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03-15-2013, 11:28 AM   #1
Moeed
 
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What to eat with Crohns?!

Hi guys, I've had crohns for over 2 years now but have never really taken into consideration how what I eat affects my condition.

Only recently I have started to cut food out but I am finding it really, REALLY, hard to find alternatives or replacements.

I can't eat any from of dairy, Gluten and I am trying to cut out red meat, wheat, and other foods that are generally bad anyway (Sweets and carbonated drinks)

I was just wondering if anyone could share what they have found to be worthy replacements and perhaps some recipes that I could use them in.

I really appreciate any feedback that you give.

Thank you

Moeed X
03-15-2013, 11:43 AM   #2
Price
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Is it doctors orders to cut out dairy or gluten? Some people are fine with them

As far as cutting out meat goes, Quorn (think that's how it's spelled) was pretty alright last time I had that.

As for cutting out sweets and things, you're not likely to really find an alternative that's that close to it. I mean I know dark chocolate is pretty alright, but it doesn't really taste the same as milk chocolate. What I did was budget so I couldn't afford sweets and just spent the money I would have on them on other things, like books. I figured if I don't have money for them I can't get them

As for recipes, eh just pick anything that doesn't have any of them in. I know the SCD lot have a load of recipes but I've no idea if you have the time to prepare what they cook and things, I don't really know about what they make though. I just keep a load of rice cooked and add what I like on the day. That and anything with noodles (though if you have to cut gluten you'll have to use rice noodles). They usually take 10-15 minutes tops.

Instead of slowly (or instantly) cutting food out though, I'd suggest starting on very little and adding things in. It's easier to find out what you can tolerate and what you can't.
03-15-2013, 07:10 PM   #3
AlliRuns
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What you can and can't eat tends to vary from person to person. Some people can't tolerate gluten, whereas for others it's fine. Same goes for dairy and meat, etc etc etc.

If you can't tolerate something, don't eat it, but if there are foods that don't bother you but somebody told you they weren't for Crohn's, you don't necessarily have to cut it out.
03-15-2013, 07:37 PM   #4
hugh
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I think you are wise to cut out wheat, sugar, soda etc,
Is there a reason that you are avoiding red meat?
If it is not a problem then keep it
I'd always recommend PALEO, the only hard part is getting past the addictions, and lack of imagination (i still have the odd craving for almond croissants)

You only need to ask one question...
Is it real food?
Think from the perspective of what we've been eating for the last 2.5 million years and what has been done to food recently.
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03-15-2013, 08:07 PM   #5
Price
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We've been eating bread since a good few thousand years ago. And probably lots of other things not allowed on paleo for just as long. Please cool it with the "real food" business, it's just spreading information that may or may not apply to the original poster and not actually helping.

Also red meat increases the risk of bowel cancer (among other bad things, but I can't remember those off the top of my head), so that's probably wise to cut it out when we already run an increased risk of bowel cancer from IBD/IBS
03-15-2013, 10:46 PM   #6
hugh
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We've been eating bread since a good few thousand years ago. And probably lots of other things not allowed on paleo for just as long. Please cool it with the "real food" business, it's just spreading information that may or may not apply to the original poster and not actually helping.

Also red meat increases the risk of bowel cancer (among other bad things, but I can't remember those off the top of my head), so that's probably wise to cut it out when we already run an increased risk of bowel cancer from IBD/IBS
i think it's you getting a bit off topic,
Moeed is cutting out wheat, dairy, soda, and sugar, so good on him.
These things are not beneficial.
As he has lumped red meat in with those other products then i thought it was worth exploring.
Unlike soda, sugar, wheat etc, we have a long (prehistoric , even) history with red meat, and it has wrongly been put in the 'bad' category.
If Moeed has problems digesting red meat that is another story and it might be worth experimenting with other red meats, or with grain feed meats .

I struggle to see how you can take issue with that.

As far as 'real food', you're right,
- Moeed should eat all the processed shit he can find, I'm sure he will improve.
(remember the original poster? -"What to eat with Crohns?!")

And that risk of bowel cancer, what bullshit...


A lot of SCD recipies are full of almond meal.
Almond meal breads are pretty awful (well,all the ones i've had,)
but almond meal makes good gravy, and almond meal cakes are pretty good
Almond meal pastry also works

But if i'm cooking for myself a piece of meat and a salad is too easy. (and paleo)
03-16-2013, 02:27 AM   #7
rollinstone
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I think the more paleo and SCD you can follow the better off you will be but that being said I'm not expert and that's just my opinion, though there are plenty of evidence showing that paleo/SCD diets can positively affect crohn's disease.

Hugh - what is your current disease status if you don't mind me asking?
03-16-2013, 08:38 AM   #8
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A few years back I went through a period of trying eliminating different foods. I didn't gain any benefit from doing so, but a lot of people have found that they can identify foods which cause them problems and feel better after cutting them out. I can tell you the sort of foods I substituted in when I was trying different diets.

When I tried eliminating lactose, I switched to having soya puddings instead of milk based ones, and used soya milk and rice milk. When I tried cutting out gluten, I found there were ranges of gluten free bread, cakes, pasta etc. available in supermarkets, though these were quite expensive. Rice, corn and potatoes made up the main carbodhydrate sources I had while gluten free.

I also (on the recommendations of a nutritionist I was seeing at the time) tried cutting out processed and refined foods and refined sugar. I ended up eating mostly rice, potatoes, fruit and veg, meat and fish. I found this horribly restrictive though. I realised how much cooking and eating plays a role in social and family life. I lost a lot of weight which I really didn't need to lose. Since my symptoms actually got worse because of this diet rather than better, I gave it up after several months when it clearly wasn't working.

I probably would have felt differently if it had actually worked, but I think unless you have a clear improvement it's not the healthiest thing to try to cut out too many foods or types of food. The reason it's hard to find alternatives is because there really aren't that many things left if you cut out every food that someone claims is bad. I think it's better to only cut out foods which cause problems for you personally. It can be hard to identify them though, especially if your symptoms vary a lot any way. If you cut out too many foods at once, it will be hard to know which was the problem if you do find that your symptoms have improved.

The type of food I have most problems with is insoluble fibre. I still eat some, but only in small amounts. It's quite easy to find substitutions as usually there is a "white" version available - e.g. I eat white bread rather than brown bread, white rice rather than brown rice. I eat low fibre breakfast cereals like cornflakes, rice krispies, etc. rather than things like bran or museli. I avoid nuts and seeds and high fibre fruits and veg, except in very small quantities. I get my fruit and veg from juices, soups, tinned fruit, root vegetables, avocados, bananas - these are all easier to digest.

I realise refined foods probably aren't the kind of thing you're looking for, but fibre is difficult to digest and a lot of people with Crohn's find their symptoms are better when they avoid too much of it. It's fairly easy to find out if it a problem for you as you can reduce it without having to restrict your diet too much. So perhaps you may want to keep it in mind as something to try if you find you still have symptoms after eliminating gluten, dairy, etc. (which do cause problems for a lot of people - I think I may even be an exception among those with Crohn's because these don't give me problems). You could probably also do a low-fibre diet without resorting to sugar and refined foods - though then it would again probably be hard to find alternatives as you'd be limited to fish, white meat, low fibre fruit and veg, etc.
03-16-2013, 10:00 AM   #9
happy
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Mooed,
Welcome to the forum.
I can't tolerate the foods that you have listed either. If you search for 'gluten And vegan' recipes, you will generally find recipes that you can tolerate. Watch out for increased fat and sugar in these types of recipes though.

These blogs have terrific recipes: http://glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.ca/ and http://www.godairyfree.org/

I have learned to use alternative grains such as amaranth, quinoa, and teff, and flours such as garbanzo bean and almond. I use unsweetened soy milk as my liquid milk, unsweetened soy or almond yogurt, small amounts of Daiya Cheese (http://www.daiyafoods.com) as a pizza topping, and small amounts of unsweetened coconut milk for cream soups and sauces.

If you have specific questions send me a message. People are too happy on this forum so I had to turn off my tagging feature.

Good luck.
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03-16-2013, 11:12 AM   #10
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Has anyone tried the Makers Diet?I am getting sick of being treated by chemicals.
03-16-2013, 11:17 AM   #11
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There's a lot of people with Crohns and other digestive disorders who have benefited significantly from the SCD/Paleo/Primal and/or GAPS diet.

But everyone's system is different and what works for one does not necessarily work for all.

I do believe that all the chemical and artificial additives that are now found in most of our food products are, at minimum, not very good for our systems, if not downright harmful.

My husband and I do not consume any preprocessed food products, and buy as natural, organic, grass fed, as possible, along with growing our own veggies, without chemical pesticides or fertilizers, etc. Although we don't follow any one specific diet, it's actually pretty close to all of the above, all of which stress cooking from scratch, using as many natural food products as possible.

We've been at this a long time, and our diet is neither restrictive or boring. We have everything down so pat, we don't spend that much time cooking or on prep. work either. There's a learning curve, but once you get past that, it's not all that difficult, time consuming or hard.

We don't eat the same things every day, but rather, create a virtual cornicopia of international cuisine to dine on. Indian curries and filafill, Mexican tamales and salsas, Chinese stir fries, Japanese sushi and sushami, African Fufu, and all kinds of fermented probiotic foods, such as Korean Kim chi, polish sauerkraut, miso, hummus, kombucha, yogurt, and of course, my personal favorite, kefir from the Caucasian mountains of Russia.

We don't usually shop at "Whole Foods"' or health food stores, because they are expensive. Shopping at ethnic supermarkets is far cheaper, and provides a much wider variety of fruits, veggies, and various herbs and spices, not typically found at most supermarkets, and usually, far cheaper as well. We also buy directly from organic farmers, who are easy to find here in the great Midwest.

You can't really go by what works for anyone else though, because everyone's system is so different. About the only way to figure out what works best for you personally, is basically through trial and error.

My husband's chronic colitis and my previously severe allergies have been non issues, for quite some years now. Can't say for sure if that's a result of the changes we made in our diet and exercise habits, or if they just decided to go away on their own.
03-16-2013, 11:51 AM   #12
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Thank you for the advice.I really do think its the food preservitives.I have weaned off Entocort and i am going to try to wean off my 4 pentasa a day and try a natural approach and see where the chips fall.Again thank you!
03-16-2013, 01:32 PM   #13
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Hi guys, I've had crohns for over 2 years now but have never really taken into consideration how what I eat affects my condition.

Only recently I have started to cut food out but I am finding it really, REALLY, hard to find alternatives or replacements.

I can't eat any from of dairy, Gluten and I am trying to cut out red meat, wheat, and other foods that are generally bad anyway (Sweets and carbonated drinks)

I was just wondering if anyone could share what they have found to be worthy replacements and perhaps some recipes that I could use them in.

I really appreciate any feedback that you give.

Thank you

Moeed X
Hi Moeed,
Have you tried goat's milk if you have cut out normal cow's mild dairy. Goat's milk is easier to digest than cow's milk, less likely to be allergenic (unless you have a lactose intolerance) and the minerals are more absorbable apparently. I have just started drinking it myself - semi-skimmed variety and I think it tastes really nice. I also like the hard variety goat's cheese - not tried the soft goat's cheese yet though have got some in my fridge. I am not sure you should go completely dairy free unless you have been advised to do so by your GI doc or a nutritionist. You need a reliable source of calcium, and also need to ensure you are getting enough protein - to replace milk and milk products.

I am also planning on going gluten free soon and can understand the dilemma certainly, especially if you love bread. You could try making flat breads with some alternative flours or flour combinations such as millet flour, raggi (finger millet) or sorghum flour. I noticed these on a recent trip to the asian store and they are relatively inexpensive compared to something similar you might find in supermarkets. I have not experimented myself as of yet with them In gluten free breads and baked goods they often use xanthan gum or guar gum. But some people continue to have digestive issues with these, apparently. This is worth considering for those going gluten free - if they still have some issues with shop bought gluten free products - could it be one of the gums? There is an interesting article on the use of a combination of chia seeds and flaxseeds where the recipe requires more structure - in place of the gums - and you of course get ore omega 3 that way.

I hope to have a go experimenting with the millet flours and sorghum soon - when the weather turns warmer and I feel more motivated

If you cut out red meat just make sure you have a reliable source of vitamin V12 and also iron. Apparently mangoes are good for iron and have a reasonable amount of vitamin C too which helps iron absorption. They are also full of many other antioxidants. You could take a B12 supplement to guarantee B12.

Rice noodles are quite nice and you could use those in place of wheat noodles - I bought brown rice vermicelli noodles from the asian store for about 99p and serves 4 people.

Think about adding coconut and coconut oil to your diet. They help keep candida and some parasites at bay. Virgin coconut oil is better if not cooking with it. But refined oil has a higher smoke point so is better for cooking with if you wanted to use it for cooking.

Try adding millet and quinoa to your diet. Quinoa is a grain that is fairly high in protein. Millet is the only alkaline grain apparently. If you use the flakes you can make porridge with that....add a little natural vanilla if you are not keen on the taste and muscovado sugar (a source of iron) or manuka honey for a sweetener. Or you can make a mixture as I do with oats if you are still eating oats. You an find guaranteed gluten free oats in some supermarkets - not milled where wheat is milled. Top with some fruit and you have a very nutritious breakfast. I make mine with goat's milk.

You need to be aware that soya contains goitrogens if you are thinking of moving over to soya milk. It is thus not good for the thyroid gland, and also there are issues with regards to male hormones and soya apparently. Rice milk promotes protein energy malnutrition so I don't recommend it. Not sure how the nut milks fair with regards to protein energy malnutrition. You could try goat's milk or sheep's milk in place of cow's milk and see how you get on with one of those. Sheep's milk is much more difficult to source than goat's milk.

Ground sesame seeds are a good non-dairy source of calcium and also contain reasonable amounts of magnesium and zinc. Two tablespoons of tahini apparently contain the amount of calcium found in half a glass of milk. You can make a delicious tahini sauce by adding fresh lemon juice or lime juice to a small amount of tahini (the amount depending on how sour you like it). And add some water to make a smooth paste. Just add a small amount of water at a time. This sauce can be drizzled on salads or anything else you like. It's middle eastern - used on salads, meat and fish - and it is delicious and nutritious. I also love the Greek Halva (equivalent of the Middle Eastern Halawa) that is made from only tahini and honey. You can find that in most health shops.

Avoid quorn if you think you might have a yeast (candida) problem.

edit: add frozen blueberries to your shopping list or freeze some fresh ones. Freezing reduces oxalates - the latter which reduces calcium absorption. The good thing about frozen berries is that you can just take a few out as you need them so they keep longer and blueberries are actually quite delicious eaten frozen. Blueberries contain lots of anti-inflamatory antioxidants.


I hope I have helped
juljul xx

Last edited by juljul; 03-16-2013 at 02:18 PM.
03-16-2013, 04:10 PM   #14
jac521
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The only diet that works for me is low residue. I am also salicylate intolerant so most fruits
I cannot eat.

Personally I think diet is something that is individual.
03-16-2013, 05:17 PM   #15
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The only things I don't eat are brown bread wheat whole grain high fibre other than that what ever I want and touch wood I have an ileostomy so since then I haven't had a flare up )
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The thing that nearly killed me on the inside saved my life on the outside
03-17-2013, 05:27 AM   #16
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Another thing i notice when i take a break form running i have more problems i can't explain why so just wondering if over all health, diet,getting active is the cure.I have had no surgeries, when i diagnosed with crohn's i could have lost a few pounds and watched my diet i didn't think i was in that bad of shape,but i was eating junk food drinking pop didn't exercise. My friends wife was on bed rest during her prenancy she has colitis went from being fine to getting her colon takin out in 3 weeks she did not have any problems for about 2 years.Not being able to go for a walk or something and the taxing on her body from the prenancy?So after being diagnosed i know it sounds silly but people start to watch what they eat and try to get healthy thats why i think its the food that started our problems in the beginning.
03-17-2013, 05:38 AM   #17
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It wasn't food that started mine I was perfectly healthy no crohns or colitis in my family history. I got pregnant and had a perfect pregnancy and labour I've never been overly active or watched what I ate. On my sons 1st birthday I went to my fiancé (baby's dad) mother for a small party for him and something I ate gave me food poisioning which they prove somehow started the crohns
03-17-2013, 06:27 AM   #18
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xxx

Last edited by itsme2; 05-05-2013 at 02:10 PM.
03-17-2013, 06:38 AM   #19
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The food poisioning is something to think about.I also have no family history of crohn's but they tell me someone in my family along the way has had this disease.
03-17-2013, 06:53 AM   #20
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I've followed my family back to 1739 and nothing I'm the only one but because I show no symptoms of crohns they are now looking into the fact that the food poisioning triggered viral crohns and it was a one off
03-17-2013, 07:04 AM   #21
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I guess thats why they call it practicing medicine! LOL they are always learning as we are with our diets and lifestyles.
03-17-2013, 07:14 AM   #22
rollinstone
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I've followed my family back to 1739 and nothing I'm the only one but because I show no symptoms of crohns they are now looking into the fact that the food poisioning triggered viral crohns and it was a one off
Sorry, viral crohn's - do you mean they think you were miss-diagnosed? Hope so for your sake
03-17-2013, 07:26 AM   #23
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No apparently you can just have a one off and as most of it was cut away it could be it may never return. They said I couldn't have been misdiagnosed they sent my intestines off for biopsy and it came back UC in the large intestine and crohns in the small intestine. But my gasteo said you can have viral crohns caused from a very nasty infection or virus that wasn't treated quickly or food poisioning x
03-17-2013, 07:52 AM   #24
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juljul how does rice milk promote energy protein malnutrition? What does that mean since that seems to be the only milk that agrees with me.
Thanks in advance.
Did Paleo which seemed to work for almost 3 years but then flared and needed ileocolic surgery which recuperating from now and it's 8 weeks and I'm not doing great. Not eating crazy (eat very carefully...organic etc.) and still get bloating, diarrhea and cramps and just don't feel great.
Hi itsme2,
I felt compelled to write that mostly in case anyone would think of giving it to a child (not knowing it lacks protein basically), who derives a lot of their sustenance from milk still - in terms of protein, fat, and also minerals like calcium, and in terms of energy basically (whole milk is energy rich). It is not advisable to give rice milk to children. It does not have enough protein, and the negligible protein it has is of a poor quality. Not sure about the minerals as they have probably balanced it out somewhat in manufacturing. The fat content is probably balanced out too as rice does not really contain fat. Goat's milk can be given to children as a substitute for cow's millk, or sheep's millk certainly. There was a case of an infant dying from having been given only rice milk, by parents who must not have followed the advise of their doctor or health visitor presumably. Protein-energy malnutrition basically means an inadequate protein intake. Anyway, that out of the way.....

It could be fine for adults only...who derives a large amount of their protein from other sources as part of a balanced diet. Just don't think of it as a protein substitute, as milk or whey protein is often used. Rice milk is very low in protein basically - almost negligible. If it is all you can drink itsme2, and you have a good balanced diet (with regards to protein especially) in other ways then I don't see a problem with drinking it as an adult. I think I should have been more clear in what I wrote to Moeed. Thanks for the question

I am not a nutritionist I should add. I have studied nutrition as part of a bioscience degree. I would not say I am qualified to give out nutritional advice. But on here we are all here to offer our own advice as best as we can as we think....from life experience, as mother's, etc...

juljul xx
03-17-2013, 08:20 AM   #25
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About the viral crohn's thats the first i have heard of this. Since i was diagnosed in 06 i have been kinda ignoring and not paying attention to the disease and earlier this year i started to think i am getting sick of taking medicine its only been 7 years compared to others who have had it for much longer and those who have had surgeries its not so bad.I guess i am in my own way trying to figure it out for myself through the info on this forum.I am thankful for that.I am on a MISSION
03-17-2013, 10:07 AM   #26
Price
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Yeah essentially as adults you only need something like 50g protein to actually function, and you can get that in so many ways you usually don't even have to pay attention and you'll get it.

I'm lucky in the way that I can handle normal milk perfectly fine, so far as to drink 4 pints of it daily. Soy and rice are probably the two I'd look towards if you can't handle normal milk, mostly because I've never actually had goats milk and I know sheeps milk has a crazy amount of fat in it, but if that doesn't bother you I don't see why you shouldn't drink it.

Also you're likely to be taking medicines for the rest of your life, so you may as well get used to it now It is not possible to cure crohns through diet alone, or rather, not possible on the diets we currently have. Who knows what'll happen in a few decades though.

And Hugh, red meat does put you at increased risk for bowel cancer, this is well known and well documented. Can you please stick to actual science. I'm not going to bother with the rest of your post because it's a joke.
03-17-2013, 11:09 AM   #27
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Last edited by itsme2; 05-05-2013 at 02:13 PM.
03-17-2013, 11:39 AM   #28
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All i am saying is maybe there is something to foods that can help instead of meds.Maybe its to much of a money making business for pharmaceutical companies, doctors and researchers to want to find a cure and just keep you at bay cutting it out of you and pumping you full of meds.And i think thats a joke! $$$$
03-17-2013, 12:05 PM   #29
Price
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Nope there isn't unfortunately, or rather, nothing enough to actually cure crohns.

There's plenty of diets that some people report "improvement" on, but what would you expect if you cut out foods that irritated you But none that can 100% cure it. People say it put them into remission, but there's always pills behind that. And they'll still be on them afterwards.

Food alone is not enough to keep crohns at bay, and you'd only be doing yourself harm by not taking prescribed meds. You can curse evil pharma all you want, but the fact is there just isn't a cure yet, same as with many other illnesses.
03-17-2013, 02:07 PM   #30
KWalker
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Food alone is not enough to keep crohns at bay
Whether this is from experience or not, this is only as good as opinion, no matter who it's coming from. Sure diet may not cure crohn's, but neither does medicine. While I'm not saying diet will work for everyone, the same can be said for medicine.

With that being said, GMDURAMAX, I know exactly how you feel. I too don't want to be one of those people on medicine their whole lives so I made the personal commitment to change my lifestyle and cut out all those crappy foods and only eat truly healthy foods. I was diagnosed with crohns when I was two years old and I'm now turning 23 in a week and a half. I have been on almost every single medicine available and NOT ONE has ever given me a solid BM.

Back in 2010 I got tired of dealing with shitty doctor's and dealing with side effects of medicine that wasn't really working anyways so I decided to change my life and take control of not only my crohns, but how I was going to live. I didn't want to get regular blood tests because I was on dangerous medicine, I didn't want to spend more money on prescriptions/vitamins to counteract deficiencies caused from medicine, etc.

I decided to eat healthier, but it wasn't until January of 2013 that I started the SCD diet and I haven't looked back. The SCD diet and psyllium husks were the only two things to ever give me a solid BM. Not only that, my frequency has gone from 5-8 times a day down to 1 a day.

Foods I eat are all meat (including red meat), fruits, vegetables and nuts. I make a few baked goods that I am allowed on the diet but I don't need to do anything crazy because I can do more than get by on the food I can eat. Just think about it, I heard a quote once and it was "If it doesn't go bad, it's not good for you"

Diet doesn't work for everyone, and a lot of people simply don't have what it takes to change their lifestyle but I have and it is one of the best, most rewarding things I've ever done. I don't see medicine in my future anytime soon and I feel like an overall better person. Changing a diet certainly won't do anything negative for your health, but trying to justify eating like crap just because you're on some (potentially dangerous) medicine is like beating a dead horse.
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