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Please Help Answer These Colitis Questions

Chris from MAMeet Chris:

I am 30 Years Old. Living in Massachusetts, USA. I was diagnosed with UC in November of 2011. I have no children. I had my last colonoscopy about 1 year ago.

Some more about me:

likes =) – hiking, reading, spending time with the GF, Going to Temple and reading Ohh and relaxing, definitely relaxing.

Current Colitis Symptoms:

I am in remission.

Colitis Questions I Have For You:

Your thoughts and discussion are much appreciated =)

So here it is in a nutshell.

My understanding of Colitis is that no one really knows what is causing it – if there is even a specific thing causing it! Thoughts on this?

(In my non scientific opinion (from what I have read) the immune system is the only thing that could cause that kind of damage to our large intestines. If it was a bacterial overgrowth I would think some doctor somewhere would have discovered it by now).

So after being diagnosed I had flares on and off for about six months (I was too stubborn to go on medication). Basically what all that diarrhea did was weaken my colon muscles to the point where when I wasn’t in a flare I was severely constipated (at least that is what I think happened). Has constipation like this ever happened to anyone else?

What I did then was I started giving myself Warm Salt Water Enemas (they work great by the way). What I noticed though is all the different types of food that make it past my small intestines and into my large intestines. The enemas would increase the transit time of everything I was eating before the large intestines could take any action on the food. So I got to see what exactly made it to the large intestines and what did not (again this was during non-flare times when I was not having any diarrhea or anything). For example if I had had red peppers or salad greens or nuts you would be blown away as to how much made to my large intestines. I mean it was like my small intestines did not even touch the stuff and just dumped (pardon the pun) it into my large intestines.

Now obviously things like tomato sauce or nut butters were a lot harder to tell. But I can say that meat and lactose free dairy were the only things that got consistently digested. Nothing of the meat or the lactose free dairy ever made it to my Large Intestines. (except fully digested poop – whatever that is) So this leads me to my third question for you all:

Ever since then I have been eating pretty much all meat and lactose free dairy – with the occasional orange, skinless apple, berry or grape – I have been in remission. I would say 90% to 95% of all my calories come from meat. My third question is has anyone ever tried going all meat (lactose free dairy included)? What was your experience? (Please leave feed back on how long you tried it as well – in my experience you need at least a week and a half on any diet for it to have any significance on Ulcerative Colitis)

I am not trying to push my diet on anyone because I understand how hard each and everyone us try to get healthy (although obviously I tell people about it). I don’t want to imply that this is the cure. But it seems to me that if what we are trying to do is keep whatever is initiating this severe reaction in our large intestines out of our large intestines then this would be the best way to do that. From what I have read and from what I have experienced Protein and Fat are pretty much completely digested in the small intestines and never enter the large intestines.

P.S. I did do the SCD diet and I found this to be the best alternative to the diet I am now on but in my experience it did not go far enough. Anybody experience that?

Again your thoughts and discussion are much appreciated =)

Medications I’m Taking:

I am not taking any Medications. I took Asacol briefly but was not on it long enough to make any judgements on it. Although I did see that diarrhea was a side effect – talk about irony!

written by Chris

submitted in the colitis venting area

12 thoughts on “Please Help Answer These Colitis Questions”

  1. Graham from England

    Hello Chris,
    I admire the way you have educated yourself about UC in such a short period. Relying entirely on medical professionals to sort it for you is a mistake I feel.

    In my ordinary opinion…its a bit chicken and egg with regard to constipation (bloating), I am certain this comes 1st (though we don’t always realise) and then with the flare is diarhea. Logic suggests the last thing you do now is use something to make you go more, but I do, EVOO. It has other benefits besides making things move along but I won’t bore you with it (yet). Stating the obvious but dehydration is a problem when you have diarhea, I hear coconut water is great for this..

    Poor gut health does seem to be a strong possible cause or trigger of UC, the lack of a wide variety of good bacteria present. Just some of the reasons why include a high usage of anti biotics, a pre disposition due to genetics and an over sterile environment in early years. I am sure this is why probiotics are working with some success and I have also felt this benefit. The amount of new research linking good/poor general health with gut health may well lead us to view and talk about it so much more in the future.

    I’m with you on the lactose free thing, I used to consume lots of milk and when I changed I did feel a benefit. I also believe we should revert to a more primal diet, though importantly maintaining a wide variety of real foods. Interesting you say peppers, I have just read a post here about UC smoking benefits where “adamr” says anatabine is the magic ingredient in a new drug Anatabloc. Anatabine is said to occur naturally in peppers, potato and green tomato, though who knows how much of these foods we would have to eat for the benefits? He seems well informed so I have asked him this question.

    Cheers for now…Graham

  2. Graham from England

    used to consume lots of milk and when I changed I did feel a benefit. I also believe we should revert to a more primal diet, though importantly maintaining a wide variety of real foods. Interesting you say peppers, I have just read a post here about UC smoking benefits where “adamr” says anatabine is the magic ingredient in a new drug Anatabloc. Anatabine is said to occur naturally in peppers, potato and green tomato, though who knows how much of these foods we would have to eat for the benefits? He seems well informed so I have asked him this question.

    Cheers for now…Graham

  3. UC Family Boy

    ‘is there even a specific thing causing it! Thoughts on this?’
    Diet shifts our microbiota. This has been shown on numerious live tests, however if you and I eat the same diet, we would not achieve the same microbiota as such. We are all indiviual and our bodiers response differently. The cause? I have something I plan to write on here soon about my thoughts on this but I can’t sum up right now but we know it gets to a state of gut imbalance causing the products of certain bacteria’s to over popular the microbiota possibly triggering a response. So things like red peppers or salad greens or nuts would likely make it to your L.I intact because it is resistance to the mircovilli in the S.I. I am not too sure about greens&peppers totally but nuts defo. They are a mix of insoluble and soluble fiber so can increase transit time (as I am currently witnessing). These fibers are meant to make it there to allow the bacteria to feed and develop.
    But some diets try to address this problem but cutting them out and limiting the bacteria’s products which in return lower the immune inflammation response. This is why SCD, Paleo…work well but once people have established success on it, they start the shift back to a western diet and bring back chocolates, donuts… rather than the RS like nuts and greens which help promote good health.

    When I personally had too much soluble fiber diet I feel constipated but yes a meat veg diet has allowed me to feel ‘normal’, but there is a list of certain veg that bypasses S.I digestion and find themself in the L.I like leeks,onions,nuts,spinach… and they could create a immune response to the digestion of them from bacteria (the gases released by them).

    There is no question that healthy fresh food diet is an advantage, but to get there and development from there us UCers need to first address the imbalance, this could be first done by diet.

  4. TiiniTete

    What is causing UC? I believe it is different for everyone. I would say it is a symptom, some people get heart problems, we get UC. It’s inflammation in the end and our nutritional levels, neurotransmitter levels and hormonal levels is important in resetting the inflammation. And surely good bacteria in the gut plays a huge role as well.

    I’ve heard constipation is a sign of SIBO, as is diarrhea. And UC might be much worse if there is too small amount of good bacteria in the large intestine. So bacteria in the wrong amount at the wrong place will def make a huge problem…

    For me I need to take HClBetaine to be able to digest meat and fat. And before this I needed more veggies (I’m on paleo/SCD/GAPS). After I started to eat HCl I prefer meat but I do have veggies as well. So I can understand that it might work really well for you.

    I’ll tell you what worked for me:
    Diet SCD/Paleo: But basically only meat, fish, eggs, olive oil and veggies and I need to be careful with fruits…
    Yoga: Hatha and Kundalini.
    Progesterone cream. (The lack of it might be more obvious for women, due to the presence of PMS, but I do believe some men can benefit)
    HCl betaine.
    Tumeric (was great when I had a lot of cramps)

  5. Hi Chris,

    You have to look more at what makes up the foods that you eat and that’s a large reason why some aren’t digested. For instance, corn, the age old un-digestible food, contains a lot of cellulose which humans can’t digest as well as sugars (which we can digest). Things like apple skins and other fruits and vegetables contain a lot of fiber and fiber aids in bowel movements but not as easily digestible as proteins and sugars. Fats also take a very long time to digest and nuts are high in healthy fats.

    While your intestines do finish breaking down foods, the largest portion of active food breakdown occurs in your stomach. Your intestines main job is to absorb nutrients out of broken down food. A big reason why a health diet and taking vitamins is extremely important when you have UC as the inflammation in the intestine linings can prevent the absorption of nutrients. Probiotics are very good for your intestines as they replenish the natural flora (the good bacteria) in your intestines. You can also eat live culture yogurt, just read the label, if you want to try dairy again.

    As far as the constipation, that is completely expected after your body goes through severe diarrhea, like Graham said, its in large part due to becoming dehydrated because you just lost all the liquid. So your body reabsorbs more to replenish what you lost.

    If you’re cutting out dairy make sure you take calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin B12 supplements to make sure you aren’t losing out on those essential nutrients. I’d recommend talking to a nutritionist.

    My doctor’s also told me that your immune system is the culprit. Which makes logical sense as 2/3 of the drugs used to treat more severe UC are immunosuppressing drugs (6-mp, methotrexate, Imuran, Remicade, Humira, etc.). Asacol is not an immunosuppresor, its a drug used to treat inflammation.

    Also, I think its key to point out that there is a difference between “remission” and being “non-symptomatic”. For instance, I’ve been on remicade for over 8 years largely un-symptomatic besides a flare here and there, however, I was never in remission because the disease was still technically active. Remicade was just keeping the disease from developing the type of damage that causes the pain, blood, diarrhea, etc. (I did just go into remission for about a year before we tried extending out my remicade infusions and now I’m not in remission anymore….but still truly symptomatic). So stay with your doctor and get regular check-ups and colonoscopies even if you feel good. I’ve hit the 10 year mark of an active disease and I started cancer screenings (colonocopies every year) because all those years of damage increase your risk of colon cancer.

    Hope that helps!


  6. Hi,

    Gotta agree with the asacol actually CAUSING more diarrhea and looseness! That’s what happened to me as well. It is IRONIC to say the least.

    I like the way you think about the causes) of this condition. Food for though…no pun intecded…very insighful Chris.

    Thank you

  7. This is an interesting analysis.I am from India and we have whole sections of people like the Jains and the brahmins who

    are purely vegetarians. I am one too. But not all of them have UC. Even among siblings only i am affected. I have three

    sisters.Except one cousin no one else in the family is affected. So there is a genetic element to this. There is a connection

    between the balance of bacteria in the intestines and the immune system. During my childhood and adolescent age i did

    take a lot of antibiotics. So for me that could have been a reason for getting this condition. Since i started the Probiotic

    2 and1/2 years ago i have had no symptom so far. I am still a vegetarian and my diet is the same as it had been although

    i try to cut carbs for loosing weight. My UC is 22years old and i am 55 years old.

  8. Hey Chris,

    You may want to rethink the amount of meat that you are eating, if you are getting most of your calories from meat and especially if its red meat you could be setting yourself up for Kidney stones. I stumbled on to this website while trying to find info for a friend that has UC so that he can learn more about his situation and read about other people dealing with the same situation.I do nutritional consulting for a supplement company and deal with this issue on a regular basis. My best advice for you is to start eating more fresh vegetable than anything and keep out the Dairy and Gluten from your diet. Start taking Digestive Enzymes and some Betaine HCL to support proper breakdown of the foods you eat. Aloe Vera is crucial for settling inflamation in the intestines and can help promote repair within that area as well, i would suggest drinking 2 tbsp of Aloe Juice in water 3-5 times daily. Probiotics will be needed as well to help support gut ecology and the breakdown of food in the intestines also. Those are some basic tips that i have found to be very helpful when dealing with this situation. Poor digestion is the root of this problem, simple as that.

  9. If you are noticing undigested food in your poop then consider what is happening in you stomach. If food is not being broken down properly in your stomach they can serve as breeding grounds for unwanted bacteria. I was noticing that most of the veggies I was eating were not being properly broken down and my naturalistic doctor recommended taking HCL supplements with my food. His suggestion made a dramatic improvement in my situation. It reduced the amount of undigested food that I was seeing in my poo and I am also seeing more formed poo.

  10. Hi, I have had UC for about 10 years. I have been on Balsalxide and have not had any problems except for when the pharmacist gave me the wrong dose of 1 pill 3x a day instead of 3 pills 3x a day for a period of two years and I had a few flare ups. Once the meds were corrected, (I switched pharmacies and they gave me the correct dose, I was fine and symptom free). I noticed a direct link with red meats and how I felt, gassy and horrible. I eat no beef ever and only yogurt, once a day and cheese a few times a week. I have recently started using milk in my coffee with no problems after not having any for several years, but I usually use Almond milk and limit dairy. I do eat a lot of beans, veggies and fruit, chicken, turkey and fish. But I only eat meat 2 to 3 times a week in small amounts. Michael Gregor, MD from recommends a totally vegetarian diet for UC and lots of fiber which is contrary to what most sites have recommended. I recently saw a pub med article on increased fiber and a diet higher in veggies working very well which backs up Gregor says. Oatmeal is a daily breakfast for me with a cooked banana which I cut into it before I microwave it. When I was first dx I could hardly eat fresh uncooked veggies or oranges without having issues. Mine started after a trip to the Islands where I ate goat stew and too many Pina Coladas. I thought I had picked up something from the Islands as I was so sick for three weeks when I got home, but I was dx with UC. Now that I have been taking the regular doses I have no issues. I get my colonoscopy every 3 years. Its still active according to what the dr sees but I have no symptoms at all and feel great. Exercise, yoga, tai chi definitely help with stress. Stress is a big trigger. The cause of UC is unknown. It appears to be a deficiency in the gut biome of good bacteria, hence the yogurt consumption. For me as soon as I get super stressed I feel sick to my stomach and my intestines start cramping up. Peppermint tea is also a big help. Been drinking it for years, works to relax muscle spasms and feels good. Its great as an anti nausea too. They are doing studies on stool transplants which are done orally, ewww and rectally. They have had a 90% success rate, but they are not perfect there are some side effects and they are still in trials. Reminds me of the South Park episode, lol. Chinese used to feed people poop soup 100’s of years ago for people with bowel issues. I guess they were way ahead of us. How they figured that out is beyond me. It amazes me how many of you eat so much meat and seem to be doing so well. Meat definitely doesn’t sit well with me and other UC people I know. So I guess there isn’t one set diet that works for everyone.

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