On 8/19, after 15 years of struggle, I sent my manager an email saying the GI pain was getting too much, and I was barely functioning in all aspects of my life most days. Today, I am better than I have ever been in my life. I am 45 years old and feel like I am back in my 20s right now. Part of that could easily be associated to the euphoria caused by being pain free finally. Until this, I had been in pain so long, I did not actually know that on days I was feeling better, I still had a layer of pain that was like a nagging tension under it all.
Everyone around me knew of my pain and struggles, but nobody could possibly understand the torture of it. I work from home, and never wanted to be on video calls, because I did not want to have people seeing the pained expressions on my face, if that gives any context.
There is a massive back story to this that some may find interesting, but I will not try to put it all in here. I am curious to know if people are interested to hear it, as I really feel Huel could be used as a medical diagnostic tool, and maybe other people will show similar results to chronic issues. That starts getting into a crazy cure concept, but there is plenty of data showing nutrition and the impact on health. Not to overstep, but if you believe some of the documentaries, I think it should be tested as a dietary protocol for cancer. I have no idea if it would help, but if you put it all together, I would love to see it be tested using my routine. If Huel has perfected nutrition this well, who knows what could be done from here. It is precise and measurable, so you could use Huel to be the basis for a diagnostic process to which small adjustments are made to either provide data to help doctors and patients understand what to do next.
In any case, I will try to be a bit more succinct, but it is hard when I am this excited and naturally verbose.
On 8/15, I decided to proceed with parallel paths in my treatment.
Find a recipe to allow full nutrition from one meal that could be used for every single meal as a diagnostic tool.
Request assistance from Grand Rounds to conduct a little research into some data I found on genetic causes.
Sign up for AbleTo counselling to try to deal with the psychological toll the torture was causing me.
Look into Traditional Chinese Medicine as an option.
When I searched for the recipe required for the diet, I stumbled on Huel. I did not even hesitate. I knew of Soylent, but the ingredients are many things I have been told may be a part of the problem. Huel, on the other hand, was my dream made real. Low FODMAP, low GI, low sugar, mostly natural, low allergen potential AND complete nutrition. I ordered my kit without a second thought about going on a Huel only diet, other than my decision to also give up coffee.
I started Huel on 8/17 as soon as it arrived and have not been back to “food” since. Here is the incredible transformation.
By 8/18, I still had a lot of digestive issues and pain. I had been in a full flare-up before starting Huel, so I was not sure which was causing the problems, as they were much the same as a flare-up. I knew a normal person should ease into such a change, but my system was more screwed than I would prefer to describe here, and I was suffering immensely, so I just went for it, I was only able to get down 1500 calories of Huel. I had tried mixing PB Fit into it, but it did not improve it much.
By 8/19, I decided to cease everything except peppermint oil every two hours, and Zenwise enzymes with every other Huel. Nothing else would be going through my digestive system other than water and an occasional cup of hot green tea. I had already stopped all the medications I was on so not to corrupt results, and they never really worked well anyway. I set the mark to 2000 calories, but I started the day not very good. My journal entry started “Very bad day. I felt like I wanted to be put in a coma all day”. That afternoon, I sat on the floor of the bathroom ready to cry over the torture in my abdomen to the point of wondering if I needed to call a crisis line or something. I was still not feeling better and I was having real issues getting Huel down, or out. My best hope also seemed like it was destined to fail. I sent my boss an email that I was near the end of struggling one way or another, gave him my plan, and told him if none of them worked, I was probably going to need to talk about disability options.
8/20, I was feeling slightly better. Just enough for me to have second thoughts on the email I sent and told my boss let’s just take it day by day for now. My pain was a bit less maddening, but it was still so hard to focus on anything other than trying to find some position that would give me any relief. My mental focus was almost non-existent.
8/21, the magic just started happening. My taste buds or maybe because of my mindset……probably both. My body started craving more Huel. It took me by surprise, but it decided it was not some weird thing I should not be drinking and wanted it. At least, that is my interpretation of it. I was energetic enough to go for a walk on a nearby trail, and to my surprise I managed about 2.5 miles. The initial pain was rough, but I had enough energy from the Huel to push through. Oddly, the pushing was much less of an effort, possibly due to optimism, and possibly due to a theory I now have that we need more calories than we know, but due to diet challenges, we usually do not get in the right mode. I had energy I had been unable to provide all this time, because I associated food with misery, so I barely ate enough to survive, much less thrive. I only got 2000 and my rating would put me at least at 2500, but it was already helping.
8/22, I started getting more hopeful as I began to feel the pain leaving. At that point, I did not know if it was just coincidental or not. The night before was the first time I had been “without pain” for over a year. I did not realize that was not the bottom of the pain yet, but was so ecstatic, I woke my wife up to tell her. That lasted about 10 hours before it returned. I had my first session with the therapist that afternoon, but by that time, I could feel it was really seeming to work. We talked about some goals, but I had a tough time wrapping my head around it all to know. I was very optimistic finally. I was able to walk another 2 miles with some pain.
8/23, my digestive system had adapted! Everything still seemed wrong with the way my digestive system was working, but I could tell it was still sorting it out. 15 years of damage is not going to be undone in a short period of time, but I was still pleased to have some signs I might be able to at least manage things better with this. My appetite always goes up when my digestive system is not in pain, so I pumped in more Huel and reached 2500 calories. Without the pain, and with no real concern that Huel would be an issue, I decided consuming more calories made sense, as I could feel more things happening as more was going in. I had so much energy that night, I could not sleep. I finally did some pushups and crunches to try to get some energy out. I had not been doing much actual exercise and was a little surprised I could do 40 pushups and 100 crunches at all, much less at midnight.
8/24, I had noticed a very different feeling in my abdomen the previous night. It was a kind of unwinding. I felt things moving around without issue. It was still irritating to be hypersensitive to that, but much less so and I was glad for the sensations. This day, I consumed 3000 calories to see what might happen. My muscles immediately absorbed any excess Huel. Every muscle in my body become more developed with only a small amount of effort. My best guess is that either I had enough calories to allow my body to do it, or Huel cannot be converted to fat easily, so my body had excess energy to absorb somewhere. All I know for sure is that it was a starling evening, and I am pretty sure my testosterone levels were either normal again, or unusually high. I had a very interesting meeting with the cognitive behavior therapist that day too. She was supposed to help me deal with the pain, stress and depression, but there is nothing to help with right now and I think the session almost ended up being me preaching to her about the value of Huel.
8/25, my wife and I went on an amazing hike on the Ute Trail in the Rockies. She has become convinced of Huel’s potential the day before, so we both went hiking on Huel and water. It was great, but I neglected to account for the time away and the amount of Huel needed. I was stuck with trying to consume another 1000 calories as soon as we got home to even meet 2250 calories. Mental note, always bring enough Huel! I had some discomfort all day, but it eased after having a Huel and things started moving that evening.
8/26, started the day a little weak and tired, probably due to the calorie deficit yesterday, but once I got enough Huel in me, I had immense energy the second half of the day. The best news was that I had less than zero pain. What I mean by that is the pain dropped off past what I thought was the end, but as the tension disappeared, I realized I had always been dealing with that pain. It was such a relief, I burst out laughing at the realization. All in all, I am better than I ever remember being in my life.
Reading over this, it might seem I am reading too much into it, as not enough time had passed to prove this has cured me, but nobody knows my body like I do. One of the biggest tricks is explaining how it has felt all these years. I suspect a lot of severe IBS sufferers can commiserate on that one. I know this is something big for me and am pretty sure I may be symptom free soon.
if the same protocol could be followed by other sufferers, maybe people can help me prove how big of a deal this may be. I have a scientific mind, so I have been as skeptical as anyone. I encourage everyone to be skeptical, as everyone really should be about anything you read or hear on TV. Do your own research and make up your own mind.
I am not in any way affiliated with Huel, but Huel has become a focal point for me, as it saved my life. I sometimes have to flex my arm to remind myself this is real, and I have not simply lost my mind. I came so close to having the pain drive me mad, I do not fully trust a reality in which I went from that to this level of recovery that fast. So, every once in a while, I have to anchor myself to the fact that it somehow is real. That is how big this is for me.
The other part of my experience that I would like to share is a theory I have about calories. Perhaps this is well known already by some, but I think we have the wrong relationship with calories. A lot of healthy people are worried about getting too many calories, and the majority of people get too many unhealthy calories. What happens when you give the body precise nutrition on a regular schedule and boost the calories higher? I do not know all the answers, but I am dying to find out with Huel. In general, I function better on Huel, and I can feel now when I need more. Even at normal amounts, my vision has improved, my body started filling out with muscle, fat keeps dropping off, and my mind works much faster than before. I have struggled to keep my mind sharp over the years, so I kept pushing but it was hard. I believe the muscle gain and improvements in mental function may be related to how sick I was and my body is simply able to recover now, but I don’t really know yet. If that is not all it is, maybe the body needs a certain amount of surplus calories to be better than just “normal”, and most people are not getting enough to allow nutrition to do the basics right because they think it will go to fat, which is true on many diets.
I know I ran on a lot with this, but I hope some people find it helpful. I don’t want to try to figure out whether I can just eat vegan and be ok without Huel. My analogy would be a prisoner of war, who was tortured for 15 years waiting for rescue. After giving up, he escapes on his own. I am nervous to take any chance to return to that prison, and I am fine with living off of Huel, so long as it proves viable long term. I am planning on another blood test in one month, and possibly blood tests every few months. I have not settled on the plan for that. I am in a mode of telling my doctor what I want to happen, instead of waiting for anyone to suggest things. My doctor is great, but if this journey doesn’t teach me to always keep the ownership for analyzing the problem myself, nothing will. I am thinking to create a Youtube channel or something, so people can keep up with my experiment long term, and show some of the gorgeous locations going on Huel powered hikes. I have so much energy with this, I would love to have the time to show everyone what Huel can do for you, particularly for those struggling with conditions like I did for so long; to call it life-changing is an understatement.
I ran out of Huel last night because my son wanted to try it, and I really wanted him to try it. It happened to be my last serving, as I timed the order wrong. After six hours of nothing, I had some acid indigestion, which makes sense, but it triggered symptoms in my small intestine I had never noticed before. With the storm of symptoms calmed down, I think the rare possibility mentioned by my doctors of Crohn’s in the small bowel makes sense now, even though the diarrhea is missing; they never have tested me for that, so I do not believe anything to date would have shown that. This form of Crohn’s may not even have diarrhea from what I read, and all other symptoms are spot on. The main concern for this type is acid production. The required treatment would be proton pump inhibitors for life…….or I can just drink Huel and not need meds. While in the midst of the pain starting up, I read about gastroduodenal Crohn’s, and it requires “intense acid suppression” to manage. Maybe it is coincidence, but it is adding up, and proves my point that Huel makes an incredible medical diagnostic tool, with or without a doctor involved. Imagine the results of this sort of thing with someone helping you through it, instead of analyzing it on my own. My condition made me hyper-aware of everything, everything still is hyper-sensitive in there, but no issues at all, so long as Huel keeps flowing on the conveyor belt. Once on Huel, I was able to fight the negative hypers with hyper-energy and hyper-analysis thanks to the nutrition in Huel. It gave me the power to help myself; no doctor’s input required. Hual has given me my life back, and I cannot express in mere words how grateful I am.
Thank you to anyone who read my very long winded posting.