My journey with ulcerative colitis (UC) started when I was in my early twenties and cut into my life, separating me from the people and places I used to love.
Before UC I spent the majority of my time hiking, rock climbing, and skiing in the great outdoors. I was an active person, and being active was part of who I was, part of my character and soul. With UC came a segregation of people and places I used to frequent. I could no longer do as I pleased and be safe. Safety now meant being close to bathrooms and quiet areas with locked doors, a sort of sanctuary while I did battle with the disease that raged within me.
Yes, I tried medications, yet they all worked then failed to work. Asacol, Colazal, Prednisone all of them provided only temporary relief from UC. I felt I was in a dangerous downward cycle that was leading me towards death. Having surgery to remove my colon was no longer a scary thought but instead an envisioned paradise where pain was no longer present.
Yet, before I made the all to permanent choice to have my colon removed a dear friend informed me of a diet. A protocol called the Specific Carbohydrate Diet or SCD. I was also told about a book called Breaking The Vicious Cycle and I bought it the next day. This was one of the most important decisions I could have made.
Long story short, here I am today over six years on the SCD diet and I feel I have been given a second chance at a healthy life. The road to recovery was far from easy and my setbacks many, yet the experience I have gained from my healing are priceless. UC no longer dictates my life, and how I choose to live it. I am able to ski into the far reaches of the backcountry, climb on extended climbing trips, and live a normal life with my wife and family all on my terms not on UC terms.
Managing your disease with the SCD is not easy and takes serious commitment and work but in my mind is nothing compared to living with a disease that is out of control. The SCD is not a quick fix or a magic pill or potion, yet with hard work, commitment, and courage you can gain your life back.
Author of Two Steps Forward, One Step Back: A Journey Through Life, Ulcerative Colitis, and the Specific Carbohydrate Diet
BS Physical Education & Health