I have been an advocate of alternative medicine for decades. I have found that most health conditions can be healed through holistic healing modalities with fewer side effects than with allopathic (Western) medicine.
I have Ulcerative Colitis, diagnosed in the late 1980s, and Rheumatoid Arthritis (though it's probably Sero-Negative Arthritis since I don't have the Rheumatoid Factor), which was diagnosed in January 2004. I am currently in remission with the U.C. and have my arthritis under control exclusively with herbal supplements. Every once in a while I might take an aleve if I get a little achy, but other than that nothing chemical touches my lips. I swear by Acupuncture which was my saving grace during a terrible flare up of the U.C. 2 years ago, which was totally my fault. Don't let any doctor tell you that food isn't a major factor in causing illness, because it is. I cannot eat cheese, because it will cause a UC flare-up. As long as I refrain from dairy, particularly cheese, I am fine. Over the years my gastroenterologists have have tried to tell me it's not the cheese, but every flare-up I've had has been a direct result of re-introducing cheese into my diet. Never again!
I'm fortunate that I don't have to take anything to stay in remission for the U.C., other than staying away from cheese. The R.A., on the other hand, I need supplements to keep me in check. Over the years I have experimented with various herbal products and finally had the perfect combination until 2 years ago when I had the U.C. falre and was placed on Procrit for a severe case of anemia. The Procrit kicked in the arthritis and only recently have I finally gained some relief. I am still on some of the herbals I was taking prior to the Procrit (pttp) but I stopped several and added tart cherry juice and Wobenzyme enzymes. That last combination seems to have done the trick. I will be honest, I am not totally pain free, but I wasn't pttp either, but for the most part I don't notice the aches. When I was briefly on Bextra (until they took it off the market) I still had some residual pain, and I think this is as good as it will get, even if I was on some of the biologics like Enbrel.
I remember my rheumatologist telling me when I first got so sick with the R.A., when every joint in my body was in excruciating pain, that I needed to take Enbrel or I would be crippled in no time. My SED rate (inflammation marker) was about 121 (normal is 0 -20). He did not believe herbs and acupuncture could help. 7 years later he tells other patients about me, and my SED rate is always well below 20. And the only Western meds I took for the R.A. was Bextra for a very brief time.
I also remember the gastroenterologist putting the fear of God into me 2 years ago, when the bleeding started again after I was weaned off the Prednisone, insisting I start up again. I refused, like I refused taking the Enbrel, and instead took a miraculous Chinese herb called Yunnan Baiyao that my Acupuncturist gave me. The bleeding stopped within a few days, without the terrible side-effects of Prednisone.
Bottom line, more often than not, we know our bodies better than our doctors who are trained to medicate symptoms, rather than look at the body as a whole and what might be causing a problem.
I still believe there's some connection between the U.C. and the R.A. and that there's a simple key that is missing that no-one has been able to find. So I will continue to search for safer, healthier options for handling common and not-so-common diseases and disorders.
I am not a trained health care professional, although I have done a ton of research over the years, so please check with your doctors before you embark on any kind of alternative healing regimen. Remember that allopathic medicine is not the only option you have on your road to better health. And always, always do your own research. Although homeopathy is relatively safe, there are some herbs than can be toxic by themselves or in combination with other herbs or pharmaceuticals.
And if there's a medical emergency, like a possible stroke, heart attack, accident, broken leg or anything that needs immediate treatment, get yourself to the hospital. Once you know what the problem is you will be in a better position to make decisions.
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