Sunday, March 9, 2014

A Writer Wrote…

A precious gal wrote, and asked…. 

'I have a colitis and I have dealt with it without knowing for four years, In a month I am getting two procedures I'm scared...I'm even afraid to eat or drink anything I'm scared it will cause the pain. I have medication. I have to take antibiotics for the second time. I was just in the hospital for my birthday party...Fun right... I just need some advice.' 

I am not an expert.  I only share from my own experience.  Forty years, so hears how I responded. I hope it helps others.

"These procedures you will be having are very common, and very necessary to see what might be causing your pain and discomfort.  It sounds as if you have been diagnosed with Colitis based on symptoms, and both of these procedures are necessary, in order to see exactly what is going on through your GI tract, and what is causing your symptoms.  

The colonoscopy is an endoscopic procedure on the large bowel, the length of the colon can be directly viewed by colonoscopy.

The other procedure, down your throat, is more than likely an Upper GI endoscopy, and is a procedure that uses a lighted, flexible endoscope to see inside the upper GI tract.  From the sounds of what you noted your doctor wants to see your entire GI tract to determine how much of your GI tract is infected.  Your doctor would be a great resource to answer your concerns.  If he/she is unavailable, talk with his nurse.  Ask them for any and all the literature they might have on hand at the offices, which could prepare you for these two procedures.

Your flares, if you indeed have Colitis, are caused by inflammation of the colon which causes the muscle layers to go into intermittent spasms and cause colicky or cramp-like pain that comes and goes.  Colitis is an auto-immune disease.  After your doctor has all the test results back, he/she will be able to give you more information about the future, i.e., mediation, diet, exercise, etc.... If you are diagnosed with colitis, you will more than likely be put on mediation which should help with symptoms long term.

Foods can aggregate your condition.  
You will have to be a good detective about what foods, beverages, life style choices (smoking, alcohol, coffee,) to avoid!  It can make it easier to self-manage your disease.  Paying attention to your nutrition is very important to feeling your best with a chronic illness.  If you find that certain foods trigger your bowel symptoms, then you may want to avoid these foods to reduce your symptoms and self-manage your illness.

The Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America has a great website you can view to find out more information, http://www.ccfa.org,  if you think that might help.

Eat smaller portions of food at a time rather than large sit down meals all at one time.   Healthy nutritious foods like protein foods.  Not a lot of high fiber foods like raw veggies.  Try a low residue diet for now. Despite the fact there is no scientific proof, many people with ulcerative colitis have found that one or more of the following foods can trigger their GI symptoms:

• alcohol
• caffeine
• carbonated beverages
• dairy products, if lactose intolerant
• dried beans, peas, and legumes
• dried fruits, berries, fruits with pulp or seeds
• foods containing sulfur or sulfate
• foods high in fiber, including whole-grain products
• hot sauce, pepper
• meats
• nuts, crunchy nut butters
• popcorn
• products containing sorbitol (sugar-free gum and candies)
• raw vegetables
• refined sugar
• seeds
• spicy foods, sauces


Hope that helps.  I will remember to pray for you tonight, (name of person).  Try not to stress.  Rest in what you know, not stressing over what you don't. There is help, and hope.

Blessings,"

Be well friends.  

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Kids and Crohn's. How are you doing?

Hi Friends,  

Me again…  back by popular demand!  Literally, thank you for your support, and kindness. 

I may not write on a regular basis, and also, the following of LIVING WITH CROHN'S is still very important to me.  I realize there are a plethora of resources at your finger-tips, what with the WEB, but I appreciate your dropping in, from time to time, to read this BLOG.  

I would like to hear FROM YOU!  That is, from our Kids with Crohn's.  I would like to feature some of our young people in my next few BLOGS, who are battling this chronic inflammatory illness. 

I'd like to hear about their day to day routine, their thoughts.  Moment of diagnosis, fears, schooling, hopes, dreams… treatments, and management of his disease, diet, living with Crohn's, or anything that comes to the heart.   

Kids and Crohn's.  How are you doing?

Be Well,
Cynthia

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Holidays Parties Can Be Like the Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest!

I've heard it said before that at an ugly Christmas sweater party, 'We get to remove ourselves from the protocols and societal norms for a day.  We get to let loose, take down all of the guards and just be…well… ridiculous.'


….But, when it comes to Crohn's, Colitis or any other IBS/IBD gut disease, there are no liberties for letting loose or being ridiculous when we let our guard down and eat/drink foods available at those amazing parties, or family gatherings we are regularly tenuous to attend!  

What we DON'T eat may be just as important as what we DO eat.

Certain foods trigger symptoms. This IS especially important during the holiday season. There will be the amazing sugar, chocolate and alcohol delight that lays before us at the company, family, AND neighborhood party!   Use your 'noggin (not the egg noggin)!  Be aware of your sugar, and alcohol intake.  Those high in fat foods you choose to graze on from the party platter can be consequential on your gut.


I know. Seemingly impossible?  No, very possible!  Keep those healthy reminders in the back of your minds, that the foods you eat act as triggers.  Foods vary widely from person to person … so I won't list foods here… but you no doubt know your trigger foods, therefore avoid them. And when you see the array of tasty Epicurean delights before you, on the holiday menu, which look lovely on a platter, and linger delightfully on the tongue, remember also … they inevitably cause days, weeks, and sometimes months of havoc on the gut.  

Enjoy this wonderful season!   Be wise about your food and beverage choices.  And, DON'T let your eyes dictate what you choose to eat.  Self control is key.  Let the love of family and friends be your delight, this holiday season and not the food.  

Enjoy your holiday season with your beloved, loved ones!   



Merry Christmas!
Be well,



Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Post Interview

The interview went very well.  It was very informative but not conclusive for a cure, just a lot more research has to be done.  

The UCSF are researching, using clinical samples to inform studies examining relationships between microbial community composition (intestinal microflora) and function in an effort to better understand microbial-host (bacteria in the gut) interplay in the context of chronic inflammatory disease.  Efforts are aimed at understanding relationships between host genetics, diet and the G.I. microbiome of patients.   Excessive amounts of the cell are thought to play a key role in autoimmune diseases.  Go to my BLOG for the link of an interesting Audio piece.  

Listen as Dr. Lynch describes her work on the microbiome, how it develops, and its role in health and disease.   Note:  Dr. Lynch is not who interviewed me today.  

http://www.prx.org/pieces/96227-our-protective-microbiome#description

Some Keys: Environmental, and Dietary intake influencing the rise of Chronic Inflammatory Disease.  

Be Well,
Cynthia

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Interview with Researcher

Greetings,

I know, I know, I said so long to the BLOG updates, and many of you have gone to my Pinterest page, thank you!  I do hope to find helpful tips to post on Pinterest for the future, rather than the BLOG here, but I wanted to share with this community that I was recently approached by a PhD Researcher, who is working at UCSF, and currently taking a class to build a diagnostics/prognostics startup company to help IBD patients using gut microbiome information.  

The interview is tomorrow.  Hope to learn a lot too, and see what's cookin' for the future for IBD patients.

I will hope to share with you some tidbits.

Be well,
Cynthia

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

In the Future . . .

... if you'd like to continue following me please feel free to 'follow' me on Pinterest on my Board specifically for Crohn's at;


http://www.pinterest.com/hycyn/health-crohns-disease/

This is where I will note articles, sites, and what have you's relating to 'gut life'.   See you over there!

Be well!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Time to Sign Off.

Dear Reader Friends,

It has been a blessing to me to share with you my journey and hopefully help you in yours.  I have decided, in the best interest of my family and my health, to no longer keep my BLOG running.  As much as my heart desires to continue, it is impossible for me to keep up on the writing.  I Home School our children and find myself quite happily occupied with this season in my life, and although writing this BLOG has been a blessing, it is time to say so long.

Don't give up on good health.  Keep seeking and searching for what works the best for your body!  This is not, as I have said before, a 'one size fits all disease'.  You know your body best and what helps and ultimately what hinders your health.  Be wise in your food and life style choices.  Be your own best advocate.  Don't fall under the temptation to be a victim.  Challenge your thoughts to look upward and onward.  Life is too short to feel sorry for yourself.  There are many things to be thankful for, and when you feel the weight of your disease pulling you under, pray!  Pray that God would hear your pleas for respite and know when to say no to things.

Thank you for letting me share my experiences, and some self help tips a long the way.  I never touted to be an expert, just a fellow IBD friend who is making each day worth while but staying healthy; mind, body and soul.

Be well,
Cynthia

I will shut down 30 days from this date of Sept. 15, 2013