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Crohn's Disease And Gluten-Free Diets


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#1 munchkinette

 
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Posted 21 May 2011 - 07:15 PM

I'm currently training for my first triathlon in order to raise money for the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America. I picked this one because I know that some of their research does overlap other GI immune conditions. I'm not totally sure how though. I've found some research about shared genes. I want to make sure I'm telling people the right things, since many of them have experience with celiac only.

My main question now is how many people with Crohn's and/or colitis follow a gluten free diet? Is it the same or different from the celiac diet in any ways? I've met one person who said she couldn't eat many other gluten free replacement grains. Is that something that varies by person?

Also, how does a doctor distinguish between celiac disease and Crohn's when it affects the small intestine?
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Gluten free since Feb 2006, Dairy and Soy free since 2009

Anemic off and on since 2003
Negative tTG Ab, IgA, Gliadin Ab IgA, wheat allergy (IgE) blood tests (Feb 2006)
Positive wheat allergy skin test(Apr 2006)and dietary response (Feb 2006)
Celiac grandmother (Dx in 1940s, "grew out of it")

Training for my first triathlon to support the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America.

~Amy

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#2 trents

 
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Posted 21 May 2011 - 07:21 PM

I cannot address a lot of your questions but I believe the differential dx between Crohns and Celiac disease would be that with Celiac disease there will be villi blunting.
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#3 mushroom

 
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Posted 21 May 2011 - 08:47 PM

I believe Crohn's is usually diagnosed by barium swallow x-rays of the GI tract, both upper and lower, as it affects the whole intestine.
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Neroli


"Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted." - Albert Einstein

"Life is not weathering the storm; it is learning to dance in the rain"

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Lactose free 1990
(Mis)diagnosed IBS, fibromyalgia '80's and '90's
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Self-diagnosed gluten intolerant, gluten-free Nov. 2007
Soy free March 2008
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Citric acid free June 2009
Potato starch free July 2009
(Totally) corn free Nov. 2009
Legume free March 2010
Now tolerant of lactose

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#4 GFinDC

 
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Posted 22 May 2011 - 07:03 AM

Some people with Crohn's follow the GFCFSF diet also. Others don't. If it helps an individual seems to vary. Some people have both Crohn's and celiac too.

There isn't any clear cut answer to why Crohn's affects the whole intestine and celiac only the small intestine. They are both auto-immune diseases/conditions and are both serious. However with Crohn's a diet that helps everyone is not a known thing, like it is with celiac. Of course then you look a little further and find that many people with celiac have additional food intolerances beyond GFCFSF. People with Crohn's often have antibodies to baker's yeast also.

Crohn's patients generally use a combination of diet and immuno-suppressants to manage their symptoms. Some don't make any diet changes and use drugs to control their symptoms.

They are both auto-immmune diseases/conditions of the digestive tract and probably have more in common than different. But celiac is the only auto-immune disease that doctors understand the trigger for right now. Crohn's is still a mystery.
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Proverbs 25:16 "Hast thou found honey? eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it."
Job 30:27 My bowels boiled, and rested not: the days of affliction prevented me.
Thyroid cyst and nodules, Lactose / casein intolerant. Diet positive, gene test pos, symptoms confirmed by Dr-head. My current bad list is: gluten, dairy, sulfites, coffee (the devil's brew), tea, Bug's Bunnies carrots, garbanzo beans of pain, soy- no joy, terrible turnips, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, and hard work. have a good day! :-) Paul

#5 kareng

 
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Posted 22 May 2011 - 07:21 AM

There isn't any clear cut answer to why Crohn's affects the whole intestine and celiac only the small intestine. They are both auto-immune diseases/conditions and are both serious. However with Crohn's a diet that helps everyone is not a known thing, like it is with celiac. Of course then you look a little further and find that many people with celiac have additional food intolerances beyond GFCFSF. People with Crohn's often have antibodies to baker's yeast also.

Crohn's patients generally use a combination of diet and immuno-suppressants to manage their symptoms. Some don't make any diet changes and use drugs to control their symptoms.

They are both auto-immmune diseases/conditions of the digestive tract and probably have more in common than different. But celiac is the only auto-immune disease that doctors understand the trigger for right now. Crohn's is still a mystery.


Might be because docs don't tell them to change their diet. I know people with Crohn's, one had huge chunks of her large intestine removed, who were never told about diet. They just take pills. :o
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#6 sa1937

 
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Posted 22 May 2011 - 07:44 AM

I know someone with Crohn's, too, and I asked her if she'd ever been tested for celiac. She hasn't but knows we share a lot of the same symptoms. She also knows both are autoimmune. She'd rather just take her pills, which she's been doing for many years. So I don't know if she was ever told about the gluten-free diet or if she'd just miss the spontaniety of eating out a lot. So I've dropped the subject.
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#7 mushroom

 
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Posted 22 May 2011 - 12:47 PM

Before I was aware of celiac I knew someone with Crohn's who literally lived on pasta, and no, it was not Tinkyada :o And I did sonehow know at that time that was not the right thing to do because I said to my MIL "But she has Crohn's!!" It makes you wonder why doctors insist on NO SALT and NO FAT but they can't say the words NO GLUTEN!!
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Neroli


"Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted." - Albert Einstein

"Life is not weathering the storm; it is learning to dance in the rain"

"Whatever the question, the answer is always chocolate." Nigella Lawson

------------

Caffeine free 1973
Lactose free 1990
(Mis)diagnosed IBS, fibromyalgia '80's and '90's
Diagnosed psoriatic arthritis 2004
Self-diagnosed gluten intolerant, gluten-free Nov. 2007
Soy free March 2008
Nightshade free Feb 2009
Citric acid free June 2009
Potato starch free July 2009
(Totally) corn free Nov. 2009
Legume free March 2010
Now tolerant of lactose

Celiac.com - Celiac Disease Board Moderator

#8 munchkinette

 
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Posted 22 May 2011 - 05:31 PM

Thanks for the responses. It's interesting. The one girl I talked to at the meetings said she went into remission on a Gluten-free Casein-free low sugar diet, and some doctors supported her while others didn't. It sounded very similar to my own experience with negative tests, a variety of responses from doctors, but major health improvements on a different diet.
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Gluten free since Feb 2006, Dairy and Soy free since 2009

Anemic off and on since 2003
Negative tTG Ab, IgA, Gliadin Ab IgA, wheat allergy (IgE) blood tests (Feb 2006)
Positive wheat allergy skin test(Apr 2006)and dietary response (Feb 2006)
Celiac grandmother (Dx in 1940s, "grew out of it")

Training for my first triathlon to support the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America.

~Amy

#9 sb2178

 
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Posted 22 May 2011 - 06:22 PM

Crohn's disease affects several layers of the intestines, unlike celiac, which just affects the top layers, and there is often narrowing/scarring/ulcers. It shows up in biopsies in the affected area, and I believe the pattern of immune cells in the mucosa is different. Typically, the symptoms are slightly different as well but there can be a lot of overlap. (I really really did not want Crohn's disease to be diagnosed last year.)

A really common diet recommendation for Crohn's is no whole grains and no beans. Digesting fiber ahd phytic actid tends to be hard. That's probably why she said she can't eat some (whole) gluten-free grains.

Some research points to infection with MAP (Mycobacterium paratuberculosis) as the trigger for Crohn's but it's not well accepted.
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2/2010 Malabsorption becomes dramatically noticable
3/2010 Negative IgA EMA; negative IgA TTG
4/2010 Negative biopsy
5/2010 Elimination diet; symptoms begin to resolve on gluten-free diet round two (10 days)
5/2010 Diagnosed gluten sensitive based on weakly positive repeat IgA & IgG TTGs and dietary response; decline capsule endoscopy.

Now, what to do about my cookbook in progress? Make it gluten-free?

#10 GlutenFreeManna

 
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Posted 22 May 2011 - 07:07 PM

This thread is interesting to read. The only person I have ever known with crohns told me there was no way to help the symptoms with dietary changes and they would not even entertain the idea. So I never really looked into it or anything. This person was on very strong medicines and still in pain most of the time. I wish they would have at least looked into some dietary changes to see if it helped (although I understand it's not the same as celiac and diet may not help everyone, it's hard to watch someone so desperate for symptom relief yet refuse to at least try a change of food). This person also ate mostly pasta and breads however and I really do wonder now if they were addicted to the gluten and just making their pain worse by eating it so much.
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#11 Reid B. Kimball

 
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Posted 25 May 2011 - 03:47 PM

Hi everyone,

Interesting to read the responses from the Celiac community. I have Crohn's disease, am working on a documentary film about treating digestive conditions such as IBS, Celiac, Crohn's & ulcerative colitis using alternative treatments when drugs and surgery no longer work.

Several of you are correct that there is no specific, doctor recommended dietary plan for treating Crohn's disease. Unless you talk to a Naturopathic doctor, but even then, it's still a mixed bag of responses. No standards at all.

I use primarily diet and supplementation to control my D and pain. I haven't been on medication since 2007. Gastroenterologists absolutely do not believe food plays a role and tell patients that the best course of treatment is medication and sometimes surgery. This is why some of you have run into opposition when trying to talk to your friends about diet treatments for Crohn's. They are told it doesn't work and they believe their doctors.

It is my hope with my documentary that I will prove that it can work! There are many people who are discovering this everyday and defying their doctor's requests to take immunosupressive drugs, which can have horrible side effects. It ain't easy, especially because we can't tolerate any grains at all (those of us who use special diets) and instead we make our breads with nut flours like almond and pecan. The most popular diet for us is called the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD). If anyone with Celiac still has trouble on gluten free, I recommend SCD.
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#12 Mother of a Celiac

 
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Posted 19 June 2011 - 06:21 PM

Hi everyone,

Interesting to read the responses from the Celiac community. I have Crohn's disease, am working on a documentary film about treating digestive conditions such as IBS, Celiac, Crohn's & ulcerative colitis using alternative treatments when drugs and surgery no longer work.

Several of you are correct that there is no specific, doctor recommended dietary plan for treating Crohn's disease. Unless you talk to a Naturopathic doctor, but even then, it's still a mixed bag of responses. No standards at all.

I use primarily diet and supplementation to control my D and pain. I haven't been on medication since 2007. Gastroenterologists absolutely do not believe food plays a role and tell patients that the best course of treatment is medication and sometimes surgery. This is why some of you have run into opposition when trying to talk to your friends about diet treatments for Crohn's. They are told it doesn't work and they believe their doctors.

It is my hope with my documentary that I will prove that it can work! There are many people who are discovering this everyday and defying their doctor's requests to take immunosupressive drugs, which can have horrible side effects. It ain't easy, especially because we can't tolerate any grains at all (those of us who use special diets) and instead we make our breads with nut flours like almond and pecan. The most popular diet for us is called the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD). If anyone with Celiac still has trouble on gluten free, I recommend SCD.

Thank you so much for this post. I just finished messaging another advanced member about my daughter's recent symptoms. She is 7 yrs old and was diagnosed a year and a half ago w/Celiac. She was doing great on the gluten-free diet for almost exactly a year to the date and then she started getting horrible stomach pains and bad headaches. Her GI suggested taking her off of lactose to see if it would help. It didn't. I started reading about the SCD diet and Dr. Haas' research and decided to take her off of ALL grains and also dairy which almost immediately seemed to work. Her symptoms went away. I tried to reintroduce rice and rice pasta a few weeks later and after 4 days of one serving a day, her symptoms returned. I also tried separately to reintroduce casein and the stomachaches returned as well. I am baffled that she could be doing so well and now she is so restricted on what she can eat. She also cannot tolerate corn so she is basically now following the Paleo diet: protein, vegetables, fruit, no grains...also, no starches, no corn, no dairy....VERY hard for a 7 yr old.
Over the past couple weeks a stomach bug has been going around our house where we feel pretty good until we eat something and then we get abdominal gurgling, loose stools, mild stomach pain, and loss of appetite. Most of us are recovered and pretty much back to normal, except for our daugher who is still having a lot of stomach pain and just doesn't feel good in general. I'm scared that her symptoms are now returning again since it is taking her so long to get over it. Have you found that following the SCD diet can possibly be temporary and then you are able to return to a "normal" gluten-free diet or is this a permanent solution? Dr. Haas talked about doing it for a number of years and then being able to return to normal foods. Thanks for any advice you can give!
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#13 Aly's mom

 
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Posted 08 October 2012 - 01:48 PM

I would love to see your documentary. Did you complete it?
My daughter was suffering with many symptoms for several months. She had a colonoscopy and the results came back "consistent with Crohns". Her gastroenterologist stated that current medical thinking is that diet is not the answer. He said that there were very effective drugs available now and put her on Asacol. She wound up in the emergency room twice in one day with palpitations. Even though the doctor claimed that there was no connection he pulled her off the medication. Wonder of wonder, no more palpitations. I have taken her to 2 different gastroenterologists, a holistic doctor, a nutritionist and the list is growing...meanwhile she has gone gluten free and is doing very well. I wonder if she had Crohn's at all.
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#14 gstewart88

 
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Posted 13 October 2012 - 08:40 PM

I was diagnosed with Crohns disease last year after colonoscopy with biopsies. I only have a mild case and the medication does help, but I still have alot of other symptoms and I am convinced that changing my diet is the answer.
I can't handle whole grains, corn, popcorn, too much milk, caffeine and a variety of other foods. I still get daily nausea and stomach pain. I know alot of other people who suffer from Crohns disease have very restricted diets but it is mostly trial and error to avoid things that set them off, not just a simple Dr recommended diet.

Incidently, I have just had an endoscopy to test for concurrent coeliacs but I haven't got the biopsy results back yet.
I also plan to visit a dietitian who specialises in IBD/coeliac type diseases so hopefully I will get some results.
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#15 Riverand

 
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Posted 17 January 2013 - 10:13 PM

My main question now is how many people with Crohn's and/or colitis follow a gluten free diet? Is it the same or different from the celiac diet in any ways? I've met one person who said she couldn't eat many other gluten free replacement grains. Is that something that varies by person?

Also, how does a doctor distinguish between celiac disease and Crohn's when it affects the small intestine?


My mother had Crohn's disease, so I can't say I was totally surprised in 2008 when I was diagnosed with it as well after a colonoscopy. We never heard of celiac, or gluten back then. I lived on pasta, cereal and sandwiches. I was given medication to treat the disease.
In 2010, after a stint of antibiotic-associated colitis, I had developed the greatest food fear of my life because I had gotten so sick from everything I consumed. I went to a nutritionist.
She said I was gluten and dairy intolerant. I thought she was nuts, but in my desperation, I followed a gluten-free DF diet for one month before returning to her. In that time I was convinced - I had lost five pounds and symptoms overall were decreasing.
I have been gluten-free and DF ever since. In 2011, when I had my follow up colonoscopy, my doctor said the evidence of early stages Crohn's was gone. He would not credit the diet, but admitted that there was no way the medication could have reversed the effects.
I don't know if I have celiac and I was misdiagnosed. What's worse, is that I will never know if this diet could have helped my mother in all her years of suffering (she passed away in 2006).

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