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  1. #1
    solomani's Avatar
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    IBD: Ulcerative Colitis

    Primal Fuel
    Latest article made me curious. Anyone else on here suffering/suffered from any IBD, in particular, UC and seen a marked improvement since going primal?

    A little of my story as it relates to UC. I have had the disease since I was 19 (I am 39 now). It required daily medicine to control it and when it flared up it would require double to triple to dose of said medicine - and my condition is considered "mild". Now I am at the point of needed medicine once every 7 to 10 days which, as you can imagine, is a big improvement after 20 years.

    I went low carb back in 2009 (June or so) to lose weight but still included grains (mostly due to ignorance) and saw an improvement in UC but never put two and two together. After reading Wheat Belly I cut out wheat (Oct 2011) and saw an improvement again and then I "discovered" you Primal guys, read Mark's book, and cut out grains/legumes (April 2012) entirely and saw an improvement again.... but its not gone.

    So curious if anyone else has suffered from something similar and if they had a similar experience of improvement but not being cured (or at least taking a long time to be cured). After my experience I am 100% sure this disease is diet related but wonder if there is something about it which takes it longer to heal. Or am I somehow eating grain/legume and just don't know it.

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    Not IBD, but IBS-C for 6+ years intermittently. It had gone away for a long time (a few years) then returned WORSE than ever when I went paleo. Likely, it was a combination of stress and diet. I couldn't figure out why the healthier I ate, the worse it got until I realized that cutting out all the grains, starches, and sugars meant a giant increase in fiber, specifically all that insoluable fiber, which was really destroying my insides.

    I was able to heal myself by going super low fiber (big reduction in veggies) and an increase in white rice and potatoes, probiotics, and some supplements like L-glutamine and bone broth.

    Also realized that a trigger for my IBS is eating gigantic meals - my digestive system really can't cope with too much at once, even with the help of digestive enzymes and HCl. I had been intermittent fasting for months, hoping that by eating 1 huge meal per day, I'd give my digestive system downtime to heal whatever the problem was, but it turned out that IFing was actually making my problem worse. So, I went back to several smaller meals.

    Basically, paleo/primal was one of the worse things to ever happen to me, digestively speaking, but I'm able to keep the parts of it that I think are most important (no gluten, dairy, soy, omega 6 crap oils, etc...) and not do the parts that wreak havoc on my system (huge+infrequent meals, fiber from veggies).
    Last edited by BestBetter; 09-06-2012 at 08:34 AM.

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    namelesswonder's Avatar
    namelesswonder is online now Senior Member
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    What does the medicine do for you? I'm curious what purpose it serves.

    Check out Gut Sense: How to reverse and prevent constipation in children and adults and/or Fiber Menace (book by the same guy). He has information about IBD and how to improve bowel function.
    Journal on depression/anxiety
    Currently trying to figure out WTF to eat (for IBS-C).

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    Hi solomani!

    I don't have ulcerative colitis or any of the other awful digestive stuff, but I might have an avenue you could go down. My daughter had low-grade diarrhea for years, awful gas, bloating. We tested and tested (Cleveland Clinic) but couldn't come up with a diagnosis, so I just did what I thought was useful, and that turned out to be the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (or "SCD" for short - both terms are google-able).

    It aligns very closely with the Primal, but has a few quirks that make a difference for the daughter. After one year on the strict protocol - diarrhea, gas, bloating, all gone. Nice regular, formed, poops that don't gas-bomb the entire house. There is also another diet that bases itself on the SCD, but adds a probiotic protocol, and it is called GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome). I haven't followed the GAPS with the daughter because I am adjusting the fatty acids per Primal before I dive into researching GAPS. One thing at a time, you know...

    Daughter cannot have potato peels, whole seeds, stuff like that because it runs right through her. If we grind the seeds into stuff like seed/nut butters and peel the potatoes, she is fine. Hope this helps - it did the trick with us.

    SCD website: Breaking the Vicious Cycle - The Specific Carbohydrate Diet
    Book is: "Breaking the Vicious Cycle" by Elaine Gottschall

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    zizou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BestBetter View Post
    Not IBD, but IBS-C for 6+ years intermittently. It had gone away for a long time (a few years) then returned WORSE than ever when I went paleo. Likely, it was a combination of stress and diet. I couldn't figure out why the healthier I ate, the worse it got until I realized that cutting out all the grains, starches, and sugars meant a giant increase in fiber, specifically all that insoluable fiber, which was really destroying my insides.

    I was able to heal myself by going super low fiber (big reduction in veggies) and an increase in white rice and potatoes, probiotics, and some supplements like L-glutamine and bone broth.

    Also realized that a trigger for my IBS is eating gigantic meals - my digestive system really can't cope with too much at once, even with the help of digestive enzymes and HCl. I had been intermittent fasting for months, hoping that by eating 1 huge meal per day, I'd give my digestive system downtime to heal whatever the problem was, but it turned out that IFing was actually making my problem worse. So, I went back to several smaller meals.

    Basically, paleo/primal was one of the worse things to ever happen to me, digestively speaking, but I'm able to keep the parts of it that I think are most important (no gluten, dairy, soy, omega 6 crap oils, etc...) and not do the parts that wreak havoc on my system (huge+infrequent meals, fiber from veggies).
    I think i'm in the same boat, but i hate the fact that it means having insluin spikes more often throughout the day. I'm not diabetic or overweight or anything but it just seems healthier to only eat maybe 2 times a day? 3 if counting a snack.

    But digestively speaking 3-4 smaller meals would benefit me aswell i think. Such a shame, because i have a stupid condition known as gastroparesis which limits my lifestyle choices.

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    zizou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BestBetter View Post
    Not IBD, but IBS-C for 6+ years intermittently. It had gone away for a long time (a few years) then returned WORSE than ever when I went paleo. Likely, it was a combination of stress and diet. I couldn't figure out why the healthier I ate, the worse it got until I realized that cutting out all the grains, starches, and sugars meant a giant increase in fiber, specifically all that insoluable fiber, which was really destroying my insides.

    I was able to heal myself by going super low fiber (big reduction in veggies) and an increase in white rice and potatoes, probiotics, and some supplements like L-glutamine and bone broth.

    Also realized that a trigger for my IBS is eating gigantic meals - my digestive system really can't cope with too much at once, even with the help of digestive enzymes and HCl. I had been intermittent fasting for months, hoping that by eating 1 huge meal per day, I'd give my digestive system downtime to heal whatever the problem was, but it turned out that IFing was actually making my problem worse. So, I went back to several smaller meals.


    So i don't derail the thread, to the OP: I was apparantley diagnosed with UC and i did have some bloody stools which freaked me out no end. I was determined not to let it get the better off me and definitley not live off medication having read the side affects and etc.

    Basically eat as clean as you can to try get into remission. I would say low to moderate fat, moderate protein and moderate carbs is a good bet until it settles down. Gluten free, dairy free etc all will help no doubt.

    Start getting some probiotic foods, bone broths and the usual items you will see recommended for digestive conditions.

    I wish you all the best, it's a nasty condition but it's definitley possible to get into remission for life i feel.

    Basically, paleo/primal was one of the worse things to ever happen to me, digestively speaking, but I'm able to keep the parts of it that I think are most important (no gluten, dairy, soy, omega 6 crap oils, etc...) and not do the parts that wreak havoc on my system (huge+infrequent meals, fiber from veggies).
    By the way how are you going now that you have reverted to smaller more frequent meals?

    How many meals a day do you tend to eat? I'm thinking of trying 3 square meals for the time being, perhaps then further reducing to 4 meals equating to 2000cal or so.
    Last edited by zizou; 09-06-2012 at 05:27 PM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by zizou View Post
    I think i'm in the same boat, but i hate the fact that it means having insluin spikes more often throughout the day. I'm not diabetic or overweight or anything but it just seems healthier to only eat maybe 2 times a day? 3 if counting a snack.

    But digestively speaking 3-4 smaller meals would benefit me aswell i think. Such a shame, because i have a stupid condition known as gastroparesis which limits my lifestyle choices.

    Initially, I was afraid of the insulin spikes, too, but then I realized it was an unfounded fear. We're designed to release insulin as part of the digestive process, it's not a bad thing...unless eating a diet of 100% fat, there will be an insulin release (even protein digestion triggers an insulin release). I had to accept that my food philosophy (eating infrequent large meals) was actually harming me and no matter how much I wanted to believe it in it, it just wasn't good for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by zizou View Post
    By the way how are you going now that you have reverted to smaller more frequent meals?

    How many meals a day do you tend to eat? I'm thinking of trying 3 square meals for the time being, perhaps then further reducing to 4 meals equating to 2000cal or so.

    I'm doing MUCH better now that I'm eating smaller meals , less fiber, and have improved my gut flora!

    In the early stages of healing, I ate a smallish breakfast, then prepared a moderate sized lunch, but only ate half, waited (sometimes waiting 30 minutes was enough, sometimes 60-120 min was necessary) and then I ate the other half. Dinner was another smaller meal. Over time, I no longer needed to split lunch in half. I now generally eat 3 meals a day. Sometimes I snack in between (usually fruit) and sometimes I don't. If I'm not mindful, I inadvertantly eat a meal that's too big, and I really feel it for the rest of the day.

    Since I really do think there is benefit to IF, usually I still eat in an 10 hour window, but instead of 1 or 2 meals, it's 3 with snacks, or 4 if I'm concerned about not eating enough that day.

    I think that for some people, like those of us with sensitive or suboptimal digestive systems, the CW wisdom of eating smaller meals is actually better.
    Last edited by BestBetter; 09-07-2012 at 03:05 AM.

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    Hi everyone,
    Thanks for the feedback and links. Will check them out.

    To be clear going paleo hasn't made UC worse its actually improved. But clearly there is something else setting the condition off.. or I am eating wheat/gluten and not realising it. I live in HK and food labeling isn't very good, even in "organic" restaurants and such food is still not gluten free. Knowing some native celiac disease sufferers here the general medical view is "take some drugs, nothing you can do otherwise as you have to eat gluten" as its almost impossible to be 100% gluten free here unless you make every single meal yourself from purely raw ingredients. Which is way to laboru intensive when you have a fulltime job not at home (plus this city is very very fast paced and so everyone is constantly stressed out - I long for the slow life of my home, Australia, on those days)

    Hi namelesswonder,
    All the drugs I have taken over the years are anti-inflamatory drugs. They suppress the symptoms at best and allow the body to heal for x-days before being hit again by inflammation.

  9. #9
    zizou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BestBetter View Post
    Initially, I was afraid of the insulin spikes, too, but then I realized it was an unfounded fear. We're designed to release insulin as part of the digestive process, it's not a bad thing...unless eating a diet of 100% fat, there will be an insulin release (even protein digestion triggers an insulin release). I had to accept that my food philosophy (eating infrequent large meals) was actually harming me and no matter how much I wanted to believe it in it, it just wasn't good for me.




    I'm doing MUCH better now that I'm eating smaller meals , less fiber, and have improved my gut flora!

    In the early stages of healing, I ate a smallish breakfast, then prepared a moderate sized lunch, but only ate half, waited (sometimes waiting 30 minutes was enough, sometimes 60-120 min was necessary) and then I ate the other half. Dinner was another smaller meal. Over time, I no longer needed to split lunch in half. I now generally eat 3 meals a day. Sometimes I snack in between (usually fruit) and sometimes I don't. If I'm not mindful, I
    inadvertantly eat a meal that's too big, and I really feel it for the rest of the day.


    Since I really do think there is benefit to IF, usually I still eat in an 10 hour window, but instead of 1 or 2 meals, it's 3 with snacks, or 4 if I'm concerned about not eating enough that day.


    I think that for some people, like those of us with sensitive or suboptimal digestive systems, the CW wisdom of eating smaller meals is actually better.
    Yeah it really is a case of conventional wisdom being right in this case. I have to bite the bullet too im afraid.

    To the op, i had something of a very mild case of some sort of inflammatory response in my colon. Indicative of ulcerative colitits apparantley. I went gluten snd dairy free and that helped along with the medication. I was determined to not live off medicine snd try get better naturally. Lot of info out there on which diets suit uc. Personally keeping it low to moderate fat might be of benefit until some sort of remission is achieved. Also i believe in my case being regular as important, bowel movements always seemed to prevent inflammation build up. So look into that as its linked with good gut health either way.

  10. #10
    ennaejay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crabbcakes View Post
    Hi solomani!

    I don't have ulcerative colitis or any of the other awful digestive stuff, but I might have an avenue you could go down. My daughter had low-grade diarrhea for years, awful gas, bloating. We tested and tested (Cleveland Clinic) but couldn't come up with a diagnosis, so I just did what I thought was useful, and that turned out to be the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (or "SCD" for short - both terms are google-able).

    It aligns very closely with the Primal, but has a few quirks that make a difference for the daughter. After one year on the strict protocol - diarrhea, gas, bloating, all gone. Nice regular, formed, poops that don't gas-bomb the entire house. There is also another diet that bases itself on the SCD, but adds a probiotic protocol, and it is called GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome). I haven't followed the GAPS with the daughter because I am adjusting the fatty acids per Primal before I dive into researching GAPS. One thing at a time, you know...

    Daughter cannot have potato peels, whole seeds, stuff like that because it runs right through her. If we grind the seeds into stuff like seed/nut butters and peel the potatoes, she is fine. Hope this helps - it did the trick with us.

    SCD website: Breaking the Vicious Cycle - The Specific Carbohydrate Diet
    Book is: "Breaking the Vicious Cycle" by Elaine Gottschall
    This. Exactly. Excellent advice, agree 100%
    We do SCD/GAPS but tailor it to our needs at the moment (no beans). It has been extremely healing for both me and my young children.

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