IBS: My Struggles and Adventure to Natural Healing

Hello, everyone!  Bjarni posted about specialized diets and food sensitivities in SHTF situations last month, and he has encouraged me to write about my own constant trial and error concerning my struggles with IBS.  To give you the back story, I began to have IBS problems 7 years ago that involved inflammation of my large intestine/colon, which caused pain and other graphic-detailed problems that I will not be talking about here (if you really want to know, just go onto google images and type in “symptoms of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease”).

Scared and confused, I sought advice from a gastrointestinal specialist.  After agonizing preparation and procedure of a colonoscopy at 20 years of age, I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, a disease in which the immune system attacks the tissue of the large intestine.  I was told that I would be on NSAIDs for the rest of my life, and that if it didn’t calm down, I would be put on steroids.

My mother looked at the blood test that was used confirm whether my condition was autoimmune, and it came back negative:  Instead of having a high immune cell count that would be indicative of an autoimmune disease, my immune cell count was in the normal range.  After confronting the specialist, he said that it was a weak test, and that I should follow the advice he gave me.

Not only did the specialist never ask me about my family history (which is littered with food sensitivities, Celiac’s disease, and other less debilitating, NON-autoimmune irritable bowel diseases), but he seemed to not want to consider other alternatives.  Since then, I turned away from the modern medical route and went through several years of trial and agonizing error to figure out what I could do on my own to lessen the effects of IBS; as a prepper, this is paramount to knowing how to handle IBS when modern medicine is not available.

Before going any further, I must note:  I am NOT a doctor, I do not practice or prescribe medicine.  I do not diagnose or claim to treat or cure any disease or illness.  If you need medical advice and you need treatment, please seek out a licensed doctor.  All readers are strongly encouraged to research the safety and efficacy of the food/medicine you choose and to develop your own opinion.  The topics discussed here are hypothetical for informational purposes only and require a heavy dose of common sense.

My first step was to eliminate foods out of my diet that might trigger an intestinal flare-up (meaning intestinal inflammation and pain, and constantly running to the bathroom).  After painfully figuring out which foods did this most frequently (for me, this is mostly wheat, barley and rye gluten), I needed to figure out how to decrease a flare-up if it happens anyways.

YES, sometimes despite all dietary control, intestinal flare-ups can still happen due to stress.  In a SHTF scenario, you will be under extreme stress, thus the likelihood of triggering a flare-up is high.  Currently, I am trying to heal from a flare-up caused by some dietary issues and stress, and once again I have gone through trial and error of calming and healing my intestine.

Aside from tweaking my diet even more and eliminating high concentrations of caffeine, I was finally able to determine that taking 1/4-1/2 cup of whole leaf aloe vera juice (I use this:  http://www.lilyofthedesert.com/product/preservative-free-juices/) combined with 20 drops of comfrey tincture twice/day helps to heal wounds in the intestine.  I mix the aloe vera juice + comfrey with fruit juice to hide the pungent flavor of the aloe vera.  Do not take comfrey more than four times/day, and after three weeks of taking comfrey, you will want to take one week break from comfrey (for more information on comfrey and other herbal remedies, please read this AMAZING book on herbal healing:  https://www.amazon.com/Preppers-Natural-Medicine-Life-Saving-Essential/dp/161243438X).  I am also taking a probiotic with several strains of bacteria (I use this:  http://www.naturesway.com/Product-Catalog/Primadophilus-Optima-60-Billion-30-Vcaps) twice/day.  You can also swap out the aloe vera with the prickly pear cactus juice from the leaves.

This regimen has helped me considerably, although it still takes a LONG time (a minimum of 1 month) for the intestine to heal.  This mixture may also not be for everyone–some may have to tweak some ingredients to make it biologically fit their bodies.  However, the pain and frequency with which the bathroom is visited has decreased and I can tell that intestinal wounds are healing.

Aside from giving one remedy option to help heal IBS naturally, I want to encourage other preppers with physical ailments to not be afraid of experimenting with certain diets, herbs and other natural alternatives to healing themselves.  Modern medicine will not always be around to save you in SHTF; our ancestors survived without modern medicine, so we can learn as well.  Just like I have faced failure in this adventure of healing my intestine, experimentation with health alternatives will not always work, so do not give up!  You never know when trying the next alternative may work.

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