Specific Carbohydrate Diet helps children with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis

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Specific Carbohydrate Diet helps children with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis

There’s good news for kids suffering from inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s. Seattle Children’s has discovered a diet that puts some patients into remission without the use of drugs.

There’s good news for kids suffering from inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s. Seattle Children’s has discovered a diet that puts some patients into remission without the use of drugs.

The Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) removes things like grains, simple sugars, and most dairy products, encouraging patients to eat nutrient-rich foods like fruits and vegetables.

“What diet does to the body in terms of inflammatory bowel disease and many other conditions is remarkable,” explains Seattle Children’s Dr. Suskind, “But there is something that triggers the immune system, and that is the microbiome, the hundred trillion bacteria within our GI tract.”

The bacteria, according to Dr. Suskind, does a huge amount of work for the body.

“They break down foods, they make vitamins for us. We need them. But over the last century, they’ve changed, and they’ve changed because our environment has changed. Our diet environment has changed, as well as the use of medications like antibiotics, which change the type of bacteria within our microbiome, within our GI tract. And because of that, conditions like inflammatory bowel disease have increased over time.”

Many patients, according to Dr. Suskind, have seen incredible results by altering the food they eat using the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, “It changes the microbiome in a positive way. It makes the immune system not attack the bowels. And so using this diet, we’ve actually made people feel better and gotten the inflammation down.”

While this diet is currently tailored specifically to patients suffering from IBD, Dr. Suskind said it may be able to aid those with other inflammatory diseases as well as more research is conducted.

“I think it’s important when we talk about diets to really not restrict and really to make sure that you’re enjoying the foods you eat, and salt is an important component of that,” Dr. Suskind said.

The SCD has a focus on fiber from fruit and vegetable sources, according to Dr. Suskind. He said the best candidates are individuals who have mild to moderate inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s.

Read on: Specific Carbohydrate Diet helps children with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis

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