January 16, 2017

Inflammatory Bowel Disease and diet as a cure.

For years, we have been encouraging the parents of children with inflammatory bowel disease to treat their child's disease as much as possible with diet.

The reluctance of the American gastroenterology community to pay any attention to diet as it relates to disease has been unbelievably irritating and often hampers the effort to heal. Europe has been much more proactive in this arena often treating solely with amino acid formulas and diet.

Now, we have a uniquely American study from a gastroenterologist that has shown that this treatment method is effective. Published this past December in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, Dr. DL Suskind from Seattle Children's Hospital treated 10 patients, aged 10 to 17 years, with a specific carbohydrate diet. This diet is made up of vegetables, fruits, meat, nuts and fish. The patients were not allowed to consume any refined foods, grains, sugar or dairy.

After 12 weeks, 8 of the 10 patients had clinical and biochemical improvements that led to remission.

This is big news for many reasons. Most importantly it is reinforcing the leading role that food has in disease causation and thus cure. It is also a window into the possibilities of treating disease without toxic potent medicines.

Think about this study as an understanding of how these specific foods likely affect us all. As a diabetic patient is the canary in the coal mine for sugar induced damage, an inflammatory bowel disease patient is for grains and dairy as they slowly damage the gut.

The biggest risk to this dietary approach to treatment is human compliance. By nature, we note that many patients often struggle with a healthy diet program and therefore prefer medicines despite the side effects and risks.

Hopefully, armed with this new data, we can convince more patients to choose this safe and effective route to health.

Dr. M

Suskind, David L et al. Clinical and Fecal Microbial Changes With Diet Therapy in Active Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, 2016 DOI: 10.1097/MCG.0000000000000772