I’m a painting/drawing major from the California College of Arts and Crafts who also does some photography. I grew up as a child of the military and lived overseas in Belgium during my teens. When I came back to states at 16 I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and had to take insulin. I was glad to find it was manageable and painless. After I graduated high school in California I decided to pursue art. After my second year in Art school I was diagnosed with UC. I started making paintings about the problems in my life including my two health issues and then paintings of my problems being resolved, to encourage the chances of the solutions actually taking place. This became my thesis for my painting show at school last year. At the same time I never stopped learning about nutrition and herbs. I hope to then pursue an MA in nutrition after I receive my bachelors in fine art.
I use the restroom 5-8 times a day with occasional anemia
In the beginning of the second semester of my Sophomore year (January 09) at the art school, I spent two weeks in the hospital, being on a liquid diet the first week. I was diagnosed with UC and was on prednisone for two years, then finally got switched to Remicade afterwards. The first year the pred worked and I didn’t have to alter my diet. The second year I thought I was going to die and almost dropped out of school.
The highlight of my second year with UC was I went to an art show and met a lady who told me her daughter has UC and she went on a gluten free diet, which reduced her symptoms. The gluten free diet at first sounded really extreme and I refused to believe it was the central cause of my health issues. It was around this time I discovered ihaveuc.com where I would watch all Adam’s videos. This actually helped me get started with the gluten, wheat free diet (thanks Adam!) I was able to to replace gluten/wheat/rice etc. with potatoes and corn tortillas while eating more meat, fruits, and vegetables. I also drank a lot cranberry juice (still do) and ate diary foods with good probiotics in them. This was step 1 and had cut my symptoms in half enough to where I was able to continue school!
The summer after that I was finally put on remicade I visited my best friend and my aunt in Colorado for a month. Unfortunately I was low on insulin during my last week in Colorado. I researched herbs that can help me maintain blood sugar. I found American Ginseng, Fenugreek tea, and Dandelion root tea to be the most promising, however it helped my UC more than my diabetes, by preventing my flare ups from becoming too severe. This was step 2, Herbalism.
Not long afterwards I picked up a Herbalism book at my art school library.
I discovered He Shou Wu also known as FO-TI. It was the only herb in the entire book that claimed evidence of correcting auto-immune diseases, but famous in China for preventing/reversing gray hair. At the same time I found that Psyllium herb clears the colon by turning into a mucus consistancy when combined with water. I was very skeptical of these two herbs and didn’t give them a try until my insurance shut down temperarily beginning of this summer (2012). This meant no remicade.
This leads to Step 3: trust in the plants, the natural treatments of nature. I’ve been taking 2-3 he shou wu capsules every morning from dragonherbs.com, and 2-3 psyllium husk caps before bed while on the gluten free diet, drinking gynostemma or fenugreek tea whenever, plenty of cranberry juice or grapefruit juice, and 2 turmeric capsules anytime if I feel I need an extra boost. (Turmeric is 1# arthritis treatment, and the most anti-inflammatory herb known) That is my natural treatment and haven’t had remicade in 4 months. This treatment also allows me to have 1 moderate gluten/wheat serving few times a week.
Don’t underestimate the power of nutrition and herbalism.
Where I’d like to be in 1 year:
Studying nutrition to help diabetics and people with any form of IBD, while still making art.
As I’ve mentioned:
cranberry, and/or white grapefruit, or aloe vera
(cranberry juice and almond butter prevents anemia)
vanilla coconut milk
to invest in your health
no flare ups ever!
5-8 bowel movements with no pain or anxiety
written by Angelica
submitted in the colitis venting area