Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Discussing the latest advances in Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis

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December 29, 2015

Specific Carbohydrate Diet for Pediatric IBD

By Kanaaz Pereira

Dietary intervention such as the specific carbohydrate diet (SCD), initially used to treat celiac disease, has been effective in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) as well. Dr. Jeanne Tung, M.D., discusses a study, published in the journal Nutrition, where pediatric gastroenterologists at Seattle Children's Hospital looked back at their patients who had tried the specific carbohydrate diet.

In general, the SCD tries to avoid the following foods:

  • Grains, chickpeas
  • Refined sugars or sugar substitutes, molasses, corn syrup, maple syrup
  • Chocolate
  • Processed foods, processed meats and fish
  • Soy products
  • Canned fruits and vegetables
  • Root vegetables
  • Milk, cream, commercial yogurt
  • Nut milk, rice milk, hemp milk

What is allowed?

  • Fresh or frozen vegetables and fruits
  • Most nuts, peas, beans
  • Fresh or frozen meats, turkey, chicken, fish, eggs
  • Some hard cheese, homemade yogurt
  • Honey
  • Juice that is not concentrated

Although the mechanism of action for the SCD is not known, it is hypothesized that the diet decreases intestinal inflammation by changing the fecal microbiome from a proinflammatory state to noninflammatory state.

Read the full study online here.

For more information about IBD, visit

Dr. Tung is a pediatric gastroenterologist at Mayo Clinic.


Tags: diet, fecal microbiome, IBD, Jeanne Tung, nutrition, Specific Carbohydrate Diet, Study Findings

Hello! I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease 21 years ago. After ten years of terrible symptoms, even worse medications and a close call of having a colectomy, I found the specific carbohydrate diet. After two weeks all of my symptoms were gone. I stayed on it for more than ten months without cheating. Now I am able to eat whatever I want, but I do tend to eat a lot of the diet anyway. My colonoscopies since have shown NO disease whatsoever. I would like to correct a few things in this article. It says that root vegetables are not allowed. This is not true. You can eat as many beets, carrots, radishes, celeriac, french artichokes and rutabaga as you want! You just have to avoid potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips and turnips (they have different starches that feed bad bacteria, which crowd out beneficial bacteria). You can also drink nut milks if you make them (any nut milk sold in a store has gums in it) – it is not difficult! And after you are symptom-free, you can eat other very fermented cheeses, even if they are not hard.

Liked by mom21

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