My road to trying CBD is probably all-too familiar for many people dealing with a chronic illness: diagnosis, denial, medication, medication not working, anxiety, increasing strength and costs of medication and healthcare, scary side effects, nothing’s working, frustrated and scared, spiraling. Now what?
Let me back up. I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease (one of two autoimmune Inflammatory Bowel Diseases afflicting more than 3 million Americans today) when I was 24 years old and had just moved to the San Francisco Bay Area from the Midwest. I didn’t understand the disease well, so I just went with whatever my GI doctors told me to do or take, and honestly spent a number of years blindly hoping it would just go away. But it never did...and unfortunately for me, I never made it into remission.
Nine years after diagnosis, my husband and I were talking about starting a family. It was at this point it became clear that I had to do EVERYTHING I could to get myself into remission – for the sake of a healthier pregnancy. So, my doctor prescribed an injectable biologic drug and sent me on my merry way. After reading the side effect risks, I decided to Google non-drug alternatives and found a diet claiming to help treat Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis. I gave myself a few weeks to try it out, and if that didn’t make a difference, I’d finally go along with my doctor’s plan. What would really be the risk of a diet, right?
The Diet Factor
Changing my diet helped me improve my symptoms 80-90 percent in just one week. It was a complete epiphany for me and I was transformed! Through testing out my diet and working with a Functional Medicine doctor, I realized I have a pretty significant sensitivity to gluten, sugar and simple carbs, realizing these foods are definitely my enemies and good-quality probiotics are my friends. In a few months’ time, I finally made it into remission without the injectable drugs. I’ve been healthy for four years now, living the “food is medicine” mantra (with one VERY cute and healthy two-year-old to boot!).
The Saving Grace
So, back to CBD...within the last four years, I've noticed just how much stress plays a major factor in staying squarely in remission. I did have a few slight hiccups while pregnant and postpartum – during high-stress times when hormones were also changing quickly. Often, my sleep was off and throwing everything out of whack (the typical life of a new parent and going back to work).
So, over the last six months, I started incorporating CBD into my routine, and so far it has been helpful in aiding with sleep and managing anxiousness, which in turn, has positively impacted my overall well-being and cortisol levels. It feels like another tool in my wellness toolbox, just like diet and exercise. Keeping stress at bay and sleep as good as it can be, maintaining a Crohn’s-friendly diet, and sticking to my supplement/medication regiment is the best I can do for myself. While I know there are claims out there that CBD can cure Crohn’s (or treat it), I can’t say from my experience that’s the case, but I do feel it’s a good choice in a whole-body wellness plan. Part of my CBD arsenal includes our Superfood Shots and I particularly like Restore because it has inflammation-fighting turmeric, too!
Author Bio: Heather works for Navitas Organics on the marketing team. She was an avid customer even before she started working for the company – incorporating Navitas superfoods like cacao powder and chia seeds into her diet. She loves to cook and provide nourishing meals for her and her family, and now also enjoys the fully stocked gourmet kitchen at Navitas Organics headquarters. As always, consult with your physician for your own personal healthcare needs.