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#1 Old 11-24-2016, 07:17 AM
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Going vegan with Crohn's

Hiya folks

Those who have known me from before the hack know I've tried to go vegan and failed several times because of the severity of my Crohns disease.

I want to get it right this time. I realized the only dairy I have left in my fridge is one half tub of ice cream, a thin slice of butter and a yar of mayo so I thought I could just finish those things up and go 100% vegan easily as this is all I have used recently. Must be easy to swap those things.

I know from experience that eating leafy greens is not an option (triggers flares) and pulses don't sit well with me either.

Has anyone here got experience with Crohns disease and veganism they want to share; or suggestions on how to compensate for little leafy greens and no pulses?

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#2 Old 11-24-2016, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Sidhuriel View Post
Hiya folks

Those who have known me from before the hack know I've tried to go vegan and failed several times because of the severity of my Crohns disease.

I want to get it right this time. I realized the only dairy I have left in my fridge is one half tub of ice cream, a thin slice of butter and a yar of mayo so I thought I could just finish those things up and go 100% vegan easily as this is all I have used recently. Must be easy to swap those things.

I know from experience that eating leafy greens is not an option (triggers flares) and pulses don't sit well with me either.

Has anyone here got experience with Crohns disease and veganism they want to share; or suggestions on how to compensate for little leafy greens and no pulses?

Hi Sidhuriel,

You may want to hire an expert to help you with this. Pulses and leafy green vegetables are recommended by every mainstream vegan organization, and designing a healthy vegan diet without them may be a bit of a challenge.

One or two appointments with a Registered Dietitian should solve the problem. They can help you to figure out a vegan diet that is nutritionally complete, but that avoids the problem foods. There are Registered Dietitians who specialize in vegetarian nutrition and in Crohn's disease.

In the Nederlands, you can find a local Registered Dietitian through the Nederlandse Vereniging van Dietisten: http://www.nvdietist.nl/


(You may notice that I always recommend that people with medical problems consult a Registered Dietitian (RD). I am not an RD, nor do I work for them. However, it's been my experience that working with a Registered Dietitian is the quickest way to identify and fix a nutrition problem, with the least amount of guessing or error).

_________

Specific recommendations for a healthy diet include: eating more fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and grains; cutting down on salt, sugar and fats. It is also advisable to choose unsaturated fats, instead of saturated fats and towards the elimination of trans-fatty acids."
- United Nations' World Health Organization
http://www.who.int/topics/diet/en/

Last edited by David3; 11-24-2016 at 06:35 PM.
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#3 Old 11-24-2016, 09:32 PM
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Hi Sidhuriel,

(You may notice that I always recommend that people with medical problems consult a Registered Dietitian (RD). I am not an RD, nor do I work for them. However, it's been my experience that working with a Registered Dietitian is the quickest way to identify and fix a nutrition problem, with the least amount of guessing or error).
Thank you, I already have the support of a registered dietitian at the hospital so that's covered.

I just wanted to know if there are people here with the same kind of issues that can tell me about their experience.

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#4 Old 11-25-2016, 05:14 AM
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My spouse has inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis) -- he is lacto-ovo vegetarian, and his UC is a big reason he feels it would be difficult to be vegan. He does find that vegetables seem to trigger his symptoms. Tofu and commercial veggie meats are good sources of protein that are easy to digest, even if he is in a flare.

I have another family member with Crohns who is not veggie but finds she can eat almost anything she wants to when she is not actively in a flare. I think these diseases are very individual, so it may take some trial and error to find what works for you.

I do think it is possible to do a nutritionally complete, low residue vegan diet, as long as you don't have other restrictions. B12 supplements are a must, and keeping your doctor and RD in the loop is crucial.
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#5 Old 11-25-2016, 10:26 AM
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My spouse has inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis) -- he is lacto-ovo vegetarian, and his UC is a big reason he feels it would be difficult to be vegan. He does find that vegetables seem to trigger his symptoms. Tofu and commercial veggie meats are good sources of protein that are easy to digest, even if he is in a flare.
Yes, I agree with your spouse that it is easier and more practical to be vegetarian. The major factor making it harder to go vegan is that a lot of commercial veggie meats here are non vegan, just like you say it takes away an easy digestible source of protein.

But the dairy industry makes me so sad

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Originally Posted by runnerveggie View Post
I have another family member with Crohns who is not veggie but finds she can eat almost anything she wants to when she is not actively in a flare. I think these diseases are very individual, so it may take some trial and error to find what works for you.

I do think it is possible to do a nutritionally complete, low residue vegan diet, as long as you don't have other restrictions. B12 supplements are a must, and keeping your doctor and RD in the loop is crucial.
My problem is that I've been flaring actively for almost 2 years now, so I'm getting somewhat desperate. It doesn't seem to matter how I eat, I'm sick anyway. Yet so much research indicates that going vegan is the most anti inflammatory diet that I want to give it another go.

I will talk to my doctor first next week, thank you for taking the time to respond

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#6 Old 11-25-2016, 11:03 AM
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My problem is that I've been flaring actively for almost 2 years now, so I'm getting somewhat desperate. It doesn't seem to matter how I eat, I'm sick anyway. Yet so much research indicates that going vegan is the most anti inflammatory diet that I want to give it another go.

I will talk to my doctor first next week, thank you for taking the time to respond

Your Registered Dietitian should be taking the guesswork out of your meal-planning. If your RD is only giving you general guidelines (rather than detailed meal plans), then they are not doing a good job. A good RD should individually work with each patient, in order to identify a healthy eating style that addresses their health issues.

It's possible that the hospital RD does not have enough time to work with you this way. If so, I want to again recommend that you make an appointment with a private-practice RD.

In the Nederlands, you can find a local Registered Dietitian through the Nederlandse Vereniging van Dietisten: http://www.nvdietist.nl/
.
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Specific recommendations for a healthy diet include: eating more fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and grains; cutting down on salt, sugar and fats. It is also advisable to choose unsaturated fats, instead of saturated fats and towards the elimination of trans-fatty acids."
- United Nations' World Health Organization
http://www.who.int/topics/diet/en/
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#7 Old 11-28-2016, 08:29 AM
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I don't know anyone who has Crohn's disease so I'm pretty much ignorant on the subject, but I was wondering how you fare with things like seeds. I'm thinking of quinoa for one thing, as well as rice and wheat, maybe pumpkin seeds, rolled oats, sunflower seeds. How do those treat your body? Just a quick look at a page on the subject made me wonder if those kinds of things bother you if they are well cooked. For example, a bowl of oatmeal that has added chopped pumpkin and sunflower seeds (for the additional proteins you know). Or what about if you cook some green peas?

And just curious here, if for example you ate refried beans which are cooked down to a mush, does that still cause you problems?

I'm sorry, more curious here than anything and I'm sure nothing I said was much help to you. I hope you get it figured out. Good luck Sidhuriel!
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#8 Old 11-28-2016, 07:44 PM
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By the way, I just read this article about soaking beans and lentils and some of the issues that can arise from eating unsoaked legumes and beans and stuff made me think of you. So I thought I'd share the link and maybe it sounds like something that might help you.

http://deeprootsathome.com/soaking-b...cid-and-beano/
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#9 Old 11-29-2016, 09:11 AM
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I'm thinking of quinoa for one thing, as well as rice and wheat, maybe pumpkin seeds, rolled oats, sunflower seeds. How do those treat your body? Just a quick look at a page on the subject made me wonder if those kinds of things bother you if they are well cooked. For example, a bowl of oatmeal that has added chopped pumpkin and sunflower seeds (for the additional proteins you know). Or what about if you cook some green peas?
It doesn't matter if they are cooked or not, if the lining of the intestines is damaged (as it is with me) anything fibrous or hard will be painful to digest. Seeds come out undigested and are usually quite painful so I tend to avoid them. Green peas aren't too bad for me, but I don't think they do much for protein.

Rice and white starches (including wheat) are easy for me to digest as long as they are not whole grains when flaring. When I am not flaring badly I can eat them and some oatmeal too, though I must minimize my intake of fibrous grains to one portion a day.

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And just curious here, if for example you ate refried beans which are cooked down to a mush, does that still cause you problems?

I'm sorry, more curious here than anything and I'm sure nothing I said was much help to you. I hope you get it figured out. Good luck Sidhuriel!
Refried beans still have their small bean skins on them, and when I eat those the skins come out undigested. So I am afraid that doesn't work. Also, foods that cause gas in regular people like beans, cabbage and onions are worse for people like Crohns, so I am afraid it's not an option.

However, I appreciate your effort. Thank you very much

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#10 Old 11-29-2016, 10:29 AM
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I came across a site that lets you look up the nutrient values of all sorts of foods and according to it, one cup of green peas, boiled with no salt, you'd be getting 13 grams of protein. So that's something and maybe if you mashed them up yet too so that you're own system isn't being stressed more, maybe that would work?

The site is here: https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts...roducts/2526/2 ( I think I found it on another comment here somewhere)

Here's another question: as I understand it (bit of reading under my belt), the pain of Crohns is the result of severe inflammation in the bowel right? In that case, have you ever tested yourself to see what happens if you use turmeric/pepper to combat that inflammation? Of course you'd have to use it daily to get the benefits.

I came across this link too by Dr. Michael Greger (who is vegan in case you've never heard of him) and it's got some interesting points in it. http://nutritionfacts.org/2012/09/13...rohns-disease/


All I can say is that I admire your efforts to find some way to maintain a semblance of a vegan diet! You've got all kinds of challenges to consider.
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#11 Old 11-29-2016, 09:36 PM
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I came across a site that lets you look up the nutrient values of all sorts of foods and according to it, one cup of green peas, boiled with no salt, you'd be getting 13 grams of protein. So that's something and maybe if you mashed them up yet too so that you're own system isn't being stressed more, maybe that would work?
Might be an idea, thank you

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Here's another question: as I understand it (bit of reading under my belt), the pain of Crohns is the result of severe inflammation in the bowel right? In that case, have you ever tested yourself to see what happens if you use turmeric/pepper to combat that inflammation? Of course you'd have to use it daily to get the benefits.
It might be. It can also be caused by ulcers, damaged lining of the intestines, bowel perforation and other things. Right now my problem is damaged lining of the intestines because I have been flaring for so long. Pepper makes my pain ten times worse. Haven't tried tumeric. Could do.

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Originally Posted by DebrahM View Post
I came across this link too by Dr. Michael Greger (who is vegan in case you've never heard of him) and it's got some interesting points in it. http://nutritionfacts.org/2012/09/13/dietary-treatment-for-crohns-disease/


This researcher says:

Japanese researchers took a group of Crohn’s patients in remission, either because they just came out of surgery or because they were able to beat it back with steroids. And for two years asked half of them to eat a semi-vegetarian diet, meaning in this case vegetarian except for half a serving of fish a week, and half a serving of other meat once every two weeks, so less than one serving of meat per week. Now this wasn’t a prison study or anything, these were free-living adults, so the results are not what necessarily happens when Crohn’s sufferers actually go on a plant-based diet, but what happens when people they are just told to eat a more plant based diet and how much they comply is up to them, which makes the results even more astounding.
You can see the graph in the video, but basically 200 days into the study all of the patients told to eat more of a plant-based diet were still in remission, but about 20% of the group not told to eat anything different relapsed. After a year 100% of the semi-veg group still symptom free, but the disease re-emerged in half of the standard diet group. And at the end of two years, 92% of the patients told to eat a more plant-based diet remained without disease, whereas the majority of those not given that advise relapsed back in the cycles of drugs, hospitalizations and surgery.


I have been a vegetarian for five years, yet I am continuously flaring and have been in hospital 8 times the pas two years. So whatever this study says, it doesn't work that way for me sadly.



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All I can say is that I admire your efforts to find some way to maintain a semblance of a vegan diet! You've got all kinds of challenges to consider.
Thank you

I am trying, I don't think being non veggie would make things better. But it is hard to go vegan when there are so many things you can't eat.

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#12 Old 11-29-2016, 11:07 PM
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I decided to take the plunge anyway; I am starting today.

Just want to see how it goes, I can always stop if it goes wrong but this time I really hope it won't.

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#13 Old 11-30-2016, 05:22 AM
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Like I said before, I admire your determination and I sympathize with you in your situation. I've got a couple situations going on but nothing like what you're dealing with! Hope for the best for you!
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#14 Old 11-30-2016, 11:24 PM
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Like I said before, I admire your determination and I sympathize with you in your situation. I've got a couple situations going on but nothing like what you're dealing with! Hope for the best for you!
Thanks! I will keep you posted

Right now it just feels great to have a pantry and fridge empty of animal products.
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#15 Old 12-01-2016, 06:31 PM
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Hello there,

I was just reading about an enzyme called homocysteine and it's correlation to B12 and in the list of people who would have a propensity to becoming B12 deficient, it mentioned people with Crohn's disease. Naturally I though of you so wanted to mention that to you. Your doctor may have already advised you on this more than likely, but just in case. Here's the link for you to look at if you're interested: http://www.b12patch.com/blog/symptom...nd-your-heart/

About 2/3 of the way down the article. Anyway, have a nice evening.
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#16 Old 12-03-2016, 04:49 AM
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*TMI warning*

Been three days vegan now and I had my first solid stool in a month yesterday evening!

So encouraging
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#17 Old 12-07-2016, 10:06 PM
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Been vegan for a week now.

My skin is clearing up, I've lost weight, and my bowel movements are more solid and less frequent.

I'm seeing a registered dietician today. I am keeping this up!

It's going really well this time.

And... My mom wants to go vegan with me!
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#18 Old 12-08-2016, 06:48 AM
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WOW! Fingers crossed you've hit on the right combination! And kudos to your mom for taking the first step, 'wanting to' make the change! And I hope it goes well with your dietitian.
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#19 Old 12-10-2016, 06:18 PM
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It's possible that the hospital RD does not have enough time to work with you this way. If so, I want to again recommend that you make an appointment with a private-practice RD.
.
The hospital RD turned out not to know anything about veganism

So she's sent me on to see a vegan RD soon.

I was kind of blown away by that, it turns out that they almost know nothing about alternative ways of eating.. In a hospital. My amazement about the system will never cease I guess.

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#20 Old 12-23-2016, 08:51 AM
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Sidhuriel:

I sincerely hope you are able to find a diet that relieves your suffering from Crohn's Disease.

Are you familiar with Dr. John McDougall? He is an American physician who promotes a vegan diet centered around whole-food starches such as potatoes, corn, rice, sweet potatoes, "winter" squashes such as butternut squash and acorn squash, beans, peas, and other legumes.

Here is the link to his Web site: https://www.drmcdougall.com/ . If you click on Education then Success Stories, you will be taken to a page featuring hundreds of testimonials from individuals who have been cured of many different chronic diseases. (Video testimonials are near the top; if you scroll down, you will find text testimonials.) There are a number of testimonials in each section from individuals who have successfully treated their Crohn's Disease by adopting Dr. McDougall's diet. (You can also use the Search function on the Home Page to search for testimonials and articles on Crohn's Disease.)

Here is a link to a video testimonial from a woman named Sondra Berk who was cured of Crohn's Disease by adopting Dr. McDougall's diet: http://tinyurl.com/z6yfuv2 . Ms. Berk suffered from Crohn's Disease for 50 years--from her teens until her late 60's--before she found relief by adopting Dr. McDougall's diet.
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#21 Old 12-23-2016, 09:48 AM
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Sidhuriel:

I sincerely hope you are able to find a diet that relieves your suffering from Crohn's Disease.

Are you familiar with Dr. John McDougall? He is an American physician who promotes a vegan diet centered around whole-food starches such as potatoes, corn, rice, sweet potatoes, "winter" squashes such as butternut squash and acorn squash, beans, peas, and other legumes.

Here is the link to his Web site: https://www.drmcdougall.com/ . If you click on Education then Success Stories, you will be taken to a page featuring hundreds of testimonials from individuals who have been cured of many different chronic diseases. (Video testimonials are near the top; if you scroll down, you will find text testimonials.) There are a number of testimonials in each section from individuals who have successfully treated their Crohn's Disease by adopting Dr. McDougall's diet. (You can also use the Search function on the Home Page to search for testimonials and articles on Crohn's Disease.)

Here is a link to a video testimonial from a woman named Sondra Berk who was cured of Crohn's Disease by adopting Dr. McDougall's diet: http://tinyurl.com/z6yfuv2 . Ms. Berk suffered from Crohn's Disease for 50 years--from her teens until her late 60's--before she found relief by adopting Dr. McDougall's diet.
Yes!

I am also a huge fan of Dr. John McDougall and Mary McDougall; they have really helped to simplify vegan eating, and they have been tirelessly promoting low-fat vegan diets for 35 years.

Dr. McDougall's diet is pretty solid. It's not much different than the conventional vegan diet (legumes, grains, vegetables, fruit) that is recommended by mainstream vegan organizations. His genius is in making vegan eating easy to understand - abundantly eat starchy foods, eat some vegetables and fruit, and avoid foods with added oil. Oily foods (nuts, avocados) are to be eaten in small quantities only, unless you need to gain weight.

Dr. McDougall has been criticized (probably justifiably) for de-emphasizing the importance of dietary calcium, and for stating that vegans should not take vitamin D supplements. Mainstream vegan organizations have stated that both of these are important.

Below are links to statements by the Vegetarian Resource Group and from Vegan Outreach. Both of these organizations are led by vegan Registered Dietitians:

Vegetarian Resource Group's recommendations for vitamin D: http://www.vrg.org/journal/vj2009iss..._vitamin_d.php

Vegetarian Resource Group's recommendations for calcium: http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/calcium.php

Vegan Outreach's recommendations for calcium and vitamin D: http://www.veganhealth.org/articles/bones
.

_________

Specific recommendations for a healthy diet include: eating more fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and grains; cutting down on salt, sugar and fats. It is also advisable to choose unsaturated fats, instead of saturated fats and towards the elimination of trans-fatty acids."
- United Nations' World Health Organization
http://www.who.int/topics/diet/en/

Last edited by David3; 12-23-2016 at 09:58 AM.
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#22 Old 12-24-2016, 02:43 AM
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So far, things are really going well for me this time

It turns out that I've been lactose intolerant all this time, and we only found out because I went vegan. It was the problem that kept triggering my Crohns.

I am so happy to know this, yay for no moo-no poo!
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#23 Old 12-24-2016, 07:21 AM
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So far, things are really going well for me this time

It turns out that I've been lactose intolerant all this time, and we only found out because I went vegan. It was the problem that kept triggering my Crohns.

I am so happy to know this, yay for no moo-no poo!

This is absolutely wonderful!
.
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Specific recommendations for a healthy diet include: eating more fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and grains; cutting down on salt, sugar and fats. It is also advisable to choose unsaturated fats, instead of saturated fats and towards the elimination of trans-fatty acids."
- United Nations' World Health Organization
http://www.who.int/topics/diet/en/
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#24 Old 01-21-2017, 11:05 AM
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Well I have a new update which is not so shiny sadly.

The doctors were wrong. I wasn't in remission, I just wasn't yet showing my typical symptoms.

I had a saddle embolus from flaring Crohns back in 2015 and barely survived that, and now I had 5 regular lung embolisms and was taken into hospital January 6th of this year. Again because of my flaring Crohns.

I have not achieved remission at all, in fact my colon is more inflamed than it has ever been. And my body makes blood clots to heal it, but of course that doesn't happen. So I am on blood thinners for life now. I also have low cortisone production, which means I am steroid dependend for now. It's really quite bad. So dissapointing to go through this again.

If my Crohns won't get under control I will get an ileostomy in three months because this is getting dangerous. I am trying Entyvio now instead of Humira. I'm starting to hope for the ostomy, this rollercoaster ride is getting dangerous.

And, I am malnourished. Low on ureum, low on iron, low on calcium, low on just about everything. I am discussing this with the hospital dietician this week. I am digesting my food very badly and being vegan is only sustainable with nutrient drinks for me right now, but that might not be enough

I will update later. Maybe she will know what to do. Pray with me that the meds will work this time.

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#25 Old 02-05-2017, 07:50 PM
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Well I got a bit of a shinier update now

Seems that reverting back to going vegetarian solved most of my problems for now. Ureum is back to normal levels, calcium is almost there and on wednesday I will get an iron drip to do something about the anemia.

Also the GI bleeding has finally stopped so at least my iron levels won't get lower.

I'm back to being vegetarian for now, and I guess I will stay there for as long as my disease is active because sadly the plant foods that contain a lot of iron and calcium are leafy greens and pulses, both of which I can't eat right now or as long as my colon doesn't restore itself or gets removed.

I hope one day in the future I will be vegan, and until that time I minimalize my dairy intake but I will need to use it.

The good news is though, that things are better overall now and I am no longer malnourished. So there is progress
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