Colitis or Crohn's Disease
Colitis or Crohn's Disease
Hi All -
Last year I went raw – stuck at 100% for a few months and felt amazing. I was a regular poster on this site and stocked my kitchen with all the essentials (I went a little overboard – I have used my Excalibur dehydrator a whopping 1 time and have never used my Green Star juicer (my breville juice fountain is just so convenient that I haven’t taken the time to figure out its intimidating cousin). About 8 months ago, I started what is now a serious relationship with my boyfriend, and we started going out to eat frequently. I stopped the raw diet, but I still did things like drink kale-based green smoothies every day (on which he is now hooked as well, which I’m proud of him for). I started eating cheese again and doing things like sauteed mushrooms.
Almost 2 months ago, I started bleeding every time I used to restroom. I lost a lot of blood quickly. A colonoscopy a few weeks ago revealed that I have ulcerative colitis (and they removed polyps which were determined to be precancerous). The diagnosis was not a shock – I was diagnosed with colitis when I was 9 years old (I’m newly 35), but I have not had any active disease for many many years.
The doctor put me on a medication called Asacol. During my third sleepless night in a row, I had the epiphany that it was the medication that was keeping me awake and making me feel like I was losing my mind. I went online at 3am and found a site with over 200 people speaking about their experience on the drug. Apparently, I was in for some hair loss, weight gain, acne, and possible kidney damage. I have not taken the medication again, and I made an appointment with the Russian “doctor” from whose clinic I used to get the occassional colonic as soon as they opened in the morning.
The Russian doc (he is a PhD) has put me on a few supplements and started doing acupuncture treatments. He also commanded me to stay away from all wheat products and dairy. (The ‘regular’ doctor told me I will not get better without either the Asacol or a steroid. I refuse to take either, for now at least).
I also bought a book by Paul Nison titled “Healing Inflammatory Bowel Disease.” He speaks about how he healed his colitis (an achievement which doctors claim is impossible – it can be in remission but never cured) through diet, exercise, and positive thought. He talks about how doctors and conventional wisdom counsel that raw food, produce, is terrible for sufferers of Colitis and Crohn’s, and how that is total BS. He makes the point that these diseases consist of inflammation of intestinal tissue, and that our normal course of action when dealing with inflamed tissue is to stay off of it (think of a sprained ankle). He says we need to stay off of our intestines for periods of time. He does this with blended drinks so nutrients can be assimilated without a taxing digestion (blended salads and such) and thinks like almond milk. It was a real revalation to see someone touting as revolutionary the diet I was following a year ago.
For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been ‘eating’ mainly blended drinks and fresh vegetable and fruit juices. Stomach is still bad, but possibly a bit better.
Is there anyone else on the forums with ulcerative colitis or crohn’s disease? I’d be very interested in hearing about your experiences and how you are dealing with the disease and what raw foods work best for you.
I’m a healthy and active person who eats mostly (but not exclusively – there is the occasional restaurant cheat) raw and strictly vegetarian (since the age of 15). I do not want my life to be controlled by this stupid condition!
Any comments are welcome! Sorry for rambling on for so long…
I’m sorry to hear you are having such a difficult time with this. In addition to being a difficult situation to be in, that type of illness just exhausts your body. I think it is amazing that you consider yourself to be healthy and active.
I have a friend with a similar situation, but she only eats SAD, takes at least 10 Rxs daily and is almost confined to her home. I wish she would open her mind to other avenues like you have.
There are some great books out there on controlling inflammation in the body. I read Inflammation Nation a few years ago and it was very helpful. I wasn’t thinking about raw food back then but there are foods that reduce inflammation and they may help. I don’t remember what they are – I need to read up on that again with a raw food, vegan lense.
Meditation help with everything because all illnesses are stressful and it helps you deal with stress. I used to take 3 different blood pressure medicines daily and got rid of 2 them changing nothing in my life but adding 5 minutes of meditation twice daily. For me. it took 3-4 weeks for clear results to kick in.
I have been reading lately about adaptogens, like maca. Maca is purported to do a good many things (but I always wonder how much of what is said is puffery). It is suppose to have strong anti-inflammatory properties. That may be something to think about.
Well, I developed ulcerative colitis when I was 11. The dr.s put me on a butt load of steroids and other medications. After three months and the fear of heart failure was becoming real, they preformed surgery and removed the colon. So….I did have it for about 6-9 and it was hell. Being only 11 ..I just stopped eating for the most part. I have no help for you. So sorry.
I had all the symptoms of Crohn’s or UC last year before I started eating raw,went through all the lovely tests (colonoscopy/biopsy/probing etc etc) and all came back negative. I had massive amounts of blood in my (very watery) stool every day and was dropping weight like you wouldn’t believe.
My family doctor kept threatening to throw me in the hospital to “get some nutrition back in me” with Ensure and Boost (fantastic! corn syrup solids!) but I kept refusing. I got told by numerous doctors to AVOID AT ALL COSTS any raw fruits or vegs as these are the “hardest to digest” and can get lodged in my intestine…so I obliged and continued eating more bran like they suggested…and kept worse and worse.
Since I realized that their approach definitely wasn’t working I decided to do the complete opposite of everything they told me…so raw fruits and vegetables and the like and IMMEDIATELY felt better.
What really helped me was a week long juice feast to really jam pack the nutrition back in my poor body while giving my system a well-needed rest. I haven’t have bloody stool since and no longer have debilitating digestive issues:)
I wish you the best of luck. I know how frustrating the path can be! But I know you will find an answer:)
I think I might have a bit of advice, although it seems you are on the right track. Since I was thirteen I struggled with major stomach and digestive issues everyday. I cannot begin to tell you how many times I had been in the ER with almost all my tests coming back negative with no answers. The doctors just shot me up with morphine and sent me home everytime(which i could still feel the pain through the morphine). I was then diagnosed with acid reflux and ibs after a couple advasive tests. I was put on a prescription which gave me increased stomach pain and made me feel like i was in lala land. At 15 I was smart enough to refuse to take it because it made me so ill. About 6 months ago I had a lot of “new” pain on my left side. No doctors took me seriously and just wanted to give me high dose pain killers. I went to see a gastro and he told me I had diverticulitis and possibly the start of colitis. He told me to stop eating fiber and go on a super processed high starchy carb diet. Well I did that for about a week but my husband and I have studied nutrition and knew that was not the way to make me healthy again. I had always been a “healthy” eater and a calorie counter but it obviously was not working for me… so I did my research for a while and did the Master Cleanse. During that cleanse I cannot even explain what happened to me. Not to be gross but the stuff that came out of me… it kinda explained why i was not feeling well. The detox symptoms were pretty bad and i was so sore on my left side(where I had issues before). Now I have adopted about an 80% raw diet and have not felt anymore pain. I had been able to drop weight that I had never been able to before. I refuse to go see doctors and am just into very holistic remedies right now. My one thing that I recommend is giving your stomach, intestines, and colon a break. Go on a Master Cleanse. Let your body get rid of the toxins and then start over with your raw diet. I felt like the cleanse gave me another chance to live pain-free. I hope this helps!
Thank you guys so much for your replies. All are helpful to read, and it is always comforting to hear other voices who have dealt with what you’re dealing with. Tunacupcake, I am so sorry to hear how severe your disease was and to learn that they removed your colon at such a young age.
Dain, I agree with you about meditation. I am focusing on it during both acupuncture and bikram yoga.
Xdbearx, I just ordered the book and am planning to start the Master Cleanse on Monday, March 31. It’s going to save me a ton of money on groceries for all my fresh juices and blended salads/smoothies for the following 10 days!!
Are Cayenne pepper and maple syrup considered raw? I’ll do it anyway, just wondering.
thanks, Shortcake! (I can smell your strawberry hair from here :)
I am an Ayn Rand fan. Good catch on the name.
I didn’t know they take out children’s gallbladders so freely! That sounds awfully drastic.
DagnyTaggart, I know this is a very old thread, but did you manage to keep going on the raw diet even with your severe digestive issues? Any tips for someone (me!) going through a similar trial?