Laura Scaviola’s Story
Born into an Italian-American family, it was inevitable that I fall in love with food. Fresh mozzarella, homemade pasta, and a crusty piece of Italian bread were components of an average meal. But my passion for food was not limited to Italian cuisine. I once placed first for ladies in a pie eating contest and third in a Twinkie eating contest. Then there was that one week I ate nachos for dinner seven days straight. And I could drink craft beer like a disturbingly large German man.
I thought I had an iron stomach.
Until March 2013.
I developed some tummy troubles (read: frightening bowel issues) and I lost 7% of my body weight in 6 days. I was frequenting the bathroom about 20+ times a day and barely eating. Conditions got uglier and uglier. There was a lot of blood. One Saturday evening it was necessary to go to the ER for dehydration and bleeding. A grueling week later and a few tests a 25 year old shouldn’t have to endure, I finally had a colonoscopy. The results came back. My gastroenterologist diagnosed me with severe ulcerative colitis throughout my entire colon (pancolitis).
As soon as I woke up from anesthesia my doctor informed me I had a lifelong chronic autoimmune disease. My colon was basically attacking itself, creating ulcers, and making it impossible for me to function properly. After giving me a diagnosis I asked my doctor a question that would change my view on health.
“Is there anything I should be eating or avoid eating to help aid this disease?”
His response was that there is no scientific proof that link the two but that he’s had a patient go into remission with help from the paleo diet.
Hospital bracelet still on my wrist and groggy from the anesthesia, my amazingly supportive mother drove me to the grocery store. We bought Paleo food and removed all grains, dairy, gluten, legumes, and sugar from my apartment. Medication guided me to remission and a change in lifestyle maintains my remission.
NOTABLE: The paleo diet has not cured this incurable disease. This diet is only a piece of my lifestyle change. I attribute paleo eating as a way to understand how my body is fueled by food and nutrition. Simply because a food is “paleo” does not mean there will not be consequences due to my ulcerative colitis. Learning these limitations and successes has caused me to tailor my own personal paleo diet.
If you or your organization is interested in collaborating or sharing my lifestyle please complete the form below or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.