Cravings -- ignore or comply?

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TusMom
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 10/6/2008 4:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi--
Just wondering if anyone has cravings for specific food when they're feeling miserable during a flare, and if those cravings signal a) something your body needs or b) something your mind needs.  One day last week when I was feeling particularly bad during this flare, I had strong cravings for tomato-based things: spaghetti sauce, pizza, anything with tomatoes.  I had some noodles with red sauce, and that did the trick, and I seemed to suffer no more or less because of it.  Also -- and this is where I think option (b) comes into play for me -- when my gut really feels bad and no other food sounds palatable to me, sugar does.  I know -- sugar is BAD.  Kicking the sugar habit (whether in the form of healthy carbs or less healthy carbs or plain old refined sugar in cookies and candy) has been a lifelong struggle for me.  But when I tolerate nothing else, sugar seems to go okay.  Or maybe it's all in my head?  My acupuncturist has told me that a mind/body craves sugar when it is in pain.  Hm.
 
If anyone has any tips on how to kick the sugar habit (which I did once or twice...ha), I'm open.  But I'm also in denial -- I don't want to give it up!  This is why the SCD sounds so difficult to me.  Stupid, I know.  But I guess a testimony to how powerful addictions can be, that we resist giving them up even as our health suffers.  :(
 
Thanks for your thoughts.
TusMom
 
Diagnosed proctitis March 2008
Started 400mg Asacol, 3 pills twice a day
Started current flare mid-August 2008
Now on 400 mg Asacol, 4 pills three time a day
1000mg Canasa bedtime
 


mh53mike
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 149
   Posted 10/6/2008 5:05 PM (GMT -6)   
To give up sugar remove temptation. Dont keep 20 packs of twinkies in your house if your trying to kick sugar. I still consume sugar its really hard to avoid it 100%, its in banannas and i eat 2 of them a day. So you can still give yourself alittle sugar through healthy means. Also give your self a reward day, and treat yourself for doing good all week. After awhile you wont even care about the reward day. Craving it after a meal chew a piece of gum. Good thing is its only a struggle for a few weeks then its pretty easy from there out, and sweets will seem really over powering and undesirable.
26y old male medically disharged USAF veteran.Diagnosed with UC (lower proctitis) in 2004.
 
Current daily treatment:                               Probiotics & supplements:
                                         50 Billion CFU's acidopholis&Bifidobacterium daily
2400mg oral asacol                                      Digestive enzymes
15mg prednisone tapering                             5grams of glutamine
75mg azathioprine                                       folic acid & calcuim with V-D
20mg Nexum                                               Whey protien  
                                                                Multivitamin
Diet:Little/no sugars, fats, carbs, caffine,sugars,yeast. Stay natural as possible.  
 
Results:1 Bowel movement in the morning no blood! Remission since 08Sept08


pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 10/6/2008 5:09 PM (GMT -6)   
When I went through sugar withdrawl/craving symptoms I simply ate sweet fruit, strawberries and such, of course I still eat fruit infact all I eat is fruit, veggies, fish and chicken for the most part with some brown rice on occassion...I eat very healthy now and I used to be a junk-food junky but I've pretty much kicked it, the longer you eat healthy and avoid junk the easier it gets.

:)
My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)


TusMom
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 10/6/2008 5:14 PM (GMT -6)   

Thanks for the tips!  I have kicked the sugar habit before, and before this recent flare, was doing okay in general, in that most of my sugar came in the form of whole grains/complex carbs, with a few treats here and there.  But then when the flare kicked in, and before I found this forum, the main advice I read was to eat a low-fiber diet consisting of white bread, white pasta, white rice, etc.  At first I rejoiced -- oh, yay!  I *have to* eat all of these forbidden white things in the name of health.  But I am so sick of it!  AND, on top of it all, I think it triggered more cravings for even worse forms of sugar.

Sigh.  I guess I am at the point where I feel miserable enough to try anything.  And I know it's just a better way to eat, anyway.  It's just so hard when everyone around me is eating to their hearts' content.

TusMom

 


Diagnosed proctitis March 2008
Started 400mg Asacol, 3 pills twice a day
Started current flare mid-August 2008
Now on 400 mg Asacol, 4 pills three time a day
1000mg Canasa bedtime
 


pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 10/6/2008 6:09 PM (GMT -6)   
They may be eating to their hearts content but that doesn't mean at some point they won't suffer/pay the price for eating junk.

In the long and short run, you'll be better off eating healthy (no white breads, white rice, ect).

:)
My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)


FitzyK23
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 4219
   Posted 10/6/2008 6:42 PM (GMT -6)   
I am a believer that you often need what you crave. When I was withdrawing from Entocort I started craving chips and coke so bad. I never have either. I gave in and bought organic chips and drank a can of coke and felt soooooooo much better. Turned out when I went to the doc my blood pressure had dropped dangerously low from my withdrawal. Caffeine and salt raise blood pressure. I think my body was craving them to keep me safe.
26 Year old married female law student (last year!!). Diagnosed w/ CD 4 years ago, IBS for over 10 years before that, which was probably the CD. I am sort of lactose intollerant too but can handle anything cultured and do well w/ lactose pills and lactaid. For crohns I am currently on Pentasa 4 pills/4x day and hysociamine prn. I also have bad acid reflux and have been on PPI's since age 13. I have been through prilosec, prevacid, and nexium. Currently I am on Protonix in the morning and Zantac at night. I also take a birth control pill to allow some fun in my life.


TusMom
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 10/6/2008 6:53 PM (GMT -6)   
I tend to agree with you, FitzyK23; our bodies know what they need more than we consciously do sometimes.  Like with the tomato craving, perhaps I was in need of lycopene.  If only that applied to my sugar cravings, too.  Unfortunately, I think that's more of an addiction issue.  But not entirely, because really, at times, sugary things are really the only thing I can get down.
 
Although I am painting (a probably accurate) picture of myself as a real sugar junkie, my eating habits are generally very healthy -- LOTS of fruit, veggies, fish, chicken, and, prior to this, whole grains and beans.  But also lots of carbs, "good" mostly, but also "bad."
 
Lucky for me, tonight I am craving some salmon and spinach and it's on the way!
TusMom
 
Diagnosed proctitis March 2008
Started 400mg Asacol, 3 pills twice a day
Started current flare mid-August 2008
Now on 400 mg Asacol, 4 pills three time a day
1000mg Canasa bedtime
 


pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 10/6/2008 7:02 PM (GMT -6)   
Yes, but our bodies do not need coke, processed junk, our bodies are craving sugar from fruits/veggies, I know not all can tolerate eating those things but the damage is being done when you feed yourself cokes and junk foods instead of giving your body the proper nutrients of sugar via fruits and such.

Once you totally give up on the junky stuff you will not likely crave it, it's a matter of retraining your brain when it comes to food cravings.

:)
My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)


TusMom
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 10/6/2008 7:11 PM (GMT -6)   

You're right, of course, pb4.  And most of the time I can tolerate fruit; I couldn't manage to go without it, since I typically eat so much in a given day.  So even though I really, really want grapes and apples with peels and oranges and whatnot, I have been able to satisfy my desire -- even craving -- with other fruits I like (cantaloupe, mango, banana [not a huge fan]).  Now I just need to work on the other sugar stuff.  Some years ago, when I first started seeing my acupuncturist and talking about sugar issues, she even advised I lay off the fruit simply because it triggered sugar craving.  I lasted for a week or two.  That was torture!
TusMom

 


Diagnosed proctitis March 2008
Started 400mg Asacol, 3 pills twice a day
Started current flare mid-August 2008
Now on 400 mg Asacol, 4 pills three time a day
1000mg Canasa bedtime
 


FitzyK23
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 4219
   Posted 10/6/2008 7:21 PM (GMT -6)   
Pb4 - with all due respect I think you missed the point of my post. I do not eat junk and haven't had coke in years. I also do not eat chips. My point was my body needed caffeine, which is in coke, to raise my blood pressure. That is why I felt better after drinking it. It is not a way of justifying a junk food habit. Far from it. I craved something out of the ordinary while feeling like I was going to pass out. I ate/drank it and felt better. Later, my doctor explained why it made me feel better. Also, my dad has blood pressure problems and is on prescription pills. Instead of going sky high sometimes he bottoms out. The prescription, anything with caffeine and sodium...usually a coke, sometimes a coffee. So I agree that we are better without junk. The point of the original question was do we think our bodies crave things we need. And after my experience I believe we do.
26 Year old married female law student (last year!!). Diagnosed w/ CD 4 years ago, IBS for over 10 years before that, which was probably the CD. I am sort of lactose intollerant too but can handle anything cultured and do well w/ lactose pills and lactaid. For crohns I am currently on Pentasa 4 pills/4x day and hysociamine prn. I also have bad acid reflux and have been on PPI's since age 13. I have been through prilosec, prevacid, and nexium. Currently I am on Protonix in the morning and Zantac at night. I also take a birth control pill to allow some fun in my life.


mh53mike
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 149
   Posted 10/6/2008 7:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Maybe...but u can also crave nicotine...hmmm
You can also crave sugars and carbs if you have Candida...
Your body is two faced. It can crave good and bad. You have to know when to listen, like when your thirsty..drink water. When you want to slam 20 twinkies down with a 2 liter of cola and smoke a pack of cigs after....ehhh maybe not so good.
26y old male medically disharged USAF veteran.Diagnosed with UC (lower proctitis) in 2004.
 
Current daily treatment:                               Probiotics & supplements:
                                         50 Billion CFU's acidopholis&Bifidobacterium daily
2400mg oral asacol                                      Digestive enzymes
15mg prednisone tapering                             5grams of glutamine
75mg azathioprine                                       folic acid & calcuim with V-D
20mg Nexum                                               Whey protien  
                                                                Multivitamin
Diet:Little/no sugars, fats, carbs, caffine,sugars,yeast. Stay natural as possible.  
 
Results:1 Bowel movement in the morning no blood! Remission since 08Sept08


pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 10/6/2008 8:40 PM (GMT -6)   
TusMom said...
You're right, of course, pb4. And most of the time I can tolerate fruit; I couldn't manage to go without it, since I typically eat so much in a given day. So even though I really, really want grapes and apples with peels and oranges and whatnot, I have been able to satisfy my desire -- even craving -- with other fruits I like (cantaloupe, mango, banana [not a huge fan]). Now I just need to work on the other sugar stuff. Some years ago, when I first started seeing my acupuncturist and talking about sugar issues, she even advised I lay off the fruit simply because it triggered sugar craving. I lasted for a week or two. That was torture!
TusMom


Strange your acupuncturist would tell you to lay off fruits, our bodies need natural sugars in order to keep our insulin levels in check (which of course you can get some natural sugars via veggies too).

All I know from experiance is the longer you avoid junky stuff the easier it gets.

Good luck :)
My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)


pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 10/6/2008 8:48 PM (GMT -6)   
FitzyK23 said...
Pb4 - with all due respect I think you missed the point of my post. I do not eat junk and haven't had coke in years. I also do not eat chips. My point was my body needed caffeine, which is in coke, to raise my blood pressure. That is why I felt better after drinking it. It is not a way of justifying a junk food habit. Far from it. I craved something out of the ordinary while feeling like I was going to pass out. I ate/drank it and felt better. Later, my doctor explained why it made me feel better. Also, my dad has blood pressure problems and is on prescription pills. Instead of going sky high sometimes he bottoms out. The prescription, anything with caffeine and sodium...usually a coke, sometimes a coffee. So I agree that we are better without junk. The point of the original question was do we think our bodies crave things we need. And after my experience I believe we do.


No FitzyK, I got it, that's why I agreed when I started off my post with "yes" and continued from there, just reiterating on the avoiding junk and eating healthy thing. I get that you eat healthy and that's fantastic. Sorry, I didn't mean to come across that you didn't eat healthy or that you were a junk-food junky or anything like that....probably just bad wording on my part.

:)
My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)

Post Edited (pb4) : 10/6/2008 7:52:58 PM (GMT-6)


TusMom
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 10/6/2008 9:11 PM (GMT -6)   

pb4--

My acupuncturist isn't -- wasn't -- suggesting fruit or the sugar therein was bad.  I think it was just an extreme suggestion for getting rid of sweet cravings that, in my case, would morph from being satisfied by fruit to being satisfied by refined sugar.  She also pointed out that other things -- rice, carrots, other vegetables -- are also sweet and should ideally be able to satisfy those legitimate sugar needs.  Anyway, it didn't last long -- my attempt or her advice -- so we tried other methods of moderating sugar.  And they worked well for a long time.  I can't even remember what caused me to backslide into old habits.  I know that sugar has been with me all of my life; it is a family habit (and we have struggled with it collectively).  I remember as a teenager getting ready for school and having a Coke and a piece of chocolate cake for breakfast.  When I was first in college and was going from classes straight to work, my typical lunch was a Coke, Cheetos, and a Nestle crunch bar.  I shudder at the thought now.  So, in thinking about all of this, I realize how much healthier my habits have come over the past 15 years or so...but also how far they *had* to come!

TusMom


Diagnosed proctitis March 2008
Started 400mg Asacol, 3 pills twice a day
Started current flare mid-August 2008
Now on 400 mg Asacol, 4 pills three time a day
1000mg Canasa bedtime
 


pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 10/6/2008 11:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Ya, I was just a little confused why she'd say avoiding fruits (even for a short time) would curb your sweet tooth, because your cravings would just intensify doing that and if you weren't getting natural sugars from somewhere then your insulin levels would get messed up, so I thought it was odd advice...but I know what you mean about eating unhealthy, I grew up eating junk, my mom cooked healthy meals (we didn't eat supper and lunch out of a box) but I ate tons of junk, I used to mow down one of those McCains chocolate cakes to myself in one sitting, and bake snacking cakes and eat a whole 8X8 cake to myself before it had a chance to fully cool, I was big on chocolate bars and candy, but never really a huge pop drinker (oddly enough)....I'm so glad those days are over just because I know now that it was the wrong stuff to eat continuously...what made it harder was the fact that I never gained an ounce eating entire cakes and jumbo sized chocolate bars...yes, my friends absolutely hated me in my teen yrs LOL!

:)
My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)


TusMom
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 10/7/2008 9:51 AM (GMT -6)   

Like you, pb4, I wasn't overweight, either, despite my horrible eating habits.  I think that has been part of my problem in terms of kicking the sugar habit: until now, anyway, I never felt or saw in my body any evidence that it was hurting me.  I knew intellectually that it was not good, but I've not been overweight or had any other conditions or feelings that differed due to sugar..or at least that I was aware of.  Until now, of course.  So far so good today, all the way into hour 3 of my waking day... ;)

 


Diagnosed proctitis March 2008
Started 400mg Asacol, 3 pills twice a day
Started current flare mid-August 2008
Now on 400 mg Asacol, 4 pills three time a day
1000mg Canasa bedtime
 


madabs
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 388
   Posted 10/7/2008 10:18 AM (GMT -6)   
about ten years ago, I heard Deepok Chopra (on Oprah, natch) say that a lot of cravings could be quenched by drinking a glass or two of water when the craving started.  I have used that "remedy" on many occasions including while quitting smoking and have found it to be really helpful. 
UC diagnosed 10/05, first symptoms 1983
asacol 12/daily and rowasa as needed 
Trying out Digestive Fitness Probiotic
past rx: colozal, lialda, canasa


Eva Lou
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 3442
   Posted 10/7/2008 12:30 PM (GMT -6)   
I usually give right into my cravings....sugar, salt, whatever it may be. Sometimes I'll try to wait them out, & sometimes that works. Other times, I'll be craving something for days, & eat tons of other stuff instead of what I really want! If the craving for that particular food is still there after a day or so, I go get it. It really depends on the item- I craved doughnuts this past wknd, but didn't buy any. I know that when I eat a doughnut, I don't even enjoy it! It sits in my stomach like a rock. Same with fried foods. Candy is a different story- with the onset of Halloween, we already have bags of mini candy bars at work, courtesy of the drug reps! I must've eaten about 6 in one shift last week. Whatever. Maybe it is yeast overgrowth, maybe I just have a sweet tooth. I mean, does everyone who has a sweet tooth suffer from yeast overgrowth??? Overall my diet is good- I've never drank soda, we don't do fast food, I don't eat much processed/chemical laden stuff, I'm a home cooked food freak, & we can & use tons of garden produce. I also don't eat red meat, & eat very little chicken. I do eat chocolate, frozen yogurt, cookies, cheese, white bread, & drink coffee. None of which appear to help or hurt my UC. Truly! I've never tried to modify my diet for my UC, aside from eating very soft, smooth stuff while flaring badly- avocados, yams, oatmeal, etc. I am totally not a candidate for SCD, the Makers Diet, anything extreme like that- I enjoy my food way to much. I figure, as long as I have a decent balance I'm alright. After my mini candy bar binge at work, I only had 2-3 mini candy bars the next day or so. Big deal. I don't suffer from yeast infections, btw. And as far as I know, there have been no conclusive studies done to show that sugar is "bad" for UC.
diagnosed with UC '02
meds-
Asacol- 8 tabs/day
Remicade-10mgs/kg- since 4/07
Imuran- 150mgs/day
Culturelle
Fiber supplement
 
 
 


pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 10/7/2008 12:32 PM (GMT -6)   
TusMom said...
Like you, pb4, I wasn't overweight, either, despite my horrible eating habits. I think that has been part of my problem in terms of kicking the sugar habit: until now, anyway, I never felt or saw in my body any evidence that it was hurting me. I knew intellectually that it was not good, but I've not been overweight or had any other conditions or feelings that differed due to sugar..or at least that I was aware of. Until now, of course. So far so good today, all the way into hour 3 of my waking day... ;)




I know eh, that makes it harder to give up sugar when you don't feel negative effects from it instantly, no weight gain, no tummy troubles or anything, life as a teen for me was great, not only did I eat what I wanted but I could eat as much as I wanted and I did that too, huge portions, usually 2 servings of supper and lots of snacking throughout the day on junky stuff, it's amazing how things change when you get older, now I pay my dues LOL!

:)
My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)


TusMom
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 10/7/2008 12:42 PM (GMT -6)   

Honestly, I think my situation is more like the other poster who started the thread "it's not WHAT I eat, it's THAT I eat."  Nothing seems to go down better or worse thus far...though I am still nervous about trying to re-introduce whole grains and certain fruits.  Though nothing seems to be helping, I surely don't want to make this any worse!  I met with the nutritionist yesterday (and came away with some good probiotics, fish oil, digestive enzymes, and UltraInflamX) and am going back to my GI tomorrow morning. Something's gotta give somewhere, because this stinks!

Still, this conversation has given me some motivation to cut/reduce sugar, and some good tips for how to do so.  (And also a little comfort if I fail now and then!)  Thanks to all!


Diagnosed proctitis March 2008
Started 400mg Asacol, 3 pills twice a day
Started current flare mid-August 2008
Now on 400 mg Asacol, 4 pills three time a day
1000mg Canasa bedtime
 


pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 10/7/2008 12:46 PM (GMT -6)   
Good to hear, portion control has it's role too, I found that out the hard way, with the probiotics, fish oils and digestive enzymes (which work best taken after every meal) you should find some improvements...some people like to start one thing at a time to better know what is helping with what (or isn't helping at all) that way you're not taking something that has no benefit to you, but I'm sure you'll find benefit from the above that you mentioned.

I eat natural digestive enzymes after meals because I can tolerate them, pineapples, kiwi, mangos, papayas.

:)
My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)


Sara14
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 4538
   Posted 10/7/2008 9:31 PM (GMT -6)   
This thread is really interesting. I don't have a lot to add, but I usually believe that our body craves the things we need. Mike made a good point though that we can crave things that are actually bad for us, like nicotine and processed sugar, but that's probably b/c our body thinks we "need" them. With smoking, nicotine restructures your brain so that it becomes used to the constant feeding of nicotine to help it function. It affects the "reward system" in the brain. Both sugar and nicotine release dopamine in the brain, one of the "feel-good endorphins."
Diagnosed with UC March 2007; Asacol 4 tablets 3x/day; Rowasa; Canasa; Viactiv; Metamucil wafers; multivitamin; sublingual allergy drops

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