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Diarrhea: CAM Therapies for Specific Conditions

  • In a study, ninety-three patients with advanced cancer were treated with a combination of drugs and Qi Gong exercises, while a control group was treated with drugs alone; 33 percent of the Qi Gong patients were free from diarrhea.

  • Americans now use herbs mostly for a variety of minor conditions, one of the more common of which is diarrhea.

  • A 1996 study showed that a diet based on medium-chain triglycerides reduced chronic diarrhea and malabsorption associated with HIV, compared with a long-chain-triglyceride-based diet.

  • In a very small 1993 study, five AIDS patients with intractable diarrhea improved markedly after daily treatment of the colon (colonic insufflations) with medical ozone.

  • Homeopathy has always been considered particularly helpful for children. It is reported to resolve, gently and effectively, such problems as diarrhea.

  • From a 1994 study in Pediatrics, individualized classical homeopathic treatment using the 30C potency of different homeopathic remedies for childhood diarrhea has been successful. A series of three clinical studies conducted by noted homeopath Dr. Jennifer Jacobs demonstrated positive outcomes using different homeopathic remedies depending on the specific diarrhea symptoms.


Caution: The fat substitute olestra, according to some reports, interferes with the body's ability to absorb carotenoids, which are nutritious reddish pigments found in fruits and vegetables. One of the frequently reported side effects of preventing fat absorption is diarrhea.

Caution: Chronic ingestion of the amino acid selenium can cause diarrhea.

Caution: Large doses of L-carnitine may cause diarrhea.

Caution: Short-term adverse effects of herbal laxative use can include stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. With chronic use, laxative dependency can develop, causing sluggish bowel and even loss of colon function, accompanied by severe pain and constipation, which in some cases can require surgical removal of the colon. All laxatives, conventional or CAM, can cause excessive water and potassium loss if used for more than a few days. This risk is greatly increased if they are used with prescription diuretics or digitalis. Severe laxative abuse reactions include fainting, dehydration, and electrolyte disorders, which can lead to death.




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Copyright © 2000 by Dr. Kenneth R. Pelletier, Inc.
Reprinted by permission of Simon & Schuster, Inc., New York, New York.

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