Wednesday, 2 May 2018

' A little bit of what you like will do you no harm.'

' A little bit of what you like will do you no harm.'

So, in follow up to my last post, you’ll be impressed to know I got through Easter without eating a single egg. Well I say that.... as I didn't eat a chicken egg, but I simply couldn't help scoffing half a chocolate egg late one night when the kids were in bed, as I didn't think they'd notice (they did!). Easter is a big deal at my house and family members come from far and wide, so trying to avoid its temptations is a task in itself, the odd dash of dressing, a mouthful of dessert, a nibble at the evening buffet. Oh the guilt! ' A little bit of what you like will do you no harm,’ my dear gran used to say. Oh, how wrong she was.

So in response, BOOM!! went my Calprotectin reaching 400 u/ug this month on only a little bit of cheating but often. 400 u/ug isn’t massively high, however, the result is double the range myself and my GI team are happy with. So it’s back to the diet. It usually takes around four days of strict diet to return to my “normal” Calprotectin range.

I have been reflecting on this result and remember it wasn’t so long ago that the general consensus within the GI community was that the food we eat had no direct relationship with CD, we now know through patient conversations and global communications that’s incorrect. But it’s also very individual. Let’s take egg as an example.  Some people can eat the yolk only, some people just the white, and some scrambled but never fried, mayonnaise anyone? Just in the humble egg there is no simple one rule fits all.

I often wonder how the last eight years of my life could have unfolded if I hadn’t the resources and where with all to find a GI (Professor Hunter) that had developed a diet (LOFFLEX), to control CD in the majority of cases. Once established, a patient can then re-introduce foods to test the response. Obviously, by reading my last post one can conclude that I’m hardly fighting fit, or running marathons, however, the alternative of multiple A&E visits, rounds of prednisone, hospital wards, constant pain and urgency doesn’t bare thinking about. I find it very difficult to remain on the LOFFLEX diet, and choosing egg as the embodiment of the difficulties of diet management with CD it’s not easy to make conclusions from reintroductions. I do know that garlic bloats my stomach to the point of looking like I'm pregnant. But the IBDoc results clearly shows it isn't increasing my inflammation levels. This is hugely important knowledge in self-management.

I'm grateful that IBDoc can show me what's happening. It gives me the motivation to rein it in. IBDoc very quickly gives me easy accessible answers to show me I'm doing harm. That it’s my actions causing inflammation. There’s no second guessing involved when using IBDoc, if I eat wheat or dairy it directly affects my CD leading to inflammation in my small bowel. Having lived with IBDoc for seven months its easy to forget before I began the trial that I would be constantly in contact with my IBD team, asking the nurses to make judgements usually over the phone as to why I feel terrible? Or using a private clinic at great expense and having to wait up to ten days for a Calprotectin result on the, sample I sent.

I believe IBDoc could help to pinpoint a person’s very specific catalyst for inflammation working in conjunction with a specialist CD dietician. This month I plan to explore just that, I have been in the vicious cycle of boom and bust with my diet for far too long and now I have the ability via IBDoc to really understand how I move forward and liberate my diet. Under supervision I plan to reintroduce “safe” foods from the tried and tested LOFFLEX list.

I will hopefully update you with my progress in my next blog.

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