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Children With Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis Can Achieve Remission Through Diet Therapy

1 January 2017, 12:00 pm EST By Saranya Palanisamy Tech Times
Children suffering from Inflammatory Bowel Diseases like Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis can achieve remission by mere intake of a special nutritious diet called the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. Eating SCD saves patients, particularly children, from life long side effects of medication and steroids.  ( Sean Gallup | Getty Images )

A novel study reveals that Inflammatory Bowel Diseases like Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis can be treated by mere regulation of diet instead of using complex treatments like steroids and medication that have lifetime side effects.

Crohn's Disease And Ulcerative Colitis

Crohn's disease and Ulcerative Colitis (UC) belong to a family of conditions termed as Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD). While both the diseases are chronic inflammatory conditions of the gastrointestinal tract with similar symptoms, the difference lies in the areas of the GI tract affected. Crohn's usually affects the ileum of the intestine or the beginning of the colon, but it can also affect the tract anywhere between the mouth and the anus, whereas, the UC affects only the large intestine of the body, especially the colon.

IBD is caused when gut microbiome, the bacteria residing in the digestive tract, turns askew pushing patient's own immune system to attack the bowel. The precise reason behind this condition is yet unknown.

Typical symptoms of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are abdominal pain, constipation, continual diarrhea, weight loss, fever, loss of appetite, and tiredness. In kids, the two diseases can cause delayed growth and development.

Treatment For Inflammatory Bowel Diseases

Treatments for IBD, as of now, are very limited. Consisting of either intake of steroids or medication that may lead to chronic side effects. Moreover, steroids and medication only restrain the immune system and do not cure the primary problem with the microbiome.

Dr. David Suskind, a gastroenterologist at Seattle Children's hospital, had been searching for a more appropriate and efficient solution for treating IBD that is free from chronic side effects. Recently, the researcher found a perfect way for treating IBD. His research, published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, reveals that it is possible to treat IBD by intake of a special diet, Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD).

"Each person's disease is unique, just as each person is unique," said Suskind, in a press release. "SCD is another tool in our tool belt to help treat these patients. It may not be the best treatment option for everyone, but it is an effective treatment for those who wish to try a dietary therapy."

Treating IBD Through Diet Therapy

The study involved putting patients on a special carbohydrate diet for a period of 12 weeks. The SCD is a balanced and nutritious diet sans processed foods, dairy, sugar, and grains. SCD encourages natural and nutrition rich food comprising of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and meat.

On completion of 12 weeks, it was found that out of 10 patients, eight displayed considerable improvement and achieved remission with the help of the diet therapy alone.

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