Can a liquid diet cure bowel disease? It helped one woman
Heather Auty-Johns, 48, had always enjoyed good health. But all that changed when she went on holiday to Florida in May 2004. Instead of a pleasant break Auty-Johns spent the two weeks feeling “really uncomfortable in my stomach and extremely tired”.
Back home in London, she went to her GP because on the first day of her holiday she had also started to pass blood from her bowel. Her GP treated her as an emergency, and Auty-Johns had a sigmoidoscopy, an examination of the lower part of the colon, followed by several colonoscopies, enabling doctors to look at the whole of her large intestine.
“These procedures were horrendous as my colon was so inflamed and sore. The bleeding was worse and I started to pass a lot of mucus. Some days I felt too scared to eat anything, as the pain afterwards was so intense. I felt drained and was going to bed as soon as I got home,” says Auty-Johns. Four colonoscopies later and over a year after the symptoms began, tests showed that her bowel was covered with ulcers. The diagnosis was ulcerative colitis, a form of inflammatory bowel disease that affects the large intestine or colon. It is a type of auto-immune disease in which the immune system attacks the body’s own tissues. It seems only to affect those who are genetically susceptible, and the susceptibility is passed down in families. What triggers the condition is unconfirmed; it may be particular types of bacteria getting into the digestive tract.
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In January 2006 Auty-Johns, a human resources manager, was put in touch with Gina Shaw, a natural hygiene practitioner. Shaw explained that the recommended fasts could be juice-only or water-only, and that such fasting removed the body’s need to use energy for digestion. “This, along with complete rest, gives the body the opportunity to focus on detoxifying and repairing itself,” she says. “This works especially well on bowel diseases such as colitis, Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome.”
Source - Times