Today is World IBD Day and I’m finally braving it to share my story and raise IBD awareness.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) affects over 10 million people worldwide and includes Crohn’s Disease (CD) and Ulcerative Colitis. They are both chronic diseases in the gastro-intestinal tract. CD can attack the whole tract and UC only inflames the large intestine and bowel. Bloating, pain, cramping, bleeding, diarrhoea, constipation, urgency to defecate, painful swollen joints, night sweats, nausea, weight loss, kidney, liver, eye damage and anxiety are a few of the symptoms. The cause is unknown but research points towards a combination of genetics, the environment and an overreaction of the immune system.
I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis 8 years ago. “ You have an incurable disease and have to be on medication for the rest of your life, as the risk of bowel cancer and the possibility of having a colostomy bag is high.” This shook me. Surely there was more to this than taking meds orally and rectally for the rest of my life.
This is when I turned to a holistic approach to health and haven’t looked back since studying and becoming a Chinese medicine and acupuncture practitioner. And my golden cure really has been receiving acupuncture and self-treating too (like the pic). Thanks to acupuncture (and an altered lifestyle and diet) I only get a flare up of symptoms from time to time but nothing like the symptoms I used to. And if it wasn’t for a turn of ill health, I’d still be living the fast and furious lifestyle until my body eventually said oi and crumbled. UC has made me who I am today. I have learnt courage, empathy and determination, become an advocate for holistic health, a nerd for all things Chinese medicine and acupuncture and an expert in sh*t.
Here’s to anyone who has dealt with this invisible, incurable disease: IV infusions, endless cameras up your butt, puffy faced meds, fecal transplants, anti-inflammatory diets, near constant doctors appts, long call queues with insurance companies, endless embarrassment, yet still brave attempts to battle on. Shout out to all the IBD patients, practitioners and supporters, you raise our collective consciousness and inspire us to keep fighting.
If you suffer from any digestive issues and would like to learn how Chinese Medicine can help you, please feel free to contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org