At the age of 12, Jordyn Shapiro was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. Her symptoms were chronic abdominal pain, diarrhea, bloating, gas attacks, vomiting, fevers, skin rashes, anemia and indolent sores in her mouth. She had lost 30 pounds in 6 months and had stopped growing resulting in a 2-year growth delay as well as a failure of normal teeth development.
At the beginning of treatment, she was prescribed steroids and chemotherapy medication that she willingly took for one year, despite the fact that she showed no improvement at all. Her condition worsened, and, to make matters worse, her hair began to fall out. She had missed 60 days of school and was now becoming reclusive.
Jordyn had been admitted to the hospital several times for dehydration and after her last hospitalization she was recommended to a clinical nutritionist, Dr. Melvyn Grovit. Dr. Grovit was keenly aware of Jordyn’s plight, as he himself had experienced the ravages of Crohn’s disease as a child. Dr. Grovit had developed a nutrition protocol over the past 30 years and introduced it to Jordyn. Dr. Grovit then teamed up with Dr. Alfred Slonim, Jordyn’s endocrinologist, who had also been working with Crohn’s disease patients from a growth factor perspective. Together, they forged a team approach to Jordyn’s medical nutrition and growth factor needs. The nutrition protocol was easy to follow and is tailored to the individual’s needs and personal food idiosyncrasies. After beginning the diet and nutraceuticals, Jordyn gained 8 pounds in 10 days , became energetic again and began to rapidly return to her happy self. Her orthodontist could not believe what he was seeing as all of Jordyn’s missing teeth spontaneously came in after several weeks on the nutrition protocol. On the nutrition protocol alone, Jordyn grew 5 inches in the first year. In the second year, Dr. Slonim felt that her growth chart reflected a plateau and it was now time to introduce growth factor therapy in conjunction with the nutrition protocol. After a few days on the growth factor therapy, Jordyn noticed even more energy and an increased sense of well-being. In that second year she grew an additional 4.5 inches.
Jordyn is now 24 years old, gained 59 pounds and grew 10 inches. She is a junior at NYIT University majoring in Art & Computer Graphics. She is a 2007 recipient of the UCB Crohn’s $10,000 scholarship for her academic achievements and perseverance through her disease. Every four years the disease changes. Due to this ongoing chronic illness, Jordyn developed fistulizing Crohns. She was treated with infliximab by a gastroenterologist, and then we were told by an immunologist, to try the drug adalimumab. Adalimumab had an opposite effect on Jordyn, and caused her to become very ill on December 25, 2010.
She was very weak, and dizzy. Her body broke out in sores, which became infected, the most damage was on her legs and knees. Her skin began falling off, and started exhibiting signs of a burn victim.
Thanks to her wonderful doctors, Dr. Slonim, Dr. Grovit and Dr. Atlas, and through nutrition, she was able to make a great recovery. However, she was bedridden for five months because of the adalimumab, causing her body to develop atrophy and her hips to be one and half inches out of alignment. During the time she was bedridden, she focused on helping her aunt illustrate a therapy book for kids with debilitating or life threatening illnesses. She has donated her artwork for charity, and her pieces “Angels in My Backyard,” was sold for $300.
Thanks to physical therapy, she was able to build up her strength. However, in September 2011 she started having severe back pain, which jolted down her legs.
As a result of being bedridden for so long, she developed a spinal curvature, which was later discovered by her chiropractor, Dr. Eisenberg. That also explained the hip misalignment. With Dr. Eisenberg’s gentle refractory traction therapy, the pain has lessened considerably, and she is standing and walking in perfect alignment. She’s continuing her education at NYIT in the field of animation, and has begun working as an illustrator, thanks to her making good use of her recovery time.
Drs. Slonim and Grovit have joined forces to study and advance the role of medical nutrition and growth factor therapies in children with inflammatory bowel disease. They published a pilot study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition 2009 June, 28 (3) 277-285 titled Effect of exclusion diet with nutraceutical therapy in juvenile Crohn’s disease. This work offers the medical community and family’s vital and complimentary “missing links” in living and succeeding with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
The Foundation for Nutrition and Inflammatory Bowel Diseases in Children, Inc. (IBD) was formed to raise awareness and foster further research in nutrition and growth factor interventions currently available to patients with IBD.
If you would like further information regarding this research please contact the NIBD.
Update: Jordyn has been in full remission for over 10 years! She graduated 2014 from NYIT in animation and is working freelance. Her book was also published and is titled, "Help! My Feelings are sticking out of my gown!" by author Maurie Shapiro-Comenzo, PhD and co-authored illustrated by Jordyn Shapiro available on Amazon too.