Sometimes You Just Want to Eat a Dang Veggie!
Last updated: March 2023
I never really thought much about food. I liked the food. Cooking was and still is enjoyable. But it wasn't something I had to worry about.
I didn't think twice when I ate a handful of nuts. I didn't worry when I had a nice, big salad. Raw veggies? No big deal. Definitely not a problem... until it was.
Diet does not cause Crohn's or colitis
Patients living with ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn's disease can be very sensitive when it comes to food. For many reasons. Some of us are accused of being at fault for having inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) because we, "didn't eat right" before being diagnosed. That is neither helpful, true, or fair.
First of all, patients should NEVER be blamed for their diseases! It is not their fault. Research shows that IBD cannot be blamed on food. It's more likely genetic or other environmental factors. Please, STOP blaming us.
Secondly, I have a friend living with UC who ate organic food her whole life and still ended up getting sick and having her colon removed. While there are foods that become bothersome after being diagnosed, food has NOTHING to do with developing a disease.
My friend is just 1 example of a healthy person who ate "healthy" food and still got landed with an incurable illness.
Can you eat vegetables with colitis or Crohn's? It depends on YOUR body
What a person living with IBD can or cannot eat is very individual– just like the treatment of the diseases. What my intestines can tolerate will be different from another patient.
For me, apples, bananas, and lettuce are a nightmare. But I have a friend who can't eat meats. The sad part is, the unhealthy food is easier on my gut than the healthy food. The food that is supposed to improve our health makes us feel worse.
Food advice from others isn't helpful
"Are you sure you should be eating that?" We hate being questioned about food. There were days I was asked why I had macaroni three days in a row... Uh, because it doesn't hurt my guts! That's why.
Other days, I decided to suffer through it and eat veggies. While I knew the consequences of my actions, sometimes I just want to eat a dang vegetable!!! I so miss eating without thinking about it.
People with IBD don't like thinking about food
It's maddening having to go out with friends and be so picky about food. Even worse is when you’re feeling rotten and you DON'T eat at a party. For some reason, people notice.
I don't feel like explaining to you why I don't want to try your award-winning casserole. I don't want to think about my eating habits... So I wish you wouldn't either.
Eating vegetables with a j-pouch
Now I'm living with a j-pouch. And while my quality of life has definitely improved, food can still be painful.
Raw veggies will hurt if I eat too many. If I eat strangely colored foods, I might have a panic attack the next time I go to the bathroom and see the "black" poop... Oh! That was the blueberry muffin I ate.
Do you experience more oral health issues with IBD?
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