What is the perfect diet for Crohn's...is milk the worst offender?

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frogeleita
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Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 342
   Posted 9/12/2009 2:32 PM (GMT -7)   
I am just wondering...i have more irritable bowels..going to the bathroom all the time....sometimes..sort of constipation..sometimes diarrhea...what should i eat...i understand milk is bad..so does that mean i am lactose intolerant...why do doctors say eat yogurt..if i can't drink milk? What about fruits and vegetables...which ones..have the least fiber....which meat is best tolerated...is it okay to drink coffee..and if not coffee can i drink decaf? What about tea...or fruit juices....i understand no fast food or processed food..which spices are the worst and the best....i appreciate any help..because i am already doing better not eating cheese...i used to eat alot of it....my whole life...so i am trying to think...just what can i eat...because i am also on a budget here..so i can't afford to buy different things...than what my family is already eating..i can get small amounts of things...hopefully change the way i cook for my family too..i just don't know where to start..i sometimes use salt products that have msg...is that bad? Thanks

 


medchrt1
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Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 517
   Posted 9/12/2009 3:25 PM (GMT -7)   
no milk and no casein products (no it doesnt mean you are lactose intolerant, I would think its digestion of some part of the milk protein not the sugar, but you might also have problems with the lactose (milk sugar) as in lactose intolerant), best is just avoid all diary because of the potential extra mucuous created.. Cant comment on the yogurt but if it has casein i would not suggest, as you know there are some yogurt experts here and seen alot of posts for having it. If you have stricture then raw vegetables and slightly cooked , steamed, etc. will be problematic for blockage. The less the intestine hasto do would be less irratation of inflammed area also. Boiled potatoes then mashed without alot of extra ingredients, but try to avoid a complete 'space food' so have something with the potatoes. As far as the meat, the chicken has go to be fresh, vacuum packaged salmon is good. Stay away from the processed shelved meat..maybe a fresh deli meat, sometimes I buy roast beef and recook it in mild gravy and then have open faced sandwich. but you want to avoid the ingredient(s) thats added in packaged meat, so no luncheon meat. Fat is sometimes not tolerated either so no hot dogs for instance but again this might be from the packaged meat ingredient as well as problems digesting fat...If you must have diary have it with the tea I suppose. I will go out on a limb and say I use fresh half-and-half rather than something like 2% milk, its just a small amount to reduce coffee bitterness (some cannot tolerate coffee whatsoever).. so that leaves the carbs I suppose. for the carbs, avoid the wheat gluten, such as most pastas, (there is gluten free pasta however) ..already mentioned the starch type carbs is ok (mashed potatoes, etc.). and Juices are more simple carbs (sugars) is ok if you tolerate but suggest not on complete empty stomach because they are also acidic. Your choice on the herbs/spices as there is alot of research on antiinflammatory additions but generally bland is less risky. Salt is generally good. I dunno about salt and prednisone tho because of water /fluid retention but yes salt is ok. No glutamates, so the msg is out. On the other hand, this is all basic and advanced combinations might be different. hope some of this is helpful

Illini
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Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 298
   Posted 9/12/2009 4:29 PM (GMT -7)   
There is no "perfect" diet for Crohn's. Everyone is different so diet is very personal. You are much better off finding out for yourself by trial and error what works and what does not. Otherwise you may be restricting your diet needlessly, and making your life more difficult. For a while I kept a food diary that monitored what I ate and how I felt (and how the BM's were). It is a great way to determine what foods are OK, and what foods to avoid.

If you are having pain and inflammation there are a few general rules. Basically, avoiding things that are hard and fibrous, like popcorn, nuts, fruit skins, and raw fruits or vegetables. If you do eat them, chew very, very well (though I think popcorn is a 100% no-no). Most people do well if they cook raw foods until soft and follow a low-residue diet. You can look it up on Google.

Dairy is a good source of calcium (and protein if you can't tolerate meat). Don't eliminate it from your diet unless you are sure it bothers you. Even if you can't tolerate cheese or milk, yogurt may be OK. Yogurt also has "good" bacteria. It is not necessarily an unhealthy food, if you buy an all-natural or organic type that does not contain a lot of sugar or corn starch.

Good luck & I hope you feel better.
July 2007 Drug-Induced Liver Injury
January 2008 Crohn's Ileitis
Currently trying... Enteral Nutrition, VSL#3, Primadophilus Reuteri, Folic Acid, Vitamin E


spookyh
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Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 1342
   Posted 9/12/2009 4:45 PM (GMT -7)   
Store bought yogurt contains a fair amount of lactose because it's only fermented for 4 hours. You can make your own yogurt and ferment it for 24 hours to make sure all the lactose is removed. As for cheese, it has to be aged for (I think) at least 30 days to be lactose free.

A lot of people who can't handle cow casein do fine with goat or sheep. You can make yogurt with goat milk, and I've see goat cheddar and sheep cheddar in the store. If you really miss dairy, I'd give them a try.

A good way to remove the fiber from fruits and veggies is to use a food mill. When you run butternut squash through it, you end up with what looks like baby food (it's a very soft consistency). I've also run cranberries though it to remove the skins and seeds. Now I can enjoy cranberry sauce again!

I cook carrots for a long time so they're nice and soft. Same for zucchini, crook neck squash, green beans, and butternut squash. Those are my staple veggies right now. Very ripe bananas (lots of brown spots) are easier to digest because the starch in them has broken down during the ripening process. Applesauce, pear sauce, and cooked peaches are my go to fruits.

I have followed SCD (no lactose, gluten, starch, or sugar) for 9 months. It's worked great for me! My fistulas closed, my fissure (finally!) healed, I don't get constipated anymore, I don't have acid reflux anymore, my eczema healed, I don't get cramps or blood during BMs anymore, and my seasonal allergies are now almost non-existent. I used to have severe perirectal disease, but all that's leftover from that is a giant ugly skin tag. It's been completely worth it to modify my diet, and I plan on eating this way for life. The food is really good, so it's not as big of a hardship as some may think it is.
34 years old, Crohn's disease for 15 of them
Current Meds: Humira since 7/08, Pentasa, Effexor XR
Supplements: 3 kinds of Fish Oil, Multi-Vitamin, B-Complex, Vitamins D, E, & K, Calcium, Magnesium, Enzymes
SCD since 12/01/08 - eating Stage 3 foods


ivy6
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Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 10404
   Posted 9/12/2009 4:47 PM (GMT -7)   
I second everything Illini said. I think she is spot-on and 100% right.
Co-Moderator Crohn's Forum.

Medications for Crohn's ~~ Diet and Nutritional Therapy for Crohn's ~~ Dealing with Abscesses and Fistulae ~~


spookyh
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Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 1342
   Posted 9/12/2009 9:42 PM (GMT -7)   
You'll find many varying opinions of what the best source of calcium is. Some think dairy is best. Others think it isn't, like this article states: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/calcium-and-milk/index.html. They think you're best off getting calcium from non-dairy sources, like leafy greens, broccoli, almonds (or almond butter for us with sensitive guts), and oranges. And still others think bone broths are your best bet. Then you have all the debate over what calcium supplements are best: carbonate, citrate, etc.

Personally, I just try to get some calcium from all of the above sources. That way I'm covered tongue.
34 years old, Crohn's disease for 15 of them
Current Meds: Humira since 7/08, Pentasa, Effexor XR
Supplements: 3 kinds of Fish Oil, Multi-Vitamin, B-Complex, Vitamins D, E, & K, Calcium, Magnesium, Enzymes
SCD since 12/01/08 - eating Stage 3 foods


Aimee =)
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Date Joined Jun 2004
Total Posts : 1020
   Posted 9/12/2009 10:26 PM (GMT -7)   
There is no perfect diet. What one Crohnie can eat, another can't. Sadly, it's trial and error in many ways.

There are times when I'm barely getting down a can of Ensure, and other days I'm eating popcorn in the movie theater. Just depends on how my disease is at the time (and how much scar tissue you may have ~ I have too much now to enjoy more than a few kernels of popcorn).

I steer clear of fresh veggies, fruits, nuts, popcorn, etc unless it's just a bite or two. I'm fine with just that. Anything more clogs up.

I enjoy milk on a regular basis (in lattes, iced coffees, etc) and it does bother me sometimes, other times it doesn't.

Just depends on you.

ozonehole
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 559
   Posted 9/13/2009 12:08 AM (GMT -7)   
about "milk and mucous"...

I've heard it said (for decades) that milk increases mucous production, and therefore will make a cold, allergy or asthma worse. But apparently it is not so, though it's a widely held belief. Googling on "milk and mucous" will turn up lots of relevant info, like this:

http://www.abc.net.au/health/talkinghealth/factbuster/stories/2007/11/28/2102703.htm

But milk can indeed cause problems for Crohnies, especially if you are lactose-intolerant.

best regards,
Robert
Crohn's since 1988
3 resections


*Phoebe*
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 769
   Posted 9/13/2009 6:24 PM (GMT -7)   
I second everything spookyhurst says!!! Try the SCD frogelita, you may find it provides the answer you are looking for!!! You've got nothing to lose. DON'T eat potatoes, unless you want to feed the bacteria in your gut with starch, which it lives off! Look at the SCD resource thread..... lots of info there..... I'm trying it at the moment but struggling to stay regimented.
_______________________________________
We do not say cured unless those people have been autopsied. 

Post Edited By Moderator (MMMNAVY) : 9/14/2009 7:12:05 AM (GMT-6)


MMMNAVY
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Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 6927
   Posted 9/14/2009 6:17 AM (GMT -7)   
For me the diets were dangerous. I tried both SCD and Makers Diet (I was discipline embodied) and ended up with life threating bleeds both times. For me, milk products are one of the very few things that I can tolerate. Diet for crohns people is highly individual and I think it is irresponsible to say there is not risk to them.
Forum Co-moderator - Crohn's Disease/Thyroid Disorders:_All comments have the caveat contact your local health care provider.

I will find a way or make one. –Phillip Sidney 1554-1586

All that I am and all that I shall ever be, I owe to my Angel Mother.

The Bucket List- Have you found joy in your life?  Has your life brought joy to others?

Make sure your suffering has meaning…


Nanners
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 9/14/2009 6:22 AM (GMT -7)   
I will have to say the same as Illini, as diet is very individual. I live on a low residue diet, and that works well for me. Before my resections I never had too much problems with milk, but now I can eat ice cream, but drinking a glass of milk will upset me. I also eat cheese okay too.
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease and Anxiety/Panic Forum
Crohn's Disease for over 33 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, Calcium  w/Vit D, and Xanax as needed. Resections in 2002 and 2005. Also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, and Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission, but my joints are going crazy!
It's scary when you start making the same noises As your coffee maker.
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

spookyh
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 1342
   Posted 9/14/2009 8:38 AM (GMT -7)   
MMMNAVY, when you did SCD and the Maker's Diet, what foods were you eating?
34 years old, Crohn's disease for 15 of them
Current Meds: Humira since 7/08, Pentasa, Effexor XR
Supplements: 3 kinds of Fish Oil, Multi-Vitamin, B-Complex, Vitamins D, E, & K, Calcium, Magnesium, Enzymes
SCD since 12/01/08 - eating Stage 3 foods


njmom
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Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1884
   Posted 9/14/2009 10:04 AM (GMT -7)   
MMMNavy, I don't get it...what was "dangerous" about the diets? 

MMMNAVY
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Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 6927
   Posted 9/15/2009 7:47 PM (GMT -7)   
Spooky, do you mean what stage was I on? I spent about 16/17 months trying to do diets total.
I think I was about stage 3/4. (the malnutrition issues I was and still have cause some memory cog. brain. function issues for me (I would have to look at my journals and med records). What I did learn was geliten (sp?) was pretty safe for me. Juicers are about the only way I may ever get any kind of fruit or veg. I still cannot eat beef or pork at all.
As for the makers (and the microbodic for that matter) diet I was on this for a much short period of time like about 3 or 4 months for them.

njmom, dangerous is because I had such severe crohns I should not have been depriving my body of vitimen suppliments and have the broken bones to prove it. I found out that texture of food is very important for me. Unfortunately I found out the hard way about certain foods (no matter how broken down) cause lacerations in your intestines (that you might not get signs or symtoms from in a couple days to months). Perhaps I was not clear about life threatening bleeds? I ended up going on hospitalized TPN (and multipule blood transfusions) for months due to these diet "experiments" that I did.

I am glad this works for some people.
All that I ask that there is a caveat attached to it, because like any medicene or treatment path it does have it's risks.


Forum Co-moderator - Crohn's Disease/Thyroid Disorders:_All comments have the caveat contact your local health care provider.

I will find a way or make one. –Phillip Sidney 1554-1586

All that I am and all that I shall ever be, I owe to my Angel Mother.

The Bucket List- Have you found joy in your life?  Has your life brought joy to others?

Make sure your suffering has meaning…

Post Edited (MMMNAVY) : 9/15/2009 9:41:38 PM (GMT-6)


spookyh
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Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 1342
   Posted 9/15/2009 8:16 PM (GMT -7)   
You can take vitamin supplements on SCD. I take a ridiculous amount of supplements, which I hope to reduce eventually.

Otherwise, I'd just advise people to take things slow on SCD. I've been SCD for 9 1/2 months, and stick to soft foods. Since I have a stricture, I eat mainly stage 1 and 2 foods, and only dabble it stage 3 (I remove the skins and seeds of the foods by running them through a food mill). Don't eat anything raw, with seeds, or with skins until you've been symptom free for awhile.

Elaine also said that people with narrowed ileums should avoid raw grapes, a lot of raisins, spaghetti squash, peels of veggies and fruits, and nuts eaten whole (even when chewed well).
34 years old, Crohn's disease for 15 of them
Current Meds: Humira since 7/08, Pentasa, Effexor XR
Supplements: 3 kinds of Fish Oil, Multi-Vitamin, B-Complex, Vitamins D, E, & K, Calcium, Magnesium, Enzymes
SCD since 12/01/08 - eating Stage 3 foods


MMMNAVY
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Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 6927
   Posted 9/15/2009 8:40 PM (GMT -7)   
I was not suggesting that you cannot take suppliments, but I had too much friablity to be absorbing it (I eventually had to do IV), and this was hidden damage that was not seen. No peels, seeds, ever for me. Bear in mind I was juicing (in addition to puree/cooking/etc.) also to get it down to the most basic of particals. (liquifing even meat) I absolutely agree with the soft foods.

p.s. someone told me much afterwards that freezing grapes makes them easier to peel, but I do not think this would be legal (but I cannot remember if that is from raw foods or SCD).

Like I said I just do not want people to think that it is without risk.  I was also taken 6-mp, immuran, and remi during this period of time.


Forum Co-moderator - Crohn's Disease/Thyroid Disorders:_All comments have the caveat contact your local health care provider.

I will find a way or make one. –Phillip Sidney 1554-1586

All that I am and all that I shall ever be, I owe to my Angel Mother.

The Bucket List- Have you found joy in your life?  Has your life brought joy to others?

Make sure your suffering has meaning…

Post Edited (MMMNAVY) : 9/15/2009 9:53:25 PM (GMT-6)


ivy6
Elite Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 10404
   Posted 9/15/2009 8:47 PM (GMT -7)   
Folks, everybody's disease pattern is different. People respond to medications differently, and people respond to diets differently. What works for one person may not work for another.

Navy is being most responsible in urging people to be careful when trying diets, and in emphasising that a certain diet may not work for everybody. Let's not be too prescriptive, and please let's present the SCD as one diet out of *many* that people may choose from when trying to treat their illness. The SCD is not the only option and should not be presented as such.

Nor does Navy need questioning, after the fact, on what foods she was eating. It seems pretty clear to me that she gave the diet a good shot, and it didn't work for her.

Ivy.
Co-Moderator Crohn's Forum.

Medications for Crohn's ~~ Diet and Nutritional Therapy for Crohn's ~~ Dealing with Abscesses and Fistulae ~~


spookyh
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 1342
   Posted 9/15/2009 9:35 PM (GMT -7)   
I know that freezing tomatoes makes them easier to peel, so it makes sense that the same would apply to grapes. I wonder how they taste after they've been frozen?
34 years old, Crohn's disease for 15 of them
Current Meds: Humira since 7/08, Pentasa, Effexor XR
Supplements: 3 kinds of Fish Oil, Multi-Vitamin, B-Complex, Vitamins D, E, & K, Calcium, Magnesium, Enzymes
SCD since 12/01/08 - eating Stage 3 foods


EMom
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Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 990
   Posted 9/15/2009 9:46 PM (GMT -7)   
As a bystander in this thread, it seems to me that some were just wanting to understand and were not disrespectful in the way in which they asked. Everything seems very kind and civil here. I also don't see any diet presented as the only option. Seems logical to me that those who have experienced success would naturally be enthusiastic about sharing...no matter what type of diet it is!... Just my observation...and 2 cents...

Nanners
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 9/16/2009 8:01 AM (GMT -7)   
EMom who said anyone was being disrespectful??? Ivy just said that these diets work for some but not all, and that people should always remember that we are individual and as is our diets.

My personal opinion is that whatever diet anyone chooses to use, they should always take some kind of maintainence med with their diets. The two complement eachother and work well to keep the person in overall good health. JMHO
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease and Anxiety/Panic Forum
Crohn's Disease for over 33 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, Calcium  w/Vit D, and Xanax as needed. Resections in 2002 and 2005. Also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, and Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission, but my joints are going crazy!
It's scary when you start making the same noises As your coffee maker.
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

jpnutritionfirst
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 383
   Posted 9/16/2009 5:38 PM (GMT -7)   
I would just like to say that if you're going to do the SCD diet, you have to give it a really long time to work. I read both breaking the vicious cycle and Life Without Bread. Life Without Bread actually had a graph in it that showed the time course of the diet in a population of patients undergoing a low carb diet. It took 6 months for 80% of people to be asymptomatic. I think if you have Chron's in the colon, the time course is more similar to UC so it will take a year or two to get max results. I've been on SCD for around 6 months now and I'm pretty good. 2 BM's a day, no bloating but stools are still somewhat loose. I'm hoping for more improvement in the future but who knows. I am also on Remicade so it's really hard to tell which is working. I honestly don't know but I suspect it's a combination. I know there is a dietary component though because I've improved over time since getting the infusions initially.

I totally understand if you have very severe disease and can't be on a diet. But for those with mild to moderate disease, I think it's worth a shot. I go to an IBD doctor at Rush University whose research interest is diet and IBD. She told me that in her heart she believes that diet does indeed work. They did a study on patients who had failed all the conventional medications and diet seemed to be the only thing to work. Before I get asked, I don't know the specific study and again I understand that diet doesn't work for everyone. Clearly Chron's is a disease with many etiologies.

*Phoebe*
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 769
   Posted 9/16/2009 10:57 PM (GMT -7)   

I’m sorry if my post sounded as if I was saying SCD is the only option – I think I said “you may find it provides the answer you are looking for” ….. It just seems that most people have at least some kind of success on it and I was just suggesting it for Frogelita. Even Elaine says it won’t work for everyone….. But I think it’s worth a shot. It has a science behind it and is not just trial and error like food diaries tend to be….. I know a lot of enthusiastic SCDers come on and tell everyone to go on this diet, because they are so elated with the results….. I just wanted to suggest it to Frogelita because she’s having a tough time and (like me) waiting for Remicade.

 

Sorry if it came out like that guys!! I just want to give her some options that just might work.


frogeleita
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 342
   Posted 9/17/2009 10:46 AM (GMT -7)   
thanks guy..lot of good options...some work for others and some may not..we all know this...it seems to be that no matter what i eat...i am darned if i do and darned if i don't lol (can i say that on here?) anyway....the scd diet sounds like its not only expensive but it seems very difficult to follow...i pretty much am on the low residue diet...and i avoid cookouts like the plaque...because they make me throw up or have the big D and i only eat out at places where i haven't had a problem and stick with what doesn't bother me...the best thing is getting medicine that actually works....thank goodness i have my first app next Tuesday for Remicade

 Crohn's anal fistula Lupus Hyperthyroid..Pentasa..waiting on Remicade

Kanye West is a jerk.

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