The response to my most recent post: My Health Transformation about my battle with ulcerative colitis and journey to finding health has been overwhelming and I am so blessed to have been able to share my story with you all. Your overflowing affirmation that my story is shining rays of hope for those experiencing chronic ailments has been so encouraging.
I appreciate and read each and every email that comes in, but cannot address each personal health concern 1:1 unfortunately. Mostly because I simply do not have the time I need to respond in a timely and detailed enough manor, but also because I am not an expert.
I got to where I am with the help of a naturopath and listening to what my own body needed and addressing those finite details individually. The only thing I can stress is to follow whatever dietary regimen are you are following loosely enough to be able to tell when something may or may not be working for you. When I first started the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD), I followed it like it was the bible and didn’t deviate at all. It turns out that I was being greatly affected by legumes and dairy and the grain-fed/GMO meats that I was consuming, but could not pin-point it because I had my blinders on to only follow what the book stated.
Be it SCD or Paleo – be aware that there may be foods within these parameters that your particular body cannot tolerate. If you don’t find the full healing that you are looking for, continue to dig and continue to test foods by taking them out of your diet for a period of time and seeing how your body reacts.
I am frequently asked about the supplements I take and whether I am on medication. I cannot legally give medical or supplement advice, so please take a look at this guest-post from my naturopath where she lists many of the items that I take on a regular basis towards the bottom of the post. Again, this is what has been working for me and she designed a protocol for dosage and duration, so please consult a professional if you plan to add new supplements to your routine. I do believe that when someone has been experiencing trauma to their gut (ie Crohn’s, UC, Celiac etc.), they will likely need some supplementation to aid in the healing of the gut lining and replenishing the beneficial gut flora that has been compromised with years of being ill.
I started weaning off of the Prednisone, under the care of my GI and naturopath after about 6 months of experiencing no symptoms. I started reducing my mesalamine, which is an anti-inflammatory (Lialda in my case) after being well for two years. Because of a lot of stress due to a family tragedy, and not taking care of myself while traveling for a hectic book tour, I saw a slight regression and went back on it as a precaution. I have since gone back off of it and am praying that I continue to stay well. My take on the situation is that the medication alone wasn't keeping me well for the last 7 years, but the diet whether in conjunction with it or solely on its own is what made the difference. I also am so grateful that through diet, I was able to avoid Remicade, a harsh immunosuppressant, or having a portion of my colon surgically removed. I believe that diet and western medicine can work hand-in-hand for some people, and suggest talking with your healthcare professional and a naturopath to design the right program for you. I do not suggest cutting all medications cold-turkey, as our bodies become dependent on them and need to reduce slowly if you plan to wean off. That being said, I know a lot of people that are still on a reduced version of their medications and I think that if they've found wellness and are not experiencing side effects from them, that may be their particular best route.
Each day is a new day and I am thankful for my health with every sunrise!
Here are some fantastic resources for further reading and listening. Never stop researching the ways you can take your health into your own hands!
The Paleo Approach: Reverse Autoimmune Disease and Heal Your Body by Sarah Ballantyne
The Paleo Solution by Rob Wolff : Robb also struggled with ulcerative colitis and is considered a Paleo ‘guru' in the industry.
Breaking the Vicious Cycle by Elaine Gottschall: This was the book that started it all for me before transitioning to a Paleo diet. It will explain a lot for those that have IBD or IBS and is a great starting point.