IMO I have a disease where my body is attacking itself. I don't feel I have an allergy or a problem with food. When I'm well I can eat everything I want! To me it's also about quality of life. Having to live so strict with everything I put in my mouth is a lower quality of life for me. Of course we all have to decide what is best for us.
Literally could not agree with this more. I sometimes feel like I'm the only one who wants to carry on with, in inverted commas, a 'normal' diet. To me, being on a severe diet would make me miserable. The Crohn's also makes me miserable. Both are a quality of life issue.
What dietary changes have you made to try to deal with this disease?
Gluten-free, elemental, low residue, eating less.
Gluten-free is self-explanatory, but it didn't work for me. Gave it six weeks then gave up. An elemental diet definitely isn't self-explanatory, so I'll explain it; an elemental formula is one where the nutrients have been broken down into their simplest parts, eg whole proteins into amino acids. This is to enable digestion in the stomach and duodenum only, bypassing the rest of the GI tract. Typically, you're on the elemental diet for 4-8 weeks and you can drink the formulas from a carton or have it delivered by an NG tube. Anyway, I was meant to be on the elemental diet for 6 weeks but I could only hack it for 2. The drinks were beyond foul and my symptoms were getting worse rather than better.
Note: recent studies have shown that a non-elemental liquid diet is almost as effective as an elemental one. Non-elemental formulas, such as Ensure, are vastly more palatable and suitable for a short-term liquid diet. I was actually on a Fortisip diet for a month, but I did have soups and other liquids too; nevertheless, it helped for a couple of months. Sadly it didn't last and the stricture I had had came back.
The eating less was never purposely planned. It was just something which happened spontaneously in response to uncomfortable symptoms. Found the less I ate, the better I felt. I took it a bit too far, into borderline eating disorder territory. That's not really a practical or recommended solution for anybody, to be honest.
Low residue is a diet deliberately low on fibre. It's often followed by people with strictures to avoid blockages, but can also be used to decrease diarrhoea. I half follow a low residue diet at the moment, but, with summer on our doorstep, it's going to be harder to follow than in winter. I could eat punnets of berries every day. Salads, too, are more abundant. But given the last couple of days, I might have no choice but to go strictly low residue... :/
So, that's about
it. Apart from the above, I haven't gone on any special diets at all. I don't feel like there are any foods which set me off, nor do I have any safe foods. It's all
uncomfortable going through me.