Testimonial written by: Kate Lawrence
I spent twenty-three years trying to wrestle my autoimmune disease into submission. The paleo diet finally helped me to conquer it.
When I was seven years old I was admitted into the hospital for a week with crippling stomach pains and other symptoms that I luckily have very little memory of. At age nine I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis (UC). My disease went away then, for a few years, only to come roaring back when I was14. After that, the years developed a pattern. My UC would get very bad at one point during the year, I mean so bad that I would lose up to twenty pounds and struggle to leave the house due to the diarrhea and exhaustion. I would spend months taking various medications to get it under control, I’d experience good health for a couple of months, and then the cycle would begin again.
I was sixteen when a doctor first tried to convince me to have my colon surgically removed. “It’s inevitable” he said. Or maybe he didn’t say exactly that, but that’s the impression I got. “Better to do it now, while you’re relatively healthy than when you have an emergency bowel perforation.” I was sixteen. I was in love with at least four of the boys in my high school. I was not willing to consider an adolescent dating life with a colostomy bag.
Over the years I tried basically every medication ever prescribed for UC. I tried the medication that made my liver function abnormal, the one that affected my kidneys, the inevitable masses of steroids that cause fun things like “moon face.” I had an allergic reaction to a biological agent that made my joints so sore I couldn’t move or talk. I had an allergic reaction to a drug that caused me to vomit like I had food poisoning. Around the time I turned twenty-nine, it seemed as though I was running out of options.
My husband kept telling me that he thought that the “paleo diet” might help me and bought me Robb’s book, “The Paleo Solution.” I was skeptical, I had had access to excellent medical care since the age of seven and not once had any of my medical providers ever mentioned that diet or lifestyle could affect my UC. I figured that I would read the book and put it in the same category as the lady who once told me she cured her Crohn’s Disease by only eating foods that were a certain temperature. I was wrong.
Before reading “The Paleo Diet Solution” I didn’t think that foods had an adverse effect on me, because when I was in remission I could eat anything without a typical allergic reaction. Robb’s explanation of how inflammation and leaky gut influence disease made sense to me. I adopted the paleo diet two and a half years ago and it completely changed my life. I’m still on medications, but my UC is entirely different. On most days I don’t even think about it and I have perfect health. The two times that it has flared up it has been minor and brought into control within days. It’s amazing. I’m so grateful for this new lease on life that I don’t spend time thinking about the years spent in doctor’s offices searching for an answer that was right in my kitchen. Thank you. Robb, for giving me my life back.