My Journey To Better Health And Managing Crohn’s Disease Naturally
Several years ago it was another Sunday and I was sitting on the couch in pain from having Crohn’s disease, just like so many days, weeks, months, and years prior to it. I was desperate for answers. I started to scour the internet for any and all info I could find about what I could do to help myself feel better. I had done this many times before and had tried different things with varying success but this time I was determined to find answers. I stumbled across the blog against all grain and from reading the celiac forum I found a company called Enterolab for testing for food allergies. I had myself tested and found out that I was intolerant to gluten among a few other things. I ended going on an elimination diet and what helped me tremendously was the Against All Grain blog and her recipes and cookbook. I also read and learned as much as I could about the paleo diet and read many Chris Kresser’s articles and other paleo related blogs and forums. I also used Elena’s Pantry recipes and cookbooks as well as Mark’s Daily Apple and his cookbooks, and started learning everything I could about autoimmune related conditions and diets.
Something that started and felt like such a taunting task, to go on an elimination diet, was not so difficult after all. I was already very well knowledgeable about healthy eating from my years of research but I had never considered elimination diet or going gluten and grain free. I was desperate to try anything at this point. I was tired of being weak and tired and always in pain suffering from a silent disease, putting on a smile outside of the home, since people couldn’t see my Crohn’s and couldn’t imagine what it was like living with everyday pain and other symptoms. I was in my 30s at the time and had lived with the disease since I was 18 years old, when I first got diagnosed. After going on the elimination diet and gluten and grain free I switched to Paleo. I lived that way for a long time but missed milk products, rice, potatoes and Mexican food like crazy. Coconut yogurts and almond milk just wasn’t the same. Not being able to eat tacos was even harder. I even made my own almond milk because I didn’t want to buy the store versions with additives. I slowly started to add some of the foods that were not allowed on paleo, except gluten, back into my diet. My body seems to do ok with it all and wasn’t reacting adversely. My pains didn’t come back which was my biggest fear.
What I learned from my several years of research is that leaky gut and food intolerances can lead to host of issues in the body. In the case of a leaky gut, the proteins in the food (gluten, dairy, eggs etc) can seep through the intestinal walls undigested and get in the blood stream. The body mistakenly thinks of the proteins as hostile and starts to attack them similar to how Crohn’s works causing various health issues. In the case of Crohn’s, the body is attacking itself causing inflammation and scarring which leads to narrowing of the intestines and blockages etc. Once you remove the underlying cause as to why your body is doing this, you can start to feel better. I’ve managed my crohn’s naturally for several years now and have also been medication free despite the fact that I’ve had Crohns for over 20 years now and several years ago had surgery with parts of large and small testines removed. It took me several years of research and understanding of how the body works and what happens with auto-immune diseases and the body and how diet affects the body. It’s such a complex thing and unfortunately most doctors are not trained in looking for the underlying cause or helping the body find it’s way to natural state, they are only trained to treat the symptoms with more medicines.
Fast forward to today, several years later, I do what I call a modified Paleo diet. It’s my version of the diet that I’ve perfected through trial and error over several years. My healing process has been very long and I’ve tried probably every diet and supplement out there and read every book there is to read about nutrition. I also went through training to become a certified health coach and essential oil coach through American Association of Drugless practitioners to deepen my knowledge and help others. It has taken me several years and trying various things to perfect my daily routine to support my Crohn’s disease naturally. I eat strict gluten free foods and mostly what nature provides. I stay away from processed foods as much as possible besides an occasional fast food with gluten free options. After years of trial and error and determination I’ve found what works for me and I’m no longer in pain or have my daily symptoms besides occasional issues from high stress or glutenation from eating out. I now take natural supplements and use essential oils to help support my body naturally. Essential oils are amazing for managing stress and supporting the health naturally. I know that to keep my disease in remission, I have to be careful with stress and overwhelm, so I try and stay on track with taking time for self care every day and utilizing essential oils for managing stress and moods as well as my occasional stomach issues. Being a mom and owning multiple business, it’s not always easy, but I try to do the best I can. I let go of the idea of perfect years ago and embrace imperfect. In my eyes imperfect is perfect. I do the best I can and don’t worry about anything else.
If you are struggling or know of someone who is struggling from autoimmune disease, or Crohn’s and colitis, I would love to help. I want to share my journey and what my regimen is today in hopes of helping others with similar conditions. I truly believe in the statement that food is medicine. There are so many things we can do to help our body to do what it’s designed to do naturally.
I published a book about my struggles with Crohn’s disease and my journey to healing. You can find the book on Amazon. This book is intended for anyone with Crohn’s, Colitis or IBS who is looking to manage the disease naturally. It’s also a great book if you are a caregiver of someone who is struggling with these diseases.
I’m very passionate about natural medicine, nutrition and using essential oils and nature’s power to support your body so that it can do what its designed to do. I know from experience what a difference all this can make in your quality of life. Don’t wait until tomorrow to help yourself. Start today. Start taking small steps if doing it all at once seems too much to deal with. Throw all junk food out of the house and go buy simple, fresh foods instead. Your journey to better health is so worth it and I’m here to support you. Let’s do it together! Contact me and I’ll help you get started and hold your hand in the process.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.* I’m purely sharing my experiences with managing my disease. Always check with your own doctor if you have existing health concerns.