Describing her Instagram page as “a young gal’s adventures with Crohn’s Disease & other chronic illnesses,” Renee Taylor continues her IBD advocacy on today’s podcast where she shares her Crohn’s journey and how she’s seeking to find the balance between western and holistic medicine.
Diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease while a junior in college, Renee shares her many ups and downs over the past two years. Renee was diagnosed with Autoimmune Hepatitis as a child, so she’s no stranger to battling chronic illness. But, since being diagnosed with IBD, she’s faced some of her biggest challenges yet, including flare-ups and erythema nodosum episodes that are so severe that she can’t walk.
Renee talks about her medication history, from her first few (and only) days on prednisone to finding immediate relief with Remicade. But relief was short lived as she failed out after a few months and then switched to Humira. Once again, however, she started to reject Humira and it was then, around July 2019, that she decided to get serious about her lifestyle and began focusing on changing her diet and reducing her stress levels to help manage Crohn’s.
While fitness has always been a part of Renee’s life, she stresses the importance of re-evaluating what fitness looks like after being diagnosed with IBD. As she describes in the interview, sometimes fitness must be put on hold during intense flares. She talks about how she’s learned to celebrate the small daily victories and reminds herself that the flares are temporary. Overall, she feels better when she gives her body the chance to sweat and move and fitness gives a much-needed routine and structure to life with a chronic illness.
During flares, she tries to hold on to a sense of normalcy, even if it’s just reading a book or connecting with a friend. She’s learned to adapt her diet to include foods she tolerates and avoid common inflammatory foods like corn, soy, and gluten. Renee has also found the power of investing in her interests and not being afraid to follow her passions, one of which is advocating for IBD patients.
Through her advocacy, she has found a sense of normalcy and connection to those fighting the same battles. This month, she’s starting a collaboration with Avery Rosenbloom from @talktummytome on Instagram called “What the F Wednesdays.” They’ll be diving into the abyss that is early adulthood in a series of Instagram live videos. The first episode just launched yesterday, January 5th, on her Instagram (@killinitwithcrohns) and future episodes will be recorded every Wednesday evening.
Follow Renee on Instagram: @killinitwithcrohns
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