An inspiring story out of the Seattle Children’s Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center, suggests that an alternative to the traditional route of medications and steroids may be available for children suffering from Chron’s Disease.
The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, reports that as many as 700,000 Americans could be affected by the chronic conditions brought on by Crohn’s. In spite of a seeming spike in numbers of people affected by this disease, it’s currently unknown exactly what it is that causes an individual to have Crohn’s. However, many doctors believe Crohn’s occurs because something goes awry between a child’s genetic makeup, their immune system and their microbiome.
According to gastroenterologist Dr. David Suskind of the Seattle Children’s Hospital, roughly, “… 25% of Crohn’s diagnoses occur during childhood,” he then claims that “Typically we see two spikes in onset, one in the 8 to 10 age range and the second in the early teens. The incidence also seems to be increasing. Although we’re not sure why, we think it might be related to environmental factors like diet and the overuse of antibiotics.”
Although the cause has yet to be clearly established through data sets and long-term studies, these doctors who observe childhood cases of Chron’s disease must have some insight behind their hunches as to what it is that can affect the appearance and symptoms of this disease.
Doctors at Seattle Children’s Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center are perfectly comfortable offering a host of treatment options that are tailored to the specifics of the patient, Dr. Suskind makes wure that a novel nutritional therapy is also an option.
Currently, diet is not considered a traditional part of the treatment options, yet the doctors at this location, feel it needs to be included in the potential treatment options as it may work for some patients.
According to Dr. Suskind, “If you look at the standard treatment for IBD at most centers, diet doesn’t play a role. What we do at Seattle Children’s is very different.” He went on to say, “We’re finding that for some patients, diet can be the key. We start by giving parents information about the pros and cons of all treatment options, and then ask them what they want to try. We’re supportive of either medication or diet, because we know that different treatments work for different patients. We just want to ensure we’re aligned with what works best for the family.”
The nutritional therapy offered at Seattle Children’s provides 2 dietary plan options for patients. The first is a diet consisting of 100% formula. However, the second option is a very particular carbohydrate diet and focuses on fruits, vegetables, and nuts. This SCD diet removes lots of foods and ingredients very typical of an American diet, and Seattle Children’s is one of the only centers in the country that offers this option to patients as a treatment option for both Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis.