If you read my last post HEALTH UPDATE JULY 2017, I am currently on the waitlist for my second small bowel surgery. I have been suffering from bowel obstructions since being diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in 2009. The bowel obstructions are caused by buildup of scar tissue in my small intestine called a stricture. Strictures are areas of scar tissue caused by inflammation within my intestine that does not expand elastically when food tries to pass through the narrowed section causing bowel obstructions.
I already eat a very restrictive diet, but lately I have had to further restrict the foods I am eating or I end up in severe pain. I know a lot of you can relate. Although there are no particular foods or diet that has been proven to cause IBD symptoms, reducing bowel obstructions through diet is absolutely crucial for many of us with Crohn’s Disease.
Personally, I have to avoid certain foods that contain high fibre, stringy foods, skins and seeds just to name a few. When symptoms are bad, I resort to a mostly liquid diet which I find very difficult to sustain for more than a day or two.
My Colorectal surgeon suggested that I check out this link below for specific guidelines on the Bowel Obstruction Diet.
This guide is very well done and gives some fantastic suggestions on how to eat if experiencing partial obstruction symptoms. This guide has three levels of severity of symptoms and the corresponding diets that may help.
I was going to do a full post on exactly what I’m currently eating but this guide basically covers everything. I have been following a modified version of this for the past few years and it has helped keep me out of hospital for the most part. As my symptoms worsened, I had to change my diet accordingly, removing most vegetables even going to the point of a liquid diet.
My Tips for Covering Nutritional Deficiencies
If you’re anything like me, the number one thing I have problems getting enough of is vegetables. I have a very hard time passing vegetables through the scarred sections of my intestine. I have found a few ways to still get vegetables without causing obstructions so here are a few tips. Just to be clear, I am not a registered dietician. All information is what has personally worked for me and are merely suggestions. Consult a physician before taking any dietary supplements or advice.
- Blend your greens. I cannot eat greens but I have found significantly less distress when I blend them well and try to reduce the amount of pulp.
- Take a greens supplement. I personally like Greens+ but any quality greens supplement will help you increase your vegetable intake.
- Juice! If you have a juicer, make your own juice with or without pulp. Alternatively, you can buy your juice from various places but this can get expensive quickly.
- Cover your bases with vitamins. Although this is not as good as getting your nutrients from foods, vitamins can help cover deficiencies when you are having a hard time getting adequate nutrients in. Vitamin D, Calcium, multi-vitamin, fish oil, magnesium, zinc, iron, probiotics, B12 and Vitamin C. Again, always check with your doctor before taking any supplements.
- If you cannot tolerate nuts or seeds, nut butters or oils are a great way to get your healthy fats in. Peanut butter, almond butter, coconut oil and avocado oil are all easier to digest than eating the whole, natural form. You can even add these to your smoothies for extra calories.