Cristina Rose

Condition: Crohn's Disease

Diagnosed Year: 2010

Foods I Love:

Eggplant
Sweet Potatoes
Broccoli
Eggs
Salmon
Bone Broth
Parmesan Cheese

Foods I Avoid:

Wheat
Artificial Sweeteners
Coffee
Leafy Greens

My Story

When I was 19, I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. I was told to take a daily cocktail of anti-depressants (my doctor believed stress made the disease worse) and other medicines to help combat the disease. I went from being a normal teenager, to taking 20 pills a day. The funny thing is although I was constantly fatigued and a scary weight of 85 pounds, I felt fine. I continued to live my usual college lifestyle of eating whatever I wanted and living off of a combination of junk food, energy drinks, and coffee. After all, didn’t I need to gain weight? But the years took a toll on me and every year I felt worse.

Certain foods made me so sick I couldn’t even go to work. I wasn’t able to keep up with my friends, and sometimes slept for over 12 hours if nobody woke me up. I couldn’t enjoy my life or figure out what was making me feel so bad. By now I had stopped taking pills and had graduated to a black label drug that you inject into your body and had to be hospitalized on more than one occasion. I even had a section of my intestine removed. Everything seemed to help temporarily, but why was I getting worse?

I finally decided to look at my disease in a more positive light. Crohn’s disease did not have to be a burden, it could be a blessing in disguise. I was diagnosed with a condition that was forcing me to be as healthy as possible so I can maintain a normal level of energy and live a full life. While others could eat whatever they want without consequences, I had a body that communicated to me and let me know immediately if it wasn’t happy with how I was treating it. For the first time, I decided to listen to my body and give it what it wanted. I began eating as naturally as I could, and focused on foods with anti-inflammatory effects. The funny thing is, I suddenly felt better! After an entire year, I decided to go to the doctor that I used to visit every month. He checked my blood and was shocked to see that for the first time since I became his patient, I had zero inflammation in my body. After further testing he told me that my Crohn’s was in complete remission, and looked just like any normal healthy intestine.

I know that food alone is not a cure, and my Crohn’s can come back at any time, but I do believe that my new diet gave my immune system the boost it needed. If there is any advice I could give to those going through a similar situation, it would be to do your research, and listen to your body. It may just be telling you what it needs to heal.

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