Using food as treatment therapy for Crohn’s disease isn’t a new idea. In fact, it’s a concept that has been around for decades, but only recently has it started to gain traction in scientific circles. In a push to find alternative treatment options, researchers are exploring just how much of an impact diet can have on Crohn’s disease.
Specific Carbohydrate Diet
The specific carbohydrate diet (SCD) has generated a lot of buzz for a while now. It’s built on the theory that some sugars (disaccharides and polysaccharides) are not fully absorbed in the digestive tract. This leads to bacterial overgrowth, yeast production, and too much mucus building up in the GI tract. As a result, the gut becomes damaged and inflamed, causing symptoms like diarrhea, pain, constipation, gas, bloating, and more. The goal of the SCD is to remove these trouble-making sugars from the very start.
The SCD is pretty simple to understand through a clear list of allowed / not allowed foods.
- ALLOWED FOODS Fresh fruits/veggies, all fresh meat, shellfish, all fats and oils, cheese, legumes, and nuts
- NOT ALLOWED Packaged meats, potatoes, starchy veggies, grains (wheat, rye, oats, rice), fruit juice, milk, and soda
And the verdict is…
Good. So far, the results are promising. According to the article below, after just 3-6 months on the diet, patients reported decreased symptoms, a reduced need for medication, and in some cases, achieving or maintaining remission.
Using nutritional therapy exclusively isn’t the answer for every Crohn’s patient. It depends on factors like how active your disease is, its severity and your personal health needs. But based on the latest science, it seems that adopting certain habits within the SCD (alongside current treatment regimens) might be worth exploring with your doctor.
Reference: The Specific Carbohydrate Diet in the Treatment of Crohn’s Disease: A Systematic Review