Meet David E – 16 year old who manages his Crohn’s with the SCD diet
2 years ago, at age 14, I was diagnosed with Crohn’s after a flurry of invasive tests and thus began my journey into managing my disease. Initially I was put on a six week liquid diet, which was a very difficult period, but it helped bring my calprotectin down from over 3500 to approximately 180. The consultant and I were both quite happy with the result and at my first meeting with the dietitian we discussed the reintroduction of food.
In the meantime my mother had done extensive research into the SCD (Specific Carbohydrate Diet) and discussed it with the dietitian.
Although my team were initially reluctant, feeling the diet to be too restrictive for a (growing) boy, they agreed to a trial but felt that we needed to include some carbohydrates.
To begin with, I stuck to the diet with the inclusion of a substantial amount of gluten-free carbs. However, in January 2020, my numbers had deteriorated and I wasn’t feeling great. My team was urging me to start on Azathioprine. My mother was having none of it, instead she bargained with the consultant to give us 6 weeks to get my numbers under control. She encouraged me to adhere to the diet more strictly by drastically reducing my carb intake and replacing it with proteins.
Through multiple samples, I learned over the course of the next couple of weeks that my numbers had decreased from 1287 to 582, a staggering reduction in inflammation. Two weeks later I achieved a result of 182, which is the same result after my liquid diet.
At the time we had just started hearing about COVID, and whilst the team was not overly worried, I felt now was not a good time to start on immunosuppressants. How right I was. The past year has proven to be a very difficult one for everyone. For vulnerable people, this year has been scary and I count myself lucky that I didn’t have
this additional worry of having to shield.
Whilst this diet requires significant sacrifices in terms of convenience food being unavailable to me, I have adapted to this new way of eating. I don’t feel deprived or hungry, in fact I have never felt better. The reason I am sharing this with you is the fact that many people with IBD may not be aware of more holistic approaches to managing their disease.
I would to happy to share with you my journey to remission through diet and can be contacted through The Jewish Digest. For information about the SCD go to www.breakingtheviciouscycle.info.