Crohn’s Relief After a Week of Paleo!

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Written by: Justin Dimech

I have suffered from Crohn’s disease for five years, I was first diagnosed when I had to have an emergency resection. My colon was so infected that it ruptured. I was put on 50mg of Azathioprine as medication.

At the end of last year I started to have a severe flare (CRP, an inflammatory marker, was at 569, a normal level is <5), and was having bowel movements entirely of blood multiple times a day. I was then also put on 50mg of Prednisolone (Prednisone) and tapered to zero mg over 4 months. During this period I saw improvements, but when the Pred dropped to 10mg, my symptoms came back. I saw my specialist and he recommended that I increase my Azathioprine to 75mg a day. It was at this point that I stopped taking Pred and Azathioprine and looked for alternatives.

I started to take only Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN), and had been seeing good results; however there was still blood in my bowel movements, so I was still flaring. I started listening to Joe Rogan’s podcast and he kept mentioning your name, and how autoimmune diseases were a result of our diets (you really must have had an effect, he kept mentioning you some twenty podcasts later). So I decided to look into the Paleo Lifestyle and started to follow your autoimmune diet.

I can’t remember the last time I had a bowel movement without blood, it was amazing. I had been following your diet for 2 days and there was no more blood. This has been my first week on Paleo, my lifts have gone up, my thoughts are clearer and come to me easier and there has been no blood in my stools.

To be sure it was the change in diet and not anything else, I experimented. I ate a slice of bread and within thirty minutes, I was in pain and my next bowel movements were bloody, Paleo works, it was amazing. I had completely stopped hurting and there was no blood in my stools, all by changing what I ate.

I had seen numerous specialists, dieticians and nutritionists about my disease and they all told me to keep taking my meds and that diet was not related, even remotely. It’s easy to get frustrated at the doctors, when they keep spouting the same nonsense to me for five years. I just hope new sufferers learn about alternatives early.

I just wanted to let you know that you have changed my life and I really appreciate what you are doing.

Cheers from the Gold Coast, Australia

Justin Dimech

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  1. Pamela
    November 12, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    Keep on, Justin! You won’t believe how good you feel after a few months.

    Yes, thank heavens for the internet and people like Robb and his team!

  2. Sandra Brigham
    November 13, 2012 at 5:41 am

    Good for you! My adult son (29) is dealing with this right now. I’ve been Paleo/Primal for 2 yrs, so my son has been Primal 75% by default (he lives/eats with us). Frustrating how the med. est. says diet makes no difference. Yet comparison of his CTs and CRPs show a marked decrease in inflammation while doing SCD/Paleo and Prednisone and Asacol (at my insistence vs. Remicade) in the 6 wks following his recent (1st) flare/hospitalization. Unfortunately the dept. head has refused to entertain LDN, even after providing them the study paper (Therapy with the Opioid Antagonist Naltrexone Promotes Mucosal Healing in Active Crohn’s Disease: A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial) because participants were allowed to remain on immunosuppressants while on LDN. We hit a bump in the road yesterday and landed back in the ER. I’ve held off agreeing to Remicade infusions for another 2 wks while we let him continue to taper off Prednisone since it wasn’t a taper that set him off – it was too much nut product. Pain is gone today. Of course lack of pain for 6 wks was attributed to Prednisone and diet was inconsequential. Justin, did you try IgG testing? My naturopath has refused to work with us unless we do IgG. Had you ever tried SCD? My son’s microbiology came back ok, no overgrowths so I was going to do Paleo AI but he loves his SCD nut bread/pancakes and eggs which are allowed on SCD. I can’t see any reason to do SCD if there is no overgrowth though. Am I wrong in this reasoning? Robb? Justin, did you do strict AI (no eggs, nuts?)?

    • Justin Dimech
      November 22, 2012 at 11:35 pm

      Hey Sandra, I haven’t done IgG testing or a SCD. A typical day for me is:
      #Breakfast#
      5 slices bacon (no fat) 2 whole eggs, all fried in olive oil.
      #Snack#
      40g Macadamia nuts/pistachio nuts or boiled eggs
      #Lunch#
      Chicken curry (chicken breast, acceptable curry paste, coconut cream, sweet potato)
      #Dinner#
      Bacon, eggs, chicken breast
      Following the Paleo AI diet would be a good starting point and then adding in foods that don’t cause upsets.

      Personally I would try to avoid the biologics, and get a prescription for LDN elsewhere. It took me a couple of doctors to find one that was willing to look at the studies and agree with me.
      My girlfriend makes these delicious, calorie dense, paleo brownies that I can tolerate well. She got the recipe from Google.

  3. joanna
    January 14, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    justin, so happy you were able to get into remission. are you still taking LDN?

    i have UC and have tried just about everything. LDN didn’t do anything for my symptoms unfortunately. remicade stopped working, so now i’m trying humira. i am praying this will be my saving grace. i want to avoid surgery for as long as i can.

    i’ve been doing paleo almost 6 months now. still flaring to the point where i need blood tranfusions- just have so much bleeding. my iron and hemoglobin are dangerously low. the AI protocol didn’t help my symptoms at all. i was hoping the elimination of all possible triggers would be the trick, but alas, i am a difficult case.

    anyway, keep doing what you’re doing and don’t change it!!! i’ve noticed dropping meds/supps can have the worst effects in autoimmune disorders.

  4. Erin
    February 7, 2014 at 7:24 am

    Hey, Sandra!
    Justin mentioned eating nuts. SCD worked great for me in 2002 (Crohns) but has not been working (I went off of it after 2 years) in recent years and I didn’t want to do the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol because I also love my ground almond flour and peanutbutter treats but I was hitting another dead end and had to do something. After 3 days on P.A.P. my tummy settled down and I’m ending my 3rd week following it strictly and feeling much better. I do eat some egg yolks but no whole eggs as recommended, so I’m not eating as many eggs as I usually do. I’m sure after my 90 day program (that’s what I’ve committed to) eggs will not be a problem for me but we’ll see. I’m also hoping to be able to tolerate nuts again! I read about ‘gratitude’ from another site and try to be thankful for what I CAN eat. I work in health care and see patients on feeding tubes who go day after day just wanting a sip of water! I also did LDN on my own after my doctor refused but it did nothing for me. I’m done trying meds and will focus on food for healing. Best of luck to your son!

  5. Richard Nesbitt
    March 3, 2014 at 9:27 am

    I am 53 years old and have had Crohns since age 12. I have gone through surgery and all the terrible drugs which all had weird side effects. Reading all these stories from other people really hits home, and the closed minded Doctors really drive me. About 3 months ago I tried Acupuncture and it has really helped.
    My 20 year old son has been Paleolithic for a few months now and has told me that this diet can help. After seeing all this I am going to try it, thanks everyone that goes through the same daily hell I believe this will work.
    Richard Nesbitt

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