Lisa describes how she is trying to control her Crohn's disease symptoms.
Fortunately, I have a very good doctor who is anti-surgery. Unfortunately though, that makes the Crohn’s flare-up a long process for me because sometimes the disease just has to run its course.
He tries a lot of different medications with me, instead of just going in and you can actually cut out the bad part of your intestine, but that’s not really good because you only have so much intestine and the more you keep of it, the better. So he is very anti-surgery.
Basically, I have been on a drug for three years now straight, even more, and it’s called Lialda, and it’s also called Asacol and it’s just used every day in remission. It is a very safe drug. It doesn’t really go into your bloodstream. I was actually pregnant and carried a baby to term, which kind of amazes some doctors because I have an autoimmune deficiency disease and I was able to take this medication while pregnant to stay in remission from the disease.
In terms of medications, there's different classes. What I am on right now is called Lialda. It’s a ASA drug. It's kind of a bottom-of-the-line drug and just keeps you in remission. As I said, it doesn’t go into your bloodstream. It's time-released; it sits in your bowel and then it releases itself.
The next step up would be a steroid, which I just finished a like a kind of z-pack of a steroid of methylprednisone. It didn’t work for me in my last flare-up; it didn’t work this time. Also, this time my doctor wanted to put me on an herb and it’s called cucurum. It’s like an Indian spice. Looks like this; you can get it at Trader Joe’s or you can get it a Whole Foods and I took a very high dose of this for one week and that has made no difference whatsoever, which brings me back to what works best for me, since I think it’s a bacterial disease, I now started an antibiotic, Cipro, which is a very, very strong antibiotic, and we think that’s what worked for me last time. So I am starting another round of that today after my remission drug is not working and the steroid didn’t work.
After the antibiotic, you would probably have to go to a higher class of drugs, which are 6-MP, which is usually a drug that you give to chemotherapy patients. It’s very strong and there’s also a drug called Remicade, which is used for arthritic patients; it's all about inflammation. Also, another note about the medications and why Crohn’s is such a frustrating disease is that different medications will treat different sections of your intestine.
Fortunately, I was able to have a colonoscopy a few weeks ago which showed the actual inflammation, where it was in my intestine, so my doctor knows which steroids and which drugs will not treat that section of the intestine, as long with the blood test that show that you have current inflammation in your body.
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