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Case study: Alternative therapies for IBD

MagazineAugust 1994 (Vol. 5 Issue 5)Case study: Alternative therapies for IBD

Despite having had ulcerative colitis for only 18 months, I have run a whole gamut of attempted cures and aids

Despite having had ulcerative colitis for only 18 months, I have run a whole gamut of attempted cures and aids. I had my first severe attack a year ago and spent nearly two months in hospital. I was treated with very high doses of steroids, which soon knocked the problem on the head. However, as I started to reduce the dose, I found myself becoming ill again and ended up back in hospital. At this point I was treated with azathioprine and told it had a steroid "sparing" effect. The azathioprine helped initially but after about six weeks I developed a liver abnormality and had to stop taking the drug. So I was once again left with steroids and mesalazine.

Over the last 18 months my main goal has been to become completely drug free, and this has proved extremely difficult. I was put in touch with a herbalist a couple of months ago who specializes in treating inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). He started treating me with his capsules and recommended a special diet. The diet is initially very strict, but there is no question that the treatment is allowing the gradual reduction of the drugs. I am now on 1 mg prednisolone daily and expect to soon stop taking this completely. I am also on half the dosage of mesalazine I was prescribed originally.I have taken a risk and think it is paying off. I did it because I feel strongly that sufferers must not be victims but take part in solving their problems. Since orthodox medicine knows hardly anything about causes of IBD or how to treat the syndrome without using dangerous drugs, it seems sensible to seek alternative therapies.

I do not, however, recommend to readers that they do what I have done without referring first to their consultant. . . and I hope they've got a broadminded one who accepts that alternative medicine is a viable proposition and sometimes offers just that an alternative. Rachel Ball, Dunstable......


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