In 2006 I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. I had been suffering from Crohn’s since college but did not know what was wrong with me. I had many symptoms that different doctors tried to treat. Often they would approach each symptom but never looked at them collectively to see if there was a connection. I also had two doctors prescribe depression medications because they felt I was having “women issues” or stress due to being a young woman. I knew that was ridiculous. I was a young, very active, and a very happy 20-something. I had friends, a great job, and an active life. I went through what felt like every local doctor and specialist. My family finally felt it was appropriate to get involved when I was so ill I couldn’t eat and was ending up in the emergency room weekly rather than monthly. I finally made an appointment at Stanford hospital. The day I went in I met with the head of the gastroenterology department. She was an excellent listener and very thorough with compiling an exact history of what felt like my entire life. She was polite but very focused on the job at hand. I have learned that I don’t care about bedside manner. I want my specialist to know their job and care about how well they perform it. When we were done she calmly informed me I would not be leaving the hospital. I would be admitted for emergency surgery. They would keep me overnight to run more tests and I would be having surgery in 24 hours. I was taken aback of course, but when she thoroughly explained what she felt in her gut and set out to verify it with tests, I could not deny that she was likely correct.
After my surgery, the doctors not only verified that my intestines were heavily scarred (8 inches were removed) but also that my intestines had begun to leak out. I had many fistulas (similar to wormholes reaching from one side of the intestines bypassing the dead part and trying to reach other organs or healthier parts of the intestines). I had my appendix and ileum removed as well. I made a very quick recovery and was asked to take medication for six months. I agreed to this to help calm my system and give my intestines a chance to heal. The medication was an immune suppressant. I did not like the medication. It made me feel like I had no personality, no interest in my husband physically, and all around low energy. After six months, I said no more! I had been reading nonstop about healthy guts, Specific Carbohydrate diet, fermented foods, healing yourself with foods, and much much more. Antibiotics are very dangerous for people with Crohn’s. There are times when you need them and it outweighs the danger to your gut but I do everything in my power to not take them. If I must, I ask for them in IV form so that it bypasses my gut and goes straight into my blood. I spent two years following the Specific Carbohydrate diet and I feel that it did heal my gut. Today I do eat sugar occasionally and wheat, but I keep myself in check. Fermented, cultured, and pickled foods are part of my everyday diet and I love them!
Disease helped me find my passion for healthy foods, fermented goodies, and experimenting in the kitchen. I would love to hear what brought you here to check out my site!
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