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Crohn's Disease Forum » Diet, Fitness, and Supplements » Any tips on sorting out a fear of food?


09-24-2014, 10:39 AM   #1
Rhiannon97
 
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Any tips on sorting out a fear of food?

I'm fairly new to this forum, but I've recently been diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, although I've had symptoms for 2 years, and was hoping someone might have some advice on eating. I've got into a vicious cycle with food, when I eat something I almost immediately get awful abdominal pains and then about 15 minutes later I have to rush to the bathroom. I'm now only eating one small meal a day and I've already lost 2 stone in 6 weeks so can't really afford to lose any more. I can't eat wheat or dairy either as they are major trigger foods. Does anyone else have this issue or does anyone have any tips on how to help it? Thanks
09-24-2014, 10:45 AM   #2
DJW
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Hi and welcome.

Are you currently on medication to tread the UC?
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09-24-2014, 11:09 AM   #3
Rhiannon97
 
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Hi

Yes I'm currently trying 400mg mesalazine 3 times a day but I've been taking it for 8 days to see if it works

Also 15/500 mg co codamol for pain
09-24-2014, 11:18 AM   #4
DJW
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Are you keeping a food and symptom journal to see if there are specific triggers?
I don't know how long it takes the med to start working so I don't know what should be expected.
09-24-2014, 03:00 PM   #5
Cat-a-Tonic
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I agree with DJW that a food journal is a good place to start. An elimination diet isn't a bad idea either. For me, whenever I try introducing a new food, I try to do it on Friday evenings - that way, I at least have the weekend to recover if it goes horribly. During the week I try to stick to foods that I know are safe for me. For most people, bland white foods tend to be pretty safe - stuff like white rice, potatoes without the skin, bread and pasta (obviously not those two if gluten/wheat is an issue), eggs, baked fish or chicken all tend to be generally well tolerated by most. Most of us have issues digesting fibrous things like fruits & veggies (some of us do okay with the seeds & skins removed, or the veggies well cooked), and a lot of us have issues with stuff like seeds & nuts, whole grain type things, and some of us have trouble with red meat as well. It's very individual though, some have no issues with any foods and others have tons of food restrictions and triggers. So that's why I wanted to concur that a food journal is a good idea - you can track trends over time and see if particular things seem to cause symptoms. Once you fine-tune a treatment plan that works well for you and start feeling better, you may also find that you can once again eat things that previously caused you trouble.

Since you've mentioned having issues with dairy, have you tried any dairy alternatives? There are things like soy milk, rice milk, hemp milk, almond milk (my favorite - I can't do dairy either). I also really like goat cheese, and it doesn't give me any trouble the way cow dairy products do. There are also things like coconut milk yogurt & ice cream, they tend to be pretty pricey and not everyone can digest coconut (I cannot, it does horrible things to me) but it could be worth a try as well. Have a look around the grocery store or health food store and see what options might work best for you. Good luck!
09-24-2014, 04:07 PM   #6
Rhiannon97
 
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Thank you I'll definitely try the food journal, hopefully if I work out the trigger foods it might help knowing I'll be safe with what I eat
09-25-2014, 06:19 AM   #7
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I'd be cautious with a food journal. I used to be phobic of many foods. The problem was that I started seeing patterns that weren't there: I'd feel ill after eating, and attribute it to the food I'd eaten, when actually I would have felt ill anyway, whatever I'd eaten.

My phobia was also made worse by reading so many websites, and from seeing nutritionists, who told me that this or that food was "bad". Nearly every food will have been declared bad by someone!

I ended up in a situation where my diet was extremely restricted, and I was losing weight when I was underweight already.

It's tricky because many people with IBD do have trigger foods or do well on a certain kind of diet. I eventually figured out that avoiding much fibre meant a significant improvement in my symptoms.

If you're getting afraid to eat, I would advise you to steer clear of any very restrictive diets. Concentrate on what you can eat. There are some foods that are usually well tolerated - the "BRAT" diet, standing for "Bananas, Apple sauce, Rice and Toast may be a starting point. Have you been tested for lactose intolerance and coeliac? You could also ask your doctor for supplements - they usually come in the form of something like milkshakes - Ensure, Fortisip, etc. These are usually well tolerated (though you might want to check whether some contain dairy) and are high calorie so should help you gain some weight back. They also provide vitamins and other nutrients, which may be especially helpful if you find most fruit and vegetables give you problems, which is quite common. They save you from having to fill up on lots of low calorie fruit and veg.

Remember that being underweight carries health risks, and not eating enough could make you feel worse, will almost certainly make you more tired. Sometimes putting up with symptoms triggered by eating just has to be done in order to avoid the problems caused by not eating enough. Hopefully in time you will find a diet that minimises your symptoms, and treatment that will get your disease under control, but for now you need to do your best to give yourself adequate nutrition as well.
09-25-2014, 06:39 AM   #8
juggys69
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I'd be cautious with a food journal. I used to be phobic of many foods. The problem was that I started seeing patterns that weren't there: I'd feel ill after eating, and attribute it to the food I'd eaten, when actually I would have felt ill anyway, whatever I'd eaten.

My phobia was also made worse by reading so many websites, and from seeing nutritionists, who told me that this or that food was "bad". Nearly every food will have been declared bad by someone!

I ended up in a situation where my diet was extremely restricted, and I was losing weight when I was underweight already.

It's tricky because many people with IBD do have trigger foods or do well on a certain kind of diet. I eventually figured out that avoiding much fibre meant a significant improvement in my symptoms.

If you're getting afraid to eat, I would advise you to steer clear of any very restrictive diets. Concentrate on what you can eat. There are some foods that are usually well tolerated - the "BRAT" diet, standing for "Bananas, Apple sauce, Rice and Toast may be a starting point. Have you been tested for lactose intolerance and coeliac? You could also ask your doctor for supplements - they usually come in the form of something like milkshakes - Ensure, Fortisip, etc. These are usually well tolerated (though you might want to check whether some contain dairy) and are high calorie so should help you gain some weight back. They also provide vitamins and other nutrients, which may be especially helpful if you find most fruit and vegetables give you problems, which is quite common. They save you from having to fill up on lots of low calorie fruit and veg.

Remember that being underweight carries health risks, and not eating enough could make you feel worse, will almost certainly make you more tired. Sometimes putting up with symptoms triggered by eating just has to be done in order to avoid the problems caused by not eating enough. Hopefully in time you will find a diet that minimises your symptoms, and treatment that will get your disease under control, but for now you need to do your best to give yourself adequate nutrition as well.
This. We are not all the same, I eat two string cheese sticks a day to "regulate" myself, but if you just read some generic guide, dairy is supposed to be bad, we are all different, you need to figure out for yourself as you go along what your trigger foods are.
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09-25-2014, 09:26 AM   #9
juggys69
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Also, believe it or not, your mind and body are pretty instinctive, I can just think about certain foods, and the idea of some comes back as "cool", and other's as "hot", I'm not talking about hot and cold dishes, or spices either, just try it and you'll get it and get used to it. Pretty much anything that pops back in your head as "cool" is probably a good food for you.

We also tend to crave certain things now and again, I mean really crave, like a pregnant woman I guess, which even if that craving falls into the "hot" category, it probably means you need at least something like it, or something it would supply your body with.
10-05-2014, 04:15 PM   #10
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At one point I had ulcers, thrush, proctitis and an anal fissure which meant i couldn't force myself to eat in the end. I remember walking around a supermarket before I started work and every food item I looked at gave me an automatic pain rating in my head. Was very sureal to say the least. Once I could technically eat again, I avoided food for as long as possible but I got over it by starting with Complan then built from there: Complan, youghurt with fruit bits/soup with small chunks of veg, scrambled egg, fish, then introduced "normal stuff" gradually. That would only deal with the phobia aspect though.
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