Vitamin D solving my dizziness








It has probably been a few years that I’ve struggled with feelings of dizziness and feeling slightly spaced out. Have Googled it, asked my GP and even my specialist bu

t we couldn’t resolve the issue. We started by looking at the obvious causes like anaemia (low iron levels), perhaps low Vitamin B12 or even considered low Vitamin C that could cause it. Nothing helped.
In the meantime I continuously tried to research and found a few articles about how most people with Crohn’s are deficient in Vitamin D. I read the articles and even asked around on some forums and more and more people confirmed they reckon it could help with my dizziness. I started with about 1,000 iU units. I started small since I was afraid to take too much. Vitamin D is fat soluble which means you can easily take in too much. I now take about 2,000 iu units. I’m quite sure it has been the biggest factor in my dizziness subsiding. I still take my iron tablets, Vit B12, Vit C, magnesium & calcium. The only difference has been that I’ve added Vitamin D and even though it took a few months I am now mostly dizziness free!

I am a big believer of continuously
doing research and trying to understand my own body as well as learning to understand what my gut is telling me!

Conquering hayfever and allergies


natural allergy medicine

Trying to find a solution to hayfever that won’t aggrevate my Crohn’s nor boost my immune system. Very tricky indeed.
I can’t boost my immune system at the moment since I am on medication that suppresses my immune system in order to get my Crohn’s disease under control. I think the allergies are even worse since I’m on my Humira.

Visited Wellness Warehouse yesterday and asked for some advice. The lady recommended this Nativa product that treats the symptoms naturally. Lets see how this goes!

Becoming more active and loving it

I went through bit of a dip during winter after a week long bout of flu but am grateful it didn’t become more serious than that. However it took me ages to get back to the level of activity I was used to.
Few months later and now I feel ready for races again.  I’m not very close to running a full race but am at that point where I could start running bits here and there with walking in between.

Am trying to be patient with my progress and just ‘keep at it’.

My next race is this sunday! The Gun Run is going to be HUGE with 18 000 people expecting to do various races ranging from 5km to 30 odd kms.  I’m walking the 5km but am grateful and proud of what I’ve achieved so far and trying to focus on that and not get demotivated.

And just to celebrate, I’ve entered my next race! Another 5km in the Nature Cape Point reserve!

in race mode

Almost done with Winter


We’re approaching spring and realised I went into some sort of hibernation. I was quite active when the rain allowed me to be and managed to only get hectic flu once this winter, but think my body has been fighting bugs along the way.

I feel tired and slightly run down.

I realised the best I can do now is rest and try to build up my system to become stronger again. Am reading lots of articles to see if I can formulate a plan of things I can try to do better.

Looking forward to spring now and hopefully less cold & flu bugs doing the rounds :)

My Winter Plan to stay healthy

We’re approaching winter.

The leaves are slowly turning their autumn colours and there is already a slight chill in the air.

I don’t mind winter too much, but since I’m on immune suppressed medicine most of the time for my Crohn’s that means I easily pick up any available bug.

I’ve never had so many colds & flu occurrences in my life.

But something has to change.

I can’t take immune booster supplements as they will work against my Humira medication so I can only take vitamins & minerals and look at what I’m eating and drinking.  I also feel too vulnerable to take a flu vaccine while on Humira but then again I was never a fan of flu vaccines.

Found a nice article which gave me some motivation and a plan to get myself in gear and do the preparation that I need to do in order to keep my body strong and as healthy as possible this winter.

My Pre-winter Boost plan so far:

  • Try eat lots of veggies and fruit
  • Try juicing and/or smoothies
  • Drink honey, lemon & slice of ginger in hot water if I feel I need a boost
  • Get ingredients for ‘the real flu shot’ as in article
  • Vitamin D (I now take 2000 iU units a day)
  • Zinc (I take in evenings as it can interfere with iron)
  • Iron (take in mornings)
  • Vit C – 1000mg dose a day
  • Probiotics
  • Vit B complex supplement
  • Vit B12 injection (always have taken these)
  • Use disinfectant spray on my hands when at work or public places.

I’m going to try track what I take and do and hopefully I will notice whether this has made a difference.

In need of perspective


Today I’m feeling very blue.  I’ve been struggling with symptoms of cold and flu for over a week. Since I started Humira I have been struggling with being very suceptible to bugs around me.  Have probably felt symptoms or beginning of a cold atleast one day per week since I started. That’s almost a year now and it feels like it’s catching up with me.

That’s why I decided to rather make a list now of things that I am grateful for before I loose perspective and loose my mind completely!

What I am grateful for today – even though I feel exhausted, miserable, sick and sad:

  • Am not in hospital with a flare
  • Don’t have stomach pain or intense Crohn’s symptoms
  • Have appetite and can enjoy my food again
  • Grateful to have an amazing supportive boyfriend who supports me through thick & thin
  • Have amazing caring people in my life
  • Have two amazing doggies that give me lots of cuddles and tail wagging
  • Enjoy my work and can cope despite my illness and feeling sick
  • Live in a gorgeous city with a great life in general
  • This too will pass – it just has to :)

Now I’m just going to pray, hold onto these things and just breathe…

Exercises that won’t aggrevate Crohn’s Disease

Health Planning

I found this article that gives ideas for exercises to help manage your Crohn’s while getting fit.

I’ve found it’s a challenge to be active if your gut area doesn’t feel 100% and when straining or using the stomach muscles too much feels uncomfortable.

The easiest start for me was actually rowing a few minutes on the row machine at work and bit of walking when I feel up to it.

Think I need to find a Yoga class again since it helped me more than I can express in the past. It helps for relaxation and even bit of exercise and stretching.

Mental note – find a yoga class!

Exercise as a Crohn’s flare buster

Exercise as Crohn's buster

I am so happy with my progress so far.

Humira is working so well for my Crohn’s at the moment that I’ve been off cortisone for almost a year and have been using Humira since July 2012. Usually when I used other medication to keep the Crohn’s flares at bay, I had to go on cortisone on and off few times a year.

The other benefit is that I actually feel that I have enough energy to exercise!  November I was in gym once and December also only one time.  January 2013 however i was in gym 7 times!  And even though February is technically not finished yet I’ve already been there 5 times!

Why am I happy? I’m happy with my progress. My goal was to increase activity slowly but to focus on building a habit.
A habit of being active, even if it’s for 5 minutes. It’s 5 minutes that my heart rate goes up and body can get stronger and healthier.
And to look at my Feb stats at the gym and see that the idea of 5 minutes actually translated into over 3 hours is very satisfying indeed.  Especially when I realise most of those times I went I didn’t feel 100%.  Sometimes I felt good, other times I kind of felt sick.

The trick is to learn to read your body’s signals. After a while you get a better idea when to skip gym and when to push beyond the tired feeling or lack of energy.

My boyfriend has also been extremely supportive and helping me by learning to listen to my body and my gut (pun intended) :)

Feb 2013 exercises

My Strategy to get Crohn’s in remission

crohn's positive outlook
So the Humira treatment is definitely working.  It’s is amazing news since I’ve experienced more and more symptoms over the last two years that slowly became worse.  That meant going on and off cortisone and a few hospital visits that also became slightly more frequent.  Nothing as bad as a few years ago but it was concerning to feel how I seemed to experience more and more pain and symptoms.

The fact that the Humira is working means that I am able to exercise more than I have in years.  I’ve been able to go to the gym seven times last month, which I have never been able to do before! Last time I was fit was just before I started getting sick in school at age 15. I was extremely fit and was playing in the school hockey team.  Now I’m starting to enjoy more and more exercise.  It’s amazing!!

I’m actually tracking when I go to the gym and what exercises I’m able to do so hopefully that will motivate me even more if I see how a 5 minute workout becomes 15 minutes or more.

My strategy at the moment is to use this time when I’m feeling stronger and stronger to become as fit as possible and stay as positive as possible. I do each little bit as I can.  Even if it is a 5 minute walk after which I can’t do anything else, I try to not feel despondent and just wait for a next time when I can try again.  My focus is to build the habit of being active again.

Besides – my body has been fighting a war on the inside.  I need to be gentle but firm and slightly pushing my boundaries. It’s recovering from a win from a recent battle thanks to Humira and I intend to make use of every milestone and victory to build my body to be as strong as possible :)

Glorious Social life

I had a glorious time this weekend visiting with friends and being active. I can’t remember when last I was able to feel up for it and totally enjoy every minute of a busy weekend!

What I was up to:

– visited with a friend I haven’t seen in quite a while
– attended a kiddies birthday party
– visited with new friends
– walk in a park with our dogs
– cleaned and organised the kitchen
– went to gym & walked 2 kilometers on treadmill
– visited with more friends.

Am extremely grateful that my Humira treatment seems to be working and have enjoyed every moment of this weekend!

I think a happy dance is in order :)