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Patients Perceive Clinical Benefit with the Specific Carbohydrate Diet for Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Abstract

Background

Recent studies suggest that dietary therapy may be effective for patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), but limited published data exist on the usage and efficacy of dietary therapy.

Aim

To evaluate the perspective of IBD patients using the specific carbohydrate diet (SCD).

Methods

An anonymous online survey was conducted using REDCap, a Web-based survey tool. Survey links were sent to known Web sites as well as support groups in an attempt to characterize patient utilization of the SCD and perception of efficacy of the SCD.

Results

There were 417 respondents of the online survey on the SCD with IBD. Mean age for individuals on the SCD was 34.9 ± 16.4 years. Seventy percent were female. Forty-seven percent had Crohn’s disease, 43 % had ulcerative colitis, and 10 % had indeterminate colitis. Individuals perceived clinical improvement on the SCD. Four percent reported clinical remission prior to the SCD, while 33 % reported remission at 2 months after initiation of the SCD, and 42 % at both 6 and 12 months. For those reporting clinical remission, 13 % reported time to achieve remission of less than 2 weeks, 17 % reported 2 weeks to a month, 36 % reported 1–3 months, and 34 % reported greater than 3 months. For individuals who reported reaching remission, 47 % of individuals reported associated improvement in abnormal laboratory values.

Conclusions

The SCD is utilized by many patients as a primary and adjunct therapy for IBD. Most patients perceive clinical benefit to use of the SCD.

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Author contributions

DS developed the concept of the study, while DS, GW, SC, CD, JK, KM, MS, and DL all contributed to design of the study, generation, collection, analysis, and interpretation of data as well as draft the manuscript and had approval of the final version of the manuscript.

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Correspondence to David L. Suskind.

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None of the authors have a conflict of interest in regards to this article and have adhered to strict ethical standards.

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Suskind, D.L., Wahbeh, G., Cohen, S.A. et al. Patients Perceive Clinical Benefit with the Specific Carbohydrate Diet for Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Dig Dis Sci 61, 3255–3260 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10620-016-4307-y

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10620-016-4307-y

Keywords

  • Crohn’s disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Specific carbohydrate diet
  • Diet
  • Nutrition