Background on Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Colitis and Crohn’s)
Jill Sklar’s The First Year: Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis: An Essential Guide for the Newly Diagnosed. Sklar answers many questions common to the newly and not-so-newly diagnosed, including sections on surgery, pregnancy, and children with IBD. The book is thorough and well-written, compassionate and matter-of-fact. Sklar interweaves the information with her own experiences living with Crohn’s. Highly recommended.
Amy E. Barto & Andrew S. Warner’s 100 Questions & Answers About Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis: A Lahey Clinic Guide. This book answers many questions common upon first diagnosis, and is well-written and thorough. Its doctor authors also include many testimonies from two patients, so the overall effect is a wonderful blend of scientific know-how and compassion. Highly recommended.
Background on Digestion & Diet
Mary Roach’s Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal. Both educational and endlessly entertaining, this book traverses the digestive tract from the mouth to the anus, stopping along the way to teach us not only about digestion but about the interesting and weird science around it. Highly recommended, not only for those with digestive issues but for everyone.
Dr. Andrew Weil’s Eating Well for Optimum Health: The Essential Guide to Food, Diet, and Nutrition. I love Dr. Weil’s message of balance, healing, and self-acceptance through ageing, and recommend his books highly to anyone. This book is a great way to learn the basics of nutrition and healthy living. It is not written for colitis patients specifically, but helped me think more broadly about my health.
Diets for Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Virginia Harper’s Controlling Crohn’s Disease The Natural Way. This is part memoir, part introduction to the macrobiotics diet, and part recipe book. Harper’s story is well told and persuasive. This book changed my life and improved my health. Highly recommended; here is Harper’s website.
Elaine Gloria Gottschall’s Breaking the Vicious Cycle: Intestinal Health Through Diet. This is THE book on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, which is followed by thousands of people for treatment of IBD, as well as for celiac disease and autism. The book outlines a scientific argument for the diet, which involves eliminating all complex carbs including grains and many legumes. The book includes recipes. Highly recommended.
David Dahlman’s Why Doesn’t My Doctor Know This?: Conquering Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Crohn’s Disease and Colitis. Dahlman describes the digestive system and the imbalance he believes causes IBS and IBD: unhealthy gut flora plus lack of digestive enzymes. He recommends stringent changes to diet and supplementary enzymes purchased on his website. See drdahlman.com.
Recipes for Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Tracie M. Dalessandro’s What to Eat with IBD: A Comprehensive Nutrition and Recipe Guide for Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. A general introduction to IBD, including the author’s experience with Crohn’s and the principals behind her suggested diet, which she developed not only as a Crohn’s patient but as a dietition. The book has many recipes designed to soothe the gut, especially eliminating insoluble fiber.
Donna Jackson Nakazawa’s The Autoimmune Epidemic: Bodies Gone Haywire in a World Out of Balance and the Cutting Edge Science that Promises Hope. An excellent, galvanizing overview of just how prevalent and debilitating these diseases are, and how society must work together to prevent them and support their sufferers. This is the book that inspired me to start this blog. I recommend it to everyone.
Moises Velasquez-Manoff’s An Epidemic of Absence: A New Way of Understanding Allergies and Autoimmune Diseases. A fascinating, well-researched case for the “hygiene hypothesis”: that in modern settings, in the absence of the many microbes and parasites with which we evolved, our immune systems are less “educated” and mistakenly turn on our bodies. Elegant but also dizzying, the book can be overwhelming but is also powerful.