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#HAWMC: Day 7, "World Health Day"

CHALLENGE: World Health Day
April 7th is World Health Day - so let's talk about daily nutrition and diet. After your diagnosis, did you alter your diet or health routine? If so, how? How do you maintain a healthy regiment? #HAWMC
Food is not one of my favorite topics because it can be the source of great controversy. I definitely had to alter my diet and health routine after diagnosis. Ulcerative Colitis limited my food variety. For the longest time I ate chicken, potatoes and macaroni. I cut out a lot of my favorites: cucumbers, coffee, pecans, salad, oatmeal, apples, oranges, bananas, etc., etc., etc.

When you have an inflammatory bowel disease, it is hard to find foods that your digestive system will tolerate. Contrary to popular belief, there is no one set diet for people who suffer from Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. While I'm able to eat meats and chicken, some of my other IBD friends are not. They could eat a variety of vegetables, but if I tried to do this, I would suffer long after the foods were out of my system.

Not wanting to be on harsh medicines, I tried many diets: Paleo's Autoimmune Protocol, Gluten-Free, Organic, liquid diet, ALCAT diet, etc., etc. I know that some have been very fortunate and have found relief through diet. But there are many out there who did not and in some instances, things got worse.

After my surgery to have my colon removed, I began adding foods back into my diet that I hadn't been able to eat since my diagnosis. I still have to watch out for blockages and gassy foods. While I wouldn't say surgery is a cure, I will say it has given me my life back and I'd do it all over again. 

Of course, being colon-less has it's disadvantages, too! I have to make sure I stay hydrated. The colon is where most of the water absorption is done. Then there's the problem of iron, vitamins D and B12 deficiencies that I've had to deal with. I have had to supplement these so I'm not fatigued and I don't have to worry about malnutrition.

When you're a healthy, disease-less person, it is important to maintain a healthy diet. When you have a disease, it is even more important, but even more difficult to maintain a healthy diet. Unfortunately, like I said, there is no one set diet to help everyone. For the most part, you just have to go through trial and error until you find the right foods that will give you the least amount of pain while trying to keep a balance of the right nutrients to replenish the ones you lose due to illness and the medications we take.

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