After 3 years of hard work healing my body through holistic approach, I am celebrating this special Colitis diagnosis anniversary, with strength and passion, by joining millions of supporters in the annual Gusty Walk Canada on June 5 in Vancouver, BC Canada. I hope to continue bringing awareness for Inflammatory Bowel Disease to the world and fully embrace what the future brings me whether in sickness or in health.
My decision to take the holistic approach in healing my ulcerative colitis was shadowed by uncertainty. Everyone has to find their way to heal their bodies and it isn't an easy task. As I pushed forward with research and trial and error of my own health, year after year, I would note this IBD awareness event and wonder if I will ever be strong enough to participate. With perseverance, a hopeful and positive attitude, I was able to rebuild the stronger body and mind I have today therefore confirming I had chosen the right path. This year is finally my time to join in on celebrating health, encouraging hope and spreading the word about this diseases that is often shrouded by taboo.
I remember walking out of the hospital, still feeling the effects of the sedatives from the colonoscopy procedure, trying to wrap my brain around what Ulcerative Colitis means. How would my life change from here onward?
Doubtful words from my first GI was meant to discourage me to stray from the conventional pharmaceutical way of managing IBD, but instead they somehow pushed me to follow my instinct in search of a custom protocol that my body resonate with.
During the process, I had to relearned my body's signals because the ones I thought I understood so well have become quiet as I unintentionally ignored them. Longterm caregiver stress had major contribution to my confused and neglected body, I was probably quite sick even before I was diagnosed. Along the way, I had to peel off the many "protective" layers, like a callus, I had build as my coping mechanism in difficult times.
How did I get here? What is the hard work
My recent stability in health seemed to have sneaked up on me. Even two months ago, I was feeling uncertain about my body's unpredictable symptoms as a constant in my day to day life. I call it riding the roller coaster of health. Then slowly I noticed I was having more good days then bad ones. Eventually the good ones would link closer together, I was starting to feel more like a "capable" person.
The following are the main factors that lead me to the latest improvement.
- Satiating my appetite and diminishing cravings with added appropriate amount of healthy fats
- Practicing intermittent fasting 14-19 hours to allow more repair time
- Eating less means easier on my digestion
- Increase my vegetable intake to 4-6 c a day, but cutting down on starchy vegetable in the mean time
- Cutting my fruit intake to mainly berries to 1 c a day, always eaten with some healthy fat
- Maintaining nutritional ketosis to balance blood sugar
- Continue with replenishing magnesium deficiency
- Increasing hydration.
Baby steps - literally, I started extending short 30 mins walks in 5 mins increments until I reached 2 hours of exploring my neighborhood on foot.
Chasing the sun - while I am walking I am getting the Vitamin D I need and hopefully enough for winter storage. My GI also mentioned that some of her patients were able to achieve remission by adding more Vitamin D in their routine.
My family still loose track of what I eat. I don't blame them, I have gone through many different protocols, from Paleo to Specific Carbohydrates Diet ( SCD), Paleo Autoimmune Protocol ( AIP), then eliminating FODMAP on top of that and drawing inspirations from the Wahls Paleo Plus. Currently, my focus, basing on AIP guidelines, is to maintain nutritional ketosis where I can balance my hormones and blood sugar better. I have learned that constantly evolving my healing routine is crucial and although I am unsure what my future will bring, I trust that I will find my way to optimal health with all the drive to learn about this amazing machine we are given, our body. I strongly believe that given the proper support and timing, the body can heal.
What is the plan onward and forward?
IBD is a disease that is often tabooed to discuss because it is linked to the toilet. I hope people will break the silence and learn more about it. Knowledge is power. I am always open to share my experience.
Here I would like to especially Thank my family for all the support they have given me through the ups and downs in the past few years. Even at times when you are confused about my approach, you remain patient and try to follow me on my winding journey. Without your strength I would not have reached the sense of enlightenment in my health.
I am looking forward to enjoying more quality time with my lovely family, reaching out to friends, and getting out of the house more often.
FACT SHEET - Impact of Crohns and Colitis in Canada