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Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP) and I

125 pounds
With a new town, new school, new people, I began my first day of high school. That very same day, I began experiencing stomach aches, diarrhea, and drowsiness. Dismissing this as first-day freshman anxiety, I went on with my day. Within a few days, I was rushed to the emergency room, due to excessive bleeding, severe abdominal pain, and drastically low blood platelets.
116 pounds
A colonoscopy revealed that my entire large intestine was inflamed and ulcerated. During my ten days of living in a hospital bed, I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis and Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP); there are roughly 5-7 cases reported of these two diseases occurring simultaneously.
112 pounds
The doctors injected me with extremely high doses of steroids and other medications, which had dreadful side effects, each worse than the last. The best part was that the doctors put me on the low-residue diet: meaning I wasn’t allowed to eat fruits and vegetables. My typical meal, provided by the hospital 3 times a day, consisted of mac and cheese, a cookie, a can of sprite, and bread.
107 pounds
The symptoms were only getting worse. It was at this point that my family and I realized that the food I was eating was the contributing to my lack of recovery. When we brought this issue to the doctors, they argued that diet hardly affected Ulcerative Colitis and that the food I was currently eating was perfectly fine.
101 pounds
On 60 Mg of intravenous steroids and 4.8g of Mesalamine, my platelets and weight continued to drop. The doctors, still seeing no sign of recovery, recommended a colectomy: a surgery to remove the entire large intestine.
96 pounds
My parents, after much arguing, managed to convince to doctors to start a new medication before looking towards surgery. The doctors prescribed me with intravenous Remicade, a biologic with a 60% success rate and many dangerous side effects.  Because I was given this new medication, the doctors released me from the hospital.

91 pounds
After receiving a few doses of Remicade and not seeing much recovery, the doctors once again advocated for surgery. At this point, we decided to turn toward changing the diet as a last resort. After a lot of reading and research, my parents began cutting out all the unhealthy foods out of my diet, and began adding in many anti-inflammatory foods.
98 pounds
I continued to closely follow this diet regimen, and found that cutting out certain foods and eating very specific items was far more beneficial than any of the steroids and medications I was taking, and lacked all the dangerous side effects. My platelets began to rise and my weight began to increase.
93 pounds
I was readmitted into the hospital after a large flare-up. After doing some more research my parents and I came across the IBD-AID diet which contained many anti-inflammatory foods and cut out many unhealthy foods. This diet was similar to the one I had been following but also divided the diet into three phases. These three phases indicated the severity of the inflammation. As my Ulcerative Colitis was very severe, I should have only eaten foods that were in phase 1. I had eaten foods that were in phases 2 and 3, which is likely what triggered the flare-up.
101 pounds
After being released, from the hospital, I strictly stayed on the first stage of the IBD-AID Diet. Almost immediately, my weight and platelets began to rise.
116 pounds
As my health began to improve, I slowly began shifting from Stage 1 to Stage 2 of the IBD-AID diet.
129 pounds
On stage 3 of the diet, my platelets were at nearly 150,000 and my weight was greater than it was before. Another colonoscopy revealed very little inflammation in the intestines and indicated almost full remission.
151 pounds
After months of being on the IBD-AID diet, I was back to my normal self; the Ulcerative Colitis was in remission and platelets averaging 200,000. The IBD-AID Diet is far more effective than any other medication, and has no negative side effects.
Without the IBD-AID Diet, I would have likely been forced to have surgery, and live without a large intestine for the rest of my life. I encourage you to try this diet before looking towards harsh medications, steroids, and surgery. Let food be your medicine and start the path of healing.
Arshaan Ali

UMass Chan Center for Applied Nutrition