What’s happening people on the other side of the internet. My name is Shaanvir Rehal and I have Crohn’s Disease as you might have guessed from the title and tagline of this blog. I was diagnosed when I was about 16 after a family holiday to India. For a long time doctors put my pain down to a bad case of Dehli belly and overlooked my long history of inflammatory diseases. As a child I suffered from eczema and a year before I was diagnosed with Crohn’s, I was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis. So by the time the Crohn’s kicked in I was already sick and tired of being sick and tired.

I went through a number of treatments ranging from monthly infusions of infliximab to removing all solid food from my diet. All these treatments seemed to lessen the pain but nothing actually put the disease into remission. Most doctors and dietitians also told me that diet and stress didn’t really have an effect on the disease. Now I can’t really remember the dates but between the ages of 16 and 18 I must have been in A&E at least 2-3 times. Once I remember was right after Christmas. I went into Central London with my family and I threw up on the train platform on the way back. Fun times.

About 20cm of my intestines were removed a month before my 18th birthday. Right after the operation I contracted C.Diff which was the most scared I have ever been of dying. S**t happens though right? After the operation however, I had no symptoms for about four and a half years. I enjoyed university, travelled a bit and started working. I worked in sales which was a high stress environment and after a while i started to feel though all too familiar pains. September of 2010 I was admitted back into A&E late one evening with severe abdominal pains. Turns out that cutting me open could not stop the Crohn’s. I was put back on medication (Methotrexate) to control it and sent back home a few days later.

Luckily I have been blessed with a super supportive family. My dad always told me to keep a positive mental attitude and my mum always researched alternative and holistic approaches to dealing with Crohn’s. Even my many crazy Aunts, Uncles and Cousins played a massive part in my inner strength. Instead of giving a ton of sympathy (which mentally can be very draining) they always made sure that the disease never got the better of me in their own individual and unique ways. Because of all this support, I decided to move away and go to New York for a year. It seemed a good idea at the time.

While there, I got another flare up but I never let it stop me. Largely because of the great support network I had there including my Godparents Mike and Elise, my Godbrothers Markus and Zachery and my many friends who took care of me. I also met a man called Nathan Shomer, who is my Godmother’s cousin. He has naturally managed to get himself into a drug free remission for the past 9 years. He is a massive inspiration for this blog. So he explained to me how he controlled the disease through diet and that to beat it you need mental, physical and spiritual strength.

I arrived back in the UK in August and tried Nathan’s diet however, I was too weak to keep it up. My mental and spiritual strength was and is at its peak but physically I have a long way to go. Doctors ran many tests and it turns out that my disease is attacking me aggressively and they have decided to put me on Humera. They will review my health in 1 years time, well 51 weeks by the time I write this. By that time I intend to have no symptoms of Crohn’s disease whatsoever. I will be taking many initiatives to get my disease into a drug free remission. Not just the Crohn’s, but the spondylitis aswell. This blog is the first of many initiatives.

I am hoping that writing this will keep me focused. Also if what I go through can help anyone else then thats a bonus. I believe that I can beat my disease and I believe that diet and exercise is the key so keep reading and hopefully by next year I can safely say that I have cured myself of Crohn’s!!