chewing and eating quickly

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Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 204
   Posted 9/18/2011 2:38 PM (GMT -6)   
I don't have a j-pouch or ileostomy but like to research and learn about this since I'm dealing with UC.

I hear the stories about blockages and foods that you need to avoid and get a little scared. I'm one of those quick eaters where I scarf down food relatively quickly. I probably need to chew my food better than I do.

I'm curious if people were this way prior to surgery and if they found it difficult to change the way they ate afterwards (chewing more, going slowly). Is that something that comes naturally over time?

Also reading the story of the bay leaf being swallowed was interesting, but made me scared of thinking of dealing with a blockage. It sounds like blockages are common occurrence. I have a phobia of throwing up so I know I'd be wigging out at the prospect of eating something that would result in me throwing up due to a blockage.
Tapering from 40mg Prednisone. Currently at 5mg. 3 Remicade infusions. 4th not scheduled yet. Also on Prozac 20 mg.

Eva Lou
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Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 3442
   Posted 9/18/2011 3:55 PM (GMT -6)   
obviously I can't answer your questions, as I'm still colon intact! But, I worry about the same things- now I'm so conscious of how I eat, am I chewing enough, it's a little silly. Because I'm sure I'm not chewing enough, & hope I'll be able to when the time comes! I'm super concerned about blockages too, but honestly, if you start slow, with soft, low-residue foods, & really TRY to chew thoroughly, it seems unlikely to experience many. And most are able to pass them at home, with the help of lots of grape juice. I'm more afriad to go to an ER & have the nurses be like "What is that, & what exactly is wrong???". I just keep thinking to myself that things can't be worse post-surgery.
diagnosed 2002
Remicade-10mgs/kg- from 4/07 thru 1/10
Humira- 1/10- present
Imuran- 150mgs/day
homemade kefir, turmeric

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Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 3332
   Posted 9/18/2011 4:04 PM (GMT -6)   
I am the one who ate the bay leaf, and I did used to eat much more quickly than I do now. I didn't find it hard to slow down because a potential blockage is a big enough deal to make me do so. I always used to finish before my partner, and now my partner has to wait for me at the end of the meal. I also used to talk a lot more during meals than I do now. It's actually nice to slow down some.....

All of these things would have seemed like terrible sacrifices before surgery, and they feel like no big deal now -- because the trade off is that I can eat so many foods I couldn't eat, I feel so much better, never have urgency, etc. That's the part that's really hard to imagine when you've been sick a long time.

I have not had any blockages, although I've had some fears of them, but so far so good. I'm not sure how common they are, but I was way more afraid before surgery than I am now.... I was even fairly calm w/the bay leaf incident....

If you do have a blockage, there are often things you can do to pass it yourself. Also, if you have surgery, at first you would be super careful, and then you experiment in baby steps, and you get a sense of your limits. You could work it out if you needed to....

I rather hate vomiting too, understand that.... I had some from pain meds, but so far none from anything I ate or blockages.
49 years old, female. Sick for way too long with Crohn's (or possibly UC) Proctocolectomy and permanent ileostomy in Feb 2011. Perineal wound taking its time healing, but otherwise feel better than I have in years. I only take vitamins now, no drugs at all!

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Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 5975
   Posted 9/18/2011 4:19 PM (GMT -6)   
     I am one of those who used to scoff food down tongue .  While in the hospital, my surgeon kept stressing the fact that I could eat anything but CHEW, CHEW AND CHEW SOME MORE!!!  So far (I am 15 months post op with a permanent ileo), I have taken his advice and have never suffered a blockage.  There was one time, which comes to mind, about a month or so ago, that it was a tad sore around my stoma.  I think I read in one of these forums to drink a lot of grape juice or something like that.  I didn't have grape juice but I did drink a few glasses of cran-raspberry juice and massaged my stoma a bit.  I believe the culprit was walnuts which were in my ice cream.  I thought I chewed enough but noticed a few small walnuts in my bag later that evening. 
     My surgeon made a terrific stoma.  It spits everything  Sometimes I am just in awe of it smilewinkgrin .  Except for my osteoporosis (thank you prednisone) and some pain in my back due to fractures, I feel terrific!!!  My quality of life is soooooooo much better.

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Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 720
   Posted 9/18/2011 5:28 PM (GMT -6)   
I definitely ate more quickly before surgery, but one adapts quickly. I was really paranoid about blockages right after surgery, so I think I chewed a bit more then than I do now. That was good though because it got me used to chewing things a lot until it began to feel natural. Now, at almost 10 months post-op, I have a better idea of how my body reacts to certain foods and how much I need to chew each item. For instance, I chew the heck out of nuts, but not oatmeal as much. You learn what to predict from your body.

Like Blueglass, it does take me much longer to eat. A lot of times other people have cleaned their plate, and I am still sitting there chewing away with barely a dent in my meal. I too find it harder to have conversation during dinner because I am always chewing. One thing I do notice now is the incredible rate at which most people wolf down their food. I think it is actually better to eat the way we do. It allows you to take your time and notice the flavors and textures of food more. I am less prone to overeating too when I don't eat so fast.

I know the list of blockage foods is intimidating at first, but a lot of us eat the things on that list once we are a few months out of surgery and the small intestine has healed up adjusted. The key is to chew very well, drink fluids and eat less of a quantity at a time... for instance, a 1/4 cup of nuts instead of a cup. So far I have not had a blockage and have been able to eat many things on the list. The only things I avoid are really hard raw veggies like broccoli. I haven't tried an orange yet, but I know I will eventually. To try new foods, you just eat a little at first to see how you react and then bump it up in small increments.
-39 years old
-Officially diagnosed with UC in 2006, though had symptoms since 1999.
-Had mild/moderate symptoms continuously until severe flare in autumn 2010 which required 2-week hospital stay
-Took Asacol, Rowasa, Canasa and Prednisone to manage flares but meds stopped working
-Tried 1 dose of Remicade but had excruciating joint pain and discontinued
-Had permanent ileostomy surgery 11/8/2010

Post Edited (Blueheron) : 9/18/2011 4:32:03 PM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 6571
   Posted 9/18/2011 10:28 PM (GMT -6)   
there is a lot of stuff they tell you don't eat.  honestly, i eat most of it, and i have had a few problems, i have managed to work through them all myself.  I find getting in the hottub really helps.  And i find that if i eat something, like popcorn, if i eat a piece of bread and drink lots of water, i don't have a problem.  The one time i had problem with popcorn, i didn't eat anything with it, and then later that night took some immodium so i wouldnt have output while we were out at bars (drunk emptying in public is dangerous, lol!)
im not a good chewer, i try really hard, but i just cant do it, i forget.  i dont have a huge fear of throwing up, got so used to it when i had UC that it doesn't bother me at all. 
dont let the fear of a possible blockage keep you from surgery!

Another UC wife
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 2111
   Posted 9/19/2011 3:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Hubby had no problem slowing down while eating as he certainly does not want a blockage. Prior to surgery since we knew this was important he started to try to "train" himself to start getting used to eating slower. I am a fast eater but I have definitely made a real effort to slow down so I am not done too far ahead of him and maybe cause him to pick up the pace and then get him into trouble.
Wife of 64 yr old male suffered with UC & in May 06 had a severe flare & hospitalized 6 days...various prednisone treatments leading to steroid dependence and osteopenia, 12 asacol, 200 mg Imuran, failed remicade infusions Jan-May 2010 Dependence on pain meds. Made decision 6/10 to have surgery which was on 12/17/10 (total proctocolectomy & ileostomy - unable to have the j-pouch) & now pain free

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 1251
   Posted 9/20/2011 6:10 AM (GMT -6)   
I eat anything I want (and it shows!). At home, I usually scoff my food down in front of my computer. Thankfully, never in my ileostomy's 35 year history have I ever had a blockage.
Ileostomy for 34 years due to UC. I had my surgery at 10 years of age.

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