My story with Ulcerative Colitis can be summarized with a few acronyms; first UP to UC to No C! (UP for Ulcerative Proctitis, UC for Ulcerative Colitis)
In 2013, my mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer. She was a widow so my wife and I took her into our home to care for her. This experience caused a lot of stress and anxiety in my life. Unfortunately on All Saints Day of that year she passed away. Early in 2014 I started experiencing irregular bowel movements. So I had colonoscopy and I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Proctitis. Since the disease was not really explained to me (I was contacted by phone to go over my colonoscopy results) I never started treatment for it.
Then in January of 2015, I started to notice some blood with my bowel movements. This was right after the birth of my daughter which was our fourth child. At the time we had four children under the age of seven so once again things where stressful around the house. In June of 2015, I went back to the gastro-enterologist and she prescribed a rectal medicine. She said that I probably would not have any other problems.
However, in November 2015, my UP started to flare which was characterized by irregular movements and terrible unbearable rectal pain. However, I did not experience any blood and mucus. When this flare started I scoured the internet for some type of solution. I found the SCD diet (Specific Carbohydrate Diet)and began to follow this diet. The diet was extremely difficult for me to follow. It seemed like I was not able to eat anything on this diet.
However I pushed on and did start to notice some improvement. Following the diet was very difficult and not really practical with a wife and four children. However, I pushed on for three long months. During this time I continued to research and began to realize that no one was ever able to stop following this diet. After some discussion I knew that I could not continue to follow this diet for the rest of my life, so I stopped.
After stopping the SCD diet my symptoms returned and I began seeing a new doctor. This doctor did another colonoscopy and confirmed the diagnosis of UP. He stated that I had a very mild case of it and stated that I should take the medicine for a year or two and then I would probably be ok to stop. The medicine seemed to help but I never really experienced symptom-free days.
I was having 3-5 movements on most days and very bad gas. However, during this time I began to realize that symptoms responded to diet modification and avoiding alcohol. But I enjoyed eating and drinking so I would go through phases of following a clean diet and not following a clean diet.
Then in the spring of 2017, I started to experience more rectal pain and started having terrible belching and gas. Over time the bowel movements began to deteriorate.
During this time I ran across Russell’s book and website. For one week during the spring I strictly followed Russell’s diet and water cure recommendations. Over that week my symptoms vastly improved.
However, I do not always have the greatest will power and I started to eat poorly again and the symptoms returned. I also began to notice that sometimes if I ate really poorly I could feel totally normal for about 2 days and then things would return a little worse than before. This started to lead me to believe that diet matters and there was some type of microbial cause to my symptoms.
In June of 2017 I went on vacation and ate and drank like a typical American on vacation. On the drive home from vacation I had a very explosive BM with a lot of blood. Over the next few weeks my bm’s drastically increased to around 10-15 bloody movements a day. So I was back to the doctor for another colonoscopy.
This time they found that my Ulcerative Proctitis had now become very severe Ulcerative Pan Colitis. My entire colon was severely inflamed.
I was very distraught with this progression of my disease but the doctor (who did the scope but was not my regular doctor) said that I should be happy because Ulcerative Colitis is curable if we cut out the colon.
So my doctor said that I needed to try the highest dose of Lialda and 40 milligrams of Prednisone. But they said that I would definitely need to start biologics. I dutifully followed doctor’s orders. Over the next week things continued to get worse.
Each day was a monumental struggle to make it through. I barely left the house and was only sleeping for a few hours at a time during the night. I would have to make many trips to the bathroom throughout the night. I think over that week I watched Ken Burns 9 part mini-series on the Civil War three times during those nights.
I was miserable and unable to see how I was going to move on with my life. After this I reached out to Russell for his help. (prior to this I had only read his book and implemented a few of his suggestions on my own)
But I also let the doctor know how bad I was feeling. He told me that I needed to come to the hospital and get on a stronger dose of steroids. Also, he said given my level of inflammation I need to get blood work for taking biologics. That really scared me since one of the many side effects of the biologics was cancer.
On the same day the doctor wanted me to go to the hospital for more steroids, I had my Initial Consultation with Russell. Russell kindly encouraged me not to go to the hospital and to start following his program. I had already purchased the IF#2 and he started me on taking that amazing product. (IF#2 is a blend of specialized herbs)
Working with Russell was one of the best decisions I have ever made!
As soon as I started the IF#2 I began to to see and feel things improving in my body. After 5 days of integrating all of the supplements I started to have normal formed regular bowel movements. After about two weeks they were perfect. The supplements seemed to work perfectly together and each week I started to feel better and better.
I began to notice and feel how the body started to remove things it did not like and repair things that it needed to. At the beginning Russell and I spoke weekly on the phone and had daily communication through email. He always seemed to have the right answer to correct and explain the symptoms and problems I was experiencing.
The movements seemed to improve right away however I still had problems with gas, belching, and pain along the tract of the colon. Russell explained that healing would not happen overnight but it would eventually occur.
It took more time to see improvement in these areas. However, every month I would reflect back on how I felt the previous month and I could always say that I was better than I was the month before.
After about three months Russell had me do the Kidney and Liver Cleanses. After these cleanses I started to notice my body making more progress. After about four months of strictly following the diet, Russell gave me the go ahead to start introducing phase two foods.
At Thanksgiving which was about 5 months in I was able to enjoy everything except foods containing gluten. Since that time I continue to take the supplements and avoid a few troublesome foods that I do not respond to very well yet. Other than these few minor foods I am able to eat anything I desire as long as I don’t overdo it.
Early today, (Wednesday, April 25th) I went in for a follow-up colonoscopy. The results showed no signs of inflammation or colitis. The doctor who told me in August, 2017 that there was “no way” I would be able to attain remission without the use of biological drugs, told me that I was “a very rare case.” He said that “no one with your level of inflammation is able to achieve remission;” however, the results showed otherwise.
“Your colonoscopy results indicate no inflammation and no presence of any active disease at all. Congratulations.”
And my feeling today is that my situation should not be that rare, not when the root causes are known and can be effectively addressed as my experience shows. Russell has the complete program to address the root causes. If you suffer from one of these digestive diseases I strongly suggest working with Russell.
Matt (age 39) Pennsylvania April, 2018