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CCFA partners with celebrity cook to help Crohn's, colitis patients

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
CCFA and celebrity cook Sunny Anderson partner to help IBD patients

The CCFA and Janssen Biotech have partnered with celebrity cook and ulcerative colitis patient Sunny Anderson, along with IBD nutrition expert, Dr. Lindsey Albenberg to help patients manage UC and Crohn's disease.


The Get Your Full Course website comes on the heels of a recent review of internet searches showing websites offering dietary information for IBD can often confuse patients with Crohn's disease and colitis.

Research is lacking about the role of diet for managing Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. But patients battling the forms of IBD will be the first to tell you that diet does matter.

Food does seem to have an impact on Crohn's and colitis flare-ups that also appears to be entirely different for those with inflammatory bowel disease.

What diet works for IBD?

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There is not one diet that works to quell IBD symptoms that is yet known at least. There are guidelines about what foods to avoid during an IBD flare-up and suggestions that are not yet studied in depth that might help.

The purpose of the program is to help those suffering from IBD track their diet that can help manage symptoms. Everyone is different says Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America's Vice President of Patient and Professional Services Laura Wingate.

What causes stomach and intestinal distress for one person might be entirely different for the next. Wingate encourages working with your health care provider for individualized treatment.

The food diary tool is called "GI Buddy" and is geared toward helping both patients and physicians track how diet impacts each individual's IBD symptoms.

The CCFA is also researching gut bacteria in hopes of finding a cure for Crohn's disease and UC. They have discovered the gut microbiome changes during IBD flares. Understanding gut bacteria would mean exact diets could help manage inflammatory bowel disease.

If you have Crohn's disease or UC you can join Get Your Full Course online. The hope is that by tracking diet you can manage symptoms of IBD. Sunny Anderson shares that she has been living with ulcerative colitis, making her an excellent resource for others battling IBD.



Ulcerative colitis is the end result of continuous allergic responses by your body's immune system. Normally, the immune system protects you from infection. In people with IBD the immune system is reacting to a food, bacteria, and other ingested materials as foreign or invading substances. When this happens, the brain activates the immune system rather than the digestive system. In a normal digestive response the Vagus nerve supplies nerve fibers to the pharynx (throat), larynx (voice box), trachea (windpipe), lungs, heart, esophagus, and intestinal tract, as far as the transverse portion of the colon. The vagus nerve also brings sensory information back to the brain from the ear, tongue, pharynx, and larynx. In an allergic reaction this is not happening. The immune system is activated. I suggest sufferers should undergo an allergy test. Blood tests measure the presence of IgE antibodies to specific foods. (IgE, short for “immunoglobulin E,” is the antibody that triggers food allergy symptoms.) Dairy products are the most allergenic foods and need to be totally avoided.
In addition to IgE allergy tests I suggest blood tests that look at non IgE causes of inflammation.
All diseases are not caused by allergies. It's not fair to health care consumers to say that. The common thread is more closely inflammation, wouldn't you say?
Is there a giant difference between Crohn's and ulcerative colitis? And can these foods be eaten with the latter ?
HI Adam - Crohn's and colitis are both forms of IBD - the program is for either type of inflammatory bowel disease. There are differences, but also many similarities. http://www.emaxhealth.com/1020/how-crohn-s-disease-different-ulcerative-colitis
Cool article . My baby brother has uc, dam near killed him before he went to the doctor. Think i'll tel him about Get Your Full Course. Thank you for that as he loves to cook.
You're welcome Adam. I'm sorry about your brother and hope this can help him.