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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How can I move from marijuana to a real treatment plan?

    I was diagnosed with Chron's and Pyoderma Gangrenosum about 7 years ago. This happened when I tried to give up smoking marijuana every day. Since then I've fallen back into the habit of smoking every night to manage my symptoms but the mental side effects are starting to become a real issue and I need a new plan. While I am not currently undergoing a flair (I've only had the one) but every time I take a break from marijuana within days I get really bad ulcers in my mouth followed by my skin breaking out with what I assume are boils from the Pyoderma Gangrenosum. What should I do? Should I give up, wait for a flare up and go see a doctor? Should I see a specialist before giving up? Any recommendations for a specialist in Brisbane? I've moved since I was diagnosed so I do not currently have a GP or a relationship with a specialist.
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    For more than 25 years, Crohn’s & Colitis Australia™ (formerly the Australian Crohn’s and Colitis Association) has been making life more liveable for more than … View Profile

    The fact that you have come to realise that marijuana is having a detrimental effect on your mental health and have not been under any specialist supervision for your Crohn's, it's essential that you see a GP for referral to a gastroenterologist.  Despite the assumption of having only had the one flare-up, the signs and symptoms that reappear suggest the presence of active disease.  Such episodes where it comes and goes can lead to the risk of developing complications and the bowel being irreversibly damaged, so it's important not to delay seeing a gastroenterologist and getting appropriate treatment. It is best that you are honest when discussing your situation with a doctor in regard to the use of marijuana and the mental health problems you are having. Ask for their guidance and seek out professional agencies and community based services that offer programs and support for people who need help in breaking the cycle of addiction.  An actual recommendation of a gastroenterologist is not possible, however Crohn's & Colitis Australia can point you in the right direction in finding one in Brisbane who has an interest in inflammatory bowel disease(IBD) and the hospitals that have a dedicated IBD service.

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    Paul Busuttil

    Counsellor, Psychotherapist

    With over 24 years experience as a counselling psychotherapist, Paul Busuttil has the skills and expertise to competently provide the most proficient and compassionate services … View Profile

    I agree with the reply to Crohn's symptoms. Under these circumstances it is best to be managed by someone with a general background, someone who can analyse your progress, results and needs as you progress. There are psychological issues as well, if you have smoked marijuana regularly for most of your life; many of the ‘emotional management’ skills will probably need to be developed so that you can manage life’s challenges without this substance. Physical and emotional run hand in hand.

  • My research interests include immunology and the mechanisms of amyloid formation. The latter has implications for people who are dealing with Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease … View Profile

    I agree with what the representative from Crohn's & Colitis Australia wrote.

    Usually management of Crohn's Disease involves anti-inflammatory medication though sometimes surgery is indicated.

    A gastroenterologist (who your GP can refer you to), will be able to do a detailed assessment and, depending on that, will be able to discuss treatment options with you

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