I was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease in November 2011. I'm not the sort of person who goes to the doctor very often. I look after myself, exercise most days and eat a very healthy diet. I know I have to look after myself because if I don't I feel awful and have no energy. I've had a sensitive tummy for a long time and thought I had Irritable Bowel Syndrome. I'd never mentioned it on my rare visits to my local GP as I thought I had it under control. Even though chocolate is my favourite food, I rarely ate sugar because it made me so tired. I'm a busy working mum who needs all the energy I can get! It was the end of September 2011 when I knew my digestion was going downhill. I was being really good with my food (carefully following the FODMAP diet for IBS) but was getting more and more diarrhea. We keep a good supply of GASTROSTOP at my house but they didn't help in this case.
My family and I went away for a couple
of days and I forgot to take my probiotic capsules with me. I've been
taking them for many years and know I really need them. I thought it
would all be OK. While we were away I had a chocolate feast with my
family. I thoroughly enjoyed lots of different types while watching a
movie. Yum! Heaven! But a very rare treat for me.
the time we got home from our little trip my tummy was very unhappy
with me. It was constantly and painfully bloated. I've never had
anything like it before. I thought I must have some sort of tummy bug
but generally felt OK. After five days of this I also had severe
diarrhea and a high temperature. I called my local clinic but couldn't
get an appointment with my lovely GP, so I booked an appointment with
another doctor. After an examination he said that I had Gastro. He
said there was nothing he could do and said it should go away soon. I
spent my time sleeping, resting and only eating one egg, one piece of
gluten free toast and one banana each day. I was nauseous and going to
the toilet more than 20 times per day. A few days later I saw the same
doctor again. By this stage I had had these symptoms for 7 days and I
was worried that something was seriously wrong with me. I even had a
cry in the doctor's office, I was so worried. The doctor said again that
it was Gastro and there was nothing he could do. He did send me for
blood and stool testing. He said that if I didn't improve in a few days
to come back. I didn't improve so I went back and had to see a
different doctor. He prescribed some antibiotics and I was out the door
very quickly. The antibiotics really didn't agree with me and by the
second day I realised that the stabbing pains I was experiencing in my
stomach were from the tablets. I stopped taking them and hoped they'd
done their job. I was still feeling horrible, sleeping lots and going
to the toilet all the time. The fever had broken and I thought I must
be on the mend. Several days later I was still feeling so horrible that
I went back to the doctor and finally saw my usual GP. She was
horrified by all my symptoms and quickly referred me to the local GI.
She gave me different antibiotics and I hoped this was all coming to an
end. I lost 6 kilograms during the two weeks. In the next few days I
developed very painful joints in my wrists, knees and ankles. My ankles
swelled up like I'd sprained them but I assumed it was because I was
dehydrated. I hobbled around like an old woman but didn't go back to my
GP for several weeks. It took 5 weeks to get an appointment with the
GI. He told me he thought I had either Crohn's or Celiac. I didn't
want to believe any of it. I remembered around 6 years previously that
I'd had a case of diarrhea that lasted for weeks. I didn't go to the
doctor and eventually it healed itself up. After I Googled caeliac and
crohn's I realised that my symptoms were classic crohn's disease.
GI scheduled an Upper and Lower GI Endoscopy which found cobblestoning
and ulcers all through my colon. The diagnosis was moderate/severe
Crohn's colitis and the treatment recommended was prednisolone to begin
with, followed by Humira and Remicade. I was horrified. A lifetime of
relying on drugs was not something I'd planned for my future! I was too
busy to have to take time out every 8 weeks to have drugs intravenously
put into my body! I asked the GI about natural alternatives; he told
me there were none and that this was the only way to stop my body
attacking itself. This didn't sit right with me because I knew I'd had a
flare a few years before and healed up. He said that was impossible
and that if I'd had a flare I'd have scarring (which I didn't). I spent
a lot of time praying for which direction I should go. I asked the GI
if I could try something natural first and use these drugs as a last
resort. He said if I did that it may be too late to have them be
effective if I became scarred etc.
GP was reluctant to be supportive of my plan to not take the drugs.
She had been closely monitoring my blood tests (they were very
concerning) and she said I could try SCD for 6 weeks and we would see
after the next blood test.
So I followed SCD and my GP was amazed at my blood test results after the 6 weeks- almost perfect. :) :) :) I was so happy and relieved. At the next blood tests after another 6 weeks they were perfect. :)
I found that dairy doesn't agree with me, so I now follow a Paleo version of SCD. (No sugar, no grains, no dairy or legumes) and I feel better than I ever
have. I have loads of energy, rarely get sick and only have to watch my
weight when I overdo the nuts and fruit.
so glad I've been on this health journey. I've discovered so much
about health and feel the best I ever have. I pray that others will
have the same success I've had in treating their IBDs.