Carbohydrates and UC

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wantstogetbetter
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 12/16/2008 12:09 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone,

I have heard a bunch of differing things with regards to carbohydrates and UC:

(1) Low-residue carbohydrates (*white* rice, pasta that isn't whole-grain, corn meal) are good, high-fiber or whole grain is to be avoided. Oatmeal is great.

(2) Grains in general should be avoided. Get most of your calories from nut butters and protein sources.

(3) Wheat is the enemy.

Anyway, I am on prednisone now, and I am feeling much better. The problem is that because the prednisone is so strong, I'm not feeling the consequences for dietary decisions that aren't good from a UC standpoint, and
whether I'll be causing myself problems when it is time to taper off. When I have a bowl of (fairly low-sugar) cereal in the morning, I have no idea if I am committing a sin against my body!

Gigi1227
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 469
   Posted 12/16/2008 12:36 PM (GMT -6)   
When I was diagnosised my doctor told me the following:

If you can't see thru it you can't drink it - carbonated drinks are a no no - and omg no coffee!

White bread white rice white meat only no red meat - no corn or corn products

No sugar or sugar substitutes - no corn syrup or fructose

Seemed all I heard was no no no and I thought, man, they are taking my life away from me! After I got over the initial shock, I slowly ate what I wanted. If it bothered me, I wrote it in a journal and kept that going for a few months. I never gave up coffee though. I can't talk until I get 1/2 cup down me - LOL not a biotch w/out it anymore (I outgrew that part!), but instead of having my regular 3 cups of coffee a day I had one cup w/ lactose free creamer.

Don't ever feel that you are committing a sin against your body! Do what your body will accept and add more when you can handle it. I wish you the best and hope you feel better soon!

That is my best advice.

Gigi1227
Diagnosised 8/25/08 GRRR
Started flare mid-May/feeling better but still flaring
 
Canasa 2x a day
Asacol
Multi Enzyme
Mega Probiotic
Psyllium
Fiber Wafer
Nictotine Patch
Fish Oil Pill
Multi Vitamin
B12
 
 


Pancake1
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 28
   Posted 12/16/2008 1:14 PM (GMT -6)   

The only carb drink that drink is Ginger ale.  It is caffine free.  Also Mugs root beer is also caffine free.  My doctor told, if I am going to drink a decaffe carb drink, let it sit for a few mins, until bubbles are gone.  I don't *L* I just drink it right away.  No problems.  Because there is no caffine.

I also drink Decaf coffee.



LeafsFan
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 274
   Posted 12/16/2008 1:19 PM (GMT -6)   

I also get confused by this. I have read so many things in regards to it.

I have been told that white refined carbs are better (white rice and pasta) and then have also been told to avoid them. I have a friend with proctitis who only eats whole wheat pasta as white pasta is no good for him.

I am not sure what to do either...seems everyone is different. I know whole grains are better for a healthy person, but do they seem to bother people with UC?

All my doctor told me when I asked about diet was when I was flaring, to avoid dairy, fatty and spicy foods, but other than that, eat as healthy as possible.

I am also on pred and feel no ill effects from what I eat. i have thought about the same things and am wondering what will happen when I start to taper off.


 
Chuck - 28 yrs and counting
 
Diagnosed w/ UC Dec 08
 
-----------------------------------
 
Pentasa 500mg 2-4x daily
Prednisone 50mg day - Calicium + Vit D
Multivitamin, Vitamin C


kc70
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 112
   Posted 12/16/2008 1:35 PM (GMT -6)   

With the exception of wheat, the main part of my diet has been carbs, particularly all things potato. Without them, I'm sure I'd be dead right now.

After weeks of crawling back from severe depletion caused by (I'm convinced) a bad reaction to meds among other things, I'm so nervous about rocking the boat, especially because my system seems so fragile right now.

I did pick up a cookbook that follows the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, but it seems to be promoting all the foods I'm NOT eating right now, so I'm reluctant to turn everything over. My idea is to start introducing things slowly and see how it goes.


princesa
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 2204
   Posted 12/16/2008 1:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Whole grains are healthier than refined white rice, bread and pasta, but if you're gut is inflamed, high fiber of any kind - whole grains, raw fruits and veggies, etc. - are going to be irritating.

Many people who have gut issues have difficulty digesting gluten in grains like wheat and rye. Dairy also causes problems for a lot of folks either due to lactose intolerance or problems with the casein, the dairy protein.

Bottom line, there is no hard and fast rule that works for everyone and food shouldn't be considered "the enemy." There are foods that may be a huge problem for you, but others may eat without issue. After years of trial and error, I find that a gluten-free, dairy-free and mostly grain and starch free diet works best for me. Experimentation and keeping a thorough food diary to find out what works for YOU is one of the best things you can do. And yes, as long as you're on pred, it will mask any negative effects you might normally experience from various foods.
Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis spring 1999.
 
Maintenance dose sulfasalazine.
Probiotics, l-glutamine and fish oil caps. George's aloe vera juice. Oregano oil antibiotic, antiviral, antifungal. Long-term remission with only minor blips.
 
 


subdued
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 3231
   Posted 12/16/2008 1:55 PM (GMT -6)   
I started with rice with turmeric to reduce the inflammation and chicken rice soup to maintain my strength. I then started adding foods, keeping a record of which ones bothered me and which ones didn't.

White potatoes are supposed to promote inflammation in some people. They are one of the nightshade variety of plants. So I don't eat them. I don't know whether or not they bother me, but tomatoes, which are also a type of nightshade, definitely make my inflammation worse.
-------------------

Joy - 47 yrs and counting

Diagnosed w/ UC Dec 06

-------------------

Probiotics (orally and up the but)
Vitamins (a whole bunch of them)
Anti-inflammatory foods: turmeric, seaweed, garlic...


quincy
Elite Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 31006
   Posted 12/16/2008 2:55 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm sitting on my hands for this one except to say......if you avoid lots of foods in your diet, you can also set yourself for other problems.

You need to EAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Try not to make it all about the assumed fungus and that carbs aren't your friend.

Eat as common sensed and balanced as possible, take vitamins, minerals, probiotics and fibre supplements, drink enough fluids, eat small meals often.

Don't punsh yourself believing carbs are bad for you.

OK, my hands slipped up to the keyboard.

q
*Heather* Status..Asacol 6 (3 twice daily); enemas every 5th night
~diagnosed January 1989 UC (proctosigmoiditis)
~Bentylol (dicyclomine) 20mg as needed
~vitamins/minerals/supplements 
~Probiotics....(Natural Factors Protec, Primadophilus Reuteri Pearls, Natural Factors Ultimate)....1 each  @ bedtime
~various digestive enzymes as needed
~Ranitidine (reflux);  Effexor XR 75mg(depression);  Pulmicort/Airomir (asthma)
~URSO for PSC (or PBC) 500mg X 2 daily (LFTs back to NORMAL!!)
My doc's logic.. "TREAT (FROM)BOTH ENDS"  worth it !!!
 


Limeycricketlover
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 67
   Posted 12/16/2008 3:11 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm with Heather all the way on this one!
UC - diagnosed Sep 2008 - awaiting colonoscopy to determine extent
Omeprazole 2 x 20mg
Prednisolone 15mg
Calcium (Adcal-D3) 1500mg
Mesalazine 8 x 500mg
Mesalazine foam enema
Multivitamins x 2
Omega 3


Peety
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 2855
   Posted 12/16/2008 3:11 PM (GMT -6)   
Sorry Q, but regarding the vitamins: They contain binders that I have been told by many different docs can be problematic.
And personally, I must avoid high fiber. Otherwise, the foods that bother me are specific: iceberg lettuce, too many nuts, some tomato sauces, and eating way too much of anything! Oh, and the wheat thing: I understand having long term colitis/D can affect the small bowel lining and cause that problem.
49 year old female attorney, diagnosed UC/pancolitis 1985, no surgery but much suffering.
Asacol/5ASA 6x400 mg maintenance for 20+ years; use prednisone & Rowasa for flares. 
August 2008 sought care of naturopathic doctor. Food sensitivity test showed gluten, other intolerances; started diet without gluten, soy, dairy, tomato etc. Replete$$ probiotic powder at first, now Forte pills. 
Doing much better, but still experience anxiety that interferes with activities. 
 


quincy
Elite Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 31006
   Posted 12/16/2008 3:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Peety, I'm talking in balance. A small amount doesn't mean go overboard.
I'm huge on common sense...it's not necessarily all or nothing. I, too, will have some symptoms if I overdo...I eat whole grains in very small amounts and not very often, but do take a fibre supplement.

One has options...that's all I'm pushing here....if we feel we are deprived, that can set up a cycle of can'ts and limitations rather than cans....options, options, etc.
As well...some symptoms can be emotionally fuelled...as in IBS.



Regarding binders in vitamins.....well, there's a huge plus to reading and understanding labels. The binders in some vitamins can easily be avoided. Of course you pay to have less binders in vitamins.
What binders in particular did the doc suggest you avoid?

Regarding the long-term UC with diarrhea..etc affecting the small intestine linng..never heard of that. However, if there's an underlying problem, then that would probably be the reason...meaning it was ignored assuming it was UC. UC doesn't affect the small intestine except in backwash ileitis when one has pancolitis.

Be reasonable with foods...but fibre comes in different varieties. Not all agree with everyone, and it's up to each of us to find what works and what we can consume.

Eating calories in balanced form is much better for us on a variety of plusses. The main point is to treat inflammation with meds if one's diarrhea is caused by that. Food helps slow down or quicken the process...we have to educate ourselves in what can work for us rather than making statemsnts such as carbohydrates should be avoided.

Carbohydrates are the fuel for our bodies....there are a gazzillion different types of carbohydrates of choice. I would definitley skip some compared to many, but I'd be neglectful to eliminate them from my food intake.

quincy
*Heather* Status..Asacol 6 (3 twice daily); enemas every 5th night
~diagnosed January 1989 UC (proctosigmoiditis)
~Bentylol (dicyclomine) 20mg as needed
~vitamins/minerals/supplements 
~Probiotics....(Natural Factors Protec, Primadophilus Reuteri Pearls, Natural Factors Ultimate)....1 each  @ bedtime
~various digestive enzymes as needed
~Ranitidine (reflux);  Effexor XR 75mg(depression);  Pulmicort/Airomir (asthma)
~URSO for PSC (or PBC) 500mg X 2 daily (LFTs back to NORMAL!!)
My doc's logic.. "TREAT (FROM)BOTH ENDS"  worth it !!!
 


LeafsFan
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 274
   Posted 12/16/2008 3:30 PM (GMT -6)   

I have been trying to cut my carbs back a bit, but I am not sure I'd be able to ever cut them out. Honestly, I have been a healthy active person, but I live for spaghetti and pizza....and everywhere I read is exactly what Heather just said about carbs causing fungus and being terrible for you.

I know that sounds dumb because my health is more important. I am trying to change and have been eating alot more vegetables, fish, chicken and cutting the carbo dinners back to once or twice a week.

Another practice I've been trying (but finding hard) is not eating anything that could irritate (grains, tomatoes, red meat etc..) 2 days in a row. Example if I have a good spaghetti dinner on Monday...mmmmmmmmmm....then Tuesday I will be sure to have fish or chicken w/ vegetables or something along those lines. I am far from perfect and maybe it doesn't do anything at all...but it's a start.


 
Chuck - 28 yrs and counting
 
Diagnosed w/ UC Dec 08
 
-----------------------------------
 
Pentasa 500mg 2-4x daily
Prednisone 50mg day - Calicium + Vit D
Multivitamin, Vitamin C


Gigi1227
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 469
   Posted 12/16/2008 3:40 PM (GMT -6)   
Sometimes, I think we get sooo consumed (I for one certainly do) with what we can and what we can't do that it gets in our way of living! I agree w/ Quincy and many others on this post, however, I do endulge on occasion - who knows, if I don't eat that bowl of ice cream w/ chocolate syrup poured over it and go to bed and never wake up then I would have missed that luxury! Am I making sense?!

I don't know guys, enjoy life - enjoy foods that you can eat and relish in it!

Gigi1227
Diagnosised 8/25/08 GRRR
Started flare mid-May/feeling better but still flaring
 
Canasa 2x a day
Asacol
Multi Enzyme
Mega Probiotic
Psyllium
Fiber Wafer
Nictotine Patch
Fish Oil Pill
Multi Vitamin
B12
 
 


subdued
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 3231
   Posted 12/16/2008 3:48 PM (GMT -6)   
Yes. Carbs are important for colon health. It's important to find out which ones work for you.
-------------------

Joy - 47 yrs and counting

Diagnosed w/ UC Dec 06

-------------------

Probiotics (orally and up the but)
Vitamins (a whole bunch of them)
Anti-inflammatory foods: turmeric, seaweed, garlic...


wantstogetbetter
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 12/17/2008 2:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks everyone.

I've had good luck last spring (when I had >6 great months of remission that lasted until the end of October--a record for me since I came down with UC in 2005) when I ate a lot of nuts.

The problem is that I've eaten so much of them that at this point, I can hardly even look at another.

The prednisone has a bunch of effects. It tends to mask any effects poor diet has (the drug seems to cover for a lot of sins), AND it tends to make me hungery, AND it tends to make me
more impulsive. The extra hunger and eating isn't bad--I need to put the weight back on. I do need to watch for the impulsiveness though. Put a box of cereal in front of me when I am hungry and I can eat the whole thing in a half hour!

quincy
Elite Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 31006
   Posted 12/17/2008 3:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Oh my....well, start making decisions based on proper diet, make sure you get your calories in proper ways.

Hey, I used to eat 8 home-made waffles or french toast at 10:00 nightly for years....it was a ritual...and didn't make me any worse.

Just eat as well as you can in amounts that your body can handle. There are more than nuts and cereal on the basic food menu.

Make sure you get enough protein. Eggs, chicken, beef, pork..etc..
I have a protein amount with every meal.

Stock you house with good food and save a treat for once a day. If all you have is junk food. that's what you'll eat.

Prednisone can increase appetite, but it doens't cause you to loose your common sense. Yes, it's difficult, but your decision ultimately. There's lots of info "out there" to help you make a shopping list of what to bring home and what to not.

quincy
*Heather* Status..Asacol 6 (3 twice daily); enemas every 5th night
~diagnosed January 1989 UC (proctosigmoiditis)
~Bentylol (dicyclomine) 20mg as needed
~vitamins/minerals/supplements 
~Probiotics....(Natural Factors Protec, Primadophilus Reuteri Pearls, Natural Factors Ultimate)....1 each  @ bedtime
~various digestive enzymes as needed
~Ranitidine (reflux);  Effexor XR 75mg(depression);  Pulmicort/Airomir (asthma)
~URSO for PSC (or PBC) 500mg X 2 daily (LFTs back to NORMAL!!)
My doc's logic.. "TREAT (FROM)BOTH ENDS"  worth it !!!
 


Probiotic
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 2832
   Posted 12/17/2008 3:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Personally, I benefit massively from a low-carb diet for my UC- massively in comparison to not following such a diet.  Sure, in my case it doesn't remotely get me into a med-free remission for any length of time, but I would basically be in a constant, massive, super-flare without the low carb diet- I have tried.  In a way, had I not discovered low-carbing, I may have been better off because I would have been forced to lose my colon years ago and have thereby surgically "cured" myself of UC (I will likely have to take that step soon enough I suspect).  However, that is skewed thinking, and any prednisone sparing effect of something that helps is worth it ultimately.  At the very least, try - for a few days or if you can manage it, a couple weeks - eliminating all ultra-high carb things like refined/processed sugars and see if it helps.  Trial and error doesn't take long- days at best for immediate reactions; weeks at most for delayed food sensitivities.  A few days of experimenting is hardly a crisis of neuroticism, and if it helps, who cares if the world declares you such. 
 
This advise doesn't just apply to carbs but to all potential food sensitivities.  I disagree completely with the orthodox belief that food is irrelevant and cannot put you into a flare.  Those of us who do flare to a single meal with a trigger food are not some sort of statistical freaks.  Granted, there are evidently some people who are not sensitive to any foods, but many of us with IBD do, in my view, have powerful trigger foods, and for some, refined carbs are the killer, and only trial and error will tell you if that's the case.  eliminating or reducing them may be no cure but it can be a prednisone sparer and flare reducer.  As to the doctors who say this is all hogwash by neurotic people with OCD - this is the same profession that completely dismissed probiotics- which have been pushed heavily by the alternative health community for many decades - until the past 5 years or so.   It is also the same profession that has no clue- literally no clue- as to what the cause of IBD is and when asked by most patients, will say "we don't know and who cares- just treate the symptoms".  Perhaps if I tolerated 5ASA meds I could ignore basic issues like food sensitivity, but I don't have that luxury. 
 
Anyway, we are all entitled to our beliefs, but we also owe it to ourselves to think critically, research independently, and not simply follow the advice of our almighty GI's as if it is was cutting edge or unassailable.
 
 


Pancolitis ~20 years, once had a full med-free 10 year remission,
but flaring/simmering on and off for years, allergic to all 5ASAs
10 20 17.5 15 12.5 10 mg 8 7.5 20 17.5 15 mg pred, 100 mg Imuran
TCM, Probiotics (PD, Cust.Probiot., Culturelle, VSL3, etc), DMSO, TSO, hookworm
Turmeric/circuminboswellia, fish oil, many vits/minerals
Lower-carb version of Specific Carb Diet (SCD), Remicade newbie
 
 
 

Post Edited (Probiotic) : 12/17/2008 1:48:32 PM (GMT-7)


Hydrofrog
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 12/18/2008 1:01 AM (GMT -6)   
The low-residue diet and diabetic diet contradict each other. Its frustrating. I am overwhelmed.
Hydrofrog


subdued
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 3231
   Posted 12/18/2008 1:13 AM (GMT -6)   
Yes, I know what you mean. Most foods that are high in iron are also pro-inflammatory.
Joy - 47 yrs and counting

Diagnosed w/ UC Dec 06

-------------------

Lexapro (for stress)
Probiotics (orally and up the but)
Vitamins (a whole bunch of them)
Anti-inflammatory foods: turmeric, seaweed, garlic...


wantstogetbetter
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 12/18/2008 2:54 PM (GMT -6)   
My understanding of the role diet actually plays:

Carbohydrates: The carbohydrates you eat affects your intestinal flora. And the idea behind the SCD (I believe) is that carbohydrates from grains are often not fully digested in the small intestine, leading to an explosion of growth of 'bad' bacteria in the large intestine, leading to a strong immune system response, leading to inflammation, leading to a flare. Perhaps similar reasoning might be why tomatoes seem to irritate some people. Or why some people seem to be having great results with probiotics.

EDIT: I did read the thread on the specific signaling pathway that seems to be lacking for people like us. Perhaps this explosion of bacteria is usually not a big deal for most people, but a serious problem for people like us? Also, once the inflammation is turned on, thanks to this signalling pathway not working, it tends to not turn off for us as it might for those not suffering from IBD.

Fats: Omega-3's (found in fish) are anti-inflammatory, while Omega-6's (found in red meat) promote inflammation. That is why red meats aren't encouraged. And the fats from fried foods are just nasty. That said, I stay away from fried foods. They cause me all sorts of problems!

Post Edited (wantstogetbetter) : 12/18/2008 1:03:37 PM (GMT-7)


quincy
Elite Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 31006
   Posted 12/18/2008 5:20 PM (GMT -6)   
seems you have it all figured out....keep us posted as to how you're doing.

q
*Heather* Status..Asacol 6 (3 twice daily); enemas every 5th night
~diagnosed January 1989 UC (proctosigmoiditis)
~Bentylol (dicyclomine) 20mg as needed
~vitamins/minerals/supplements 
~Probiotics....(Natural Factors Protec, Primadophilus Reuteri Pearls, Natural Factors Ultimate)....1 each  @ bedtime
~various digestive enzymes as needed
~Ranitidine (reflux);  Effexor XR 75mg(depression);  Pulmicort/Airomir (asthma)
~URSO for PSC (or PBC) 500mg X 2 daily (LFTs back to NORMAL!!)
My doc's logic.. "TREAT (FROM)BOTH ENDS"  worth it !!!
 


LeafsFan
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 274
   Posted 12/18/2008 6:31 PM (GMT -6)   
Fun stuff this is....very frustrating indeed.

Grocery shopping isn't what it used to be ;)
 
Chuck - 28 yrs and counting
 
Diagnosed w/ UC Dec 08
 
-----------------------------------
 
Pentasa 500mg 2-4x daily
Prednisone 50mg day - Calicium + Vit D
Multivitamin, Vitamin C


bbc
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 1580
   Posted 12/18/2008 11:37 PM (GMT -6)   
This all makes me want a Twinkee LOL...
Moderate Pancolitis
Dx'd 05/2007
7 Pentasa per day (4/3)
Corti Foam p.m. 2X per week
Prebiotics and Probiotics, Bowel Soother, Fish Oil, Calcium, Multi Vitamin and Melatonin
Trying to reduce sugar in my diet but cannot tolerate artificial sweetners
I excersice daily
Did I happen to mention I HATE this disease!!!


jars05
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 297
   Posted 12/19/2008 2:33 AM (GMT -6)   
Pizzas and pastas kill me for some reason.

Age: 30
Sex: Yes please!
Location: Missouri
Diagnosed with UC in 1997.
Medications: 100 mg Azathioprine a day, Mesa rectal meds
Supplements: calcium, and multivitamin
No. of colonoscopies: 5
Last scope: 6/7/08-everything looked ok.
 
 


notsosicklygirl
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 16742
   Posted 12/19/2008 8:11 AM (GMT -6)   
I tried the SCD diet for a few months and it didn't help me at all. I also tried a low residue diet with no luck. I have noticed that corn seems to trigger illness. I am trying hard to avoid it but it is in everything!!
 
I think it is so individual that no one can tell you if carbs are bad for YOU. I do think if you have unbalanced candida/bacteria, it is good to avoid carbs/starch but unfortunately I doubt that is the real problem for the majority of us. If that were the problem, it would be easier to fix with some diflucan. I have already tried taking diflucan and it didn't improve my situation.
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