Randomized! Diet study for Crohn’s Disease
Hello again! My last blog post (read it here)was an exciting one! I have been asked to participate in a study the will be investigating the effect of various diets on crohn’s disease symptoms. The study is being done out of the University of Pennsylvania and will be randomizing the Specific Carbohydrate Diet and the Mediterranean Diet. I am so excited to be a part of this study. I think that it is about time that the medical community has started investigating diet as a potential treatment for IBD. I will never forget my very first gastroenterologist (i have had many) telling me that diet “plays no role” in Crohn’s and that I could continue eating dairy and all the foods that I loved without consequence, was he EVER wrong. I firmly believe that diet is HUGE in gut disease.
So, I had my physical at the hospital today and am officially enrolled in the DINE-CD study! I had to sign a million papers and have a full physical with blood work and various other tests. They will be monitoring my symptoms throughout the entirety of the study. Every 6 weeks I will go in for more blood work and be sending in stool samples as well. They will be monitoring my abdominal pain and my stool output daily. I will also be going in for a colonoscopy at the end of the whole study.
I got randomized to the Mediterranean Diet. The study will be 12 weeks long and will be divided into 2 phases broken at the 6 week mark. I had to sign paperwork stating that I would stick to the diet 100%. No cheating what so ever. For the first 6 weeks they will be sending me all of my food. The second 6 weeks will be to see if I can maintain the diet on my own. I am only allowed to eat what is allowable on the mediterranean diet. I will be receiving my first delivery of food on Friday the 7th of September and starting the diet on Saturday the 8th of September. I am very new to this diet and style of eating, I don’t know much about it. We can learn together.
Mediterranean Style Diet: Permitted Foods
|Fruits||Permitted||All kinds (aim for fresh of frozen)|
|Vegetables||Permitted||All kinds (aim for fresh of frozen)|
|Chicken||Permitted||White meat; grilled, broiled, boiled, blackened, or sautéed in olive oil|
|Turkey||Permitted||Unprocessed white meat|
|Fish||Permitted||All kinds; grilled, broiled, boiled, blackened, sautéed in olive oil. Canned fish with only water or olive oil added.|
|Seafood/shellfish||Permitted||All kinds; grilled, broiled, boiled, blackened, sautéed in olive oil|
|Cheese (Natural)||Permitted||natural cheeses that you can eat include brie, chevre, corvo, feta, haloumi, manchego, Parmigiano-Reggiano, pecorino, and ricotta. These may be eaten in low to moderate amounts.|
|Dark chocolate||Permitted||In moderation|
|Dried spices, herbs, seasoning||Permitted|
|Jarred olives, pickles, sweet peppers, hot peppers, capers||Permitted|
|Red meat/Pork||Permitted||Only once per month and only unprocessed red meat or pork (such as sirloin, top loin, flank steak, strip steak, and pork loin)|
|Wine||Permitted||1-2 glasses and only with meals|
MY SYMPTOMS NOW
I would like to document the progression, if there is any, of my symptoms and my weight and everything that I can track. I would love to eventually make a graph and really document everything, but we will wait and see if I improve and by how much.
As of today, I have moderate abdominal pain daily. I usually rate it around a 3-4 out of 10. I have headaches and eye pain daily. I have anywhere from 2 -12 times that I need to move my bowels daily. Usually most of those times are loose or watery diarrhea. As of my last colonoscopy I have active disease all throughout my large bowel, rectum and the area where my terminal ileum used to be. (i had a stricture there and the ileum removed in 2016) I have bloating daily and gas and pain daily, as well.
My weight is currently 144 and I am 5’5”. I have low ferritin and low potassium. I plan to cook a lot of my food in an iron skillet instead of supplementing because I don’t usually absorb it. I have needed iron infusions in the past, but would like to avoid them for now. The rest of my blood work was relatively normal, which is not unusual for me. My CRP was .41 and my Sed Rate was slightly elevated. Although, I would like to note that my inflammatory markers, such as CRP and Sed Rate are typically NEVER elevated very much. Even when I have been very sick and in the hospital having resections and bad flares, they are never too high. My GI doctors have always been a bit baffled and said that I look pretty healthy on paper. So, my blood work isn’t a great way to monitor my disease activity.
I will certainly be posting very frequently and taking pictures of my meals and letting you all know how my Crohn’s symptoms are progressing on the diet. I am very excited to get started! Thank you all for following along on this journey with me.
If you have been on this diet or have ANY advice at all, please comment and let me know! I appreciate it!