Q & A: Stopping Immunosuppresants

March 9, 2009

Q: Sarah writes:
Is there a risk in stopping immunosuppressants all at once? Last week I decided to stop taking my medicine after being on Humira for 6months (Remicade before that for 2 years) and Imuran for 4 years. I am trying now to heal with raw foods and alternative medicine but my family does not support this and it’s scary when people tell you you’re doing the wrong thing…

A: Thank you for writing, Sarah.  I understand your desire to stop taking Humira and heal your body naturally. The specific alternative methods you use must be tailored for your age, medical problems, food allergies, sensitivities, and possible gut infections. It’s not easy; it took me over two decades of trial and error to understand what works and what doesn’t. I don’t recommend doing this on your own, because you could end up hurting, rather than healing yourself. Depending on your specific health profile, some methods could be dangerous. The process of weaning yourself off of drugs should be accompanied by a healing program and medical supervision, because suddenly stopping medication may cause flare-ups.

Alternative medicine can be a very powerful tool, but like any other powerful tool, it should be handled by experienced professionals. I advise working with a competent medical team consisting of (1) an open-minded, holistically-oriented gastroenterologist, and (2) a licensed, holistic nutritionist/dietitian well-versed on IBD issues (therapies, diets, supplements).

1) Find a Gastroenterologist.

The first place to look would be the American College for Advancement in Medicine, a society for physicians practicing integrative medicine.  Do your research to find the right doctor for you. Search for a gastroenterologist here.

2) Find a Nutritionist.

Option A

Search for a Nutritionist at Complementary Nutrition, a branch of the American Dietetic Association specifically for nutritionists interested in alternative medicine.  On the upside, you can meet someone in person who is close to you.  On the downside, their experience with treating IBD issues may be minimal. Do your research and ask for their success rate with healing your specific issues.

Option B

Schedule a consultation with me to get a full health analysis over phone or videochat. I’ll create a customized step-by-step diet, program, and supplement list just for you. This includes a follow-up consultation so that, after a month, we can adjust your program if necessary.  For patients who follow my customized program, the success rate is 90%. Over the past 20 years, I’ve helped over 1200 people heal chronic illnesses.  If you’re one of the first 50 people to schedule a consultation, you’ll get $220 in supplements free.

Getting Support

It must be hard not having the support of your family at such a difficult time. Show them the possible side effects of the immunosuppressive drugs you’ve been taking. Explain how you feel. Abbott Laboratories admitted on the Humira website that Humira can cause cancer, autoimmune diseases (e.g.lupus), life-threatening allergic reactions (swelling of throat, face, tongue), difficulty breathing, and even heart failure. Here’s an independent site where patients like you recount their side effects from Humira.  Pretty scary stuff.

Thanks again for your question, Sarah – I hope this helps. I wish you balance within your gut, and good luck in your journey to health!


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