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Crohn's Disease Forum » Your Story » Success story?


10-04-2012, 11:52 AM   #1
Uncle_Fester
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Success story?

Hi. I'm not sure if this is a success story but I'd like to share my experience and see if anyone else has had similar experience or can provide any advice? I had a second bowel resection for Crohn's in February 2012 (previous one July 2003) and since then, like one or two others on this forum, have followed David Klein's excellent book - Self Healing Crohn's & Colitis. It is a strict vegan diet but between April when I started it and September my ESR Crohn's markers have returned to that of the normal population according to my GP (Reading of 4).

The diet clearly works but there was one other factor which may be significant. I had noticed that the bowel could become very bloated if I ate Starch. From some research on the web I came across a Professor at Kings College here in the UK who is leading research into the disease. He suggests that it is Starch that causes Crohn's (along with all the typical 'bad-boys') so I have also been on a low / nil starch diet as well. Clearly being vegan with no Starch is very restrictive but the diet seems to have worked so far reflected by my ESR markers.

Recently I was lucky enough to speak with Professor Ebringer and he reviewed my case history and unequivocally stated that the reason for my having the disease was due to my consumption of starch. Furthermore, the reason for the now normal ESR markers was due to the removal of starch from my diet since April. Clearly I am elated by this however it has not been all plain sailing. I was admitted to hospital last weekend with a small blockage in the bowel. The consultant who treated me does not think it was caused by Crohn's but by eating too much fibre (apparently this can happen to anyone not just Crohn's sufferers). By reducing my fibre intake this week I have felt sooooo much better as it seems Crohn's sufferers cannot easily digest fibre.

I've lost a lot of weight on the diet and my GP is getting concerned. Prof Ebringer from Kings specifically mentioned that Crohn's sufferers are free to eat meat as this has no bearing on the disease even though Dr Klein takes a different view. I also got Candida quite a lot even following the low starch diet. Having chatted the whole situation through with my GP I have decided to begin eating white fish, chicken and turkey again to help put some weight on. I started this week and have had fish 4 nights so far. Guess what? The candida vanished almost straight away. It seems the tiny amount of starch I was having each evening was not being broken down but was instead feeding the candida microbes. This is exactly what Prof Ebringer describes. Having minimsed my intake of Fibre has removed some occassional tenderness in the bowel as well.

From my experience so far it seems that this disease can be helped tremendously by;
a) Avoiding all starch (which can help Candida)
b) Carefully monitoring fibre intake
c) Following a diet high in soft fruits, salads (not too fibrous) and steamed vegetables
d) Eating small amounts of meat

As I'm just beginning to reintroduce meat I wondered if anyone else had any similar experience. Has anyone added white fish and meat into their diet and encountered problems? Has anyone had similar success removing starch?

So far I've worked this through on my own with the support of my GP but I have had to do it by experimenting with my body. If anyone has had any similar experience then I'd be most grateful to hear them and share the knowledge I've gained so far.

Thanks for reading
Dave
10-04-2012, 02:02 PM   #2
Angrybird
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Hello Dave and welcome to the forum

I do not have much knowledge in the diet area but my understanding is that foods can not cause crohn's but rather folks have different trigger foods that will aggrivate it. I am pleased for the most part the tum has been settled for you but do be careful about getting the right calories and nutrients into the body - are you on any kind of vitamin supplementation at all? Also just to confirm you are currently not on any medication for your crohn's?

AB
xx

NB I have moved your most to the main story forum so more people will see it and be able to comment and say 'hello'.
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DX: Crohns July 2002
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Now:Tummy behaving itself and new mummy to baby Nicholas
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Previous Meds: Budesonide, Prednisone, Remicade, Pentesa,Hydroxychlorequine,Azathioprine (tried twice) and Methotrexate
10-04-2012, 03:49 PM   #3
Uncle_Fester
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Hiya - thanks for taking the time to respond. No - I'm not on any meds at all so the symptoms have been put into remission by diet alone. I'm taking a good quality Vitamin & Mineral supplement to ensure I'm getting everything I need and my latest blood tests confirm there are no deficiencies.

It's an interesting point you make re diet and whether it is the cause. The book by Dr David Klein suggests nutrition is the cause of Colitis and by following a vegan diet he has been in remission for over 30 years. As I wasn't born with Crohn's I cannot see what other 'cause' there could be other than diet and so improving my nutrition would sugest that it can be reversed. However, doctors and dieticians do not seem to agree do they? My GP is really supportive and is fascinated by the diet but many are not.
Take care
Dave
10-04-2012, 03:50 PM   #4
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Unc Fester, Its always great to hear that someone is able to find a successful method to maintain Crohns, the natural way. It looks like you have figured out something that works for your body. I havent eliminated starches form my diet but might consider it in the future. I do most of what you listed, like very little meats especially red meats. Beef especially caused my system to be sluggish & didnt have the same energy as when I didnt eat beef. If I eat a fast food hamburger I immediately get sick. I eat fish once a week & some chicken. Most of my diet consists of fruits & veggies. .
I did notice like you that too much fiber from some vegies caused some aches when I was having a flareup, so I limit the really rough fiberous stuff during that time. Also some fruits can cause gas etc., for me its plums, cherries. I also stay away from any beans, unless I cook it. I boil beans 2-3 times & throw away the water each time.
I really believe that diet along with other natural medicine, has kept me out of the hospital all these years.
As I've said before, the book "Prescription for Nutritional Healing" has helped a great deal in managing my Crohns.
Hope things continue to improve for you.
10-04-2012, 03:59 PM   #5
Uncle_Fester
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Hi Avery - thanks for your post. Starch seems to be the biggest cause of Crohns according to several web-sites I have found in the UK. It may help you to have a look at Consumer Health.org. There is also a book called 'Breaking the Vicious Cycle' which I'm tempted to buy.

Our diets sound quite similar otherwise. I avoid all red meats and found that Cherries and Plums irritate my bowel. However, I seem to be able to eat Banana, Melon, Peaches and Nectarines no problem. I do not eat legumes but am okay on Green Beans. Kidney beans are extremely bad.

I'll look out for the book you mention.

Thanks again.
Dave
10-04-2012, 04:24 PM   #6
Angrybird
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There certainly is conflicting opinions about whether diet helps or not. I can't see there being a problem as long as you are doing well and the docs still keep an eye on disease activity.
10-04-2012, 06:42 PM   #7
Avery
 
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Its not so much about conflicting opinions. The results from avoiding certain processed foods and eating healthier foods, speaks for itself. I can't say that I regret going that path, since it has worked for me since 1990. I had crohns as a small child & always had problems as a child, my parents had no clue I had crohns or for that matter what crohns was. My Dad used to juice veggies and fruits regularly for us as kids. He was basically a vegeterian. So it carried over to me as an adult. It really works, but its not easy only eating a veggie diet or staying away form processed foods. Its all around us so it takes major effort. I still have a hard time adhering, but I do it because I feel better most of the time.
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