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Thread: Overcoming Crohns Disease page

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    strom's Avatar
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    Overcoming Crohns Disease

    Hi I'm Nathan from Delaware. I've been reading the site for several weeks, and like the info. I joined because I would like to know how I can overcome Crohn's disease and other GI complications. And to get even healthier. What section should I ask such a question, and it will be taken seriously?

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    Hi, Strom

    Before I found Primal Blueprint and Mark's Daily Apple I was working on irritable bowels, leaky gut, and hay fever. They have a lot in common with Crohn's, just not nearly as severe. I found a very good book by Elaine Gottschall, called "Breaking the Vicious Cycle." Perhaps you have come across this book?

    I did what she said -- it had something in common with paleo diets, and the Primal diet, except that she allows simple sugars such as fruit and honey. I got going on the honey (and peanut butter), so I didn't lose an ounce, but it was a miracle cure for the hay fever, which I had fought for fifty years (and lost the fight each year.) So obviously following her advice fixed my leaky gut.

    If you go to Amazon.com, and find the book, try reading the reader reviews. There are over 200, many of whom had severe Crohn's Disease or ulcerative colitis. Many said she saved their lives. There are also websites where people with Crohn's and other similar diseases help each other get going with the SCD (which is what her system is called.) Lots of moral and practical support for people just starting it, who are seriously ill. It's extremely frightening to be that sick, of course, and that's when people who used to be that sick but later got cured can be really helpful.

    That said, going Primal would probably help intestinal problems mightily all by itself.

    Good luck. It's a terrible disease.

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    Unfortunately that book is out of print at Amazon. If I come across it at a book store I will get it. What's very confusing is what to do with fiber. I'm trying to slowly cut out gluten from my diet and eventually stop eating yogurt. I'm not sure how I will maintain the gut floral, since its gets damaged during a flare up.

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    Too bad about the book being out of print! I hope you got a look at the reader reviews, at least.

    Perhaps you could try Barnes and Noble, and see if they have it.

    There's another book (by a crazy Russian) about fiber and poop and one's guts. You can get most of it on his website, though.

    Here, try this ... I've found that following his advice has worked pretty well for my nether end, so to speak.

    http://www.gutsense.org/

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    Going Primal has completely cured my IBS. Cutting out gluten and going easy on the lectin-containing foods was all it took for me. If you want to start a thread where it will be read by more people, try 'Nutrition' or 'Research'.
    Give me liberty. Exploration of other options will be vigorously discouraged.

    Wondering something sciencey? Ask me in my Ask a Biochemist Thread

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    Quote Originally Posted by strom View Post
    Unfortunately that book is out of print at Amazon. If I come across it at a book store I will get it.
    You can buy it used on amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listi...&condition=all

    You may also want to check out Gut and Psychology Syndrome, which is a diet based on the SCD (the diet described in Breaking the Vicious Cycle.) http://www.gutandpsychologysyndrome.com/gaps-diet/

    For the gut flora, you could take an allergen free probiotic, and also consume fermented vegetables, kombucha, water kefir...There are LOTS of options when it comes to fermented/probiotic foods. The SCD recommends eating homemade 24 hour fermented goat's milk yogurt, but perhaps that is after the intro diet.

    I highly recommend checking out both of those books. Learning about the GAPS diet is actually what brought me to primal living--they work really well in conjunction w/ each other IMO.

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    Oh, and cutting gluten out COMPLETELY would be my first step if I had any of these issues, personally. (Gluten is really, really, REALLY awful for MANY of us...Gluten free living was maybe the biggest lifestyle change I've ever made, and one of the best for sure!!!!) If you don't want to totally cut grains, I'd ONLY do gluten free ones (on occasion of course, if you must! )

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    I was diagnosed with Crohn's, too. I thoroughly believe finding Elaine Gottschall's diet has improved my life immensely vs. the state I'd be in now had I never changed my diet. www.breakingtheviciouscycle.info and www.pecanbread.com have lots of information about the diet. One has to be 100% strict. Implementation can be an art form. Join one of the online support groups if you want advice or troubleshooters. Read the book a couple of times to make sure you understand.

    If you are concerned about gut ecology, certain probiotics are allowed on the diet - l. acidophilus being the primary one but there are others. Avoid FOS. But don't concern yourself too much over "losing" your good gut bugs because you're not eating grains anymore.

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    I just bought the Vicious cycle book at Barnes and Nobles. Cheaper there than amazon. Tiny book! Haven't had a chance to read it yet. I went to the library and borrowed, Dr. Bernsteins Diabetic solution (older version) and Good Calories Bad Calories. How's the GUTS book different than Vicious cycle?

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    There's only one thing in the Vicious Cycle book where I think she's outright wrong -- she doesn't seem to think aspartame is harmful. Otherwise, I'd go with exactly what she recommends and give it a good try, 100% compliance, for several months. I think you'll see an amazing difference!

    There are two ways in which her dietary plan differs from "normal" diets: she demands complete compliance, and explains that this is because bad flora in the intestines need to be starved out, while they are desperately holding on. Just give them a tiny dose of what they live on, and you're back to square one.

    The other way in which her system differs from your average dietary plan is that if you are very thorough and determined and go on for as long as it takes, sometimes for two years, you reach a place where your gut is healed and healthy flora are in control, and the mucus no longer hides the enzymes needed to break down starches and sugars -- and then you can gradually reintroduce those forbidden foods one at a time, and often people can go back to "normal" eating as if nothing had happened.

    Most diets and ways of eating insist that one continue with them, sometimes for the rest of one's life.

    Good luck. Take her seriously. And I think you should visit those websites where people using her ideas help each other out. You'll find better recipes there, for one thing. And a lot of people (like here on Mark's Daily Apple) eager to help newcomers over the rough spots.

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