Well it’s been like years (not really but seems like a long time) since I’ve posted on my blog. I’m such a slacker!!! Life has been super busy with the holidays. Well lets just dive into the nitty gritty, shall we? Oh and please read this really long post. My sweat and blood went into this!! Thanks!
What is Remicade you ask? It is an immunosuppressant drug. Remicade is used to treat pain and inflammation usually associated with Rheumatoid Arthritis, Crohn’s Disease, Colitis, and other autoimmune diseases. It is given intravenously and takes about two hours to infuse.
Remicade has a whole list of side effects and people that are prone to infections are cautioned not to take this drug. Some of the side effects include: coughing, rash, sinus infections, sore throat, and stomach pain. More serious side effects include: infection, cancer, Hepatitis B virus, TB, blood disorder, nervous system disorder, and lupus-like syndrome. Lets not forget the side effects they look for while you have your infusion: breathing difficulties, chest pain, changes in blood pressure, swelling of the hands or face, chills, and fever. Patients taking Remicade are to “consult their doctor” before getting pregnant. Patients are not to nurse, while taking the drug and babies that were exposed to Remicade, during pregnancy, are cautioned not to get their vaccinations!!! This is all on Remicade’s website!! WOW!!! I know the side effects that I experienced were tiredness, skin rash, and nausea! Not fun!!
I also want to go over the list of ingredients in Remicade. The active ingredient is Infliximab and inactive ingredients are sucrose, polysorbate 80, monobasic sodium phosphate monohydrate, and dibasic sodium phosphate dehydrate. One ingredient that stands out to me and that made my jaw drop is polysorbate 80. Yes. The same ingredient that is in vaccines, ice cream, chewing gum, shampoo, vitamins, condiments (I saw it in a jar of pickles) and a lot of other products. Polysorbate 80 was shown to cause infertility and sever ovary deformities in rats. A case study showed that Polysorbate 80 caused pregnant women to go into anaphylactic shock and that its harmful to people with Crohn’s disease. Question? Why the heck is this ingredient in a drug to “treat” people with Crohn’s disease?
I’m speechless. For real. I was on this drug for around a year and to be honest I never did much research. I guess the saying “ignorance is bliss” comes into play? What about “ignorance can kill you”! I guess, at the time, I wanted a quick fix and I guess Remicade did that for me…I think?! I started my infusions around October 2008 and started at the lowest does. The drug eventually stopped working for me and by February 2009, I was on the maximum dose of Remicade. The doctors told me that if Remicade wasn’t going to work, that I would have to start a sister drug of Remicade called Humira. My Crohn’s disease did end up getting under control with the maximum dose of Remicade but I believe it was because of the strict diet regimen I was following. I was following the Swiss Detox Diet…more on that below. In the summer of 2009, my husband and I were ready and wanted to start trying to get pregnant with our second child. We scheduled an appointment with my GI and explained how we didn’t feel safe being infused with a drug while trying to get pregnant and even carrying a baby. He said, “Remicade is totally safe to take while being pregnant.” To me the thought of being infused with an immunosuppressing drug, while growing a little life in me, didn’t seem right. I at least wanted to start lowering the dose I was being infused with. The doctor assured me, “There has been plenty of research done and the FDA wouldn’t have approved the medicine if it was unsafe.” Not being satisfied with that answer I pushed a little more and expressed that I didn’t want to be on any sort of drug while attempting or actually being pregnant. My doctor replied, “NO ONE ever weans off of Remicade. Patients usually get higher doses or they need to switch their medications.” In the back of my mind, I knew that there would be NO WAY that I would carry a baby while being infused with Remicade. I needed to be drug free!!! My Doctor and I never agreed about coming off of Remicade completely but he did write an order to slowly lower my Remicade dosage (as long as my Crohn’s remained in good condition). This is when I dived into the book called The Swiss Secret to Optimal Health by Dr. Thomas Rau.
The Swiss Secret to Optimal Health talks about restoring health with the use of Biological Medicine. Biological Medicine treats the body as a whole using holistic treatments, homeopathic remedies, and diet. It has been used to help people with Cancer, Lymes disease, Autoimmune diseases, Coronary Heart disease, allergies, and digestive disorders. But unfortunately, not all of us can go through life healthy and disease free. Crap happens. Literally! What can happen to our bodies is that they can be overloaded with toxic, external disturbances (stress, alcohol abuse, overeating, antibiotics, food allergies, metals, toxins, bad gut flora, infections, dental disturbances and the list goes on and on) and can cause the body to react with symptoms (for me personally- Crohn’s disease). The book has a great illustration about our bodies being a barrel and how toxic disturbances can get added into our barrel throughout our life. Eventually throughout the years, our toxic load will overflow with symptoms such as Crohn’s disease, Colitis, IBS, Asthma, food allergies, etc.
As I said above, a major factor that plays into treating the entire body and that the book discusses is diet. The saying “You are what you eat.” is sooo true. If you eat crap, chances are you’ll feel like crap, look like crap, and produce a lot of crap. Can you see why diet is important? Don’t you wish GI doctors would tell you “YES DIET IS AN IMPORTANT FACTOR to your intestinal health”??!?! I believe diet was THE MAJOR roll for me in getting off drugs. Yes I know, I was on supplements but I could never tell if they were working or not. Food…I can tell what is good and what is bad and what is really bad. Dr. Rau discusses the importance of diet in many chapters of the book. He even established The Swiss Detox Diet that lasts about three weeks and once completed you are then able to be transitioned into a maintenance diet. The three-week diet is designed to help detoxify, de-acidify, remove food allergies, enhance cellular metabolism, boost your immune system, and regenerate weak or diseased organs. He has EVERY meal set up for you throughout the three weeks and even includes an extensive recipe section (the recipes are AMAZING and DELICIOUS!). I love it when I don’t have to think of a meal plan! The first three weeks are tough. I’m not going to lie. The meals are mostly made up with vegetables. REMINDER this is just for three weeks. This diet is what I did each and every time I lowered my dose of Remicade until I was fully weaned off. Yes! It was hard work. Yes! I cooked nonstop. Yes! It was worth it.
In January 2010, Ben and I got pregnant with our second son, Logan!! From the time I got pregnant, to delivery, I had been Remicade free for over a year and I know The Swiss Detox Diet was my saving grace! I can happily say I have been Remicade free since 2010!!! And I have only had to take “drugs” a couple times since being off of Remicade. I know that every body is different so what works for me might not work for everyone. But hey, it’s worth a shot right? My Crohn’s disease is finally the best its ever been and next year I’ll have been diagnosed for twenty years! I have bad days but that is due to stress, diet, and did I say stress? I haven’t been to a GI in years and am able to maintain my health with mostly diet and supplements. I currently do see a nurse practitioner that practices alternative methods and she has helped me get my health into an even better state. Thanks for reading my long, winded post. Until next time…