“Find a mentor that has had the same illness. Make sure they are positive and will help you through your journey.” – David Gay
Today I would like to share my personal success story, so that I can provide hope to others who have Crohn’s Disease. So if you are sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, I hope my story helps to inspire you!
My journey started with stomach pain which started at the age of 14. I was not officially diagnosed with Crohn’s until my first flare at the age of 21.
As my body deteriorated, I experienced a high fever, rashes, pink eye, bloody diarrhea, stomach pains, vomiting, C. Diff, EBV, HPA axis dysfunction (Adrenal fatigue), food sensitivities and exhaustion. Over the course of 8 months, my weight dropped to 88 pounds! The pain was intense! It felt like someone was pouring battery acid into my intestines. I usually was unable to sleep at night. I would get up the next day feeling like a truck ran over me. My sides would get very sore from the attack and be tender for a day or two.
I was so exhausted I had to leave my job. I could not take care of myself; I had to stay with family and friends when my husband went to work. I couldn’t stand long enough to shower or cook my meals. The longer it took to get the diagnosis, the more friends I lost. They did not understand why I could not spend time with them. I also think family viewed my autoimmune condition as something I would get over, like a cold or the flu. They couldn’t grasp that I would be dealing with this all day, every day for the rest of my life.
It can be very isolating and lonely when you are in pain – at times I just wished it would end. When the doctors were not listening and I was getting worse and worse I seriously was afraid that I was going to die!
All the tests, doctors, and medications were time consuming, exhausting and expensive…and I still had pain and diarrhea! I knew that if I didn’t take control of my health, that one day Crohn’s would kill me. (Or the side effects from the pills would.) I heard about Jordan Rubin and his ability to overcome devastating effects of Crohn’s. I read his book, “The Maker’s Diet.” My journey to health began on January 1, 2005.
Because I had made up my mind and had a plan of action, I felt empowered to make diet and lifestyle changes. My doctors however, had little faith that changing my diet would make a difference. I never imaged when I removed the unhealthy foods from my diet that I would go through such an intense detox. I felt so sick and had such awful withdrawal symptoms that I was shaking and curled up on the couch in the fetal position. The first phase of the diet required a strong mental determination to stick it out. Thankfully, I did not waiver and within one week, I HAD SOLID BOWEL MOVEMENTS! I began to realize the power food has in helping or harming our bodies, and I never looked back. I do not miss the old way of eating or how it made me feel.
After a few years of not having Crohn’s symptoms, I began to experience side effects from the medication. I decided that it was time to discontinue my prescription medication. I felt that a more natural approach was better for my health than synthetic chemicals. Making this decision was difficult because I was led to believe that if I stopped the medication, I would surely have a flare. Even though my doctors did not support my decision, I decided to trust my instinct. Our bodies know what they want and need to mend and rebuild, we just have to stop and listen!
In 2011 I transitioned my diet to the Autoimmune Paleo Diet (AIP) to help autoimmune issues. I was able to control my inflammation and wean off (very slowly) all of my medications. I now take care of my body naturally, with foods, supplements and lifestyle modifications. I’ve even been able to do this under some very stressful life changing situations. All the while keeping inflammation under control, having no diarrhea or fevers! I am now 16 years flare free and 6 years medication free.
For those that are just starting out, I know all these changes can seem overwhelming. Take it one day at a time! Add in one new concept and see how you react to it, whether that would be a new supplement or a new way of eating. I have learned to accomplish my daily tasks according to how I feel and pace myself to preserve my energy for the next day. I’ve had to let go of my perfectionism. I would also say that diet plays a huge role in our digestive health. You also need to look at the whole person. So you need to address your diet, lifestyle, emotions, stress, past trauma, spirituality, relationships, hidden infections, sleep and so much more. Working with a Health Coach may also be helpful for guidance, support, trouble shooting, and wisdom.
I’d also like to point out as I’ve been diagnosed with Crohn’s, an autoimmune condition; this sets me up for contracting other autoimmune conditions. For me this has manifested as Hashimoto’s, an under-active autoimmune thyroid disease. So as my life changes, I need to change my diet as well. Our health is a journey not a destination. We will always be learning, and growing and transforming from surviving to thriving! Living your best life is possible. I guarantee you were put on this earth for a purpose and that purpose was not to be sick!
If you would like to read my full bio, check out the “about” page on my website. >> http://amandagoodwin.biz/about-bio/
If you are ready to feel better again, I’d be happy to help! The pain I went through has helped me to turn that test into a purpose…to help others!
Are you tired, feeling older than your age, bloated, constipated, in pain and embarrassed about your weight? Are you sick and tired of feeling sick and tired? Then set up your free consultation to start your journey to feeling better today! Transformation@AmandaGoodwin.Biz
I look forward to helping you!
Amanda Goodwin ~ Transforming Lives
Holistic Health Coach (IIN)
Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN)
Hashimoto’s Institute Practitioner (HI)
PS. If you’re like I used to be, you have likely been struggling to find the right doctor, the right tests, understand lab ranges, and the best medications for your body. You’ve likely tried a number of diets and strategies that haven’t worked.
I know how frustrating this can be, and how confusing it is to try to make sense of all the conflicting information out there.