How I Control Crohn's Disease
Firstly, I am making a Disclaimer! I am not a doctor, I am not trained in nutrition and this story is about something I did for myself and I can't say it will work for you. In saying this, I am republishing a story I wrote eight years ago when I had a terrible flare up of Crohn's Disease and an experience in hospital I would rather forget. At the time of admittance my heartbeat was extremely low (bradycardia) and I remember feeling that I may not get better. It was scary.
FLASHBACK TO 2010
The years of eating the wrong foods took a toll on my body and I ended up hospital and on steroids, which was the biggest thing I feared about Crohn's. I was given a massive dose of steroids via intravenous and by day five when I was finally discharged from the hospital I had already gained a lot of weight. This threw me into the depths of despair, and as I was sent home with a prescription to take them for a number of months I decided that I had to do something about it. My mental health was also suffering from the steroids. That's when I went to my doctor and told him to immediately wean me of this shit right now; I refused to keep on them. Remember, I had been given massive doses of intravenous steroids, not just a short course which years later, I discovered a short course of steroids is a Godsend.
When I was in hospital I was put on a range of medications and also morphine and it is my belief, to this day, that the medications they put me on actually made me worse. Now I am prepared for the flack from the medical profession over this post, and like I said at the beginning, I'm only writing about what happened to me and how I dealt with it. When I was in hospital my doctors actually begged me to take Prednisone and another tablet that was brought to me by a nurse who was wearing protective gloves and told me to swallow it and not touch it with my hands. I asked her why and also why was she wearing gloves and her reply was because the tablet was very toxic. I refused to take it and she offered for me to see a mental health specialist! I refused that too.
On my release from hospital, I decided that I would do whatever it took to get better. I told those that are close to me to “watch this space” and that I would cure my symptoms myself with my diet and positive mindset. I put myself on an anti inflammatory diet, took myself off sugar, salt, wheat, white rice, dairy. I ate copious amounts of avocados, fish oil, olive oil, fish, turmeric, dark berries, vegetables and slippery elm powder. I also drank solution of chlorophyll, chia seeds and Himalayan salt mixed in with purified water. At first it was a bit hard to stomach, however began to love it and would drink over a litre a day.
I also took a powerful probiotic powder.
I had convinced myself that this would work, so I put a ‘belief’ in my head that I would be healthy again in a few weeks.
It worked within two weeks. Nothing short of a miracle to the people who witnessed what happened. I also 'glowed' with health.
Again, I am not saying this will help everyone else, I'm just conveying that it worked for me and could be worth investigating alternative methods like this if you too, are living with Crohn's Disease.
Don't just take my word for it, Meghan Telpner cured herself from Crohn's Disease, and not only that, went on to become a successful business woman who inspires people all around the world.
UPDATE AUGUST 2018
It's funny how we can become so complacent, and I did just that! My life turned from my healthy eating when I became quite well known in the Sydney Blogging world for my website and social media following on Sydney Chic.
During this time (about 5 years) I lived in the inner city of Sydney. This place is not good for the soul, I lived with drug addicts outside my window screaming night an day, neighbours that would party until all hours of the night, noise..noise...noise. As well as the drunks and the sirens that would make noise endlessly every single night. As well as that, my life became one big party. I was invited to a VIP event about 4 times a week where the booze and food never stopped. This made a huge impact on my weight and health, and I drank every night just to get to sleep.
At one of the endless VIP parties I would attend 3-4 times a week
So I moved.
I moved out of Sydney and into the country. My weight came off as I was walking a lot, I was happier and I had sleep. But I still enjoyed my glass of wine every night, and I was not keeping to my anti inflammatory diet but that's another story for this blog in a few months time.
And I crashed again with another Crohn's Flare up that took me to the ER. The pain was unbearable. This flare gave me chills at night I would have on three layers of clothes and an electric blanket and still not get warm. I was having terrible night sweats where my sheets and clothing would be saturated and the fatigue is something I just can't describe. As well as that I broke out in a very painful rash on my torso.
I left the ER with Prednisone and Panadol Forte. Now my hatred of Prednisone has changed, because I have found the short course not only stopped my inflammation, it stopped the pain and I had no side effects accept for insomnia which I could live with for a few days. By the way, instead of tossing and turning and thinking I have to be asleep when I have insomnia, I change my thinking to how enjoyable it is to listen to the wind blowing the leaves, and the quiet and I just enjoy the moment.
One other side effect was the hyperactivity. The second day I was on them I really was "Deb on Steroids" I couldn't believe how active I was and my mind was racing a million miles an hour, but that calmed down by day three.
I have realised that I am living with Crohn's Disease and I just can't afford to go off my diet. For me, it works. I feel so much better when I stick to my Crohn's Diet, when I only rarely drink these days and I exercise every day.
On the mend
Yes, Prednisone is a heavy duty drug, but for a short course it has helped me and if you are watching what you feed your body and that you keep exercising, I think that this drug can do wonders for a Crohn's Flare up.
UPDATE 29 AUGUST
As soon as I finished the short course PRED I came crashing back down again. Literally the day after. I suffered the worst pain I've ever had with Crohn's and I couldn't walk without limping I was in so much pain.
So, I took myself back to emergency as it was a Sunday and no doctors open here in the country. They gave me painkillers, took my blood and urine and turns out I had a bladder infection, I had no idea, I guess all the pain I was having must have had something to do with it as well. The doctor told me that the ER wasn't really a place for a Crohn's patient or even hospital? (WTF). He then wanted to write a script for long term PRED. I said no. So he convinced me that another steroid, Budenfalk won't give me any side effects. I left the ER with Panadol Forte, Antibiotics for the infection and a script.
I researched all I could on Budenfalk and decided that's not for me. I cannot understand why doctors prescribe tablets that mask or improve some symptoms but can give you dreadful side effects or other medical problems.
So I am doing what I always do and being extremely vigilant in what goes into my body. As well as the anti inflammatory diet I do this ritual every morning on an empty stomach.
Drink 120ml Aloe Vera Juice
Take an probiotic
Drink a Turmeric Latte (it grows on you). Or to make your own I use cup of Almond Milk, tsp honey, tsp turmeric, 3 slivers of fresh ginger, 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Heat up slowly or microwave. I find the Alchemy Turmeric Elixir much nicer though.
I also eat a sliver of fresh ginger. An Indian man once told me that's the best thing you can do for the body.
UPDATE APRIL 9, 2019
It has taken me weeks to come back to this blog and it is because I nearly died, or should say, I'm lucky to be alive. I won't write the whole story here because it's long and you can read it on my other blog "How A Psoas Abscess Nearly Killed Me" but there are some things I would like to add to the story specifically for this blog.
I have a great belief in life after death, although I have no idea what that actually is. Bliss, I guess! I just have faith and it is not a religious faith. If you read the story about the Psoas Abscess you will have read how much pain I was in and how lucky that the Universe worked its magic on that day and my life was saved. In a nutshell, my Crohn's had made a fistula that somehow impacted my Psoas Muscle and caused an abscess with 300 ml of fluid. This is such a rare occurrence that not much is really written about it.
As I type this now 8 weeks after my emergency operation where I lost my appendix, cecum and the right side of my colon as well as having the abscess removed and drained, I am amazed I am still alive. You see, the pain of the abscess was so bad I had no choice but to seek emergency help. If that abscess had burst, which is was going to, I would have become septic and I doubt I'd be alive now.
I am still not on medication yet. Last week I had a blood transfusion which really helped me with my energy. The last eight weeks have been hell on earth coping with the pain and fatigue, but the last three days have been amazing. No pain, lots of energy and I have started to walk and do strength exercises again.
Next week I have to have an endoscopy and another colonoscopy because I've been in a lot of pain since the operation. I hope they come back negative. It's been a long hard journey and lesson for me. I still believe that Crohn's patients must put their diet as a high priority, we can't afford to be eating the wrong foods.
I will update again after the scopes.
My Anti Inflammatory Diet (Plant Based)
Eat mostly these foods.
I find it best to graze all day then you don’t feel hungry. Green leafy vegetables, beetroot, carrots, ginger, avocados, purple potatoes, blueberries, 6-8 almonds, olive oil, fruit, olive oil, seaweed, nut butters (no added sugar), fodmap bread (available at Bakers Delight here in Australia), puffed millet, tofu, dry fruit, kombucha.
Take all these foods out of your diet
The white devils i.e. white rice, white pasta, white bread, meat, fish, dairy, eggs and sugar. Now this is hard, because these things are in a lot of food. With persistence you will adapt to it. There are some great gluten free foods including cakes on the market and it’s not as hard as it used to be. Also cut out anything with Omega 6, margarine and any processed foods. You must cut out WHEAT (although I find Spelt is ok) this is essential. Get into the habit of looking at labels and ask yourself every time you put something in your mouth ‘is this going to cure me or make me sick?”
Cut back on alcohol.
Take the following daily:
Fish oil Boswellia, slippery elm bark, zinc, probiotic and aloe vera juice 120ml morning (empty stomach), probiotic, turmeric, fresh ginger.
Focus on what you want not what you don’t want, so just imagine all the good things you want in your life and all those wonderful things and people you already have.
Finally….Laugh a lot, love a lot, exercise and lot and be grateful a lot.
An Eco-Friendly Life
Living an eco-friendly life gives me a lot of pleasure and writing for this health and wellbeing blog also is something a really enjoy. I actually maintain three blogs including this one. I believe we can all be living an abundant and happy life if we go back to some good old fashioned ways of living.
The photo below is on one of my many walks that I do living in the country and writing for my North Coast NSW Travel Blog.