FROM OUR EXPERTS
Last month we talked with Lou Ann about her daughter's UC . This is a little bit about some of the Monica's dietary struggles and some of the comfort foods she found she liked when she was in the middle of her flares.
Jen: We spent some time last month talking about how you dealt with Monica's UC. I was wondering about some of the nutritional consequences as well. Did you (and/or she) have to alter her meals due to the IBD ?
Lou Ann: Before her surgery, her diet was very limited. She knew what foods that she could eat that would not cause her to have bloody diarrhea and/or an upset stomach.
Jen: Are there any foods that she is no longer able to eat?
Lou Ann: Since having the second surgery she says that she can eat anything that she wants. It is still hard for me to believe and it is wonderful watching her eat a huge salad! That is something she was not able to do before.
Jen: That is ...
For 31 years of my life I never thought about what I was eating. I ate what I wanted, when I wanted, and never gave it a second thought. I wasn't a fast food junkie by any means, but did enjoy things like french fries, Doritos, ice cream, and Coca-Cola, as well as watermelon, sweet corn, Yoplait yogurt, and beer.
After my IBD diagnosis in 1998 I never ate any of these aforementioned foods again - and many, many others - at least not without serious repercussions that made me finally stop eating them.
When I realized that what I ate could make a difference in how severe my IBD symptoms were, or weren't, I began to research foods, nutrients, and diets. The number of diets available was staggering to me - the B.R.A.T. diet, the low residue diet, the rotation diet, the SCD diet - and each of them was foreign to me as well.
Eventually I found out what each diet was and how it worked. And over time I've tried or used each of them for certain situations or periods...
If you have IBD then you've probably heard suggestions like conducting an elimination diet to help identify foods that might trigger your IBD symptoms or you may have been told to add a good quality Probiotic to your diet to build up the good bacteria in your gut, but have you ever thought about adding Journaling to your routine? Maybe, you should, it could actually help you cope with some of your feelings and fears of living with a chronic illness.
Maybe it's because I've always loved to write. As a child I wrote poems and stories, as an adult I continue to write for myself as well as professionally. But, one area where I've found writing to be most helpful is in working through my fears, frustrations, and feelings with regards to illness.
I'm not talking about writing that perfect five-paragraph essay that we all had to do in high school, or the great American novel like John Steinbeck. I'm talking about free-form, stream-of-consciousness writing - basically, thinking ...
You should know
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