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Diet Helping Crohn’s and P
from Indira S.

Hi.  I read your site every now and again because my husband has P as well as Crohn’s disease.  He first exhibited symptoms of these diseases after getting sick in Panama while he was in the army, at age 26 or so.  Anyway — I'm the one who goes online so I'm writing you about his experiences with diet and autoimmune.

He was officially diagnosed with Crohn’s about a year ago and I have since discovered that people usually have more than one autoimmune problem.  My husband had never tried much medication to deal with the P — a few creams, etc.  He had a relatively mild case, but thick P on his scalp, some on his elbows and knees, and,  most distressing, increasing areas across his cheeks and nose.   

We were more concerned about the Crohn’s, and I thought he might find improvement by going on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet suggested by E. Gottschall in her book Breaking the Vicious Cycle.  As you might guess, the diet eliminates complex processed carbohydrates and advocates eating a lot of yogurt — kind of like Atkins but with more fruit/legume choices.  So, he's been eating this way for about a year.  The doctor told him diet has nothing to do with Crohn’s or P.  The doc also prescribed some seriously expensive anti-inflammatory drug.  He took it for 3 months then stopped when the prescription ran out.

Here are the results:

He has not had a Crohn’s episode (which is cramping and bloody diarrhea — he'd love to know I'm telling everyone about this, ha ha) since going on this diet, except once when he was cheating and eating a lot of pizza.  But, more interesting for you guys, his scalp psoriasis has basically disappeared. 

We used to rub baby oil into his scalp every night for years, and I'd comb it for 20 minutes to get most of the flakes off so that the next morning when he'd shower it would be presentable enough for work.  The patches of P on his nose are completely gone.  The P in his eyebrows is completely gone.  The only place on his face with P is one cheek lesion, reduced to the size of a nickel.  It is only red and never flakes, but it is there.  He still has P on his elbows, but it's greatly reduced.  My feeling is that if he were extremely strict with the diet, he'd be completely clear, but he does pig out on "bad" food every couple of weeks.

I know this is anecdotal evidence and my husband has a relatively mild case of P.  But, I would highly recommend flakers at least try a diet that eliminates most sugar/wheat/yeast and limits fruit and juice.  It's not that bad.  There are so many low carb products on the market now that you can order candy and bread, etc. made from other sources.  He mainly eats as much meat and fat as he wants, dairy, nuts, vegetables, most fruits, yogurt, low carb breads/cakes/sweets, and some legumes.  And once in a while he goes nuts and eats all the other stuff for a day. 

He's really happy with the results.  He doesn't do much supplement stuff.  I used to spend a lot of money on vitamins/oils/etc. but I've found the organic yogurt (Stonyfield full-fat with added berries and Splenda sweetener) is better than all the expensive things he was taking.  So, he takes a multi-vitamin and fish oil every day.  And he tries to get at least 15 mins a day sun on his face.  A few sacrifices for clearer skin and no diarrhea.  It's worth a shot.

So, sorry it's long.  I just wanted to tell his story and thank you for your site.  It's great. -Indira S. "Wife of a NYC Flake"


Ed’s Response:  It’s for us to thank YOU, Indira.  You have provided a glimmer of hope that eating our way to better skin may NOT be the torturous practice so many of the diets seem to be.

I get so ANGRY at doctors who claim anything is categorically not associated with P.  In this case, diet.  You know, it’s these doctors who are gullible!  They have been brainwashed into thinking an unproven thing is untrue.  Bad logic!  Simple minds!  And we let these people poke and prod us? Cut, sew and staple us?  Force things into our veins and down our throats? 

I swear, not only will I walk out on the next doctor who categorically denies anything, I think I’ll punch him in the eye on my way out. -Ed

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