What is the one question EVERY patient with IBD will ask ?
Doctor what can I do with my diet ?
Over the years, this has been the obvious question by patients and probably a bit of a nuisance to gastroenterologists.
Studying diet is inherently difficult as it is very hard to get strict adherence and monitor patients. In a dietary study, what markers of disease should be used to determine a positive response ?
Dr.David Suskind Associate Professor of Pediatrics the
Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at Seattle Children’s Hospital has been leading the way in answering this questions for patients everywhere. Dr.Suskind has been studying the SCD diet in the pediatric population and here is what he had to say:
1. What made you decide to look closer at the SCD diet ? What is the theory behind the diet ?
IBD is an immune dysregulation. That means the immune system is attacking the bowels because of a trigger. Evidence shows that the trigger is most likely the fecal microbiome. Diet is known to have a major impact on the fecal microbiome. I already knew that diet significantly impacted the treatment of IBD when we used exclusive enteral nutrition and this was further strengthened by the data from my work on fecal microbial transplant. I started working with a patient and his family who were extremely pro-active proponents of the SCD Diet. I did some extensive research into the SCD which ultimately made it an essential part of my work.
1b. What is the theory behind the diet ?
SCD is able to change the microbiome and remove the trigger i.e. the ‘bad bacteria’ from the intestines.
2. What were the results of the pilot study of the SCD diet ?
Our initial study on SCD examined how the diet worked for 7 Crohn’s patients on it without the use of immunosuppressive medication. All had active disease and all went into clinical remission on the diet. From this initial study, we have developed an active clinical and research program in the SCD.
3. Can you tell us about your future research goals ?
I have a number of studies currently ongoing in SCD. Our prospective study is examining patients with both UC and CD who initiate the diet. For these patients we are studying not only the clinical and nutritional effect of the diet but also the effect on the fecal microbiome. As the evidence mounts that this diet really works and the clinical date grows, more healthcare providers will feel comfortable offering the SCD as a treatment option for patients with IBD. You can learn more about the research being done on SCD and fecal microbial transplants at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZjTSNyoH3k