Friday, August 17, 2012


I am now fully decaffeinated. I'd be lying if I said it was easy or a cake-walk to go cold turkey. I have been fighting through my lack of energy and the craving I have for coffee and tea. It doesn't help that I actually enjoy the flavor of black coffee and tea. According to several books, it takes at least three weeks for your body to expel all caffeine from your system and to reattenuate to a normal hormonal regimen.

At the four week mark, I can say that I am finally starting to feel my energy return. I am starting my workouts again and am surprised at how alert I am at the end of the day without any caffeine. In the mornings, I no longer have that shadow of sluggishness. The only time that I feel the day beating on me is around lunch time, and I still feel compelled to get some tea. I will let my body adjust to this new equilibrium, though.

I can see people scowling as I talk about my self-immolation. Why would I do such a thing? Why would I put myself through this hell when I have so many other health issue to attend to? It is because of my other issues that I am doing this. My breathing is better. My allergies don't feel as bad. And I don't like prednisone. Caffeine stimulates your body in a very similar way to prednisone and causes many of the same issues. That was my biggest motivator.

I won't go into nuance, but I do know that the differences in my body and attitude are already perceptible. I will continue on this path and build my energy reserves back to their previous heights.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Chronically Malnourished

Our food sustains our bodies. If our bodies cannot process that food, then we become malnourished, get sick and waste away. This series of thoughts is very prevalent in IBD. Everyone "knows" that in the past my Crohn's has kept me from absorbing nutrients thus causing a downward spiral into flare-ups and pain. I am at a point that I am questioning this paradigm. I am asking myself, "What if the entire reason I have Crohn's Disease is because of the fact that I have been chronically malnourished my entire life?"

In the past century, our foods have become processed more and more. Everything is overcooked, extruded, or stripped down to a singular defined purpose. Our original foods were synergistic containing many natural nutrients that worked together in our bodies well. When we destroy most of the nutritional merit of our food through processing, it means we must eat that much more just to get a base minimum in order to survive. Couple this with the added artificial vitamins and minerals that our bodies cannot process as well as their natural counterparts, and we have an issue.

I remember growing up and always having soda, sugar, and other boxed confections continually throughout a given day. Eating this way for so long, and being told by the governing bodies that it is okay, would have depleted so much of my bodies resources and capacity.

I am going to see what happens. My body is a bank for vitamins, minerals, and energy and I currently have little to no savings.

Sunday, August 12, 2012


Entities that evolve are able to move forward while those that stay the same eventually die-out. There must always be some form of evolution in how we live our lives, otherwise we aren't really living our lives. I am always reading, always learning, always testing my boundaries. My evolution through time has very little room for absolutes. In reality, there are very few absolutes that stand the test of time. When I read Breaking the Vicious Cycle, the one thing that always disturbed me about Elaine's arguments was the finality of it all. It was all so perfect and absolute. I was already so close to Specific Carbohydrate perfection, that I decided to use the diet as a stepping stone to allow me to do more research without having to worry about whether or not I was going to set-off a Crohn's flare.

Over a year later, I am still doing rather well with my health. The diet I have followed has been a beginners step allowing me to do much research into many different methods of food preparation and into myriad different types of food. I am at the point where I think I need to put theory into practice to see what my body tells me. I am hoping that my research into probiotics, fermentation, phytic acid, organic foods, enzymes, caffeine, etc. will help me take a step beyond. I am not afraid of failure, though. The worst that could happen is that I go back to a strict Specific Carbohydrate Diet. 

Don't misunderstand my intent, either. I am not going to be going back to sugars, potatoes, and breads. Those foods are addictive drugs on their own. I decided that my full decaffeination would be that transition point. As of today, I am fully free of caffeine. I haven't had anything with caffeine for three weeks. Let's see where this goes.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Hospital Sleep

It's been so long since I have been in the hospital, that I forgot just how little a patient gets. One of the biggest contributors to any recovery is ample rest and especially sleep. You would think that doctors and nurses would know this and so let people sleep. Instead, patients are poked and prodded throughout the night as a means to supplement the very uncomfortable bed and the noisy, belligerent roommate that wants attention from everyone. I wasn't even the one spending the full night in the hospital this time, and I was drained.

I would hope that at some point, the establishment would realize that they would do better to let us sleep through the night when we are interred so that we might get better faster. Then again, if we recuperated at a faster speed, the hospitals wouldn't be able to charge our insurance like they do.

Monday, August 6, 2012


I love Pedialyte and I extol the benefits of drinking it to just about anyone around me. It is a very delicate electrolyte solution that also replaces zinc lost when we have diarrhea. It is made for babies, so it is still a little harsh on our sensitive systems. I always have two bottles in my home at any given time for an emergency situation. If I am fasting, I will use Pedialyte to help maintain balance. If I find that I have eaten something inappropriate and need to let it pass through my system, I can always rely on Pedialyte to help keep me going when I cannot eat anything else. I am fan.

Last week, I found myself purchasing Pedialyte again since I had caught a bug and was having extensive diarrhea. In the past I have always purchased the original, clear version of the drink; but there was another that was partaking and so he asked that I get one of the flavored bottles. Having only ever drank the clear I had only ever checked the label on the clear. As I was purchasing the fruit flavored variety, I decided to check out the label. I was amazed to find that it had sucralose in it. On a following trip to get more Pedialyte I checked all of the flavored varieties and found that they all have sucralose. I was amazed that such a noxious anti-sugar was incorporated into something that is purportedly made for babies.

In case you have missed my feelings concerning fake sugars: I hate them. They cause so many issues with my system that I stay away from them no matter what. Why would anyone want to use a fake sugar that was originally intended to be an insecticide? Regardless, I still find the clear Pedialyte to be a great help in staving off dehydration and keeping me on the side of the living.

Sunday, August 5, 2012


Dehydration is a looming issue for anyone with Crohn's Disease and is a very dangerous thing. This past week, I was able to see first hand what can happen when someone is dehydrated. Dehydration follows a very linear path as someone loses the water and electrolytes in their body to different bodily functions while neglecting to replenish them at a commensurate rate. That means that you not only have to replenish the water expelled, but the sodium and potassium salts that are lost during urination, sweating, and breathing. This is very important to acknowledge for anyone with any form of IBD due to the excessive amounts of diarrhea we experience.

We lose a lot of water. We lose a lot of salts. We lose a lot minerals, especially zinc, when we have diarrhea. If you are just drinking water rather than electrolyte solutions, that fatigue you are experiencing is the first sign of dehydration. If nothing is done to remedy the dehydration, then you will eventually be unable to get out of bed and lose your mental faculties. I saw all of this occur first-hand. If you find that your mouth is dry, it is really hot out, or that you have even mild diarrhea, make certain that you are drinking a pediatric electrolyte solution. Don't drink the flavored varieties, just the clear ones.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Hospital Food

I have been in the hospital quite a bit the past few days. I have my computers with me, my iPad and many different phones. I don't think I have ever been patient support in such a capacity before. I already know, and am used to, the general public's lack of understanding of Crohn's Disease especially when it comes to dietary requirements. As this is my first time in a hospital where I am semi-conscious and able to remember my surroundings, I find it very disheartening to listen to the dietitians as they speak to other patients. As I covertly listened to what was being said between "professional" and patient, I think I finally understand the general mantra that most dietitians follow: 1. The patient must eat the dictated meal in order to live. 2. Give the patient whatever drugs is necessary to facilitate number one.

A great example of this was the diabetic that was rushed to the emergency room alongside us and then would up in the same room with us. I know what diabetes is, generally speaking. I know that when someone has diabetes that they must change their diet every bit as much as someone with Crohn's Disease. In fact, most people with diabetes, in my lay opinion, would benefit greatly from following the Specific Carb Diet. Instead, what I saw was the dietitian feeding the patient carbohydrates and sugars in astonishingly large amounts and then administering insulin in order to deal with all of the inappropriate food. Let me put this another way, this is like giving someone a known poison that tastes good because the antidote is handy in large quantities at bedside. What kind of stupidity is this?

It is no wonder that people with any form of IBD have so many issues trying to find some semblance of a real life while trying to find a diet that doesn't cause some form of pain. There is little to no attempt in the mainstream dietary establishment to cater to or construct a dietary plan for patients. The only person that even seemed to realize she shouldn't give the patient sugar was the CNA. Wow... 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

To The Hospital I Go

It's not what you think. I have never been on this side of the equation before. The tremulous shaking and worry that I feel right now is ridiculous. The hospital won't let me in to see him yet, so I am trying to pass some time while calming myself down.