I'm from the DC area originally, but I live in South Korea where I teach English. I'm 28 years old and was just diagnosed with ulcerative colitis after having large amounts of mucus in my stools and mucus-only bowel movements for about 2 months. It was a very scary time, being away from family and in a country where my grasp of the language doesn't extend much beyond dinner-table pleasantries, but I'm trying to cope as best I can.
I'm having some difficulties with adjusting my diet. I've been a vegetarian for about 10 years now, though I added seafood back in about 5 year ago (so now I'm technically pescatarian, I guess). I eat pretty healthy most of the time--beans and tofu for protein, veggies and fruits a-plenty, and (in the US at least--here in Asia white rice is KING) whole grains. I've had some difficulties maintaining vegetarianism abroad (ham is a vegetable in Korea), but with seafood allowed, it's been ok.
So when I was diagnosed with UC, I cut out the little crap I did eat--diet coke, the occasional chocolate, alcohol, and cheese/dairy--for about a month and was doing ok, so then added some of it back in one at a time to see what I could tolerate. Trouble is, after a sigmoidoscopy with enema last week and starting Asacol, my system went haywire. I feel uncomfortably, miserably full all the time--like I have to go to the bathroom, but I don't. When the real urges come, they're WAY worse than it was before. When I eat my usual fruits and veggies, my stomach feels bloated and distended and sick. I've also been having difficulties with extreme fatigue.
Rather than cutting stuff back out, like I should have, I've dealt with the stress by eating comfort foods (mostly dairy and chocolate). I got so sick I missed a day of work, so I'm back to making smarter decisions, but it's really hard. I'm interested in trying some of the stuff other folks are trying like the SCD, but I'm not sure it's possible as a vegetarian. Also, many commonly available foods in the States are not here or are prohibitively expensive. I'm sure there are some local alternatives that could work as well or better, but I'm not always sure which ones.
Does anyone know if there are resources for IBD vegetarians (or are any of you IBD veggies yourselves) who could offer some advice to someone very new to the disease? I'd really appreciate it. (And thanks for letting me vent a little, too.)