New Crohn's patient in really bad flare w/ constipation, need diet help

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New Member

Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 5/6/2010 2:37 PM (GMT -7)   
I was in the hospital for 5 days last week due to extremely severe abdominal pain.

They diagnosed me with Crohn's disease and there is currently an absess/fistula/stricture in one of my intestines.

When I got out of the hospital I read tons and tons on the proper diet for Crohn's disease, but it is extremely confusing. I think the fact that I'm battling an infection right now complicates things a little more.

I haven't been experiencing any real diahrea since I got out of the hospital. But I have been experiencing really bad abdominal pain and what I think is constipation. My stool is sort of solid, but it's very dark and mushier than what I would consider normal stool.

Yesterday my abdominal pain started to get really bad again, I felt really blocked/bloated and was in alot of pain. This morning I felt really sick (almost like I had a fever) until I was able to pass an abnormally large amount of stool, and now I'm feeling alot better.

I'm already scheduled to have another CT scan and see the GI again in about 10 days. But until then, I need some serious help figuring out what I need to put in my stomache that will prevent this severe pain and help me heal.

I've read some places that high fiber is good, other places that fiber is my enemy. Some places say eat raw fruits, other places say avoid fruits. It's all just very confusing.

I'm also lactose intolerant so that complicates things a bit more.

These are some specific questions I have, but any advice you have is greatly appreciated:

- What kind of grains are okay (what kind of bread should I be consuming, if any?
- Is oatmeal okay?
- What fruits/veggies should I be grabbing, and which ones should I be avoiding? (is apple sauce okay?)
- Are high protein drinks like Ensure/Boost and Soy Milk okay? I've been drinking alot of this kind of stuff lately. They SEEM okay, but sometimes it seems like how sweet they are may be making matters worse (not really sure).
- Should I try to eat some lean meat like fish/chicken/turkey right now, or should I stick to more liquidy things?

Also any suggestions for what times / how frequently I should be eating would be very helpful.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 1343
   Posted 5/6/2010 2:53 PM (GMT -7)   
One possible diet for you to look into is the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD). It is gluten/starch/sugar/lactose free. Sounds intimidating, but I've followed it for 17 months, and it's just second nature at this point. It healed my fistulas and took care of my constipation, among many other things.

The Maker's Diet is another possibility. I've never followed this one though, so don't really know much about it.
34 years old, Crohn's disease for 15 of them
Resection of ileocecal valve on 09/22/09
Current Meds: LDN, Pentasa, Effexor XR, Zyrtec
Supplements: 3 kinds of Fish Oil, Multi-Vitamin, Vitamin D, Calcium, Magnesium, Coconut Oil, Garlic Oil, CoQ10, Enzymes
SCD since 12/01/08 - eating Stage 3 foods

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1284
   Posted 5/6/2010 2:54 PM (GMT -7)   
You're doing good drinking nutrition drinks... (You gotta make sure you get some nutrition in you, even if you don't feel like eating or drinking anything)... Make sure to drink water and stay hydrated...

Bread is generally pretty safe.... Since you have a stricture, I think you should avoid raw fruits and vegetables because they can be hard to digest and you're already in dire straits... Meat is generally okay (avoid tough meat, though)... Apple sauce would be pretty good (its easy on your stomach)... Oatmeal... See if you can handle it... if it causes you pain after a couple of times of eating it, don't eat it anymore...

A lot of figuring out diet is trial and error... The biggest thing I can tell you is to avoid seeds and/or nuts and spicy food....

Keep a food journal... Write down what foods you eat... and how you feel after eating them... If you notice something that consistently makes you feel bad... Get rid of it...
I think I am being picked on by life, sometimes. But's that okay. Life and I are good buddies... I know life doesn't mean no harm. It just is the way it is. I can accept that.

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 5/6/2010 5:05 PM (GMT -7)   
I would say stick with a liquid diet until you are out of pain and know that the infection is gone. I know that when I having a flare (like right now), they tell me to rest my bowel and do full liquids. Basically anything that can be absorbed by the body before it reaches the end of the colon. Gradually add foods that you can tolerate...other posters are right, its going to be trial and error for a while.
Stick with the nutrition drinks if you are going to do liquids...I suggest blending them with some ice to water them down...they are pretty thick.

Good Luck! :)
Dx: Crohn's in 2007 (after 10 yrs of symptoms)
Laporoscopy 10/07, Pentasa, Entocort, Prednisone (not working)
6mp - Nov/07-Nov/08 (worked great, but went off the meds in hopes of conceiving-no luck)
Remission until 2/10...Major Flare 3/10
Meds:Prednisone taper and back on the 6mp, Vit.D, Culturelle, Folic Acid, Pre-Natal Vitamin

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 266
   Posted 5/6/2010 6:11 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi all: How much pain is bad/or ok? How do you know if you have a fistula-are they only seen by CT's? My right upper, mid and lower right abdomen aches after eating pretty much anything. I have ordered the SCD book which should be coming by early next week. Have bought a pretty complete mulivit and omega's. Where do you all usually find the probiotics and prebiotics? Are there better ones? This is all very confusing, but thanks for any suggestions you might have.

New Member

Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 5/6/2010 9:14 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for all the great advice everyone. I spoke with a GI nurse shortly after posting this and she also recommended low fiber intake. Today I consumed a good amount of carbs, protein, and vitamins with minimal fiber and so far I'm not feeling too bad.

I'm really interested in the SCD diet, it does sound intimidating but I want to do whatever I can to heal properly and stay nourished. I'll be searching around, but if you have any additional information about getting started with the diet please send it my way.

grumpygi: if I were you I would probably seek medical attention. I don't think persistent lower-right abdominal pain is ever normal, and if there is something like an infection you should get on antibiotics right away. Definitely go if you have a high fever.

Post Edited (slpshtmike) : 5/6/2010 10:22:45 PM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 1343
   Posted 5/6/2010 9:46 PM (GMT -7)   
Go to and scroll down a little bit. You'll find a lengthy post I made about starting SCD :-). It can be tough in the beginning, but when you think about it, you can still eat many of the foods you probably eat right now (meats, veggies, fruits, eggs, cheese, yogurt, nut butters, certain types of beans). You sub honey (or saccharine) for sugar, only eat fermented dairy, and sub nut flours/butters for grains. The hardest thing to get used to is cooking everything, and not being able to just open a box or order takeout.

Just don't rush into eating advanced foods! Some people dive in and start eating anything on the legal list, like raw fruits and veggies and lots of nut baked goods. Not a good idea! Start by cooking everything (you may even want to puree in the beginning), and hold off on the baked goods until you're feeling better.

Good luck! If you have any SCD questions, either EMom or I should be able to help :-).
34 years old, Crohn's disease for 15 of them
Resection of ileocecal valve on 09/22/09
Current Meds: LDN, Pentasa, Effexor XR, Zyrtec
Supplements: 3 kinds of Fish Oil, Multi-Vitamin, Vitamin D, Calcium, Magnesium, Coconut Oil, Garlic Oil, CoQ10, Enzymes
SCD since 12/01/08 - eating Stage 3 foods

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 232
   Posted 5/6/2010 9:47 PM (GMT -7)   
Agree with what is posted here.

One thing, dark stool, toward the black end indicates digested blood, so tell your doc about that.

If they had you on pain meds, these could explain the constipation, and then the getting it all out.

I would add home made chicken/turkey stock, if you can afford organic (you can always ask for just the bones) , or at least hormone and antibiotic free (Kosher is a great, and less exepensive way to get this), more's the better.

No nuts, seeds, popcorn, ever. They can get caught and wreak havoc.

White long grain rice is very healing for the gut, I cook some in stock and then add to my soup.

Re: Probiotcs. Best to buy at a health food store. Try a multi-spectrum, with bacteria that will survive into the colon. The store clerks are usually very well trained and will be able to help you.

Start small, every other day, or if you get a powdered kind, 1/2 dose.

Note: your body will go through an adjustment periods, more gas, diarrhea, bloating. This is because the good bacteria in ProB's is killing off the bad in your gut. So, you'll have to wait it out a bit.
CD 24 years. Multiple surgeries in past 10 yrs. 4 year Illeostomy. Mesh rejection. Too close to death, twice. Large inscisional hernia. Perpetually underweight. Short bowel syndrom. Have used a variety of complementary medical therapies. Highly recommend Bowen Therapy as the best body work. Take me vites. Started Low Dose Naltrexone March 27, 2010. Got married for the only time 2008. Survive because of the love of good friends, and because I can. Happy to be alive. IBD needs more awareness and more voices willing to speak up. BE well.

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 5/7/2010 6:31 AM (GMT -7)   
I personally follow a low residue diet all the time and that works best for me. Usually when flaring this is a diet that I have dieticians recommend to me. I am currently in remission and still follow a modified version of this diet. You can google it and get some diet ideas. I find it less restrictive and less work than the SCD. JMHO
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease & Anxiety/Panic
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"*

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 6927
   Posted 5/7/2010 6:46 AM (GMT -7)   
Do you treat the constipation that you are experiencing? I actually find apple juice is rather good for the very rare bouts of c that I get.
I do think keeping a food journal is a good idea, in that you can do elimation diet.
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…

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 193
   Posted 5/7/2010 2:54 PM (GMT -7)   
When I had strictures my doc told me to use chewable supplements. I had an x-ray that showed 4 calcium caplets just sitting in my terminal ileum. Luckily, they passed thru, although it was painful. Since then, I use chewables or powder. My enzymes are designed to dissolve in the stomach so they aren't a problem. Good luck.
Age 58, Crohn's since age 21
3 bowel resections, 1980,88,95
1 fistula repair, 2005
digestive enzymes

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