Diet

"The Food You Eat Can Be Either the Safest and Most Powerful Form of Medicine

.....or the Slowest Poison"


Below is a comprehensive list of diets that are used as a tool to combat IBD, IBS, and all other digestive issues. Diet is paramount, and healing can be thwarted in the absence of an intentional diet that works for your body. The Standard American Diet (SAD) simply will not heal you. ALL digestive afflictions are associated with dysbiosis, meaning there is a microbial imbalance in the gut flora. Reestablishing a diverse micro-biome is essential to overpowering a silent infection- regardless if the infection is bacterial, fungal, viral or parasitic in nature. The most efficient way to restore impaired microbiota (besides probiotics and taking natural antibiotics/ antifungals to rid the pathogenic load), is diet. Food is the most effective means of quelling inflammation.

Diet StudyDiet is very individual. This is clear in the resources below- different diets work for different people. No-one should tell you EXACTLY what diet holds the key to your healing. I do recommend some version of a Paleo or Specific Carbohydrate based diet.  Grains and sugar cause inflammation; pathogens feed on undigested carbs and sugar. The majority of successful testimonials do indeed involve a paleo or SCD based diet. However, there are many different variations of paleo and there are very specific modifications that SOME people respond very well to (once they/we discover what those necessary modifications are). I believe in offering you all of the most beneficial resources to explore diet so that with discipline, awareness and a little trial and error you can discover for yourself what diet your body needs to heal. Our bodies are not machines; we need different things at different times in our lives. One could never begin to explain how multi-dimensional we truly are, our bodies ever changing instruments. Through cultivating awareness you, like an animal in the wild, will be able to sniff out the foods you need. Raw honesty of how your body reacts to each and every food is very important. This becomes wisdom.

Science is now discovering that ALL disease originates in the gut. Through diet, lifestyle and supplements all ill health can be restored. While diet is crucial, often diet alone is not enough to recover from an inflamed digestive system-  supplements are almost always necessary. However, one must not underestimate food as thy medicine.

~ Please see the cited scientific articles section for an in depth understanding of how intricately the gut is linked to the immune system. 

For those just beginning to explore and for those who are working with me, my suggestion is for the first 8 weeks to implement what I call the ‘Beyond Paleo diet,’  (AKA 'auto-immune paleo diet'). Clinically, I have seen the best results with this very simple, anti-inflammatory diet in the initial stages of calming down inflammation. Often improvement is seen very quickly by removing inflammatory triggers. Below is my suggested initial healing phase diet, but don’t forget to educate yourself on the rest of the diets.

 

Paleo

Most of us are somewhat versed on the Paleo diet, as it has become increasingly popular. It’s impossible these days to go to any health food store and not find several Paleo cookbooks or magazines. This diet consists of protein, ample vegetables, low to no carbs, medium fats, and no sugar or dairy (although some Paleo enthusiasts do include dairy). It claims to be a diet that our ancestors ate…..also known as the “Caveman” diet. It could also be compared to the ketogenic diet, but not quite as restrictive hence easier to maintain.

The Paleo diet is a primal means of achieving optimal health. It involves removing toxic, hard to digest foods and replacing them with highly nutritious, natural foods representative of what our ancestors ate.  Eating in this primal fashion addresses inflammation in the entire body- particularly the gut. By decreasing inflammation, healing of the immune system and the gut mucosa follows. It is through this superior means of eating that dysbiosis can naturally correct itself. Eating a Paleo diet is more than a diet- it is a lifestyle that hinders the fires of inflammation (the primary culprit of disease). Here is the truth: grains cause inflammation. Period. Yes, some folks have a constitution that can handle carbs. If you are reading this article and seeking out information on my website…..you are not one of those people and your entire life could drastically change from a paleo or SCD diet full of really good fats for incredible fuel. A Paleo based diet can reverse chronic disease, burn fat and boost energy all in the absence of drugs. This diet supports animal protein for repairing and rebuilding cells as well as enzymes. Although the Paleo diet speaks nothing about mycotoxins, it does advocate GMO free, organic foods.

The SCD diet and Paleo diet are more similar than they are different; the nuances are important to understand so that you can choose which speaks to you. 

The premise of a Paleo and SCD diet is to eliminate foods that are not properly broken down, especially in a compromised gut. Such diets inhibit bacteria, yeast, and fungi from monopolizing our intestinal tracts, as these pathogens feed on undigested carbohydrates and sugars. The overgrowth of such culprits leads to a cascade of excess toxins and acids that act as gut irritants. In this destructive cycle, the mucosal lining becomes damaged, inevitably causing leaky gut followed by poor nutrient absorption.  A Paleo/SCD diet eliminates food sources from unwanted pathogens, hence restoring a healthy micro-biome. 

Most folks respond best to a rendition of these diets that include 70-80% plant based foods. A tendency with these diets is to consume way more animal protein than is needed. Animal protein is indeed a good source of protein, nutrients and fat and should be enjoyed. However, eating a mostly plant based diet has proven the best results. Good fats for fuel are paramount: olive oil, coconut oil, MCT oil, avocado etc.

Of course by working with me, we can together discover whether or not you are a candidate for additional modifications to a Paleo or SCD based diet such as a low histamine diet or a low FODMAP diet. Sometimes these altered versions of a Paleo diet are necessary in the beginning stages of healing. These alterations are often difficult to identify- an experienced practitioner can assist in detecting such predispositions through lab work and/or an extensive interview.

8 Weeks Beyond Paleo

For optimal results while working with me and following a protocol tailored to your unique digestive condition, the following foods must be eliminated for 8 weeks. These items, some not typically banned on a regular Paleo or SCD diet, can be gut irritants and can exacerbate gut infections causing dysbiosis. It is important to remember that some of these restrictions are temporary; harnessing your inner warrior and maintaining discipline are profoundly important to your healing. While I do recommend maintaining a mostly Paleo based diet as a way of life even after improved health, some of the ingredients that follow just need to be removed in the initial stages of healing. For 8 weeks say goodbye to:

  • Grains (ALL grains- wheat, buckwheat, millet, barley, amaranth, spelt, rye, kamut, oats, tapioca, rice etc.)
  • Corn
  • Legumes (ALL beans- lima, black, kidney, lentil split peas, fava beans, garbonzo beans, bean sprouts, soybeans)
  • Nuts and Seeds (All- including walnut and sesame oil).
  • Fruit/Fruit Juices/Dried Fruit (sugars feed the pathogens).
  • Dairy (read my e-book for an in depth understanding of the dangers of dairy)
  • Processed Foods
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Chocolate
  • Fermented Foods (yogurts, kombucha, kefir, fermented vegetables, all vinegars)
  • Gums (guar gum, tara gum, gellan gum, gum Arabic, carrageenan- all very inflammatory)
  • Sugar (including honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar/nectar)
  • Alternative Sweetners (xylitol, stevia, mannitol- can all be major gut irritants, especially stevia)
  • Nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, eggplant, chili’s)
  • Vegetable Oils

Permittable:

  • Vegetables (except nightshades)
  • Coconut products such as coconut milk, coconut oil, creamed coconut etc (just make sure no additives/thickeners such as guar gum, carrageenan etc- very toxic. Can be hard to find clean sources of coconut products).
  • Fats- olive oil, avocado, coconut oil, ghee etc
  • Bone Broth (unless histamine sensitivity suspected)
  • Protein- eggs, chicken, turkey, beef, fish, pork, wild game, bacon, bison, lamb (grass fed best)
  • Binders/thickening agents- gelatin and arrowroot starch
  • Fresh Vegetable Juices such as celery, cucumber, lettuces etc (green apple ok)

Following 8 weeks of the ‘Beyond paleo’ diet you may start reintroducing some foods- however, if  you experience symptoms such as fatigue, brain fog, aching joints, rashes, stomach pain/cramping, intestinal pain/cramping, gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, poor memory or a hung over feeling it is best to resume diet for another 4 weeks. In such cases it most likely means that the tight junctions of the colon have not been restored to full integrity and/or the infection has not been eradicated enough and leaky gut is still an issue. Keep going with the beyond paleo diet and supplement regime until food allergies disappear and symptoms vanish. Try reintroducing foods every 4 weeks; food journaling highly suggested.

 

Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD)

http://www.breakingtheviciouscycle.info

Elaine Gottschall was beyond a doubt a pioneer for digestive health beginning her crusade in the 1950’s. Her four year old daughter was diagnosed with severe Ulcerative Colitis and did not respond at all to medication. Not only did doctor’s tell her that diet played no part, they told her it was her fault her daughter was sick! Her book “Breaking the Vicious Cycle” is a brilliant source that stems from Sidney V. Haas, MD, whose work was largely ignored during that time period. Elaine brought his work to life after her daughter healed from his prescribed diet, thus she went on to help countless people restore gut health.

“The Specific Carbohydrate Diet has helped many thousands of people with various forms of bowel disease and other ailments vastly improve their quality of life. In many cases people consider themselves cured. It is a diet intended mainly for Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, celiac disease, diverticulitis, cystic fibrosis and chronic diarrhea. However it is a very healthy, balanced and safe diet that has health benefits for everyone. The foods that are allowed on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet are based on the chemical structure of these foods. Carbohydrates are classified by their molecular structure.” -  Breaking the Vicious Cycle

This diet’s main focus is eliminating specific carbohydrates, mostly grains and sugars that cause fermentation and toxicity in the gut. The book is an easy read, yet a staple for anyone suffering with the above conditions. This diet, while often the top choice for recovering IBD'ers, speaks nothing of mycotoxins or GMO's. One could always further modify.

The Paleo diet certainly runs parallel to the SCD Diet, although there are differences. The SCD diet is less concerned about carbohydrates quantity and more concerned with the chemical structure of food, making the discernment between monosaccharide’s, polysaccharides and disaccharides. The exclusion of polysaccharides does indeed eliminate grains and a lot of foods with high carbohydrate content. However the similarities of the diets, very different concepts at work. That being said, the consensus is that the SCD Diet and the Paleo diet are most likely the most effective diets out there for eliminating symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Inflammatory Bowel Disease and allowing the mucosal lining of the colon to regenerate.

 

FODMAP

A low FODMAP (fermentable, oligo-di-monosaccharide and polyols) diet is very low in carbohydrates and sugar, created by the Digestive Health Center at Stanford Hospital in California to relieve common symptoms of IBS and all other digestive issues. They have tested and proven its success, particularly for chronic cases of IBS and SIBO.

The premise of this diet is that foods high in FODMAP’s pull water into the intestinal tract which doesn’t allow for optimal digestion or absorption. This excess water leads to fermentation by bacteria, causing many IBS or IBS like symptoms.  In many cases gas, bloating, stomach cramping, constipation, diarrhea go away very quickly. The diet excludes fructose, lactose, fructans, galactans and polyols, lactose and gluten, which starves the opportunistic bacteria the fermentable carbohydrates. For a quick beginners guide to understanding what all that means and looks like click here: https://authoritynutrition.com/fodmaps-101/

Unfortunately this diet speaks nothing of GMO's or mycotoxins, but one could always make these modifications.

GAPS Diet

www.gapsdiet.com

This diet is an off-shoot from the Specific Carbohydrate Diet that Dr. Natasha Campbell refined.  She had a daughter with a learning disability who drastically improved from the diet. While Dr. Campbell’s focus is the gut in association with mental health, she also targets immune health and digestive disorders in her work (as they are really one and the same). Her book “Gut and Psychology Syndrome” is a  great addition to furthering the understanding of the echo system of the gut. It also heighten's awareness of how intrinsically related digestive and mental health are. 

 “The GAPS Protocol is broken into three parts specifically designed to heal and seal the gut lining, rebalance the immune system, and restore the optimal bacterial ecosystem within the gastrointestinal tract.  The Nutritional protocol restricts all grains, commercial dairy, starchy vegetables and all processed/refined carbohydrates while focusing on easily digestible and nutrient dense foods.”

Unfortunately this diet speaks nothing of GMO's or mycotoxins, but one could always make these modifications. 

 Natural Hygiene Diet

www.naturalhygienesociety.org

"Hygienic means health preserving. Practically, it implies the observance of the laws of life." H. Shelton, 1968, 

 The Natural Hygiene Diet was created by Dr. Shelton in 1930’s-1970’s, although Dr. Sylvester Grahm was introducing Hygienic concepts as early as the 1830’s and 40’s when American and European doctors were becoming dissatisfied with medical treatment (even back then).  It became a movement. Dr. T C Fry eventually carried the torch for Hygienic Concepts in the 1970’s and began teaching it.   Fit for Life, published in 1985, became the all-time best seller in diet and nutrition in history and made "Natural Hygiene" a recognized term across America and around the world, in which 2 of Fry’s students created. 

 It outlines a vegan diet, consisting of mostly raw foods. The Fruitarian diet is an off-shoot of this diet. Natural Hygiene philosophy believes that all disease is the body’s way of trying to relieve toxicity, largely caused by animal protein and cooked/refined/processed foods. Hygienic Doctor’s strongly promote fasting and juicing for long periods of time as a means of cleansing and detoxifying the body; that disease is a remedial action in which the body undergoes. this diet clearly supports non- Gmo foods and although it doesn't speak of mycotoxins, exposure would be rare. They believe that following the “Laws of Life” (see website) cure disease. They originally did not believe in herbs or supplements in any form, however, some modern day Hygienic practitioners are open to the idea of such things. Their fundamental belief: The body is a self-healing organism. 

Dr. David Klein endured 8 debilitating years of Ulcerative Colitis with no help from drugs. He cured himself with a raw vegan diet and hygienic concepts. He then became A hygienic practitioner himself, and his published works are extensive.  He published the book “Self Healing Colitis and Crohn’s” in 1993, and currently helps guide people to health via fasting and juicing and eventually (as the body is ready), a raw vegan diet. Explore his work at:

www.colitisandcrohnscenter.com

Bulletproof Diet

The Buletproof Diet designed by Dave Asprey, is a refined rendition of a Paleo diet that emphasizes lots of high quality fats and grass-fed organic meats. Bulletproof enthusiasts are dedicated not just to body regeneration but optimal brain function. This diet speaks a lot of staying away from GMO's and mycotoxins. While most people don't notice much from eliminating mycotoxins, it seems a lot of folks with chronic digestive issues/leaky gut, do. This diet was revolutionary in the sense that it has been the first 'popular' diet really highlighting the dangers of mycotoxins in food and outlines how to reduce exposure. While this diet and its concepts are fantastic in theory, a lot of  people in the beginning stages of healing an inflamed gut lining do not tolerate such high fat very well; dave suggests lots of butter, MCT oil, cocconut oil, animal protein on a daily basis. As inflammation calms down, the body can tolerate more fat and benefit from its theraputic properties and high concentration of nutrients.

* What exactly are mycotoxins and why should we avoid them?

 

 

Macrobiotic Diet

www.ohsawamacrobiotics.com

The Macrobiotic Diet was developed in the 1920s by a Japanese philosopher named George OhsawaIt. It is a diet designed to balance the yin/yang elements of food, following Oriental Medicine concepts that date back all the way to second century BC.  It consists of 40%- 60% Grains, 20%-30% vegetables, and 5%-10% nuts and sea vegetables. Meat is not recommended, but fish allowed occasionally. It, like most of the diets mentioned here, is a diet that promotes consuming no toxins. And like the Natural Hygienic diet, it speaks of living and eating in ways that align with nature. 

Clearly this diet is the antithesis of the Specific Carbohydrate, paleo or GAPS diet. 

A woman named Virginia M. Harper was diagnosed with Crohn’s at age 21 and her prognosis was not good. She sought out alternatives to steroids, which led her to discover the Macrobiotic diet. She healed completely on this diet. Her life’s work has become helping others recover from IBD via the Macrobiotic philosophy, which also lends itself to Oriental principles of lifestyle. Virginia is also the author of “Controlling Crohn’s Disease the Natural Way”, founder of “You Can Heal You”, and recognized as one of the leading macrobiotic counselors. She regularly gives lectures at Kushi Institute, the leading Macrobiotic Educational Center in the World

www.youcanhealyou.com

www.kushiinstitute.org/controlling-crohns-colitis

There are many, many informative sites on Macrobiotic diet. These are just a few, highlighted as they relate to Crohn’s/ Colitis. To be very clear- I have never personally seen patients with digestive issues improve eating grains, however, I thought it was only fair to list this resource. Certainly Miss Harper is standing in her truth…… meaning it is always a possibility that this diet works for some. It is not a diet I advocate- but certainly information to dissect. 

 

Ketogenic Diet

The standard Ketogenic Diet (SKD) consists of 75% fat, 20% protein, 5% carbohydrate. This diet is a more technical variation of the Atkin’s Diet. It consists of eating very high fat foods such as dairy, avocado, nuts, red meat, bacon etc. It is really just the SCD diet taken to the next level. Much less carbs, way more fat. The big players in the Paleo scene such as Chris Kesser and Rob Wolf are also proponents of the Ketogenic diet. There are indeed testimonials of profound digestive improvement from this diet. 

“The goal of a ketogenic diet plan is to improve wellbeing through a metabolic change in which the primary cellular fuel source switches from carbohydrate based fuels (glucose) to fat fuels and fat metabolism products called ketones.  This is achieved through a metabolic process called ketogenesis, and a body state called ketosis. Ketosis is simply a normal metabolic pathway in which the body cells utilize ketones to make energy, instead of relying on sugar or carbohydrate. In fact, humans developed an evolutionary ability to burn ketones as an adaptation to periods of time when food was unavailable.” 

A great deal of research is being done on ketosis as it relates to disease, because ketone bodies have some very beneficial effects on the human body. Increasing the rate of metabolic ketogenesis is an effective treatment for many disease conditions, because the presence of ketone bodies in the blood improves our health at the cellular level, specifically in the function of cellular energy pathways and mitochondrial health.  Ketogenic diets are now being used to treat medical conditions such as diabetes, epilepsy, autism, Alzheimer's, cancer and others and much of the success of these treatments is rooted in these cellular effects.

 

Low Histamine Diet

Some recent studies are showing correlations between histamine overload and inflammatory bowel disease as well as IBS. Our mast cells (type of white blood cells derived from marrow, found in mucosal tissue), are key players in the initiation of inflammation. When mast cells are triggered, they cause symptoms of allergy/inflammation by a process valled degranulation. Mast cells in the intestines are located just below the mucosal surface where they are in prime position to be activated by bacterial or food associated antigens. In the case of mast cell activation disorder mast cells can become too easily activated by auto-antibodies, and digestive issues can ensue. *Some people are more sensitive to histamines than others- meaning some people can suffer symptoms of a histamine overload even if their histamine levels or mast cell count may be normal.

Many Crohn’s / Colitis sufferers are finding relief in lowering their histamine levels. Natural ways to combat this are by following a low histamine diet and taking mast cell stabilizers such as Quercetin. There is indeed lab work we can do to test for Histamine Intolerance. However, following a low histamine diet combined with supplements that target the issue should be very telling. The diet is outlined on the sites I list below.

There is also a drug that is making a comeback from the 70’s and 80’s called Cromolyn Sodium.This drug is modified from the natural compound known as khellin and works as a mast cell-stabilizing anti-inflammatory. One clinical trial found that daily administration of 200 mg cromolyn sodium rectally for 15 days induced remission in almost all patients with ulcerative colitis, and this was maintained in 93% of them when they took 240 mg daily for 2—3 years (Malolepszy 1977). In another trial, oral cromolyn sodium at a dose of 1,500 mg daily relieved diarrhea more effectively than an elimination diet (in which problematic foods are avoided) in patients with irritable bowel syndrome (Stefanini 1995). This indicates that cromolyn may ameliorate reactivity to some foods – a factor that possibly drives some inflammation in inflammatory bowel disease. As is so often the case with drugs that are off patent and thus not very profitable, no company or government has seen fit to fund further research on this safe and cheap drug for inflammatory bowel disease.”

The following is a fantastic article by Matt Robinson whom has Ulcerative Colitis. Matt is actually known for assisting people with IBD via Fecal Transplant therapy, as it is what brought him to remission. However, he has some other informative gems on his website- histamine intolerance being on the list. 

www.naturaldigestivehealing.com/blog/2014/06/10/itching-and-ibd-part-2-histamine-intolerance/

Yasmina Ykelenstam is a vivacious promoter of a low-histamine diet, as she suffered for many years with digestive symptoms and more from a histamine overload. She now educates and shares fabulous recipes for keeping symptoms in check naturally, and shares her knowledge on supplements for high histamine. She has produced several cookbooks that are a must if one should go down this road. 

www.thelowhistaminechef.com/leaky-gut-the-mast-cell-histamine-crohns-disease-connection/

Alison Vickery is a holistic health coach (working with women only) whose credentials lend her to specializing in a variety of issues, including histamine intolerance. Below is a link to her incredibly informative article depicting the correlation between IBD and histamine intolerance. She has a very in depth knowledge of natural supplements for this condition, all targeting different mechanisms of high histamine. Sign up for receiving her free article on “21 Advanced Supplements that are Natural Antihistamines and Mast Cell Stabilizers”.

www.alisonvickery.com.au/the-histamine-intolerance-ibs-and-ibd-connection

 

Blood Type Diet

In 1996, Dr. D’ Adamo wrote “Eat Right For Your Type” and it became a New York Times Best Seller. He is a Naturopathic Physician and considered a world expert on Glycobiology. He states that knowing your blood type is essential in understanding how your body reacts to food, as well as your susceptibility to specific diseases. His work describes how your blood genotype is everywhere, including your gut, and that people with different bloodtypes have very different micro biomes; our diverse digestive tracts demand different diets in our order to remain healthy. His website is rich in very detailed, scholarly information. 

www.dadamo.com

There are folks out there that claim by following this diet they have recovered from IBD. This diet is respectable because, once again, it is very individual and recognizes how different we all are. The diet that keeps you healthy may not be the diet that keeps me healthy. I cannot find a website or source that is solely devoted to this theory and IBD, but if you google the two you will find a variety of references, blogs, forums etc of individuals sharing their positive results. 

Here is one testimonial from a woman who found success treating her UC with the blood type diet, posted on a great website devoted to UC'ers:

www.ihaveuc.com/jaclyns-ulcerative-colitis-solution-blood-type-based-diet

Body Ecology Diet

https://bodyecology.com/

Donna Gates is the woman that coined the this diet and published a best-selling book called The Body Ecology Diet: Recovering Your Health and Rebuilding Your Immunity. This diet focuses on fermented foods and Probiotic drinks (often made from coconut juice) to reestablish friendly flora.It is also gluten and sugar free. Donna became known for “re-introducing” Kefir to America. Her website and books include education on how to make fermented foods and Probiotic drinks ones’ self. 

Here is a woman’s account of her remission from this diet:

http://bodyecology.com/articles/after_10_years_with_ulcerative_colitis.php

 

Note: Fermented foods tend to be acidic. You can see how this would be contraindicated on the Hygienic Diet that is very alkalizing. Also, The Specific Carbohydrate diet bans Stevia due to it’s molecular structure, and Body Ecology is all about Stevia. And lastly, fermented foods are high in histamine, obviously a no-go for people with histamine intolerance. I do not tell you this to discourage, only to inform.

Elemental Diet

An elemental diet is a liquid diet that contains predigested proteins, fats and oils. It is a good option when complete bowel rest is needed; elemental formulas offer enhanced absorption. Elemental diets were first invented by NASA when they were considering how to get the most nutrients to astronauts for long space voyages. Other researchers then became interested in the diet for things such as food allergies, malabsorption issues and digestive malfunctions. An elemental formula does not contain full proteins or peptides, complex carbohydrates or fiber.

Most commercially available elemental products are almost plain scary and it beweilders me. They are full of things like really high levels of fructose (not good for the gut at all), preservatives, GMO by-products, and hydrogenated oils. 

Many individuals have seen improvement from maintaining an elemental diet for weeks as a time, however, it is a very rigid route. An additional benefit, according to promoters of this diet, is that it can starve bacteria. However, considering that most elemental formulas contain a protein source derived from peas, rice or whey, we need to question whether this diet does indeed starve bacteria. Considering that starving the bacteria is paramount to healing, I hesitate to ever suggest such formulas. Also, most elemental formulas contain fillers or carriers like maltodextrin that can be gut irritants. For me personally, even a very small amount of maltodextrin causes symptoms (click here to read my in depth blog on maltodextrin). Yes, the source of the maltodextrin matters greatly (corn verses tapioca etc), however, for some people (me) the source simply doesn’t matter- it remains a gut irritant. For others whom are not as sensitive, these elemental formulas could perhaps be a good choice. In general, I am not a huge fan of protein powder drinks……there are simply too many ingredients, always some amount of sugar/fructose and questionable fillers. And, they are often so costly that a large majority of people cannot afford them. There are many recipes available these days for simpler elemental formulas that one can make at home; safe and much less expensive. 

Jini Patel- a pioneer in the field of healing IBD, offers a great report on an elemental diet as she is a strong advocate for this strategy. Read it here and consider if it feels right to you:

http://imix.s3.amazonaws.com/absorb-plus-ibd-diet.pdf

Of course one could always partake in a semi-elemental diet where amino acids are partially broken down rather than completely (in elemental form)......less restrictive, easier to maintain.

 

 

 Fasting/Juicing

While fasting and juicing are included in the Hygienic diet, I want to broach this subject. There are some who claim that fasting is as effective as taking steroids (in cases of IBD). I myself have fasted for very long periods of time. In my experience (when I was very ill) fasting was never AS effective as steroids…..but absolutely provided relief. Improvement comes very quickly from bowel rest. It is quite logical- if you are bleeding you should not be eating. Your intestines need a break. If you keep putting food down bleeding pipes, it is very hard for the ulceration to heal. There are endless resources out there for fasting. Of course it must be done in a smart, safe way. Some people do not have the luxury of not working when they are ill (I was one of these people), and fasting while working is difficult if not impossible. Of course when I was at my worst and hospitalized working was not an option, however, I worked a great deal on little to no food when I had no choice. Juicing is always a great option for those whose colons can tolerate it. I could not handle raw juice for many years. It took X amount of healing for juicing to be tolerable. Juicing provides incredible amounts of nutrients and live enzymes. In the beginning I diluted it by 50-75%, then I as I was healing I could tolerate more. I cannot emphasize enough the benefits of fasting and juicing; it offers profound healing for the body as well as the soul. Again, if you are bleeding, fasting or juicing is essential. Figure out a way to do it, gather up every ounce of your warrior spirit and find the discipline to give your intestines a break. When an animal in the wild is sick, they do not eat, sometimes for week’s even months at a time. The body has amazing healing capability in this state. As you heal and return to food, keep in mind that mini fasts are greatly encouraged. Having lunch and then going without food until the following morning is a great way to keep restoring the system. Fasting is a spiritual affair that Americans are so far removed from…….but I promise you that after the first day or two you simply are not hungry. The hunger pains only last a few days. In some cases, fasting can be lifesaving. For cases of IBS, fasting and juicing are hugely beneficial as well.