Sunday, April 29, 2012

Crohn's Top 10 Treatments

In this informal study from CureTogether 178 people were asked to rate different treatments for Crohn’s. Some of these treatments are not approved or even legal (cannabis). I think it is great though that data can be gained by the experience of many different people. Here is a list of top 10 treatments for Crohn’s:

1. Low-Dose Naltrexone (LDN)
2. Surgery
3. Steroids
4. Humira
5. Cannabis
6. Specific Carbohydrate Diet
7. Remicade
8. Stress reduction
9. Small meals
10. Gluten-free/low fiber diets

I still don’t know why low dose naltrexone (LDN) is not FDA approved for Crohn’s. As I mentioned in this post LDN has shown that it is effective and with very few side effects (and also has been used since 1985). Surgery is often seen as a last resort but odds are Crohn’s patients could need more than one surgery in their lifetime. However, as my GI has said he has seen fewer and fewer patients going into surgery with the introduction of the biologics (Humira and Remidcade). I have been on steroids (Prednisone). I am currently taking 20 mg and tapering off after a flare up after Spring Break. I have noticed prednisone makes me pretty hungry and I currently weigh around 153 even though I am usually in the mid 140’s. On rare occasion I have noticed joint pain but this could be that I work out almost every day. I haven’t tried Humira however my GI said that if I continue to have flare ups I will have to go on it. Cannabis by the definition of this chart seems to be a little more effective then Remicade which is interesting. More clinical trials have to be done on cannabis. The thing I wonder is if smoking it can lead to lung cancer. This article shows that even people who smoked 22,000 joints over their lifetime did not have a higher risk for getting lung cancers than people who didn’t smoke cannabis. Perhaps ingesting cannabis through food (cookies or brownies) would be more effective than smoking it. I would think that if you ingested the cannabis it could reach the digestive tract easier. There really hasn’t been any good evidence I have seen on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. Although, to me what you eat does play a role in how you feel with Crohn’s. Stress reduction is interesting. One possible theory is when people get stressed they eat more (I know I do) and therefore have more pain. When they reduce their stress they are getting less which could lead to less pain. Someone should conduct a study on Crohn’s patients who get massages. Small meals I think helps although I would have to research just how effective this is. Last but not least gluten free diets are just like Specific Carbohydrate Diet where there are many testimonials; however there really isn’t good evidence that it has a major effect.

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