Gluten-free/dairy-free diet?

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M&Mmommy
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 4/1/2010 8:36 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi all - I just started seeing a nutritionist a few weeks ago with two goals: lose weight (about 100 lbs) and not make my Crohn's any worse! Last week, she put me on a gluten-free/dairy-free diet - which seems to me to be extremely restrictive. I'm still learning how to eat this way, but on the days when I've been most faithful to the diet, my D seems to be worse - more frequent, more urgent, more everything!
Has anyone else eaten gluten-free/dairy-free? If so, has it helped or hurt your Crohn's symptoms?

Michele
Thankful every day for my cats, Marley and Mickey - the best bathroom entertainment in the world!
Diagnosed with Crohn's at age 19, October 1999.
Small bowel resection, April 2000.
Current meds: Remicade (10 mg/kg every 8 weeks), 6MP (just started phasing in; currently at 25 mg/day), Entocort (phasing out; 3 mg/day), Lexapro, TriNessa, Digestive Advantage Crohn's & Colitis daily supplement, multivitamin, B-12 supplements (oral and sublingual), Biotin, D3 supplement, folic acid, daily anti-diarrheal pill


wednesday77
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 390
   Posted 4/1/2010 9:13 AM (GMT -7)   
I follow a mainly meat and dairy free diet - I don't think of it as a "diet" anymore though, but a lifestyle. i still eat fish however. Sometimes when you are changing the way you eat your body goes through an adjustment period - I believe that dairy is bad for my body and when I stopped consuming it my body had to eliminate the toxins associated with it so you might feel worse before you feel better depending on what you were mainly eating before.

I do feel a lot better though!!! :)

I don't eat gluten-free though because I have no wheat allergies/sensitivities. There are TONS of resources and great blogs and websites with lots of yummy and easy recipes - lots of people are going gluten-free/dairy-free/vegan/etc these days and there are more places that are catering to everyone so it's easier to eat out, etc. AND there are more people talking about their experiences with it.

Good luck with your weight loss too!!
33 yr old Female
Crohn's Colitis
DX 12/06
 
Currently on Remicade, Humira, 55 30 mg Prednisone, Multivitamin, Calcium, Probiotics, Vitamin D, a few other herbal supplements my natureopath has me on.
 
Eating a Macrobiotic diet, no meat or dairy, trying to cut way back on sugar and white foods.  Trying to focus on a more holistic approach to healing. 
 
 
 


EMom
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Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 990
   Posted 4/1/2010 10:59 AM (GMT -7)   
Welcome MMM! Gluten-free/dairy free diet is very similar to the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. It is followed by many with Crohn's and put forth in the book "Breaking the Vicious Cycle" by Elaine Gottshcall.

We follow this diet for my son who has Crohn's. It has been great! Like the last poster, we don't see it as restrictive, but rather as a lifestyle change.

You can read some discussions about the SCD in my signature below. Also, yahoo has a couple of groups devoted to followers of the diet. The SCD also has online sites available and many cook books written which are compliant. Good luck to you!
Mom to 17 year old son diagnosed in June, 2007.
Omega 3s, digestive enzymes, probiotics, vit. C, calcium, vit. D3, a good multivitamin and SCD legal yogurt
Started The Maker's Diet in Sept. '07. Incorporate Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) recipes, too. Med-free.

Threads discussing diet:
http://www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=17&m=984588
http://www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=17&m=1533705
http://www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=17&p=1&m=1262312


Nanners
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 4/1/2010 11:38 AM (GMT -7)   
EMom longtime no see. Just curious for the original poster, do you generally feel bad for a bit until your system adjusts to the diet? She was saying she was feeling worse. I know on some diets you go thru a die off like period until you adjust to it. Just me being curious:)
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease & Anxiety/Panic
Crohn's Disease for over 34 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, Calcium, Vit D, and Xanax prn. Resections in 2002 & 2005. Also diagnosed w/ Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, & Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission, but my joints are going crazy!
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

BeeSting
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 392
   Posted 4/1/2010 12:01 PM (GMT -7)   
I first started a gluten free diet, that means, eating breads made of wheat, but without the wheat protein gluten. I was feeling better very fast, and I had no die off reactions. The gluten free diet I followed was even without yeast.

I now make breads from the SCD - these are breads made of almonds, and there is absolute no wheat within them. And no carbohydrates (from bread) which is essential when following the SCD.
The Specific Carbohydrate Diet doesn't allow any milk products except for home made yogurts fermented for 24 hours. The yogurt is containing some hundred billions benefitting probiotics, and made correct there should be almost no lactose left. It's still a milk product, but since the lactose is so reduced the SCD allows this kind of yogurt. The huge amounts of probiotics is so helpful in balancing the gut flora and increasing the immune system that this milk product has become a legal nutrition in the SCD./Bee

I forgot to write (from bread) which changes what I really ment to write. Sorry that my English isn't good enough.

Post Edited (BeeSting) : 4/6/2010 11:21:47 AM (GMT-6)


spookyh
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Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 1342
   Posted 4/1/2010 1:59 PM (GMT -7)   
I follow SCD, so I'm gluten free (and starch, lactose, sugar free). I do eat lactose free yogurt and cheese. It has really helped my crohn's symptoms! The best thing that has happened is that all 3 of my fistulas closed up. It's possible you just need to hang in there and let your body adjust, or you could follow SCD and drop grains all together to see if that helps. If your worsened symptoms are being caused by detox, taking epsom salt baths is really helpful. Also make sure your drink lots of water, and consider adding some electrolytes (Trader Joe's has a water with electrolytes without all the sugar and junk that's in Gatorade).

Also, to clarify what BeeSting said, SCD is not a NO carb diet, but a SPECIFIC carb diet. You can only eat monosaccharides sugars, like fruit, veggies, and honey.

Like Emom and wednesday77, I don't feel restricted. I enjoy the food I eat, and feel much better then I do without the restrictions. It just takes some time to get used to
34 years old, Crohn's disease for 15 of them
Resection of ileocecal valve on 09/22/09
Current Meds: LDN, Pentasa, Effexor XR, Zyrtec
Supplements: 3 kinds of Fish Oil, Multi-Vitamin, Vitamin D, Calcium, Magnesium, Coconut Oil, Garlic Oil, CoQ10, Enzymes
SCD since 12/01/08 - eating Stage 3 foods


Roni
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 2480
   Posted 4/1/2010 2:12 PM (GMT -7)   
I am mostly gluten free in my diet but I do allow sourdough bread because it is easy to digest and is even tolerated by some ppl with celiac.
I absolutely love my brown rice pasta!!! I eat it with butter and parmesan and honey garlic meatballs. Yummy!

EMom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 990
   Posted 4/1/2010 4:51 PM (GMT -7)   
Nanners said...
EMom longtime no see. Just curious for the original poster, do you generally feel bad for a bit until your system adjusts to the diet? She was saying she was feeling worse. I know on some diets you go thru a die off like period until you adjust to it. Just me being curious:)


Hi Nanners! :-) ...yes, it's my understanding that you can feel worse for a period of time while the bad bacterial overgrowth dies off.

But if I read your post correctly, MMM, you had more D urgency/frequency on the days when you were more faithful to the diet--and you've been on the diet just a week, right? Try not to look at an individual day here or there that didn't go well while on the diet, but rather the big picture after you've been following the diet for several weeks or even months. Also try to be 100% faithful to your diet or you really won't know whether it's helping or not... The SCD motto is "fanatical adherence"....smilewinkgrin

njmom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1884
   Posted 4/1/2010 8:59 PM (GMT -7)   
If you are gluten free and dairy free, you are probably eating more of something else than you did before. It might be that something else that is causing trouble. In other words, if you threw out dairy and gluten, what did you replace it with?

mbw1103
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 71
   Posted 4/1/2010 9:24 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Michele,
 
I eat gluten free, but tend to eat dairy (if i'm in a flare I avoid dairy too).  I can't comment on whether it makes my crohn's better/worse -- I started eating gluten free a few years before crohn's diagnosis due to a celiac diagnosis.  Like others said, it's a lifestyle change...admittedly it can be hard at first, but after awhile it becomes second nature for the most part.
 
I may be missing part of the picture here, but I'm a little surprised that your nutritionist recommended gf given your two goals...it makes sense for helping to get crohn's symptoms under control, but not so much for weight loss.  If you eat naturally gluten free foods, it can be a healthy diet.  But the prepared foods (e.g., breads, crackers, cookies) are often higher in calories and fat than their non-gf counterparts to compensate for the texture issues that the missing gluten causes.  If the recommendation to go gf was more for the crohn's it makes more sense (it seems to have helped a lot of people here), but since weight loss is also a goal, I would recommend keeping the prepared foods to a minimum.
 
As for experiencing an increase in D, depending on what you're eating, the gluten free food could be contributing.  A lot of prepared gf foods use either xantham or guar gum to help the texture (without one of these, baked goods tend to crumble).  Both xantham and guar gum have a mild laxative effect.  Usually the quantity in any given food is small enough not to notice, but some people are more sensitive to it.  Also if you suddenly increase your intake of one or both, it could take your body some time to adjust. Another reason to keep the prepared foods to a minimum. 
 
Hope this helps.
 
Melissa

34 - Diagnosed with Crohn's in Nov. '05
Current Meds: Apriso, Canasa, Methotrexate, Pamine Forte, Aciphex, Domperidone, Folic Acid, Restasis, Plaquenil, Doxepin, Xyzal, Zyrtec, Zantac, VSL#3, Calcium, Vitamin D, Centrum, Digestive Enzymes, Thera-tears Omega 3 Supplement, Co-Enzyme Q10
Gluten free since Aug. '03


EMom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 990
   Posted 4/2/2010 6:15 AM (GMT -7)   
mbw1103 said...

As for experiencing an increase in D, depending on what you're eating, the gluten free food could be contributing. A lot of prepared gf foods use either xantham or guar gum to help the texture (without one of these, baked goods tend to crumble). Both xantham and guar gum have a mild laxative effect. Usually the quantity in any given food is small enough not to notice, but some people are more sensitive to it. Also if you suddenly increase your intake of one or both, it could take your body some time to adjust. Another reason to keep the prepared foods to a minimum.


EXCELLENT point, Melissa!

Nanners
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 4/2/2010 7:35 AM (GMT -7)   
Just curious again, but have been thinking about this for awhile. I eat a low residue diet all the time and it works very well for "me". My weight stays very stable on this diet. One thing I never eat are those prepared foods in the freezer section. But I was wondering if the pre-prepared foods that you eat on the weight watchers diet, Jenny Craig etc diets, are these foods full of preservatives too? Or are they healthier than the frozen meals you see in the stores? Just wondering if someone wanted to lose weight, could a Crohnie eat those meals?
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease & Anxiety/Panic
Crohn's Disease for over 34 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, Calcium, Vit D, and Xanax prn. Resections in 2002 & 2005. Also diagnosed w/ Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, & Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission, but my joints are going crazy!
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

EMom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 990
   Posted 4/2/2010 11:47 AM (GMT -7)   
Nanners, all pre-packaged foods fall into the same category; stripped of nutrients and full of additives that are not good for us.  Out of sheer curiousity, I pulled up this nutritionist's evaluation of Jenny C's meals.  Interesting what she says...
 

The Nutritionist's Take

"about one third of the calories in this diet come from foods you supply (nonfat dairy, fruits, and vegetables), says Monica Reinagel, chief nutritionist for our sister site NutritionData.com, who analyzed all of the meal plans for us. "The foods you provide are definitely the healthiest part of this diet plan.

"The overall plan is very low in fat (about 15 percent of calories—which is too low, in my opinion) and way too high in refined sugar. The sample menu provided 70 grams of sugar—almost a quarter of the total calories! Experts recommend that you keep sugar to fewer than ten percent of daily calories.

"The meals were also very low in fiber, providing only about eight grams per day. Everyone should aim for at least 25 grams of fiber per day, which reduces risk of several kinds of cancer and helps prevent constipation. But fiber also plays a big part in how full you feel—especially when you're cutting calories.

"The meals are quite low in calories (fewer than 300 calories for most). Without much fat or fiber to keep your blood-sugar levels steady and your appetite in check, you'll be chewing your arm off 90 minutes after every meal.

"The ingredient lists were also unimpressive, dominated by additives, artificial ingredients, added sugars, and hydrogenated oils (i.e., trans fats). Vegetables, when there were any, tended to cluster way down on the bottom of the list.

"Perhaps the best thing this plan has going for it is convenience and built-in portion control...but I wouldn't be surprised to see you at the candy machine by 3 p.m. If you follow this diet, you'll probably want to take a fiber supplement."


Nanners
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 4/2/2010 12:17 PM (GMT -7)   
Boy us Crohnies don't have to many options if we wanted to diet, do we?? I am a thin Crohnnie luckily, but what do the ones who are healthy and want to diet do? Sorry but the SCD is too much work for me, so luckily the low res diet works. Thanks for answering my question Emom and the link. Hugs!
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease & Anxiety/Panic
Crohn's Disease for over 34 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, Calcium, Vit D, and Xanax prn. Resections in 2002 & 2005. Also diagnosed w/ Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, & Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission, but my joints are going crazy!
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

Former58D
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 173
   Posted 4/2/2010 12:29 PM (GMT -7)   
I stick to a 90% compliance with the paleo diet. Not only is my crohn's the best it's been in three years, I've lost 3% body fat in 2 weeks. I eat lots of lean meats, veggies, moderate low GI fruit, and moderate nuts.

My physical performance has also improved significantly. It works for me.
"What can't be changed must be endured" - unknown

DX with distal Crohn's colitis Oct 2007, predominantly in rectum
Colozal and Canasa for 2+ years - developed an intolerance
6MP - elevated LFTs after 100mg, no effect after 9 months
Currently: Remicade (Nov '09), and Paleo Diet. Not quite remission, but so much better!


spookyh
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 1342
   Posted 4/2/2010 1:14 PM (GMT -7)   
The paleo diet has really been catching on lately. It's nice that more people are starting to see that whole foods are the best foods.

Nanners, if a crohnie wants to lose weight, I think it all comes down to counting calories. I read a study where they watched several different groups doing several different diets (low carb, low fat, etc.). What it came down to was that it really didn't matter what the person ate, but how much they ate. So long as you're eating fewer calories then your body needs, you'll start burning off fat. Many people are unaware how many calories are in the food they eat though (for instance, my dad was consuming a loaf of banana bread a day and really didn't want to hear me when I figured out that it was over 1000 calories).
34 years old, Crohn's disease for 15 of them
Resection of ileocecal valve on 09/22/09
Current Meds: LDN, Pentasa, Effexor XR, Zyrtec
Supplements: 3 kinds of Fish Oil, Multi-Vitamin, Vitamin D, Calcium, Magnesium, Coconut Oil, Garlic Oil, CoQ10, Enzymes
SCD since 12/01/08 - eating Stage 3 foods


ivy6
Elite Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 10404
   Posted 4/2/2010 4:20 PM (GMT -7)   
Just a reminder to keep to the original question, please: it might be a good idea to take this extra (and really interesting) discussion to another thread.

Njmom and Melissa - great points!
Co-Moderator Crohn's Forum.

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


NiceCupOfTea
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 8550
   Posted 4/2/2010 5:23 PM (GMT -7)   
To answer the original question: a few years ago I went on a gluten-free diet. Long story short, my (then fairly new) GP misinterpreted the results of a blood test, or the results were just plain wrong, and told me excitedly that he was almost certain I was gluten-intolerant and had Coeliac disease. Was a bit dubious about this, but on the basis of his info I decided to try a gluten-free diet. And I did it. I stuck to it faithfully for six weeks, during which it made no difference to my symptoms whatsoever. That wasn't quite the end of it, as when I next had a hospital appointment I told the IBD nurse about what my GP had said and my gluten-free experiment. She just looked a bit bemused, checked the computer records, and told me that not only had the hospital tested me for Coeliac disease and the result was negative, but the previous hospital I was at had also tested me for Coeliac and the result was negative. Still with the same GP skull

Anyway, back on topic... >_>

To begin with, starting both a gluten-free and a dairy-free regime at the same time seems to be jumping into the deep end to me. Even just going gluten-free is quite hard (I know), and I can't imagine going dairy-free and giving up milk, butter and cheese, really. Also, if such a diet worked then you wouldn't know which half of it was the effective half - the cutting out of gluten or the cutting out of dairy. Gluten intolerance and lactose intolerance aren't the same thing, and you can have one without the other or have both - depends on the individual. Some folks are unlucky enough to have a whole raft of food intolerances, in which case finding them all is very hard work indeed.

Also, what Melissa said about gluten-free commercial products not being one whit lower in calories or healthier than their non-gluten counterparts is spot on. They're also incredibly more expensive and don't taste as good. Personally, if I ever had to do a gluten-free diet again I would try to stick with mainly naturally gluten-free foods instead of going for heavily-processed substitutes.

Alternatively, if you don't want to go down the cumbersome and time-consuming route of eliminating suspect food stuffs (gluten, dairy, etc.) one by one, then the SCD is probably the best diet to go the full hog with straight away.

PS: EMom, that nutritionist's take was really interesting. It is possible to get fresh pre-prepared meals with only natural ingredients used and no preservatives added. I never buy anything without looking at the ingredients and the nutritional breakdown first. One thing I have learnt is that - usually - diet or slimming foods are best avoided, since naturally high-fat foods cannot be made into low-fat ones without a serious sacrifice in taste and quality. It might just about work for milk and yoghurt, where you're not altering anything chemically but simply removing unwanted fat, but it won't work for that delicious chocolate fudge brownie with whipped cream, cookies, ice-cream and chocolate sauce on top.

spookyh
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 1342
   Posted 4/2/2010 9:46 PM (GMT -7)   
NiceCupOfTea, altering the fat in a product can have a big impact. For instance, the less fat a milk, the more lactose (a carb) that's in it. Heavy cream has the least amount of lactose, and skim has the most. Skim milk also doesn't contain any vitamins A or D. There are many other product similar to milk, in that when they reduce the fat, they usually increase the carbs.
34 years old, Crohn's disease for 15 of them
Resection of ileocecal valve on 09/22/09
Current Meds: LDN, Pentasa, Effexor XR, Zyrtec
Supplements: 3 kinds of Fish Oil, Multi-Vitamin, Vitamin D, Calcium, Magnesium, Coconut Oil, Garlic Oil, CoQ10, Enzymes
SCD since 12/01/08 - eating Stage 3 foods


whitetigerisme
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 4/3/2010 9:27 PM (GMT -7)   
I have been lactoseintolerant for four years and I was just diagnosed with Crohn's about six months ago. Since then I have been trying to figure out which foods make me sick, and I decided to try dairy as well just to see... the symptoms of lactoseintolerance are really similar to Crohn's and although diary still bothers me sometimes it is not as bad, so I am wondering if maybe it was just the Crohn's all along? Or is lactoseintolerance common in Crohn's? I seem to see it mentioned in a lot of the diet recommendations for Crohn's. Also it is passover right now so I have not been eating any breads... I have been feeling really good this week though, and it seems odd that NOT eating dairy would cause problems... I agree that it could be something you are eating to replace the dairy and gluten.

NiceCupOfTea
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 8550
   Posted 4/4/2010 7:29 AM (GMT -7)   
Spookyhurst, cheers for that bit of info. Skimmed milk containing no Vitamins A or D did ring a vague bell, but the stuff about lactose content was new to me. I drink semi-skimmed rather than fully skimmed milk, but I shall consider switching to whole milk.

Nanners
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 4/4/2010 8:51 AM (GMT -7)   
M&M Mommy I eat a low residue diet ALL the time and I find this works well for "me". You can google it and get diet ideas. I am lactose intolerant so the no milk thing works well for me.
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease & Anxiety/Panic
Crohn's Disease for over 34 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, Calcium, Vit D, and Xanax prn. Resections in 2002 & 2005. Also diagnosed w/ Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, & Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission, but my joints are going crazy!
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*
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