Crohn’s – eating for control
Let me say first and foremost, I am not a doctor and am in no way trying to give advise on changing your lifestyle. All changes should be discussed with your doctor if you suffer from any chronic illness.
With that being said, this is about my experience.
Back in 1999 I was diagnosed with Crohn’s. I had been through several years of testing and was suffering severely My doctor told me what to eat and what not to eat. Let me say, doctors don’t know everything and not everything works for everyone. I was told NOT to eat raw fruits and vegetables and to reduce my fiber intake.
Okay, wait, let’s do some history first. Crohn’s used to be a rare thing. These days it seems more and more are being diagnosed. I think that is due to the terrible diet of most Americans. Crohn’s is :
Named after Dr. Burrill B. Crohn, who first described the disease in 1932 along with colleagues Dr. Leon Ginzburg and Dr. Gordon D. Oppenheimer, Crohn’s disease belongs to a group of conditions known as Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD). Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract.
When reading about inflammatory bowel diseases, it is important to know that Crohn’s disease is not the same thing as ulcerative colitis, another type of IBD. The symptoms of these two illnesses are quite similar, but the areas affected in the gastrointestinal tract (GI tract) are different.
Crohn’s most commonly affects the end of the small bowel (the ileum) and the beginning of the colon, but it may affect any part of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, from the mouth to the anus. Ulcerative colitis is limited to the colon, also called the large intestine.
Crohn’s disease can also affect the entire thickness of the bowel wall, while ulcerative colitis only involves the innermost lining of the colon. Finally, in Crohn’s disease, the inflammation of the intestine can “skip”– leaving normal areas in between patches of diseased intestine. In ulcerative colitis this does not occur.
**This information was taken from CCFA at http://www.ccfa.org/what-are-crohns-and-colitis/what-is-crohns-disease/
After years of suffering and trying different medications I decided I was tired of it all and stopped the meds. I did a lot of research and found some herbal supplements that helped me. This was against the advise of my doctor. Who very quickly dropped me. Best thing to happen. He made some medical mistakes and it was a horrible experience with him.
In 2006 I adopted the Vegan lifestyle. That is a very difficult life when you have been raised on pork fat and greens! However, after being vegan for 6 months my Crohn’s was almost non-existent. I then slowly moved into a vegetarian lifestyle and am now a meat eater again.
The best time was when I was vegan. Raw fruits and vegetables, whole grains, juicing and drinking distilled water. Not only did I feel better but I lost weight. The problem for me was that I have a husband and all boys, who LOVE meat and bread. I wound up cooking 2 different dishes for each meal and just could not keep up with it all.
Another key for me was cutting out sugar and processed foods. Yes, if you’ve been to my blog you know I am a sweet-aholic. However, after the last several months of being on a sugar high, I know I need to move out of this area again.
For me, my Crohn’s is under control and least a problem when I eliminate processed foods, dairy products, cut the white sugar and flour, add lots of fresh vegetables and fruits. I don’t drink soda, coffee or tea and no alcohol. I rarely drink store-bought juice. I bake my own bread, and rarely eat pork. I do cook it for my family but it is the one food that REALLY messes with my system. Dairy and pork are the two things that you really should avoid.
Surprisingly, cheese does not bother me, but I don’t do milk. I use almond milk. I don’t use maragine. I use real unsalted butter. I mill my own whole wheat flour and use eggs from my own free range organic chickens.
If you suffer from Crohn’s, my advise is to experiment Cut out one food and see if it improves your day. Add fresh vegetables slowly and listen to your body. It really does know what you need.
Check out my Kale salad for a filling meal without the stress of processed foods or meat. This salad was also featured here on Daily Dish.
Vegetables (Photo credit: Professor Bop)