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Gluten and dairy free?

I was diagnosed with IBD over a year ago and have been told to go on a gluten and dairy free diet. I was wondering how effective this is? It’s been super hard to start lol. When I got diagnosed I was told by my GI that I could eat anything I wanted, but a lot of people I know with crohn’s eat gluten and dairy free…Should I just cut them both out at once or separately?

  1. Hi Claire! This is a great question. Unfortunately, the answer varies for all people. Personally, I eat both grains and dairy, and my illness is well managed by my Remicade/Inflectra infusions. However, I know others who prefer to manage with diet, or need to be more careful about what they eat, even with medications.

    My GI actually asked me to go dairy-free for a bit to see if I had any lactose intolerance. I wonder if you could ask for some testing to check if you have any food sensitivities or allergies as well? I also know some people have used a food diary to check and see what foods might be triggers. (More on that here: It seems to me that trying out different diets and seeing what works for you might be a good idea! But going slowly might be the best way for you, since these big changes have been hard. You might even consider going to a nutritionist for support!

    Hope these thoughts help. I hope you'll share how your journey goes! -Eshani (IBD Team Member)

    1. Hi Claire. I think we all struggle with this question and as Eshani mentioned, it varies with all of us. I personally eat both wheat and dairy but with some restrictions. I discovered over time that I can eat white bread and things like oats with no problem, but whole wheat is a no-go. When it comes to dairy, I can't drink milk or anything with cream or most cheese, but I can eat yogurt and hard cheese (like marble cheese).
      If you want to cut out dairy and wheat, that is certainly your prerogative, but try eliminating dairy to see if that makes a difference and then maybe try eliminating dairy and keep track of your reactions if any.
      You could also go hardcore and eliminate both but then slowly reintroduce to see if there is a difference or reaction.
      With this disease, it's always trial and error. Good luck
      Let us know how you get on.
      Vern - IBD Team Member

      1. Hi . Both Eshani and Vern mentioned eliminating certain items and keeping track/a diary of your changes. To go along with this I want to share with you this article from another patient leader, Matt, on elimination diets: Hope this information is helpful and please feel free to keep us posted on how you are doing and to ask additional questions. Best, Richard (Team Member)

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