I remember as a kid not wanting to eat anything. ANYTHING. With my Crohn’s Disease everything that went in was much, much worse coming out. You’re welcome for that TMI, as well. And my apologies if I’ve now turned you away from my writing but Crohn’s Disease isn’t pretty.
I remember a particular instance like it was yesterday. I was lying on the couch in so much pain and I hadn’t had a single bite to eat in days. My mom was sitting in the floor in front of me, rubbing my hair, begging me to eat. Saying she would get me anything that I wanted. Turns out, my comfort food became chicken tenders from Burger King. I know there are some people out there that are going to read this and think that my parents should never have given me fast food with my disease and especially if that was the only thing I was going to eat. The truth of that matter though, is that I ate. It was the only thing I wanted and the only thing I wouldn’t throw up. So I ate a lot of Burger King chicken tenders.
I believe with my disease and lack of any nourishment meant I got to eat whatever I wanted. Even if it was a Fudge Round Little Debbie, because at least I was eating SOMETHING. I was never restricted from food – that I can remember – despite doctor’s saying no caffeine and no dairy. Try keeping this girl away from a bowl of Mayfield’s ice cream. Trust me, it won’t happen.
In the past few years though, my Crohn’s Disease and my body have evolved and I don’t tolerate some foods the way I did when I was a kid. That list of foods probably won’t surprise some, but some of the things on there don’t necessarily make a lot of sense.
For instance, I love salads but the leafy green vegetables tear my gut apart. Same with green peppers and broccoli. For a person that is supposed to eat healthy, having salads on the no-no list is a bit ironic.
I also realized that I can’t eat the skin from apples. At first I thought it was whole apples but after peeling one just to see what happened, turns out it’s just the skin. A juicy red delicious leaves me with the worst stomach cramps imaginable.
Anything that Fiber One makes is completely off the list. I’ve actually had to go home from work after trying a Fiber One bar. This is the same with any bar or running nutrition that is high in fiber.
Some restaurants are also on the list, despite how delicious they are. Smashburger will put me in tears. McDonalds, Burger King and other main fast food joints are not even in my consideration set anymore. Mexican food is my absolute favorite but I can’t tolerate any spicy foods anymore. I try to sneak in a bit of the spicy dip with my chips and after a hour or so, my stomach is not happy.
Things that some of my other Crohnie friends can’t eat are perfectly tolerable for me with popcorn being at the top of that list. I absolutely love popcorn! Especially the kernels that you pop on the stove. It’s amazing to think that two people with the same disease have a completely different life story. Different medications. Different diets. Different lifestyles. Different triggers. That’s one of many reasons Crohn’s Disease is so hard to diagnose, treat and ultimately cure.
With my recent dedication to losing weight and really cutting down on the carbs and trying to eat clean, I’ve found that in general my gut is much happier. I took a few days off after my last DietBet and had a free-for-all food extravaganza. I didn’t really restrict myself except for the known triggers. That’s when I realized my poops (again, sorry!) were different and my stomach was in knots.
Here I was, thinking that I could tolerate most of the food I was used to eating. Turns out, I was wrong. It wasn’t until I started making dietary changes that I really started to understand how it ready impacts my gut. I went through a few days of misery while my digestive tract fought against me. I’ll just leave it to your imagination here…
I learned my lesson. Back to (relatively) clean eating is it.
For all my fellow Crohnie’s and UCers out there, what are your trigger foods? Are you fortunate to not have any? Anything that your friends can enjoy that you can’t?