Coffee + IBD
I’m a mother with Louisiana Creole roots, coffee is my life line! I had my first cup as a little girl with my grandma. It was more Mocha Mix and sugar than it was coffee. And the cup was a miniature china tea cup, so no more than like 3 sips. But it was just enough to ignite my coffee life. Balancing my love of hot java and my IBD disease has not been easy. The caffeine, acid & dehydrating element of coffee made it will sometimes make it hard to enjoy. Because in the back of my mind, there is the lingering thought and concern of, “what will the rest of my day be like, after I drink this?”.
It’s taken me years to
A. Find the perfect brew for my belly at home
B. Find the perfect brew for my belly out and about
C. Find the perfect, brew to creamer ratio
D. What is my coffee limit
After several attempts at low acid brews, watered down brews and traveling debacles, I’ve come up with a pretty good list of coffees my system can handle. I’ve also found a little concoction that works most days, when I’m at an event where I can’t control the brew.
When I’m home, I can control the bean, the brewing process and everything else. So when I’m home, I start my day with an organic, low acid fully caffeinated coffee on my healthy days. If I’m struggling a bit, I’ll go with an organic, low acid half caf or a quarter caf coffee. I am partial to Mommee Coffee. Most of the other low acid coffee I had before trying them, had a bit of medicinal taste or an after taste. The taste of this coffee is very good. It was made in mind for moms who are pregnant, breastfeeding or living with gastro issues. Even still I make a lighter brew, using a little more water than the normal measurement. If I’m using my keurig, I don’t fill the reusable K-Cup all the way to the normal line. I only do half of the cup with grinds for a full cup of coffee.
If I’m feeling adventurous and a little healthier than normal, I will go with some other brands of coffee. But I will stay with a light roast or a breakfast blend. The lighter roasts have less acid than the darker blends, but they are milder in taste. They are also usually more caffeinated. Starbucks blonde roast & Groundwork Coffee Angel City are my go to light roast coffees. They are tasty, light and lovely. I still make the brew a little lighter on the coffee side and a little heavier on the water side. When it comes to medium roasts I will go with the Original Dunkin’ Donuts or the Stumpton House Blend. I know, I know…people either love or hate Dunkin’ Donuts coffee. Some people will be offended that I put it in the same sentence as Stumpton Coffee. Oh well! I love them both! And they are not only my favorite home brews, but they are some of my go to while traveling!
Coffee while traveling is essential! But it’s so hard to find the ones that will allow me to fly without visiting the bathroom throughout the entire flight. I usually stick to Starbucks blonde roast & blond espresso. If I’m not feeling great, I’ll ask for a blonde brew with 3/4’s the cup full of coffee, the rest filled with hot water. They ask if I want an Americano, and no. I’m not asking for Espresso with water. I want a brewed coffee, watered down basically! Even though I add the water, it still keeps the flavor with just a 1/4 of the cup full of water. If I can’t find half & half or non dairy creamer, I will just do a cup with some sweetener. With the added water, it tames the acid and caffeine down. If there is no Starbucks, I’ll go with Dunkin’ Donuts and do the same coffee to water ratio. Dunkin’ Donuts does have a light brew. But they often do not have it available in airports or trains stations. And it is a hazelnut flavor. And although I occasionally like a little flavored creamer, I’m not a big flavored coffee fan. It’s hard for me to find a Peet’s Coffee or a Coffee Bean in the airport that will have a light brew ready or be willing to make a light brew cup.
It gets a little trickier when I’m unable to control the type of coffee I have. If I’m out at a restaurant or an event, I will often ask for a more watered down version of the breakfast or dessert coffee. Especially if I have plans later that night. I just don’t want to take the risk of having to to a restroom all night. I still have my fix and can continue to be social with my people.
Although I am a major fan of coffee, I’m aware of how unhealthy it can be for someone living with a gastro disease. I know it can be dehydrating. Because of this I try to follow my coffee consumption up with an ORS (Oral Rehydration Supplement) in addition to water. Especially around traveling, meds drop off period or when I am very dependent on coffee because of exhaustion.
It’s important to remember that this is my coffee regimen and list. These are the methods and brands that work for me. Because IBD is such a personalized disease, some of these brands or methods may or may not work for you. I would say, that if you love coffee, don’t be afraid to drink it. There are ways to be able to drink it without consequences for most. You may just have to taste and see!
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