FODMAP Diet . . . .

I met with the nutritionist yesterday and I thought she was great. She looked over my medical history, asked a lot of questions and even suggested ways to reduce my stress in addition to a new diet. When we were discussing my recent bloating, she stated it could be a result of the iron pills I’ve been taking. She recommended that I try a product called “Pur-Absorb” for iron intake, and since I do not have a gallbladder she also suggested that I should start taking digestive enzymes. “Now Foods Super Enzymes” is the product she recommended.  I’ll look into both products.

For the next 30 days she wants me to try the FODMAP diet. It’s a diet that she recommends for her IBS patients and in some cases it can help people with IBD. It’s a strict diet, but luckily I have already incorporated aspects of it into my current diet.

FODMAP stands for: Fermentable, Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols. I would define each term but this posting would be an essay, so check out the links below.

http://www.ibsdiets.org/fodmap-diet/what-are-fodmaps/

http://www.aboutibs.org/site/treatment/low-fodmap-diet/

Basically the nutritionist told me for the next 30 days all I can eat is gluten-free, trans fat free, and no processed foods. Also to avoid the following:

  • All Dairy (only coconut milk is okay)
  • Garlic and Onions (can only consume onion and/or garlic infused oils)
  • Honey and artificial sweeteners
  • Soda, especially diet
  • Apples, mango, raspberries, watermelon
  • Raw vegetables
  • Wheat, beans, soy, rye, barley
  • Any frozen foods

Most of the things above I have already stopped eating, but giving up garlic and onions will be difficult. The one thing she said I can eat is tomatoes.  I was surprised because I do have GERD and I had to stop eating any type of pasta because of the sauce. She stated it probably was not the tomatoes itself, it might have been the garlic, onions, mushrooms, dairy, etc. that was in the sauce. It would be best to make my own sauce. In regards to meat she stated I should have no problems as long as I cook it myself, because a lot of prepared meat is cooked with garlic and/or onions.

So basically I will be cooking everything that I eat for the next few weeks. I will definitely share my recipes. The nutritionist also recommended that I download the FODMAP diet app, it cost $7 but I think its worth it. My favorite features so far are the food guide where you enter any type of food and it tells you whether it’s FODMAP friendly. The app also has recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, and snacks. This diet will be a challenge but I’m somewhat excited because I love to cook, which is something I have stopped doing because I have had no energy in the past few months.

Since my appointment with her was going so well I decided to challenge her.  My appointment was at 12:30 pm and I did not have time to eat lunch beforehand. I told her when I leave I am most likely going to get fast food what should I get? She started laughing thinking I was joking, and I told her “No I’m dead serious” lol I mentioned how a Wendy’s grilled chicken sandwich has never bothered my stomach. She stated its good that I know it doesn’t irritate my stomach,  but would not recommend it. But she did admit its bound to happen that you will eat fast food when you’re on the road.  She suggested instead of fries or salad for a side, to order a bake potato and eat it with butter and salt/pepper. Which was exactly what I ordered and I had no stomach issues after eating that meal.  I think I like her 🙂

I have a follow-up appointment in two weeks and I plan to officially start this diet on Sunday after I go grocery shopping. Wish me luck! 🙂

Bloated . . . . :(

As some symptoms went away, I’ve gained a new one . . sighs  . .  Ladies have you ever been severely bloated where it looks like you’re pregnant?  I first noticed it at work yesterday. I knew I wasn’t feeling well because my stomach was making a lot of noise and I was belching a lot. As I was in the staff lounge, I happened to look down and see my stomach before my feet. I freaked out! and even a friend at the job looked at me and asked “What’s going on?” I responded “I don’t know” quickly got my cup of tea and wrapped my cardigan tighter around my stomach before anyone else noticed. A few minutes later, I felt the cramps and took a powerful painkiller that made me feel so good for the remainder of the work day lol  The bloating eventually went away, but later last night it happened again.

I know it was probably the lunch I had, a chicken bruschetta sandwich on multi-grain bread with a side of melon fruit was probably a bad idea. I plan not to order  such a meal again, but I am worried since I was discharged just a few days ago. I’m hesitant to tell my GI, I don’t want to go back to the hospital 😦   Anyway,  I made an appointment with a nutritionist that specializes with GI disorders/diseases next week. After talking to her on the phone, I am very hopeful that she can help me create some type of meal plan or diet because I’m sick of throwing out food. For the past month, no matter what I ate irritated my stomach. It would be nice to enjoy eating again.

Remaining hopeful and taking one day at a time :).

Discharged! :) . . . .

I was finally discharged yesterday after almost 5 days in the hospital. I’m glad I left when I did for my psyche, because I had not reached cabin fever yet, and was still slightly uncomfortable “living” in a hospital.  I got along with the nurses and the food staff, helped out new patients in getting their toiletries, and was very comfortable walking around in a gown while pushing my IV . It was becoming a normal routine, it was scary.  My first ever hospital stay was an adventure.

The ER is horrible, and I believe the nurses looked just as miserable as I felt. When I “checked-in”  I had to tell the nurse at the front desk why I was there and my symptoms. I told her I have Inflammatory Bowel Disease and going through a bad flare-up.  I have bloody stools, cramps, on several medications including prednisone, and my GI told me to come. She gave me my papers and told me to sit in the waiting area. As I sat down, I immediately became irritated when I read what the nurse wrote “On prednisone, IBS” . . .  . . I didn’t realize that irritable/inflammatory and syndrome/disease were the same words??!?! .  . . . .I was sooo mad and felt disrespected, I was very surprised by my reaction.   So when they called me back for  an EKG and blood and urine samples, I quickly corrected them and stated I have IBD not IBS, they are NOT the same!

I was sent back to the waiting area and sat for another 3 hours and quickly noticed how crowded and uncomfortable the ER really is by being surrounded by crying babies and foul smells coming from the 1 restroom! Thank goodness I barely ate that day and did not need to use the restroom. When my patience was wearing thin and I started to think they forgot about me, I was finally called back. They put an IV in my right arm (worst place to put it!) and then told me to change into a gown. An hour later I saw the ER doctor, she tells  me my blood work looks fine and we can send you home tonight. I looked at her like she was crazy and immediately thought, I did not waste 5 hours of my day in this horrible ER to be sent home because my blood looks good!! In my best attempt in a calm voice I told her, “I have called out sick this week at work, barely worked a half day today,  and if you send me home tonight I’ll  probably be back here tomorrow, so I would suggest that you get in contact with my GI since he told me to come to the hospital, so please check, thank you!” 45 minutes later she returned and told me I was being admitted.  She got in contact with my GI who told her that I needed to be admitted because we need to find out why the meds are not working. I had never been so excited to be admitted, I was just glad to no longer be in the ER.

Unfortunately, after almost 5 days in the hospital and seeing 3 different GIs, none could agree on my diagnosis. After a CT scan, scopy procedure which included my first experience with an enema, HORRIBLE! and my blood being drawn everyday, the only thing that all 3 can agree on is that I have active Inflammatory Bowel Disease and that’s its not severe. It’s frustrating to still not know, but my symptoms have gone away, so I’m happy. My pill intake has decreased from 14 to 8 pills, and now taking 40mg of prednisone daily. . . I’ll take it.  I have a follow-up appointment with my GI in two weeks and I am very curious to know what will be the next step in my treatment.

IBD is a crazy disease!  My case is not considered severe, but it put me in the hospital for 5 days?!?!? That’s kinda crazy.

I remain hopeful, and taking one day at a time 🙂

You gotta laugh – No Dumping :)

I have never watched the show Louie, but the below video was posted on my Facebook newsfeed and I thought it was pretty funny.  Also, I hope to have kids like this one day lol

“That moment number two becomes priority number one.”

In the hospital :( 

It’s the morning of Day 3 of my hospital stay, about to go under for a ileoscopy.  I hope they will now be able to confirm whether I have UC or Crohn’s *fingers crossed* 

My current situation:    

Thank you Ryan Gosling! 😘

You gotta laugh – The Perfect Poop? :)

My blog has been really intense lately so I need to lighten it up just a bit 🙂 I found another very interesting and funny BuzzFeed video titled the perfect poop? Have you guys ever heard of the “Squatty Potty”? Would you buy it?

It’s about $30 on Amazon and made in the Good ole USA 🙂 lol

squatty potty

IBD, stress, and exercise . . .

Prior to being diagnosed I was becoming a very active person. Exercising was something that I was starting to enjoy, and when I’m excited about something I need to know everything about it. I did research on how to become a better runner, the importance of having a strong core, the best food for energy etc. But maybe I started my research a little too late . .  because I got a hip injury (or maybe that was the first sign of this disease, “shrugs”) and I had to stop all exercise for months. My symptoms eventually got worst which led to my diagnosis. Even though I’m taking 14 pills a day, none can truly help me with stress. My major stress area has always been my stomach.  Whenever my stomach hurts I would stop whatever I was doing, take a deep breath, and count to 10. The main reason why I started jogging was to train for a mud run, but also to reduce stress, and it helped.

Today, I had severe cramps that I believe were not just IBD related. Instead of leaving work early I decided to fight it by taking a 30-minute walk for lunch, I felt a lot better. I also took advantage of the standing desk in my office because it was too painful to sit, and that also helped. But once I returned to my desk to work, my stomach started hurting again, and that’s when I realized it might be stress related.  Since the walk helped and the weather is getting nicer I plan to make it apart of daily routine, and it’s always good to get some fresh air.

I did some research and found the below article from WebMD, titled “Exercising When You Have IBD, Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s Disease.” What stood out for me was the 7 exercise tips:

  1. Minimize impact – it’s recommended to do low impact exercise, yoga, pilates, etc
  2. Go uphill – They suggest you should walk instead of run on a treadmill and increase your elevation
  3. Map out the restrooms – It’s best to know where the nearest restroom is before you work out, just in case you might have an emergency
  4. Plan potty breaks – It would be wise to go to the bathroom before you workout
  5. Choose your sports wisely – If you’re going to play a sport for exercise, golf might be safer than basketball
  6. Listen to your body – don’t push yourself when you’re experiencing a flare, rest when needed
  7. Keep your doctor in the loop – I think it’s wise to ask your doctor(s) (primary physician & GI)  if you are healthy enough to do such physical activity, and any questions you might have

Full Article:   http://www.webmd.com/ibd-crohns-disease/ulcerative-colitis/features/exercising-when-you-have-a-gi-disorder

I’ll keep these tips in mind since my GI told me to reduce my stress asap!  and exercise has always helped .

Positive vibes . . . :)

The past 3 weeks have been a new low for me, but I am happy to say for the past 24 hours it has been a good day! And this beautiful weather is totally matching my mood.  I’ve been out running errands and even attended my first crohn’s/colitis support group through the CCFA.  It was a very positive experience, and to meet other young people of difference races with this disease, it was very comforting. It was also great to talk about symptoms in graphic detail without grossing people out, that was pretty cool. I plan to keep attending and the facilitator stated how today was a smaller turn out, so it’s exciting that  it might be a larger group next time.

For my fellow IBDers or parents that have children with IBD, I highly advise that you look into CCFA local chapters and their support groups. Writing this blog has been a wonderful experience and my online community has been very supportive, but I will admit, meeting people in your area that have the same disease is even better. Check out the link below.

http://www.ccfa.org/living-with-crohns-colitis/find-a-support-group/

In regards to my blog, its being featured in a new online blogger magazine titled “Twenty Somethings” which is freaking awesome!  And if you’re a blogger in your 20’s, they are looking for new bloggers for the summer edition, so check it out!   https://issuu.com/twentysomethings/docs/twenty_somethings_-_edition_1/1?e=0

Lastly, I have the song “Whistle while you work it” stuck in my head. I heard it on Pandora recently and it put a smile on my face this past week. I think it’s an uplifting song and I love the beat. Just wanted to share 🙂

℗ 2015 Atlantic Recording Corporation for the United States and WEA International Inc

As always, I remain hopeful 🙂

My body’s schedule . . .

I believe I jinxed myself in my last post. The pain returned the next day, and I have been on Tylenol extra strength ever since. I was able to make an appointment with my GI this Wednesday so I just need to survive until then. Over the long holiday weekend instead of enjoying the beautiful weather, I ran a few errands and parked myself in my bed or the couch, this is the 2nd weekend in a row I’ve done this, it’s frustrating.

In the past 3 months I have noticed a pattern,  I have one good weekend every month.  The one good weekend is when I have the energy to be social, but I’ll admit, my “shell” has been very comfortable in the past few months. Going out to a bar/club or just being around a lot of people has made me more anxious than relaxed lately. When I walk into a public place the first thing I’m looking for is the restroom, and waiting to see how long it takes to feel the stomach pains.

After that “good” weekend,  I have two weekends of exhaustion. Basically two days in bed, and barely seeing the outside world. When it was cold it was easy to stay in bed, but since it’s getting warm maybe it will motivate me to at least sit outside. The main reason why I’m so exhausted during these weekends is because of what my body went through during the week. For example, the past 2 weeks I have had abdominal pain, diarrhea, and a loss of appetite everyday. Those symptoms are not energy inducing or healthy, and you become exhausted. By going to work everyday, I was forcing my body to move when all it wanted to do was rest. But who can afford to take off for weeks . . .

Lastly the weekend of hell, aka Aunt Flo visiting. To be a woman and have an IBD, you are a VERY strong woman, menstruating and having an IBD for me has been a flare-up to the max! I’m very irritable, not just from the symptoms but I can’t even eat chocolate because it irritates my stomach . .  it sucks!

So . . . if I cancel last-minute or decline an invite, it’s because I’m training myself to listen to my body. I’m still adjusting to my “new normal”.

My primary physician referred me to a nutritionist whose expertise is gastrointestinal disorders. I have never been so excited to see a doctor, but I believe it will be bittersweet. I’m pretty sure I’ll walk-in smiling and leave frowning . . . we shall see 🙂

Remaining hopeful . . .

I am currently experiencing my first BAD flareup. After 3 days of hell, I am now starting to feel better. To have intense cramps all day and going to the bathroom at least 10 times a day, I feel so relieved that the pain has stopped.  I also feel safe to eat again, earlier today I was scared to eat anything just to avoid any more pain. I prefer hunger pains any day over severe abdominal pain.

But even though the past few days have been horrible, it could be worst. I found the below video of a young woman’s struggle with Crohn’s, please watch.

Remaining hopeful 🙂