Happy Sunday guys! A few days ago, I asked for your questions for ‘A Nutrition Q+A’ type video- well I had lots of interesting questions I couldn’t wait to answer but after several unsuccessful attempts at filming it, I’ve decided to write this up as a blog post instead! Hopefully, this will be a bit more helpful as it means I can include lots of links to useful resources and you’ll be able to skim through this to find the answer to your own question! So, without further to do, let’s get going!
Nicola Stacey from Crohns and Colitis in the UK forum asked:
“I cant seem to put weight on? Weight loss I am good at but am now underweight n still losing. I can only eat pork, chicken and fish. Beef is a big no no. Fruit and vegetables are a no-no too. I really appreciate any help. Thank you x”
My answer: Hi Nicola. For gaining weight I’d try to focus on foods that are nutrient dense and high in good fats. For example nut butter (that are blended smoothly), coconut oil, avocado (try 1/2 at first) and oily fish. It might be your stomach acid is low which is why you struggle with beef- I have a video about this on my facebook page. Also, you might look into juicing or blending vegetables into smoothies; this can make them much easier to digest. More on this here.
Shell Lawes from the amazing 'Stoma in A Teacup' blog asked...
” Jenna could you discuss if and what supplements may be useful to an ostomate. My B12 is good regardless of no Colon. My diet is varied and I know we only absorb what we require. However is there anything worth adding in. Especially for bone health too. Also what dietary alternatives are there because I find oral supplements tough to digest”
My answer: That’s great your B12 is good as for many ostomates it isn’t. I would definitely suggest looking at vitamin D- essential for bone health and possible vitamin K. You’d perhaps be better off trying an all round multi-vit: I have just discovered ‘Better You’ who do fantastic transdermal sprays making them much better absorbed. They do a multi-vit which might work. Such a good idea!
Lou from Instagram (@louloubruman) asks...
” Just wondering what the best supplements are for Inflammatory Bowel Disease? I am newly diagnosed and desperately trying to get out a flare. The only thing that works at the moment is prednisolone but I don’t want to stay on it for long…”
My answer: Hi Louise- lots of supplements you can try but they’re only part of the solution. Obviously looking at things like diet, stress, sleep can all help- as well as finding medication with your doctor. If you are struggling to know where to start, I am going to link a couple of blog posts that will help…
-My Guide for those Newly Diagnosed with IBD
-My book: where to buy it and first chapter for free.
-A summary of the different diets for IBD
-Supplements for IBD.
@sanazaryn on Instagram asks...
” I am diagnosed with UC about 2 years ago… what do you think will help me get rid of medication? How can I find out what to eat and not to eat? What supplements will help? Do you believe that we can stay away from medication and stay on remission?”
My answer: A lot of your questions are similar to Lou’s so have a read of links above. Regarding medication, I think it’s a really controversial area. I have personally been med free for a bit and then on meds for a bit (more in this blog). I do think for some that finding the right foods, supplement and stress management can keep them in remission- I know many who have achieved this. But I know plenty who have done this and still need medication. I see it as all about balance: keep talking to your doctor. There’s no harm in trying to read more about supplements and food and giving yourself a 6 month window- then going back to your doctor and getting their opinion on things! Most will work with you and let you know if reducing medication or coming off it as a option. It helps not to think about it as a forever thing.
Denise Carolyn Osborn from Crohn's and Colitis in the UK asked...
” I need to lose weight but I don’t know how. I’m not allowed any fruit or veg, and my fatigue means I have chocolate or similar to give me energy to keep me going through the week. What can I have instead? Help”
My answer: Hi Denise, this is really common. I did a whole blog post on losing weight with IBD so will link this here. For fatigue, I would look into checking your nutritional deficiencies like vitamin D, B12 and iron. Chocolate will give you a sugar rush and then drop your floor sugar which will make your fatigue worse- a simple tip is trying to have protein at each meal as this helps glucose be released more slowly into your body.
Ohanna Norman asked...
” I have ileocolonic chrons disease , Im constantly anaemic, and if I stick to healthy foods my weight drops dramatically , I have to eat high-calorie foods to keep my weight stable , is there something better for me ??
Yes- I would suggest first of all getting your flare under control. Are you on medication? Iron probably won’t be properly absorbed if you are in a flare- have you looked at trying a liquid or water based supplement? Always take it with Vitamin C-like a glass of juice. It might be that you are trying raw foods like salad, in a bid to be healthy and this can sometimes irritate the gut more. Are you under a dietitian- I would ask to be referred to figure out exactly how to eat and how to boost iron levels. I do offer nutrition services but would suggest with your massive weight loss you should speak to a doctor first.
Aimée Louise from Crohn's and Colitis in the UK forum asked:
” Im 25 and recently been diagnosed with Crohns. I currently follow a vegan diet but feel this will be problematic with Crohns. Is there anyway I can digest fruits and vegs without it causing flare ups? Also, have you read much into turmeric and its anti-inflammation properties? Would a supplement help digestion? Im also considering visiting a Chinese herbalist to get my hair tests to see which foods im allergic too, have you heard anyone do this before and have good results?
My answer: Thanks Amy- these are all really good questions. If you are on a vegan diet, there’s no reason why you need to rush out and eat lots of meat! However, you are right- lots of fruits and veggies can sometimes play havoc on the gut; especially when raw. This blog post explains the difference between soluble/insoluble fibre and how you can still eat fruit+veg without upsetting your tummy. To answer the second question- yes I love turmeric. I am always using it recipes (example: my turmeric dairy free mylk) and also take a supplement: make sure you get one with Piperine in (this is the name for black pepper which helps turmeric be absorbed) For other supplements, have a read of my supplements for digestion blog post. Finally, sorry to break it to you but hair test is one of the least accurate
methods of intolerance testing. I offer nutrition services including helping you keep a food diary and can arrange blood intolerance test via CamNutrition- have a read of my Nutrition Services page for more info.
I hope this helps! Any more questions, comment below! Otherwise make sure you read my blogs about ibd and checkout my book: Managing IBD !