Managing Crohn’s & Colitis

OK, so I’ve swallowed a myriad of different drugs, each with different side effects, producing little in the way of positive results. So what else can I do to help alleviate the symptoms and pain associated with Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis?

Well, there’s actually a lot to try out, but it’s a confusing minefield of information and counter information! Not even all the medical professionals can agree on a definitive course of action for things like diet, fluid intake and supplements or ‘natural’ remedies, simply because (as my GI consultant commented) there is no one size fits all approach to the disease.

Hmmmmm, as if IBD isn’t confusing enough already eh? Well, I’ve experimented with my diet for maybe two years or more now, I’ve found a lot that affects me and settled on mostly eating things that don’t bring on pain, poop or discomfort. I do cheat sometimes when I know I’m off work the day after or not going out anywhere in particular (well, we all need a treat now and then). Below is an outline of what I’ve cut out, what I’ve added in and what I definitely have to avoid!

eat-what

Food I Avoid
Alcohol: Absolute no go for me. Lager was the very first thing that I could identify beyond doubt as a trigger for symptoms and pain.Β Pretty obvious really, anyone who has woke up hung over knows the effects alcohol has on ‘normal’ guts, let alone swollen ones πŸ™‚

Onion Family: Onion, chives, garlic etc. have always been something I’d prefer not to eat due to unwanted reactions and became a food I had to avoid completely. Never did understand why anyone would eat something that burned their eyes out when they were preparing it to be honest. If you got acid on your skin and it hurt, you wouldn’t lick it off now would you? πŸ™‚

Spices and Seasoning: Anything really that promotes gastric activity. Basically, all the tasty stuff that we garnish food with. The surprising thing here is, once you get used to not enhancing food with various herbs and spices, it’s amazing how tasty basic food really is. I think we miss out on a lot of natural flavours these days πŸ™‚

Fruit: Raw fruit, cooked fruit, it’s all the same to me, my body don’t like it inside me! I’m looking into this because there’s a lot of fruit I haven’t tried yet so maybe there is something fruity out there to eat still. Melon seems OK but I suppose it’s mostly water anyway πŸ™‚

Coffee: Not high on the list, I can drink the odd cup but coffee always leaves me feeling bloated and produces an uncomfortable period for a short while after drinking it, so I stick to tea! Only drink that first thing in the morning though, then it’s water all the way for me πŸ™‚

Quorn: Yikes! I have a terrible reaction to this fungus based meat substitute, watch out toilet if I eat anything quorn based πŸ™‚

Carrots: Β No matter how much I cook them to make them super soft, they come out the other end undigested and cause urgent, unpredictable poops πŸ™‚

Tomato: I like tomato, tomato hates me! Worst thing is, it’s used in so many meals that I’d consider tasty. I have found a recipe for a tomato sauce substitute but haven’t tried it out yet coz it’s got onions in it so got to modify it for myself! You can read the recipe here πŸ™‚

Peas: Garden peas are a no go, unless I want to machine gun my toilet the morning after πŸ™‚ They come out completely undigested in a hail of green bullets. Mushy peas are sometimes OK but why bother? πŸ™‚

Removed from diet
Vegetable oil: I don’t cook with it, I try not to eat anything that contains it (Biscuits etc.) and I don’t use margarine type spreads that are based on it. I recently watched a food programme on the BBC that suggested vegetable oils contained lots of Omega 6 and it’s overuse left an Omega 3 imbalance which has a negative effect on our health. Read more here πŸ™‚

Pastry: Gone are pies, pasties or anything else that’s wrapped in that lovely puff pastry and tasty short crust pastry , now that’s something I really do miss 😦

Beef: Oh I love steak, beef and mince. Don’t eat it anymore though because it feels like it tries hard to eat me from the inside out πŸ™‚

Added to diet (or increased intake)
Rice: Long grain white rice is now my staple carb provider. I’ve tried wholegrain but it’s just a bit too much for my digestive system to cope with. Long grain white rice cooked until it’s at its fluffiest is fine πŸ™‚

Salmon: Fresh salmon, steamed until it falls off the skin. Tasty and good for omega 3 and vitamin D intake amongst other qualities. Love salmon πŸ™‚

Chicken: Always fresh breast without the skin, always steamed. Always tasty and kind to my guts πŸ™‚

Eggs: Omelette! Bring on the good old egg omelette filled with some tasty ingredients like cheese and bacon lardons πŸ™‚

Water: I can’t believe how much water I get through in a day. At least eight 500ml bottles a day (That’s four litres!)Β I don’t drink tap water though πŸ™‚

Yogurt: Muller light raspberry. Seems to suit me really well, tasty and has a soothing effect on my battered guts πŸ™‚

Belvita: Cereal biscuits with ‘live’ yogurt. I eat two of these a day and they suit me well. No adverse effects and hopefully fairly nutritious. At the least they fill a gap and it feels like I’m having a tasty treat rather than just eating food because it’s all I can digest πŸ™‚

That’s about it for this post, I’ve not gone into too much depth but hope it gives you some ideas or helps you to decide on trying different things to ease symptoms. It’s a long road and often hard to tell what affects you in isolation. There are diets out there to eliminate and identify potential foodstuffs that you react to. I just went with my ‘GUT’ feeling πŸ™‚

Thanks for reading and please addΒ your comments below πŸ™‚

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