"One question I've really been wanting to investigate is how many parents have been using naturopathic or homeopathic remedies or therapies successfully? Do you know much about this, or would it be possible to find out from other parents if they've tried alternative therapies?"
Here was my response:
Charlotte is a 4 year old & was diagnosed at age 2 with Pauci-Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (less than 4 joints) & severe uveitis (arthritis in the eyes).
We don't utilize alternative medicine exclusively, but in conjunction with our conventional strategy.
For Charlotte we:
1. Use a natropath & nutritionist for her diet. We are working on helping strengthen her kidneys, her immune system & her digestive system. All interrelated & all have been compromised at one time or another in the last 2 years since being diagnosed w/ JRA.
2. We saw an acupuncturist & will utilize her when we start to wean off of the meds to help retrain the immune system to work on its own. I documented that here: http://reece99.blogspot.com/2010/01/trying-something-new.html
But even the acupuncturist (who is fabulous & focuses on working with children) said that if we would have come to her in the beginning of Charlotte's flare in the joints & in the eyes, she would have said go see the Doctor (http://www.singingbirdpdx.com/). Acupuncture cant put the big stop sign up that was needed to stop the damage. Now that we have things calm & under control is when acupuncture & herbs can come into play & help RETEACH & strengthen the immune system (we dont want it strengthened right now, that's the problem, it doesnt know what its doing!).
So alternative meds on their own - No. I don't recommend. In conjunction with what Dr. Kingsbury (Pediatric Rheumatologist) can do, absolutely! It's all a team effort: The conventional meds, the food, the massage & herbs. It all works together to ensure no damage from the beginning & no damage continuing, helping the body to help itself.