T Nation

Crohn's and Proteins/Foods


#1

For those of you with crohn's/IBS or are experienced with this stuff, I was looking for advise. My girlfriend has crohn's and has a hard time getting through a lot of food types. I'm trying to help her get away from the inflammatory stuff like flour. She also has issues with pork and beef, which complicates things. So we stick with poultry mostly, and things like eggs/nuts for other protein sources. She cannot use whey either.

For those of you who avoid these things or have crohn's could you just toss out some ideas or some meals you might have in any given weak? Recipes would be awesome too. Also, for those who can't handle whey (isolate doesn't work either), could you deal with hydros, or would you stick with aminos/bcaas?

Lastly, do you have any suggestions when you have a flare-up? this is the biggest issue when it does happen.

Thanks ahead of time.


#2

If she's having flareups, she needs to see a doctor. End of story. There is a strong chance this is some factor outside of diet alone and likely won't be fixed by removing certain foods you consider to be 'allergenic' or 'inflammatory'. It isn't worth the emergency room visit when something does go wrong.

As for foods, the biggest recommendation I can give is to thoroughly cook vegetables so that they're soft and easy to eat. For protein, if you can't do beef, I'd recommend mixing things up with some game meats: bison, duck, pheasant, goose, etc. Having a large variety of meats will do wonders for how tolerable the diet is.

Concerned about flour? Get her tested for celiac markers. If she's 'clean', I wouldn't worry too much about it. Just make sure she's taking care of herself with lots of healthy oils, fruits and vegetables.


#3

What helped my gut considerably was eating what some call an evolutionary diet or paleo diet. I pretty much eat leafy vegetables with little fiber, along with lean grass fed meats. Still some gut issues from time to time, but not nearly at the same level as before.

For recipe ideas I've seen good ideas on Robb Wolf's sight:

http://robbwolf.com/

& another meal idea sight:

http://primalnut.com/

Oh, another item that seems to have greatly helped me was vitamin D3, the sunshine vitamin. I take 6000ius a day to keep a testing level between 60 to 70ng/ml.

Best of luck to your girlfriend. Having a defective gut is no fun at times.


#4

This all looks great. At the moment she is not having a flare up. In the past she hasn't gone to the doctor (not to say she shouldn't have) and ends up drinking Ensure (really?) for a month. I just want to keep the inflammatories down so there are no flare ups, but stress usually is the first marker of her flare ups.

I like the idea about game meats. I'll have to see if we have anything around here. Thanks


#5

I would emphasize the importance of her visiting a doctor. With a solid, low side-effect medication plan (likely Pentasa) her symptoms could be easily under control.

That being said, if she is having a flare-up in the future, then it really is critical she make it to a hospital - the last thing you want to happen is for her to end up requiring surgery, which often involves intestinal resection and/or an ileo/colostomy.

Either way, kudos to you for taking such an interest in her condition and trying to help her out.


#6

Has she seen a dietitian? They can help provide her a therapeutic diet based on her needs and tolerances during and outside of a flare up. Hemp protein is something that she may be able to try as it is a complete protein that also has a good fat profile: omega 3 and 9s. Fish oil supplements on a regular basis and probiotics such as VSL #3 would be good. Glutamine also has wonderful immune enhancing properties that often are added in tube feeds if not in the formula already for people who end up in acute care during a flare up.


#7

I would never take her to a dietitian here. We have a program at this college (virginia tech is purely a college town) for dietetics, and its just a streamlined outdated program. The info is half bullshit half common sense. I was in the program and changed focus due to that. the dietitians around town are students from here, either current students or graduated. Either way it would be a waste of time and money.

I've been on top of her diet as much as comfortably possible, and she hasn't had a flare up since then (though, I guess im just patting my own back bc her flare ups are mostly stress induced anyway, oh well)

Usually when she has a major flare up shes on prednisone. if it doesnt get that far they put her on asacol. (shes never heard of the one you mentioned, but if the situation happens again it will be brought up, thanks).


#8

VT,

I have had very severe Ulcerative Colitis, which is somewhat similar to Chron's. I have tried it all, Asacol, Prednisone, Methetrexate, Cyclosporin, 6MP, pretty much run the course of all the meds. Best thing you can try to do is to keep her stress levels as low as possible. I know that that is a huge request, but that's huge culprit.

Also, Lomotol is her friend, her BEST friend. You might also want to look at Pentasa. Dairy will kill her, along with carbonated drinks, and fatty greasy food.

Fish oil will help, glutamine is reported to help too, but I have not tried that.


#9

Keep her away from seeds: sesame, seeds in berries (raspberries, strawberries), and anything that's highly acidic (hot sauce, coffee, alcohol).

Go to a Mexican grocery store and find a bark called cuachalalate. Throw a few pieces into about a 1.5 L of water (assuming it'll reduce to about 1 L) and boil for 20 minutes until the liquid is DARK red (wine color). Store in fridge. Drink a few glasses a day within a few days tops. It's highly anti-inflammatory but she needs to drink it daily for weeks if not a few months before she can notice a difference.

If she wants to use berries in her smoothies (this is a good way to get vegetables and fruits in her), blend the berries with water and strain the puree so you get rid of the seeds.

In fact, do this and pour the mixture into an ice cube tray so you can use them in smoothies later. It's a lot of work, but it really helps.

Force her to go gluten free for a good 3-6 months. See if there's a difference. Gluten free is HARD, but a worthwhile effort for people with her condition.

Dairy proteins and red meat will be hard on her gut. You mentioned poultry but why not fish? Shrimp/scallops? Easy source of protein, "easier" on the gut than other sources.

Fermented foods are good: kimchi, saurkraut, etc.

Ginger tea (find cheap bags on Amazon) after every meal to help with digestion, and even 1 TBSP of apple cider vinegar with each meal (before/mid/after...doesn't matter) to help with digestion.

PROBIOTICS

If she has a "leaky gut," get her to take 1-2 TBSP of psyllium fiber (in a small amount of liquid so she can down it, but don't dump it into a water bottle...you want the fiber to have "room" to absorb fluid in her gut) about 2 hrs after every meal.

A hot bath (not shower) for like 20 min should calm down her stomach. Also, for some people, laying in the sun for 15-20 min

Buy her a good enzyme to have with EVERY meal. Buy her a pill bottle so she doesn't forget to take them, and learn to portion out a few tabs per meal per day, and dump that amount into each "day" slot in the pill container.

Tell her to make you a sandwich and give you a blowjob for the effort. Non-negotiable.


#10

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#11

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#12

That's way more than I thought I'd be getting.
ponce- why psyllium? I'd imagine that wouldn't go down well, or is that fiber not going to hurt as much as the rest?
Also, fish is a must, but it's expensive. Im trying to work on her priorities with $ for that I guess.

BBB- Why nightshades?


#13

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#14

Thanks for clearing that up


#15

insert link to gut health thread here --> http://tnation.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/diet_performance_nutrition_supplements/gut_health_thread


#16

I have issues with Whey and Casein. I have had great success with Rice Protein Concentrate and Pea Protein Isolate. I really miss the great tasting wheys and caseins but these aren't bad. Hemp protein pushed by a lot of folks may be good but it is disgusting IMHO.


#17

She has issues with whey, too. She has to get bread that doesn't have it (though I suspect that whey is super high in lactose, which would make sense that is bugs her).
She can have casein, though, it blows my mind. I'm not talking about shakes, though, that could change things. The "veggie" cheese she gets is mostly casein. Has more protein in it than my cheese and doesnt hurt her stomach so she keeps getting it. Fortunately she forgot what cheese tastes like, so she enjoys the fake stuff, lol.

@BPT- have you read this link? It was on the link you gave me, i'm not sure if you read it when that was attached in the forum post: http://tnation.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/blog_sports_training_performance_bodybuilding_alpha/the_most_important_thing_youre_not_doing?id=2921848&pageNo=0
I really enjoyed it, lots of good info on it.

Thank you all for the help!