Crohns Flare Ups..That has nothing to do with your Diet!
Nutritional therapy practitioner Alexa Federico tells us about crohn's flare up's and how to prevent them..that has nothing to do with the food that you eat!
More and more people with Crohn’s disease are looking for ways they can support their health.
Adjusting your diet is often the first step, and there are plenty of healing diet templates to follow.
But the following areas often don’t get talked about enough, and they’re just as important!
1. Prioritize rest
We all love to sleep.
Seriously, who doesn’t treasure rolling out of bed at noon on the weekend, or just staying in bed!!
Yet, as a society we tend to shortchange sleep for what it really is: A healing process.
Sleeping is the body’s time to recharge & repair itself.
Just going through everyday activities causes breakdown and during sleep, the body rebuilds.
It’s not uncommon for people with Crohn’s to be more susceptible to fatigue. Getting enough hours in the night and taking rest breaks during the day is essential for those with Crohn’s in order to maintain the energy needed to live their lives.
Some ways to optimize sleep include the following:
- stop using electronics a couple of hours before bed
- wear an eye mask to shut out any light
- put up black-out shades! A dark room is best.
- avoid consuming caffeinated beverages or foods like chocolate late in the day. Anything after 2 pm could affect you.
- keep electronics out of the room and turn off WiFi when you go to sleep to minimize EMF (electromagnetic fields) exposure, which may affect sleep quality.
However, sleep does more than just give us energy. It can actually help combat inflammation.
In a study from 2004 comparing three groups of healthy adults who endured partial sleep deprivation, full sleep deprivation, or continued to sleep normally, C-reactive protein (CRP) levels were elevated in both groups that were deprived of sleep.
This is incredibly important to acknowledge because CRP is a fundamental marker of inflammation routinely checked and monitored in blood testing for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Keeping CRP low means keeping inflammation in the body low, which in turn helps keep flares at bay.
2. Manage stress
We constantly hear that lowering stress can improve basically any condition. Sometimes the more we hear something, the less important we think it is.
Not when it comes to stress!
Managing stress is a two-fold process. There are ways to (sometimes) reduce or eliminate the very things causing you stress.
These could be leaving a soul-sucking job, ending a destructive relationship, or changing where you live.
There are some instances where these things can’t be changed, but often we believe we’re stuck in a situation when, in reality, we have the power to change it, or alter how we respond to it
One way to do this is to recognize when we’re stressing over unimportant things or things we cannot control. Whenever you feel stressed about something, ask yourself:
A) If this is important in the grand scheme of life
B) If this is something you have control over
If the answers are no, change the way you respond to these events.
Other ways to mitigate stress are walking or moving in nature by hiking, biking, or swimming.
Try setting aside time for a relaxing bath, reading a book for pleasure, painting, practicing yoga or meditation, writing in a journal, or even scheduling an appointment to get a massage.
In a yearlong 2010 study of adults with IBD, use of NSAIDs & antibiotics, as well as infections & stress, were tracked to measure their impacts on flare-ups.
Perceived stress, negative mood, and life events were the only factors significantly related to the participants’ flare-ups.
What does this actually mean?
The way we think about things and our reactions to them influence our health, mind and body. By changing the way we deal with stress, we have the ability to keep our bodies on the path of healing.
3. Keep moving
Movement isn’t just for burning calories & staying trim. Moving our bodies has numerous benefits, but one of them is particularly important for people with IBD: preventing bone loss.
Due to several factors like inflammation, malabsorption, & medications, 50% of people with Crohn’s develop osteopenia & one-third of people will have it progress into osteoporosis. Fortunately, participating in low-impact exercise regularly can increase bone mass, as shown in a study over 12 months.
What’s even more appealing about exercise (if you aren’t excited about it already) is that it can also help with the first two things on this list!
It can improve your sleep by helping you fall asleep faster & it can help release stress.
There are lots of ways to support your health when living with Crohn’s disease.
The best strategies are the ones that you see a benefit from and that don’t stress you out trying to make them work.
Live a stress free, healthy, happy life! #lifegoals