The bottom line is that different things work for different people. Period. If there WAS something that worked for everyone, then everyone would be doing it. But the truth is that some people have great results with certain meds, others with certain restrictive diets, and yet others with natural supplements or lifestyle changes. We all try different things until we find something that works for us. I have had this disease and have been reading research and message boards for long enough to know that this is the most frustrating thing about
IBD. What works wonders for one person does nothing for the next person.
It is true that western medicine downplays the role diet has in IBD. When I was diagnosed, my doctor told me that diet didn't really have anything to do with the disease, but that high-fiber foods might make symptoms worse during flare-ups. Other than that, eat whatever you want. Well, five years later after doing some extensive research, I found a diet that worked for me (no meat, wheat, dairy, fatty, sugary or processed foods). I was flaring at the time, and as soon as I started the diet, all symptoms disappeared within a couple of days. I later went off my meds and lived med-free and in remission for eight months just by altering my diet. Eventually I got sick of such a restrictive diet and went back on my meds just so that I could eat whatever I wanted again, but I had proved my point - diet CAN play a huge role in gaining and maintaining remission in some people.
Also, our bodies and our disease change over time. My colitis recently spread and became much worse, and diet didn't seem to do much of anything to relieve my symptoms when I was at my worst. I DO know, however, that certain foods still trigger worsening symptoms during flares: coffee, alcohol, and chocolate are big ones. If I'm on my meds and fully in remission, though, I can basically eat whatever I want without any problems whatsoever.
You just have to experiment with diets, drugs, and treatments until you find a combo that is acceptable to you. Some would rather deal with prednisone side-effects than restrict their diets. Others would do anything to avoid pred, even give up their favorite foods forever. Do what works for you.
Follow my story: ronnielee-fightingforit.blogspot.com
32-year-old single female (teacher)
Dx mild/moderate ulcerative colitis 1995
Dx severe ulcerative pancolitis 2011
Imuran (tapering on), Prednisone (40mgs), Asacol HD (4800mgs), Mesalamine Enema, MMJ