Some more about me:
I have dual citizenship – my Dad is Swiss, my Mum’s an Aussie. Have visited Switzerland several times to see relatives but in my heart I am an Australian. I live near the sea and love it. I need to swim in it regularly. Since getting UC and researching all causes and possible remedies have gained an avid interest in Health. We really are what we eat.
Aloe Vera for Ulcerative Colitis
Need to get this out there – I feel I owe it to the site and others I used in my research of this disease. I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in May 2011. I am 46 years old and in the IT industry – stressful in itself but also owned a demanding Computer Services business with my partner for 7 years.
At the time of diagnosis under severe stress from business, and a personal family matter. Was vegetarian at the time eating way too much bread but fairly fit enjoying beach and swimming. In fact I thought I may have Giardia from swimming in a creek regularly so doctor put me on antibiotics to treat. When they didn’t work the Colonoscopy revealed UC up to appendix. GI specialist said it was caused by “stress and genetics” and although he seemed quite alternative and Eastern in his outlook maintained that food had nothing to do with it. I have one Uncle in Switzerland with UC and a Sister with the occasional bout of IBS when she gets stressed – that’s it for the genes. GI guy started me on Pentasa enemas as I wanted to treat the disease directly as did not want side effects from pills. They worked for a while.
Tried to use SCD diet as much as possible but hard to do when on the road with my job. Decided to sell business. Had several savage flare ups which grounded me for days at a time – attached to the toilet watching your life bleed out – you all know the feeling. Pentasa seemed to make things worse but I was determined to try beat this naturally so followed GAPs diet– broke my Vegetarianism and started making broths and existing on organic meats, home made yoghurt and safe fruit/vegetable choices.
Worst point I got down to 55 Kilos in weight (from 65 Kilos). GI specialist was shocked to see my blood work return a low kidney function and warned me off high protein diet and insisted I start eating carbs again. Kidney specialist seemed to think the Pentasa was the main issue. GI Specialist then put me on Sulfasalazine and this started to work straight away. I thought I was in the clear for a while although the side effects where headaches which is not good for a migraine sufferer. The Ergotamine I use for migraine seemed to cause me to bleed, Sulfasalazine fixes the bleeding but causes migraine so then I need Ergotamine…vicious circle.
Selling a business requires a lot of preparation and extra work on top of the usual stuff so I had pitfalls and flares on the way. For example hired a new engineer and fired him 2 weeks later for incompetence – the stress from this caused a flareup.
Upped my dosage of Sulfasalazine when the bleeding/diarrhea started and this would help taper it off but the bleeding/d would still be there. Always researching and trying things – glutamine, tumeric, slippery elm, olive oil, coconut oil, SCD, GAPS etc etc. All this stuff seemed to assist in lessening symptoms but none was ever a definitive cure. Sold the business (yay!) but had to stay on for 3 months.
Still on Sulfasalazine but blood still present and loose stools. After business sold decided to take as much time off as possible to deal with illness. Saw a Naturopath and had hair analysis, live blood screening. She gave me Intestamine which is compound of Slippery Elm/Tumeric/Glutamine and other supplements I was lacking in. Also some probiotics. Live blood work showed a parasite present and also fungal activity so approached it from a candida angle and tried to limit food that fed candida and tried to stay as SCD as possible. Was starving! Also blood and endless diarrhea. Although business was sold and I was essentially free with funds to give me a hiatus, 7 years of compounded stress takes a while to rid itself from your body. During this time I was reading Ted’s remedies over at the Earth Clinic website. Too much information and very scattered across the blog but some people getting results with his methods. He maintained that it was mycobacteria causing the inflammation so conventional medicine can only treat inflammation and not the cause which is the mycobacteria much like Helicobacter Pylori. These bacteria are extremely resistant to any modern antibiotic. His main weapon of choice was aloe vera inner leaf oil (I think he means gel) due to the polysaccharide in there which has a double action of killing the mycobacteria and reducing the inflammation. He also recommended other secondary supplements including DHEA, Melatonin, Iodine (from Lugol’s solution), N-acetylCysteine (NAC) amongst others including alkalising with lemons and Baking soda.
I had also read about a fellow Australian called Dom who had cured his UC by going on a rice fast and following up with enemas using Kefir Grains and Aloe Vera. He had a well documented report on the procedure. Dom is the global authority on Kefir. So I loaded myself up with as many supplements that I could legally get in Aust and ordered my Kefir Grains from Dom – they would take a couple of weeks to grow and ship. At this point I was considering the rice fast and the Aloe/Kefir enamas. I had just had a flare and was down to 56 Kilos. Sulfasalazine didn’t seem to help (upping dosage for a week did nothing) and I knew the GI guy would just put me on another pill. I had also read “Self Healing Colitis and Crohns” by David Klein (curing with veganism) so started on his introductory healing diet to try and get some nutrients into me. I found it to be very helpful during the flare – especially the Sweet Potato which is SCD illegal (!?).
I stopped all supplementation while I was flaring. I have an Aloe Vera Barbedensis plant growing rampant in my front yard. I filleted the large leaves and started eating the inner leaf raw. I also decided to start the enemas with Aloe only as the Kefir was delayed. I took a large Aloe leaf and filleted it avoiding the aloin just under the outer leaf which is a laxative. I then boiled a litre of some reverse osmosis water and let it cool down to warm. I then blended the aloe leaf and warm water in a blender which chopped the aloe into smaller pieces. I took the mixture and applied it rectally using an enema kit. I had the enemas every other day for a week – probably about 4 enemas in total. I also tried a warm castor oil pack on my lower abdomen on the days I wasn’t having the enema as I had been reading about Edgar Cayce. Then it happened – the bleeding and diarrhea stopped. It was almost miraculous. I introduced some of Teds recommended supplements like Iodine, NAC and some basic minerals the naturopath had recommended (zinc, magnesium, selenium etc). I stayed SCD with my foods for a few weeks (except Sweet Potato). My weight increased. I was still eating raw Aloe Vera inner leaf morning and night from my garden and found some 99% Aloe Vera juice to drink as well – I looked for stuff with pieces of the gel floating around in it. As the weeks went by I got more adventurous with my food – introduced Kamut bread (low gluten) and white rice. The Kefir Grains finally arrived and I started making Kefir using raw organic milk. I eat it daily with almond flour and a banana. I also eat the excess Kefir Grains as well. OK, so I have been in “remission” for over 4 months – I have been blood and diarrhea free temporarily while on Sulfasalazine – but somehow this feels different – I feel cured.
The big test was Christmas – I ate what I liked on that day and no flare. The Christmas before that was an exercise in restraint due to the state of my colon. I am not a drinker so haven’t touched alcohol but I got caught out with a Thai curry straight from hell – it was that hot. I ate it as a test – no flare. I had an Aussie meat pie the other day – full of gluten – no flare. My daughters birthday cake – no flare. My current diet consists of mainly whole foods. Eggs, meat, fruit, vegetables (organic where possible). No sugar but if I’m at a restaurant and I like the dessert I will eat it (not often, SCD teaches you restraint). I eat Kamut or Spelt bread as toast with my eggs in the morning. As I have harvested my Aloe plants almost to nothing I found a local supplier of a freeze dried Aloe powder with a high polysaccharide content which I still drink every morning. I am currently trying to put back my weight and muscle so have started the Stronglifts 5X5 program of weight training and am back at 65 Kilos.
In a nutshell I feel cured and believe the Aloe did it. For some of the long term UCers here it probably sounds premature (it’s been only 4 months), and I must say reading the scary experiences of others who had got to the surgery stage is quite alarming when you see how far this disease can progress. If my story and Aloe Vera fixes one person then that would be the best gift.
What have I learnt? Western medicine doesn’t have the cure, never do anything that’s going to give you life-sapping stress and eat a diet of whole foods as much as possible. We definitely are what we eat. Also please be aware of companies peddling high polysaccharide content Aloe on the internet. Some make claims about the content which is BS. A lot is mixed with supplements like glutamine. Can give you contact for my supplier if needed – although have not used it for cure just for daily drink (I have no affiliation with him or get anything by recommending him). If you can, fresh Aloe is best. Buy a plant and grow your own (a bit difficult if you are in a cold climate) or keep an eye out for it where you live. There are many different varieties – I took a punt on mine – I was 90% sure it was Aloe Barbadensis. I have nursed my poor old plant back to life by taking cuttings from it – so if you are on the Gold Coast and need some leaves – I am happy to supply for free once they grow to a reasonable size.
Aloe Vera worked the best
written by Chris M
submitted in the colitis venting area
46 year old IT professional living on Gold Coast in Australia. Was diagnosed with UC in May 2011 after colonoscopy. Remission/cure October 2012. Loving life now.