This week’s blog is an update on last year’s series featuring Molly’s progressive healing from Crohn’s disease. It is particularly exciting for those who appreciate seeing evidence of improvement based on medical tests. While the goal is to eventually create a heightened sense of awareness of your own health, tests can offer a level of comfort and encouragement as you begin your journey. Here’s a recent update from Molly.
As I read this a year and a half later, although I had come a long way, I am reminded how far I still had to go. My body was healing but it still harbored inflammation. I was keeping track of my fecal calprotectin number which measures inflammation in my bowel through a stool sample to confirm that I was on the right track.
The normal range is below 50 and Gastroenterologists like to see their patients with Crohn’s and Colitis below 100. Because of my previous high numbers, I was actually thrilled with my results of 156 during that time. I believed that I was as good as I was ever going to get! I was so wrong!
I kept the goal of COMPLETE healing and continued to take care of myself with daily Gemmotherapy and eating clean, simple, real food. I was encouraged again last summer when my numbers came back at 110. It was exciting to see real evidence of healing and I knew I could do better.
Finally, last week, after a two and a half year journey, I was brought to tears. My doctor called to tell me that my Calprotectin number came back at 42, well within the normal range! When I began this journey, I didn’t want it to take this long, I wanted quick healing so I could just move on with my life. I have now learned that in order to appreciate my life and take my health back, this long journey was necessary. I hope my journey to health inspires others to work with their bodies and take the time necessary to attain complete healing.
This month I’ve had the pleasure of sharing my blog with Molly LaChere who tells her inspiring story of addressing symptoms of Crohn’s. While Molly had lived with the often debilitating effects for 13 years, it was the passing of her mother that led her to make serious lifestyle changes. In the first post of the series Molly explained the commitment she made to reclaim her health. Last week Molly described the setbacks she faced getting started.
For nearly half of her life Molly’s body made up for her poorly established elimination system and overburdened kidneys by dumping acid waste through her bowel. The urge for a bowel movement often appeared hourly and a combination of mucous, blood, and or loose stools were eliminated. This was a compensation that her body established in order to keep the raging state of inflammation under control. As her practitioner, the challenge I would face was the task of tonifying her kidneys using Gemmotherapy extracts to gradually shift her body out of this “dumping” state.
As you learned in Molly’s Story Part II, slowing this dumping of acid triggered another set of symptoms common in Crohn’s. Molly’s limbs began to absorb the inflammation that was not being dumped and her skin became an emergency exit to filter toxins as well. This was truly a miserable time for Molly and it would have been easy for her to have lost hope.
At that point I encouraged Molly to seek out additional support from her physician, whom she trusted and had worked with in the past. In this advanced state of Crohn’s, we hoped he could offer temporary solution to suppress some symptoms through medication just long enough for Gemmotherapy to strengthen her kidney and adrenal function. The Gemmotherapy protocol at that point included Silver Birch Sap as a kidney tonic, Blueberry to bring balance to kidney and bowel function, Black Currant to resolve inflammation and support her adrenal glands, and finally Silver Lime as a tonic for the nervous system. In addition, I included an adrenal glandular supplement and a monthly constitutional dose of Homeopathy.
“January and February were marked by continued swelling, but was I able to stay the course. I continued to try every day to make positive changes. I was taking my Gemmotherapy extracts regularly and was even learning to adjust them on my own. I was quite excited about that!
Even though I could feel my body trying to heal itself and I was making small improvements every day, I still needed some support from medical doctors. Crohn’s disease must be monitored closely as the inflammatory state is known to lead to cancers and other complications. Having lost a parent to cancer just months before understandably made this threat even more worrisome.
I finally was able to have an appointment with the Gastroenterologist on March 3rd. I was ready to fight because I knew they would want to start me on HUMARA, a drug that suppresses the immune system and is known to cause an aggressive form of Lymphoma. The doctors were certainly concerned, so they did the only thing they are trained to do, offer tests and medications. I am grateful for their tests, but I wanted to pass on their medication.”
“The day following my appointment, I brought in a stool sample so that they could test for inflammation markers. The results could take a while so in the meantime I had a colonoscopy and started on a short course of Prednisone. The colonoscopy showed inflammation, but no cancer. What a relief! With that worry gone, and the Prednisone kicking in to suppress my the inflammation enough, I knew that I was turning a corner in my healing.
I continued to feel better each day and after a few weeks I began to taper off the Prednisone. During this time we were able to increase the doses of Gemmotherapy without the fear we had previously of aggravating symptoms. By early April I had bowel movements only 3-5 times daily and all were formed with no pain! I was even sleeping through the night. By the time I came off of the Prednisone my kidneys and bowels were functioning much better all on their own.
In May I returned to the gastroenterologist for the best appointment ever. First, we went over the results of the stool sample taken back in March. In a normal healthy person, the markers would be below 50, for people with Crohn’s disease, the goal is below 100. For comparison, my numbers have been over 1,000 in the past! The doctor couldn’t believe that my number was only 156! Remember, this was taken before I started on any medication! Diet change and Gemmotherapy was the only thing I was using to control my disease at the time of the test.
With this news, I knew that my drastic diet change made me feel better and now I had the proof that it was healing me too! We came to an understanding that day in the office that if I continued to make healthy diet changes, the doctor would be completely supportive of not using HUMARA. He even admitted to me that the medication often doesn’t work well unless patients are willing to make changes in their diets and it often leads to patients losing parts of their colon or small intestines. I did however begin Asocol HD a mild medication that helps with inflammation in the colon. I have tried it in the past and it was never enough. This time it was a different story. It was just enough support. I have another appointment in August and I am so excited to see those results!”
Molly’s story is such a remarkable example of believing in your body and it’s ability to heal and, at the same time, taking the steps of intervention needed when a disease has progressed. She is fortunate to have an open minded physician that supported her commitment and could see a middle path. Had Molly and I began our work together when her symptoms of urgent loose stools began years ago, she would not have needed medication but in these advanced stages of autoimmune, with the knowledge we have today, the approach we found was a good compromise. Join us next week when Molly shares more of the specific lifestyle changes she has found successful.
Interested in learning more about Gemmotherapy? Order one of my books, Gemmotherapy for Everyone: An Introduction to Acute Care or Building Immunity in Babies and Children. Consider a private consultation or study with me in order to care or yourself and others.