Thursday, January 5, 2012

step 4 - doctor, doctor

Because we live in a society that is convenience oriented, we find ourselves looking for quick fixes for just about everything. So here's a hypothetical for you.

If you started experiencing acid reflux, what would you do? Would you:

a. stop and reevaluate your current diet because that's the likely cause of your acid reflux.

b. make an appointment with your doctor so they can prescribe you the "purple pill" you've seen advertised on tv.

c. suck it up and not do nothing because acid reflux is just one of those things that goes along with the aging process.

If you answered b or c, then you would probably fall into the majority category. If you answered a, that would have been your wake up call. And that would have been the best thing that could have happened to you because your next wake up call might not be so pretty; perhaps a diagnosis of cancer? So the next time something is off in your body, don't let your first impulse be to run for the phone to call your doctor. Because that doctor's first impulse is going to be to medicate your symptoms, not to really get to the root of your problem. Trust me, I have been there.

One might think a gastroenterologist would want to talk about your diet and try to fix your digestive issues through an in-depth analysis of everything passing through your lips. Unfortunately, even with the best medical specialists out there, this is not the case. Of course with the celiac disease diagnosis, it was a no-brainer for my doctor to tell me to eliminate gluten from my diet, but for my lymphocytic colitis, she wanted to prescribe me steroids. My initial response was "No thank you, I will try to fix this through my diet." But after a year of trying different diets I became desperate, and reluctantly agreed to try her meds for one month. I was supposed to experience some relief within days of taking the meds, but that never happened for me. After 2 weeks with no positive effects, I decided to stop the medication. Of course my specialist suggested we up the dosage, but by that point I knew medicating myself was not the right answer.  Later I realized my instinct (not to take the meds) had been right.  Note to self, always trust your gut instinct because that is your moment of truth.

So I was back to researching more diets, until I came upon the vegan diet. I had been a vegetarian for many years of my life prior to my digestive issues and had even purchased Juliano Brotman's "Raw" book, which sadly collected dust on my bookshelf. All this time the vegan diet had been staring me in the face, but for some reason I could not see it. After I did a 5 day juice fast, though, something shifted in me and a light bulb went on. I then began my transition over the next 4 months from a vegetarian diet to a vegan diet and firmly believe it was one of the best decisions I ever made.

I have been a vegan now for 6 weeks and feel like a completely new person. I have so much energy and my digestive issues have completely disappeared! Some of my friends have asked, "Do you really have to be so strict; can't you have just a little dairy from time to time?" Well, 3 weeks ago I went to a formal dinner party where dairy was a primary ingredient in many of the dishes. I did not want to offend the hostess by not eating her food, so I decided I would just eat the dairy that evening. Within hours my symptoms were back and it took several days for my system to rebound from that experience. I have vowed never to put myself in that position again.

Please don't just wait for something to malfunction in your body before beginning your journey. If you find that after eating breakfast you are hungry an hour later, this does not mean that you just have an incredibly fast metabolism or that you are a person who needs to eat every 2 hours. What this really means is that your body is starved for REAL food, not processed, chemical-laden animal products. Once you start feeding your body properly, you will be amazed at how little food you actually need to function at a high level.

"The best and most efficient pharmacy is within your own system."

~Robert C. Peale


  1. My sister's doctor refused to entertain the idea that her stomach problems might be caused by diet but she's been so much better since giving up dairy. It's even worse here in the states, there's a pill for everything.

  2. I'm glad your sister is doing better. :)