Ari Meisel on Curing the Incurable Through Self-Experimentation

Ari cured himself of Crohn’s disease by experimenting with some unusual supplements, nutrition and fitness regimens, and tracking every bit of it.

Four years ago, Ari was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. After a couple of years of intense pain, sixteen pills a day, and yet another visit to the hospital, he decided to take control of his pain. So he started to track everything. His tracking regimen included exercise, supplements, sleep, food, etc. He used some popular tracking tools such as the FitBit, Zeo, and 23andMe. He correlated these metrics with how much pain he was in and his mood. The difficult part was trying to quantify the psychological component.

Ari learned to control the pain from Crohn’s. It took a certain combination of food, supplements, exercise and sleep, but the key was collecting enough data through experimentation. The other key learning from Ari’s work was that sharing the data is very important. Sharing included his friends, family, doctor, and others with Crohn’s. This sharing of data helped him analyze the data better and made him feel better about the task. (Filmed at the NY Quantified Self Show&Tell #13 at NYU ITP.)

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9 Responses to Ari Meisel on Curing the Incurable Through Self-Experimentation

  1. Self-experimentation is really valuable and I’m glad people are sharing their data. But cure is a strong word, and saying he cured himself is really making a cause an effect claim that probably shouldn’t be made here. The point isn’t to pick on Meisel and either way, I’m glad he’s better. But, there is such a thing as spontaneous remission of diseases. This data here should be seen more as the launching point for further investigation in wider numbers of people, rather than making the claims (however much we’d like it to be true) that Meisel was able to cure himself.

    • Babs29 says:

      The gastro specialists say that Crohn’s is not curable, just goes into remissions, then will return. I hope he has cured himself, certainly. And will look into it. But am dubious.

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  3. Observer says:

    An important key here is his sharing of data. He capitalized on his record-keeping; sharing made him both more honest, and more likely to examine the results critically. Apparently encouragement figured important as well. He’s not publishing research and shouldn’t be accountable to scientific standards. He only wants to get well and to find one path to wellness by cutting through a complex web of information. Excellent article.

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