Weight Loss for Crohn's patients??

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New Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 7/28/2008 8:56 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi I am 21 years old 5'5" and over 265 bls with Crohn's disease mad . I have always been on the bigger side my whole life..even as a little kid so I know that I will never end up being a skinny miny. I have been very depressed lately about my weight and over all appearance. My long term boyfriend loves me for me...but that doesn't make me love me. And thats all I really want...is to feel good about my self. To be able to look in the mirror and not want to cry or have it completely ruin my day. I use to go to a gym...and I went at the very least once a week. And I felt great about myself for doing so...but it didn't make me like myself. I no longer can afford to go to the gym and i can't find motivation here at home....but the gym seemed to really work for me. I have tried to eat healthier....salads more often not fast food... but i just feel like the ugliest thing in the world. Its really difficult to eat healthier when the good foods are so expensive and when my system cant even absorb the nutrience. I just feel so helpless and lonely. Does anyone have any advise? Anyone ever suffered from Crohn's and still lost weight? Please anything will help! thanks! :-)

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 227
   Posted 7/28/2008 9:47 PM (GMT -7)   
I normally do not recommend the "Atkins" diet for individuals, as I consider it a biochemical "trick" rather than a method for weight loss. However, Atkins noted that 85% of his patients with Crohn's responded well to his diet. Of course, I don't think Atkins ever published his data, and I seriously doubt it was ever submitted for serious review by other physicians or a statistician.

However, the Atkins diet removes most- nearly all- of the complex carbohydrates from the diet, similar to the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD). It seems likely that doing so somehow messes with the bacteria that *may* be responsible for the disorder, at least in some people with Crohn's.

You will, however, develop an intense craving for sweets, bread, etc.- all of which must be denied to stay in line with the diet. Otherwise, the little "trick" of biochemistry goes to waste, and you cannot lose weight. As with any measures involving weight loss, personal determination is key.

Consult your doctor, consult a nutritionist, and go from there. I wish you the best of luck.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 511
   Posted 7/29/2008 3:59 AM (GMT -7)   
Always consult your doctor before doing anything, but I did weight watchers last summer and lost 25lbs. It was the best I felt in a long time.
I then stopped it over the holidays and was going to get back up with it until I started in this flare back the end of April. I loved it and it worked
for me. I have way more to lose believe me. So I'm hoping I get to feeling better here and can get back to it. I have all the books and
that so I don't pay. You can probably join it on line for a small fee to keep track of your points.
Living with Crohn's Disease since Jan./2000 but had a few years prior
I'm a true Crohnie with IBS and Arthrities too
Meds I have tried:  Too many to list- LOL
Meds currently on:  Prednisone 15mg tapering
                           Methotrexate injections once a week 25mg
                           Folic Acid 5mg once a week
                           Wellbutrin twice a day
No Surgeries

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 1010
   Posted 7/29/2008 4:09 AM (GMT -7)   
Sometimes if you can change your perspective, you can begin to alter the negative thoughts and self-criticism that are at the root of your despair. I wonder if, instead of focusing on weight loss, you focused on working towards health, you might be a little less hard on yourself.

You may never reach your weight goal. But you can reach that goal of moving towards health every day. For many crohn's patients excess weight is not the issue, it is being able to put pounds on. Everyone has hooks on which they can hang the burden of self-loathing. For me it has been that it is easier to beat myself for being lazy when I fail to accomplish all I want, rather than acknowledging that I am sick. Once I finally acknowledge that I really am ill, it changed that inner narrative that we all have in our head. You know, the voice that comments on everything you do, or don't do?

So one of the things I have changed is how I set health goals. Even in hospital I have been able to focus on participating in my recovery rather than on what I did or didn't do that landed me in hospital.

I hope you can find the strength to rewrite your story in your head and begin the process of loving yourself. It really is possible to transform your thoughts. But it has to start within yourself.

It starts with just giving yourself a break. You don't have to perfect, you just have to be who you are where you are at this very moment. That is ok. that is enough. Give yourself a hug.

30+ years living with Crohn's.

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 44
   Posted 7/29/2008 4:30 AM (GMT -7)   

i aways found i had the opposite problem with wait i hated it because it was too thin i was so skinning it was discusting however after my last opp im doing much better im about 62kg the most ive ever weighed in my life and i got boobs which i couldnt be more happy about. at firs though it was a little upsetting even when i was skinny i was teased for it now ive put on weight i still do (some people) however i look and feel healthy which is the main thing i still eat well and excercise and ill amit im a little chunky but doing so much better then i use too. i would talk to your doctors about the atkins diet though ive heard it can be great for people with crohns and diebetics. Its pretty "hard core" though my dad was on it and lost 7kgs in a week which i dont think is a very good thing. but it does work for alot of people good luck anyway i hope all goes well and you learn to love yourself for however u our again.

New Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 7/29/2008 5:28 AM (GMT -7)   
Feeling you have no control of your body can be extremely frustrating. At least for me it was - but then I decided to try weight watchers online. I didn't join a gym - I walked as much as I could and rode my stationary bike in (the privacy of) my bedroom. I acctually found that when i'm exercising, my chrohns is less of a problem.

I went from a size 14 to a size 6. It took me about 9 months - 50 pounds in all.

My point here is that weight loss can absolutely be done having crohns. it can be done w/o joining a gym and spending hundreds of dollars on food. It is about making the right choices for you. just make your goals realistic - five pounds at a time. you can loose five pounds! and then start on the next 5 pounds etc.

by the way - I would give anything to have a boyfriend. I always thought I was too fat, and now I don't have an excuse!!

good luck!

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 471
   Posted 7/29/2008 6:22 AM (GMT -7)   
I won't go into too much into my story, but I too am overweight...almost the exact same size as you height and weight wise. I have other health problems though that contribute to my weight problems. Since I've been sick I've already lost 12lbs....which would normally be a good thing, but it's all because of how sick I've been. On Jul 10 I weighed one thing and by the 22nd I weighed 12lbs less. This was on the same doc's scale plus another doc's scale so it's not from a faulty home scale. Anyway I know what you mean about the healthy food being so expensive. I'm on disability and don't make much money so it's hard to make the best choices at the grocery store...not because I don't want to, but because my wallet says no. I know you were asking about losing weight with crohns and you've gotten some great advice so far...I don't have any weight loss advice...if I knew anything about it I'd be over 100lbs lighter, you know? What I wanted to suggest is maybe you should check out the depression forums here for the emotional aspect of it if you don't go there already on here. I'm not on that forum, I'm in the bipolar area, but I'm sure there are great people there who know how you're feeling. Maybe even consider seeing a therapist, again if you don't already. Loving yourself is the first step to living a healthy lifestyle that will stick with you and it can improve your relationship with your boyfriend. Keep us updated...will be thinking of you. *hugs*
27 female
Bipolar, panic disorder, PTSD, PCOS, hashimoto's disease/hypothyroidism, acid reflux, and in the process of being diagnosed with either crohns, colitis, or even lupus...who knows really! the docs sure don't lol. Now possibly even celiacs disease!Lots of tests coming up so hopefully I'll know more soon. Too many meds to list!

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 7/29/2008 6:26 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Katester and welcome to Healingwell. I think you have already been given some great advice. But I wanted to add, why don't you and your boyfriend go out and walk everyday. My husband and I go for walks around our neighborhood. I remember at first we could only go a few blocks and then after awhile we were walking a few miles. Its not stressful to your body and I think you will start seeing some results. Good luck!!
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 32 years.  Currently on Asacol, Prilosec 60 mg, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain and Calcium.  Resections in 2002 and 2005.  Recently diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and doing tests to see if I have Inflammatory Arthritis or AS.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 6927
   Posted 7/29/2008 6:45 AM (GMT -7)   
As someone who topped out at 302 lbs. and a tight size 26 after my crohns dx I do want to tell you there is hope. I am still in the process of losing weight (and getting orthro reconstructions, injuries not from athletic workouts) I walk everyday that I physically can. I too know the frustration of having a disease that is suppose make me skinny and I got very large, this happens in a small amount of crohnies, because their bodies go into hording mode and pred doesn't help. My crohns is so active it was very difficult for me to walk outside (emergency bathroom breaks) so I did have to get a gym membership. Plus I had gotten to the point I needed weight lifting as well to prevent more orthro injuries. But now I have found a route outside (park) that has a bathroom less then 150 yards from any part of the trail (only had an accident twice so far).

But back to my point please don't stop moving, please keep walking everyday. No kidding everyday. You will have to modify this for yourself. I mean don't punish yourself for missing a day. Just get back on the wagon it is no big deal. If you can't walk for 30 mins start with ten. My goal is to work up to 90 mins of cardio a day. I am not there yet but I will be. I feel better when I exercise.

As to diet, your goal is to work toward 5 veggies and 4 fruits a day. It is not perfect, so don't beat yourself up if you don't make that goal. I keep a food journal to keep track of my nutrition. While I do also count fat and calorie content, just to keep myself under 2,000 cals a day and under 30 grams of fat (well I try). Weight watchers has the best plan I think, if you want to go that route.

Last, but most important is changing how you see yourself. You need to love yourself. Not that you need external validation, but you do happen to have it in your boyfriend. I hope your not offended, but it sounds like you need help in finding a way to love yourself. I don't care what it takes, books, therapy, and please do whatever it takes to love and care for yourself.
Forum Co-moderator - Crohn's Disease
We will find a way, or make one.-Hannibal (crossing the Alps in the 15th Century on war elephants) 
Make sure your suffering has meaning...-?
All suggestions/options/opinions are caveated with please consult with your local health care provider...

Post Edited (MMMNAVY) : 7/29/2008 7:48:59 AM (GMT-6)

New Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 7/29/2008 7:21 AM (GMT -7)   
There is a free weight loss program on line sparkpeople. It has trackers for your weight, Food diarys, and exercise  journals. I also have gained about 10 pounds with my crohns and am trying to get it off. I joined weight watchers while I was still flareing and got worse and had to stop it. I am new to the disease so am still modifying my diet. I have problems with fiber, dairy,fats.  It is hard to figure out what you can eat that is healthy.  On sparkpeople you can set a weight loss goal and use the tracker to stay within your calories everyday. I know studies show using a food journal helps with weight loss. Try to set small goals at first. Good luck. I hate Atkins but am thinking I may try that and see if I can do any better. I am on the Roids again and havent been able to get off of them succesfully. It seems like a weight gain every time I have to restart them.
Newly diagnosed in december 2007 with mild Crohns
Currently on entocort , Asacol, Ultram for abdominal and joint pain, and zofran for nausea.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 1642
   Posted 7/29/2008 2:03 PM (GMT -7)   

katester, I am a very overweight chronie! I am right there with you....I feel the same pain. So hard to lose weight when so many good for me foods make me sick.

I started riding a bike for my first step to weight loss. I expect this to be a real long journey for me nothing seems to work. My joint pain limits that some too.

MMNAVY, you are right we have to love ourselves.

Jen, i am going to look at sparkpeople now

Maybe we should start a Chubby Chronie Thread where we can support each other.?



Karen (Karendee)

Diagnosed w/ Crohn’s Disease  March 2007 Started Humira June 2008 (have been on other cd meds)

Diagnosed w/  Fibromyalgia May 2007 also on Soma

Diagnosed w/ General Anxiety Disorder in 2005- Effexor and now new med Clonazepam starting 7/18/08


Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 497
   Posted 7/29/2008 2:14 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Katester,


I am in a similar situation. I was overweight when all my Crohn's testing started, and to control my eye inflammation, I have been on oral prednisone, which has made me gain even more weight.

I do have a gym membership, but that is expensive, like you said. I have currently put my membership on "hold" and I am trying to walk every other day, if not every day. I am trying to eat healthy but it is true--it is expensive to eat healthy!

It is awesome you have a kind and loving boyfriend! My sister is very supportive and she walks with me, and helps keep me motivated. Maybe your boyfriend can walk with you?

If I can come up with anything that works for me, I will share it for sure!

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 589
   Posted 7/29/2008 2:27 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm the opposite. I can't keep weight on, and no, thats not a good thing. opposite end of the unhealthy weight spectrum- I'm 6'3 and my weight is dropping as low as 160, which is dangerous. I should be at roughly 200, slightly more if I'd get my bum into the gym and start rebuilding my muscles... but that takes energy. energy i dont have.
20, Male, diagnosed over Christmas Break of my Junior year in High School. BEST CHRISTMAS EVAR LOL

(not really)

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 227
   Posted 7/29/2008 5:16 PM (GMT -7)   
Bane> Look at the Specific Carbohydrate Diet if you've not already. Before I was diagnosed, I lost a pound a week like clockwork. I was down to 139 pounds (5'11" male). I put on most of that weight again in the next 3-4 months. If selecting dietary components from the SCD that are high in protein and fat, it REALLY helps- full-fat yogurt; custard made with eggs and farmer's cheese; roasted chicken thighs; that sort of thing.

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 7/29/2008 10:01 PM (GMT -7)   
hey guys!
thank you so much for all the love.... i just join this forum and didn't think anyone would read this.

currently my boyfriend lives in a different city. I moved from New York to Ohio to be closer to my boyfriend. And while I was here in Ohio his father was diagniosed with Lung and Liver Cancer..... so he obvisouly moved back home to be with him.....and since I had gotten a job and made a life here I couldn't go with him right away... so not only did my boyfriend move away but I know absolutely no one in this town... no one to walk with... not even anyone to talk with. No one at work wants to actually do something to lose weight.... and like I said I can't afford a gym or motivate myself........

i think all of that has a lot to do with my depression.... I mean even when I was my happiest I am still depressed and unhappy with myself...but I really think this adds a lot to not eating right... and not caring about myself :(

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 589
   Posted 7/30/2008 2:44 AM (GMT -7)   
thanks Osprey. I've actually been having a lot of spaghetti with cheese, which seems to help with the D and gives my guts more time to absorb food, which sounds like it probably falls under that diet. I havent been losing as much weight since i started it, though im still gradually losing weight. once i get back onto some meds, though, im sure it will stop and hopefully reverse.

Kate, I don't want to sound flippant, but have you thought of getting a dog, or some other pet? I have two dogs. the first is my black lab mix, Midnight, who i've had since second grade. she went blind several years ago, but shes otherwise pretty healthy for her age. shes a very mellow dog, and wont let me out of earshot. the second is a miniature dachshund, named Penny, who thinks she owns the universe. my parents got her a few years ago. she's independent and playful, and loves to just sit in my lap and sleep. They're sweethearts. If I'm in a lot of pain, they will try to comfort me. Once, several months ago, I was having a particularly painful BM, and Penny came in, looked at me, and left. she came back a moment later with a piece of food and laid it between my legs. I thought she was just stashing it so Midnight wouldnt eat it, so I gave it back. She put it in the same spot and then stared at me. I'm convinced she meant it as a gift to make me feel better.

Anyway, they're a huge comfort for me. Maybe a pet would help with your depression.
20, Male, diagnosed over Christmas Break of my Junior year in High School. BEST CHRISTMAS EVAR LOL

(not really)

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 227
   Posted 7/30/2008 9:56 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi, Bane. The spaghetti would be verbooten on the SCD; the complex carbohydrates- the starches that make wheat products so yummy- are the "enemy" in the SCD. My current thinking is that the longer carbohydrate chains- the long-chain starches in effect- "feed" the bacteria in the gut that cause the ulceration and pain and bleeding. It may be MAP (the organism behind Johne's disease, the disease in cattle and other ruminants that is so strikingly similar to Crohn's), or it may be E. coli or other bacteria that have gotten so far out of whack in the gut that they cause such serious disease.

Check out a copy of "Breaking the Vicious Cycle" by Elaine Gottschall; your library may have a copy, or maybe a local bookstore has it. In either event, it's really changed my life for the better.
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