It’s Baacckkk

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.

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Let’s start off with a funny pug picture because the rest of this post isn’t going to be funny at all.

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Clearly, Murphy is comfortable.

Ok, so it’s time for me to fess up about what’s been going on with me lately. I’ve actually sort of been dreading writing this post because I didn’t want to admit that I’m sick again. Yep, that’s right. The colitis is back. FML.

Since my first episode more than seven months ago, I haven’t had a single GI issue, and I’ve felt perfectly healthy. I thought what happened over the summer was a one-time deal since colitis can be caused by a variety of illnesses and infections, and my doctor said he didn’t know whether it would come back or not. Of course, I hoped and prayed it would never return, but after a few weeks on wonky digestive issues, I’m now involved in a full on colitis flare, and it’s not fun.

Initially, I ignored the warning signs. I mean, there was no way it was happening again. Not to me! It was a fluke the first time. But, as soon as things progressed to scary (read: bloody), I called my doctor. We tried to nip it in the bud with a low-dose of steroids, which, at first, made me feel quite a bit better, so I thought I conquered a potential flare and continued on with my typical lifestyle, which included drinking beer and iced coffee, running 8 miles, and busting out Burpees. But, I’m pretty sure these things didn’t help my situation since I woke on Saturday morning feeling like death. My symptoms went from bearable to full-on flare. Somehow, I managed to make it through a run and brunch with friends, but as soon as I got home, I spent the rest of the day and evening trying not to die hunched over the toilet. Same with yesterday. And today. It sucks. A lot.

I’m honestly not even sure what to think about this whole thing. For once in my life, I was being totally optimistic about what happened to me this summer, and I really didn’t think it would come back. Now, colitis is something I probably have to deal with for the rest of my life. I know there’s worse things that can happen, but I’m pissed. I thought I was doing everything right with regard to my health, and now this bullshit happens. Why me? I’m healthy! I’m sorry to be such a downer. I’m just trying to wrap my brain around it.

Thankfully, my doctor’s nurse worked her magic to get me on his schedule for tomorrow morning, so, hopefully, we can deal with this flare quickly, and it’s over and done with as soon as possible. I hate feeling so helpless with regard to my health. I just want to be healthy and get on with my life.

Snack

A blog friend of mine said coconut water has been helpful for her digestive issues, so I drank a Vita Coco mid-morning. I figured it couldn’t hurt, and I was really thirsty. It tasted so good going down.

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Lunch

Today’s lunch was eaten in two parts: chicken with rice and roasted broccoli.

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And a smoothie made with banana, blueberries, coconut milk, ground flaxseed meal and ice.

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Blah. Sorry for such a bummer post. I promise to be more cheerful tomorrow. I think once I meet with my doctor and get some more answers, I’ll feel better about things.

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222 Comments

  1. I’m so sorry Tina! I felt the same way though this past week. I apparently was eating foods with my “allergies” and have been sick like crazy. I’m feeling better though. It’s tough to think that you might have to deal with that forever! I hope not, good luck tomorrow 🙂

  2. Don’t ever apologize for complaining, you have every right! A very good friend of mine has colitis and I have watched her go thru some terrible flares, they beyond suck, it is terrible. Good news is with the right mixture of meds she is doing great now.

    Be pissed, and take that energy to get proactive and tackle this beast. I wish you the best.

  3. I have been diagnosed with ulcerated colitis for 18 years now. I am luckily in remission but at its worst I went on an immune suppressant drug and that did the trick for me. It was a bit extreme but the situation warranted it. I remember being put on the prednisone steroid in the beginning and having the distinct “chipmunk” face-absolute worst.
    I have been off my meds for a while and have had very minimal flare ups. Switching up diet really worked for me-as a former fast food junkie it helped to go into rehab haha.
    Whenever I would be in pain I would just remind myself that I was strong enough to put up with it and there are way worse things that someone could be afflicted with. Just try to identify your triggers and weather the storm, itll get better

      1. @Tina: Its hard to say because colitis is an auto immune disease and sometimes our immune systems just go wacko on their own. My last flare up however came after having a cheese quesadilla at friendly’s though heh..I would say as a rule of thumb I try to avoid ‘rich’ foods that would be more likely to upset my stomach, especially full fat dairy or even highly caffeinated beverages. This goes without saying but stress can also do a number on one’s stomach 🙁

  4. Hi Tina- Sorry to hear about the colitis. I am a big believer in the power of nutrition to heal chronic conditions and I also believe that sometimes the foods we eat cause those conditions. I think your diet is pretty awesome but I’ve had patients cure their IBD just by giving up coffee and nuts. Also have you been tested for Celiac? I was reading an article by the leading Celiac researcher who believes that it’s not just wheat, oats, rye and barley that are problematic for some people but that all grains may be an issue. As someone who suffers from Celiac I was not too thrilled to read that. Giving up oats and wheat was hard enough. I have pretty much gone grain free.

    Also I agree with Erin, apple cider vinegar is amazing stuff.

    Hope you are feeling better soon.

      1. @Tina: Keep in mind that most doctors are not up on all the research about Celiac. When I was diagnosed 10 years ago I had no symptoms except anemia and my doctor was not even going to test me and turns out I was off the charts. The tests are tricky as well. The best way to approach it is always the elimination diet. Maybe try giving up oats one week and see how you feel and then maybe peanut butter etc etc. Something in coffee could be irritating your digestive tract as well. Never hurts to take additional probiotics as well separate from yogurt. Good luck!

  5. No worries! I can understand your frustration. I am dealing with GI problems myself (reflux, IBS). I’ll think things are fine and then bam! I’m back in IBS hell. Hope you feel better soon!

  6. oh dear.. this sounds awful 🙁 how scary for you. and inconvinient and just down right horrible. vent away girl you deserve it….
    perhaps its time to give paleo a try?

  7. I’m sorry you’ve had another flare-up. I know it must be incredibly difficult at times to share the downside of life on your blog. It takes a lot of courage, so please don’t feel as though you have to be upbeat all the time. Life is not always wine and roses. Sometimes it sucks. I hope you are on the mend and feeling better soon. Take good care.

  8. I am so sorry, Tina. My sister has colitis and has been struggling with flare ups since she was diagnosed 8 years ago. Hope you had proper treatment & feel better soon!

  9. Hi Tina-
    I have celiac, and since I have low antibodies, all of my testing came back negative for it. I had all sorts of issues though with my liver, bones, and heart. When I finally begged the doctor to do genetic testing and biopsies, a lot of damage had already been done. My brother has ulcerative colitis as well, and from all the reading I have done on it, paleo makes the most sense for me and I know a lot of other people with ANY autoimmune condition. I just decided I did not want to live a life on and off prednisone anymore. Triggers for me are any grains, coffee, dairy and soy. I love my diet and don’t feel like I am restricted in any way, it just took a while to get used to. I am a Boston girl too- so message me and I would be happy to talk more with you about it!

  10. So sorry to hear that Tina. My brother and I both suffer from colitis on and off (him much worse than me). For both of us, going grain-free, sugar-free and dairy-free is the only way keep things 100% under control. I also find that sleep deprivation is a big trigger for me. I hope you feel better soon.

    1. @Ali: Also, even if you don’t have celiac, being gluten sensitive can trigger many different autoimmune diseases including chron’s and colitis among many (your gut wall gets leaky, and food particles escape, causing your body to have an autoimmune reaction). Just another thought. Sorry to keep commenting, it’s just that I HAVE SO BEEN THERE, and I know how much it sucks!! Prednisone made me feel crazy!
      Good luck Tina! 🙂

  11. From what I understand, caffeine/coffee can be major irritant, and also fibrous veggies (broccoli). Maybe eliminate those for a time at least — especially if you’re in a flare. Who knows, the beer you love so much might not be doing you any favors either.

  12. Tina, so sorry to hear of your news. While I don’t have colitis myself, I did suffer from IBD for quite some time. I started reading a lot about a plant based diet and what animal protein does to our bodies. Although I haven’t converted all the way to a Vegan diet (I just love cheese too much), I have been Vegetarian for over a year now and I feel so much better. I haven’t had one episode of IBD. Just something to think about. Hope you feel better soon.

  13. Hey Tina,
    Sorry to hear about your flare. I have suffered from UC for over 15 years. I find certain foods trigger it – greasy, fried foods. I’ve eliminated a lot from my diet. No bread (I eat gluten free), no dairy, no eggs, no soy and no corn. I found the biggest culprit is the eggs….as much as I hate to admit it. I found it hard to follow the paleo diet without eggs.
    Prednisone sucks….but at least you are on a low dose.

  14. I’m a colitis sufferer too so I feel your pain. I was diagnosed at 8 months pregnant after going through a WIDE AWAKE colonoscopy…needless to say that part was brutal. I’ve been on a medication regimen for over a year and it is very worth the daily pills to stay ahead of the flare ups.

  15. For someone who posts every day, more than once a day, you certainly are NOT required to be happy and peppy all the time. That sounds exhausting anyway. We all appreciate who you are and what you do so don’t ever lose the real you! Good luck with your appt and keep us updated! In my thoughts and prayers!

  16. Tina,
    So sorry to hear about your collitis, but I am kind of suprised you haven’t connected the dots yet….
    You love cross-fit, experimented with paleo eating thru crossfit, yet your diet is overloaded with grain, something we were not meant to digetst. I suggest you try paleo again…
    I personally still have quinoa and spelt in my diet because they are the least offensive of the grains. Feel better!

  17. I’m so sorry you’re having to go through this again Tina! Although I have to say that mostly I’m shocked by the other comments. I had no idea how many other people have digestive/intestinal disorders and problems. So far all I’ve been able to determine is gluten intolerance. I tested negative for Celiac, but the doctor suggested I try cutting out gluten and see how I feel.

    I definitely feel a LOT better, but it has made me realize how many other foods also upset my stomach. It’s frustrating to not be able to just eat whatever I want, but I would much rather not be in so much pain all the time!

  18. So sorry you are going through this. You are a strong, determined chick – you’ll figure out how to beat this! Hang in there. 🙂

  19. I was also diagnosed with UC 8 years ago. I have been a long time sufferer and worked what I thought was a non stressful job. I switched jobs about one year after I was diagnosed and within several months all was better! I have only had a few flareups in the last few years, but I swear by the fact that it all had to do with the amount of stress in my job. I didn’t even realize that I had stress I had in my life, until it was gone. I felt like I could breathe again.. I guess my colon did too! Good Luck with everything and I hope you start to feel better soon. Remember to take it easy and give your system time to breathe and relax!

  20. Hi Tina! So sorry you’re not feeling well. Just wanted to put my two cents in. I had infectious colitis when I was in college – it was determined as that since it seemed to be a one time thing, but I was warned of possible future flare ups. I was tested for crohns and celiac, as well, but everything came back negative. I think it is different for every person, but I was told to avoid whole grains and opt for the white versions during a flare up (white rice, white bread) which confused me bc it seemed unhealthy but I was told it was all my body could handle during a flare up. Also I had to avoid too much fiber, so most veggies were out for a bit. It’s hard to adjust and I know each case it different, but maybe keep a food journal so you can identify what you’re eating before a flare up and how your diet might be affecting you. Im sorry you’re going through this. Hope you feel better soon!

  21. nuts and nut butters (I love peanutbutter sooo much, gah) and dairy always make my digestive issues worse. Maybe try eliminating those things?

    Also I hope that you’re feeling better ASAP. Gastro problems are the worst, I totally feel your pain and sometimes complaining and getting it out there is helpful in dealing with the whole thing (which can be totally overwhelming).

  22. I’m really sorry to hear about this, Tina. I was so shocked when you first told us about it. I will keep you in prayer and hope that your doctor can find a solution for you!

  23. It’s okay to be pissed sometimes when bad ish happens to you. Yes, there are always worse things that could happen, but it doesn’t make what’s going on with you personally suck any less. It’s gotta be frustrating, and I’m sure we all appreciate your honesty. You will get through this, I know it! Just another bump in the road of life and it will make you stronger and more appreciative of the good around you!

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  25. Wow, and I thought IBS was harsh and annoying! I’m sorry you have to deal with such an abrasive disorder when otherwise you are so healthy, but it’s good that that is your only health issue. And it seems like you are doing what you can to alter you lifestyle so it becomes less of an issue for your everyday life. That is usually a difficult thing to get accustomed to. And yes, coconut milk is good for digestion and extremely hydrating, although having a lot of it can be a form of laxative, so just don’t have too much. How did you first find out that you had colitis? Is it genetic or environmental or just circumstantial?

  26. Hi Tina,

    I’ve just been browsing through your blog, and I came upon this entry about your colitis. I had colitis for 2 1/2 years, and in 2008 I had to have a total colectomy. I know how frustrating flares can be, I was training for a marathon when I ended up in the hospital. I felt that same surge of emotions, Why me? I am healthy, I eat well, I don’t drink, I exercise, but then right after I graduated from college I had my colon removed, my body was rejecting my colon and the colitis was completely ruling my life. I had a three part surgery, and now live PAIN free, no blood, and I’ve run several 1/2 marathons, triathlons, and I am training for that full I had to quit before. You may never progress to this point, and I pray that you are able to maintain with diet and medication. I know it can feel overwelming and embaressing (I mean, who wants to talk about what their poop looks to anyone), but stay positive! 🙂 LOVE your blog..

    Meredith

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