Does Diet Have Anything to do with IBS?
Brittany, age 30, battled debilitating gastrointestinal issues following the birth of her first son six years ago. Over the past six years Brittany was subjected to numerous blood tests, five colonoscopies, and more medications that most would believe. She sought answers and medical help from most of the gastro specialists in the Lake and McHenry County area. They all gave her the same diagnosis: Undetermined Crohn’s /Ulcerative Colitis.
Surprisingly none of Brittany’s doctors ever discussed diet with her.
“I questioned every doctor if it could be diet related and they all said there was no way something like this could be caused by food. One doctor even told me fresh fruits and veggies were probably making it worse for me because of the fibrous nature of them, so that pointed me even more into the world of junk filled food. I was tired of being put on steroids all the time. At many points over the 5 year span it was for months at a time. For those of you never on steroids for a long period of time, I will tell you that they really affect you immensely. I experienced a lot of weight gain, depression, mood swings, bone density loss (causing a fracture to my foot in March 2012 which needed a screw implant). At one point I tried to refuse steroids and was told if I didn’t my insides would get so bad they would need to remove portions of my intestines/bowels and it could increase my chance of colon cancer,” Brittany said.
The colonoscopies and prescription medications were all that doctors offered Brittany for over 5 years.
She became more and more discouraged and depressed about everything.
“In September of 2012 I heard about Erin’s class through Northbridge Church and my cousins and mom and I all signed up. She started talking about gluten and I emailed Erin a few of my questions and concerns and she suggested trying an elimination diet. At first I wasn’t sure because I had blood work done to test for Celiac disease but figured I had nothing to lose. I stopped all of my medications in October of 2012 (without consent from the doctors) at the same time I started the elimination diet. I figured at this point, the medications were not making me better, they were just a band aid that I would have to wear for the rest of my life, so what did I have to lose?“
Brittany followed the elimination diet faithfully for over 3 weeks and even quit drinking Diet Coke, a 10-can-a-day habit.
“I didn’t eat a speck of anything with gluten for about 25 days and then decided to test it. However I really tested it. I ate piece of pizza and two chicken fingers (breaded and all). That next day I was miserable. I had every symptom I had over the last four years: extreme stomach pain, cramping, bleeding, etc. I knew I found my answer!!”
It has now been four months and Brittany is off all medications and has no symptoms of Crohn’s/Colitis.
“It has been such an amazing experience to learn how to heal my body without pharmaceutical drugs. My journey continues but this hurdle has been crossed off my list. My “disease” no longer weighs me down and I cannot thank Erin enough for all her information and guidance.”
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