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Crohn's Disease Forum » Diet, Fitness, and Supplements » Does Ensure Cause Diarrhea When You're In A Flare?


07-12-2010, 02:15 PM   #1
xxNoGodxx
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Does Ensure Cause Diarrhea When You're In A Flare?

I'd have to say this has been the one of the crappiest weeks of my life.

I've spent two different days in the emergency room this week, as well as countless hours crying my sore butt off. I"m still one of those "undiagnosed" Chronies, I know I have it, they just haven't caught it. So, I went from 143 last week down to 129 today. They gave me a few different types of anti Nausea, one called Pro-er pry something er other, made me go crazy, threw that away. Then they gave me something that is related to Valium, which has helped with my anxiety (I've been freaking out, thinking I'm dying, well when you drop that way who doesn't freak out)

Since my side has been hurting so bad I decided to just go all liquid.
I've been taking lots of supplements and drinking 4 350 calorie Ensure Plus for the past few days. My problem is, I'm still dropping weight, and I've got pretty much just liquid diarrhea.

I'm uninsured, so when I get sick, I just end up in the hospital where they fill me full of fluids, then give me some anti nausea and discharge me. Thankfully my girlfriend called up my old GI who I had when I was on medical assistance to make an appointment (They wanted me to come see them in September) She told them the way I was going I'd be dead by next week.


So, now I have an appointment Wednesday. *Phew* Anyways, does anyone else have issues with Ensure? I'm drinking the Chocolate ones, should I try Vanilla? Or is this just usual when you flare and I'm going to just have to wait it out. Never knew my butt could hurt so bad. Thank goodness for Preperation H! And thank goodness for these forums, I'd probably have been much worse off if it wasn't for all the great info here.
07-12-2010, 02:42 PM   #2
bobby.parker
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I remember when I had them, all I had was diarrhea. It makes sense I guess since there is no solid to digest, no solids going in - no solids going out.

I'm not sure though, see what everyone else says!
07-12-2010, 02:51 PM   #3
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Hi NoGod, welcome to the forum. I'm in a similar boat as I am also still undiagnosed, and although I do have insurance, it's not very good and I end up paying a lot out of pocket for all of my doctor visits and tests as well. So I can relate!

I think we're all different as far as Ensure and similar drinks go - we all have our own favorite brand and flavor. Personally, I can do the chocolate Ensures just fine most of the time, but the vanilla ones cause lots of diarrhea even when I'm feeling otherwise okay. I can't eat much of anything when I'm in a flare, and everything seems to cause d and pain then, and I usually stick to really bland things like plain rice. If Ensure isn't working out for you, have you tried other brands like Boost? (I know there are many brands besides that but that's the only one that comes to mind for some reason.) And do check out different flavors if one isn't working for you, some are quite tasty and others are pretty nasty.

On the topic of Preparation H, I haven't tried that one myself but a lot of the people on this forum swear by Calmoseptine. I love it too, it's very cooling and calming! You can get it from the pharmacy counter at some pharmacies (it's not prescription but they keep it behind the counter) or you can buy it online too.

Glad to hear you got an appointment with a GI, I hope he is able to help! I hope you feel better soon and I hope you also get a diagnosis soon. Good luck!
07-12-2010, 03:03 PM   #4
xxNoGodxx
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Thanks for the prompt replies, I've read in some places that maybe drinking Metamucil might help? But anytime I have anything solid, like last night I tried a little bit of steamed zucchini , it ended up feeling like I had a dozen mini Freddy Kreugers trying to claw their way down my intestine. I'm going to keep looking for different drinks, you have to be so careful in what you purchase. The other day we got the generic at Walmart and that did fine, then they ran out, so my Fiance bought me Kroger generics, and it had High Fructose Corn Syrup as one of the main ingredients, needless to say I spent all day in pain/the bathroom for that one. And many of the other ones main ingredients is Corn, which for me seems to just ruin me. I know that Corn is subsidized out the wahoo, and that their lobby is gigantic, but give me a break, lay off the corn!
07-12-2010, 03:23 PM   #5
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I know there are at least a few people on this forum who also have a problem with corn, so hopefully they can advise you better than I can. Personally, I cannot eat corn kernels, but if it's pulverized in some way like in tortilla chips then I'm fine with it.

Have you tried a health food store? They might have less HFCS-containing products than regular stores.

It's funny that you mention tiny Freddy Kruegers in your intestines - it seems like a lot of us on here personify the pain in our guts. Someone else on here said she has a monster named "Rawr" (or something like that, I can't remember for sure) in her guts, and I have always told my husband that I've got an angry cleats-wearing gnome with a pick-axe living in my guts.
07-12-2010, 03:24 PM   #6
katiesue1506
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Unfortunately when you're flaring, you're most likely gonna have diarrhea. Unless you're one that deals with mostly constipation. Even when you aren't flaring, if you've got scarring in certain areas, you could very well have diarrhea.

Keep the diet simple till you can get a diagnosis and get some medications. Rice, chicken, broths, soups... low fiber, high calorie (peanut butter). And the Calmoseptine is a very good idea (feels so nice)... you can get it at Walgreens but you have to ask the pharmacist because its usually kept behind the counter.

Good luck... and hopefully you'll know more with your upcoming appointment!
07-12-2010, 03:35 PM   #7
xxNoGodxx
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Unfortunately when you're flaring, you're most likely gonna have diarrhea. Unless you're one that deals with mostly constipation. Even when you aren't flaring, if you've got scarring in certain areas, you could very well have diarrhea.

Keep the diet simple till you can get a diagnosis and get some medications. Rice, chicken, broths, soups... low fiber, high calorie (peanut butter). And the Calmoseptine is a very good idea (feels so nice)... you can get it at Walgreens but you have to ask the pharmacist because its usually kept behind the counter.

Good luck... and hopefully you'll know more with your upcoming appointment!
Thanks, I'll have to check that out, I've done the colonoscopy,endoscopy twice before now, once when I was having my initial first problems at age 8/9, but they deemed it "IBS" and that was that. Then just a few years ago I did one again, and they couldn't find a thing wrong, of course at the time I was in complete remission and was 30lbs heavier than I am now. Maybe now that I look like Christian Bale from "The Machinist" they'll take me more seriously.
07-12-2010, 03:41 PM   #8
xxNoGodxx
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I know there are at least a few people on this forum who also have a problem with corn, so hopefully they can advise you better than I can. Personally, I cannot eat corn kernels, but if it's pulverized in some way like in tortilla chips then I'm fine with it.

Have you tried a health food store? They might have less HFCS-containing products than regular stores.

It's funny that you mention tiny Freddy Kruegers in your intestines - it seems like a lot of us on here personify the pain in our guts. Someone else on here said she has a monster named "Rawr" (or something like that, I can't remember for sure) in her guts, and I have always told my husband that I've got an angry cleats-wearing gnome with a pick-axe living in my guts.

I live in the hippy mecca of Oregon, I'll have to start looking into the health food stores more. We've gone pretty much all natural, no preservatives very little meat since my last bad flare, but then I did something stupid , when it starts getting warm and I'm not flaring I start eating things that I shouldn't and then blammo, I'm pretty sure it was some Ibuprofen I took a couple weeks back that damn near killed me.
07-12-2010, 03:47 PM   #9
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I've been to both Eugene and Portland, and I would have said that Portland is the hippie mecca of Oregon. But I was only in Eugene for a couple of hours (my mom is a marathon runner and she wanted to see the running track where Steve Prefontaine ran) so I probably didn't get an accurate impression of the city from my short time there.

Ibuprofen is very hard on the guts - I avoid that and aspirin. Tylenol is supposedly okay but I can't handle it on an empty stomach, it gives me pain that lasts for days if I do take it on an empty stomach. So I generally avoid all of those now and just deal with the pain, rather than take something that might cause more pain.

Have you asked your doctor about anything prescription that could give you some relief? I know you already mentioned anti-nausea meds - I've tried a few myself and have had the best luck with Zofran. It works and I have had zero side effects from it. I also take Lomotil for diarrhea, it sometimes takes about a half-hour to kick in but it works better than Immodium. I woke up yesterday having bad d and ended up taking two Lomotils, and had no d for the rest of the day.
07-12-2010, 03:56 PM   #10
xxNoGodxx
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I've been to both Eugene and Portland, and I would have said that Portland is the hippie mecca of Oregon. But I was only in Eugene for a couple of hours (my mom is a marathon runner and she wanted to see the running track where Steve Prefontaine ran) so I probably didn't get an accurate impression of the city from my short time there.

Ibuprofen is very hard on the guts - I avoid that and aspirin. Tylenol is supposedly okay but I can't handle it on an empty stomach, it gives me pain that lasts for days if I do take it on an empty stomach. So I generally avoid all of those now and just deal with the pain, rather than take something that might cause more pain.

Have you asked your doctor about anything prescription that could give you some relief? I know you already mentioned anti-nausea meds - I've tried a few myself and have had the best luck with Zofran. It works and I have had zero side effects from it. I also take Lomotil for diarrhea, it sometimes takes about a half-hour to kick in but it works better than Immodium. I woke up yesterday having bad d and ended up taking two Lomotils, and had no d for the rest of the day.
Yep, Portland is pretty hippie too, they have some GREAT places to eat there also, when your not sick that is! , you should try our Saturday Market though, lot's of great food, all kinds of home made items, tons of organic produce and the Police let everyone go sit in front of the courthouse and smoke pot, pretty interesting thing to see/partake in if you're into that kind of thing.


I was actually given zofran at the ER, but they sent me home with two different trials, one that was basically like Xanax and the other compazine? Or something like that, I haven't got that prescription filled yet. I'll ask my doc about Lomotils, I used to take Immodium back before it was OTC and that would help, I'm just concerned that I'll get backed up and make my stomach worse, if that's possible. Still anything beats having to go 20 times a day, really hard to keep any weight on when it just shoots out.

My mom went to Marshfield High School in Coos Bay, she actually dated Pre for a year or so, small world. And I live up in the South Hills of Eugene and jog the same path he used to run every morning. Small world.

Last edited by xxNoGodxx; 07-12-2010 at 04:03 PM.
07-12-2010, 04:31 PM   #11
Cat-a-Tonic
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Speaking from personal experience, I would be wary of compazine. They tried me on that awhile back and not only did it not quell my nausea, but it also made the world spin and it made me feel like my chest was unable to expand and I couldn't breathe properly. I will never take compazine again! So make sure to ask the pharmacist about possible side effects, and definitely stop taking it right away if you feel like your chest is tight or like you can't get a full breath of air. It was pretty scary when that happened to me, but fortunately it only lasted about a half a day.

I understand how hard it is to keep weight on - I've lost close to 20 pounds since I've been ill, and I was thin to begin with. I try to eat as many calories as I can when I'm feeling okay, but I still cannot seem to actually gain weight - I either maintain the weight I'm at or I slowly lose more weight. So I'm sorry I can't help you there - again, I'm in the same boat as you! I'm guessing that's why you were asking about Ensure in your original question, since they are high in calories. I usually have one every morning since my body can't handle solid foods in the morning and I don't eat a proper breakfast. Sometimes I have two or three a day in addition to eating solid foods as well. But I still can't seem to put on any weight. It gets really frustrating!

I live in WI so I've only been to Oregon the one time (I actually live in Madison, which is the hippie mecca of Wisconsin!). If I ever find myself back there, I will check out the Saturday market. If you're ever here, we have a great farmer's market on Saturdays as well. I try to go as often as I can, and I usually buy fresh sheep's milk cheeses (my stomach cannot handle cow's dairy, but I can do sheep and goat dairy just fine).
07-12-2010, 04:37 PM   #12
xxNoGodxx
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Speaking from personal experience, I would be wary of compazine. They tried me on that awhile back and not only did it not quell my nausea, but it also made the world spin and it made me feel like my chest was unable to expand and I couldn't breathe properly. I will never take compazine again! So make sure to ask the pharmacist about possible side effects, and definitely stop taking it right away if you feel like your chest is tight or like you can't get a full breath of air. It was pretty scary when that happened to me, but fortunately it only lasted about a half a day.

I understand how hard it is to keep weight on - I've lost close to 20 pounds since I've been ill, and I was thin to begin with. I try to eat as many calories as I can when I'm feeling okay, but I still cannot seem to actually gain weight - I either maintain the weight I'm at or I slowly lose more weight. So I'm sorry I can't help you there - again, I'm in the same boat as you! I'm guessing that's why you were asking about Ensure in your original question, since they are high in calories. I usually have one every morning since my body can't handle solid foods in the morning and I don't eat a proper breakfast. Sometimes I have two or three a day in addition to eating solid foods as well. But I still can't seem to put on any weight. It gets really frustrating!

I live in WI so I've only been to Oregon the one time (I actually live in Madison, which is the hippie mecca of Wisconsin!). If I ever find myself back there, I will check out the Saturday market. If you're ever here, we have a great farmer's market on Saturdays as well. I try to go as often as I can, and I usually buy fresh sheep's milk cheeses (my stomach cannot handle cow's dairy, but I can do sheep and goat dairy just fine).
Thanks for warning me! That last anti Nausea they gave me made my chest feel like it was going to explode, that and I got really really angry. I'm irritable enough as is, I don't need anything else making me more of a jerk.
07-12-2010, 05:59 PM   #13
Swirl
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I'd have to say this has been the one of the crappiest weeks of my life.

I've spent two different days in the emergency room this week, as well as countless hours crying my sore butt off. I"m still one of those "undiagnosed" Chronies, I know I have it, they (doctors) just haven't caught it. So, I went from 143 last week down to 129 today. They gave me a few different types of anti Nausea, one called Pro-er pry something er other, made me go crazy, threw that away. Then they gave me something that is related to Valium, which has helped with my anxiety (I've been freaking out, thinking I'm dying, well when you drop that way who doesn't freak out)

Since my side has been hurting so bad I decided to just go all liquid.
I've been taking lots of supplements and drinking 4 350 calorie Ensure Plus for the past few days. My problem is, I'm still dropping weight, and I've got pretty much just liquid diarrhea.

I'm uninsured, so when I get sick, I just end up in the hospital where they fill me full of fluids, then give me some anti nausea and discharge me. Thankfully my girlfriend called up my old GI who I had when I was on medical assistance to make an appointment (They wanted me to come see them in September) She told them the way I was going I'd be dead by next week.


So, now I have an appointment Wednesday. *Phew* Anyways, does anyone else have issues with Ensure? I'm drinking the Chocolate ones, should I try Vanilla? Or is this just usual when you flare and I'm going to just have to wait it out. Never knew my butt could hurt so bad. Thank goodness for Preperation H! And thank goodness for these forums, I'd probably have been much worse off if it wasn't for all the great info here.

Well you sound like me, I've gone from 136 to 120 or 119 which I am today, maybe a few more pounds more.
They recommend I take Boost. Not Ensure. They know about the Ensure causing diarrhea.
So they recommend Boost for people with ulcerative colitis I was told. I like it a lot but I stay away from it. I have Ulcerative Colitis.
I drink Boost Plus. Gaining weight on a liquid diet? That will take a hell of a long time.
I know I lost weight due to not workingout. If I don't lift weights, I go back down to 114lbs. If I continue lifting weight, I stay at 135 to 140lbs. 3 years on and off and this is what I notice.
If I drink a few Boosts, I'm pretty sure I will crap a lot.
Oh and I always do stay away from anything 'chocolate'... lol Chocolate will make you crap.
If I do eat chocolate its white chocolate. Dark makes me crap and it always has since I was little.
I been on Boost for 3 weeks maybe, one more week and I wont take any for awhile.
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07-12-2010, 06:05 PM   #14
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Hi no god! Welcome! My only way to stop d, is banana's, rice or applesauce, not a nice way to control it by all these bland foods but they work.
07-12-2010, 06:09 PM   #15
xxNoGodxx
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Well you sound like me, I've gone from 136 to 120 or 119 which I am today, maybe a few more pounds more.
They recommend I take Boost. Not Ensure. They know about the Ensure causing diarrhea.
So they recommend Boost for people with ulcerative colitis I was told. I like it a lot but I stay away from it. I have Ulcerative Colitis.
I drink Boost Plus. Gaining weight on a liquid diet? That will take a hell of a long time.
I know I lost weight due to not workingout. If I don't lift weights, I go back down to 114lbs. If I continue lifting weight, I stay at 135 to 140lbs. 3 years on and off and this is what I notice.
If I drink a few Boosts, I'm pretty sure I will crap a lot.
Oh and I always do stay away from anything 'chocolate'... lol Chocolate will make you crap.
If I do eat chocolate its white chocolate. Dark makes me crap and it always has since I was little.
I been on Boost for 3 weeks maybe, one more week and I wont take any for awhile.
I knew it had to be the Ensure, my Fiance got me "Double Chocolate" and my stomach has been terrible!
07-12-2010, 06:10 PM   #16
xxNoGodxx
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Hi no god! Welcome! My only way to stop d, is banana's, rice or applesauce, not a nice way to control it by all these bland foods but they work.
Now that sounds like food that I can handle, will give it a go. I haven't ate anything besides an Artichoke and 2 avocados since 4th of July.
07-12-2010, 07:44 PM   #17
Lynne1408
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I can't handle Boost or Ensure. Both of them are made with corn, which affects me. Other than that they are made with water and vitamins. I think you might be better off with something else; it doesn't seem like these are helping at all. Bananas, applesauce and rice are very good. Also lean chicken, but no sauces. I have eliminated all corn and corn derivatives from my diet. I can't say that it will work for everyone, but it has for me. If you're interested, I have set up a website that outlines my diet, what I can eat, and what I can't eat.

www.HowIbeatCrohns-Lynne.blogspot.com
07-12-2010, 08:09 PM   #18
xxNoGodxx
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I actually stumbled on your site the other day, very helpful! I'm thinking we're in the same boat. The first or second ingredient is corn on there, and it just seems to be making things worse. Thanks again!
07-12-2010, 10:42 PM   #19
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My daughter and I were just talking about the time when she was four and she sat on a overturned ice cream bucket reading me "the kings pudding" while I was on the toilet waiting for the ambulance to come. It turned out that the drinks deplete my sodium and potassium levels dangerously. I have tried them occasionally over the years to find the same effect, dizziness, nausea, chills, explosive diarrhoea. For me all it takes is a couple of sips. I use RevitalX, 1 tblsp hemp oil and plain rice milk at least once a day and for all meals when I am flaring, keeps me from losing nutrition when I am losing everything else.
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07-13-2010, 12:23 AM   #20
xxNoGodxx
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My daughter and I were just talking about the time when she was four and she sat on a overturned ice cream bucket reading me "the kings pudding" while I was on the toilet waiting for the ambulance to come. It turned out that the drinks deplete my sodium and potassium levels dangerously. I have tried them occasionally over the years to find the same effect, dizziness, nausea, chills, explosive diarrhoea. For me all it takes is a couple of sips. I use RevitalX, 1 tblsp hemp oil and plain rice milk at least once a day and for all meals when I am flaring, keeps me from losing nutrition when I am losing everything else.
Sounds just like what I was feeling, I quit them this morning, picked up a few gallons of Rice Dream, as well as some Aloe Vera drink, definitely need to get the Hemp Oil, and I'll look into RevitalX. You can't find one meal replacement without corn, heck you can't find much of anything without corn (Thank you Government Subsidies)

And I followed the advice from a few of the other girls here, had my first normal meal today, nice broiled chicken marinated in just lemon juice with a bit of parsley, pretty boring, but boy was it nice to have food. I drank a few sips of the Aloe b4 and that seemed to help things better.

Once again, I can't thank you all enough,this place has saved my behind (literally!!))

You guys/gals are awesome!
07-13-2010, 01:05 AM   #21
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I know vegetables sound like a nice healthy thing to eat, but when you are flaring keep away from ones with skins and seeds, and anything raw. They are hard to digest and so risk 'scratching' your colon on the way through. Personally I find well cooked (mushy) carrots are ok, I also stew peeled apples and peaches to have as puddings. Also raw bananas are ok (about the only fruit that I can eat raw).
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07-13-2010, 01:36 AM   #22
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Hello noGod and welcome. Everyone seems to have covered the diet issues pretty, not much I can add there. However in regards to
as well as countless hours crying my sore butt off
, I was recently having the same issue and was introduced to a Sitz Bath. As I do not have a bathtub but shower only, this has been a real butt saver this week. I've used it several times and it is great. I wish you the best and hope things get better soon.
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07-13-2010, 06:01 AM   #23
Lynne1408
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Seems like this might help you. Please keep posting to let us know how you are doing..........Lynne
07-13-2010, 11:54 AM   #24
xxNoGodxx
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Seems like this might help you. Please keep posting to let us know how you are doing..........Lynne
Seems like I'm doing better today already, still have the usual side pain, but no diarrhea which is amazing, since I've had it non stop 20+ times a day since 4th of july or before.
I'm switching off of Ensure and Drinking rice milk for breakfast, followed by some sort of Aloe Vera drink that tastes about as good as it sounds. It's very soothing.

Then I did an Avacado for lunch and half a cup of rice and very small chicken breast marinated in lemon juice. Woke up and actually had a normal BM, so thanks to all who had all of the great suggestions. I"m going to just stay away from Ensure from now on, and I'd suggest the same for anyone else who can't do corn.

Tomorrow I have an appointment at my GI. I've already had the lower and upper work done on two different locations, but each time was in between a flair, hopefully they can finally diagnose me, kinda tired of getting that "oh you're a hypochondriac" look from some doctors, nurses. whenever I tell them that I know there's something more going on than just lactose intolerance or whatever.

Now that I'm down to 128 (I'm 6 ft) maybe they'll take me serious.
07-13-2010, 02:05 PM   #25
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Sounds just like what I was feeling, I quit them this morning, picked up a few gallons of Rice Dream, as well as some Aloe Vera drink, definitely need to get the Hemp Oil, and I'll look into RevitalX. You can't find one meal replacement without corn, heck you can't find much of anything without corn (Thank you Government Subsidies)

And I followed the advice from a few of the other girls here, had my first normal meal today, nice broiled chicken marinated in just lemon juice with a bit of parsley, pretty boring, but boy was it nice to have food. I drank a few sips of the Aloe b4 and that seemed to help things better.

Once again, I can't thank you all enough,this place has saved my behind (literally!!))

You guys/gals are awesome!
I tried Hemp oil and I was in severe pain... turns out my naturalpath doctor told me to stop taking it as it is hard to break it down. Hope it works for you. I also tried revital x ... nothing, and a aloe type pills, nothing. I tell ya, there isnt nothing thru the years I haven't tried except LDN, and I am thinking about it large.
07-16-2010, 06:34 PM   #26
xxNoGodxx
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Well after 2 ER visits and one appt with a GI (I got on The BRIDGE Program at my local hospital (it's for people who DON'T have insurance) I now have a CT scan scheduled for next friday, then my 2nd Colonoscopy (had one a few years ago, nothing came out of that though) the following monday (I can hardly wait to drink a gallon of Halflytley (sp?). Anyways, things are moving forward and my weight is stabilized at 129, kind of just holding there, thanks to some great tips I've been a bit more "regular" and not stuck on the toilet all day.
07-16-2010, 06:49 PM   #27
Swirl
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Good to hear! Best time to check weight is in the morning too.
07-18-2010, 08:46 PM   #28
irony
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Ensure definitely makes my D worse, even during mild flares. It's explosive and awful.
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