How do gluten free diets help?

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Max89
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 141
   Posted 12/25/2011 10:27 PM (GMT -6)   
I've had a lot of people telling me to stick to a gluten free diet to manage my UC, but I keep wondering if it's worth it. I thought that gluten free diets were for those with celiac disease. How does it affect UC in any way? I've got left-sided UC with the rectum as the most affected area. Would it even help in my case?

kazbern
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 7086
   Posted 12/25/2011 11:09 PM (GMT -6)   
I don't think scientists have a complete understanding of how our gut works, especially with regard to gluten. There is good evidence that inflammatory bowel disease is either due to, or causes, an upset in the gut flora, and you need a certain kind of gut flora to fully digest gluten. Those with a genetic condition that causes celiac disease are missing certain enzymes, I think, that are required to digest gluten. It takes both your body's normal production of those enzymes, AND the proper gut flora, to digest gluten completely.

Undigested gluten causes a lot of unfortunate things. In celiac disease it damages the villi in the small intestine and eventually causes poor nutritional absorption and many other problems. For those who are "merely" gluten intolerant, I think the ill effects are more varied.

For the first 10 years of my diagnosis I toyed with the idea of eliminating gluten but did not test positive for celiac disease and continued pursuing treatment for my IBD with medications. My GI has long felt that I was not "sick enough" to warrant modifying my meds to more aggressive treatment, so facing a future that included diarrhea, cramping, anemia, fatigue and joint pain without stronger meds, I thought I'd eliminate gluten and see what happened. Within 2 weeks I had better concentration at work and less fatigue. Within 3 weeks the soft stool was completely gone. My joint pain has continued to recede, although it is not completely gone. My motility issues are still with me. My GI was pleased that I'd done this and I am too.

So without knowing really what's up with you, Max89, I'd say it's worth a shot to go gluten free for 3 weeks or a month and see how you feel. There's nothing to lose, really. It's not that hard to do.
*******************
49 yrs old, IBD diagnosis in spring '01. Proctitis, gastritis, ileitis.
Currently taking Pentasa (3g/day)Colazal (9 pills/day), Sulfazine (1.5 g/day), Prevacid, folic acid, vit. D (2K iu), flax seed oil (2 tsp/day), mesalamine enema as needed. Gluten free as of 5/30/11.

Penngurl75
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 266
   Posted 12/25/2011 11:51 PM (GMT -6)   
I agree I already feel better on the gluten free diet. my urgency has decreased considerably not gone completely though.
Dx:2000, symptoms in '99
Current dx: sigmoid area, 12 yrs w/ disease
Current meds: asacol 2 3x/day, pred 10, 6 mp (first time)50mg
Past meds: rowasa, pred 40mg,entecort
Homeopathy: chronic sinusitis(started meds sept 2011 feel much better), UC (started feb2011, better than b4)
Diet: fenugreek leaves, salmon, white rice,trying gluten- free(reduced my urgency)
supplements: VSL3, multi vit,biotin

Max89
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 141
   Posted 12/26/2011 1:04 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm not having any issues with diarrhea or urgency. It's the opposite for me, since my UC is at its worst around the rectum. I've eliminated diary from my diet, but I'm still seeing lots of bright red blood on some days. It's not hemmorhoids or fissures as I never strain, and there's also no pain. I have no idea what to do now.

s_morgana
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 83
   Posted 12/26/2011 1:41 AM (GMT -6)   
if you don't have pain or urgency I wouldn't be so concerned

Max89
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 141
   Posted 12/26/2011 1:57 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm concerned because the symptoms I'm getting right now are close to what I had before I was diagnosed and started taking 5-ASAs. The bleeding scares me and I want it to stop.

Post Edited (Max89) : 12/26/2011 12:12:25 AM (GMT-7)


imagardener2
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 3716
   Posted 12/26/2011 8:02 AM (GMT -6)   
I didn't think gluten was a problem for me either. I was tested for celiac and was negative. I never saw any symptoms that I could connect to bread or gluten. I tried SCDiet with not much positive UC-wise.

But 2 years ago I went gluten-free only (no other diet changes) to try it out again because I was flaring and getting worse. My bleeding stopped within a couple days and that gave me the reinforcement to try additional diet changes because gluten-free alone did not resolve my other problems like urgency and D.

This may not happen for you. My D seems more related to dairy and fruit and I haven't had D for a long time now.
Doctors do not believe anything is food related to UC so if you want to believe them that's your decision. I have left-sided UC also and 5-ASA's never helped me except for the mesalamine enema (I hope you are using that nightly until bleeding disappears).

Good luck.
In remission April 2010 after 10 years of UC with no remission ever
Jan 2010 began SpecCarbDiet (modified to remove dairy, fruit & juices,)
Gluten-free=bleeding stopped in 3 days, 95% remission in 5.5 months on SCD
SCDiet: Gluten/grain-free, low starch, low carb, honey as sweetener
(9)Balsalazide+(6)Citrucel, mesalamine enema as needed
(1) VSL#3 nightly-adding fruit back in small quantity 2011

ColitisMastery
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 188
   Posted 12/26/2011 7:23 PM (GMT -6)   
If you're a non responder to a gluten free diet, most of the time they're substituting wheat with more inflammatory foods (like legumes, dairy, eggs, meats etc) and think gluten free made them worse

OR

they didn't do the diet long enough.




Usually symptoms like gas, constipation, diarrhea can stop in 2-3 days g-free, but for others like me and my mother it can take 2 weeks up to 2 months to fully feel its benifits. Gluten is hard to digest for normal individuals that are healthy. Research with "gluten supplements" shown that people would get gas and abdominal pains from it. And its not an essential food so there's nothing wrong never eating it. Might want to watch B vitamin intake when going g-free.

10 years of colitis experience curing with diet :) Cheers mate! Hope this helps.
Diagnosed at age 12 with ulcerative colitis in 2002. 21 years old. Full remission on no pharmaceuticals.
Current daily meds (all natural!)
Vitamin D 6000 ui
Calcium 600 mg Magnesium 300 mg
1 packet of VSL #3
Vitamin B 100 complex
Melatonin 3mg
Avoids: Eggs, High gluten foods, Aspartame & sucralose, Larges amounts of meats

Alinus
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 593
   Posted 12/27/2011 3:11 AM (GMT -6)   
@colitis.
it might be off topic, but...
legumes - pro-inflammatory? cand you give me an example?
Rectocolitis .Symptoms since about 2002. Currently in remission (latest C-scope done in feb 2011).
Ankylosing Spondylitis as a gift from rectocolitis. Symptoms since about 2002. Fragile remission from march 2011.
Highly restricted SCD Diet since feb 2010. Raw carrots,Celery,Beet root,peppers,Chicken,Tuna,Turkey,Almond flour,Pineapple,Swiss cheese,Dry red wine, Coffee
Mesalasine 1500 mg/day,Vit D

LaughingBowels
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2011
Total Posts : 30
   Posted 12/27/2011 3:45 AM (GMT -6)   
If you dont mind me chiming in:

Inflammatory foods:
http://www.buzzle.com/articles/foods-that-cause-inflammation.html

Anti Inflammatory foods:
http://theconsciouslife.com/top-10-anti-inflammatory-foods.htm

Dont expect all anti Inflammatory foods to work like a drug or some other kind of pain killer, but you should expect the inflammatory foods to cause a lot of issues.

Example: Processed Sugars causes my joints to hurt really bad. Eggs cause me to flare up. Milk or anything with lots of lactose cause some urgency. Caffeine is just brutal! I love to make myself some natural and fresh ginger tea (ginger shavings over hot water via coffee filter) It never did the trick because I was adding honey to it. Take the honey out and it does the job really well.
Michael - Age 32
Diagnosed:
Ulcertive Colitis - 2009 / Acid Reflux - 2009 / Plantar Fasciitis - 1998 / Rosacea, Lactose Intolerant. Not diagnosed yet - Spondylitis or some kind of Arthritis of the spine.

Currently taking:
1x Canasa at night. Fish oil 4000mg, D3 4000IU, Calcium 1200mg, Glucosamine 4000mg, MSM 2000mg, Chondroitin 2000mg, Serrapeptase 200k SU. <--Best taken as an Enima

Max89
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 141
   Posted 12/27/2011 4:43 AM (GMT -6)   
What does caffeine do? Does it worsen bleeding or make you flare?

Alinus
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 593
   Posted 12/27/2011 6:11 AM (GMT -6)   
it has 2 effects on our system:
1. it is a natural laxative. so you'll need the bathroom sooner than normal. usually if you have UC you need the bathroom sonner anyway. so it's your choise to have a cup of coffee or not :).

2. it has an irritative effect on gut mucosa. if you are flaring and drinking a cup of coffee you'll probably make things worse because your mucosa is already irritated. it's like dropping salt on a open wound.


oh, and it does seem to contain a lot of anti-oxidants. i've saw some studies that correlate decrease of colon cancer risk in people who have at least a cup per day.

coffee it's a strong habit. most of us like to fool ourselves that it does not bother us at all. but i really doubt it.

P.S.
I am writtign this with a cup of coffee in my hand :) the one and only i will allow myself this week.
Rectocolitis .Symptoms since about 2002. Currently in remission (latest C-scope done in feb 2011).
Ankylosing Spondylitis as a gift from rectocolitis. Symptoms since about 2002. Fragile remission from march 2011.
Highly restricted SCD Diet since feb 2010. Raw carrots,Celery,Beet root,peppers,Chicken,Tuna,Turkey,Almond flour,Pineapple,Swiss cheese,Dry red wine, Coffee
Mesalasine 1500 mg/day,Vit D
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