FOOD HEALS:Children With Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis Reach Remission

FOOD HEALS:Children With Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis Reach Remission

HFI: We are not as surprised as the doctor’s in Seattle in the fact the food can be healing. Here is an example of another child whose symptoms were treated but her body needed diet changes to allow her to heal.

Can diet alone be used to treat Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (UC)? It’s a question Dr. David Suskind, a gastroenterologist at Seattle Children’s, has been researching for years.

Today, he finally has the answer: yes.

In a first-of-its-kind-study led by Suskind, published today in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, diet alone was shown to bring pediatric patients with active Crohn’s and UC into clinical remission.

“This changes the paradigm for how we may choose to treat children with inflammatory bowel disease,” said Suskind.

In the small, prospective study, patients were put on a special diet called the specific carbohydrate diet (SCD) for 12 weeks as the sole intervention to treat their Crohn’s or UC. SCD is a nutritionally balanced diet that removes grains, dairy, processed foods and sugars, except for honey. The diet promotes only natural, nutrient-rich foods, which includes vegetables, fruits, meats and nuts.

At the end of the 12 weeks, eight out of the 10 patients who finished the study showed significant improvement and achieved remission from the dietary treatment alone.

Food heals and a life changed


Today, Adelynne has been in clinical remission for more than two years. She’s a healthy, happy and thriving 11-year-old girl.

“I can’t believe how far we’ve come. When we first walked into Seattle Children’s, she was an 8-year-old girl who was barely heavier than our 4-year-old. Now, she’s growing and foods are no longer an enemy.”

Adelynne and her family have embraced shopping local for natural, nutrient rich foods. And although it’s been an adjustment, the family now says the diet is just part of their every day life.

“Her lunch doesn’t look much different than other kids at school,” said Kittelson. “There are so many options out there. We haven’t felt like we’ve had to sacrifice. We’ve even adjusted holiday traditions to fit into our new lifestyle. Instead of candy for special occasions, we swap them for other things.”

For Adelynne and her family, SCD was the right treatment option. It’s helped Adelynne get back to her normal life and find a love for food again.

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