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Reintroducing solid foods...

I'm fairly new to all of this (though in retrospect, I believe I've had CD for about 9 years). I'm currently on Pentasa and Nexium, and they've certainly helped...

I've been trying to follow (more or less) the recommendations in Dr. Hunter's book on IBD. I did two weeks of elemental shakes. Toward the end of that time, I added homemade bone broth and a little jello (grassfed beef gelatin with water and just enough organic grape juice to give it some color and a hint of flavor). Other than being hungry (I just couldn't choke down as much of the formula as I should), I've felt pretty good. While I didn't have the severe diarrhea that many with CD have, I did used to wake in the night (midnight to 5am) a couple of times a week with terrible cramps that would, uhm, clean me out completely over the course of an hour or two. That was still happening with Pentasa, but vanished with the elemental nutrition.

But now I've tried twice to introduce solid food, and both times have left me really feeling discouraged. The first time I tried two small servings of chicken (organic, pasture-raised, prepared at home with a bit of olive oil). Shortly after the second serving, my mouth (inside and out) began to itch/sting, my tongue swelled and became sort, there were ulcers on the tip of my tongue, my lips chapped badly, my throat hurt... Ugh.

So I went back to the elemental foods for two days.

Yesterday I tried plain beef (again, organic and grassfed). I felt fine eating it and my mouth was only mildly irritated (I think from the residual of the first experience).

But I woke up in the night with upper back pain (about where my bra clasps), which is typical for me when things get bad. I tried to tell myself it was nothing and I went back to sleep. But this morning it's pretty awful. My stomach is "not quite right" and all I want to do is curl up with the heating pad on my upper back and feel sorry for myself.

I'm not quite sure how to proceed. ... Do I go back to the shakes for another 2-3 weeks and then try again? Do I just wait 2-3 days and, if I'm feeling better, try rice? It's the protein that worries me. It's easy enough to consume vitamins, fats, and carbs in a liquid and quickly absorbed form, but amino acids taste so, so awful. And yet now I'm worried that there's not a good protein option for me besides what has been created in a lab.

I've been really upbeat through this whole process, and right now I'm pretty seriously disappointed. ... I knew I wouldn't be able to eat (gluten free) cake with my family on my son's birthday this week, but I thought maybe I could eat ... something. I really thought my disease was mild enough that I would be able to get to at least something like LOFFLEX pretty quickly.

I would love to hear either specific advice or encouragement from others who've experienced disappointment when trying to reintroduce foods for an elimination diet following a period of elemental nutrition.
I had a pretty rough time trying to get back onto solid foods too, I'm still in the process of trying to add foods back into my diet 18 months on. I had issues with both chicken and beef, so don't feel too discouraged - though I know it is easy to be! I did LOFFLEX and flared after a couple of weeks, then ended up back on elemental for 4-5 weeks and then did an elimination diet. I've had so many ups and downs and still haven't found complete relief from the Crohn's even after all my hard work and commitment, but it's still been worth it.

It can take a little while for the body to get used to solid food again after being on an elemental diet, which in itself can cause Crohn's-like symptoms. I'd probably give rice a try to see if you have the same response as you did to the chicken and beef, but don't over-do it quantity-wise, a gradual reintroduction is usually best. And if you don't feel brilliant the first day it might be worth sticking at it for a few days to see if it settles as your body becomes used to solid food again. In the meantime I'd be inclined to go back on the elemental drinks again until your symptoms have settled before attempting to eat anything.

My other thought is how did you cook the chicken and beef? Rather than the meat it could be the oil that's the problem, and I find that if I fry or bake anything in oil that I have an issue with it. Cold oil seems to be ok. Quantity of oil can also be an issue as it's high fat.

Maybe instead of having some cake for your sons birthday you can treat yourself to a little gift instead, some kind of small treat for managing to get this far. I know it's not an easy journey to take and there will probably be many more ups and downs along the way, but stay strong and stick with it.

Son went from 6 weeks of EEN to pureed soups and smoothies, introducing each food one at a time...still drinks juice with water 50/50. He's on the SCD and doing pretty well...
Perhaps begin with vegan diet before you add meats? One thing to think of is that the meat animals are eating something else, which could be your allergen. For instance, when my brother was very young, he would have horrendous reaction to milk (blisters all over, feet as well, highly allergic to anything thereafter)...but mom found out it was worse in spring/summer (when cows are out to pasture). Stopped that and realized he was highly allergic to grass....eliminated the meats as well (for grass fed).....anyway, something to consider....feel better
Hi, boy it's nice to see I'm not alone! I have had crohns for 15 years and a particularly bad flare for past three years. After doing some research on elemental diets I decided to go with Absorb Plus, elemental shakes that come in four flavors that are powdered and add water to, the CEO of this company suffers from severe crohns herself, her name is Jinnie Patel Thompson. I highly recommend her shakes., which are very palatable unlike the very few others available out there. Her website is listen to your gut . Com. It's frustrating knowing whether you are doing the right thing , or what to do when you hit a bump in the road, as the physicians in the US largely do not recognize this option as a very safe effective therapy. Europe , Japan and Canada are leap years ahead of us. In reference to your problem with introducing foods after elemental, I can relate. I've been on elemental for five weeks and even small introductions of " safe" low residue/ fiber foods backfire on me and like you say., " empty you out!" But I'm sticking with it and just taking it as a sign I'm not healed and ready. It would just be nice to have access of opinions from the holistic physicians and naturopaths that other countries seem to have.
Thank you for lifting my spirits so I dont feel so alone, and I truly wish you luck on your road to good health! All we can do is keep trying!