Thursday, May 9, 2013

Adventures in Alternative Medicine - Take 2

The only thing that I personally have ever dealt with that even comes close to being as frustrating as infertility is Crohn's disease. Like with infertility, there are SO MANY unknowns and most treatment options have really awful side effects. It isn't uncommon to deal with a lot of Crohn's symptoms even if the disease isn't active in your body. A lot of times you don't know when the disease is active. Other than unreliable blood tests the only way to confirm a flare is with a colonoscopy or an MRI.

For the past month my symptoms have been showing their ugly head. I don't feel like I am dying or anything but having to run to the bathroom constantly certainly isn't convenient or pleasant. I went to my gastroenterologist and told her about my symptoms. She ordered those lovly blood tests and told me yet again that I need a colonoscopy or MRI. I, once again, said no to the tests. When I had my gallbladder removed in the Fall and subsequently had a bile leak and post-op infection I had several MRIs and a colonosopy. I am not eager to expose my body to more radiation or to have another colonoscopy quite yet (the prep is EXTREMELY unpleasant).

The blood test came back showing that I have some inflammation in my body but of course, this blood test does not tell you where the inflammation is or what is causing it. It could just be from a passing cold for all I know. It could also just be stress. Haha. Not like I have any stress, right? The blood test made my doctor really push for me to have one of these tests done. I get where she is coming from, I really do. But I'm tired of it. I am tired of tests and new medications and doctor's visits. I am not doing another MRI or colonoscopy right now.

So, I am trying to take control of things on my own. This may fail miserably and I may be going back to my doctor begging for one of those tests in a month, but I have to try. I came up with a plan of attack of things that I can do to improve my health. I generally find homeopathic and alternative medicine to be kinda cooky. I have not had great experiences with natural remedies before but I am willing to give some well-researched stuff a try.

No more gluten! I do not have Celiac's disease but I do believe that our society eats a lot more gluten than we were ever intended to. Most of that gluten is in highly refined and processed foods. All that processing is really bad for an already angry tummy. When I was eating gluten free I did notice a difference in how I felt. So I am going back to gluten free!

Kava every evening. A few months ago I discovered a really amazing herbal supplement for stress- kava! I started out using a kava tincture and after a bit I ordered the powdered root so that I could make kava-kava in the traditional way (in a drink form). The traditional preparation of kava did wonders for my stomach. It almosts acts as an anti-spasmodic for my stomach. I did not have the same result with the tincture because it contained alcohol and alcohol is very irritating to the stomach. Less stress is also important when it comes to getting healthy. Stress makes Crohn's worse. So, I am going back to drinking a cup of kava every night.

Iodine tablets. Iodine is a natural anti-inflammatory and there is a lot of science behind its benefit. (FYI- I have also read that it is great for women with endometriosis.) The majority of Americans are iodine deficient, so it certainly can't hurt. If it does what I am hoping it will lessen the inflammation in my stomach and I will have less symptoms.

Hopefully this stuff will do the trick and I will be back to a normal bathroom schedule shortly. I'm just so sick of depending on medications and doctors. I need to try this to empower myself and to at least know that I tried some lifestyle changes and natural options. I'll let you know how it turns out!


  1. I am so sorry you're dealing with this. I hate that you're in pain. i hope you're feeling better soon. xo