Those of us with digestive conditions or stomach disorders know how hard it can be to find food to eat without a problem.
This community is for sharing recipes that you have found edible, and that, hopefully, can making cooking pleasant once again.
A few basic rules:
+Please state which condition (ie, IBS or Crohn's, etc) your recipe is meant for--many times the treatment for one digestive condition can be radically different than another, so please, please label. If you have an undiagnosed condition, then please just label it as 'undiagnosed'.
+Pictures are totally welcome, but if you've got more than one or the pictures are exceptionally large, please use an lj-cut!
+If you're taking a recipe from another source, please, please credit the other source--if you can find a link to it online, please, do link!
+Be kind and courteous and try to remain relatively on-topic.
+If you're looking for cooking help, please post away as well! Recipe help, where to buy ingredients or whether or not certain substitutions will work are all welcome.
+What's not appropriate is talking about your personal condition or your personal doctor--the communities such as ibs and we_got_guts, among others, are much more better equipped for dealing with this.
Some Information on Different Digestive Conditions
IBS: IBS is also known as irratible bowel syndrome. This one is a tricky bugger, since it basically means that your digestive nerves and muscles are extra sensitive, but there is no obvious physical sign. People with IBS or that think they may have IBS might often go to the doctor's office to try to figure out what's wrong only to have the doctor, and every medical test known to mankind tell them that there is "nothing physically wrong".
However, IBS suffers, upon eating the wrong food, may find themselves in one of three situations, all equally painful:
1) The runs --this is known as IBS-D 2) Constipation --this is known as IBS-C 3) Alternating --this is known as IBS-A and alternates, obviously, between D and C.
IBS sufferers are in a sense, lucky--assuming they avoid their "trigger" foods, the illness is not fatal. However, that doesn't take away from the fact that it can be extremely painful and severely impact day-to-day life.
Severity of IBS and treatment varies from person to person; it is especially predominant in women and can also impact the menstrual cycle.
More information: Help for IBS. [This site, and the recipe book, basically saved my life as an undergraduate living away from home.]
Crohn's "is a condition in which the lining of your digestive tract becomes inflamed, causing severe diarrhea and abdominal pain. The inflammation often spreads deep into the layers of affected tissue. Like ulcerative colitis, another common IBD, Crohn's disease can be both painful and debilitating and sometimes may lead to life-threatening complication." Taken from here.
Treatments for Crohn's often include a variety of medications, as well an altered diet--one of the more popular ones is the specific carbohydrate diet, which eliminates a large number of complex carbohydrates, such as many types of bread.
One of the reasons that you are asked to label your recipes in terms of which condition it is meant for is for a reason such as this: IBS patients are often encouraged to eat foods high in soluble fiber, such as white breads, sourdough breads, non-whole grain and non-bran breakfast cereals, etc. On the other hand, if a patient with Crohn's, UC or Celiac were to have a diet such as that, it could be immensely debilitating--and in the case of Celiac, possibly fatal. Likewise, IBD patients are often told if they are to eat any breads they should be whole grain or whole wheat; this could be fairly uncomfortable for an IBS patient!
Anyway, more on Crohn's:
Treatment for Crohn's, besides diet, often includes anti-inflammatory drugs as well as steroids. In some instances, surgery may be necessary to remove diseased bowel.
You can see more about the different medications and treatment options here.
UC is, in many respects, similar to Crohn's.
Ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that causes chronic inflammation of the digestive tract, is characterized by abdominal pain and diarrhea. Like Crohn's disease, another common IBD, ulcerative colitis can be debilitating and sometimes can lead to life-threatening complications.
Ulcerative colitis usually affects only the innermost lining of your large intestine (colon) and rectum. It occurs only through continuous stretches of your colon, unlike Crohn's disease, which occurs in patches anywhere in the digestive tract and often spreads deep into the layers of affected tissues. " From here.
As you might imagine, the treatment for UC is not that far removed from that of Crohn's, although there are some differences.
The main difference is that since, unlike Crohn's, UC is localized, surgery can be (but is not necessarily) a cure-all remedy. Description:
Surgery can often eliminate ulcerative colitis. But that usually means removing your entire colon and rectum (proctocolectomy). In the past, after this surgery you would wear a small bag over an opening in your abdomen (ileostomy) to collect stool. But a procedure called ileoanal anastomosis eliminates the need to wear a bag. Here
Diet advice for UC is more or less the same as that of Crohn's, and often the two conditions appear together under the heading of IBD, or inflammatory bowel disease.
Unlike the above conditions, diverticulitis is most likely to develop when you are older.
Diverticulitis develops from a condition called diverticulosis. If you're older than age 40, it's common for you to have diverticulosis — small, bulging pouches (diverticula) in your digestive tract. In the United States, more than 50 percent of people older than 60 have diverticula. Although diverticula can form anywhere, including in your esophagus, stomach and small intestine, most occur in your large intestine. Because these pouches seldom cause any problems, you may never know you have them.
Sometimes, however, one or more pouches become inflamed or infected, causing severe abdominal pain, fever, nausea and a marked change in your bowel habits. When diverticula become infected, the condition is called diverticulitis." From here.
Treatment varies with the severity; in many instance, rest, anti-biotics and a shift in diet are all that's needed, but in some cases, surgery similar to that of some UC patients is needed.
For those with mild attacks, foods to be avoided while recuperating include fruits, nuts, seeds and whole grains.
Celiac disease is a fancy name for gluten intolerance.
The easiest way to explain it to someone is that it's an allergy to bread, although it's slightly more complicated than that:
"Celiac disease is a digestive condition triggered by consumption of the protein gluten, which is found in bread, pasta, cookies, pizza crust and many other foods containing wheat, barley or rye. If you have celiac disease and eat foods containing gluten, an immune reaction occurs in your small intestine, causing damage to the surface of your small intestine and an inability to absorb certain nutrients.
Eventually, the decreased absorption of nutrients (malabsorption) that occurs with celiac disease can cause vitamin deficiencies that deprive your brain, peripheral nervous system, bones, liver and other organs of vital nourishment. This can lead to other illnesses and stunted growth in children." Here.
The only effective remedy for this condition is the elimination of gluten from the diet; gluten is most often found in bread products but can sometimes be found in other products, such as lipstick, as well.
Many supermarkets now cater to gluten-free dieters with gluten-free products, which range from flour to pasta to cookies; however unless you live close to a Whole Foods, Wegman's or other large supermarket, they can be hard to find. Lucky for us, there's the internet, and it's possible to order such things online.
There was a House, MD episode once upon a season where the patient suffers from Celiac; whether or not it's an accurate depiction, however, I'll leave alone.
Fructose Malabsorption, or Fructose Intolerance, is an inability to properly absorb (ie, digest), the type of sugar known as fructose.
Fructose is found in fruit, table sugar and is a product of sorbitol ingestion. There are two different types:
Hereditary fructose intolerance, a rare genetic disorder. People with hereditary fructose intolerance lack an enzyme that breaks down fructose. This is a serious disorder that can lead to liver and kidney damage.
Fructose malabsorption, a digestive disorder. People with fructose malabsorption have difficulty digesting fructose. This is a less serious disorder because it doesn't result in liver or kidney damage. But it can cause abdominal pain, nausea, bloating and diarrhea.
Foods to avoid include: Fruit and fruit juices, Meat products cured in sugar or breaded, Sweetened milk or sweetened milk beverages, Honey, Maple syrup, Corn syrup, Table sugar (beet and cane) and Confectioner's sugar.
This is one which a lot of us are familiar. Simply put, it's an allergy to dairy, specifically, cow's milk.
The severity of the allergy can vary--some people are okay if they take a lactaid before consuming dairy; others may experience a severe, life-threatening reaction from just a spoonful of ingested milk.
The basic treatment here is the avoidance of dairy products and the use of soy milk, rice milk or other vegan options for calcium.
There are arguments now that 1) humans aren't actually meant to drink cow's milk, and b) cow's milk is not quite as good for you as previously believed, but I'm not sure how serious any of these studies are. At any rate, given that dairy is a major trigger for many digestive conditions, most recipes in this community, I imagine, will use milk substitutes.
"Gallstones are solid deposits of cholesterol or calcium salts that form in your gallbladder or nearby bile ducts. They often cause no symptoms and require no treatment. But some people with gallstones have a gallbladder attack that can cause symptoms, such as nausea and an intense, steady ache in their upper middle or upper right abdomen. In some cases, the pain can be severe and intermittent." Here.
Many times people with gallstones will have no symptoms, but sometimes they can be severe and even life threatening.
For most people with severe gallstones, the besst option is surgery which involves the removal of the gallbladder.
After surgery, the runs can be more frequent, so patients are urged to avoid dairy, fatty foods and spicy foods.
Heartburn itself is a condition that most of us will experience in our lifetimes, especially if we over-indulge in spicy food. Usually, over the counter medications such as Tums or Rolaids are all that's needed.
However, for some people, it is so recurring that, like IBS, it becomes a major hamper in day-to-day activities, and unlike IBS, it can cause physical harm.
"Frequent heartburn can be a serious problem, and it deserves medical attention. Frequent or constant heartburn is the most common symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) — a disease in which stomach acid or, occasionally, bile flows back (refluxes) into your esophagus." here.
Normal heartburn can be held in check with OTC medications like Tums, Rolaid, Maalox and Mylanta, but in severe GERD cases, with inflammation of the esophagus, prescription strength medication, or even surgery may be required.
There are numerous lifestyle options for GERD; ones concerning diet include the avoidance of 'trigger' foods such as fatty or fired foods, garlic, peppermint, onions and tomatoes.
If you would like a digestive condition included here and don't see it, please leave a comment in the community's first entry, dated 1 February 2009, or email me through my contact info on my personal LJ. The information here is not intended to be medical advice or a substitute for your own doctor. In the case of an emergency, dial 911. For general medical help relating to these conditions please post in the relevant communities.