Elemental Diet .... Anyone tried this?

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redspot321
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 303
   Posted 7/15/2008 5:36 AM (GMT -7)   
I went to an allergist last week to be tested for food allergies. I thought there may be a chance I was sensitive to something that may bother my Crohns.
 
It turns out that Im not sensitive to any food!
 
The doc recommended an elemental diet but really didnt go into detail. After looking it up it deems VERY EXPENSIVE!!
 
 
$500 for 60 meals!!! $25 / day
 
Ensure  Plus is is $7-8 per 8 pack.
 
 
 
29 YO Male
 
-CD diagnosed in 2005 illieum
-63cm bowel resection in Feb 08
-Steroid dependant following surgery
- LDN Naltrexone started May 08 been a happy man since!!


Writer
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 443
   Posted 7/15/2008 6:55 AM (GMT -7)   
Many of these diets (elemental, semi-elemental, or polymeric, all being different varieties of enteral nutrition) are pricey, but your insurance company may cover the costs if your doctor writes a prescription for them since they have been shown to be an effective treatment for Crohn's in clinical studies. (For that reason, some states, like New York, require insurance companies to cover enteral nutrition for people with Crohn's.)

Might be a good option for you, since they work particularly well with small intestinal disease, which it seems from your signature line you have, and can be used to help people who are steroid-dependent reduce and withdraw steroids.

redspot321
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 303
   Posted 7/15/2008 7:07 AM (GMT -7)   
I called my local walgreens and they say there is no script accepted for Vivonex (elemental mix). Its pretty much over the counter. I guess Ill try my Insurance Company and see where that goes....Hahhaha..

I guess Ensure Plus is not Elemental? I could afford that. but I dont think it has whats needeed to maintain health.
29 YO Male
 
-CD diagnosed in 2005 illieum
-63cm bowel resection in Feb 08
-Steroid dependant following surgery
- LDN Naltrexone started May 08 been a happy man since!!


Writer
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 443
   Posted 7/15/2008 8:30 AM (GMT -7)   
Regarding the Vivonex, it's available without a prescription because it's a medical food (from a regulatory standpoint) rather than a prescription drug. It's really just the insurance company that wants to see a "prescription," or doctor's order, because otherwise they will claim it's a food you're using on an optional basis rather then a treatment for a disease. Getting coverage is often possible, even if your state doesn't require the coverage, but you generally have to appeal the your insurance company, with your doctor's support and that's where having a written on a prescription pad comes in handy. If you do want to try it as a treatment, I would call your doctor, explain the cost issue, and ask if he/she can help you get coverage.

You could also try Ensure Plus. It's a polymeric formula, and elemental and polymeric formulas seem to work about the same, although some people will respond to one and not another (not predictable in advance).

Whichever type of formula you try, it is most likely to induce remission if you have only the formula and water, without any other food and beverages. If it's going to work, you'll probably start to notice at least some improvement within a week. Then it's a good idea to stay on it until you have tapered and withdrawn the steroids so you have something keeping you in remission during the tapering process.

redspot321
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 303
   Posted 7/15/2008 2:48 PM (GMT -7)   
Awesome response!
I was able to find Vivonex at a medical supply store, my insurance company says they will try to get it authroized, and yes a script is needed for my insurance. You nailed it!
 
Sounds like it will be a week or more If Im lucky, before Ill get to try it. LDN has helped so much with the daily bm's but the pain is horrid....
Writer said...
Regarding the Vivonex, it's available without a prescription because it's a medical food (from a regulatory standpoint) rather than a prescription drug. It's really just the insurance company that wants to see a "prescription," or doctor's order, because otherwise they will claim it's a food you're using on an optional basis rather then a treatment for a disease. Getting coverage is often possible, even if your state doesn't require the coverage, but you generally have to appeal the your insurance company, with your doctor's support and that's where having a written on a prescription pad comes in handy. If you do want to try it as a treatment, I would call your doctor, explain the cost issue, and ask if he/she can help you get coverage.

You could also try Ensure Plus. It's a polymeric formula, and elemental and polymeric formulas seem to work about the same, although some people will respond to one and not another (not predictable in advance).

Whichever type of formula you try, it is most likely to induce remission if you have only the formula and water, without any other food and beverages. If it's going to work, you'll probably start to notice at least some improvement within a week. Then it's a good idea to stay on it until you have tapered and withdrawn the steroids so you have something keeping you in remission during the tapering process.

29 YO Male
 
-CD diagnosed in 2005 illieum
-63cm bowel resection in Feb 08
-Steroid dependant following surgery
- LDN Naltrexone started May 08 been a happy man since!!


Writer
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 443
   Posted 7/15/2008 7:12 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey, glad it helped! Just one last thing -I figure maybe I should give you a heads up about the taste. I've used Vivonex myself, and I have to concede that it does taste pretty bad when you first try it. But I can tell you from my own experience, if you can just stick with it and sip away at it anyway, your taste buds will adjust very quickly. I was fine with it within two days (not that I thought it was wonderful, but it didn't seem unpleasant any longer), and pretty soon it just seemed normal. One thing that can help at the beginning is to drink it with a straw from a covered container so you don't have to smell it.

By the way, don't forget to buy a box of the flavor packets when you order the formula, because it's not drinkable unflavored.

redspot321
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 303
   Posted 7/16/2008 5:40 PM (GMT -7)   
I hear its pretty nasty. I wonder if I could start mixing say 1/2 ensure with 1/2 vivonex? Ive been doing ensure for 3 days now and feel great. I wonder how long ensure can sustain me?

29 YO Male
 
-CD diagnosed in 2005 illieum
-63cm bowel resection in Feb 08
-Steroid dependant following surgery
- LDN Naltrexone started May 08 been a happy man since!!


Writer
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 443
   Posted 7/17/2008 8:01 AM (GMT -7)   
If Ensure works for you, you can use as long as you want, as long as you drink enough of it on a daily basis to get your full daily requirement of calories. It's made with all the nutrients you need, provided you drink adequate amounts (2000 calories per day or 2500 calories, or whenever you require based on your activity levels and size).

Can't say I've ever tried mixing it with Vivonex.
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