Guest Post: I used to have a chronic disease

Category: My Blog, Nutrition Comments: 8 comments Tags: , , , ,

Today’s guest posts comes from another one of my favorite bloggers, Miss Krystina over at Vegan Salt. She tells us her life-changing story about curing a disease through changing her diet to a plant-based one. I hear stories about this all the time and glad she could share with us today.

I used to have a chronic disease. Yes, you read that right. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a relatively mysterious condition, often brought about by prolonged periods of stress or anxiety, and according to medical professionals, once you have it, it lasts forever. In my case, it lasted about five years.

When I was diagnosed with IBS, I had already suffered from crippling abdominal pain for nearly a year. I had a boss who was making my life hell, and I dreaded going to work so much that I often felt physically ill. Some days the pain was so bad that I called in sick.

For months, I tried to self-correct, thinking I was eating too much or too little, eating at the wrong time, or getting food poisoning, or that I’d developed an allergy. But I felt helplessly out of touch with my body. I couldn’t predict which foods would leave me curled up in pain. Plain crackers? Spicy tacos? Ice cream? Everything was a gamble. Flare-ups could last two to five days, and during that time, I couldn’t even distinguish hunger pangs from menstrual cramps. Both were overpowered by a pain the size of a bowling ball in my abdomen.

At one point, I was spending more time miserable than not, and my boyfriend insisted I see a physician. My doctor gave me samples of an experimental IBS drug, but told me that all her IBS patients had responded best to fiber supplements. I started buying chewable fiber tablets, and they did reduce the frequency of my flare-ups, when I remembered to take them regularly.

Several years later, I switched to an entirely plant-based (vegan) diet. To borrow from Isaac Bashevis Singer, I didn’t cut out animal products for my health, I did it for the health of the animals. But the health benefits were as dramatic as they were unexpected. Out of necessity,

I started painstakingly reading labels, but quickly realized that whole foods were the easiest to verify as vegan-friendly. So, rather than memorize lists of animal-derived additives, I cut more and more processed foods from my diet. As I transitioned to whole plant foods, my digestive complications simply faded away.

Plants are incredible things. A diet heavy in vegetables, legumes and whole grains is naturally high in fiber and easier to digest than meat and dairy products. One miserable weekend resulting from an incorrectly made latte was enough to convince me that my body wanted nothing to do with milk ever again.

Regaining the ability to trust my own body was an empowering experience, and something I never would have believed possible. The foods I crave are the foods that make me feel good and are delicious. Food, my body, and I are good friends now. In fact, only certain types of foods (greasy/sugary/processed/starchy) give me any indigestion anymore, and I know them on sight! Even when I do choose to indulge in several vegan cupcakes, I don’t have what I would consider an “IBS episode.” The intense pain I used to think of as inevitable has simply vanished, and since IBS is diagnosed entirely by its symptoms, I am pronouncing myself happily cured.

Have you or someone you know cured digestive or other health issues changing to a plant-based diet?

Comment List

  • Krystina 28 / 09 / 2010 Reply

    Christy, thank you for inviting me to tell my story.  I can only imagine how many people are living happier, healthier lives because of the knowledge you've given them.  I love your personality and your passion for tasty, healthy food, and I'm delighted to add my voice to yours in support of a healthy plant-based diet.  Food truly changed my life.  I can hardly believe I was so miserable for so long, and that all that time, I had the power to heal myself! 

  • Christy Morgan 29 / 09 / 2010 Reply

    Thank you Krystina and thank you for the kind words 🙂 I'm happy to share with others and hopefully make a difference in peoples' lives.

  • Emily 26 / 12 / 2012 Reply

    I hate ibs,I really do.It seems that greasy processed foods and dairy worsen my flare ups.I haven’t tried a vegan diet yet,but I most definately will be now.I hope it works:D

  • Kerrie 17 / 03 / 2014 Reply

    Hello just wanted to give you a quick heads up.
    The text in your article seem to be running off the
    screen in Ie. I’m not sure if this is a formatting issue or something to do with browser compatibility but I figured I’d post
    to let you know. The design look great though! Hope you get the issue fixed soon.

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