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Crohn's Disease Forum » General IBD Discussion » Was i better off having diarrhea?


06-23-2017, 04:32 PM   #1
cytwombly
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Was i better off having diarrhea? (changes in fiber consumption)

hi. I have had crohn's since childhood and I am now 38. the symptoms have varied throughout my life. the crohn's is severe in my small intestine.

last year I was having diarrhea everyday. and eventually I developed an anal fissure or a fistula (not sure exactly).

the fissure/fistula got better with antibiotics, though I still have discomfort with my anus and I am worried the fissure/fistula may return.

in attempt to end the diarrhea I started to increase my soluble fibre and decrease insoluble fibre. this worked immediately and since that point I have had solid stools.

however, since the point when the diarrhea ended I have had severe stomach pain at times. I was not having the stomach pain when I had the diarrhea and the fissure. I have not had severe pain like this for a long time. I attempt to manage the pain by following a strict diet like SCD but without dairy and without many of the other permitted foods. I eat mainly eggs, chicken, and boiled carrots and green beans, plus butternut squash for the soluble fibre.

I was just wondering if anyone has had a similar experience? I wonder if I should stop eating the squash, or go back to eating a lot of fruit which I was doing when I had the diarrhea? I appreciate any comments.

Last edited by cytwombly; 06-24-2017 at 11:10 AM.
06-24-2017, 07:39 AM   #2
shamrock15
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: ottawa, Ontario

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Well, you haven't mentioned if you are being seen by a specialist or if you are on any medications. It is pretty tough to make recommendations under those circumstances because there are any number of issues you could be facing here. You could have active disease, your diarrhea may have been due to previous surgeries and another change at the same time could mask another issue.

Barring issues like that, a small reduction in the fibre may make for an interesting test. Chronic diarrhea comes with a host of absorption issues that are detrimental to health. There are benefits to trying to keep it from occurring, however if you are irritating an area that is already inflamed you could create far more serious and immediate problems.

Long and short of it is, if you have seen a significant change, check in with a doctor. Hope you feel better soon.
06-24-2017, 10:36 AM   #3
Bufford
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Northwestern Ontario

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I would try cutting back on the fiber, do it in small increments and see what happens. Also has there been any changes to your meds, or anything in your environment?
06-24-2017, 11:01 AM   #4
cytwombly
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
thank you for replying to my post. I really appreciate any help.

I do feel that modifying my fiber by type or amount will have some affect. my plan is to make small changes and see what happens. but I haven't yet decided exactly what to change. maybe I will stop eating butternut squash and see how that goes.

I do have active disease. my specialist recently recommended Imuran and remicade but I do not want to take those. I am not currently on any medications. my symptoms are very bad at times, but I feel that I can control them for the most part by following a strict diet. I am seeing a dietician.

I do worry that I may be irritating an area that is already inflamed by having solid stools. but how could I know for sure? obviously I would like to avoid diarrhea, but I would go back to a diet high in insoluble fiber if it would end occurrences of the stomach pain. I did mention the changes to my doctor but he did not really have any advice apart from saying that I should start Imuran and remicade.

I believe the change I had in my symptoms directly resulted from changes in my diet. there were no other environmental changes.

so mainly what I want to know is if anyone else has eliminated diarrhea through diet modifications only to then develop severe stomach pain at times. or anyone who has experienced anything at all similar to what I am saying about changes in symptoms relating to changes in fiber consumption.
06-24-2017, 03:39 PM   #5
shamrock15
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: ottawa, Ontario

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I can understand your reluctance to remicade and imuran. They don't work for everyone. That being said, I am one for whom they have worked. They gave me my life back after 25 years without coming close to remission. I have had 6 surgeries before starting remicade and the frequency was increasing rapidly, compared to 0 since starting remicade.

I think many cases of crohns' will likely end up being bacterial in origin. Very difficult to state where you may have encountered them, and what allowed it to have an affect.

If you have coverage for remicade, I would recommend trying it. I have no doubt that had it been prescribed to me earlier I would have avoided many of those surgeries and probably had a much more enjoyable time in my 30's! Still, it is your wish. There are many here who have tried it and it has not worked for all.
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