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03-21-2014, 04:16 PM   #1
Annika
 
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Ensure - milk and sugar

Dear all,
recently my husband is diagnosed with Crohn's dis-ease.
He lost a lot of weight before the surgery (15 kg), and after the operation 10 kg more in 2 weeks, because he can only eat liquids - blended soups and mashed cooked apples (see other thread).
The gastro and family doctor advised to take Ensure drinks.
When we looked at the main ingredients: milk and sugar.

Aren't these bad for Crohn patients?
Before the surgery he couldn't even eat sweet fruit, let alone pure sugars..

But it seems the only way to gain weight now.

What do you think about drinks like Ensure?
03-21-2014, 04:57 PM   #2
theOcean
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It depends... I know when I was taking supplements like Ensure, I had to be careful to get the lactose-free ones. But even then, even when I was settling into remission, I found they still upset my stomach.
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03-21-2014, 05:04 PM   #3
kel
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I used to drink a lot of ensure/boost and it never helped me gain weight, even when I would drink 3-4 a day. In fact after a few years I decided it was making my symptoms worse and I stopped it conpletely. Honestly you're better off just drinking whole milk, if it's tolerated. If not get some kind of egg white protein powder to mix in water. At least you can get extra calories from that if dairy is an issue.
03-21-2014, 05:09 PM   #4
rygon
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Reading their FAQs it seems it has less sugar than orange juice for the same amount (18g compared to 21g per serving)

With regards to milk, if you can tolerate it then you might as well have it. I have no problem with milk at all.

Instead of looking at just the negatives of this drink, think of the positives. All the vitamins needed per day and also over 200g without any fibre.

When I came out of hospital I have had something similar (fortisip) and it helped no end to bring me back to strength
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03-21-2014, 11:56 PM   #5
nogutsnoglory
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I agree that it has some really awful ingredients like sugar and carrageenan but as a temporary quick fix with nutrition it is a good option to gain weight.
03-22-2014, 12:26 AM   #6
kel
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Rygon almost everything is fortified with vitamins now, I believe froot loops meets all the rda of vitamins. imo that is not nearly enough of a reason to take the stuff. No experience with fortisip however.
03-22-2014, 12:42 PM   #7
Annika
 
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Thanks all

Maybe as a first aid Ensure is fine, in order not to be too underweight now.
I also thought: Ensure is just whole milk plus sugars, why buy an expensive drink?
But the family doctor said the drink is more easily digestible.

Like Kel said, maybe egg protein powder could be better for the protein, if you want to avoid the lactose,
but where can you take easy digestible carbohydrates from, if you don't want to take all the sugars which are packed in Ensure?

Before the surgery, when my husband ate something with sugar in it, even fruit, he got nauseous and pain. Is this typical for Crohn?

Thanks again
03-22-2014, 09:47 PM   #8
Essieluv
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I struggle with maintaining a healthy weight, I find it difficult to not loose weight. I do drink ensure quite often, sometimes even twice a day. I get the lactose-free kind, but that is only because I am lactose-intolerant. There are some negatives, but for me the positives are much more important. I have actually maintained the same weight for a few months now, and my protein and albumin levels are great.
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03-23-2014, 05:56 PM   #9
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It helped my pick up pounds in a hurry.
Everyone will vary though, results etc.
I drank one in morning one at dinner, later just one a day.
Two a day helped put on some pounds.
I also mixed it with Mass Gainer.
03-24-2014, 08:14 AM   #10
Annika
 
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My husband tried half a can today for the first time - spread over 30 minutes with some water too.
After 10 minutes he threw up everything...

3 weeks ago he got surgery of the small bowel.
Before he could eat solid foods. Now he throws up even after liquid food.
The doctors say to be patient.
Could it be a new narrowing of the small bowel on the place of the internal wound?
Thanks

Last edited by Annika; 03-24-2014 at 01:43 PM.
03-24-2014, 07:52 PM   #11
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It is still early days after surgery. Some people can tolerate food much sooner than others. After one of my surgeries, I got very sick (lots of pain) when gradually re-introducing food. I had to start all over again with only clear fluids. Sometimes the bowel just doesn't want to wake up after surgery. Give it time and be gentle with the bowel. If your husband keeps losing weight, ask the doctor about parenteral feeding, ie. receiving nutrition intravenously, until he gets built up enough to try drinking and eating again.
03-24-2014, 08:17 PM   #12
LCATC945
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If it causes pain, nausea, or worsening of symptoms don't drink. Each person is different. For me. These drinks kill. So I don't drink them.


03-24-2014, 09:32 PM   #13
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i drink these knowing they are loaded with sugar and other bad ingredients. I ordered some Absorb Plus based off of others in this forum but havent tried those. As far as readily made protein and nutritional shakes, I think ensure has the least amount of sugar for the most amount of nutrients (ensure plus) that i have seen. But it still as carrageenan and tons of sugar and Corn Syrup. So would love another instead
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03-24-2014, 10:36 PM   #14
fozheart
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I am turning around for the better, after almost a year of limited liquids and occasional soft foods. When I saw my oncologist in December, he was horrified at my weight, and was expecting muscle atrophy and funky bloodcounts. He could not believe that my body had adjusted to my situation of poor calorie and food intake. Even though I did not gain weight, the couple of Ensure plus's every day helped me stay afloat. So for me, they have been a benefit, when things are really rough. The protein in them makes up for the sugar content. Different for everyone though.
03-25-2014, 08:15 AM   #15
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I was diagnosed 3 weeks ago today with sever Crohns/Colitis. Prenisone, high doses of mesamanine and eating, eating and more eating have helped me improve a lot. I went from 208 lbs. Jan30th down to 190 lbs. as of March 4th, the day of my colonoscopy and ct scan. Let me emphasize my case is severe. I begin Humira in April. I am still in a flare but improved.
Diet since the steroidds kicked in: 4000 calories/day. Fortunately, I've been able to eat anything, but ive been eating a lot of potatoes, pasta, fish, red meat patties, gravy, white bread, liver (iron needed since i bled badly till two weeks ago) honey buns.....gotta have something.
Ive been drinikng gainer weight gain protein mixed in lactose free milk and 3-4 Ensure plus a day. Ive gained back 9 lbs. My strength is better. Took a B12 shot last week.
I know we all react differently, just whats worked for me.
Ensure has been good.
03-25-2014, 07:43 PM   #16
TexasCoach
 
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I was diagnosed 3 weeks ago today with sever Crohns/Colitis. Prenisone, high doses of mesamanine and eating, eating and more eating have helped me improve a lot. I went from 208 lbs. Jan30th down to 190 lbs. as of March 4th, the day of my colonoscopy and ct scan. Let me emphasize my case is severe. I begin Humira in April. I am still in a flare but improved.
Diet since the steroidds kicked in: 4000 calories/day. Fortunately, I've been able to eat anything, but ive been eating a lot of potatoes, pasta, fish, red meat patties, gravy, white bread, liver (iron needed since i bled badly till two weeks ago) honey buns.....gotta have something.
Ive been drinikng gainer weight gain protein mixed in lactose free milk and 3-4 Ensure plus a day. Ive gained back 9 lbs. My strength is better. Took a B12 shot last week.
I know we all react differently, just whats worked for me.
Ensure has been good.
What weight gainer are you using
03-26-2014, 12:51 AM   #17
kel
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They are all about the same honestly. Some have creatine some don't.
03-26-2014, 06:04 AM   #18
rygon
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They are all about the same honestly. Some have creatine some don't.
Then they are not all the same!

There is a lot of difference between what protein powders are used, different ingredients, whether they are gluten/dairy/egg free etc. I also find I get different results from different kinds, as well as how it reacts with crohns

I've used USN and Sci-mx range with good results and it didn't play my stomach up. I've also tried pHd but that didnt seem to give me the same results
03-26-2014, 08:39 PM   #19
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I have crohn's, diagnosed in May, but have not been able to gain weight for at least 10 years, I don't know if that was due to undiagnosed crohns, or if it was due to other factors as well.

I find that ensure really helps, the high calorie ones are best. It depends on the individual as there is no specific crohns diet, and nothing that works for everyone. Ensure settles well with me, and helped me with meals when I was/am too sick to eat. Being mainly sugar and milk ingredients, don't live off of it indefinitely, but it can be a good "get back on your feet" food.

Good luck!
03-26-2014, 09:02 PM   #20
rygon
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Rygon almost everything is fortified with vitamins now, I believe froot loops meets all the rda of vitamins. imo that is not nearly enough of a reason to take the stuff. No experience with fortisip however.
Not everything that is liquid is fortified with all the RDA Kel, and certainly not milk. The OP was asking about liquid feed only.
03-26-2014, 09:12 PM   #21
kel
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No but ensure and boost both are fortified and they are the subject of this discussion.

Last edited by kel; 03-27-2014 at 05:13 AM.
03-26-2014, 09:26 PM   #22
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Then they are not all the same!

There is a lot of difference between what protein powders are used, different ingredients, whether they are gluten/dairy/egg free etc. I also find I get different results from different kinds, as well as how it reacts with crohns

I've used USN and Sci-mx range with good results and it didn't play my stomach up. I've also tried pHd but that didnt seem to give me the same results
Yes, that's why I asked as they all are not the same. What mass gainers have you tried?
03-26-2014, 11:19 PM   #23
Stevi (:
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I am drinking a hemp chocolate milk, banana, peanut butter shake... all organic.. i honestly think its helping my gain my weight back faster than my two boost a day for like 2 weeks was... its healthier too. doesnt hurt my stomach at all.
03-27-2014, 09:20 PM   #24
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I know I replied earlier, about how Ensure works for me, but I just spoke to a dietitian over the phone while booking an appointment.

You are right!!!!! You should tell your husband that he should listen to you on this one

The dietitian told me that Ensure, boost and all of the over the counter meal replacement drinks are really bad for you, especially after surgery and for those with crohn's, and like you said, because of all the sugar. She told me to stop using ensure, and to use Absorb Plus.

This is the website below. Have a look. I am going to try it, and see how it goes.

http://www.absorbplus.com/index.php
03-27-2014, 10:35 PM   #25
kel
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No need to post it 4 times

I glanced over it and the $60 tub is only 10 servings.
03-27-2014, 10:55 PM   #26
LCATC945
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No need to post it 4 times



I glanced over it and the $60 tub is only 10 servings.

...$6 a serving...
03-31-2014, 08:21 AM   #27
kiny
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But the family doctor said the drink is more easily digestible.
The casein and lactose is never easily digestible. There are much better alternatives to ensure like EN that use hydrolised whey and glucose without the galactose and whatever else of junk ensure has in it.

The casein especially in milk is a horrible way to get your protein. The milk industry has done a good job of promoting cow milk as a good source of protein, when in reality it is one of the hardest proteins to digest.

Good protein sources are hydrolised whey and albumin (eggs). EN tends to use hydrolised whey.

Cow milk also has butterfat, which is bad for crohn's disease because of the bile acids. The best fats for crohn's disease are medium-chain triglyceride, which is why EN uses them.

I can't even name one positive thing about cow milk. Everything in milk can be gotten somewhere else in a better and more bioavailable form.



Last edited by kiny; 03-31-2014 at 08:50 AM.
03-31-2014, 10:34 AM   #28
kel
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Whey comes from milk.
04-01-2014, 02:16 PM   #29
sfmreb2
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A glass of milk and some chocolate cookies is tastes Great. A biscuit with butter is very good. That is a couple of good things I can think of that comes from a cow.
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