SEATTLE, Wash. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — About 25 percent of Crohn’s diagnoses are made during childhood or adolescence. And doctors say children have more complications than adults with this disease. But a teenager in Seattle has been in remission from Crohn’s for years, taking no medication at all.
Seventeen-year-old Avi Shapiro follows the specific carbohydrate diet or SCD strictly. He, his family, and his doctor believe it’s made his Crohn’s disease all but disappear. His symptoms started about four years ago.
Ingrid Elliott, Avi’s mom, said “He had lost a lot of weight and was really suffering. He was having a lot of pain every time he ate, he was not sleeping at night.”
Crohn’s is an inflammatory bowel disease usually controlled with medication. Instead, Avi went on a protein shake regimen that got him into remission. Then, the SCD, which has kept him there.
“I basically eliminated grains, soy, sugar, corn, lactose, and additive and preservatives, and kind of processed foods in general.” Avi explained.
David Suskind, MD, Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Gastroenterology, at Seattle Children’s Hospital has more than 100 children on the diet and most are doing better.
“By changing the diet, you change the type of bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract from one that is inflammatory to one that is less inflammatory or anti-inflammatory.” Doctor Suskind said.
Doctor Suskind and Avi host SCD cooking and support classes to help other kids with inflammatory bowel disease try to feel as good as Avi does.
“I just feel really great. I can go to school, hang out with friends, go on trips, go to summer camp. My life continues as if I don’t have Crohn’s disease.” Avi said happily.
Doctor Suskind is still researching the diet to see why and how it works.
Avi shared, “Diet doesn’t work for everyone, but when it does work, like it worked for me, it works really well.”
Avi is just glad it does.
The diet won’t work alone for everyone, but Doctor Suskind believes it makes medications work better as well. It can work for adults too. Doctor Suskind has written a book on the effects of SCD called Nutrition in Immune Balance or Nimbal Therapy.
Contributors to this news report include: Wendy Chioji, Producer; Rusty Reed, Videographer; Roque Correa, Editor.
To receive a free weekly e-mail on Medical Breakthroughs from Ivanhoe, sign up at: http://www.ivanhoe.com/ftk