Gastrointestinal Problems, Crohn’s Disease
My story begins near the start of July of 2008. I’m a 24-year-old who has led an active lifestyle. Along with having been a life-long athlete, I still ran to stay in shape. I didn’t smoke, and I ate a fairly healthy diet. My health has always been important to me.
I first noticed something unusual when I was eating. I was experiencing a mild discomfort in my chest when I swallowed. I didn’t think much of it until I began having abdominal discomfort approximately 15-30 minutes after I ate. This had been going on for 2-3 weeks, and I was beginning to think that maybe there was something bigger going on with my health, so I went to see a doctor at a local clinic. The doctor determined that I had gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD), and prescribed a medication that should have fixed all my problems. I wasn’t convinced of this diagnosis, since I didn’t have any of the typical signs or symptoms of GERD. Despite my opposition toward taking a drug for a diagnosis I didn’t really accept, I began to take the prescription.
Two weeks later, I hadn’t improved. In fact I had actually taken a turn for the worse. I was experiencing extreme fatigue. Walking up a flight of stairs would wear me out so much so that I would have to catch my breath or sit down for a moment. Next, I began having night sweats that completely soaked my bed sheets. I went to see the doctor again, to explain that the prescription wasn’t working and that my symptoms were worsening. This time the doctor prescribed a different medication for the same diagnosis and in addition, the doctor thought I was probably fighting a bug that was causing the night sweats. So, hesitantly I began taking the new medication to treat what was diagnosed as GERD.
The week after I started my new medication, I began having fevers that came on every night around 4-6 pm. Aside from the fevers, I was exhausted and still having night sweats, and I started experiencing chronic diarrhea. This lasted for about five days, and then I began to improve. I even started running again to get my strength back.
My improvement was short-lived though. It was now mid-August and I started having the fevers, the night sweats, and the diarrhea again. Upon a return visit to the doctor, he decided that I should have blood tests, which came back basically normal. The only indicator from the blood tests showed that there was inflammation somewhere in my body, but the doctor couldn’t determine where.
By mid-September, I still had not improved, and I had just had minor surgery on a rectal abscess, a process that I hope no one must endure. At this point the doctors were thinking that I might have Crohn’s disease. A biopsy during the first week of October confirmed this diagnosis. According to the doctors, a person can live a normal life with Crohn’s, which is a chronic illness. However, the patient should expect to have “flare-ups” occasionally, which is what I had been experiencing for the last few months. There is also a high probability that a person will have at least one surgery throughout his or her life to remove part of the intestine. All in all, this did not seem like a hopeful prognosis.
The doctor immediately started me on a steroid prescription that was supposed to decrease the inflammation in my intestine, which was causing many of my symptoms including the abdominal cramping that had come on in the last couple weeks. I was not excited about taking a steroid for a long period, because of the harmful effects that I have heard about. Additionally, the prescription would cost me $600 per month if I didn’t have insurance. Frustrated, but without options, I began taking the steroid. I had taken this prescription for two and half weeks, with absolutely no improvements, before meeting with Dr. Link to see if Nutrition Response Testing could help my condition.
The first meeting with Dr. Link was eye-opening and unbelievable. The new techniques that he uses are simply amazing. The results from my first appointment with Dr. Link were more comprehensive than anything I had heard from doctors in the three to four months that I had been seeing them. Dr. Link was able to tell me that my body was responding to a poison that I had absorbed through contact with paint thinner in the previous year. He provided me with whole food supplements to enable my body to deal with the poison. Although it seemed strange to me, I was willing to try anything that promised results.
And, did I get results! Within one week of starting the whole food supplements, my abdominal cramping was gone. Slowly, my energy level began to rise, and my bowel movements began to normalize. I didn’t have any more fevers or night sweats. I was beginning to feel normal again. At the continuing appointments with Dr. Link, he was able to uncover that underneath all my complications and symptoms, there was a nasty virus that my body was unable to fight on its own. He added new supplements to address this viral issue while the previous supplements that I was taking were no longer needed. Within one month of beginning sessions with Dr. Link, I felt great, better than I had since before the onset of my symptoms. I had energy to be active, which is important since I love to hike, camp, hunt, canoe, and enjoy the outdoors.
That was November, and now it’s March 2009. I have maintained my health and feel as good as ever. I’m running, hiking, skiing, and doing everything that makes me happy again. Additionally, I have completely revamped the way that I live and eat. There are so many important aspects to health that we’re not taught these days, and I’ve taken it upon myself to really understand the true sense of the word health.
I’m continuing to follow-up on my improvement plan, although the frequency and number of supplements continues to decline. Crohn’s is a severe disease and can’t be erased overnight, so I want to be sure that my body is getting everything it needs. However, I’m confident that this disease will never “flare-up” again, and I’m confident that I’ll keep every part of my intestine until I die. Although I don’t completely understand how, Dr. Link is working miracles. This new understanding of the body called Nutrition Response Testing really, works. Where the medical community fails, Dr. Link and his colleagues are able to make a difference. Thank you, Dr. Link.
– David A.