Managing Crohn’s Disease
Jessi Nahama is a girl with a difference. I met her at the Crohns and Colitis Foundation Support Group. I was so impressed with how innovative she has been in managing her condition of Crohn’s Disease She has lots of share about her personal experience…… Read on……
After being diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease, I began a regimen of medications and hoped to finally get relief from my symptoms. But medication after medication, my treatments failed. They worked for several months and then I would relapse. Throughout this, I continued to lead what I considered a “healthy” lifestyle – working out and eating a mostly Paleo diet.
I couldn’t understand why all of these treatments would initially work, but then ultimately fail. I began to feel hopeless as I bounced from medication to medication, watching my inflammation spread despite eating “clean” and taking my medication as prescribed.
When pills completely stopped working, I started infusions. And they worked… for a few months. But I began to metabolize them too quickly and the benefits wouldn’t last long enough, so I began receiving them every 4 weeks (rather than the usual 8).
When it was suggested that if infusions didn’t work, the next step would likely be surgery – I began to better educate myself about alternative options to help supplement my infusions. This led me to meeting Kali Sink (wife to a husband with UC, and the brilliant nutritionist behind modernheirloomnutrition.com).
I made the commitment to being open-minded about more homeopathic remedies she suggested and was shocked at the HUGE difference between the “healthy habits” I thought I was practicing (avoiding things like sugar, processed foods, alcohol in excess, etc.), and truly following a gut-friendly, autoimmune-specific diet – which has been proven to help alleviate symptoms for some people with IBD.
I started a modified version of the GAPs and FODMAPs diets (focusing on low-starch, low-fiber, etc. – I do consume white rice as I am training for a half marathon and my body needs the fuel). I started having organic bone broth every day, and replaced my daily protein powder with Collagen Peptides.
I stopped my generic-brand daily vitamin and instead started taking L-Glutamine powder, Camu powder, probiotics (Primal Defense is great and doesn’t hurt my stomach), and Thorne HCL Acid with Pepsin to help me with digestion. I also take Nordic Naturals Cod Liver Oil every day (replacing my generic brand fish oil pills).
I learned the importance of really reading labels, being educated about “healthy” brands and knowing what you are putting into your body and how it directly affects your health.
I continue to receive infusions. The only thing I’ve done differently within the last 3 months is strictly adhere to better nutrition and supplements intended to heal gut irritation.
After more than 2 years of taking Mesalamine everyday to help with my inflammation, I was finally allowed to stop it because my symptoms showed such significant improvement (this was after just 3 months of following an autoimmune-protocol diet). I have energy again (most days!).
I am running the fastest training runs I have in years. And in 4 weeks, I will attempt to run my fastest half marathon time ever – a feat I never thought I would be able to do after my diagnosis.
Every day isn’t easy, and I still have a long way to go. But today is better than yesterday, and I’m committed to continuing to educate myself about what my body needs to heal, and how I can fuel it through more informed nutritional choices to keep me strong and carry me forward on my journey to optimal health.
Jessie is happy to help anyone with any questions. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know how best to contact you.