IN HER OWN WORDS
When I talked with Pam Popper regarding my gut issues for the first time, I thought I was faring well with my ulcerative colitis. I thought I felt as good as possible given my condition. For nearly 20 years I had accepted stomach cramps, bloating and occasional sprints to the toilet as part of who I was. I learned to breathe through cramps, dress for the bloat and I could tell you where the nearest restroom was in any public venue including the Roman Colosseum (across the street in the train station). I also accepted the fact that once every few years I would wake in the morning and a bit more of my eyesight would be gone. All these symptoms due to the disease diagnosed in my 20s as ulcerative proctitis and then the progression to ulcerative colitis as the years passed.
When I first mentioned something to Pam, I was taking a maintenance medication that I had been on for several years following my last vision loss. I took it to stave off any systemic inflammation and to preserve my remaining eyesight. I had been through all sorts of drugs beginning in my 20s with the sulfas, using suppositories for flares and muscle relaxants for cramps. I had had colonoscopies, MRIs, spinal taps, tons of blood work, flown to see top docs and all with the same outcome: use the maintenance drugs, try to minimize stress and known triggers and hope for the best. I ate fairly well, didn't drink caffeine, had the occasional glass of wine and exercised regularly. So why did I still wake with cramps, deal with the ‘food baby’ and have irregular BMs?
Through Pam and The Wellness Forum I learned could soothe and even cure my inflamed system with just a few changes. She said, ‘You can get rid of this.’ Those were the game-changing words; well, those and, ‘You can never let dairy or gluten pass your lips again.’ I had minimized my direct dairy intake in the past, but never had I been told so bluntly that what I ate had such a profound effect. It wasn't just minimize or try to avoid, it was an absolute. No gluten, no hidden dairy, nothing baked in, melted, sprinkled, etc. It makes perfect sense now. Stop annoying the intestines and they will stop annoying me. While I had always eaten what I thought was a ‘healthy’ diet, I cleaned it up even further to become more plant-centered.
Since that first meeting, I have been careful to stick with the absolutes and my system is functioning amazingly well. No more cramps, no more runs to the nearest bathroom and, best of all, my energy level is through the roof. I find it easy to stick with the plan since I feel so much better as a result. I do not miss greasy cheese, ice cream or the aftermath of indulging. Not worth it at all. Feeling good is an amazing motivator.