If you’ve read my previous posts, you’ll know this medication made his symptoms a thousand times worse and we vowed then and there to find a natural solution to his condition. Through a ton of research I came across Dr. Dahlman’s protocol, which he follows to this day.
But as he’s matured, he’s taken over the continuing search for even more ways to help him live with this disease.
Each case of ulcerative colitis is highly individual and what works for him may not work for you. But I would like to share what he’s found helpful.
Anyone with UC knows that probiotics are essential for restoring balance in the intestines and improving immune function, two very important aspects for a UC sufferer.
Probiotics also stimulate resistance to infection and keep harmful bacteria in check.
But the big question is, which probiotic should you buy out of all the ones on the market?
The one my son uses is not cheap: 60 capsules, or two months’ supply, run at $90 - but they are worth it.
Ultimate Flora by Renew Life has 80 billion live cultures per delay-release capsule and is dairy and gluten free.
One capsule taken every morning ‘keeps his stomach and colon happier, and reduces the rumbling.’ He has no stomach ache after eating and doesn’t need to rush to the bathroom immediately.
He does suggest that someone in a flare might want to take one in the evening, too, as it can ‘pass through’ during that painful time.
My son ran out of this product for a couple of days and suddenly had blood in his stool again. So he knows it’s working!
Note: This probiotic has to be refrigerated, so is not available in all stores. Our local The Vitamin Shoppe sells it.
Onnit Hemp Force Vanilla Açai
This remarkable product, described as a “High-performance plant protein with an unfairly good taste” contains many great ingredients.
To quote from Onnit:
"Unwilling to compromise with our commitment to finding the most nutrient dense natural ingredients available, the key was in a combination of mesquite powder and freeze dried açaí berry, a blend of both tart and molasses notes delivered by 100% earth grown ingredients. Adding Chia and Flax seed to the protein and omega rich hemp seed simply enhanced the nutrient potential of this powerful protein superfood."
It is vegan, gluten free, soy free and dairy free, and contains 14 grams of protein per serving.
My son originally took it before working out to help build muscle, which is a constant struggle for him, but soon realized it was having other benefits, too.
Unlike other protein shakes, it has no negative side effects for him. It has helped him gain weight and maintain it and build muscle. He says it tastes exceptionally good with Pea Milk!
Check out their 'Taste Pro Tips' on what else to mix the powder with.
It keeps his stools more solid and calms his stomach. He stays full for longer and his stomach doesn’t rumble the way it usually does otherwise.
He experiences less urgency and more control: he doesn’t need to rush to the bathroom as soon as he’s taken it.
This product has been a real boon for him.
Note: my son orders this online directly from Onnit. Each container holds 10 servings and costs $44.95. If you subscribe to their regular delivery you get 15% off, which works out at $38.21 a tub.
There's no doubt about it, Ulcerative Colitis is not a cheap disease to have! But going the natural route beats suffering the side effects of medication, which usually only works for a limited time before you have to look for something else.
Dealing with the Stress of Ulcerative Colitis
In addition to the supplements for the diarrhea and pain associated with UC, there are the mental and emotional problems which come with it.
Dr. Richard Bloom in New York State suggested the following supplements to handle them.
1,000mg - Source Naturals Omega EPA Fish Oil
1,000mg -Source Natural Taurine
500mg - Allergy Research Group L-methionine Free Form Amino Acid
1,000mg - Natrol Easy-C (Vitamin C)
1,000mg -NOW Inositol Capsules
I pinch - Cream of Tartar from supermarket
1,000mg - Taurine as above
1,000mg - Inositol as above
Instead of listing the numerous uses of each of the above, let me quote what my son wrote after taking them.
“It took a couple of days to feel anything, but I have noticed benefits since then.
- Increased energy
- Better mood
- More calmness
- Able to calm down from upsetting situations much faster
- Happier/more positive conversations
- Easier to regulate my mood
- Better at the gym (he works out every day)
- General mood has been largest benefit
- Used to experience more of a dark mood
- Increased desire to communicate/able to feel more supportive of others.”
Here’s what he wrote when he ran out of the Taurine pills, but was still taking the rest.
“Within a week I noticed less energy, awareness and happiness.
- More likely to get upset
- (I’m) taking the Taurine with the other pills again, and I feel much better, more optimistic, more motivated and have more energy.”
During my son’s latest flare earlier this year, which simply would not quit (and before he was taking the above supplements) a friend came down from New Jersey to try the BEMER on him. Briefly put, this is a machine which improves the flow of oxygen down to the body’s tiniest capillaries and naturally stimulates the healing process with magnetic waves flowing through the body.
My friend could only stay for three days, and performed two eight minute sessions on my son daily during that time. This involved his lying down on an oblong mat hooked up to a machine which pulsed magnetic waves through his body at a low frequency. (I'm putting this in extremely simplistic layman's terms - a BEMER person would probably be horrified at my inadequate description!)
But it seems to have been the turning point for my son's climb back into remission, which came about in an unexpected way. Here's what he wrote:
“I was impressed with the BEMER’s ability to help me retain the weight I was usually losing overnight. While I didn’t experience many colitis symptom-related benefits, I can see now it’s great for recovery from workouts and increased nutrient uptake. I would recommend the BEMER for athletes and people with autoimmune diseases like mine who have trouble absorbing nutrients from their food.”
While the machine itself is very expensive, it is possible to rent one for a while to see if it really is beneficial. Some IBD sufferers have reported positive results. You’ll find a contact page on the BEMER website. Once you start using it, you need to continue in order to keep reaping the benefits.
I hope the above information gives you some things to consider in your quest to help yourself or someone you love who is struggling with this horrible disease.
While my son works on the earthly aspects of his healing, his mother continues to pray daily for his success in overcoming his disability.
I shall soon be posting more ways to combat ulcerative colitis.
Meanwhile I'll leave you with this photo he took yesterday of his dog, Fly, from Colorado where he is on a two week camping trip with friends.
- St. Jude & Ulcerative Colitis
- Ulcerative Colitis: Stabat Mater Dolorosa
- A Different Kind of Milk
- One Man's Ulcerative Colitis Diet
The world is ready for a fictional hero with ulcerative colitis!
Riding Out the Devil is the first book in my trilogy about Jack Harper, a horse trainer with UC.
Download your FREE copy at Hilary Walker Books!