Joseph’s Story – Ulcerative Colitis
I was diagnosed with the most severe type of Ulcerative Colitis (Pancolitis), which affects the entire length of the colon, when I was 25. I was working for myself as a personal trainer at the time and always considered myself healthy. I had even been a collegiate athlete, playing football for the University of Washington in Seattle. Unfortunately, what I considered healthy at the time was far from what I would later learn truly nourishes our bodies and keeps them disease-free.
I had always suffered from depression, which is another key piece to my story I will circle back to later.
When my first flare-up hit over 5 years ago, I was rushing to the bathroom every hour or two. I assumed it was a stomach bug that would go away eventually. I had never even heard of Ulcerative Colitis before. When it didn’t go away, I called my doctor and scheduled an appointment. He suggested some over the counter medication and sent me on my way.
After I saw no improvement, I went back to my doctor and he suggested I see a specialist; a GI doctor: a gastro-enterologist. I went, was ordered to have a colonoscopy (which only made things much worse) and was diagnosed with UC. I was devastated to learn I had an “incurable” condition which had no known cause.
I was prescribed steroids, immuno-suppressant drugs and told that my diet had absolutely nothing to do with UC. I was told that because of the severity of my condition, I would most likely have to have a colectomy in the future, and then I was given literature on the procedure. I felt scared and hopeless. (A colectomy is a surgical procedure which removes a part or all of the large intestine or colon.)
I didn’t see any positive results from the medication and the bleeding increased. I continued to lose weight until my once strong, athletic body turned skinny and gaunt. I lost dozens of pounds in a matter of months.
I was eventually hospitalized, where I was pumped full of stronger steroids, other drugs, and given a menu that consisted of hamburgers, fried foods and Jell-O. And of course they wanted me to consider having my colon removed.
Always being open-minded to alternative treatments, I started searching for infor-mation while I was in the hospital. I found an entire community of people who were pursuing alternative treatments and having some success. I want to highlight “some success” because it seemed that no one had been able to find a protocol that truly eliminated all of his or her symptoms, only minor improvement.
I checked myself out of the hospital and started working with a Naturopath. Under his program using diet and supplementation, things started to change. I started to see improvements. Frequency of bms decreased, bleeding wasn’t as intense, my weight started to stabilize. Eventually I was feeling so much better I stopped taking the medication and didn’t immediately relapse. I had reached my first “remission.” I went for a full year thinking I had solved the problem, until I had my second flare- up. I was back to square one.
Luckily, through the help of the same Naturopath, I was able to get my second flare-up back under control and remained in remission this time for almost three full years. The program I was following was hit or miss. It was being made up as we were working together – but it did prove to me that diet and supplementation could greatly affect and improve UC symptoms.
Things were great until life sent me an atom bomb. I disagreed with a business decision at my firm and quit my job. I lost my relationship at the same time and decided to move. In the short span of about 30 days I went from being gainfully employed, in a stable, loving relationship, and had a beautiful home, to losing it all. And that’s right, of course a flare-up hit at this time too. I hadn’t been following any type of diet, I had stopped taking all the supplements I had been taking several months prior, and that meant that my UC was just waiting to strike.
However, at this same time, a close friend told me about Russell Mariani. Russell is a Health Educator, Nutrition Counselor and Digestive Wellness expert. He had helped my friend Therese with an autoimmune disorder she had lived with for decades. I never would have even told her I had UC, as it was something I hid from most people. However, learning that she also had an “incurable” autoimmune condition made me feel secure in telling her about my flare and UC diagnosis. She immediately introduced me to Russell, saying “I trust Russell more than any health counselor I have ever worked with. He is an extremely knowledgeable and kind man.”
After my initial consultation with Russell I learned more about health in one hour than I had in my entire life previously. I started his program and saw immediate results. I felt that I had finally found someone who had a protocol that worked. I hired Russell to be my digestive wellness coach and guide and went on his program, taking two steps forward, one step backward at times, until my body went into full remission – after only being on his program for under 8 weeks.
Today I remain medication free, am able to enjoy all foods and drinks in moderation and I have NO symptoms – ZERO. I have one to two properly formed bowel movements a day, without any blood or urgency.
I am so grateful I was introduced to Russell. To think that if I had followed the conventional medical advice, I would have been on heavy medication for the rest of my life, or been forced to undergo a serious life-changing surgery.
I implicitly trust Russell Mariani and believe strongly that his holistic, healing protocol can cure this “incurable” digestive disease.