Food and Crohns

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medieval_peasant
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Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 52
   Posted 6/23/2010 7:29 PM (GMT -7)   
I have been thinking lately about the whole argument that food somehow induces disease activity or controls it. It does not make sense to me since I lived for 20 years without any symptoms from food. Then after a long course of antibiotics (the first I had ever been on) I developed Crohns Disease and then I associated the disease with food because when I ate then I would notice symptoms. Well, that is understandable because I was trying to use an organ that was diseased. So it seems to me that food does not play a direct role in the disease process. Any thoughts?
25 year old 
college student trying to get a degree in philosophy
Diagnosed Jan. 2008 with Crohns disease.  Been on solumedrol, flagyl, Pentasa, Rowasa, Prednisone, Humira.
 
Currently on Pentasa and Humira.  Started Humira 4-8-10.
 


Rider Fan
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Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1445
   Posted 6/23/2010 7:34 PM (GMT -7)   
I think most GI's would agree.
33 y/o male. Dx'ed in 1999. No surgeries.

Current meds: Humira 2/27/09. Proferrin iron pills.

Reduced gluten and dairy.


Go Saskatchewan Roughriders!


spookyh
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Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 1342
   Posted 6/23/2010 9:18 PM (GMT -7)   
I don't agree. Since I started eating SCD (Specific Carbohydrate Diet), I've had a whole host of symptoms go away. First and foremost, my fistulas are gone. Fistulas were one of my first crohn's symptoms, so I'd had them since I was around 19 or 20. The only time they cleared up was for the year I was on 6MP, and the year I was on Imuran. After a few months of SCD, my all 3 of my fistulas healed, and have remained that way. My constipation is gone, my fissures healed, I no longer get cramping or bleeding during bowel movements, my acid reflux is gone, my seasonal allergies are WAY better, and my eczema has gone away. Something I was eating pre-SCD was most definitely aggravating these conditions.

There seems to be a lot of people whose bowel problems began after a stint of antibiotics. They're very hard on the gut.
35 years old, Crohn's disease for 15 of them
Resection of ileocecal valve on 09/22/09
Current Meds: LDN, Pentasa, Effexor XR
Supplements: 3 kinds of Fish Oil, Multi-Vitamin, Vitamin D, Calcium, CoQ10, Enzymes
SCD since 12/01/08 - eating Stage 3 foods


CrazyHarry
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Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1034
   Posted 6/23/2010 10:05 PM (GMT -7)   
i radically disagree. no one truly knows what triggers the on set of the disease. case in point - i have an identical twin brother. lived together for like 25+ years out of convenience. we ate the same food, did the same stuff out of common interests, coincidentally went to the same college, etc etc. essentially there was nothing different between us in food consumption or exposure, yet i developed crohn's at the age of 17 and to this day he is the healthiest person i know.

i believe once you are diagnosed with the disease, food greatly influences it. but it influences EVERY disease too. if you eat garbage, you are not giving your body the tools it needs to protect, defend, and heal itself. you perpetuate the illness. you create and sustain an environment that cultivates disease, or at least its susceptibility. everything begins with proper nutrition and sadly, virtually all of us do not know what that is cos we are misled by the medical community and food advertisers and lobbyists and the government.

i could eat anything before i was diagnosed. but once i was, so many foods became off limits. really delve into nutrition and i suspect you'll come to the same conclusion i have, especially if you tweak your diet and experiment on yourself to prove it.
Crazy Harry

---------------------------------------------
Crohn's since 1993 (17 yrs old then)
surgery in July '05 - removal of 2 inches at ileum and 8 inches of sigmoid colon (had fistula into bladder)
Nov '05 developed colonic inertia; July '06 told i needed ostomy surgery
began maker's diet in August '06 - now feeling the best ever with no symptoms of colonic inertia and i kept my colon
med free as of 10/31/07


mtgman
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1289
   Posted 6/23/2010 10:47 PM (GMT -7)   
certain foods definitely influence how i feel. i KNOW if i eat them i will be much worse off after...is the food the cause? to some extent it has to be...
36 year old male living in AZ.  Diagnosed with Crohns at age of 15.
Currently on 30 mg prednisone.  still taking Asacol.  Just had 3rd Remicade infusion 3 weeks ago
In the middle of a bad flare now for over a year...lost almost 30 lbs. -- gained most of it back now.


Djin
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 265
   Posted 6/24/2010 5:48 AM (GMT -7)   

Hey man! Funny thing...

Like Rider said, most GI agree that food (at least the majority of them) doesn't play a major role in your simptoms.

But most hard bitten and reasonable PATIENTS would disagree and advise you to combine your treatment with some diet.

 

 

 


Male, 35 (lovely family of wife and two daughters)
Diagnosed in nov/94 - Started with Prednisone, followed by Pentasa, entocort, flagyl, Imuran, Cipro, etc.
Blockage (popcorn!!) - First Surgery 2001 (no ressection)
Severe bleedind - 2003 - Stopped by 60mg of Prednisone
Stricture leading to a ressection in Dec/2008 - Second Surgery
Now on Remicade + 100 75mg Imuran + Iron (doc said i'm in remission, but I'm not sure at all)
 


Nanners
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 6/24/2010 6:19 AM (GMT -7)   
I never had any issues with foods BEFORE my resections. But since the resections I no longer digest the same. But before my resections, I could eat just about anything without any problems at all. And I had a nearly 20 year remission like that. So I am not so sure food really was an issue for "me". JMHO
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease 
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"*

tewcute
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 300
   Posted 6/24/2010 6:36 AM (GMT -7)   
For me food is not a huge issue. I can eat pretty much anything in moderation. I agree that food does not cause this dsease. However, when I am flaring I just feel better when I eat better. I alos believe the adage you are what you eat so I think we should really watch the diet. There are a lot of antiinflammatory foods out there that can help with the meds. I would never do SCD because it is way to complicated and strict for me to live on so I just try to eat healthy. I don't think any one diet works for all people. For eample many books on Crohns have said do not eat dairy or bread. Well I can eat both with no issues.  I think every diet has a little room for fun foods every now and again.
Dx with crohns February 25, 2010. But suspect I had it since 2002 with very mild symptoms.
4 lialda a day.
3 entocort daily for the next few months
hyosamine for daytime
Bentyl for evening
Multigen


NiceCupOfTea
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Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 8561
   Posted 6/24/2010 8:56 AM (GMT -7)   
medieval_peasant said...
I developed Crohns Disease and then I associated the disease with food because when I ate then I would notice symptoms. Well, that is understandable because I was trying to use an organ that was diseased.


Think you've hit the nail on the head.

Of course it's going to be uncomfortable to eat. The semi-digested food is passing through inflammed and ulcerated areas of the GI tract; that same inflammed and ulcerated GI tract also has to absorb the nutrients and calories from the semi-digested food that your body needs in order to stay alive. It's going to be a sore, uncomfortable and sometimes painful process. And whatever you eat it's going to have to go through that process. To make it even more fun, it typically takes 2-3 days for one meal to pass through the GI tract. (It will be faster than this if you have diarrhoea, but you are still looking at several hours from beginning to end.) No wonder Crohnies suffer so much. They don't get any break from food being in their intestines.

It's like having a painful tooth. Anything you eat is going to hurt it further, but that doesn't mean the food itself caused the painful tooth. Similar with Crohn's; food passing through your intestines might aggravate your symptoms but that doesn't mean the food itself caused your malfunctioning immune system to start attacking in sight: good bacteria, bad bacteria, food, etc. The actual cause of Crohn's is currently an unknown environmental trigger in genetically susceptible people.

I personally think that diet has little to do with Crohn's onset/activity in most people. I could be wrong, but until further evidence comes along I'm sticking with that for now.

kim123
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1201
   Posted 6/24/2010 9:23 AM (GMT -7)   

IBD can have a fungal etiology. If so, then food may not be the initial "cause" of Crohn's/UC, but rather is feeding the fungus. Fungus is a parasite and requires carbohydrates (sugars/grains) to survive and grow and dies in its' absence. So, as you continue to eat grains, sugar, high carb foods, your symptoms begin to eventually manifest. That may be why those who have tried diets such as the SCD, or an antifungal diet, have seen a reduction/elimination in symptoms. The fungus can't survive. Antibiotics are fungal poisons, so it is no wonder that people have had IBD symptoms manifest after taking them, even years later if taken as a child. Fungus can grow and spread to any part of your body, penetrate mucous membranes and twist/alter DNA strands. Dangerous stuff.

Here's one interesting article I happened to find that may link Crohn's and fungus:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20149741


DaveF
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Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 1109
   Posted 6/24/2010 10:49 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Harry for sharing with us your success re Makers. Your success provides an inspriation for others (like me!).
I read makers but am going the SCD route although out of Makers 1) I am using Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon a lot. 2) I use strong stocks for the basis of virtually everything I eat, 3) trying to go organic on most stuff (that I can afford) 4) stopped Pork and shell fish 5) getting probiotics from SCD yogurt 6) made lactose fermented veg and probably a few other things. For me a bunch of things in Makers made sense, but for me it seemed like SCD might work even better. So I SCD with a lot of Makers influence.
I 100% agree that putting garbage in our systems can not be best for anyone and for sure not for folks with a chronic illness. I do not understand how folks still eat garbage when at worst it will give better nutrition to an impaired gut and at best might take all the symptons away.
I still have symptons but on my good days I feel great. I have my fingers crossed that I am doing the right things to get more and more good days
Thanks
David

Symptoms since I was 15 (now 50), 2 “definitive” IBS diagnoses but no treatment except “eat more broccoli, you are not getting enough roughage"..lol, CD in small bowel diagnoses with Pill Cam 06/2010, Kapidex 60mg, Prednisone starting at 40 mg (moving to 30 soon YEA!!), Pentasa 4,000 mg, Amitripyline 10 mg, SCD, Freeda  - Multi Vitamin  & 2000 UI D3,  Melatonin 9mg


NiceCupOfTea
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Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 8561
   Posted 6/24/2010 11:50 AM (GMT -7)   
dfdavedf said...
I do not understand how folks still eat garbage when at worst it will give better nutrition to an impaired gut and at best might take all the symptons away.


Because I'm not convinced by the SCD or the Maker's Diet.

Sure I could experiment, at a great deal of time and expense to myself, but I just can't be bothered. Life is too short. I like my tea (with milk) and biscuits. I like bread. I like all the things that SCD forbids, and then some. I'm not scarfing McDonald's every day. I eat eggs, meat, fruit and veg - if it's edible, I'll eat it.

And I am absolutely convinced that my Crohn's is not one single whit worse than if I had done any different over the past 11 years. I also think I get enough nutrition from my normal diet, in so far as the Crohn's lets me absorb it.

Post Edited (NiceCupOfTea) : 6/24/2010 12:58:42 PM (GMT-6)


MaryS
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Date Joined Jan 2003
Total Posts : 1668
   Posted 6/24/2010 1:47 PM (GMT -7)   
Food does not play a role in developing IBD. Genetics and a host of other unknowns can though.

Your story sounds very similar to my Daughter's. As a Teen her Dermatologist had her on a long term course of antibiotics and then she was severely injured in an accident and had tons more of antibiotics pumped into her, so much so that her teeth actually changed color dramatically. A year after that she was diagnosed with Crohn's/Colitis.

Very good possibility that my Daughter had a pre-disposition to IBD as she suffered from chronic constipation pretty much since birth and methinks the all the antibiotics triggered it into full blown IBD. No scientific/medical proof, just my own feelings on it.

As for food aggravating IBD, it varies from patient to patient. If my Daughter's IBD is active, she really has to watch what she eats and uses a bland or liquid diet. If she is feeling well, she can pretty much eat almost anything without causing an attack on her guts. She switched her diet totally while in College to vegetarian and found that was the least offensive on her guts whether her disease was active or not. She does seafood on occasion and currently sways between Vegetarian and Vegan diet.

spookyh
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Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 1342
   Posted 6/24/2010 4:58 PM (GMT -7)   
I really really wish I had known there were diets one could follow when I was diagnosed with crohn's. My GI said to eat whatever I wanted, which ended up being very bad for me. I think that even if a GI doesn't believe in diet, they should still lay it out there as an option.

I'm the only one in my household that follows SCD. However, my mom now makes SCD food for herself. She made some awesome rosemary almond flour crackers last week, and she chooses to eat my SCD pizza over my dad's regular pizza. Unfortunately, it's my crohnnie/RA dad that really needs the diet, but he refuses to even try. Too bad, because the food is really tasty!
35 years old, Crohn's disease for 15 of them
Resection of ileocecal valve on 09/22/09
Current Meds: LDN, Pentasa, Effexor XR
Supplements: 3 kinds of Fish Oil, Multi-Vitamin, Vitamin D, Calcium, CoQ10, Enzymes
SCD since 12/01/08 - eating Stage 3 foods


MaryS
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Date Joined Jan 2003
Total Posts : 1668
   Posted 6/24/2010 5:17 PM (GMT -7)   
My Daughter's GI also told her after diagnosis that she could eat whatever she wanted! That did not work well at all! First 4 years of her 5 years in College she was not in remission and her Crohn's/Colitis was pretty much active all of the time! Dorm food absolutely killed her guts and she had to come up with a whole new way of eating. She did take a Dietetics/Nutrition Course and that helped a lot. She learned much and the Professor made a Nutrition test case out of her for the semester because of her IBD which he found interesting.

My Daughter actually admonished her GI after taking that course and told him he really should
change his way of thinking about his IBD patients' diet and possibly bring a Nutritionist on Staff.

DaveF
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 1109
   Posted 6/25/2010 6:29 AM (GMT -7)   
Nice Cup of tea. When I re read my post it did not convey my intention. It seemed a little attaching and I did not mean to sound like that. I fully understand that there is no right answer and I know I do not have it figured out for me, much less you.
I am glad things are working for you. Thank you for posting your insight cause we can all learn form each other.
David

Symptoms since I was 15 (now 50), 2 “definitive” IBS diagnoses but no treatment except “eat more broccoli, you are not getting enough roughage"..lol, CD in small bowel diagnoses with Pill Cam 06/2010, Kapidex 60mg, Prednisone 30 mg (tapering down over the next couple of months), Pentasa 4,000 mg, Amitripyline 10 mg, SCD, Freeda  - Multi Vitamin  & 2000 UI D3,  Melatonin 9mg


jeanneac
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Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 1812
   Posted 6/25/2010 7:15 AM (GMT -7)   
Obviously, we honestly do not know the answer to this question. These diseases may have entirely different mechanisms/etiology for each person. I think we are still at the tip of the iceberg. I sure wish I could eliminate one food group and have it all go away!! I'd be such a happy camper. No easy answers for me. When my tummy is good, I can eat a wider variety. When it's not, it just acts up regardless.
d 1/09 with colitis sigmoid colon with some diverticular disease as well
IBS, asthma/allergies, high BP, fibromyalgia, Mixed Connective Tissue Disease
claritin, singulair, diovan, progesterone, VSL#3 probiotic, Vit. D, colazal, plaquenil back on cymbalta for pain, nexium for reflux, wellbutrin
Blood test positive for Crohn's via prometheus ibd serology panel ASCA
Positive ANA
Collitis doing OK for now, it's fatigue and joint pain that are plagueing me right now!!!


alibongo
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 7/1/2010 9:16 AM (GMT -7)   
I have tried many different diet's - SCD, Gluten free, Dairy free, No red meat, low fiber, blah blah. Nothing worked for me when my disease was active. even Water hurt. I have noticed however that what really helps me is trying not to get so stressed, angry, worried and emotional about things. I have to work really hard at this every day because it go's against my nature. But this has helped my disease more than being on any diet.
32 years old, Crohn's since 2008. Tried most medications but they didn't work for me. Had temporary Loop Ileostomy - Oct 09, been well since. I currently take 1.5mg LDN most nights ;0)


jpnutritionfirst
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 383
   Posted 7/1/2010 10:57 AM (GMT -7)   
yeah i've been doing SCD for a while, it worked but it's a drag on life, i understand why people don't want to do it, i don't blame you
Crohn's Colitis diagnosed 6/08
Organic SCD since 4/09
Remicade from 6/09 to 4/10
Boswellia + Natren's Healthy Trinity probiotic + Cinnamon + Wild Oregano Oil + vitamin D + zinc


cindywchrones
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1115
   Posted 7/1/2010 12:34 PM (GMT -7)   
A few years ago at my worst I could not eat most things..After predisone, I seem to be able to eat anything I want.  For me, it must have been the level of inflammation.  I really want to come off predisone.  My son just got put on predisone and now he is back to eating normally as well? When I was at my worst, there was hardly nothing it seemed I could tolerate.  I tried the different diets with no relief! I am interested on that fungus literature that was posted! I do think genes have alot to do with it.  My son is a third generation IBD sufferer.   

jeanneac
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 1812
   Posted 7/1/2010 1:14 PM (GMT -7)   
We talk about this a lot and we are all so different. My disease is in the lower colon (as far as we can tell) Certain foods really set me off so I have to try to live a delicate balance with fiber. I would LOVE the SCD but all that roughage would send me over the edge. I have been on prednisone for a week so I decided I'd get a little wild and have eaten a salad every day for lunch. Well, I was good until today. I've been in the bathrrom 5 times in the past hour. I hope I am done. However, before the prednisone I wouldn't dare to eat that much roughage. I was hoping I could go back to my before IBD diet but looks like I may have to try to strike a better balance and not OD on the veggies. I have to basically stay on a low residue diet and just eat cooked veggies that are safe for me like carrots, potatoes. I miss salads, veggies, tomatoes, pizza, Greek and Italian food-:)
d 1/09 with colitis sigmoid colon with some diverticular disease as well
IBS, asthma/allergies, high BP, fibromyalgia, Mixed Connective Tissue Disease
claritin, singulair, diovan, progesterone, VSL#3 probiotic, Vit. D, colazal, plaquenil back on cymbalta for pain, nexium for reflux, wellbutrin
Blood test positive for Crohn's via prometheus ibd serology panel ASCA
Positive ANA
Collitis doing OK for now, it's fatigue and joint pain that are plagueing me right now!!!


spookyh
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 1342
   Posted 7/1/2010 1:47 PM (GMT -7)   
jeanneac, you don't eat any roughage on SCD until you heal. In the beginning, all fruit and veggies are peeled, deseeded, and well-cooked (they say to cook carrots for 4 hours). Some people even puree everything. As you get better, you can add in nut flour goods. Once symptoms are gone, you can start eating raw, but you certainly wouldn't want to eat a salad on day 1!
35 years old, Crohn's disease for 15 of them
Resection of ileocecal valve on 09/22/09
Current Meds: LDN, Pentasa, Effexor XR
Supplements: 3 kinds of Fish Oil, Multi-Vitamin, Vitamin D, Calcium, CoQ10, Enzymes
SCD since 12/01/08 - eating Stage 3 foods


NiceCupOfTea
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Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 8561
   Posted 7/1/2010 3:36 PM (GMT -7)   
@dfdavedf - Sorry, I missed your reply last time. I wasn't ignoring you. Bit late, but no problem! I wish, alas, things were working for me better, but I know that they could be worse. A lot worse... :-/

Grandpato2
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 681
   Posted 7/2/2010 2:01 AM (GMT -7)   
I think most of us can eat a fairly normal diet (with individual exclusions) as long as the disease is "controlled". The trick is to recognise when we suffer a narrowing in the intestines for whatever reason and then sufficiently change our diet to get through the narrowing period until it can get back (if possibe) to a normal sized opening. This is the struggle I'm trying to learn, sometimes with success others not well at all. I hope this makes sense as it's been difficult to put my thoughts onto the screen.
Male, 55 years old with Crohn's since 15 years old, diagnosed at age 46. Terminal ileum resected 2002. 5 months of remission. Crohn's has now been active since May, 2003. Had a gall bladder removed Nov. of 2009. Currently on Remicade every 8 weeks, Nexium, Iron, B-12 injection every 4 weeks, Morphine Sulfate as needed for pain. Cymbalta for long term pain control. In the past, 5-asa Salofalk, Asacol, Entocort,  Imuran and Prednisone.


Nanners
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 7/2/2010 7:43 AM (GMT -7)   
I am currently in remission. I didn't get here because of any special diet. Its because I take my medications to control the disease. I think like NCOT said that its not food that causes the disease, but that food when flaring just hurts an inflamed area. I think most of us eat what agrees with each of us individually. If SCD, Makers or low residue works for you great, but respect that what works for one doesn't always work for all. Just like the meds we take, some have no issues while others get side effects. Just respect each persons choices and what works for "their" Crohns. Hugs~
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease 
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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