I remember spring semester I was getting really sick from my Ulcerative Colitis, but couldn’t afford to try any new medications. I was getting desperate, so I searched the internet for possible diets that I could follow. I came across one called the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. It’s based on a book called Breaking The Vicious Cycle by Elaine Gottschall, a biochemist and cell biologist.
On Amazon, hundreds of people absolutely swear by this book! I’ll add a link to these reviews at the end of this blog.
I decided to try this diet when I got home from a day at the ER and pumped up on prednisone. For a college student, it’s a very hard diet to follow. It’s based primarily on fresh and organic meats, fruits, and vegetables (and that’s pretty much it). You’re not allowed pasta, rice, potatoes, starchy vegetables, canned vegetables, flour, sugar, and much more. It proved to be very expensive and time consuming to produce meals that actually tasted somewhat decent. Unfortunately, I didn’t (and still don’t) have the time or money to follow this diet.
Although Amazon reviewers seem to find it a miracle diet, I’ve also read articles where they basically state “for every person it worked for, it failed for another.”
If you have the time and funds to try this diet, I’m copying some helpful links to reviews, illegal/legal foods, and recipes you can follow. If you DO decide to follow this diet, let me know how it goes! :)
Legal/illegal list: http://www.scdrecipe.com/legal-illegal-list/listing/
Amazon reviews: http://www.amazon.com/Breaking-Vicious-Cycle-Intestinal-Through/product-reviews/0969276818/ref=cm_cr_dp_see_all_summary?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending
Main website: http://www.breakingtheviciouscycle.info/
Good health to all! <3
I used to absolutely love thunderstorms!
However, last night I realized that I think rain and this type of weather can seriously increase my joint pains… I don’t think I love thunderstorms anymore!
IBD Increases Skin Cancer Risk: Study
Monday, November 28, 2011 7:50 AM
Patients who have inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) may have an increased risk of developing skin cancer, and the risk is even higher in those patients who have taken immunosuppressant medications. Two studies appearing in the American Gastroenterological Association’s journal Gastroenterology, found that IBD patients who used thiopurines, which include Purinethol, Azasan, and Tabloid, significantly increased their risk of developing nonmelanoma skin cancer — and at an early age.
“The increased risk of skin cancer that we found in our study was observed in all patients, even before the age of 50 years,” said Dr. Laurent Peyrin-Biroulet, lead author of the first study. “As expected, this risk increased with age.
“All patients with irritable bowel disease currently receiving or having previously received thiopurines should protect their skin from UV radiation and receive regular dermatologic screening, regardless of their age,” said Peyrin-Biroulet.
Nonmelanoma skin cancers (NMSC) include basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, and are the most commonly diagnosed cancers in the United States. NMSC is also the most common cancer diagnosed in people on immunosuppressive medications, and the numbers of patients with IBD who are treated with immunosuppressants continue to increase.
“All individuals should be protecting themselves against skin cancer,” said Harminder Singh, lead author of the second study. “But, it is especially important that physicians stress the need to be extra vigilant about skin care with their irritable bowel disease patients, especially among those exposed to immunosuppressants such as thiopurines.”
© 2011 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
“It seems contradictory: fish oil supplements are often recommended because they contain omega-3 fatty acids associated with a reduction in inflammation. Now, however, researchers at Michigan State University have found that fish oil increases the risk of severe colitis and colon cancer in mice prone to inflammatory-like bowel diseases.
Although most people are deficient in omega-3 fatty acids and are encouraged to include more foods rich in this essential fat and to take fish oil supplements, there is a caveat. According to Jenifer Fenton, a food science and human nutrition researcher at Michigan State University, “our findings support a growing body of literature implicating harmful effects of high doses of fish oil consumption in relation to certain diseases.”
This concern has led some academics to work on establishing intake guidelines for omega-3 fatty acids. Excessive intake of the omega-3 DHA could be especially harmful for people who have chronic conditions such as inflammatory bowel diseases, according to the new study.
Researchers discovered that mice given high doses of fish oil developed lethal, late-stage colon cancer, and that the increased inflammation associated with DHA use caused the tumors to develop in only one month. Even low doses of the fatty acid resulted in an increase in the severity of the cancer and in aggressive progression of the disease.
Fenton noted that the results of this study do not mean people should not take fish oil, but that healthful amounts need to be identified. “With fish oil, we don’t yet know how much is appropriate,” said Fenton. Currently, numerous scientific and other authoritative bodies, ranging from the Institute of Medicine to the World Health Organization and the Council for Responsible Nutrition, have voiced their opinions about the optimal amount of omega-3 fatty acids, including DHA, people should consume. These can be seen on the Purdue Research Foundation website.
Fenton explained that they had expected to see a decreased risk of cancer when giving the mice DHA because the omega-3 has been shown to possess anti-inflammatory abilities. However, “these mice were less equipped to mount a successful immune response to bacteria that increased colon tumors.”
The increased risk of colitis and colon cancer related to use of fish oil seen in this study may serve as a warning to individuals with inflammatory bowel disease, who have an increased risk of developing colon cancer. Since this study was conducted using mice, Fenton noted that the next step is to test levels of omega-3 fatty acids in people who have inflammatory bowel disorders.”
Michigan State University
Purdue Research Foundation
Best tip an IBD patient can learn:
Rent a place where all utilities are included. I swear with the amount of baths I take in a day, I’m probably the sole cause of water shortages in this country.
I truly wish there were more scholarship opportunities for IBD students… Spring semester, I had to go to the ER due to my UC. The stress of school and working at least 30 hours a week in order to pay for school and rent proved to be difficult. It was a vicious cycle: school, work, stress, flare, stress about flare, repeat. In the end, I had to quit my job and I was forced to take out a student loan to pay for rent. Working full time and going to school is too stressful for me and only worsens my UC symptoms, making it impossible for me to successfully do both.
Unfortunately, I have to take off the fall semester this year in order to save money to be able to go in Spring (hopefully enough so that I won’t have to work). It’s so frustrating - but we’ll get there. I just wish there were some sort of grant so I wouldn’t have to worry so much about working and could focus more on school. I don’t want to take out any more loans, which is why I have to work and do school separately. I also don’t have health insurance, and the county I live in provides health care for those who can’t afford insurance, as long as they work at least 20 hours a week. It’s not a definite given that I’ll be able to get it, but I’m definitely going to try. My health is more important than school right now, so it just seems to be the right thing to do.
The Intense Intestines website has a scholarship page that is said to be updated in the future. I truly hope grant money is available while I’m still in school! To all those going through a similar situation, keep a look out for those scholarships, hopefully they come up soon! I’ll also post updates if I come across any :)
I hope all my fellow IBDers are having a comfortable and pain-free weekend. Good health to all <3
Hey! I don’t actually start till August when I go back to school, but we should definitely exchange experiences! And yes it does indeed look encouraging :)
I’m not sure how long it takes to start seeing improvement, I could ask my doctor when we next speak though. I got your email in the next question so I won’t put that one on blast haha but I will email you today!
Today I received my info package for the upcoming Vedolizumab trial that’s being conducted at Shands hospital in Gainesville, FL. I’m actually pretty excited! Meds haven’t been keeping me in remission so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that my body takes to it.
It’s an intravenous procedure that takes around 30-60 minutes, and I have to do it once every month for the next 4 years. The side effects don’t seem to be too bad, the most common being headaches. Let’s face it, pretty much every IBD medication causes headaches so it’s not something that worries me. I’ve also done my own research on it and patients that have already taken part in the study have experienced great results! All-in-all, I’m really looking forward to it. I also don’t have health insurance so this is truly a great opportunity.
I hope everyone is having a healthy and comfortable day :) Happy Friday and good health to all! <3