Crohn's Disease Forum » General IBD Discussion » Crohn's Polls » Can crohn's be treated without the use of medication?

View Poll Results: Do you think that crohn's can be treated without the use of medication?
yes, any severity 12 5.56%
yes, but depends on severity 72 33.33%
the use of minor medication is needed with a proper diet/natural therapy 37 17.13%
no, if you have crohn's you need some form of medication 95 43.98%
Voters: 216. You may not vote on this poll

07-26-2012, 08:26 AM   #61
KWalker's Avatar
Gra. You pretty much said exactly everything I've been thinking/trying to make sense. There are so many people that go YEARS without diagnosis and therefore no medicine. I also strongly agree that medicine for crohns can't be a "miracle drug" if A. People are having terrible reactions, and even some more severe results than crohns itself and B. It still leads to surgery for some. Hence, really being on medicine wouldn't make most better off than I am right now.

Like you said though, can crohns be treated without medicine? No. But I do personally believe that one can manage their crohns without the use of medicine given the right circumstances.
Age 2 (1992)

Previous Meds:
Methotrexate (oral)
Methotrexate (injections)

Current Treatment:
200mg Simponi, Psyllium
07-27-2012, 12:43 PM   #62
New Member
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Lexington, South Carolina
I've been on Remicade for the last 2-3 years. Not that bad, just one 2-hour infusion every 8 weeks, but $$$ if you don't have good insurance. Fortunately Aetna covered it with just the specialist copay each time. Anyway I am under new insurance and in a new state and I'm seriously considering trying to come off medication alltogether. I've identified triggers that I think have been setting me off and eliminated them from my diet. I'm not completely "hippie" though, I will be looking for a GI here in Lexington/Columbia just in case.

On that note, anyone have any suggestions for a good GI here that takes Blue Cross/Blue Shield? You can post here or pm me.

07-31-2012, 07:54 AM   #63
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Netherlands
I think you don't need any medication, as long as you eat healthy. I stopped medication for 3 weeks and I feel better then before. I don't believe crohn is an auto immune disease. The incidence and prevalence rates of Crohn's disease in China for example are much lower then Western countries. In my opinion it's the bad high sugar low fat culture, causing unhealthy bacteria in your bowels. But I'm not 100% sure, maybe later in my life I will still suffer from crohn, who knows. For now I'm perfectly happy without medication.
07-31-2012, 09:16 AM   #64
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Join Date: Jul 2012
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I think if many people could see their intestine like they could see a wound they would change their mind in the blink of an eye.

Maybe some people are fine without medicine, but I know many end up in ER.

When you feel pain, it is not like tummy pain of a normal person, it means your intestine is filled with ulcers and inflammation. Open up google and look up crohn's disease and look at a few images of a colonoscopy, and tell me if you still feel the same way.

Another point I think many people don't seem to understand or want to understand, is that a wound has 2 ways of healing either it heals normally, or it does not heal normally and you get fibrosis, each time you have pain and the wound needs to heal you run the risk of getting more fibrosis.

People say "I don't need meds, I'm fine, I still have issues now and then". Those "issues" are the open wounds that never healed properly, and each time they heal the wrong way fibrosis increases. And you will end up in ER that way, it's not a matter of if but when.

It's not just that crohn is potentially deadly, it's that if you take no medication you are also ignoring all the steps in between.

If you decide to go off meds, at least take something like pentasa or something, completely going off meds if you still have pain is really dangerous, that's just my opinion.

I also hope that all those "This is how I cured my crohn" sites from people are banned one day, because they do not care about your health one single iota, they want your money, and none of them will be there either when the doctor tells you that the only solution is surgery.
Hmmm, those words are really depressing, I hope they aren't true, otherwise I will find out.

I recently (3 weeks ago) stopped all medicine, after being diagnosed 6 months ago. I still have (very) minor issues, but i always had them, on pentasa they seemed to be worse, especially right after taking it. I will keep on posting honestly what happens to me. I really don't believe that if your condition worsens, you still feel better.
07-31-2012, 10:11 AM   #65
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xardas, you've been in remission for 3 weeks. That's great! But it will most likely come back. I spent 6 years in med-free remission. I had a routine scope that showed microscopic inflammation (scope looked normal, biopsies showed minor issues). I wasn't having any issues. I went ahead and started on Apriso (pretty mild drug). Unfortunately, I flew into a severe flare a year or so later that I'm still trying to control, 21 months later. The meds aren't getting me all the way to remission, but I'm a lot better than I was before meds.
dx 2003
Remission 2004-2010
Moderate/severe flare through entire colon 12/2010-10/2012
Lialda, omeprazole, Remicade, Methotrexate, Folic Acid, Questran
Been on Asacol, prednisone, Apriso, Imuran, Entocort and Cimzia
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08-01-2012, 01:12 AM   #66
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Netherlands
Well, maybe I misunderstoond this topic and still confused about what my doctors tell me. They said I could never stop taking meds and I had to continue pentasa, even though i'm in remission. I hope it can be like this a long time.
01-22-2015, 03:28 PM   #67
Join Date: Jan 2015
I was diagnosed with 'mild to moderate' Crohn's about 10 months ago. When I was first diagnosed my GI informed me that diet had NOTHING to do with controlling Crohn's symptoms, and that I should IMMEDIATELY get on Remicadee or that other drug that gives people Lymphoma.

Instead, I went to a nutritionist that specializes in actually HEALING the body, and have been on supplements and a strict diet since.

I have had no relapse with the exception of some minor pains which I can only imagine are the ulcers reacting to stress on any given day.

I went through what I believe to be my second official flare-up, and instead of being bed/toilet ridden for a month, I had a little bit of pain and discomfort for a few days and then it stopped.

The only reason I thought that I MIGHT be able to control my crohns with diet is because of the strict way my wife has to eat with her candida. It's insanely limited and exspensive to eat the way I do, but I would rather spend money and eat healthy than be on those horrendous drugs that destroy your immune system and basically let your body eat itself alive.

After reading some of the threads in this forum I'm amazed at how little you people seem to know about the power of food... EVERYTHING is DIRECTLY connected with what we eat, and I guarentee that there are a TON of people that could get off most if not all medications if they drastically changed their diet.

Now, I know people have crohns WAYYYYYY worse than I do and absolutely NEED to take medications to have any quality of life, I'm just disgusted with the medical field for immediately telling someone like ME to go on HARDCORE drugs like Remicadee instead of trying to actually 'get better' with diet, exercise, and supplements first.

Just because they couldn't link any one type of food to 'causing' crohns, doesn't mean the food we ingest has no correlation with how sick we get, it's just an asinine view to have.
01-22-2015, 04:08 PM   #68
Join Date: Jan 2015
"It's not just that crohn is potentially deadly, it's that if you take no medication you are also ignoring all the steps in between.

If you decide to go off meds, at least take something like pentasa or something, completely going off meds if you still have pain is really dangerous, that's just my opinion."

Maybe you need the drugs to control your symptoms, but don't be delusional that they do anything more than that... block your symptoms. Otherwise all these people on medication wouldn't be talking about all the surgeries theyve continually had to go through WHILE taking new medications...

So which is it? Do medications keep you from getting sick, or do they just mess up your immune system and bowel bacterial balance? Because it seems to me that EVERY person that is espousing needing meds either:

1. Has the disease WAY WORSE than I do (definitely a possibility, though my first flare-up was insanely brutal)

2. Has had multiple surgeries AFTER being on different drugs for long periods of time... or it seems the new drugs actually TRIGGERED the need for surgery...

I hope I'm one of the lucky ones that can keep it under control without surgery...
01-22-2015, 04:51 PM   #69
Jmrogers4's Avatar
I hope you are able to control things through diet, we've tried them but for a growing child they have not been successful. The only thing that has worked for us is remicade. It has allowed my teenage son to have a normal life.
All the while we thought his disease was under control because he had little to no pain or symptoms. He did not grow or gain weight for years. After lots of testing to see if there was not something else causing the lack of growth. We investigated into his crohn's deeper only to find he had inflammation in his small intestine (all his blood labs were normal). After a year on remicade and a gain of 35 pounds and 7" in height, he has caught up to most of his peers and his quality of life and self image has improved by a 100%.
So far no surgeries and hoping to keep it that way as well. I think diet definitely plays a big role but as far as keeping the disease at bay we have not had any luck and I think we have tried everyone of them out there between my husband's diagnosis over 20 years ago and our son's 5 years ago.
Good luck

Mom to Jack (18) dx Crohn's 2/2010
Vitamin D -2000mg
Remicade - started 1/9/14; 7.5ml/kg every 6 weeks
Centrum for Him teen multivitamin
Past meds: Imuran/Azathioprine; allopurinol; methotrexate; LDN; Prednisone; Apriso; Pentasa; EEN

Husband dx Crohn's 3/1993
currently none due to liver issues
01-22-2015, 04:59 PM   #70
Jmrogers4's Avatar
Just to clarify please make sure you are following up with doctor to insure your disease is indeed under control I have heard too many horror stories of simmering inflammation and being asymptomatic only to end up in the emergency room.
02-23-2016, 04:15 PM   #71
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I was without meds for 15 years and in remission that whole time, so I guess it's possible. But once you have a flair, medication is needed. I've had my current symptoms for several months because I didn't realize it was a crohns flair and as soon as I started the medication, it got better. So I'm a big fan of medication.
02-25-2016, 05:02 PM   #72
Pug Gamer
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I thought I had severe IBS but actually had crohns for 6 years before my first what I personally call 'flare'. In that first 3 years I wasnt on any pain meds for my other illnesses and lived ok with it. But it all got worse from there and due to not being on any medication I then had strictures. So I think some people can but should be very cautious and keep being tested. The majority I would say need medication otherwise it will get worse, cause strictures, fistulas(?), and could end up needing surgery due to it being left to get worse. Diet helps keep flares at bay but I dont believe in any miracle cure diets personally. I just cut out what I react to (dairy, fruit, veg and spicy foods) so I dont bring on a flare up.
02-29-2016, 12:22 PM   #73
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I went 10 years without treatment, but I still had to cope with fistulas that would bleed at times. I had a good balance and despite minor flares I coped with it well. Then came Remicade and after the 3 rd infusion it went against me and I am currently somewhere between being a train wreck and a plane wreck. I am going back to the all natural route of diet, with pain and stress controls.
02-29-2016, 03:46 PM   #74
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: N/A, United Kingdom
Hello there. To answer your question I once had a psychologist who would come out for home visits to check up on me weekly ( due to severe depression and anxiety ) she was a very nice woman and I liked her due to her also having Crohn's made her very understanding about things. Anyway, she went 5 years without an medication with very minor symptoms before taking a flare up, where as I on the other hand wouldn't last a week without medications. So it's honestly up to you if you want to go off all of your medicines and take the risk of having a severe flare up or stay on them. Or if you're talking about going into remission without use of medications I think you would need atleast one medicine. - I hope this helped!
12-11-2016, 02:18 AM   #75
Join Date: Dec 2016

I know of someone who controls his Crohn's through diet.

There are many different types of Crohn's disease and diet may not work for everyone.

Best to wait until your Crohn's has been in remission for at least a couple of months then try seeing a qualified dietitian with expertise and knowledge of Crohn's.
07-01-2017, 10:19 AM   #76
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If you're flaring, you need medication to deal with the flare up. It will not go on its own, it will only get worse and you could die. Speaking from experience before I was diagnosed. However, if you're in remission you could go down the avenue of not taking any medication. I don't recommend this and you have to run a trial and error to see if it works for you or not.

I've recently stopped taking my medication and only take prednisolone if I flare. I found taking maintenance medication actually worsens my condition, I experience joint pains, fatigue and a bad stomach with medication. Many, many people need to take medication daily to control their symptons and stay in remission. A doctor will absolutely want you on prescription medication and will not suggest not taking it. You will have to run trials to see what works for you.
07-01-2017, 11:39 AM   #77
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Judging from my own experience and from what I am reading from others here, is that we are all different. Some will need the heavy meds for life it would appear, others can control it with maintenance meds and diet.
I needed the big meds to get remission, but now can manage CD reasonably well with diet and natural supplements. I found the side effects sometimes outweighs the benefit of the drug, while others (Remicade) was incompatible and could have killed me. My belief is that tapering down to the least amount of meds to maintain remission is the best route.
07-01-2017, 08:57 PM   #78
More Than Pickles
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I just read this thread from the very beginning, interesting information and opinions offered here. I feel everyone is correct from their point of view, which is formed from their expedience with CD. Everyone can agree that every case is different, so each person takes a different approach to treatment or management of their symptoms.

Here is where I'm stuck......

1) CD is an autoimmune diseases, correct? Meaning our bodies attacks itself. The inflammation process is normal and goes on routinely in our bodies to fight invaders, stops once the invader is destroyed and the inflammation stops. With autoimmune, the attack never stops. The reason we get an autoimmune disease is still unknown, but there are theories and most have an opinion. But it can't be healed, stopped or reversed by food or strictly natural approaches, correct?

2) I believe in the research that supports inflammation will destroy organs, bones, tissue, etc if allowed to continue. Ask someone who has required surgery to remove diseased organs, intestines, suffers with joint pain, etc. What natural product/food stops this inflammation process? I know that certain foods have anti inflammatory properties and may not contribute to further inflammation, but to stop the kind of inflammation that destroys your colon and intestine, I find that hard to believe.

3) I support prescription medicine interventions with many supplements, because I feel it's important to balance the two. Do they, or certain food actually help my CD??, I have no idea. But it comforts me to support my bodies ability to heal itself, when it has that ability.

I would like to hear from anybody who has moderate to severe CD, who can offer solid alternative symptom relief information. Even though I don't particularly believe it can be done, I'm open to controlling this naturally.

Currently on Remicade 500mg every 6 weeks. About to start MTX 10mg for possible Lupus/antibodies formed to Remicade/RA? I take every known supplement recommended to CD patients and those that have anti inflammatory properties.

Thank you
07-02-2017, 09:24 PM   #79
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Miami, Florida
I'm not with the group who say they can cure IBD with herbal remedies and diets etc, but from my lifestyle and experiences I do believe these have a place in helping in most cases. breastfeeding sent me into a wonderful remission, but now am back to reliance on drugs. Even now though, i'm slightly better when I stick to my healthy diet and avoid certain foods than I am when I eat rthings I shouldn't. we will be stuck on meds forever, so we may aswel try to find things which lessen the amount of drugs we do need, if you find diet, or herbal remediees, or even pregnancy/breastfeeding thenn we should grab on to them while they help
It's interesting you keep saying this. I believe you but I had the opposite experience. My first major flair was while I was breastfeeding my baby. He was about 8 months old....when I started feeling super sick I stopped breastfeeding because I was afraid I would give him something. I thought I was dying from cancer or something! A few weeks later I was diagnosed with crohns (dr said I was an 8 out of 10).
07-02-2017, 09:35 PM   #80
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Miami, Florida
To the people that are anti meds, just curious are you anti-vaxx too?

I'm all for modern medicine, that being said I've always been someone who seems to experience the side effects. I was diagnosed with CD in January. I started remicade in February. After the introductory phase my blood was tested and it appears I have developed antibodies. I am now going every four weeks for remicade with a higher dose. My next appointment is this Friday. I'm not sure the medicine is working right now, I did have another mini-flare this past month. They will be checking my antibody levels again at my next appt.

However, prior to taking the prednisone, I couldn't keep anything in my body. I was going #2 8-12 times a day and yes it was very painful and bloody. Sometimes I was literally in tears.

I have always been very healthy. I exercise regularly. Was a collegiate athlete, have run marathons, etc. my diet wasn't the best but I was a healthy weight and never had major health issues. I rarely ever drank (maybe once a year at most), never smoked and never took drugs, So in my case, no I don't think it can be controlled by diet alone. In fact even now, eating super careful (have been since January) I still had a miniflare....lasted about a week.

I would love to not need meds, but I don't want surgery, I don't want colon cancer and I want to be able to have red meat again! I'm hopeful the medicine will put me in remission and enable me to do so (in moderation) at some point in my future.

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