Junk Food Does Not Cause Crohn’s Disease. Thanks for nothing, BBC

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Mostly Cloudy, With Some Bright Spells

To the BBC:

For lunch today I had a burger and chips. For dinner tonight I’m having KFC. Tomorrow I’ll order in a giant pizza from Dominoes. Because I’ve got UC and Crohn’s, so that’s what I’m doing to myself, right? Oh, wait, no it’s not.

For lunch today I had gluten-free porridge with milled flax seeds and cinnamon. For dinner tonight I’ll be having roast chicken with saffron risotto and asparagus. Tomorrow night I’ll be having tuna and salmon tartare. Hang on, that can’t be right. No burgers?

Look, junk food never made anyone well. Everyone knows that. But it certainly doesn’t cause inflammatory bowel disease. There are millions of morbidly obese people who DO eat junk food all day long yet don’t have IBD, which in itself is proof that the claims made on Jeremy Vine’s BBC Radio 2 show and BBC Breakfast this morning are ridiculous. Thank you, BBC, for making it impossible for sufferers of IBD to explain their condition to friends, family, employers, teachers and even complete strangers now that they can turn around and say, ‘Well, you’ve brought it on yourself, you should stop eating that junk food. It was on the news, I read it online and it was even on Radio 2, so it must be right.’

Thanks a lot, BBC. No, really. You’ve been a great help. Perhaps your researchers should have done a little… well, research on the subject. Perhaps your so-called expert should have done some herself.

You have done more damage than good with that segment. You have raised awareness of a terrible, life-threatening disease by openly suggesting that we’ve caused it ourselves. Does this look like someone who lives on junk food?


Thought not.

You could have cited GM crops, pesticides, everything that the Western world has grown to depend on over the last decade. Perhaps this is why there’s an increase in auto immune diseases? But no, you chose to tell us it’s our fault for eating burgers.

Now, if you’d like to take note of the hundreds of complaints you will have received after this morning’s breakfast show, perhaps you’d care to call someone who a) is a long-term sufferer of both ulcerative colitis AND Crohn’s Disease and b) knows what she’s talking about to the point that she has written a book on the subject d) has never eaten junk food in her life and, in fact, follows an alkaline, anti-inflammatory diet which helps a great deal to alleviate symptoms, although it is not a cure. There is no cure, partly because there is no known cause.

I’ve been on telly before. And on the radio. I’m a dab hand at it. I’d be happy to help. And I know my facts.

Go on. You really do owe every single one of us an apology, and the chance to put it right.


7 thoughts on “Junk Food Does Not Cause Crohn’s Disease. Thanks for nothing, BBC

  1. Hi Juliette, I have just finished reading your book and I wondered what made you go back to eating dairy? Like you, I have chronic ill health and I find that along with gluten, dairy is a huge trigger for joint and bowel pain. After your surgery did you stop having inflammatory reactions to food? x

    1. Hi Donna,
      I went back to it in an act of defiance, more than anything. It didn’t stop me losing my bowel, so I thought, ‘Sod it’ and started on it all again. I had joint pain for the two years I didn’t eat gluten or dairy. It made no difference to that at all. Also, I never had any symptoms like stomach pain or rushing to the loo. I just stopped eating it because I know it’s not good for you, and was doing everything I could to help myself. I get a bit of bloating with gluten but that’s it. Since I cut it out again in February I’ve felt no difference at all in the AS/joint pain. Now I’m on these stupid pro-biotics, and they’re made with… skimmed milk powder! Honestly. They are awful. Taste like I’d imagine baby sick tastes – sweet and salty at the same time. Ugh.

      So even when I decide to go dairy-free, I still can’t.
      And I’ve gone on to Lactose-free milk, but I actually feel better with goat’s milk. I hate the taste of milk full stop, and have only ever had it in tea and coffee, with soya milk on cereal. I’m hoping the inflammation in my gut will calm down on this diet, and will stick to it for life even if it doesn’t. I do have the odd lapse; a once-a-week treat of a bit of French cheese or butter and apricot jam on sourdough bread, and the odd ice-cream, but in general, I avoid it.

      What a long answer!

      1. Thank you very much for the detailed answer, I was wondering about the mechanism of the inflammation. I cannot eat dairy at all because it causes me to have colitis as well as exacerbating my joint pain. I was curious about whether the dairy reaction is from the bowel or the immune system itself. I’m not explaining myself very well 😦

        Those probiotics sound horrid, I take Probio Daily from Higher Nature and fortunately they have no taste at all 🙂 I used to have goat’s milk but I still felt a little bit yuk after having it, so I just have fresh coconut or almond milk now. There is so much more choice then there used to be a decade ago. I can’t do soya either – it’s not as bad as the real thing but makes me really bloated and snuffly.

        My daughter also has a dairy sensitivity but she can eat hard cheese occasionally without it making her asthma or her eczema bad.

        I am trying the Carol Sinclair IBS Starch-Free Diet now (discovered by a Dr Ebringer I think) but I am always hungry and crave potatoes something rotten. I blame my Irish blood.

        I hope you find something that helps with the pain soon x

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