Healing Inflammatory Bowel Disease

By Stephen Gammack, Fitness Instructor, Somerset,UK.

Back in 2000 as a fairly healthy – or so I thought – 22 year old, I started to develop a problem. When I went to the toilet I would notice blood in my stool. I did what most adult males would do and I ignored it, hoping it would go away. Later that year it became more of an issue as it was affecting my ability to play football – now that was a real problem, so I went to the doctor.   I got tested and was diagnosed with Inflammatory Bowel Disease – possibly Crohn’s Disease – at this stage in a mild form, but who knew how it might develop.

To deal with the symptoms I was put on medication, but in doing so I had a resolve, a determination within me. I accepted the need for the medication as this condition wasn’t going to clear on its own, but I also felt certain that I could regain my health in the long term through the choices I made, mainly with regards to changing my diet and managing my feelings of stress and anxiety.

Being diagnosed with this illness scared me; I didn’t want to end up in surgery or with an ileostomy bag, as I had read could occur. I was also embarrassed by the diagnosis, as it felt to me quite shameful, while also leaving me feeling weak and vulnerable. I prided myself on being fit and healthy and this left me feeling exposed, abnormal and far from invincible. The reason these feelings were so strong was due to how hard I was on myself, and my unwillingness to fully accept and value myself as a tender and gentle young man.

I had actually been fairly healthy with my diet up until that time, but I knew there were aspects that let me down and that I over-rode how I felt in my body with some of the foods I ate. I had always been someone with a low tolerance to certain foods like dairy and gluten, yet they had stayed as part of my diet as they were such normal everyday foods that everyone seemed to eat.  Stress on my body was also a factor, and I found symptoms could occur if I changed my routine and didn’t properly care for myself – travelling would often bring symptoms up.

For the first four years I would have occasional flare ups, and I was thankful that the medication was working, but I also knew that I had to keep refining the way I was taking care of myself. This was where the balance between medical care and self-care became critical to me. A specialist at my year two review wanted me to take steroid medication, but I wasn’t keen. I chose to refuse this at the time while remaining open to it, but only if it was absolutely necessary. I was taking control of my health and that was crucially important to me.

After four years, because of the choices I had been making, I became symptom free and then got a bit casual with my health – I ate reasonably well, but would drink alcohol quite a lot and still ate foods that I knew didn’t support my body. I wasn’t living as well as I knew I potentially could be.

It was upon attending Universal Medicine courses that I grew to appreciate all the signs my body had been giving me, and through the presentations of Serge Benhayon I started to listen to the wisdom my body shared. What I have learnt is that the refining of how I eat and the care I have for my body is an on-going process and not one I can switch on and off.

Looking back, I feel I could have avoided the greater symptoms I suffered had I been willing to address how I felt in my body, both emotionally and physically. Whilst diet is a huge part of the lifestyle changes I needed to make, I have grown to understand how much my demeanour also impacts my health – how open and expressive I am plays a big part in how well I feel and that my health relates strongly to how accepting and caring of myself I am. I now realise the importance of valuing myself and appreciating me as a person. This in turn has allowed me to become more communicative and open, and less withdrawn from life.

I’ve been medication free for a while now, but never take it for granted. I still get the odd symptom, which I can feel is strongly related to my willingness to keep deepening how well I care for my body – within this I have to keep accepting I am worth caring for. I have found that if I pay close attention to how I feel and honour that, then the symptoms clear without the need for medication. This is not something I assume or expect will happen – it is an ongoing process and one I am committed to living and developing.

In this process Western Medicine was crucial to my recovery, but also only a part of the healing. Suffering ill health was a wake up call to consider my lifestyle and look after myself properly, and Universal Medicine has been a huge support in understanding and developing the self-medicine of lifestyle choices that is now my everyday living.





859 thoughts on “Healing Inflammatory Bowel Disease

  1. Stephen you have shared much here about how we look after ourselves and what that involves. Food for thought!

  2. I like how you put this – “the self-medicine of lifestyle choices that is now my everyday living.” Our lifestyle choices can either harm us or heal us and anyone working in the health arena would do well to work with this awareness both in their own lives and with their clients.

  3. ‘…how open and expressive I am plays a big part in how well I feel and that my health relates strongly to how accepting and caring of myself I am.’ – Thanks for sharing this Stephen, this really confirms to me that supporting our bodies is much more than a diet change. It is a listening change. I too agree that the more I express, the less I hold onto. If I hold onto something, my body shows me because it goes tense and I go into my head.

  4. For most of my early life I thought that illnesses and things that went wrong with my body were just an inconvenient nuisance, I’m so thankful from attending Universal Medicine courses that I learnt that this was actually my body communicating things to me about the way I was living – just this one fact has completely changed my life and my relationship with my body.

      1. Yes it’s crazy that we a) don’t recognise this communication and b) we like to ignore this communication until we are unwell or have a serious illness or disease.

  5. This is a very cool sharing and huge transformation of how how it is possible to heal your body through care and medication. But it seems huge the choices you made when you committed to taking care of yourself – rather than just expecting medication to do all the work.

  6. What a transformation, to go through such a healing and then sharing here on this site is super supportive for many of us. Especially talking about the bowels, a topic that many do not always want to share about. So great to get this kind of details out and being discussed.

    1. Yes Reagan, it is not aways an easy topic to write about, but there is much to share and much that we can all learn from each other. The reflection we give in how we care for ourselves is what the whole world needs more of, at the moment it is too easy to make unhealthy choices as there is more encouragement to indulge than there is commitment to care.

  7. I found gluten and dairy products quite hard to give up even though I was fairly sure that they did not do me any good. All our favourite little rewards for ourselves seem to fall into one or other of these categories. Eventually I succeeded in giving up both and health wise it was one of the best decisions I have made.

  8. Why do we tend to see success in life as being able to continue on being numb? Why do we get well after disease only to continue to live the same reckless way? Why is it we use medicine to simply sustain our habit of abusing our body? How do we then measure our health if all we want is not to be ill? What would our life be like if we embraced the fact that every moment carries with it a significant weight that adds up to what we finally get? What if we saw at last that it’s joy and consistency of vitality we deserve? Thank you Stephen for these questions you leave me pondering.

  9. It is only when we begin to truly value who we are and cherish our tenderness, delicateness and sensitivity, that we then can begin to honor the messages and guidance that we receive from our bodies and make loving choices accordingly. Otherwise we continue to be caught up in degenerative cycle of knowing what is good or true for us, but unable to follow through with honoring it or live it consistently.

  10. ‘ the self-medicine of lifestyle choices ‘ I like this. It really is up to us at the end of the day and our self-caring and self loving choices bring us to recognise the love that we are and our lifestyle reflects this so that we can actually be on an evolving path clearing past unhealthy choices and creating a new way for ourselves that allows for harmony to be restored.

  11. “how I eat and the care I have for my body is an on-going process and not one I can switch on and off.” In the same way that putting the wrong fuel in a motor vehicle and driving it recklessly can prevent it from working, when we put the wrong fuel in our own physical vehicle and treat it with less than true loving care it also does not function as it should.

  12. Awesome, Stephen. So many men (and women!) would shy away from initiating such a public discussion of their bowel issues but in doing so you help break the mould that keeps us ashamed and silent and avoidant of medical and other support.

  13. Great blog Stephen in reminding us that refining our food and our care for our bodies is an ongoing process, and not one we can switch off and on…..it is so easy to think that you can get well, that there is an end point and then you can relax a little….but it is truly and on going process of being willing to address whatever the body and emotions bring up, and with continual refining I feel it is a never ending process. A gift that is inherent in our bodies to assist us to be the utmost we can .

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