Interview with Reid of Wanted: Crohn’s End
Earlier this week, I came across WANTED: Crohn’s End on Twitter and was intrigued by the name alone. After clicking to view the profile, I learned that there’s a person behind the Twitter handle- Reid Kimball- and an exciting project to raise awareness of Crohn’s disease and the alternative methods people try to treat it.
According to its website, WANTED: Crohn’s End is a documentary about empowered patients with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis who use controversial alternative treatments when nothing else works. They have listened to their gut, and took a proactive approach to ending their condition despite mainstream medicine saying there is no cure.
Below, Reid answers questions about his journey with Crohn’s, the documentary, and how you can get involved.
Caring for Crohn’s: How old are you and how long have you had Crohn’s?
Reid Kimball: I just turned 33. On February 13, I will have had Crohn’s disease for 16 years.
C4C: What traditional treatments have you tried to treat your disease?
RK: I took Pentasa for about 10 years and used Flagyl for a short time. Since 2007, I have been conventional drug free. I have taken marijuana and low-dose naltrexone for short periods, but most of the time right now I treat my Crohn’s without drugs.
C4C: How did you come up with the idea for WANTED: Crohn’s End?
RK: Ever since my early success with the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, I thought it’d be cool to make a documentary about my story. I was inspired to go ahead with it when I recently overcame my bowel obstructions with L-Glutamine and met someone who had surgery because of a bowel obstruction. I became angry that he wasn’t told about L-Glutamine as an option.
I was also angry that my gastroenterologist never told me about the SCD. Two other gastroenterologists were not interested in learning about it. The whole conventional approach to treating IBDs really sucks! Most doctors, with the exception of a few, are arrogant and have terrible listening skills. Health tracking communities like Crohnology.com are showing that patients at the very least prefer dietary treatment approaches over drugs and surgery. My documentary will tell the stories of those like me who decided to walk away from conventional treatment approaches that didn’t work and onto the less traveled path of alternatives.
C4C: How long is the film anticipated to be?
RK: At least 30 minutes I think, but my style is to make a film as long as it needs to be to achieve my goals. If that takes 10 minutes, brilliant, if it takes 2 hours and 14 minutes, super, let’s do it!
C4C: How did you find people for it?
RK: I searched on blogs and had IBD alternative treatment leaders help me too, such as Jini Patel Thompson. She asked her readership to send me stories and I chose the best ones to do a pre-interview phone or Skype call. If they sounded articulate and passionate, and had a really powerful story, I made plans to visit them for an on-camera interview.
C4C: What sorts of alternative treatments do you focus on in the film?
RK: In the documentary, I will focus on nutritional healing plans (aka health styles) like Paleo, the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, and Gut and Psychology Syndrome. There are dozens of other health styles, but these three are very popular within the alternative IBD communities.
I also talk about fecal transplants and helminthic therapy (worms). I want to include others like Low-dose naltrexone and marijuana. It will be challenging to fit all of this information into one documentary, but all of these are amazing and people with IBD need to know about them.
C4C: Are these treatments legal/illegal?
RK: Marijuana in some states is legal for medical use, in most it is not legal. Helminthic therapy is not illegal to use, but providers were threatened by the Food and Drug Administration of the USA to cease distribution. So Jasper Lawrence of Autoimmune Therapies and others set up shop outside of the US to avoid the FDA’s double standard. If a big pharmaceutical company made a drug they will fast track it to market and pull it after the harm has been done. If it’s a natural alternative that is safe and effective, they outlaw it or discredit it.
Most of the others are controversial because of the brainwashing by the Crohn’s and colitis organizations of the world (funded by Big Pharma) telling patients that diet has no impact on their IBD. That is either gross ignorance or an out right lie. We know for a fact from various scientific studies that diets do change the composition of our gut microbiota. We also know for a fact that most IBD patients have a disrupted composition of gut microbiota. My film shows stories from people who use Paleo, SCD, and GAPS to rebuild their gut microbiota and put their IBD in remission or at least drastically reduce symptoms.
C4C: What alternative treatments have you tried? How have they helped/hurt you?
RK: I’ve tried a lot of alternatives, such as SCD, GAPS, sauerkraut, yogurt, kefir, kombucha, marijuana, colloidal silver, low-dose naltrexone, L-Glutamine, Vitamin D, and fermented cod liver oil. If the alternative treatments hurt me, it was only temporary in either causing constipation or more diarrhea. But I think of it as necessary growing pains towards greater health.
C4C: What would you say to someone considering trying an alternative treatment?
RK: Do research by looking for scientific papers. Ask others for testimonials. Be sure it makes sense to use. So many will throw whatever they can into the IBD fire without having a goal. Are you trying to increase digestive enzyme production? Are you trying to rebuild your gut ecology? Repair your intestinal scar tissue? Have a plan and use tools that target your goals.
C4C: What’s the next step for your film- when are you hoping to have it ready to be shown?
RK: I am currently fundraising so I can work on the film full-time. I need to raise $33,000 by Feb 15th. Assuming I make my goal, I will continue editing the story together as filming should be complete. I hope to finish it by June 2013 and show it soon after.
C4C: How can people in the IBD community get involved with your film?
RK: I need help fundraising, big time. Tweet to celebrities with IBD, talk to your Facebook IBD groups about the film, volunteer to help me log video interviews, write a blog post, interview me, and more! I wrote about a twitter campaign on my blog.
C4C: How is it being financed?
RK: It has largely been crowd-funded and financed with my own money. I like how it’s totally independent and you can be sure the information is not being influenced by corporations or IBD organizations who have clouded agendas.
Reid has raised $5,509 to date and needs to raise another $27,491 by February 15th. The money raised will cover various production costs. To donate to WANTED: Crohn’s End, click here.