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Crohn's Disease Forum » Diet, Fitness, and Supplements » Anybody think gluten free works?


 
03-30-2014, 07:33 PM   #1
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Anybody think gluten free works?

I have a few friends who no longer eat gluten because they want to or have celiacs etc. Does anyone with crohns religiously eat GF? I've heard good things about it and many crohnies say it helps with their symptoms. The more I go to the grocery store the more I see GF stuff and was considering paying the extra money if it'll work! What do you guys eat?
03-30-2014, 08:02 PM   #2
Essieluv
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Personally, and this is just me, gluten free did not help me at all. It was much more expensive, I lost more weight, and since it didn't seem to help I have discontinued it (yay carbs). However, I know that many Crohnies eat gluten free and it is beneficial for them. It really is so individual, I think you would have to try it and see.
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03-30-2014, 08:17 PM   #3
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The problem is if you stop eating it, and gluten isn't a trigger, your body will stop producing the enzyme it needs to process it. You will be reading the labels and eating food that has less garbage in it. As such you will be eating a better quality of food, and you will be and feel healthier. Then down the road, you'll eat gluten, and feel terrible possibly get sick because your body can no longer digest it. Then you'll blame gluten even though you created the intolerance.

With that said...

I've never had any issues with it, however my old freeloader had CD and gluten was one of her major triggers, within an hour of her eating it she would start bloating, as such we just made the house gluten free. it was just easier.

It is only hard and expensive if you try to replace things that are traditionally made using wheat with a GF product (bread, cookies etc). Decide you hate sandwiches and things get so much easier.

The main thing is label reading. If you've grown up eating gluten, most gluten free store baked good are terrible and over priced. If you just decide to eliminate store bought treats, it will be easier.

Switch your starches to rice and potatoes. Be careful of soy sauce, the standard brands have wheat (check the label of cheap store brands, often they're safe. Tamari is a GF brand, and tasty). GF pasta has gotten better over the years, it holds the shape and almost tastes the same. Polenta is easy to learn how to make and can be very versatile.

Eating out can be difficult, contamination can and will happen. Learn to like nachos if you head out to bars. 98% hard alcohol is GF (including whiskey), the occasionally you'll find a small batch bourbon that will put a portion of the mash into the barrels when ageing, but it's rare
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03-30-2014, 08:28 PM   #4
ronroush7
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I am gluten free. It is expensive. I think my symptoms could be worse if I wasn't gluten free. Fortunately, my wife doesn't have Crohn's Disease but she does have acid reflux. Tonight, she ate some bread with gluten and now she is bloated.

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03-30-2014, 08:47 PM   #5
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I have been GF for four months,since my resection.I feel good.It is second nature to me now.It takes some dedication...what associated with CD doesn't?

I rarely eat out so I don't have to deal with that aspect.Good luck.
03-30-2014, 11:56 PM   #6
hugh
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Going gluten free is great for many but there is a lot of "gluten free" food that is garbage.
Swapping Gluten for some other over-processed (and over-priced) shit may only lead to small benefits,
Replacing gluten grains with 'safe' starches (sweet potatoes, taro, probably white rice too) should provide better results.
Less sugar and seed oils may help too, - in other words paleo, "not very-low carb paleo", just real food paleo
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03-31-2014, 05:28 AM   #7
valleysangel92
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Hi there,

I am gluten free because I have coeliac, so for me it's not about crohns at all so I can't comment on its effectiveness for that.


If you do decide to try gluten free then I have some tips that you might find helpful

- At first, you could try going gluten free for just a short period and then slowly re-introduce gluten containing food and keep a symptom diary so that you can see if it's making much of a difference.

- If at any point you want to be tested for coeliac or gluten intolerance then you need to be eating gluten regularly, but if you feel noticeably better without it you might decide that you don't want to get tested.

- Yes gluten free is expensive, so if it's just a trial period then focus on finding alternatives rather than replacements.

-If you decide to do it long term, then you might want to try making more bread and cakes etc yourself instead of paying the excess in the store. Things like rice flour and corn flour can be used in place of traditional flour and there are gluten free flour mixes available which are aimed at specific tasks (e.g. Bread mixes ) .

- Eating out can be tricky at first, but you may find that you are ok with tiny amounts of gluten, so cross contamination may not be a problem for you. If you find cross contamination is an issue for you, then yes that can be harder, but it becomes second nature once you know what to ask. Awareness is rising and generally places are becoming much more accommodating.
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Last edited by valleysangel92; 03-31-2014 at 08:29 AM.
03-31-2014, 08:33 AM   #8
dave13
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Going gluten free is great for many but there is a lot of "gluten free" food that is garbage.
Swapping Gluten for some other over-processed (and over-priced) shit may only lead to small benefits,
Replacing gluten grains with 'safe' starches (sweet potatoes, taro, probably white rice too) should provide better results.
Less sugar and seed oils may help too, - in other words paleo, "not very-low carb paleo", just real food paleo
Great point...a lot of GF baked products you buy in the store use white rice flour and are way too sweet.It is just GF junk food.I'm just getting into baking GF.It takes some trial and error.There are loads of great resources out there.

If someone is interested in GF I would recommend going to a book store(if there are any left)and browsing.A local natural food store should have a good book section.I work in a natural food store and we encourage people to check out the books and ask questions.
03-31-2014, 11:04 AM   #9
VeganOstomy
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Removing gluten from your diet is only recommended if you have celiac disease or you've been tested sensitive to it.

For the remaining 98% of the population, removing gluten from the diet negatively impacts our gut microbes , and possibly our immune system: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19445821 and it removes a valuable source of protein form the diet.

As hugh suggests, use caution when replacing foods. Replacing gluten-containing bread which uses whole grain flour, yeast, water, salt with a processed gluten-free version containing preservatives, artificial colors, and a dozen other questionable ingredients, may do more harm than good.
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03-31-2014, 12:56 PM   #10
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We had reason to think wheat was bothering our daughter and making her Crohn's symptoms worse, so we were gluten free for a few months and used a lot of other flours, such as tapioca and rice. She still wasn't getting better, so we tried the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, and within days her symptoms were gone.

Because we had been gluten-free already, it probably made our transition to SCD easier!
04-01-2014, 06:38 AM   #11
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We had reason to think wheat was bothering our daughter and making her Crohn's symptoms worse, so we were gluten free for a few months and used a lot of other flours, such as tapioca and rice. She still wasn't getting better, so we tried the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, and within days her symptoms were gone.

Because we had been gluten-free already, it probably made our transition to SCD easier!
SCD sounds quite similar to what I do now.
04-01-2014, 06:45 AM   #12
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GF has helped me tremendously. I cheat every now and then, but too much too soon and I notice a difference. Whether it be Crohn's, acid/bile reflux, allergies or sensitivities, going GF helps me to stay eating the healthier foods ( low fat, lactose free, GF).
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04-02-2014, 11:07 PM   #13
hugh
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Gluten free is such a broad term. I'm gluten free (was paleo but now eat rice) but i wouldn't touch commercial gluten free products. If you replace gluten with the myriad of GF products available you may improve by avoiding gluten but the things you are replacing it with are not foods, they are, at best, 'food-like products'.
There is a huge difference between replacing bread with sweet potato or rice crackers (ingredients- sweet potato or rice) and replacing bread with gluten free bread substitute (check the label for ingredients), same for cookies and cakes.
I don't call it gluten free food, I call it gluten replacement food (an apple is gluten free)

Sorry VO, I'm not having a go at you, just had to point out that the study doesn't show anything like what has been claimed by numerous science journalists....
For the remaining 98% of the population, removing gluten from the diet negatively impacts our gut microbes , and possibly our immune system: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19445821 and it removes a valuable source of protein form the diet.
.
This study tells us only one thing,
Replacing gluten foods for gluten free 'equivalents' [1] leads to a negative change in gut bacteria.
Lets get it straight, people,,,,,,
This study demonstrates that replacing 'normal' gluten containing foods with highly processed GF foods has a 'negative'[2] effect on gut bacteria.
Since GF foods are so highly processed this result is not that uprising, these replacement foods contain significantly less fibre[3], that is, less food for bacteria.
This alone may explain the results....

"The main outcome of the study is that just switching to processed gluten-free bread and cakes is not as going to improve your gut flora."
It does not in any way, shape or form, make a case for gluten to be a part of your diet.
A diet without wheat but with 'safe' (paleo) polysaccharides would not cause a shift in bacteria that could be considered 'adverse'

vaguely relevant links...... the first one is a good start
a podcast.....
Rob Wolf talking to Dr. William Davis
http://robbwolf.com/2014/02/04/episo...william-davis/
Pioneering Researcher Alessio Fasano M.D. on Gluten, Autoimmunity & Leaky Gut
http://chriskresser.com/pioneering-r...nity-leaky-gut
and a video...... (only moments of relativity, mostly about celiac but alot about gluten sensitivity, 38.30 introduces the part that the microbiome plays in our health and wellbeing, and 44.30 talks about GF diets and gluten sensitivity)
Alessio Fasano - Spectrum of Gluten-Related Disorders: People Shall Not Live by Bread Alone
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VvfTV57iPUY





[1] "Subjects were submitted to a GFD by replacing gluten-containing foods by equivalent ones certified as gluten-free "
http://digital.csic.es/bitstream/102.../1/BJN-GFD.pdf
[2] everybody remained healthy, the balance of bacteria shifted in a way that was considered to be adverse
"The adult human subjects included in the study, 80%female (8/10) and 20% male (2/10), maintained a good health status during the intervention, and followed a conventional diet without any restriction except for gluten containing products. "
http://digital.csic.es/bitstream/102.../1/BJN-GFD.pdf
[3] No significant differences in dietary intake were found in energy and macronutrients as a result of the GFD except for significant reductions (P=0.001) in polysaccharide intake.
http://digital.csic.es/bitstream/102.../1/BJN-GFD.pdf

Last edited by hugh; 04-04-2014 at 02:30 AM.
04-03-2014, 02:20 AM   #14
VeganOstomy
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Lets get it straight people,,,,,,
This study demonstrates that replacing 'normal' gluten containing foods with highly processed GF foods has a 'negative'[2] effect on gut bacteria.
Since GF foods are so highly processed this result is not that uprising, these replacement foods contain significantly less fibre[3], that is, less food for bacteria.
This alone may explain the results....
Yes, the fiber could have certainly made a difference, as the author noted, but you made an unfair assumption to suggest all the GF foods consumed were highly processed (or more processed than the "normal" gluten containing foods), therefore inherently bad. I've come across many certified gluten free foods that are better than gluten containing equivalent products, in that they are made with more fiber, organic ingredients, no preservatives, etc. Why assume they choose the worst possible gluten free foods?


A diet without wheat but with 'safe' (paleo) polysaccharides would not cause a shift in bacteria that could be considered 'adverse'
Then we'd be comparing apples to oranges, since gluten is a protein, not a carbohydrate, so replacing one for the other wouldn't be relevant to this study objective.

I will agree that removing any processed food is a step in the right direction towards a healthier way of eating, whether it's gluten free or not.

04-03-2014, 02:27 AM   #15
valleysangel92
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I just wanted to say, that yes, there are some 'gluten replacement' foods which are really high in sugar and fat, way over processed and possibly do have negative affects on your gut (and your arteries if you eat them too much). There are however, products that are much better and more suitable, it is like anything, you have to read the labels, if there's anything you don't recognize then maybe look it up or check it against the gluten containing equivalent.

Maybe it's different depending on where you live, but I've been completely gluten free since I was 14, and that's meant a lot of reading labels. Most of the replacement bread etc that I eat is actually made from either corn or rice flour, and apart from using different flour, it basically uses the same ingredients as the bread you would buy with gluten in it. This also goes for cookies and cakes, a lot of which now actually use 'pure' oats, which are certified as gluten free.

Of course, one of the best ways to know whats in these products is to make your own, although it can be time consuming at first, it can take mere minutes once your used to it. We often make bread, cakes, biscuits, pizzas, pasties etc. You should be able to buy corn or rice flour from the stores pretty easily. A lot of shops here label them as gluten free flours, but when you read the ingredients its often either just rice flour or corn flour or a mix of the too. We also get flour blends aimed at making certain things, but we get them on prescription, and since I'm in Wales there's no charge at all. This is a brilliant way to keep processing at a minimum, and you can control things like salt and sugar too, plus they generally taste better and it ends up being a lot cheaper since you can make a big batch and then freeze some.
04-03-2014, 07:21 AM   #16
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Definitely, the way to avoid fake foods is to cook.

I was able to find many different non-wheat flours at Asian markets, and they are much less expensive there. Rice flour, sweet rice flour, brown rice flour, sweet potato flour, tapioca flour, corn flour, masa harina, plantain flour. I was doing a lot of experimentation with flour blends, and making pasta, too! My favorite was sweet potato gnocchi made with rice and tapioca flour.

I had to give away a whole box full of these flours, when we found that the SCD really worked for my daughter, which gluten-free did not.

So now I'm learning a whole new cooking strategy, and our refrigerator is full of fruits and vegetables, while the pantry is almost empty. We never ate much commercially-processed food, but now we eat even less. In fact, the only thing I can think of besides mustard is pork rinds. And some flavors of Lara Bars, which can be kept in a backpack for emergency energy.

We found that SCD "bread" is inedible but some nut-based cookies are very good. Lettuce wraps have replaced sandwiches for my daughter's school lunches.
04-03-2014, 10:38 PM   #17
hugh
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Firstly,
I think that the idea of 'gluten free food' has been hijacked totally by the gluten replacement foods. This study shows that replacing gluten with the particular GF foods used in the study had a 'negative' effect on gut bacteria.
It would be inappropriate and dishonest to make any other claims, and it tells us NOTHING about a balanced diet that simple excludes gluten in favour of nutritional starches, rather than replacing bread for GF bread, cake for GF cake, biscuits for GF biscuits ect.

I've come across many certified gluten free foods that are better than gluten containing equivalent products, in that they are made with more fiber, organic ingredients, no preservatives, etc. Why assume they choose the worst possible gluten free foods?
Sorry,
Of course not all GF food is bad, just MOST of it.
Cooking your own is always best as you know what is in it.
I have read many labels in my time, and GF foods usually have more additives and more highly processed ingredients to replicate the texture and taste of gluten.
Obviously my opinions are only my opinions.

We are told nothing of the quality of the foods, just that they are 'certified Gluten Free'.
In this particular study the only significant nutritional difference was that there was a lot less fibre. So my assumption that the GF foods consumed in the trial inferior is not unfair, it is accurate. The 'equivalent certified GF foods' consumed in the study (ie shop bought GF 'substitute' foods) obviously led to an 'inferior' bacterial balance (although if only 4 species were measured then i'm not sure how much value the study really has.)

hugh said:
A diet without wheat but with 'safe' (paleo) polysaccharides would not cause a shift in bacteria that could be considered 'adverse'


and then...
Then we'd be comparing apples to oranges, since gluten is a protein, not a carbohydrate, so replacing one for the other wouldn't be relevant to this study objective.
I'm not sure that you are correct there.
In this study there are two significant changes, removal of gluten and removal of fibre.
I'm not suggesting replacing gluten with carbohydrates, i'm suggesting similar levels of carbohydrates (polysaccharides) in the diets being compared,
If the diets were 'nutritionally equivalent' (in this case, had similar levels of polysaccharides) and the only difference was the absence of gluten then the results could be reasonably attributed to the absence of gluten
The results can more likely be attributed to the different levels of fibre and are possibly (probably?) totally unrelated to gluten content
So all I want is a study that compares apples with apples, unlike this study

I will agree that removing any processed food is a step in the right direction towards a healthier way of eating, whether it's gluten free or not.
amen to that
04-05-2014, 06:54 AM   #18
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Not to muddle this thread more but...How is gut bacteria affected if you are GF and use aloe juice? Cytokines ie. Since this is a GF thread I figured it is a relevant question.
04-07-2014, 07:40 PM   #19
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Firstly,
I think that the idea of 'gluten free food' has been hijacked totally by the gluten replacement foods.
...
Of course not all GF food is bad, just MOST of it.
Cooking your own is always best as you know what is in it.
I have read many labels in my time, and GF foods usually have more additives and more highly processed ingredients to replicate the texture and taste of gluten.
I think this is the heart of the matter. If you go GF to help alleviate your IBD symptoms, it is probably reasonable to not eat GF-replacement foods but rather foods that are naturally GF and inherently nutritious, like those outlined in the SCD or Paleo diets.
04-12-2014, 04:35 PM   #20
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I've been 100% gf for almost 2 years due to celiac disease. I was incredibly sick when I was diagnosed (through bloodwork) and within days of cutting it out of my diet I felt like a whole new person. I hadn't been diagnosed with IBD yet, but the symptoms that went away when I stopped eating gluten have never returned, so I assume they were celiac symptoms. Not Crohn's. Those symptoms were extreme fatigue, brain fog, dizziness, and left side joint pain. Oddly, I get right side joint pain on bad Crohns days.

My son also has to eat 100% GF so we do have GF bread, crackers and cereals, but I don't eat many myself. I also make GF waffles/pancakes. And of course I make sure to buy safe soy sauce etc. For the most part we eat naturally GF foods though. Veggies, fruits, cheese/yogurt, potatoes, rice, meat etc.
04-18-2014, 04:03 AM   #21
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I'm still trying to figure the gluten thing out. All I know is that sandwiches just never sit well, both white or wheat bread but especially wheat. Is it the gluten itself or something else? Other flour products and snacks, such as crackers, don't have this effect.

Still struggling to find a diet that works and I get so hungry and want to reach for a sandwich and can't. Rice, plain salads with basic ingredients and no dressing, potatoes, steamed vegetables, and fruit--when eaten alone as the sole meal--are all I can tolerate and I get so sick of the same old thing. Seems I am starving most of the time without bread in my life.
04-18-2014, 06:32 AM   #22
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its inconclusive
i eat many things with G
not problems with it
yet, friend of a friend- she cant touch it (also living with crohn)

its very individual issue
04-25-2014, 07:15 AM   #23
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I am only real food. Here is what it looks like at my house. Was on Humira, Prednisone, Aziothropone, Flagyl and Cipro. Now med free. Was going to bathroom 15-20 painful times a day, now 1-2 not painful. I only use coconut and salt to cook with if feeling a little off. So yes, I think gluten free is part of it, but I am also free of everything but fresh fruits veggies and meats.
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04-25-2014, 09:08 AM   #24
lbligh
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Jabo, your refrigerator looks a lot like ours. Your diet sounds like the Specific Carbohydrate Diet and several other similar ones. I'm glad you are feeling so much better!
04-25-2014, 09:42 AM   #25
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Hi!

So I was diagnosed with both Crohn's and Celiac on the same day and I was in shock. Its been a year and a half now and I finally feel like I am starting to grasp this whole gluten free world. I do use some GF replacements but mostly stick to what my husband likes to call the "label-less" foods, meats and veggies with fruit and natural grains. I think I have a good balance.

Here is my problem with Jabo's fridge.. I cant eat that many veggie or my Crohn's monster seems to kick in to over drive! Do you cook all your veggies way down before you eat them? I am at a loss of what to do with veggies!!! Salad is out of the question and anything else raw... Its frustrating!
04-25-2014, 09:49 PM   #26
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I eat a lot of baked veg. and make a lot of soups.
04-26-2014, 02:30 AM   #27
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Hi!

So I was diagnosed with both Crohn's and Celiac on the same day and I was in shock. Its been a year and a half now and I finally feel like I am starting to grasp this whole gluten free world. I do use some GF replacements but mostly stick to what my husband likes to call the "label-less" foods, meats and veggies with fruit and natural grains. I think I have a good balance.

Here is my problem with Jabo's fridge.. I cant eat that many veggie or my Crohn's monster seems to kick in to over drive! Do you cook all your veggies way down before you eat them? I am at a loss of what to do with veggies!!! Salad is out of the question and anything else raw... Its frustrating!
Hi, A lot of those veggies will end up being juiced. I get the nutrients but not a lot of the problems. If they aren't being juiced they will end up being cooked until they are obliterated. Hahaha. I am talking like baby food. Before when I was sick, unfortunately I could look at my stool and identify exactly what I ate. :-( But I found out by either blending something, juicing it, or cooking it to a mash and taking digestive enzymes and extra stomach acid, that it would actually digest! Later after I healed, this wasn't as necessary but the habit of blending or juicing or eat veggie mash stuck with me as it had become my routine. If I eat regular cooked veggies lightly stir fried in coconut oil and forget to take digestive enzymes, I am still perfectly fine the next day. Still....... I don't make a habit of it. For a long time, I lived in constant fear and anxiety of food. I felt like a victim of terrorism not ever knowing when and where it would strike. These days, that is gone and I don't live in fear but with confidence. Still.... I remember where I came from and how I got better and keep most of those habits as preventive measures. After they became routine, it was just lifestyle too so it was totally okay.
04-26-2014, 02:33 AM   #28
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Jabo, your refrigerator looks a lot like ours. Your diet sounds like the Specific Carbohydrate Diet and several other similar ones. I'm glad you are feeling so much better!
It seems a lot of people are stumbling upon a real food diet from different angles with different rationalizations.

I believe my body has a really hard time processing food, so I try to only buy things that are easily broken down by nature in the first place. My rule is if I left it on the counter for a few days, I ask myself would nature start breaking it down? I want things that breakdown easily. Things in packages are hard for nature to breakdown so I figure it is also hard for my weak body to digest it.

Anything I can do to help, like cooking something to a mush, or juicing it or blending, I feel like I am just helping my body a little bit more to break it down.
05-05-2014, 09:49 PM   #29
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I have been following a pretty strict paleo diet for 5 months. I feel great, very mild symptoms occurred only twice for just a few hours in the 5 months. I've lost 8 unwanted pounds. I do not replace wheat products with other unhealthy starches (corn starch, potato starch,etc.) but I eat real food with good starches (sweet potato, squash). My greatest discovery was to make zuchinni noodles to replace pasta. Tastes way better than pasta and is GF. My next favorite recipes are Banana Almond Butter muffins and banana pancakes (see thepaleomom). I eat a greater variety of vegetables now than I have for years, and can even eat raw apple and orange, which were a problem for me in the past. I eat cooked veggies, either roasted, steamed, or in soups. I think going GF and eating lots of protein has allowed my intestine to heal. I am able to really digest food and absorb the nutrients. My blood work shows I'm getting the nutrients. For people who are tired of being sick, I'd recommend trying gluten free/paleo/SCD. As I decided 5 months ago, what have I got to lose?
05-05-2014, 10:42 PM   #30
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Just to say that you need to approach any changes in diet carefully and gradually. I, for example, react very badly to corn in an form. I eat very little processed food but need to read labels specifically looking out for corn.
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Total Proctocolectomy in 2000.
Ileostomy that behaves most of the time
Currently on no medications, but under constant gaze of very caring GP, with annual blood and other tests.
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Crohn's Disease Forum » Diet, Fitness, and Supplements » Anybody think gluten free works?
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