Diagnosis UC

Jorieke`s story

Imagine this: always suffering from a stomach ache and having the need to go to the bathroom 20-30 times a day, even at night. Having diarrhoea and stool accompanied with blood. In 2007 I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis. It prohibited me from doing everything. All I wanted was to live without suffering from complaints and being able to take care of or my young children and being able to enjoy the time we spend together.

Medicine did not work, what now a stoma?

The medicine I was taking only work temporarily. I also was having allergic reactions to some of the prescribed medicine. But “luckily” new medicine kept coming on to the market. I tried everything: From Prednisone, Humira, Infliximab and Azathioprine to Salofalk suppositories and enemas. Then that dreaded moment arrived that I had tried all of the possible medicine options and we needed to discuss the probability of getting a stoma.

IBD Free Life was my last chance

I was slowly getting used to the idea of getting a stoma when I read an interview with Jeroen from IBD Free Life in the paper in 2019. Maybe getting a stoma is unnecessary after all. The intake was free and without obligation, so I decided to immediately schedule an appointment.
But I had all faith in IBD Free Life and wanted to go for the full 100% for it. I saw this as my last chance.

It was very difficult for me to learn to eat differently in the beginning.

I really loved eating bread and I love to eat sweets. I really disliked the taste of eggs and fish and now I had to stop eating bread and start eating eggs. In the beginning, it was really tough and my friends and family were sceptical. My life existed out of reading nutrition labels, baking bread and making weekly schedules. That did cost me a lot of energy and time. The energy which I barely had, because the Colitis was getting worse. My appetite decreased and it became very difficult to keep to the strict diet.

Involved guidance by IBD Free Life

Luckily I was able to contact Jeroen from IBD Free Life via app daily. After two months of perseverance, I prevailed. My intestines were healing and I had an increased appetite and even started to like the taste of eggs! When I started to feel better, keeping to my diet became much easier.

Just a way of life

Baking your own bread was a very big challenge for me. Now it has become part of my lifestyle. Naturally, it is more work and takes effort. At night I meal prep a fresh salad for the next workday and bake myself an egg every morning. Eating like this makes me feel more energetic and pleasant throughout the day. Restaurants and friends are often able to take my diet preferences into account. If they are not able to do that, I will bring my own food. No problem!

No more medication

By eating the right kind of nutrition I have regained control over my intestines. It has been going great for over a year. I have gained more energy and my blood results are better than ever! I am tapering off my medicine, I have complete faith that I will be able to go completely medicine free throughout my life eventually.

My lifestyle has completely changed, that was a drastic change but most important: I have got my life back!

Diagnosis UC

Ellen`s story

Ten years ago I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis. That was scary. I was prescribed suppositories. Which helped, so I started to taper off. Until another inflammation occurred. However, the suppositories stopped working after 4 years.

Chemo pills, injections or a stoma

I have tried everything, from chemo pills to injections. My complaints were repressed but the inflammation never disappeared. I became increasingly more ill. I was lying on my bed with migraines for three days. The medication options ran out and my only option seemed to be a stoma.

The growing feeling of guilt and a low self-esteem

Mentally it took its toll. Because of my illness, I had little energy to take care of my children. I was not able to be there for my partner, the way I wanted. My guilt kept growing and my self-esteem decreased. I was getting help from a phycologist and a neurologist.

Searching for a real solution

In January of 2018, I was completely done with everything. I stopped taking all my medication and as a result, I was in the bathroom at least 20 times a day. I could not leave the house at all. If I wanted to leave the house, I had to call ahead to shops to ask if I could use their bathroom. I was getting anxious the moment I felt the need to use the bathroom. I was distraught. Yet I was convinced that my intestinal problems are nutrition-related and that it is the key to finding the solution. So I started searching. A few weeks later I saw Jeroen le Duc from IBD Free Life at RTL Late Night (A Dutch late-night talk show) He confirmed what I already thought: nutrition is key.

Searching for the real solution

From the first moment of contact with IBD Free Life, I felt it was heading in the right direction: I received expert guidance but also empathy and reassurance. Especially in the beginning, I had a lot of questions. When I send Jeroen a text and he always responded immediately. My surroundings were worrying about me, they thought it was scary. They said: “What are you doing? You already lost 10 kilos!” But I went for it.

Regained trust in my own body

Under guidance from IBD Free Life, I changed my nutrition pattern. After 2 weeks I noticed improvement. The need to go to the bathroom decreased and I had regained control over my life. I could go to the store again, without having to call the store in advance and picking a route to the nearest bathroom during my journey. I regained trust in my own body.

It takes some getting used to, but it is working!

Especially in the beginning, it was not easy. You have to read all the labels on food in the supermarket. You cannot spontaneously go out for a drink and eat a platter of snacks. However, the new nutrition pattern is becoming a habit and you are starting to get creative with it. I am going through life without medicine for 2 years and thanks to IBD Free Life I have my life back!