Part One

I have Crohn's disease as most people who follow me know. If you haven't followed me or are new to my articles, I try to live openly with the disease. Crohn's is a rare inflammatory condition that is in the same family with MS, Lupus, UC, and now some cancers.

Is food the culprit?

Fourteen years ago, I had my worst flare of Crohn's disease. Before that I lived with occasional flares that made me sick once a year or so until I woke up one day with severe cramping, vomiting, and blood that didn't stop. First it was a day, then a week, then a few months went by.

After losing 20 pounds I finally saw my doctor. When I got home, I hit the Internet to find out exactly what this disease was and what caused it. Of course that was after sobbing for four hours when I learned I was going to have to face the toughest of drugs and/or have my entire colon removed and then some. I remember sitting in the doctors office when he gave me the verdict. He had a surgeons' referral in his hand.

I said no. I wanted to try the drugs first. See if they worked. I began my research. At first glance, the experts suggested Crohn's was autoimmune which is when the body attacks itself, thinking what is normal is abnormal. I recently discovered that new research suggest that autoimmune disorders and cancer share a pathogenic connection.

Terrific. In fact, most if not all diseases that are deemed autoimmune share the same response as far as abnormal reactions to normal biological actions. The question is why?

Before I go on, I need to make a statement so you know where I am coming from. I did not believe food to be a source of the autoimmune gene reaction. I did not think the FDA would approve of drugs and foods that would hurt the human body.

I thought that the people who pointed out links to food and autoimmune diseases were conspiracy theorists at best. Simple nut jobs if you get my drift.

Eating whatever you want

My doctor assured me that food did not create the problem. It was my body who hated my digestive system so it was my body that was the problem. My disease was now considered severe so they gave me chemotherapy drugs to crush my immune system and the drugs made me sick.

I was nauseous most of the time and if I wasn't living with diarrhea 10 times a day I was throwing up. I took these pills every single day and injections once a week for at least a year. I continued to get sicker and sicker and eventually ended up in the hospital with sepsis. My hair fell out in clumps in the bathroom sink and depression grew worse. I did as I was told and tried every food on the planet. At times I just drank Boost. A feeding tube was an option, but I really wanted to do this on my own.

It seemed like everything digestible made me sick. Eventually, I resorted to easily digestible processed foods, high in sugar and low in fiber. It was all my system could handle. I discovered that Crohn's disease patients, whom you think would be stick thin, are often on the heavy side.

Why? High sugar, low fiber and that's a fact. However, when a Crohn's patient reaches that point they are correct in saying that is all they can eat because literally, that is all they can eat. Crohn's patients also are prone to diabetes, some because of Prednisone which raises your blood sugar, but also because of the food we eat because it is the only food we can eat.

Facebook buddies keep me going strong

I asked my Facebook friends to share some of their go to foods for flares in honor of IBD Awareness Month, but keep in mind these foods are great for all autoimmune diseases as they Fight inflammatory substances. To see their suggestions and ideas click here.

Part Two next week: Why the foods you eat make you sick.

#crohns #ibd #cancer #colitis #uc