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My healing story: towards full recovery from UC

At the age of 19, in January 2005, I started having bowel problems. A few weeks later, after a colonoscopy, the doctors told me the diagnosis: ulcerative colitis (UC). They explained to me that UC is a chronic disease that will accompany me for the rest of my life, that I need to be aware that phases of remission phases will be periodically followed by acute phases, and that for the rest of my life I will need to take medication to contain the disease. It is possible that in most cases, the predictions of medical professionals can be trusted, but, as is well known, sometimes even the best doctors are wrong. That is exactly what happened, in my case. In June 2010, I experienced the last acute phase of the disease. In December 2013, I took my last dose of UC medication. As of today (June 2022) I have been free from UC for 12 years and have not taken any medications related to this disease for more than 8 years. I am writing this text for one single purpose: To give hope to all who have been diagnosed with UC; hope that this diagnosis is not a life sentence; hope that, contrary to the views of medical professionals, complete recovery from this disease is possible. That is the reason why I am sharing my personal healing story.

I will start with a compact history of my illness. So, as mentioned above, my bowel problems started in January 2005. At that point, I was 19. A few months later, I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis (UC) and started taking medication (details in the next paragraph) that was prescribed by my doctor. About 2 months later, the disease went into remission. For the next 5 years, most of the time I was in remission. However, during this period I also went through 3 acute phases - each lasting about 3 months.

Even though these acute phases were relatively mild (relatively small blood loss), they had a rather significant effect on my life. In addition to the mental anguish associated with the illness and not knowing how long the acute phase would last, on a practical level, the disease limited my life to a certain extent, since during the acute phases I was not able to leave the house until the middle of the day, most of the days. As for the treatment, during the acute phases, in addition to increasing the dose of the medication, and consciously reducing the stress level, I paid special attention to the diet. In particular, at some point, I noticed that vinegar is very bad for the inflamed bowel, so from that moment on, during the acute phases, I avoided all products containing a significant amount of vinegar.

As for medications, the doctors initially prescribed me cortisol. However, after reading the reviews of patients who took this drug, I decided to abandon it (due to severe side effects). A friend helped me find a doctor who treated UC with other drugs. The therapy prescribed by that doctor was based on the constant use of a medicine containing mesalazine (Pentasa). I was taking this drug from June 2005 until the end of 2013. In terms of dosage, I took 2g of mesalazine per day in remission phases and 3-4g per day during acute phases.

Around the summer of 2013, 3 years after the end of the last acute phase of the disease, I began to doubt my need of continuing taking anti-UC medications which I was consuming on a daily basis back then. At that time, I intuited that the roots of the disease are more related to the soul than to the body, and since I have largely eliminated those mental problems that caused the disease, there is no longer any reason to continue treating the disease on the physical level by taking medication. My plan was to perform a little experiment: to stop taking the medication for a while and observe how my bowel will react to it. I decided that if, God forbid, this experiment caused an acute phase of the disease, I would return to the drugs immediately. I clearly understood that I would have to do this experiment without the support of a doctor since it was obvious to me that not a single “normal” doctor would be ready to hear about any spiritual causes of the disease and would certainly not be ready to support an experiment that had no medical basis. The experiment began on January 1, 2014. Although a the time when I started the experiment, I still had certain fears that it would fail, with God's help, the experiment was successful. From that moment on and until today (June 2022) I have never again taken any UC-related medication.

Many times I have thought about the possible reasons for my miraculous recovery. Although I still have no certainty about this question, my intuition tells me that the main reason is in the spiritual transformation, the essence of which was reestablishing the connection with my true self. In Hebrew, there exists the term - "teshuva" - which means the return of a person to his own depth, to who he really is. Speaking in religious terms, this process can also be described as the revelation of God in one's own life or a return to God. For me, this path began in October 2011, when I began to learn Torah (it may be worth mentioning here that I am Jewish). Within a few months, I had already begun to keep some of the commandments of the Torah. For me, this period was the beginning of an endless process of teshuva. As I continued to study Torah, my understanding of reality in general, of myself, and of my mission in this world became more and more clear. As I integrated the Torah into my life through keeping the commandments, fixing my character traits, fixing dark places in my soul and strengthening myself in faith and trust in God, my life became and continues to become more true and more balanced.

After I have described the process of teshuva in general terms, I would like to state in a few words why, in my opinion, it was exactly the process of teshuva that was the main reason for recovering from the disease. Since UC has a psychosomatic aspect, the mental state is one of the important factors affecting the health of the bowel. In particular, mental tension associated with negative emotions, fears, and stress can significantly worsen the condition of the bowel, causing acute phases of UC and can worsen the condition of the bowel if the person is already going through an acute phase. I noticed this connection many times during my illness. All 4 active phases of UC that I went through, occurred during periods of mental disorder in which my life was not balanced and contained a lot of emotional tension and negative emotions. For me, it was exactly the process of teshuva that largely eradicated these negative mental factors. As I progressed in the process of teshuva, negative states of the soul, such as stress or various fears, visited me less and less often and their duration became smaller. Moreover, in the context of teshuva, I developed a number of spiritual techniques that allowed me to move from stressful and negative states to a state of calm. In general, as a result of spiritual work to deepen faith and hope in God and thorough the God’s blessing, that made this work successful, my life has become calmer and more balanced.

Of course, strengthening faith and trust in God contributes to a life in peace of mind. However, it is also obvious that no matter how much a person works on his faith, he will never achieve perfect peace of mind in all life situations. Therefore, it is very important to train oneself in techniques that allow getting out of negative mental states - especially for people suffering from UC. When I clearly realized how much states of mental tension (stress, etc.) damage the bowel, I began to be more conscious about them. In particular, I no longer allowed myself to be stressed for long periods of time - more than 1-2 hours. Nowadays, when I feel that I have been in a state of mental tension for some time, I consciously make an effort to get out of it. To do this, I use meditation techniques that contain both spiritual and physical elements. On a physical level, these techniques primarily involve deep breathing. As for the spiritual side of meditation, I use a small list of thoughts that strengthen faith and trust in God. These thoughts allow me to connect with my own depth, and consequently, to go into a state of deep peace.

I hope that I have been able to describe my path towards a complete recovery from UC, at least in general terms. I would like to believe that this text will help to lift the reader’s spirit and will give him hope that the diagnosis “UC” is not a life sentence. Finally, I would like to suggest how to relate to this text. As already described above, at some point, I had an intuition that I no longer need any anti-UC medication, since the spiritual causes of the disease were corrected, and subsequently, I began an experiment that continues successfully to this day. At this point, I feel that it is important to emphasize that this decision is part of my personal journey and I am not trying to give universal advice on how to think about the disease or how to treat it. The main motivation for writing this text was to share my story and allow each reader to draw their own conclusions from it. In the end, I believe that everyone should make their own decisions, follow their own intuition and their own understanding of reality, and choose their own personal path. If the reader has a desire to contact me to clarify a particular issue, I will always be happy to help. My contacts:


email: yspielb@gmail.com


or facebook (Yitzhak Spielberg)
 

Lisa

Adminstrator
Staff member
Location
New York, USA
Glad to hear you achieved remission and have been able to keep it so far. Please make sure you do keep up with medical care as both Crohn's and UC can rear their ugly heads at any time.
 
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