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Paleo for Crohn's

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Updated September 16, 2014 at 7:52 PM
Created August 14, 2012 at 1:45 AM

Anyone have any tips for someone with a lot of gut inflammation from crohn's who wants to go paleo? Obviously fiber is a problem and needs to be limited but so much of the paleo food outside of fish and poultry is high in fiber ie: coconut. Any suggestions welcome.

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5160 · August 14, 2012 at 2:14 AM

You're better off going on an autoimmune protocol aimed at healing the gut. Paleo is a healthy diet, but it won't fully resolve your particular health issues. Two well known diets aimed at healing the gut are SCD (Specific Carbohydrate Diet) and GAPS. I wouldn't really recommend GAPS unless you've got very severe issues. In its intro stage, GAPS is the most restrictive diet out there next to raw veganism. If your Crohn's is well-controlled already, you may find that SCD or some of the Paleo-ish autoimmue protocols out there will suffice. Do some research on these diets and see which one fits accordingly to your particular issues and lifestyle.

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495 · August 14, 2012 at 11:35 AM

The SCD diet has been effective at controlling my mothers Chron??s. But she can tolerate FODMAPs much better than I can. I have been reading about FODMAPs recently and stumbled across this article:

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2036.2005.02506.x/abstract;jsessionid=FBAD908191CE1B455DBE4925871FCB42.d02t02

It seems to me that the SCD diet which only restricts disaccharides specificly but also fiber to some extent is a bit flawed. It is a really good idea because if you have Chron??s, the mucosal lining your intestines is so damaged that the disaccharidases (specific enzymes (that split the bond between disaccharides) that are in the apical membrane of the cells lining the gut) are no longer present. Thus you cannot digest and absorb these sugars and they become food for your gut bacteria. This will allow the bacterial mass to grow and over expand and cause distension, which further weakens bonds between mucosal cells, giving access to more foodstuffs and bacteria to the underlying tissues which will trigger even more inflammation and damage to the mucosa.

But if you only restrict these disaccharides you are completely ignoring free fructose as in honey and other FODMAPs that are plentyful in some SCD legal foods. This article proposes that some people have genetic "flaws" that will make the bonds between the cells lining the mucosa of the intestinal wall (enterocytes) weaker. Then if these individuals eat a high carbohydrate, and especially high FODMAPs diet, this will cause expandion of the bio mass, distention of the gut and chemical changes that will allow food and bacteria to slip between mucosal cells, triggering an inflammatory response. Then these people have developed Chron??s. The author hypothesizes that you can be genetically susceptible to Chron??s, but you will most likely only develop it if you eat the wrong foods.

So, if the SCD diet is not able to control your Chron??s, I suggest you throw out all FODMAPs as well and see if that won??t do the trick :)

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1029 · August 14, 2012 at 12:25 PM

My crohns is in remission due to maintaining my vitamin D level to around 70. I've been med-free for 5 years after decades of crohns w three surgeries. And there is now more evidence of vitamin D's positive effect on Crohn's patients. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100127104904.htm

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