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Mythbusters: Searching Online for Crohn's Help

Discouragement.  Misinformation.   Searching.  

How many of us with Crohn’s / IBD find ourselves lost in a black hole of internet searches in an effort to assess a treatment plan, supplement option, dietary recommendation or symptom checker. 
Where do you turn when you need answers?  

First and foremost, it’s wise to ask your gastroenterologist first.  But many healthy lifestyle choices are more of a gray area.

1.  Is running ok for Crohn’s?  How about marathon running?

2.  Is gluten-free best?  How about paleo, primal, vegan?

3.  Should I take more Vitamin D than my multivitamin provides?  What about this herbal remedy?

4.  Is acupuncture helpful?  What about massage?

I drive myself crazy with fear.  Every time I add a new supplement or make a change in my diet I am fearful it could lead to a flare or worsening of my symptoms.  Oh the irony of trying to make a positive change only to have it backfire in the worst way.   Like the year I ate broccoli and hummus as a frequent snack.  Was the flare later that year from the ferocious cruciferous, or the many other life changes I experienced?

When I’m in doubt, I follow a multi-step process:

1.  Ask my doctor’s opinion.

2.   Research others’ experiences on Crohn’s Forum.

3.  Conduct a general internet search.  Take all findings with a grain of salt.  Remember that I know my body best, and that even though something worked for another person, it doesn’t mean it will work for me, and vice versa.  

4.  Pray and meditate for guidance or incorporate your own spiritual contemplation practice.  

5.  Talk with my loved ones if the decision could involve a change impacting the family.  For example, when I went gluten-free in early 2013, I had already done my research and had identified ways I could continue to travel under the restrictions, as well as how it would affect our family meals.  I shared the research that links gluten-free diet to improvement in Crohn’s symptoms.  They were able to embrace this significant change because I had done my homework and already had identified solutions for potential pitfalls.

6.  When in doubt, start back to #1! 

Good luck in your search and healing process.  Crohnies unite!


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