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Elemental Diet

Hi guys,

As some of you who have read my previous posts might know, I am not yet diagnosed and my colonoscopy is on May 2.

If it turns out that I do have Crohn's...

I absolutely refuse to be on prednisone or any cotricosteroids. Is that the usual course of treatment? Will they start me on it immediately after the colonoscopy or will I have the chance to tell them I don't want to be on it?

Anyway, my real question is regarding the Elemental Diet. Can I suggest to do that instead of prednisone? From the small bit of (totally non-academic!) research I have done so far, it seems like the Elemental Diet works just as well as prednisone. I would feel so much more comfortable with something like that. Even an ensure fast.

Is it en enteral or parenteral formula? Or can it be taken by mouth?

Also, I am a pre-professional ballet dancer. If I meet my energy needs I figure I should be fine, although if Elemental is only given IV or through a tube then that, I think, would be a no-go.

I feel like I am getting way ahead of myself, but at the same time I don't want to be in a position where after the colonoscopy I have to make a decision without properly thinking it through. I figured that since I have this wonderful community of people with so much experience and knowledge that it would be ok to get a little bit ahead of myself with the trade off of being more knowledgeable and prepared in case I do really have CD.

I have to admit, I have brought my laptop into the bathroom with me. It gets boring in here for so long...does that make me a disgusting person? :shifty-t:

Oh and while I'm on the topic...anyone ever sit on the toilet for so long that their feet and sometime even their...erm...peepee...fall asleep? :ylol:
Hi! It is good to do your research and know what your options are. I have UC, not crohns, but have also refused to take steroids. I am really sensitive to most medicines. Just remember that you have to do what you feel is right for you (physically and emotionally). You also need to find a doctor who will be supportive and open to various treatments, as long as you are medically stable. I just recently found a new doctor who is very supportive of alternative treatments, as well as conventional ones. My previous doctor was really judgmental and negative about treating with anything but medicine. Good luck with your tests, and remember, you are in control of what you choose or choose not to put in your body.
Thanks for the input KaLa :)

The main reason I refuse to be on Pred is the side effects -- specifically the weight gain. I need to lose weight, not gain!! Lol.

Are you on an elemental diet?
The elemental diet didn't work for me, but I know loads of people that it did work for. It is also mainly used to induce remission so it's definitely worth a mention. The worst that can happen is them saying no. People are often desperate to feel well again when they first get diagnosed and I think the quickest way is via steroids etc.

I used to drink 6 cartons of milkshake like cartons a day and no food at all. It's tough not eating any food at all, but you get all the nutrition you need for the day and if it works, I'm sure it's easier to handle.
hey happyballerina!

many people begin treatments on prednisone and such because they are in such bad health when they are diagnosed. i for one was put on steroids when i was diagnosed at age 9. it made me fat, unhappy, and feel like i was very depressed. it also made me think weird i can't explain it. i haven't been on them since then. but it did get me into remission almost instantly.
but it depends on your state of health. if you are extremely sick then maybe you should consider the options in front of you to immediately control your symptoms until you can find a good treatment. if you are in a more mild case then talk with your doctor and do some thorough research and think pretty hard on what you want to try.
unfortunately with crohn's, energy is a precious thing. most crohnies have no energy if they are sick and considering you are a ballerina it may impact your life greatly.
i don't mean to scare you. just give you some of my $0.02 advice.

as for the diet, diets work depending on the person. no one can tell you if it is going to work or not, it's your bodies choice. no one person benefits from the same treatment as anyone else.

good luck and stay strong.
I'm not on an elemental diet, but had seriously considered doing it during my last flare, which has just subsided. I was eating only cooked vegetables and some very moist rice for about 8 weeks, as I couldn't tolerate anything else. I am still off of dairy, and gluten free. I was always a vegetarian (25 years and counting), but now I am vegan, as milk products gave me really bad d. It was also recommended by my acupuncturist to give up wheat products, so I'm trying that too. I really miss sandwiches and pizza! I am trying not to complain, though, as my bleeding has finally stopped. It is worth it for the dietary changes.
Elemental diets can be helpful as an additional treatment mainly in small bowel crohns. It is useful as a sole treatment in children with small bowel crohns. Liquid diet is used to rest the bowel but is not particularly helpful in actually healing it. I have had this twice and it works for me in addition to prednisolone etc.
It seems hard to accept the medications needed to treat crohns but it would be harder to accept losing part of your bowel, being hospitalised for weeks and the other things that could occur if you refused effective treatment. I have been on pred for 7 months now and minimal weight ggain(need to put on lots of weight). Only side effects are insomnia and major night sweats (these could be my crohns though). Steroids work brilliantly at healing you.
How severe is your crohns..you may not need steroids at all. Some mild crohns can settle without meds. Your doctors will advise you.
To gain weight on prednisone you still have to eat too much.. Your body can't get fat from nowhere. Prednisone increases your appetite significantly, but if you have strong willpower and are not already a big eater you won't gain weight. When I was on high dose prednisone I would eat plates full of donuts with piles of whip cream on top. The drug didn't make me gain weight, I did it to myself.

Exercise, watch your calories and you'll be fine. Once you start tapering down to lower doses the appetite will go away.

Predinsone is really the only way to get into remission fast for most people, except for an ensure or elemental diet, but it takes a lot longer and is very expensive.