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    Old 09-30-2003, 12:50 PM   #16
    RCalabraro
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    News flash: herbs are drugs.

    The difference between a drug and an "herbal" medicine is that synthetic drugs are thoroughly tested for safety and efficacy, and are therefore potentially safer than "herbal" medicines or "nutritional supplements."

    You assume that an herbal witch doctor will be able to find the source of IBS. You have no data to suggest that one of these practitioners actually can do this. The truth: immodium is VERY safe. For certain people, it's VERY effective. There are volumes of good peer-reviewed scientific data to support this. There is NO evidence that witch doctors can help.

    I never understood why some people assume that if it comes from a plant, it's automatically safe. Strychnine, cyanide, nightshade all come from natural sources. Oh yeah, chewing tobacco...causes throat cancer. There are lots of herbal products that not only don't work, but are potentially quite hazardous to your health, simply because all of the naturally-occurring chemicals have not been tested for safety. This is in stark contrast with FDA-approved drugs, which have gone through rigorous and comprehensive safety testing.

    You will forgive me if I put my trust in peer-reviewed scientific data instead of voodoo.

     
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    Old 09-30-2003, 02:11 PM   #17
    Sarah68
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    It is quite obvious that you did not read my post at all did you.

    Did I actually mention anything about herbs? I think not. I actually typed HOMEOPATHY and may be you actually need to read the science because herbs and homeopathy are two completely different things.

    HOMEOPATHIC remedies are taken from animal, vegetable and mineral sources and are not harmful at all and they are not the same as herbs either.

    Also, homeopathic remedies have been fully tested too, and they are called 'provings'.

    Someone actually challenged me to provide an alternative to the Immodium and I have.

    I really would not critizise something which you obviously know nothing about and before you do, please go and do some reading about the subject so you actually know what you are talking about.

    It is not voodoo as you call it. If it is, how do you think people survived thousands of years ago? In those days there were only natural remedies around and not all this synthetic stuff.

    I hope that you also realise that a lot of the conventional drugs that you take have actually been taken from plant sources in the first place and all the drug companies do is take the plant and add something sythetic to it so that they can patent it and sell it for a massive profit. They actually make it more dangerous than it was before when it was in plant form. Think about that. There are also lots of drugs out on the market currently that have not been properly tested and there are lots of drugs that have to be withdrawn due to side effects.

    News flash: There is lots of research out there to back up what I have said. Where is your research to prove that conventional meds are any better?

    Perhaps you would like to go and get educated before you start to post the rubbish that you have done here!!

    Also, perhaps you would like to go and get educated about the differences between herbal medicine and homeopathy of which there are plenty before picking up on the herbal theme. Although I did mention herbs as part of talking about what ND's do (who are in fact qualified doctors and not voodoo practitioners - I think you might need to go to another country for that) I put HOMEOPATHY in capitals. Please take note of the difference.


     
    Old 10-01-2003, 07:55 AM   #18
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    Sarah,
    Homeopathic medicine does not need to be defended. Many people regardless of what you say will never believe in the magic of the minnie dose or the principles of Homeopathy. I truly believe that in time It will be widely accepted.

    God Bless---Harry

     
    Old 10-01-2003, 07:59 AM   #19
    RCalabraro
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    To quote your post, "They also practice herbal medicine and acupuncture, which can also be extremely helpful." You indeed DID talk about herbal remedies.

    These substances you speak of that "are taken from animal, vegetable and mineral sources" are called "nutritional supplements." The reason they are called this, instead of being called drugs, is because due to a loophole in the law, as long as they bear this label, they don't have to be proven safe or effective.

    Something else you say about FDA-approved drugs: "They actually make it more dangerous than it was before when it was in plant form. Think about that." OK, I will think about that. Let's use the example of immodium.

    Immodium is a synthetic opioid called loperamide hydrochloride. Opioids are called opioids because they are similar to morphine, a naturally-occurring (read: homeopathic) chemical derived from the opium poppy. In addition to relieving diarrhea, morphine kills pain, is addictive, alters personality and consciousness, depresses respiration, and affects heartbeat. It is usually only prescribed in hospital settings so that the patient can be monitored for dangerous reactions. Some gifted chemists were able to engineer a form of this drug that retained its constipating effects while eliminating its effect on the central nervous system, thus eliminating most of the dangerous side effects.

    The FDA requires drug companies to jump through a number of hoops in order to get a drug approved. Safety must be proved in excruciating detail. The drug was used by prescription for many years, with a very good safety record. Indeed, immodium was so safe, it was later approved for use over-the-counter, without a prescription. Only a small fraction of prescription drugs are ever considered safe enough to be sold OTC.

    Could you imagine buying morphine over the counter at your local drug store, right next to the cough medicine? You actually can buy the homeopathic, plant-derived form of morphine without a prescription. It's called opium. It's sold on the black market. You will go to jail if you get caught with it. It's harder to find in this raw form, however, because the American black market prefers a somewhat more refined version of this product: heroin.

    So, in the case of immodium, chemical engineers were able to modify a naturally-occurring (homeopathic) chemical, and made it FAR safer than it was in its natural form.

    You conveniently failed to mention such safe and effective homeopathic remedies as belladonna, foxglove, ephedra, strychnine, tobacco, etc. Oh, and what did people do before modern medicine, when they got sick? They DIED!

    RC

     
    Old 10-01-2003, 08:53 AM   #20
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    Hey there - let's stop being so defensive here. Sarah has some very good ideas on this board; some I've agreed with, and some I haven't, but this is no reason to attack her beliefs!!!!!!!!!!!

    If the original poster was asking for advice about chronic use (or abuse) of Immodium, obviously he thinks it's not normal to have to take it daily. So any advice/suggestions offered here can be accepted or rejected, but rudeness does not have to be part of it.

    I don't believe that Immodium is something to be taken daily on a long-standing basis myself, but that is just my opinion. The original poster talks about "trigger" foods/beverages - why is he not trying to cut these things out to see if his situation improves? If someone has to take Immodium on a long-term basis, that person needs to find out what is causing the diarrhea. I too could have been an Immodium taker for my chronic diarrhea, but found out that my small intestine couldn't handle the bile being dumped in from the liver. Therefore, I'm taking calcium supplements, Metamucil, and a prescription drug called Colestid just to maintain normal stools.

    My post here may make some of you angry too, but I don't think we should use this board to snipe at each other. We are here to support each other, and even if you don't agree with one opinion doesn't give you automatic license to be rude.

    I wish all those suffering from IBS-D to find what works for them.

    In good health,
    Katie G

     
    Old 10-01-2003, 12:47 PM   #21
    RCalabraro
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    "If the original poster was asking for advice about chronic use (or abuse) of Immodium, obviously he thinks it's not normal to have to take it daily."

    Yea, well, IBS isn't "normal."

    I wouldn't consider it "normal" to inject myself with insulin every day either. But diabetes ALSO isn't "normal."

    My primary reason for posting here has been to defend the uneducated pot-shots some people have taken at a safe and effective treatment that I myself cannot live without. For her to claim that it's dangerous, or that so-called "homeopathic remedies" are safer or more effective, is entirely bogus.

    If she could present some data to the contrary, we're all ears. Until then, her position is nothing but opinion. And you know what they say about opinions.

    Thanks, I'll stick to immodium for IBS. If I ever become stricken with ill humors, then maybe I'd consider sacraficing chickens or speaking in tongues.

    RC

     
    Old 10-01-2003, 02:36 PM   #22
    scarlson
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    The discussion here about homeopathy and other alternative medicines really sparked my interest. I agree that it is important to identify trigger foods and events so that one isn't as dependent on medicine (if only because it's cheaper) but some of the alternative methods that were suggested are a little dubious. Sarah, if they work for you, that's great, but I'm kinda gathering from your post that you don't have a background in medicine or science and sometimes that can lead to some misconceptions. I would like to try to define some of the terms that you've used, and maybe try to point others in the direction of some resources so that they can decide for themselves instead of relying on your anecdotal evidence.

    First, homeopathy is not herbal medicine. From what I understand, it is taking a substance such as an herb or mineral, and diluting it with mineral salts to a parts per million concentration. While many people swear by it, the active ingredients are diluted to the point that there will be no effect. In essence, the homeopathic remedy is a salt or sugar pill. Proponents claim that the "essence" of the original ingredient is preserved in the diluting agent and has a beneficial effect. Patients who were given a placebo or a homeopathic remedy showed no difference in symptoms in a double blind trial.

    Second, herbal medicine can be wonderful. A cup of chamomile tea can calm nerves and ease digestion, for example, and St. John's wort may be beneficial to people suffering from mild depression (although an NIH study did show that it has no effect on people suffering from moderate to severe depression). On the other hand, kava can cause liver damage, and several other herbs react very adversely to prescription medication, OTC medication, and each other. In addition, there is no standardized way to ensure the amount of active herb ingredients in each tablet. A consumers group tested herbs from 16 different supplement companies and found only 2 that actually had in the pills what the label said consistently. One was Nature's Way (I don't recall the other). Herbs should be used with caution.

    Third, and I'm going to get nailed for this, I'm sure; a naturopathic doctor is not a "real" medical doctor. If s/he was, they'd be an MD instead of an ND. A medicl doctor is certified to do things such as prescribe drugs and diagnostic tests and perform surgery. Ever hear of an ND that could order a colonoscopy to diagnose your IBS? Didn't think so. Want them to set a broken bone? Or stitch a wound? An ND's training is not federally mandated to specific guidelines, like an MD's is, and if they're licensed, it is only to one state. And if I'm not mistaken, they are not allowed to say a great many things during the course of your time with them, or they can be prosecuted for practicing medicine without a license. On another note, if they were "real" doctors, your insurance company would cover their care.

    I know I probably just irritated a lot of people, and I apologize. My intent was to educate, not to flame. Sarah, you claimed some research and references, but I've never seen a double blind, clinical trial that backs up the extravagant claims of homeopathy. All I've seen is anecdotal evidence. If you have references from peer reviewed journals or even a study that details their experimental protocol, I would love to see it. As you may have guessed, I'm a biochemist working in biomedical science (in academia, not with a pharmaceutical company). I was also just diagnosed with IBS/C last week and am still pretty new to this.

    For more references, I would recommend the PubMed web page [url="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov"]www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov[/url] where you can look up any medical subject you want. Thanks everyone, and sorry about the book I just wrote.

    Please read the guidelines you agreed to when you joined Healthboards. Posting website address that are not .gov or.edc has to be approved by the board adminstrator.
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    Old 10-01-2003, 05:14 PM   #23
    6th_sense
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    Hi guys,

    I believe it was shown on TV (one of the news programs up here in Canada), that the herbal supplement bottles, were indeed exactly what Scarlson mentioned in his post. Very, very few herbal companies actually put the ingredients that they state on the bottle with consistency. In fact some of the Chinese herbals were found to contain all sorts of commercially available chemicals in small quantities such as viagra...

    I am not qualified to judge any of the ideas presented here. My personal experience with homeopathy (an ND) was that it was ineffective for the particular situation it was trying to solve - but there are people who swear by it. My ND tried to cure me of eczema (sp?) - I must say I've had more luck finding a way to reduce my allergies through visualisation than through anything else I've come across. My doctors (gp, skin specialist) prescribed using cortisone creams - and boy were they out to lunch too! - It seems that when you externally treat eczema, it provides the allergies another thing to react to and eventually that backfires and makes it more inflamed.

    As for the initial enquiry as to whether or not Immodium is safe - I can't tell you that at all. However, I would have to agree with Scarlson - it would be cheaper not to have to use Immodium. The other point I would like to make is that medicine is not a perfect science - They will have double blind tests etc. to test things, but eventually they cannot tell you what the source of IBS is, or what causes it - or even if it is a long term reaction to some chemical in some pill that was given the ok by the medical community several years ago... My point is, why put yourself at whatever unknown risk of taking drugs... "if" you can do without?

    Cheers, Raju.

     
    Old 10-02-2003, 01:54 AM   #24
    Sarah68
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    Scarlson,

    I would be careful when making assumptions - it makes as *** of u and me.

    You made an assumption that was incorrect about my not having a scientific background. Well, in fact I do come from a medical background and am well aware of these procedures too and am well aware of research and clinical trials.

    To the other poster, you obviously still do not understand the differences between herbal medicines and homeopathy. Belladonna is both a herbal and a homeopathic remedy and when given in homeopathic potency, it is perfectly safe.

    Perhaps you should all go and read D. Ulman's book called Homeopathy: Medicine for the 21st Century. This will explain it to you fully and can point you in the direction of plenty of research that has been carried out in homeopathy and successfully clinical trials.

    The thing is that you all need to look a little further than the end of your nose for this research, as a lot has come from England and Europe and there is also a chemist and a homeopath called Lionel Milgrom in England who is conducting research at the present moment. He has also published some of this too. Go and read what the Indian homeopaths have to say. Indian homeopaths are some of the most skilled homeopaths in the world and their rates of cure are among the highest.

    I suppose in the end though what Harry said earlier is in fact 100% correct. Homeopathic medicine does not need to be defended at all and will come to the fore soon enough.

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    Old 10-02-2003, 05:28 AM   #25
    RCalabraro
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    Sarah,

    "You made an assumption that was incorrect about my not having a scientific background. Well, in fact I do come from a medical background and am well aware of these procedures too and am well aware of research and clinical trials." Then you must appreciate the virtues of rigorous statistics and peer-reviewed data.

    "Belladonna is both a herbal and a homeopathic remedy and when given in homeopathic potency, it is perfectly safe." What potency might that be? In what unit of measure is this potency determined? I couldn't find it.

    "Indian homeopaths are some of the most skilled homeopaths in the world and their rates of cure are among the highest." Would you please cite a reference for this statistic, comparing the cure rate of Indian homeopaths to that of medical doctors?

    RC

     
    Old 10-03-2003, 03:24 AM   #26
    Sarah68
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    To answer your questions. Yes, I am perfectly well aware of the need for good research to be performed and it does infact exist with regard to homeopathy. There is research to be found in the British Medical Journal, The Lancet and also the journal Homeopathy. This was formerly called the British Homeopathic Journal and is the journal of the Faculty of Homeopathy in London, England, where doctors, dentists, nurses and other healthcare professionals train in homeopathy.

    If you were looking for potency under herbal remedies, then you would be unlikely to find this, because this is exactly how herbal medicine and homeopathy differ. Herbal meds are given in crude doses which have a direct physical effect on the body and have many drug interactions and which you yourself stated could be very toxic. This is correct. Belladonna given as a herbal remedy would most likely give you Belladonna poisoning, however, given in homeopathic potency, as I stated before, it is perfectly safe and when matched with the patient's symptoms would be curative.

    All you have to do is type homeopathic potency in to any search engine and you will get all the information you need on potency. Basically, potency in homeopathy consists of serial dilution and succussion of a given substance. This basically means that the substance is diluted and then succussed. Without this complete process a substance is not homeopathic. If you dilute the substance, but then miss out the succussion, it is not homeopathic. So everything has to be there for it to be called homeopathic.

    This is why I suggested that you read D.Ulman's book, which is an introduction to homeopathy and tells you everything about potency.

    The homeopathic potencies are X which is decimal, C which is centecimal, M, which is a thousand and then CM and LM. LM is a liquid potency, which is used a lot these days by homeopaths, as it is a strong but gentle treatment that can cut through multiple pathological states and drug layers.

    Probably, the most widely used potencies are X, C and M. X potencies have a more physical effect on the body and are mostly used as organ drainage or support remedies. The C potencies are widely used and probably the most popular are 30 and 200c. When you get to the M scale, this potency has to be a very good 'similar' match, as this has marked mental and emotional effects on the body. It can be used in acute illnesses too that are very fast acting and where the body uses up the remedy quickly and where the lower potencies do not hold for as long. This maybe the case in a severe fever, where you could be giving a 30c every 5 mins or so because the body is using it so quickly. You could then go to a 200c and you may find that you have to repeat it less frequently. You could then go for a 1M and this could be curative or may hold for longer with perhaps one further repetition possibly. However, every case is individual in homeopathy. We are all individuals and this is what homeopathy aims to do. You treat the individual as a person as a whole with a dis-ease rather than treating the disease symptoms themselves.

    The Indian homeopaths are all doctors too. They train for at least 5 years and are qualified in homeopathic medicine and surgery at the end of their courses.

    Although they are trained as classical homeopaths, they also have a very good knowledge of the pathological effects of remedies and some of them have an almost enzyclopedic knowledge of materia medica.

    I do not know whether their cure rates have been published, but they are high. There is the Indian Journal of Homeopathy that maybe worth looking at. Also, one of the most famous Indian homeopathic doctors is called Rajan Sankaran and he has written several books on homeopathy, one called The Spirit of Homeopathy and another, The Substance of Homeopathy. He states his preferred method of working in both these books, but he cites cases all the way through these books and the remedies he has used to achieve a cure with the potency that he used too. If he had to go through several remedies to achieve cure, then he states this too. Most of the Indian homeopaths have websites, including Sankaran and more and they publish cases on here too.

    Lastly, I must just mention one very famous Euopean homeopath so that he gets a mention too.

    He is an Italian homeopathic doctor called Massimo Mangialavori and he is quite a brilliant man with a brilliant mind too. He has been studying and practicing homeopathic medicine for 25 years and found a new way of studying remedies in family groupings. He has lectured all over the world and has been to the States and England and in fact gave his last lecture in England in June this year. He teaches in Italy and also runs a postgraduate course in homeopathy that runs of three years and teaches homeopaths from around the world.

    He has a database of cured cases and when he teaches, he uses this database of cases for each remedy/family of remedies that he teaches. His criteria for inclusion is that he will see a patient and select a remedy and this patient needs to have been treated successfully on both an acute and chronic level for 2 years or more with the same remedy. This means that if they have a relapse of their chronic condition, that the same remedy will treat this successfully and if the patient has an acute within this time, then the same remedy will also treat this successfully as well. The same remedy should work for both the acute and chronic, as an acute will arise out of the chronic anyway and is part of the same picture.

    He also has a website and this contains examples of some of his cured cases and he has also published widely too.

    As well as the D. Ulman's book that I recommended, there is another good book called A Companion to Homeopathic Studies by Dr Colin B Lessell, who is a British doctor, dentist and homeopath and who is also a member of the Faculty of Homeopathy in England. This book explains the principles of homeopathy, about potency and there are two chapters in there called, thinking about how remedies are made and thinking about how remedies work.

    Last edited by moderator4; 09-13-2004 at 09:56 PM.

     
    Old 10-06-2003, 12:39 PM   #27
    RCalabraro
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    I wouldn't trust any witch's brew in the absence of peer-reviewed statistical data proving its safety and effectiveness.

    You can take all the nightshade, strychnine, and eye of newt you want. I'll stick to imodium.


    Please no personal abuses or insults.
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    Old 10-07-2003, 01:26 AM   #28
    Sarah68
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    I really have to say that I feel very sorry for you.

    Your reply actually demonstrates that you have not bothered to read my post properly at all. If you had read my reply you would have seen that I posted the journals where you could in fact find peer reviewed scientific articles. The BMJ and the Lancet are both reputable medical journals. I have also demnstrated that you can find plenty of cases, which is what it is all about and also lots of information on the Indian homeopaths. You seem to have totally ignored this.

    You also fundamentally do not seem to grasp the fact that there are fundamental differences beween herbal medicine and homeopathy. I have outlined these differences for you fully and also told you where you can read books on the subject. Two in fact.

    If you want to have a reasonable discussion and debate on the subject of homeopathy, I am quite prepared to do that and will and have already told you where you can go to find scientific articles on the subject. You seem to have ignored this also though.

    However, even though I have provided the evidence to support my arguments, you have not done the same in support of yours.

    It does make me wonder that perhaps you feel that you have already lost this argument and this is definitely demonstrated in the way that you have responded to my previous post, which was full of information and highly credible scientific sources. A lot of people seem to respond in this way when they have been defeated!


    Please re-read the board guildeline -- the part about Agreeing to Disagree. This is a warning. Insulting and being abusive to other members because they don't agree with you --- will not be allowed.

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    Old 10-07-2003, 09:51 AM   #29
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    After reading through this thread I was compelled to register so that I can give my opinion. Just so there is no confusion, I am not a doctor, I was just having a difficult time coming up with a user name that hasn't been taken.

    I think this is a very important topic and hate to see it degenerate to name calling.

    My viewpoint falls somewhere in the middle on this. Having had IBS for at least 20 years I have tried just about everything out there and am always looking for a natural solution.

    I have used Immodium when it was absolutely necessary, and being very health conscious, I didn't like having to use it. I do feel that it is wrong to get dependant on a substance that basically masks the symptom of the underlying problem. This can lead to more damage down the road, as well as toxicity in the body from the drug, even if it is one of the safest ones out there.

    That being said, I also feel that most of the natural remedies don't work very well. I have been to Naturopaths and half a dozen Homeopaths. I have seen dozens of Chiropractors, Hypnotherapists, and Accupuncturists. Nothing has had any effect on my IBS. My personal view on Homeopathy is that any effect it may have, positive or negative, is due to the Placebo response. I have not seen any credible double blind studies that prove it is anything more than that, and my personal experience supports that viewpoint.

    I have found that the best thing I can do to control my situation is dietary. There are so many foods that I avoid, such as wheat, dairy, most fruits, and this does make a significant difference in my condition. I personally feel that this is the best approach to dealing with the underlying situation rather than covering it up with medication.

    I also feel that everyones life circumstances are different. I am fortunate that I don't lead a a life that puts as much demands on my time as others and if the Immodium is necessary to make ones life bearable, I say by all means use it. Try to keep in mind that it is not getting at the root of the problem, and if you can eliminate a food or two and take less Immodium, I feel that would definately be preferable.

    I will continue to try natural remedies and hope to find one that really makes a difference. Now that I am a member here, I will post when I find something that works for me.

    Thanks for listening

     
    Old 10-07-2003, 02:20 PM   #30
    Sarah68
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    The fact that homeopathy has not worked for you does not actually mean that homeopathy does not work full stop. What you have to understand is that if it has not worked for you, then you have probably not found the correct remedy for you as a person. A famous homeopath Jeremy Sherr says that it can takes some months to find the ideal 'similar' remedy that will work.

    If you think that it is all the placebo effect, then perhaps you could explain to me how and why a homeopathic remedy will work on animals and dogs? Just recently a friend of mine asked for help with her dog who had a terrible skin problem. I looked at him and assessed him and following this I gave him a few doses of Sulphur and his skin, but also his general behaviour improved no end at all. This was all backed up by something I read in Dana Ullman's book An Introduction to the Science and Art of Homeopathic Medicine. In this, he talks about a child that he treated for ADHD. He took the case and decided on Sulphur and after the Sulphur was given the child's attention improved dramatically and he calmed right down and this is exactly the same thing that occurred with the dog also. This is not just a placebo effect.

    Also, if it is all no more than the placebo effect, can you explain to me how when I went to see my own homeopath, she changed my remedy because I was complaining about different things and my symptom picture had changed. When she gave me the new remedy, I could tell instantly that it was a different remedy by the action that it had on me. Everytime I took the other remedy in whatever potency it had the same effect, however this remedy was quite different in its actions. I repeated this remedy again myself and it had exactly the same effects. Now you really cannot tell me that being able to distinguish between remedies in this way is the placebo effect can you? It is like 2 seconds after she put the remedy on my tongue, I would feel the energy and she did the same thing with the other remedy on my tongue and the energy was totally different.

    The fact that homeopathic remedies work on babies and children is another indication that it is not the placebo effect at all. They actually work.

    I really think that you need to go and see a better homeopath really and preferably someone who trained somewhere other than the States. English trained is better. It is just that the homeopathic training in the States is really not that good and this is why so many people here do not think homeopathy works because the homeopaths around here are generally so poor. ND's primarily concentrate on herbal medicine rather than homeopathy.

    People and training in England are generally better and more enlightened, so the training tends to be a lot better and so the homeopaths tend to be a lot better also and can generally get to the central disturbance of the case and in most cases will prescribe the right remedy. If you find the right remedy, then change can take place that is definitely not just the placebo effect. I have seen this over and over again myself in many different people and surely it is cases that count more than anything as cases are to do with real people getting better and turning the corner to better health through their own inate healing process?

    Anyway, if you are into alternative therapies and have tried most things, then perhaps you would like to consider Craniosacral Therapy. This can be very helpful for things such as IBS. This therapy is very gentle and subtle, yet very powerful and will get in contact with your system at a fundamental level to effect changes that are long lasting from within.


     
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