People with Crohn’s disease frequently try to alleviate their symptoms by modifying their diet, and recent research reveals that the Mediterranean diet may be their best choice.
Mediterranean Diet Might Ease Patients Of Crohn’s Disease
The specific carbohydrate diet (SCD), one of the most often utilized diets for Crohn’s disease, as compared to the Mediterranean diet, which is occasionally advised by doctors for its heart health advantages but not for inflammatory bowel illnesses like Crohn’s.
The researchers discovered that both diets lowered symptoms virtually similarly. However, the study concluded that the simplicity of following the Mediterranean diet may make it one that patients prefer.
According to research co-author Dr. Arun Swaminath, physicians are meeting patients who are on increasingly restricted diets. He is an associate professor at Hofstra/Zucker Northwell’s School of Medicine and an assistant professor at Northwell Health’s Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research, New York.
According to him, the disadvantage of these strictly restricted feeding regimens is that patients may not be getting enough calories or nutritional variety. An easier-to-follow diet may aid in this.
It’s the notion of assisting his patients in avoiding a path of progressively restrictive diets for them to feel well enough to control the underlying problem. Swaminath added that if he can keep them away from that dark track, he would feel like he has done something good.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Crohn’s disease affects the immune system and is characterized by stomach symptoms such as discomfort and diarrhea, as well as persistent inflammation. It affects around 3 million individuals in the United States, along with ulcerative colitis (another inflammatory bowel illness).
Between September 2017 and October 2019, the study was carried out in 33 different locations across the United States. The trial comprised 191 individuals who were randomly allocated to one of two diets and were required to adhere to it for 12 weeks. For the first six weeks, the participants were given ready-to-eat meals.
According to the findings, the diets affected their symptoms, and at 12 weeks, about 42.4 percent experienced symptomatic remission with SCD and 40.2 percent with the Mediterranean diet.
Unprocessed meats, fresh fruits, and non-starchy vegetables are all part of the SCD. Some legumes, all grains, certain sugars, canned fruits and vegetables, and certain dairy products are prohibited. The Mediterranean diet is low in red and processed meats and high in fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, fish, lean meats, whole grains, and limited amounts of dairy. Olive oil is the major source of fat in the Mediterranean diet.
Diet isn’t the sole way to fight Crohn’s disease. Since the first biologic pharmaceutical was licensed more than 20 years ago, there has been a flowering of new medical treatment, according to Swaminath. Previously, existing drugs such as steroids and immune modulators have been repurposed to treat the condition.
While they haven’t healed everyone or gotten everyone into a medicine-induced remission, Swaminath believes they can assist most individuals to return to a normal quality of life.
As per the study, some patients still desire an alternative to immunosuppressive medication, and high-quality data on Crohn’s disease diets is limited.
According to Swaminath, the participants in the research had mild to severe illnesses. Most doctors would not put someone on a diet if they were really ill and already malnourished, he continued.
The researchers observed that more than half of the individuals in the trial were already on a biological medicine.
This implies that, despite being on therapy, they’re clearly on therapy because it’s working and they’re better than they were before, but they still have symptoms that haven’t been treated, according to Swaminath, and if they can get half of those people healthier by altering their diet or implementing one of these treatments, he believes it is really useful.
The results were printed online in the journal Gastroenterology.
According to Dr. Elie Abemayor, chairman of the division of gastroenterology at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, N.Y., diet is more of an accompaniment to medicine than a replacement. He was not a participant in the research.
As per Abemayor, some study is being conducted to determine if the gut microbiota plays a role and whether people are more likely to react to certain types of treatment based on their microbiome.