I'm posting to ask for advice (or even just to hear stories from others who have dealt with something similar.) I finished my surgeries in October 2019; it was a 3-step process for me, and at the time of surgery my UC had failed to respond to any meds and had advanced to a dangerous point. I'd also had C diff multiple times. I was malnourished, and I had just developed Toxic Megacolon. The colectomy was an emergency surgery (bc of the TMC) and then I went through the IPAA creation surgery, and finally--the takedown.
I had one bout of Cdiff in the pouch right after takedown, but other than that my pouch has been very healthy, and I feel great! I actually got pregnant naturally and had my daughter in November 2020! During the pregnancy, the pouch was fine, but I noticed that as the baby grew and the pouch got moved around inside, I had to be very careful with what I ate. Eating any fruits, veggies, nuts, etc. caused me to "leak," and it made pouch output very thin and liquidy.
However, at the time I got pregnant, I still had not really weaned off the bland post-surgery diet anyway, so I was eating very little fruits and vegetables at a time. I drank fruit/veggie smoothies during pregnancy and ate some things mashed or cooked very softly.
It was an easy, wonderful pregnancy and (c-section bc of the pouch) birth! I feel so lucky and happy about it. But I gained a lot of weight during the pregnancy (I blame my carb heavy diet.) I was underweight before, or very close to it, but I gained like 60lbs while pregnant. I'm 6 months postpartum now--and I have lost about 30-40lbs of what I gained. However, I lost most of that in the first few months. I haven't lost anything the past few months.
The gain wasn't too bad. I don't even mind keeping about 10lbs of the pregnancy weight as I probably needed it. BUT I hate how I look right now, and how I feel in clothes, so I really, really want to lose at least 10-15lbs of the 25 or so I have left to lose.
I love cooking! And the first thing I did was restructure my eating habits and focus on eating mostly veggies and fruits and good meats--whole foods. I still stay away from beans, seeds, and nuts because those cause problems for me. in large amounts. I really love and missed veggies (I literally could eat salad for every meal.) But after doing this "diet" for two weeks, I developed arthritis.
I used to have UC-related arthritis. It was an extraintestinal manifestation of my disease; it cropped up as the inflammation increased in my colon. This arthritis flare up was just like when I had UC. Same types of joints and presentation. I was worried it was a postpartum hormonal thing or pouchitis (although I didn't have any pain or leaking or anything from the pouch) but I also considered my new diet...so I stopped it. Back to my low-veggie diet.
And the arthritis disappeared! I ate a salad three or four meals in a row last week to test it--and AGAIN arthritis flare. It went away when I returned to my usual carb-y diet. My thought is the fiber causes mild inflammation/pouchitis, which in turn causes the arthritis.
It seems like most pouchers on here eat veggies no problem (and some even have problems with gluten or dairy, what have you) so I don't understand what is going on with me. I feel very defeated because not only can I not eat lots of veggies, which I love, but I also don't know how to approach dieting in a healthy way with this limitation. Right now I am trying to cut carbs...and also generally to cut calories, which I hate. I hate feeling hungry, and I don't think cutting calories is the best way to diet really. I walk almost every day for about an hour with my baby, and I am going to start trying online zumba work out videos too.
Has anyone else experienced this? Is it possible for my body to be intolerant to vegetables and fiber? What can I do to work around this? Does anyone have any diet tips?
**I can eat some veggies and fruits, but only in small amounts. I also seem to have less difficulty with them if they are cooked, mashed, or blended. But I kind of hate the idea of eating a baby food style vegetable diet for the rest of my life.
*** I breastfed my baby for the first 8 weeks, but my milk supply was low. I think it was a hydration issue, but I ultimately switched to formula because she needed more than I could supply. I lost a lot of weight while breastfeeding, but I have not lost nearly as much since quitting.
Thanks in advance for your help!