffeine and sugar junkie who was raised on pizza, pasta and antibiotics. I had Lucky Charms for breakfast, triple-decker grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch, Twizzlers and Kit Kats for snacks, and TV dinners for dinner. I also had little energy, anxiety, brain fog, cramps, inflammation, and a broken digestive tract.

I'm dedicated to sharing info about natural, alternative, non-toxic, safe and effective holistic therapies available to heal chronic disease such as IBD, IBS, autoimmune disease, even Cancer. Some doctors believe that all diseases begin in the gut Ė this knowledge is important, potentially life-changing.

Iíve researched medical literature and experimented heavily with supplements, diets, treatments, lifestyle factors and medical devices. Iím committed to sharing this information with you.

Thereís a lot of health information online. In my opinion too much. Including misinformation and claims of miracle cures.

Iím sick of mainstream doctors telling you that youíre perfectly healthy when you obviously arenít Ė or even worse recommending treatments that cause more harm than good.

Iíve been there.

Iím also sick of misrepresentation and disingenuous doctors, healers, and quacks.

Spiritually, Iíve experienced what I can only call magic. I believe there is no one treatment for everyone. No one diet, pill, elixir, magical supplement, mindset or surgery that will cure you. Each of us are uniquely different, there is no one size fits all.

Regarding western medicine, where medical doctors and other healthcare professionals such as nurses, pharmacists and therapists treat symptoms and diseases using drugs, radiation or surgery, Iím a fan. Thereís a time and place for drugs and surgery. Both have saved countless lives. Inflammatory Bowel Disease used to have a 60 or 70% mortality rate. 60 or 70 per 100 people diagnosed with Crohnís Disease or Ulcerative Colitis would die. Today that is down to 3%. We have prednisone is to thank for that. A hardcore Immunosuppressant steroid has saved many lives. Western medicine is also known as allopathic medicine, biomedicine, mainstream medicine or orthodox medicine. Natural, or conventional treatment, the choice is up to you.

My Health Timeline:

1973
Born in Suffern NY to Holocaust survivors Herta and Marcus Sprechman
Dads family was hidden like Anne Frank
Moms family were forced to walk in a death march. Some survived

1976
My brother Steven was born

Throughout my childhood I often experienced debilitating headaches. A mix between tension and migraine

Infrequently Iíd feel intense stomach aches at night

1983

My normal bowel movement elimination frequency was every three to seven days

1984
First Near Death Experience(NDE). My brother and I are rescued by a lifeguard in the Mediterranean Sea, saving us from drowning

Graduated Eldorado Elementary School

1985
My best friendís Father asked him to spend less time with me as my chronic stuttering was causing him to begin to stutter

1986

Celebrated the Jewish ritual of becoming a man. At my Bar Mitzvah I recited the Haftarah

1991
Graduated Spring Valley Senior High School

1995

Dad threatened to disown me if I didnít end a relationship with my first love. She was Filipino, Irish and German, not Jewish

1996
Graduated from SUNY Buffalo with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, with a Computer Science minor. Deans List(one semester).


After deciding between job offers in NY, CA and VA I chose to work for E-Systems, later acquired by Raytheon in Falls Church VA.

Moved to Fairfax Virginia

Dad unexpectedly passed away

1999
From the bleachers of the old Yankee Stadium I watched the New York Yankees win the World series.
In total, Iíve seen games in 30 baseball stadiums, in four countries and one territory.

2000
Flexible Sigmoidoscopy by my first gastroenterologist in Arlington VA appears to find Ulcerative Colitis, inflammation to 30cm

Moved to Arlington Virginia

Promoted to Lead Hardware engineer for a Multi-Million dollar DOD and DOJ program Promoted to Sr. Multi-Disciplined Engineer

2001
Recruited to work at Themis Computer as a Sales Engineer/Field Application Engineer

Per CDC recommendations for upcoming travel I received the Hepatitis A , Typhim VI and yellow fever vaccines

Traveled to South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe, met my first Medicine Man, of the Lozi Tribe

2002
My first Colonoscopy was performed by my gastroenterologist in Fairfax VA

2004
ďDiet does not cure or treat inflammatory bowel diseaseĒ Ė What Iíve heard at this point in my life from three Medical Doctors

2005
Yearly respiratory issues do not respond to multiple courses of antibiotics. Symptoms naturally subside

Biked 156 miles in one weekend
NYC Century ride in New York and the Civil War Century ride in Pennsylvania

2006
Headache frequency increases and fatigue begins
Bowel movement regularity ranges from zero to eleven daily

My second colonoscopy revealed active Ulcerative Colitis to 35cm

2007
Volunteered for CCFA Take Steps Washington DC

My third colonoscopy found severe active inflammation

Whitewater rafted one of the Worldís Most Notorious Whitewater Rapids Ė The Upper and Lower Gauley River in West Virginia

Our 6◊6 Volleyball Team took 1st place in our division

Moved to San Diego. I drove cross-country, for two weeks, from Washington DC to San Diego. Sleeping in my tent, and crashing with friends along the way while exploring many National Parks

2009
Moved to Mission Beach, San Diego. Ocean Front Walk is my new Address
The boardwalk, beach and ocean were my front yard

Admitted to Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla experiencing mind numbing, body paralyzing pain the day after I returned from Guatemala . CT scan revealed ileitis and sigmoid colitis. Percocet and Vicodin do not numb the pain, I was sent home. My third Gastroenterologist prescribed Prednisone 50mg daily

My fourth Colonoscopy finds no evidence of active colitis and no findings to explain recent diarrhea and abdominal pain.
Stool testing reveals no ova, parasite, giardia or clostridium difficile(c.diff)

Prednisone side effects crush my trust in the medical establishment
Against Doctor recommendations, I look to Google for answers


2010
Three months of recurring respiratory and frequent urination at night(nocturia) prove resistant to multiple courses of antibiotics

Hiked the Grand Canyon. South Rim to Colorado river to South Rim

Volunteered at CCFAís Camp Oasis for children with IBD

Vaccines and Immunizations required for camp: Chicken Pox, MMR Vaccination, Tetanus Booster, TB Test, Hepatitis B, and Flu Shot

Consulted with a Traditional Chinese Medicine doctor in Encinitas CA. Following his advice, went vegan. More precisely I followed an ovo lacto pescatarian diet

Consulted with a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine at UCSD aka UC San Diego Health

Consulted with a Medical Doctor at UCSD aka UC San Diego Health

2011
Consulted with Integrative GI Dr. Pratha
She prescribed phytonutrients from greens, removing gluten, no more antibiotics, and Yoga

Graduated as a Yoga and Meditation Teacher from Pilgrimage of the Heart under Nikole Fortier

Total testosterone: 114
For reference: average Male in their 20ís: ~700 ; average Male in their 60ís: ~600: Mine in my late 30s: 114. Basically a baby kitten, after being neutered

Total testosterone: 595
Free testosterone: 14.2

Consulted with a Nutritionist and Health Coach

Total Testosterone: 283
Free Testosterone: 6.5

Consulted with Eric Sjoberg, Somatic Craniosacral Therapist. I can only describe what I felt afterwards as my first out of body experience.

2012

My fifth Colonoscopy showed normal colon with mild inflammation in splenic flexure

Total Testosterone: 475
Free Testosterone: 9.6

Taught Yoga at CCFA Take Steps San Diego. Olympian Carrie Johnson was in my class

Consulted with a second Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine at UCSD aka UC San Diego Health

Landmark Education Forum

With symptoms getting worse, CBC(Complete Blood Testing) once again showed no irregularities

With my life degrading, I was forced to resigned from Themis Computer to focus on my health

Denied health insurance due to preexisting condition

Consulted with a a Chiropractic Doctor who claimed he could cure my UC like he had other patients

After a few sessions I stopped seeing him

Per the CDC, NP and overseeing MD I received 8 Vaccine injections: Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B and HPV(Human Papillomavirus- aka Gardasil)

As health continued to decline I consulted with Naturopathic Doctors Dr. Monique Mazza ND and Dr. Heidi Wittmann ND at Bastyr University.
Gluten inflammation markers were elevated, though I am Celiac negative

Landmark Education Advanced Course

Consulted with Acupuncturist Bertram Furman LAc at The Wellness Source

Graduated from UCSD Natural Healing & Cooking Program with Dr. Gordon Sax MD, Ph.D., MPH and Lauray MacElhern from UCSD Center for Integrative Medicine

Total Testosterone: 719

2013
Graduated as a Certified Health Coach from Integrative Institute of Nutrition

Consulted with Dr. Erika Albani whom I discovered through the UCSD Center for Integrative Medicine

Founded San Diego Gut Warriors, an Integrative Support Group.

One member states that diet makes no difference in his Crohnís Disease, and his Medical Doctor agreed

Led Yoga at CCFA Take Steps San Diego

Consulted with Dr. Kuperman Integrative Doctor at New Beginnings Health Care. Lab results continued to look normal while I felt far from it

With difficulty concentrating, working, even getting out of bed, even after 10 solid hours of sleep, I started to think I may be an Adult Vaccine Injury case

Consulted with Dr. Pratha, a mixture of Medical, Ayurvedic and endobiogenics principles for healing

Consulted for Crohnís.net(now Good Gut Solution) as Marketing Director, worked with Dr. Pamela Nathan DHM

Vice President of Public Relations at Toastmasters of La Jolla

CalProctetin 53
CalProctetin measures inflammation in the intestines. Per LabCorp 25 is healthy, 50-120 is borderline, above 120 is Abnormal

Consultation with Dr. Mark Davis, ND Natural Gastroenterology in Portland, Oregon specializing in Fecal Microbial Transplants

Committed to the a combination of the SCD and GAPS diet

Traveled to Sydney Australia, elected for Fecal Microbial Transplant at the Centre for Digestive Diseases(CDD ). Australia is the 30th country Iíve visited

Colonoscopy #6 showed moderately severe distal colitis at 70cm

Gastroenterologist recommended 6MP(Mercaptopurine) and a S.A.D. diet. I refused both.

Climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge

2014

Attempted to surf for the first time in Byron Bay Australia. Caught my first wave, not quite

As a Marketing consultant I worked with Michael Filippone with Asia.com, Micha Mikailian with Intently.com, Ryan Ellis with Charity Stone and Glenn Stokoe with Float North County

The Conference for Men with Menís Coach Mike Hrostoski

Total Testosterone 670
Free Testosterone 10.4

Foot pain diagnosed as Metatarsalgia, possibly gout. Steroids were recommended. I refused, have not had foot pain since.

Landmark Education Communication Course Ė Access To Power

Blood and stool testing by Dr. Shikman at Institute for Specialized Medicine
ďHPV vaccine Ė thatís the bad oneĒ
CalProctetin 125

Consultation with a Traditional Naturopath, Master Herbalist, Nutritional Therapist, Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist

Started working with Catherine Housseau Ė Cranial Sacral Massage Therapist per Rx from Dr. Pratha

Founded Cure IBD Foundation NGO, researching safe and effective IBD treatments, while, interviewing dozens who had healed naturally

2015

New Warrior Training with Mankind Project

Blood and stool testing with Functional Medicine Doctor Dr. Novak
Spectra Cell Labs showed numerous functional deficiencies
CalProctetin Ė 258

Moved to Encinitas CA

Consultation with Dr. Duc Le The Optimal Change MD

Became certified Reiki Level I practitioner working with Dr. Somer Nicole and Dr. Brent Cesare

Consultation with Dr. Marcus Ettinger B.Sc., D.C. Certified NET; advanced NAET and paleo-functional medicine practitioner. Chiropractor

Landmark Education Forum Weekend Course Ė reviewed

Consultation with Dr. Michelle Wolford ND

Consultation with Dr. Heather Sandison NMD at Center for Advanced Medicine

Oct 4, 2015 Ė Created the private Facebook Group One Great Gut

2016
Founded One Great Gut

Prostate Cancer is detected through early cancer detection diagnostics

I listed emotionally charged events and some self-development courses in my Timeline. Iíve noticed certain events linger in my conscious, and subconscious for days, years even decades. Iím a serial optimist, and also a human being just like you. Self-Development has been a large part of my adult life, and health journey. Itís given me skills and tools for improving my self-confidence, courage, character, emotional intelligence, emotional resilience, breaking poor habits and forming good ones. Itís increased my self-awareness, lifestyle, communication skills and my physical health and happiness.

As of this writing(May 2016), I consider myself at the peak of my health journey. When I consider physical, mental, spiritual and emotional health a full package, consisting of individual peaks that make a whole. I feel Iím at the peak of all pillars. Iím 42, have sustained caffeine-free energy that lasts all day, high libido, sleep well, feel little to no pain or inflammation, and have regular well formed bowel movements daily. Bowel movements quality, consistency, scent and look all tell us the current state of our health. It wasnít always like this. Hereís a list of diagnosis Iíve had in the past few decades, some correct, some incorrectly diagnosed as false positives.

Disease is not singular. Our body is interconnected with each part, each organ, speaking to and, in some cases, relying on other parts to function properly. The digestive system alone starts at the mouth and nose, and ends at far endÖrectum and anus. In between organs include your Liver, Stomach, Gallbladder, Spleen, Large Intestine, Small Intestine, and more. When one part misfunctions, fails, or is removed, thereís a cascade of effects elsewhere in the body. Iíve spent the last few years diving deep into exactly what is going on. I geek out on this stuff, I treated myself as a lab experiment. I almost didnít share this list publically. I thought if you read this, and didnít have a condition or diagnosis below, you would not relate. Thatís silly, even preposterous. The fact Medical Doctors found all these diagnosis within me only proves further that healing is possible with anything that is going on within you. My intention is to show that one disease will lead to another if not treated Integratively, or Holistically. Western Medication may work, for a period of time, perhaps even decades. But that is only part of the solution, and like a Band-Aid, only masks the underlying symptoms.

This list is not inclusive. Iím listing these diagnosis to show that reversing your symptoms, that getting-well again, that improving your life is possible. Iím living proof.

Tension Headaches
Migraine Headaches
Epistaxis(Nose Bleeds)
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Ulcerative Colitis
Aarthralgia(joint pain)
Mold Toxicity
Disease of the Intestine
Malaise and fatigue
Unspecified disease of the intestine
Frequency of micturition(urination)
Nocturia
Capillary hypoperfusion(Too much aerobic exercise can cause us to crash)
Painful urination
HHV-6
Mononucleosis
Chronic Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS/CFIDS)
Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (SIRS)
Gout
Leaky Gut Syndrome
Severe food allergies
Heavy metal toxicity
Candida
GBS (group b streptococcus)
GI staph aureus(Staphylococcus aureus)
MRSA
Hypoactive sexual desire disorder
Male hypogonadism
Prostatitis
Prostate Cancer

Whew, that was exhausting to type, to research my past records. Each Doctor Iíve seen, each health practitioner Iíve consulted with, have significantly contributed to my health journey. Iím grateful for each of their commitment to the health of their patients and humanity as a whole. Some doctor recommendations helped me, some hurt me putting me in a downward spiral for sometimes months and years. Itís been a beautiful journey and Iím grateful for each experience, for the lesson and the learning.

Through my sharing,research, interviews and the One Great Gut community my hope is that this helps you and your family on your journey.
09-06-2016, 02:44 PM   #2
ronroush7
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Glad you have had success. Make sure a doctor is monitoring you and may your success continue.
09-06-2016, 02:53 PM   #3
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Thanks Ron! I monitor my own symptoms with the support of integrative medical doctor's and naturopathic physicians. It's been 3 years since I have seen a GI and feel fantastic. I know my Integrative GI is there for me when I need her. She was a large part of my healing journey as she understands the role diet plays in healing IBD.

Vienna, CA? I used to work in Oakton, live in NoVo for years. Have you found good medical support there?
09-06-2016, 03:08 PM   #4
ronroush7
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Yes. Thanks.
09-14-2016, 07:09 AM   #5
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Location: Townsville, Queensland, Australia
Hi Joel

Interesting read. I had success with the SCD and GAPS diets for a few years, that and supplements got me in my first remission. (I've had crohns for about 10 years). It did come back, and those diets didn't help during the flare. I ended up having to have most of my large bowel removed (2012), and was mistakenly told it was curative by some doc at the hospital, so I was a bit slack with diet again for maybe a year and a half (ate some sugar and gluten again but not excessively). Then maybe 2015 there was some inflammation again in what was little was left of my colon (flexisigmoidoscopy). So I started taking lots of kefir, thinking that would do the trick. During this time I essentially ate an SCD/GAPS diet. But I did notice a bit of bleeding throughout the year, tho my doc had said at one point 'you probably have hemorrhoids' so I didn't think anything of it (I don't have hemmorhoids it turned out). So the kefir didn't help that much, at least for my crohns though I am sure the kefiran was good overall.

Anyway, a couple of months ago I developed an abscess, which freaked me out. I immediately started taking lauricidin in large doses (6 scoops a day), which I think brought it to a head. I saw a doc a few days later who told me to go to ER so they could surgically drain it, which they did (the doc said it was near popping). That fixed it for a few weeks, then it came back. I was still taking lauricidin during this time (6 scoops for a week or so, then only 1 or 2, as I had decided to get a MAP (mycobacteria) test and on the off chance lauricidin had anti-MAP activity, wanted to ease up). I had some abx left so started taking it again, and got another script. That would have helped but didn't get rid of it. During this time period an MRI showed a small fistula. Once I got the MAP blood drawn I started taking lauricidin at 6 scoops a day again. I think it was a couple of weeks later (or maybe 1 can't remember) that I had another flexisigmoidoscopy. The tissue biopsy from that showed no active crohns, though there were still a couple of small (but not inflamed) ulcers (probably healing), and of course, the fistula (small though). This was an improvement on my previous flexi, and the only thing I did differently was take lauricidin in large doses. There has been no bleeding since I started taking it. I have since found out that lauricidin, as well as being anti-inflammatory, has anti-MAP activity. I have found its effect is very dose related tho (1 or 2 scoops won't do much).

My MAP test was positive. On finding that out I started doing a lot of research on herbs, Chinese and otherwise (I trained as a shiatsu practitioner years ago and also did a few years of a naturopathy course though never finished), Buhner being a great resource. So I have been experimenting with them as well for the past 5 weeks, and I have found them helpful. Between all this and topical oregano oil on the abscess, it came to a head and burst. It does seem to be healing, as there's been a steady trajectory of improvement (no abx since after the first month/5 weeks following the surgery). The TCM herbs all chosen for their antimicrobial or GI or liver support effect. Found the 'gu' treatment fascinating, and am trying a version of that next (plan to rotate the herbs as they did with gu). (treating MAP)

When I got the abscess I immediately shifted my attention back to nutrition as I believe it is crucially important, not necessarily for being a cure in and of itself (I think for most MAP infections or severe crohns other interventions are needed), but for its role in eliminating problem foods and providing the support the body needs to heal itself. I came across the Wahls diet and have been following a cross between Wahls Paleo and Wahls keto (primarily paleo but with some of the things she mentions in the keto version), and found this to be extremely beneficial. She really breaks down what foods supply which nutrients and how much, and I think her emphasis on providing nutrition on a cellular level is important.

I plan on taking the MAP antibiotics concurrently with the herbs and supplements. I definitely believe MAP is the cause of my crohns (Prof Borody actually tests for a number of infectious agents according to his website so not all crohns is MAP, though he has found a large part of it is ~50%). Of course, resistance to abx is a concern, which is why I am exploring herbs so much. But diet and other things play an important role I think.

Interestingly, Dr Wahls found her heavy metal load decreased as a result of following her diet. Her detox strategies seems to have consisted mostly of external things like sweat, mud/clay baths, dry brushing. And her diet supports the detox mechanisms of the body.

Anyway, just thought I'd share :-) Glad you're feeling well.

Rebecca
11-30-2016, 11:40 PM   #6
aypues
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Be very careful with Dr. Pratha. I saw her for a few years before she turned into this "integrative" doctor more recently. She started out halfway normal and then started removing things from my diet. In the end she had me on a starvation diet basically. She took me off dairy, red meat, and finally gluten. I was like, what's left to eat?!? I lost a ton of weight and became malnourished. Once my parents (also MD's) found out my albumin was so low they were pissed. Switched doctors immediately and resumed eating anything I wanted with no change in the disease. It is always there anyway - you can't selectively turn off your immune system to turn off the Crohn's no matter what anyone tells you. Turns out Dr. P's son has severe allergies to many different things and she took it as a personal failing or something, and in turn started treating many of her patients as if everyone had the same food allergies (crazy!!). I know many other GI doctors now and everyone thinks she has gone off the deep end.
11-30-2016, 11:46 PM   #7
joelsprechman
 
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Hi Rebecca - Quite the story! Glad you are doing better than before. Did I read correctly that your doctor said surgery was curative for Crohns? What hospital did you hear this at?

The MAP theory and vaccine are interesting, I need to study more about it, hope the abx help, careful about your gut flora, remember to supplement with pre-and-pro biotics to replenish the good guys

-Joel

Hi Joel

Interesting read. I had success with the SCD and GAPS diets for a few years, that and supplements got me in my first remission. (I've had crohns for about 10 years). It did come back, and those diets didn't help during the flare. I ended up having to have most of my large bowel removed (2012), and was mistakenly told it was curative by some doc at the hospital, so I was a bit slack with diet again for maybe a year and a half (ate some sugar and gluten again but not excessively). Then maybe 2015 there was some inflammation again in what was little was left of my colon (flexisigmoidoscopy). So I started taking lots of kefir, thinking that would do the trick. During this time I essentially ate an SCD/GAPS diet. But I did notice a bit of bleeding throughout the year, tho my doc had said at one point 'you probably have hemorrhoids' so I didn't think anything of it (I don't have hemmorhoids it turned out). So the kefir didn't help that much, at least for my crohns though I am sure the kefiran was good overall.

Anyway, a couple of months ago I developed an abscess, which freaked me out. I immediately started taking lauricidin in large doses (6 scoops a day), which I think brought it to a head. I saw a doc a few days later who told me to go to ER so they could surgically drain it, which they did (the doc said it was near popping). That fixed it for a few weeks, then it came back. I was still taking lauricidin during this time (6 scoops for a week or so, then only 1 or 2, as I had decided to get a MAP (mycobacteria) test and on the off chance lauricidin had anti-MAP activity, wanted to ease up). I had some abx left so started taking it again, and got another script. That would have helped but didn't get rid of it. During this time period an MRI showed a small fistula. Once I got the MAP blood drawn I started taking lauricidin at 6 scoops a day again. I think it was a couple of weeks later (or maybe 1 can't remember) that I had another flexisigmoidoscopy. The tissue biopsy from that showed no active crohns, though there were still a couple of small (but not inflamed) ulcers (probably healing), and of course, the fistula (small though). This was an improvement on my previous flexi, and the only thing I did differently was take lauricidin in large doses. There has been no bleeding since I started taking it. I have since found out that lauricidin, as well as being anti-inflammatory, has anti-MAP activity. I have found its effect is very dose related tho (1 or 2 scoops won't do much).

My MAP test was positive. On finding that out I started doing a lot of research on herbs, Chinese and otherwise (I trained as a shiatsu practitioner years ago and also did a few years of a naturopathy course though never finished), Buhner being a great resource. So I have been experimenting with them as well for the past 5 weeks, and I have found them helpful. Between all this and topical oregano oil on the abscess, it came to a head and burst. It does seem to be healing, as there's been a steady trajectory of improvement (no abx since after the first month/5 weeks following the surgery). The TCM herbs all chosen for their antimicrobial or GI or liver support effect. Found the 'gu' treatment fascinating, and am trying a version of that next (plan to rotate the herbs as they did with gu). (treating MAP)

When I got the abscess I immediately shifted my attention back to nutrition as I believe it is crucially important, not necessarily for being a cure in and of itself (I think for most MAP infections or severe crohns other interventions are needed), but for its role in eliminating problem foods and providing the support the body needs to heal itself. I came across the Wahls diet and have been following a cross between Wahls Paleo and Wahls keto (primarily paleo but with some of the things she mentions in the keto version), and found this to be extremely beneficial. She really breaks down what foods supply which nutrients and how much, and I think her emphasis on providing nutrition on a cellular level is important.

I plan on taking the MAP antibiotics concurrently with the herbs and supplements. I definitely believe MAP is the cause of my crohns (Prof Borody actually tests for a number of infectious agents according to his website so not all crohns is MAP, though he has found a large part of it is ~50%). Of course, resistance to abx is a concern, which is why I am exploring herbs so much. But diet and other things play an important role I think.

Interestingly, Dr Wahls found her heavy metal load decreased as a result of following her diet. Her detox strategies seems to have consisted mostly of external things like sweat, mud/clay baths, dry brushing. And her diet supports the detox mechanisms of the body.

Anyway, just thought I'd share :-) Glad you're feeling well.

Rebecca
11-30-2016, 11:52 PM   #8
joelsprechman
 
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What do you mean "Integrative" Doctor?

Perhaps I'm biased but the only patients I've met who were able to reverse their disease and become symptom,flare, and medicine free were those who chose Integrative methods. And not all Integrative treatments are for everyone. Is's still a practice

It's certainly been a challenge finding a GI , with good bedside manners, and treatment protocols I agree with. Pratha was the best when I needed a GI. When I moved to San Diego I asked other patients and 100% said goto Dr. Pratha. I've recommended ~20 patients to her because of her open-minded approach and willingness to a) not submit to a broken medical model b) work with me based on my needs and c) offer conventional and integrative solutions

One statistic I'd love to see, for every GI doctor is

1) What % of your patients are on disability due to the inability to work
2) What % of your patients are able to decrease, perhaps cease their medications(like myself , and many others for example)
3) Compared to national statistics, what % of your patients wind up needing surgery

questions like that. Due to many factors, the #'s will vary, but it will indicate their treatment protocol and performance success with their patient-load.

If we truly want to heal disease, doctors and patients should engage in a transparent conversation about what's working, what's not, and what can be done to improve the what's not, while doing more of what's working


Be very careful with Dr. Pratha. I saw her for a few years before she turned into this "integrative" doctor more recently. She started out halfway normal and then started removing things from my diet. In the end she had me on a starvation diet basically. She took me off dairy, red meat, and finally gluten. I was like, what's left to eat?!? I lost a ton of weight and became malnourished. Once my parents (also MD's) found out my albumin was so low they were pissed. Switched doctors immediately and resumed eating anything I wanted with no change in the disease. It is always there anyway - you can't selectively turn off your immune system to turn off the Crohn's no matter what anyone tells you. Turns out Dr. P's son has severe allergies to many different things and she took it as a personal failing or something, and in turn started treating many of her patients as if everyone had the same food allergies (crazy!!). I know many other GI doctors now and everyone thinks she has gone off the deep end.
12-01-2016, 02:44 AM   #9
aypues
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"Integrative" is in quotation marks because it is not a specialty that one can be board certified in. It's pseudoscience and quackery with a new name to sell you things that can't be proven scientifically and don't work. If all of these treatments, herbs, and modalities really worked and could be proven conclusively it would be called....wait for it....medicine.

But by all means, if it's working for you keep doing it. Until it isn't and you have to fall back on medicine. Remember, Crohn's is chronic and is an immune system dysfunction. There is no snake oil, otc remedy, homeopathy that you can buy that will shut down your specific genes causing the immune system to overreact to whatever the antigen is. Crohn's is cyclical as well and you may think these treatments are working when you are just in a symptom free period that would've happened anyway.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/scienceb.../#38588a6f4e08
12-01-2016, 03:02 AM   #10
joelsprechman
 
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I assure you Integrative is not quackery. Perhaps have a conversation with another Integrative Medical Doctor - doesn't seem like you and Dr. Pratha were a good fit. The right fit is everything, in anything in life.

Integrative simply means combining allopathic and complementary therapies

Adopted by anyone seeking true healing

UCSD School of Medicine Center for Integrative Medicine
Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine
Sharp HealthCare's Integrative and Complementary Medicine
Integrative Healthcare at Duke University
etc, etc..

If you're happy on meds, that's great, I love that. All I want is for everyone to be happy.

However

If you're not happy, and want other options, continue seeking until you find *your* true happiness

In large part to Integrative Medicine and my skeptical persistent nature, I'm friends with Crohn's Patients who are off meds, diet, flare and symptom free for over 30 years. Some as low as a few years, or a decade, and some three decades. Can allopathic medicine provide the same results? We would love to see this!
01-16-2017, 04:14 AM   #11
joelsprechman
 
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Hi everyone, wanted to check in here and report how I'm doing

Today, January 16, 2017, I'm still healing, and off medication
Frequent Urination, the occasional blood in my stool, and infrequent headaches are my only symptoms.

I have focus, energy, sleep-well and rarely any bloating or gut pain. Growing up as a child, and even a few years ago I would get headaches often. My Integrative CAM Doctors say any "body sign" is a sign of something off. It's great evidence that I am further healing as my headaches are few and far between these days. I no longer need to keep Excedrin, Aspirin or Panadeine around.

frequent urination seems to fluctuate from often to infrequent, the last treatment my physician had my try was the antibiotic doxycycline. Reluctant from the potential killing of the bad and good bugs, I went ahead and stayed on doxy for two months, it didn't help my symptoms, and my gut stayed well, great sign that IBD is healing even further

I find emotions to be the only thing to trigger bloating or gut pain and am working on a greater mindfulness practice to regulate the mind-body connection.

Diet wise I'm able to eat a wider range of foods without negative effects which further shows gut microbiota healing. I stopped taking digestive enzymes which shows that my salivary glands, stomach, pancreas, and small intestine are healing as they produce the bodies natural enzymes for food breakdown of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.

On a recent Mens group trip to Mexico I ate mexico street tacos, which we all know is barely real food, and had no digestive issues from the delicious food substitute

That's all I have today, hope everyone is doing well. Here's to the best year ever - 2017
01-16-2017, 09:09 AM   #12
ronroush7
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I wish you continued success. Make sure a doctor monitors your condition.
01-16-2017, 11:41 PM   #13
aypues
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∑ Stelara
Watch out for frequent urination. were you screened for diabetes? What was determined to be the cause? are you consuming any diuretics unintentionally in your diet?

Watch the headaches too. Are your iron and ferritin levels in range?

I don't think you can really say you know for sure your "microbiota are healing" (whatever that means) because you have no symptoms after eating something you normally wouldn't. You don't really know.

Def for sure 100% you shouldn't be taking aspirin or excedrin anyway. Those are known Crohn's triggers. Tylenol is the only OTC painkiller anyone with Crohn's should be using. No NSAIDs whatsoever.

Make sure you are being monitored by an IBD specialist like others have mentioned.
04-17-2017, 01:13 PM   #14
Jojo9368
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Arkansas
I'm totally on board with diet and supplements, cutting out the stress and focusing on the positive things in life. I look at crohns disease as something that constantly makes me take excellent care of myself, It is a lot of work but I'll do whatever to avoid the life with drugs,side effects and hospitalization. Love reading your success
04-17-2017, 01:30 PM   #15
joelsprechman
 
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Thanks Jojo! I too find self-care is important. Are you drug and side effect free?

For me, I encountered heaps of stress earlier this year for a variety of reasons and at the same time fell out of taking care of my self, have been in a doozy of a flare since Jan that I've been blogging about. On Prednisone, minimal side effects with self-care strategies and tapering off. Three days in a row perfect bowel movements has me celebrating for joy!
04-17-2017, 05:31 PM   #16
Jojo9368
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Arkansas
yes
I've been off those meds for years. I wrote what has helped me on line in a blog, maybe it'll help. I try anything that's natural. No fried or processed foods. But that stress, geez, that's the ringer for me.

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04-26-2017, 08:07 PM   #17
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So good to hear your story! Thats a lot of adventure for one human being! I haven't had to take any meds except Antibiotics as of yet, my GI Dr is associated with Gerald Mullin at Johns Hopkins and takes an Integrative approach. He won't prescribe me any meds unless he thinks I really need them, and with the AIP Paleo Diet, meditation, exercise, yoga and faith life, I have been able to stay well enough to avoid needing them. I did just recently have a Calprotectant (85) and LactoFerrin (2) test and the first was slightly high but the second low. I don't really know what that is about but I plan on asking. I do use some herbs and have a certified Nutritionist/Herbalist and an Integrative Primary Care Dr as well. They are so helpful. Hoping to stay on course and continue to improve as I have since my diagnosis with Crohns 4 years ago. I have spent a LOT of time researching, reading and listening to podcasts about health. Thank goodness I retired young! How did it go with the low dose Naltrexone? I also have some urinary issues, but I'm in menopause. Sometimes I wonder if the bacteria that are contributing to my Crohns are also affecting my bladder. D-Mannose helps. God Bless, and keep up the good fight!!
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Crohn's Disease Forum » Your Story » Success Stories » I feel better than ever! Healing, naturally, and holistically. Off medication, refused surgery.
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