Saturday, June 23, 2012

Living With Crohn's

It's doubtful any of you lovely followers knows this, but I suffer from Crohn's Disease. What is Crohn's you ask?

Crohn's disease is a form of inflammatory disease that usually affects the intestines, but may occur anywhere. The exact cause of Crohn's disease is unknown, making very difficult to prevent. It is also an autoimmune disorder, which means it is a condition that occurs when your body's immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy body tissue. It's symptoms are many, but a few are fatigue, weight loss, dehydration, and severe abdominal pain.

There's no cure for this disease, and there is no way to avoid it, as it's been linked to both race and genetic predispositions. My family has a history of this type of issue, so it was no big surprise to me that I managed to get it as well. I first noticed symptoms when I was in Middle School, about 11 years ago, but I was diagnosed until last year. It tends to affect people more between the ages of 15-35.

But, there is some good new, you can manage the symptoms by watching what you eat. Even this though, is no one size fits all prevention plan. What makes me ill, doesn't my dad sick, and vise-versa. So there's a lot of testing out foods, and seeing what happens. As you can imagine, this is not always a walk in the park. Add to that, the fact that sometimes the foods you can and can't eat, change. For instance, four years ago I could eat all the pork I wanted. now, I can't get near it. And even the way a food is cooked depends on if I can eat it, as well as the amount. So I'm always on a constant search for the next food to put either on the Do or Don't lists. So far a list of the foods I can't eat is below:

Raw onions in more than a teaspoon amount
Any pepper besides bell pepper, and even then, it has to be a small amount and cooked till almost soggy.
Pork of any kind
Almost all red meat, unless organic or hormone free
Anything spicy, includes even black pepper
Too much salt
Certain kinds of fish
Anything too fatty or greasy

And the list could go on forever and ever. But, I can eat fresh fruits and veggies, and healthy foods that help maintain a good diet. So, I'll be posting more about my efforts to find more commercially available foods that I can eat with no problem, that still taste yummy. I hope you'll all enjoy!

Love and Lightning Bugs,

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