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Crohn's Disease Forum » Your Story » Healed fistula/fissures/abscesses


11-10-2015, 10:07 PM   #1
Jabo
 
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Healed fistula/fissures/abscesses

First, I am not a snake oil salesman, I have nothing to gain from writing this but instead am taking my time to write this story and share my experience so that it might help another. It very well might not, the following might just have been luck for me, so I make no promises, so please don't accuse me of trying to profit off of people or spreading false hope. My abscesses/fissures/fistula have all healed and for anybody who knows how bad this is, which it is absolutely awful, I feel like if I have any knowledge that could help somebody, it is my responsibility to help them.

I used to apply a homemade ointment each day in the morning and night and after each BM. Missing this schedule would cause relapse. I no longer have to follow that schedule as things are all okay now, but still will apply it a few times a week when things haven't been going so well with my Crohn's and I can feel the anal disease coming back.

Also, and very importantly, during the process of healing I went on medicine that helped me to get Crohn's manageable. Not full "remission" but many days are symptom free. The regime includes taking Humira and following a strict version of the SCD/auto-immune paleo diet. I have tested meds and diet alone and neither does it for me by itself; it takes the combination of both.

The recipe for the ointment is 1/3 Burts Bees orginal lip balm in the tin, 1/3 wild oregano oil, 1/3 arnica oil. I am including a screenshot. I can buy these from my local health food store, but I tend to buy them online at iherb or Amazon as it is cheaper that way.

Next, the warning should be noted that 1) this ointment burns, sometimes pretty badly, and 2) in the case of very bad fissures for some reason there is more blood for the first couple of days as it is starting to work, but in my case at least, there was less pain and spasms as I went about my daily work.

I want to also give instructions on how to apply it. If you have some fissures, you can't just go applying this stuff inside directly on top of the fissures. It will be way too painful. Instead I applied to the outside of the anus and then as I walked or moved I think it kind of slowly worked its way in a bit and that was enough. With more healing I was able to apply closer to the affected areas, eventually even able to apply a little inside, but that being able to apply some inside didn't come for quite a while.

My experience is as follows:

Fissures. This was one of the first signs of my Crohn's. I had these for just over 10 years! They were not small and the pain was excruciating. Doctors I went to wouldn't give me anything that worked which included suppositories/nitroglycerin ointment/pain pills. The doctor would not operate because he was afraid I wouldn't heal because of Crohn's so I was told to just live with it. This led me to on my own trying anything and everything to just get some relief.

Why I think it worked is like this. Nitroglycerin wasn't bad in that in stopped the spams, but it also gave me headaches and there wasn't a lot of healing. Suppositories helped a little with healing, but didn't stop spasms. The suppositories had steroids in them and that was suppose to be the active ingredient but in hindsight I think it was just the oily filler that helped because it helped moisturize and grease things up so they came out easier with a BM.

What I think I personally needed (again this might be different for other people) was to first get everything to relax, and then provide nutrients to help heal things; nutrients alone wouldn't do it because the wound was not relaxed and relaxing the muscles was not enough because my body didn't have the power to heal itself correctly. The above ointment allowed that to happen.

First, it has peppermint oil in it as a part of the lipbalm. This peppermint oil makes things burn. For me it reminds me of putting icy/hot down there. Not a comfortable feeling at all, but.... it made the muscles relax (for me). Otherthings in the lipbalm helped nourish the skin and the arnica oil helped to speed up the healing.

So again, for me the turning point was to get things to relax and then getting some stuff to help it heal while it was relaxing. In theory I guess you could do this with prescription nitroglycerin and prescription suppositories, but I found this combination cheaper, more wholistic, and with less side effects (other than the burning).

Abscesses/fistula: In a way I was a bit lucky because I only had one fistula and it was a milder form, an "transphincteric fistula" that resulted from an abscess being cut and drained. Even in a mild form the shame, pain, and complications with dealing with this still sucked. On a daily basis I dealt with bleeding and the infection leaking. This lasted for 2 years.

I later on additionally got a second abscess but luckily was able to get it under control before it developed into a second fistula.

In addition to applying the ointment I also was on antibiotics. This was about my 4th time on antibiotics before I had been on Cipro/Flagyl and it always helped the abscesses, a couple of times after taking the combination for six months it even went away and healed on the outside, but I think it didn't heal on the inside all the way and as soon as I stopped the antibiotics it came back.

I took a 23&Me DNA test and part of my results were that I wasn't a good metabolizer of Cipro, so the last time I asked for a different antibiotic in combination with Flagyl, and I think that really helped me to get it once and for all. (sorry I don't remember the name of the Cipro like antibiotic)

So for taking care of the fistual/abscesses it took 1. the strict following of the diet, 2. Humira, 3. a good antiobitic combination, 4. the homemade ointment. I did try different combinations of these at different times, but it really took doing all of them to heal up.

The reason why I think it worked is that the diet/humira kept me from flaring, the antibiotics helped fight via my immune system and the ointment helped fight things topically. I especially think that a key part was the wild oregano oil and the arnica oil. I think the oregano oil helped to disinfect the area as it is known to have anti-viral/anti-bacterial/anti-fungal properties. And then arnica helped the wound to heal when it wouldn't have healed otherwise.

The process was like this. After a while the swelling from the abscess would go down. Next the outside would kind of heal over but still sometimes need popping or draining. Then it would heal again and then need popping/draining again. Eventually it all healed over on the outside but there was still a noticeable swollen track about the thickness of a pencil. As time went by the track got smaller and smaller and then kind of hard and rubbery. Finally it just disappeared. On the inside what was a hole eventually healed over and now I am left with a pot hole type indention in the inner anal wall, but it has healed over.

It has now been full year with no more antibiotics and no more signs of abscess/fistula. I waited a while before writing this because there were other times I thought I had it beat, only to have it come back. Now I feel pretty sure about it being gone and can even go a couple of weeks without using any ointment if everything else is going well (that of course is hit or miss depending on the state of my Crohn's at any given time). When I do use the ointment now, it is to counteract fissures that are starting to develop, of which it does a good job of stopping them and healing it up.


Last edited by Cat-a-Tonic; 11-11-2015 at 09:12 AM.
11-11-2015, 06:31 PM   #2
Robrich
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Good for you Jabo. My experience somewhat similar, got the inflammation under control with entyvio, MTX, antibiotics and a strict paleo diet with bone broths. The fistula wouldn't heal, might close the on the outside for a few weeks, but then start again.
Told my doc we needed a topical application. She came up with clindamycin 1% cream and tacrolimus ointment ("pro topic"). Applied 2x/d internally and externally.
My fistula started with Noy 1" up from my anus so I was able to reach it with my finger. I also used coconut oil and aloe gel as well.
Well it worked, had the seton removed and the fistula has stayed closed for over 2 mos. but can't reduce my meds or disease returns and still need 1tab augmentin.
It takes a lot of trial and error lots of meds and a lot of work to heal these nasty things, but it is well worth the effort.
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DX. Crohns 50 yrs. with fistulas for 20 years until remicade
Meds: MTX,ENTYVIO 9/14' augmentin,
pred. 10mg.
probiotics
d3, calcium, k2' magnesium, resveratrol,
Turmeric,paleo, bone broths
Past: humira no response after 6 mos., remicade amazing for 10 years then stopped working.
Entocort
6mp, Imuran never helped nasty side effects liver problems, caught pneumonia
Asacol, rowasa no response
Flagyl worked well but got PN cipro same.
11-12-2015, 05:51 AM   #3
Jabo
 
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Hi Robert, Our stories do sound very similar.

Please keep on with your regime if it is working for you. There were many times I had it heal up on the outside to think I had it beat and then stop the regime only to have it come right back.

It is a delicate matter I guess, but it seems like you are doing the same thing I was doing in trying to control the diet to prevent flares, and using ointments to make sure everything topically was disinfected and had nutrients to heal while at the same time giving the immune system a boost with antibiotics to heal it from the center out.

I would mention that the antibiotics definitely caused side effects and I took the in courses up to 6 months at a time, but even after I thought it was okay, I kept right on taking them and I think that really helped. Of course eventually I did stop, but I think that was a good two months after I felt like I was healed, during which time I still continued all the other things too.

The doctor also was pretty amazed I got it to heal. He had also always said that a fistula wouldn't heal without surgery. I had to practically beg him for antibiotics a couple of times while I was doing experiments trying to get things to heal.
11-12-2015, 11:25 AM   #4
Robrich
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Yes Jabo you are quite correct. I have learned from very many years dealing with this disease and fistula If You ar able to get it under control stay with what works.
If you stop doing what made you better there's a good chance the problem will come back.
This disease doesn't go away it may hibernate but it always lurks to n the background
11-13-2015, 08:49 AM   #5
Jabo
 
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agreed
11-18-2015, 09:22 PM   #6
kel3333
 
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Hello,

I have found these posts very interesting and comforting. I have a transphicteric fistula (non-crohns), it resulted from a recurring abscess. I had seton placement surgery 2 weeks ago and the pain was so severe from it, my surgeon had to remove it a few days ago and was unable to explain why I had such intense pain from it as his patients rate complain of pain from the loose seton... Since I do not have crohns be suggested we schedule the next surgery (FLAP) ... I have been hesitant to do this as he told me it is quite painful and most likely will be even more so for me since my seton was so painful... But also I have three kids ages 4 and under so the thought of such a long and tough recovery frightens me.
I have been reading about mom surgical treatments and read some people have heard fistulas through SCD diet, others through ghee and warm milk and now your posts with the topical lotions/antibiotics/diet... My question is how did all of these people (yourselves included) know theirs was really healed... Wouldn't you need an MRI to confirm that? I know it's hard to get insurance to even approve the first one never mind a 2nd one? I suppose I want to make sure there is real truth in all of this as I need to make a decision as to scheduling this next surgery or waiting and staying relatively uncomfortable since seton placement and removal and trying out the natural approach...
Thanks in advance!!!!!
11-19-2015, 02:03 AM   #7
Jabo
 
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Deagu, South Korea
Hello,

I have found these posts very interesting and comforting. I have a transphicteric fistula (non-crohns), it resulted from a recurring abscess. I had seton placement surgery 2 weeks ago and the pain was so severe from it, my surgeon had to remove it a few days ago and was unable to explain why I had such intense pain from it as his patients rate complain of pain from the loose seton... Since I do not have crohns be suggested we schedule the next surgery (FLAP) ... I have been hesitant to do this as he told me it is quite painful and most likely will be even more so for me since my seton was so painful... But also I have three kids ages 4 and under so the thought of such a long and tough recovery frightens me.
I have been reading about mom surgical treatments and read some people have heard fistulas through SCD diet, others through ghee and warm milk and now your posts with the topical lotions/antibiotics/diet... My question is how did all of these people (yourselves included) know theirs was really healed... Wouldn't you need an MRI to confirm that? I know it's hard to get insurance to even approve the first one never mind a 2nd one? I suppose I want to make sure there is real truth in all of this as I need to make a decision as to scheduling this next surgery or waiting and staying relatively uncomfortable since seton placement and removal and trying out the natural approach...
Thanks in advance!!!!!
I had an MRI when being diagnosed where the infection could be seen.

Since it has healed, I have not had one but have been examined by the doctor externally and he was very pleased.

I'm not sure the state of your condition, but for me I had swelling and leaking of puss and blood from the out opening of the fistula. It was painful and emotionally sucked too. More than once I had blood leak through my pants.

The swelling of the outer opening went down so that the skin eventually became flat and smooth and it finally healed up and didn't leak or bleed anymore. Sometime the fistula could drain internally which would also lead to puss and blood coming from the the anal canal outside. That too has stopped. I used to also be able to feel the opening of the fistula with my finger and now can feel it is smooth skin. There is a pot hole type feel to it as the muscle underneath is damage, although the muscle still functions normally.

So gone is the pain, swelling, bleeding, and leaking of puss both internally and externally. It has been almost a year now in this state.
11-19-2015, 08:45 PM   #8
Robrich
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Same for me
The doc wanted to do an MRI before removing the seton
.but since there had been no drainage for 2mos. And no swelling along with good labs, low ESR and WBC and I didn't want to deal with the mi she said well I can't find any reason not to take it out and she removed it right then.
Now I have Crohns and I am sure that unless my disease is under control I can expect the fistula to recur.
Flap surgery doesn't work for Crohns I tried it. I don't recall it being that painful. They gave me lots of drugs and intentionally kept me constipated almost a week.
Even with the surgery and all you should be on antibiotics including topical. Wild oregano is an antibiotic if you want to try that. Other healing agents are helpful too.
If the pain is so bad take lots of painkillers. After my Seton placement the CSR gave me so much dilaudid I couldn't come close to taking it all.
A soft or liquid or EEN diet will help with the pain too.
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