Vegan and Crohn's - any issues?

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BETTY SUE
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2015
Total Posts : 222
   Posted 9/22/2017 7:51 AM (GMT -6)   
My son (age 21) has a diagnosis of Crohn's (in the severe category). He was hospitalized with an obstruction, had C- Diff two times and had illeo cecal surgery - all within 6 months of diagnosis. Thankfully with an amazing GI doctor, successful surgery and medication combination that works (remicade, methotrexate, folic acid, Vitamin B12, colestipol,and VSL) he is considered in a "deep remission." He recently watched a documentary (?) on food and diseases and is has decided to become vegan. Is there any contraindications of being vegan and a Crohnie? I assume there is not but he is convinced this diet change will allow him to eventually manage his Crohn's with diet only - which I don't believe is possible. Ideas or thoughts?

NiceCupOfTea
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Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 9930
   Posted 9/22/2017 10:01 AM (GMT -6)   
If he's in remission and can handle veggies, pulses, etc. there shouldn't be any problem. (I can't handle such foods.) If he's thinking he can control his Crohn's with a vegan diet alone though, that's very unlikely. Why does your son want to become vegan? If it's for ethical purposes, then fair enough. If it's to try and eliminate diseases, that's not happening. No matter how many YouTube bloggers say it.
Dx Crohn's in June 2000. (Yay skull)
Tried: 5-ASAs, azathioprine, 6MP, Remicade, methotrexate, Humira, diets.
1st surgery 20/2/13 - subtotal colectomy with end ileostomy.
2nd surgery 10/7/15 - ileorectal anastomosis. Stoma reversed and ileum connected to the rectum.
Current status: Chronic flare. Do I have any other kind?
Current meds: 50mg 6MP; Entyvio (started 3/11/16)

Labradorite
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Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 1004
   Posted 9/22/2017 10:11 AM (GMT -6)   
Please tell me the documentary is not "What the health"?
If it is, There is a lot of bad science that looks convincing in it.
I was vegetarian for about a year before crohns developed for me so I can't say it prevented me from getting sick. There is a lot of quackery that abounds with veganism. It's great if you are doing it for the environment and to save animals but as a cure it's inaccurate. Plant based diets (but not totally excluding meat) are more healthy than a western diet.
The Mediterranean diet shows the most promise for overall health and it's what I currently follow. Mostly plants, fish or chicken, get rid of processed, fried foods and limit red meats.

Post Edited (Labradorite) : 9/22/2017 11:49:52 AM (GMT-6)


NiceCupOfTea
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Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 9930
   Posted 9/22/2017 10:38 AM (GMT -6)   
I googled "What the Health". When even vegans are denouncing it for its bad science, it must be bad.

/www.vegan.com/posts/vegan-dietitian-review-what-the-health/

Most of the healthiest, long-lived countries in the world eat meat and fish, e.g. Japan, mediterranean countries. It's an absolute nonsense to pretend that eating meat is unnatural and bad for you, when humans basically evolved to eat meat and fish and wouldn't have come as far as they have if they didn't. What's bad about eating meat is the conditions the vast majority of animals are kept in, but that's another story.

BETTY SUE
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2015
Total Posts : 222
   Posted 9/22/2017 5:37 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for your insights. He did watch "What the health" - I could not remember the title. I reviewed it and was appalled by what I read. His girlfriend is vegetarian and I think they may have decided together. I hope he does not think it can cure Crohn's because I know it cannot. I told him to reach out to his GI doctor and explain what he was doing. He has never been a huge meat eater and rarely any junk food so to switch to veganism (if that is a word!) does not seem too big a leap but I don't want him missing any needed nutrients! I will pass this information on including those reviews!!

gumby44
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Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 4347
   Posted 9/24/2017 7:13 AM (GMT -6)   
I agree with what all of the above posters are saying. Both my adult kids are vegetarians (not vegans) for environmental reasons, and while I've learned to cook a lot of new and interesting vegetarian dishes, I don't think I'd do so great on that diet myself. I have a hard time digesting raw veggies even in remission and beans which is a staple to get protein, often don't agree with me either. If he feels well on the vegan diet and keeps getting Vitamin B-12 shots, then he should be ok, but I don't believe it will ever replace his need for medication for Crohn's.
58 yr. old female, diagnosed with Crohn's in terminal ileum Sept-Oct. 2007. Dx. with c.difficile 1/12, 10/14, 11/15, 1/16. Fecal transplant on 2/24/16, and so far, no more c.diff!

5/20/14: Ileo-colic resection surgery after stricturing and partial bowel obstruction.
Not currently on any Crohn's meds and in remission, but struggling with bad IBS.

BETTY SUE
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2015
Total Posts : 222
   Posted 9/26/2017 7:36 PM (GMT -6)   
I agree and I applaud him being conscious of what he eats BUT I don't want him to go down the path of believing he can cure himself through diet only. I know there are many who say that diet alone has cured them (or at least put them in remission) and I am glad for them. My son has a severe case and his doctor / surgeon have told him that he will need medications the rest of his life and that he WILL have flares. He is so stable right now that I don't want him to try anything impulsive.
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