A Child’s Recovery from Ulcerative Colitis
My Child’s Recovery From Ulcerative Colitis
By Elena Constantinescu
It started back in 2008 when we had a long trip around Europe. My son, 1.5 yr old at the time started to have loose bowel movements and to eat sand.
I guess we were young and not very parenting oriented because it took us few months to realise that 15 bowel movements a day is not good.
We’ve seen a few GP doctors and a couple of pediatricians, done heaps of stool analysis but all were coming back normal. No one ever questioned his strange habit of eating sand (which I told everyone because it seemed odd and totally unhealthy).
Our real rollercoaster started only after I became pregnant with twins and after we’ve seen a specialist pediatric GI. He looked at my son and he said it seems that the child is highly anemic. The specialist also looked at his huge tummy and he thought my son might have Celiac Disease.
In short, we’ve been sent to do a scanning blood test and some additional blood test. The blood test came negative for Celiac but it came with a shocking result, he was extremely anemic and his hemoglobin was half than minimum. It turned out that eating odd things like sand or dirt is a common symptom, called pica, of anemia in children.
We have been scheduled to have a gastroscopy and colonoscopy for the following week but after the blood results everything became an emergency so we had to go in pretty much in the next couple of days. I still feel like crying when I think of that extremely emotional time when we didn’t know what is so wrong that all of a sudden all the doctors and pathologists were calling us.
In the hospital we had to stay for a couple of days even the procedure is day only. He needed a unit of blood transfusion because the anesthetist didn’t want to put him to sleep due to his low blood hemoglobin.
My son was 2 at the time and I was 5 months pregnant with twins. It was probably one of the most traumatic times in our lives due to not knowing what is next.
The real rollercoaster started after the doctor gave us the diagnostic: Ulcerative colitis, a colon chronic condition with little or no relief and an increased cancer risk. Well, that is a scary thing to face in a 2 year old!
My frantic search began just days after the diagnostic while trying hard to convince my toddler to take the high doses of steroids he’s been put on. At first I searched for a medical approach cure, actually, I wasn’t sure what I was searching for. Looking back, now, I think I was searching for happy ending cases but all I found was high doses of steroids or immunosuppressants or colon removal as a last resort in children.
After the specialist GI told me that diet has no role in the disease I didn’t even try for about a year to look into my kid’s diet.
In the meantime I followed strictly what the GI said, I gave my boy the medication religiously every day, few times a day. In short, all the drugs had so bad side effects that forced us to change them every few months until we eventually had to give them up completely as being too poisonous for our child.
When I started looking into the possibility that food he ate made a difference, I consulted an allergy doctor and he put my child on a low chemicals, low allergens and bland diet for a couple of weeks. I was amazed what difference that made. From then on I started playing with the diet at the same time while I became educated about nutrients, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, probiotics and so on.
I have to say we, as a family came a long way. We have played for about 6 months with the Specific carbohydrates diet but couldn’t sustain it in a 4 year old. After that we adjusted his diet slowly and patiently.
In the meantime I studied Reiki and became a practitioner just to be able to give him Reiki treatments every other day and avoid paying someone else as the cost quickly added up.
Also, I worked closely with an integrative medicine doctor who helped us immensely and gave me confidence to follow my instinct. We’ve done some more testing to find out what bacteria was present in his colon and found out an excessive overgrowth of Streptococcus. Have tried once the antibiotics and it worked beautifully for about 2 weeks until the Strep mutated and his symptoms came back full on.
After all we had to accept that there is no quick fix for his condition but he can have a perfectly healthy and happy life changing our family lifestyle and switching to a very natural one with a diet composed of many fresh juices and blends, no diary other than raw milk yogurt (which I learned how to make it), no gluten and wheat and no chemicals or additives.
I know that our life will never be the same but who wants our old way of eating? I praise my son’s disease for giving me the opportunity to learn so much about energy healing, nutrition, allergies, herbs and raw food. The best thing of all is that my child is growing normally, putting on weight as he should be, his tummy pain is long gone and his bowel movements went down from 20 a day to 2 a day. No one would say he is sick or he ever was sick, he looks healthy and happy and that makes his mum and dad extremely happy and grateful. Not all things in life are easy to obtain but when you do get something so important like health, then all the effort you put in is just worth.
Elena Constantinescu has obtained honor degrees through all her studies. She has graduated a Bachelors of Constructions and 2 subsequent masters. She finished a Master in Construction back in Romania and a Master in Project Management at Melbourne University in Melbourne, Australia. The author currently works as a senior consultant for Tracey Brunstrom and Hammond, a medium construction consultancy in Melbourne.
Her technical training gives Elena a sharp analytical edge. In early 2009 her 2 yr old son was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis. Due to her technical background she became an avid researcher into IBD medication and complications at first then into alternative approaches.
The author was a member of International Federation of University Women (IFUW) for years. She presented in various conferences: in 2000 in Ottawa, Canada at the triennial conference of IFUW and in 2001 in Townsville, Australia. Elena was a main presenter at the Townsville International Women’s Conference held in July 2001. She presented a paper on “Trafficking Human Being” why, where and what are we doing about it?
In 2010 she embraced a new career by starting study in Reiki traditional. In 2012 Elena became a Master in Reiki healing and teaching Reiki.
The author currently studies Nutrition for Managing Disease, works part-time as a construction consultant, part-time as a Reiki practitioner and raises her 3 young children.
She lives in Melbourne, Australia together with husband Radu and children Erik (6), Theodor (3) and Rebecca (3).
For more from Elena Constantinescu, see: https://healthnutmumblog.wordpress.com/
Image: Image courtesy of Dominic Harness