My Treatment Doesn’t Work – Now What?
“I tried everything, I really did. I even tried this new treatment that I got in Spain because it wasn’t yet available here”, one of our team members’ close friends said about his Crohn’s disease progression. “It was supposed to do miracles but it didn’t work on me at all. I got so anxious, I began provoking my flare-ups in an attempt to ‘get them out of the way’, so I knew the worst was over at least for now.”
After a few years of trial-and-error with different medications, diets, and lifestyle changes, he sounds convinced nothing does or will ever work for him.
If you can recognize a part of your own inner monologue in his words and you’re so fed up with the seemingly endless process of searching for the right treatment that you just might give up altogether, this article is for you.
We at FindMeCure decided to look into some of your most common concerns in regards to living with an IBD and one of them was medication not working for you. So, let’s address this issue together and see what we can come up with.
Why is no treatment working on me?
There are quite honestly many reasons why medication isn’t working – some of them known to medical professionals, while others still unknown or under investigation. One of the most obvious, however, is that certain drugs take time to reach their optimal efficacy.
It might take up to a few months for some drugs to properly ‘work’. And if in the meantime you get discouraged or impatient and decide to discontinue or swipe them for some other treatment, you can end up missing on the ‘right’ treatment for you.
Another reason you don’t see the results you’d like can be in the way you take your medicine. Some drugs don’t interact well with others and in some cases, a certain drug can even prevent another from ‘unfolding’ its full potential.
Before you write off the drug you’ve been prescribed, make sure you talk to your doctor about other medications you take, even if it’s just a certain painkiller for your headache now and then. Also, you want to be sure to discuss the proper way to administer your treatment – should you take the drugs with or without food, before or after your coffee, in the morning or in the evening. Believe it or not, everything counts and everything can affect the way your treatment works.
Even your diet can be a helpful addition to your overall treatment plan or a detriment that makes your drugs less effective. You probably already know this, but some foods affect drugs. These foods can interact with the compounds of your medication or with your body to impact how it responds to the drugs.
Some drugs can even interact with your condition in such a way that the effects of your treatment are reduced or harder to notice. If you’re dedicated to getting to the bottom of the issue, check with a dietitian to make sure it’s not something on your part that weakens the otherwise correctly prescribed drugs.
This means your lifestyle as well. Things like being significantly overweight, physically inactive, leading a stressful life in which sleep is but a distant fancy, smoking, living in isolation and an overwhelming feeling of loneliness can all impact the way your body reacts to medication or other forms of treatment.
What’s more – an unhealthy lifestyle, both physically and emotionally, can affect your condition, enhancing its symptoms and reducing the efficacy of interventions.
You have to be really honest with yourself and assess all the factors that play a role in how your body feels and heals. It’s a now widely acknowledged fact that emotional pain can enhance the sensation of physical pain, and it’s what drives many professionals to conclude that our emotional well-being is connected at least to a certain degree to our physical one.
Another thing to consider in the realm of physical factors is the possibility that there might be another underestimated or undiagnosed medical condition that impairs your treatment. High blood pressure, hormonal issues, suboptimal metabolism are a few examples of such conditions.
But it might be that both you and your doctor are unaware of things going on your body that can reduce the effects of the drugs you’ve been prescribed. It’s always worth it to consider running more tests to determine your overall health.
Not only that, but you should also consider a second, third or even fourth opinion before you decide that no treatment works for you and that’s it. You might be misdiagnosed or you might need a certain combination of drugs and procedures, a different dose of a drug you’ve already tried, a totally different approach, a huge lifestyle change and so on.
I tried everything. Nothing works, now what?
But what if you already tried everything listed here? As well as some other, unorthodox treatments like fad diets, herbal supplements or teas, or gels, maybe you even went to a homeopath, a Tarot reader, an astrologer… okay, you get the picture.
You really did try everything and you were patient enough to wait for the effect of certain drugs to show and for some diet and lifestyle changes to impact your condition, yet nothing produced the results you were hoping for. Now what?
Well, now is the perfect time to give clinical trials a chance. You’ve tried a variety of approaches, drugs, procedures and you’ve consulted multiple medical professionals. Clinical trials don’t need to be a last resort kind of thing, and if you follow our blog you know that there are many different types of trials and not all of them are treatment-oriented.
But those of them that are can be a real life-changer. We wouldn’t want you to approach them with unrealistic expectations because that’s the easiest way to end up disappointed. But clinical trials really do test the most promising treatments in development providing participants with rigorous monitoring and medical care.
If you consider joining a clinical trial, keep reading our blog as we go into detail about the whole process and what each clinical research term or practice means.
Then, thoroughly informed and prepared, look for clinical trials addressing your particular condition on FindMeCure. And remember to share your experience with us – we’re here for you every step of the way.