Living with Crohn's and Colitis - About Us
Using this website.
Firstly I would like to welcome you to my website living with Crohn's and Colitis. I would like to stress before you start browsing the site that this website is not advocating diet or exercise as a cause or cure for either Crohns disease or Ulcerative Colitis. I am not claiming that following a diet or exercise program will cure your ailments or solve all your problems I know from personal experience this is not the case. I do firmly believe though that diet and exercise will vastly improve your situation whether its from a physical or mental standpoint. I would also advise that any exercise or diets you come across on my site or anywhere else for that matter is approached in a sensible matter. Ease yourself in gently and be sure consult your doctor or gastro team before you start any exercise or diet regime.
From a fitness perspective my background is mainly in Martial Arts. I trained for many years and although I mainly trained for fitness and self defence benefits I have competed and won many medals at quite a high standard. My health issues really came out of the blue. I was training and eating well, I was in my martial arts gym 3-4 days a week, getting road work done, eating all the right foods, didn't drink or smoke and then all of a sudden things started to change. The first thing I noticed was my fatigue levels got really bad I was sleeping a lot and was burning out fast. I was then getting niggling pains in my stomach, burning pains in my right abdomen. My back was also playing up there was days I couldn't move my neck everything was so stiff. But a lot of these issues I put down to over training or over working. I was working long hours as well as getting a lot of fitness work in. My stomach pains I was guessing was a torn muscle, the back pains like the stiff neck I am thinking maybe a knock or fall while sparring. To cut a long story short things started escalating to the point I knew something was not right so after a referral to the hospital via my GP I was diagnosed with IBD. It was a further 2-3 years later when I was also diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis.
Looking back now I think I was having symptoms for years before my actual diagnosis. Working split shifts I would start work at 10am finish by 2pm for 3 hours before starting work again at 5. By 2pm I would be exhausted to the point I would have to sleep for 2 hours to get ready for the next shift. I was constantly in the chiropractor with my back, or at the doctors office with colds and flu or looking for vitamins to help boost my energy levels.
After my diagnosis I cut my work hours to part time because my body couldn't handle the stress of a full time job. Unfortunately even the part time hours took there toll so eventually it led me to apply for disability and stopping work completely. Although it has taken me many years I think I am finally back on track. Combining physio therapy exercises with my background in Martial Arts I have come up with my exercise routine which has me back exercising again most days. Along with a lot of trial and error with my diet I am now back to a level of fitness I have not had in years. One lesson I learned from Martial Arts is you never quit. Its ok to get knocked down but you always get back up again. Crohn's knocked me down, in boxing terms it was a knockout shot but the lessons you learn in the gym you apply outside of it too. You get back up, dust yourself down and come back stronger than ever.