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Supporters of the diet maintain that because the Paleo diet eliminates grains, it is a gluten-free diet suitable for patients who suffer from an autoimmune disease like IBD. By restricting the consumption of cereal grains, the diet prevents inflammation and helps heal the gut, which helps manage IBD symptoms.
In addition, many people with IBD posted their Paleo success stories on the internet claiming that they felt their health improve after starting the Paleo diet. People who tried the diet were amazed because their IBD symptoms were either reduced or gone a few days after they followed the diet.
Nevertheless, opponents of the diet argue that there is insufficient scientific evidence pointing to the effectiveness of the Paleo diet for IBD. There have been a few studies on the Paleo diet and its effectiveness in treating IBD. However, these studies were limited due to small sample sizes and the lack of randomized, controlled trials. Thus, scientists call for further research on the Paleo diet and IBD.
Opponents of the Paleo diet for IBD also argue that the Paleo diet may be harmful because it is restrictive and hard to follow. Plus, the diet’s elimination of different food groups such as dairy can lead to calcium and vitamin D deficiencies in the body. A low level of vitamin D puts people at risk for autoimmune diseases and may worsen IBD patient’s overall health.
Opinion in favor of following the Paleo diet for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD):
Supporters of the Paleo diet for lupus believe that the diet is beneficial for the disease because it eliminates all grains, thus eliminating gluten, from the diet.
Dr. Loren Cordain, the founder of the Paleo diet, believes that the “withdrawal of all gluten-containing cereals causes complete remission” of autoimmune diseases. Therefore, the diet is beneficial for an autoimmune disease like IBD.
Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt, a Swedish medical doctor specialized in family medicine and founder and CEO of the company Diet Doctor, believes that diet is a key component that can treat IBD.
He notes that there is no harm in trying the diet, especially since unlike prescription drugs, it has no harmful side effects. He also states that the diet might be worth a try if people are noticing health improvements within two weeks.
In addition, many people who suffer from IBD have posted success stories on the internet claiming that they felt their overall health improved and their IBD symptoms decrease significantly since they started the Paleo diet.
Opinion against following the Paleo diet for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD):
Opponents of the Paleo diet for IBD do not believe that the diet can treat or prevent the disease. They argue that there is insufficient scientific evidence pointing to the effectiveness of the Paleo diet in treating IBD. So far there have only been a few studies examining the link between the Paleo diet and improved IBD.
While promising, these studies were limited because they had small sample sizes. They also were not randomized controlled trials, so they could not determine if the improvements in the patients’ conditions were due to the Paleo diet or other external factors.
They also argue that the Paleo diet is restrictive, difficult to follow, and can cause calcium and vitamin D deficiencies. Therefore, it might be harmful to people with IBD because it can result in a vitamin D deficiency which increases IBD patients’ “risk of surgery and hospitalization.”
Nevertheless, if people with IBD pay attention to their vitamin D and calcium levels, they can reap the benefits of the diet. Opponents of the Paleo diet for IBD concede that the diet may be beneficial for overall health because it encourages healthy eating habits, such as eating organic fruits and vegetables and avoiding processed meats, high sugar foods, and refined carbohydrates.