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Is Crohn’s Disease Really “Incurable”?

Posted Jul 16 2012 12:00am

I recently came across two different people who, diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, repeated the standard line that it “has no known cure”. Really? Never? The people who said this were just repeating what they had been told. Unlike twenty or thirty years ago, however, it is easy to do one’s own research. The people who said this gave no indication they had done any research. Because Crohn’s is so unpleasant, their passivity was curious.

I knew that calling Crohn’s disease “incurable” was an overstatement because I had written about Reid Kimball , who had found a way to eliminate via diet essentially all the symptoms. For practical purposes, he was cured.  (Reid objects to the word “cure”.) I knew he was hardly the only one. But what if I started from ignorance? How hard would it be to challenge the conventional “incurable” line?

Not hard at all. I googled “Crohn’s success” (without quotation marks in the search query). The top search result (titled “Crohn’s Disease: Success with Diet and Probiotics”) included this:

I learned of a pediatric gastroenterologist, Dr. J. Rainer Poley, who had conducted extensive studies on the effect of certain sugars and starches on people with intestinal diseases. My husband and I decided to take our daughter to see this doctor for another opinion. When we asked him if there was any other treatment she could try besides medications, he explained that at a recent medical conference in Europe, he had learned of success medical doctors were having with probiotics. He instructed our daughter to eat plain yogurt every day and to take a specific probiotic capsule called Culturelle® containing Lactobacillus GG [Gorbach and Goldin] twice daily. Based on Dr. Poley’s research, he wanted her to limit the consumption of concentrated sugars (specifically table sugar, technically known as sucrose). The intent of the sucrose-restricted diet was to starve the harmful bacteria by taking away their major food source. The yogurt and Lactobacillus GG would help replenish the “good” bacteria. Since it has been well documented that an overgrowth of bacteria is prevalently seen in people with Crohn’s disease, this treatment sounded like a plausible solution.

Our daughter, feeling drained from the effects of Crohn’s disease, felt motivated to try the doctor’s recommendations. . . . After about two weeks, she began to feel better in general. At the follow-up doctor’s appointment three months later, she had gained six pounds and her lab work was ALL NORMAL! . . . She continues to remain well [over 7 years later] with normal lab work and without clinical symptoms.

I asked Ms. Kalichman how others had fared with this treatment. She replied:

Periodically, I hear from others who have tried the treatment that my daughter does, and it seems that many have been helped a lot. Unfortunately they don’t always continue to keep in touch, so I don’t have any idea how many are totally well. Our daughter continues to be well as she has been for almost 9 years now…no meds and no clinical symptoms.

That took about 5 minutes, including emailing Kalichman. She referred me to a video about it .

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