Probiotics and Crohns

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It’s time for my bi annual check up. Before going to this appointment I was thinking, there are so many commercials about probiotics and how beneficial they are for peoples digestion. Is this something I can use as well? Will it benefit me or hurt me?

As explained by Kelly O’Connor, RD, LDN, CDE, registered dietitian at Mercy Medical in Baltimore, Md., “Probiotics are ‘good bacteria,’ which are thought to enhance digestion, absorption, and processing of foods through the intestinal tract,”

In the first year of life, there are far fewer species of bacteria in your body, and an abundance of them are Bifidobacteria

In people with Crohn’s disease, the immune system attacks organisms that it thinks don’t belong. By using the right type of probiotic dietary supplements to restore the original microorganisms to your digestive tract, you may be able to tame an overly aggressive immune system and keep Crohn’s flares under control, said Bruce Silverman, MD, a gastroenterologist at Gastroenterology Associates in Olympia, Wash. “In a subset of Crohn’s patients, probiotics may be more effective when combined with certain antibiotics that reduce the levels of competing, pro-inflammatory microorganisms,” he noted.

Not all probiotics are alike, and some brands and mixtures of bacteria are very likely going to be more effective than others,” said Silverman. “Confounding factors include the fact that there is no regulation of the industry and, in fact, a product marketed as a probiotic may not even contain the levels of microorganisms stated on the label.” Because probiotics are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, it’s important to buy only trusted brands. Also keep in mind that no two immune systems are exactly alike, no two cases of Crohn’s are exactly alike, and different people will respond differently to the same probiotic.

So bottom line if you’re thinking about taking probiotics talk to your health care provider first and see what he/she says. I asked mine and for me she said to make sure that I purchase a Name brand probiotic because all probiotics are not made the same.  She said that although there are no studies that show that probiotics will help me with my crohns, the probiotics defiantly wont hurt me, especially if I took them in pill form. So I will be trying them out and see what happens.. I’ll update this as I know. Of course if anyone is already taking probiotics leave a comment below and let us know how your doing on it.

As for the rest of my appointment, it looks like Humira has stopped working it’s magic on me. I’m already at the highest dosage that I can take of it.  We discussed my options and soon I will be taking Entyvio injections in the vein at the infusion clinic. So some information my Dr. gave me about this drug and what to look out for:

Tell all of your health care providers that you take this drug.

Have blood work checked.

You may have more chance of getting an infection. Wash hands often. Stay away from people with infection, cold, or flu

Very bad and sometimes deadly infections can happen with this drug.

Make sure you are up to date with all your vaccines.

Talk with your doctor before getting any vaccines. Use with this drug may either raise the change of an infection or make the vaccine not work as well.

As with any drug you take discuss any and all side effects with your Dr.

If you’re already taking Entyvio please comment below on how it’s been working out for you.  If not comment on which crohns drug you are taking and how it’s working for you.

10 Foods to eat during a Flare up

Oatmeal

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Soluble fiber is the type of fiber that may help by absorbing water in the gut and delaying the emptying of the intestines.  Oatmeal is a good source of soluble fiber. Unfortunately for me. I cant stand oatmeal unless it’s in cookie form.

Salmon

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“Salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids, which helps reduce inflammation,” Gilbert says. The fatty fish also contains potassium, which helps your body maintain fluid balance when you have a flare,

Potatoes

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Another good source of potassium? Potatoes. Mashed potatoes may be an easy food to introduce after a flare, according to the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center at the University of California San Francisco Medical Center. You can also try baking or boiling potatoes, but make sure you avoid the skins — which are more difficult to digest because they contain insoluble fiber. Try pairing skinless potatoes with salmon.

Avocados

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Avocados are filled with healthy fat, B vitamins, and vitamin E, Gilbert says. They contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, but they are generally easier to digest than many other sources of fiber because of the soluble fiber.

Cut the fruit lengthwise and twist the two halves apart. Cut into slices and peel off the skin before adding a few slices to white bread or crackers for an easy and satisfying meal.

Juices

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Vegetables are an important source of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, but many raw vegetables have insoluble fiber, which makes them difficult to digest. You can still get most of the nutritional benefits of veggies by making fresh vegetable juice at home, Gilbert says. The tough, indigestible fiber is removed, but the vitamins and minerals remain. Try juicing carrots, beets, apples, leafy greens, and other fresh produce.   Click this link to see some of my favorite juice recipes.

Smoothies With Pineapple Juice

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Smoothies are another great way to enjoy the nutritional benefits of fruits and vegetables without consuming the seeds and skins that can be so hard on the digestive system. Avoid strawberries and other fruits with seeds when making smoothies. Choose smooth, fleshy fruits like papaya and bananas. Gilbert recommends adding pineapple juice because of its anti-inflammatory compounds. A study published December 2010 in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases found pineapple juice to be beneficial for reducing the severity and incidence of colon inflammation in IBD.

Eggs How You Like Them

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When you have inflammation or are recovering from a flare, you may need extra protein. Animal proteins contain amino acids, which are used by the body to perform a number of functions, including cell growth and tissue repair. Gilbert recommends eggs because they’re an easily digested form of protein. Eggs can be prepared in many ways — poached, fried, scrambled, hard-boiled, and more — and unless you’re adding extra ingredients, any of these methods should be easy on your gut. Experiment until you find what you like.

Grilled Chicken Breasts

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Another good protein choice is skinless chicken — proteins like red meat are higher in fat and more difficult to digest. When preparing chicken, beware of marinades that may have spices or sugars that are difficult to digest. Portion size is also important. Your body can only digest about 6 ounces of protein at one time, so pay attention to how much you put on your plate.

Yogurt

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Calcium deficiency is a common concern for people with Crohn’s disease. To meet the recommended daily value of calcium (about 1,000 mg for adults), aim for three to four servings of calcium-rich foods every day. If you can tolerate dairy, Gilbert recommends live-culture yogurt because it has the added benefit of probiotics, or “good” bacteria, which can aid in the recovery of the intestine.

Baked Pear or Apple Dessert

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Sometimes you just want something sweet. Baked pears or apples make a healthy dessert while providing an easier-to-digest source of fiber — when prepared without the skins. Once apples and pears are peeled, the remaining fiber is soluble so it is gentler on your digestive system. Raw fruits can be difficult to digest, Gilbert says, but baking or cooking the fruit makes them softer. Prepared applesauce without sugar is another good option for a snack on the go.

If you’re already taking Entyvio please comment below on how it’s been working out for you.  If not comment on which crohns drug you are taking and how it’s working for you.  Also comment if you’re taking probiotics.  See you next time..

 

 

 

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