As humans, most of us don’t like to be told “Do this or else!” (I think it’s pretty obvious why.)
I can’t even begin to count the number of times I was told the only answer to managing my Celiac disease symptoms was medication and the gluten free diet… or else I’d continue to feel worse and worse.
But I fully believe if I would have listened to the ultimatums of multiple doctors, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
And neither would Dawn, who I’m really excited to introduce to you.
Through the recounting of her journey, Dawn shows us the importance of being our own health advocate and believing in the body’s natural ability to heal.
Deep down, she knew medication and surgery wasn’t the only route for her Ulcerative Colitis diagnosis that had her glued to the toilet 15 times a day.
Instead, she took it upon herself to attack the root of the issue.
After intensely searching online, she found the SCD diet and felt like a new person within just 17 days of starting.
If your back’s against the wall and you’ve been told there are no other options, please read Dawn’s story below.
The Bloating Was So Bad, People Asked Me What My Due Date Was
Prior to feeling sick, I had always been a healthy eater. I have never been a person who gets more than the common cold or flu once in awhile.
And I was fit. Not the work out kind of fit, just the “Mom that works from sun up to sundown” kind of fit.
In March of 2014, my family and I came back from a really great holiday on Maui. I started a brand new job ten minutes from home, but two weeks later I started feeling unwell.
I was having diarrhea a few times a day and I was bloated. Now, when I say bloated, I don’t mean just a ttle bit. When I entered into the walk-in clinic, the nurse asked me when I was due. I was so big, she thought I was 8 months pregnant!
I Was Losing a Cup of Blood and Using the Bathroom 15+ Times Per Day
The next month was a series of questions, tests and more questions from several doctors.
First, at the walk-in clinic, I was told to take some Gas-X and they sent me for x-rays and a stool sample.
Then, when they contaminated the stool sample they thought they would just do an ultrasound. After the ultrasound, they did a barium enema with x-rays. And I started to bleed.
My back end became totally uncontrollable. They decided to schedule me for a colonoscopy but the soonest was the end of August. I knew I wasn’t going to make it until then. I asked to be put on a cancellation list.
I still looked pregnant and had to find clothes to hide my new found “bundle of joy” and I was probably losing about a cup of blood a day and using the bathroom at least 18 times a day.
I didn’t sleep, I was scared to eat and I thought that I was doing everything I could trying to make it to the glorious day of my colonoscopy.
I continued to work. My new employer was very understanding and the bathroom in my office was 5 steps away.
I Felt Like I Was Going to Die, So Off to the Emergency Room We Went
Five months later, in August of 2014, I had my husband take me to the emergency room at the hospital.
I was done.
My heart felt like it was quitting, my limbs were swelling and my joints hurt so bad I could hardly move.
My body was shutting down.
My potassium had cratered and they wanted to do a transfusion my blood was so low. Normal CRP levels (that’s what they use as a guideline to measure inflammation in your body) are anywhere from 1 to 3 points. I was 282!
I was a mess!
That whole week, I was in and out of the emergency at the hospital until they finally sent me to another hospital for the long-awaited colonoscopy!
Finally, I Received a Diagnosis
And the diagnosis was Severe Ulcerative Colitis-Autoimmune Disease. I had IV’s in both arms, as they tried to control my body that was attacking itself. I spent two weeks in the hospital and then they sent me home.
I had decisions to make.
They sent me home on 40 units of prednisone and Asacol 6 pills per day. They said I couldn’t stay on the prednisone, so if it didn’t work my choices were Remicade (which shuts down your immune system) or surgery to remove my colon.
(I didn’t like either of those choices and stuck my head in the sand instead.)
The medication didn’t help and I was losing hope. I struggled for the next year, on and off the prednisone, eating a low fiber diet as advised and never really getting better.
I became a hermit that only went to work and then home or had to plan my grocery shopping around who had the closest washrooms. I was emotional and angry and my husband, bless his soul, didn’t leave me!
After My Second Relapse, I Was Told Surgery Was My Only Option
In August 2015, I had started bleeding so bad again and I knew I was in trouble. Back to the emergency I went. My doctor was away, they wouldn’t just give me a prescription and send me home.
I had THE MOST demoralizing day at the hospital that I swore I would never end up there again. Their solution was to tell me once more that I should have my colon removed.
I Found SCD Lifestyle and Began To Follow the Simple Guidelines
That night, I did even more research online when I found Jordan and Steve’s website. Here now was something totally opposite of everything my doctor had advised. I KNEW I could make this work!
Jordan and Steve’s simple guidelines and meal plans were exactly what saved me. Their information was so easy to follow, I could prepare my meals ahead of time and still make “regular” food for my family.
I kept a journal. Everything that entered my mouth, from food to supplements, went in that journal. My weight, how I felt… everything!
After Just 17 Days of Making the Diet My Own, I Felt Like a New Person
After the first 17 days, I lost 14 lbs of inflammation weight (I was at 162 lbs from all pills and the way they had advised me to eat). I had energy and was going to the bathroom only 6 to 7 times a day.
I was determined to keep going!
It’s true when they say that you have to “peak and tweak” to find what’s right for you. You have to understand that each person’s condition is a bit different. My insides were like ground hamburger and had no chance of having any kid of absorption. The way Jordan and Steve said to prepare my food was actually helping my body get the nutrients it needed!
I tried the supplements and was making homemade yogurt. I couldn’t tolerate them. It made me worse. I needed to HEAL more before I could introduce these things.
I didn’t give up! I kept going!
Customization and Determination Are Everything
My advice to everyone that might get a chance to read my story is this: DON’T QUIT!
I started the SCD diet in August of 2015 and by May 2016 I was in remission! Now that’s exciting!
I am not totally healed inside, that is going to take more time and patience but I DO have control of it. I am careful with what I eat, and if I ever feel like I’m losing control, I go back to the basics – from the beginning of Jordan and Steve’s SCD diet plan.
Don’t Suffer in Silence, There Are Options
Please don’t suffer in silence. Talk to your support people, like your husband, family or close friends. You need them now!
And don’t let anyone tell you that it can’t be done! There are going to be set backs. Some days it might seem as if nothing is working, but put some trust back into yourself and keep going! I have my life back! Don’t Quit!
Below Is a Short List of My Daily Supplement Routine:
- Digest Gold digestive enzymes – one per meal
- Probiotic 11 – Nature’s Sunshine brand – 2 with first meal of the day
- VSL#3 probiotic – one packet at last meal of the day (This has been a wonderful product.)
- Multi-vitamin and iron supplement
Note: These are the supplements and doses that Dawn has found helpful on her own journey. Each person is different and we encourage you to find what works for you. Some of our recommendations can be found here.
I honestly cannot say enough wonderful things about this diet or about the approach that these two young men have taken to help others to overcome this and other dreaded diseases.
THANK YOU, from the top to the bottom of my colon!
“Don’t suffer in silence” is a powerful piece of advice.
I wouldn’t have overcome my health issues without the support of family, friends and a strong community..
And you shouldn’t have to either.
Dawn, myself, and so many others have made (and are making) the choice to take control and you can too.
In good health,