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Anyone here without a colon?
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Jacob D
(JacobD) - F

Locale: North Bay
Anyone here without a colon? on 07/29/2010 00:18:09 MDT Print View

I realize this may be a foreign concept to some people, but there are various reasons why a person may have had their colon removed. Someone close to me has gone through this due to Ulcerative Colitis (similar to Crohn's disease). I also realize that not everyone may want to share this on a forum, but if you or someone you know is without colon and you'd like to share any experience or suggestions related to food and drink while backpacking please feel free to contribute.

For example, limiting or eliminating intake of nuts, seeds, and cellulose and increasing fluid intake is usually critical.

I don't have any suggestions for foods or supplements that would be of the most benefit for the colon-less but that's part of the reason I wanted to start the thread. Any and all suggestions are welcome, questions too. And, no, colon removal is not a UL trend :)

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
sans colon on 07/29/2010 12:23:07 MDT Print View

My friend and neighbour is without her colon. I will ask her next time I see her if you like. She's also a nurse and she might have some insight. I do know that she avoids things like flax.

Adam Kramer
(rbeard) - F

Locale: ATL, Southern Appalachia
Re: sans colon on 07/29/2010 12:31:34 MDT Print View

my father is a gastrointerologist so i is his opionion:

"eat what doesn't cause symptons; usually trial and error by the patient. some think high fiber is better, but some of my patients find it causes more problems. there is no exact science to this stuff"

bottom line, i wouldnt try anything NEW on the trail or while out in the wilderness.

Edited by rbeard on 07/29/2010 13:22:37 MDT.

MIchael MacCormac
no colon on 07/31/2010 08:10:31 MDT Print View

not in that situation, but i would 2nd having a trial at home & bring extra fluids and electrolytes (esp potassium) as the major function of the colon is to conserve fluids. Dehydration is a much more serious issue for such people and most be carefully guarded against. Much will depend on the actual procedure the patient had- was the terminal ileum also taken out? ostomy or reconnected with some sort of pouch etc. Would not think about drinking untreated water.

Jacob D
(JacobD) - F

Locale: North Bay
Anyone here without a colon? on 07/31/2010 12:49:59 MDT Print View

Sorry for any confusion, I wasn't asking for advice per-se but rather personal (or 2nd hand) experiences.

I'm going to guess that anyone without a colon already knows not to experiment with new foods when outside their comfort zone and I wasn't suggesting that of course. I'm just curious if any backpackers here are without colon and if so what foods you/they like to have on the trail. From the looks of it there isn't a large colon-less population here at BPL :)

Donna C
(leadfoot) - M

Locale: Middle Virginia
Re: Anyone here without a colon? on 08/02/2010 05:59:27 MDT Print View

Part of my large colon is gone. Along with more stuff, so I consider myself technically UL from the inside out. I eat pretty much everything except I watch my fiber intake. Too much and I am in the bushes all day. Too little and I am pretty much doubled over in pain from where I was put back together. But overall, I do this at home as well, so not a problem hiking. I drink lots of water and Nuun in a seperate bottle. I do have my small intestine, so this is probably my saving grace. I like the lighter waist belts because there's no pressure on my gut as much as a thick hipbelt, especially when I bend over.

Jacob D
(JacobD) - F

Locale: North Bay
Re: Anyone here without a colon? on 08/02/2010 12:57:58 MDT Print View

Hi Donna. Thanks for stopping by to comment. I believe that the "colon" is essentially everything after the small intestine... so if part (or all) of your large intestine is out, then I'd say you can count yourself among the colon-less :)

That's an interesting comment about the hipbelt; I never considered that.

Donna C
(leadfoot) - M

Locale: Middle Virginia
Re: Re: Anyone here without a colon? on 08/02/2010 13:04:37 MDT Print View

Yes, I can feel where they stapled me together (or whatever they did) if I have a thick hipbelt on and bend or any kind of steep climbing like on rocks. But it beats the alternative. : )

As for nuts, I just polished off a can of lime and salt flavored almonds this weekend. Addicting!

I also dehydrate my foods now so I know what I'm eating. If I have to resupply somewhere from a store, I get something I'm familiar with. No new foods.

Edited by leadfoot on 08/02/2010 13:07:00 MDT.

eric rose
(ericrose) - F
UC and Backpacking on 08/02/2010 13:21:31 MDT Print View

I have Ulcerative Colitis. It Sucks. With that said I'm fortunate to still have my colon but that may change in the future. As a result i have turned away from many traditional backpacking foods.No more nuts, no more Clif-style bars, no beans,etc,etc,etc....In their place I've made the non lightweight decision to carry almost all fresh foods and do most if not all of my cooking in a Banks Fry Bake Pan. I carry more but I eat a whole lot better. Green curry chicken with rice cooked all in the same pan is my new favorite. Unfortunately I'm also taking a lot less 7-8 day trips and doing more overnighters and 2-3 day luxury trips to prevent the possibility of any serious flare ups on the trail.

Jacob D
(JacobD) - F

Locale: North Bay
Ulcerative Colitis on 08/02/2010 17:55:50 MDT Print View

Hi Eric. Thanks for posting. Sorry to hear that you have UC. Until someone close to me was diagnosed with UC I had never heard of it but since then I have met a lot of people who either have UC (or Crohn's Disease) or someone close to them does.

I know post-surgery her quality of life has been much better. On the upside, at least you have a good excuse to carry "real food" with you when hiking. I have a weakness for green curry of chicken too and have been known to freeze it along with pre-cooked white rice for dinner on the first night. It's about the equivalent of having a 5-star meal in the back country! (I guess cooking from scratch would make it a 6-star dinner)

Edited by JacobD on 08/02/2010 17:57:46 MDT.

Chris Jones
(NightMarcher) - F
Lime and salt-flavored almonds on 08/02/2010 22:44:28 MDT Print View

Hi Donna,

Sorry to go off-topic, but when I saw your post I couldn't resist... I would be interested in hearing more about these lime and salt-flavored almonds you mentioned. Is this a recipe of yours, or something available commercially? To be honest, I've never heard of such a thing, but sounds deelish...

Donna C
(leadfoot) - M

Locale: Middle Virginia
Re: Lime and salt-flavored almonds on 08/03/2010 03:51:27 MDT Print View

Hi Chris....I hate to do this and cause an addiciton but, it is from Blue Diamond and they have all sorts of nut combinations. I had the Lime and Chili, and then moved into the salt and vinegar.

BTW, on topic...I can't eat anything with black pepper. I get extreme cramping and then the runs. I don't order chai tea unless I know the brand. Some have pepper in it.

Jacob D
(JacobD) - F

Locale: North Bay
Colon-Free and Loving It on 11/14/2011 11:37:20 MST Print View

My wife recently finished up the article she put together about backpacking without a colon. The majority of the article is written from her experience. In researching information on athletic performance for those who've had their colon (or other parts of their bowels) removed she discovered that there is very little data on the subject. Essentially, it has not been studied in much depth at all.

She consulted with both her surgeon and GI doctor, however they didn't have much additional information to offer.

It's interesting to us, because the more people we openly talk about it with, the more we find who have Crohn's or UC, or know someone who does, and many of them are (well... mostly "were" past tense) active as runners or involved in sports and outdoor activities. The basic answer from the Doc's is: you should be able to go back to doing what you were doing when you were healthy, but you'll need to modify your habits to suite your needs. Not much information available on the body's ability to take up water and electrolytes sans-colon. That's essentially the gist of the article, along with some tips on how to avoid mistakes that she/we have made in trying to do too much, too soon. If anyone is interested it's posted on our blog.

edit: oops... I guess a link would help...

Edited by JacobD on 11/14/2011 11:38:38 MST.

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
Diamond Almonds - mmmmmmmmm! on 11/14/2011 11:56:23 MST Print View

Those things are wonderfully addictive! Salt and vinegar, lime and chili, and have you tried the Wasabi? Oh my!!!

Keith Bassett

Locale: Pacific NW
Wasabi nuts on 11/18/2011 14:49:28 MST Print View

I'm watching this thread closely, as my brother in law has Crohn's and this will probably be in his future. I know that the comment about pepper causing cramps rings true.

Your wife's article is getting forwarded as I write this. Many thanks to her for writing it.

However, on the other topic... The Wasabi nuts are great. They are spicy, but not as hot as some wasabi peas or the wasabi green tea peanuts from Costco.

Costco carries a huge size of these blue diamond almonds in wasabi around the holidays. So for a decent price you can score a big can. A win if you like them, but a bummer if you try them and don't like them.

The salt and vinegar ones are rocking too. :)