In today’s episode, Aras Toker shares his journey with Crohn’s Disease. For six years he battled flare ups with numerous medications and sought the help of three different doctors. But his symptoms only progressed. In 2014, he developed a fistula that connected to his sacrum and left him unable to stand for more than 10 minutes at a time due to the pain. The fistula required surgery, which included rerouting his intestines to give that portion of the bowel time to heal and an ostomy.
It was after his surgery, when his last doctor presented him with medication options for continued treatment, that Aras knew he needed a different path. Having tried other biologic drugs with no success, the last medication available also came with severe potential side effects, including brain tumors. It was then that he began researching holistic options and found a naturopathic doctor in his area.
In 2015 Aras met with his new doctor, who immediately started him on an intense, six-month plan that focused on four main pillars of nutrition, stress management and mindset, movement, and social connection. He methodically completed elimination diets, removing and reintroducing foods back into his diet, and made practices like meditation, mindfulness, and journaling a part of his everyday life.
His inflammation markers dropped, his energy and quality of life came back, and in 2016 he was healthy enough to have his ostomy reversal surgery. With the success of his own personal healing journey, Aras wanted to share his experiences. He began blogging about his story, connecting with other people who battled chronic illnesses, and ended up building an entire community and network of patients, caregivers, and experts in autoimmune diseases.
While he still shares his experiences and writes for Medium, he’s finally taking his passion for gut health and community to the next level. In 2019, Aras partnered with Vivante Health where he’s now building an online community of members who are interested in incorporating nutrition and lifestyle changes into their healing journeys.
Vivante Gut Health Community
Interested in making nutrition and lifestyle changes a part of your healing journey? Join like-minded patients, caregivers, and experts in the free Vivante Gut Health Community: