Matan Hakimi
Dec 3, 2018 · 9 min read


I was 20 years old when I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis. A chronic inflammatory bowel disease. What is the cause? “Unknown”. What is the cure? “There Is no cure”. Should I change my lifestyle or any habits? “not that we know of”. For almost a decade I was living under the impression that my fate is doomed. For what will become a miserable life of a sick individual. One that is dependent on medications, hospitals and doctors. A life of limitations and suffering. A life of being different and deprived from fulfilling all my dreams and goals that would require me to be healthy and focused. Not sick and disturbed. How is this possible? I was healthy for the first 20 years of my life. My parents are healthy my brother is healthy. Why would this happen to me?

I began writing my book (“Gut Rules”) about a year after I healed myself from Ulcerative Colitis. I was suffering from this gut condition for a period of 10 years. Now I am in my early 30’s which means I was sick for about a third of my life. 10 shitty years. At first I wasn’t sure if my healing is what the doctors commonly describe as a “temporary remission”. My last colonoscopy showed no recollection of Ulcerative Colitis, inflammation or damage to the gut lining. At this point I should have been thrilled, let it go, and enjoy my newly regained healthy status.

But…I wasn’t quite sure of what it was exactly that made me achieve this new state of gut health, as well I never understood how I became sick to begin with, and I was disturbed by it.

Of course I knew what steps I had to take in my process of getting better and I had followed a specific set of rules in order to do so, but I wanted to know and understand more, I wanted to know everything about the science of gut healing. I have just cured my self from what is considered to be a chronic condition — an autoimmune disease, which is considered by modern medicine as incurable. That’s pretty huge! So how can someone be cured of something incurable? My purpose wasn’t just to gain more knowledge it was to gain confidence. For me confidence was knowing everything there is to know about the human body, the immune system, the gut and nutrition. Why? So this never happens to me ever again.

Having said that. Here is what I learned so far from my own research and experience which I would love to share with you.

I spent the last couple of years studying, researching and learning everything about the history of health, medicine, nutrition, food, gut bacteria and the human body.

I have to tell you, my healing didn’t require as much hard work as I thought it would take. I didn’t have so spend insane amounts of money purchasing anything such as medications, supplements, herbs etc. I didn’t need to meet with anyone such as an alternative medicine practitioner, surgeons, doctors, I didn’t have to travel or stop my life.

What I did do is change my life style. I will say that changing my lifestyle was not an easy transition for a citizen of the modern world such as myself. The reason it wasn’t easy was not because Ive taken extreme steps but because we, as human beings living in the 21st century had gotten ourselves used to many habits that ultimately prove harmful to us.

Being sick for a decade was very hard. Going to the bathroom no less than 10 times a day, I could never anticipate when I would have to go and I couldn’t hold myself more than a few second from the time I felt the need to actually use the bathroom. There were times where I didn’t make it on time. Seeing blood inside the toilet or on the toilet paper always scared me and took the wind out of my sail. Never having a hard stool became my reality. The colonoscopies, being ashamed of myself, getting the flu or a cold way too often because of the compromised functionality of my immune system, hiding what I am going through from people, being the “problematic” one that people need to be considerate of, not being able to be spontaneous because I had to think about medications all the time and weather or not there will be a bathroom available wherever it is I happen to be going. Even sexual interaction became a source of dread for me. I was simply not functional. I think that the worse part for me was waking up every day to a reality where I am not only dependent on these medications but I am reminded by the act of taking them every morning, noon and evening that I am sick.

If I may, let me tell you what being cured means for me. In a nutshell since I am IBD free I am not taking any medication of any kind for two years now, I go to the bathroom regularly, I sleep well, I am never in pain, all side effect from my inflamed gut and medications are gone, and I am happier than I have ever been.. In addition to all that adopting this new change in lifestyle has benefited my immune system tremendously, it is bit stonier that it has ever been before which means I am pretty much free of common sicknesses such as flu headaches fatigue allergies seasonal sicknesses which before were a standard part of my existence. It feels incredible knowing my body so well, knowing what works and what doesn’t work for me and having such vital health information we were never taught growing up.

I think it was 2014 when I started coming across random stories of people who cured themselves from IDB. Each one and his own specific story however all of the stories together got me got me to question the “incurable” verdict on my condition by standard medical practitioners.

Could there be a solution? A cure? I mean every doctor I had ever met, every clinical research I came across, every article I found and read on the subject all determine that IBD is incurable. But something in me just couldn’t accept that as fact I had to find out more. So I kept searching for more answers. Before long I suddenly find out there were people out there who were doing things differently. I read about a person who went on a watermelon diet and supposedly cure his condition. I watched a YouTube video about a guy the utilized fecal transplant at his own home to cure himself. I found out about fasting. All this new information blew me away. I wanted it, but thing still seemed little bit too random. There wasn’t a clear explanation it was just anecdotal stories.

Out of all this confusion something happened. Something changed in me and without knowing how or what the journey would entail I made a decision that I am going to heal myself. What ever it takes. In the following years I became obsessed and thrilled with the possibility of being healthy again.

I started reading anything related to IBD I could put my hands on. Medical research, books on the nutrition and the gut on top of endless articles and films. I also made it into a point to integrate the information I came across into my own lifestyle.

Without changing my diet or implementing any other lifestyle change my first experiment was to do a fecal transplants. If you’ve never heard of it a fecal transplant is a procedure that utilizes the good bacteria found in a healthy persons feces to repopulate your own gut microbiome. I did it once at home using my best friend’s feces. And another time as a part as a subject at a clinical research at a hospital. Great idea, I know it works in other cases for me it didn’t work at all. I also don’t think this it the best way to heal the gut considering the unexpected side effects that are potential in the procedure.

The next step in my process was two fold. I decided to eliminate all of my prescription medication intake. I am aware this step might sound a little extreme however everything that came up in my research suggested that this would be the right way forward toward healing my gut. I took the step and I am very glad I did. Upon further research I found how harmful these medication can be towards the body and the gut. The main purpose of medications is to treat the symptoms not the cause. And what I wanted to achieve is true healing and not only the symptoms. My idea of real treatment is helping the body reverse the condition.

Along with eliminating medication intake I continued my search for natural alternatives to substitute the medications and started taking raw propolis daily. I found in my research that propolis had great healing effect on Crohn’s and Colitis. In my research I was amazed to find how beneficial the bee kingdom is to our health. Its benefits range from honey, which is full of nutrients and antioxidant to Propolis which is anti microbial, anti fungal and is considered the antibiotics of nature. I have utilized both extensively in my healing process.

My next step was apitherapy. For 6 months I stung myself with live bees. If you were wondering why in the world would I do this? It’s because bee venom has proven as anti-inflammatory and beneficial for the human immune system. Yes, as crazy as it may sound apitherapy has been used successfully throughout history to treat many medical conditions by boosting the immune system. I am sure you are wondering how it felt, yes It is was painful however I did get used to it and it did turn into an amazing experience that greatly taught me about the power of nature. I can honestly say that this experience of utilizing nature to improve my condition has helped me to gradually believe in the healing power that nature can offer us through its many incredible resources. This served as the proof that I very much needed that nature has incredible healing powers that I never realized existed. Everything we need in order to heal ourselves can be found in nature. Nature is truly a healing goldmine. Even though this was certainly a big step forward it wasn’t the solution I was hoping for quite yet. At this point I still didn’t change anything about my diet.

The next step and the most significant one was to finally change how I eat. My desperation and the severity of my symptoms left me no choice but to open my mind and give this diet change a shot. At first I started simple, I googled diet recommendation for IDB. In a way I knew all along that there are foods that are better and worse for you. Everything I found made me realize that my first step towards a better diet was giving up sugar, dairy and fried foods. Next I gave up bread and all baked goods. In the following pages I will detail exactly how I ate and what kind of changes I implemented in my eating habits. It is important for me to prefice that only when I made a hard choice not to cheat in my diet did I start experiencing significant improvement in my condition. I will also say that the process included a lot of trial and error until I could find the right formula that worked for me. Every few weeks I would try another approach, I would eliminate certain foods and add other foods and slowly I began noticing my gut was getting stronger. At certain points I did experience setbacks which made me go back reevaluate what I was eating and adjust it accordingly .

Step by step I began to apply more and more gut rules. I notice that I am starting to feel better, and better, until finally 6 months later I was officially free of IBD. To my amazement I was now healed.

Trusting myself and the signals my body gave me thought the process was the ultimate way to move toward heeling.

I did not come up with any of the information presented in these following articles myself. Every piece of information here is based on medical research and science. It covers modern medicine, alternative medicine, nutrition research, microbiome research, the immune system and more. The only thing I did was to connect all the dots together. In order to assist anyone with Inflammatory bowel diseases in their pursuit of a healthy gut.

Just like many of you the doctors told me that there will be no cure for my condition but I found that there was indeed a way to regain my gut health. I would like to share my way with you. My wish is that this information would assist you on your personal journey towards gut healing. My second wish is to expand the perception of how we treat modern day illness.

Matan Hakimi

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Filmmaker and writer from New York