In the summer of 2003, my daughter, Sarah, received the harsh diagnosis of Crohn's disease. When I learned of the strong medicines that her doctor prescribed, I desperately wanted to find another solution. As a registered nurse I knew the risk of detrimental, long-term side effects of the drugs prescribed for Crohn's disease.
Although I realize that many in the medical community do not consider diet to be a significant factor, it seemed odd to me that diet would have so little to do with a gastrointestinal problem. Therefore, I decided to research that issue. In my research I learned of a pediatric gastroenterologist, Dr. J. Rainer Poley, who had conducted extensive studies on the effects of certain sugars and starches on people with intestinal diseases. My husband and I decided to take our daughter to see this doctor for another opinion. He instructed Sarah to eat plain yogurt everyday and to take a specific probiotic capsule called Culturelle (R) twice daily. Based on Dr. Poley's research, he also wanted Sarah to limit her consumption of concentrated sugars (specifically table sugar, technically known as sucrose.)
It has been well documented that there is a bacterial overgrowth problem frequently seen in people with Crohn's disease, although it is not understood what triggers it. The intent of the sucrose-restricted diet was to starve the harmful bacteria by taking away their major food source. The yogurt and Culturelle would help replenish the good bacteria.
After two weeks Sarah began to feel better in general. At a follow-up appointment three months later, she had gained 6 pounds and her lab work was all normal. We were thrilled! She has remained well through the years and continues to be healthy.