09-14-2006, 05:05 PM   #1
question about ensure

i finally am trying to not eat many foods til ..(?)
i think i am still in flare-up..and-so many foods-even just small amounts-cause touble-slight cramps/gas/more frequent stool (no d since on pentasa and entocort tho)
i do have about 5 ritz crackers (which seems to go ok) when i take the pentasa/entocort (and 2 other meds) in the morning-and again have 5 ritz when taking the pentasa in the evening. (right after taking the pills..)
today-however i had half a can of campbells chicken noodle soup (i kow..not the best health-wise..). but- i thought that would be safe...-since then however--heartburn/gas/some cramps..so on. (so no more of that)
so-i am wondering: has anyone gone through their flares with just drinking ensure? right now i drink 2-3 bottles a day...but realize that may be too much..but worry i wont get enough nutrients if i didn't. i am just a bit "afraid" of food right now.. i am keeping a journal..but..it is still pretty new to what is bad/ok--and it is hard to tell anyway-because my system seems to not like any food. i can eat a small piece of cheddar and be ok. but..again..i am eating little right now --so..i started with the ensure..(the chocolate one..for me it is ok--i don't mind the taste..)..but..not sure if this is a great plan...i see my dr next week..
09-14-2006, 05:21 PM   #2
Jeff D.
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2006
I have no clue if you can drink ensure all of the time. I never drank much myself. I drank it a few times a week once a day.

Best of luck
09-15-2006, 08:02 PM   #3
Cara Fusinato
Sarcastic Forum Comedian
Join Date: Sep 2006
I drank 3 a day for 8 weeks and only added some soup and pudding each once a day. I lost 22 pounds, but then I need to. The only thing I didn't like about ensure was that it was so sugary that it made it hard to sleep for me, but I am sensitive to sugar that way. If you put a but of nutmeg on the vanilla, it takes like egg nog. If you blend it with ice, you get a frappaccino! I became quite creative! I added a bit of ice cream too to make ensure shakes. I'd live on the stuff except the sugar drives me nuts! Ensure diabetic is just too expensive, though.
09-17-2006, 08:20 AM   #4
mikeyarmo's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Speak with a doctor about the ideal amount to take daily, as it is important that you get enough calories, nutrients, proteins, fat, etc. There is an ideal amount for each product, so your doctor should know. If they do not, try and figure out what your ideal calorie/vitamin/fat/protein intake is and try and match that with a number of cans you will need to consume each day. It is best to slip the ensure slowly, but you need to make sure you have enough each day to satisfy your needs.

Being afraid of eating is not abnormal, but it is harmful. It is best to find safe foods that you can eat in addition to the ensure. This will help get you more confident with foods so you will be able to try more foods again shortly.

Soups (just the broth) are usually well tolerated. In addition many people find a BRAT diet is tolerable. This stands for Bananas, Rice, Apple sauce and Toast. You may find that penut butter is tolerable also. I am talking about the smooth variety though, as crunchy ones can cause problems. While I would often have pain if eating normal nuts, I found I was always able to tolerate nut butters (penut butter, almond butter ,etc.).

Fruit and vegetable juices may (or may not) be tolerated well also. Fresh is the best, but if not try not to get ones that are pasteurized, as they can upset the stomach. Fresh juices on an empty stomach work the best, and allow for the best test of whether they can be tolerated or not. An empty stomach means taking it first thing in the morning, or usually about 2-3 hours after last eating (unless you ate a lot, which I do not think is a problem though). These juices can provide a lot of needed vitamins, as well as natural sugar which can help for energy and a clear mind (often lacking when lowering food intake).

While it is common to fear food, you must also realize that not eating can cause worse problems. Losing weight will put your body at a higher risk for requiring surgery, and would make surgery more risky. This means that you may need to be admitted to the hospital for a period to be on Total Parental Nutrition for a period of a few days to a few weeks prior to surgery. I did this and while it is totally (and easily) manageable, it means spending two more weeks in the hospital waiting for surgery.
09-17-2006, 11:21 AM   #5
i am printing this now..
09-18-2006, 06:00 PM   #6
Not to menttion ensure is dairy based, are you lactose intolerant? Boost has 22 vitamins and minerals and is non-dairy based, so it will avoid the gas, bloating, indegestion and so forth, plus your "bodies digestive enzymes" dont have to work as hard.
09-20-2006, 06:14 PM   #7
i don't think i am lactose intolerant--but i do have trouble w gas/bloating and all you mentioned..
it is good to hear about boost ..i hope it tastes ok.....
(i miss pizza and popcorn though!..but still drink coffee..bad bad..)...

oh wow--i am over 50 posts now...arcade!!!!

Last edited by xrayzerase; 09-20-2006 at 06:17 PM.
09-21-2006, 05:31 AM   #8
Just FYI, I believe both Ensure and Boost are lactose-free. I personally like the taste and consistency of Ensure a little better than Boose.

I too was afraid to try eating when my flare was at it's worst. Some of the things I found that were semi-tolerable were broth soups, small amounts of noodles/pasta, eggs, jello, and tuna. I usually mixed tuna w/ miracle whip to help w/ taste, but no matter how you fix it the Omega 3's in the tuna are supposed to help fight the inflammation...always a plus!

I was only eating one very small meal a day, and lost 20-some pounds....and lost a lot of muscle. Try to eat what you can....if you eat soft foods in small portions, you should be able to find a few things you are able to eat. GOod luck.
09-21-2006, 09:22 AM   #9
Ensure is not lactose free. Go to their website and it will say contains dairy.
10-03-2006, 08:40 PM   #10
A Dietitian
A product can be lactose-free and also contain diary. Boost and Ensure products contain dairy byproducts, but do not have lactose. Lactose can be problematic for a lot of people, but only those allergic to dairy products need to be very careful with the protein that comes from dairy. Hope that makes sense!
10-04-2006, 03:22 PM   #11
If you put a but of nutmeg on the vanilla, it takes like egg nog. If you blend it with ice, you get a frappaccino!

Thanks for the ideas!!! I drink quite a lot of Ensure, as it is really the only way I can get a pseudo-balanced diet these days. I'm definitely going to try these ideas to break up the monotony!!!
10-07-2006, 09:09 AM   #12
Cara Fusinato
Sarcastic Forum Comedian
Join Date: Sep 2006
Yes, Ensure can be spiced up a bit . . . Let's call it the Crohn's Ensure Recipe book. . . Nutmeg on top makes egg nog; blended with ice gets a frappaccino; blended with ice, nutmeg, and vodka or spiced rum yields a nice toddy; blended with kahlua yields a lovely white russian. I remember when I was first sick and wanted something mildly alcoholic I began the Ensure-based drinking! Eventually, after the flare, I could porgress back to regular drinking (grin)! In a pinch, you can use SlimFast too. I like their new protein ones that are a bit less in the carb category. Sometimes you can find them cheaper than Ensure. I found a couple generic ensures that are really, really good and much cheaper.

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