Food as medicine
"Incurable” was a word I never wanted to hear. I was only 14 when a doctor labeled my depleting health with a perfunctory diagnosis: Crohn’s Disease. I was told that my life would have to change. I was presented with a narrow path to recovery.
Every treatment that silenced symptoms of Crohn’s Disease amplified a new malady. The treatments were just as damaging as the disease. My mom and I spent countless hours on the Internet, reading journals and personal accounts, searching for success stories.
Our research pointed us to a dietician, Ali Miller. Armed with probiotics, supplements and an anti-inflammatory food regimen, she promised the inconceivable: unmedicated remission. Optimistic about my future for the first time in months, I approached my gastroenterologist. Anticipating the same enthusiasm about my potential panacea, I left the office with only an ultimatum: If I deviated from the wisdom of allopathic medicine, he would no longer see me.
They may be unicellular and microscopic, but bacteria rule the world. This summer, I witnessed the tyrannical reign of pathogenic bacteria over the gut. Conducting original research about the proliferation and death of gut bacteria, I came to a surprising conclusion: We can feed and starve sources of disease in our bodies by managing what we eat. Contrary to popular belief, we are not what we eat, but food is medicine.
My petri dishes were a window into the impact our activities have on our health.
I chose this research to show that my success with alternative medicine and Crohn’s Disease was not a medical anomaly; others may attain similar outcomes. After contacting the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation to share my story with autoimmune patients, I realized there was a vacuum in the community.
To fill this void, I formed a nonprofit, Food As Medicine Awareness, to raise awareness of the potential for dietary choices to regenerate our health. I aspire to make a difference by taking my personal experience public, giving people the tools and courage to uproot their disease and find the silver lining, just like I did.
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