IBD Updates

Elizabeth Roberts Health Guide
  • Spinach

    Well, my flare-up seems to have passed and I'm back to what is normal for me. I found the most interesting thing to be my ability to add baby spinach to my daily diet. I've not been able to eat anything green or leafy for about ten years without terrible, dire consequences. But, during my flare a fellow IBDer recommended spinach. He said that he found eating a serving per day actually really helped to calm his gut and improve his bowel movements. I have to admit I was dubious, I've heard it all at this point and while some things are very helpful, many things are just a little crazy. But, I figured it might be like coconut - it may not cure my IBD, but as long as it doesn't make things worse getting something leafy and green into my body couldn't be all bad. Well, I started with a handful of spinach cooked down in olive oil and a touch of garlic. I ate it that way for about a week and found that it did, indeed, seem to help improve my BMs. I then ate it uncooked like a salad. Again, only a handful dressed with a little olive oil and white wine vinegar. After not being able to eat a salad for a decade I can't tell you how GOOD this tasted. And, again, I had no problems from it. So, a small amount of spinach is now a part of each day. Sometimes I throw it into an omelette, or on a sandwich, but mostly I love eating it like a salad. 

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    By the way, I did talk to my doctor about this and she explained that spinach can have a "binding" effect for some people.


    A Wonderful Toilet

    Last week I found the most excellent toilet on planet earth. I was given the gift of a massage at a 5-star resort hotel in the city where I live. Before the massage I used the ladies room. First, the toilet seat was heated. I've encountered the padded toilet seats before, and even a heated car seat, but never a padded and heated toilet seat! Then, it had a built-in bidet that you controlled with a push-button panel that was mounted on the wall. You could have it clean the front or the back, and then it dried everything with a nice, warm woosh of air. I have to say, it was awfully nice to be clean and sanitized without having to wipe myself raw. When I got home I did a little research and found the toilet for sale for $3,000 plus installation. Come on Lottery! Oh, and the massage was heavenly as well.


    Americans with Disabilities Act

    In case you missed it, there was some good news last week for people with Inflammatory Bowel Disease. The American with Disabilities (ADA) Act of 2008 passed in both the House and Senate. The bill seeks to restore some of the protections given to disabled Americans that have been slashed in recent Supreme Court rulings. Of specific interest to people living with IBD, the ADA Amendments Act will make it easier for those of us living with Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn's disease to seek coverage under the ADA Act. Specifically, it expands the definition of a disability to include a new category of "major bodily function."


    Antibiotic/Clostridium Difficile Update

  • There has been quite a bit in the news lately about "superbugs" - those bacterial bugs that are becoming more and more antibiotic resistant. The reason this is happening is because of our overuse and misuse of antibiotics. According to an article I read, the CDC-foundation says too many people are taking antibiotics for the wrong reasons. Antibiotic should only be used when fighting an illness caused by a bacteria, like a strep throat infection or pneumonia. An antibiotic will not cure a viral infection and so should not be used to treat the common cold, the flu, or runny noses.

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    Over the past 18 years I've been treated with quite a few intravenous antibiotics for everything from meningitis to pneumonia. My concern as a person who has IBD is to protect myself from getting sick or from getting clostridium difficile (C-Diff). I don't know about the rest of you, but since IBD became a part of my life I'm now the type of person where if there are 100 people in a room and someone throws in a virus bug I'll be the one person to end up sick from it. And more often than not what would be a simple cold for most people ends up being a major something for me. Without being a hypochondriac I am very vigilant about staying away from people who are sick. In fact, when I was hospitalized for pneumonia about 18 months ago after a vacation in the South Pacific the infectious disease doctor recommended I wear a surgical mask when flying. I've not gone that far yet, but who knows what we'll all have to do if these superbugs continue to proliferating.  

Published On: September 25, 2008