We see a surprising amount of children that have chronic abdominal pain. We do a work up, send some of them to GI specialist and only a few ultimately get a diagnosis like Crohn’s disease or Ulcerative colitis. Most of our children just have recurrent pain without a clear understanding of why they hurt.
So I was especially intrigued by a small study I read about recently. Children that did have Crohn’s and Ulcerative colitis were able to get relief of their symptoms by eating a special diet. Within 12 weeks, 8 of 10 children had improvement in their pain.
What was this diet and why do they think it worked? The diet is known as the specific carbohydrate diet and it removes grains, most dairy products and processed foods and sugars. The theory is that this diet affects the gut microbiome (the healthy bacteria in our intestines). The diet decreases the inflammation -think pain!- in the intestines. Which made me wonder if this would help the rest of the children that have pain but not a defined diagnosis. You can look up this diet to get more information but basically you can eat: vegetables (not canned), legumes, unprocessed meats (no lunch meat), natural cheeses, fruits, natural yogurt (no added stuff!) nuts, natural peanut butter. Avoid: sugar! Grains and starchy veggies like potatoes.
I am going to start asking families to try this with their children. I know that is sounds like a hard diet to follow but I would really like to know if it helps. If you try it…be sure to let us know what results you see….