I realize remission is a BIG word, but I wanted to get BIG attention here. Let me start with my story. My name is Suzy and I am 40 years old. I am a mom, a wife, a sister, a daughter and friend. I have three children. Lucy is almost 5, Alice is 2 1/2, and baby Guy will be four months in a few days. One more thing. I have Crohn's disease, and Visbiome is a HUGE part of my treatment plan. This disease doesn't dictate my life, rather, it's a part of me. I was diagnosed when I was 28 years old, but I think I had it much earlier than that. As a kid, I was sick a lot, and in fact I think my over exposure to antibiotics permanently affected my microbiome. My gut had an imbalance of bacteria if you will. Even as a young child I remember having stomach pains after eating and then having several bowel movements afterwards. I also restricted what I ate because I figured out that if I didn't eat certain things, I would feel better. Well, I couldn't keep up not eating enough forever.
After years of struggling to know what was wrong with me, and several doctor visits later, I was given a diagnosis of Crohn's disease. Crohn's is classified as an inflammatory bowel disease that causes chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. In my particular case that means I have sporadic flares that attack my immune system. More specifically, I am plagued by chronic diarrhea (10-15 times per day), blood in my stool, hair loss, exhaustion and fatigue, just to name a few. This doesn't cover the emotional toll that it can take, which for me has included depression as well as anxiety at one time or another. There is a lot of research stating that depression and anxiety is linked to people with Crohn's disease. It makes sense when you think about it. We don't absorb all of the nutrients from our food, so it's no doubt that certain organs, systems will be affected.
Each person typically has a treatment plan designed to suit their needs. The problem is it can take years to figure this out, and even when treatment is finally put in place, we're still just "managing" our symptoms. Since I was diagnosed, I have been on the same medication that falls under class of drugs known as aminosalicylates. It works by decreasing swelling in the colon. I have also been on several different suppositories intermittently, as well as medical enemas.
After the birth of our second daughter, Alice, I got sick with the worst flare of my entire life. My Gastroenterologist prescribed an oral steroid (Prednisone) which I stayed on for several months. I experience awful side effects such as moon face, horrible mood swings, insomnia, night sweats and extreme fatigue. Through all of this, my inflammation still wasn't going down. In fact, it was getting worse. I got to the point where I was just going blood when I went to the bathroom.
I remember my husband looking at me and saying, "you look gray, Suz. It's time to go to the hospital." I called my doctor, explained my symptoms and he admitted me right away. I've never shared the picture on the left because truth be told, it makes me incredibly sad, but I'm trying to get my point across, so you can see for yourself and hopefully it evokes some sort of emotion. I keep this picture as a reminder of how sick I was. There was no amount of makeup, or curls in my hair to distract anyone from the severe gauntness in my face.
Once at the hospital, they hooked me up intravenously and blasted me with steroids (90mg. to be exact). There was also discussion of starting me on Humira. I had been putting off this medication switch for awhile, but now realized my life may depend on it. After a few nights in the hospital, to everyone's surprise, the steroids worked, and I once again avoided a new drug. As soon as I got home, I did endless research on the gut and microbiome. I explained early on in my story that I feel an over exposure to antibiotics as a kid is one of the factors that lead to my being diagnosed with Crohn's disease. This is where this information is critical. I started looking up probiotics. I had taken Florejen 3 before, but it did nothing. I googled until I couldn't google anymore. I landed on a product called Visbiome. Visbiome is a high potency probiotic medical food, containing 8 strains of live bacteria. There is much more information included on their website. I had never heard of it before, but after thoroughly reading everything Visbiome consisted of, all of the diseases it claimed to help, and several testimonials, I knew I wanted to try it.
I remember ordering it for the first time, and it came in a giant box that was temperature controlled. It has a gage on it to make sure your product is only the very best quality. I decided I would take two a day, but for each individual that may vary. The changes weren't immediate, but slowly things started making a drastic turn.......for the BETTER! My bowel movements were now formed, and I only had 2-3 per day. Down from up to 15 is quite a change. I started getting my energy back, and found I could re-introduce foods that used to be on the absolute No-No list. I gained a healthy amount of weight and was able to do one of my favorite activities. I was able to run again.
Visbiome gave me my quality of life back. I am now a healthy and thriving woman enjoying life as I should be. I am the energetic Mom I always wanted to be who can keep up with her three kiddos. My husband doesn't have to constantly worry that I'm going to flare again. I am the happiest I have been in a long time, and a major reason is because my gut is healthy and happy. I would also be remiss if I didn't mention that if I miss a dose, my system reacts, so I know for absolute sure that Visbiome works for me. It's also important to include that I continue to take my Crohn's medication as well, and that Visbiome is part of my maintenance and treatment plan. If you're out there struggling like I was and curious about adding something to your treatment plan, I strongly encourage you to try Visbiome. At the very least, contact the company and get more information. Take your life back like I did.