System Check For The Gut

Last updated: December 2022

I've been living with Crohn's disease for 45 years. During that time, food and I have been friends and enemies.

I love food. Growing it, cooking it, and eating it are all favorite pastimes of mine. But when I am angry, I eat carbs. When I am lonely, I eat carbs. When I am feeling decadent, I eat whipped cream. In each case, I suffer for those decisions, sometimes mightily. I've had four abdominal surgeries and three blockages, and I am 30# heavier than I would like to be. Until recently, I felt trapped by my relationship with food.

I woke up the day after Thanksgiving and realized that some of the food I had eaten the day before was still in my stomach. I had pushed myself too hard and my digestive system seemed to have shut down. I wasn't in pain and it wasn't a blockage. It just felt like my gut had gone on strike. I recognized that this could be potentially life-threatening. It scared me.

I decided to take stock of the situation and use what I know about the disease and my body. I put myself on a clear liquid diet for the day. And I started performing mental "system checks". How does my gut feel? Am I bloating? Is my tummy rumbling or bubbling? What about bathroom use? Am I staying hydrated? Does my body need fuel?

That system check has become an emotionally neutral way for me to be in greater control of how I treat myself each day. I am eating smaller portions, not because I am on a diet, but because that's what my system check tells me my gut needs. I don't feel like I'm doing without. I feel like I am in control.

Changing my mindset about how I approach food has helped me make better choices. I hope it helps you, too.

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy.

More on this topic

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The InflammatoryBowelDisease.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

Please read our rules before commenting.

Community Poll

Will you take our In America survey to help others understand the true impact of Crohn's and UC?