Gut Feelings - by The Crohn's & Colitis Dietitians™

The Crohn's & Colitis Dietitians

Hosts Ashley Hurst and Danielle Leffler of The Crohn's and Colitis Dietitians chat about nutrition research in IBD & sprinkle in our own life experiences in being both IBD patients ourselves.

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Episodes

The Gut-Brain Connection with Dr Ali Navidi
Mar 26 2024
The Gut-Brain Connection with Dr Ali Navidi
Send us a Text Message.In this episode, The Crohn's & Colitis Dietitians - Ashley Hurst and Danielle Leffler interview an expert in the field of GI psychology, an emerging new specialization that focuses on the gut-brain connection.This episode is jam-packed with useful resources and affirming insights on the IBD journey and how the gut-brain connection is important for us to learn more about.We discussed:Dr Navidi's background and how he got started as a leader in the field of GI psychologyThe emergence of GI psychology - there are only 400 in the worldWhat is GI psychology? What are DGBI's - why we need to know about these with IBDAlthough Crohn's & Colitis are not considered disorders of gut-brain interaction - those of us with IBD are more prone to have themHow medical trauma and DGBI's can impact our symptoms even when IBD is considered stableHow we often underestimate the power of the brain & trauma in gut symptomsHow trauma to the gut impacts our symptoms - it's not in your head - the impact is real and commonAnxiety & Depression - is it more common in IBD?Introduction to clinical hypnosis for GI disorders What clinical hypnosis is and what it is notWhat is trance vs. dissociation?Reframing Anxiety as "misguided imagination"What we mentioned:Clinical hypnosis breakdown - https://www.gipsychology.com/gi-psychology-and-the-atlantic-discuss-clinical-hypnosis-for-ibsResearch mentioned: PMID: 33721557, PMID:34684663, PMID: 33251075Podcast edit by: Christopher GarzaMusic from #Uppbeat (free for Creators!):https://uppbeat.io/t/the-lakes/bluebirdLicense code: FTTITUEPIFAD2VEO
34- Transforming our Difficulties into Motivation and Empathy
Sep 8 2023
34- Transforming our Difficulties into Motivation and Empathy
Send us a Text Message.Ashley and Rebecca from The Crohn's & Colitis Dietitians talk about all things IBD-related. 0-10 minutes:We start off this episode talking about the delicious beverages we've been enjoying and some nice dairy free alternative milks and creamers. Ashley talks about her sleep struggles lately and how the summer heat is affecting her schedule. We talk about how we squeeze exercise into our busy schedules. 10-21 minutes:Everyone has their own journey with IBD. Ashley reflects on how much transformation has occurred since she was first diagnosed with UC about 12 years ago. We reflect on what we would tell our younger self at different stages in our life- for one, get the colonoscopy! We look back on unexpected weight loss and how it changed our perspective and made us appreciate our bodies and the healing process more. We discuss uncertainties and fears when we were first getting diagnosed.21-29 minutes:Rebecca talks about her first encounter with a GI doctor and how the bedside manner was terrible and discouraging to her. Sometimes that first experience can really set the tone and influence our path. Rebecca saw 3 more GI doctors while trying to figure out what was going on with her. She is grateful for the answers and clarity she has now. Ashley reflects on the fact that the difficulties she has experienced sparked motivation to help others experiencing the same type of challenges. She is grateful that she was able to transform that pain into motivation and that she now has an understanding of others experiencing the many depths of hardship with IBD and chronic illness. We now feel reassured knowing there are others to help with the IBD journey and find the next step, instead of being dismissed. We wish that this support was available when we were first diagnosed but we are proud of the guidance we can give to others. It is truly an honor and pleasure to work with our IBD clients! 29-40 minutes:Ashley and Rebecca talk about how they are proud to do the work they do and are grateful that they were able to merge their purpose and passion into a career. We recognize that some people can have a deep calling that is separate from their job and they don't necessarily have to be same thing.  Rebecca talks about how she is passionate about researching IBD and she will always be interested in learning more since she has the personal connection to it. We admit that having a career that is your calling may not always be glamorous and there are sometimes hard days but we always come back to it because it is so meaningful. Ashley talks about the decisions she isn't sure about, like maybe being a parent in the future. We talk about some comments or assumptions people make and how we hope there is more education around IBD in the future.
33- Focusing on the small things
Aug 31 2023
33- Focusing on the small things
Send us a Text Message.Ashley and Rebecca from The Crohn's & Colitis Dietitians talk about all things IBD-related. In this episode, we talk about how small things make a difference and how being in tune with your body can build trust with yourself.0-6 minutesAshley talks about the ingredients she used in a gluten free and dairy free pizza she recently made. She mentions some gluten free and dairy free brands that don't taste terrible!  We talk about how carbohydrates are essential and not to be avoided.6-13 minutesAshley discusses a client she recently worked with who was gaining weight but couldn't figure out why and thought maybe she needed to see a specialist. She was not eating much in the morning or for lunch, was working out and then crashing in the afternoon.  Ashley helped her to realize that she wasn't getting enough fuel and her body was in starvation mode. We talk about how sometimes we think we need complex solutions, but often simple things can help. We talk about how a perfectionist mindset around food is unattainable and we should give ourselves grace.13-19 minutesRebecca brings up how trust with health professionals is key. It is natural to feel vulnerable or worry about judgment but it can help immensely to be open with those we trust. With IBD or other diseases it is normal to question things and try to figure out the causes of our diagnoses and sometimes there aren't clear cut answers. IBD is so unpredictable and complex. There can be grief when diagnosed or even years into the process when treatment or symptoms change. 19-23 minutes We briefly look at the role of IBD with pregnancy and discuss having kids when the parent has IBD. Keeping in mind that you have a plan in place and a supportive healthcare team can drastically improve our quality of life. We try to remember to not let IBD get in the way of living life!23-33 minutesIBD affects joints, skin, and mental health too; we talk about how it's all connected. We have fun with some mindfulness dice and cards. We talk about breathwork and  we practice ujjayi breath which can be helpful to induce relaxation. Ashley talks about some advice she received when making decisions based on how your body feels with each scenario. Does the choice make you feel restricted or expansive? We acknowledge that sometimes growth can feel scary, and in that situation is a good thing. The body is a great guide. With IBD we can sometimes disconnect from pain and uncomfortable feelings or symptoms but it is good to check in with yourself. We can start small to build trust with ourself and body.
32- When family is diagnosed with IBD + Myths of IBD
Aug 25 2023
32- When family is diagnosed with IBD + Myths of IBD
Send us a Text Message.Ashley and Rebecca from The Crohn's & Colitis Dietitians talk about all things IBD-related. On this episode, Ashley and Rebecca talk about supporting family members with IBD and delve into a recent blog post we published on the Top 10 IBD Myths Debunked. 0-9 minutesAshley talks about her sister's recent Crohn's diagnosis and how this reminded Ashley of her own experience of being diagnosed and the associated feelings. There can be anger about the challenges or from being dismissed by doctors previously. There can be fear of the unknown and about how much treatment will cost. We discuss the grieving process and how hard it can be to watch a family member go through all of this.  Ashley said that she felt helpless at times when seeing  her sister in pain and dealing with  factors that are out of their control, such as what insurance  will cover.  Rebecca gave Ashley a compassionate reminder that being present for loved ones is an important role and we don't need to have all of the answers right now.  9- 23We discuss that when someone has IBD or any disease it is important to process emotions,  and allow oneself to go through the grieving process when newly diagnosed and even years after. We talk about some of the phases we went though after getting diagnosed with IBD. We felt validation, grief, and would sometimes feel frustrated when hearing insensitive comments from others. We agree that having someone support us and just be with us is helpful but we don't want people to feel sorry for us. Ashley references a Brene Brown youtube video at 18:15:  Empathy vs. Sympathy23-27Rebecca talks about how her husband understands her fears around living with Ulcerative Colitis because he has Crohn's disease. He reminds her to not let IBD control her life. Rebecca discusses some of her worries, such as traveling, and how IBD can feel overwhelming at times. We discuss how nutrition can feel overwhelming too because there is so much information out there and not all of it is good. We acknowledge that some things can be partially true but that doesn't mean it is helpful.  Danielle did a recent blog titled: Top 10 IBD Myths Debunked. Feel free to use this as a reference if you would like to clarify things for people!27- 36 We discuss a few of the myths in the blog:Myth: IBS and  IBD are the same thingMyth: my bloodwork is fine so I don't need stool test Myth: IBD is my fault36-47We delve into more myths with IBDMyth: fad diets will cure my IBD. Myth: if you have no symptoms, there is no inflammationMyth: If you have symptoms you are not in remissionMyth: all fiber is the sameMyth: stress causes IBDMyth: you have to eat low fiber for the rest of your lifeMyth: diet doesn't matter We hope this podcast is helpful and that you feel less alone if you are experiencing challenges with your IBD!
31- What do dietitians actually do?
Aug 18 2023
31- What do dietitians actually do?
Send us a Text Message.Ashley and Rebecca from The Crohn's & Colitis Dietitians talk about all things IBD-related. In this episode we discuss advocating for ourselves in health care, research, and the importance of nutrition and working with a dietitian.0-9  minutesRebecca talks about a conversation with her GI doctor and how she was proactive and found a good middle ground when he had a different recommendation than what she expected.  She explains why colonoscopies and monitoring for dysplasia (abnormal cells) is important. These biopsies help monitor for colon cancer.  We agree that it's important to follow that inner knowing in our body and speak up for ourselves.  9-12Rebecca and Ashley talk about wearing two hats as being a patient with IBD and as a dietitian working with IBD patients. We talk about the fact that an IBD patient may be asymptomatic but there can still be inflammation. It's best to check that everything is good from a lab and scope standpoint.  12-17Ashley talks about being a participant in a research study. She took a certain type of curcumin and remarks on the effects she noticed. She shares another update: she has taken a second job as a researcher. She has always been interested in research and is studying Ulcerative Colitis protocols and comparing it to other protocols. The research process is exciting and Ashley enjoys being a part of amplifying the idea that nutrition is important. 17-25We talk about a client who made one change and had a drastic impact, which is a great example of how important nutrition is in improving quality of life. We find that sometimes people or other health professionals don't understand the importance of nutrition and there is a  lack of exposure to the role that dietitians play. When people are looking for IBD focused dietitians we have found that there can be a fear about nutrition plans being too restrictive or extreme. We would love to shift the perception of what a dietitian is, so that people can understand that dietitians provide medical nutrition therapy, which includes treatment plans and education so that foods can be healing.25-32We look forward to when the role of a dietitian is more widely understood and valued and the impact dietitians and nutrition plans can have is also acknowledged. Dietitians are great at digging, gathering data and asking questions to uncover things. We discuss the nuance of looking at nutrients and labs and how looking at the big picture and understanding relationships of nutrients to each other is so important.
30- We Interview Danielle and discuss Pediatric IBD and Celiac
Aug 11 2023
30- We Interview Danielle and discuss Pediatric IBD and Celiac
Send us a Text Message.Ashley and Rebecca from The Crohn's & Colitis Dietitians talk about all things IBD-related. In this episode, we are joined by Danielle, one of the IBD specialized dietitians on our team! We discuss what it was like for Danielle to be diagnosed with Crohn's as a teenager and Celiac disease a little later in life.  We also talk about our big takeaways from the Digestive Disease Week conference we attended. 0-10 minutesWe talk about how exciting it was to meet in person recently! Danielle shares one of her favorite experiences in the US: Trader Joe's! Danielle dives into her gut sensitivities as a child and her journey getting diagnosed at age 14 with Crohn's disease. Her illness sparked her interest in her current career as a dietitian. In 2018 she was diagnosed with Celiac.10-15Danielle discusses dealing with Crohn's as a teenager and sharing the news with her softball team. She talks about her biggest support system- her parents.16-20Playing softball with IBD; Rebecca shares about playing sports with IBD also. The experience made Danielle feel stronger and inspired her to help others with IBD so they feel supported.20-27Danielle discusses when she knew she wanted to be a dietitian working with IBD patients. She loved learning about the body and nutrition as a teenager. She shares her experience with a dietitian in the hospital.27-35We talk about our experience at the Digestive Disease week conference. Ashley's big takeaway: she enjoyed the connections she made. Rebecca found it invigorating to see how many people are dedicated and passionate about finding a cure for IBD. It was cool to see different ways to improve IBD patients' lives.  Danielle thought that some moments were challenging as an IBD patient.35-39favorite lectures from the conference:Rebecca enjoyed the study on sulfur microbial diets in IBD . There is a higher prevalence of IBD in western countries. Foods with higher sulfur content are linked to an increased risk of Crohn's and colon cancer; but no association was found with UC, which was surprising. 39-43Danielle found the study about the Hispanic diet interesting and noted that there is some inclusivity lacking in research.  She wonders how many dietary patterns are we missing? We found it comforting that one meal isn't going to make or break anything. From an inflammatory standpoint it is more important to look at patterns and we can let go of black and white thinking. 43-51Ashley liked the study about fiber and how it is important to reduce inflammation. She shares some notable facts about IBD patients and brings up a common bias. It was also brought up that rates of IBD are rising. We met some interesting companies including one who advocate for patients, and the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation. It was so good to see nutrition valued, a big shift! We are hopeful for future research and detection, but acknowledge how the funding aspect of nutrition research is an obstacle.
29- Special Guest - Pregnancy in IBD, Running the business of being Mom
Jul 28 2023
29- Special Guest - Pregnancy in IBD, Running the business of being Mom
Send us a Text Message.Ashley and Rebecca from The Crohn's & Colitis Dietitians talk about all things IBD-related. In this episode, we are joined by our very own Christa Smith, another IBD specialized dietitian, who we have loved working with, and her 3 year old daughter, Millie.**Note: In this episode we had many interruptions in internet connection so we tried to salvage what we can. This is why it sounds like you are coming into it mid conversation. Enjoy.0-9:00-We enjoy some insights from Christa's daughter. We really appreciate her honest answer when asked if she likes broccoli: "I do but I don't"-ASMR: sounds we enjoy.. or don't -We're impressed by the confidence of 3 year olds!9:00-18:00-Christa, a busy mom who wears many hats,  talks about what she does when she feels overwhelmed. She tunes out unnecessary noises and tasks, prioritizes and focuses on issues of most importance- Christa discusses how these parenting challenges can be rewarding -We agree that asking for help can be difficult. A lot of the time we think, "I'll figure it out on my own."- Dealing with the ups and downs of IBD made Christa realize that she does need to ask for help.19:00- 28:00-Christa talks about the postpartum period and how she paces herself and provides herself with more grace and patience.-Christa talks about raising children and how they are expanding their family to 4 kids!28:00- 35:00- Christa talks about IBD during pregnancy- what her experience was like, the treatments she went through, and why she felt like it was worth the difficulties and unknown.- We remember when Christa first met Ashley.35:00- 46:37- ASMR and movie theaters- Ashley talks about how she loves her noise cancelling headphones because certain sounds really bother her.- We talk about icebreakers and what we do and don't like about them
28- Why it's Important to Have a Dietitian in Your Corner
Jul 27 2023
28- Why it's Important to Have a Dietitian in Your Corner
Send us a Text Message.Ashley and Rebecca from The Crohn's & Colitis Dietitians talk about all things IBD-related. On this episode we talk about interpreting nutrition recommendations, and why looking at "the how" and the rationale behind these recommendations is so important. We discuss what has improved our outcomes as Ulcerative Colitis patients and how things have changed for us since we were first diagnosed. 0-12:00:- we talk about the role of the dietitian and how they help patients with "the how" of implementing new recommendations-how dietitians can clarify terminology, interpretations and the rationale behind recommendations.-how beneficial plants are and their powerful properties-looking at our approach vs. the Mediterranean diet12:00-18:00:-nutrition guidelines can be complex and dietitians can bridge the gap and interpret this information- maintaining a healthy relationship with food  - we don't want it to be just about restrictions but an overall good balance18:00-27:00:- nutrition is very individualized-when looking at the Mediterranean diet and we see something recommended in "moderate" amounts- what does that even mean? We'd like to see more clear guidelines.-Ashley likes to understand "the why" of recommendations. She wants to understand the concept and degree of importance and impact on the individual.- We have fun and talk about how we would approach things if we were each others' dietitian.27:00-32:00:-Ashley explains how someone can understand a concept but can only implement it to the degree that you understand the impact of it.-If we understand what is possible, we are more likely to make positive change and have trust in the process32:00-38:00:- Rebecca discusses the process of researching Ulcerative Colitis, especially when she was first diagnosed. -Rebecca talks about how implementing plant foods changed how she felt and improved her symptoms. -Rebecca emphasizes how her family and support system, therapy and looking for ways to ground herself greatly improved her quality of life and improved her outcome as an Ulcerative Colitis patient. 38:00-41:00:- Ashley talks about what has helped her Ulcerative Colitis. She shares that her access to meds, a nutrition plan, connection with others and stability all have helped her tremendously.-Ashley still struggles sometimes with overdoing it, especially since she enjoys her work so much. She is aware that she surpasses her threshold at times.41:00-48:00:-Rebecca discusses how things have changed since her Ulcerative Colitis diagnosis. She has a better awareness of her self and what she is able to handle.-Rebecca and Ashley explore their social capacity and honoring when they need a break.48:00- 53:23: -We talk about how it's not easy to be vulnerable and share all that we do on the podcast, but it is so meaningful to hear that it resonates with people and that is why we keep going!
27- The IBD scaries
Jun 30 2023
27- The IBD scaries
Send us a Text Message.Ashley and Rebecca from The Crohn's & Colitis Dietitians talk about all things IBD-related. On this episode we talk about how we deal with overwhelming feelings and fears that come up with IBD symptoms. We also talk about a conference we were excited to attend, research and communicating needs. 0-16 minutes: -we talk about joint pain and the fear response with flare ups-we are excited for the DDW (Digestive Disease Week) conference and would love to see more of a focus on nutrition at events like this.-we would love it if every GI doctor had a dietitian on staff!-the varying factors in research and how we hope to see more research in nutrition16-26 minutes:-The IBD scaries: symptoms that bring up fear and remind us of flares-how our emotions tie into our gut issues-what we feel when we have symptoms and how we feel a loss of control-how we try to take it step by step when experiencing a rollercoaster of emotions-the fear response can be hard to pause -Rebecca talks about how she doesn't make important decisions when feeling these strong emotions30-44 minutes:-Rebecca talks about when she was very overwhelmed and in a flare and first reached out to Ashley as a patient to work with her-giving ourselves space to process and go through what we need to go through-Rebecca talks about  a recent shopping experience trying on jeans when Ursula (her IBD) reared it's ugly head and started causing her pain. -why communicating needs is so important-Ashley talks about the experience as a HSP- highly sensitive person. She has difficulty with tags in clothes, certain sounds and focusing in noisy environments.
25- The difference between feeling & belief
Jun 15 2023
25- The difference between feeling & belief
Send us a Text Message.Ashley and Rebecca from The Crohn's & Colitis Dietitians talk about all things IBD-related. We cover many topics today, such as our early days as a dietitian, asking good questions and how sharing our vulnerabilities can help others.Rebecca shares one of Ashley's beliefs that has inspired her: What if it works out in the end? We dive into an interesting conversation about belief vs. feeling and what that means to us. We talk about gratitude, nostalgia and choice.We bring up how processing the emotions that we feel when dealing with a chronic illness can empower us to make different choices and can influence our beliefs. Also sharing our hardships with others that we trust can help us lead a more authentic life.0-5 minutes: -Can we stop calling IBD irritable bowel disease? Also, what is a dietitian really?-How Ashley learned about what a dietitian does5-10 minutes:-Rebecca's journey to become a dietitian-Rebecca's random deep dive into the urea cycle15-20 minutes:-The importance of asking questions -How talking about IBD can be for those not familiar with it20-30 minutes:-How people respond to discussing IBD-There is room for opportunity for learning in being open to questions-Teaching Rebecca about the "more you F around" meme-What is the difference between feeling & believing-Our missing podcast-What Ashley taught Rebecca: What if it all works out in the end?-What it means to validate our feelings but also choosing to believe optimistically30-40 minutes:-The difference between feelings & belief:  Belief involves choice and how you interpret your own feelings and thoughts-A feeling can change, belief is the meaning you attach to the feeling which can impact your actions and choices-Changes in our company, and our sad feelings or really gratitude for it all-Greif and gratitude are intertwined40-50 minutes:-Accepting all feelings as ok helps us move through them -Knowing you aren't alone in your IBD can help-How rebecca felt more freedom when she started working with us-Connection with others with IBD helps us feel seenLinks:The more you F💩 around the more you find out: https://www.tiktok.com/@rogerskaer/video/7147844411915783470
24- The IBD Knowledge Gap & Raising Awareness
Jun 7 2023
24- The IBD Knowledge Gap & Raising Awareness
Send us a Text Message.Ashley and Rebecca from The Crohn's & Colitis Dietitians talk about all things IBD-related. **We do have a 3 part webinar series starting this Friday, June 9th- we would love for you to join us! Here is the link to join this informative series on What to Eat with IBD, including group coaching!**Rebecca talks about a recent experience of gathering with friends that she hasn't seen in a long time and how she feels like a completely different version of herself now. She worked through the feelings of missing the person she was before her diagnosis and realizing how different her lifestyle is now. With chronic illness we can sometimes feel like a part of our identity is lost but we also think there is opportunity there to embrace the new changes. We notice that social events and food can trigger these uncomfortable feelings because food can represent so much: memories, socialization and fun. Ashley talks about some recent networking events where it felt a little challenging as an introvert, but she ultimately wants to bring awareness to IBD and educate others. Sometimes talking to people who aren't aware of what IBD is can feel uncomfortable and there is a lot of room for improvement in education and understanding this disease. We always recommend the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation (CCFA) website if you would like to share information about IBD with someone who wants to learn more. We find that there is a big knowledge gap about IBD with friends, family and the general community. We have noticed discomfort in others and sometimes their comments can feel dismissive and like they are minimizing our experience with IBD. Please remember you aren't alone and we will always advocate for all of the IBD warriors out there!