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Should we start SCD / GAPS now?

Hi All,
my daughter, 15, was diagnosed with Crohn few months back. Went through enteral nutrition treatment (Fortisip by Nutricia) for 8 weeks and just started Imuran as a maintenance drug and slowly moving back to normal diet.
However - our aim is to take her out of the drugs as soon as possible.
We are inclined to start SCD / GAPS diet - however given her very mild symptoms so far (D once every 2 days, if at all) and appetite to eat whatever is in the fridge :ylol: together with her age - make me think twice - whether to leave this drastic change further down the path, and focus now on lactose free / gluten free diet, with as low carbs as possible + probiotics / enzymes / vitamin supplements - if required.
as per your experience - what would you suggest?


It's probably best not to make too many drastic changes to her diet at once. Apart from anything else, too many changes will make it hard to know which aspects of her diet are responsible for any changes in her symptoms. You'll also need to consider whether, if she improves, it's dietary changes which are making her feel better or whether it's the medication. Keeping a food and symptom diary and recording any changes in her medications can be useful. Has she been tested for lactose intolerance and/or coeliacs?

Since different diets work for different people, I don't think anyone can say which diets or supplements are most likely to work for your daughter, as I'm sure you know. I think I would start with the least restrictive diets. My symptoms actually got worse when I made drastic changes like giving up all processed food. It wasn't good for my health at all to be that restrictive. However, by trial and error, over many months I was able to discover which types of food were best for me and which gave me problems.

Given your daughter's age, it's also important to know what she wants to do. Some of the more extreme diets would require her to give up a lot of favourite foods and would present difficulties when it comes to eating socially - meals out, sharing foods with friends, etc. How interested is she in attempting to control her disease through diet?

In my case, when I was a teenager and first got ill, I got quite obsessed with what foods may harm me, which wasn't good for my mental state at all. Reading about diet, you'll find so much contradictory information and nearly every food is labeled bad by someone. I ended up getting very confused about why my symptoms didn't improve when all these diet books told me they would cure me, and I became scared of eating.

It's good to have realistic expectations. Not everyone can control the disease with diet, so it's important to remember that sometimes medications are necessary and not be too disappointed if diets are unsuccessful. Even if she still ends up needing medication, it may be that some dietary changes can still help her feel better. And if you and your daughter have a genuine interest in learning about diets and enjoy trying out new ingredients and improving health through nutrition, that's probably a much better mind set to start out with, whereas I set out only really caring about stopping my disease - which wasn't possible. Since I've learned to be more relaxed about it, I've been much better off.
Hi, I started SCD before any treatment and it definitely wasn't enough to put me in remission, though that being said SCD and paleo diets are far healthier and more beneficial to people with ibd than just eating any other thing. I stil try follow SCD but after 6 months it got too hard, I'm now on imuran (still tapering off pred after a 6 month stint) but iv brought back things into my diet like rice etc, and had my first bowl of rice bubbles just before haha (yum). Anyway, wish your child the best of health! And don't be scared of the medication, it's good to be weary of side effects, I was reluctant to start imuran but now I wish I started it sooner, I think untreated crohn's is far more risky.
When everyone feels the time is right to look at dietary ideas to see if they can help your daughters condition, you might set up a time trial period. Doing the SCD or GAPs diet for a month or two should give an idea if diet will help. If symptoms are improving then naturally look to continue, in my opinion.

I was reading the other day in the book Gut and Psychology Syndrome that, from what the author saw, the SCD diet worked around 60% of the time for patients. No mention made about the GAP diet success rate - or at least I have not gotten to that point in the book where this is mentioned.

Also, if you give the diet idea a trial, I saw on the GAPs diet web sight there is a list of practitioners, with support groups, in Australia that can offer help and guidance.