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Stories About Healing Naturally: Inspiring or Dangerous?

I have been really into podcasts lately. Personal development and lifestyle podcasts have been my jam for the past year or so. I love the feeling of learning new things, figuring out different ways to view certain aspects in life, and trying to take small steps to improve my quality of life. While I am not someone who believes that mindset is the be all and end all, I know it does play a huge role in my mental health.

Anyway…

I am not the same as everyone else because of UC

I am pretty good at picking and choosing what podcasts or what specific episodes might be helpful for me to listen to, and what information flat out doesn’t apply to me. I know this because I have lived with ulcerative colitis for 19 years. I understand the way my body works. I accept that I am not the same as everyone else. I acknowledge certain dietary strategies, exercises or information is not relevant to me because I am missing a colon and live with an ostomy. I could go on and on.

While I am perfectly fine just brushing over some things podcast hosts say, there are certain topics that completely rubbed me the wrong way. For example and the topic I want to get into today:

Stories about people healing their disease naturally

While some of those stories are incredibly inspiring and offer hope, I can’t help but think that they also could be incredibly dangerous to many people as well.

Towards the end of an episode of a very scientific and data driven podcast I was listening to, the host shared how he had a friend with Crohn’s Disease who was in the hospital. He then went on to tell his audience about how he went to visit him, gave him some health tips, and within hours his friend was feeling better. According to the host, this patient had been on many medications, undergone surgeries and nothing worked… Except this health advice.

It is something like that that makes me think WHAT THE ***? I was NOT expecting that from this type of show. Not to mention, it is beyond terrible for awareness.

On another health podcast I love, the host had a guest talk about his mom’s experience with cancer. He shared how she was initially diagnosed and went through all the standard treatments and ended up in remission for about eight years. As with most people undergoing chemotherapy and radiation, the treatment did not make her feel very well so when the cancer returned, she decided to try an all natural approach. With this specific case, it helped this woman achieve remission and her body felt so good that she was able to go back to exercising and competing in athletic events.

Taking advice heard somewhere over the advice of a doctor

While both of those stories do offer hope and an alternative to standard western medicine, it truly scares me that someone might take that advice over the advice of his/her doctor. We also don’t know the specifics of any of those situations beyond what is shared yet it would be understandable for someone who was diagnosed with cancer or a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) to want to wait to go the traditional route and start with diet and lifestyle changes. Especially after hearing seemingly miraculous stories like the ones I just shared with you.

I personally feel the majority of those stories are not only terrible for awareness, but potentially devastating for those who may choose to follow that advice. I understand we all need hope. I know it is inspiring on some levels to hear how someone with the same disease as you managed to overcome their challenges.

Crohn’s and UC are too serious to play around with

I get it all. But the bottom line is that many of these conditions can kill you. I don’t mean to be negative, but I feel it is my duty to speak the truth. While I may understand working towards a natural approach to healing for some conditions, something like Crohn’s Disease, ulcerative colitis or cancer are far too serious to play around with. Time is of the essence so waiting a bit while you see if lifestyle changes can help may cause your disease to become much worse and therefore, too difficult or impossible to treat.

What do you think? Do you find these stories to be inspiring, dangerous or something else? Would love to know your thoughts in the comments below!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The InflammatoryBowelDisease.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • Snez
    2 weeks ago

    I have been through the whole natural health path and umpteen diets to help with Crohn’s. Some of which has helped and some not. However none of it was a cure or put me into long lasting remission. At most I am sometimes able to function at a level that almost makes me appear “normal” even though I still have symptoms and have to pace carefully. I get that people want to see me well, but sometimes I question the attitude behind this. A testimony or experience of total healing via diet or other means may be exciting and a path of hope, however I object to the lack of humbleness and compassion that sometimes accompanies such stories or advice. It is very unhelpful and damaging to claim that just because this diet, supplement etc has healed or helped a person in a particular situation, that it will also be a sure thing for you. It can add layers of disappointment, feelings of failure, increased pressure, despair and hopelessness to an already vulnerable state of mind and body. Of course there is also finances to consider, the time and energy spent in trying new things. Sometimes it is not possible or manageable to do so and can induce more stress on the ill person. I am very wary of making changes to what I do these days, and certainly resist the pressure of well meaning people’s advice.

  • crystal.harper moderator
    2 weeks ago

    Thank you for writing this! I often have the same thoughts and completely agree with everything you said. Miracles happen everyday, but they are certainly the exception, not the norm. I’ve actually heard stories of people trying to go the natural route (opposite of their doctor’s advice) with sad outcomes. I don’t think it’s always a bad choice, but I do think it’s important to have a plan in place and get it approved by a doctor. Again, thanks for this!

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