Wednesday, March 30, 2011
I am not a big drinker. I never have been and I doubt I ever will be. Going beyond the fact that I don't like most cheap brands of liqueur or beer, I have also come to despise the Crohn's side affects that come along with imbibing. The biggest factor for me is hydration. My body needs a lot of water (without sugars or salts) in order to remain in working order. The less water in my system, the more likely I am to have a flair-up. Alcohol, in it's myriad forms, tends to dehydrate any normal person. I think you can see where I am heading with this.
I have relegated myself to one or two drinks on any given day for this reason. If I go over that number, then I am able to feel my insides starting to bind and swell. God forbid I drink more than once every four days as I will again go into a downward spiral.
Going beyond quantity and timing, the type of alcohol also plays a big part. Does it have dairy? Excess sugar? Additional fat? A higher alcohol content? Certain ingredients that could be considered contraband to my already compromised system? This is a lot of thought going into something that is supposed to be relaxing, social, and fun.
It's a good thing that I don't like sweet drinks that much since refined sugars tend to take a greater toll on me; but that's another article.
Friday, March 25, 2011
So many people are obsessed with being thin. If even an iota of fat is visible on someone, ridicule and zingers follow from every quarter. I don't understand where this fat-phobia comes from. Don't get me wrong, I am not advocating a life of obesity. I am advocating staying away from a lifestyle or a diet that would make you look like either Paris Hilton (too thin), Kate Moss (MUCH too thin), Chris Farley (too large), or John Candy (MUCH too large.)
It is fairly well publicized what happens when someone grows too large. For someone with Crohn's, being too thin can be just as deadly. There have been several times where I have lost large amounts of weight in two to three days. When you are thin and lose between thirty and fifty pounds in such a short time you are going to the hospital no matter the situation.
When my Crohn's first manifested, I was 150 pounds and 6 feet tall. I lost forty pounds in a matter of two days. Suffice to say, I was in the hospital for quite some time. Over the course of the next decade, I would have a flair, lose a large amount of weight, and then precariously work my way back to my "perfect" weight.
Then the worst possible thing happened -- my Crohn's caused my intestine to hemorrhage. I will go into more detail concerning the surgery at a later time. The aftermath left me out of commission for over six months and unable to lift anything over five pounds for longer than that. My newfound weakness, coupled with the fact that my belly had been sewn-up in a jumbled manner, helped me to decide to put on extra weight. It was about 18 months after the surgery when my next flair occurred. At this point I was weighing about 180 pounds and starting to show a bit of a belly. For someone that is obsessive-compulsive about his weight, it was very difficult to put the weight on while watching my belly grow larger. I still lost 30 pounds, but this time I didn't have to go to the hospital.
I have found that keeping myself between 30 to 50 pounds over my "ideal" weight helps keep me out of the hospital when I do have a flair-up. If I go any over that, I start to get sluggish, experience acid reflux, and am unable to fit into my clothes. Having had a lot of time to think it over, I can only conclude that it has to do with the inflammation that occurs in the intestine. Someone suffering from Crohn's Disease has issues absorbing nutrients from the food they eat on any given day. Add in a bout of inflammation where the body is unable to absorb anything and you have an issue. Anyone that is thin will wind up using all of their reserves before the inflammation is gone.
A little extra weight can only help you.
Sunday, March 20, 2011
I have just finished my latest regimen of Prednisone. My flare-ups, while just as painful, are lasting shorter periods of time as I figure out the nuance of what I can and cannot eat. The fact that I can self-administer Prednisone is a big help. It is so sad that so many people have made the administration of prescriptions so difficult. I have heard stories about people overdoing their dosages of Prednisone just so they don't have to deal with the pain of their Crohn's Disease. I hate taking Prednisone.
There are TOO many issues that arise from poor Prednisone management.