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01-18-2015, 12:07 AM   #1
Jennifer625
 
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"Safe" Foods?

Hey everyone!

Just a quick question: my body seems to be having a tough time handling solid foods (even bland foods, such as toast or crackers seem to give me extremely bad stomach pains/diarrhea). Does anyone else consume a purely liquid diet? If I drink my calories, I seem to have a reduction in pain/diarrhea. I'm considering going fully liquid until I get this under control. Anyone have any tips?

Thank you in advance!!
01-18-2015, 04:16 PM   #2
UnXmas
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Liquid diets do help sometimes, though usually it's better to be supervised by a doctor if you're sticking to liquids for more than a few days. Doctors can prescribe supplements like Ensure or Fortisip, which provide all the nutrients and energy your body needs in liquid form. They can provide everything you need, with no need for any food, or they can be used in combination with normal foods. You can also buy similar supplements without a doctor's prescription.

If you're expecting to stick to liquids just for a few days, just go for the things you know suit you best: milk is a good one for me, and provides calories, but for some people dairy is a bad idea. Smooth soups are generally a safe bet, but won't provide many calories, so you'd need something more substantial if you don't have many fat reserves to draw on for energy - maybe Lucozade? If you drink fruit juice it may be easier on your stomach to go for less acidic ones, e.g. apple or mango juice, not orange or grapefruit.

How do you do with semi-liquids like yoghurt, ice cream, custard, jelly? If you can manage things like that you'll have a lot more options. When you introduce solids again, start with semi-liquids and very soft foods; there are lots of these if you want more examples.

These last two may sound wrong, but Coke drunk at room temperature can settle your stomach. And hot chocolate always seems to go down well with me, though I am basing that mostly on my own experience only: hot drinks in general can relieve some digestive symptoms, but they're better at getting things moving and easing cramps from constipation, they might not be good for diarrhoea.

Take it easy while on a liquid diet, and if things don't settle soon, consider consulting a doctor in case medication changes are needed as well.
01-18-2015, 06:49 PM   #3
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I can't do dairy at all. I seem to do okay with protein shakes. My biggest problem seems to be within 5-10 minutes of eating anything that isn't liquid - I get these excruiciating pains in my stomach (right under my left rib) and I usually end up either vomiting or, if I'm able to keep it down, I get severe diarrhea within a few hours. I don't see my GI until March and my GP on January 26th. I can't miss any time from work so I'm trying to at least remain functional until I see the doctor
01-18-2015, 06:50 PM   #4
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Peanut butter is usually good one for me. I know it's not "liquid" but during a flare it seems to help a lot.
01-18-2015, 07:06 PM   #5
Jennifer625
 
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Peanut butter tends to be a bit much for my stomach (not sure why).
01-18-2015, 08:19 PM   #6
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Ds did EEN ( exclusive enteral nutrition -formula only no foods )
It is commonly used in children for 6-8 weeks instead of prednisolone.
Ds drank peptamen jr orally for 9 weeks in addition to taking 6-mp.
There are many formulas
Regular store brand -ensure/boost these are cheapest but hardest on the gut to digest ( still easier than whole foods
Semi elemental -peptide or peptamen -proteins are broken down a lot and easier on the gut than whole proteins
Elemental -neocate /e028 splash /elecare -these are amino acid based -easiest on the gut but taste is horrible and typically requires an ng tube.
Cost is also higher with these.

Insurance may cover the cost of formula if you get a script from your Gi and send it through the durable medical equipment . Most insurances do not cover formula per say but do cover % of infusion supplies ( aka formula )
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01-18-2015, 11:03 PM   #7
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I just wish I could eat ANYTHING solid without vomiting. I'm drinking just liquids at the moment - including meal replacement shakes. Thanks everyone for the suggestions!!
01-19-2015, 12:57 AM   #8
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During a flare up, just as long as I have bananas and I'm fine. I went through days on a banana per day and water.
I had also gone a few months with alternating elemental feeding through IV and liquid. It's what helped heal me. I was in really rough shaped though and monitored daily in hospital.

Contact your Dr, you may be able to see him sooner.
01-19-2015, 05:17 AM   #9
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During a flare up, just as long as I have bananas and I'm fine. I went through days on a banana per day and water.
I had also gone a few months with alternating elemental feeding through IV and liquid. It's what helped heal me. I was in really rough shaped though and monitored daily in hospital.

Contact your Dr, you may be able to see him sooner.
I've had TPN too (food directly into bloodstream, bypassing the digestive system entirely) but got an awful infection from it - you can get infections so easily because the sugar in the feed also feeds bugs, which then have direct contact with your bloodstream. It's an absolute last resort.

Jennifer - do you think you may have a blockage of some kind? I'm just thinking about why liquids are ok for you but solids aren't. Foods such as crackers, smooth peanut butter, bananas, white toast, white rice, etc. are generally well tolerated, and most people with Crohn's will have a few safe, solid foods they can eat. I'm wondering if something's blocked so that solids can't get through without causing you pain.
01-19-2015, 03:18 PM   #10
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I'm not sure exactly what's going on. I do know that if I eat solid food I get some extremely bad sharp pains and cramping under my left ribcage. I assume that would be my stomach. Whatever I manage to keep down I get watery diarrhea that burns something fierce coming out. My recent bm was really dark and full of mucus. There wasn't much but it sure felt like a lot coming out. I'm still waiting for my biopsy results. Really wish my doctor had done an endoscopy as well instead of just a colonoscopy. Whatever is going on is making me extremely miserable
01-19-2015, 11:37 PM   #11
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Hope you get results soon, Jennifer. Just eat what you can tolerate for now. Another good food for me was sweet potato. Just boil them in chicken bone broth, and purée.
You could very well have a blockage as UnXmas mentioned, or fistulas, or just inflammation. It can be very painful.
I tend to have a high tolerance for pain, Dr was surprised I didn't feel more pain than I did. If you have a high pain tolerance, don't wait too long. It's not to scare you, just listen to your body. You know best.
01-20-2015, 01:19 AM   #12
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Thank you for your reply!!

I'm still waiting for my results from my biopsies/ct scan. My doctor is wonderful but the nursing staff he has is awful at calling back. I plan on calling for an update and to update them on my new symptoms. The bentyl has stopped the cramping but I'm still having to wake up to have a bm (most of the time it's the urgency to go without actually having anything to come out). I'm pretty much given up eating and am using liquids to give me my nutrition. This morning I had a bm and literally all that came out was mucus. I feel like this is getting a bit ridiculous..hopefully the nurse actually returns my call this time.
01-22-2015, 11:31 PM   #13
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Rice (brown if you can tolerate it, but white if you can't) is almost always a safe food for everyone. Just be sure to chew thoroughly and add a bit of extra water to make it mushier. The more "pre-digested" you can make your food the better. Liquid diets are a bit harsh, and tend to involve a lot of citric fruits and things with seeds that can be very hard for a digestive system to digest, even in blended form. Wheat (your crackers and toast) is a trigger for me and my sister, so I'd stay away from wheat for a bit or at least be sure not to eat a lot in one day, try just a bit per week and see how you feel. Keep a journal so you can learn which foods trigger pain and discomfort. IT may be completely different than someone else's, this is why it's important to learn your own. For instance, seeds, wheat, ANY type of alcohol, but beer is harshest (wheat and alcohol), and uncook vegetables (any uncook) is too hard for me, so I either avoid it (alcohol) or use in moderation like once a week in small quantities or prepare it so I can eat it (cook my veggies till just barely soft and smushy so they are easier to digest). When you find a safe food, stick with it and add things gradually. I suggest starting with rice, then work out from there. Trust me your stomach, when happy, will let you know when you made a mistake almost an hour or two after eating it.

Hope that helps!
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01-23-2015, 07:22 AM   #14
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Liquid diets are a bit harsh, and tend to involve a lot of citric fruits and things with seeds that can be very hard for a digestive system to digest, even in blended form.
Why would a liquid diet involve citrus fruits and seeds? It's not difficult at all to have a liquid diet without them.
01-23-2015, 11:43 AM   #15
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I suppose it doesn't have to, but from my experience the first thing people think of as a liquid diet is a bunch of fruit blended together. Or adding fruit to other "liquid diet" plans to make it taste better, which is where you get seeds and citrus.
01-23-2015, 11:48 AM   #16
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Ok. The first thing I think of regarding liquid diet is Ensure.
01-23-2015, 02:00 PM   #17
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I'm on the Ensure style of liquids. Still waiting to hear back from my doctor....seems like it's taking forever.
01-24-2015, 03:46 PM   #18
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Finally was able to speak with my doctor. He told me that it's okay TEMPORARILY to do the liquid diet. He doubled all my meds and told me he wanted to do a capsule endoscopy. My biopsies came back negative and my regular ct scan looked fine. He told me he's suspecting Crohn's. He also stated he wants me to do a gastric emptying study. I've never heard of either procedures. Anyone here able to enlighten me? Are they reliable? I'm worried that the capsule endoscopy won't find anything - I can't help but keep thinking this is all in my head (terrible/irrational thought, I know).
01-25-2015, 08:40 AM   #19
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I've had a gatric-emptying study. You eat a meal with radioactive stuff on it then they take x-rays of it leaving your stomach. I don't think it can detect Crohn's or other inflammation (or if it can, that's not what it's primarily used for). If you're feeling very full on a small amount of food, it's used as an objective assessment of the fullness. It is also sometimes used when there's a concern that food may be passing through the stomach too fast, but that doesn't happen very often. As far as I know, it looks at the stomach only, not the rest of your system. There are other "transit" or "motility" tests which assess the speed things pass through other parts of your digestive system.

My doctors wanted me to do a capsule endoscopy, but I didn't see the point so I didn't do it. You swallow a camera that then takes images as it goes through your digestive system. My doctors told me a capsule endoscopy is unlikely to show up anything that hasn't been found with a regular upper endoscopy and small bowel MRI, which were the tests I'd already had done at the time they were suggesting it to me, and I have no colon, so lower bowel tests were irrelevant in my case.

Both tests are painless, just very time consuming. Gastric emptying study takes up to four hours, capsule endoscopy pretty much takes a whole day.

Last edited by UnXmas; 01-25-2015 at 09:12 AM.
01-25-2015, 08:57 AM   #20
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Did your doctor have any suggestions about what liquids would be best?

Edit: And I don't think it's possible for this to all be in your head. Did your doctor make you feel that way? What are his reasons for suspecting Crohn's? As far as I know, a gastric emptying study isn't used to diagnose Crohn's, so ordering this test suggests he's considering other possibilities as well.

Last edited by UnXmas; 01-25-2015 at 09:17 AM.
01-25-2015, 05:12 PM   #21
Jennifer625
 
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My doctor is wonderful and very reassuring. I constantly say "omg what if this is all in my head?!?!" and he tells me "it's 100% not in your head, so knock it off with that talk"

I had a blood panel done back in September (not sure the name of the test) but several markers were met that were consistant with IBD but not enough markers were met to say it's consistant with UC or CD (if that makes any sense). I had inflammation in September 2014 as well that was labeled as "indeterminate colitis" via biopsy. That inflammation is now gone. My doctor says he's almost positive it isn't IBS since my symptoms are too severe for it to be simply IBS (along with the fact that the Entocort and Bentyl haven't resolved my symptoms)

My doctor also stated that he was okay with me being on a liquid diet (short-term only) as long as I was getting sufficient calories. He advised that I stick with ensure or boost. He also had me double up on my bentyl and protonix to see if that helps.

I was just hoping that by now I'd have a clear diagnosis.
01-25-2015, 05:28 PM   #22
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I'm really debating whether that capsule endoscopy is even worth it. If it happens to not catch a picture of the area that's the problem, then it would be considered negative...so what would the point be? If I keep going through these tests and they all come back normal, that doesn't mean I'm okay! It's frustrating.

I told the doctor that I thought maybe I had an ulcer due to the location of the new pain (upper abdomen and under my left bottom rib) coupled with me being on acid-reducers after having my gallbladder removed (I've had some wicked acid/bile reflux over the past few months). He stated it was possible but the test for H.Pylori was negative.

I'm mostly frustrated that he didn't do an endoscopy this last time (just a colonoscopy) and now my pain is related to the stomach area.

So frustrated!!!
01-26-2015, 07:28 AM   #23
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Try to avoid sugar. Ensure type drinks are usually full of sugar and additive that doesn't agree with most in this situation.
Try to make your own shake with plain yogurt or kefi(fermented food are good for the gut).....Banana, white rice cooked in chicken broth(make your own if you can, water.

Hope you can get an answer soon.
01-26-2015, 09:50 AM   #24
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Listen to your gut. If Ensure works for you, then it is fortified so at least you are getting a "meal replacement" that can actually keep you alive.

My daughter gets half or more of her calories from meal replacements right now. And she grew and thrived on 6 week cycles of nothing else, no other food.

When I try to move to kefir smoothies that I make in the blender. No way. She says that it hurts her tummy. We go with that. But everyone is different.

If you can get the tests done, you should do it. At least you might get answers. Answers are a blessing. Sounds like you have a good doctor.
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01-26-2015, 04:56 PM   #25
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Saw my GP today who took a look at my ct scan. He said I apparently have quite a few kidney stones on my left side as well as a raging kidney infection (discovered through urine sample). I had to have a booster shot of antibiotics (OUCH!!) and I'm on a 5 day regime of Cipro. Ive lost 17 pounds since December as well.

What I appreciate most about my GP is that he looks outside the box. He said a kidney infection could have caused my flare up (I had a UTI in November but I don't believe the hospital gave me enough antibiotics to knock it out of my system) and I needed to treat that before I can tackle the flare (which may go away once my kidneys are better).

My GI saw the same report...I reported my problems with urinating...why in the world did this not cross his mind?!? I'm a bit frustrated since my GI jumped to the "we need mpre tests!" approach rather than consider my kidney infection as an exacerbating factor.

Do I have the right to be a bit peeved?
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