• Welcome to Crohn's Forum, a support group for people with all forms of IBD. While this community is not a substitute for doctor's advice and we cannot treat or diagnose, we find being able to communicate with others who have IBD is invaluable as we navigate our struggles and celebrate our successes. We invite you to join us.

Paleo diet

Has anyone tried the paleo diet? I have read several articles about Paleo being a cure for Crohn's. It is a lifestyle without wheat and grains, think glutten free, and because glutten inflames your already inflammed intestins removing it from your diet can help.

I tried to post a link but cannot because I am new to the forum. You can google Paleo and Crohn's. Robb Wolf has some great articles, he is the author of The Paleo Solution.
 
google 'How to Keep Feces Out of Your Bloodstream' for an excellent article on the paleo diet
I've been looking at the paleo diet and a very similar diet (SCD) specifically targeting crohn's and UC.
I was surprised that a search of this site for SCD found nothing.....
(sorry, found the posts, must have been my search technique)
The Specific Carbohydrate Diet eliminates all grains and complex sugars but allows yogurt, most cheese and some legumes which are all excluded in the paleo diet.

go to all the w's breakingtheviciouscycle.info/index.htm
or google 'scd food lady' for one of the may SCD sites

Proponents of the diet claim there is an 80% recovery rate for Crohn's disease and a 95% recovery rate for diverticulitis. They also say that improvement could occur after as little as three weeks and that full recovery was possible for many people with diverticulitis, irritable bowel syndrome and celiac disease after one year. There isn't reliable evidence, however, that confirms these recovery rates or suggests that it's effective.
 
Last edited:
Hello people.

The thing about diets, is that every single diet-practitioner advocates that their diet will cure ______. ________, for us, being Crohn's.

I know people say that the only reason diets are not used as the main form of treatment is because medical companies want money. This, I'm pretty sure, is a load of Crohn's crap. As a community, members of crohnsforum tend to share their experiences with the various diets out there. Some diets work for some people. But the general consensus is that there is no single diet which can cure crohn's, and there is no single diet that will help everyone. If there was a curing diet, we'd know about it, whether the pharma companies wanted us to or not.

An 80% recovery rate is quite the boast, and because everyone advocates for themselves, it is terribly hard to believe. Especially because of the sheer number of scammers out there trying to get you to buy their miracle product/try their diet.

On a side note, there's a reason links are blocked to newer members. I'm don't want to sound angry, because it's really not my place, but you might get some flak for trying to direct us somewhere. Just be ready.

Also, welcome to the forum. :)
 
hi,
thanks for the tips Ben,
I'm not trying to upset anyone (nobody has to go looking, just the ones who are interested).

I was just listening to a local radio show (we are what we eat, the health report, abc national radio, oops).
An interview with Professor Charles Mackay, Director of Immunology and Inflammation, Monash University, Melbourne about the exiting new discoveries in the relationship between gut flora and auto-immune and inflammatory diseases.
He has no idea what is happening, just that it is happening

You are right though, lots of quacks out there spruiking all sorts of sorts of bulldust and rainbow powder,
The thing i can't stand are the people saying that food doesn't matter

Never underestimate the greed of a large corporation though, pure evil.....
 
Last edited:
Oh it absolutely does matter, a great deal. And specific diets help many people maintain/get into remission.

But what you do want to watch out for are people claiming to "cure" crohn's... It's a chronic disease. We don't have a cure. And anyone uneducated enough to say their product will "cure" Crohn's, likely has no idea what effect their diet/product will have on a Crohn's patient.

A little while back, some guy joined the forum who was some sort of holistic doctor quack. His appointments were phone calls. He didn't do prescriptions: he just told you what supplements would "cure" you, and then you had to find them yourself. It was like, 150$ for a phone call. And no money back if his advice didn't make you better.

Obviously it was an absolute scam. But it goes to tell that you have to be careful. People don't seem to have any qualms about preying on the sick :/

Out of curiosity, are you trying the paleo diet?
 
I eat a paleo diet and found it helped my gut considerably. It didn't cure me, but certainly made my life better, and livable. it is rare now for me to have a flare up. Like Rob Wolf's sight. Saw also he was on TV over the weekend, a Discovery Show, where he and others dressed up as cavemen and women and lived off the land for 10 days. Interesting show. Don't think I would make it very long in the wild living that way, but enjoyed the broadcast.

Saw Dr. Harris on his paleo information eating sight had some details on the show Wolf was on.

http://www.archevore.com/
 

My Butt Hurts

Squeals-a-lot!
A friend of mine with Crohn's (not on this site) is strict paleo and says that it is helping his symptoms tremendously. He is still on Humira though, so it is not diet alone.
I haven't considered it because I like my cookies and breads too much, but if my meds weren't working, it is somthing I would have to consider.
I have read in several places that is working well for people who have tried it, and it doesn't seem like "another diet" that someone is trying to sell. I guess it's similar to SCD, (but more like South Beach, maybe?) which a few of our members have had good luck with.
 
paleo/glutenfree...thought!

I was diagnosed in March and have tried so many different drugs, etc. that it is exhausting...and I still struggle every day. About 2 months ago (though no Dr. recommended it or advocated for it), my mom and I decided to try gluten free. I didn't think it made a hugh difference until a few weeks ago we experimented and bought stove top stuffing/pasta/donuts, etc. and decided to eat 'normal.' I had chix/stove top for dinner and cheated and ate the donut for a snack. I woke up around 3am screaming in pain....it lasted for several hours. So now I am back to gluten free.
I know several crohns people who have tried gluten free diets and have had lots of success and are pain free....but they are definitely not cured.
Just something else you can try and see if it works for you because as we all know what works for 1 crohnie doesn't always work for the next.
My mom has been to several gluten seminars and it quite surprised at what she has learned about gluten and diseases...No Cures for diseases but lots of good research has been done with alzheimers patients, diabetics, etc.
 
i've become very interested in going gluten free after testing positive for Celiac disease (only through bloodwork, endoscopy was negative. still not sure what's goin on). i have heard that a gluten free diet has been beneficial for many Crohnies. i don't know much about the paleo diet, how does it differ from a gluten free one? or are they pretty much the same...my Crohns is currently not too bad (knock on wood). things looked really good on my last colonscopy on the 6th. but i'd like to make things even BETTER by trying a diet that may help.

thanks for posting, i'm going to look into this, mhaller7! oh and welcome!!!
 
Some people who are paleo get cult-ish about it which initially turned me off it, but it honestly does seem to help a lot of people. I haven't tried it yet because 1. I love baked goods and 2. the paleo diet seems to be very heavy in meats and veggies/salads. I can't tolerate raw veggies/salads right now so with everything having to be so cooked and bland.. I just don't know if I could do it yet.
 
I did the SCD diet for about 4 months and I noticed a significant difference in how I felt every day. it was a pain to do though- being so careful as to what i could and couldn't eat and having to prepare everything from scratch. I stopped the diet about a month ago because I was travelling for 3wks and it wasn't possible to stay on it. The first week off was tough as my body adjusted back to eating grains. After that I felt good for 2 weeks but this past week it's back to feeling abdominal pain and bloating and discomfort. I look forward to returning to the diet when I get home this weekend.
 
yeah, everyone has an opinion,

Me?
Meat AND veg, LOTS of veg, easy on the fruit.
Get that whole bullshit idea that paleo means lean out of your heads, eat grass fed
QUALITY over Quantity

The whole debate is a bit of a wank really,
some people do better as vegetarians than others,
some people handle meat better.
The only thing that is common to both is that processed foods,processed vegetable oils, grains and sugar are BAD
 
I just wanted to resurrect this thread because I've been on primal/paleo for nearly a year and I'm finding it to be fantastic. I've lost about 20kgs (I was overweight and now am at a healthy weight) and never feel like I'm restricting my diet or missing out. The most important part of it to me being an overly scientific minded person (if I can't see scientifically proven data then I'm not interested haha) is that it's backed up by countless studies and decades of research. It can be a little bit more expensive because as Hugh said above, it's about quality, not quantity and there are some foods I have to omit because it doesn't sit right with my stricture (such as almonds with the skin on and onions) but I have honestly never felt better in my life.

I understand that what works for me will not work for the next person or fit in with their lifestyle or beliefs but after the results that I'm getting from eating a diet made up of natural, whole foods like veggies, fruit, nuts, eggs and organic meats while eliminating well known aggravating foods like dairy and wheat I would recommend those who are interested to give it a go.

Some great resources to check out are:
http://www.marksdailyapple.com/
http://robbwolf.com/
 

hawkeye

Moderator
Staff member
I heard an interesting interview on the radio a couple of months ago from an American cardiologist about eliminating wheat from the diet.

His book is called Wheatbelly. From what I heard its primarily aimed at reversing obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular ailments. Has anyone else looked at this? I am thinking of picking it up and giving it a read.
 
Last edited:
I heard an interesting interview on the radio a couple of months ago from an American cardiologist about eliminating wheat from the diet.

His book is called Wheatbelly. From what I heard its primarily aimed at reversing obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular ailments. Has anyone else looked at this? I am thinking of picking it up and giving it a read.
I haven't read it myself but I see it referenced a lot of SCD and Paleo websites as well as by people who are intolerant to gluten/Celiac's. If you do check it out, let us know how it is :D
 
MDCA, if your not able to get veggies and fruits in because of they are hard to digest, I would highly recommend getting a juicer. I actually just got one and I am amazed at how well I reacted to them and how good they were. I am just using 3 carrots and 1 apple right now for a glass in the morning. Like i said I just got one, but I think I am going to like it cause raw fruits and veggies outside of ripe bananas are out of my league also.
 

Terriernut

Moderator
I've been reading up on the SCD diet. Only problem I see is that this particular cottage cheese (dry curd) doesnt seem to be available in the UK.

So, I've been looking into the GAPS diet.

I am starting wheat free tomorrow. (so much for bacon egg bagels from now on!)
 
I've been gluten free for 6 weeks and have had no improvement. However, if I try to add it back, I get even worse. I kinda feel like I messed something up in my body in that I wasn't having a problem with gluten until I eliminated it. So now I'm still as sick, but can't have gluten (or corn, red meat, caffeine).
 

Terriernut

Moderator
Stephanie, have you added some serious pro biotics while you tried the gluten/wheat free diet? I'm so sorry that its working, but not working completely. Then again, it may be alot more than wheat...maybe some milk proteins bother you as well? Or some of the veg they have in the diet?

I'm doing it as much to get rid of my huge, GI-Normormous GUT. While the rest of me looks like a starving thing! However, I'm starting Bio-Kult probiotics at the same time.
 
I eliminated dairy for 4 of those weeks. I was able to add it back with no problems. I've been taking a good probiotic for about 7-8 weeks.
 

Terriernut

Moderator
Thats the problem with us Crohnies. Nothing is perfect for us and it just SUCKS! It makes me jealous of diets working so well for normal people. With Crohns, improvements yes, with alot of things. But for alot of us, it's just never 'the full monty'.
 
You know, for years, I was a self-termed 'lazy' Crohnie. My motto was give me a pill/shot with the least inconvenience to my lifestyle. I always said if it got bad enough, I'd look into my diet. That moment came a couple months ago, while failing Cimzia and Imuran and still miserable. I finally realized that the power to get better was within my control. All I had to do was eat better. I gave it all I had. Now I'm just bitter and wanting the quick fixes again. The diet just didn't work for me. I'm too scared to go back to my old ways, so I'm staying gluten free, but I don't really believe it's helping.
 

Terriernut

Moderator
I'm so sorry! Time for the big guns isnt it? Stick with the gluten/wheat free while flaring though, since it helped, even if just a little.
:hug:
 
I heard an interesting interview on the radio a couple of months ago from an American cardiologist about eliminating wheat from the diet.

His book is called Wheatbelly. From what I heard its primarily aimed at reversing obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular ailments. Has anyone else looked at this? I am thinking of picking it up and giving it a read.
I read WheatBelly by Dr. Davis. Thought it a good read. What was new to me was his write up on how modern wheat is basically a synthetic product called dwarf wheat, created in in the 1950s I believe. Dwarf wheat is an easy crop to grow and harvest, but not so good to eat. From what I gathered, kind of hard to even call what we have in stores today wheat.

The doctor has a blog. I don't recall reading anyone with Crohn's writing in, but I've seen many giving testimonials about long time gastrointestinal distress conditions going away after avoiding wheat.

His blog is at:

http://www.wheatbellyblog.com/
 
I've been gluten free for 6 weeks and have had no improvement. However, if I try to add it back, I get even worse. I kinda feel like I messed something up in my body in that I wasn't having a problem with gluten until I eliminated it. So now I'm still as sick, but can't have gluten (or corn, red meat, caffeine).
Sorry the wheat/gluten free diet hasn't worked out! Wheat is an odd food. I've read of some people having great difficulty eating wheat once avoided for awhile. I believe it is the only food known for doing that. My father seems to be that way. He, along with I, avoid wheat in the family. Just a simple cookie appears to now cause dad great stomach discomfort. I haven't tried reintroducing wheat into my diet over the last 5 years. It helped my gut when I went gluten free. It didn't cure me, but I'm fortunate to not be nearly as ill as I was before. I don't have a desire to go back to my old eating habits.

Saw this the other week, with many writing in about problems with eating wheat after avoiding it for awhile.

"Do you have food poisoning?"

http://www.wheatbellyblog.com/2011/12/do-you-have-food-poisoning/
 

KWalker

Moderator
A little while ago I considered doing a gluten free diet. I have been pretty well in remission for awhile now, but I considered the diet to better my chances of staying in remission.... Then I realized gluten free=no cake. I quickly decided against that idea. Knock on wood I've been doing great without meds and eating anything I want, but atleast if I do have a flare up ill be sitting on the couch with a giant piece of cake lol. Its worth it to me. I'm sure most won't agree, but why try and stop the unstoppable?
 

Terriernut

Moderator
I see nothing wrong with that KWalker. Some of us are sensitive to wheat, some of us are sensitive to sugar, some...fats, and on and on. We just have to do what works for us as individuals. I know some crohnies that eat veggies with no probs (grrrr) so...to each their own! But...there are such things as wheat free cakes etc...although I have yet to try them. But I will!!!
 
I've been gluten free for 6 weeks and have had no improvement. However, if I try to add it back, I get even worse. I kinda feel like I messed something up in my body in that I wasn't having a problem with gluten until I eliminated it. So now I'm still as sick, but can't have gluten (or corn, red meat, caffeine).
six weeks isn't that long in terms of diet.
If you get worse by adding them back then you are probably better off without them. (you always had a problem with it but didn't know until you gave it up, that's how most food intolerances work)

There are a few other things to give up before you say it hasn't worked.......
-ALL complex (white) carbs
-Sugar (and artificial sweeteners, but some honey is ok)
-Other grains and grain like crops - barley, oats, quinoa,
-Starchy veg - potatoes, turnips
-All processed foods
-Anything with SOY in it

I know it is daunting but you have done the hard part.


Two other things i'd suggest....

-Food isn't the only cause, you might need to address vaccinations and other issues
A good classical homeopath - preferably with medical training, (definitely not a wishy-washy, crystals and aromatherapy type)

-An elimination diet
I seem to have problems with most vegetable oils, so i stick to good olive oil.
You might need to find a few triggers that are not good for you (there are strong links between legumes and intestinal permeability, and a definite link between intestinal permeability and crohn's

"During a period of at least one month, but preferably three months, you abstain totally from the following foods:

All cereal grains like wheat, rye, barley, corn and rice and derived products like bread and pasta
Legumes like beans, lentils and dry peas, including soy and peanuts and derived products like oils
The nightshades like potatoes, tomatoes, (bell) peppers and eggplant (sweet potatoes are no nightshades)
Eggs
Dairy
All plant seed oils except coconut oil and some virgin cold-pressed olive oil
Nuts (they also contain a lot of the proinflammatory omega-6)
Processed and canned foods
Starchy foods, sugars, artificial sweeteners, soft drinks, candy, fruit juices
Alcoholic beverages
All additives (E numbers)

After the period of one to three months you can carefully and separately reintroduce eggs, nightshades, legumes and dairy and determine what these foods do to you. If they make you feel worse, eliminate them forever. In any case abstain from grains and soy for life; they (the lectins they contain) at the end of the day bring havoc to everybody. Furthermore keep severely limiting the other foods from the list above"

I know it sounds like HELL, but i'm loving it 95% of the time
 
That's what I did, only I was told (by my integrated MD) to do it for 3 weeks, then reintroduce each item. I haven't tried adding eggs or soy back in yet. Though I was told rice and beans were safe.

What do you mean about addressing vaccinations? I can't really control what vaccines I received as a kid. The ones I've had as an adult were required to get a visa for travel to Vietnam.
 

Terriernut

Moderator
Live vaccines are a problem for us all. But we cant get live vaccines or shouldnt on our meds. It does wreak havoc on our immune system.
 
You may have to be stricter (absolutety) for longer, but with your doctors help.

There are lots of 'health care practitioners" (i have to admit that many of them are quacks) who claim that vaccinations both damage the immune system, and damage the intestine.
There are a fair number of studies to support these claims but interpretations vary and i'm no expert.
A good homeopath can (it is claimed) can undo much of the damage done.
(i've tried a few homeopaths and had varying results, my current one was an M.D. so is well trained in conventional and naturopathic medicine)
 

KWalker

Moderator
I see nothing wrong with that KWalker. Some of us are sensitive to wheat, some of us are sensitive to sugar, some...fats, and on and on. We just have to do what works for us as individuals. I know some crohnies that eat veggies with no probs (grrrr) so...to each their own! But...there are such things as wheat free cakes etc...although I have yet to try them. But I will!!!
Oh for sure. I can definately appreciate somebody who can manage an illness using diet. I have said it in a few of my other posts but I think for me personally because I've had crohns for so long (since I was 2) I've been through all the medications, even the heavy ones so I'm at the latter part of this. I really do think that being on some of the meds for so long its killed off most of the infection (and then some). I don't even want to know what my insides look like after everything.

I was actually scheduled for a colonoscopy right before Christmas (its been 3 years since my last) but I ended up having surgery for an abscess with in return pushed my scope back until I'm healed. For me, I think that because I've had crohns my whole life, this is what normal feels like. You always hear about people talking about how much it hurts to have the big D, but for me that's all I've ever had. I'd be so screwed if I had to pass a hard stool.

I don't get stomach aches anymore...or is it that my stomach doesn't know what its like to hurt because it always feels like that? That's what I'm used too. I can honestly say though that I don't have any "bad days". Its been years since I spoke to a G.I. But was on methotrexate injections up until about 14 months ago now, simply because I was afraid to stop taking it. I feel great ever since I did stop though.

I love my veggies (sorry! Lol) and I do eat really healthy actually. Its pretty rare for me to go to a fast food restaurant just because of quality and that but I can't say I haven't used crohns to get out of eating certain gross foods lol
 
I have been gluten free and on a whole-foods version of Atkins (essentially Paleo) for over 8 years. I only had one flare-up in that time. It took about 3 months for me to get off prednizone when I started this way of eating and it took nearly a year to feel 100% better. Any change of eating could take a long time to make you feel better and you feel better so slowly that you may not even remember how bad you used to feel. I went through some old diaries of when I was sick and I could not believe how I didn't remember how bad I felt all the time.

I don't think any one thing can help all of us, nor can it cure us. We will still need medications to help us stay healthy, but many of these recommended diet plans are anti-inflammatory and can help us reduce flare ups and improve our quality of life. They are not an overnight cure, though and you have to give them the chance to work (1-6 months depending on how severe your symptoms are). I wish you all the best.
 
Hugh:
"During a period of at least one month, but preferably three months, you abstain totally from the following foods:

All cereal grains like wheat, rye, barley, corn and rice and derived products like bread and pasta
Legumes like beans, lentils and dry peas, including soy and peanuts and derived products like oils
The nightshades like potatoes, tomatoes, (bell) peppers and eggplant (sweet potatoes are no nightshades)
Eggs
Dairy
All plant seed oils except coconut oil and some virgin cold-pressed olive oil
Nuts (they also contain a lot of the proinflammatory omega-6)
Processed and canned foods
Starchy foods, sugars, artificial sweeteners, soft drinks, candy, fruit juices
Alcoholic beverages
All additives (E numbers)"

Can I ask you what you DO eat during that time period? fish, chicken, and vegis basically? what about fruit? What would you have for breakfast? lunch?
I really want to do this, but I am not sure what to eat instead.
 
Can I ask you what you DO eat during that time period? fish, chicken, and vegis basically? what about fruit? What would you have for breakfast? lunch?
I really want to do this, but I am not sure what to eat instead.
I ate everything that's not on the list, and now i eat eggs and nuts too.

It's tough but it is for a limited time.
A salad of chopped spinach and lettuce with grated carrot and grated (raw) beetroot, add in some kalimata olives and avocado,
Top with roasted pumpkin and carrot and then add some roast chicken or roast lamb (or kangaroo or bison or.....)

Here's a paleo shopping list, but leave off the eggs and nuts for now
 
Oh my gosh! Can you come cook for me?? lol. the meal you described sounds HEAVENLY. But I am surprised you can handle so many raw vegetables and seeds. And can you make anything out of those flours? or are all baked goods (breads, muffins, etc.) completely gone?
Every diet seems to have a different philosophy behind it (some quite oppositional in nature) and it is hard to know which one to try.
 
I have baked with coconut flour and almond flour. You need more eggs to get a "bakery-is" texture, but it isn't bad. There are a lot of easy recipes online. Just search for paleo muffins, breads, etc.
 
Every diet seems to have a different philosophy behind it (some quite oppositional in nature) and it is hard to know which one to try.
Being a paleo thread, i'd have to recommend paleo,
but most of us would have to transition slowly and sadly some won't feel much better
(reduce stress, gentle exercise, and check other 'holistic' factors, find a good medically trained homeopath?)

I can tolerate almost anything but chocolate (my only-non paleo treat) sends my intestines to a bad place and poop goes nasty! (sorry, TMI?)

Interestingly, Legumes and Grains have been proven to contribute to intestinal permeability (leaky gut), which is both a large factor in crohn's and also affects how you handle (potentially) allergenic foods like eggs and nuts

The philosophy behind paleo is solid, don't eat stuff that you're not designed to eat

one of my Favorite breakfasts
Beat two eggs,
make thin omlette.
put aside,
fry one onion,add one carrot (chopped)
add kale,spinach.
when wilted add tamari and lemon juice,
remove from heat,
add 1/2 (1/3) teaspoon honey,
add chopped up omlette
 
I avoided all dairy and gluten for over 2 years. Then I was able to reintroduce aged or cultured dairy only. I handle raw fruit and veggies OK, but when I had a flare up I would avoid them and opt for cooked vegetables. I avoid high-glycemic fruits and do better with berries. I do well with all true nuts but not peanuts, and I also have to avoid most legumes. Lentils are OK for me. It took me a long time, a lot of trial and error as well as consulting with a naturopath and a chiropractor. I still avoid gluten and remain low-glycemic and opt for whole foods. Everyone is different. It can take a long time (even 3 months or more) to feel better on the "right diet" so it gets kind of complicated.
 

David

Co-Founder
Staff member
Location
Naples, Florida
I'm currently on the specific carbohydrate diet. It's amazing just how similar both it and Paleo are. And both just so happen to work for a lot of people with IBD. I think there's a lot of wisdom at work with these diets.

Out of curiosity, does Paleo allow any sort of cheeses?
 
real paleo (if there is such a thing) doesn't allow cheese, but many paleo dieters decide that some things are ok or even beneficial.
When i started paleo i ate cheese with no problem while other dairy was not ok.
It helped make the transition easier but now i don't eat it.

When you say cheese do you mean grass fed organic goats milk cheese or that shit in a can?
It's a wide spectrum and i'd go for quality over quantity

This article covers most of the issues with dairy
http://paleodietlifestyle.com/place-of-dairy-on-paleo-diet/
 
inflamation. heart disease and diet,
worth a read

http://www.sott.net/articles/show/24...-Heart-Disease

Dr. Dwight Lundell.........
"What are the biggest culprits of chronic inflammation? Quite simply, they are the overload of simple, highly processed carbohydrates (sugar, flour and all the products made from them) and the excess consumption of omega-6 vegetable oils like soybean, corn and sunflower that are found in many processed foods.

Take a moment to visualize rubbing a stiff brush repeatedly over soft skin until it becomes quite red and nearly bleeding. you kept this up several times a day, every day for five years. If you could tolerate this painful brushing, you would have a bleeding, swollen infected area that became worse with each repeated injury. This is a good way to visualize the inflammatory process that could be going on in your body right now.

Regardless of where the inflammatory process occurs, externally or internally, it is the same. I have peered inside thousands upon thousands of arteries. A diseased artery looks as if someone took a brush and scrubbed repeatedly against its wall. Several times a day, every day, the foods we eat create small injuries compounding into more injuries, causing the body to respond continuously and appropriately with inflammation."
 

nogutsnoglory

Moderator
I just started the paleo diet. Is anyone on this who isn't taking meds?

For those of you on meds how do you know if the diet or the medicine is what's working?
 
I'm on the Paleo diet and do not take any medications. I have incorporated some SCD modifications, such as yogurt and very aged cheese. I was on the SCD for a couple of years after my initial diagnosis and had a lot of success. Also, I don't do coconut milk that's not canned (at the advice of my ND - Naturopathic Doctor) since all of them have carageenan, which is linked to inflammation in many studies. (In fact they use it to induce colitis in lab animals - yikes.) A lot of Paleo recipes have coconut milk.

So I have added the yogurt for morning smoothies for a little creaminess and protein. And cheese is just too hard to give up for me :ytongue:, but I try to limit it to once a week. I do go for grass-fed versions of these if I can find them.

I was concerned about my cholesterol due to my family history, so I have also decided to stick with lean meats - free range chicken/turkey and eggs on occasion - and wild caught fish, rather than beef and bacon. It was an adjustment to eat so much meat (two meals a day at least) but I have seen results in improvement of symptoms.

I have found the diet to be way more costly than my previous vegetarian diet, but I find that the days I take in high levels of protein (70+g for me and my size) I feel great. I even find it diminishes my depression and anxiety, which in turn helps the flare ups.

Now, that all said, I do have milder Crohn's than many on this forum. In the 16 years since diagnosis I was only on meds the first 9 months or so, and once in the last couple of months. I don't tolerate the meds, in fact it caused a horrible flare almost as bad as the onset of the illness. So I have sought an ND and am going to start taking a course of "gut rebuilding" supplements and vitamins, and he has encouraged me to stay with the Paleo diet.

I have read many posts (not just on this Crohn's forum but others) criticizing the Paleo diet for its high intake of meat. It's true that meats can have an acidifying affect on the body which in turn promotes inflammation, but the Paleo diet is well researched. And if one follows it's principles closely, it aims to balance that out by using grass-fed meats and wild caught seafood. Those are the animal proteins with higher Omega-3 levels proportionately, which are anti-inflammatory. The animals fed on grain (even farm-raised fish) end up with higher Omega-6 levels, which are pro-inflammatory.

So if you want to follow the Paleo, I encourage you to read up on it and stick to it as faithfully as you can to really see the positive effects of it. Everyone is different and for many this has been a help. It has been in my case.
 
I've been off and on paleo for awhile now. When I'm on it...I'm also on Imuran....I have no symptoms. Within a few days of being off I get pain and diarrhea. This last time I went into a super bad flare (thank you mashed potatoes and the milk in them!). After three days of intense pain and considering going to the ER I decided to hit paleo really strictly to see if it'd help before resorting to an ER visit. That first day I felt better within eight hours and today, my second day, my flare pain is pretty much gone although still having some diarrhea.

I'm a big believer. :D
 
I'm not a long term paleo-practitioner; only since May or June of this year. I had a really good routine for a couple of months and then my father-in-law was hospitalized and died last month, which threw my entire routine through a loop sadly. Not much to eat paleo-wise at the hospital cafeteria. (And stress eating...and drinking.) And I could feel the difference after a couple of weeks of not controlling my diet. So I am trying to ramp it up again and here's what I have been (trying) to do.

Breakfast: pastured chicken egg (or two if I'm hungry which I'm usually not) with some sauteed cooked spinach (I buy frozen organic) and some home grown cherry tomatoes (which I slow roasted over the weekend in a batch to have for the week). Before, each weekend, I had been making up turkey breakfast patties with sweet potato (thanks, PaleOMG.com). That worked really well to re-heat in a rush.

Lunch: leftovers if available, if not some canned wild caught salmon (Costco) with organic cucumber and homemade mayo. If my gut has been feeling good I top a small salad with the salmon with some EVOO and apple cider vinegar. Before, I had been also making a batch of turkey meatballs for the week, or pressure cooked some chicken breasts to make up in a salad. I'm a chronic lunch-skipper so whatever is easy and already made is usually my best option, which means planning ahead and cooking on weekends.

Dinner: I keep frozen wild-caught fish and pasture raised chicken breasts/thighs on hand. I try to remember to throw something in the fridge to defrost for the following day to pressure cook, broil or saute with whatever organic veggies I might have on hand depending on the season. I've been roasting batches of butternut squash with apples lately - yum! I also use a lot of ground turkey (pastured of course) to add to tomato sauces, which I purchase if ingredients are paleo legal, and top a pile of steamed julienne cut zucchini. I trawl paleo websites, or my one paleo recipe book, for ideas and have found some good ones and keep a note of what I want to do again, or not. And I try to make the recipe doubled so that we can have leftovers for lunch the next day or two.

Like most people, I like to snack :ytongue: and I'm grateful to sites like NomNomPaleo.com since I can steal ideas like her trail mix made from sunflower kernels, slivered almonds, pumpkin seeds, dried pineapple and coconut and then add things like mac nut pieces and other dried fruit. I graze on that, or top some homemade yogurt (nod to the SCD). I also eat LaraBars that don't have peanuts in them.

It all requires way more planning than I have ever been used to, but then again, it's my sloppy and poor eating habits that started eating away at my health. And before anyone jumps on that and thinks I'm blaming Crohn's on diet, no, I am not, but I sure didn't set myself up for a great amount of health and energy eating Lucky Charms for dinner and skipping 1-2 meals a day (and then binging on said Lucky Charms). And I'm still not perfect. I drink wine and beer, so I eat a bit more "ancestral" than "paleo". :beerchug: But hey, it's all about balance. I take a whole digestive supplement program from my naturopathic doctor, too, and try not to go "off the reservation" diet-wise for more than two days in a row, or it does indeed catch up with the bloating and such symptoms.

So that's what I've been doing and I can honestly say I feel a difference in having more energy and less depression and anxiety as well, and lost weight at first (and some body fat for sure - has anyone else on Paleo wondered where their butt went? ) but have now been maintaining the same weight for about a month or so. It just took me a while to get in the habit of planning ahead and spending a few hours each weekend cooking ahead of time. But now it's like an adventure and I view it as an investment in my long term health. :ybiggrin:
 
I'm not a long term paleo-practitioner; only since May or June of this year. I had a really good routine for a couple of months and then my father-in-law was hospitalized and died last month, which threw my entire routine through a loop sadly. Not much to eat paleo-wise at the hospital cafeteria. (And stress eating...and drinking.) And I could feel the difference after a couple of weeks of not controlling my diet. So I am trying to ramp it up again and here's what I have been (trying) to do.

Breakfast: pastured chicken egg (or two if I'm hungry which I'm usually not) with some sauteed cooked spinach (I buy frozen organic) and some home grown cherry tomatoes (which I slow roasted over the weekend in a batch to have for the week). Before, each weekend, I had been making up turkey breakfast patties with sweet potato (thanks, PaleOMG.com). That worked really well to re-heat in a rush.

Lunch: leftovers if available, if not some canned wild caught salmon (Costco) with organic cucumber and homemade mayo. If my gut has been feeling good I top a small salad with the salmon with some EVOO and apple cider vinegar. Before, I had been also making a batch of turkey meatballs for the week, or pressure cooked some chicken breasts to make up in a salad. I'm a chronic lunch-skipper so whatever is easy and already made is usually my best option, which means planning ahead and cooking on weekends.

Dinner: I keep frozen wild-caught fish and pasture raised chicken breasts/thighs on hand. I try to remember to throw something in the fridge to defrost for the following day to pressure cook, broil or saute with whatever organic veggies I might have on hand depending on the season. I've been roasting batches of butternut squash with apples lately - yum! I also use a lot of ground turkey (pastured of course) to add to tomato sauces, which I purchase if ingredients are paleo legal, and top a pile of steamed julienne cut zucchini. I trawl paleo websites, or my one paleo recipe book, for ideas and have found some good ones and keep a note of what I want to do again, or not. And I try to make the recipe doubled so that we can have leftovers for lunch the next day or two.

Like most people, I like to snack :ytongue: and I'm grateful to sites like NomNomPaleo.com since I can steal ideas like her trail mix made from sunflower kernels, slivered almonds, pumpkin seeds, dried pineapple and coconut and then add things like mac nut pieces and other dried fruit. I graze on that, or top some homemade yogurt (nod to the SCD). I also eat LaraBars that don't have peanuts in them.

It all requires way more planning than I have ever been used to, but then again, it's my sloppy and poor eating habits that started eating away at my health. And before anyone jumps on that and thinks I'm blaming Crohn's on diet, no, I am not, but I sure didn't set myself up for a great amount of health and energy eating Lucky Charms for dinner and skipping 1-2 meals a day (and then binging on said Lucky Charms). And I'm still not perfect. I drink wine and beer, so I eat a bit more "ancestral" than "paleo". :beerchug: But hey, it's all about balance. I take a whole digestive supplement program from my naturopathic doctor, too, and try not to go "off the reservation" diet-wise for more than two days in a row, or it does indeed catch up with the bloating and such symptoms.

So that's what I've been doing and I can honestly say I feel a difference in having more energy and less depression and anxiety as well, and lost weight at first (and some body fat for sure - has anyone else on Paleo wondered where their butt went? ) but have now been maintaining the same weight for about a month or so. It just took me a while to get in the habit of planning ahead and spending a few hours each weekend cooking ahead of time. But now it's like an adventure and I view it as an investment in my long term health. :ybiggrin:

Hi LaLaNapa,

I've been paleo for about 4-5 weeks after a month long elimination diet. I have been ultra committed to the process, but I am feeling pretty discouraged at this time. Initially, I was feeling the benefit of more energy, better moods, but I have now developed terrible constipation, despite my best efforts to eat well, drink water, walk/yoga/light exercise, castor oil packs/massages on my gut, peppermint tea and oil, l-glutamine, probiotics, marshmallow tea, etc.etc.

Did you experience any adverse effects when starting paleo? Since starting, i've had a couple of set backs/flares (partial blockages, due to a stricture) so in some ways, I feel as though I am doing worse than before!

Any feedback?

Thanks so much!
 
Hi LovingtheCoast!

Wow, that was like reading a time capsule for me! It was only October of last year, but I've had a few things changed in my "program", new tests, and a new med since then. And before I say anything else, I really believe that this disease is distinct in every individual - as each immune system is distinct. So what works for me doesn't necessarily work for everyone else. But i can say that I did a lot of research and a lot trial and error.

I am still 95% paleo - but living in Napa valley and working in the wine industry, I can't get that pro-inflammatory wine out of my diet! In fact, that and coffee are still my Achilles heal. I'm on decaf week as I write this because I had a pretty bad set back over the weekend. That was due to some "hotel quality" food at a wedding reception - and I KNEW I should not have tried the cake....but "when in Rome". So it was back a step for me, but it made me realize how far I have come. I had not had joint pains and fever and exhaustion and The D in such a long time, that it felt especially depressing to have it again. But I hopped back on my paleo train and got in to my supplements again and I'm nearly back to normal today.

But reading your post made me look back in to my food log from last year (didn't really keep it this year). I started probably about a year ago with Paleo. And then it took my probably three months to realize that I wasn't really full Paleo. I had to stop buying packaged products of any kind unless I could completely identify the ingredients (even pico de gallo from the grocery store has corn starch!). And it took me a few months for my appetite and taste buds to adjust, too, I think. I didn't want to eat at first, which in turn made me tired and depressed. It also took a while for the supplements to really build up and start working (except for the fiber - Blue Heron - that was a miracle for me!). But I didn't know if it was all really working.

Then, I had my second colonoscopy in December, and first MRE. By that time all the inflammation in my colon - which had not even allowed for a scope to pass in April - was gone. Inactive according to the pathology. Yeah! BUT they found active chronic inflammation in my ileum. (Which my former GI doc told me I didn't have. Grr.) So, I went back to the naturopath and he changed my supplements up. Besides the multi & B vitamins, I take Zyflamend, N-A-C, Selenomethionine, Zinc Citrate, Buffered Vit C, Fish Oil, probiotic and fiber (Blue Heron).

With all the above, I would say I had improved my systems about 90%. I still had occasional troubles - even with good food, but if it was a big salad, for instance, I could not handle that. And I realized that it took some time for this condition to develop, so it would take some time for me to be able to control it this way without the "big gun" meds, which I chose not to take.

At my follow up after this scope/MRE my new doc (UCSF) did not push Remicade as she was going to, but rather let me try LDN. I had researched that, and before trying Entocort and anything else, I wanted to see if that would help. And I have to say, LDN has been the last piece of the puzzle for me, though it took 3 months to take effect.

In fact, I've dropped off taking my supp's regularly and cheated a lot on my diet - increased coffee, cheese and alcohol - and pretty much have been OK. Occasional bread - even some bites of mac-n-cheese. Until this weekend. I think I reached the breaking point. But I've also reached the point where I don't crave all those carbs, so that is a milestone for me. And the lesson for me is that I will never be able to live like a "normal" healthy person. I will have to get back on track with my supplements and really not go "hog wild" too many days in a row. A cheat now and then doesn't affect me now with the LDN, but I know I can't press my luck either. And along the way I learned balance is so important. I had become obsessed with reading and all the different things I could do, that I found even thinking about Crohn's stressed me out. And I think just having it is enough - I didn't want it controlling my thoughts, too! :biggrin:

So I don't know if this was even helpful for you, but the short version is this: it takes time. More than a few weeks. We're not healthy people that start Paleo and get all super-powered and CrossFit crazy. We're just trying to get our gut to start working a little more like it should be. For me, I'd mistreated it for so long it took a good while before I could see some affects and get all the pieces of the puzzle in place.

Everything you're doing is working WITH your body and not against it, and I think that's always a good thing. It's just the expectation that gets to us. Don't give up! And be patient with yourself.
 
Loving the Coast ~

That isn't good about the constipation difficulties you are experiencing since beginning the paleo diet. Thought to chime in and mention that I've seen a few times on paleo and other grain free eating sights a mention that constipation sometimes becomes a problem. Recall this write up about different ways of addressing C, after avoiding wheat products.

"Quit your pushing"

http://www.wheatbellyblog.com/2011/11/quit-your-pushing/

You probably have already given this a try, but as mentioned in the article 400mgs of magnesium citrate twice a day could be of assistance.

Additionally, I've seen David, one of the founders of this sight, mentioning that he is a big believer in taking magnesium for Crohn's. He might have some ideas also.

Good luck!
 
LaLaNapa -

Your post was so helpful!!! Your situation sounds similar to mine in that I also love my wine and coffee and I am also reluctant to go the route of big guns meds. I meet with my GI next week and I hope that he doesn't push too hard on humira and remicade. That said, I am already on Imuran, and I don't think it's working anymore :( so it might be time for me to step it up. I have this darn stricture that seems to be the cause of my complications... I will ask him about a strictureplasty or dilation procedure. I think I would prefer that to starting on more meds.

I keep trying to remind myself that all of my efforts are helping my gut heal. Balance is so key - I was becoming neurotic about paleo so my ND said I needed to relax a bit, cheating here and there is okay - you just need to learn how and when to push the boundaries. Sounds like you're getting there! Sucks about the wedding food fiasco !!

PS - I WISH I could be healthy enough to be a hardcore crossfitter!

Beach -
Thanks for the feedback! I am going to check out different magnesium supplements after work. My ND warned me that if taken long term, your gut can become dependent. She said take them for no longer than one week but it sounds like a lot of people, many on Paleo diets, are on them fulltime.
 
Hi LaLaNapa,

I've been paleo for about 4-5 weeks after a month long elimination diet. I have been ultra committed to the process, but I am feeling pretty discouraged at this time. Initially, I was feeling the benefit of more energy, better moods, but I have now developed terrible constipation, despite my best efforts to eat well, drink water, walk/yoga/light exercise, castor oil packs/massages on my gut, peppermint tea and oil, l-glutamine, probiotics, marshmallow tea, etc.etc.

Did you experience any adverse effects when starting paleo? Since starting, i've had a couple of set backs/flares (partial blockages, due to a stricture) so in some ways, I feel as though I am doing worse than before!

Any feedback?

Thanks so much!

Which probiotics are you using? Keep in mind, many probiotic strains are not recommended for IBD, specifically any Bifidus, bifida, bifidum, etc. The author of Breaking the Vicious Cycle only recommends acidophilus and not other strains. Just a though :) Hang in there!
 
Do any of you find any nutrient deficiencies with the Paleo diet (calcium, Vitamin D, etc)? Do you address them with supplements?
 
If you are careful to eat a nutrient dense diet with lots of quality meats, veggies, and fats one *theoretically* should be getting everything they need. However, if you have a compromised gut, chances are, you are not absorbing the nutrients you require. Healing the gut can take a long time and folks often benefit from the help of a licensed practitioner (naturopath, etc).

I think supplementation is common for the gut healing process and for optimal health beyond gut healing. Vit D, fish oil, l-glutamine, probiotics, fermented foods, reduced sugar (b/c it feeds bad gut flora), organ meats (eg. liver), LOTS of sleep, stress management, regular exercise, are just a few strategies my research has pointed to for gut healing and optimal health.

[Also --talk to you doc before you supplement with calcium - recent studies have addressed a link between calcium supplementation and plaque build-up in the arteries. Just a head's up. I try to eat calcium rich foods (broccoli and almonds, for example)].

At first, I found the whole thing daunting, but I have gradually come to understand why I need to eat certain foods, avoid others, take this supplement or that, and get plenty of rest, a little sunshine where I can, regular exercise and frequent laughter. I thought it sounded very airy-fairy at first, but I really do believe in a holistic (whole body + mind) approach.

That said, I am doing all of this natural stuff along with my medications. At first, I tried all natural healing, no meds, however it didn't work for me. I was really upset at first, but now I am totally at peace with taking a complementary approach.

I hope this helps :)
 
Thanks for the response LovingtheCoast, did you find a specific type of fish oil+probiotic helped in particular? I've seen many people mention certain strains of probiotics are potentially harmful and not all fish oil sources are the same.
 
I trusted my naturopath and I take the brand she recommended - Genestra. I've been taking both since May and feel much better. I have made a number of changes, eg. giving up coffee, reducing alcohol, no gluten, very low dairy, mostly Paleo diet, and all the other elements I listed in my previous post. I have never slept better, my energy is steady and stronger, I have started working out again, my weight is steady, my happiness factor is stronger. I still have flares, but they are less intense, and I rebound faster. This is just me, everyone has to chart their own course :)

Good luck and let me know if you have any other questions!
Steph
 
Do any of you find any nutrient deficiencies with the Paleo diet (calcium, Vitamin D, etc)? Do you address them with supplements?
E supplements with an SCD vitamin, even though he isn't technically on SCD anymore, he is on autoimmune paleo. The iron that is typically in basic multi vitamins can be hard on the stomach. The SCD vit. doesn't have iron. He tends to stay anemic so we supplement with a chewable, less agitating form of iron.

He also takes a probiotic.
 
Top