This article has been published in Advanced Research in Gastroenterology and Hepatology.
Crohn’s disease is notoriously difficult to treat and this patient was no exception. Patients are typically treated with a wide range of drugs, most of which have significant side effects, and surgery.
This is a case study of a 63-yr old male, who was first diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in 1988. Over the past thirty years, he experienced persistent pain, chronic diarrhea and chronic fatigue. Extraintestinal manifestations included aphthous stomatitis, arthralgia especially in the knees and hips, eczema and uveitis. His comorbidities included shingles, exacerbated by immunosuppression, severe post herpetic neuralgia, and noise-induced hearing loss of both ears. The patient also has benign prostatic hypertrophy and diverticulosis.
Despite the full range of treatment, the patient remained with very significant symptoms, medication side effects and poor quality of life.
In May 2017, the patient chose to go on a plant-based diet. Within two months, significant improvements in symptoms resulted. After three months, the patient was able to discontinue all immunosuppressant drugs. After one year, the patient reports no symptoms requiring medications other than ranitidine 150mg 2x/day and loperamide 10mg/day needed for post op management of resections. Fatigue, pain, diarrhea and all extraintestinal manifestations have virtually been eliminated. The patient reports a very large improvement in quality of life. Continue reading
Many people, including some physicians, are concerned about iron deficiency anemia in patients consuming a plant-based diet. However, studies show that the risk of anemia in vegetarian and vegan patients is no greater than in omnivorous patients.
Plant foods contain only non-heme iron, whereas meat contains both the heme and non-heme iron. There used to be a concern that non-heme iron would be poorly absorbed resulting in iron deficiency anemia. However, non-heme is well absorbed in most vegetarian patients and vegan because other plant foods, containing substances such as vitamin C and citric acid, can greatly enhance its absorption. Furthermore, non-heme iron absorption increases whenever iron stores are low.
Adequate iron levels can easily be maintained in the vegan patient with a little planning. Consuming foods high in iron along with foods that enhance non-heme iron absorption, will prevent iron deficiency anemia in vegan and vegetarian patients. Because both groups of foods are widely available, this should not be difficult to accomplish.
Patients that are already anemic can be treated by increasing their consumption of iron rich and iron enhancing foods. Supplements are sometimes required. In these cases, iron supplements can be prescribed in the same manner as with omnivorous patients. Continue reading
We’re pleased to announce that this article has been published in JOJ Urology and Nephrology
Interest in the dietary treatment of chronic kidney disease has been growing as its incidence has been increasing. Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is now the 8th leading cause of death in the United States and its treatment consumes substantial amounts of medical resources and money.
Several lines of epidemiological research have shown a lower risk of chronic kidney disease among vegetarians. It also shows a substantially increased risk among omnivores, especially those who eat red and processed meats.
Although the practice started long ago, research on the use of a low-protein plant-based diet to treat chronic kidney disease diet has intensified in recent years. This research has shown that a low-protein vegetarian diet is safe and efficacious at both treating and slowing the progression of chronic kidney disease.
Treatment with a low-protein vegetarian diet, often supplemented with keto analogues, has been shown to reduce acidosis, phosphotemia, uremia, proteinuria and to slow progression. Research shows that this treatment does not result in malnutrition. Research has also shown that larger amounts of plant protein than animal protein can be consumed, without deleterious effects.
Treatment with a low protein vegetarian diet also has the advantage of preventing and treating common comorbidities such as type 2 diabetes and coronary artery disease.
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in animal-derived foods. It is added to others and is available as a dietary supplement and a prescription medication. Vitamin B12 exists in several forms and contains the mineral cobalt, (1, 2, 3, 4) so compounds with vitamin B12 activity are collectively called “cobalamins”. Methylcobalamin and 5-deoxyadenosylcobalamin are the forms of vitamin B12 that are active in human metabolism. (5) Continue reading
Open Letter To the Editor-in-Chief, Journal of the American College of Cardiology
October 27, 2017
Dear Dr. Fuster,
In your recent update to the Expert Consensus Decision Pathway, (1) no specific mention was made of a safe and efficacious non-statin therapy, the plant-based diet.
Vegetarian and vegan diets can be very efficacious in reducing serum cholesterol and, importantly, LDL. Studies have shown that those following a plant-based diet have significantly lower total cholesterol and LDL levels. (2)
This article is also available in printable pdf form: Colon Cancer Prevention with a Plant-Based Diet
I. Executive Summary
It has long been known that vegetarians have a substantially reduced risk of colon cancer. Several studies have shown that vegetarians have a reduced risk of colon cancer of 46%-88%, and, as might be expected, a 54% reduced risk of colon adenoma, plus a 200% reduced risk of advanced adenoma. Vegetarians also have a lower prevalence of risk factors for colon cancer. These include a much lower risk of hyperinsulinemia secondary to metabolic syndrome, lower risk of obesity, and a much lower risk of Crohn’s disease. Vegetarians also have lower levels of CRP (cardio reactive protein) indicating a lower inflammatory status. This has also been correlated with a better prognosis for colon cancer.
As the physician will already know, fibromyalgia is a disease which is often very difficult to treat. Many patients suffer from fibromyalgia without a fully efficacious treatment. These patients do not have a good quality of life and cannot maintain normal daily activity with currently prescribed treatments. Hence, many fibromyalgia patients inquire about dietary interventions. (1)