We have become used to bogus claims made by homeopaths – far too much so, I would argue. Therefore, we let the vast majority of their bogus claims pass without serious objections. Yet exposing bogus claims would be an important task, particularly when they relate to serious conditions. Doing this might even save lives!
According to the website of the ‘HOMEOPATHIC DOCTOR’, homeopathy is mild in nature and tends to modify the body’s natural immunity. It is the responsibility of the immune system of the body to protect it from all sorts of damage, whether from bacteria or viruses or from any other disease. It also helps in repairing any damage that may occur at any time. Homeopathic medicines help strengthen the natural immunity of the body so that it can perform its natural functions in a more efficient manner.
5 Best Homeopathic remedies for Ulcerative Colitis
In my experience, homeopathic medicines like Merc Sol, Baptisia, Nux Vomica, Arsenic Album and Phosphorus have been found to be quite effective in the treatment of Ulcerative Colitis…
Merc Sol- One of the best homeopathic medicines for ulcerative colitis with blood and tenesmus
When there is too much bleeding with tenesmus and other symptoms, Merc Sol is one of the best homeopathic medicines for ulcerative colitis. There are frequent stools with blood being discharged almost every time. The patient is a sweaty sort of patient who keeps on sweating most of the time. Creeping sort of chilliness may be felt in the back.
Nux Vomica- One of the best homeopathic remedies for ulcerative colitis due to high life
When the problem has occurred from living a high life, Nux Vomica is one of the best homeopathic remedies for ulcerative colitis. Excess of alcohol, stimulants like tea and coffee, late night partying and other habits incident to modern lifestyle can contribute to such a problem. The patient is usually a chilly sort of patient who cannot tolerate cold. He is unusually angry and that too at trifles.
Arsenic Album – One of the best homeopathic medicines for ulcerative colitis with anxiety and restlesness
When the predominant symptoms are the mental symptoms of anxiety and restlessness, Arsenic Album is one of the best homeopathic medicines for ulcerative colitis. The patient gets anxious, worried and restless for no rhyme or reason. There may be weakness which may be disproportionately more than the problem. There is increased thirst for water, though the patient takes a small quantity or a sip at a time.
Baptisia – One of the best homeopathic remedy for ulcerative colitis with low grade fever
When there is low grade fever present along with other symptoms, Baptisia is one of the best homeopathic remedy for ulcerative colitis. The patient has great muscular soreness all over the body as if bruised and beaten. Appetite is reduced or next to nil. At the same time, there is constant desire for water. Stools are very offensive, thin and watery.
Phosphorus – One of the best homeopathic medicine for ulcerative colitis with increased thirst for cold water
When there is intense thirst for cold water, Phosphorus is one of the best homeopathic medicine for ulcerative colitis. The patient is usually tall and thin. The diarrhoea is copious. Stool is watery and profuse bleeding may be present. Patient feels too weak and more so after passing a stool.
The ‘HOMEOPATHIC DOCTOR’s first statement was ‘in my experience…’? Unfortunately most patients will not understand what this expression truly means when written by a homeopath. It means THERE IS NOT A JOT OF EVIDENCE FOR ANY OF THIS. Had he stated this clearly, it would probably have been the only correct sentence in the whole article.
People who understand medicine a bit might laugh at such deluded clinicians and their weird, unethical recommendations. However, patients who are chronically ill and therefore desperate might take them seriously and follow their advice. Patients who suffer from potentially life-threatening diseases like ulcerative colitis might then cause serious damage to themselves or even die.
And this is precisely the reason why I will continue to expose these charlatans for what they are: irresponsible, unethical, uninformed, dangerous quacks
Homeopathy for ulcerative colitis? Pah! A few minutes’ googling told me that nutritional supplements, acupuncture, chiropractic, reiki (notably the Levashov Method) and yoga all claim treatment successes, often in people who’ve already tried one or more of the other ‘treatments’ without success.
Could it be that ulcerative colitis, a chronic, distressing disease for which science as yet has no clear explanation, is fertile territory for exploitation by all types of Big Snakeoil? The symptoms of ulcerative colitis fluctuate enormously, with symptom-free periods interrupted by serious flare-ups. Anything a patient does or tries when a flare-up is about to go into remission will naturally be credited with having cured the disease.
I had decided to no longer contribute to your dangerous and hypocritical blog but feel obliged to respond to this latest poisonous comment.
My daughter suffered with this many years ago and the only solution on offer from the “conventional” medics was to remove her colon completely and connect her intestines directly to her rectum. This I trust that you will agree that this was an extreme physical and emotional violation.
I wish I had known of the homeopathic solutions available at that time which would almost certainly have saved her from years of discomfort and ongoing health issues caused by the removal of her colon by treating the cause at the deepest level.
What is sickeningly hypercritical is the fact that you trained in and openly praised homeopathy in your early days when you were happily practicing it on all and sundry, or was this a cynical lie in your book?
it is about time you woke up to the fact that people need to have balanced and reasoned information including “warts and all” so that they can make informed choices about the heath care they receive.
“What is sickeningly hypercritical is the fact that you trained in and openly praised homeopathy in your early days when you were happily practicing it on all and sundry, or was this a cynical lie in your book?”
I NEVER PRAISED IT; I SAID IN MY MEMOIR THAT I WAS IMPRESSED; THAT’S DIFFERENT.
I AM NOT ‘SICKENLY HYPERCRITICAL’ – YOU PROBABLY MEAN ‘HYPOCRITICAL’ – BUT YOU MIGHT BE SICKENINGLY DAFT TO MISUNDERSTAND A FAILY SIMPLE SITUATION SO BADLY.
Anyway, even if I had praised it, intelligent people are capable of changing their minds – in fact, this is the very definition of intelligence!
“I wish I had known of the homeopathic solutions available at that time which would almost certainly have saved her from years of discomfort and ongoing health issues caused by the removal of her colon by treating the cause at the deepest level.”
As there is no evidence whatsoever that homeopathy would have worked, it might have killed your daughter. Have you considered that she would not be around any more without the surgeons intervention?
Actually i am a 41 year old who was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis since the age of 14 and i went through the medical world constantly in hospital with this disease and the drugs which when i reached my 20’s realized this was not working for me.and i was constantly suffering chronically fatigued and could not live a normal social and working life…i then turned yo alternate medicine ie naturapath, homeopathy, raeiki and finally got off my medication got my energy back and no longer suffered with flare ups this did take a good year of healing. I then was in remission for over 15 years until this year. I again turned to the medical world to help calm the inflammation through 3 different meds including steroids and then when all began to calm i went back to homeopathy and raeiki which is helping me heal again…so please unless u have gone through having ulcerative colitis and tried homeopathy and alternate medicines who are u to deter people for trying this approach when in actual fact it does helpnand esp when both the medical world and alternate medicines work together to help achieve a positive outcome when the other fails
You are callous and heartless and just pretend to care about the well-being of others..you are a fraud and a fool!
i hope you feel better now
You have evidence of this so we can all benefit from your superior wisdom?
There are no homeopathic solutions for this or any other disease so don’t beat yourself up. Your daughter got the care she required.
Stop beating yourself up: there is no homeopathic solution for this or any other disease for that matter. That’s the information you need. Your daughter got the treatment she required.
As someone who has had to remowe several colons destroyed by inflamation I have no other word for this than MADNESS. Surgery for colitis is a last resort in seriously ill patients.
Colin is a prime example of the narcissistic, self centered ungrateful bastard who should be grateful for the help his daughter got. In Hahnemanns days and even not so long ago she would have died from the colitis.
This is, of course, a matter of choice. Since such surgery is only done in very serious, life-threatening situations, the homeopaths would have “healed” her completely, in their usual competent fashion, *after* she died.
Then why am i still alive?
because not all patients die prematurely – thankfully!
A question that reveals a misunderstanding of how medicine, and reality in general, works: relations between events and consequences are statistical/probabilistic, not absolute.
As a rather spectacular example of this: Vesna Vulović fell from a height of over 10 km. She survived, even though she had no parachute. There are other known cases like this. Yet, we do not recommend jumping from airplanes without a parachute. While there are several hypotheses, we do not *know* *why* or even *how it was possible* for her to survive. But she did. In other words, she was grotesquely lucky.
There may well be a time in the distant future when we will be able to accurately predict unlikely events like these. Unfortunately, that time is certainly not now, and people’s best bet is first not to jump out of airplanes at high altitude and second to use a parachute when doing so anyway. Their worst bet would be to jump without a parachute, just because the Vesna Vulović case demonstrated that the probability of death is not absolute.
The same is true for ulcerative colitis. You were either misdiagnosed or lucky. Both happen. Medicine has treatments for ulcerative colitis. They could be better, and researchers are working on that, but they already work right now. Homeopaths have treatments too. They don’t work. Your choice is between treatments that may and probably will work or homeopathy where the probability that it will work is next to zero. Like jumping without a parachute.
Good God who are u? How can you compare the 2??? Im damn sure i have ulceratuve colitis the chances of dying from the disease is not how you make it out to be and on 2 occassions in my life both very severe flare ups i managed to heal myself through diet homeopathy naturapath yoga meditation and raeiki and where i needed to for a very short time in the beginning of the severe flare ups i was on the steriods and 2 other meds to treat ulcerative colitis which all had only been masking the symptoms….for you to give such advise is criminal to try and stop people from trying alternative medicines and life style chance when the medical world fails you. This is coming from an ulcerative colitis sufferer for 37 years
In this comment you said
41 minus 14 = 27 years. Please try to get your anecdotal evidence straight.
This is the funniest part of this blog. Edzard and company know more than the patients who have suffered with the allopathic medical system and got well with alternative medicine.
The scary part is, to follow their advise and you should rather die with drugs pumped into you than to live with alternative medicine.
Yes, you got this almost right fellow Iqbal. Let me correct you:
The rest is your usual dip-‘n’-toppings.
Patients who have suffered are usually not doctors, so, yes, doctors know more than them. The only thing patients know is that they got well. The “with alternative medicine” part is strongly redundant.
Dear Antoinette, alternative medicine didn’t heal you, unfortunately, no more than any prayers did, at least. You have a strong organism, you probably changed substantial things in your diet (manipulating your diet is not alternative medicine), and you are doing very well. We are all happy here, that you are doing better. May you be well for a very long time and let’s hope you don’t have any flares in the near or distant future!
“Patients who have suffered are usually not doctors, so, yes, doctors know more than them. The only thing patients know is that they got well. The “with alternative medicine” part is strongly redundant.”
You live in a world that is completely dissociated from reality.
I re-print a message posted on this site some times ago: do tell me what doctors really know.
“I do not know how many people die each year from homeopathy, acupuncture and all CAM therapies put together but NHS Information Centre reveals that conventional treatment results in killing 70-75,000 diabetic patients every year, including 24,000 deaths that can be avoided if the NHS provided better information, advice, management or treatment of this condition.
In 2010/11, the NHS spent £9.8bn of taxpayers’ money, about 10% of the NHS’ annual budget, on treatment that killed 24,000 patients needlessly. The NHS then forced social services, employment support and local councils to find a further £13.9bn a year to pay for patients conventional medicine made disabled or unfit for work, until they die prematurely. £23.7bn a year is a lot of money to waste every year.
Millions of Britons are suffering needlessly every day and hundreds of thousands are dying needlessly every year because there are many incurable conditions in conventional medicine.
An incurable condition means that every drug and treatment available in conventional medicine is proved ineffective and harmful. If even one treatment is effective and safe, the condition cannot be said to be incurable.
For example, MS is said to be incurable. Can anyone explain why the NHS subjects MS patients to expensive drugs to weaken their immune system when no effective or safe treatment exists?
You don’t need to be a doctor to know that everyone dies when the immune system is weakened sufficiently. Every doctor knows that people with MS die early even though MS is not fatal. It is not rocket science that patients are killed by drugs and treatment doctors provide or fail to provide. If these drugs are effective and safe (as they all are proven effective and safe in robust clinical trials), no one would suffer progressively or die prematurely.
Every doctor knows from NHS statistics that patients subjected to the same drugs that have always resulted in progressive suffering and in shortening life expectancy will continue to suffer progressively and die prematurely. Subjecting anyone to any treatment, knowing that the treatment has always resulted in shortening life expectancy is murder. Why do you people attack homeopaths and acupuncturists while you let so many doctors get away with murder scot-free? Why do you let people with MS die prematurely and do nothing?
The driver of a train involved in 240 people dying needlessly will never be permitted to drive again, even if he is not prosecuted for murder or manslaughter.
Every doctor knows that 24,000 patients will die needlessly each year yet they carry on subjecting patients to the same treatment that will result in killing another 24,000 patients this year and every year.”
What did, the all knowing doctor’s, miss here? If they would have listened carefully to their patients, majority of the dead patients could have been alive.
Yes, it is good for you to repost an earlier post with an argument you have misused dozens of times before. I understand that typing the same stuff over and over can be hard, but also boring when you cannot think of something new.
Saying that MS is not fatal is like saying that a gun is not fatal. No, but the bullet (cf. complications from the disease) can be.
You are improving, fellow Iqbal… For once, you seem too much focused on the problem and you have avoided mentioning alternative moneymaking pastimes of treatments. That’s promising. Now, again, for once, what do you suggest? Should we ban the doctor’s profession? Otherwise, how do you suggest we treat MS? I hope not with water (shaken, not stirred).
Iqbal, you really are a tiresome and loathsome person.
“In 2010/11, the NHS spent £9.8bn of taxpayers’ money, about 10% of the NHS’ annual budget, on treatment that killed 24,000 patients needlessly. The NHS then forced social services, employment support and local councils to find a further £13.9bn a year to pay for patients conventional medicine made disabled or unfit for work, until they die prematurely. £23.7bn a year is a lot of money to waste every year.” The link you provide in support DOES NOT SAY WHAT YOU STATE HERE. You have confounded a perfectly rational piece about the financial costs of the growing scourge of diabetes in the UK with your own crippled, ignorant and profoundly misleading fantasies about medicine “killing patients needlessly”.
Such falsification and fabrication rules out your comments as worthy of consideration by any reader at all. Deaths from medical errors are far from simple to adjudicate or enumerate, but complexity is not your forte. You have an unshakeable, simple belief in a ridiculous, mystical system of ‘healing’ called homeopathy and you write poisonous lies and nonsense in an effort to support and confirm that belief.
Your insults to the medical profession (I’m not a member), calling its practitioners ‘murderers’, go beyond all boundaries of reasoned debate. I’m amazed that you have not yet been banned from posting your venom on this blog. The time when your comments were judged to be amusing is long past.
You seem to be selectively blind.
“Up to 24,000 diabetes-related deaths could be avoided in England each year, if patients and doctors better managed the condition, a report concludes.
The first-ever audit of patient deaths from the condition said basic health checks, a good diet and regular medication could prevent most of them.
The Department of Health in England said the audit had revealed shocking variations in care, and an unacceptable death toll.”
“Diabetes could ‘bankrupt’ the NHS in 20 years,” the Daily Mail has reported. The newspaper said that most spending on the condition is due to avoidable complications.
The study also reported that the cost of treating diabetes complications (including kidney failure, nerve damage, stroke, blindness and amputation) is expected to almost double from £7.7 billion currently to £13.5 billion by 2035/36.
Does “scientific medicine” have a plan to CURE patients with diabetes? If the present process of managing diabetes continues, what would be the change in situation? NONE.
The situation will only get difficult and expensive. That is the simple calculation projected by the study. The future does look a little bleak for guys like you. The taxes would go up to generate money to support NHS funding. So, even if you don’t have diabetes, you are finished.
That reminds me of what Sister Gerda, the ex-principal of one of the largest schools in Flanders, told me decades ago, namely that there comes a time one just has to accept defeat and give up, that some people simply don’t have the intellectual equipment required for understanding.
There are, I think, two possibilities for individuals like Iqbal: either she understands what she is saying and, in that case, she is a criminal – legally or not – but certainly morally, and it would be better for society if she was removed from society and put in some type of custody, preferrably with some type of rehabilitation programme; or she is mentally retarded, in which case she needs our pity, not our scorn, and it would be better for her if she was admitted to an institution specialised in mental retardation.
I’m inclined to think she fits in the first category, but I am also aware of our tendency to see intention where there is none, so I am trying to give her the benefit of the doubt and see her treated as a mental retard.
Which type of diabetes fellow Iqbal? I assume you are familiar with the types, right?. If not, better stick with investments and business models…ansonsten, you can make more money that way.
@Colin on Thursday 22 September 2016 at 12:32
“My daughter suffered with this many years ago and the only solution on offer from the “conventional” medics was to remove her colon completely and connect her intestines directly to her rectum. This I trust that you will agree that this was an extreme physical and emotional violation.”
This is nothing new. Most times, the patient cannot decide if the illness condition was better or the condition after treatment is better.
There is another reason for recommending total colectomy for ulcerative colitis, which is that there is a high risk of colorectal cancer developing in these individuals, and colectomy can prevent it from developing.
This isn’t an operation which any surgeon would undertake lightly. Ulcerative colitis is a serious disease which itself could be described as a physical and emotional violation. This type of surgery sounds drastic, but can transform the lives of people suffering from this condition.
Thank you for your post Dr. Julian. I am a Doctor, retired GP, who had severe and debilitating Ulcerative Colitis for years, and then finally on steroids before I realised that the side effects were too severe. A total colectomy followed before my small bowel was surgically fashioned into a J Pouch. This was 30 years ago and allowed me to carry on my GP practice until retirement, aged 65. I have lived with it for another 20 years now. Otherwise, I would now be dead.
Should have tried high doses of vitamin d3 to cure ulcerative colitis.
Colin. Since you dream that homeopathy could’ve helped your daughter, try Googling “Homeopathy cured my ulcerative colitis” and see how many people there are out there who will tell you that it has. I’ll save you the effort. There aren’t any. What there is, though, is page after page of idiot homeopaths making claims like those Professor Ernst has highlighted above. Bluster, whinge, obfuscate and dream all you like as proponents of homeopathy always do. One day, perhaps, the truth will dawn.
I wonder if that is the case. Could it be that people with thinking powers are starting to address these claims with enthusiasm and are subsequently simply becoming discouraged because the homeopaths keep on repeating the same nonsense over and over, without ever addressing any objections or seriously answering any questions except by accusing real doctors, in largely the same way as Hahnemann did in the first 100 or so pages of his Organon?
Lets be honest here, the cause is the diet and “food” (drugs cough* cough*) consumed today. All the gluten, gmo, plastic, histimeans, ect., found in the food today.
UC – 6 years. 23years old… i want a better option than suppressing drugs, that cause more harm than good just to feed the pigs of the pharmaceutical companies and the kick back for these doctors (drug dealers/middle men cough* cough*)
I’m glad you’ve sorted out the cause of IBD, AnonymousUC. You’re a genius. I have a very healthy diet, no animal products, diary, grain, GMO, I do yoga- AND I have leukocytic colitis. The steroid I take literally saved my life because I couldn’t absorb nutrients from my food.
Go screw yourself, acting like people brought this on themselves stuffing their faces with fast food. I hope you get it. Really- I do. It’ll teach you not to pontificate about topics that you know absolutely nothing about.
You seem to be doing well, which is something to be happy about. That said, I can’t help scratching my head when I read this:
How are these things related to a “very healthy diet”?
You have my deepest sympathy for having suffered from this dreadful condition, but you should consider you might be making a common mistake: because something happened after you tried something else, then that something else MUST have been the reason for something happening. (By coincidence, Edzard’s post today deals with this reasoning fallacy and he lists a number of amusing parallel situations at the end of the post.)
When you say “i then turned yo alternate medicine ie naturapath, homeopathy, raeiki and finally got off my medication got my energy back and no longer suffered with flare ups this did take a good year of healing.” (my italics) you just might consider the possibility that, over a year, your ulcerative colitis resolved itself spontaneously: after all, it’s the kind of condition that oscillates between long periods of remission and relapse.
If, when you started to turn to alternative medicine, someone had told you you could get better in a year by folding a piece of paper, origami-style, every day, you would not have believed them. Doing origami doesn’t sound like anything medical, after all. But having someone wave their hands at you (reiki), and taking ‘potentized’ homeopathic medicines (i.e. water) and taking all sorts of ‘natural’ products (interesting that none of these three appeared to work on their own) apparently sounds more like medicine than origami. If you look up the way all three of these pseudo-medicines purport to work, they all claim to enhance the body’s ability to heal itself. Hmmm…
So you need to ask how to prove that the alternative therapies were responsible for your remission. The answer, I’m afraid, is one you won’t like. It involves doing a properly scientific trial of the ‘therapies’ involving a lot of patients and blinding the patients and their therapists as to whether the patients received the ‘real’ treatments or something presumed to be ineffective (a ‘placebo’).
Your sincere belief that CAM helped you is easy to understand, but your testimony is just that — an honest, subjective, anecdotal account of what you believe happened to you. Sadly, we humans are very wont to believe all manner of irrational things: our minds are extremely easy to fool. The trick is to imagine a tool powerful enough to minimize the extent to which we fool ourselves: science has proved itself pretty good for that over the years. But you have to have a mind sufficiently open to allow the possibility that what you think and believe might be wrong.
I am a rare-ish kind of guy: A doctor and a one time long term sufferer from Ulcerative colitis. At first intermittent disease and then chronic. I had conventional treatment and tried all manner of Alternative treatments including Homeopathy. Only Steroids ‘worked’ but with increasing doses and side effects. When the colon turned malignant a Colectomy and internal J Pouch was performed. This was 20 years ago. I have had those last years of relatively good health since considering the alternatives. As a Doctor and a patient, having investigated and tried very man ‘Alternative’ therapies, I can say with confidence; ‘trust your Doctor.’
Misprint. Should be ‘Many’, not ‘man’
Can it be cured with homeopathy??? I’m suffering from one and half year and no medicine is treating it… I tried alopathy ,it showed beat results in the beginning but as the dr. Lessened the medicines it grew as before or worse… Tell me i don’t wnt to remove my colon..i can’t even think about removing it.. Please help
No Devashish, homeopathy cannot cure anything. It is “toy medicine”. A big mistake from a couple of hundred years back.
The reason we are discussing it here is that there are people who believe in this nonsense and sell it to desperate people like you. These people need to be stopped because they can harm people like you by letting them stop trusting their doctors.
The remarkable truth is that homeopathic remedies contain nothing but sugar.
Talk with your doctor and if you find it difficult to trust him or her, ask for second opinion by another specialist.
Do not put your trust in a homeopath, whatever they say. They are ignorant and misguided.
How can you be so confident that homeopathy is a toy medicine? On what do you base your opinion? Do you have any evidence of why or how it does not work or any proven results that say homeopathy does not work? Or because you haven’t found any evidence that it helps that you confidently say it doesn’t help? I ask because I have had side effects from mesalazine, joint pain and Itching. And I also have a candida infection in my small intestine. My doctor now wants to put me on sulfasalazine and I’m super scared of the side effects – joint pain (I’ve read some research papers that say sulfasalazine can also cause joint pain despite it being used for RA. I’ve also read user reviews about patients experiencing joint pain after taking both mesalazine and sulfasalazine. I understand that not all side effects affect everyone. But having suffered an increase in jock itch, Itching and Joint pain from mesalazine (pentasa) I’m super scared that sulfasalazine will affect me the same way. From reading research papers, I get that mesalazine tends to have less side effects than any other 5-ASA molecule. So if mesalazine can give me side effects, I fear that sulfasalazine will give me more side effects including an increase in the localised fungal infection and that of the small intestine because of its immunosuppressive effects.), Itching and rashes. Which is why want to know how can you be so confident in saying that homeopathy doesn’t work. I ask because, As a patient who is afraid of the harmful side effects of allopathic medicines, I want to give homeopathy a try
“any proven results that say homeopathy does not work?”
responsible medicine focusses on medicine backed by sound evidence.
This is not an evidence-based answer. Please comment if you have evidence. If responsible medicine focuses on medicine backed by sound evidence, why won’t you provide evidence-based statements rather than just blatantly claiming homeopathy doesn’t work. If you have proof, please share. Your homepage says “if you make a claim, support it with evidence”. I ask the same, please provide evidence that something doesn’t work to support your statement so that people can make an informed choice. If you don’t have any evidence, say so. I can appreciate if someone doesn’t believe that alternative medicine won’t work, I can respect that as somebody’s personal belief. But claiming that a certain stream of medicine doesn’t work without evidence is misleading.
“why won’t you provide evidence-based statements”
HERE YOU ARE: Homeopathy is has not been shown to work beyond placebo
“HERE YOU ARE: Homeopathy is has not been shown to work beyond placebo”
Again, a very weak comment. I’m interested in research-based, evidence-based statements and not someone’s personal views. My request was very simple, I asked for evidence to support your strong statements. Instead you continue to make your claim without backing them with a strong evidence. I rest my case. I see no point commenting further.
it’s not my personal view!
You say you have “a candida infection in my small intestine”. I’d be interested to know how this was diagnosed.
Even if more people on average get side-effects from sulfasalazine than mesalazine that does not mean that this will be the case for you. The only way that you will know for certain is to try it. However, I would strongly recommend discussing your uncertainties with your gastroenterologist.
While I am very much in favour of people educating themselves about medical conditions affecting them, I would advise a degree of caution when reading research papers. They do require context (provided by the rest of the literature and by practical experience of treating a range of patients) and also training in statistics in order to interpret them correctly. Also there are a lot of badly-designed trials and badly-written papers where the authors themselves clearly don’t understand the mathematical tools that they are using to analyse their results.
Are you sure that you have a candida infection in your small intestine? Was it diagnosed by biopsy or only on the basis of symptoms? How has it responded to antifungal treatment? Candida is very common in skin folds and mucous membranes with certain sorts of immunosuppressive drugs (particularly steroids) but it is rare for it to affect the internal organs unless you are severely immunosuppressed. There is a difference between candida being present (after all the spores are everywhere in the environment) and actually causing an infection (where it is invading the tissue). If you really do have a combination of inflammatory bowel disease and candidal enteritis then this is potentially a complex problem requiring specialist expertise (which again will be within the remit of your gastroenterologist).
With regard to joint pain, this can also be caused by inflammatory bowel disease itself (enteropathic arthropathy) and is not necessarily a side-effect of the drugs used to treat it.
Many people, particularly when faced with disease, find it difficult to cope with uncertainty (Will this treatment work? If so, how well and for how long? What side-effects might I get and how bad could they be?). Managing chronic disease is full of uncertainties. By their very nature most of them are uncurable, but tend to follow a fluctuating course over many years, with periods of relief punctuated by flare-ups. Doctors know this and avoid making unrealistic promises. The same cannot be said of homeopathy. The high response rates and low toxicities promised by homeopaths are very appealing, but what is appealing is not the same as what is true.
Since homeopathy was invented 200 years ago as a gentler alternative to blood-letting and other barbaric practices that passed for medicine at the time there have been many studies investigating its effectiveness in a wide variety of conditions. Unfortunately many of these have been so badly designed that it is difficult to draw any conclusions from them, but so far none of the well-conducted trials have shown any benefit when compared to placebos. Edzard has discussed them exhaustively elsewhere.
This is not really surprising as the basic premises of homeopathy, if true, would invalidate most of what we know of physics and chemistry, not to mention physiology and pathology. The preparation of homeopathic remedies involves multiple repeated dilutions (which is called potentiation) until the strength is equivalent to anything from one molecule in a swimming pool to one molecule in an ocean (or in some cases one molecule among all the particles in the known universe). Clearly this is going to be swamped by all the other molecules present in even highly purified water. Somehow the water (or alcohol) is supposed to be able to remember having come into contact with the active principle in order to retain the intended effect, while at the same time forgetting everything else that it might have encountered over the years / centuries / millenia / eons. This effect is then, somehow, transferred to a small sugar pill and the water / alcohol allowed to evaporate away.
Please note that I cannot give specific medical advice to somebody that I have never seen, and indeed these days I am not allowed to, since illness has forced me to retire and I can no longer meet the requirements of continuing professional development, appraisal and revalidation needed to maintain my place on the Medical Register. The best person to treat you is your gastroenterologist, together with your family doctor (or GP), and if you find him or her unsatisfactory then look for another one.
Firstly, sorry to hear about your health issues, Dr. Julian, and thank you for your well-reasoned response.
So I have been facing stomach issues for years now, primary complaint being reflux that has worsened a lot over the years with stomach pain and increased frequency of passing stool most days and occasional constipation on some days. I saw many specialists over the years, who treated me with antacids (PPIs) and antibiotics (including antihelmintics and antiparasitic meds) most times. I never improved. My endoscopic findings showed gastritis and they said all I had was GERD and IBS. Yet, my gut feeling said that something was wrong with my gut. Then, because of a localised fungal infection I was given fluconazole, and surprisingly I felt some improvement in my reflux and bloating. This got me thinking and so I did a stool fungal culture test, which came positive with the candida species identified as candida kefyr. Doctors continued to disbelieve as Candida is commensal organism in the gut and it is believed that fungal infection in intestines is experienced only by immunocompromised people. But thanks to the localised fungal infection I at least got treated with fluconazole and itraconazole , which has been working on my stomach. Everytime I took the medication, I passed white matter and felt better everytime. Doctors kept sending me back saying I was ok and that the problem was in my head! However, with all the persistent GI symptoms I developed
a fistula in ano. Blood works showed normal. Finally, a colonoscopy was performed which came out clean, so yet again I was dismissed and told that I do not have an internal fungal infection. I was not convinced so I insisted on a video capsule endoscopy, so at least we found out that I had multiple mucosal erosions in my small intestine. and a candida infection, which is agreed upon by some gastroenterologists and some still disbelieve saying the white stuff seen there could be residual fecal matter. I was shocked. I explained to my GP then that the white stuff seen there is the exact white stuff that I pass from my stools when I take antifungals both Rx and herbal. So based on my capsule endoscopy findings, stool culture report, and an improvement in my GI symptoms with antifungals, my GP started me on fluconazole and itraconazole. I think I am no more responding to fluconzole but Itraconzole works. But my current gastroenterologist is still not convinced of a small intestinal candidiasis and would like to treat me only for my ulcers. So I was given mesalamine (Pentasa) but I my localised fungal infection increased and I got joint pain too. I have luckily never had joint pain before and it only started after taking Pentasa. So I have had to stop it. And I am now scared of taking Sulfalazine because of its immunosuppresive effects and possible side effects, such as joint pain and itching. My gastroenterlogist says I would need to take it for the ulcers to heal. It’s a catch 22 situation, one medication triggering another problem. Also, I have not been diagnosed of IBD yet. They suspect the cause of ulcers could be infection.
It is for this reason I am trying to explore homeopathy and other alternative medicinal faculties so that I can treat the fungal infection (my GP is fully convinced I have one) and ulcers at the same time with minimal side effects from medication. This is the reason I have been reading homeopathic research papers too if it can offer relief and have found a few success stories since, which is giving me hope.
I understand that there may exist quacks in the field of alternative medicine causing people to suffer but because of a few incompetent people I don’t want to lose hope in the system itself. I respect the field of allopathy but cases of misdiagnosis happen here too (happened with me many times), so the risk is on both sides. It’s not easy/
I have a friend that tells a similar story, with symptoms much like yours, equally MD’s could not find the problem after much testing.
He went to an alternative doctor that found the problem was yeast imbalance from too much good bacteria. Why the allopathic MD’s could not find the problem is concerning.
He happened to be ingesting too much Kefir … which is derived from dairy. He happened to taking the Kefir daily. He stopped taking the Kefir daily and the problem subsided.
I suspect that even if you are not taking Kefir, if you are taking or not taking probiotics, your gut bacteria imbalance could be causing the problem.
It is clear that you have problems, and if you have had mucosal erosions in the small bowel and also a fistula then there is clearly something going on which is the remit of a gastroenterologist, not a homeopath.
You have not yet said anything that convinces me that the problem is a candida infaction, however. Candida in the stools is not evidence of an infection at all since this is often a normal finding. Infection involves the organism invading the lining of the bowel and not simply being present. Candida kefyr rather than Candida albicans is rather unusual, though as it is present in the probiotic health drink sold as kefir, then it may be that you had ingested some of that. Kefir is different from other probiotics in that is is a mixture of different cultures rather than a single pure one, and also the microbes are present in hugely greater numbers. This has in the past led me to wonder whether it is always safe to take it, though I have no data one way or the other.
If specialists viewing your capsule endoscopy can’t agree on whether it shows a candida infection I would be inclined to wonder why this is. Are they looking at white plaques on the mucosal surface that occur in candida (but on a background of surrounding inflammation), or are they looking a non-specific ulceration, inflammation or erosion and suggesting candida as a possible cause? If there really is a persistent and significant candida infection this could be confirmed by biopsy, but this would be rather invasive.
I don’t know what the white stuff that you describe on the endoscopy might be – I am assuming that you are talking about your own impressions of looking at the images, and it may be that in the absence of training you are misinterpreting an artefact such as a light reflection, or something completely unremarkable such as partly-digested food. Even if it resembles material that you have passed in your stool that does not mean that it is the same thing. When candida is treated it does not detach itself and pass unchanged through the digestive system (actually I would expect it simply to melt away). The kind of things that might look much the same at both ends of your system are husks of grains and other undigestible food residue, possibly remnants of gallstones, the remains of drug pills and capsules (after the active compound has leached out of them) and possibly intestinal parasites (tapeworm segments can certainly appear in the stools and I have even seen this in my mother’s cats). If you really are passing strange material you could collect a sample and your gastroenterologist (or your GP) could arrange for a microbiology lab to examine it.
If it is the stool itself which is unusually pale, this suggests a blockage of the bile duct, since it is bile pigments (essentially bilirubin derived from the breakdown products of haemaglobin) which give stools their colour. When this happens the bilirubin goes into the skin instead and we call it jaundice. The most common cause of intermittent blockage is gallstones and this is usually accompanied by severe upper abdominal pain together with a sensation of bloating or of your abdomen being stretched, and may occur up to 12 hours after eating fatty foods such as lamb, foie gras, cheese, rich French sauces or anything else very oily (I speak from experience). There are also rare inherited disorders of haem metabolism which can intermittently affect the colour of the stools and urine and cause abdominal pain (the porphyrias).
The improvement in your symptoms after taking antifungals is interesting. Of course if you have self-diagnosed candida then it may be a placebo affect due to your expectations. It may also be that you have taken antifungals at times when your symptoms have been particularly bad, in which case it is statistically more likely that they will improve from that point than not (the technical term for this is regression to the mean, and it is a behaviour of random numbers that has caught out many people in many situations, particularly with regard to league tables and investment schemes). It may even simply be coincidence. Having said that, antifungals can have pharmacological effects on the body itself quite separate from what they do to yeasts. Or it may be that your symptoms are after all due to candida and the drugs are treating that. If that is the case, it may require extended courses to clear a deep candidal infection rather than the single doses or short courses that are sufficient for oral or vaginal thrush.
However, internal candida infection is very rare in the absence of prolonged immunosuppression or treatment with steroids. If the diagnosis were to be confirmed by biopsy then I would be wondering why you have it. One obvious investigation to exclude a common cause would be an HIV test.
According to the data sheets of sulfasalazine (Salasopyrin) and mesalazine (Pentasa), neither drug is immunosuppressive except for very rare ideosyncratic reactions affecting fewer than 1 in 10,000 patients.
I am an oncologist, not a gastroenterologist, so although I am used to dealing with immunosuppressed patients (and indeed I am now permanently immunosuppressed myself as a result of my disease preventing me from making antibiodies) I have not prescribed either of these drugs myself and I do not have specialist training in gastroenterology (though I did work in a gastroenterology unit while preparing for my MRCP exam many years ago). As I have said before, I cannot give specific advice to somebody I have not personally examined, and the above are simply general thoughts based on what you have posted. You need to find a gastroenterologist whom you can trust and then follow their advice.
Thank you for your comments. I have never taken any probiotic containing kefir. So why I have Candida Kefyr, a non-alibican species I don’t know. But I do know that I trust my GP and the two gastroenterologists who have confirmed of the infection. When I viewed the video, I was able to distinguish what was reflection of light and the other white material that I saw on the walls of my intestine. In the three-hour long video or more, it is easy to miss some parts. When I asked for a second opinion, a specialist saw hyphae sticking out from the walls of intestine at a particular timestamp.
I did come across some information published by NCBI, which discussed the cases of intestinal fungal infection in non-immunocompromised people. However, why it occurred was not discussed. In my case, I have had a history of recurring pre-auricular sinus infections and stomach infections (including giardiasis) for which I was given strong, broad-spectrum antibiotics and antiparasitic meds. I believe that the intestinal candida infection I have could have been caused by overuse of anitbiotics without being supplemented by probiotics to replinish the gut micoflora. I also don’t believe the white matter I have passed each time I took anitfungals both prescription and herbal were indigested food material or tapeworm segments. With these bright white bits when I asked for a comprehensive stool test, it did not say I had worms of any kind. I had both gram positive and negative bacteria and several budding yeast cells with species identified as Candida Kefyr. My stools are not pale in colour and I have had multiple ultrasounds done, luckily I don’t have gallstones. Bloodworks ruled out HIV and hepatitis and liver function tests were normal too, thank goodness.
Regarding the placebo effect. When I was given antifungals, I never knew that such a thing called intestinal fungal infection ever existed. I was hoping for relief from antibiotics and antiparasitic meds, as at the time I thought I had a reoccurence of giardiasis as I have had it before. It was only after repeated courses of anitbiotics, when I began to have localised fungal infection for which I was given fluconazole and later itraconazole that I found significant improvement in my symptoms, which is why I asked for more investigation. So it wasn’t that I self-diagnosed candida and took antifungals and got relief but rather when I was expecting improvement from antibiotics, I had relief from antifungals. It was then I read-up some quality research, asked for more investigations, joined forums who have had confirmed intestinal candiadiasis (not self-diagnosed or diagnosed by naturopaths) but by their GPs and specialists based on clinical findings. They posted pictures of their stools after taking antifungals internally and also after taking Nystatin enemas. What I pass in my stool after taking antifungals (i have taken oral Nystatin too and passed the same white matter) resembled closely to what others have passed. If it were the remains of capsules or medication, then chances are after stopping those I would not have passed those white bits. But then when I took non-prescription antifungals, I passed the same white bits. I have absolutely no doubts that I suffer from intestinal candiadiasis, unfortunately the specialists who confirmed the same are no longer practicing due to age-related issues. I also sometimes feel that the perianal abscess I had, which later developed into a perianal fistula could have resulted from the intestinal fungal infection which was left untreated for long, as it only got diagnosed recently when I asked for more investigation. At least now I am taking antifungals and hoping that longer courses would eradicate the infection. I am also taking quality probiotics alongside to improve my digestion.
Thank you for more information on sulfalazine. I hope I can overcome my fear of side effects from it and be able to take the same.
I doubt very much if that it what he saw. You need a microscope to see hyphae, not an endoscope.
Well, I don’t know what the white matter is, but I think a microscopic examination by a trained microbiologist is likely to be more fruitful than comparing gross appearance.
Giardia can be difficult to clear and can cause chronic symptoms. It is also highly infectious, and infections can result from the ingestion of as few as 10 cysts (in contrast to most infections which require a vastly higher microbial load); the cysts themselves are quite hardy and can survive for some time outside the body.
If you have had repeated courses of broad-spectrum antimicrobials as well then it is quite possible that your gut flora are deranged; I don’t know enough about this subject, however, to be able to say whether this could include overgrowth of candida. The data suggest that probiotics make very little difference in restoring normal gut flora following antibiotic use. Generally this eventually gets back to normal on its own. I read an account of a randomised trial recently comparing a commercially available probiotic with a specially prepared faecal extract, which turned out to be much more effective, but I have no idea how this might translate into clinical practice (I do remember a case from when I was a medical student in the 1980’s – the patient was severely ill with pseudomembranous colitis as a result of Clostridium difficile infection, and he recovered following an enema prepared from his wife’s faeces). I believe the current thinking is that pre-biotics (i.e. foods which favour the growth of certain microbes over others) can be helpful. However, diets designed to modify gut flora are difficult to devise and follow, and need to be overseen by a specialist dietician working with a gastroenterology team in order to be used safely.
Anyway, it sounds as though you are under the care of a competant team who haven’t run out of options to explore, so I would have thought you should stick with them.
Sure dear,…it can be cured with Homeopathy.
There is no proper treatment in allopathy.only palliation
“it can be cured with Homeopathy”
PLEASE PROVIDE EVIDENCE FOR YOUR STATEMENT
Dr Julian – I think your comment addressed to me is for Anushka: in case she misses your important information.
You are quite right, I mistyped. Apologies are due both to you and to Anoushka.
I have ulcerative colitis and the doctors here in the States wanted to do surgery on me, but before that, I decided to go to Brasil and consult with the Homeopath doctor. The medications stopped the bleeding in a very few days and I’ve not had that ever since, without being on a special diet either. Now unfortunately my daughter has been diagnosed with it, which we are planning to do the same treatment for her. Thanks to the homeopathic medicines!
I presume you love your daughter. You know that mismanaged UC may lead to cancer and even death, don’t you? You also know, I hope, that homeopathic remedies contain nothing at all.
Let us hope your daughter has the same luck as you, to improve spontaneously without proper treatment.
As to your case, if you really were recommended surgery and then improved without treatment, then you are very lucky, until you perhaps get another flare. Of course you improved, otherwise you would not be here bragging about it.
But I honestly have a hard time believing you had no other treatment than homeopathic sugar pills. On the other hand, the symptoms of UC may come and go at random, even when untreated and I have known bad cases to improve by themselves.
Thank you for your unverified and unverifiable anecdote. Odd that these little miracles of cure evaporate when looked at closely.
As a very worried mother to a son with a very recent diagnoses of sever Ulcerative Colitis is there anything in Homeopathic remedies that could cause harm to or worsen the condition of an Ulcerative Colitis sufferer?
I would not consider taking my son off of his current medication as we are still trying to get the disease into remission but am just wondering from an holistic treatment point of view if there is room for using medication with Homeopathic remedies?
My son’s disease seems to be fairly resistant so far to the high doses of steroids. I am worried about what our other options are if the steroids do not manage to bring the disease under control.
I am not in the habit of giving medical advice on this blog – but I am certain that homeopathy is not a solution
Some homeopathic products are diluted to such an extent that, if done properly, there will be none of the original substance left, just the water or sugar pellets. But many products are a) not diluted sufficiently to dilute out the original substance (eg those labelled 6X); and b) not manufactured correctly. Some even might have glass fragments in them!
But since the evidence that homeopathy will have any beneficial effect is not there, those risks of harm just cannot be worth taking.
I’m sorry to hear about your son’s condition, it must be very frustrating to see your kid having to cope with a something like this.
No, homeopathic treatment is not actively harmful for your son, but it can cost you dearly in terms of wasted money, time, and emotional stress.
I once met parents of a teenage boy with a somewhat similar condition (proctitis) who had decided to give homeopathy a try. The homeopath they found told them right away that he might be able to help their boy, but that it might take a while to both find the right ‘remedy’ and have it take effect – and unfortunately, these people bought his story hook, line and sinker. Every time the condition seemed to improve, they were told that “they were on the right track”. And every time the disease flared up again, he had excuses galore why this wasn’t really a bad sign, and that this was certainly no reason to give up hope. The man also explicitly told them to be on the lookout for any sign of improvement, no matter how small – and you’d be surprised how many times these people really believed that yes, real improvement had finally set in. Only to see things go bad again a few weeks or months later.
In the course of more than a year, they spent several thousand dollars on consultations and ‘remedies’ before finally calling it quits with homeopathy – and the homeopath of course still wanted to go on, as there were, in his own words, “still other remedies to try”.
One important reason for these people to give up on homeopathy was that they were getting sick and tired from this never-ending roller coaster ride of false hope followed by disappointment – another reason being that the kid’s condition hadn’t really improved much.
Last time I heard, the boy was on some rather heavy anti-inflammatory drugs, which appeared to keep the problem largely under control. Then again, I last spoke to these people several years ago, so I can’t really say how he’s getting along.
If you still feel like giving homeopathy a try, please be aware that conditions like your son’s are a homeopaths favorite: chronic, no known cure, and an often fickle progression, where relatively symptom-free episodes can be attributed to the treatment, and the almost inevitable relapses are met with all sorts of excuses (up to and including the egregious excuse that the condition “is responding to the treatment”). Also be aware that homeopaths first and foremost fool themselves, and that this can make them very convincing and self-confident.
I have read over all of the comments above and would like to ask that if conventional medicine does not have a cure for colitis and can only offer drugs to help with inflammation would it not be beneficial to at least try a course of homeopathic remedies to see if they might help? A lot of the drugs offered have other side effects attached to them whereas with the homeopathic remedies they do not. Does it have to be all conventional medicine or alternative? If a person obtains good results with solution isn’t that what is important here? Until such time when conventional medicine has a cure.
@ Marilyn on Thursday 14 November 2019 at 17:06
As homeopathy preparations are only sugar and water, perhaps you would like to describe how this might be some form of cure?