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Dealing with an IBD flare up

Hi there. I haven’t yet been diagnosed for either Crohn’s or colitis but my doctors are sure I’ve got one or the other. Currently my symptoms are really quite bad. I’ve spent the whole weekend in bed not eating as my stomach pains and diarrhea have been that bad, and I have therefore not had any appetite. After not eating for a couple days my stomach felt better on Monday, but today (Tuesday), I’ve tried to introduce a bit of food back and I’m back at square one with my symptoms. Surely this cannot be healthy to not eat at all.

Please, can anyone recommend anything I can do? Bearing in mind I haven’t been prescribed or given any meds yet due to not having a final diagnosis. TIA.


Community Answers
  • Matt Nagin moderator
    3 months ago

    Sorry to hear you are feeling terribly. I suggest sticking to a liquid diet as long as reasonably possible. This can include broth or jello or ice pops. If you can tolerate this much, then go on to soft and easy to digest food such as baked potato, eggs, plain toast, rice. I know it is dull but when you are sick it is best to limit your intake. If you find you can tolerate the above, then go to more regular food. Hopefully, doctors will get you on medicines soon, but, until then, my advice would be to play it conservative. Thanks for sharing and hope this helps (btw I’ve had Crohn’s disease thirty years and I am only sharing what has worked for me in the past).

  • Julie Marie Palumbo moderator
    4 months ago

    Thank you for being here @erikav. While your symptoms sound IBD-related, I would highly recommend getting definitive answers from your GI (or any GI) as soon as possible.

    In the meantime, I echo the BRAT diet suggestion, and also, if you cannot tolerate any food, just make sure you are staying hydrated and keeping your electrolytes in check. I always suggest making ice cubes out of Pedialyte or Gatorade and putting them in water so that you are not drinking as much of a concentrated solution yet you are getting the extra electrolytes to replenish what you are losing due to constantly going to the bathroom.

    I hope you get some answers soon–please keep us updated!!

    –Julie (Team Member)

  • Sahara Fleetwood-Beresford moderator
    4 months ago

    Hey @erikav.

    You’re right, not eating is not good.

    Food is complicated, as some people have safe foods that might cause a lot of pain for other people. One of the frequently recommended diets in IBD IF you have diarrhea or strictures etc is a low residue diet. This is basically avoiding things with high and insoluble fibre. There are many guides which provide lists of food to eat and foods to avoid online, many in PDF format from hospitals, so they may be worth looking at. It is important to note that trying to eat a balanced diet is still really important, as avoiding food groups can cause deficiencies which can further exasperate symptoms. I always speak to my healthcare team when I am looking at dietary changes, so that they can monitor my levels of things live Vitamin D, Iron and B12, which are all common deficiencies in IBD.

    – Sahara (team member)

  • Amanda Osowski moderator
    4 months ago

    Hi @erikav – I’m so sorry you’re feeling poorly. I know when my GI symptoms are a mess, I rely on my “safe foods” – like pasta, bread, crackers, and sometimes revert to the BRAT diet – Bananas, Rice, Applesauce and Toast. Unfortunately, there’s not one single answer for all patients across the board. I’m sure you’ve been in communication with your doctor, but we always recommend being in touch when symptoms increase or you have challenges eating and/or drinking. We’re thinking of you!
    Warmly,
    Amanda (InflammatoryBowelDisease.net Team Member)

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