So you’re interested in following my blog, but don’t want to read allll the old posts. I get that! To help you catch up quickly, here’s a brief summary of the posts so far. I’ll try to keep this more or less up to date. (You may also want to read this explanation of why posts are in past tense.)
Diagnosis & Specific Carbohydrate Diet
- March 2014 – I was diagnosed with ulcerative proctitis, a form of ulcerative colitis (UC). This is an autoimmune disease of unknown cause that strikes the colon. Main symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal pain, and fatigue.
- Spring 2014 – Doctors gave me several different meds, none of which really worked. These included suppositories and rectal foam (that’s right!), along with mesalamine pills that target the colon. Meanwhile, doctors assured me that diet would not do much for me.
- June 2014 – I went on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD), a paleo-style diet designed to heal the gut. It helped a lot but did not bring on full remission, and gave me strange symptoms like metallic taste, sudden ravenousness, and energy crashes.
- July 2014 – I decided to stay on the SCD but also try prednisone, a steroid with major side effects. The drug helped for a few days, then my symptoms worsened because I had “cheated” very slightly on my SCD diet. This proved that diet did indeed have major effects on my gut! I soon tapered off the prednisone, which is a short-term drug.
Macrobiotics & the Big Move
- In August 2014, feeling I had run out of good med options, I decided to try macrobiotics, a vegan diet with Japanese origins. The diet almost immediately helped.
- Also in August 2014, my husband Ron and I moved from Wisconsin to Portland, Oregon, my hometown.
- In November 2014, I finally connected with a GI doctor in Portland, who prescribed me Apriso–another form of mesalamine my previous doctors hadn’t tried. When Thanksgiving food led to an exacerbation of my symptoms, I went onto a strict macrobiotic diet, Apriso, and more rectal foam.
- In November or December 2014 also began eating sauerkraut, after getting a test result saying I had low gut bacteria diversity. Within a few days, I began craving it even though I didn’t even like its taste–my gut bacteria might be sending me a message.
- By January 2015, my symptoms were better than ever in the past year. Macrobiotics, meds, and sauerkraut were working wonders. I had most of my energy back and only a couple loose stools a day.