Editor’s note: In the third part of the series “Crohn’s Disease Questions,” Mary Horsley discusses food and other suggestions and comments she gets about Crohn’s Disease and IBD. Read part one and part two of the series.
With chronic illness comes questions and suggestions of how to manage your IBD, from family members, friends, acquaintances and sometimes even strangers. Food questions or suggestions come from outsiders to our disease, from people trying to figure out their limitations, gain ideas about their disease, understand others’ suffering, or find how patients manage and live with IBD. Sometimes they are meant with genuine care or understanding; other times with hidden agendas or dismissal.
Sometimes, questions or suggestions are valid, other times, off the wall. I have heard everything from no-gluten to my mascara possibly causing issues … in my bowel?!
Food questions: The food questions and suggestions come a dime a dozen. With each basic Crohn’s question that comes my way, I usually get double the number of food questions and concerns. With a little research, one can find that all sufferers are different, and we cannot expect the one management plan with food or diet to work for all.
What can you eat? Is it just an allergy? Is it from gluten or is it your diet? Should you be eating this food or can you eat or drink that? Why don’t you eat more? Eat less? How can you eat that food, but not this food? Can’t you just splurge for once?
Suggestions: Have you tried (fill in the blank)? Sadly, I have had plenty of these suggestions, many of them irresponsible ones. People try to profit with multi-level marketing schemes, preying on those who are desperate to find relief.
Have you tried this food? Have you tried that food? Fish oil? Supplement suggestions? Have you changed your diet? More fiber? Less gluten, carbs, spices, etc.? Have you changed your workout or tried to work out? Have you tried not having stress? Can’t you just take aspirin? Have you tried losing or gaining weight?
Crohn’s and IBD are autoimmune diseases that have an unknown cause. They don’t just happen because of a patient’s lack of care or through lifestyle choices. We did not cause this. We did not ask for this. And we certainly don’t look forward to feeling as bad as we do or suffering from all of the terrible symptoms we have.
For me, It Could Be Worse.
Note: IBD News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of IBD News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to IBD.