Crohn's Disease - track it

I was recently diagnosed with Crohn's Disease. It ain't pretty but it isn't like hearing you have a terminal illness. Basically I need to modify my lifestyle so I am doing things just about everyone should do anyway:
  • eat healthy foods (sometimes certain foods, even healthy ones, can cause "flare ups" which lead to GI unpleasantness, back pain, gut pain, and so forth)
  • reduce stress (I can't get mad anymore; when I do I can feel a very distinct set of physical changes take place in my body... same goes for frustration, anxiety, and so on... good thing I like meditating)
  • pay more attention to signs of fatigue and sleep more (getting lots of rest helps my body repair itself and reduces stress)
So as you can see, this is stuff most people do anyway. Sure, I've had to make fast food a once per quarter treat instead of once every couple days, and I can no longer drink coffee (1/3 of a cup and I'm heading for the border, so to speak) but overall things haven't been so bad. The hardest thing is the mental aspect. I don't care how cheerful you are, at some point the knowledge that you may or may not be in pain for the majority of time you are around from here on out (unless it goes into remission, which happens) can get to you. In some people the symptoms of Crohn's lead to depression, etc. Well, nothing cheers me up like numbers so I have decided to track how well I feel in a spreadsheet at various times during the day. I rate my self between 0 and 1 and average all entries for a day. This is then used to determine if I had a good day (>0.5) or a bad day. I then calculate the ratio of good to bad days. It helps keep things in perspective. The data entry aspect also gives me a chance to log my symptoms, food I have eaten, medication/supplements I am taking, etc. All very good stuff to keep track of when trying to find out what works for me (apparently with Crohn's everyone is different). Anyway, that's how I am coping right now.


CoralPoetry said…

That's a horrible piece of luck. Try meditation and yoga.

macdonaldster said…
Mediation helps. Yoga is good too, but I find the stiffness/pain from the inflammation makes it hard to really enjoy this sort of thing or keep up with it regularly. I do try to work out and do cardio (we have a few exercise machines, etc) when I had the energy (normally early in the AM).
Anonymous said…
While data on dietary modifications in Crohn's disease is limited, a low sugar, low lactose, low aluminum diet might help. In addition, any iron supplements should be taken only if needed and under the supervision of a physician

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