Background: Most moderate-severe juvenile Crohn's disease (CD) patients are in a constant catabolic state resulting in poor weight gain and growth failure. Anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, and monoclonal antibody drugs, as well as growth hormone (GH), frequently fail to achieve sustained remission or reverse growth failure.
Objective: To test whether an exclusion diet with nutraceutical therapy (DNT) could induce sustained clinical remission and weight gain, and if so does this enhance the ability for GH to reverse growth failure.
Methods: An uncontrolled prospective case study was undertaken in six moderate- severe CD patients, two of whom had completed growth. All were treated with DNT. Adequate caloric and protein ( >or= 3g/kg/d) intake for catch up weight was prescribed. Dairy products, certain grains and carrageenan containing foods were eliminated. Nutraceuticals, consisting of fish peptides, bovine colostrum, boswellia serrata, curcumin and a multivitamin were administered daily. Lactobacillus GG, a probiotic, was administered twice weekly. Recombinant human GH (rhGH) was administered daily.
Results: Within 2 months of starting DNT all six patients went into remission, with discontinuation of all pharmacological drugs. Three patients have remained in sustained remission for 4 to 8 years. One patient with very severe CD had recurrence of CD symptoms after being in complete remission for 18 months, one patient was in remission for 3 years but symptoms recurred when she became less compliant to DNT and one recently treated patient remains in remission after 6 months. With the addition of rhGH, the 4 growing patients had good-excellent growth response
Conclusion: DNT engendered prolonged remission and restoration of normal weight in moderate-severe juvenile CD patients, providing conditions that enabled rhGH to stimulate growth. These findings justify larger controlled trials to evaluate the long-term benefit of compliance to DNT in both juvenile and adult CD patients.