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Crohn's Disease Forum » Treatment » Naturopath? Do you? Don't you? Would you? Wouldn't you?


 
07-29-2014, 09:54 PM   #1
Eternal_Howl
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Naturopath? Do you? Don't you? Would you? Wouldn't you?

So, out of the blue I was thinking "I should go see a naturopath". I'm one of those people that generally sticks with conventional medicine, because I already have a medical condition that is 'suppressed' by modern medicine. However, I also believe that it is better to take a more natural approach, if possible, to healthcare. Often modern medicine is designed to 'mask' the symptoms, or treat the symptoms and not treat the underlying cause. Meaning: it's not a cure. Sometimes that's all we need - just to manage the symptoms.

So, I was wondering: who has seen a naturopath for IBD, Crohn's or UC?
Would you recommend them? Has anyone seen someone that practices Ayurvedic medicine? Any joy?
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07-30-2014, 12:23 AM   #2
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I say yes!!!
Our daughter did try all or many of the traditional meds with not much success. It was a tough or scary decision to take her off of all of the meds knowing that it could get worse, But it has been the right decision. I am not saying she is all better, but I believe for her her it is best to build up her immune system and use natural meds to treat.

She was completely bed ridden,bleeding, cramping, fatigued and more. she quickly said she was 75 percent better after going on the anti-inflammatory diet, taking vitamins and formulas prescribed by the naturalpath. However, she is currently bedridden again, dealing with severe gas pains and bathroom urgency. the naturalpath put her on another formula today along with some other vitamins and herbs. We hope to see a good response soon.

I have to be careful to say this is the answer for everyone. But I like that she (the naturalpath) is very professional, takes everything into consideration and has so many more natural options to chose from for our daughter.

If you dont respond to the meds you are taking, find a good naturalpath (do your research) and go for it.

wishing you the best
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07-30-2014, 06:21 AM   #3
Eternal_Howl
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Thanks for your response.
The reason I'm asking is that I've been given some pills and when I started reacting badly after the scopes last week, the pills didn't help (granted, I only had them for about 3-4 days afterward) and yet, upon taking turmeric and pepper supplements to try and help with the burning and inflammation, it began to settle significantly. Hubby saw a 180 degree changed in how I appeared to be feeling. The next morning, I took two more capsules to try and get rid of the remainder and I was better after that. I shied away from the pills they gave me thinking my body needed a rest. Have taken a couple of turmeric capsules in the morning ever since and sometimes at night. Been doing a lot better these past couple of days.
07-30-2014, 07:44 AM   #4
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I wouldn't or if I did I would take what they say with a grain of salt. Having been through so much and realize that only surgery and modern medicine made difference for me I think some of these fringe docs mean well but don't understand the severity and complexity of the illness. They often say oh do this and that as if it's so easy and not a serious disease. If you go, use caution.
07-30-2014, 09:36 AM   #5
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I say combine ALL the knowledge you can. In my opinion, hit this disease from EVERY angle. You are your best advocate. I find GI docs to be scope and go docs (I'm sure there are some great ones out there tho). We combine modern medicine, with supplements herbal and anything we may feel to be of use (my husband even wears a baltic amber necklace, like the ones that teething babies wear for inflammation and pain). We use diet, exercise and getting enough sleep. One may not be enough in of itself, but if you combine multiple things, you may just open a whole new world of knowlege and "life". I would never dismiss the words of a doctor OR a naturopathic one. Take in ALL of their knowledge, and apply it to your situation. Modern medicine alone doesn't work for everyone... its up to you to decide what is ultimately right for you!
07-30-2014, 10:48 AM   #6
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I started down that road early on. I got sicker and sicker. I trust the scientific process so I never went back.
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07-30-2014, 05:51 PM   #7
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I say combine ALL the knowledge you can. In my opinion, hit this disease from EVERY angle. You are your best advocate. I find GI docs to be scope and go docs (I'm sure there are some great ones out there tho). We combine modern medicine, with supplements herbal and anything we may feel to be of use (my husband even wears a baltic amber necklace, like the ones that teething babies wear for inflammation and pain). We use diet, exercise and getting enough sleep. One may not be enough in of itself, but if you combine multiple things, you may just open a whole new world of knowlege and "life". I would never dismiss the words of a doctor OR a naturopathic one. Take in ALL of their knowledge, and apply it to your situation. Modern medicine alone doesn't work for everyone... its up to you to decide what is ultimately right for you!
I tend to go with the notion of holistic, I guess. With that being said, I don't mean holistic as the natural approach would mean, but I'm open to both natural and allopathic treatments. I guess figuring out what works best for various things and finding the happy medium is the trick. What I have learned about life thus far is it's not only about family, but it's about balance. If your life is out of balance (whether physically, mentally, or externally), it can affect your whole being. Trying to find what YOUR balance is, is definitely a challenge for some of us who might have a different 'norm' to another person.
07-30-2014, 05:57 PM   #8
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I wouldn't or if I did I would take what they say with a grain of salt. Having been through so much and realize that only surgery and modern medicine made difference for me I think some of these fringe docs mean well but don't understand the severity and complexity of the illness. They often say oh do this and that as if it's so easy and not a serious disease. If you go, use caution.
I tend to be a bit wary of all medicine to some degree. I'm not paranoid, but if it doesn't feel right or doesn't seem right, regardless of the angle the specialist is coming from, I shy away from it. The first natural approach I'm using comes with no side-effects and would probably get its leaning from the ayurvedic medical arena, although I haven't seen anyone that practices Ayervedic medicine. It was through reading the web and finding something natural that might help. I'm just looking at other possibilities. I'm not interested in changing my 'lifestyle' in terms of belief etc, but am willing to make some changes to my physical (input/output) if it helps.

To put another perspective on it: Some people have said "Why don't you try medical grade CBD (cannabis oil) to treat your epilepsy". Why would I? I'm on a drug that gives me 100% control over it, has few side-effects (virtually none) and I'm not about to screw with my brain any further. Sure, there could be other things later on, but it's all about quality of life and one needs to weigh the pros and cons of meds versus side-effects and efficacy.
07-30-2014, 08:21 PM   #9
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Thanks for your response.
The reason I'm asking is that I've been given some pills and when I started reacting badly after the scopes last week, the pills didn't help (granted, I only had them for about 3-4 days afterward) and yet, upon taking turmeric and pepper supplements to try and help with the burning and inflammation, it began to settle significantly. Hubby saw a 180 degree changed in how I appeared to be feeling. The next morning, I took two more capsules to try and get rid of the remainder and I was better after that. I shied away from the pills they gave me thinking my body needed a rest. Have taken a couple of turmeric capsules in the morning ever since and sometimes at night. Been doing a lot better these past couple of days.
Interesting I just added turmeric to my supplement regimen. I like to be open to both traditional & naturopathic approaches.
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07-30-2014, 08:25 PM   #10
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Hi Jay,

What I read about the turmeric, and you may have read a similar thing: It works best if you have black pepper with it - for absorption. Whether you eat turmeric and black pepper or consume it in a vitamin capsule (like I do) would probably be irrelevant. I hope it helps you. It hasn't cured me, but it's definitely helped with some of the inflammation, which is fantastic.
07-30-2014, 08:34 PM   #11
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Hi Jay,

What I read about the turmeric, and you may have read a similar thing: It works best if you have black pepper with it - for absorption. Whether you eat turmeric and black pepper or consume it in a vitamin capsule (like I do) would probably be irrelevant. I hope it helps you. It hasn't cured me, but it's definitely helped with some of the inflammation, which is fantastic.
Thanks! I also read that you should have black pepper with a curcumin supplement. I just purchased a CurcuViva Curcumin. First time ever trying curcumin!
07-30-2014, 08:43 PM   #12
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Thanks! I also read that you should have black pepper with a curcumin supplement. I just purchased a CurcuViva Curcumin. First time ever trying curcumin!
Exactly! I looked up the product you have and it's similar to mine by the looks of it (different manufacturer) I have Curcurmin Synergy (Turmeric Supreme) with the black pepper already added, but yours states it has high bio-availability...assuming it means it's easily absorbed.

It would be nice if collectively we could all find things that actually help that aren't 'drugs', but digestive aids and relievers that seem to be helping. As I travel along in this journey, I will continue to let people know if I find something that helps me that might help others. Drugs and surgery alone can't be the only answers.
08-01-2014, 04:43 PM   #13
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I have been taking a much more natural approach by eating only fruits and vegatables. Also making sure they are all organic and it has been helping a lot. It is amazing the power of eating right.
08-01-2014, 05:44 PM   #14
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I have been taking a much more natural approach by eating only fruits and vegatables. Also making sure they are all organic and it has been helping a lot. It is amazing the power of eating right.
Reducing the amount of pesticides and altered ingredients in your diet has to be a benefit. I'm glad it's helping.
08-03-2014, 09:18 PM   #15
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I just confirmed I cannot eat lettuce. I had a salad this evening and it made me feel really rotten. I went and got some crystallized ginger to see if that might help. It feels like I have a gnawing in my gut. I'd already tried ice cream and nexium and I had the turmeric shortly after dinner (or so I thought - I may not have had the turmeric -it seems to be fairly effective -, but don't want to overload my system with the same thing since life is supposed to rely on balance).
08-03-2014, 11:10 PM   #16
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So, out of the blue I was thinking "I should go see a naturopath".
Hello. I am new here.

I have UC and have had it for almost fifteen years.

I use to go the conventional route with mixed results.

I started to see a naturopath in 2011 and started to see a herbalist in 2013, and these are two of the best decisions I have ever made.

Between them they sorted my diet out, helped me cope with associated depression, emotions and stress, put me on some excellent supplements and got me on a herbal medicine regime.

I feel better than I have felt in years, and things are slowly getting better each day.

Well that is my experience.

Never say never - but I hope I never go the conventional route again.
08-03-2014, 11:21 PM   #17
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What I read about the turmeric,
Hello. I found that many turmeric tablets do not break down or absorb well. I have found that many pass straight through me still intact!

The very best one I have tried (from the naturopath) is Thorne Research Meriva-500 Curcumin Phytosome. Although I found relief within weeks of taking it, it took about three months of daily use to really kick-in.

But I have just upped the ante by swapping to a liquid extract from my herbalist; for better absorption.

Turmeric is one of the supplements along with Vitamin D, that I have found most particularly helpful for UC.
08-04-2014, 04:34 AM   #18
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I have to say no. I went through a period in which I tried all sorts of alternative treatments for my digestive problems, from herbal supplements to diets with no processed food, to hypnotherapy to reiki to spiritual healing to food intolerance testing to homeopathy and a load of others. Not one of them had a beneficial effect, some made my physical symptoms worse (the various diets I tried, which also caused me to loose weight which I couldn't afford to loose); in general they took a huge toll on me emotionally, as many of the practitioners I saw didn't want to know when I told them what they'd sold me wasn't working, and the constant disappointment and feeling like a failure were awful. Plus there was, of course, a financial cost.

I was very young (a teenager) when I tried these alternative things. I learned to employ a great deal of scepticism, not just about alternative and natural medicine, but about people in general.

Conventional medicine - medications and surgery - have helped me enormously. I've also had medication that didn't help, or which gave me bad side effects. And I've seen many conventional doctors who were just ignorant or horrible people (often both). I've come to the conclusion that conventional medicine has the potential to really help in many cases, but it has to be wielded by the right doctor. Alternative medicine just doesn't have that potential.

I do think lifestyle, and the physical elements of lifestyle - diet, exercise, etc. - play a big, big role in physical and mental health, but I don't believe a "natural" diet is necessarily the healthiest. I do just fine with foods with additives and sugar and other stuff often labelled as unnatural and therefore bad. A diet with junk in moderation, provided it gives you everything you need, can be best. What really damages my digestive system, is the fibre found in raw fruit and veg, wholegrains, nuts and seeds and other supposedly healthy or natural foods.

For me at least, I do find exercise beneficial physically and mentally, though the amount and type of exercise clearly has to be adapted to the individual and their situation at any given time. Sleep is a major factor with me - I need plenty of good sleep (going to bed fairly early usually, sometimes napping during the day, and always getting up early), which makes me feel so much better all round, though, again, that's just me. So I do recognise the role of what could be termed an holistic approach to health, involving these background factors, but I don't think people necessarily need to go and see a practitioner in order to improve in these areas. I also employ medication to help me achieve the sleep I need.

Natural does not mean good, or healthy, and unnatural does not mean bad or unhealthy.

Last edited by UnXmas; 08-04-2014 at 05:01 AM.
08-04-2014, 06:02 AM   #19
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I watch a programme on channel 4 in the uk on Mondays which I find very interesting it's about food and mainly ways food are produced I always thought thought that it involved lots of chemical and
flavouring,junk mainly but have been surprised that a lot of food production is very clean ,scientific and is basically home cooking but on an industrial scale.i have a friend how works in a very large well known bakery in Scotland he says the same thing it's the same process used at home but in a very large way,he also mentioned that hygiene and cleanliness were no.1 priorities,good to know.
08-04-2014, 09:25 PM   #20
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Hello. I found that many turmeric tablets do not break down or absorb well. I have found that many pass straight through me still intact!

The very best one I have tried (from the naturopath) is Thorne Research Meriva-500 Curcumin Phytosome. Although I found relief within weeks of taking it, it took about three months of daily use to really kick-in.

But I have just upped the ante by swapping to a liquid extract from my herbalist; for better absorption.

Turmeric is one of the supplements along with Vitamin D, that I have found most particularly helpful for UC.
The turmeric I'm taking is curcuma longa with black pepper. The black pepper also aids in absorption, but I totally get what you mean about a liquid form. It will get into the blood stream easier and quicker. I went to the herbal shop the other day and a lady handed me some B12 pills, but since I shouldn't be deficient and have an issue with the area that absorbs B12, I don't think pills are the way to go and I opted for a more expensive throat spray.
08-04-2014, 09:28 PM   #21
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UnXmas,

I agree that natural doesn't necessarily mean healthy. It's like being a vegetarian doesn't necessarily mean someone's eating healthy. It just means they're avoiding meat. Unnatural, or processed isn't going to kill us, but I think everything in moderation (including moderation). Or everything we can stomach in moderation - because I just found out that lettuce is one of the foods I can't eat (not many great nutrients in a lettuce anyway, but it did contain water).
08-04-2014, 09:33 PM   #22
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I watch a programme on channel 4 in the uk on Mondays which I find very interesting it's about food and mainly ways food are produced I always thought thought that it involved lots of chemical and
flavouring,junk mainly but have been surprised that a lot of food production is very clean ,scientific and is basically home cooking but on an industrial scale.i have a friend how works in a very large well known bakery in Scotland he says the same thing it's the same process used at home but in a very large way,he also mentioned that hygiene and cleanliness were no.1 priorities,good to know.
Some of the foods that are processed are processed using questionable chemicals and that in large doses they can damage our health, but the problem is, we don't always know which and there are so many. In the US (I'm a migrant from NZ), I've been amazed at how artificial a lot of the food is that is available. The food in NZ was more expensive, but I also think that a lot of it was better quality. If I paid the same price for food (dollar for dollar - ignore currency conversion as the NZ dollar is worth less), then what it would cost to feed my family organic and minimally processed foods in the US is what it would probably cost to feed my family on regular foods in NZ. We have a few processed foods, but by and large a lot of our stuff is now home made. It's cheaper and we know what we're getting (it wouldn't be if we were in NZ), but we still have a bit of junk too. We're not health nuts by any means. I have a sweet tooth, which I have to try and curb, as the nasty come down from sugar is horrid and it doesn't take much to make me crash.
08-04-2014, 11:07 PM   #23
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I don't think pills are the way to go and I opted for a more expensive throat spray.
You are correct. Pills are not the way at least not for people with UC and C. The stuff you spray directly on your tongue absorbs B12 much better. Also don't just see a shop assistant at a herbal store. To get the best treatment you need to consult with an actual qualified herbalist or naturopath. A shop assistant gave me a slippery elm tablet which was useless because SE is meant so coat the whole tract and tablets won't do that. The herbalist suggested the powder and/or marshmallow root powder because of the mucilage soothing effect. Both the powders have worked wonders for me too, where the pills/capsules/tablet did nothing.
08-05-2014, 05:47 AM   #24
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I also looked at marshmallow root because it appears to be in a lot of cleansers, but wasn't sure if it might cause diarrhea (I'm one of those that isn't having that as a symptom). I agree, powders are probably better. The less obstruction between the nutrient and the blood stream the better. I used to have Spirulina powder in my smoothies years ago, just because it was supposed to be really good for you and I can handle the slightly musty smell - should probably get some more.

The lady whom I spoke to the other day knew her Vitamin B12s and would have recommended one but it was sold out. But she showed me the best one. It doesn't have to convert in your body, so I went for that. I'm not sure of a herbalist in town. I know there's at least ONE naturopath, but am thinking of exploring through books specifically on IBDs and natural methods. Until they know what they're treating, conventional medical experts are just guessing and prescribing stuff that may not work.
08-05-2014, 05:57 PM   #25
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but am thinking of exploring through books specifically on IBDs and natural methods.
You seem to be on the same path that I have been on for a while.

The marshmallow root should be OK as it is very gentle. And because traditionally and presently it is used by practitioners to treat IBD. Because of its mucilage content is can be used for both diarrhea and constipation. If you have diarrhea it helps to dry things up, and if you have constipation it helps to get things going.

It has other healing properties that help IBD too. From past experiences with anything new, I find it is best to start slowly with a low dose and build up my tolerance levels, rather than going in gung-ho in all guns blazing in the beginning.

Because I have only made a few posts, they won’t let me post proper links. But if you wanted to search further, the following has information in relation to IBD and marshmallow:

herbwisdom.com/herb-marshmallow.html

You just add the www at the beginning

Slippery Elm powder is fantastic too. In the mornings if I have loose bowels and have to travel on public transport, I will have some SEP and it works wonders. I just use a teaspoon of SEP in a little water and then ten minutes later you have a paste that you can add to smoothies or juices. You could even add water and drink it, but the taste is a little off without something else to hide it.

My own background is seeing the gastroenterologist and doctor for many years and both of them telling me that diet and supplements were a waste of time and money, as they would not work. I got so depressed, despondent and suicidal and I was not really getting any better.

The drugs were managing the disease only - I was not actually getting better. In sheer desperation and because I was often too ill to leave the house, I started exploring through books specifically on IBDs and natural methods.

From there I learnt that “gluey” foods like cheese, wheat / gluten should be avoided by IBD sufferers. I also learnt that green kale juices, liquid chlorophyll, wheatgrass and spirulina were good for IBD sufferers.

I started experimenting and found I felt MUCH better avoiding gluey foods – the cramping, mucous, bleeding and pain went away, and I felt fantastic with more energy and my bowels were calmer.

I also found that the green stuff worked wonders and calmed me down and actually seemed to improve my condition. A bit more reading lead me onto L-Glutamine supplement powder and over time that started to help to.

But I was a bit frazzled with so much information to take in, that I saw a naturopath and told her what I had discovered. She said I was on the right path and had the right ideas, but she then took it even further and introduced me to other beneficial foods and supplements.

She also helped me with my emotions, stress and depression since all three are intertwined and connected to IBD.

My naturopath is also an herbalist but she does not keep a dispensary on premises, so then I started working with an herbalist who has a dispensary and things have improved even more. Both know exactly what I am taking because they prescribed the medicine, so there is no possibility of overdosing.

I feel very well looked after. And then if I discover anything else I feel may help, I contact them and they will either say yes or no, and then explain why – so I am learning more as I go on.

I still retain my gastroenterologist and doctor, but I just never see them now because my needs are met elsewhere.

I should also mention that the first naturopath I saw did not have much experience with UC but she still managed to improve my situation. My second and present naturopath and the herbalist both have extensive knowledge of and experience with IBD. They have both successful treated a number of IBD sufferers. So you may have to ask round rather than going to the first person you come across.

I would be interested to hear what other ideas you have discovered on the natural front, as I am always keen to learn more and something may help me too.

Cheers

Melanie
08-05-2014, 06:34 PM   #26
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Interesting thread - I've been thinking about Naturopathy a lot lately.

I do not currently see a Naturopath, but I would be open to trying one if I could find one who's IBD knowledgeable (great point, SmellyMelly!) and who would network with my GI.

My second and present naturopath and the herbalist both have extensive knowledge of and experience with IBD. They have both successful treated a number of IBD sufferers.
SmellyMelly: How do your naturopath and herbalist evaluate your disease activity / remission? Do they periodically check labs for inflammation markers, etc?
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08-05-2014, 06:49 PM   #27
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Thanks Melanie for your insightful post on your experiences. I will check out the link on marshmallow powder as I was wondering about that.

Inkystinky: Good question about the evaluation methods. I'm curious too.
08-05-2014, 06:53 PM   #28
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I just read the information on the page and I don't think Marshmallow would be something I would remotely consider based on my medical history. At least not without consulting a Naturopath or herbalist first. Great information though. Seems to be a well balanced site.
08-05-2014, 07:55 PM   #29
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I don't think Marshmallow would be something I would remotely consider based on my medical history. At least not without consulting a Naturopath or herbalist first. .

Of course not. You should NEVER self diagnose or self prescribe. Far too risky.

You certainly are on the right track there

This is because certain supplements cannot be mixed with certain drugs. And certain supplements cannot be taken with certain health issues (i.e.) some herbs mix very badly with blood thinning medications, and some herbs should be limited with asthmatics.

Every supplement related item I have ever taken, was only after first consulting with a professional natural health doctor, naturopath or herbalist.

Most health stores have a qualified naturopath on their staff who can guide you. But they can only guide you. And it is then your free choice to take the supplement. They cannot prescribe, they can only answer your questions in regards to said supplement. I have done this a few times in the past.

But legally they cannot actually "prescribe a medicine or regime" to you, until you have sat down with them at a face-to-face appointment, and had an in-depth consultation that records your entire health, your family's health and takes your past and present medication history into account.

It costs a lot of money and many years to go through university and qualify as a natural health doctor, naturopath or herbalist. They are then regulated and bound by strict "Duty of Care" under their practicing insurance. And if they don't comply they can be barred from practicing.

Again I cannot post links as new here but the following two websites should hopefully put your mind at ease as they cover ethics and other legal stuff:

naturopathic.org/content.asp?contentid=57

americanherbalistsguild.com/ethics

Just add the www again

For an even better experience, you could also see a herbalist who is also extensively trained in iridology. But they are very hard to find. I have only found one and she is so popular that she is fully booked until February 2015. Got my name on the waiting list.

Also should mention that if the marshmallow powder does not suit, then the herbal liquid extract may suit instead. Or the tea is extremely gentle. But always double check with a natural health professional first.
08-05-2014, 08:25 PM   #30
SmellyMelly
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I do not currently see a Naturopath, but I would be open to trying one if I could find one who's IBD knowledgeable (great point, SmellyMelly!) and who would network with my GI.
Hello

I have told my GI and doctor what I am doing. They are fully aware of everything. They do not wholly agree. And my GI does not approve. But my doctor does approve and is on board and respects my decisions.

Both my naturopath and herbalist have been in contact with him on occasion and he with them. I don't need to see my GI and doctor but I will update them occasionally via letter for my file.

If I was still on medication then of course I would need everyone to band together and co-operate. But I no longer take medication so this does not apply to my case.

If you can get everyone communicating and working together for your best interests that would be excellent.


How do your naturopath and herbalist evaluate your disease activity / remission?
The same way doctors do.


Do they periodically check labs for inflammation markers, etc?
Just to be safe, I get all the relevant blood tests and lab reports done once or twice a year.

I get a list of things to check from my naturopath and herbalist (usually the same things) and take that list to my doctor. He then writes a request for the blood tests / lab work, and I get them done.

Once the results are in, one copy goes to my doctor, one copy to my naturopath and the other to my herbalist.

If anything is on "alert" they will all contact me. So far fingers crossed I have only had two alerts since 2011, and they have now both been corrected.

The whole Vitamin D thing was most interesting a few years ago. I have everything tested. And my doctor said the tests were all fine. But I got a call alert from my naturopath to say my Vitamin D levels were too low. Doctor said fine. Naturopath said not.

I went with my Naturopaths advice on the matter, since she has helped me the most and got the best results so far. I took her recommended dose supplement for VitD and my UC improved dramatically.

I am due for another round of testing soon and will be interested to see any improvement on last year.
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