complementary and alternative medicine, or CAM — has made it clear just how much doctors don’t like having their bottom lines threatened. 

Dear Reader,

What do mainstream docs have against probiotics, yoga, tai chi, meditation… even prayer?

Probably nothing, unless it interferes with their prescribing of some of the most horrific drugs ever approved by the FDA — ones to treat inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

A recent report critiquing all of the non-drug methods patients are using to control their IBD — those classified as complementary and alternative medicine, or CAM — has made it clear just how much doctors don’t like having their bottom lines threatened.

And they especially don’t like it when such alternative therapies really work!

So, if you’re dealing with the debilitating symptoms that come along with this gut-wrenching syndrome, here are some things that your gastroenterologist would prefer you didn’t hear!

The two-week ultimatum

It takes a lot of nerve to have a problem with someone praying!

Yet, CAM, which includes many different types of healing therapies, including prayer, is often under attack by pharma-friendly docs who apparently believe that only drugmakers can provide answers to our medical problems.

A lengthy “critique” of non-drug methods used to treat IBD (an umbrella term which includes Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and different subtypes of each ailment) begins by saying that doctors should “warn against using alternative approaches” that patients might be trying instead of taking their Rx drugs.

But what seems to disturb them the most is that up to 60 percent of IBD sufferers are turning to CAM to “ease symptoms.” And that’s usually because these wayward patients “perceive” that their prescribed meds are having side effects.

No kidding!

These heavy-duty IBD drugs have practically book-length labels with adverse reactions that range from a worsening of symptoms, including bloody diarrhea, to nausea and blurred vision, all the way up to serious infections and cancers that can “result in death.”

And for some insider information as to how doctors are being advised to deal with this patient rebellion against these risky drugs, wait until you hear this one!

Dr. Adam Cheifetz, of Harvard Medical School, who did a study of CAM therapies used for IBD, told MedPage Today that his approach is to “discuss” trying a probiotic or even curcumin (the active ingredient in the spice turmeric) for two weeks.

He tells his patients that if they don’t get better within that time, it’s time to start up on a biologic (such as Humira or Remicade).

“It gets them ready,” he said.

Yikes! So, because patients these days are more informed and smarter than ever when it comes to these extremely hazardous meds, they have to be hoodwinked into taking them, as if all other options have been exhausted.

It seems that when it comes to some very effective and long-proven alternative therapies (which are now being offered at major medical centers such as Johns Hopkins), it’s one step forward, and two steps back!

And as I told you last month, the FDA just gave the okay for the incredibly dangerous arthritis drug Xeljanz to be the newest treatment for ulcerative colitis.

If you’re interested in trying one or more CAM therapies for IBD — or any other condition — a good start is to find a physician who practices complementary or alternative medicine. You can search the HSI database for one in your area at this link:

In addition, HSI panel member Dr. Glenn Rothfeld has been using a variety of safe, natural and effective techniques with his patients to treat these intestinal problems. And he starts with paying close attention to the health of their beneficial gut bacteria.

That means not just taking a high-quality probiotic, but doing away with all junk and processed foods, and replacing them with real fruits, veggies and plenty of fiber.

Dr. Rothfeld recommends power foods, ones high in vitamins A and E, such as spinach, asparagus, apricots, carrots, sweet potatoes, avocados, nuts, and wheat germ.

While it might take more than the two weeks that doc allowed for non-drug treatments to kick in, once you start to feel the benefits, you’ll wonder why it took you so long to give alternative methods of healing a try.

And I would never, ever underestimate the power of prayer!

To Natural Ways of Healing,

Melissa Young

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