Monthly Archives: August 2016

What? Wheat!

I’ve been doing the acupuncture thing for about six weeks now with very little effect on my Crohn’s. However, two weeks ago my practitioner suggested I eliminate wheat from my diet. I agreed to try it, but she probably saw my eyes rolling. No bread? No cookies, donuts, twizzlers (that’s right twizzlers are full of wheat) and NO PRETZELS. If consuming wheat products actually is causing my gut problems, the fact that I was eating a half bag of pretzels every night might have been an issue.

But I’ve been avoiding wheat now for a couple of weeks and there was an almost immediate improvement in my condition. Plus the couple of times I fell off the wagon I noticed things got worse. I’m still having some problems, but I’m hoping over time things will continue to improve. I’ve also resumed taking turmeric and probiotics. Time will tell.

I did some research and found this article on the National Institute of Health website, it’s an overview of research on the inflammatory effects of grain and wheat consumptions. It’s a little difficult to wade through but has some eye opening information. And of course there’s Dr. William Davis and the “Wheat Belly Blog.”

There’s a lot of conflicting info out there of course. Katherine’s advice was to give up wheat, not gluten. She said barley, which contains gluten is probably OK. Some of the info I found recommends dropping of all kinds of grains, including corn. I’ve replaced pretzels with corn chips (I must have my salty snacks) and hamburgers with tacos without problems.

I’m on pins and needles

Just had my third acupuncture appointment. So I’m two weeks into the regimen. I haven’t really seen much improvement. Last week Katherine, my practitioner, tested some herbs on me so she could recommend an herbal blend to enhance the effects of the needle treatment. The test consisted of her putting various bottles of the herbal extracts on my stomach and taking my pulse to see how my body reacted. Then once she had determined the right blend, she placed one bottle at a time in my palm to judge the proportions of the mixture. I came away with an “intestinal health” blend to take five drops of four times a day and an anti cramping herb that I take when needed. She also recommended that I spend 15 minutes a day going barefoot in the grass. Really good for the spleen, I think she said.

I’ve gotten some new recommendations at each visit. The first visit was to not drink coffee first thing in the morning. I’m supposed to have the juice of a half lemon mixed with hot water and some protein before I can have coffee. This isn’t easy for a guy who is used making that first cup in a somnambulant state immediately upon getting out of bed. But I’ve managed to live through it. Another recommendation is to give  up ice cream. My first reaction to that was, “Wait, can I cut an arm off first?” You can sacrifice a lot for your health, but do you really want to live a life without ice cream? I’ve surprised myself and even stuck to that one.

When I told her that I hadn’t seen any improvement and that I was going to pull the trigger on the Humira treatment, she got a little defensive, saying that I needed to give it more time. You might say the effects are a little pokey. So I agreed that I would continue for six weeks and then evaluate.

Another interesting addition to my treatment is the insertion of little mini-pins in my ears that I am supposed to keep in for five days. She said they were really small and held in with adhesive that was colored so you can hardly see them. I’ll be interested to see what Becky says about that when she gets home.

So my adventure with alternative medicine continues. I really want to be able to get on the plane to Kauai in November without having to worry about using my “I can’t wait” card in the line for the toilet.