Day 13: What my doctor said today

I have an amazing physician whom I really really like. He’s experienced, caring and has a lovely bedside manner, and he’s put me on the path to recovery, for which I am eternally grateful. I had been to other doctors with my weird symptoms and they couldn’t help. Dr Neethling fixed me.

Today was my 2-month check up. He put me on a strong dose of cortisone to get my last flare under control, about 3 months ago. Then he switched me to indefinite Asacol, and wanted to see how that was going.

The short answer is: Excellently. Today’s blood tests showed normal ESR levels – that is, no inflammation!


Inflammation is an indication that your gut is damaged and fighting to recover. My ESR levels and white blood cell count was very elevated in October last year (ESR around 60, when it should be negligable or in single digits). By November, thanks to Pulmison (cortisone) they’d dropped noticeably. Today’s blood test showed a complete return to ‘normality’. YAY!

The 2 important things that this means 

1. I cannot stop taking my Asacol, especially now. While I think that diet is really helping a lot – and I have no doubt SCD is helping to reduce inflammation – I can’t deny that the Asacol got me right. Prior to medication, I was having between 8 and 12 BMs a day. Most days I lost count. The Pulmison cleared that up within days, while the Asacol has kept me on an even keel ever since, with regular BMs, no diarrhoea and no bleeding.

2. Medical treatment for IBD is essential. I believe in following both a medical and an holistic path, and what you choose to follow is up to you. But if you’re flaring; if you’re bleeding and dehydrated and anaemic, seek medical treatment. Even a nutritionalist or naturopath will encouarge you to use science as an immediate intervention in an emergency (and if you’re flaring, you’re having an emergency), and then to phase in the natural remedies when your symptoms are under control.


I’m so glad I got this encouraging result today because I needed something bright on the horizon. I’m SICK of this diet! I actually threw away half my dinner tonight (pureed carrots and chicken) because I could no longer stomach either the smell or taste of it.

I’m also sick of bananas – who’d have thought the honeymoon would ever end?! – but I guess that’s what happens when you eat 7 a day.

The reason my diet is going so slowly is because I’m following the advice of the guys over at and phasing in a new food once every four days, which I now see they’ve amended to 3 days, which is such a bonus. Nonetheless, even a 3-day gap between each new food item makes the progress infinitely long and drawn-out, but it is the safest way to do it. Here’s why.

And with that, it’s most definitely time for bed, where I’ll no doubt dream of cheating on my diet with my favourite seductress, milk chocolate.

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