What is Inflammatory Bowl Disease (Ulcerative Colitis, Crohns, Celiac) and Irritable Bowl Syndrome (IBS) and how to reduce their symptoms?
When a person gets IBD or IBS, his/her intestines get inflamed, which means the redness in the intestines increases. This redness is caused due to the damage to epithelial layer (made up of epithelial cells) in the inner side of intestine. In IBD patients, this damage is most likely caused by the body’s own immune system. This is the reason that IBD is also known as autoimmune disease. The reasons are almost similar in IBS.
When a person is diagnosed with IBD (or IBS), (s)he cannot take food like a normal healthy person, and this fact is not told by most of the GI doctors. If we do not restrict our diet, being an IBD patient, the medicines won’t work. If we eat food items that we shouldn’t, this increases the population of bad bacteria in our intestines. When these bacteria increase, they produce toxins. As a reaction, the immune system begins attacking our intestines (mistakenly). This results in increase in inflammation and formation of ulcers in the intestinal tract, leading to pain, bleeding, diarrhea, cramping, mucus, etc. A person experiencing such symptoms is in the state of “flare”.
When a person has a “flare”, (s)he is prescribed with the medicines that are meant to suppress the immune system. However, use of such medicines for longer durations is risky as a weak immune system makes a body vulnerable to many other diseases that are otherwise countered by our immune system. The role of SCD Diet (Specific Carbohydrate Diet) begins here. The SCD Diet consists of only those food items that do not increase our inflammation (by not providing the food to bad bacteria).
As per SCD diet, a person who is flaring must stop all these food items: Grains (wheat, corn, barley, oats), Rice, Sugar, Milk, as these are the food items that feed directly to the bad bacteria in our intestines. All SCD illegal food items must be stopped immediately. When you are out of flare, just try one food item from legal list only at a time to see how it reacts, and note down in a diary. This will help you create your personal safe zone of foods among legal items of SCD, as everyone may not tolerate every legal item in SCD.
- A complete list of legal and illegal food items in SCD diet is available on this link.
- Follow the Stage 1 of the following diet chart.