A Diary Note on Diet
I have lived with Crohn’s Disease for over eleven years. During this time I have noticed there are a number of potentially sensitive issues when discussing Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis, the two main forms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease. One of these sensitive issues is diet.
A number of internet websites, newspapers and other media sources discuss the connection between diet and health conditions. Some websites claim that ‘unhealthy diets’ are the main cause or sometimes the only cause for Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Then there are others which list ‘safe food and drink’ which those impacted can consume, and further still comment on food that can ‘cure’ the disease. This information can be quite dangerous as at present there is no definitive cause of or cure for the serious and incurable autoimmune diseases, Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis.
In this article ‘A Diary Note on Diet’ I want to make a plea to all you wonderful people with Inflammatory Bowel Disease to suggest that only you truly know your own body and therefore it is up to you to have the final choice of what kind of diet you have. Each case of Inflammatory Bowel Disease is different so part of your story with the condition is different too; this includes diet.
Reading your experiences on support pages I have learnt that each person is different. For some eating fish will be perfectly fine while for others eating raw vegetables due to their fibre content will set off symptoms such as abdominal pain and diarrhoea. Therefore ‘diet’ for those with Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis should be treated on an individual case by case basis rather than all those individuals to be grouped together under one heading.
For me eating ‘plain foods’ such as chicken, rice and pasta are less likely to bring on symptoms closely associated with my Crohn’s Disease than those of spicy foods. In some cases chicken, rice and pasta form what is known as ‘the white diet’ which is often suggested by doctors for patients to have after a flare-up or when introducing food again after a liquid diet to rest the bowel. Nevertheless it is important to remember that you are the person living with your body each day so you will have firm knowledge of what food is right for you alone.
I am sure many of you, like me, have been offered advice on your food intake. I remember last year at a party I wanted to have some bread and a lady there remarked ‘Do you think you should be eating that?’ I believe she had good intentions and often most people in cases like this do, so I politely thanked her before making my decision based on past experiences that bread does not usually impact my Crohn’s Disease. Comments like these can be frustrating but intentions are important. Looking back the lady could have phrased her question to say ‘What foods are right for you based on your experiences so we can provide them for you?’ Hopefully with more awareness of the connection between diet and Inflammatory Bowel Disease those few will be less judgemental and more understanding.
My aim for this diary note is not to bash those people who make generalisations about diet and Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Instead I would like to think that those living with Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis continue on eating and drinking whatever they feel comfortable with without feeling they are being judged by their diet. Thank you for reading and I hope you all have a brilliant week.
|‘Diet’ for those with Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis should be treated on an individual case by case basis...Copyright © 1998- National Cancer Institute. All rights reserved.|