whats better for immune system and crohn's: Meat or no meat?

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DD003
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Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 29
   Posted 9/6/2010 11:35 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you guys for all the support on my last post. But there is something else that has been going on in my head.
 
I've been a vegetarian for around 5 years.
 
I gave up beef 9 years ago
I gave up pork 8 years ago
I gave up poultry 5 years ago.. I still eat eggs and fish.
 
Here is my problem; my gag reflex has been really really bad!!... And thing wet gives me nausea. So eggs is hard to eat right not and fish is hard to eat too. Pyschologically its HEART BREAKING to go back to meat!!! but honetly I keep picturing a turkey burger, but I have WAY TOO MUCH pride. I'd feel like an alcoholic going back to the bottle. And, when I eat meat substitutes it really hurts my stomach. I'm not sure what I should do. I have an iron deficenecy and the last blood test i had two months ago was good, but something right now is telling me as fast as i consume iron (iron pills) is as fast as it leaves me... I guess i just want to know if anyone did research on the benefits of turkey on the immune system/ crohns/ digestion. Like would it balance me out again? I guess I just need to justify these cravings... because i refuse to touch meat til I do!!...thanks for listening!!!
 
-Dana

NiceCupOfTea
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Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 8550
   Posted 9/6/2010 12:00 PM (GMT -7)   
I've been a dedicated meat and eggs eater for the majority of my 10 years with Crohn's. Not so much anymore; these days I'm hitting the carbs (cereal with organic milk) for lunch and eating less meat for dinner than I used to, but I'm still very far from a vegetarian.

And honestly? It didn't do a thing for my Crohn's or stop me from developing anaemia. My haemoglobin eventually dropped to 7 this year. I couldn't tolerate the oral stuff so I had to have two iron transfusions. They actually raised my haemoglobin pretty fast, although my haematologist warned me that my haemoglobin probably wouldn't go above 10/11 due to inflammatory disease process. (I don't know what it is now; at the last count it was 9.4 but I haven't had a recent blood test.)

If oral iron isn't working for you, I would suggest an iron transfusion as the next step. I would also suggest getting your B12 level checked out if you haven't done so already. As a vegetarian with Crohn's I would say B vitamin supplementation is a must for you.

I can't advise whether you should eat meat again or not. That's between you and your conscience. I try to eat meat, eggs and milk from humanely-reared animals; otherwise I have no qualms about it. That's me, though; that's not you.

tooth
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 337
   Posted 9/6/2010 12:03 PM (GMT -7)   
I think the most important thing to know is that if you're craving something, it usually means that your body is trying to find the nutrients somewhere from food. I was a semi-vegetarian from shortly after I got diagnosed until when I started to flare again. My Crohn's hates meat, so I stopped eating it completely. Had no problems with tofu, meat substitutes or even beans, just meat.

After a while of not eating it, I used to get the most awful cravings for burgers and steaks, which I hate the taste of and my Crohn's hates too. Turned out at the time I was severely anemic and my B12 was low. So I started just eating meat whenever I started craving it, which was once a month or so.

With my most recent flare, I tried SCD, which is a lot of veggies and meat but found out my intestines can't handle the meat. So I went back to being a semi-veggie, though I eat turkey routinely. I've found it to be the easiest to digest out of most meats...though I can't stomach fish.

Anyway, I know it's heartbreaking to give up a lifestyle that you've had for so long. But there are nutrients in meat that you can't get from tofu. So it's possible to eat some meat only when your body tells you that it needs it. I'm not sure if it will "straighten you out" so to speak. But eating the odd turkey sandwich and occasional cheeseburger makes me feel better and keeps those cravings at bay. smilewinkgrin

MMMNAVY
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Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 6927
   Posted 9/6/2010 12:08 PM (GMT -7)   
I agree with tooth about if you are craving something then that usually means your body needs it.
No one is going to think bad of you here for going back to eating meat. I would suggest organic and no added hormones.
Forum Co-moderator - Crohn's Disease/Thyroid Disorders: All comments have the caveat contact your local health care provider.
I will find a way or make one. –Phillip Sidney 1554-1586
All that I am and all that I shall ever be, I owe to my Angel Mother.
The Bucket List- Have you found joy in your life? Has your life brought joy to others?
Make sure your suffering has meaning…

Laughing Willow
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 69
   Posted 9/6/2010 12:49 PM (GMT -7)   
My own personal opinion as someone who was a vegetarian for 9 years (and a vegan for 1.5 of those years) is that the human anatomy is evolved and designed to digest animal fats and proteins for optimal health.
36 y/o male

CD diagnosed in February 2008 || Remicade treatments April 2008-present || Modified SCD diet July 2009-present || Remission from July 2008-present

Zanne
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Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3763
   Posted 9/6/2010 2:11 PM (GMT -7)   
I agree that when the body is craving something it needs some nutrient that is in that food. My grandfather was a doctor and always told my grandmother to eat what she was craving. But you should have all your bloodwork checked if you think that things are off because if things are really off you won't be able to get things back in line just by eating a couple of turkey burgers.

Lizard99
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 192
   Posted 9/6/2010 4:21 PM (GMT -7)   
Well, you never know until you try. I stay away from meat for the most part but find a turkey burger appealing at times as well, when I have it though, it doesn't sit well. I up my green juices (kale, spinach, etc) and that works for me. But I know alot of people have problems with veggies. We are all so different, you will only know after you try it. And if eating meat means feeling better and having more than it's definately worth it. Sometimes we need animal nutrients, just thank the animal for the nutrients it provides for you, maybe that will make you feel better about eating it:) Just a thought and good luck!

CrazyHarry
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1034
   Posted 9/6/2010 5:39 PM (GMT -7)   
your body was made to eat meat, but it does not need very much to function effectively. turkey is a good meat, just like eggs and fish. the meat of any animal, raised on its proper diet, is very healthy. unfortunately most of the meat we have access today is not and thus is not of good nutritional quality as it was for our ancestors. what a shame. protein and many other nutrients, like iron and omega 3 fats, are best from animal sources. sometimes if your body craves a specific food, it is because it is deficient in a certain nutrient that food provides...

if you choose to not eat meat for solely personal reasons, then you are nothing like an alcoholic cos you are not caving to a self inflicted addiction. you are making a well informed lifestyle decision based on medical needs. unless there is a religious conflict, then i do not think you truly have a problem other than coming to grips with altering your diet/lifestyle back to more of one you shunned many years ago.

blueberrydecaf
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 257
   Posted 9/6/2010 6:37 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm not sure about the meat issue, I am a meat eater - and for sure it is a personal choice, but iron is an issue. Oral iron causes me to flare and have D - I kept trying to shovel it down because it is a chronic issue for me, but now I'm still flaring so I have stopped. I will be seeking other ways to get it for sure - I seem to handle hamburger okay, but I think it was the steak I ate on Aug 18th that led to this round of prednisone!
diagnosed 2003
vit D, calcium, iron when my tummy can handle it
stopped Pentasa
prednisone 30mg

jpnutritionfirst
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 383
   Posted 9/6/2010 8:03 PM (GMT -7)   
meat is one of my safe food groups, though i have avoided beef
Crohn's diagnosed 6/08
Organic SCD since 4/09
Remicade from 6/09 to 4/10
Low-dose naltrexone since 7/5/10
Boswellia + Natren's Healthy Trinity probiotic + Cinnamon + Wild Oregano Oil + vitamin D

Nanners
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 9/7/2010 7:41 AM (GMT -7)   
I am the same as jpnutritionist, I eat chicken, fish & turkey, but avoid red meat at all times.
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease 
Crohn's Disease for over 34 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, Calcium, Vit D, and Xanax prn. Resections in 2002 & 2005. Also diagnosed w/ Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, & Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission, but my joints are going crazy!
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

Roni
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 2480
   Posted 9/7/2010 7:46 AM (GMT -7)   
I mostly eat chicken fish and turkey too, but sometimes I will eat a thin but juicy burger!!!

Sometimes I think canned tuna makes my symptoms worse, though. Nanners do you eat tuna and how do you find it?

karasmommy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 589
   Posted 9/7/2010 9:07 AM (GMT -7)   
Hmm...I too have a problem with being anemic a lot and when I do get below the "normal range" I crave red meat unbelievably - I can't take iron either - it just is unbearably painful to my stomach.

I also have a problem digesting beef - I have found that I can eat ground buffalo and ground lamb (both local, free-range, organic) with no problems and it tends to hit that craving quite well. Both lamb and buffalo are high in iron too!

My GI always tells me that when I am craving red meat (in my case lamb or buffalo) that I need to listen to my body as I am anemic and the labs always prove it to be a fact that I am anemic.

Nanners
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 9/7/2010 9:11 AM (GMT -7)   
No Roni, I actually don't like Tuna. But I do eat alot of grilled fish, love it! I don't do well with fried foods, so I like eating the fish, chicken and turkey especially made on the grill. A little less greasy that way:)
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease 
Crohn's Disease for over 34 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, Calcium, Vit D, and Xanax prn. Resections in 2002 & 2005. Also diagnosed w/ Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, & Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission, but my joints are going crazy!
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

DD003
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 29
   Posted 9/7/2010 10:06 AM (GMT -7)   
Its great to read everyone's perspective. It turns out I ate one. It brought me back to my turkey burger loving days. And, I held it down which was the great part. Everything else made me want to throw up. I don't want to eat it again because my pride issue!!!!! but I know now when I get that feeling I got to give into it. Actually, I'm really craving a tofu nugget right now. :-) Thanks for your input everyone!!!! :-)

NiceCupOfTea
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 8550
   Posted 9/7/2010 11:37 AM (GMT -7)   
Glad you enjoyed it :p
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