Crohn’s Fitness Food and my Rocky Road to Health
Written & Narrated by Stephanie Gish
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20 years with IBD
I wanted to share my journey with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) as completely and honestly as I could, and once the words started flowing, they just kept coming! From my first symptoms with bleeding intestines in 2003 and first major flare-up in 2006, through all the colonoscopies and doctor visits along the way, I’ve chronicled the past 20 years with IBD and my diagnosis of IgA nephropathy.
I scoured thousands of pages of medical records to retrace my path and revisited the roller coaster of emotions I felt throughout this journey, from being dismissed and ignored by the medical community to finding the few health professionals that I felt truly cared and listened. I’ve searched, experimented, and fought for my health through diet, medications, and lifestyle practices and I’ve shared them all here. Thank you for coming with me on this journey! Use the form above to get notified when the book is available to purchase.
Be strong. Be grateful. Keep going.
I am passionate about health and fitness, but the road to finding my best health (and best self) continues to be a rocky one! After earning the title of Miss EIU Fitness during college in 2001 and 2002, I experienced my first symptoms of Crohn’s disease in 2003; I received my official diagnosis in 2009. I faced the challenge of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) head on and began my lifetime search of better physical, mental, and emotional health. But just when I thought I had a handle on my health, I underwent a kidney biopsy in 2021 that confirmed IgA nephropathy.
Despite Crohn’s disease and IgA nephropathy, I’ve been determined to not let chronic illness slow me down. Eager to see the world, I spent my first year of college on the Big Island of Hawaii, then finished my degree in broadcast journalism at Eastern Illinois University, where I joined the ROTC program and earned a commission as an Army officer upon graduating. My first military assignment took me to San Antonio, Texas, where I stayed for over a decade until moving to Florida in August 2022, where I’m now surrounded by palm trees, sand, and water — that all feed my soul.
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