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Bodybuilding with Crohns????

Hey guys, I'm Thomas.

Currently going to the gym 4-6days a week to improve body composition. Before diagnosis I tried weight gainers, fish oils, pre workouts, creatine monohydrate and whey protein supplements.
Since being diagnosed I've found that pre workouts are a no go! I'm yet to try creatine again but I'm currently taking whey protein without any problems...
I was wondering how you all view bodybuilding (steroid free) for somebody with Crohns?
Hey Thomas,

I have a similar workout schedule and do not supplement much. I have been curious about Creatine relative to my diet. I am doing pretty well on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. I have been symptom free for the past year, with some minor cramping and a couple of cases of D along the way. I was diagnosed with Crohns in March 2013

Lifting heavy weights has been the best thing to keep my weight and appetite up along the way. SCD focuses on non-starchy carbs, so I eat a lot of squash and beans to keep carbs up. Plenty of meat and fish as well.

I think that the elevated T levels resulting from weight lifting has been a tremendous mental boost when feeling freaked out along the way. I think it is always good to move past perceived limitations whenever possible.
Is there a particular reason you're avoiding starchy carbs? I only ask because I haven't found them to cause me any problems!
I'm actually just starting to cut for summer, so I'm not consuming very much carbohydrates. My macronutrient split at the moment is 50F:30P:20C with plenty of micronutrient dense foods!
I definitely can agree with the elevated T levels giving a mental boost in rough patches!
Its just the SCD protocol. The diet is based on the idea that complex carbs create an excess of bad bacteria in the gut and that leads to the autoimmune flare. It is worth a google.

It is a bit of a commitment in staying away from those starches potentially indefinitely with the reward of an asymptomatic IBD status.

I feel it when I stray from the protocol, but otherwise forget I have IBD. I think that the "struggling to gain" mindset keeps a lot of IBD folks afraid to exercise. I know I was when I was first diagnosed and losing weight, I felt extra crappy due to the lack of physical activity and the concern with weight loss.

Weight lifting, for women as well, seems like a good strategy for keeping the active without burning away precious calories. Depleted digestion makes those calories so precious that it can keep us from taking care of ourselves.

What kind of supplementation do you use? I have been considering creatine.
Lucky I have not had any issues with using c4 before my workouts. I ham trying to increase my bench up to 98% of my body weight in order to pass physical testing for policing. I'm also on pentasa and Humira. Have you tried c4?
I've been using my protein impact whey quite sporadically and have had no problems with it. Not really taking much in the way of supplements. I'm afraid to try creatine because a few guys on bodybuilding forums have said its a no go.
Not tried C4 but have been taking monster energy pre workout recently. It doesn't seem to be having a drastic negative effect but it's early days so who knows what's going on in my stomach lol
I've been diagnosed with Crohns for a couple of years, prior to that, I've had a colon resection from a bad flair, that resulted in a perforation of my bowl... I've always been a fitness fanatic.. Currently I've had a bad flair, which has taken me outta of the gym for a month, I've lost nearly 20 pounds during that time, as I couldn't eat, and what I did eat was not being absorbed... I am on my 3rd week of prednisone 40mgs a day, and just now starting a tapper, along with continuing with my Lialda.
I am 53 y/o, 5'5",before the flair I was weighing 162# at 11% BF... I was in a bulking phase in prep for a show in March 2016... My cal were about 4000cal per day, while eating clean. I believe that the constant pressure of eating lead to this flair, which was the worst I've ever had. So while I was working on recovery, and thanks to the insomnia from the prednisone, I've been researching, diet, supplements, and exercise.
I researched how to spike and when to spike insulin through diet to inrease muscle gains, and fat loss..I am also convinced that not all supplements and foods are equal, and those of us with Crohns and the like we need to very careful of what we put in our bodies, more so than otherwise healthy people.
I eat only grass fed beef, or buffalo, no meats with antibiotic, or hormones, no farm raised fish, because protein from dairy is superior I researched and now buy my supplements and protein from RawDynamix... This is easiest stuff for me to digest, (they are a group of Dr's that have put together a product line)... Anyway.. You can research this on your own. As I am not shilling for them, it's just my own research, and personal results.
On top of various form of proteins, amino acids, I have added fish oil, cissus, B vit., probiotics, Lactase, carbs, all to mix my drinks, I eat 4-5 real foods meals per day, I keep the meals small for now because I am still scared of another flair. The prednisone has me working out every other day, because it has slowed my ability to recover, and prednisone is very catabolic, so I need the extra time to build or maintain muscle and not lose muscle.
Since I've changed my diet, changed my supplements and started the insulin spiking, I've am happy to say I am not typical of a person on high dose prednisone, my BF is about 9%, and I am now 155#, I am still in remission, I have months to go before I am off prednisone, my Dr. Wants to keep me on on it until I start Remicade/Imuron, and proof of it is working. I have always done 3 days on with one day off, but it is not going to happen until I'm off the prednisone.
But I do believe, and it is working that having a super clean diet, proper timing of supplements, carbs, and protein along with a solid workout plan, not only will I preserve what I have but I will continue to improve in size and strength.
People pretty much think having Crohns means being skinny-fat, because of the difficulty digesting foods and malnutrition issues.... To me it just means we have to work harder on diet, and be smart about what we put in our bodies, more so than those without this disease.
I have met someone who was the youngest patient diagnosed in my state He is now an adult and is a natural bodybuilder competitor Very inspirational so it can be done Good Luck!
Hi Thomas,

I've been bodybuilding for years. Since the onset of my Crohn's symptoms it has been tough to keep motivated and often I'm just too damn sick to get to the gym but whenever I'm well enough I get in there and throw some weight around. It always feels good walking out after a session.

I'm currently a big fatty thanks to high doses of prednisone but without the squats and deadlifts (as well as all the other exercises, but they are the best) it would be much worse. I would probably also be in jail as the prednisone makes me angry so the gym is also a good place to channel some frustrations.

I guess my advice is to enjoy your training but when you aren't able to go due to your illness try to accept it.

I used to when I was in better shape by my calorie restrictions have made it hard for me.

For those taking protein supplements I suggest avoiding ones containing maltodextrin and sucralose because they're bad for Crohn's. They might not effect you now but I would advise avoiding them as the effects can be cumulative.

There's evidence Sucralose kills the gut bacteria responsible for deactivating protease (protein digesting enzymes) in the colon, which then attack the lining of the intestine. Since you're consuming this WITH protein which causes a spike in protease production you're doubling your risk factor.

They now sell 'all natural' protein powders, ON makes one, and True Athlete makes an unflavored whey, there's lots of other ones out there, all good options for Crohn's. Almost all of the name brand ones will contain those. If you need a 0 calorie sweetener get Stevia, some come with Inulin which is a prebiotic fiber, very good stuff, research it!

Also research every brand, many have been accused of high heavy metal content, not something you want!

I would also suggest L-Glutamine, it should help you to prevent muscle loss due to calorie deficit and heal your gut at the same time. It's very cheap now, and great stuff for Crohn's.

You may want to talk to your doctor or an endocrinologist about your hormone levels if you struggle to gain weight. Chronic inflammatory conditions can cause an escalation of coritsol which tanks your testosterone since it consumes the same resources. You may want to supplement DHEA which skips the cortisol pathway and is a precursor to testosterone.

Along the same lines get your Zinc levels checked. Low zinc can lead to low test and most people in modern society are high in copper and deficient in zinc. Crohn's patients are even more so, supplementing zinc can help your immune system and testosterone levels. ZMA might be a good choice as magnesium is also good for Crohn's.

Avoid sensitive foods before your workout. Your intestinal permeability increases with body temperature, it could increase the chances of indigestion caused by grains and sugars, eat 2 hours before your workout so it has time to process, save your protein shake until you're cooled off. Contrary to popular belief the effect of protein timing is insignificant, it's a gimmick by shake companies to convince you that you need a shake so you can get your protein in ASAP.
Very sage advice..... I found that the Most protein drinks contain those, a a type of potassium that is not gut friendly... Trial and error for me....
That's why take the stuff I do from where I buy it.... None of the bad stuff...
I've been using my protein impact whey quite sporadically and have had no problems with it. Not really taking much in the way of supplements. I'm afraid to try creatine because a few guys on bodybuilding forums have said its a no go.
Not tried C4 but have been taking monster energy pre workout recently. It doesn't seem to be having a drastic negative effect but it's early days so who knows what's going on in my stomach lol
You should look into the use of Creatine for a treatment for crohn's. I was also cautious about it. I was surprised to read about it being used as a treatment.
I’m finally getting back into it. Life sucks. Not giving up on my dream. I’m already up to bench at 100% of my body weight