which food is the culprit

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LeafsFan
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 249
   Posted 7/12/2009 10:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Another question. I have kept a food diary for about 6 months. I'm not sure if it helped. I read that you guys say what does and doesn't bother you in a flare or what triggers it. How do I know? Does the food make me feel bad right away, or if I feel bad, is it something I ate yesterday that just made it to my colon. I just am not sure what signs to look for to tell what foods to be careful with. Any ideas?
Chuck - 28 yrs and counting
 
Diagnosed w/ UC Dec 08 - pancolitis
 -----------------------------------
Pentasa 500mg 2pills-4x daily
Prednisone 50mg Calicium + Vit D
Multivitamin, vitamin C, probiotics, fish oil
 
"If you can solve your problem, then what is the need of worrying? If you cannot solve it, then what is the use of worrying?"


subdued
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 3231
   Posted 7/13/2009 12:44 AM (GMT -6)   
My body is very sensitive to foods; so it's easy for me to tell. Although it may take a long time for the body to digest certain foods, the body starts digesting them right away. I can hear my body digesting the food when it is something I can't tolerate. Try listening for any sounds. It doesn't take long. Usually one or two hours later I'll start hearing noises coming from my abdomen. The more sounds, the harder it was to digest the food. The more liquid the diarrhea, the faster it goes through the body. It's hard to give a set time on how long it will take though, because everyone is different. But I can always tell what gave me the diarrhea because of the noises.

If you aren't hearing sounds and aren't getting diarrhea, then nothing is bothering you. If you are getting sounds and diarrhea after everything you eat, then everything is bothering you. The worse the flare, the more foods I can't tolerate. The longer I'm in remission, the more foods I can tolerate.

I would suggest eating very few foods at first to get an idea of what you can eat. I usually wait at least a couple of hours between meals so that I can get a sense of what I can and can't eat.

Here is an sample from my food diary:

Flaring for awhile, medicine didn't work, trying anti-inflammatory diet:

Day one through four:

White rice with butter and turmeric added. Ate small portions throughout the day.

Evening Tension Tamer Tea from Celestial Seasonings.

Diarrhea gradually changing to small, hard poo. Still have lots of blood and blood clots.

Day five through ten:

Wake up: Spinach sag (without the cheese)

White rice with butter and turmeric added. Ate small portions throughout the day.

Evening Tension Tamer Tea from Celestial Seasonings.

Poo getting slightly bigger. Still have lots of blood and blood clots. Hurts when going because poo is getting bigger.

Day eleven through thirty:

Wake up: Banana with sunflower seed butter or toast with butter and cinnamon.

Lunch: Spinach sag (without the cheese)

Dinner: White rice with butter and turmeric added or white rice with mild chicken curry.

Evening Tension Tamer Tea from Celestial Seasonings.

Poo getting only a tiny bit bigger. However, blood and blood clots starting to get less. Still hurts when going but not as much.

Day thirty-one through forty-five:

Wake up: Banana with sunflower seed butter or toast with butter and cinnamon.

Lunch: Spinach sag (without the cheese)

Dinner: White rice with mild chicken curry or chicken hotdogs with garlic and turmeric.

Evening Tension Tamer Tea from Celestial Seasonings.

Poo keeps getting bigger until having really large poo. Blood and blood clots getting less until all gone. Pain during bowel movements going away. Still have issues with urgency.

Day forty-six and on:

In remission. Poo normal size. No diarrhea, no blood or blood clots. Urgency issues gradually getting better.

Try a new food every once in awhile and see how I react.

Oops. Ate milk with Cheerios and one banana without the Lactaid. Had loose bowel movement that afternoon.

Oops. Went to my sister's house and had tuna fish with mayonnaise (no HFCS) and Wheat Thins. Came home and had diarrhea. I checked the ingredients for Wheat Thins. They contain HFCS.

Oops. Bought chicken wings at a fast food place. Got diarrhea. Checked the Internet. They put HFCS in their chicken wing sauces.

Oops. Ate milk with Cheerios and one banana without the Lactaid. Again, had loose bowel movement that day.

Ok now. Ate milk with Cheerios and one banana without the Lactaid. No loose bowel movement or diarrhea.

Oops. Ate out. Got diarrhea. Don't know what I ate that gave it to me. Perhaps it was the broccoli with cheese sauce?

When I had a bladder infection, I tried drinking one tall glass of cranberry juice in the morning. I was okay until about the fifth day when I heard noises in my abdomen and had diarrhea. I still drank cranberry juice for a couple more days, the infection went away, and so did the noises and diarrhea when I stopped drinking the cranberry juice.
Joy - 47 yrs and counting; Dx Colitis Dec 06 (also had IBS); Currently in remission

Figuring out how to reduce a flare or get into remission is a trial and error experience. Don't expect your GI to have all the answers. He was trained in making diagnoses, prescribing medications, and surgically removing the colon. He was not trained in alternative treatments. That's why they are called alternative treatments.

What works for me: Fecal transplantation, Probiotics, Anti-inflammatory foods, No HFCS, No foods high in fructose, No artificial sweeteners, No pro-inflammatory foods when flaring, Vitamins, Lexapro (for stress).


Twirlygirly
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 7/13/2009 12:51 AM (GMT -6)   
Things with peels/skins have ultimately been the culprit for me- apples, beans, sausages for example. If I peel them, then they seem easier to get down but in the long run it's very disappointing because some of my favorite foods have peels. Usually if I've eaten something that doesn't work well with my colitis then I know immediately, and I'm in huge amounts of pain. It's handy to know that fast, so I know not to eat that same kind of food in the future.

LeafsFan
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 249
   Posted 7/13/2009 9:59 AM (GMT -6)   

This makes sense. I was always confused because I was once told that if I ate something, it wouldn't bother me until a day or two later when it reached my colon. I was never sure when I felt discomfort and/or had diarhea if it was something I ate with that meal or something 2 days ago. I kept a food diary, but had a hard time narrowing it down because of this.

I am assuming by your responses that if something bothers me, I will likely know withing a couple hours? if not, maybe it's a safe food?

Right now I am afraid to eat SO many things...all red meat, too much cheeses, pizza (even without meat), chicken wings, pasta (except rice pasta) BBQ sauces....all my favourite foods...it's soo hard. Oh and Pasta sauce w/ ground beef....


Chuck - 28 yrs and counting
 
Diagnosed w/ UC Dec 08 - pancolitis
 -----------------------------------
Pentasa 500mg 2pills-4x daily
Prednisone 50mg Calicium + Vit D
Multivitamin, vitamin C, probiotics, fish oil
 
"If you can solve your problem, then what is the need of worrying? If you cannot solve it, then what is the use of worrying?"


notsosicklygirl
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 10169
   Posted 7/13/2009 10:10 AM (GMT -6)   
I believe corn is a culprit for me. I didn't eat corn for months and for the past couple weeks I've fallen off the wagon and ate a bunch of corn chips, products with corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup and within a week, I was having loose stool and even a bit of blood. Right when I saw the blood I freaked out and cut all intake of corn containing products and I am already a lot better. I don't know if it is corn or corn syrup but I am going to continue avoiding both because I get too stressed if I have symptoms. I can eat a corn chip or two or products containing little bits of syrups but if I make it a major part of my diet I suffer. I have to keep taking my 5ASAs as well or I get ill quickly.
Diagnosed with mild proctitis in March 2007: Treated with Canasa (as needed)
December 08: Began treating with Asacol 400mg (9/day) + Canasa 2x/day - Anemic
May 09: Off Canasa, taking Asacol (9/day)
Back on Canasa every other night + Asacol (9/day) + Probiotics + Iron
Reducing to 6 Asacol/day + Canasa + Probiotics + Iron - So far so good!!! -SPOKE TOO SOON! Back to 9/day...


Old Hat
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 4533
   Posted 7/13/2009 10:24 AM (GMT -6)   
Prepared sauces can indeed be the culprit. You usually can't see the spice in red sauces, for example, black pepper or oregano. Both of those bother me. Sometimes mashed potato contains white pepper, which can also cause problems in the gut. As for red meat, my innards find it harder to process than roasted poultry or broiled fish-- so I seldom eat it. I don't really miss it! The Swiss cheeses Emmentaler & Gruyere generally agree; they are lower in fat & salt than most domestic cheeses. (When food disagrees & upsets my colon, I usually feel the discomfort on lower left side-- that's where my UC has its headquarters-- LOL. It can also come as pain right below the lowest left rib. ) After my GI tract eliminates the bothersome stuff it generally calms down within a day. People have different transit times for food from mouth to colon, though. I get relief from eating Pillsbury farina and/or plain boiled white rice whenever my gut is riled. Not a taste sensation, but safer than chemical solutions ...! Trial/error is the way we learn how to best help ourselves via diet. / Old Hat (30 yrs with left-sided UC ... [etc.])

Ashley O
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 72
   Posted 7/13/2009 11:54 AM (GMT -6)   
For me, if the food is really a bad trigger it will only be a couple of hours after I eat it that I will have terrible cramping and pain or immediate D. However, some foods can also kill me the next day. I just try and stay away from either. If I feel okay I introduce something else into my diet and see if it bothers me. A food diary really helps as does tracking your symptoms and BMs.
Female, Age 20, DX w/Left sided UC October 2005
DX w/Universal Colitis June 2009
Currently in Flare with moderate symptoms

Present Meds: Switching to Lialda 4 pills 1x daily and Canasa Suppositories (hopefully this combo will work, if not back on the Pred-unless I want to try Humira or Cimzia)

Past Meds: 40 mg Prednisone Daily for 1 year, Miralax Daily, Ginger Supplements, Remicade Aug 2006-June 2009


Judy2
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 9343
   Posted 7/13/2009 1:30 PM (GMT -6)   
Some of us are not triggered by food, and there's no scientific evidence that food can cause a flare. I find there are certain foods the will greatly increase my discomfort when flaring - namely high-fiber, high-fat or very spicy foods.

If food you eat is causing frequent or loose stools, it's likely you have some degree of IBS along with your IBD.
Judy
 
Ulcerative colitis forum co-moderator
 
Moderate to severe left-sided UC diagnosed 2001.
Flared for 5 years, finally in remission with Remicade since March 2006.
Avascular necrosis in both shoulders is my "forever" gift from steroids.
Colazal,  Remicade, Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri. 
"My life is an ongoing medical adventure"
 


Basilpuppy
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 28
   Posted 7/13/2009 10:55 PM (GMT -6)   
I chased foods around for years.  What turned out to be a better approach is to replace your intestinal flora with good-quality probiotics, then eat only real food.  This means no chain restaurants ever again.  Someone mentioned corn - every food at McDonald's has corn in it in some form or another.  Even their beef is fed corn.

wishingitaway
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 7/14/2009 2:46 AM (GMT -6)   
I've yet to really pin down any "culprit" foods that make my colitis act up.  I say "act up" because some times for me they are not flares, but what I call "acting ugly".  I get tummy noise, gas, maybe some D.  I'm never sure what brings it on.  Most of the time it does not last long.  I may not be eating well or drinking enough water.  That is the first thing I try and change.  But some times things that didn't bother me yesterday bother me today.
 
Universal Colitis since 2003
Asacol 12 6 tablets per day
Mercaptopurine 1 1/2 1/2 tablets per day
hydrocortisone enema as needed (try not to use unless really, really needed)
Probiotic (lots!)
Fish Oil
Folic Acid (a must on 6-mp)
Iron (Solgar gentle iron - gentle on your tummy)
Multi Vitamin
Biotin
Lots of toasted french bread (especially when its actin up!)
Quiet time everyday to destress

Hobo
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 187
   Posted 7/14/2009 5:34 AM (GMT -6)   
A Gluten Free diet has done wonders for me.

LeafsFan
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 249
   Posted 7/14/2009 7:37 AM (GMT -6)   
It's a very frustrating thing to have. I have been eating well all week and thought I was doing pretty good at fighting this flare off. Then, this morning....just about to leave for work and bam....watery urgent diarhea...+ cramps...flare in back in full force.  :(
I had to take immodium to come to work today. I can't pinpoint anything that is doing this. The only thing I can think is Sunday night I had a sliver of key lime pie at a family dinner. It didn't sit well...possibly put me a step or ten backwards. I really want to fight this flare...i'm scared of more pred!!
I am in a wedding this weekend. That's not helping me not think about it. I'll be loaded up with immodium all weekend if it's not gone.
Back to the drawing board....
Chuck - 28 yrs and counting
 
Diagnosed w/ UC Dec 08 - pancolitis
 -----------------------------------
Pentasa 500mg 2pills-4x daily
Prednisone 50mg Calicium + Vit D
Multivitamin, vitamin C, probiotics, fish oil
 
"If you can solve your problem, then what is the need of worrying? If you cannot solve it, then what is the use of worrying?"


Malkavian
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 1439
   Posted 7/14/2009 10:40 AM (GMT -6)   
Food generally bothers me the next day.
21, female, diagnosed 3/6/2009
Mild ulcerative colitis from rectum to mid transverse colon
Currently taking Asacol (3x/day) and Calcium/D supplements


quincy
Elite Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 25693
   Posted 7/14/2009 10:47 AM (GMT -6)   
You'll eventually realise that you're dealing with an actual flaring or inflamed colon and food issues are actually separate entity with UC. It's not the food making you flare....it's because your colon is in a very fragile state and remember that people who don't have UC have food symptoms the next day or the day after as well.

Don't make it all about food and punish yourself about it....life is a long time to be frantic about the key lime pie or whatever....you didn't do anything bad...so you have some symptoms the next day, I might have loose stool as well..but that's not a flare.

q
*Heather* Status: maintenance Asacol 6 daily + Salofalk enemas every 4th night
~diagnosed January 1989 UC (proctosigmoiditis)
~UC meds: Asacol (3 @ 2x daily); Salofalk enemas nightly for flares & taper to maintenance 
~Bentylol (dicyclomine) 20mg as needed; Ranitidine (reflux);  Effexor XR 75mg(depression);  Pulmicort/Airomir (asthma) 
~vitamins/minerals/supplementsProbiotics....(RenewLife Ultimate Flora Critical Care + Primadophilus Reuteri). @ bedtime
~various digestive enzymes as needed
~URSO for PSC (or PBC) 500mg X 2 daily (LFTs back to NORMAL!!)
My doc's logic.. "TREAT (FROM)BOTH ENDS"  worth it !!!
 


Basilpuppy
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 28
   Posted 7/14/2009 8:41 PM (GMT -6)   
I chased food for years, and like you I also tried very hard to decide which foods and how long after eating would I react, etc.  Then I came at the problem differently and began eating only healthy, real, whole foods and top-notch probiotics.  Your colon reacts to foods because it is so messed up; fixing your colon is the answer, not chasing specific foods around.
 
I once took 20 immodiums and still had D in my pants.  That stuff will hurt you - it isn't gentle on sore colons.
 
Diagnosed 1990.
Cured since 2008.
No medication since 1993.
Whole real foods and high-quality supplements.
NO chain restaurants or packaged foods.
Every morning:  one cup of water, one cored pear, one cored apple (leave the skin on!!) in the blender.

kim123
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1183
   Posted 7/14/2009 9:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Basilpuppy- That's pretty well what I did to get well again. The trial and error attempts of which foods did, or did not bother me, did not work. I had to eliminate all processed/chemical-laden foods and eat only whole, natural foods like fruits, veggies, beef, fish, poultry, eggs, nuts, some dairy. Reputable probiotics are also key, in my opinion. The funny thing is, the foods that I thought once bothered me (onions, fruits with peelings, milk, yogurt, tomatoes...) don't bother me at all now, now that my colon is healed.

I think factors like antibiotics (fungal poisons), exposure to mold/water-damaged environment, birth control pills, even certain foods containing mycotoxins (fungal poisons) like wheat, corn, peanuts, allow yeast/fungus to proliferate. The high-carb foods we eat (grains, sugar, high-sugar fruits) feed the yeast/fungus and perpetuate our symptoms. So, indirectly, I think what we eat is responsible for our symptoms. Now that my colon is healed, I do eat pretty well anything I want, in moderation.

LeafsFan
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 249
   Posted 7/14/2009 9:05 PM (GMT -6)   
 
 
I once took 20 immodiums and still had D in my pants.  That stuff will hurt you - it isn't gentle on sore colons.
 
 
I know..I only take immodium as a last resort...if I have something planned. If I'm at home or with no serious plans, I try to ride it out.
 
I'm trying to ride this flare out...but I'm starting to lose a couple more pounds...not sure how long to wait.
I guess  I like the idea that food doesn't cause flare-ups. While I'm in a flareup, isn't it safer to stick to less irritating foods? I hate all this "cardboard" i've been eating for the last 6 months. It doesn't help me put weight back on either.
Chuck - 28 yrs and counting
 
Diagnosed w/ UC Dec 08 - pancolitis
 -----------------------------------
Pentasa 500mg 2pills-4x daily
Prednisone 50mg Calicium + Vit D
Multivitamin, vitamin C, probiotics, fish oil
 
"If you can solve your problem, then what is the need of worrying? If you cannot solve it, then what is the use of worrying?"


Basilpuppy
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 28
   Posted 7/14/2009 9:07 PM (GMT -6)   
Kim123, you are spot-on. I think that all prescription and OTC drugs are potentially very harmful. Antibiotics definately so, as you mentioned. Our doctors are causing chemical confusion in the masses. My colitis was originally caused by doctors. It took me years to fix it.

I agree that the big white grain/sugar thing needs to be addressed in our population, as well.

Basilpuppy
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 28
   Posted 7/14/2009 9:12 PM (GMT -6)   
Chuck, have you tried George's Aloe Vera Juice? Also, my best tool has been one cup of water, one cored pear, one cored apple in the blender (skins left on) every morning. What kind of cardboard food are you eating???

LeafsFan
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 249
   Posted 7/15/2009 10:20 AM (GMT -6)   
Basilpuppy said...
Chuck, have you tried George's Aloe Vera Juice? Also, my best tool has been one cup of water, one cored pear, one cored apple in the blender (skins left on) every morning. What kind of cardboard food are you eating???
Well..when I am flaring, which I currently am, I try to eat very basic.
I eat alot of tuna, salmon, chicken, rice, rice pasta, veggies (soft cooked), eggs, bananas, oatmeal, ensure shakes, yogurt.  This food is all good, but when really that is about all I eat...gets very blah very quickly. I used to love bananas, but can hardly stand the sight of them anymore.
 
I have never tried Aloe Vera Juice. I have heard it works. Also, that pear/apple things sounds ok. Does it taste good? i have been told to peel fruits as it's easier to digest? Is that true?
Chuck - 28 yrs and counting
 
Diagnosed w/ UC Dec 08 - pancolitis
 -----------------------------------
Pentasa 500mg 2pills-4x daily
Prednisone 50mg Calicium + Vit D
Multivitamin, vitamin C, probiotics, fish oil
 
"If you can solve your problem, then what is the need of worrying? If you cannot solve it, then what is the use of worrying?"


Basilpuppy
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 28
   Posted 7/17/2009 12:01 AM (GMT -6)   
The aloe juice heals, the pear/apple thing cleans. Probiotics provide an environment to grow digestive enzymes. I find it strange that people say to use things like metamucil, then tell you to peel your fruit. WHOLE fruit is full of gentle fiber while metamucil is like a wire scrubber on your insides. The pear/apple thing is like runny applesauce. You may have to add more water to drink it, depending on how large the fruits are.

LuckyLindy
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 226
   Posted 7/17/2009 10:29 AM (GMT -6)   
Chuck, to determine what foods I could eat I took two approaches -

- slowly eliminated types of foods, 1 per week, until symptoms got better
- started with a base of turkey only (and vitamin supplements), and added 1 type of food per week until I had symptoms

The first approach I took ~5 years ago, and spent 4 months "testing" my diet. I found that I was very sensitive to wheat/gluten, and somewhat less sensitive to sugar ... reducing sugar intake and going gluten free decreased my symptoms from ~20 bloody bathroom visits per day (anemia was bad enough that I couldn't walk up the stairs) to ~5 with only infrequent blood.

The second approach I started about 8 months ago when I decided to figure out if I could decrease eliminate my symptoms further. The approach seemed simple - start with one food (ground turkey + multi-vitamins), then add back in a single food (or food type) for 1 week or until symptoms flared up ... if I flared I'd take the food out until my symptoms subsided, if not I'd keep it in. Within a week of starting my test, my symptoms disappeared entirely, so I continued the test (note, I wasn't "flaring" real bad at the time - 5-6X per day with minor blood). First week was wheat (instant flare), then bananas (flare), then other fruits (flare), vegetables (no prob), eggs (no prob), red meat (no prob), etc. I did this for 3 months, until I found that I could eat all meats, almost any vegetables, a small amount of nuts, and no fruits (I cheat and have a couple berries once in a while). Basically Atkins diet.

While ridiculously restrictive, this second approach had the advantage of providing a concrete answer (as opposed to the first elimination approach, or just keeping a food diary, both of which keep you guessing).

This doesn't mean diet would work for you though. Everyone here is an advocate of their own approach. Some will say that the best approach is take lots of meds, others will say they've 'cured' their UC via diet or other natural treatments. I tend to fall into the second category, but I don't discount the notion that the condition is different for everyone, and that diet may not play a role for many sufferers.

Best wishes to you!

Post Edited (LuckyLindy) : 7/17/2009 9:37:24 AM (GMT-6)


Helenymelany
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 33
   Posted 7/17/2009 11:13 AM (GMT -6)   
I found that eating all the non fibre food, things that would bung me up so to speak was a real luxury after always being into fresh raw homegrown veg and complex carbs which I also love. When I was a kid I loved and craved pasta, then in my 20's got IBS and did the anti wheat thing and went on a real health trip. Now 34 and 2 flares that hospitalised me in the last 6 months (diagnosed in Jan 07 but never realised the seriousness of it) I did a food diary too but have found no real relevance to tell the truth, and I would consider myself very aware and sensitive to how my body responds to food.
 
I've just started the sunflower seed and spinach diet and look forward to getting better and better with all the help I can get, I am on a whole concoction of stuff at the moment, I need to learn how to create a signature with my drugs list.....
 
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