My whole life I’ve suffered from gastrointestinal issues. I could seldom enjoy a night out with friends or God forbid go for a run or workout without constantly worrying where the nearest restroom was. Gross, I know.
In 2010, I was ultimately diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis. Oh, you're not sure what UC is? Well, it's only the most exhausting, disgusting and embarrassing life-ruining inflammatory bowel disease. When I was first diagnosed, I was treated with every medication under the sun. I saw 4 different specialists. I had MRIs, X-rays, cat scans and over $1,000 in prescription medications. Time and time again I was told “There is no correlation between your diet and your disease. No need to change what you’re eating, just be sure to take your medications regularly”. In fact, I was referred to a conventional dietitian that recommend I eat white bread and low fiber foods because it was exceptionally hard for my stomach to digest whole grains and vegetables. White bread? Really? This was against everything I had ever believed (or at least what I was hearing on Dr. Oz lol.) But they’re professionals so they must be right, right? Wrong. For 5 long years, I suffered and was on a steady downward spiral.
In 2015, I hit rock bottom- my symptoms had exacerbated and I was in a world of pain. At the time, I was working for a cardiologist who referred me to another gastroenterologist for a now third opinion. I went in for a colonoscopy and was given the ultimate bad news “Your colitis has spread higher up your colon. We’re going to have to put you on high dose prednisone and if that doesn’t work, the next step is to remove your colon”. REMOVE MY COLON? I think not. I knew prednisone was a potent drug with the cruelest of symptoms, but clearly my options were limited. For 6 long weeks I took this hellish medication but continued to search for alternate options. By the grace of God, I was eventually introduced to a Functional Medicine physician who referred me to Kylene.
My consultation with Kylene was unlike anything I had ever experienced. Our first session lasted 90 minutes, not the usual "Wham, bam, thank you mam-20 minutes and out the door with a 1200 calorie meal plan" like every other health care provider I had seen. She took time to understand me, my disease and the symptoms that were taking over my life. She got down to the root cause of my issues and put me on a gluten free, dairy free, whole foods diet. She was the first health care practitioner I had ever met who genuinely understood nutrition as well as autoimmune conditions. While this was the exact opposite of what other dietitians had told me, I figured I would give it a shot. After all, I was running out of options.
Within weeks, yes weeks, I could feel my symptoms disappearing. No more bloating, bleeding, or cramping.. all of them gone. And to top it off, my energy had increased. I was able to get back to yoga and spin and all of the daily activities I was previously abandoning.
Fast forward to today, March 2017. I went in for my routine scope and left in tears. Except this time, they were tears of joy. For the first time in 7 years I received positive news. I was told there was no sign of active disease and only the mildest of inflammation. All from changing my diet? Could this even be possible? Well, I am here to tell you it IS possible. Kylene not only saved my life and my sanity, she saved my colon. For that, I am forever indebted to her. I had no idea the just how powerful food could be, but now I know it is the ultimate medicine.