Crohn's disease vs Gaining weight

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    Mar 23, 2012 1:51 PM GMT
    Is it biologically possible to gain muscle mass when one suffers from Crohn's Disease?

    I've been diagnosed last year and had about 10% of my small intestine surgically removed a few months ago. I've always been skinny, but nowadays I find it difficult to eat the very same quantity of food I ate years ago... needless to say, I'm severely lacking motivation to work out. So if there are any Crohnies out there, I'd really appreciate your help.
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    Mar 23, 2012 3:40 PM GMT
    I have Ulcerative Colitis, close to a decade now, which is a close cousin of Crohns.

    I can't say if you will be able to gain a lot of mass. But the one thing that is certain is that the Crohns and your diet need to get under control, and you need to avoid ever needing to have more of your bowel removed. If that does not happen you may not gain mass or worse.

    I have been able to reduce my meds dramatically over the last year by changing my diet. A year ago I was on the max meds, and on the verge of going on prednisone, something I wanted to avoid at all costs. I now only take meds about one day a week after minor flare ups.

    Have been on a restricted version of Paleo diet. Paleo forbids grains, beans, dairy, and sweets. It even discourages fruit. For people like us, it is recommended to further restrict nuts, seeds, nightshades (tomato, potato, eggplant, peppers). What I eat is lots of healthy green veggies, meat, tons of olive oil, and small amounts of proper starch (sweet potato, butternut, acorn squash, spaghetti squash, yucca). The book that I used is Paleo Solution, by Robb Wolf. It is badly written, but has some good info and references.

    Today I am going to pick up another diet book, also based on Paleo, called "Breaking the Vicious Cycle: Intestinal Health Through Diet" by Elaine Gottschall. This diet is carefully honed to the needs of those with chronic intestinal disease. It advocates the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. But it will be several months till I know if this is better than what I have been doing.

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    Mar 23, 2012 3:59 PM GMT
    I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis a year ago. I was stubborn and didn't want to pay for a doctor and ended up losing 23 pounds and was the skinniest I've ever been since high school.

    Asacol is an expensive medication, but it took care of it quick and now I am up 10 pounds heavier than I was before I got sick. They also had me on prednisone for a while which got me sick like I had a cold a lot, but I was able to get off of it. I take a great deal less medication now because I avoid Asprin, spicy food, alcohol and other things that cause it to flare up.

    I don't know how losing 10% of your small intestine affects how your body absorbs nutrients, but I think you can still get muscular. I was skinny all my life, but now I eat about 4000-4500 calories per day and maintain a good physique. My food is mostly fish, chicken, eggs, peanut butter, fruit, protein powders, dairy, nuts and I am quite happy with the variety it offers.

    I love the paleo (aka caveman) diet.
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    Mar 23, 2012 5:09 PM GMT
    Thank you for your answers and diet tips. Nowadays I basically avoid spicy food and alcohol, so I probably need to plan my diet more carefully. Maybe a slightly modified Paleo diet will work for me.