Ari Meisel was taking 16 pills a day in order to manage his Crohn’s disease – a chronic, inflammatory autoimmune disease affecting the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
Meisel, 30, an entrepreneur/real estate developer who lives in New York City, wasn’t leading the healthiest of lifestyles either. He admitted to smoking a pack of cigarettes a day and eating fast food on the go.
Crohn’s can affect any part of the GI tract – from the anus to the mouth. Symptoms include, but are not limited to, rectal bleeding, persistent diarrhea, constipation, severe stomach cramps and fever.
After being hospitalized for a bowel obstruction, Meisel had one particularly bad night.
“I didn’t think I was going to make it through the night. I was in so much pain.”
– Ari Meisel, Crohn’s patient
“I didn’t think I was going to make it through the night,” Meisel told FoxNews.com. “They were talking surgery . . .I had spiked a 105 degree fever. I was in so much pain.”
Morphine helped with the pain, but after that intense night, Meisel decided it was time to make several lifestyle changes. His wife (who at the time was his girlfriend) is a yoga instructor and holistic nutritional counselor. Together, they decided his body needed to “reboot” itself.
Turning things around
Around 2008, Meisel stopped smoking and became a vegan for one month.
“I did it for cleansing purposes. I was basically eating nothing,” Meisel said. “Just veggies, no dairy.”
But slowly, Meisel introduced more dairy into his diet and became a vegetarian for six months.He also started practicing yoga and doing triathalons, as one way of dealing with stress, which Meisel said is a factor for his disease.
At the end of the six months, he reintroduced fish back in his diet, along with supplements like krill oil, garlic, cat’s claw and probiotics, to name a few.
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