Thursday, June 28, 2012

Introducing New Foods

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, simply because there isn’t much to report. I’m doing well and still feeling great. I am introducing a few new foods to the diet. Foods that have a little fat, are harder to digest, or are not so alkaline forming.

Avocado:  Fats and oils are highly perishable. As such, they often rancidify in our bodies if not properly digested and eliminated. This results in the formation of free radicals which have a ravaging effect on mucous membrane cells, which likely contributes to Crohn’s. Even good fat, such as avocado, can only be introduced after the colon is healed. So I am now able to introduce avocado in moderation.

I intend to use it as in guacamole, and dressings over my salads. A couple of the dressings.
Tomato: Tomatoes are acidic, although they are alkaline forming. So tomatoes in moderation with other alkaline forming foods I can now test in moderation. One of my favorite dishes is zucchini lasagna. It’s raw, and the noodles are thinly sliced zucchini noodles. The tomato sauce includes sundried soaked tomatoes, tomatoes, dates for sweetening, and some Italian spices. I layer the sauce with crimini mushrooms and the zucchini noodles. It’s delicious. I’ll add a layer of nut cheese to this once I can eat nuts again.

Lemon Juice: Lemons also are acidic, but they are also alkaline forming. Basically, the juice I can add to dressing recipes. It would be used in guacamole, and salad dressings.

Guacamole at this stage I make with avocado, lemon juice and diced tomatoes.

I’ll also use the lemon juice in some salad dressings. Tomatoes very ripe, with some avocado and lemon juice is a good one.

Peaches, Nectarines and Cherries:   These are only slightly or moderately alkaline forming, but as long as they’re not acid forming, I can have them now with other alkaline forming foods.

Seeds:  I cannot eat the seed shell without them being soaked, but the inside of the seeds in moderation I can introduce at this time. Seeds are generally slightly alkaline forming, but can be on salads. Also I intend to make seed hummus after sprouting seeds. I haven’t done it yet, but will test this out soon. Luna’s living kitchen has seed hummus that’s delicious, so I definitely want to try to make this.

Popcorn: This is moderately acidic, and I can only have very little. I’m certain Dr. Azar would not have suggested this at this time, but I have inquired and she is supporting it as long as I have very very little and see how I react to it. Also, I cannot eat the partially popped cornels. This would be difficult on the digestive tract.

Ultimately, as I introduce these items, if I continue to feel well and my symptoms don’t return, then I can introduce even more items. My next tests are in about a month. If they remain as they are or improve, we’ll add more items at that time.

There is an ironic and unfortunate situation with someone very close to me. The only person I leaned on when I was diagnosed with Crohn’s is now having Crohn’s and colitis symptoms. She has non-stop diarrhea and has lost 22 pounds in the past month. She has undigested particles in her stool and everything just goes right through her. She is not having inflammation yet, but that came much later with me. She has some tests next week to determine what the cause is, but at this time the belief is it is a digestive tract disorder or disease. I’m not sure that I can disclose who this is at this time, so can you just keep my friend in your thoughts and prayers. I’d greatly appreciate it!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Test Results

Great news! I had a call from my doctor’s office with the test results from my Tuesday afternoon appointment. There are two specific items that I needed to see improvement. The sediment rate, which is an indicator of the inflammation in the body. The higher the rate the greater the inflammation, and since Crohn’s is an inflammatory disease, this is the best indicator of the condition of the inflammation in my colon.

Secondly, the hemoglobin count is a count of red blood cells. Whenever Crohn’s is active, the red blood count drops and I become anemic. Red blood cells contain hemoglobin, which is a protein that carries oxygen. The role of red blood cells is for the hemoglobin to absorb oxygen in your lungs and carry it to all the muscles, organs and tissues in your body, and oxygen is essential to the life of your cells.

A “normal” sediment rate for a woman is 20 or lower. At my most ill Crohn’s moment, my sediment rate was 107. This is insanely high. I have never had a sediment rate under 68 while not on medication. Since my diagnosis, the lowest sediment rate I have had is 36, and that was while I was taking medication. I was hoping that this recent test would result in a sed rate of 60 or lower. I was soooo happy to hear the news that my sediment rate is only 42! This is an awesome improvement from 107 in March, and to be there without medication is very very exciting and great news.

My hemoglobin count in March was 10.2. I was hoping to have it improve to 11 or higher, but most of all, I needed it to show improvement. Improvement means I am producing more red blood cells, which basically means it’s just a matter of time for it to become normal. I knew that the hemoglobin had to have improved because my energy level has improved, and that would be an indicator that my body is getting the oxygen it needs. The good news here is that my hemoglobin was 10.9. Soooo close to 11. Yay again!!

I return in six weeks. My goal of course is to get my sediment rate under 20 and my hemoglobin close to 12. I’ll continue to stay on my healing diet and include juice three times a day. Twice I juice apple and carrots which are high in Pectin. Pectin is completely digested in the colon and releases needed fatty acids. Since pectin is fermented only when it reaches the colon, it is said to assist in all colon related illnesses. It is even a colon cancer treatment. Pectin acts as a detoxicant, as a regulator and a protectant of the gastrointestinal tract, as an immune system stimulant and as an anti-ulcer and antinephritic agent (counter acting).  I am certain that the apple/carrot juice is a primary factor in reducing my colon inflammation, and therefore, improving my sediment rate.

I also juice romaine, cucumber, red sweet peppers, carrots and apples once daily. This gives additional pectin, and the iron I need in order to increase my hemoglobin. Other than juicing three times daily, I primarily eat only sweet alkaline forming fruits. On occasion, about once a week, I’ll have greens for lunch or dinner, and once to twice a week, I’ll have steamed squash or sweet potatoes for dinner.

The details of “My Healing Diet” is a blog entry on 11-23-11 if you’d like all the details. Ultimately, I am very happy with my current test results and am resolved to have even better results six weeks from now!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Doctor’s Appointment

I had a doctor’s appointment today, but there’s not much to report until the test results come back. My gut feeling is that my hemoglobin has improved, but is likely not normal quite yet. I also expect that my sediment rate has improved as well, but also is not normal. It has yet to be normal since my diagnosis last September, but as long as it is below 60, I think I’ll be happy.

I feel good, with ample energy to get through my day, and my bowels seem normal, so I’m certain both tests will show improvement. I should get the results on Thursday, so I’ll update this blog when they come in. The water and juice fast certainly helped my condition, but at the same time, I am completely off the meds and I haven’t had a sediment rate below 100 when I have been off medication, so I’m a little anxious to see the results. Keep your fingers crossed.

If both of these indicators are improved, then I simply stay on track with my diet for now until both hit “normal.” Once they are both normal, I can begin introducing some additional foods. I’m looking forward to that day, since this diet is very boring at this point. But then again, at least I feel good, and that’s more important that a temporary pleasure of the pallet.