24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (877)SAFEGBC or (877)723-3422 Mental Health & Substance Abuse Issues

6502 Nursery Drive, Suite 100
Victoria, TX 77904
(361)575-0611
(800)421-8825

Child & Adolescent Development: Overview
Resources
Basic InformationMore InformationLatest News
Plan an Allergy-Safe Halloween for Your ChildHappier Mealtimes, Healthier Eating for KidsAAP Releases List of Often-Unnecessary TestsUSPSTF Recommends Counseling Youth on Sun Protection BehaviorChildhood Obesity Up Worldwide Almost 10-Fold Over 4 DecadesStart Skin Cancer Prevention Early, Health Experts SayHealth Tip: Getting Enough SleepSurviving Congenital Heart Disease as Child Not a Ticket to Good HealthHealth Tip: Children and Screen UseHealth Tip: Suggestions for a Healthy HalloweenMaking Halloween a Treat for Kids With DiabetesHealth Tip: Learn Symptoms of Childhood SinusitisChildhood 'Growth' Tests Not Always NecessaryMore U.S. Measles Cases From No Vaccine vs. Imported DiseaseMeasles Making a Comeback in the United StatesReassuring Kids After Another Senseless TragedyBilingual Kids Learn New Languages BetterGirls' Sports-Related Concussions May Last Twice As LongTeens Mixed Up With the Law May Fall Through Medicaid CracksLooking at Laughter for Clues to Anti-Social BehaviorHigh Blood Pressure in Pregnancy May Boost Child's Obesity RiskDon't Let Your Kids Get Sidelined With Sports-Related Infections'Off-Roading' Threat May Lurk in the AirHealth Tip: Identifying Chicken PoxCould Pests, Dust Lower Kids' Odds for Asthma?When a Cold or Flu Strikes a Family MemberBooze Often Glorified On YouTube VideosInflammatory Bowel Disease May Raise Cancer Risk in KidsKids' Colds Linked to Asthma, Lung Problems LaterAAP: Few Doctors Provide Firearm Injury Prevention Info in ERDoctors Eye the Danger From 'Nerf' GunsParents Say Schools Don't Help Kids With Mental Health, Chronic DiseaseIt's a Food Allergy! Where's the School Nurse?Big Rise in Hospitalized Kids With Opioid Side EffectsAAP: Opioid Dependence/Abuse Public Health Issue for ChildrenGolf Carts' Use Is Spreading, and So Is Danger to KidsState Laws Have Big Impact on Kids' Gun InjuriesHealth Tip: On Kids and Pets'Microbiomes' May Hold Key to Kids' Ear InfectionsHurricanes May Have Longer-Lasting Impact on KidsHeath Tip: Getting Rid of Head LiceState Laws Curb Kids' Injuries Tied to Off-Road VehiclesBrown-Bagging It? Think Outside the BoxVaccine Campaign in Poor Countries to Save 20 Million LivesGuinea Pigs Harbor a Hidden Health HazardFor City Kids With Asthma, Nearby Green Space Is KeyEarly Respiratory Infections Tied to Celiac in High-Risk ChildrenHealth Tip: Fuel Your Child With a Good BreakfastIncrease in Medical Exemptions From Immunization in CaliforniaPut Flu Shot on the Back-to-School Checklist
Questions and AnswersLinks
Related Topics

ADHD: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Childhood Mental Disorders and Illnesses
Child Development & Parenting: Infants (0-2)
Child Development & Parenting: Early (3-7)

Special Diet May Be Boon for Kids With Crohn's, Colitis

HealthDay News
by By Maureen Salamon
HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Jan 10th 2017

new article illustration

MONDAY, Jan. 9, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Children with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis may be able to achieve relief without medications by eating a special diet, a small study suggests.

The diet includes non-processed foods, such as fruits, vegetables, meats and nuts. Over 12 weeks, the diet appeared to ease all signs of these inflammatory bowel diseases in eight of the 10 affected children, researchers report.

"The study shows that without other intervention, other changes, we can improve individuals' clinical as well as laboratory markers," said study author Dr. David Suskind. He's a professor of pediatrics and director of clinical gastroenterology at Seattle Children's Hospital.

"I'm not surprised," Suskind added, "primarily because preliminary studies ... opened our eyes to the idea that diet had an impact."

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) affects about 1.6 million Americans, according to the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America. Both Crohn's and colitis are believed to be autoimmune illnesses. The two conditions share symptoms such as abdominal cramps, diarrhea, rectal bleeding and/or constipation.

Standard treatments for Crohn's and ulcerative colitis may include steroids and other immune-suppressing drugs. Sometimes surgery is needed to remove damaged portions of the intestine.

The 10 children in the study were between 10 and 17 years old.

Suskind and his team put the 10 patients on a special diet. The diet is known as the specific carbohydrate diet. No other measures were used to treat the study participants' active Crohn's or ulcerative colitis.

The diet removes grains, most dairy products, and processed foods and sugars, except for honey. Those on the specific carbohydrate diet can eat nutrient-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, meats and nuts.

Suskind noted that scientists aren't sure exactly how dietary changes might control damage to the intestinal lining from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), but that several theories are possible. First, it's known that diet affects the gut microbiome -- the array of bacteria in the digestive tract contributing to digestion and underlying the immune system.

"One of the likely reasons why dietary therapy works is it shifts the microbiome from being pro-inflammatory to non-inflammatory," he said.

"Another potential [reason] is there are a lot of additives in the foods we eat that can have an effect on the lining of the intestines. This diet takes out things deleterious to the mucus lining in the intestinal tract," Suskind said.

Dr. James Lewis is chief scientist for the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America's IBD Plexus Program. He's helping lead national research in progress comparing the effectiveness of the specific carbohydrate diet to the so-called Mediterranean diet in inducing remission in patients with Crohn's disease. The Mediterranean diet stresses eating mostly plant-based foods.

Lewis praised Suskind's new study, noting that despite its small size, it adds to growing research suggesting a potential therapeutic benefit from the specific carbohydrate diet to inflammatory bowel patients.

"Even our most effective [standard] therapies leave a proportion of patients with persistently active disease or the inability to completely heal the intestine," Lewis said. "Because of that alone, we need other therapeutic approaches."

Lewis is also a professor of medicine and clinical epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

Suskind and Lewis agreed that improvements experienced by children with inflammatory bowel disease on the specific carbohydrate diet should be possible with adult patients as well.

The new research was published recently in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about inflammatory bowel disease.