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Forums: Main Kickstart Forum: Vegan diet and Crohn's Disease
Created on: 01/02/14 09:27 PM Views: 1800 Replies: 5
Vegan diet and Crohn's Disease
Posted Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 9:27 PM

Hi, my husband is not vegan but I would love it if he were to try it. One of the problems is that he has Crohn's Disease and eats a very processed, low fruit and vegetable diet because in the past fiber has caused flare-ups that left him hospitalized. He can now eat a little more fiber (after an operation to remove a narrow portion of his intestines, due to scar tissue, a couple of years ago) but he is still hugely wary of fruits and vegetables. He really doesn't even like food now, doesn't want to cook it or think about it given the pain it's given him in the past, yet I know it's the foundation of his health. Has anyone any advice or has experienced an improvement of Crohn's Disease while on a vegan diet? Thanks!

RE: Vegan diet and Crohn's Disease
Posted Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 10:20 PM

My brother has Ulcerative Colitis, the other serious IBD. He's the same way about avoiding fiber. I read, tho, that the nutrition in the foods they are avoiding would help heal the bowels. I don't remember how the people did it - slowly or all at once - Probably one of Dr. McDougall's success stories...

http://www.drmcdougall.com/health/education/health-science/stars/stars-written/andrew-neuman/

I found it! Now it's about UC, I thought it might be for either one, but maybe you'll find it helpful.

Good luck to your husband - he has a very smart wife! Wink

RE: Vegan diet and Crohn's Disease
Posted Saturday, January 4, 2014 at 10:16 AM

I have been diagnosed with Crohn's disease & I am vegan. I am currently in remission. I am not taking and medication for the disease either. I do not eat gluten, processed food, and limit the amount of starch I eat.
My road was long, and not an easy one. As you know, the experience of Chrohn's can inspire drastic measures to feel any relief.
After my gastro dismissed the idea of addressing diet for my symptoms, I tore into the internet, Crohn's chat rooms and websites, and researched. The medication I was taking was literally eating the finish off the toilet seat . At that point in my life, I'd had 3 surgeries, I could not eat any raw fruits or vegetables and had considerable issues with most cooked vegetables. I had significant vitamin deficiencies because I was not digesting my food. Like your husband, I was eating lots of highly processed foods thinking they were easier on my guts.
I had read about a healing diet, the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, and decided to try Atkins as a milder version. Within a week I noticed a significant improvement in symptoms. Because I was eating no "carbs" so to speak, I was not eating gluten and starch, and when I would slip and eat any gluten I would immediately go into flare, and if I ate a significant amount of starch I would also flare. I then proceeded to the Specific Carbohydrate Diet for about a year, which was a huge commitment. Cooked vegetables are slowly reintroduced and eventually raw vegetables as well. It was about this time that I went into a huge flare. My gastro wanted change my medication so I asked him if I could try none first, just to see what happened. It was like someone flipped a switch!!! I was immediately symptom free and have not had a major flare for nearly 2 years.
Then I met my husband, a vegan, and the rest is history. This is my 2nd 21 day challenge. ( I am a cheese-aholic, so this time I am swearing off cheese as well). I still notice symptoms when I ingest gluten, significant amounts of any starch, and iceberg lettuce. I can even have an occasional beer and remain symptom free.
If I was going to give your husband one piece of advice it would be, whatever you do, take it very slow, and listen to your body. Good luck.

Edited 01/04/14 10:23 AM
RE: Vegan diet and Crohn's Disease
Posted Saturday, January 4, 2014 at 10:17 AM

first post, did not realize it actually posted.

Edited 01/04/14 10:19 AM
RE: Vegan diet and Crohn's Disease
Posted Saturday, January 4, 2014 at 10:17 AM

sorry

Edited 01/04/14 10:18 AM
RE: Vegan diet and Crohn's Disease
Posted Sunday, January 5, 2014 at 8:33 PM

Hi Sapphire, I hope your brother is doing well and thanks for taking the time to find the link! It was very interesting to read and maybe some elements might work for my husband. I really hope so. Thanks again!

Hi Iamjoniwheeler, thank you for sharing your experience and congratulations on being off medication and in remission! It's very encouraging to know that veganism and CD are not incompatible. My husbands' gastro also doesn't think diet plays a role (apart from avoiding known triggers). My husband tried the SC Diet and within 1 week had a flare-up so stopped right away and is now very wary of changing anything. It's very frustrating that what works for one person can have the opposite effect on another so, yes, I totally agree about taking it slow and listening to ones' body. Still, it is very encouraging to hear stories like yours. We'll discuss it (and the one from the Dr McDougal website) and see what might be tried. Thank you!


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