Newbie, surgery 5/6, Vegan and Diabetic

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donna rae
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 18
   Posted 4/17/2009 5:18 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello, everyone! I was diagnosed with anemia in the fall, and sent to my GI doc for a colonoscopy. During the colonoscopy, the doc found a couple dozen villous adenomatous polyps of varying sizes... one was 5+cm! I was sent to a surgeon, who agreed with my GI doc that I should have total colectomy. I did have genetic testing and thankfully tested negative for all hereditary syndromes that cause colon polyps and cancer. My surgery is scheduled for 5/6. It will be a total colectomy, and my small intestine will be attached to my rectum, and I will be spared any type of J-pouch or ostomy.

I've been lurking and scanning all the great information on what to do pre-op, during the hospital stay, and post-op. Just wanted to ask if there are any VEGAN folks or DIABETIC folks who've had this surgery and what particular challenges and successes you've experienced with diet and diabetes control. For the last couple of years I have followed a high fiber, low fat, vegan diet which has really helped control my diabetes and ease the effects of gastroparesis, but I've read so many posts about eating a low fiber diet that I'm not sure what I will eat.

I'd appreciated any tips you can offer and wish each of you well in your own journey!

Blessings,
Donna Rae

flchurchlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2765
   Posted 4/17/2009 5:34 PM (GMT -6)   

Welcome Donna! :-) When it comes to diet, think soft and easy to digest. So, cooked fruits and veggies (no skins) and juiced ones. Whole wheat breads (without a lot of seeds) and pastas are okay and so are soft soy or veggie cheeses. Tofu is good and so is soy milk. Soups are excellent, too. After you heal from surgery, you can introduce some raw foods, but just one at a time in small quantities.

I hope that helps!


Cecilia
Dx'd Crohn's in '99 at 28. Proctocolectomy and ileostomy in '06.
Disease-free, medicine-free, and very thankful to be healthy again.


donna rae
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 18
   Posted 4/17/2009 5:38 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks so much, Cecilia... that is helpful. I've seen alot of posts about avoiding seeds and nuts. What's the deal with that? Do they cause irritation?

peggy113
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1998
   Posted 4/17/2009 8:27 PM (GMT -6)   
Seeds and nuts do Not digest well and can cause blockages in the intestine. Some folks have never had a problem with them so long as they are well chewed. Some of us cannot tolerate many at all. Some nuts are harder than others (like almonds, hazelnuts) and therefore harder to digest. Seeds, like poppy seeds and sesame seeds are hard to chew up and come out whole. The body cannot break them down. Fruit seeds, like strawberries and raspberries, also come out undigested and can be kind of sharp. So I eat jelly instead of jam. I eat pecans and cashews when I just have to have some nuts. I just plain avoid poppy seed muffins and try not to eat a lot of sesame seeds. I'm ok with sandwich buns.

Hope that helps.
Peggy
      
Diagnosed with CD in 1979, many resections and meds
Perm Ileostomy July 1984 at Cleveland Clinic
Disease free since surgery 
 


flchurchlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2765
   Posted 4/18/2009 2:25 AM (GMT -6)   
Peggy's right. She's one of our resident experts, and I've learned so much from her! smilewinkgrin

For instance, I love salads, but was having some partial blockage issues after eating them, so she recommended that I eat my meal first and then have a small salad at the end. It works! I've found that the softer baby spring mix is easier to digest than tougher Romaine lettuce. A lot of times, it's the first thing that you eat on an empty stomach that makes the difference.

Bananas are soft, so I usually start my morning with one, or will blend one into a soy protein shake. Canteloupe and watermelon are good, too. I had some issues with eating cherries, but that's because I ate way too many on an empty stomach! blush So much of it is trial and error, and everyone's different, so you may be able to eat a lot of the same foods you're eating now without any problems.

After surgery, you'll want to chew your food well and drink plenty of water throughout the day. The main function of the large intestine is to absorb fluids, so when you don't have that anymore, you will want to drink more to compensate for that. Your small intestine absorbs all of the nutrients, so you can live a very healthy life without your colon.

After my colon was removed, my small intestine had a lot of room to move around, so sometimes I'll get a little kink in there, and I just have to drink lots of water until it works itself out. It doesn't happen very often and only takes a few hours before it's resolved.
Cecilia
Dx'd Crohn's in '99 at 28. Proctocolectomy and ileostomy in '06.
Disease-free, medicine-free, and very thankful to be healthy again.


donna rae
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 18
   Posted 4/18/2009 7:42 AM (GMT -6)   
Wow, thanks so much for all the great info. As you've said, I'm sure there will be lots of trial and error to find the best foods for me, but these tips certainly help me get started.

My main concern with the diabetes is the healing after surgery. I have been under really good control and my last A1c was 6.4, but the stress of the last couple of weeks has wreaked havoc with that. I'm roller coasterning today... my blood sugar was really high at 5:30 am and then back down to 100 at 8:00 (again, before breakfast), so I'll have to keep the nerves in check if I can.

Donna

peggy113
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1998
   Posted 4/18/2009 7:52 AM (GMT -6)   
Donna,
Dealing with your diabetes will be another obstacle but certainly one that you will be able to conquer with education. Just ask us all the questions you want and we will do our best to help ya out! There may be others that haven't seen your post yet and still may chime in on these questions.. esp relavent to the diabetes.

I had an issue with vit D and I ended up seeing an endocrinologist. Now I have to take a RX strength for several months off and on thru the year to keep my levels ok. Do you see an endocrinologist for you diabetes or just an MD? I never knew that emotions/nerves could play such a role with it. Excuse the ignorance...

Keep your chin up. It's easy for us to say don't worry, but when we were in your shoes, we all did. It's natural but know that you will be just fine.
Peggy
      
Diagnosed with CD in 1979, many resections and meds
Perm Ileostomy July 1984 at Cleveland Clinic
Disease free since surgery 
 


donna rae
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 18
   Posted 4/18/2009 9:28 AM (GMT -6)   
Peggy, thanks so much for the kind support. Yes, I have seen an endocrinologist, and I'm followed every three months by an internal medicine specialist. I had a Wilm's tumor when I was four, so my left kidney was removed at that time, followed by chemo and radiation. I'm also being followed by a GI doctor for the gastroparesis... a great asset to already have a gastenterologist that I knew and trusted when this all came about. The internal med doc, the GI doc and the surgeon have all conferred and also spoken with pathologists and other specialists locally and at John's Hopkins.

Emotions and stress play a big role in blood sugar control. I can follow my regular eating patterns, exercise, take all my medications on time, and still have unruly levels due to a major event or stressor in my life. It certainly makes life interesting!!!

It's wonderful for me to have found this board, to hear the concerns, the challenges and the success stories of others. It's been such a shock to hear that I am to have my colon removed when I had no symptoms other than the anemia. Friends and family are equally shocked, because I live a very healthy lifestyle and make all the necessary changes to improve my overall health.

Interestingly, the pathologist indicated that my overgrowth of polyps (I am only 45, after all) could possibly be the result of radiation damage that occurred during my previous cancer treatment.

Aren't we fascinating creatures?!?!

Donna

suebear
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 5690
   Posted 4/18/2009 10:16 AM (GMT -6)   

I have a jpouch (more complicated than IR surgery) and eat everything; seeds, nuts, popcorn, citrus fruit, pineapple, etc.  Please don't look at your surgery as "diet limiting".  After a period of recovery you should be able to eat everything that you currently eat; being a vegan should not be a problem. 

Sue


dx proctitis in 1987
dx UC in 1991, was stable until 1998

1998 started prednisone, asacol, pentasa, nortriptylene, ativan, 6MP, rowasa enemas and suppositories, hydrocortisone enemas, tried the SCD diet, being a vegetarian, omega 3s, flax, pranic healing, yoga, acupuncture, probiotics

2000 lost all my B-12 stores and became anemic

2001 opted for j-pouch surgery- now living life med-free


suebear
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 5690
   Posted 4/18/2009 10:17 AM (GMT -6)   

Oh, and I might add that I eat over 30 grams of fiber per day with no ill effects.

 

Sue


dx proctitis in 1987
dx UC in 1991, was stable until 1998

1998 started prednisone, asacol, pentasa, nortriptylene, ativan, 6MP, rowasa enemas and suppositories, hydrocortisone enemas, tried the SCD diet, being a vegetarian, omega 3s, flax, pranic healing, yoga, acupuncture, probiotics

2000 lost all my B-12 stores and became anemic

2001 opted for j-pouch surgery- now living life med-free


donna rae
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 18
   Posted 4/19/2009 9:08 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks so much, Sue! I eat lots of fresh fruits and veggies now, so your experience with fiber is a great encouragement!

Donna

emma12s
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 25
   Posted 4/20/2009 12:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Hope all goes well for you, I am just curious as to why they would not try to do a j-pouch or anything like that, and just reattach your small intestine to rectum.  If you've read any of my posts, I have temp colostomy, scheduled for reversal now in May, but, my surgeon asked me if there was a problem would I prefer he just go ahead and do j-pouch while he was there--none of the options he has suggested included reattaching small intestine to rectum without a jpouch.  Just curious, as I think I've got all my questions answered this time and I'm ready for surgery (I've already postponed once). 
With my colostomy, I am eating anything I want with no problems whatsoever--it may be different for you as I do still have 1/2 a colon left.
 thanks and good luck to you


donna rae
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 18
   Posted 4/20/2009 3:19 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, emma12s!

The J-pouch was an option IF I tested positive for one of the hereditary syndromes that cause colon cancer and IF my rectum was being removed as well. The J-pouch would form a substitute rectum if my own rectum had to be removed. As it stands, I get to keep my rectum, the colon will be removed and the small intestine attached directly to the rectum. We are thrilled that I tested negative for the hereditary syndromes and that I am to keep my rectum. I've been through several abdominal surgeries and would like to keep this one as quick and simple as possible (if there is such a thing!! lol!!)

Donna
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