She's in Remission!!!
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Last December my daughter’s labs showed inflammation and I was discouraged.
About a year ago, we found out all of Lucia’s food allergies and food intolerances and we cut them out and her inflammation went down (100 on the stool calprotectin), way down, but not quite remission levels. As the main caregiver for her, I felt like the way I handled her care AFTER seeing the positive results back-fired on me.
1. We reintroduced foods too quickly without a plan.
2. I was inconsistent with her supplements (routine is hard for me).
Plus a million more reasons to blame myself, but….I choose to take the information as data and not to blame myself.
Fast forward to today.
After the December results, I told her GI we were going to go back on her really strict diet (no gluten, dairy, egg, soy, avocado, tomato, turkey, raspberries, citrus fruits, oats, almonds and hazelnuts) and I was going to be diligent. It helped for me to view this diet as a long-term thing versus a few months and then back to “normal” eating habits. Our normal is still no gluten, dairy or egg (due to mine, Lucia’s and my husbands food allergies).
So it was time for her most recent labs, March (every 3 months is our routine).
It was my birthday dinner and my family went out of their way to buy bread we could eat, unfortunately the label wasn’t read throughly by any of us, and Lucia ate some bread with egg in it. I knew from our last doctor visit that she didn’t need an epipen for her, her allergy isn’t that severe, but we watched her like a hawk. She didn’t have any visible symptoms.
2 days later we did her bloodwork, and the labs (sedimentation rate and platelets) both came back sky high! The highest we have EVER seen her levels. The doc e-mailed me right away and requested that I get the stool sample in asap, so we can manage her active disease flare-up appropriately. When I saw this, I broke down into tears.
We had worked so hard for so many months, can we really have thrown it all away from eating half a piece of bread with egg in it? If this plan doesn’t work, what is next?
And honestly my greatest fear was that the doctor was going to STRONGLY URGE us to put Lucia on western medicine, which we so far have been able to avoid, and there is nothing wrong with western medicine, but we have a more holistic approach and there is no evidence that any of the meds they have “cure” ulcerative colitis, it is simply managing symptoms, and I believe there is a root cause to every issue.
I am NOT saying I don’t believe in medicine.
We finally got that stool sample turned in, about 10 days after the "egg incident” and it takes a week to process stool calprotectin labs, so I was just stuck in an anxious holding pattern.
We got those stool lab results back yesterday and they came back NORMAL, like a person who doesn’t have ulcerative colitis at all. Less than 15.6, which 3 months ago her levels were 300. I was incredibly excited, but also cautiously skeptical that I was misunderstanding the results, so I e-mailed her doctor and asked if I was understanding them correctly. She said yes and to keep doing what I’m doing.
This was the biggest confirmation for me! Validation of our efforts, our treatment plan, our beliefs about the role of food in healing and just overall an incredible win for our family!!
A few other things we changed that may have contributed to our healing so quickly this time around…
I was convicted a while ago to try to eliminate plastic from our kitchen and jump on the zero waste band-wagon. Which you may ask how is that connected….but I found an article linking plastic to ulcerative colitis. I really do believe if we have tons of plastic in our bodies it CAN NOT be good for us, which science has shown most people have plastic floating around in our bodies.
I started buying organic produce (almost exclusively) and buying it unpackaged, LOOSE and putting it in my own cloth produce bags.
3. I also started buying the highest quality meat from the butcher counter at our local health food store. Hormone free, humanely raised, organic, grass-fed are just a few of the things I am looking for. This is also a core principal of the AIP diet, which makes sense to me. The higher quality the meats, the more nutrient dense they are.
4. We switched to using the VSL #3 in the packets, which the company brands specifically for ulcerative colitis and has 450 billion CFU vs the 112.5 billion CFU in the individual pills. We had been giving her 2 pills daily opened up and stirred into applesauce, which would be about 324 billion CFU, so switching to 1 packet a day significantly upped her live cultures from her probiotics.
Those four things were things I changed since her last labs. I don’t know specifically which items contributed to her radical remission, but I believe in the connectedness of our bodies and the food we use to fuel it.