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Is Fasting and a Strict Vegan Diet Maybe the Way to Go?

Music Mike fIntro:

I was diagnosed with UC back in 2006 right after I went off high school. I was wondering about decent amounts of blood in my stool that I have had for days and when I was close to fainting due to the lack of strength I was taken to the hospital the same night. That’s more or less where my UC story begins. I admit I have never heard of that condition before and I was completely outraged when the doctors told me I had UC. Back then 70mg of Prednisolone “fixed” the problem and soon I went back to a supposed normal life. To keep a long story short: since then the symptoms returned frequently and the spans of remission got shorter. Doctors always prescribed medications, without any mention of diet: Prednisolone, Mesalazine, Budesonide along with nutritional supplements. The last real remission was three years ago. Since then, I passed some “ok”-states (up to 6 BMs a day). Of course, I also tried SCD, TCM, yoga. Unfortunatel y, without any mentionable success.

Some more:

Besides my PhD studies I had and still have a professional band that has got quite famous in this area (with nearly 200 shows throughout the year, especially during the local carnival or “Mardi Gras”). My situation did not leave me any choice but canceling the PhD studies and focusing on the music – because music is my passion since I was little. Fortunately, most of my band’s shows take place around the city of Cologne so that we don’t have long driving hours – I could not do that if we had. But still, being a professional musician is a real challenge if your gut freaks out and you’re weak as hell. As the frontman, I have to be at 102% every time, because people pay a lot of money to see the show. No excuses. It regularly happens that I immediately go right up the stage after I spent some decent time in the bathroom and go back there right after the show. During the show, my Adrenaline seems to suppress every signal emerging from my guts (Hallelujah! ). Still waiting for the day I shit my pants on stage. Now that would be a fantastic show, right? Besides the “live music business” I work as a music producer and song writer in a studio that fortunately has a small bathroom right next to the control room. That’s a nice job, isn’t it? :)

Symptoms:

Constant bleeding, a lot of mucus going off, no cramps or pain, a little diarrhea (could not say it’s really liquid but still not nearly hard). When I sense I have to go to the bathroom, I VERY urgently have to do so. Sometimes a matter of seconds. I guess some shrubbery in my home town felt lucky about the dung I donated. Besides the things that directly affect my gut, I am feeling weak often times and have pain in the back sometimes, especially on the left side. No joint ache or whatsoever.

Mike’s Story:

When my UC flare started to become really worse a few weeks ago, I took Prednisolone for just a few days but in a fairly high dose (60 mg/day). I did this since my GE told me to in case it gets unbearable. He also said that if I restricted Prednisolone intake to a maximum of four days in a row, my body wouldn’t get used to it and there’d be no need to taper off. Anyways, for the first time in my personal UC history, I noticed that Prednisolone did not really help me get better. This was the moment I totally panicked. I thought “what can help me anymore if not Prednisolone? I will have to get my colon removed!”.

I spent hours reading online and watching videos on YouTube on the topic (as I did a few million times before). Since I could not ever really accept the fact that I would be sick for the rest of my life, I constantly tried to figure out the reason WHY I have this condition. What causes my body to rebel against my very own tissue lining? What is the core of this entire mess? I regularly read a lot of publications on PubMed on UC and Crohn’s. I figured, there’s one thing that most MDs around the world agree about: if you suffer from UC or Crohn’s then your immune system is somehow misdirected towards attacking your own body cells. Although doctors couldn’t, up to the current day, really tell how this condition develops. Inflammation in the body leads to a leaky gut, that too is more or less commonly known, if I get this right. Leaky gut means that proteins from the food that actually should be digested in your GI tract enter the blood stream and cause the im mune system to react. Now here’s what I conclude (just so you know, I am not a medical doctor nor an expert in biology): As a reaction to proteins in the blood, antibodies are built that specifically match these proteins and fight them. Once these antibodies circulate in the system, they are activated each time the body ingests the food that initially triggered it. A vicious circle. That’s why so many people develop food sensitivities and/or allergies during their flare-ups. Also people are incredibly more sensitive to histamine when their gut is inflamed (this is what my doctor also told me). Try it out: do not eat any food high in histamine (like smoked meat, fish, red wine, cheese, you’ll get an entire list on the internet) when your symptoms are bad. You’ll likely notice symptoms to weaken very quickly.

So I stumbled across this one publication (http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/277860.php) that states that a 2 to 4 day fasting period triggered a “reboot” of the immune system of mice with indications that this also works with human bodies. “Broken” cells of the immune system get dumped and replaced by new, fresh ones. Also several documentaries on YouTube tell stories about people who relieved themselves from severe autoimmune diseases by fasting. Now, what happen’s when you fast (and you’re doing it right)? After two to three days your body completely switches into a state that’s called “Ketogenesis”. This means that there’s no glucose left in your blood and your body switches over to burning fat cells instead to get the energy. In this state, our body cells are said to reprogram as to pr otect and heal themselves (refer to the outstanding publications of Valter Longo). When I searched the internet for UC or Crohn’s patients that tried fasting and shared their experiences, I actually could not find much. Is it because it simply does not work or because fasting is so incredibly hard that no one wants to try it out? Or is it because this insight is relatively new and unexplored?

ketogenesis

To cut it “short”: My question now is, since I think all of the above mentioned makes totally sense to me, does anyone of you have already tried fasting for multiple days or even weeks?

And I mean real fasting which means no food at all but only water and tea (plenty of it) so that the body can get into Ketogenesis and heal itself, detoxicate. I’m especially not talking about the kind of fasting where you skip a meal or two a day. I would love to hear your stories.

I am willing to share my experiences here if you’re interested.

I started fasting two days ago, so this is my third day without any food at all. After I thoroughly cleaned my gut with a mild laxative on the first day (Glauber salt), I only drank lots of water and green tea. That’s all. The first two days were really, really hard to handle. I was hungry all the time and hated everyone who ate or cooked something in front of me. I tell you, the urge to eat completely vanishes by the end of the third day. I even don’t feel weak anymore. I guess this is when the Ketogenesis starts to kick in. This time, I want to fast for only seven days as a first test, since there’s a lot of occasions in the upcoming weeks where I am literally obliged to eat and drink something. Difficult enough. If my condition should really improve after these seven days, I will totally fast for like 2 weeks or so in February again.

In addition, I decided to go on a complete vegan diet after the fasting period since I read a handful of patient experiences that claim that veganism “cured” their UC or Crohn’s. I know that the word “cure” is very strong and somehow inappropriate when it comes to UC, but I am willing to try everything to regain a normal life. Anyone on a strict vegan diet here that wants to share her or his experiences? Could not find much.

As you all know, I too think that there’s no such thing as a universal remedy – especially since every person and every organism on this planet is unique. So the things I have mentioned here might help some and don’t work with others. I am not a specialist and I am definitely not in a position to give advice. But if some of you feel like trying to fast and turn to a vegan diet afterwards, I really would like to hear about your progress and results.

If you want to, I can definitely keep you guys up to date on this.

Medications / Alternative Medicine / Diet Techniques Tried So Far…

Prednisolone – Always worked quite well accept the last time I took it (which was about three weeks ago)

Mesalazine – Actually, I could not really figure out whether there’s a difference when taking it or not. One time I took it on such a high dose that I had a renal failure. Make sure you don’t OD on these (I took 8g/day back then). I think that the enemas are more effective than the pills.

Budesonide – It helped when the inflammation was in my Colon Ascendens too (the upper part right after the small intestine). Still, this stuff seems better in terms of side effects than Prednisolone.

SCD – I was so amazed by this completely new perspective on the condition. I went on the diet the very next day I got the book. After a few weeks, I noticed slight improvement. But my UC came back some months later although I followed Gotschall’s instructions very strictly. Turned out my body developed antibodies to certain kinds of meat and fruit. I cancelled the diet about a year later.

TCM – Chinese medicine, especially massages of my stomach and back, gave me some relieve. I also tried acupuncture which seemed to lower symptoms temporarily. But since this appeared to me as fighting the symptoms instead of the core, I did not pursue this any further.

Diet low in histamine – A diet low in histamine really seemed to work for me each time I flared up. Of course, this does not fight the disease itself either, but it always gave me a great deal of relief. I recommend this to anyone suffering a flare-up. Histamine stirs up our (already irritated) immune system.

Imodium – Now that’s great stuff. At least in times when my UC is not thaaaat bad but still there. It helped me through several driving hours without bathroom, etc. I try not to use it unless I feel I have to since I think that my body gets used to it and I soon need more of the stuff in order to gain the same effect.

written by Mike

submitted in the colitis venting area




ketogenesis, Vegan

38 Responses to Is Fasting and a Strict Vegan Diet Maybe the Way to Go?

  1. Rosemary Noe December 12, 2015 at 7:45 am #

    I too follow a hybrid of the SCD and a Ketogenic diet and it has put my body into remission. I am pretty hard core on my SCD not eating any carbs or naturally occurring sugar at all, (no fruit) and very few veggies (which is a product of my UC, my body cannot handle the fiber). Ketogenic eating has truly changed my life and in my opinion has also healed my gut. I do NOT do the several day fasts as I get migraines from low blood sugar and it took my body MONTHS to flip the switch to burning fat instead of carbs for fuel but now that it does I feel so much better and my gut is much happier.

    • Glo December 13, 2015 at 8:40 pm #

      Cleared up!! Woohoo!! Was a rough ride. Diatomaceous earth?!

      It’s been a terrible few months for me but the flu caused a forced semi fast that seemed to slow down the flare. I have had luck with fasting as part of a Chinese medicine natural allergen elimination therapy detox years ago. Helped me feel and adjust for food sensitivities mostly. Still helpful to this day. Diet adjustments along with a tbsp of diatomaceous earth powder chased with water daily and I’m over a long drawn run of lotta no fun!! Let’s hope I can maintain

      I’m not a hundred percent it was this mysterious parasite fighting powder but try it. Better is much better! I recommend better!

    • Ed December 16, 2015 at 2:17 pm #

      Hi,

      Please could I ask what a typical day looks like on your hybrid scd keto diet? I think I may be on a similar diet. I’ve noticed singer improvement giving up grains and potatoes but I’m not well enough to drop the pred yet.

      I fast, but skipping meals and lie calorie days. To concerned about my weight to do full days.

      • Music Mike
        Music Mike December 28, 2015 at 4:54 am #

        Hey Ed!

        I am not exactly on a SCD-like diet at the moment (if your question was addressed towards me in the first place). My diet is strictly vegan, i.e. I don’t ingest animal-based products at all. This namely excludes any dairy, meat, pork, bacon, fish and also things that have “hidden” animal-based products in it like Italian pesto (has parmesan cheese in it), etc.

        Actually, I am also reducing foods that provoke flatulence for the moment. But once my gut is accustomed to the vegan diet, I will definitely include any fresh vegetable I can find. My meals mainly consist of brown (whole-grain) or white rice with steamed vegetables and a tablespoon of linseed oil which has a great omega 3 to omega 6 fatty acid ratio. But I recommend you go easy on the oil because your compomised gut doesn’t like digesting fat at the moment too much.

        Btw: my physician told me to eat a bunch of boiled potatoes along with a tablespoon of linseed or hempseed oil (no worries, it won’t get you “stoned” or high) once a day if I want to go on a fast again some day. This prevents you from feeling extremely fatigue and weak. According to him, this does not interfere significantly with the ongoing ketogenesis but makes fasting a lot more agreeable – especially for those of us dealing with underweight and, in some cases, undernourishment.

        I wish you all the best. Get well soon and share your experiences with us if you like. :)

        Cheers
        Mike

    • Ed December 16, 2015 at 2:24 pm #

      Hi,

      Please could I ask what a typical day looks like on your hybrid scd keto diet? I think I may be on a similar diet. I’ve noticed singer improvement giving up grains and potatoes but I’m not well enough to drop the pred yet.

      I fast, but skipping meals and lie calorie days. To concerned about my weight to do full days. .

    • Sandra December 19, 2015 at 2:27 am #

      What is Ketogenics? I have a severe flare up and pain in my stomach I will talk to my doctor about this? i believe praying n fasting is also a good healing method for your body n soul as well.

      • Music Mike
        Music Mike December 28, 2015 at 5:08 am #

        Hey Sandra!

        In general, ketogenic food is everything that does not contain great deals of (processed) carbohydrates. This particularly holds for all starchy foods like potatoes, pasta, rice, corn, grains and products made of it such as bread, etc. Even worse are foods high in refined sugars (sweets, soda, literally any processed food you’ll find on the shelves in the grocery stores).

        The Specific Carbohydrate Diet notably bases on putting yourself into constant, ongoing ketogenesis by systematically excluding all of the named foods. Basically, this is the same metabolic process that sets in if you fast for longer than 24 hours (approximately after this period the body starts to be in “ketose” metabolism). A rule of thumb is: you can fast as long as you want to as long as you’re feeling well with it. Your body will certainly tell when to stop. Only make sure you drink sufficient amounts of water, tea (without sugar, of course) and start eating very slowly, thoroughly and consciously. At least this is what I learned about fasting so far.

        I wish you all the best.

        Cheers

  2. Katherine December 12, 2015 at 7:46 am #

    Super interested in how you get on as the idea of a reboot has obvious appeal. I tried the 5-2 diet but had really bad abdomen pain for a few days after my 2 off days so I gave up, thinking it was doing more harm than good. Maybe I should persist. It probably gets better. In the meantime I have cut out carbs/sugars, which also seems to really help with food cravings / hunger and sleep (I’ve had insomnia ever since my last flare 1.5 years ago). Good luck and I’m looking forward to reading how you get on.

  3. Kate December 12, 2015 at 7:54 am #

    Hi
    This’ll be a long comment. Short version – elimination diet might work a similar way.
    I wanted to write because this story sounded a little familiar, and your reasoning on ketogenesis may explain my own experience. I have colitis and with similar symptoms that you describe, currently not being controlled very effectively by prednisolone (I’m trying to get on to budesonide but awaiting doctor appointments as I’ve moved and only a specialist can prescribe it here – it has worked in the past in combination with a gluten-free diet).
    Anyway the point is I tried early on to find if there was a dietary cause for my symptoms by doing an elimination diet. The diet was very restricted – I’m already vegetarian and then I had to live for some time off only a few things that presumably no one is ever allergic to. This is followed by adding foods back one at a time and monitoring symptoms. Initially the diet was very restrictive and I lost weight. I couldn’t live off it indefinitely, I would not have managed to keep it up at all, frankly, if it hadn’t immediately and completely cured my symptoms! Adding food back, I found that a few things triggered symptoms and I tested most things twice to be sure. Wheat and barley were a definite cause – the barley test was so horrible I never actually did the second test. After the diet, I stayed gluten free and had no symptoms for months. When the symptoms started coming back (nothing seems to work forever) budesonide got rid of them, then when the prescription ran out the symptoms wouldn’t come back for a few more months.
    I figured the gluten-free diet was low in triggers (I was eating no processed food as wheat is in EVERYTHING, so I was probably missing out a bunch of other additives and things that could act as potential triggers as well) and taking budesonide in response to symptoms was handling any triggers I ate accidentally.
    Anyway if ketogenesis helps, perhaps in the early stage of the diet I was in ketogenesis and that helped the symptoms, as the diet worked faster than I expected it to. I think rapid weight loss indicates ketogenesis as you’re burning fat to live. Perhaps anyone who wanted to try it but couldn’t fast completely could look at an elimination diet or similar to try out your method? It was still very tiring and difficult, but might be easier than fasting completely.
    As for the cause, I was reading this essay http://mosaicscience.com/story/why-do-we-have-allergies and one thing he said is that the immune system recognises cell damage, then learns to attack molecules found in the vicinity of the damage. Which is what I think happened in my case – I had the first flare due to antibiotics, but since I ate wheat a lot, my immune system put two and two together and came up with wheat-is-evil and promptly kicks off again whenever I eat it. Some protein or substance that’s in wheat and barley, not necessarily gluten, but gluten-free is a handy way of avoiding both. This is probably another way restricting your diet during a flare could be helpful – less chance of your immune system picking another food to blacklist.
    Anyway obviously a gluten free vegetarian diet turned out not to be a long term solution for me. I had not heard the histamine thing before, so perhaps I’ll try that next. The fast can wait til after xmas. At least then everyone else will be on their new years diets so they’ll be hungry and cranky too. I’ll blend right in.
    Good luck with the vegan diet!

  4. Nikki December 12, 2015 at 8:25 am #

    Mike,

    Great post, man! I’m in the same position as you, in that there are situations where I am almost obliged to eat, but fasting makes clear and total sense to me. Soon I will have some days off where I could just sleep all day…I might try the fasting then just to see if I can do it. Vegan diet though? That sounds tough. I’m on a very effective drug called Entyvio right now. They have a payment program to help offset the cost. I feel very well at this point, but I don’t trust drugs, and, like most UCers, I have a sneaking suspicion that we don’t need drugs–we need to find the culprit in our bodies that is making us all sick.

    Thanks for sharing this information.

    Nikki

    • Music Mike
      Music Mike December 28, 2015 at 6:01 am #

      Hey Nikki!

      Thanks for the kind words. I figure, in my opinion, you have just the right attitude. :) I am not fond of taking drugs myself. Unfortunately, science could not pinpoint THE culprit creating the mess in our bodies, at least not yet. Until then, I am sure willing to try literally anything to gain more insight on how this disease works and what might have caused it.

      I am pretty sure that a community like this, where everyone who suffers from the disease can share his or her experiences with diet, medications, doctors, etc, is a unbelievably powerful thing and a path leading in the right direction.

      Regarding Entyvio: It’s really nice to hear that this stuff works. Its active agent is called Vedolizumab and relatively new on the market. I’ve read a lot of positive things about it because it does not shut down your immune system on a broad and destructive level, as does cortisone (e.g. prednisolone). Instead it highly selectively blocks just a small familiy of lymphocytes the expression of which is increased in UC patients, if I get this right. Sounds very promising. May I ask how long you’re supposed to take this stuff and how long do you have to take it before there’s an effect?

      All the best to you!

      Cheers

  5. Keek Van Eijk
    Keek December 12, 2015 at 10:34 am #

    Hey mike,

    I like how you take control of your own health and try to figure out a way to heal your gut! You are the best Doctor around for your own body!
    The approach you are choosing is smart it makes sense right resting your colon completely and let the lining of your intestine wall heal.

    I had UC just as bad as you only less Bm’s a day, but the blood loss was horrific!
    I watched some documentaries that you might find interesting: food matters, forks over knives and a different one but very interesting reverse diabetes in 30 days.
    These films made me change my lifestyle and I’m coping just had a year of remission without meds just a healthy diet and supplements.

    I think what might help for you is introducing some herbs and supplements that keep your colon strong!
    – slippery elm bark, marshmallow root, chamomile, turmeric, peppermint leaves.
    This is a powdered substitute that I ordered online but any of those by itself are really helpful.
    – and try some of the standard supplements like l-glutamine, aloe Vera juice, turmeric and black pepper, vitamin E, fish oil,pro biotics
    – enemas are also very good they just helped me out of a flare recently! Colloidal silver and vitamin E enemas!
    Make sure after enemas you fill your gut with good bacteria with a pro biotic supplement or fermented foods I swear by sauerkraut !

    My diet doesn’t include
    -gluten
    -dairy
    -sugar
    -preservatives
    -red meat
    -alcohol
    -coffee
    -soft drinks

    And the crazy thing I love to cook and it doesn’t stop me from doing it veggies and fruits and grains and nuts you have to be creative but I create the most delicious things the whole family loves it!

    I think fasting is good but it’s not curing the disease changing your way of eating and providing your body with the nutrients that are lacking is curing I think!

    Good luck !

  6. Romo Villegbas December 12, 2015 at 1:17 pm #

    Thanks for the information. One question…do any of you who have tried fasting continue to take your medication? If so which ones? Thank-I will start my fasting tomorrow! Might condier a vegan diet too!

  7. Fred S
    Fred December 12, 2015 at 2:30 pm #

    SCD has worked wonders for me. I believe the combination of complex carbs (especially added sugar) along with too much grains, wreaks havoc on our immune system.

    I also know from personal experience that fasting and an all vegetarian diet only provide temporary relief. In order to help heal the gut properly, protein is absolutely necessary. The best way to get that protein is with meat. Vegetables often contain grains and/or fiber, both of which stain the colon if eaten in large enough quantities to get the extra protein our body would need. We need both vegetables and meat. The key is eating ‘low residue’ nutritious food to give the digestive system a break.

    SCD is a good starting point. Then a person needs to adjust it to their tolerances. For example, SCD says apples are legal. I can’t eat them as they aggravate my UC and send me running for the bathroom every time. However, stevia is SCD illegal but it has never bothered me in the least.

    • Music Mike
      Music Mike December 28, 2015 at 6:17 am #

      Hi Fred!

      Good to hear that SCD is the right diet for you. I too think that there’s not one universal diet that cures us all – we would have been all cured by now if there were. :)
      However, I disagree with you saing that the best way to get protein is through meat. Scientific evidence points to the exact opposite: that animal-based protein causes disease. In fact, beans, lentils and many other vegetables all contain high-quality proteins that our bodies can easily digest and transform into any form of human protein.

      My intention is anything but to talk you into a vegetarian or even vegan diet. :) Don’t get me wrong – especially if you’re felling well with your current diet. I just wanted to clarify the commonly misconceived fact that animal-based protein is better than plant-based protein. It’s not and there’s a whole lot of scientific work proving it.

      I have been on the SCD myself some while ago. I figured I didn’t tolerate bananas very well, although they were on the green list of foods. Same thing with tomatoes and some other foods. I think that every gut and every immunse system is different even if our disease shares a common name. I guess we simply can’t go around testing which foods go well and which don’t with our gut. At least, this is my experience.

      If I may ask: how long have you been on the SCD, Fred? I am just curious.

      I wish you all the best.
      Cheers

      • Music Mike
        Music Mike December 28, 2015 at 7:05 am #

        Hey Fred!

        It’s me again. I forgot to include the source I got this information from.

        Everything my statements above base on can be found in a book that’s called “The China Study” by T. Colin Campbell from Cornell University. Its a big, very comprehensive work full of studies that were thoroughly conducted over several decades. Mr. Campbell literally dedicated his life to finding the truth about nutrition and food. Not only is this work extremely convincing in its scientific claims but also compelling and greatly entertaining – even shocking for most of us. Of course, the author includes all scientific references as citations whenever he refers to studies, etc.

        This book is by far the most informative book I have ever read on nutrition and it strongly affected the way I thing about food now. Again: I am in no way associated with the author or the publisher of this book. I am rather someone seeking the truth about why so many people have UC/Crohn’s. I promise this book does not contain what most of you want to hear, but you should give it a try anyway. :)

        I think that everyone on this planet should read this book, especially those who suffer from one or several of the diseases mentioned in it.

        Cheers
        Mike

  8. Ravi S Pandey December 12, 2015 at 6:18 pm #

    I tried fasting because some old articles mentioned that fasting is as effective as cortico steroids in UC. Many researches have proven this to be wrong. However I feel better and have lesser number of motions on days when I fast. I therefore remain fasting during an episode of UC if I have to go out of my house.

    • Jane December 14, 2015 at 2:20 am #

      Hi Ravi, your replies sound very informed, are you a doctor?

  9. Music Mike
    Music Mike December 13, 2015 at 7:55 am #

    Hey there! Sorry for the late update.

    Wow! What a tough week. I water-fasted for entire six days. Unfortunately, I had to cancel the fast for two reasons. Reason number one was that I got pretty weak and heavily underweight (about 68 kg at 1,91 m -> 75.2″) so that my physician advised me to cancel. The other reason was that there are a bunch of social events I have to attend where I am literally obliged to eat and drink, although veganism is widely accepted and supported in Germany, so being strict about the vegan part is not much of a problem. So, what do I conclude from this short fast? Right before I started the fast, every BM was accompanied by cramps and a considerable loss of mucus and blood (I had about 6-8 BMs/day). Although I took a laxative, I had BMs until day 5 of the fast – I would have never expected that. From day 4 on the bleeding suddenly stopped and the amount of mucus significantly reduced. On day 5 and 6 my stomach felt “light” and relaxed for the first time in a very long time. I was not hungry at all anymore. The only thing that really concerned me was the serious lack of strength and a low blood pressure (which is normal, my physician said). I think the problem was that my body did not have enough fat reserves to burn. Besides that I clearly felt that my body started to detoxify right from day 2 on: my skin became somehow unclean, my urine had a strange odor – not to mention the smell of my stool – and my joints started to ache a bit, but only for two days…

    When I started eating after day 6, I began with a really small serving of mashed potatoes without anything else in or on it (even no salt). Two hours later I felt terribly nauseatic with a slight stomach pain. Maybe potatoes wasn’t the best choice? I don’t know. Nevertheless, I had the impression that my guts had calmed down and that the symptoms had significantly improved after the fast. Unfortunately, and I am still biting my ass for it, I made a horrible mistake four days after I restarted eating: I went out with a few friends and had some alcoholic drinks that night. The very next day all of my symptoms suddenly went back. However, I am pretty sure something substantially changed with regard to the symptoms: There’s much less mucus and blood than before and the amount of stool with each BM is more than it used to be before the fast. I don’t know why. I think that a fast is something definitely worth a try because it has a lot of health benefits to the body, does not cost a thing (the exact opposite is the case, actually) and is fairly easy to do (provided that the person is really willing to try this, but hey, a bleeding gut isn’t that much of an alternative). When this month and all social eating and drinking occasions like christmas, new year’s eve, etc. are over, I will definitely try a longer fasting period with very, very soft transition phases and, of course, supervised by my physician. I hope I gain on physical strength by then so that I can safely go on the fast for a longer time. Some sources advise to go on a 30 day fast in order to completely reboot your immune system. I don’t know if that will ever be possible with my skinny body.

    A also wanted to tell you a few more words about why I decided to go on a strict vegan diet because I have the felling I left that one somehow open in my initial post. In the course of my online research, I watched this video on YouTube: https://youtu.be/Hceq5FUpadA
    What makes the video different from all the other thousands of videos about UC and how to “cure” it? This guy obviously did some scientific research and included the links to the respective publications (read the information text below the video to get the URLs). His explanations really make sense to me, at least that much that I am really willing to try a vegan diet for at least six month. If I see real improvements after that period of time, I will stay on that diet, if necessary, for the rest of my life. And besides from the supposed benefits to my health a vegan diet also supports the ethical treatment of animals and the reduction of global climate change. I would never play the missionary that talks people into these kinds of things but maybe this perspective helps some of you guys take the step to go on the diet – if not for the gut, at least, you’re doing something good for the environment. :) Of course, being vegan isn’t just the only thing. For example, normally french fries are vegan. However, I wouldn’t eat french fries all days. I think that a varied diet with a lot of cooked or steamed vegetables, salad, seeds and high quality oils rich in omega-3 fatty acids (the ratio between omega-3 and -6 is important, there’s a lot of scientific publications on this topic) is substantial for our bodies to get their strength back and for our intestines to heal. And for the meat lovers among you: there’s even high quality meat substitutes on the market: http://beyondmeat.com (just to name one – I am in no way associated with that brand, I only intend to give you an idea of what’s possible). Also there’s a lot of resources explaining that vegans are not undernourished in proteins and B12. Vitamin B12 is produced by bacteria that live on soil and grass. Since animals in modern super farms do not eat natural gras (they don’t even see any natural soil), they get B12 shots. Yeah, that’s right, they get injections of vitamin B12. So you can either collect fruits and berries from mother nature and eat them without processing or washing them first in order to get your B12 or you go get supplements from the next drug store which is definitely the same artificial stuff that’s pumped into the animals right before they land on your plate.

    That’s it for today. So, did anyone else try a fast or a vegan diet, yet, or plans to go on it soon? I would love to hear your stories and how it affected your health.

    I wish you guys all the best
    Mike

    Here are some additional remarks that I forgot to mention in my “vita” and the field about medications:

    My girlfriend and I also tried FMT for several months about two years ago. Since there was literally no professional to supervise this in Germany at that time (at least for UC’ers), we had to do this on our own. After initial difficulties to keep the stuff inside, I sensed some real improvement after two weeks. That’s why we decided to continue doing this. Unfortunately, after several weeks, this too ended in a flare-up. We have not done it anymore since then.

    Some stuff that really lowers symptoms and gives me back at least a bit of control is called “Psyllium husks”. I don’t know about the U.S. but you get the stuff in every drug store in Germany withour prescription. It’s just the husks of the seeds of a plant called “Psyllium” which are said to have the same effectiveness than Mesalazine. For me it proved even more effective (since Mesalazine does not really do anything in my gut, I think). One remarkable thing about Psyllium husks is: it binds histamine and therefore reduces histamine levels in the gut drastically. There’s the link again. :) But be cautios: This stuff blows up the volume of your stool since it resorbs moisture in the intesines and swells. Go easy on it at first if you have not tried it before. Did someone try this stuff, too? Is it available in the U.S.?

  10. Virendra pal singh December 13, 2015 at 10:08 am #

    Hi, I am 27 years old freelance web developer. I was diagnosed with UC a month ago. I am still bleeding in BMs. I am taking mesacol 800 these days.
    I have a question. If we fast when our colon is bleeding, won’t it stick the walls of colon together? This may cause severe problems if that happens.
    Thanks.

    • Virender pal singh December 13, 2015 at 10:12 am #

      I forgot to mention that my BMs are not frequent. Average is 3 times a day. Somehow BMs happens at fixed time. 6Am, 7pm and sometimes 1 Am. Is that a good thing? I have a mild pain on roght side but its not something that makes me uneasy.

    • Laura December 19, 2015 at 7:42 am #

      I assure you, that most definitely will not happen.
      Being newly diagnosed is a very confusing and frightening time for most. I can only offer up the advice to not stop your mesacol if you find you are doing better. I made that mistake and things got worse.Three BM’s a day at fixed times is not good or bad, it just is what it is. They generally happen at fixed times because you probably eat at the same times everyday. I wish you all the best!

      • Virender pal singh December 19, 2015 at 8:15 am #

        Thank you Laura. I really really appreciate this website. I am getting a lot of information here.
        Thanks to Mr. Adam.

      • Virender pal singh December 19, 2015 at 12:57 pm #

        Hi Laura and everyone else,
        I want to give it a try. I have decided to just take 2 fluids water and buttermilk. Should I also take vitamins and other minerals. Also is it okay to have mesacol without eating anything?

        Thanks in advance.

  11. Music Mike
    Music Mike December 13, 2015 at 2:45 pm #

    Hey! It’s me one more time. In addition to the discussion on whether a vegan diet is beneficial or not, I searched for publications about IBS and “hydrogen sulfide” (the stuff that guy talks about in his video). Turns out there’s studies that show that hydrogen sulfide damages intestinal cell lining and even the DNA (refer to the studies listed below the video on YouTube). Whereas I just found studies on PubMed that exactly state the opposite (that hydrogen sulfide protects intestinal cell lining and works as an anti-inflammatory agent). Refer to these publications:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25738373

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25747480

    Seriously? What are we to believe now? Who financed which study? And who reviewed which of them? The confusion is perfect.

    Anyways, I will continue being vegan for the next six months just so I know whether it works or not. I’ll report to you guys as soon as there’s anything to report. :)

    Cheers
    Mike

    • Sandra December 19, 2015 at 2:41 am #

      I am not a veggie Dieter, but if it will stop my flare ups I will try it! Do u have some helpful tips on what foods would be good to try, I already know fruits hurt my stomach, and too much fiber contispate me.

      • Music Mike
        Music Mike December 28, 2015 at 6:27 am #

        Hey Sandra!

        It’s the same thing for me: I don’t tolerate fruits very well these days so I don’t include them in my diet. Perticularly acidic fruits (oranges, lemons, etc.) agitate our guts and should be avoided for now. My physician adviced me to try cooked or baked fruits because they can be digested a lot better, as he said. Have you tried this?

        Besides that, I can hardly imagine that too much fiber causes constipation. Actually, the exact opposite should be the case. May I ask which type of fiber you’re eating?

        I figured that cooked rice along with steamed vegetables and very few oil goes surprisingly well. If white rice causes constipation try the brown whole-grain rice. I even eat white beans every now and then without any further complications. I feel like I am on the right path with being vegan. But, as I said, this might not apply for everyone.

        I would love to hear about your results. Get well soon.

        Cheers

  12. Julia December 14, 2015 at 6:41 am #

    Google Professor Tim Noakes, Real Meal Revelution – he is a South African professor and has lots of talks on Youtube about LCHF/ketosis lifestyle. (called banting in SA)
    Lots of his followers do intermittent fasting too.
    My son has UC/Crohn’s and I am trying to get him on this way of eating – tough with him being a teenager though :(

  13. karina December 14, 2015 at 6:14 pm #

    I feel like the one thing I learned is that not one thing will work forever. I am 33 and diagnosed at age 9. I feel like anything you try if it works for you go for it til it doesnt work. With all this talk about diet and medication western medicine or any type of other such as acupuncture. I say the more the merrier and find the perfect mix that works for you. I feel it is really important to note that like mental health not one specific technique works all the time as no one is in the same situation at any point in their life. When you take into consideration hormones, DNA, stress, where you live what you eat , your age etc. Basically, I hope you all find what you are looking for that makes you happy and healthy and advise everyone to have a few back up plans, your doc on speed dial and some good friends. Keep your mental heath well and never give up.

    I find Paleo diet works well, meditation, light exercise, and low dose of meds works. I have a friend who can eat anything and everything even drink slcohol and is okay. Like I said not one thing works for everyone. Good luck everyone. I wish you all the best and happy holidays

  14. liz December 15, 2015 at 9:47 am #

    Really interesting – I hope the fasting helps some people, if for no other reason than letting the intestines rest a bit. The histamine theory is growing in popularity, and I think it explains why the SCD diet causes real trouble for some – apparently bone stocks and fermented foods are high in histamine, as well as a lot of other SCD staples. SCDLifestyle.com has some SCD Food charts with Histamine info (I think they were free, but I can’t remember – I did buy their SCD intro package a while back) for those who are interested. You can also buy an enzyme to help with Histamine digestion, though I haven’t tried it, I think it’s called DAO. I googled it and found this blog post, maybe it will be helpful to someone: http://peelingbacktheonionlayers.com/could-histamine-be-sabotaging-your-digestive-health/

    • Sandra December 19, 2015 at 2:44 am #

      I am not a veggie Dieter, but if it will stop my flare ups I will try it! Do u have some helpful tips on what foods would be good to try, I already know fruits hurt my stomach, and too much fiber contispate me.

  15. Rosemary Noe December 16, 2015 at 2:25 pm #

    My hybrid SCD/keto diet is very simple. I have a Shakeology in the morning with almond butter and KerryGold unsalted butter to bump up the fat. For lunch usually some chicken I pan fry with olive oil and some avocado. For dinner some no sugar uncured bacon and some beef pan fried. I later have some home made yogurt and nuts. I make the yogurt with raw dairy cream I pasturize myself. I use cream to keep the fat content high.

  16. Ed December 16, 2015 at 2:31 pm #

    Very interesting thank you. And vegetables? No fruit? Are you in remission?

  17. Rosemary Noe December 16, 2015 at 2:33 pm #

    I sometimes eat non fibrous veggies like zucchini, squash and green beans but not often. No fruit or sugar of any kind EVER, my body just doesn’t like it. I am vigilant because A) I am in remission B) my sister lost her colon to UC at 30 and C) my mother lost most of her colon to undiagnosed Crohn’s.

  18. Pat December 20, 2015 at 12:22 pm #

    Hi Mike.
    I’m a 45 y/o new male UCer to this site. I was just diagnosed with mild UC this past thursday 12/18/15 right after my colonoscopy. I have done several juice fastings in the past 11 years or so. I was diagnosed with IBS back in 2004. A couple of weeks after learning I had IBS, I went into remission after a 4-day juice fast. I never had any symptoms of colon irritation or inflammation until now. I think that maybe I;ve had UC ever since 2004 and was probably misdiagnosed.
    I blame this new flare-up today due to an extreme change in lifestyle after my divorce, 3 years ago. Being single again in Miami is no easy task (Lol). Eating out, clubbing and drinking 4 to 5 days a week really takes its toll on you in a 3-year period (plus all the psychological stress that comes with the divorce and kids). Anyway, I am definitely going to do a 4 to 7-day fast as soon as I put on some weight that I lost when my symptoms started 2 months ago. I don’t want to take the meds the GI sent me home with.
    I once did a 12-day fast, and this was too long for me. I felt really weak and fatigued. I usually feel renewed after 4 or 5 days of fasing. Make sure you come back easy from the fast. Did you look into juice fasting? If yes, why the water/tea fast and not a juice fast?

    • Music Mike
      Music Mike December 28, 2015 at 6:47 am #

      Hey Pat!

      As a matter of fact, I did look into juice fasting. I decided against it because I a) desperately wanted to make sure my colon really gets the rest it needed and b) wanted to make sure my body is in ketogenesis. Any juice, even the one solely made of vegetables, contains carbohydrates that, as I thought, might interfere with the ketose. My physician told me otherwise though after I did the fast. Actually, I don’t know which one’s better. I presume that juice fasting is somewhat easier to do and also avoids fatigue and heavy states of malnutrition to some degree.

      The most important thing that I recurrently read on fasting is, as you already mentioned, to come back easy after finishing the fast. Reintroducing real food into your diet still is part of the fast.

      My first flare-up ever was, like yours, triggered by unfortunate events regarding my life and relationship with my girlfriend back then. I think I get a clue of what you’re going through right now. As for the mental part of health I recently started reading a book on how to become aware of life, the joy of the moment, and forget about (the illusion of) things that happened in the past of might happen in the future. I know this sounds a bit esoteric but this technique really seems to work. I am trying to implement this new lifestyle as often as possible and I already feel remarkably relieved from the stress that the disease puts upon me simply by putting aside those thoughts about what might happen in the future (regarding my gut). The book I am talking about is called “The power of now” by Eckhart Tolle. Really worth a read. Maybe it helps you dealing with your current situation a bit?

      At least I hope so. I wish you all the best.

  19. missali December 30, 2015 at 10:45 am #

    Hi,

    I am Muslim and we have a month of fasting calles Ramadan.

    Before I was official diagnosed I was suffering from UC symptoms. I stuck to a gluten free diet and then during the month of fasting (no food, water from sunrise to sunset), I soon went into remission. Perfectly formed stools, no pain and back to myself.

    I was diagnosed Decemeber 2014, and have been on lialda since and im in remission but have anxiety as a side effect (hate it)

    I really like your perspective on the the proteins leaking in the blood stream and the body attacking itself. Just a thought, since the internet is so accessible is it possible for all UC people to contribute to research questions etc.. through online forums. Why is research still traditional and not very modern when there are so many diverse arenas to learn from??

    Sorry for the rambling…I wonder if there could be a cure without surgery soon..

  20. UC Family Boy
    UC family boy January 5, 2016 at 1:18 pm #

    Hey Mike and Everyone,

    Some interesting points raised here.

    Firstly, leaky gut. When I had UC but didn’t have the diagnoses to match as my symptoms was minor, I did suffer from rashes ‘randomly’ across my chest. This of cause is an inflammatory response. This of cause is against particles running riot.

    What this does other than create a passage for debris to bacteria to get through is create an imbalance. This imbalance results in a high Proteobacteria count. It is this Proteobacteria that contributes to why we have UC and not another disease.

    Fasting is something that I have been reading about recently, I’ve heard that fasting when the seasons change is best. So that is 4 times a year. This sets up a survival mode to our microbiota which in the long term is helpful. Let’s not forget, it works well for wild bears when they go into hibernation.

    Finally, beyond the work to reset your body, a fecal transplant is worth thinking about. I have started mine yesterday, today was my second transplant. I will report on it once done but happy to answer any questions if anyone has any. The jury is still out, some good and some iff’y signs still there…

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