Hi. I’m Christina. I’m mum to my two beautiful girls and wife to my gorgeous hubby. I work full time as a physicist and I love to run. I live a pretty ordinary life. I love it being ordinary. I hate drama.
Living with ulcerative colitis
Almost six year ago I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. With the help of great clinicians, I haven’t had much bother with my symptoms. That’s not to say I haven’t had my fair share of flare ups, just that I can get them under control pretty fast. Recently though, I just seemed to be sick all the time. My toddlers would come home with a runny nose, I’d end up with a full blown head cold. A head cold my one year old would brush off, I’d be in bed for a week. I still don’t know if I was sick for months with one infection or if I kept picking up different infections with no break in-between. I spent months in bed and when well enough in work, then back to bed, trying to muster some energy, any energy to keep going. Playing was exhausting. Being sick for such a prolonged time also meant missing out on family time, family events, parties and outings for fear of passing on the infections to my extended family and friends. I felt like I had no immune system.
In bed with a chest infection that had turned into pneumonia, I started to wonder if there could be a link between my colitis and what felt like my non-existent immune system. I started to search the web, looking for ways to boost my immune system, looking for any links with my colitis. I came across some wonder drugs and potions, all with a price tag, all promising the world. Generally, as life has taught me, if it’s too good to be true, it’s too good to be true! Also, it was hard not to get my science brain involved; where’s the evidence? where’s the scientific proof? what research has been done? what about randomised clinical trials? Page after page were quickly closed, dismissed. Then I came across some advice against using echinacea if you have an autoimmune disease and recommending a salt rinse for mouth sores. This sparked my interest. I had never found echinacea worked for me and I swore by salt rinses for healing my mouth ulcers, keeping them at bay and helping rid myself of sore throats. This was good advice and no price tag. I had just come across the autoimmune protocol, a stricter version of the paleo (caveman) diet. Page after page I kept reading. Most of the advice made sense to me and the stuff that didn’t, the lists of do’s and don’t’s were backed up with research, trials and published in peer reviewed journals. No quick fixes, no magic pills but rather a hard slog, with numerous stories of hope and success. After hours of reading, I was sceptical. Could food, sleep and rest really do all that was promised? But my options were limited; continue as I was and stay in bed sick or give it a go. In six weeks, what did I have to lose? If it didn’t work, I couldn’t be any worse off, I would have just eaten more veg and sure I love sleeping. So that was it, I started on my AIP journey.