In the depths of IBD

Healing Crohns Disease Naturally

I wrote this post when I was bedridden with chronic pain from Crohn’s disease. This is a summation of what my blog offers an individual who has been diagnosed with Crohns and/or Colitis who wants to avoid prescription drugs and surgery like I have.  Also, for individuals who have been suffering a long time and want their life back. Finding healing naturally will change your life!

I know that when in a flare the stigma has us all pegged as needing a bathroom asap, that we have diariah all the time, that Crohns Disease and Ulcerative Colitis is all about bowel movements. When symptoms are present it’s like this to a degree but it’s about so much more!

Pain, pain and more pain! Chronic pain! Iritis pain, debilitating arthritis pain, mouth ulcers, debilitating pain in small intestine, colon and bowel. Debilitating weakness and utter exhaustion, weight lose/gain, constipation, diarrhea, and liver or bladder pain.

Our immune system is weakened, leaky gut syndrome is usually the cause. When your immune system tries to fight off the invading microorganism, an abnormal immune response causes the immune system to attack the cells in the digestive tract.

  • Colon, bowel and small intestine pain. The pain often is described as cramping and intermittent, and the stomach may be sore when touched. Pain may turn to a dull, constant ache as the condition gets worse.
  • Fever or other symptoms that affect the entire body may develop. A high fever may mean that you have an infection, such as an abscess, inflammation or infection.
  • Weight loss. Ongoing symptoms, such as diarrhea, can lead to weight loss.
  • Too few red blood cells (anemia). People with Crohn’s disease develop anemia because of low iron levels caused by bloody stools or the intestinal inflammation itself.
  • Small tears in the anus (anal fissures) that may go away, but come back again.
  • Inflammation of skin, eyes and joints
  • Inflammation of the liver or bile ducts
  • Delayed growth In children
  • Diarrhea is a common problem for people with Crohn’s disease. Intensified intestinal cramping also can contribute to loose stools.
  • Abdominal pain and cramping. Inflammation and ulceration can affect the normal movement of contents through your digestive tract and may lead to pain and cramping. You may experience anything from slight discomfort to severe pain, including nausea and vomiting.
  • You might notice bright red blood in the toilet bowl or darker blood mixed with your stool. You can also have bleeding you don’t see (occult blood).
  • Mouth sores: ulcers in your mouth similar to canker sores.
  • Reduced appetite and weight loss. Abdominal pain and cramping and the inflammatory reaction in the wall of your bowel affects both your appetite and your ability to digest and absorb food.
  • Perianal disease: pain or drainage near or around the anus due to inflammation from a tunnel into the skin (fistula).
  • Higher risk of colon cancer
  • Depression
  • Brain function altered
  • organs shutting down
  • muscle wasting

Holistic healing

  • ayruveda
  • breathing
  • meditation
  • Homeopathy
  • Biofeedback
  • Sho-Tai
  • Dosha – vata, pitta and kapha

Diet changes

  • Against All Grain
  • Whole30
  • AIP Autoimmune Paleo
  • SCD Specific Carbohydrate Diet
  • Bone broth
  • Collagen
  • Pre & probiotics

All the above support the gut! *please note that all or almost all meat bought in stores have been treated with antibiotics, hormones and fed grains, this also pertains to eggs (post more about this coming soon.) which are triggers for IBD.

I can’t believe how many people with Crohns and Colitis don’t get that the foods we eat affect our digestive track. Obviously, if our Crohns is flared you have ulcers in either your small intestine, colon and bowel and possibly your stomach and mouth. Having Colitis the ulcers are in the lining of your colon so, it makes sense that what we eat is having an affect on our GI Track.

Other important lifestyle changes

  • Sleep, sleep and more sleep
  • Rest, take naps when you need them
  • Drink water
  • Walking, yoga, exercise
  • Find gratitude in every day
  • Modalities
  • Chakras
  • Self care, love yourself (be kind and respectful of your body)
  • Mind, body and spirit balance
  • Vitamins
  • Other holistic remedies
    • remove stresses from your life
    • grain free, gluten free, alkaline based diet
    • removal of sugar, legumes, dairy, and night shades
    • also avoid sulfites, msg, carrageenan and artificial additives
  • Minerals
  • Mindfulness
  • Homemade foods….go back to the basics

This is a personal view of how I live my life and what I have done to change my lifestyle. Specifically, when in a flare and recovery.

One of the most important lifestyle changes I made was to remove negative aspects from my life. In order for healing to begin I had to remove toxic people, change my work and living environment and focus solely on myself.

Nothing in my life was working. It all had to go! Best decisions I ever made!

Spring has finally arrived and I can’t wait to get outside more to absorb vitamin D and get some colour on my blinding white legs. 😉

Happy Friday!

Light Love & Peace ~Andrea

Never Defined

I’ve never played the victim to my illnesses. My daughter said to me a couple of years ago `You are not defined by anyone or anything. “ I had two thoughts; one I had never thought about it before and wow that is a major statement coming from a 20 year old. Playing the victim to an illness is not helping your situation, in fact it is making it worse. Having that mentality is detrimental to your health. When I first started on social media about this last Crohns flare it was for one reason only, to let others know they are not the only one, that others are struggling and going through the grieving and healing process too.

As I posted and my followers grew I followed them too. But then I realized that almost everyone of them who was dealing with autoimmune disorders were sucky, poor me, look what happened to me now. This victim mindset was prevalent on more accounts than not. It was toxic. It disgusted me. I unfollowed every single one of them because it brought me down, it made me think this isn’t how this should go, why would you let others see you being weak and pathetic. I’m not like that I can’t watch this happen. I’m strong, I’m a fighter, I don’t back down. Never have!

So, for all you who have an autoimmune disease(s) I am a fact based person, here you will find my journey to figure out how to get from almost dying to healthy and beyond. And most importantly, to never ever let that happen again!

I think it is important for people to know the facts, to hear what happens to others so that we can learn and so that maybe I can help someone avoid what I’ve gone through. At 17 I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in Toronto, Ontario by a specialist. At that time I was told to go on disability. I refused. I’m a fighter I’m not going to be labeled at such a young age. I am not giving in to disease, I’m not a quitter and I most definitely did not want people looking down at me. Wasn’t gonna happen! I’m still not on disability even as my diseases multiple but you know what I can see that I will have to at some point and there is nothing wrong with that. But at that young age all I could see was people would take over my life, that they would have control over me. And I’m glad I didn’t at that time.

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We don’t have to be victims to our circumstances, to illness, to diseases. Speaking our truth is different, it’s telling the facts, educating and advocating. Advocacy for ourselves, for others, for disease, for healing and for strength. So, please don’t mistake the content in my posts as playing the victim or wanting sympathy or attention. If you knew me you would know that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Thoughts become words which become actions. Being a victim is hard for me to understand so I had to do a little research.

Victim: One who is harmed by or made to suffer under a circumstance or condition. Victim mentality is an acquired personality trait in which a person tends to recognize themselves as a victim of the negative actions of others, and to behave as if this were the case in the face of contrary evidence of such circumstances. Victim mentality depends on clear thought processes and attribution.

I think the worst part of playing the victim is not making changes to your life.  I have talked to many and they refuse to make changes.  If you have illness, your lifestyle is not working for you. You have to change your thinking, your lifestyle and your surroundings. We all struggle, there are far worse situations to be in that others are dealing with right now. Be a fighter, win back your life, DO THE WORK! You will get there. Don’t give up.

Tell your story! But for the right reasons. To educate, inform, advocate and to heal!

Light Love & Peace ~Andrea xo

Awareness & Sharing Our Story

Awareness to me is sharing accurate information so that people can get answers to lead them in the right directions. With this, just like everything else I’ve noticed, has conflicting information which becomes confusing at a time you are already in a state of upset, anxiety, hopeless, helpless emotions. I want to change that. I want to share my story because it’s a different path I took to healing. In sharing my story I hope to spread the word to individuals who need it the most. Learning about and being aware of natural healing and natural remedies could be a lifestyle that saves you from more suffering, masking symptoms which ultimately allows your body to continue to be malnourished and unnecessary surgery.

I’m hoping to reach as many people as possible so that others can find a path of least resistance to avoid masking symptoms and avoid surgery.  In this journey I changed my lifestyle. Obviously, the way in which I was living my life was not working.

Then ~ 2 part post…

THEN ~ The long journey to find healing & advocate for myself

I don’t have a post that is clear and concise detailed oriented to show my then and now. I want to show how a change in diet healed crohns and colitis. So, this post is about THEN! I read about prescription drug and surgery nightmares others have experienced and feel helpless for them. I want more people who suffer from CD and UC to read my blog before they take a path of destruction rather than a path of healing like I was lucky to find.

The mind, body and soul are all connected, if one is out of balance everything is out of balance. By learning how to keep your body balanced you can avoid illness and disease or if you are like me suffering from autoimmune diseases you can heal and maintain balance through living a holistic lifestyle. In the next blog posts you will find ways to heal Crohn’s and Colitis by finding balance with holistic medicine, Ayurveda, paleo diet, biofeedback and homeopathy.

I avoided western medicine and surgery by learning how my body works, how I deal with life, how to read my body and listen to what it is telling me through biofeedback and a homeopathic practitioner. Not one time did I resort to prescription drugs for Crohn’s or Colitis, doctors were not able to help me when I was so severely anemic that I finally found help with homeopathy.

I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia having all 18 trigger points at age 17 in 1989, I was diagnosed with Graves Disease (HYPERthyroid) at age 29 in 2001, I was diagnosed with severe iron deficiency anemia at age 40 in 2012 and finally diagnosed with the underlying issues Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis (autoimmune diseases) at the age 43 in 2015. Although I had been living with CD for decades unknowingly, I look back and understand why I struggled so much.

In 2001 after many years of being extremely sick I decided to do an overhaul of my pantry by eating gluten free to try to eliminate gut issues. Having iron deficiency anemia for 3 years without help from western doctors I was worried, panic feelings came over me many times during the day and I was desperate to figure out what was really going on with my body. I finally found help with a homeopathic practitioner who uses biofeedback. I sensed that I was to the point of slowly loosing my battle and should be in the hospital. My gut was so infected from the use of antibiotics which killed all the good bacteria that my gut didn’t have what it needed to fight against actual foreign objects that infection set in and took over.

I started my healing process in January 2015 with my first visit to a Homeopathic Practitioner as I was desperate at this point because Western Medical Doctors were not helping me in the least.  I walked out of the holistic office with a feeling of hope and understanding of what had happened and was happening to my body. It was such a relief to know that in time I would have my body functioning normally. I am still in the process of regaining my health which is a slow process but with each month I see and feel a positive difference.

Finally, being diagnosis with IBD I was able to change my diet to aid in the healing process. I’ve known for years that food affected me but struggled trying to figure out what I couldn’t eat so that I could feel better but I didn’t have resources or guidance.  If you think about the diseases I have it only makes sense that the foods I eat affect the gut so listening to my body when it comes to what it can and can’t tolerate; to me is the key to wellness. With a combination of biofeedback, holistic medicine and autoimmune paleo diet I am starting to see changes in my health that I never thought were possible.

At the end of 2014 I knew I needed to find a different means of health care outside the typical western medicine before it was too late because I just kept getting more ill as time went on. A coworker had successful results with her son who was very ill when she finally found homeopathy, biofeedback and alternative medicine. I was worried that the biofeedback would change my hyperthyroid to hypothyroid so I put the idea on the back burner for a couple of months. Unfortunately, that was a poor decision only because I was ignorant to the actual purpose of biofeedback and how it works.

Anemia

I had been suffering with iron deficiency anemia for over two and a half years and the havoc it was wreaking on my body was scary to say the least.  At the age of 41 my muscles were wasting, my skin had started shutting down along with my lungs due to insufficient oxygen being transported in my blood. I knew when that third doctor shrugged his shoulders at me at the end of the visit that I needed to take my health into my own hands and that western medicine wasn’t going to be my path back to wellness. I knew I needed to start my healing process immediately because I had no more chances left.

I had been struggling with my health for decades and I was desperate to find help when my weight would fluctuate from 120 pounds to 110 pounds in a couple of weeks and I couldn’t gain it back. I had been extremely exhausted, loosing weight, pale, shortness of breath, cold hands and feet and dizziness. I should have been in the hospital on oxygen and having a blood transfusion but instead they either dismissed me or shrugged their shoulders, handed me yet another requisition the last time was for a 10 vile blood test and said “Keep taking the iron pills.”  Which were obviously not working and my blood levels at that last visit were lower than the first visit with that particular doctor eight months before! At that first visit he informed me that it was “dangerous to be living this kind of lifestyle”, in hindsight I wish I had asked him how he planned on fixing that?

An informative site about vitamins and minerals and how to tell if you have deficiencies

Things have to change in the western medical world so, I am advocating for holistic healing, natural remedies and healthier choices.

Adopting a Holistic Lifestyle

I stated going to a homeopathic practitioner on the 16th of January 2015 for my initial visit when she said “Okay, no more grains not even rice!”, she put me on aerobic oxygen, vitamins with iron fer, silverlining and ph balance. A week later I was back for the results from that first visit. The results of the full body analysis showed I was horribly out of balance, my gut was severely infected along with having Leaky Gut Syndrome so my body was not absorbing anything which was caused by antibiotics that stripped away the good flora in my stomach leaving it vulnerable for infection.  I had no vitamins or minerals in my body, I learned that day that if you don’t have calcium your heart will stop, your heart needs calcium to pump.

In the last three years I’ve learned that to lead a healthy, productive and satisfying life you have to be in balance; mind, body and soul. If any one part of your life is unbalanced others parts will suffer as well. There are teachings on balance in yoga, Ayurveda, aboriginal circle of life (the four directions; north, south, east and west), Pilates, meditation and mindfulness. They all refer to living a life where you listen to your mind, body and soul to have balance for healthful living. My goal is to live a balanced life on my terms, for my life! Now that I have researched and read an exorbitant amount, collecting data to suits my body best I can go forward with confidence that I can manage my diagnoses and have a balanced life.

I believe there is always a better answer, a different option, an informed choice, a possible avoidance and a way around everything. In order to be successful in advocating for yourself when sick and in the healing process you have to know what is going on in your body and understand it! Self-management is the new age medical practice in North America which comes from patients wanting to be a part of the process dealing with their bodies. They are educated, questioning patients who want to take ownership and make the decisions in the healing process.

Homeopathy teaches the patient to listen to what is going on with their bodies and to read the signs and act on them immediately to reduce symptoms and in time heal. Everything takes time, think about how long it took for your body to get to this point, this sick…it will of course take time to heal too.  Nothing is magic, nobody has super powers to heal you immediately and within nature everything evolves in time just like homeopathic medicine takes time! The foods you consume, functional medicine doctor, homeopathic medicine, natural-path medicine and biofeedback to name a few alternative medicine rather than the harsh western medicine ways is the way of the future.

Trying to keep going & propelling forward

I have been suffering with iron deficiency anemia since 2011 my worst bout of it so far but also on and off for the past 18 years. Each time since I was 9 every time I have a flare I am automatically anemic and malnourished. Feeling very desperate at this point due to struggling to walk any short distance without being out of breath, extremely exhausted and the feeling that something was very wrong.

I cannot come to terms with treating or managing the “symptoms” of IBD with prescription drugs, as this only causes more issues, ultimately masking the symptoms but not healing them which is hindering the body even more. In Western medicine, doctors are taught to remove the issue causing the symptoms to fix the body yet that is not always the best decision. In alternative medicine the underlying issue(s) is determined, treated and healed. It’s too bad society is taught that western doctors are the only right answer, the key to health when clearly there are other options. Don’t get me wrong western medical doctors are needed and save lives but there are other options in healing IBD other than removal of bowels, intestines and colons.

It seems to me all the information I have read online about individuals having surgery and relying on ostomy as their working gut is extreme and in most cases unnecessary.  Of course I don’t know the circumstances behind these decisions but none the less I find it such a scary, permanent and preventable procedure. Unfortunate, for some, yet an advantage for others that there are many advancements and information out there in the medical world now for individuals to make a more informed decision, that it makes me feel bad for the ones who didn’t have access to it in the past. No one should suffer or struggle the way we do with autoimmune diseases and I view masking symptoms and surgery to add to the suffering which to me is so unfair and unnecessary.

Homeopathy

In my experience I found healing the natural way with homeopathy and biofeedback, I am so grateful for the information and the path I’m taking so that I can live a healthy life without surgery.  For me knowledge is freedom from surgery, over the counter medication that manages only the symptoms and these diseases constantly wreaking havoc on my body.  I want to share my successes and triumphs with whomever will listen in hopes it will reach others and they can find healing in the same none evasive ways I have for healing IBD. Things have to change in the western medical world so, I am advocating for holistic healing, natural remedies and healthier choices.  Educate yourself and find the best solution for you.

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Feature picture – I lost more than half my hair, some eyebrows and eye lashes. 2015/2016

Love & Peace ~Andrea