Quick background on Lauren:
I am a jack of all trades. I am addicted to trying new things and constantly adding new skills to my toolbelt. I enjoy creating textile art, hunting for mushrooms on a hike, solving difficult engineering problems, singing and dancing, and everything in between. There is so much worth experiencing in this crazy life.
Current Colitis Symptoms:
I am currently in the middle of a mild flare. I have pain mostly on my left side, using the restroom about 3-4 times per day. There is some blood in my stool and excess gas.
My name is Lauren and I was diagnosed with moderate – severe left sided, Ulcerative Colitis about 10 years ago. It has been one heck of a journey. Receiving the diagnosis at the start of my college career, I felt overwhelmed and defeated. “Why is this happening to me?” “Isn’t this something I should be dealing with much later in life?” “Am I being punished for something?” Are questions that frequently ran through my head, especially being one of the younger patients sitting in the waiting room to see the gastroenterologist. At this point in my life I was consumed with a demanding engineering program, work, maintaining relationships, and prioritizing my health in some way. I wanted whatever the doctor could offer that would make me “normal” again.
I went on and off mesalamine and sulfasalazine oral and rectal medications for several years, with bouts of steroids to control the really intense flare ups. I had a few wonderful periods of time in remission without the use of any medications, my doctors would always get upset when I stopped taking my meds. I’ve tried every diet in existence it felt like, vegan, vegetarian, high carb, keto, fasting, but nothing ever seemed to work long term.
I heard about the Selective Carb Diet reading Adam’s book and Breaking the Vicious Cycle by Elaine Gottschall was a resource that frequently came up, but I never took the time to delve into this diet. I think I was dieted out, I had already tried all of these other diets that people swear by and they didn’t work, so what would make this experience any different?
In November of 2022 after having a life-threatening flare up, I’ve had close calls before but I really believed this disease was going to take me this time, so I decided to give the SCD elimination diet a fair shot. At this point my body was no longer responding to mesalamine or sulfasalazine (I actually felt worse taking these drugs) and my gastro doctor wanted to progress my treatment to biological injections. This is something I personally wanted to avoid! I have been disciplined and patient advancing through each of the stages of this diet, allowing my body proper time to heal itself. I’m currently not on any medications, finding ways to manage mild flares, and preventing full blown flare ups. I decided to document this journey as a video diary on my YouTube channel, Sangre de Buja (https://www.youtube.com/@BrujadeSangre), to show the raw progress that I’m making and help give others a realistic view of how this diet may also help them.
I believe there are many pieces that need to come together in order to heal from diseases (environment, diet, mental health, stress management, etc.) as opposed to only taking medication and thinking this is the end all be all. My goal is to encourage others to incorporate alternative healing methods, know there are other options available to them, and do their own research because health is so specific to each body. Please join me on my journey (https://www.youtube.com/@BrujadeSangre) experimenting with alternative healing methods, I’ll be sharing everything I’m testing on myself from food to biohacking tricks!
Question to Everyone:
One thing I forgot to include was asking fellow UCers that are currently managing their UC solely with diet, what tips and tricks they have for getting out of a flare?
written by Lauren B
Submitted in the Colitis Venting Area
My name is Lauren. I am a learner and a maverick who is passionate about the medicinal properties of plants and food. I am currently transitioning from the tech industry to the agricultural realm with a mission to provide easy access to healthy food to the underprivileged people in my community.