Aloe Vera Juice and Yoga Help Ulcerative Colitis

To cut a long story short, Im 20 and developed ulcerative colitis last summer a few days before my 20th birthday, and passed blood for a few months but thought nothing of it (I thought it was a sports related injury, quiet stupid looking back on it), finally went to the Dr in September and had blood tests and a colonoscopy done, found out I had UC…

They gave me Asacol to take but I didn’t, instead I did the following for the past 2 months have been flare free since, and I hope it lasts! =)

1) Have 2 tablespoons of aloe vera juice in the morning with a glass of water, and then ready break 30 odd minutes after. And the same before dinner.
2) Yoga, breathing exercises (before breakfast and dinner) – help manage stress and blood flow, hormone levels…
3) I keep a food diary to see what causes my bowel to play up
4) I only have 3 meals a day to regulate how much food goes through the system
5) I have stopped drinking alcohol and fizzy drinks, also bread (stuff which ferments and causes gas basically)
6) Peeled fruits help a lot.
7) Some stuff called slippery elm powder (from most health shops) I mix with my breakfast. It coats your intestines and stops food irritating it

Im basically on a pseudo vegan diet for now (being at uni is hard where everyone is constantly stuffing their faces all the time with junk)

Some other things I have discovered are that:

Pumpkin is an anti-inflammatory for the intestine and has been proven to work in animals and humans, a few people from the Colitis UK group tried it and the results were very quick (next day). A fellow who was deemed to be steroid dependant is now off steroids after 2 weeks of taking a tablespoon of pumpkin puree every morning and only goes to the toilet once and has no cramps or pain, similar results for others have also been seen.

A’s story is now entered into the 2011 Ulcerative Colitis Writing Contest!!! You Can Join too, click here for details

18 thoughts on “Aloe Vera Juice and Yoga Help Ulcerative Colitis”

  1. Hey There A,

    I with you on the yoga ideas for sure. I used to do yoga about 10 years ago when I was 20, and stopped for the past ten years. Anyways, last week, started out of the blue doing it again with my wife at a local yoga spot, and man oh man, its been awesome so far. A serious workout, but with everyone else there, super motivational. I know this might sound tricky for some who are in flares, but my advice is to find a yoga spot with an accessible bathroom like the spot I hit up or do it from home with a video.
    thx for writing and sharing your story and stay in touch!!

  2. Glad you are experiencing success. As someone who has had ulcerative colitis their whole life, remissions just happen for no rhyme or reason. I hope you stay well, but I would advise you to take prescribed medicine if you get sick again. They can work and your remission might be just a coincidence with the things you are doing. My GI laughed at the gluten free idea and she is a hot shot specialist. Do what works for you, but don’t write off traditional medicine.

    1. Evidence is emerging that people who test negative for celiac disease may still have gluten intolerance. Just google “gluten intolerance wsj”. I don’t see why the specialist should laugh. Just because an idea isn’t clinically established doesn’t mean it’s not true. It might be, it might not be. Sometimes anecdotal evidence points to the truth, so it is not wise to dismiss it completely. And what is the harm of a colitis patient trying a gluten free diet?

  3. To “A” –
    Consider yourself fortunate about not using meds at this time, but there is conflicting information about the use of Aloe with UC.

    I just finished looking up Aloe Vera use for UC for my own UC problems, and there are a few reliable sites that state quite emphatically not to use Aloe Juice when you have UC.
    One is the Sloan Kittering Hospital section on “Herbs, Botanicals and other products” -

    Another site discussing UC & Aloe is –

    I’m in the midst of a flare-up and will discontinue the use of Aloe now after reading this stuff..

    And if you get to the Sloan Kittering site, check out the slippery elm info also.

  4. To: JT

    Hey JT, I am not completely sure you read that right on the Aloe Vera use. I read the article to say that the plant has a few different uses. One is the aloe gel the inner part of the plant which is used to heal wounds and is the stuff people also drink, in the one study it showed helpful to nearly 50% of the trial patients. Then there is the Aloe Latex the sap found just under the skin of the plant. This is the stuff that is a powerful laxative and would not work well for any of us! I am thinking about trying the gel, with my turmeric and boswellia to aid in cutting down inflammation!

  5. I have has UC for 4.5 years. Nothing has really worked I have tried:

    Colozide all this time-No response
    2 weeks on steroids (nothing).
    Salafalk granules (nothing).
    Smoking (nothing!
    Recently(approx 1.5 weeks) Aloe Vera Capsules equivalent to 20ml inner leaf juice (by Lifestream). Less trips to toilet and a sense of constipation and some solid feaces (haven’t seen those in a very long time).Feel Ok! although did have some cramping and gas (I started eating everything that I couldn’t prior to this, I Think That I’ll have to watch this!). Anyway I’m generally better now than I used to be. I just hopw it keeps up!

    PS. I take 2 capsules a day. Morning 1/2 hr before food and afternoon 1/2hr before food.

  6. Hey A,
    How are you going a year on? Still getting the same relief from that regimen?
    I’ve had UC for 7 yrs, tried plenty of different meds and lifestyle/ diet changes, but no consistent benefits to really speak of.
    I always respond well to steroids (and I kinda like the energy boost if I’m honest about it), but obviously not a viable long-term option.
    I’m just getting over one of my worst flares (the worst having been when I was active UC, on steroids, in Rural Indonesia where I got Campylobacter and Amoebiasis at the same time!…can laugh now at least…), and am about to start the Aloe extract my gf got me. She’s a yoga freak too, and seems like that half hour before breaks n dinner provides a good chance to do it / workout.

    Just curious if you’re still going well, and thanks for the post.

    To PJ – thanks for the clarification! I definitely don’t need a laxative right now! I’ve got the mucilage nous extract from Aloe Elite, sounds like I’m on the right path.

    To Justine – good point on the possible coincidences that can really complicate trying to figure out what’s working (and on the other side, what’s making us worse). I commend your faith in western medicine, but as a doctor (emergency) myself, advise you to exercise some caution and skepticism – it’s your body at the end of the day. And laughing at a patient’s suggestion is rarely a good sign, no matter how hot of a shot your specialist is – trust me, I’m a doctor! It’s usually a defense mechanism, a sign of being caught off-guard or unprepared for a question he/she’s supposed to be the best placed to answer (or just really arrogant and detached from reality).

    1. I was diagnosed at age 9 in 2000. Placed on prednisone and a liquid I don’t recall. Don’t recall when I went into remission. When I was almost 13, family “friends” I had to go live with, took me off the meds. And I have been/was in remission since. Had some severe stomach pains around age 16.. Doctor listened to stomach and said there was just a lot of movement and sent me home. a couple months ago my bowels changed and was in severe pain. I noticed over the past years becoming tired more often and my bones hurting a lot. 4/26/15 I met my new gastroenterologist. I was supposed to have a follow up colonoscopy when I was 12 ( that was 11 years ago)…this dr did my colonoscopy 4/27/15..biopsies later confirmed what he said being UC flaring pretty badly. Taking Asacol and Prednisone (just tapered it down to 30mg a day from 40 like prescribed) but starting to hurt a lot again. Have to change my diet..being in remission for 13 years and drinking and smoking and eating whatever I like starting all over

      1. Hey Denise sorry to hear about the flare.
        Try not to get angry at your family friends, doctor or yourself – especially while energy and emotions are running high on the combo of pred (steroids) and a (temporary) run of bad health.

        I can’t comment personally much on the pain side of things since this has never been one of my symptoms, but if it’s “wind pain”, I’ve been having great success with:

        1) another poster spoke in depth about the order in which we eat foods – having veggies / fruits at the end of a meal seems to leave them in the stomach for longer, fermenting and causing increased gas production. Also some veggies you might just need to avoid, at least while your flaring.

        2) being conscious of “arerophagia”, or ingestion of air while you’re eating / drinking. This is both a question of your technique when it comes to eating / drinking, and of cutting out carbonated beverages. I was so happy when I found I could drink rum on ice instead of beer without feeling mega bloated. I’m sure you’ll have some similar solution,

        3) Degas tablets (simethacone), I use up to 2 twice /day. Sometimes I need a break from them to change things up. But if I’m feelin gassy, they help heaps. My GE said I could use em as much as I like.

        If your pain is a prominent issue, again you can try the basics like paracetamol (acetamenophen in the Americas), or even buscopan (hyoscine, an antispasmodic available over the counter). I’d avoid ibuprofen (Advil, etc) as it does in theory lend itself to promoting gastrointestinal bleeding,a theory which in my own case over the past few years of really paying attention to my body (which, on a side note is a common theme in pretty much anyone I know who’s achieved remission) I’ve seen to be true – if I’m already bleeding, and I take some ibuprofen for a headache or muscle aches, etc, my bleeding gets a bit worse, even if it does ease certain pains better than paracetamol.

        Hope this helps.
        Good luck. I really hope this is a temporary setback

  7. Thanks for the post Jon…love your view on doctors given you are one.

    To Justine…I realize you may never see this so it is more for others…but I’ve had zero luck with traditional medicine and knowing what I know about UC, I’d never subject myself to traditional treatments again unless I was told I was near death, at which point who cares. I’m not forgoing western medicine. I’m forgoing doctors like your “hot shot” specialist whose training is geared toward treatment with medicines and surgeries…not the natural abilities of the human body or anything that focuses on the route of the cause of UC. The crazy medicines just hide symptoms while the body manifest the illness in another area…ever notice a person with a chronic illness has many illnesses on top of it? It is because the choices that person is making is pushing them further away from good health…not because some people just end up having lots of illnesses while others get lucky.

    As Jon said, it is truly a defense mechanism by a doctor who laughs off such a thing, either because they are unprepared or because they are really arrogant and think they know it all. A good doctor who cares for his or her patients would never laugh at the idea of a treatment a patient suggests and they would never send a patient away when they want to try something different than the norm. If they do not know enough, they’d get back to you after learning what they need to know or send you to someone who has experience with that treatment while your original doctor keeps tabs. I’ve had doctors tell me, “I’m all for any treatment plan you want to pursue,” then when I tell them…they turned blood red and seemed agitated. I’ve also had them completely refuse to treat me because I live with this illness(they do not so do they know what the medicines do? Do they see all the struggles when one should be healed?) and want to take a different route than nasty medicines that have only ever made me worse. When a medicine is supposed to help you, on what planet is it okay for that medicine to make your symptoms worse??? Sorry for my rant…and I appreciate you reminding others not to lose total faith in western medicine, but doctors are human and sometimes not very bright.

  8. plz guide me incase i joined yoga they swill stop the tablet or not, defnitely ulcerative collitis out of my body, plz suggest me am planning to join yoga

  9. Hello. I wasn’t sure where to comment and figured I would ask here. I don’t take aloe Vera but I do take probiotics, fish oil, boswellia, and a vitamin b complex. The thing is, is that I haven’t suffered from any digestive problems for atleast 6months now. But I suffer from terrible joint pains in both knees. I already took blood tests to rule out arthritist and I’m aware that UC can cause joint issues. If anyone has some tips I would be more than happy to listen. I have done Carb diets as well and have run out of options as of now. Oh, and I haven’t taken Asacol in a while because I was trying to get off it. I really don’t want to resort to steroids.

    1. Hi JB, not sure what you meant by “carb diet” but gluten is definitely linked to joint pain. You might try cutting it out and seeing if it helps?

  10. The fact the we have a disease which can’t be cured mentally disturbs a lot. I have become more pessimistic than ever.
    Is there any permanent cure for UC. I get really scared when my doctor says it can’t be cured.

  11. Hey, well i cam back to just share my success with my diet and some new stuff i have been taking. After trying different stuff i finally did some research and found a herb called Boswellia or boswellia serrata, i forget. Anyways it acts exactly like the antiinflammatory medicines do but its herbal. There was a study i think done by Michigan univ. that proved it work better then another leading UC medication. I take 3 tabs 300mg each, 900 total. That is what the study used. My knees feel much better now and im finally getting back to riding bike. I also got a probiotic called acidophilus lactobacillous which is found to promote colon health. I take the probiotic, 2-3 pills daily 5oo thousand bacteria each. Every thing is working good so far and i hope i stay on this track. Other than that, i switched to lactose free organic milk and eat kashi cereal which falls very well on my stomach. So i hope this can help some of you guys out.

  12. JB,
    It is good it has worked for you. My son was just diagnosed with UC. Are you still taking prescribed medication? How is your nutrition?


    1. Hey Ana, its unfortunate to hear about your sons diagnosis because I just had flashbacks of my mom and I receiving the news. As for the medication ill tell you what’s going on with me. The boswellia worked but I had to stop it because it was causing my liver enzymes to elevate which means my liver was overworking. After stopping it, I went through many different herbal supplements and my joint pain continued to persist. Long story short, nothing helped me, not fish oil, not turmeric, not probiotics, not the prescribed Asacol. I resorted to 2 wks of steroids to see if I could reset my body. The steroids definitely allowed me to move freely again but at a terrible price. Bad cramping, weight gain, acne….the list goes on. So the next step was Humira. This drug really scared me and so when it came time to actually take it, I felt I had to because I exhausted all my other options. Aside from injecting myself every 2 wks, this biodrug has worked phenomanally. No side effects and I’m now able to play soccer again after almost 2 years of inactivity. The reason I bring Humira up is to let you know that if your son doesn’t respond well to Asacol or the other first prescribed antiflammatories, then my suggestion would be first to try a diet change and then don’t wait too long go to Humira if necessary. As for my diet, it is probably better than 99% of teenagers in America and probably 90% better than adults. I eat about 9 fruits a day, plain oatmeal with ground flax seeds and applesauce and almond milk for breakfast, a giant spinach and kale salad with other veggies, nuts, meat, and for dinner I eat what ever my mom cooks which tends to be healthy things such as rice and beans or soup.
      I hope that helps.

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