Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Going in For Some Tests

I've not been very good sticking to my diet lately, and have some symptoms that lead me to believe that if I don't take control of things quickly, it could end in a flare up.

Beginning with a motorcycle trip to Orlando for the  Memorial Day weekend, I've not gotten the proper rest, and definitely have varied from my diet that has kept me in remission. I've eaten too much Mexican, and spicy foods are aggravants. Additionally, I've had alcohol too frequently. I've not given my system time to correct itself between each situation in which I've enervated my colon.

It's not surprising that I am having some symptoms that concern me as it relates to my bowel movements: color, smell, mucous, frequency, etc. The good news is that I don't have any other symptoms, so I'm hoping I've caught this early enough. Symptoms of this sort are usually a precursor to a flare up for me. So I've gone to "my healing diet" over the past week. Basically, this means I've been eating only raw fruits and vegetables that are alkaline forming and easy and quick to digest. 

I've only been eating partially digested foods, that are easy and quick to digest. As it relates to fruits, most are naturally partially digested other than things like the skin of an apple. So I'll peel the apple or juice the apple so the peel doesn't aggravate my GI tract.In regards to vegetables, they are either very lightly steamed, or juiced. 

Raw food is the richest in nutrients and enzymes. The enzymes within the food help digest the food. Food that is cooked over 108 degrees, lose their enzymes and much of their nutrients. So raw, easy to digest, fruits and vegetables, are the most gentle on the GI tract because the enzymes within the fruits and vegetables facilitate most of their own digestion. The nutrients are assimilated quickly and the waste, which is little, passes easily and quickly as well. This gives your GI tract a break.

This diet over the past week hasn't made as much improvement that I had hoped for. Things haven't gotten worse, but they haven't returned to normal. I've only seen mild improvement in my bowel movements.

So I've scheduled an appointment with my GI Doc on Thursday morning so we can take some tests to help identify how radical I need to react. I've not had to see my medical doc for over a year. 

I'm certain that the tests on Thursday will show I have inflammation. The question is to what extent. I have learned that if my sediment rate is 65 or lower, I can manage things by simply sticking to the healing diet for a while, as long as I'm not too anemic.

I've also learned that if it is 85 or higher, that I must take radical action which may or may not work. And it may result in me temporarily taking medication. 

What I have learned from Dr. Azar, my holistic GI, and Dr. Klein, a nutritionalist specializing in C&C, is that I can help speed the healing of both if I give the colon a rest. Meaning, I'm to keep the environment in my digestive system in the best possible state for healing: 

  1. Avoid foods that introduce harmful or toxic substances into the digestive system. 
  2. Eat and drink only east to digest and assimilate things.
  3. Only eat foods that can be eaten in its natural state.
  4. Intake only those foods and drinks that contribute a broad range of nutrients.

The reasons behind these four criterion, I'll review on my next post.

Once healed, then the trick is to keep it from getting inflamed again, and that's when I transition to a "post healing diet" that is not near as restrictive as the "healing diet."

When I first began to manage things this way, I was on Mesalamine and Budesonide. I got in remission on the meds, while on the healing diet. Then I weaned myself off the meds by reducing the quantities weekly over a couple months. Only after having no symptoms for 90 days, did I slowly begin to introduce other foods and transition to a post healing diet. 

Any ways.... This is what I do whenever I feel symptoms of inflammation. Once I get the test results I'll post an update, but until then, I've gone to a juice diet only to hopefully expedite healing the inflammation. 

This is basically what I'm doing.

Apple and carrot juice twice daily (cilantro too)
A green vegetable juice twice daily 
Watermelon juice twice daily

Apple and carrots have pectin in it and pectin protects and cleanses the colon. I drink 8-16 oz first thing in the morning and again in around dinner time.

The Green vegetable juice is to make sure I keep my iron levels up: Bok choy, cilantro, basil, cucumber, zucchini, red bell pepper, celery, and carrots with a little bit of Himalayan salt. Kale, collard greens and spinach, I avoid at this time because they contain oxalic acid which will irritate the GI tract. I drink 16 mid morning and again in the evening.

Watermelon juice is extremely alkaline forming, and helps neutralize the acidic environment. I drink this throughout the day.

This juice diet I use is specifically when I'm trying to avoid a flare up. It seems to give me what I need to control my inflammation, supply a reasonable amount of nutrients, and allows me to have enough energy to go through a typical work day.

I know this is a marathon post, and I hope I haven't bored you all.... I hope this information.

I'll be back in touch after my test results.

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