At the age of four, I was diagnosed with Crohns. It is an autoimmune disease which can affect part, or all of your digestive tract. It holds no prisoners – excruciating stomach pain becomes part of daily life for many Crohns sufferers, not to mention many other more undignified symptoms.
When I was diagnosed, I remember looking at my gastro specialist and asking ‘what does having Crohns mean?’ He looked at me thoughtfully for a long while. ‘It means you’re going to be spending a lot of time in hospital’. He couldn’t have been more accurate.
At the ripe old age of 24, I have undergone six major abdominal operations. I’ve lived with an ileostomy. I’ve been depressed on Steroids, I’ve had my hair fall out with Infliximab. And still the disease rages on – in a horrible gut twisting, crippling way.
However, over the past year, I have taken things into my own hands and undergone a dramatic lifestyle change. After an intense one month liquid diet to help put me in remission (see my Liquid Diet Diary for an account of the experience) in April 2016, I have radicalised my diet by completely eliminating all gluten and dairy and cutting back massively on meat. Processed foods are a thing of the past and I am on the raw train – and a huge learning curve! Having battled through the arduous ‘food reintroduction’ phase post liquid diet, I have a pretty detailed understanding of what my body can and can’t tolerate. It’s truly astonishing how much it’s changed my quality of life.
Post liquid diet, I had no idea my eyes would open so much to the dietary effect on my disease, the books I would start reading and other mind-body methods I could try to help my body heal. I have learnt that there are OTHER things to drugs and surgery that can be done to maximise the body’s healing process – and as I learn, I am sharing with you. Recipes & health updates – find it all here!
By day I am a television and digital journalist. Join me on my Crohn’s foodie journey! Find the form below to contact me – I would love to hear what you think!
Follow me on Twitter & Instagram for further updates.
Tweet tweet: @BryonyEHopkins
For loads more information on Crohns Disease and Colitis, visit Crohns and Colitis UK.A fantastic charity who fund vital research into IBD.