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Rectal Bleeding

Rectal Bleeding


 It's time to take the bull by the tail and face the situation.
 (W. C. Fields)

Bleeding is scary, and rectal bleeding is the scariest. Margorie, age 53, came to visit. She was losing half a cup of blood a day rectally.  That is a lot of blood; a younger woman's entire five-day menstrual flow is only about that much. Marjorie was worried, and rightly so.  She had seen an assortment of doctors, and was currently under the care of a proctologist who could find nothing really wrong with her bowel. He found some slight, general inflammation during a sigmoidscope examination, but no lumps, bumps, polyps, or lesions of note. He told her that there was nothing to be done except keep an eye on it.

So how would you like to be told that if you were losing half a cup of blood a day through your anus? Keep looking. Uh huh. Not a nice thought under the circumstances. Marjorie's question to me was the obvious one: what can be done? She was willing to try anything. My standard answer, and it is also the truth, is that I wasn't sure, but natural therapies were generally worth a full and fair trial.

Years ago I had read an article from California Medicine about a doctor who treated bleeding peptic ulcers with cabbage  juice, of all things.  It was just crazy enough to get my attention: he gave around one hundred hospitalized patients four glasses (that's one quart) of raw cabbage juice daily.  The doctor, Garnett Cheney, MD, reported pain relief in a few days, and healing in one third of the customary time. All this, not with medicines, not with surgery, but with cabbage juice. And he published his findings in a medical journal, no less.  In 1953!

Figuring that it would be hard to hurt yourself with cabbages, unless you dropped them on your toe or something, I told Marjorie about the study.  She was a lot more interested than a healthy person would have been, and said she'd do it.  She had little to lose that she wasn't already losing.

Margorie called back a week and a half later. She hadn't bought a juicer, but was putting fresh cabbage through her blender, and then straining it through cheesecloth to get the juice. She was drinking four glasses a day in this way.  Her bleeding had been reduced to a teaspoon on most days, and no blood at all on others. She was delighted. Then the really odd part of the conversation began: she had been to her proctologist, and told him of the improvement.  He was pleased, of course: nothing odd about that. She then asked him if he'd care to know what she'd been doing lately.  He said, certainly, he was a doctor, and was always interested to know what helps his patients. So she said, do you really want to know?  He again said yes. So she told him that she'd been drinking a quart of fresh, raw cabbage juice every day. 

He stared back at her for a long moment, and then said, "No, that couldn't be it." 

Marvel at this: to the specialist, it just couldn't have been due to the cabbage juice; it couldn't have been something that she had done on her own.  Truth is, she got better in spite of him. He still got paid his specialist fees. 

 Just who are the quacks?
Copyright  C  2003 and prior years Andrew W. Saul. 


Andrew Saul is the author of the books FIRE YOUR DOCTOR! How to be Independently Healthy (reader reviews at ) and DOCTOR YOURSELF: Natural Healing that Works. (reviewed at )

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Andrew W. Saul


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