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Anyone living with crohns and diabetes?

Hi there,
Just wondered if anyone could give me some hints and tips as to how to manage both conditions? At the minute I am on prednisolone and its playing havoc with my blood sugars, this also makes me feel very unwell. Add in the crohns symptoms and osteoarthritis in my back (oh and a bulging disc) plus multiple joint pains and I'm feel like my body is not my friend anymore!!

Until I went into hospital in Nov for 2 weeks I had really good control of my diabetes, I dread to think what my HBA1C is like now.

Please help. Thankyou.
Hi, I'm sorry I don't have both either, but hopefully someone on here will have some experiences.
Sorry you are struggling though.
I'm sure you are already aware that diabetes UK have some really good info about managing diabetes. I'm not sure if any of that will cover the issues you are having because of the pred though. Have you spoken to your doctor? Maybe a dietitian would help?
Thankyou both for your replies. I have a fantastic specialist diabetes nurse who is very supportive and I can call her anytime. It seems though within her clinic remit there are very few people with both conditions so management info isn't readily available. Even my GP struggled to give me any pearls of wisdom, Im usually told to take it day by day. So for now its just a case of trial and error. :( I finish pred next mon so I'm counting the days until I get some sort of control back :ybiggrin:

I really appreciate your support, thankyou again.X
I suppose you could say I live with Crohn's and diabetes, but, not both in myself. I have Crohn's and my husband was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes when he was 35 years old. It must be tough to find meds for your Crohn's that don't affect your blood sugar, I can imagine.

Thanks for the posts. I finish pred tomorrow so that will really help the blood sugars, I can then make a concerted effort to get a bit of control back. So far I have realized that the diets for diabetes and crohns are the practical opposites, I found that really hard to accept, especially since I love the foods that help my diabetes and am not a fan of white breads etc, though I'm learning to live with it (slowly).
Good luck with the diabetes 101 Kev. How is your diabetes treated? I'm sorry you have both too.
Beach the website was good I'm taking a calcium and vit D supplement so feel a bit more reassured by the info, thanks.
CLynn, Does your husband have good diabetes control?
I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in December 2008 and Crohns four months later. At first my diabetes was well controlled with metformin. Then the Crohns flared up really bad and was put on prednisone for six weeks. It messed up my blood sugar levels so bad I ended up in the emergency room. That was four years ago. Ever Since I've been trying to finds foods that will help one without harming the other.
I was diagnosed with diabetes about 3 months after the Crohn's diagnosis and being on fairly high doses of prednisone. That was 5 years ago. I've been on and off oral meds (Januvia and glimepiride) and insulin ever since. The only time I've been able to be off the diabetes medications is when I've been able to get down to about 3 mg of prednisone. Now I'm just on a very low dose of oral glimepiride.
i was so pleased to see this post, I was just about to post the same question, I also have both, I'm told that they rarely see both in someone, I also know exactly what you are saying about the diets being absolutely opposite, and I too prefer the diabetes diet than the crohns one. Unfortunately I have been ignoring the diabetes as the crohns is the one "making the most noise" at the moment. I too would love any ideas as far as diet go and I didn't realize that some of these meds would affect blood sugars.
Liz, he does pretty well, except when he's stressed. Work stress can bring on his high blood sugar or low blood sugar, with no rhyme or reason to it, so the last couple months have been a little crazy with it. He is working on his laptop so much of the evening even after he gets home, and I have realized that I need to watch and make sure that he doesn't forget to give himself insulin when eating, a couple of times that has happened as well, so after 11 years, I now tend to "bug" him, lol, ask if he did the insulin, ask if it's time to check the sugar, etc. I'd rather do that than him be sick with it, you know?
Thanks everyone,
I was also told not many people have both conditions, in a way I'm lucky cos the Dr that did my colonoscopy also works that diabetic clinic. I do find it difficult to manage the two diets but have tried to continue with the healthy balanced diet, with a few changes to work in the crohns diet, I have stopped eating peas and beans and eat more carrots and root veg. Having now finished ten weeks of steroids things are reasonably good :)
If anyone is on I insulin check out a book `Think like a pancreas` I found it by accident but it has helped amazingly I told my sister about it too. It is worth trying out.
I was advised to not eat fruits and veg with skin, no nuts, no grissely foods, no whole grain breads. No coconut, no dried fruit.
This is just my suggestion, have a chat with a Dr or dietician for correct info.
Stress definitely causes problems with diabetic control, I do feel that each conduction interacts with each other.
Thanks for your posts. Good luck everyone.
Hi everyone,
How are you all doing? Kevin how did the diabetes 101 go? Rachel did you have any luck trying different foods? I eat so differently now and find food shopping quite upsetting, it's really difficult choosing for diabetes and crohns and a family!!
Anyway I didn't mean to moan, I've just had my first diabetic review since my crohns began and even with ten weeks of steroids my HbA1c was better than ever!! That was a very pleasant shock. Dr very pleased and said can't do very much with diabetes until crohns meds sorted so just keep doing what am doing :)
Take care, thanks for reading
I was diagnosed with Crohn's in 2011 and was started on prednisone at the same time. I was then diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in Oct 2011. I was weaned off of the prednisone in Nov 2011 as it was doing nothing for me but causing extreme bloat and causing the diabetes and as of now I am still on insulin but doing very well. My glucose numbers are good and my family doctor said that if they remain where they are I could be weaned off the insulin in the next few months. My diabetes was definitely caused by the dreaded prednisone according to my GI doctor. I found it very hard at first because with diabetes you are advised to eat a high fibre diet whereas with crohn's I was told a low fibre diet. Rock meet hard place. Now that I have had my large intestine removed and rectum stump removed - have permanent ileostomy - I can now eat more fibre and that helps the diabetes significantly. Also exercise helps the diabetes alot.

Good Luck
Hi Peppergirl,
Before I got sick I exercised everyday and loved it but now.....goodness im so tired that sometimes it bothers me to move lol, I feel so lazy too :yfaint: I take things day by day at the minute, still going through tests and vaccinations, lots of appts. I think the diet change is what annoys me the most.
Good luck with your diabetes really hope you get off the insulin. Take care.
Hi Lizbeth

I know all about being tired. Some days it is hard just to get out of bed. Even going for a half hour walk helps a bit but it is not always easy. Somedays I take the bus to the mall and just walk around but that can be depressing with little money. Hopefully when the weather gets better / warmer I will have more motivation to go for longer walks. My dietian said even 15 minutes of exercise and 15 min in the afternoon will help lower the diabetes numbers.

You are right, you just have to take it one day at a time and minute by minute. When I first got out of the hospital in March 2012 (2month stay) when they removed my large intestine, I could barely walk from the bedroom to the livingroom. I had to have a nap after a shower. By the end of the summer I was walking up to 5 km at least 4-5 times a week. Then I had surgery in Dec of 2012 to remove the rectum stump and while stronger this time, still need to build back up the where I was at the end of last summer.

Take care of yourself.
Gosh I used to go into town like you went to the mall but I'm exactly the same...no money to spend, so I ended up feeling more miserable :frown: I admire your motivation to walk 5k again, I too was advised to exercise although very gently cos of the OA in my back etc. but I just haven't done it yet. I've been going to uni interviews with my daughter and walking a lot so I know I can do it. The sun is shining and it's a beautiful day so I'm aiming to take my dog a walk later.

I get by everyday by reminding myself that I am a lucky one and that I could have many worse conditions, I lost my mum to cancer very suddenly, she never complained and was a lady to the end. So really I do feel that I have little to complain about but sometimes it does get the better of me. She is my strength keeps me going. :heart:

Take care.
Well, hello!

I was in quite a fix recently after being diagnosed with autoimmune thyroiditis (new) and autoimmune diabetes (new), along with Crohn's disease (3 years ago now). The first month (February 2013) I ended up with a resting heart rate of 150 that threw me into the cardiologists office. My heart is in excellent condition (yay!) but that's where my thyroid issues were discovered. At this point my thyroid has burned itself out and I'm OK on the new meds. Had to go on some heart medication to slow down the heart rate, though. Then I was diagnosed with diabetes with an A1C of 6.5 not too bad, but enough to put me on the pill form of insulin.

Every day is a struggle. I keep bananas ready for the low blood sugar that comes around 4pm. Always eat a protein with a carbohydrate--that's a good thing to keep in mind. And I have my glucose pills if I'm caught in an emergency. Using a blood glucose monitor keeps me very aware of the foods that set me off.

I don't know if this will help anyone, but it's working for me. I have narrowing in my intestines so if I eat something that 'plugs' me up, my sugars will rise until I pass it. During those times I just stick with protein. No smoothies, no hard breads, no sweets. Once a day I allow myself a 1/2 size coffee cup of frozen yogurt. Good for the tummy and not too bad on the diabetes.

Exercise will burn the heck out of sugar. Even simple exercise like moderate weight lifting or walking. If you're feeling punk get your thyroid checked. I spent a year unable to exercise all due to a faulty thyroid. I'd always thought it was Crohn's that made me tired.

While I'm not 'normal' I do have much more energy and any little bit is worth a fortune to me.
Thats interesting about your sugars rising when something plugs you up, I never considered that but it could explain why mine rise for no apparent reason, think I need to look into that a bit more, thank you for the tip. I had my thyroid checked a few weeks back and it was grand. Would be great to shake the tiredness, even for just one day.

I'm sorry that life has been dishing out more than a fair share of health problems to you, sending you a virtual big hug :ghug:
Actually, I'm doing OK. I am quite the lay scientist and have been having a ball testing out food. For some reason I can eat a slice of sour dough and my blood sugars stay stable, but a tortilla will put them through the roof! :ybatty:
As far as I know sourdough bread is a low GI food were as a tortilla isn't, that might explain it. I haven't really worked out what foods work for me with regards to my tum, I had got it sorted for the diabetes by following a low GI diet and it was great, my BGs were good and my overall control had gone down...yipee...now though it's not so straight forward, ironically my HbA1C a couple of weeks ago was better than ever at 62?? Don't know how that happened after 10 weeks of steroids, but I'm not complaining :)

Would love to have you join us in the crohns and diabetes support group, your input would be great.
Hi everyone,
Just wanted to let you all know about the crohnies and diabetes support group, come have a look and maybe join us??