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Self-diagnosis and Bland diet.

Hello all, newbie here. I'm 52 yr old male.

My history with Crohns (or UC or DVT) seems to be spotty until recently. I had severe symptoms due to stress about 7 years ago and restricted my diet to bland foods and slowly put things back, one by one. (this was on the advice of a nutritionist that said a doctor would basically do the same thing at first.)

I found out that it was dairy that made things go literally down the toilet immediately. So, I cut out dairy and had been feeling fine for years.

Then about the first of this year, I started having some symptoms, acidic stomach, sometimes the big D, but OK most of the time. I had cut out red meat and sugar (I use Stevia instead) by this point, too. So, turkey, fish, chicken. Any vegetable. Really, a very healthy diet, no fried food, no burgers, no goodies, no chocolate (I'm allergic).

But I drank coffee. And one nightly glass of wine or a beer. Just one, I can't take more than that or I just fall asleep.

Well, coffee seemed to be a trigger... within a few hours, I'd be acidic, cramping, D, and gas. So I quit coffee for a few weeks and would have just a few sips once in a while. And I mean JUST A FEW. I just had to have a little to wake up and snap out of the morning daze. But now, even just a few sips and I'm in trouble.

My last bout, 3 days ago, was horrific, like none I've ever had. Cramps like I've never felt before, D, and sometimes blood, but very little. At first, just pink foamy gel and nothing else, (which made me think I had a blockage) but then finally some stool, but in stages. After reading a lot of symptom guides online, I figured "OK, I have Crohn's." At least I had something to go on.

I know, a lot of people would say "Go to a doctor" but I just don't like them and have issues with them in general after seeing them take my mother through a long course of treatments which lead to her death, never listening to her, never listening to any of us. So until I have to, zero doctors, thanks.

So, now I'm looking for foods that won't make me sick and I can't believe all that I have to cut out of my diet during a flare-up, especially considering the cuts I've made already. Coffee? Out. Wine or beer? Out. Oats and Wheat? Out. That leaves barley and rice. I already drink Soy milk. I eat extra sharp Cheddar cheese (supposedly no lactose) but that's going to have to go too, according to some Crohn's diets.

This morning I made rice cakes for breakfast, using rice flour and soy milk and egg. They were great. A little bland, so next time some vanilla flavoring and an additional packet of Stevia. And tonight, instead of rice and potatoes (like the last three nights), I'm having barley with some onion and cooked carrots. Still searching for foods to eat and am going to the store to get some vitamin D and some Lysine. I was hoping bananas would be OK, but apparently they're not. And I was hoping kale would be a good veggie to eat since I'm growing a lot of it. Some say yes, some say no.

I'm not opposed to ingesting marijuana if I have to and I've read in several places that this is actually good for the intestinal walls. (?)

Basically, I'm taking charge of this horrible thing and am going to win at any cost. :thumleft: Even if it means I'll eventually have to go to a homeopath and see what they say. I have a very limited income and want to steer clear of that until absolutely necessary. Especially any MDs with their scalpel at the ready!

With my diet changes, however, I'm feeling a lot better already!

No blood today and no cramps for 2 days now. Stomach muscles are sore, so I've been massaging them to help stretch them back out a bit and that really helps. Just walking around 2 days ago hurt my gut like hell. And last night I drank a beer (huge mistake!) and so that taught me a lesson. When they say no alcohol during a flare-up, they mean it.

Just thought I'd share what's working for me and hopefully keep coming back here and reading other's stories and what's working for them. Hopefully I'll go back into remission and kick this thing's *ss with my new diet.

well Colin, good for you mate and i wish you well with your alternative approach, even at my well advanced traditional approach i still have to listen to my body.

To be honest when i got ill i didnt have the "luxury of time" to actually stop and think i needed help and fast. But, good on ya for taking the other road and i really hope it works for ya.

the 'ol menu does sound a bit crappy though mate, and no beer !! . . .

Cheers for now (pun intended)



My dog has hands!
I didn't get treatment ether for a loooooong time. Just watched my diet quit alcohol all together and it all went ok for a while. If or when your body screams pain long and hard enough please go to the hospital. Some of us have had some very close calls w/ such an approach good luck to you,
Thanks for the well wishes. Don't worry, if things get to the point where I can't take the pain or the blood gets to worrisome levels, I'll see a homeopath in conjunction with a GI. Hopefully that will be the same person.

A guy can wish, right? :ycool:


Your Story Forum Monitor
Hi Colin and welcome! It's wonderful to hear you have been able to control your Crohn's with your diet. I sure hope it continues to work for you!

Be sure to check out the Diet and Fitness forum - I bet you have a lot of good pointers to share!
Some things I've seen work very well for me during this flare-up:

Vitamin D seems to have helped a great deal.

Probiotics (of course, Phillips Colon Health, but I'm getting a better one with about 12 gut bugs instead of just three)



Rice cereal and soy milk

Rice cakes (my own recipe, not the crunchy store kind, use 1 c. rice flour and 1/4 c. olive oil, a little sugar and stevia, vanilla, one egg. That's it! bake 425 for 30 min, they turn out like little crunchy dough squares and are exactly the bland thing you want when your stomach is hopping around.)

Turkey or chicken if you want to slowly introduce back meat, but no spices and no sauces. Tuna in small quantities has been good too, with spinach.

Eggs are very easy on my stomach, boiled.

Barley: I've been eating this a lot, very gentle and filling.

Ensure, the weight gain type, but only a small amount at a time, otherwise it seems too rich and I get a little nauseous.

Spinach/kale is great and sits very easy on my system. Don't add vinegar or oil, just keep it simple, salt seems to be OK.

Eating about 6 small meals a day instead of 3 regular ones. I don't eat that much anyway, but this seems to keep things from getting bloated or gassy.

Bending and stretching exercises before and after bowel movements, nothing drastic, simple up in the air and down to the toes, side to side, etc... helps relieve any of my spasms and cramps if they are there.

Staying active: This seems to help more than anything. I know it seems easier to sit around and just be in pain and/or sleep (believe me, I did this for 2 days), but the more I've been active and working hard outdoors, the better I feel and the better my system seems to react. Instead of 6 bathroom visits a day, I'm now back to my normal 2, and they are both healthier, solid and no mucus/blood/gas situation. I think we're meant to move around and not sit. My gut tends to stagnate just sitting there all day.

Hope this helps others, it's been a good week so far for me and I'm learning what my body likes and what it does not. Alcohol seems to be a big no-no... maybe later, but not this soon after a flare. My system seems to be very acidic still, so I'm trying to figure out more akaline foods to get in order to get rid of this imbalance.