Low Carb or Carb Modified Diet question?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 261
   Posted 9/9/2010 5:12 PM (GMT -7)   
Wondering if anyone follows a low carb diet and how does your disease handle it?  I've been recently diagnosed with Insulin Resistance and have been watching my carbohydrate intake.  It seems since I was diagnosed several years ago with CD, it has been the carbs that my body will tolerate and now my system is out of wack. I've been ok with breads, pasta and potatoes and now those are the things i need to avoid and it's hard. Any suggestions or advice? Also curious as to how many of you have had a dietary consultation ordered by your doctor? It seems like we should all have one but have yet to get a doctor to order one for me. There is surely a dietician that speacializes in people with IBD.

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 486
   Posted 9/9/2010 6:21 PM (GMT -7)   
I am interested in trying a low carb diet and have been looking at the SCD Diet. I am also trying to find out more about some research done by a local chap and will post if I get anything back that may be helpful to share :)

I know we are all different with what we can and can't tolerate foodwise but like you I am interested to find out more. I know personally that I eat carbs because they are low residue and less likely to obstruct me but I always feel better in myself when I am off wheat, spuds, milk etc. Just hard to find low carb options that won't block strictures;(

I did go to a dietitian once but found it quite annoying as she didn't seem to 'get' the concept of a stricture obstructing or that I could be just 'intolerant' to wheat (rather than coeliac) - mind you it was a few years ago now!

There is a lot of research going on in my city on IBD generally and the following is cut from a Press article related to diet research:

Lead researcher Dr. Richard Gearry, MBChB, PhD, a consultant gastroenterologist from the New Zealand-based Christchurch Hospital and a senior lecturer at Otago University's Christchurch School of Medicine, and his researchers observed 100 patients with IBD over a six- to eight-week period and noticed that a low-carb diet helped ease the pain associated with this condition in over half of them.

The study participants were treated at Box Hill Hospital in Victoria, Australia and Dr. Gearry decided to feed them foods that would not cause inflammation in the abdomen and bowel. Interestingly, the foods that DO cause problems with IBD sufferers have a certain macronutrient composition that is well-known to most medical professional.

"Doctors have known for a long time that patients know what affects their condition and causes symptoms," Dr. Gearry noted. "Dietitians and doctors and scientists looked at this more closely and identified a number of foods that can cause abdominal pain and diarrhea."

Culprit foods that make IBD worse? Wheat, onions, milk, ice cream, apples, honey, legumes, and other fruits. Hmmm, do you see what all of these foods have in common? They're high-carb!

"Often they are sugars and carbohydrates that are not absorbed when they pass through the bowel and when they get into the colon they can ferment and produce gas and pain," Dr. Gearry explained.

The findings of this study were presented at the recent Australian Gastroenterology Week conference in Perth and will also be presented next week at the Annual Scientific meeting of the New Zealand Society of Gastroenterology.

Dr. Gearry is hopeful his findings on the low-carb diet for Crohn's disease is embraced worldwide as a viable treatment option for this and other bowel conditions.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 2481
   Posted 9/9/2010 6:41 PM (GMT -7)   
When I was pregnant, I had gestational diabetes. It was very difficult to find the "right" diet for me. I ended eating the same foods almost every day for the whole pregnancy.

SCD and the Maker's Diet are both low carb diets and excellent for diabetes. Like all diets, you may need to tweak them though.
For example, Maker's Diet says to eat nuts and raw veggies, but obviously that's not possible when you have obstructions or a stricture.

Best wishes!

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 261
   Posted 9/9/2010 6:56 PM (GMT -7)   
Roni I've been eating 'bad' foods for the last week and I am really starting to have abdominal pain today. I've been trying to munch on raw veggies because I've been getting so hungry in the late afternoon before dinner time. Those veggies are taking a toll on my insides and I'm gonna have to scale it back a bit. I'm finding this diet to be rather boring and eating the same thing every day is not appealing although that's probably what I will need to end up doing. Some fruit would be so good, but the carb content is just too high.
33 year old female
CD of Terminal Illeum and Rectum Diagnosed 12/04
Malignant Melanoma in 2000.
Illeocolonic Resection 1/08 (18 inches of terminal illeum, illeocecal valve, right colon and appendix)
Current Meds: Pentasa, Fosomax, Vitamin b12 injections, Vicodin as needed.
November'09 colonoscopy shows reoccurance at anastamosis and active disease in sigmoid and rectum

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1034
   Posted 9/9/2010 7:07 PM (GMT -7)   
ok, the trick here is in the nomenclature. it is not "low carb" it is "low/no grain". fruits and vegetables have carbs too but they affect you different than the carbs from grains do. the western diet is high in grain based carbs. this type of carb is quickly turned into sugar by your body. in excess, grain based carbs, especially the nutritionless processed ones of the western diet, lead to weight gain, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, etc etc. the carbs in fruits in vegetables come with fiber and vitamins and nutrients. the ones from processed grains (anything in a wrapper, bag, box - including store bought bread) are pretty much devoid of nutrition from the processing of the grain. you are really just eating calories when you eat this stuff. if you do not burn the calories, you turn it into fat. so the fat doesnt make you fat, it is the excess calories from carbs. carbs ONLY supply energy. protein and fat are used for so many other functions that you need them in your diet (yes you need fat). fructose/high fructose corn syrup is in everything so you need to cut that out too. agave nectar is like 90% fructose so dont use that as a sugar substitute. fructose is metabolized liked alcohol - by the liver and turned into triglycerides. dont worry about getting fructose from fruit though. it is fruit juice and processed foods you need to worry about as you consume way more than nature intended by eating those foods.

i find i am WAY healthier eating a low grain diet. i eat sprouted grains first (the healthiest) then gluten free then alternative type grains (kamut, spelt, etc) then 100% whole grain. white flour is avoided as much as possible. by eating this way, i hover in and out of ketosis so i can maintain my weight by never exercising. it has helped me a lot with the crohn's.

it is hard to cut out grains (and sugar) but if you can for a few weeks to a month or two i truly believe you'll start to feel better. once you "normalize" then you can introduce grains back into your diet but do so in small portions and try to use only healthy grains, not the processed stuff.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 1343
   Posted 9/9/2010 9:14 PM (GMT -7)   
I follow SCD, and eat between 100 - 125 grams of carbs a day. My body is very pleased that I quit eating things like bread and potatoes. My fistulas even healed up!

If you have obstructions, skip the whole nuts and raw fruits/veggies. Eat nut butter instead, and peel/deseed/cook your fruits and veggies. We just got a Vitamix, and that thing is awesome! It completely obliterates whatever you put into it. Tonight, we had broccoli soup, but it sure didn't look like broccoli. It looked more like avocado, because it was as smooth as pudding. My dad has a major stricture, but he can eat both broccoli and cauliflower soup from the Vitamix. He also does well with applesauce, cooked spinach, and almond butter.
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, CoQ10, Betaine HCl
SCD since 12/01/08

Laughing Willow
Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 69
   Posted 9/10/2010 5:27 AM (GMT -7)   
Anybody interested in how a low carb diet affects Crohn's should check out the book "Life Without Bread" by Dr. Wolfgang Lutz. He was an Austrian doctor who claimed great success in treating CD with a carbohydrate restricted diet. He said that 80-90% of his patients went into remission within two years of following the diet. 72g per day was the limit that he recommended. I tried it for a while, but found it too difficult to count carbohydrates.

Ultimately, I decided to try the SCD since that eliminates the mathematical work that needs to be done in counting carbs. After following it strictly for 10 months, I started to incorporate moderate amounts of sprouted grains into my diet (i.e., Ezekiel Bread). I suppose that what I'm doing now is a hybrid of SCD and Maker's Diet. I was in remission when I started the diet, so I can't say what impact it's had on my CD. I lost a lot of weight when I contracted this DD, and what I can say is that the SCD is the only thing I've tried since my diagnosis that has allowed me to put on any sort of weight. I've put on close to 20 pounds in the last year thanks to SCD.

And just to reiterate what others have, the SCD is definitely not a low carb diet. It can be tailored that way, but a person can consume a lot of carbs on this diet if desired.
36 y/o male

CD diagnosed in February 2008 || Remicade treatments April 2008-present || Modified SCD diet July 2009-present || Remission from July 2008-present

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 2481
   Posted 9/10/2010 9:16 AM (GMT -7)   
I can't do raw veggies right now, so I've been eating applesauce, bananas, real fruit spread with no sugar, homemade veggie soups with chicken, and I've been pureeing my broccoli lately, adding some butter and a little olive oil and sea salt. It is sooooooo good and easy on the tummy!

Today I'll make roasted butternut squash with butter and maybe a little drizzle of honey and sea salt. I also eat sourdough bread because the gluten is pre-digested and it's easy on the tummy. Sourdough bread is also better at controlling glucose levels than just regular whole grain bread.

CrazyHarry, I tried doing the soaked whole grain MD again, but it aint happening for me, my stricture is just too irritated for whole grains right now! If I end up having a surgery soon, I'm starting all over again and will slowly introduce sourdough, sprouted or soaked whole grains. I'll probably still do a lot of gluten free too.

After my last resection, I ate natural whole grain bread with org. peanut butter and natural fruit spread and it was soooo good.
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