The Hidden Benefits Of A Liquid Diet
Last updated: October 2021
If you're not feeling well and don't seem to be responding to your medication, your doctor may suggest a liquid diet.
I’ve been on liquid diets at many points. For those who haven’t experienced it, my feeling is it sounds worse than it is. Usually, it is just for a few days.
What I eat on a liquid diet
Generally, I’ve consumed all of the following: jello, ice pops, ices, consommé, bone broth, fruit juices, and, my favorite, egg drop soup. Egg drop soup is a great choice for those with IBD.
Why? Egg is the most complete protein. It gives you lots of nutrients and energy. But it is not thick or difficult to digest. When on a liquid diet, I tend to drink one or two large egg drop soups a day—and—on that protocol alone—can get by with sufficient energy.
Not able to eat solid foods while struggling with Crohn's
At one point, close to 20 years ago, I entered perhaps the worst period of IBD I ever had. It was so bad that I basically couldn’t digest solid food. Essentially, then, I was on a liquid diet for months. I lost around 40 or 50 pounds. It was terrible.
Eventually, I needed surgery. The problem, it was found out, was a piece of my intestine was stuck in my duodenum. It was blocking food from going through. Basically, after eating, I’d have bad pain and horrible bloating.
It was nightmarish. Anyway, the good part of this story is if I was able to survive a liquid diet for months, so, just know, if you have to try this diet you should be okay short-term.
Why are liquid diets used?
The theory behind a liquid diet is it gives your bowel a chance to rest. Digestion of food often exacerbates the symptoms of Crohn's disease. Giving your gastrointestinal tract a break can facilitate healing.
If you've had a major flare or an obstruction, in particular, a liquid diet is often attempted before more intensive options such as drugs or surgery. In many cultures, there is a tradition of fasting for healing, so, in truth, this idea is not new.
Recovering and being able to eat solid foods again
After my 2-month liquid diet episode, I had a long road to recovery. The good part was at least I could eat solid food again. I gained the weight back. Ate everything in sight. Boy did I appreciate consuming other things besides egg drop soup!
The owners of the Chinese restaurant I frequented were a bit disappointed when I showed up and ordered chicken with broccoli. They couldn’t believe I didn’t want the egg drop. That was all I’d consumed for months!
Why a liquid diet can be considered with IBD
Difficult as this period was, I learned from the experience that I can survive for a very long time on just liquids. Granted, the first week or two you are very hungry. But pretty soon the body adapts, and, before you know it, the stomach shrinks, causing the cravings to diminish in intensity. You may even reach a point where you hardly even miss solid foods.
A liquid diet is a worthy tool in your treatment arsenal. Fun? No. But knowing things like egg drop soup can get you by.
If nothing else is working, a liquid diet is definitely worth considering. Always talk with your doctor first before trying something new.
Make the best of it, and, hopefully, before long, you will feel better. Thanks for reading, and, as always, feel free to comment below.
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