Sunday, 2 October 2011

Crohn Marrow

I've always had a tricky relationship with food. Most of my early life was spent eating a few bites of a meal then instantly feeling sick. Sounds silly now, but I actually thought it was always me eating too much and I felt sick because I'd stuffed myself. Drivel. For a start I didn't eat big portions. I almost never had a breakfast and barely snacked. I never had any form of eating disorder, although a few friends have since admitted they thought I might have. I became accepting that this was just the way of things- I would feel ill when I ate and that's the end of it. It's easy to look back now and see all the signs of Crohn's but as I'd never known anything different I didn't think anything of it. I remember being bugged by someone who used to tell me I ate "like a bird" - I always wanted to say, well if you ate two bites of a meal and felt full, bloated and uncomfortable you'd lay off the jumbo portions too.
But now I know what's been causing the problems all along, I'm trying, VERY slowly but surely to establish what I can and can't eat. Easier said than done. There are so many different symptoms to Crohn's Disease it makes it almost impossible to pin down a definitive diet, as every food affects sufferers in different ways.
For example, I recently asked some friends on Twitter who suffer with Crohns what foods they simply cannot tolerate. About 20people replied but I  was quite surprised that only 3 or 4 similar answers came up- the others were all individual to each person.
The main areas they pinpointed to avoid though were nuts, citrus fruits, green vegetables and milk.
For me, a year after my official diagnosis and I am still slowly finding out what I can and can't have. Seems red meat, nuts and milk are the main killers for me. How predictable. Wine also annihilates my insides so I avoid it like the plague now (most of the time..)
The general cons census is that it seems in the vegetable world, greens are pretty much out of the question. Spinach, lettuce, peas and cabbage are major no nos. This is due to their fibrous content. Too much fibre can irritate the gastrointestinal lining and cause a build up of gas, therefore leading to muchos discomfort. This isn't too much of a downer for me as I always rebelled against the "eat your greens" patter of my childhood, technically I was ahead of my time in leaving those badboys on the plate.
The more sensible alternatives are apparently peppers, mushrooms, sweet potato and onions. All roasted or boiled to  within an inch of their veggie wee lives. :( Pureed soups are good too- or as I like to call it 'potential baby food'.
Not being very positive here am I? Probably has a lot to do with writing this post before I've had my dinner..
In all seriousness Crohns is not the end of the munching world- in most cases you can still eat the things you love, just in moderation. And to be honest most of the things I did adore eating, BC (before crohns) have now gone down in my estimation. Like a fleeting romance they mean so much to you for 5minutes, you realise they are no good for you and just can't look at them in the same way again. (I'm talking about you, Mr Fjhitas).

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