Five Steps to Beat Crohn’s Disease
- You Can’t Cure Crohn’s Disease- Unfortunately, Crohn’s disease is an incurable, chronic condition which means it really can’t be “beat”. However, you can manage your Crohn’s disease and put it into remission- remission is a state with little to no symptoms and it’s almost like being cured. If anyone tries to sell you a magical supplement, holistic treatment plan, special diet plan, etc., that will cure your Crohn’s disease you should run the other way! There are substances and supplements that can help alleviate symptoms and help your body heal, but they can’t cure I’ll write another post about my experiences with different supplements like Redmond’s Clay, Chinese healing oil, and etc.
- Manage Stress- Stress is a huge exacerbator of Crohn’s disease symptoms, and it’s one of the hardest things to manage. When you start having a flare up it’s all too easy to start worrying about missing school and work. On top of that, you can start to worry about paying for your medical bills. The stress of worrying about all of these things can worsen your symptoms and make it harder to recover. You can even be in remission and extreme stress can trigger a flare up! Finding strategies to manage your stress is crucial to beating Crohn’s Disease!
- Eat Healthy- When your body is dealing with Crohn’s disease it’s imperative that your body has the proper nutrition so that you can start to heal. It’s common to be anemic and malnourished when going through a Crohn’s disease flare-up which makes it even harder for you to start to get healthy again. Each person’s body reacts differently to different foods so it’s important to track what you eat and how your body reacts. It’s common for people with Crohn’s disease to generally have adverse side effects to raw vegetables, nuts, popcorn, etc.
- Get Exercise and Plenty of Rest- Getting exercise while experiencing a flare up is one of the hardest things—your body is exhausted, you have literally zero energy, and you are weaker than ever. However, simple exercise can help stimulate healing and help you recover faster, but be extra careful not to overdo it! Too much exercise while in flare up can exacerbate your flare-up. While it’s important to get exercise, it’s just as important to get plenty of rest! Your body can only start to heal when you are have plenty of rest. Many experts recommending getting at least 8-10 hours of sleep when you have a flare up.
- Follow Your Treatment Plan- It’s more than likely that your doctor will prescribe medications to help you manage your Crohn’s Disease. I can’t stress how important it is to follow the treatment plan your doctor recommends! If you have any concerns about your medications or dosage, talk to your doctor about it! Most of the time there are answers to your concerns if you just talk to your doctor about it. Never skip doses, or take more medication than prescribed without first talking with your doctor. Don’t forget your GI doctor has at least 14 years of schooling and experience—most of the time they know what they are doing!
Follow these 5 steps and hopefully before you know it you’ll find yourself in remission!
Look, no one likes to focus on negative things, especially when it has to do with failure. Here’s the harsh reality of life–we all fail! Sooner or later it’s going to happen! Everyone fails at some point in their life, but how they react to failure tends to define who are they are.
Whether you fail trying out for sports, asking out your crush, or even for work, failing is nothing to be embarrassed and quit over. Look at Michael Jordan, who was cut from his sophomore, and then went on to be one of, if not the greatest NBA player in history. Okay, so what that’s an example regarding sports. What about real-life? Heard of Steve Jobs? He was fired from his own company after having a disagreement with the board about plans for future growth. I’m pretty sure some of you right now are reading this from an Apple device.
What sets apart amazing people like Michael Jordan and Steve Jobs was how they responded to failure. Instead of being too humiliated to try again, they learned what they did wrong and came back stronger than ever! Every last one of us can learn from our mistakes and failures and become better people!
If you fail, don’t give up. Keep pushing and trying and learn from your mistakes so you don’t make them again. You are smarter and better than you realize.
Moving Forward–Reflecting on life with Crohn’s for eight years.
The devastation, shock, and confusion of being told you have an incurable, potentially life-threatening disease is hard to describe. It’s easy to feel as the world you once knew has collapsed around you. Multiply that feeling by 3x or 4x for each time you are diagnosed with another chronic disease and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and powerless.
It’s been eight years since my initial diagnoses with Crohn’s Disease and Arthritis. Unfortunately, I had symptoms for many years before I was diagnosed, which lead to extensive damage to my digestive tract and body. Left untreated the disease in my body created a toxic-megacolon, a severe complication of IBD which causes the intestines to rapidly expand, while I was away on vacation. I had to be rescued by the Coast Guard off of a cruise ship, and spend three weeks in the Miami Children’s Hospital before being stable enough to fly home and spend three months recovering at Primary Children’s Hospital before being released. (More on this story in another blog post coming soon J)
During this time my life changed forever—I lost an extreme amount of weight, I developed severe avascular necrosis in my ankles due to heavy steroid usage, but more importantly I learned the road to remission is an ever-going battle and that positivity can make all of the difference in the world. Leaving the hospital, I looked and felt less than ideal, but I knew things could get better—and things did get better!
Severe weight loss due to IBD
Finally healthy enough to leave the hospital!
It’s been eight long years, but I’m so grateful to say that I live an almost ‘normal’ (no one has a normal life) life now. I’ve achieved remission in both Crohn’s Disease and Arthritis with the help of my amazing doctors and nurses. I’m able to work and contribute to society, I can travel wherever I want to, I can try new foods, and most important of all I can enjoy life.
I’m not saying it’s easy to live with chronic disease, but it is definitely worth it to keep a positive attitude and outlook on life. I know there will be some days where everything will just seem to go wrong. However, just keep on pushing and staying positive and hopefully before you know it, things will start improving slowly but surely.
It’s hard to believe how much your body can change in just a couple of years. Looking back it seems impossible that my body could be in the condition it is today. Don’t get discouraged in your fight against chronic disease. Keep believing and stay optimistic—you might be surprised by just how much it can really help! I hope everyone can keep moving forward in their fight against chronic disease and live as healthy and happy as possible!