A Comprehensive Naturopathic Guide for Complete Digestive Wellness

Tag Archives: holistic

Dear Fellow UC-ers and Crohnnie’s, Happy New Year!

One of the best resolutions for the new year that is underway, is to have a positive outlook!

I know, I know, sometimes it is really HARD to have that when you feel lousy, but our community that has grown around the book, and the online network of Crohn’s, colitis, IBS/IBD, and other autoimmune disease is a supportive one. With that in mind, I propose a three-month guide to wellness. It isn’t a medical guide, and you should always consult your GI about doing anything dietary or herbal, or even lifestyle changes.

As usual, start with moderation, and keep a daily journal — not just about the food you eat, but what you do, how much you exercise and for how long, when you have acupuncture or massage, or have your period, or if you are exposed to anything potentially toxic in your environment—keep track of it all! Dede swears by this, and Jessie says she has patients that immediately start making connections (like, for example, maybe that whole bag of chips you ate the other day wasn’t such a good idea….). That said, here is the First Two Week GOAL. Take it slow, and modify as necessary.

1. See the change and believe in the change! Visualize optimal colon health daily. See yourself happy, active, and vibrant in your mind.

2. Proper Mealtime Habits—eat slowly, and take your time preparing, shopping, and don’t overeat, or try new foods during the plan.

3. Remove major dietary causes of inflammation—keep a food journal, and stay away from trigger foods! (For Dede it is wheat, sugar, and dairy—I know, hard to imagine life without dairy? Then switch to almond milk which is so good!)

4. Add only one supplement or herbal medicine, whichever best suits you. This may be an acute remedy for diarrhea, acidophilus, or any other supportive medicine—for example, Dede started a new supplement, turmeric, which is a natural anti-inflammatory. She takes two capsules daily, and tries to cook a curry dish once a week or so.

5. Herbal teas: pick one of the teas that best fit your needs and drink daily. Dede drinks Peppermint! Also Chamomile is a good stress reducer. Add honey for sweetening, as you like.

6. Take it slow and easy. Be kind to yourself, and ask for help!

Happy New Year!
From Dede and Jessica, and the LWCC group—we are here for you!
Email with questions to dede@livingwithcrohnsandcolitisbook.com
Or to Jessica Black, ND at
Jessie@livingwithcrohnsandcolitisbook.com

Sam, Sherri, Dede, and Saskia at the end of the CCFA’s Nape to Sonoma Half Marathon last summer—we were all tired but elated to have finished, and raised almost 2 million dollars for IBD research for the CCFA.org.
Follow Saskia’s blog—she is an inspiration to us all!

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RX, Flare—Where to begin…. Here are some lifestyle tips, from Dede, who has been in remission from Crohns for almost eight years…. Do not despair.

“There is a saying in Tibetan, ‘Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength.’
No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that’s our real disaster.”
—The Dalai Lama

  • Start with your daily food journal.
    Take control: hydrate, sleep, exercise, yoga meditation, daily…
    Walk 1-4 miles per day
    Sleep at least 8 hours per night (take powdered magnesium bicarbonate—Dede likes “Natural Vitality’s Natural CALM in the Raspberry-Lemon flavor, drink fresh-squeezed lemon-lime-flavored water all day long (carry glass water bottle with you, and the new ones are encased in non-breakable plastic or rubber)
    Drink herbal teas—Chamomile, dandelion root, peppermint— and also Green Tea that has caffeine, but also comes in decaf.
  • Movement & Meditation

  • Exercise rule of thumb, keep it short, but keep at it…after my bowel resection, I would walk a few hundred yards each day, and gradually increased to my daily 4 miles—get out first thing in the morning after a cup of tea — try to climb some hills to get your heart rate up.
    Start a gentle yoga DvD (Rodney Yee’s a.m. Yoga is wonderful), and set up a “yoga studio” in your house or apartment somewhere (mine is in the basement with an old TV, but I have made it my own with a little table and a small wooden Buddha, candles—it is peaceful and my own space).
    This yoga will lead to guided meditation. Even 5-10 minutes a day improves patient outcomes! A local class or “sangha,” is a nice way to learn to meditate.
  • Watch Your Diet

  • Test for allergens (in our book), and find out if dairy or wheat cause bloating or diarrhea along with other foods.
    Once you get in tune with your body, you can start to really tell if certain foods make you begin to flare and you can back off immediately and note in your journal to keep track.
    Keep a list of safe foods, foods to avoid.
  • Body Care—It Pays to Be Beautiful!

  • Before a shower, take a dry Loofa sponge and brush your skin all over, moving from extremities toward your heart, then take a relaxing shower.
    Use essential oils to sniff daily. I like lavender oil in my bath, eucalyptus oil in the shower
    Massage your feet every night before you go to bed. Use a nice moisture lotion (with lavender, if you like it), and I add organic apricot or sesame oil to make it thicker.
    Take some “Natural Calm” magnesium powder each night in a hot glass of water before you go to bed… You will sleep better!
    Massage the back of your neck—press with acupressure in the “still point” at the base of your skull—get a friend, or spouse, to help.
    Speaking of….ASK FOR HELP! Don’t do what I did, which was to lie in bed and retreat from the world for days at a time…the only trip to the bathroom for a journey…. Ask for help—on Facebook, or pick up the phone.
    See a therapist, once a month, or join a group for IBD, Crohn’s, colitis, or autoimmune disease.
    Volunteer at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter, or environmental action group…. Altruistic behavior helps you to let go of stress.
  • Last, but not least, LAUGH every day! Watch the stupid pet videos… Or this goofy video my friend, Dodie, sent me this morning… She is going through cancer treatment, and she is very brave and a wonderful friend, who retains a sense of humor!
    ~~~~~~~
    ;))


    Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Crohn’s & Ulcerative Colitis)

    By Drew Nystrom L.Ac., CMT

    Our first-ever “guest post” on Dede’s blog! Drew and I “met” through Dede and Jessica Black, ND’s Facebook page, and Dede invited him to educate our readers and followers about the benefits of accupuncture. WTG, Drew! This is like a new book we should publish! A very thorough examination of signs and symptoms of Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis, along with specific treatment plans for acupuncture. Since Dede (seriously) is a wimp when it comes to needles (also, working on this using Ayurvedic treatment to help with this possible symptomatic “sensitivity” on the skin, which is very likely bowel, related, since the skin and the bowel ARE related!~)…Please welcome Drew, and share this, and come visit him if you live in the Southern California region—like our friends at the CrohnsJourneyFoundation.

    This happy woman is like Dede, who hates needles, but has monthly acupuncture treatment—it really helps alleviate symptoms and detoxify the overworked liver, etc. when you have an auto-immune disease

    This happy woman is like Dede, who hates needles, but has monthly acupuncture treatment—it really helps alleviate symptoms and detoxify the overworked liver, etc. when you have an auto-immune disease

    Inflammatory Bowel Disease is a heading/umbrella that has other diseases underneath it. You may have heard of Crohns Disease, Ulcerative Colitis and Irritable Bowel Disease. You may know someone who’s been diagnosed with one of these or you may have had one of these unfortunate afflictions. In any case these can be serious debilitating conditions that sometimes require extreme care for severe cases but all require long term care. In this article I will discuss the differences and similarities between the three.

    Crohn’s Disease: A chronic inflammatory condition of the intestinal tract was first described by Dr. Burrill B. Crohn in 1932, along with Dr. Leon Ginzburg and Dr. Gordon D. Oppenheimer. Mostly affects the end of the small intestine called the “Ileum” and the beginning of the colon/large intestine “Cecum” but can affect the entire length of the GI tract. Crohn’s disease can affect the entire thickness of the bowel wall leaving “skip lesions;” whereas, Ulcerative Colitis only affects the superficial layer of the large intestine.

    Ulcerative Colitis: A chronic inflammatory disease that affects only the Large Intestine (aka: colon). The lining of the colon becomes inflamed, and ulcerations occur which bleed and produce pus.The inflammation and the ulceration lead to spasms, cramping/pain and frequent bowel movements.

    Like Crohn’s Disease Ulcerative Colitis is an autoimmune disorder where your body attacks itself.

     

    Crohn’s Disease

    Symptoms related to inflammation of the GI tract:

    • Persistent Diarrhea

    • Rectal bleeding

    • Urgent need to move bowels

    • Abdominal cramps and pain

    • Sensation of incomplete evacuation

    • Constipation (can lead to bowel obstruction)

    More severe symptoms:

    • Fissures in the lining of the anus (tears)

    • Fistulas (tunnel from one loop of intestine to another or connects the intestine to the: bladder, vagina or skin)

    Ulcerative Colitis

    Symptoms related to inflammation of the Colon:

    • Bowel movements become looser and more urgent

    • Persistent diarrhea accompanied by abdominal pain and blood in the stool

    • Stool is generally bloody

    • Crampy abdominal pain

    General symptoms that may also be associated with IBD:

    • Fever

    • Loss of appetite

    • Weight Loss

    • Fatigue

    • Night sweats

    • Loss of normal menstrual cycle

    Types of Crohn’s Disease:

    Ileocolitis: The most common form of Crohn’s, ileocolitis affects the end of the small intestine (the ileum) and the large intestine (the colon). Symptoms include diarrhea and cramping or pain in the right lower part or middle of the abdomen. This type is often accompanied by significant weight loss.

    Ileitis: This type affects only the ileum. Symptoms are the same as ileocolitis. In severe cases, complications may include fistulas or inflammatory abscess in right lower quadrant of abdomen.

    Gastroduodenal Crohn’s disease: This type affects the stomach and the beginning of the small intestine (the duodenum). Symptoms include loss of appetite, weight loss, nausea, and vomiting.

    Jejunoileitis: This type is characterized by patchy areas of inflammation in the upper half of the small intestine (the jejunum). Symptoms include mild to intense abdominal pain and cramps following meals, as well as diarrhea. In severe cases or after prolonged periods, fistulas may form.

    Crohn’s (granulomatous) colitis: This type affects the colon only. Symptoms include diarrhea, rectal bleeding, and disease around the anus (abscess, fistulas, ulcers). Skin lesions and joint pains are more common in this form of Crohn’s than in others.

    Types of Ulcerative Colitis:

    Ulcerative Proctitis: For approximately 30% of all patients with ulcerative colitis, the illness begins as ulcerative proctitis. In this form of the disease, bowel inflammation is limited to the rectum. Because of its limited extent (usually less than the six inches of the rectum), ulcerative proctitis tends to be a milder form of ulcerative colitis. It is associated with fewer complications and offers a better outlook than more widespread disease.

    Proctosigmoiditis: Colitis affecting the rectum and the sigmoid colon, the lower segment of colon located right above the rectum. Symptoms include bloody diarrhea, cramps, and a constant feeling of the need to pass stool, known as tenesmus. Moderate pain on the lower left side of the abdomen may occur in active disease.

    Left-sided Colitis: Continuous inflammation that begins at the rectum and extends as far as a bend in the colon near the spleen called the splenic flexure. Symptoms include loss of appetite, weight loss, diarrhea, severe pain on the left side of the abdomen, and bleeding.

    Pan-ulcerative (total) Colitis: Affects the entire colon. Symptoms include diarrhea, severe abdominal pain, cramps, and extensive weight loss. Potentially serious complications include massive bleeding and acute dilation of the colon (toxic megacolon), which may lead to an opening in the bowel wall. Serious complications may require surgery.

    Causes and who’s affected:

    As many as 700,000 Americans may be affected by Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. It is equally common in men and women and while it can affect a person at any age there is a higher risk during the years from 18-35. The cause of IBD is not fully understood but there is a connection between diet and stress; as well as hereditary, genetics and/or environmental factors that play a role in the development of IBD. Studies have shown a greater risk of 5-20% increase in someone acquiring this disease if a “first-degree” relative (parent, child, sibling) has it and an even greater chance if both parents have an IBD. Crohn’s is most common among people with Eastern European backgrounds and it is increasing in number for African Americans. Ulcerative Colitis is more common among Europeans with a Jewish background heritage.

    The environment that you put yourself in plays an important role as well. The occurrence is higher in “developed” countries than in “underdeveloped countries, higher in urban areas rather than rural, and in northern versus southern climates.

    Treatment with Chinese Medicine:

    acupuncture-lakewood-ca-269x300Due to the differential diagnosis that is applied in Chinese Medicine there are different “patterns” that exist when dealing with a disease. This is a similar idea to the different types of Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis described above. However, with Chinese Medicine, the patterns are based off of the symptoms the patient is currently experiencing as well as their history, their facial color, body odor, general demeanor, abdominal diagnostic, pulse diagnostic and tongue diagnostic. All of this information is compiled which leads to one of many “diagnostic patterns” to which the according acupuncture points, herbal formula, diet and lifestyle is prescribed. Chinese Medicine is a powerful therapy that can help treat severe cases and help keep mild cases and patients who are in remission stay in remission.

    Before we discuss the differential diagnosis, there are a few terms that need to be explained. First one is the “Organ” system. In Chinese Medicine each organ is attributed to specific functions that don’t necessarily match a scientific viewpoint. For example the “Spleen” and “Stomach” are considered to be in charge of the digestive functions and water metabolism in Chinese Medicine. The “Spleen” actually handles some of the function of the “Western” spleen, pancreas and small intestine. The “Liver” has to do with the free flow of qi, which is easily obstructed by stress, emotions, diet and lifestyle. The “Kidney” can be attributed to water metabolism, as well as genetics and our “reserves.” The term “burning the candle at both ends” is a great way to describe how stress and lifestyle can damage the Kidneys. The “Heart” has to do with our emotions and deals with blood. When the digestive system isn’t absorbing food properly we cannot produce the nutrients and blood needed to support these organs. “Heat” refers to inflammation and “Dampness” refers to water metabolism malfunction. Both of these can manifest in numerous ways, as you will see below.

    Below are examples of some different patterns that could be “diagnosed” as Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis and what the treatment principle should be.

    • Spleen Qi Deficiency: Intermittent dull abdominal pain that is alleviated with pressure, abdominal distention, early satiety, nausea, loose stools or diarrhea, loss of appetite, waxy pale or sallow complexion, fatigue, weakness, shortness of breath with exertion, spontaneous sweating, dizziness, and light headedness. Might have mild bleeding of dark, purplish blood, or less commonly, red blood preceding or following a bowel movement; or black, tarry, sticky, unformed stools; or occult blood in the stool discovered upon routine testing. There may be other signs of bleeding, such as heavy menstrual periods or easy bruising.

    • Tongue: pale and swollen, with tooth marks (or pale and thin with significant blood deficiency).
    • Pulse: Thready and weak or moderate.
    • Treatment Principle: Strengthen Spleen, supplement and elevate qi. Nourish Blood and stop bleeding.

    • Liver Qi invading the Spleen: Recurrent Diarrhea which may be urgent and preceded by cramping abdominal pain. The pain is relieved following defecation. The diarrhea may alternate with constipation. Symptoms become worse with stress and tension or eating. There is a possibility of mucus and blood in the stool. Other signs and symptoms include abdominal distention, poor appetite, nausea, heartburn, indigestion, borborygmus, flatulence and belching, which relieve abdominal discomfort, hypochondriac discomfort, ache and tightness generally worse on the right side, irritability, depression, moodiness, shoulder and neck tension, temporal or tension headaches, cold fingers and toes, premenstrual syndrome and breast tenderness.

    • Tongue: normal or darkish body, or pale, or with slightly red edges: greasy coat especially over the root (depending on the degree of heat, deficiency and Dampness.
    • Pulse: Wiry
    • Treatment Principle: Harmonize the Liver and Spleen, regulate Liver qi, Support and strengthen Spleen, Alleviate spasm and pain, and stop diarrhea.

    • Blood Stagnation: Chronic Diarrhea with a feeling of incomplete evacuation or tenesmus. The stools may be purple or black, sticky or tarry. The diarrhea may alternate with constipation.Fixed and localized, sharp or stabbing abdominal pain (usually in the lower left quadrant) which is worse with pressure. Dark complexion, dark rings around the eyes and purple nails. Spider naevi or vascular abnormalities over the abdomen, face and legs (particularly the inner knee and ankle).

    • Tongue: purple or with brown or purple stasis spots; sublingual veins dark and distended
    • Pulse: wiry, choppy or thready.
    • Treatment Principle: Transform and eliminate stagnant Blood from the Intestines.

    • Damp Heat dysenteric disorder: Frequent, foul smelling, explosive diarrhea with blood, mucus and pus: the mixture of mucus and blood will vary depending on the balance of Heat and Damp.Burning anus, tenesmus, colicky abdominal pain, abdominal distention, scanty concentrated urine, red complexion, red eyes, dry mouth, and thirst (maybe with little desire to drink). In the early stages there may be fever and chills, headache and a floating pulse.

    • Tongue: greasy yellow coat; with more Heat a red tongue body and a dry coat; with more Dampness, a thick greasy tongue coat
    • Pulse: slippery and rapid.
    • Treatment Principle: Clear Damp Heat from the Intestines and Regulate Qi and Blood, stop pain.

    • Spleen and Kidney Yang Deficiency: Chronic and relentless diarrhea which is thin, watery and mucoid, and may contain pus and blood. In severe cases there may be incontinence of stools and rectal prolapse. The diarrhea is worse from exposure to cold and cold foods. Mild tenesmus or a dragging sensation in the lower abdomen, not relieved by diarrhea. Mild persistent abdominal pain, which is better with warmth and pressure. Loss of appetite, listlessness, fatigue exhaustion, depression. A waxy pale or sallow complexion, cold extremities, cold intolerance, weakness and soreness of the lower back and legs.

    • Tongue: Pale and swollen with a thin white coat.
    • Pulse: deep, thready, weak and slow.
    • Treatment Principle: Warm and Strengthen the Spleen and Kidney Yang. Disperse Cold, transform Dampness. Astringe diarrhea and elevate qi.

    • Yin Deficiency with Residual Damp Heat : Chronic diarrhea with small quantities of sticky mucus and blood. Frequent urge to defecate but often in vain. Mild lower abdominal pain, tenesmus, loss of appetite, nausea, dry mouth and lips, thirst worse at night, afternoon or tidal fever that’s worse at night. Heat in the palms and soles, nightsweats, flushing , emaciation, weight loss.

    • Tongue: red or scarlet and dry, with a greasy or peeled coat.
    • Pulse: thready and rapid.
    • Treatment Principle: Nourish and supplement yin and clear residual Damp Heat. Nourish and regulate Blood and stop dysentery.

    • Heart and Kidney Yin Deficiency: Recurrent mouth ulcers, which appear in clusters and tend to aggregate on the tongue or tongue tip. The ulcers are painful and hot, with a narrow, slightly swollen, mildly red margin. They frequently recur and persist for up to several weeks before resolving. Often of many years duration, the ulcers tend to be provoked or aggravated when the patient is stressed, anxious or upset. Nervous, anxious individual, insomnia, vivid dreaming, panic attacks, palpitations, forgetfulness, dizziness, tinnitus, lumbar ache, sensation of heat in the palms and soles, dry mouth and throat, night sweats.

    • Tongue: red with little or no coat, redder at the tip.
    • Pulse: Thready and rapid.
    • Treatment Principles: Nourish Heart and Kidney yin. Clear Heat, calm the (spiritual) Shen.

    Forms of treatment include acupuncture, herbal formulas (which can be taken internal or external), Massage/tuina, dietary therapy, exercise and lifestyle consultation. When we utilize and multiple forms of therapy results are seen at a rapid rate.

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    *Disclaimer: The information offered in this paper is not intended to diagnose but rather to inform the public about IBD and give a brief look at how Chinese Medicine looks at and treats IBD.
    References:
    http://www.ccfa.org /
    • Will Maclean and Jane Lyttleton, (2003), Clinical Handbook of Internal Medicine “The
    Treatment Of Disease with Traditional Chinese Medicine” Volume 2 Spleen and Stomach, University of Western Sydney


    Tryptophan is one of the 10 essential amino acids that the body uses to synthesize the proteins it needs. It’s well-known for its role in the production of nervous system messengers, especially those related to relaxation, restfulness, and sleep.

    I am now aware why I love turkey so much—I sometimes even crave it. I always feel more relaxed after I eat turkey, and this may explain why….There are many researchers who study the way tryptophan manufactures serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is found—guess where?—in the intestinal tract. Just about 90% of the body’s serotonin is actually found in the gut, so my gut tells me to eat it, and I am not even a biochemist!

    Since it is almost Thanksgiving, I thought I would write a post about this, and it may help those with UC also.

    Tryptophan has the ability to raise serotonin levels, too! Wow, who knew this? I love the fact that I can eat turkey, nuts, seeds, bananas, soybeans and soy products, tuna, shellfish …. organic, locally-raised red meat as well, AND feel better due to the addition of this amino acid. I have tuna fish once a week, and I crave it also—I only buy tuna caught sustainably, such as by pole or line methods, without the use of what is called “bycatch,” which sounds like what it is—a horrible method of using nets called purse seines (Watch this horrible video to see the damage!) . Tuna is a delicacy, and should ONLY be purchased from a fully accredited and Greenpeace-certified company.

    Tryptophan also boosts the production of B3, and since I had a partial bowel resection in 2006, I need to keep track of my B vitamins (especially since my terminal ileum is completely gone, I have lost the capacity to fully absorb vitamin B12).

    Everything I eat is sourced, and mostly bought from local farms. It is not that hard to do. For instance, our turkey is a Vermont-raised, free running turkey 🙂 Potatoes are from here, butternut squash, apples, pumpkins—all from Vermont; cranberries are organic and from Cape Cod.

    So, cool. A bit or dietary research unravels mysteries of cravings from this writer with Crohn’s disease!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Note: My new cookbook just came out! Check it out here–maybe buy a copy! 

    Dede Cummings has Crohn’s disease and she is working with Adam (http://www.ihaveuc.com) on this awesome new site to give people with Crohn’s disease, and other types of IBD (inflammatory bowel disease), a place to go and connect (yes, and to even vent!), and share stories. on November 23, 2011 at 8:35 am

    When I was having flares (for Crohn’s disease), and they had trouble diagnosing me, I had to have lots of tests, like “colos” (as the are commonly called when you are an IBD patient at my clinic) that were quite frankly unpleasant and the prep medicine was noxious (the other not-so-fun test is called a barium enema, so that involves basically drinking metal that they follow down from your esophagus to your stomach and into the large intestine).

    One thing some doctors aren’t good at is telling you the details, so, if you are new (and possibly nervous), I advise doing your own research. In my own case, especially since I have a chronic disease (though I am in remission now, thanks in part to the SCD), I usually take great care in my prep for the test. The problem is we are all busy and sometimes don’t have time to plan and take the necessary time to prepare.

    If you approach the colonoscopy with a positive attitude (as if were a “cleansing” kind of thing), you will be less anxious, at least that has been the case in my experience. (As an aside, my father used to love the lightness he felt after the test, since he was always trying to loose weight!) However, it is not always a pleasant experience for people, and many are anxious about it not working fully and being embarrassed. I am sure that the doctors and nurses have seen it all, really, but that doesn’t help when it is you as the patient!

    Back when I was first being diagnosed in the late 1990s, I was given the Fleet enemas to use, however many hospitals don’t recommend them anymore. Laxatives can be very dangerous and can cause problems, especially in the elderly, or people in the midst of IBD flares, etc. Since UC/Crohn’s diagnosis and preventing colon cancer is a huge concern, the test is important and should be done—in my case, yearly; but most people over 50 who have normal results can go less often obviously.

    The delicate balance within the body to maintain homeostasis is something you don’t want to throw off. The goal of the color “pre-prep,” is to draw water into the gut to flush it out in order to get the best and most accurate picture for the test.

    A few days before my test, I start eating lighter: I usually have small frequent meals anyway as part of my regular IBD-prevention/anti-inflammatory diet that I follow from Dr. Black’s naturopathic recommendations.

    Soups, like clear organic chicken broth, are the best for maintaining an electrolyte balance. You don’t want to load up on foods that create bulk in the gut at the time that you start this process, the more you have to eliminate–you will be more comfortable if you don’t have to deal with so much of it 🙂

    The prep that they ordered for me to take is called “Halfytel”TM (I hate those cute-spelling names for things that make you feel bad!), which induces catharsis (which is increased motility of the gut), and it does that by a combination of the electrolytes and the osmotic effect, that is drawing more water into the gut–there is sodium and polyethylene glycol (electrolytes) in this product. The Bisacodyl tablets that you also take the day before and the morning of your test are basically “stool softeners,” and they produce a direct irritant action on the gut that also increases motility (the speed and contractions of the gut). When you speed this up, it literally pushes everything along. How is that for a description?

    So two days before, I eat small frequent, less-bulky meals: clear soups, fat-free things, small portions of skinless baked chicken, and simple, SCD-approved things like applesauce. The day before the exam, after breakfast, I follow a clear liquid diet—green tea, water, plain natural gelatins (commercially called Jell-O, but like the natural stuff without refined sugars). You cannot have any solid food, and it is important not to drink anything dark red or purple (like grape juice).

    So, you order the prescription five days before, and you drink the HalfLytely, or Nulytely, the morning of your procedure—only clear liquids until two hours before. I arrive at the hospital at 9:00 and you check in and then hang out. They give you a drug that totally relaxes you (I cannot remember the name—Versed?), and that really helps! Usually, I can go home by 12:30. Many times, I am awake during the procedure, but I know my medical team so well, that we usually joke around. You lie on your side and it is important to have a highly skilled doctor perform the test, because there is a risk of bowel perforation (sounds as bad as it is!).

    After my colonoscopy, I usually reintroduce foods SLOWLY and keep a food journal, to make sure something doesn’t irritate me—I start with tea, then add applesauce, turkey, etc, lots of healthy organic food. After a few days, I get back on my vitamin, Omega 3, flax and probiotic supplements—going slowly; obviously, you can’t drink alcohol around this time, or sodas and unhealthy, or fried foods, if you follow the SCD, but people shouldn’t eat that stuff anyway—I don’t eat any processed food at all, no sugar, no wheat, for almost five years now! I live on fruits and veggies (and I added rice back in after I was fully in remission with no problems, and I added some caffeine, too) and proteins—I also drink lots of water. I wrote this piece mostly because I was asked by an reporter to give her some information about colonoscopies, so I thought it might be helpful for people on Adam’s site, and mine, too. Now, back to stacking wood for winter!