East Lancs Crohn’s Disease sufferer hits out at 'junk food' claims

East Lancs Crohn’s Disease sufferer hits out at 'junk food' claims

East Lancs Crohn’s Disease sufferer hits out at 'junk food' claims

First published in News Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Health Reporter

A DAD who suffered ‘two years of hell’ while fighting Crohn’s Disease has criticised reports which linked the condition to junk food.

Baxenden man Steve Chadwick, along with thousands of other sufferers, was angered by national news reports which suggested that bad eating habits had led to a three-fold increase in the number of patients being admitted to hospital with the condition.

The 35-year-old fears this will lead to further misunderstanding about Crohn’s, because the precise causes are still unknown. The London-based gastroenterologist whose interview led to the reports has since apologised and said her quotes were ‘distorted’.

Steve, who lives in Southwood Drive and works as a salesman for Morecambe-based Althams Butchers, said: “It was really frustrating to read these stories putting it down to junk food. It was ridiculous because it just isn’t that simple. My parents hated junk food and wouldn’t let me near it.

“You’ve got professional footballers and rugby players like Darren Fletcher and Lewis Moody who have Crohn’s, and their diet will have been unbelievably healthy.”

Steve, who lives with wife Alex, 30, and daughter Olivia-Layla, five, said there was already a lack of awareness about the condition, especially around the fact that it causes severe fatigue, and he has backed a campaign by the Crohn’s and Colitis UK charity to raise its profile.

He started experiencing symptoms, such as tiredness, stomach cramps and diarrhoea when he was 15, but it was several years before doctors diagnosed the ‘invisible disease’, after initially thinking he had irritable bowel syndrome.

Five years ago the symptoms worsened, and Steve was repeatedly admitted to hospital with severe stomach pains. The regular hospital trips lasted nearly two years, in what Steve said was the ‘worst time of my life’, before medics finally agreed to remove 65 per cent of his bowel in a major operation.

He was forced to give up his job as landlord of the former Black Horse pub in Accrington, and though he is now in remission he still takes medication and suffers from the same symptoms, though they are less severe.

He is determined to continue working, however, and added: “You don’t want to bang on about it, but most people don’t understand what I go through every day. It gets to 2pm and I feel like I’ve run a marathon because I’m so tired. I could sit at home on benefits but I don’t want the disease to rule my life.”

A spokesman for Crohn’s and Colitis UK said: “Members and supporters have voiced their concern and understandable upset over the original report. The reference to junk food as a possible cause of Crohn's disease is controversial and potentially unhelpful.”

Dr Sally Mitton, the London-based expert who conducted the initial interview, said: “I did mention pre-diagnosis diet and multiple courses of antibiotics as possible factors preceding the development of overt disease in some cases. (But) I did not say that junk food or frequent courses of antibiotics cause Crohn’s disease.”

Crohn's causes inflammation of the lining of the digestive system.

Comments (9)

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3:27pm Mon 30 Jun 14

woolywords says...

I recall reading the comments by Dr Mitton but since then other reports have emerged of rather strange 'cures' and thought I'd share...
http://tinyurl.com/k
hm7p6h
It may not work for everyone but what the heck, how many other failed 'remedies' have you tried, to resolve the condition?
Best of luck with this one, hope it works for you.
I recall reading the comments by Dr Mitton but since then other reports have emerged of rather strange 'cures' and thought I'd share... http://tinyurl.com/k hm7p6h It may not work for everyone but what the heck, how many other failed 'remedies' have you tried, to resolve the condition? Best of luck with this one, hope it works for you. woolywords
  • Score: -2

4:11pm Mon 30 Jun 14

mys says...

Firstly may I say,there is no cure for this horrible disease and secondly it is not caused by junk food,this stupid uneducated woman is now trying to cover her tracks,the statement she made was disgusting and untrue,I feel so sorry for crohn's sufferers having watched my son suffer over the last nine yrs with it,he and all 4 of my children were fed healthy food all there life yet my youngest suffers from crohn's and u/c very bad,so bad it's nearly killed him a few times it does not run in the family,we were told stress,bacterial infection in the gut or heredertary can be the cause,but nothing has been proven,this stupid dr should do some research before opening her mouth and making sufferers feel it's there own fault they have it,I'd like to see her suffer day in day out,it's horrible watching your loved one in pain all the time and no able to do anything for them.
Firstly may I say,there is no cure for this horrible disease and secondly it is not caused by junk food,this stupid uneducated woman is now trying to cover her tracks,the statement she made was disgusting and untrue,I feel so sorry for crohn's sufferers having watched my son suffer over the last nine yrs with it,he and all 4 of my children were fed healthy food all there life yet my youngest suffers from crohn's and u/c very bad,so bad it's nearly killed him a few times it does not run in the family,we were told stress,bacterial infection in the gut or heredertary can be the cause,but nothing has been proven,this stupid dr should do some research before opening her mouth and making sufferers feel it's there own fault they have it,I'd like to see her suffer day in day out,it's horrible watching your loved one in pain all the time and no able to do anything for them. mys
  • Score: 27

9:18pm Mon 30 Jun 14

Excluded again says...

There's a world of difference between saying something causes a particular disease and in some cases there seems to be a link between some causes and the disease flaring up.

You can rarely find a cure for any disease without understanding what causes it. And, unless you are really lucky, you don't find the single cause straightaway - there may not even be a single cause.

All the evidence is that Crohn's disease is genetic in origin. But there has also been a jump in cases requiring hospital treatment in recent years. The most likely explanation for this is some change in environment which has set off the underlying genetic susceptibility to Crohn's. Identifying what these environmental factors are is important so the people with a genetic susceptability to Crohn's can act accordingly .
There's a world of difference between saying something causes a particular disease and in some cases there seems to be a link between some causes and the disease flaring up. You can rarely find a cure for any disease without understanding what causes it. And, unless you are really lucky, you don't find the single cause straightaway - there may not even be a single cause. All the evidence is that Crohn's disease is genetic in origin. But there has also been a jump in cases requiring hospital treatment in recent years. The most likely explanation for this is some change in environment which has set off the underlying genetic susceptibility to Crohn's. Identifying what these environmental factors are is important so the people with a genetic susceptability to Crohn's can act accordingly . Excluded again
  • Score: 7

11:14pm Mon 30 Jun 14

moira144 says...

Have you heard of this new potential vaccine for Crohn's?

http://crohnsmapvacc
ine.com/vaccine/
Have you heard of this new potential vaccine for Crohn's? http://crohnsmapvacc ine.com/vaccine/ moira144
  • Score: -1

11:16pm Mon 30 Jun 14

moira144 says...

Other research being done into the MAP bacteria :-

http://www.myfoxorla
ndo.com/story/239363
94/ucf-researchers-c
losing-in-cure-for-c
rohns-disease
Other research being done into the MAP bacteria :- http://www.myfoxorla ndo.com/story/239363 94/ucf-researchers-c losing-in-cure-for-c rohns-disease moira144
  • Score: 0

11:21pm Mon 30 Jun 14

moira144 says...

More money is needed take the clinical trials and production of the Vaccine to completion, can you help?

http://crohnsmapvacc
ine.com/fundraising/
More money is needed take the clinical trials and production of the Vaccine to completion, can you help? http://crohnsmapvacc ine.com/fundraising/ moira144
  • Score: 1

7:25am Tue 1 Jul 14

BuckoTheMoose says...

This is typical of modern times. It used to be that all diseases were blamed on smoking. Now the blame is moving to salt, sugar, alcohol or junk food.

The truth is, if you do anything that the public health industry don't like, you get nagged, bullied and denormalised.

The anti tobacco lobby put their foot in it when they tried to blame cot death on passive smoking, further muddying the waters when the causes of cot death are unknown.

Looks like the anti junk food mob may be doing the same.

If you like the odd burger, salt on your chips or a couple of pints in an evening, or even if you're just unfortunate enough to have a disease or illness that can be blamed on these things, expect the tobacco control template to be applied to you.

We're all smokers now.
This is typical of modern times. It used to be that all diseases were blamed on smoking. Now the blame is moving to salt, sugar, alcohol or junk food. The truth is, if you do anything that the public health industry don't like, you get nagged, bullied and denormalised. The anti tobacco lobby put their foot in it when they tried to blame cot death on passive smoking, further muddying the waters when the causes of cot death are unknown. Looks like the anti junk food mob may be doing the same. If you like the odd burger, salt on your chips or a couple of pints in an evening, or even if you're just unfortunate enough to have a disease or illness that can be blamed on these things, expect the tobacco control template to be applied to you. We're all smokers now. BuckoTheMoose
  • Score: 1

12:16pm Tue 1 Jul 14

Leston says...

This stupid Dr has tried to set our cause for more awareness for Crohns back by " blaming us" for eating junk food.It's had the opposite effect,it's probably brought our illness more awareness than ever.I have severe C disease.. Had most of my bowel/ colon removed.I suffer every day.. It's an horrendously awful disease that affects every part of my body.I and 3 of my paternal cousins ( 1 sadly no longer with us) have it.So Dr, we must have eaten alot of junk food,may I add at 46 I am the youngest in my family with it... No junk food establishments in 50's n 60's in east Lancs.Think " get a jam butty" was our food of choice when we were allowed to eat between meals.,Oh and coperation pop.... OOh The dreaded ' water'.Stupid,ignora
nt Dr and BBC for their 'editing"I leave you all on that note getting my hospital bag packed for more surgery nxt week... Oh if only I'd not eaten ' junk food's as a child... Oh yeh 'I DIDN'T' regards.
This stupid Dr has tried to set our cause for more awareness for Crohns back by " blaming us" for eating junk food.It's had the opposite effect,it's probably brought our illness more awareness than ever.I have severe C disease.. Had most of my bowel/ colon removed.I suffer every day.. It's an horrendously awful disease that affects every part of my body.I and 3 of my paternal cousins ( 1 sadly no longer with us) have it.So Dr, we must have eaten alot of junk food,may I add at 46 I am the youngest in my family with it... No junk food establishments in 50's n 60's in east Lancs.Think " get a jam butty" was our food of choice when we were allowed to eat between meals.,Oh and coperation pop.... OOh The dreaded ' water'.Stupid,ignora nt Dr and BBC for their 'editing"I leave you all on that note getting my hospital bag packed for more surgery nxt week... Oh if only I'd not eaten ' junk food's as a child... Oh yeh 'I DIDN'T' regards. Leston
  • Score: 5

7:32pm Thu 3 Jul 14

janie64 says...

Doesn't surprise me how some so-called experts can state something that is incureable currently can be caused by bad diet. Then they backtrack when it is picked up on and then add in what they reckoned they did and didn't state.

I have had PBC for several years, it is apparently auto-immune and no cure and it means my body attacks and destroys my bile ducts causing my liver to become sick. There is no cure. I always thought I did have a healthy diet, don't smoke and drank very little alcohol yet since diagnosis I have got the comment on mentioning the words 'poorly liver' and automatically it is thought I was an alcoholic. I found a certain liver charity seems to emphasise how much alcohol damages the liver and they never seem to make a point that you can have liver damage through other causes that you haven't willing caused.
Doesn't surprise me how some so-called experts can state something that is incureable currently can be caused by bad diet. Then they backtrack when it is picked up on and then add in what they reckoned they did and didn't state. I have had PBC for several years, it is apparently auto-immune and no cure and it means my body attacks and destroys my bile ducts causing my liver to become sick. There is no cure. I always thought I did have a healthy diet, don't smoke and drank very little alcohol yet since diagnosis I have got the comment on mentioning the words 'poorly liver' and automatically it is thought I was an alcoholic. I found a certain liver charity seems to emphasise how much alcohol damages the liver and they never seem to make a point that you can have liver damage through other causes that you haven't willing caused. janie64
  • Score: 0

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