Possible IBD and fasting

This topic contains 3 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  LJoyce 4 years, 2 months ago.

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  • Hi all,
    I’ve really enjoyed the insights of Michael Mosley’s books (and programmes) on fasting and recently finished reading the clever guts diet. As it happens I have developed some worrying gut problems quite suddenly over the past 6 weeks or so and been to see the doctors on several occasions, had examinations and will be getting my blood and stool tested.
    They strongly suspect I have inflammatory bowel disease – in part this is very useful as I’ve been extremely anxious about the problems I’m having and it’s good to have a name to something I can research, on the other hand my appointment at a gastroenterology clinic, despite being marked as urgent, isn’t for another 13 weeks, I haven’t been able to have anything specific diagnosed or ruled out, and I’ve been told to just keep monitoring my symptoms in the mean time.

    Unfortunately life has been really uncomfortable with this lately and I’m just wondering if there is anything I can do for relief while I wait this out. For the moment I think I will keep a food diary to see if I can see any patterns where my symptoms are worse with specific food, but I’m also thinking it could be relatively harmless to try intermittent fasting, particularly when my bloating is bad. A few web sites allude to fasting being beneficial with IBD but I’d be really interested to hear if there’s anyone here with personal experience of it as I feel somewhat in the dark at the moment.

    Flibble,

    I don’t know whether fasting will help, although if you are having issues when eating then giving your gut a break by fasting does sound sensible.

    A food diary is also an excellent place to start. Whether they diagnose one of the inflammatory bowel diseases (such as Crohn’s disease), or IBS, or something else, diet is usually connected to some symptoms. Most people with severe symptoms have to work with a dietitian on an elimination and re-introduction program to work out what foods aggravate your symptoms.
    I have IBS and have learned a lot from a detailed food diary. I also have cousins with Crohn’s who have to be extremely careful with their diet as a lot of things seem to trigger inflammation for them.
    It’s important that you don’t just list foods but record time of day, food, drink, mood & situation. List medications and other supplements taken too. The detail is important because it can be a combination of factors that’s causing symptoms and stress can make symptoms worse for some people.
    As an example – I figured out that I was reacting to both iron and calcium supplements when I took them in the morning on an empty stomach (they caused vomiting). Now I take them with my main meal and they cause no problems. So sometimes it can be a combination of things that highlight the problem and provide a solution.

    I hope you get answers soon.

    Hi LJoyce, thanks very much for that info – I hadn’t really thought to go into detail about the time of day but that does make sense, I’ll be adding that into my diary. I think stress has certainly been an aggravating factor as worrying about my symptoms has been continuously on my mind and I’ve lost a bit of sleep (vicious cycle), but I am also having difficulty at work as I recently learned we may be facing redundancies by December. I do hope the food diary can be productive in the interim, it would be great if I can discover any aggravating foods (or as you say, patterns with foods at certain times of day) while I wait.
    As I’m very bloated at the moment I’m trying fasting today, so I will just have liquids (herbal tea and water) and then have a small meal this evening.

    Flibble,

    I hope your first fast day goes well and it helps ease the symptoms.

    I don’t know whether this is helpful for IBD, but for IBS a low FODMAP diet can be helpful. FODMAPs are: http://shepherdworks.com.au/disease-information/low-fodmap-diet/
    If you want to try this program, I would recommend just keeping a diary of your normal eating for a couple of weeks first, before making changes. Then you have some baseline data to make comparisons with.
    The following sites explain how an elimination diet works and gives you a printable list of low FODMAP foods.
    https://www.verywell.com/how-to-follow-the-low-fodmap-diet-1944680
    https://livinghappywithibs.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/low-fodmap-foods-to-enjoy-20140406.jpg
    There is also a Fodmap app available on itunes.

    The FODMAP plan is for IBS, I think for the diseases that come under the IBD banner the foods that cause inflammation may be different. Everyone I know with Crohn’s is highly gluten intolerant.

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