T Nation

Gym Friend with Ulceritive Colitis


So this guy at the gym that used to bother me, cause he came dressed up as an abercrombie model most days, but then as I got to know him I started to think he worked hard and had an admirable physique in some ways. Well he seemed to disappear for 6 months. I just saw him today and I was like oh my god. He lost 25 lbs of muscle and his face went from mr. surfer boy to looking pale and sick. They filled him up of prednisone and anti acids, I shared with him my experience with my digestive issues and really just want to help him.

I recommended the book patient heal thyself as a start to bring down the problems and give the guy a fighting chance.

I recommended HIGH DOSE fish oil vs prednisone for anti imflam.
Superfood and green powders.
Protein powders, and additional enzymes and HCL

what else do you guys think?


Where to start, where to start? My experience goes as follows:

When I was 16, I started having inconsistent bowel movements, blood in my stool and stomach pain. This is not something a developing teen wants to discuss with ANYONE, let alone an adult. It progressed and got worse and I finally went to my general practitioner. He diagnosed me with IBS and was told I had a fissure, so I avoided spicy foods. Did I mention I used to vomit on a near daily basis, oh yeah, that complicates things, too.

Fast forward to college: I'm having serious intestinal pains and urges that I cannot control. I blame it on IBS and go on with my life. It got so bad that the toilet would look like someone dumped a gallon of maroon food coloring in it from time to time.

Fast forward a little further to my internship as an undergrad: It gets to the point where it is seriously interfering with my life and a 40 mile commute to work in the mornings is hell. I finally am to at my wits end. I go to a gastrointestinal doctor. I drop about two grand on procedure after procedure and am medicated out of my mind. They put me on 19 pills a day. This makes things better, but only for a short time.

Fast forward about a year: It's back and it is rearing it's ugly head like never before. I cannot wear white clothes so I dress like Johnny Cash. My career as an engineer is taking off, but it is putting a serious damper on my life. I have to let everyone know about it so they don't think I am always fucking off all the time. Did I mention that intestinal blood has one of the most distinct and awful smells you can imagine? I see the doctor for another one of my "monthly visits", he gives me more medicine. Yay!

I am now in grad school and it is surprisingly better, I found out that Jaeger alleviates the pain. So what happens, you got it, bingo, I hit the bottle and I hit it hard. It was a good relief and I had a good time. Uh oh, here comes the monster, and he is back with a vengeance. I am now to the point where my intestines hurt and I cannot wear pants that are even 2 sizes to big for me because the pressure is too much. I go back to the good ol' doc and he makes me a "regular patient". Fucker.

My break came from the strangest places. My mother is reading the newspaper and sees an article about Celiac. She bets me that if I don't eat wheat for a week, I'd feel better. I took the bet to prove her wrong. She was right, I have both Celiac and Colitis (so said the doc). I am on a wheat free diet and now my Colitis will only rear it's ugly head occasionally. Oh yeah, I told the doc about the whole wheat thing and he said, "your colonoscopy did have indications of allergies." Thanks for telling me doc. I could've used that information six years ago. Apparently, he was in the business of making "regular patients".

Anyways, the point to all this is that people don't know that much about IBD's. It is a hard target to hit. If I were you/him, I would seek council from more than one doctor and try to find "trigger" foods, activities, etc.


I forgot to add:

Be supportive. I found a friend at work who has Crohn's and just having someone who has been there helps immensely. I don't get as angry at people when they ask me why I eat the way I do because I know (and have) seen someone else have to go through the explaining process that I do. I fucking hate that.


Yuck, my sister in law has celiac's, but I didn't realize it could cause issues this severe. No wonder she used to never eat.


It fucking blows. I can't eat anything that a normal person would eat. Lately, when I get drunk and eat pizza, it feels like there is sandpaper in my throat. It may be psychosomatic, but I don't know.


He will have to experiment with different protein powders to find out what sits best with his stomach - I know, it is his intestine, but you know what I mean.

Whey and casein are supposedly harder to digest than other proteins. I think gemma (pea protein) has a good amino acid profile, so he can try that if whey or casein upset his system.

He should be taking in mostly soluble fiber and NOT insoluble (plant) fiber, although a little insoluble fiber is ok.

Probiotics should be used, preferably with the final meal of the day and preferably a strong strain: 15 strain, 35 billion CFU.

No spicy foods. No coffee, no caffeine, no alcohol - they are all irritants.

Stay away from anything with seeds.

Nuts are generally a problem, especially almonds, but if he has to have them, make sure they are blanched (have been soaked in water for a couple of days).


where to start I was diagnosed with crohn's 6 months ago been having issues for the past 12 months. I had the vomiting every morning it got too the point where I was vomiting at night, if I had To go to the toilet I pretty much had 10 seconds to get to the toilet. I'm 21 I should be going out and getting laid but it's gotten to the point several times were I'm afraid to go out as if I need to go to a toilet I can't.

People tell you to hold it in however it doesn't work like that. I work in retail and really don't have the opportunity to go to the toilet when I want, luckily my managers have been understanding. My friends at times not so understanding hell if a mate had to go to the toilet everytime I saw him I'd give them a ribbing. There are days where I barely eat(none in the past 6 months, thank god) but during march/April I couldn't go to gym cause I couldn't get in enough calories being fatigued for 2 weeks at a time with piss ant weights.

I'm trying not to sound like I'm bitching but it's pretty much changed me from being out going and happy too being intraverted and suffering from depression. My only advice is to be supportive and dont make smart ass comments to your friend. I have been trying a celiac diet approach the past couple days and there has been an improvement but I'm guessing it takes time.

It's affected my training goals and social life, sorry about the long ass paragraph I'm still getting used to typing on my itouch


I've been living with Crohn's for over 6 years now. I too found that a support network really helped deal with the pain. I ended up marrying my best supporter and even today she is still extremely understanding. All of my friends back in school were very understanding.




This is another one of the main reasons why I don't ever like going to clubs. When it's time, it's time. You cannot change that.

Good luck with the Celiac diet. Post updates if you can.


I spent four years diagnosing my digestion issues im still only at seventy five precent capable. And Have dealt with every principle out there. the important things I found are not to listen to western medicine the prednisone, and the other drugs screw you up worse. My problem also was stomach contractions and absorbtion.

THE CDSA helps to identify parasites and yeast and if your absorbing your food.

Green juices help so much , especially your own juiced!

Defenitely no wheat, gluten or processed foods.

Treating the yeast, and parasites yelped me the most.


I know what you mean I went from 205lbs 8% BF and an attitude that was extroverted and charismatic. I had a physique that looked like junior ARNOLD S. and slowly the pains came and the questions came that I couldn't figure out.

I went form eating 400 g of protein a day six meals a day to barely able to eat one solid source of protein.

Ive battle back hard , and replaced most of my lost muscle but my body just doesnt function how it used to. Digestion is so important to your health and training.

In some ways Im healthier for it, cause I eat so many dam vegetables and green powders!

it took me two years and a ton of money to get me to this point and im so happy I can even eat protein again. I couldn't image how I would look and feel if I was functioning at full capacity.



Celiac diet? thats the minimal approach.

Smart ass comment? he was kind of an asshole, cocky bastard before this.

If you want to get healed try doing a green juice fast and test yourself for yeast and parasite overgrowth with a company like GREAT SMOKIES AND DOCTORS DATA.

I actually ahd poliquin recommend that to me and it was the best of help.


I wasn't referring to your friend, in my group people used too give me a rough about going to the toilet so often although recently I think they have realized it's not me trying to be annoying.