By now we’re all aware of the dangers of inflammation within the body, but does it really affect our everyday lives? According to Dr. Corinne Brown, ND, of Roots Wellness, it can and it certainly affected her when her lifelong digestive troubles erupted into Crohn’s Disease.
The Centers for Disease Control defines Crohn’s Disease as “a condition of chronic inflammation potentially involving any location of the gastrointestinal tract, but it often affects the end of the small bowel and the beginning of the large bowel.” The symptoms include: persistent diarrhea, cramping abdominal pain, fever, rectal bleeding, fatigue, loss of appetite, and weight loss. It can also affect the joints, eyes, skin, and liver. Unfortunately it can worsen and actually increase the risk of colon cancer.
Dr. Brown’s health journey began when she was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in spring 2013. She had visited the hospital after experiencing abdominal pain, which she thought was Appendicitis. The doctors discovered through testing that it was actually her bowels that were the issue and she was given the correct diagnosis and prescribed the standard medical treatment, corticosteroids.
She says, “I wasn’t excited about taking that kind of medication since I was a practicing Naturopath and it didn’t seem like the right course of treatment for me. But my MD was adamant I try the treatment so I did, for six months.” In that time, Dr. Brown lost an excessive amount of weight and was under a lot of stress trying to keep up her practice. “I was struggling to maintain 90lbs. I even lost my period. At that time, my husband and I had been trying to get pregnant again.”
Once she realized her current course of treatment wasn’t helping, Dr. Brown made a well-thought-out decision to stop the treatment. She closed her naturopathic practice and moved it online. She says, “I started implementing to everything I’d learnt as a healer and started a major detox. I healed my body in four months.” She explained that she went back to see her MD and he was shocked at how much the inflammation had diminished. She regained the weight she’d lost in her illness and found herself happily pregnant a few months later weighing between 118 and 130lbs.
“I healed my body with plant-based, organic food and got my body’s natural detox organs functioning properly,” she says. “While I was healing, I did yoga at home and went on walks and hiked with my family and dogs. I was quite weak at my sickest point, so intense high energy exercise was not really an option for me. But being in nature is my all-time fave and is amazing for healing of any kind.” Now that she’s better, she says her routine looks similar now except that she now does prenatal yoga and hiking in good weather.
What Can You Do?
“First, it’s incredibly important to do your best to buy the highest quality of fresh, organic plant foods. And second, cut out dairy and gluten,” Dr. Brown says.
“The problem with wheat is that what we have in North America contains increased levels of gluten due to hybridization and GMOs. Gluten is a filler in everything and we have food sensitivities because our bodies are overloaded. With dairy, there are high levels of hormones and antibiotics, which end up creating inflammation, digestion issues, and skin issues.”
Dr. Brown’s patients have come to her for many ailments including depression and other mood disorders, menstrual difficulties, skin disorders like eczema, acne, psoriasis, and more, and her first recommendation is a detox to determine what might be causing the issue. After all, food is something you have control over and you eat it every single day.
How Can You Make the Change?
“The most challenging thing is to change your diet,” says Dr. Brown. “Take it one meal at a time, everything you do will make a difference. If you cut 50% of these big players [gluten and dairy] from your diet, you’ll feel a little better. But I want to empower people to fully give their bodies a break. The more you can do at once, the better, even if it’s for a short period of time. After that, slowly add things back in to see what is causing problems for you.”
Dr. Brown is releasing a 21-Day Detox Challenge in her online community complete with meal plans, recommended supplements, and a mind-body routine including yoga and meditation.
“The most important thing is to do the best you can because guilt is twice as bad as the condition you’re trying to cure!” says Dr. Brown.
- Brown, Dr. Corinne. Phone Interview.9 Mar 2015.
- Centers for Disease Control (18 Sep 2014). What is Inflammatory Bowel Disease?. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/ibd/what-is-ibd.htm