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Crohn's Disease Forum » Diet, Fitness, and Supplements » What "diets" have you been suggested or tried that have worked or claimed to work for your Crohns


11-23-2012, 05:15 PM   #1
SarahChoueiry
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What "diets" have you been suggested or tried that have worked or claimed to work for your Crohns

Hey!
So I am working on a new section for my web site: My Journey With Crohns and wanted to look at all these "diets" suggested to me over the years that have been claimed to help others and thus, must help me. Listen, I know that some ways of eating work for some but for others, can lead them into the ER room. I would love to hear what you have tried or been suggested, and how you reacted to these diets.

Here are the ones that have been suggested to me and next to them I will say if I have tried it or not:

1) VEGAN DIET - i tried it and it helped for a bit but did not last long for me

2)FOOD COMBINING - Tried it but too hard to stick to it to see if it would do anything

3) DAIRY FREE - tried it and definitely helps reduce discomfort and flares. Also pretty sure I am lactose intolerant

4) GLUTEN FREE - just trying this now after my most recent flare but i heard it takes 8 weeks to see a difference and if you mess up once, you have to start from the beginning. So i have definitely messed up and not stuck to it for the full 8 weeks to see if there is a difference. Also, there is gluten/wheat is so many things, hidden really. I will try it eventually but it has to be a time I know I can dedicate cooking for myself and doing the research more on where there is hidden gluten and wheat
11-23-2012, 06:11 PM   #2
Gianni
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Vegan Diet- was never suggested it but after research came to the conclusion that it could help me. It did tremendously. I think many people fail with vegan because they just avoid the animal products while not necessarily including the beneficial fruits and vegetables, after all a vegan could be someone who just eats potato chips and soda. I took veganism a step further and made myself a 70% raw vegan and made it my goal to only incorporate organic and nutrient dense foods. Many of the diets for crohn's are built around avoiding certain things, I'm trying to build a diet around incorporating certain things.

Grain/wheat free- This was extremely difficult and I still do struggle with this. I have given up dairy and meat but this has been by far the hardest thing to cut out. However I tend to see the greatest difference when I cut out the grains, especially wheat. Bloating is almost non existant when I avoid wheat and other grains. My 2013 resolution will be to completely cut out all grains. yikes...

Low Residue diet: This basically only worked to suppress my pain but did not help with halting disease progression in any way. This is more of a avoid certain food mentality without including the very important aspects of incorporating beneficial foods.

Paleo Diet- I tried it for a brief amount of time but it is extremely difficult to find truly healthy and lean meats in this country (USA). I decided I could get all the amino acids, protein and other meat nutrients from supplementing vegan and eating the right way on a vegan diet. I know that Paleo can be extremely beneficial and it does make sense. I will try Paleo again when I figure out the meat situation better.

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11-23-2012, 06:25 PM   #3
wildbill_52280
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i started out reading breaking the vicious cycle known as the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, then by making my own observations finding slowly tweaking my diet based on the detailed notes i took, and here are my personal discoveries that may apply to you.

The SCD diet is based on consuming homemade yogurt, and avoiding disaccharides and certain starches. for the most part, all this info can be used to improve symptoms, the problem i found was that i was very sensitive to anything with sucrose in it, and even lactose. almost all fruits have sucrose in it to varying degrees, so what was claimed by scd to be safe, what still affecting me. even still without drugs in the begining i dont think i ever had diarhea more then 3x a day, i averaged one bm per day and still do.

making teh yogurt at home for me was difficult, and i actually made a bad batch the introduced more new bad bacteria into my gut, making symptoms much much worse, at that point i quit making it at home it was too dangerous. but even when it did turn out, of course it made me feel great, but i could never ferment all teh lactose out of the yogurt, so it would still contribute to mucus and diarhea, but ti was still superior then drinking milk which defintly had more lactose that triggered more diarhea.

i found that pure wheat with no additives like gluten or yeast was well tolerated, and so was instant oats, as well as well cooked refried beans. this now makes up the bulk of my carb and calorie intake.

i also found that rice, corn and barley are not well tolerated and generally leads to constipated symptoms. but rice makes me feel absolutly wonderful and energetic, even though hard to digest.

meat also leads to symptoms of constipation.

im still learning new things everyday, but this is just some info for you to consider. everyone is slightly different tho.

Last edited by wildbill_52280; 11-24-2012 at 12:48 AM.
11-23-2012, 06:25 PM   #4
SarahChoueiry
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I as going to ask with the move toward more raw then vegan. Have you noticed, bc you mentioned with the low residue diet you did a little, that being more raw hurts your stomach?
I also know, though, that once you go into remission you can basically eat more freely when it comes to fruits and veggies but also to not go crazy.
So for you, Im curious, how does that affect you. Because with vegan i could have assumed you cooked a lot of your veggies and maybe avoided certain fruits but with Raw, you do not cook the fruits/veggies over a certain temperature. Correct?
I agree though with you, food is very very healing and a big part of how we can get to remission when in a flare
11-23-2012, 06:40 PM   #5
Gianni
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Sure while I was flaring I did not go right ahead and eat some broccoli or raw carrots but I definitely tried to include fiber. I believe fiber is extremely important with this disease even though it can cause pain. Obviously if you are stricturing or are at risk for an obstruction then chowing down on broccoli isn't wise but I believe adding leafy greens, for example, will include plenty of fiber without adding that real threat of an obstruction like say broccoli might cause. Fiber cleanses the bowels and removes the toxins and fermenting waste that can create intestinal permeability and other problems associated with an unhealthy gut.

I did not avoid fiber on the raw vegan diet but rather was cautious of how fibrous the things I ate were. I also only started the raw vegan diet when I felt like I had my flare under manageable control through medication. So to begin I ate things like leafy greens ALOT and avoided maybe raw broccoli. Juicing was also a major part of my diet. Juicing will retain the raw state of the vegetables/fruit while excluding the fiber... Juicers are the perfect machines for Crohnies! Juicing still is a major part of my diet and I couldn't imagine a day without a fresh juice

As soon as I had a follow up colonoscopy after dropping my medications and adopting my diet, I got the good news... remission! That is when I decided to include very fibrous vegetables along with my normal diet. I ate whatever fruit and vegetables and didn't and still don't worry about the fiber.

Yes, raw vegan is no cooking the vegetation although warming under I believe it's 130 degrees Fahrenheit will retain the important enzymes and still can be considered raw.

Gianni
11-24-2012, 10:32 PM   #6
SarahChoueiry
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Thank you WildBill for sharing and I will definitely look into that diet. i wish you luck with continuing to find things that work with you!

Gianni I love to juice too. I stayed on a raw farm in costa rice 2 years ago, when my stomach was in remission and we talked about how important it was to juice and i was able to pick all my goodies from their organic garden and juice every day. Unfortunately, because of a recent flare, i am on a more restricted, low fiber diet but look forward to juicing very soon again (since the fiber is taken out). I wish you so much luck and hope you stay in remission for a very long time!
11-25-2012, 04:28 AM   #7
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What is food combining? How does that work? Never heard of it... also try to follow a gluten free diet, didn't see much of a difference...just stay away from my triggers really :-)
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11-25-2012, 05:37 AM   #8
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When I was misdiagnosed with IBS I was advised to go wheat/gluten/dairy free by my GP. Made absolutely no difference!

I saw crazy quack nutritionists who claimed they would heal me by identifying various other food "allergies." They said to rotate foods to avoid developing new intolerances. Again, made no difference.
And they said to give up refined foods like sugar. This made me worse because I was eating more whole grains - too much fibre! And I lost weight when I was trying to gain it. It was a disaster. I also tried various supplements like glutamine and probiotics - waste of money!

The dietary changes that work for me, I discovered for myself through trial and error: avoid insoluble fibre, avoid large quantities, avoid rich food. Those are the only adjustments that improve my symptoms. Some vitamin supplements and other meds also give me trouble.
11-25-2012, 01:46 PM   #9
bangarang
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What is food combining?
Here's a food combining chart, it can be overwhelming at first.


11-25-2012, 03:14 PM   #10
kiny
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I also tried various supplements like glutamine and probiotics - waste of money!
Ok, so, I don't think they are "a waste of money", they might not work if you're ok on glutamine, but plenty of people are not.

Glutamine is an amino-acid that is the highest in your body. When people talk about proteins, which are amino-acid chains, the number one amino acid is Glutamine, your body uses it 24/7 non-stop.

If I asked you if you thought proteins are a waste of money would you still say yes, proteins consist of amino acids chains, glutamine is the most abundant one.

When you get into a car accident and have trauma, they give glutamine supplementation, without glutamine you do not heal, period, it's that essential to you. Without glutamine you die, without glutamine you would not exist, the body has tons of glutamine running through it. Without glutamine you would be in a constant catabolic state and literally you would waste away.

Yes, for someone who is ok on glutamine it's not needed, any in studies they show many people with crohn are ok on glutamine, but they have also shown that someone who has crohn and is sick is not ok on glutamine at all and needs supplementation.

Glutamine is also not expensive for what it is, there are a lot of things you can waste your money on, diet books, fitness videos, homeopathy, glutamine isn't one of them, it's used by emergency units all the time and most of the proteins you eat consist of glutamine.

Both thinking about that sentence you made and typing it out, that glutamine is a waste of money, is possible because of glutamine, glutamine is essential to life.

Last edited by kiny; 11-25-2012 at 03:50 PM.
11-25-2012, 04:04 PM   #11
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Ok, so, I don't think they are "a waste of money", they might not work if you're ok on glutamine, but plenty of people are not.

Glutamine is an amino-acid that is the highest in your body. When people talk about proteins, which are amino-acid chains, the number one amino acid is Glutamine, your body uses it 24/7 non-stop.

If I asked you if you thought proteins are a waste of money would you still say yes, proteins consist of amino acids chains, glutamine is the most abundant one.

When you get into a car accident and have trauma, they give glutamine supplementation, without glutamine you do not heal, period, it's that essential to you. Without glutamine you die, without glutamine you would not exist, the body has tons of glutamine running through it. Without glutamine you would be in a constant catabolic state and literally you would waste away.

Yes, for someone who is ok on glutamine it's not needed, any in studies they show many people with crohn are ok on glutamine, but they have also shown that someone who has crohn and is sick is not ok on glutamine at all and needs supplementation.

Glutamine is also not expensive for what it is, there are a lot of things you can waste your money on, diet books, fitness videos, homeopathy, glutamine isn't one of them, it's used by emergency units all the time and most of the proteins you eat consist of glutamine.

Both thinking about that sentence you made and typing it out, that glutamine is a waste of money, is possible because of glutamine, glutamine is essential to life.
Well, glutamine supplements bought in an attempt to reduce my symptoms were a waste of money for me, as they had no noticable effects for me at all. Supplements may well benefit other people, just as some may benefit from gluten free diets. I didn't. I was talking about my experiences only, sorry if I implied it applied to Crohn's patients/people in general.
11-25-2012, 05:16 PM   #12
kiny
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I understand.
11-26-2012, 03:26 PM   #13
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I've started a semi-vegetarian diet. The tricky part is that everyone gives great advice, but the diet is so personal. Mushrooms, some leafy greens and veggies will tear me up regardless of how I prepare them. The vegetarian diet (I eat seafood) helped me before. I was veg for 3 months and then fell off the wagon. I'm back on. There is a great book called Digestive Wellness that quizzes you on your ailments and aides you in defining the best methods to improve your digestive health. It is amazing at how many other problems are attributed to the digestive tract. Good luck with your journey. Mine has just began again, but fortunately my wife has been a vegetarian for 23 years. She makes it easy and has made some of my favorite meat dishes vegetarian (like meatloaf and South Carolina hash.)
11-28-2012, 09:41 PM   #14
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I've just been eating better generally. I've been cooking my own food from scratch much more than I used to, cooking loads in my free time and freezing it for another time is a time saver done right. I'm eating plainer cereals, so instead of Frosted Shreddies and Curiously Cinnamon Squares I'm eating Belvita, Cornflakes and Weetabix with a banana, an apple and a glass or two of water, and I'm eating much lighter lunches than I used to as well. I sneak the odd plain burger at McDonald's, but here in England they actually use lean beef in their patties and thanks to EU law aren't actually allowed to use any of that 'pink slime' stuff, so I let myself off in moderation.

Because I'm cooking my own food most of the time, I can eat pretty much whatever I want because I can control what I put into it. With meats, esp bacon, I strip as much of the fat off as I can, and I can still eat pasta bakes and spaghetti bolognaise because gluten free pastas don't seem to affect me. Oddly enough, I can safely eat homemade pasta dumplings -- as in, real gluteny pasta rolled out by yours truly. Maybe it's something in the drying process? Who the heck knows.

All I know for sure is that diet matters. I have no idea why doctors are so sceptical. I know I was about the extent to which it mattered, but not anymore. I've been on my drugs for a couple of weeks now, and I'm clearly improving, but that Domino's mexicano pizza last night definitely set me back massively. All I know now is that my drugs weren't the only thing helping me. Diet matters.
11-30-2012, 05:08 PM   #15
SarahChoueiry
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Thank you all for your comments! i would love to be able to comment to each of you individually on your comments but I am not sure how to do that. Only know how to do it so that it just adds to the trend.
I have tried the food combining and it helped me actually, but i agree that it comes to watching what you eat and finding what works best for you. And when you do cook at home, you are in control of everything that goes into it and this way less likely something gets in there that irritates you. I love to cook all my meals
XOXO love to all your bellies
11-30-2012, 09:28 PM   #16
SarahChoueiry
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Here's a food combining chart, it can be overwhelming at first.


Thanks for posting this chart! very helpful diagram to get an understanding of what it is all about
12-02-2012, 09:49 AM   #17
nogutsnoglory
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I am on the paleo diet for a few months. Flaring pretty badly here so it's not working for me now. It was working great for a while not sure what I did differently.
12-03-2012, 03:05 AM   #18
SarahChoueiry
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I am on the paleo diet for a few months. Flaring pretty badly here so it's not working for me now. It was working great for a while not sure what I did differently.
ya that is the one shitty thing with crohns i feel, you could be doing everything right and for no reason sometimes, it acts up! at least i feel like that with me...
12-03-2012, 01:47 PM   #19
nogutsnoglory
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I heard that there is the herxheimer effect a few months into a diet change and it can happen a few times. I don't know what to believe anymore but I'm going to continue eating healthy non processes foods.
12-12-2012, 07:41 PM   #20
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SPECIFIC CARBOHYDRATE DIET - Was on it for 10 months and it worked very well. The only reason I stopped is due to the tediousness of making all my food from scratch.

Am currently researching digestive enzymes to try combined with a type of SCD diet and the SCD yogurt for its probiotic benefits. We'll see.
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