Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Journey Continues...

First off, thanks to everyone who has taken the time to comment, send me feedback, or contact me. I really appreciate everything. My week is going alright. I am still rebounding from the last flare up.

Something I have been dealing with that is frustarting at the moment is a side effect from Humira- INSOMNIA!!! The fact that I've had to start, stop, start, and stop again, the insomnia hasn't had a chance to wear off really. I am set to inject this Thursday, Sept 24th. Here's hoping that I will be able to stay on the drug with no infections! (fingers crossed)

I've gotten a lot of questions about what diet is like for someone with Crohn's Disease. There is NO food that will CAUSE Crohn's Disease, but there are certainly foods that give it "ammunition". First off I barley have an appetite to begin with. Secondly eating in the morning is near impossible due to nausea, and my stomach "waking up". For me, the main goal is to eat foods that break down as naturally and easily as possible. This means NO ROUGHAGE! Foods like seeds, nuts, raw vegetables for example do not break down easily with anyone, let alone people with Crohn's Disease! Seeds and nuts can also be extremely painful as they pass through the intestines, nicking areas that are currently inflamed. (not a pleasant feeling in the least) It kinda feels like eating shards of glass, not that I've eaten glass, but I can imagine haha.

For people who still don't have a full understanding of what the damage Crohn's can do: Imagine the intestines as a tube. Then imagine Crohn's Disease attacking the inside of the tube; causing inflammation causing narrowing inside the tube. Over time this inflammation becomes permanent damage- called a stricture. A stricture is essentially scar tissue built up from repeat damage to the same area. Over time the damage starts as little ulcers, that usually bleed causing anemia and fatigue...then they become strictures. The surgery in 2000 I had, the bowel resection, removed strictures throughout my stomach. One was so narrow and damaged, the pathologist had to use a laser to cut into it.

OK back to food... the food can get stuck VERY easily in these areas of damage leading to pain, nausea, and fatigue and the worst a bowel obstruction with possible perforations. I personally have food allergies to nightshades - tomatoes, eggplants etc- therefore my diet is even less. Liquid nourishment is essential. The damage caused by Crohn's can lead to malnutrition. I drink TWO Ensure with high calcium daily. It is the easiest way of getting nutrients, without upsetting my stomach. Once the area is damaged to a stricture, it is essentially dead tissue. I had to majorly cut back on dairy in Jan/Feb 2008 due to a bowel obstruction that caused milk to rot inside me. This was absolutely disgusting WARNING, so I will keep it short. The obstruction somewhat reversed my digestive tract. I would burp and it would smell like flatulence...I would throw up and the taste is something I never want to experience again. Not sure if I can ever drink milk again. END WARNING.

Since I have no ilium or cecum also, I can not absorb certain B vitamins- esp B12. It is important for people who do not have an ilium or cecum to receive B-12 shots. Drink LOTS of water, double the amount of a normal person, and just be as kind to your gut as possible. I've given up alcohol, caffeine, nothing spicy or hot NO blood thinners or aspirin, and roughage. Like I said, it varies for every person. I have an acute case, so what I can or can not eat could be totally different for the next person. Really varies on damage, surgeries, and finding what fits. I highly recommend food journals! If you can find out what bothers you, and what doesn't is one huge step to helping yourself. Seeing a nutritionist can also be something helpful, and someone your doctor can recommend.

Again, I am so grateful for all the positive feedback I've received! It is an essential equation in keeping a positive attitude. I hope everyone is doing well, and look forward to more connections, questions, answers, and sharing my journey as it continues. :) Will write more soon.



  1. Hi Jason,

    I read your article of spreading awareness about Crohn's Disease. Its very Informative.

    Hope you get recover soon. All the best !!!!


  2. Thank you! I appreciate you taking the time to read it...My goal is to spread as much awareness as possible..and to help fellow "crohnies" along the way...It's my first blog so I'm sure there is a lot I can improve on.