Crohn’s Disease and Diet Patterns: Will Anything Help?

– There’s a lot of misinformation online about treating Crohn’s disease. Unlike the low FODMAP diet for IBS, there is no real cure for Crohn’s disease. However, studies show that there are some diet changes that can really help with treatment and preventing recurrence, and that’s what I’m
looking at in this video. (bell rings) Just to quickly cover the basics, Crohn’s disease is an
inflammatory disorder of the gut. Alongside Ulcerative
Colitis, it’s classified as an Inflammatory Bowel Disease or IBD. Together, IBD affects over
1.4 million people in the US and 2.2 million in Europe. It’s characterised by inflamed
sections of the intestine. However, it can affect all parts of the gastrointestinal
tract, from mouth to anus. It’s thought to be caused by a combination of genetic, environmental,
and immunological factors. Some researchers believe
the typical western diet is the reason rates of Crohn’s disease and other gastrointestinal
problems is on the rise. However, that’s certainly not proven. But what is clear is that
diet plays a critical role in managing symptoms as well
as preventing recurrence. This means appropriate
modifications to your diet are the closest thing
you can get to a cure. Eating patterns that
restrict or eliminate certain food groups have emerged as
popular diets for Crohn’s, so things like low FODMAPS,
SCD, GAPS, and even paleo. However, there is not much evidence to support the concept of most of these. The most well-researched
and promising is actually the low FODMAP diet, which
is a temporary eating pattern proven to treat irritable bowel syndrome. FODMAPS are short-chain
carbohydrates that can cause digestive problems in certain people. It’s thought that cutting FODMAPS may also inadvertently remove problem
foods for Crohn’s disease patients, improving overall symptoms and reducing risk of flare-ups. In a study of 72 IBD patients given low FODMAP diet education,
52 of which had Crohn’s, those who managed to
follow it for three months, which was 70% of patients,
reported improvements in symptoms of pain,
bloating, and diarrhea. Unfortunately, there was no
biochemical markers measured and no way to accurately
monitor eating habits during that time, so we can’t
draw any firm conclusions from this type of study,
but it’s promising. This suggests a low FODMAP
diet can be beneficial initially if you can stick to it, but we’re not sure about the long run. Long-term restriction of
FODMAPS is not good for your gut bacteria and can cause
future problems down the road. But considering that most IBD patients can recognize which
foods give them problems, I can definitely see the potential in a low FODMAP diet in the beginning. Just know that it’s not
easy to do on your own, so you should try to team up with a IBD specialist, dietitian, or doctor. One other eating pattern worth mentioning is to do with meat and added fats, because there’s a lot
of information online that says that eating
meat is bad for Crohn’s. But research on the role of
animal foods is a mixed bag. Observational studies tend to find a link between high consumption of animal foods and increased risk of Crohn’s
disease, but not always. High fish consumption has also been linked to worse outcomes, yet other studies show high omega-3 intakes to be beneficial. All the main types of
fat, saturated, poly, unsaturated, and mono unsaturated, have also been linked
to an increased risk, but not consistently, and
mainly for Ulcerative Colitis. So given the quality of
the observational evidence so far, it remains unclear what role animal foods and fatty acids play. So in summary, a low
FODMAP diet is a great place to start if you have symptoms. This can help you identify any potential food intolerances that you have, which do have overlapping
symptoms with Crohn’s disease. Just remember that a low FODMAP diet should be temporary and it should be done under the supervision of a dietitian. And with animal food intake,
we really don’t know much at this stage to give solid conclusions. You could definitely
limit intake if you want, but just be weary of your
iron levels, which are an at-risk nutrient for someone
with Crohn’s disease. Thanks for watching. If you found this video useful,
please give it a thumbs up, and you can also leave a
comment or ask a question. And if you haven’t already, you can click the big red button below
this video to subscribe to the DietvsDisease YouTube channel so you don’t miss out on
other videos like this one. (upbeat music)

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Reader Comments

  1. Ishy Bee

    Crohn's can BE CURED in varying ways, by healing the GUT. Genetics…zilch! Try the naturopathic philosophies. Conventional MDs NOT thought to cure rather treat, poison, cut and wait for next symptom. Read or watch DEAD DOCTORS DON't LIE.

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