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After medications failed to treat my autoimmune disease, I turned to nutrition to address my symptoms naturally. I want to empower your health with the same steps I used to heal with food.

Reader Interactions

44 Comments

  1. I’m in my healing process, too, and I absolutely love your blog. I bought your Quit Acne book and I’m so happy!

    This is unrelated to this post, but I wanted to ask you about the blunt snip cutting technique.

    I’ve just decided to try it for the first time after months of hesitating. I’ve first learnt about this method thanks to your blog and have been wanting to try it but I wasn’t brave enough. When I was like 15 I used to cut my fringe and the results were always a complete disaster… (Not that I stopped after the first time… I kept going and going back… don’t know what I was thinking. Probably not thinking at all!)
    Now I just bought a pair of hair scissors and I’m ready to take the leap (as soon as it’s time according to the Lunar Chart).

    Do you use a strand (blunt cut) as a reference for others? I’ve watched the video of Anthony Morroco performing the cut but it is not that clear to me. I also hesitate about how much to cut since it seems (in the video) that he and she are not always cutting the same length). Thank you!

    Also, I would really love a video of you blunt snip cutting your hair 😀 just saying’

    Hugs from Barcelona!

    Gina

  2. Hi Lauren!

    I was wondering if you could help direct me to a site or blogger with tips on what to eat when one has had ones large intestine removed?

    My partner had surgery at the age of 18 (just like you would have if you hadn’t found your way of healing, is that typical for the progression of ulcerative colitis?) and is, since then, highly restricted in what he can and can’t eat. Partly due to the fact that he simply can’t digest certain foods but I also think that he is afraid to try bc of his symptoms in the past.
    While I understand that fear, I would like for him to have a more varied and nutrion-dense diet.

  3. Thank you so much for sharing the truth Lauren. Many, including myself know what to do but are not committing fully. It gets frustrating and lonely, so thank you for reminding me that we are on the right track and not alone.

  4. Do you have any information/recommendations for lowering blood pressure, besides conventional practices with numerous pharmaceuticals? It seems to be such an issue with so many people.

  5. Great post Lauren! So many lessons to be learned from this. I never had a situation as severe as yours, but always had digestive issues, anxiety and severe cystic acne, despite my relatively clean vegetarian diet. It wasn’t until I completely cut out grains and dairy, and most refined sugar, that I saw my acne subside (that was what bothered me the most.). Then several months later I realized that my anxiety was almost gone, and I had no more digestive issues. Too bad it took me until my 40’s to figure it out!!! Now I feel amazing and love sharing my love of healthy food and a healthy lifestyle!

  6. Thank you so much for sharing your story so honestly Lauren. While my situation is not as sever as yours, I had a false start on my healing journey too, rejecting/only partially embracing the dietary restrictions to heal my autoimmune issues. 3 years later, I went to an acupuncturist and healer and she set me straight- no cheating, get that these things out of your diet in order to heal. 3 years down that path and I am so much healthier! Wishing you peace as you continue your journey.

  7. Hello. I have rosacea due to h.pylori bacteria. I am bacteria free now but I was taking antibiotics for 6 months as a result I developed rosacea. I follow a gluten, dairy ,grain, egg free diet. No make up.
    Do you have any advice to cure my rosacea. Doctors said there is no cure. But I want to believe that there is one. Sorry about my writing. Espanish is my first language.

  8. I could relate to what you said that we have to take charge and be responsible for our own health. We live in a society where we want a quick fix (prescriptions) instead of putting in the time and energy it takes to improve our nutrition. I was 59 years old and had so many diverticulitis attacks with massive antibiotics over a ten year period that the doctors wanted to take out part of my colon. That sounded like a slippery slope to me so I went to a nutritional practitioner who diagnosed me with gluten intolerance. The first thing I noticed after being off gluten was that my chronic severe rosacea cleared up. Since being off gluten, I am now approaching three years without a diverticulitis attack.. I’ve changed how I look at food. Instead of focusing on the main course (meat), I make sure I have fresh greens as well as cooked vegetables in the refrigerator at all times. Sometimes I have half a head of cauliflower with coconut oil over it for breakfast.. I have lost weight not from dieting but just by cleaning up my diet.

  9. Just so people know, there is life after having your large intestine’s removed. Of course it was our last choice and my daughter, now 9, had hers removed at age 7 after severely battling 2 years with ulcerative colitis. We changed her diet to strict SCD (Specific Carbohydrate Diet) for 6 weeks +, and then Paleo, saw a naturopath for over a year and took lots of supplements, along with the ever increasing meds from traditional docs. I will say all that did help somewhat, as evidenced by the before and after colonoscopies, however, none of it was enough to even get in remission without steroids. She had a colonoscopy bag for 6 months, and after having created a J-Pouch, she looks and acts like normal again. No bag, no meds, no flares. She’s still gluten free, although I don’t know that she absolutely needs to be, and overall, our whole family eats healthier, mostly Paleo. Be careful not to present that option as scary, because for some people (especially severely ill children), it may be inevitable, necessary, and the best choice.

  10. You are dead on with this post! For any of us who have suffered with autoimmune, or any chronic disease for that matter, there is always a journey and path that we must follow. It reminds me very much of the stages of grief…mourning the loss of cookies and ice cream, getting angry about being “different”, and eventually acceptance. I meet so many people who say they want to make changes, but until they fully commit, it will never happen. Sadly, most of us have to hit rock bottom before we recognize that dietary and lifestyle changes are not the end of the world. I absolutely love what you said about perspective! Thank you for sharing your beautiful story.

  11. Thank you so much for this! I have had my UC diagnosis for five years and I needed to read your story. Immediately after my diagnosis I fully committed to SCD and had amazing results. I stayed on it for a year aND maintained remission until after the birth of my son four years later. I had the worst stress of my life at work, being a sleep deprived new mom, and norovirus and I haven’t felt the same since (it’s been a year). I was just recently diagnosed with SIBO (most likely post-norovirus related) and I really needed to read/hear the need to fully commit (again). When you become a parent your perspective on life changes and the reality that I have UC has been hitting me hard. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

  12. I REALLY needed to read this as this is almost my exact same story! I was diagnosed with Celiac’s in May of last year. By November of that same year I was diagnosed with a rare eye disease called birdshot chorioretinopathy. At that point it was my third autoimmune disease. And the only option I was given was some pretty nasty medications. So I came home and started researching and found the autoimmune Paelo diet. I am scoffed at by almost every medical professional and others on FB with my same disease. But i REFUSE to take the medication. I know healing takes a long time and I’ve waffled in my resolve to eat strictly. I’ve cried – CRIED – over how hard it is, telling my husband that going GF was hard enough and I don’t want to give anything else up. But then I think of the alternatives and realize it’s the better option. The only option. THanks for the “tough love”. 🙂 And for affirming that I am NOT crazy!

    • No, your are not crazy! Hang in there. Keep going with it. When it gets hard don’t think how you have to keep doing this for so long — just focus on doing it for now. Lots of little ‘for nows’ become the what-feels-like-the-distant future. I wish you all the best. 🙂

  13. Yep, this is very relatable. I’ve been constantly failing on my health journey and getting better and more depressed each time. I’ve also been diagnosed with UC and trying very hard to keep my colon IN my body with no help from any doctors, or my insurance, I feel completely alone as there are no Naturopaths in my area or anyone who can understand the pain I’ve been through. I had to change my diet completely, but I’ve realized I’ve had to stop eating the foods I like and that make me happy because they hurt my gut. Fruits are the latest thing I’ve had to cut out and it’s so hard, because I cannot just replace them with vegetables, which cause fissures in my rectum and make me bleed, fiber of any kind does the same thing. I cannot use spices and sauces because those can also inflame my body and trigger my autoimmunity. I also have hashi’s and hormonal issues and am severely weak and underweight, but I cannot make myself strong by eating more carbs as they reset my healing so I’m in this weak state until my gut can heal. Doing mostly meats right now, seafood, and only a bit of squash and fruit. No eggs or flours or baked anything, no syrups, or sweets. Hitting rock bottom before I get better I guess!!

  14. Oh and no dairy, no bone broth or gelatin (it’s been making my leaky gut worse!) or collagen. very little kelp, no dried fruit or jams, no pectin, no fermented veggies (same as fruits here, make my gut puffy and inflamed), no juices, no milks or nut products like coconut yogurt, no yogurt (same with fruits and flours, but worse!), no rice, no grains, and most veggies like cauliflower are very fibrous so again I am tearing my gut with them. Very little coconut oil and butter since they make my heart go a bit crazy. Starches are okay but I can’t take them that often either.

    So I am doing “AIP carnivore” I guess? XD Hopefully I can reintroduce sometime in the future but it may take a really long time.

  15. Thank you so much for exposing your heart ♥ I admire the fact that you have taken control of you your life and are helping others to do the same. I also have an autoimmune disease, and at 62yrs young I know that yes, it’s up to me and me alone to take control of my health. You are such an inspiration Lauren, I love what you are doing ♥

  16. Such a wonderful read!! You really bridged the gap between how a person eating the standard American diet becomes a person who does AIP and articulated the struggle so perfectly. The content you put on your website, along with other great NTPs, led me to NTA and becoming an NTP myself. I hope to run into you at a conference sometime! Thanks for all you do, it truly makes a difference.

  17. I appreciate your journey. Thanks for taking time to share what works for you. If you hadn’t shared the “balance blood sugar naturally” article, I would still be suffering with asthma. I found out by balancing my blood sugar, I was hypoglycemic and that’s what triggered my asthma. Unfortunately weening myself off my inhalers caused me to go into adrenal crisis. I went to an MD, an endocrinologist, cand pulmonologist. They refused to believe my asthma inhalers destroyed my adrenals. I used your suggestions honey and salt and was able to get off my inhalers without going into adrenal crisis! Thank you!! I am still figuring out Celiac, and in addition to hypoglycemia, gitelmans, a form of barter syndrome where I lose magnesium, potassium, sodium, and chloride. I take one day at a time, and thank God I can stop this from happening to my children.

  18. I thought I was completely gluten free, until I read Dr Peter Osborne’s book No Grain No Pain. Apart from the usual wheat, barley rye etc, you need to go off rice and corn as well. Apparently wild rice is okay. Hopes this helps those who are gluten free warriors.

  19. This is gorgeously written. I’m touched by your story, thrilled over your success, and admire your willingness to empower others to do the same. Thank you for what you went through and all you do to share your story. You are a gem.

  20. I wish I had never looked to other “health” websites but stayed focused on the sound, frank, and sensible advice you offer here. I get overwhelmed with lots of info and tend to want to do a zillion things at once due to my ADHD– but that kind of backfired and orthorexia turned into a binge eating disorder (not the greatest when you’re trying to heal your gut). It’s awesome that you were willing to share that you weren’t “perfect” on your journey either. Your passion to help others comes across clearly, and I commend you for your bravery in sticking to your healing and sharing its ups and downs with us. Thanks for reminding us that the victim card- while easy to play, especially when, like myself, you have less than supportive family/people around you- COMPLETELY jeopardizes everything. It messes with your mindset completely. Thanks for being responsible for your health, and showing us how to embrace ourselves and a permanent (read: non- quick fix) lifestyle change. God bless.

  21. I wish I’d known, at my diagnosis of ulcerative colitis at 22 (45 years ago), to do the things you’ve learned to do. I became macrobiotic, which helped but took many years to do it and I still had to make huge adjustments (I was allergic to soy, which was masquerading as Lupus), before I got really well when I went paleo 6 years ago. I love your blog and will continue to follow you. This was a really good one and mirrors exactly how I progressed in this. Gluten free is really not enough!

  22. I’ve been trying to find answers. I have had Crohns for 16 years now. I tried the Dr thing and got very sick from the medicine. I went on the Makers Diet and was so much better! Better than I ever had been. Then I ended up in a stressful job and started to get sick again. Since then, I feel like it’s one step forward and two back. Whatever I do to try to heal myself I become allergic to. My inflammation is awful. My allergy tests are depressingly bad. I get a fever every afternoon. My thyroid is low. My Adrenals are shot. I have watery, bile diarrhea so much. I’m obviously not absorbing anything. I’m down to 79 lbs this morning. I’m so upset and just at a loss. It feels like everything I put in my mouth abs me running to the bathroom. I feel like there’s a root I haven’t addressed yet, but I have no idea what to do.

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Lauren Geertsen, NTP

I’m an author, entrepreneur, and nutritional therapy practitioner (NTP). I began this website at 19, to share the steps that freed my life of chronic disease and medication. Now, Empowered Sustenance has reached 30 million readers with healthy recipes and holistic resources.

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