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Managing a UC Flare Up – Lucy’s Program

Intro:

I’m a 43 year old hispanic woman. I am married and have 3 children ages 20, 15 & 13. I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis 4 years ago. Frustrated with doctors I went on my own to figure things out.  As a result I began to study nutrition and I’m currently working as a health coach.

Some more about Lucy:

I was a former pre-school teacher. I love cooking, refinishing furniture, reading about health and wellness, spending time at the beach and I dream of owning my own organic farm. I also enjoy yoga and meditation.

Symptoms:

I currently have very low energy, diarrhea with some blood & mucus. I have pain in my shoulders and legs. I also have off and on migraines. I’m having difficulty with solid foods so I’m sticking to juices and smoothies.

Lucy’s Story:

I’m glad I found all of you because UC can make me feel like the loneliest person on the planet. I was diagnosed 4 years ago after experiencing what I thought was food poisoning until the appearance of blood in my diarrhea alerted that something had gone really wrong.

I was prescribed 2 medications but I don’t remember what they were. I was on them for a week but they made me feel worse. They gave me severe migraines and didn’t take care of the diarrhea. I decided to do my own research and found the connection between diet and UC.

Although the doctors felt my diet had nothing to do with my UC, this made no sense to me so I decided to deal with it myself. About 2 months after diagnoses, I met and hired a health coach and together we figured out what changes in my diet needed to be made. I immediately cut out dairy and within the 1st week I was feeling a lot better. My diet consisted of 4 vegetable juices a day with small amounts of solid foods here and there. I began taking probiotics and kefir and by the second week the diarrhea was gone but my energy was low. I noticed that grain upset my system so I cut those out as well and soon my energy began to improve. By week 4, I felt as if I had never had UC. After 1 year I began to add small amounts of dairy and grain. I was perfectly fine for 3 yrs. Last November I went away to a yoga retreat where they served a vegetarian diet. Although a vegetarian diet can be very healthy, for me the added fiber was hard on my system and after 3 weeks I knew I was heading toward a flare-up. Before I knew it I had chronic diarrhea, bloating, cramping, nausea. I was having between 30-35 bowel movements daily and I wanted to die. I had no energy, my entire body hurt, and I could not leave my house. I gave up all that I had given up three years before hoping to have the same great results but I only saw some relief. Up until a month ago, I had off and on diarrhea & bloating. In addition to veggie juices, probiotics, no dairy, no grain (except for quinoa), over cooked veggies, I have added bone broth, L-glutamine, minerals and fermented foods and I’m finally feeling great again.

Aside from the pain and discomfort, having UC can make one feel very lonely and afraid to go any where. If your experience has been like mine, even using a public bathroom is embarrassing with the loud gas and horrible smells. Those around me really don’t understand just how horrible it can be. The positive thing that came out of having UC is that because I had such a great experience using a health coach I went to school and became one myself. Still, a flareup can and has made me doubt my abilities to be a successful health coach but I know that I can help others while I help myself. I only wish doctors would do the research and learn about alternative treatments that might help their clients with less or no meds. I’m proof that, as difficult as it may be, you can treat UC with proper diet and no meds. I wish us all the strength to keep going each time a flareup shows its ugly little face.

RAW probiotics
Blue Bonnet L-glutamine 500mg (3xday)
– Daily juice: 4 carrots, 2 celery stalks, a cup of raw cabbage, 1/2 apple, kale ( 3x daily)
-NO processed foods, NO fried foods, little or no dairy, grain, beans
– Organic, grass-fed plain yogurt and/or Kefir 2x daily
Body Ecology Minerals(check out their site)
-Daily meditation

Lucy’s Suggestions for Colitis Flare Ups:

What I suggest at first signs of a flareup is: stop all dairy, and grains.

If you gave a juicer, juice carrots, kale, celery, and cabbage. Have a glass of juice every few hours and drink water. If you don’t have a juicer, buy one. If you can handle fiber, you can make smoothies. I keep them very simple maybe some frozen peaches and either spinach or kale. Have a few of these daily. I do this for about 3 days then I begin taking probiotics either as a supplement,yogurt or kefir…sometimes I take all 3.

Assume your not absorbing nutrients well so begin taking trace minerals preferably in liquid form. This will keep your energy up.

Get an organic whole chicken and make a broth. I use one whole organic chicken, 5 carrots, 4 stalks of celery, an onion, a few cloves of garlic, and either parsley or cilantro. Cover with water and boil for 3 -4 hours. You can also get beef bones and do the same. I love this.

Also take vitamin D & vitamin A. These will help you absorb other nutrients plus since you’ll probably be inside more, vitamin D will make up for the lack of sun shine.

At about the second week, I begin taking L-glutamine to start healing the tissue in my intestine.
Stress management is crucial. I suggest if you are new to meditation or even if your not, visit youtube and type in guided mediation for pain. You will have lots to choose from. Practice daily.

written by Lucy R

submitted in the colitis venting area




4 Responses to Managing a UC Flare Up – Lucy’s Program

  1. Adam
    Adam March 30, 2015 at 12:23 am #

    Good luck in the coming weeks Lucy with getting your UC under control. If you are still looking to tweek your diet program while symptoms are active, i’d try cutting out the smoothies and going with the chicken broth/soup for a full day or two to start, getting rid of nearly all carbs.

    Best of luck again and thanks for sharing:)

    • C. Miller March 31, 2015 at 11:05 am #

      I agree about the smoothies…too concentrated with too much sugar. Ellaine Gottschall’s book SCD diet ‘Stop the Vicious Cycle” will really help. I find even fruit has too much sugar for me. Carrots are very sweet. If I make a smoothie I will bleed.

      I really miss something sweet but can not seem to tolerate any fruit or honey for now.

      We need all the support we can find…thank you.

  2. Kristin T
    Kristin March 31, 2015 at 4:42 am #

    Wow Lucy! You are an impressive woman. I admire your take charge attitude in all areas of your health and can’t imagine that you will not come out on top. I have taken a similar path with my health and have experienced excellent results. I’m thinking about going back to school for health and wellness as well. Would you mind sharing as to whether you attended a traditional college setting or if you found an online program to attain your certification as a health coach?
    Thank you for an inspiring post,
    Kristin

    • Lucy April 1, 2015 at 11:29 am #

      Hi Kristen,

      I studied nutrition online at Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I enjoyed the program but I would recommend it if you’re looking to become a health coach. At IIN, we don’t cover the molecular structure of food, so if you are interested in going to that depth a traditional school may be more appropriate. Still, I have loved IIN and have learned a lot and enjoy the work I do.

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