"I am 69 years of age, a retired trial lawyer, a lifetime poker player, and I've had ulcerative colitis for nearly 40 years. Those who've had UC know how it can dominate a life, how one must plan when away from familiar environs to ensure a bathroom (or patch of woods) is close by. We know too well the uneasiness, even fear, that overtakes us when a restroom is unavailable at a time we need one.
For 37 or 38 years, I was treated with conventional prescription medications. First was Azulfidene or Sulfasalazine, which controlled the bleeding and mucus emissions most, but not all, of the time for about 25 years before I developed an intolerance for sulfur. Then came Asacol, which didn't work for me at all. Next was Colazal, which was fairly effective for 12 or 13 years, but stopped working about a year ago. What now?
I decided to find out what my next step would be by educating myself. So I Googled "colitis medications," believing I would discover the next logical prescription medication. It turned out there was a problem, because apparently there is no such medication beyond Colazal for severe UC. I had reached the end of the prescription line.
From the various websites, I discerned that my "conventional" treatment options fell into three categories. The first is periodic infusions by IV in a hospital or doctor's office of immunosuppressive drugs. But each of those regimens was accompanied by warnings of increased risk of lymphoma. The second is long-term use of steroids, such as Prednisone. No question Prednisone effectively combats inflammation associated with UC, but long-term use can have both short-term and long-lasting complications. The third is surgery. One type of surgery -- colonectomy -- apparently results in runny bowel movements. The other requires use of a colostomy bag for life. No thanks to both. Where to look now?
I noticed several websites were devoted to aloe preparations of one kind or another, and so investigated them. My trial lawyer persona surfaced. Trained to look for holes and weaknesses in any presentation making "a case," I viewed with suspicion claims exhorting the great healing properties of aloe. Finally, I reached the testimonials for Aloe Elite. Page after page after page. Talented copywriters can pen tales of success that can move a reader to tears or joy or both. Now my poker player side joined me as colitis-suffering trial lawyer. From my 54 years at the green felt, 30 years cross-examining witnesses and 38 years dealing with colitis, I am well prepared to know when someone relating a colitis treatment story is running a bluff or lying. By the time I read all the testimonials to Aloe Elite, I was convinced these stories have the ring of truth. Since retiring from the legal profession 13 years ago, I have become a free-lance literary editor, and believe no copywriter or group of copywriters could fabricate the diverse styles of those testimonials. I'm a good editor, and couldn't do it myself.
So I bit, and in June 2007 ordered a container of Aloe Elite. I started with the standard dose of 8 capsules a day. The results were spotty, but I pressed on and ordered three more containers. By late August, it still didn't work as touted. I couldn't understand why it worked for so many others, but not for me. Was I just too old?
Then, I had a revelation that Aloe Elite might have a better chance of helping me if given a "clean slate." That is, rather than having to overcome inflammation, bleeding and loose stool, the Aloe Elite could be effective in maintaining an asymptomatic condition. But how to achieve it?
I don't necessarily recommend the course I chose, but it worked for me. I scrounged up some old Prednisone tablets -- enough for a declining dose over six days, beginning with 40 mg and descending to 5 mg. All colitis symptoms disappeared nearly immediately. I restarted the Aloe Elite regimen at the beginning of September, and it worked perfectly for 10 days. But on September 11, I relapsed. I responded by upping the dosage to 18 capsules a day. By the beginning of October, my symptoms were again under control, but for the first time I experienced cramping. So I reduced the daily dose to 12, which I took for 30 days, then 8, 6 and 4 a day for 30 days each. As of early February 2008, I've been on the maintenance dose of 2 a day.
For some 5 months now I have been free of colitis symptoms, or stated more positively, my digestion has been just about perfect. I should add that over the last 9 or 10 months I have not ingested alcohol or caffeine, and limit my consumption of dairy products to occasional portions of cheese. I haven't eaten much in the way of fresh fruit and vegetasbles either, but am gradually reintroducing them into my diet."
"No comment made"
Phil's comments on side effects
"Some cramping in high doses"