A Comprehensive Naturopathic Guide for Complete Digestive Wellness

I follow a lot of sites, and the University of San Francisco Medical Center, the Cleveland Cinic, the Mayo Clinic, etc., all have great resources. In addition to these sets, I follow the Paleo Nurse, Jssica Black, ND.,etc.

I just read an article about a small Turkish study that shows how beneficial massage is in boosting our immune response by stimulating the activity of T cells (Jessie and I talk a lot about this in our book!) which help to fight off infection. It behooves those of us with IBD, or celiac diseases, or other auto-immune diseases, to enhance our immune function. One great way to boost your immune response, ease anxiety associated with your disease, be more comfortable with your body, encourage limbic drainage, and improve overall circulation and psychological mood is through MASSAGE! Yes, it is a perfect stocking stuffer-gift for the holidays, too. So, ask for a massage for Christmas (if money is tight, ask your caregiver, spouse, or partner to give you one!).

Diet After a Flare
I always keep a food journal—and it helps you stay grounded and focused as you become more empowered as a Crohn’s, colitis, IBD/IBS, celiac or diverticular disease patient. That said, I offer some UCSF tips I researched for my upcoming cookbook (2014, the Living With Crohn’s & Colitis Cookbook) for what to eat after a flare-up:

Diet Recommendations for Ulcerative Colitis Flare

    Follow a low residue diet to relieve abdominal pain and diarrhea.
    Avoid foods that may increase stool output such as fresh fruits and vegetables, prunes and caffeinated beverages.
    Decrease concentrated sweets in your diet, such as juices, candy and soda, to help decrease amounts of water pulled into your intestine, which may contribute to watery stools.
    Decrease alcohol consumption.
    Try incorporating more omega-3 fatty acids in your diet. These fats may have an anti-inflammatory effect. They are found in fish, including salmon, mackerel, herring and sardines.
    Patients often find that smaller, more frequent meals are better tolerated. This eating pattern can help increase the amount of nutrition you receive in a day.
    Consider taking nutritional supplements if appetite is poor and solid foods are not tolerated well (see section on recommended liquid supplements).

Diet Recommendations for Crohn’s Disease Flare

    Follow a low residue diet to relieve abdominal pain and diarrhea.
    If you have strictures, it is especially important to avoid nuts, seeds, beans and kernels.
    Avoid foods that may increase stool output such as fresh fruits and vegetables, prunes and caffeinated beverages. Cold foods may help reduce diarrhea.
    If you have lactose intolerance, follow a lactose-free diet. Lactose intolerance causes gas, bloating, cramping and diarrhea 30 to 90 minutes after eating milk, ice cream or large amounts of dairy. A breath hydrogen test may confirm suspicions of lactose intolerance.
    If you have oily and foul-smelling stools, you may have fat malabsorption. Treat fat malabsorption by following a low-fat diet. Discuss these symptoms with your doctor or nutritionist.
    Smaller, more frequent meals are better tolerated and can maximize nutritional intake.
    If your appetite is decreased and solid foods not tolerated well, consider taking nutritional supplements (see section on recommended liquid supplements).

Diet Progression Following Flares for Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease

    Continue to follow a low residue diet and slowly add back a variety of foods.
    Begin with well-tolerated liquids and advance to soft solids, then solids (see below for liquid and solid food suggestions).
    Introduce one or two items every few days and avoid any foods that cause symptoms.
    Add fiber to diet as tolerated. Well-tolerated fiber sources include tender cooked vegetables, canned or cooked fruits, and starches like cooked cereals and whole wheat noodles and tortillas (note: corn is not as easily tolerated as rice flour for many with IBD).
    Between flares, eat a wide variety of foods as tolerated. This includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and low-fat and nonfat dairy products.
    Increase your calorie and protein intake following a flare. Abdominal pain, diarrhea and decreased appetite may have caused poor food intake. Steroids used to treat flares also can increase protein needs.

Suggestions for first foods after a flare include:

    Homemade bone broth, gradually adding chicken soup (see SCD recioe)
    Diluted juices (no sugar added juice only)—use 3/4 water
    Banana
    Applesauce
    Canned fruit
    Oatmeal
    Plain chicken, turkey or fish
    Cooked eggs or egg substitutes—Try Dede’s 7-minute soft boiled egg (some of you can’t tolerate eggs, but they are a good source of protein and nourishment)
    Mashed potatoes or well-cooked rice
    Bread — Dede advocates no eating bread/grains at all, except grain made from almond, or coconut), but sometimes, a slice of toast with a little honey is the perfect compliment to your post- or during- flare menu (remember, mark everything in your food journal, and keep a daily log)

Keep on keeping it on, in the New Year!

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