The Specific Carbohydrate Diet seems to work like gangbusters for many with Crohn’s or colitis, while others are left feeling like they’ve lost their invitation to this great SCD healing party.
If you’ve ever tried the SCD and felt like a failure or if you’ve heard about the diet, but didn’t really know how to get started, this is the episode for you. Today, we’re pulling back the covers on the most common missteps I see moms making when it comes to this eating plan. After listening to this podcast, you’ll be able to start (or go back to) the SCD with confidence, knowing what went wrong the first time and how to make sure that doesn’t happen in round two.
The SCD is confusing and overwhelming at first. There’s no doubt about it. In this episode we cover what all the confusion is about as we talk about how, with the right information, you can go from SCD Zero to SCD Hero in no time.
Episode at a Glance:
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The Top 3 SCD Missteps Everyone Makes[music]
00:05 INTRO You’re listening to The Cheeky Podcast for Moms with IBD, a safe space where moms with Crohn’s and colitis connect, explore powerful tools for healing and transform our lives to thrive in motherhood and in life. I’m your host, Karyn Haley, IBD health coach, integrative wellness enthusiast, and mom to three outstanding kids. After having Crohn’s disease for 30 years and working as a health advocate exclusively with IBD clients for the last 10 years, I know it’s time to bring the types of candid conversations I have with my clients out into the open. It’s our time to go on an IBD healing journey and do it like only a mom can. Let’s do this.[music]
00:50 KARYN: Well, hello there lovely mama. Today, we’re gonna talk about one of my absolute favorite topics in the world, the specific carbohydrate diet, SCD, as it’s often called, and you’ll definitely hear me say that on this episode. I love this topic. The SCD is the diet I work with most in my coaching practice. It’s the gut-healing diet you hear about in many Crohn’s and colitis Facebook groups, in internet searches, on social media, and it’s the diet that worked for me 12 years ago when I finally decided I was never gonna get any better with a medication-only approach. Where are you at in your experience with the SCD? Is this an idea that’s completely new to you? Have you dabbled in it, or are you an SCD pro? No matter what your SCD status, if you’ve got IBD, you’re gonna benefit from what we’re talking about today. It’s the top three SCD missteps everyone makes. As moms, we make mistakes all the time. We might yell at our kids when they don’t deserve it in a moment of stress. That would never be me, of course. We might accidentally leave one of our children at a park because we thought our spouse had him. That’s certainly not me. [chuckle]
02:16: We might even get busted trying to add zucchini to the spaghetti sauce. Definitely never me. But if it was me, it may have happened earlier this week. Thankfully, with most mom pitfalls, we get a do-over the next day, we get a second chance to turn the beat around as Gloria Estefan would say. We’re moms, we’re human, we have to give ourselves a break. And if you struggle with that, I’m giving you the grace. So please, please give yourself a break when you mess up. It isn’t always our fault. As moms we’re learning, we’re growing, we’re evolving all the time. When we know better, we do better. Same goes for the specific carbohydrate diet. And let me just get this out of the way right from the beginning of this episode. When you’re first learning about the diet, it’s confusing as hell. Can I get an amen? It’s frighteningly confusing actually. If we can allow ourselves the room to make mistakes in our daily mom life, and get to do daily do-overs, why can’t we do that with the SCD too? When we know, it’s just like motherhood, it can be confusing, overwhelming, and stressful at times. Today, I’m gonna help give you that do-over. We’re going to become a bit of a detective here, a nutrition detective, if you will, so you can get absolutely clear on why the SCD might not be working for you.
03:55: And if you haven’t tried the SCD yet, you’ll never have to fall for these missteps ever. You’ll be set up for SCD success right from the get-go. If this is your first time hearing about the specific carbohydrate diet or you don’t really know much about it, do yourself a favor, grab a copy of Breaking the Vicious Cycle by Elaine Gottschall, BTVC as I like to call it, and lots of other people like to call it too. You’ll hear me say that today in the episode. There’s a link for Breaking the Vicious Cycle in the show notes, so be sure to click there and you can grab yourself a copy. We won’t be going into all the details and all the why’s behind the diet today, a little, but not really very heavy and not enough to where I really would like you to be if you’re starting the diet. So for now, if you’re an SCD newbie, know that the SCD is a way of eating that’s nutrient-dense, it’s gut healing with food that can help bring that Crohn’s or colitis into remission.
Are you making Misstep # 1?
05:01: With that said, are you ready for misstep number one? Let’s dive in. Misstep number one. You don’t do the introductory diet or you do it, but you don’t do it correctly. And yes, I have to tell you, there is an incorrect and a correct way, and it will be the difference between becoming an SCD completer and an SCD drop out. The intro diet matters. I really never like to be a strict schoolmarm about most things when it comes to health because the truth is there’s so many different ways to transform your health successfully, but if you are choosing the SCD to heal your IBD, the introductory diet matters, doing it right matters. If you’ve made the mistake of trying the SCD without starting the intro or you did the intro, but you didn’t do it with complete adherence, it’s all good. It’s all okay, mama. It’s time for a do-over. The good news is that you can go back. You can go back and do the intro any time. Even though I started the SCD 12 years ago, I still go back to the intro diet for tune-ups and to crush a flare-up flat right in its tracks before it gets out of control. You can always go back and start again. And if you’re on the SCD somewhere in the beginning stages and it’s not going well, I want you to pay special attention to this episode because I’m gonna help you get out of SCD hell and into SCD swell. Yes, I actually wrote that. [chuckle]
06:49: And now I’m laughing at myself saying it, it didn’t sound corny when I thought of it earlier. Moving on, it’s not your fault, don’t go beating yourself up over this. Don’t go thinking that your IBD is hopeless either because it isn’t your fault. For those who have read the Breaking the Vicious Cycle book cover to cover, it’s 200-plus pages, but the actual introductory eating plan, the foundation for the diet, it takes up one page, one. It’s no wonder the introductory diet didn’t work for you, it’s no wonder you didn’t do it correctly, it’s a blip in the book. I never thought that I would get it right, and I wouldn’t have got it right if I didn’t work with a health coach to help me along the way. Now, I know some of you mamas, you have the BTVC book handy and you’re looking at it, and you’re looking in it, and you’re seeing a whole chapter dedicated to the introductory diet, and you’re saying to me, “No way, that’s not true. There is more than one page to the intro, there’s a whole chapter, Karyn.”
08:01: But if you look a little bit closer, the part of the chapter that actually tells you what to eat during the introductory period is one page long. Not even a page, I have to amend that, it’s one half a page long. Now, before the stoning begins on me from the SCD Elaine-loving purists, I know you’re out there, just know that I love this book. I think Elaine Gottschall was a goddess on high. The best mama in all the land for helping her child heal from ulcerative colitis. But there are parts of this book that are just confusing for us lay mamas who are desperate for a way out, stressed about how to get there and want someone to take us by the hand and lead us step by step through how all this just works, especially the intro part. This book just doesn’t do that. I don’t know about you but after I read The Intro Diet chapter, I didn’t feel confident that I even had a clue what to do next. Here’s just a little glimpse of what it looked like for me after reading this part, the intro part of the book.
09:14: Here’s me. “Okay, so I’m currently eating a diet that consists of a bagel with cream cheese for breakfast, a healthy… ” She said in quotes, “Healthy whole wheat sandwich with deli meat and Kraft American cheese slices for lunch. I’m having spaghetti and meatballs for dinner then some Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey Ice Cream for dessert, and you want me to eat dry-curd cottage, what? What the hell even is that? Where do I even buy that? And besides this dry-curd stuff, what is there to eat on this besides like three or four things on this diet? What? What? What?” Okay, that’s just a small glimpse into the craziness that went on in my brain after reading that particular part of the book. So it’s no wonder you’re confused. I was too. Why do you think I read Breaking the Vicious Cycle, screamed at the front cover, threw it in a corner and never picked it up again for five years? This intro diet misstep is not your fault. This is all so confusing and different from what we’re used to. On top of that, only one half a page of the BTVC book is dedicated to what you’ll eat on the intro. It’s no wonder you didn’t do the intro right, or you didn’t do it at all.
10:40: And I really can’t stress the importance of this part of the diet enough. Seriously, I just have to say it one more time. Doing this part correctly is crucial for gut repair. I’ve seen it be the difference between SCD success and failure for many. The intro part of the diet is all about giving your digestive tract what it needs to heal. As we go through and talk about this misstep number one, not completing the intro part of the diet, I want you to know that if you’re on the fence about the SCD or if you’ve never heard of it, but you’re curious about what it might mean for your IBD health or if you’ve tried it and it didn’t work, this part… This part in particular, I want you to pay close attention to because I really want you to understand the why behind this. The why behind it is so important, and if you’re multi-tasking, come back to me for this part, ’cause this part is key. For those of us who are dealing with gut struggles like Crohn’s and colitis, and we have an imbalance of gut flora, sometimes it’s called intestinal bacteria, if there’s an imbalance there, the intro part of the SCD is the first step to help clear out these damaged microbes and it happens in the quickest way possible.
The power of the SCD Intro Diet, when done correctly, is HUGE.
12:06: Elaine Gottschall, that awesome SCD leader, along with Dr. Sidney Haas championed the Specific Carbohydrate Diet movement. After Dr. Haas had studied the benefits of the elemental diet where a feeding tube is used to bypass the gut and allow it time to heal, he saw the amazing results people had on the elemental diet, and he decided to create an elemental diet style without the feeding tube that anyone could do. The elemental diet and The Intro Diet are really similar in that they both correct malabsorption quickly and efficiently. The Intro Diet, it brings your intestines back into working order in just a matter of days, and then it prepares your body for an amazing healing journey, powerful stuff. Think of it like a detox, only in my opinion, it’s a much healthier option, and it’s something that is very different from a traditional detox that’s really just truly harsh on your system. This detox is specifically designed for IBDer’s, so it’s gentle, it’s healthy, and it’s truly transformational.
13:22: Now that we have fully embraced the gut transforming why’s behind the intro diet, let’s talk about the how. How does this intro part work? The intro diet, it usually lasts between one and five days, and the number of days you complete the intro will depend on your symptoms, and frankly, if you tolerate the boringness of the food you’ll be eating. It’s advised by Elaine that you never go more than five days as additional time becomes counterproductive to your healing. One to two days of the diet is usually sufficient if you have mild disease or mild diarrhea. Three to four days is usually recommended and needed if your disease is more active and you have increased diarrhea. And then the five days is reserved for those with severe disease. I’ve been blessed to be a witness as a coach during enough intro phases to know that you’ll know when it’s time to move on, both physically and emotionally. When diarrhea starts to subside, and you’ve had that last piece of bland chicken that you can stomach, it’s time to move on. Don’t be frightened if you’re not having a, “Praise Jesus, I am healed,” kind of moment. Gut healing doesn’t really work that way, at least for not anyone that I’ve met.
14:47: But it’s a starting place. It’s a sign of good things to come. It’s a rite of passage. It’s kind of like crossing the stage when you graduate from high school. There’s a feeling of completion, but also the knowledge that the future awaits. It’s a bright future where you aren’t exactly sure what comes next, but you’re hopeful and you’re willing to put the time in to get to the place you want to be. That’s the story of starting and finishing the intro part of the diet. It’s like high school, but a lot shorter and hopefully a lot less hair spray. Is the intro diet fun? Is it a cleansing party with balloons and confetti? Not unless you live with a family of crazy people who are partying it up with you to help you get through the intro. The truth is, it’s actually kind of boring, and unless you take some pretty drastic steps in preparation, you will be hangry and you won’t be eating a lot of variety in the foods you’re eating for those few days. But, but what will you get in exchange? A lot, my friend. I mean, life-transforming a lot. It’s worth every annoying second you’re in it, so don’t give up. You’ve got this. You’ve got this. I know you can get through it. And of course, you know I’m here for you for moral support.
16:17: Okay, we’ve got the why, we’ve got the how, now let’s dive into the what. What exactly will you be eating? This is the part where I see lots of missteps happening, so I wanna go over this. Keep in mind that what you’ll be eating is the same few foods, but these foods are known for their nutrients, the nutrients that are in them, as well as the crap that’s not in there. So there’s no gluten, no grains, no refined sugar, no lactose from dairy, sounds tasty, right? Actually, it is, and over time, I’m willing to bet that you are going to capital L-O-V-E, love this food just as much as I do. Just not the intro part of it. What Elaine does really well in the BTCV book is provide recipes for the SCD legal food. So I am going to let you look to her book for those recipes, between her book and a great little website called PecanBread. I know kind of a funny title, but PecanBread, if you’re on the SCD, it probably does make sense to you with all the nut flour. But look there, and you’ll definitely get some recipes. I will leave a link in the show notes for PecanBread so that you can just click it and go there when you’re ready.
Your step-by-step, what to eat and when, guide to the SCD intro diet.
17:41: There’s lots of recipes between there, between the book, I know you’ll be set. So for today, let’s focus on what eating will look like during those five days. Here’s what you’ll be eating, here’s what’s included in the intro diet. Various broiled meats like chicken, turkey, ground beef, or pork. You can also have white fish, dry curd cottage cheese with a bit of homemade yogurt, a homemade chicken soup, well-cooked. I mean, well-cooked, like four hours cooked. Pureed carrots, eggs, and those are okay once your diarrhea has cleared. SCD legal apple cider or Welch’s Grape Juice, homemade gelatin. And what those are like are, maybe when you were little, you had those jello jigglers or Knox blocks, they’re kind of like that. And also homemade cheesecake, so you’re not gonna have to desert dessert. And it’s a cheesecake without a crust, so it’s more like a cheesecake pudding, I’d say, but it’s tasty.
18:44: There’s homemade pear sauce, water, of course, is allowed. And Elaine would say that you could have SCD legal diluted juice, so you’re diluting that half juice, half water. And I would say probably weak black tea would be okay. So what would an actual day look like in this SCD intro diet part? Let me give you a couple of different examples so that you could see what you might be eating during this time. So for breakfast, you might have homemade pear sauce, dry curd cottage cheese moistened with a little bit of homemade yogurt, some weak black tea, and a cup of chicken soup. That’s the chicken soup, but just the broth, not with the chicken, just the broth for breakfast. Another breakfast might be two scrambled eggs. If you don’t have any diarrhea, you could have scrambled eggs. Some homemade pear sauce, Welch’s Grape Juice diluted with water, and that cup of homemade chicken broth. For lunch, you might have a bowl of the chicken soup this time with the chicken and maybe with some pureed carrots added in, a homemade smoothie that would be consisting of a half of a frozen very ripe banana, one half cup of SCD approved juice, like Welch’s or Dole pineapple juice.
20:08: You could also put in the smoothie a small dollop of yogurt, puree that up, probably would be delicious, and you could also have the homemade gelatin, that might be one option for lunch. Another option could be some ground pork patties broiled, and you might have that with a bowl of chicken soup with that carrot puree, some gelatin squares and the same smoothie. Dinner… What would dinner look like? Dinner could be broiled ground beef meat balls with pureed carrots, SCD legal apple cider and another cup of the chicken soup, just the broth, with some cheesecake for dessert. Another option for dinner might be some broiled white fish with that dry-curd cottage cheese topped with a dollop of yogurt, some pureed carrots and again that cup of chicken broth, just the broth with of course some cheesecake for dessert. I’m sure you’re getting the picture here of how this might look for you, lots of variations on the same few foods. Love it or hate it, you can’t get around the fact that The Intro Diet, if it’s done correctly, it works, it works for many. Most of the evidence that the SCD works is based on personal accounts, but there are some research studies conducted that have been really promising. I’m gonna leave some research links in the show notes below, just in case you’re a research girl like me.
21:37: Is the SCD perfect? No, of course it’s not perfect, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t tell you that there’s actually some things about the SCD in general and The Intro Diet specifically that I find a little bit questionable. After using the diet myself religiously for two years and then being on a modified version of it for the last 10 years, plus seeing what works and what doesn’t work for others, it’s given me a good perspective on the diet. A future episode is already in the works to chat about some of the possible limitations or the questionable parts of this diet, so that it can help you make the best decision possible for you. I’m definitely looking forward to that conversation. But for the most part, if you do this diet with fanatical adherence, that’s Elaine Gottschall’s words, not mine, it works. Yes, for most people, it works. What’s the bottom line for you with misstep number one, mama? The bottom line is this, don’t skip the intro. Do the intro as directed by Elaine, follow the additional info I gave you in this episode regarding the intro, and you will be set up for SCD success from day one, even if you have to go back and start it again.
Are you falling for SCD Misstep #2?
23:00: It’s worth it. You’ve got this. You know you can do it. I know you can do it. You’ll be glad you did. I’ve been there too, and I’m here to walk this journey with you. So let’s say that you went ahead and you followed the intro steps to a tee and you’re ready to move on, what’s next. Well, for you, that’s not going to be misstep number two, because you’ll listen to this episode. For those other IBDer’s out there what’s misstep number two for them? Misstep number two happens when you introduce all the SCD foods, all in their health and glory all at once, or just too fast for your gut in it’s healing fragile state. Please do yourself a favor if you want to reach remission with the SCD, go slow. And I know, I know what you’re thinking, I can hear you, I can hear you in my ear, I can hear you telling me, “Karyn, I do go slow.” When you think you’re going slow, I say go slower, like creeper slow, like introducing foods to a baby slow, like tortoise slow. Remember, who wins the race between the tortoise and the hare in the end? It’s not the hare, right?
24:27: Maybe you’ve completed the intro and you’re feeling pretty well. I know it’s tempting to want to move ahead fast, but every single mama I know who’s done this has lived to regret it. The Breaking the Vicious Cycle book doesn’t even mention this, and it certainly doesn’t mention stages of food, but that little website I mentioned earlier, Pecanbread, it does. In fact, they have a great SCD Stages Chart on their site, and I highly recommend checking out that and following it religiously. The SCD works best in stages, it works best when we think of ourselves like babies beginning to eat new foods again. You wouldn’t introduce all the fruit and all the meat and all the veggies to a baby all in one day, right. And why not? Because you know, you’d never have any idea what worked for them and what didn’t. What’s going on with that rash that little Johnny has on his cheek? I have no idea. He ate 57 foods today. Okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the idea, you can’t introduce it all at once. As soon as you successfully complete the intro phase, do yourself a massive favor, only adding one new food at a time, don’t add in anything else, nothing else during this time, and I’m not just talking about food here either, not the new hair product that promises no frizz and no fly-aways, not that new laundry detergent with the dream fresh scent, not even a new supplement, nothing.
26:11: Eat this one food, this one food for three days in a row, and see how you feel. Use your food/mood/poop journal that we talked about in episode four to see how that particular food is treating you. And if you haven’t listened to that episode, go back and take a listen when you’re done with this one. You’ll learn all about the FMP journal, complete your FMP journal, and if you feel after three days that that food has worked for you, you make it a part of your diet and then you move on to the next food.
26:44: Sorry guys, Karyn here breaking into the episode for just a sec. I realized that after I recorded the episode, I might have confused you a little bit with this part, so let me clear it up. While you’re introducing new foods with just one food at a time for three days, you aren’t just eating that one food and only that one food for three days. That would be ridiculously torturous. Instead, you’re eating everything from The Intro Diet that agrees with you, and all other foods you’ve added in so far plus that one new food. Of course, you can continue to eat everything you’ve tried successfully and things you know that work for your body.
27:27: Once that new food is part of your rotation, you continue to eat it and you move on to the next food. So in an ideal world, the amount of food you eat would be increasing every three days, you start out with just a few foods on The Intro Diet, but by the time you reach the full diet, there’s zillions of foods out there that you’re eating and you’ll continue to move in that direction all the time. Sorry if I made you say, “What?” Hope it clears up any confusion. Now, back to the episode. If you experienced any symptoms with that food, like it could be abdominal pain, bloating, excessive gas, diarrhea, constipation, lots of symptoms out there you might experience, and you’ll know, you’ll know if you had any of these symptoms because you’ve been tracking them in your FMP journal. If you have any of those symptoms, it’s time to stop eating that food, not forever just for now. Remember back in Episode 3, Let’s Talk About Poop, Part One, I mentioned that there are so many other things that affect how you feel both physically and emotionally, it may not be the food, it may not be the food that’s causing this current reaction, so that’s why you don’t wanna say goodbye forever.
What to do if you eat a food on the diet that doesn’t agree with you.
28:49: Remember, it’s your hormones, your sleep, stress, anxiety, depression, just to name a few things, so it’s always good to be sure before you set a food aside for a while. Now you’ll hear all kinds of theories, all kinds of theories on when to try that food again. If you have a food that doesn’t agree with you, when do you try it again, and from all of those theories, really, they’re probably all good. For what it’s worth, here’s what I like to recommend. If a food on the SCD bothers you, set it aside for one week, this gives your hormones, your mood, etcetera, all those other things, it gives them time to settle down, then try the food again. Still have a reaction, I want you to set it aside for three months. Three months. It’s a long time, especially in SCD land. Remember in SCD land, things are moving at a snail’s pace. Can you even imagine all of the intestinal healing that’s taking place in those three months, give it three months. Try again, if the food works, now you can add it to your rotation, if it doesn’t work, now it’s time to ditch it.
30:03: Ditch it for about a year. That’s a lifetime in SCD land. And in that time, if you try it again and the food still doesn’t work, I’m willing to bet that it’s probably a no-go for you. Sorry, there’s just some foods that won’t work no matter how much time we give them. Now that we’ve spent a moment on what to do when food doesn’t work, let’s get back to adding in new foods that do work. Let’s say you complete the intro phase and you’re ready to start adding new foods. In the SCD Stages Chart, like the one we see on the Pecanbread website, we move following a direct and logical SCD path, first by adding in well-cooked, peeled and deseeded foods. Next by adding in well-cooked foods that have peels and seeds, and then finally raw foods. There’s other delights along the way, like larger helpings of SCD yogurt and nut butters and nut milks and nut flours. Ham and bacon is in there too, along with some truly delicious desserts. That’s a process, and it flows nicely with the healing process that’s going on in your gut at the same time. You see, as your digestive system becomes stronger, as your mucosal lining and the epithelial cells regenerate in your intestine, you will be able to tolerate and digest more foods.
31:35: Doesn’t it completely makes sense that a food you couldn’t tolerate a month ago, now that more healing has taken place, it’s a food you can tolerate now. It’s always worth a try. Remember the key here, the key in adding new foods in this phase is to go tortoise slow, adding in only one new food at a time, one new food every few days. When we go at this pace, we know exactly what’s working for us and what isn’t, and then we can make necessary modifications. When we go at this pace, we allow our gut the time it needs to heal. It’s been quite a while for me, back in 2008 when I started the SCD, but I do remember. I remember being advised to go slow and yes, it was hard, but I adhered to it. I clung to every last rule because I knew that it was important and it was working for me, I remember trying pickles for the first time. Oh, oh what a taste that was. I remember that I hadn’t had pickles and years and I was so excited. I picked a standard pickle brand, a brand that shall not be named, but they were SCD legal. After about a day of eating those pickles, I started to get heartburn and then a rumbling in my belly and bloating after I ate them. I tried them for one more day, but experienced the same thing, so sadly, I knew that pickles were not for me, at least not for now.
33:14: A week later, I tried again and the same reaction occured, definitely the pickles. Cut to three months later, three months later, the next time I ate those pickles, I picked a different brand. I picked a different brand, and this brand I will name ’cause they are truly the best pickles in the world, Bubbies. Bubbies pickles are different. First of all, they are the best-tasting things on the planet, and secondly, they’re just healthier. They have more natural ingredients, and they’re a very traditional pickle. And I just love them. And guess what? No symptoms. No symptoms at all. Bubbies are now a staple in my house, and I’ve gotten my hubby into them as well. Reintroducing a food with success is great, but it doesn’t always work that way. And I have that story too. Take bell peppers, for instance. For me, peppers are my kryptonite. I’ve tried them over and over, raw and cooked with no luck. Diarrhea and abdominal pain is the outcome for me. I did figure out though that I can tolerate a roasted red pepper without the skin and they’re delish, but that’s the only kind of pepper that works for me.
34:33: I know it might be hard to believe that you’ll know your body so well. Just like what I’m talking about here, you’ll know your body so well that you know what kind of pepper you tolerate or the only brand of pickles that works for you while others don’t. But if you stay this course and you don’t fall prey to step number two by going too fast with your diet and you commit to keeping some type of food journal, this kind of freedom and delight in all the healthy delicious amazing foods you can eat, it will be your reality too. Well, we’ve made it to misstep number three. As promised, the last pitfall we’re gonna cover in this episode, today we’re covering the top three missteps I see most often, pitfalls that will really hold IBDers back when it comes to successfully using the SCD to quiet IBD symptoms. In coming up with these three, I actually whittled this list down from a much larger list of pitfalls, but I wanted to pick the ones that you needed right now, the ones that I knew you needed to get started. But it’s those smaller mistakes, those other ones that I can’t mention that we don’t have time to talk about today, they’re still in my mind, and I don’t like to keep any information that I have that might be helpful for you.
35:57: So with that in mind, I thought that I would go ahead and create a PDF for you with all of the pitfalls that I couldn’t fit into this episode today. So if you’re gonna be starting the SCD soon or if you know that you’ve tried it before, it didn’t work so well, and you were just waiting for a more step-by-step approach or heck, even if you’re rolling along fine and everything is great, but I don’t know, information is just always better, right? Even if any of those scenarios fit for you, I wanna encourage you to download this new guide that I have, 10 More SCD Mistakes to Avoid. You can get it by going to the show notes. You can click on it there, or you can also go to karynhaley.com/missteps. That’s K-A-R-Y-N-H-A-L-E-Y dot com forward slash missteps. M-I-S-S-T-E-P-S Karynhaley.com/missteps. The information from today plus my new guide, 10 More SCD Missteps to Avoid. It will definitely help you. It will come in handy as you navigate your way through this eating plan. I want success for you. I want healing for you. This information today on this episode, plus the PDF guide, it’s gonna help you on your way.
Has SCD Misstep #3 been a stumbling block for you?
37:24: Okay. We’ve made it to misstep number three, misstep number three that I see SCD-ers making all too often. This is a big one and a challenging one for many. You’re not sure about the difference between die-off and a true food reaction. I have to say that one more time. You’re not sure about the difference between die-off and a true food reaction. This one is gonna take a little bit of explaining, and it’s good information either for those who have never tried SCD and you’ve never heard of die-off, all the way to those who know exactly what I’m talking about, but are struggling to still… To figure out what is going on when they don’t feel well on the SCD. Let’s start this misstep with the term die-off. What is die-off? The proper name is the herxheimer reaction, but nobody calls it that. It’s most commonly called die-off. The most common place where people on the SCD usually experience die-off is in the intro phase.
38:33: It’s very typical here. The point of the intro period is to clear out your body of toxins and bacterial overgrowth. The bad bacteria while they’re thriving in your gut, they have this warm and cozy home, and of course, they wanna keep it that way. But the intro diet provides them with a losing battle for this bacteria because you’re not giving them what they need to thrive. You’re not giving them the complex starches and the refined sugars. As this unhealthy bacteria die, toxins are released in your body. Rest assured, even though it sounds terrible, this is actually a good thing. In fact, it’s a great thing. It means that your body is moving towards health, but unfortunately, the toxins, they can create this die-off, meaning that the bad bacteria is releasing toxins. During this time, diarrhea might get worse, brain fog can also occur. Irritability, moodiness, anxiety, bloating and gas are also common symptoms of die-off. There’s several things that you could experience that could be due to this die-off reaction.
39:47: When else during the SCD can you experience this die-off? Any time you’re adding in fermented foods or supplements. The crux of the SCD that homemade fermented yogurt, that’s a very common place. There’s a strong possibility that you will experience some die-off here because all the new gut bugs that are entering and leaving your system and the toxin release that it creates, that creates this die-off. This should balance out and eventually you should be able to get back to feeling more normal, but there can be some bacterial upset before that occurs. Other times you might feel those die-off symptoms when you add in other fermented foods, maybe later in the eating plan, you enter in sauerkraut or Kimchi. You might also experience a die-off reaction if you add in a supplement like a probiotic for your healing regime. And again, for that same reason, adding in good bacteria, adding in the ferments can create that die-off reaction for a little while, although things should settle out. There’s a common theme here, right? With the die-off. It’s the bacteria. Whenever you change the bacterial balance in your gut, you might experience those die-off symptoms. That’s why when mamas are adding in these new foods or supplements, I always recommend going slow, slow, slow. Can I say that again? [chuckle] Slow. Going slow will help your body adjust over time.
41:29: Sure, you can go from zero yogurt to two cups a day, but I wouldn’t recommend it. The die-off from the fermented yogurt is just too strong. So that’s die-off. The question is, what’s happening when you’re introducing a new food and you have a reaction to it, is that die-off too? Let’s get back to my pepper sensitivity, I think this is gonna help with this. How about the diarrhea and the abdominal pain that I experienced there when I tried those peppers? Was that die-off? Well, chances are probably no. Die-off usually occurs from fermented food and supplements, and over time, it’ll subside and you’ll actually be healthier for it. Whereas with a true food sensitivity from a food you just don’t tolerate because of inflammation in your intestines or leaky gut where food particles break through the gut wall, and they make their way into your bloodstream, it’s more a true food reaction here. And the reaction doesn’t usually change over a few days, it’s longer-lasting, and a good reason to stay away from that particular food for a while. Now, when you’re feeling not quite right on the SCD, whether it’s gut symptoms like diarrhea, abdominal pain, or other symptoms like headaches, skin rash, brain fog, remember to think about what you’ve been eating lately. If you’re using the FNP journal, you’ll know what to do.
43:04: One last note worth mentioning about die-off. In the BTVC book, Elaine talks about two times on the SCD when die-off is common. Number one is what we talked about here, in the intro phase. Number two is after about two to three months into the diet. If you’re sailing along swimmingly, feeling great on the eating plan, and then out of nowhere, wham, you start having any of those gut or non-gut symptoms, think about the possibility it could be die-off. Apparently, it’s a last-ditch effort by those gut bugs who are hanging on for dear life. Just like any die-off experience, it will disappear. I’ve seen die-off go away in anywhere from three days to two weeks, no matter when you experience it. In all honesty, I have to say that this two to three month die-off period, it didn’t happen for me, and I rarely see it happen with my SCD clients. It can happen though. So definitely it’s something to watch out for. All right, ladies, we did it. We made it. We made it through another episode together. Good for you girlfriend. You have got your mind on your health and you’re rocking this thing. You’re working it every day. I know you are. I see you, I feel you. There’s an army of IBD mamas out there in the world, and we’re all beautifully and forever connected by our hope, our drive, and our commitment to good health and good motherhood.
Do it like a mom!
44:40: Now, one last thing before we wrap up, we’re gonna talk about how you’re gonna do this like a mom. How are you gonna make sure that these missteps don’t befall you? How are you gonna do this like a mom? Well, maybe, maybe today is the day you start a gut-healing diet like the SCD. Maybe it’s next week or next month, whatever that day, and whenever that day comes for you, it’s all good. When the time is right, you’ll do it like a mom and you’ll know. Don’t forget it took me five years. Even after I knew about the SCD, it took me five years to give it a try. We’re all running our own race here. I appreciate and support you without judgment, wherever you are on your IBD journey. So that’s how you can do it. That’s how you can do it like a mom. You can do it like it fits for you. Do it however it fits in your life. Don’t forget if this information was helpful for you and you wanna take it one step further, don’t forget, check out my hot off the press PDF about other possible missteps you might encounter on this SCD eating plan. You can get your hands on the free PDF, 10 More SCD Missteps to Avoid by checking the show notes for the link, or by going directly to karynhaley.com/missteps.
46:17: Thank you so much for joining me today and for listening to today’s episode. When it comes to IBD, I know there’s a lot of resources out there, and I’m truly honored that you chose the Cheeky Podcast to get your IBD information today. If you found this information helpful, please give us a rating and review, it helps other moms find the podcast and see what we’re doing over here to help IBD moms everywhere. And if you feel called to do it, share this podcast with an IBD mom who you know could really use an uplifting message today, ’cause that’s what we’re all about over here at the Cheeky Podcast.[music]
Are you ready to take your gut healing to the next level?
46:54: One last thing, if you’re still with me and if you are, you’re definitely my kind of gal, we have to get to know each other better. If you’re tired of living on the hamster wheel of IBD with all the ups and downs between flares and remission, if you’re struggling to get control of your abdominal pain, gas, bloating, diarrhea, and other troubling IBD symptoms, go to my website, it’s karynhaley.com, and my mom had to be just a little bit different, spell my name with a Y. So it’s K-A-R-Y-N-H-A-L-E-Y dot com, and schedule your very own free 30-minute IBD root cause troubleshooting session with me where we discuss the challenges you’ve been having, we set goals to help you move forward, and we talk about how we can work together to help you gut your life back. It’s a power-packed 30 minutes. You don’t have to live in IBD status quo. There’s so much that can be done to transform your life so you can thrive in motherhood and thrive with IBD. I’ve seen my clients walk this path and it gives me so much joy to take that journey with them.
48:02: My entire coaching practice is run online, so you never have to leave your house and you never have to get out of your jammy or yoga pants for us to work together. You know, I’m wearing them too. If you’re ready to take your first amazing step towards healing, I’m ready to chat with you. Schedule your free 30-minute IBD root cause troubleshooting session today at karynhaley.com. Click on the Work With Me tab and I’ll see you soon.
48:29: It’s important to note that the information in this podcast and in this episode is for general information purposes only and not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The statements made in the Cheeky Podcast for moms with IBD, either by me or my guests, is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Before implementing any new treatment protocols, do yourself a favor and consult your physician first. Thank you so much for listening, for being here, for saving the space for us to spend some time together. Until we chat again, I’m wishing you a cheeky and healthy IBD journey.
Did you catch Episode 3: Let’s Talk About Poop Part I? If not, go on back and take a listen to that one first. Ep #4 is Part II in the series and you’ll definitely miss a bunch of important pre-information if you don’t start there.
Let’s Talk About Poop Part II continues our candid (sometimes uncomfortable) conversation about our poop. Today, we dive into the poop tracking acronym tailormade with moms in mind– it might help us even more than the Bristol Stool Chart we learned about in Ep. #3, we explore the many mom-centered ways we can keep track of our food, mood, and poop to get our Crohn’s or colitis under control, and we talk about how you can get your hands on the best free Food-Mood-Poop tracker right now. Plus, we explore how we can use this poop conversation to help better our kid’s health as well.
Even if the whole concept of getting comfortable talking about your poop makes you uncomfortable, I urge to take a listen. The whole subject is tackled with grace and humor, and it’s definitely a conversation we need to have to get our IBD into remission once and for all.
Episode at a Glance:
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Let’s Talk About Poop Part 2[music]
00:05 INTRO: You are listening to The Cheeky Podcast for Moms with IBD, a safe space for moms with Crohn’s and colitis, connect, explore powerful tools for healing and transform our lives to thrive in motherhood and in life. I’m your host, Karyn Haley, IBD health coach, integrative wellness enthusiast, and mom to three outstanding kids. After having Crohn’s disease for 30 years and working as a health advocate exclusively with IBD clients for the last 10 years, I know it’s time to bring the types of candid conversations I have with my clients out into the open. It’s our time to go on an IBD healing journey and do it like only a mom can. Let’s do this.[music]
00:50 KARYN: Well, hey there, dear one. Did you join me for the last episode? I hope so, because this conversation really started back in episode number three. Do yourself a favor, if you haven’t listened to the last episode, let’s talk about poop part one, go back and take a listen. Then jump back to this episode and I’ll be right here waiting for you, Richard Marx style of course. Okay, just a quick reminder in case you missed the last episode. The last episode, episode three had us diving into why we should care about our poop? What to look for and track when we’re monitoring our poop? And the lovely Bristol Stool Chart, the actual chart that gives us ratings for our poop consistency.
01:38: We spent a lot of time just getting really comfortable with the idea of talking about our poop, looking at our poop, thinking about our poop. So, if you haven’t had the chance to listen to that episode, go on back, and I will be here when you come back to episode number four. We ended part one of this two-parter, pondering the question, “Is there something better out there than the BSC? Is there a problem with always relying so heavily on the BSC?” Let’s go ahead and answer that question now. Remember Jenny, Jenny from our part one episode, in the let’s talk about poop episode part one? Jenny is my client who for all intents and purposes, was living a pretty symptom-free life, but Jenny couldn’t enjoy that life or even believe it existed, because she wasn’t having the perfect poop.
02:32: I’d heard about the same belief pattern from other ladies besides Jenny, mom’s having trouble seeing beyond the Bristol Stool Chart. It was a head scratcher for me. A problem I really felt that I needed to solve. And trying to make up for this challenge, I recently developed my own poop indicator. It’s not a replacement for the BSC, [chuckle] definitely not. I’m not claiming that what I’ve developed is better than what they’ve developed, but it’s a poop indicator nonetheless, and one that I think can go hand-in-hand nicely with the Bristol Stool Chart, so we really can know if we’re out of the IBD woods. So what’s even better than the BSC alone? Well, the Bristol Stool Chart with the seven different types of poop ranging from those little marble-y pebbles at the number one side going through the sausage-style poop at the number four, and moving its way down the chart with liquid poop at number seven, this chart isn’t without its limitations.
Is there a better tool than the Bristol Stool Chart to track your poop?
03:40: And I saw this affecting too many of my clients. I recently decided to create my own mom friendly acronym, ’cause what mom doesn’t love an acronym. This is my acronym, BE AWARE. You know acronyms, where the letters of the word stand for something. I’m making up acronyms all the time for my fifth grader to help him understand some sort of school-related concept or to study for a test. I love acronyms when it comes to remembering something, so I thought BE AWARE might work, because it would help all of us BE AWARE of what to look for when it comes to poop on more of an individual and a personal level. So, this acronym goes like this, the first letter, B, in BE AWARE stands for base, base your thoughts about your poop on more than food. I mentioned this in the last episode too. But your poop is about more than just what you eat. Yes, the food you eat definitely affects what your poop looks like, but remember, it isn’t all about poop. Their stress and anxiety levels, depression, other mood challenges, hormones and sleep, there is so many other factors that can come into play here.
BE AWARE is the acronym for savvy moms who wonder why.
04:57: So, definitely we want to be looking at some of those other factors as well. The Bristol Stool Chart doesn’t really let us focus on the why behind what our poop looks like, but as moms, we’re always curious about the why, which is why the first letter of this acronym is fitting for us to consider. E, the E in BE AWARE stands for extremes. Extremes on the Bristol Stool Chart means that something might not be quite right. We’ve talked about the poop stages, in the middle of the Bristol Stool Chart being more common, but the number one poop where you have those tiny pebbles, almost marble like, and then it goes all the way to the number seven on the chart where your poop is pure liquid in the toilet, these are what we call the outliers, the extremes, and you’ll definitely want to talk to your doctor about these different poop levels.
05:57: Remember, there is so much that can be done to help your IBD symptoms, whether you choose to use food, making lifestyle changes, finding mindset techniques that work, or medication when you need it. You know I love a good integrative approach when it comes to helping you with IBD, whatever works, mom-friend, no judgment, whatever works. So, talk to your provider, work with him or her on what to do for what’s best for your IBD healing journey. When it comes to those outliers, the one or the seven, it’s definitely worth talking to your doctor about. A, the A in the BE AWARE stands for always look, always look in the toilet. It’s not enough to look once a week or even once a day. You know as well as I do, that your first poop of the day can look much different from the second and the third, and so on. It’s about looking for patterns. Not just one poop. Always look. The W, W in BE AWARE stands for what, what’s your normal? Remember that the pop that’s normal for you isn’t necessarily the poop that’s normal for me, or your spouse, your neighbor, your friend with IBD even. Follow your poop patterns over time, and it will help you figure out what’s your normal, what’s normal for you.
07:24: Next we have A, the letter A, the second A in the word BEAWARE, our acronym here, the A stands for avoid, avoid unnecessarily stressing about your poop. Remember my client, Jenny, she is the perfect example of someone who was stressing about her poop. I know this is tough. I really do. I know it’s tough. If you’re going 20 times a day, that’s stressful, and there’s bound to be some necessary stress behind that challenge. Remember though that stress, any kind of stress, is going to have a negative impact on your poop. The gut-brain connection is so strong, our thoughts affect our gut, and our gut response in turn affects our poop. In an upcoming episode, we’ll talk about a mom center technique and several of them actually, to help you manage your stress, but for today, know that unnecessarily stressing about attaining the perfect poop like Jenny was trying to do, it’s an exercise in futility. It’s never going to work out the way that you want it to.
08:35: We’ve made it to R. R in our acronym, BE AWARE stands for review, reviewing the Bristol Stool Chart. Review the Bristol Stool Chart, and I say that purposely. Review it. You don’t need to worry about memorizing it, have it available to give you the language to talk about your poop with your doctor. Have it available to lightly gauge where you’re at, it is valuable. And it gives you good information. It’s just not necessarily stress-worthy if you’re where you want to be, note it. Put that thought in your mind about what number you’re at and then move on, especially, especially if everything else about your health looks good. We’ve got another E here, the E at the end, the E at the end of our acronym, BE AWARE stands for exceptions, exceptions to the rule. Just like in language, arts, and spelling class, we talk about I before E, except after C. There’s exceptions when it comes to judging our poop too, especially for IBDer’s. Are you like me where you’ve had portions of your small intestine removed? Maybe you have a J-pouch after a partial colon removal or possibly you have an ostomy.
09:56: In cases like this, exceptions definitely apply. Extensive portions of removed intestines will most certainly affect the state of your poop. So instead of relying heavily on the charts or acronyms, talk to your doctor about what poop should look like for you, for your individual case with the amount of intestine that you’ve had removed. So there you have it, there’s the BE AWARE acronym. B is for base, base it on more than food, E is for extremes. Those ones and sevens are a good time to talk to your doctor. A, the first A is for always look in the toilet. W, what’s normal for you may not be normal for her. A, the second A is for avoiding unnecessary stress. R to review the Bristol Stool Chart, don’t memorize it, but keep it in the back of your mind. And E, the last E is for exceptions. There’s always exceptions to every rule. And if you have had portions of your intestine removed, you might be an exception to this category.
11:07: We are almost their mama or in the home stretch, we’re in the home stretch of this poop talk. It’s time for a quick check-in. How are you doing? Are you ready to bring this topic home? [chuckle] Okay, let’s do this. Wait second, before we do that, I need to just take a quick deep breath. Let’s take a deep breath in, hold it, and then let it out. It’s always good to just take a deep cleansing breath sometimes. Okay, let’s do it. Let’s bring this home. We’ve talked about so many things, and let’s talk about poop part two. Well, really, both of these episodes, we’ve talked about lots of things about your poop in both of these episodes. We talked about getting comfortable looking in the toilet, not just once, but regularly to look for patterns. We’ve talked about having the poop language to describe what’s going on in the toilet, to describe it to your doctor and most importantly to yourself. The Bristol Stool Chart along with my BE AWARE acronym is great to do this.
12:16: And we talked about also, how there’s more things that affect our poop, besides what we eat. Remember our mood, our sleep, our hormones, and there’s lots of other non-gut factors that can also affect what’s going on with our poop. Most importantly, we know that in order to get our IBD into remission, we have to track all of this, so that we can look for clues and patterns that can help us get to that root cause, so that we can develop those root cause thoughts about how we got here, and how we can improve. This is a ton of information to keep track of, and I want you to be able to get started on this tracking today. I want you to have all the tools you need for tracking success. Do you know where I’m going with this, ladies? I know many of you already have a head start, but we don’t have to keep all this data in our head. Many of us moms think we can. I know we fancy ourselves, I know I do as superwoman, but it’s hard, it’s hard to keep this all down without writing it somewhere.
13:25: I know from experience that when I’ve tried to do it, I get busy. I forget what I ate for lunch. I forget what kinda mood I had yesterday. When we all try to keep this information in our head, we never make those necessary connections to help us heal. But when we keep a food, mood, poop or an FMP journal, like I like to call it, all the pieces start to fall into place. All of this poop watching starts to pay off. We are getting to the meat of it mom-friend. I love it. Okay, the food, mood, poop journal is just what it sounds like. It’s a journal that tracks what you eat, what your moods are, your gut and non-gut symptoms, and how all of this comes together to affect your poops. It’s an outstanding IBD Information Gathering Tool, and I highly recommend you get started with the FMP journaling today. If you’re thinking, I’ve done this before, it didn’t work for me. I’ve got a question for you, did you track just your food and your poop? I’m sorry, not enough.
Which Food-Mood-Poop Journaling System is best for you?
14:33: Did you do it consistently? If not, it probably didn’t show you much. The best news about journaling for IBD health is that there are so many ways to do it, I promise you, there’s a way that’s going to fit for your lifestyle and your time. Let me share with you a few ways my clients have found that work for them. Way number one, a free flowing journal, if you’re a journal gal, if you have kept a diary for years, this is the method for you. Just make sure you track more than your poop and what you eat. You’ll also want to journal about your daily mood, your symptoms, remember both GI and non-GI related. For example, my free form journal entry might say something like, for breakfast, I had two sunny side-up eggs fried in butter, one blueberry muffin, and then you might… If it’s a store bought muffin, you might wanna include the brand. For example, you could say Udi’s brand, gluten-free, a cup of black tea.
15:45: And then you might say something like, felt tired, restless night sleep, had a headache before breakfast, perked up after eating, something like that. You could even say headache went away, but felt some bloating, had some gas after eating, ran to the bathroom to poop a couple of hours later. And then you would probably describe your poop, poop was light brown, BSC number six. See how that comes in handy? The BSC is great. Saw bits of food in the toilet. And then you might add a note saying something like, wondered if the milk I put in the eggs bothered me, there were bits of blueberry in the toilet, something like that. See how that free-flowing journal might look. Remember, no one but you is looking at this journal, so make a free-flowing journal or it could be a bullet pointy journal, whatever works for you. Just as long as you can read it and it makes sense to you. That’s all that matters with this type of food, mood, poop tracking.
16:49: Okay, moving on to another way, you might want to try this out, food, mood, poop journaling, another way to do it is to do it on your phone. If you have your phone attached to you all the time, use the note section in your phone. If you like the free-flowing journal kind of way, the one that I just mentioned, but you don’t really feel like writing things out all the time, how about the Notes app in your phone? It’s perfect for this. Or there’s another notes app that I really like, it’s called Evernote. I’ll put a link for that in the show notes. So, whatever works for you, but you’re gonna do the same type of information here. Your food that you’re eating, your mood, your GI and non-GI symptoms, and your poop, of course, using the language that the Bristol Stool Chart gives you along with your thoughts centered around the BE AWARE acronym. So, same kinda thing as the free-flowing journal, but instead of doing it on paper, pen and paper style, this one’s gonna go directly in your phone, wherever you keep notes.
18:00: Way number three. Way number three to use the food, mood, poop journaling. If you wanna take your cell phone to a whole new level, a level, a little bit different than the one used in number two, you can do some IBD tracking with a video selfie. If you’re a selfie girl, you know who you are. If you love a selfie, if you are making videos all the time anyway, why not put your food, mood, poop journal right in the mix. Follow the same format from the past two ideas, but you’re gonna do this one in a video format. Save your videos on your phone, maybe you could even do a summary at the end of the day, and it will help you keep track of patterns that emerge. Just be sure that you go back and watch it so that you can see what those patterns are.
18:47: Okay, we’ve made it to number four, and this is the last one. This is the last way and this is the way that I do it. It works for me, and it’s kind of a cross between the written word and a more simpler form of journaling. It’s my very own food, mood, poop journal. It’s a printoutable filloutable, PDF with the symptoms that you can just circle both non-GI and GI symptoms. You can just circle what’s going on. There’s also a smiley and sad faces that you can circle for your mood. There’s also sections for you to write down what you’re eating. It’s the method all my clients start with on day one. Yep, all my clients start with food, mood, poop journaling as well, and it’s amazing. It’s amazing to see the connections that they can begin to make when they start out.
19:42: Since it’s my goal for you to be awesomely successful here with the food, mood, poop journaling. I’m gonna give you my journaling system for free. Maybe it’s the best method for you or maybe not. Maybe there was one of the other methods that I mentioned that sounds better to you, but not knowing how to start this journaling thing, it’s definitely not going to stand in your way of starting… Getting started with this FMP journaling. Not on my watch. If you want to get your hands on my food mood poop journal system, the one that I use with all my clients, all you have to do is click on the food mood poop journal link. It’s in the episode notes and voila, it’s yours. If you don’t have the notes or you don’t know how to get to the notes, you can also go to karynhaley.com/journal. That’s karynhaley K-A-R-Y-N H-A-L-E-Y/journal forward slash journal. You can also get your copy of the Food mood poop journal there as well. Also, and it’ll be in the show notes, so go ahead, get it, it’s yours. And whatever method works for you, you can go ahead and get started. So did you pick the best food, mood, poop journaling method for you? Are you ready to get started today? You can do this, mama. I believe in you. I know you can, and I’m here if you get stuck along the way. Always feel free to email me if you’re stuck, firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m here to answer your journaling questions any time.
21:20: Phew, what a whirlwind of poop-filled info on both of these episodes. How many times do you think I said the word poop in this episode? I don’t even think I could count. Can you imagine if it was a drinking game? I don’t even wanna think about that. How did you do? Did we get you all comfy and cozy with thinking about and talking about your poop? Did we take away some of the stigma attached to talking about it openly? I hope so. It’s vital for us to go there. I know it’s uncomfortable, but we really had to do it. And if you can’t think of anyone who is willing to go there with you, if you need to talk it through, I’m always happy to go there. In the name of IBD remission, I will go there with you. I’ll go there with you, mom friend. With all of this info that you have from today’s episode, it’s time for a poop challenge. Remember the poop challenge I spoke about way at the top of this podcast? Of course, it’s a poop-related challenge. I’m gonna take it myself and I hope you’ll take it with me. My challenge is to use this. Find the Bristol Stool Chart in the show notes.
I’ve got a challenge for you! A Poop Challenge.
22:39: That’s from the day before there in the show notes for let’s talk about poop part one, or you can Google it and you can find your own. But go ahead and find the Bristol Stool Chart and print it out. Then for the next three days, make a promise and commit to yourself to look in the toilet bowl every time you go number two. Take a quick peek. You can do it. I know you can do it. For the next three days, I’m gonna be doing it too right along with you. I know you might think it’s second nature to me at this point, but I forget too, so this is my reminder as well. And if you do print out your very own copy of the Bristol Stool Chart and you do check in the toilet bowl for three days right along with me, I wanna support you. I wanna cheer for you, I want to support your efforts. So if you do it, if you participate in the Check Your poop challenge for three days in a row, I want you to let me know. If you’re listening to this podcast on iTunes or other platforms like Stitcher, you might not know that The Cheeky Podcast for moms also airs on YouTube.
23:51: And if you’re watching this on YouTube, you already know that. Either way, if you take the bold bad ass mama move and complete the three-day poop challenge, I want you to let me know in the YouTube comments for this video. This episode title is, let’s talk about poop part two. It’s on my YouTube channel at IBD health coach. There’s a link for it in the show notes. It’ll take you right there. When you arrive on the episode, if you write cheeky in the comments, that’s cheeky like the podcast, C-H-E-E-K-Y. I’ll know exactly what you mean, and I’ll be cheering right by your side. It’s our little secret code to each other to support each other in poop health, and in IBD health, and to know that we’re taking big, bright, bold steps to help our IBD heal every day. That secret word again is cheeky, just like the name of the podcast. And if you put in the comments of let’s talk about poop part two, not one… You’ll see one there. So don’t get confused. It’s not episode one, it’s episode two. So part two of let’s talk about poop, go to my video YouTube channel, put it there and we’re gonna be giving each other a virtual high fives. So you go girl, you can do this. And just in case you’re driving or distracted right now, remember that the link for the YouTube version of this podcast is in the show notes, so you can go and get it later when you can. But the poop challenge is on, and I can’t wait to share this challenge with you.
Do it Like a Mom!
25:38: Alright, poop challenge thrown down. Last but definitely not least, we’ve gotta talk about how you can take all this awesome poop information from today and from the previous episode and do it like only a mom can, so how can you take your book knowledge and do it like a mom? You can share this poop information with your kids. It’s that simple. With information this good, we can’t keep it to ourselves. We’ve got to support our kids with it too. Whether they have got challenges or not, everyone needs to get comfortable talking about their poop. I swear, teaching my kids about the Bristol Stool Chart and giving them the language to get comfortable talking about their poop, it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done as a mom.
26:28: By saying to me something like, “Hey mom, my poop’s a at number six, I can quickly get out the magnesium or push the salads and get their guts back on track. And when two of my kids one time said to me on the same day, “Mom, I’m at a number one, I could quickly deduce that there must be a stomach bug going around the house. I got them quarantined to push the probiotics, got some bone broth in their system, and we got that gut bug under control fast. I imagine the power and comfort level it will give your kids to get knowledgeable and comfortable talking and thinking about their poop, it’s priceless, and it’s a gift that will benefit them for a lifetime. We talk about all these gifts that we give our kids, our kids, all the wisdom that we pass down, but we never think about helping them know the language for their proof. This is information that will help them throughout their whole lives, no matter what name you call it in your home.
27:32: As we wrap up this episode, I want to mention one last time, don’t forget to get your hands on the free resource, the food mood poop journal. That will help you get started right away on your journaling. No matter what method you choose, definitely try to get started on that because it’s really gonna help you start to look for those patterns and see what’s going on with your poop. You can get your hands on that free resource at karynhaley.com/journal or just go to the show notes, click on the link and you can get it there as well. Alright, mama, you made it. You made it through these couple of episodes of a very uncomfortable, not much talked about conversation, but one that is just so needed. One that we just had to have. Enjoy the rest of your day. Enjoy the rest of your night. Poop talk out, at least until the next time, she said with a wink.
28:35: Thank you so much for joining me today and for listening to today’s episode. When it comes to IBD, I know there’s a lot of resources out there, and I’m truly honored that you chose the Cheeky Podcast to get your IBD information today. If you found this information helpful, please give us a rating and review. It helps other moms find the podcast and see what we’re doing over here to help IBD moms everywhere. And if you feel called feel a call to do it, share this podcast with an IBD mom who you know could really use an uplifting message today, ’cause that’s what we’re all about over here at the Cheeky Podcast.
Are you ready to take your gut healing to the next level?
29:14: One last thing, if you’re still with me, and if you are, you’re definitely my kind of gal. We have to get to know each other better. If you’re tired of living on the hamster wheel of IBD with all the ups and downs between flares and remission, if you’re struggling to get control of your abdominal pain, gas, bloating, diarrhea and other troubling IBD symptoms, go to my website. It’s karynhaley.com, and my mom had to be just a little bit different, she spelled my name with the Y. So it’s K-A-R-Y-N H-A-L-E-Y.com and schedule your very own free 30-minute IBD root cause trouble-shooting session with me where we discuss the challenges you’ve been having, we set goals to help you move forward, and we talk about how we can work together to help you get your life back. It’s a power packed 30 minutes. You don’t have to live in IBD status quo. There’s so much that can be done to transform your life so you can thrive in motherhood and thrive with IBD. I’ve seen my clients walk this path and it gives me so much joy to take that journey with them.
30:22: My entire coaching practice is run online, so you never have to leave your house and you never have to get out of your jammy or yoga pants for us to work together. You know I’m wearing them to. If you’re ready to take your first amazing step towards healing, I’m ready to chat with you. Schedule your free 30-minute IBD root cause trouble shooting sesh today at karynhaley.com. Click on the work with me tab and I’ll see you soon. It’s important to note that the information in this podcast and in this episode is for general information purposes only and not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The statements made in the Cheeky Podcast for moms with IBD, either by me or my guests, is not intended to diagnose, treat, to cure, or prevent any disease. Before implementing any new treatment protocols, do yourself a favor and consult your physician first.
31:18: Thank you so much for listening, for being here, for saving this space for us to spend some time together. Until we chat again, I’m wishing you a cheeky and healthy IBD journey.
Warning: We’re about to have an uncomfortable conversation.
But, we must. We must have this conversation when we have IBD. It’s a moral imperative.*
It’s time for us to have the poop talk. This is a biggie, such a big convo that we’re dedicating it to a two part episode. In this episode which is Part I, we talk about the why, and the what. Why do we need to care about our poop anyway and what the heck are we supposed to be looking for anyway. We dive deep into the why knowing about our poop and looking in the toilet every time we go is so crucial to our IBD healing, we cover the importance of the Bristol Stool Chart and we wrap up by asking the question, “Is there a better way to track our poop than the BSC?”
This episode is told with humor and grace, but also with the power that it deserves. When we move from squimish to comfortable when we talk about our poop, and learni what to look for in the toilet, and learn the best language to describe our poop to our health care provider, we have a leg up on everyone else trying to manage their IBD. We, dear mama, can now get to the root causes of our gut struggles and the root causes are where all the healing magic happens.
Buckle up, it’s going to be an uncomfortable, bumpy ride. But we’ll get through it together.
*Reference to the 80’s movie Real Genius with Val Kilmer (fun quarantine watch)
Episode at a Glance:
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Let’s Talk About Poop Part I
00:05 INTRO: You are listening to The Cheeky Podcast for moms with IBD, a safe space for moms with Crohn’s and colitis, connect, explore powerful tools for healing and transform our lives to thrive in motherhood and in life. I’m your host, Karyn Haley IBD health coach, Integrative Wellness enthusiast, and mom to three outstanding kids. After having Crohn’s disease for 30 years and working as a health advocate exclusively with IBD clients for the last 10 years, I know it’s time to bring the types of candid conversations I have with my clients out into the open. It’s our time to go on an IBD healing journey and do it like only a mom can. Let’s do this. Well, hello there, beautiful IBD mama, so happy to share this time with you today.
00:56 KARYN: And I think, I think for this episode, it’s gonna be best to just jump in and rip the band-aid off and come right out and say it, we’ve got a slightly uncomfortable topic to cover on this episode of The Cheeky Podcast, and also on the next episode, it’s a two-parter, if you will, because when it comes to this topic, you just can’t get enough. And you, dear listener, I’ve gotta give you kudos. And bow to your hutzpah, as they say, dear listener, I gotta give you kudos, because I know you saw the title and you hit play anyway. Bravo to you, dear one. And I understand the apprehension. We’ve gotta go there though. We really do have to go there. In a podcast with an IBD focus, we just have to go there. We have to talk about it, because when we talk about it, we take away the stigma and the uncomfortable-ness everyone has with this subject, and it gives us a way to connect and share in a way we usually stay away from, and it gives us the freedom on our IBD healing journey, sinking deep into the belly of this subject makes us stronger, savvier women, when it comes to not only our gut health, but our total health as well, so we have to go there, we have to go there, mama, we have to have the poop talk. And this two-parter episode, our star with the spotlight on her, will be our poop.
02:27: And the crowd goes wild. Poop. It’s actually a dream in my life, a dream that everyone, not just IBDer’s, get more comfortable talking about their poop, but we, as moms with IBD, we need to connect and have this conversation even more, and I know just how uncomfortable this might be making you right now. It’s not a conversation you probably have with most of your friends, I can just picture this now, “Hey girl. How was that poop you just had? Everything come out okay?” It might even be making you more uncomfortable than being in fifth grade elementary school and going to that sex ed talk you went to with all your classmates sitting around you, and remember how painful that was, this one might be even more painful, so… Poop, we know without a shadow of a doubt that everyone does it, but it’s this little secret that no one gives us permission to talk about, definitely not talk about in the open, especially women were taught, it’s private, it’s dirty, it’s a little secret to keep quiet about. It almost feels to me like in social circles, we have to pretend we don’t even do it, it’s not lady-like to talk about.
03:44: Many of us are even taught as girls that we shouldn’t pass gas and certainly not out loud, and definitely never smelly gas. I’ve always wondered, why is it that boys and even grown men can laugh about their bodily functions, and we aren’t even taught to call it by its real name? As little kids, our parents come up with euphemisms for poop, like make dirt or mud or caca or doodie or do do. What name did your parents give your poop? My family went in the complete opposite direction when it came to talking about poop. In my house, growing up with a nurse, as a mom, we were expected to use the proper terminology for everything. We weren’t even allowed to say poop in our house. It was bowel movement or BM, if we were feeling particularly edgy. We never even said pee, it was always urinate. As a kid, I thought my friends were so cool as they got to use clever names for poop, I had to use the proper terminology, and I bet… I bet you, my mom is listening right now, she’s listening to this episode, and she’s offended that I’m using the word poop and not bowel movement. I’m sorry, mom, but bowel movement just sounds way too sterile, way too medical.
05:06: So today, when we have this talk, we’re gonna go with poop, it seems like a happy middle ground for most of us, I guess. Besides not talking about poop, if you’re like me, you probably never even gave your poop a second thought until you started having IBD symptoms like diarrhea or constipation, or until the doctor gave you that lovely diagnosis, inflammatory bowel disease. Not a sexy sounding diagnosis, by the way. Why couldn’t it be some sexy French sounding name, like [05:40] ____ something like that. Sorry, I digress, but really, why couldn’t it have been a sexier name? The point is, most people don’t really give their poop a second thought as a kid, and I was really no exception, it was something I reluctantly pulled myself away from an activity to do. I ran into the bathroom to have that “bowel movement,” she says in quotes. And I was in and out, two minutes flat, then back to innocent childhood fun until that fateful day. Until that day when I was 16, 17 years old, and I went to the bathroom, and my poop was covered with blood.
06:24: It wasn’t until that day that I had the most profound thought I’d ever had when it came to my poop, and I thought to myself, “Huh, I think it’s been four days since I pooped last.” That was the day my happy go-lucky, pretty much non-existent relationship with poop changed forever. Today, if it was four days… If four days went by, and I didn’t poop, I’d know it. I’d know it if one day went by and I didn’t pop, because now I know just how important my poop is, and I know just how much valuable information is located in the toilet when we go number two, and there’s another euphemism that we tend to use for poop. For me, there’s this before picture, this before picture I have of me as a teenager who… By the way, just so you get a clear idea of what was going on with me at the time, I had been having other DI symptoms for three years by this time, nothing poop-related, but I hadn’t been diagnosed with Crohn’s yet, and I certainly had never thought about my poop in any significant way, compare that to the picture, the after picture of a person whose life was altered dramatically on that fateful day, where my four-day old poop suddenly changed everything.
Just how important is it to pay attention to your poop?
07:45: The unfinished puzzle of the previous three years trying to figure out what was wrong with me came together in that one important life-altering poop. Just how important is paying attention to your poop when it comes to IBD? In a word, huge. If you’re one of my awesome clients and you’re listening to this podcast right now, I know you’re chuckling. You’re chuckling, because you know that we never get through a session without talking about poop. Today, we’re gonna bring that candid conversation out into the open so that we can all benefit from talking about it. My goal with this episode is not only to encourage you to get comfortable with this word, this poop word, this drop the kids off at the pool, this make a turd, whatever you guys call it, but to also embrace, to embrace the act of looking at the toilet every time we go, and also to help us get comfortable with knowing what it is we’re actually supposed to be looking for and what that dookie… Yep, there’s another euphemism, what that dookie means for our gut health and our overall health as well. In today’s episode, let’s talk about poop. Part one, we’ll dive into why getting super cosy and comfortable with our poop is the key to getting our IBD into remission.
09:09: We’ll talk about what you should be thinking about and looking for when it comes to your poop, and we’ll also talk about the Bristol Stool Chart, an actual chart that gives us ratings for our pop. I’ll tell you where you can get your own copy, and trust me, you’re gonna want your own copy so you can print it out, and how it can be beneficial for you, and more importantly, when you should throw it in the toilet. In Episode 4, let’s talk about poop part two, which is actually available now, you can download that right now after you listen to this episode, so you don’t even have to wait a week for it. In that episode, we’re gonna talk about a mom-friendly acronym that will come in handy to help you pay closer attention to your poop. I’m gonna tell you how you can get your hands on the best free resource to help you keep track of your own symptoms and poop, and… Yes, while you’re in gut healing mode, everyone should be doing that. For those of you who are new to talking about poop, those of you who are feeling really uncomfortable with this conversation, and those of you who never look in the toilet bowl, I’m gonna give you a fun little poop challenge so you can start taking baby steps, baby steps with your poop.
10:21: I love me some baby steps, so it’s gonna help you with that. And after we talk about all of this, we’ll get to the most important part, I’ll tell you how to do it like a mom, so all of that is coming your way in the next episode, episode four in Let’s Talk about Poop, Part Two. Alright, but for today, we do have a lot to get to. So let’s go ahead and dive in. First up, why should we even care about this? Why do we wanna get comfortable talking about our poop? Why do we wanna get comfortable looking at our poop? Other than judging your poop to see what kind of day you might have, which is really common with us IBDer’s, there’s more going on in the toilet bowl that we should be aware of when it comes to poop. Knowing more about your poop and taking a peek at the toilet every time you go, can help you judge many things that are going on inside your body, like your current inflammation response or how you’re doing with digesting fat in your food. You know fat is super important to help you keep your weight on and to give you energy for the day, and the question is, are you digesting fat? Well, you can find that out right in your poop.
Possible inflammation, how well we are digesting and absorbing key nutrients, probable food sensitivities, and bacterial balance can all be found when we look in the toilet.
11:30: Taking a peak also tells you how well you’re digesting and absorbing the nutrients in your food, it gives you clues about potential food sensitivities and intolerance you might be having, plus it gives you a window into the balance of your gut flora, that bacterial colony in your gut. These issues are all important to IBDer’s, and I’m only just scratching the surface here. When it comes to the information we can find in our poop. Tracking our poop over time is also important, it’s not just about that one poop in the moment, it’s about seeing what’s going on over time, looking for patterns. These patterns will often give us clues about where our body might be stuck and how to make necessary improvements, even if your poop is like many with IBD and you always have diarrhea because your poop is talking to you in that scenario too. Once we get comfortable with knowing what’s going on with our poop and we start to look for patterns over time, we can then start to learn more about the language we need to talk about our poop with words more than, “It kind of looks like diarrhea,” or, “I had a little constipation.”
12:46: We’ll talk more about the language that helps us talk about our poop in just a bit, but it’s important too to know that language because when we know how to accurately describe our poop to our doctors and to ourselves, that’s when we can start to make active and positive changes to help get our IBD under control. Remember, what it feels like coming out isn’t always what it looks like in the toilet. That’s why we have to take a look. We also should make ourselves a promise that we’ll take a look every time, not once a week, not once a day, but every time. If we don’t get comfortable looking in the toilet to notice patterns in our poop over time, and if we don’t have the language to talk about our poop, we’re powerless, we’re powerless to dive into the root causes of our gut challenges and then find ways to heal. So what should you be looking for? What should we actually be looking for when it comes to our poop? Well, we know that our poop is important, and we know that we need to get comfortable taking a peek at it and learning the language of how to describe it, so now let’s talk about what we’re actually looking for when we take that peek in the toilet. With poop, the standard things that everyone should be looking for apply. Those things are color, shape, size, texture and smell. Those are really pretty standard measures for everyone when it comes to poop. When it comes to IBDers, we wanna take this process a couple steps further.
14:26: Is there blood in your poop, or in the toilet bowl, or on the toilet paper when you wipe? How much mucus or oily rings is there in the toilet or on the toilet paper when you wipe? Are there pieces of food in your poop? How many poops are you having a day? Are you pooping every day? Are you straining when you poop? Is it painful when you poop? Does your poop have an offensive odorous smell? Do you barely make it to the bathroom in time or maybe not at all? All of these poop factors mean something, from problems located in our rectal area to general inflammation throughout the digestive tract. Pooping can help us detect signs of anal fissures or hemorrhoids or an inability to digest fat in our food. Maybe it can help us detect food intolerances, and so on, I’m gonna leave it up to you to talk to your healthcare provider about what this all means for you, but just know that these factors are important. Knowing all this information about your poop can be the difference between knowing what’s going on at the root level versus being in the dark and wondering what steps you should take next. After hearing about all that can go wrong with your poop, you might be wondering, what does the perfect poop look like? How do I know if I get to the perfect proof? Is there a normal poop?
15:52: Should I be striving for that? And what if I can never get to that? Should I be worried? The short answer is no. There really isn’t a “perfect poop”. Since everyone’s different, what’s normal for you, what’s normal for me, and even what’s normal for someone without IBD, could be quite different. I know it’s a little bit confusing. But here is where that poop language we talked about earlier kicks into high gear because the good folks at one of my favorite countries in the world, big cheerio to my friends in England, the Bristol Stool scale and the Bristol Stool Chart was invented by Stephen Lewis and Ken Heaton at the Bristol Royal infirmary. Thanks to these lovely gentleman, we now have the language to talk about our poop in a way that we can understand, our doctors can also understand, and in a way that helps us judge where normal-ish is and where we fall in that spectrum. So what the heck is the Bristol Stool Chart and Bristol Stool scale, and when can it be helpful, and when should we maybe throw it in the toilet? Well, I just mentioned that the Bristol Stool scale was developed in England back in the 1990s, the early 1990s, I think.
17:09: So not really that long ago, at least not to me, a mama born in the 70s, it doesn’t seem like it was that long ago. And the beauty of the Bristol Stool scale is that it gives us the language for what we’ve been looking for. Are you familiar with this? Have you tried it? Have you heard of the Bristol Stool scale? Just in case you haven’t seen this lovely invention before, I want you to picture it, it’s this very simple poop or stool chart with numbers for each type of poop. There’s seven different pictures of poop, each is a different consistency from solid pebbles all the way to liquid. Each poop has a number associated with it. A number one on the scale is the hardest, poop pebbles, very constipated, think marbles. Number two and three are not as firm or pebbly, but they’re still on the constipated side. When you get to the poop picture for number four, you will see that that’s what we all consider, that standard sausage style poop. Pictures of poop with the numbers five and six, they go more on the less than solid side, and then we finish out with a number seven, which is considered pure liquid poop. So it’s important to say one last thing about the makeup of this scale, these are not real poops, but their cartoon drawings of poops. So you don’t have to wince when you’re thinking about it, if you’ve seen a poop emoji and yet you didn’t have any problems with that, I know you’ll be fine looking at this chart.
18:45: What I absolutely love about the Bristol Stool Chart is that anyone can understand it, I dare say that a toddler can even point to a picture of the poop that looked similar to theirs. Finally, someone is giving us a guide, and we don’t have to describe our poop by saying something that our doctor might not even be able to picture, like slightly mushy, or kind of oatmeal like. This language is much better because it gives us even more specific language when it comes to describing our poop. A picture says a thousand words. We can say something to our doctor, like it was a number six on the Bristol Stool Scale, or even better, you can say it was kind of between a five and a six on the Bristol Stool Chart. Most gastroenterologists are familiar with the Bristol Stool Scale. So next time you go for your doctor’s appointment and the doc says, tell me about your poop consistency, you can wow them with your Bristol Stool Chart knowledge.
19:49: And hey, if they’ve never heard of it, like one gastroenterologist I recently met, you can help them learn something new, and it’s helpful for their practice and also for all of their patients. Okay, I know though, many of you, just like my clients, are wondering in the back of your mind, where is that elusive perfect poop we’re all striving for on this scale? Remember that while there is no true north star when it comes to poop, most experts believe that somewhere in the range of 4-5 on the Bristol Stool Chart is considered that normal poop. Knowing what we’re striving for, and I have to say striving for ish, it makes all the difference. We can now track where we’re at, we can make subtle changes, we can keep track of our peeking over time and begin to move towards the normal poop range. If you wanna get your hands on your own copy of the Bristol Stool Chart, check my show notes, there’s a link to my favorite Bristol Stool Chart, waiting for you there. It’s definitely worth printing out, finding a safe place to pin it up at home, maybe in the bathroom.
We can all learn about the limitations of the Bristol Stool Chart from my client, Jenny.
21:00: Now as excited as you can see I get when I talk about poop and the Bristol Stool Chart, I want you to know that the chart isn’t perfect, and it does have some limitations, especially for us, IBDer’s. Take my client Jenny, that’s not her real name, but we’re gonna call her Jenny for today. She’s been working with me for a while, and she feels really well, her IBD diet is mostly figured out, she’s developed some ways to manage the stress that’s been affecting her GI tract, she’s even come up with some great exercise routines that are low impact and they fit with her energy level. Jenny’s abdominal pain is gone, and she’s not experiencing the bloating and gas that she had every time she was eating anymore. Best of all, those frequent hourly trips to the bathroom, they’ve gotten much less. So what’s the problem? Jenny so focused on what poop number she’s on in the BSC, that Bristol Stool Chart, that she sees all of her progress as a failure. She doesn’t consistently achieve that perfect number four poop, so she thinks that everything is wrong with her gut health, even though all those other signs and symptoms point to steady progress. Do you see the problem here? Jenny is so focused on the Bristol Stool Chart that she isn’t seeing all of the success around her.
22:24: Sometimes she does actually get a number four, and those are great days. And on other days, she’s finding that she’s more of a five or six, and it definitely makes her freak out. She’s wondering what’s wrong with her? Is her disease out of remission? Is she doomed to never find the perfect poop? Jenny isn’t able to trust that what she’s doing, she’s doing well, and that she’s feeling well because she’s put so much stock into this one thing, and that’s the problem for us IBDer’s, because although poop is important, it’s important to take a peek in the bowl, and it’s important to track our poop over time, but remember that pop is just one factor, there’s so many other factors we need to keep in mind when it comes to our gut health and so many reasons we may not achieve consistency with our poop, and we may not have that perfect poop. So we must consider other gut factors, factors like abdominal pain, the smell of your poop, gas, bloating and heartburn, and forget our digestive tract for just a moment, there’s other non-IBD factors that can also affect our poop consistency. What did we have to eat that day? What’s our mood, our anxiety, our stress, our anger, and depression? These things have all been shown to affect our poop frequency and our consistency. Our hormone fluctuations, that affects our poop too. Anybody ever heard of period poops?
Stress, hormones, anxiety, depression, and other mood challenges can also affect the consistency and frequency of our poop.
23:58: It’s normal, it’s normal and natural for all women to experience this, even lack of sleep can affect your poops. So while we do get lots of information from looking at our poop, tracking our poop over time and being comfortable with the Bristol Stool Chart numbers and pictures, we also wanna be aware that the Bristol Stool Chart is not the end all be all, and we don’t want to use it to create a block that keeps us from believing that we’re in remission. Poop fluctuations are normal for everyone, and it doesn’t always mean that you’re in the middle of a Crohn’s or Colitis flare-up. I’ve heard about the same phenomenon with other clients, besides Jenny, it’s really quite common, clients that are having trouble seeing beyond the Bristol Stool Chart. Is the BSC holding you back? Is there a better answer out there? Is there a better way to keep track of your poop? Next time on The Cheeky Podcast for moms with IBD. I said that, and now I’m thinking about that serial podcast, do you guys know that podcast? If you haven’t listened to that one, it’s fascinating, it’s a murder mystery ride that always ends with something like, “Will the accused finally go free? Next time on Serial.”
25:16: I’m just channeling my favorite podcasts, I know I told you guys I’m a podcast junkie. Anyway, our next episode, let’s talk about Poop, Part Doo, will be as illuminating as this one. We’ll talk about a mom-friendly acronym that will come in handy when it comes to tracking your poop. I’ll tell you about the most awesome free resource available to help you track your symptoms and your poop, and if you’re new to talking about poop, I’ve got a challenge for you, and of course, we’ll talk about how you can do all this like a mom. Remember to check out the link in the show notes for that free copy of your Bristol Stool Chart. It’s a link for my favorite one. I know you’re gonna love it. I definitely think it will come in handy for you and for your doctor’s appointments.
26:04: Thank you so much for joining me today and for listening to today’s episode. When it comes to IBD, I know there’s a lot of resources out there, and I’m truly honored that you chose the Cheeky Podcast to get your IBD information today. If you found this information helpful, please give us a rating and review, it helps other moms find the podcast and see what we’re doing over here to help IBD moms everywhere.
Are you ready to take your gut healing to the next level?
26:29: And if you feel called to do it, share this podcast with an IBD mom who you know could really use an uplifting message today, ’cause that’s what we’re all about over here at the Cheeky Podcast. One last thing, if you’re still with me, and if you are, you’re definitely my kind of gal, we have to get to know each other better. If you’re tired of living on the hamster wheel of IBD with all the ups and downs between flares and remission, if you’re struggling to get control of your abdominal pain, gas, bloating, diarrhea and other troubling IBD symptoms, go to the website, it’s karynhaley.com, and my mom had to be just a little bit different to spell my name with a Y, so it’s K-A-R-Y-N H-A-L-E-Y.com, and schedule your very own free 30-minute IBD root cause troubleshooting session with me where we discuss the challenges you’ve been having, we set goals to help you move forward, and we talk about how we can work together to help you get your life back. It’s a power packed 30 minutes. You don’t have to live in IBD status quo. There’s so much that can be done to transform your life so you can thrive in motherhood and thrive with IBD. I’ve seen my clients walk this path, and it gives me so much joy to take that journey with them.
27:50: My entire coaching practice is run online, so you never have to leave your house and you never have to get out of your jammy or yoga pants for us to work together. You know I’m wearing them too. If you’re ready to take your first amazing step towards healing, I’m ready to chat with you. Schedule your free 30-minute IBD root cause troubleshooting session today at karynhaley.com. Click on the “work with me” tab and I’ll see you soon. It’s important to note that the information in this podcast and in this episode is for general information purposes only and not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The statements made in the Cheeky Podcast for moms with IBD, either by me or my guests, is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Before implementing any new treatment protocols, do yourself a favor and consult your physician first. Thank you so much for listening, for being here, for saving this space for us to spend some time together. Until we chat again, I’m wishing you a cheeky and healthy IBD journey.
We experience the downside of IBD daily— from the physical challenges with abdominal pain, bloating, gas, heartburn, diarrhea, joint pain… to the emotional impact with stress, anxiety, sadness, anger, frustration, annoyance… at this terrible disease that’s affected our lives so negatively.
But what if it wasn’t all negative energy? What if there was a upside to this unfortunate diagnosis? I believe there is. There are unexpected gifts I’ve received from having IBD and I know I wouldn’t have them without walking this IBD journey in life.
In this episode, we explore the positive impact IBD has had on our lives. When the struggle is real, day to day, and we’re in the middle of a flare up, we may want to bury ourselves in covers in our bed. We may feel we have no other choice, but to go to that dark place and never come out. But, if we open ourselves up to pulling the covers off, just a little so a glimmer of light shines in, we see all the beauty and incredible gifts we now possess—even through the darkest of days.
Come with me on a journey in episode #2 as we explore just how wonderful we IBD mamas are, in sickness and in health.
Episode at a Glance:
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The Upside of IBD
00:05 INTRO: You are listening to The Cheeky Podcast for Moms with IBD, a safe space for moms with Crohn’s and colitis to connect, explore powerful tools for healing, and transform our lives to thrive in motherhood and in life. I’m your host, Karyn Haley, IBD health coach, integrative wellness enthusiast, and mom to three outstanding kids. After having Crohn’s disease for 30 years and working as a health advocate exclusively with IBD clients for the last 10 years, I know it’s time to bring the types of candid conversations I have with my clients out into the open. It’s our time to go on an IBD healing journey and do it like only a mom can… Let’s do this.[music]
00:50 KARYN: Well, hey there, IBD mama. so happy to connect with you today. I’ve just gotta tell you, I can’t think of a better topic to officially kick off your healing IBD journey. And with our topic for today’s episode, it really is gonna set the tone for this podcast and hopefully, for your life, because if you’re anything like me, you get sick and tired of all the negativity surrounding us every day when we have IBD. I know, we have got pain, we have awful bloating and gas, and there’s multiple trips to the bathroom. There’s fatigue and the guilt that comes with it, when we can’t be there for our kids in the way that we really want to be, and all of this is important and it should never be swept under the rug because it’s so much a part of our life with IBD.
01:42: And in other episodes, we’re gonna go there. I promise you, we will go there, but not today. Today is the day. Today is the day we set the dial to positivity and seeking out what is possible. It’s all about celebrating who we are and the complete package of who we are, from every angle. Let me put it to you this way, ’cause this is how it makes sense to me. When I think about those crappy one-dimensional characters in a bad movie, I know that you know what I’m talking about because you suffered through those kind of movies before, just like me.
02:20: We know that in real life, people aren’t one-dimensional like that. We might even find ourselves, like I have before, screaming at the screen saying, nobody is like that in real life. There’s more to this character, just like those artificial movie characters. No one really is that one-dimensional, and to characterize ourselves just as IBD sufferers, it’s frankly, and honestly, it’s not fair to the extraordinary people that we are. There is more to us, and today, we’re gonna talk about and embrace and celebrate the positive and strong side of each of us.
You can wrap yourself up in the darkness sometimes, but I’m going challenge you to not live there.
03:00: This amazing side of us that I’m talking about, the side that shines in the sun, is none other than what I like to call the upside of IBD. Think there’s no upside? I know. Some days, I feel that way too, but if you give me just a few minutes today, I promise, I’m gonna convince you that there is an upside to being diagnosed with this chronic illness. I’m willing to bet that even though right now, there might seem like there’s a lot of down days for you, as you search for answers, and sometimes, we have to embrace those days. I embrace them too. You can wrap yourself up in the darkness sometimes, but I’m gonna challenge you to not live there. That place can swallow you up whole and never let you out. When you open the covers just a little bit and you let just a little bit of that light come in, you can see all the gifts that IBD has given you.
Empathy is a way of life for you.
04:04: Let me ask you a question. Do you have empathy? In a world full of selfies and curated social media and cancel culture, I bet because of your illness, and you can see things from someone else’s point of view, I’m willing to bet that you feel for others who are in pain, or suffering more deeply. Whenever I’m in a conversation with a girlfriend and they are telling me about a friend or a family member dealing with cancer or a divorce, or their kid has some sort of challenge like an illness, the feeling of empathy comes really easily to me. I can easily put myself in their shoes because I know what it’s like to feel emotional and physical pain too. For all the sucky-ness of having Crohn’s or colitis, having killer empathy that makes you a superior friend, spouse, daughter, sister, it’s an upside of having IBD. You’re the one people come to because they know you’ll understand.
You are kind and compassionate.
05:15: You may not be walking in their shoes, but you understand the size, the color, the fit, and the feel of their shoes. Try this one on for size. I might not know you personally, but, I bet I know you’re kind. I bet, I know you’re the kind of person, people say, “Oh, Sheila… She’s so kind. She’s always thinking of others.” You know how much someone’s kindness means to you. The doctor who went out of their way to spend a few extra minutes with you on a day when you were having a hard time, the stranger who let you cut in line in the bathroom because you really had to go. It’s tough being an IBD-er in this world and when someone shows you kindness, it rubs off on you, and then you spread that kindness out into the world.
06:08: Now, I’m not talking about that syrupy, sweet saccharin kind of kindness, or even the Mother Teresa kind of kindness, but you’re kind… In general, you’re kind. I know that about you. For all the suckiness of having Crohn’s or colitis, you are kind. And this makes you a better human. What else do I know about you? I know that you’re more likely to engage in acts of service, and more likely to commit to causes you believe in. I may not have the scientific research to back me up here, but I definitely have the anecdotal data from my 10 years of working with mom clients who have IBD. time and time again, You amaze and inspire me with your grace, your compassion for others, and your commitment to make all lives better.
You’re committed to people and causes you believe in.
07:00: Take Rose. She’s a current client of mine who’s using the specific carbohydrate diet to get her ulcerative colitis in remission. Every time we chat, she makes my heart melt, telling me about the foster dogs that she’s taking care of. Rose knows that I’m also a dog lover, and she texts me pictures of her rescue pups. Rose is giving back, even though, as we know, she has her own challenges in life. For all the suckiness of having Crohn’s or colitis, you are full of commitment and service to others in need. This makes you a better human.
You’re resilience and perspective on hard challenges is inspiring.
07:40: I know that you’re resilient, and you know how to put hard things in perspective. Take COVID, quarantining, and this unexpected home schooling situation. I bet, just thinking about the chaos it created makes you wanna pull your hair out or cry. Lord knows I’ve done both of those things. All of this definitely threw me for a loop for a beat. In the beginning, I was afraid to have anyone leave the house. I was afraid to bring anything into the house, even groceries or take out food or shoes. How crazy is that, right? The kids would want to bring their shoes into the house. They would into their house with shoes, walk into our house with shoes on their feet, and I would get all freaked out, “Oh, maybe there’s a germ on them, leave them outside.”
08:29: In the beginning, we were all dealing. We were all reeling and we just had to keep our head above water, right? But look at me now, because I have already had to be resilient and put things into perspective with Crohn’s. I’ve already done it with that. I’ve realized that although Coronavirus is still stressful at times, I’m okay. I’ve learned that with a little bit of effort, our family, even a family with usually annoying teenagers, we can actually become closer. We can rely on each other and even help each other out sometimes. It’s definitely not perfect. I gotta be honest here and tell you that my house isn’t as clean as it used to be, and I might see the kids in the same clothes day after day. And my hubby and I, we still can’t find time for a quiet moment together, but… It’s okay. I know, just like a bad IBD flare, this too shall pass. For all the suckiness of having Crohn’s or colitis, you are resilient, and you put hard things in perspective. This makes you a better human.
Savoring life is your secret special sauce.
09:45: There’s one last thing. One last thing about you and I saved the best for last. I know that because of the adversity you faced, you know how to savor life and you feel gratitude deeply. You know how to find peace, hope, and joy in the smallest of victories, in the smallest of moments. Making it to watch your son at the school play when you didn’t know if you were up for it, a moment of peace where you drink a cup of tea in solitude for a whole five minutes without the kids busting in on you, a knowing smile between you and your partner. With just one book, it tells you that everything’s gonna be okay. These small moments are moments that take, many take for granted, but not you. You know just how fragile health can be. You appreciate the good moments. You savor them, take them into your heart and soul, and remember them when time gets tough.
10:56: By now, you know the mantra. Say it with me, ladies. For all the suckiness of having Crohn’s or colitis, you savor life and you feel gratitude deeply. This makes you a better human. Would you have these gifts if you didn’t have inflammatory bowel disease? Maybe, probably to some extent, but would they be as honed and is deeply felt? Would you be as empathetic, kind, committed to others, and resilient? Would you savor life, feel gratitude as deeply? Would you hold your loved one so close to your heart? I’m betting not. And that’s what makes you a better human. So today, right now, I want you to do it like a mom. Soak in this pure moment of positivity. Feel proud of yourself. Step away from the negativity, the pain, the suffering, the struggle. I know you have it, but just for one moment, just step away for one moment.
Do it like a mom.
12:07: Put your right hand on your heart and your left hand on your belly. Remember, I know a lot of people like to listen to podcasts in the car, so not if you’re driving, but if you have your hands free and you’re able to, right hand on your heart, left hand on your belly. Take a deep breath in with me through your nose. Hold it briefly, and then let it out with the sigh. As you let that breath go, I want you to think about one thing you’re grateful for today. You’ve got this. You’re already one step ahead because you’re a better human. I’m honored to be with you. I’m honored to be with you on this journey, Mama, because you are one great human. I just have to tell you today, you’re one great human. Remember, we’re all imperfect. We’re all imperfect humans, whether we have IBD or not, but having IBD makes you a stronger, more powerful, insightful, generous woman. You’ve got this.
13:23: Thank you so much for joining me today and for listening to today’s episode. When it comes to IBD, I know there’s a lot of resources out there, and I’m truly honored that you chose the Cheeky Podcast to get your IBD information today. If you found this information helpful, please give us a rating and review. It helps other moms find the podcast and see what we’re doing over here to help IBD moms everywhere. And if you feel called to do it, share this podcast with an IBD mom who you know could really use an uplifting message today, ’cause that’s what we’re all about over here at the Cheeky Podcast.
Are you ready to take your gut healing journey to the next level?
14:01: One last thing, if you’re still with me. And if you are, you’re definitely my kinda gal, we have to get to know each other better. If you’re tired of living on the hamster wheel of IBD with all the ups and downs between players in remission, if you’re struggling to get control of your abdominal pain, gas, bloating, diarrhea and other troubling IBD symptoms, go over to the website, it’s Karynhaley.com, and my mom had to be just a little bit different, spelled my name with a Y. So it’s K-A-R-Y-N-H-A-L-E-Y dot com. Karynhaley.com and schedule your very own free 30 minutes IBD Root Cause Troubleshooting session with me, where we discuss the challenges you’ve been having, we set goals to help you move forward, and we talk about how we can work together to help you get your life back.
14:50: It’s a power-packed 30 minutes. You don’t have to live in IBD status quo. There’s so much that can be done to transform your life so you can thrive in motherhood and thrive with IBD. I’ve seen my clients walk this path and it gives me so much joy to take that journey with them. My entire coaching practice is run online, so you never have to leave your house and you never have to get out of your jammy or yoga pants for us to work together. You know I’m wearing them too. If you’re ready to take your first amazing step towards healing, I’m ready to chat with you. Schedule your free 30-minute IBD Root Cause Troubleshooting sesh today at Karynhaley.com. Click on the work with me tab and I’ll see you soon. 15:37: It’s important to note that the information in this podcast and in this episode is for general information purposes only and not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The statements made in the Cheeky podcast for moms with IBD, either by me or my guests, is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Before implementing any new treatment protocols, do yourself a favor and consult your physician first. Thank you so much for listening, for being here, for saving this space for us to spend some time together. Until we chat again, I’m wishing you a cheeky and healthy IBD journey
This is exciting. A podcast. A dream come true.
Do you have Crohn’s or colitis?
Are you a mom?
Do you want to get your IBD into remission so you can thrive in motherhood and thrive in life?
Well then, welcome to the Cheeky Podcast for Moms with IBD, a safe space where moms with IBD connect, explore powerful tools for healing, and transform our lives so we can say goodbye to the struggle of IBD and hello to symptom free living.
In this introductory episode, we explore the why behind the podcast and the why behind your healing journey. There’s many reasons why you might want to be free from the shackles of IBD and many reasons why taking your life back is your #1 priority. They’re all good reasons—no preconceived notions and no judgement. Wait until I tell you my why! Perhaps you can relate.
If you’ve been struggling to get your IBD under control, check out this episode. Be ready for a little introspection and a whole lota self love.
Episode at a Glance:
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What’s Your Why?[music]
00:05 INTRO You’re listening to The Cheeky Podcast for moms with IBD, a safe space for moms with Crohn’s and colitis connect, explore powerful tools for healing and transform our lives to thrive in motherhood and in life. I’m your host, Karyn Haley, IBD health coach, integrative wellness enthusiast and mom to three outstanding kids. After having Crohn’s disease for 30 years and working as a health advocate exclusively with IBD clients for the last 10 years, I know it’s time to bring the types of candid conversations I have with my clients out into the open. It’s our time to go on an IBD healing journey and do it like only a mom can. Let’s do this.[music]
00:51 KARYN Well, hey, hey there mom friend, and welcome to the very first episode of The Cheeky Podcast for Moms with IBD. How cool is this? I’ve been a podcast junkie for as long as I can remember, so it’s really a thrill to bring this podcast to you, especially in a topic that’s nearest and dearest to my heart. I honestly don’t know where this endeavor is gonna take us, but one thing’s certain, we’re gonna take this journey together. What could possibly be wrong with that? Now, when it comes to Inflammatory Bowel Disease, I’ve gotta tell you girlfriend, I have been through all the highs and the lows on this roller coaster of sickness and health. From my first 20 years with Crohn’s, with every anti-inflammatory and immune modulating medication you can imagine just being thrown at me to see what worked, almost like if you can imagine this, throwing cooked spaghetti on a wall to see what type of noodle sticks best. Spoiler alert, not a single one of those worked.
Carve out the healing path that works for you.
02:00: That first 20 years also left me enduring multiple surgeries to remove portions of my small intestine while I continued to do everything my doctor told me to do. Let’s contrast that with the last 12 years where I finally learned how to carve out my own healing path, where I kept healthy by whatever means necessary, whether it’s finding a gut healing diet that works for me, making positive lifestyle changes using mindset techniques or only using medication when it’s absolutely necessary, I found a healthy balance between all of these modalities that tend to work for me. And I still remember, I still remember that fateful day, that day that changed everything for me when my gastroenterologist… That’s a hard one to say. When my gastroenterologist, who I trusted with my life, when she told me, “There’s nothing else I can do for you.”
03:02: Have you had a moment like that with your doctor before where the news is just so abrupt and so decidedly negative? If you’re listening to this podcast, I’m betting you know that moment well. It’s full of feelings of being discouraged, and defeated, and dejected, and in that moment, in that moment, I felt all those things for about 30 minutes. And after 30 minutes, my vision, it all of a sudden it got clear, it was almost like a blurry camera lens you look through and it suddenly finds its focus. I know that if… I know, you know what I’m talking about there, it finds its focus instantaneously, and it was instantaneous that moment. In that moment, there was an absolute clarity, there was an absolute clarity where I decided that never again, never again would I be uneducated about my illness. I would never again work with a medical provider where they were the all knowing guru on high, the only one that had the power.
04:11: I would never again be little Miss, “do whatever you’re told.” And if I’m being totally honest with you… Totally honest here, the truth is that it really wasn’t the doctor’s fault, not really. They were just following their own Hippocratic Oath as a doctor, they were trying to help me in the best way that they knew how, but in that moment, I realized that this model, it would no longer work for me, the doctor on high and the patient is the royal subject, I knew that if I was gonna claw and crawl my way out of this illness and be able to thrive in life, in life, I was gonna thrive in life, I would have to take the control back, I’d have to take control of the wheel, I would have to put myself in charge of my own fate, I would have to flip the switch and come to my doctor’s appointments with knowledge about IBD, with a deeper understanding of how healing actually works, not sickness, but healing, how healing works.
Becoming partners with your health care provider, instead of giving away your power, will set you free.
05:18: And most importantly, with power, the power that comes when you know your body so well that no matter what provider you allow into your sacred health space, you come to the table as partners, partners on your healing journey. Even in the last 12 years that have mostly been positive for me in terms of IBD remission, there have been some challenging times as well. I’ve heard of people who heal their Crohn’s or their colitis and never looked back, for better or worse, that’s not me. Getting my IBD in check is a 24/7 job, and most of the time, I thrive, and sometimes I falter. Through it all though, I never give up, never, because 12 years ago, I got clear on my why and my why was me, my future, and the life vision I had for myself, and it didn’t include me being at the mercy of this invisible illness.
06:24: Now, as a mom, I know you might think that my why is selfish, having a why that’s me, especially when we’re moms, we’re taught that everyone comes before us and oh, the guilt that we feel when we put ourselves first, but when I finally realized my why was me, my health and my life, I realized that when I took the time to empower myself, educate myself, support myself with the rest I needed when I needed it, and change… Pretty much changed the trajectory of my healing journey, when I did that, then I could give my best self to those around me, taking the power back, empowering myself, choosing me as my why on this healing journey, it gave me the strength to be the best version that I could be, the best me that I could be, and by being the best me, it makes me a better mom and a better wife, sister, daughter, friend, worker, advocate, human, on this journey of life. So while you’re listening to my story and this introductory episode of The Cheeky Podcast for Moms, my hope is that my why plants a seed for you to start thinking about your why.
Be honest with yourself– what’s your why?
07:50: What’s your why? Why do you wanna heal your IBD? There’s no judgment here. If I did admit that my why is me, you can allow yourself a safe space to be true to your why too. And whether you get crystal clear on it today or you need some time to let it marinate, it’s all good, mama. It’s all good. It took me 20 years literally, to finally figure out my why, and I know that it won’t take you that long. If what I’ve been talking about today resonates with you, you’re gonna love this podcast, it’s all about helping you find the power, the knowledge and the support that only a mom can give. As we go on this IBD healing journey together. We’ll dive deep into the pros and the cons of all the gut healing diets, we’re gonna get real on lifestyle changes that actually work to calm your symptoms, we’ll explore our mindset and our beliefs and how they impact our illness, and we’re gonna do it all through the lens of a mom. The Cheeky Podcast for Moms with IBD is your safe space to finally find a tribe of moms who are just like you. We’ll laugh, we’ll cry, we’ll be honest, raw and real, and above all, we’re gonna take this journey together, and we’ll explore ways we can heal, and we’ll put the power back into our hands, and we’re gonna do it like only a mom can.
09:26: Thank you so much for joining me today and for listening to today’s episode, when it comes to IBD, I know there’s a lot of resources out there, and I’m truly honored that you chose the The Cheeky Podcast to get your IBD information today. If you found this information helpful, please give us a rating and review, it helps other moms find the podcast and see what we’re doing over here to help IBD moms everywhere. And if you feel called to do it, share this podcast with an IBD mom who you know could really use an uplifting message today, ’cause that’s what we’re all about over here at the The Cheeky Podcast.
Are you ready to take your healing journey to the next level?[music]
10:04: One last thing, if you’re still with me, and if you are, you’re definitely my kinda girl, we have to get to know each other better. If you’re tired of living on the hamster wheel of IBD with all the ups and downs between players and remission, if you’re struggling to get control of your abdominal pain, gas, bloating, diarrhea, and other troubling IBD symptoms, go to the website, it’s karynhaley.com, and my mom had to be just a little bit different, spelled my name with a Y, so it’s K-A-R-Y-N-H-A-L-E-Y.com, and schedule your very own free 30-minute IBD root cause troubleshooting session with me where we discuss the challenges you’ve been having, we set goals to help you move forward, and we talk about how we can work together to help you get your life back. It’s a power-packed 30 minutes. You don’t have to live in IBD status quo, there’s so much that can be done to transform your life so you can thrive in motherhood and thrive with IBD. I’ve seen my clients walk this path and it gives me so much joy to take that journey with them.
11:11: My entire coaching practice is run online, so you never have to leave your house and you never have to get out of your jam and your yoga pants for us to work together. You know I’m wearing them too. If you’re ready to take your first amazing step towards healing, I’m ready to chat with you. Schedule your free 30-minute IBD root cause troubleshooting sesh today at karynhaley.com. Click on the Work With Me tab, and I’ll see you soon. It’s important to note that the information in this podcast and in this episode is for general information purposes only and not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The statements made in the The Cheeky Podcast for moms with IBD, either by me or my guests, is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Before implementing any new treatment protocols, do yourself a favor and consult your physician first. Thank you so much for listening, for being here, for saving this space for us to spend some time together until we chat again, I’m wishing you a cheeky and healthy IBD journey.