Annika Lagerhorn and the Ulcerative Colitis Conspiracy

In a country where government is supposed to solve everything, the occurence of diseases that our best doctors can barely keep in check opens the door wide for charlatans providing easy, and false, answers. As long as they sound like an authority and speak with confidence, promising easy answers, anything goes.

An example of this that has hit particularly close to home is the PDF book by a woman named Annika Lagerhorn. Lagerhorn works as a consultant doing “strategic personnel work” with a business degree, while her sister sells “anti-aging” skin care products. She also, like 30 000 other Swedes, suffers from ulcerative colitis. And having thought herself to have found a combination of foods that alleviate her symptoms, she now loudly and proudly proclaims to know how to cure everyone else in the world, doctors and science be damned. It is New Age fanaticism taken to a whole new level of insanity.

For those of you who don’t know, ulcerative colitis is a chronic disease that results in inflammation of parts of the digestive system, resulting in blood, great discomfort, and a generally lowered standard-of-life for whomever is unfortunate enough to have it. No one yet knows the cause, though it usually runs in families, suggesting a genetic predisposition. There are medicines to keep it in check, though these are more or less effective depending on the individual suffering from the disease. Some people require surgery to get well, others manage with just one or two bad incidents through their entire lives with no other symptoms.

I normally would let this just slip by. After all, if a combination of lifestyle choices has kept Lagerhorn herself healthy, that’s great. Unfortunately, her e-book is now a widely quoted source on-line. Search for the disease on Swedish Google, and she’s the number three hit. Now imagine the joy of someone newly ill, or with symptoms that just won’t go away, at finding an on-line bible claiming that if you only eat what I say, do what I say, then you’ll be cured. Don’t listen to the doctors, don’t listen to those evil medical companies. I, with my business degree, can cure you where they can’t!

In her e-book, Lagerhorn even proclaims to know the source of the disease, it being either a fungus infection, evil parasites, or an allergy. She proclaims with dead certainty that since an inflammation is the body attempting to heal, then obviously there must be something that we are doing that is preventing the body from healing properly. After all, as Lagerhorn rabidly proclaims, we deserve to live in perfect health always, and the body can never go haywire on its own.

Let’s take a moment to dissect this argument. While it sounds rational at first, it only takes a scratch at the surface to see the flaw in her reasoning. Another inflammatory disease is the very common rheumatoid arthritis, in which the joints are attacked by the immune system in a similar method as the digestive system in ulcerative colitis. In both diseases, the cause is unknown. Lagerhorn’s thesis would mean that everyone suffering from arthritis is doing something to irritate their joints, and if they would just change their diet and stress less, the inflammation would come to an end. Clearly this is not the case, just as it isn’t for ulcerative colitis or any other chronic inflammatory disease.

To take the New Age crazyness to a whole new level, she includes  a section in her book where she details how stress in one’s life affects in which part of the digestive system the inflammation hits the hardest. Sounding like something from a bad astrology book, she states that if the infection hits your colon the hardest, it’s because of an “undigested rage”, while if it’s in the rectum, then it’s because of a “shitty” conflict. Now that’s science for you!

A medically uneducated saleswoman with crackpot theories is quoted as the number three expert on the disease in this entire country. Brilliant. It’d be a comedy if it didn’t end in the blood, pain, and betrayal of thousands of people desperately looking for a sure-fire solution.


~ by Escaping Perdition on February 15, 2009.

One Response to “Annika Lagerhorn and the Ulcerative Colitis Conspiracy”

  1. My roommate was diagnosed with UC a few months ago and we have been doing a lot of research, especially on surgery. I just read on this great blog that Remicade will help with a colon cleanse to avoid a colectomy. Read more:

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