Saturday, November 5, 2011

What's in Semi Colon's Fridge?

So... I have a SERIOUS salt problem. I can't stop eating it. I salt salted chips. I love the bottom of the pretzel bag. When cravings hit, I am unable to concentrate on ANYTHING until I go to the store, buy whatever I'm craving, and dig in. I've actually left church and school to go buy pickles. Here is my salty food cravings list:
  • Claussen Dill Pickle Spears (and sometimes, when it's really bad, I even drink the juice!)
  • Green Olives
  • Salt & Vinegar Chips (I don't even like potato chips, but I LOVE the sour/salty combo, sooo, this is way gross, but sometimes I just lick the chips. Don't worry, I don't put them back in the bag once they have been licked)
  • Lemon or lime slices (with salt)
  • Chicken noodle soup - the kind from powder, it's so salty and delicious!
  • Cheetos (the crinkly ones, not the puffs - the uneven surface collects more orange-artificially-flavored-cheese-powdery-salty goodness)
So here was the scene upon opening my fridge awhile back:

Here's a close up:

There are a couple medical explanations for these insane cravings. The first, and most obvious, is that I'm missing the last 7.5 feet of my digestive system. The colon, specifically, is responsible for reabsorbing water and electrolytes. So I can get dehydrated and deficient on salt pretty easily!

Another reason is my adrenal insufficiency. The adrenal glands are responsible for maintaining your fluid and electrolyte balance. I take a pill that's kinda the opposite of a water pill - it makes you retain fluids and salts. But the more salt you eat, the better the pill works. Some patients are actually instructed to eat at least a teaspoon of salt daily!

Several weeks ago, I talked with Wanda, a lady with a permanent ileostomy who has Crohn's. She is missing so much intestine that she has Short Bowel Syndrome. She started describing this "weird salt habit" she has. She has to buy pickles in bulk at Sam's so she can eat the pickles and drink the juice! She takes jars of them to work so that they are always with her when the cravings strike. And she eats lemons with salt. And she craves "sour chips."

Hehe...there's more than one of us out there! ;)

To my UC/J pouch friends, anyone else have this issue? What's your favorite salty fix?

Hannah ;)


  1. Hi Hannah, I know what you mean I crave salt all the time, I add salt to everything. I LOVE crisps and after eating the bag get any left over salt with my finger! desperado!! hehe. Pretzels are awesome! I have to put lucozade and crisps on my bedside table for my midnight snack!! Im happy though I now have the perfect excuse for a terrible habit :)

  2. Hey Laura, so glad I could provide justification for your habit!! Hehe! Those of us with IBD just LOVE salt! When you're flaring, you can get so dehydrated, and after surgery, you are losing a lot of salt and water, too! Sports drink cravings deserve a complete post of their own! I wonder which is better (i.e. saltier!): gatorade, powerade, or lucozade? We don't have lucozade in the US.
    Hannah ;)