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Overcoming Crohn’s Disease: Heather’s Health Story

Here’s a Health Story from a Ditch The Wheat reader.  Each week a reader shares their story in hopes that it will inspire you!  Today Heather is sharing how she overcame her Crohn’s Disease.  If you have a health story and would like to share it with the Ditch The Wheat community please contact me at ditchthewheat @ gmail.com.  Thank you for reading!

Hello there! My name is Heather Holland. I am a twenty-something happily married first-time mommy, with number two on the way. I am here to share with you the story of how I found healing through diet.
Before Crohn’s Disease – 18 yrs old

Once upon a time, I was just a normal, healthy, teenage girl. Fairly active, and highly energetic, I never really had many health problems. But that changed for me in 2008. Coincidentally, my health just so happened to start spiraling downwards around the same time I became engaged to marry my sweetheart. I remember taking multiple bathroom breaks throughout the day, the stomach pain and diarrhea growing more frequent and noticeable. Everyone told me that it was just due to stress from planning a wedding.

My Wedding Day – Nov 22, 2008

By the time of my wedding, I had become very weak, pale, and malnourished. Of course I knew that something wasn’t quite right, but I kept telling myself what everyone else was – that it was just stress. I spent a lot of time in the bathroom of our honeymoon suite, completely embarrassed. The week that I returned to work from our honeymoon, I had bowel movements three times as often as I ate. I spent more time in the restroom at work than I did actually working….and I lost my job. As a matter of fact, when I went to the restroom at work for the last time, I vomited blood. That was when I told my boss I was leaving, and he called me as I was on my way to the hospital to tell me I was fired. How nice.

I had a colonoscopy and upper GI done, and in December of 2008 I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. The doctor sat me down and told me to my face that I would be sick and on medication for the rest of my life. Forever. Can you imagine how hard that would be for a 19 year old girl who JUST got married? I was devastated. Being naive and ignorant, I listened to my doctor, allowed him to pump me full of steroids and immune suppressants, and consequently, I became SICKER.

I spent the next couple of years being told that “diet has nothing to do with it” and making my way down the list of medications from Pentasa, to Remicade, to Imuran. I started searching the internet for “natural cures for Crohn’s Disease” and tried my share of herbal remedies and drinking solutions, each of them leaving me disappointed and discouraged. When I became pregnant with my daughter in 2011, I went into remission. I thought I was better, and continued to eat crappy processed foods, oblivious to what I was doing to my body. My daughter was born in October 2011, and just a few months afterwards, I became hospitalized once again. Because baby gets everything first, and mommy gets the leftovers….I didn’t have enough nutrients left over for myself. My discharge weight was less than my weight before pregnancy. My gastroenterologist wanted to put me on Humira. I did my research to learn that Humira is injected into your stomach, and that the side effects include Lupus, Tuberculosis, and DEATH. That’s where I drew the line.
After Starting the Specific Carbohydrate Diet

I searched more vigorously for anything close to a natural cure. And that was when I stumbled upon a video on YouTube about the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. I read the book Breaking the Vicious Cycle by Elaine Gotscholl from cover to cover. I was completely empowered by the knowledge I gained of what is happening inside of my own body. I made changes immediately, and in turn, felt immediate relief. I started to get my color back, I had energy and strength that I hadn’t had in years! I felt healthy. I felt GOOD. Searching for recipes that were “SCD legal” was a little difficult, but it led me to other recipes that were called “paleo”. I had never heard of Paleo before, but the ingredients were very similar to those on the SCD, so I looked into it. I loved what I saw. It just made so much sense to me, and the amount of recipes I could find were incredible compared to SCD.

Candid after Paleo and with a Paleo Pie!

I did have to re-learn my way around the kitchen, but I grew to love cooking (and eating) even more than I had before. I decided that I had to do something to help other people in the world who were struggling like I was to find answers. So in 2013, I started a blog called Mrs Paleo Mommy. Through Mrs Paleo Mommy I am able to share my recipes and stories, and reach out to others. I believe that everything happens for a reason, and I know that God has allowed me to go through this time of pain so that I may help others find healing. I am truly blessed to have found the opportunity to do just that. If you are struggling with an Auto-immune disease, or know anyone that is, please come and visit me at www.mrspaleomommy.com. I would love to help in any way that I possibly can. And don’t forget to follow me on Facebook!

Enjoy,

Heather

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