can kids with autoimmune diseases also do whole30?


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Hi. We are new to figuring out the whole30. 2 years ago my son now almost 14 was diagnosed with autoimmune hepatitis and ulcerative colitis. We went on a gluten free diet & pretty much 90% dairy free and was even vegan for almost a year. He just spent 10 days in the hospital because of his UC flared up. He went from 98lbs to 82lbs in less than 2 weeks. Without going into so much extreme details & making this post crazy long, he also developed this crazy itching problem. Only from his knees to his ankles. People with hepatitis have horrible itching due to acid bile levels getting too high. His pediatrician commented on how with the slightest touch anywhere on his skin he becomes red. That it appears he's producing an absorbent amount of histamine. He never had this problem with itching before AI diagnosis. He is so fatigued ALL THE TIME. I've been reading all about the AIP, FODMAP, GAPS, on & on diets. When he got diagnosed we started probiotics hoping that would help, now reading it could actually be more harmful along with all this about histamine intolerance with people who have GI issues. Is the whole30 ok for kids who need to gain weight & have AI diseases? Info anyone has on anything I mentioned would be a great help.

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Whole30 is suitable for anyone, kids or adults. With kids, and especially a kid who needs to gain weight, you'll want to be sure he eats plenty of food. Here's an article about keeping weight on/gaining weight during a Whole30



As for AIP/FODMAPS/Low-Histamine versions of the Whole30, those are all more restrictive in a lot of ways, so you may want to start with just a Whole30. It's designed to eliminate the most inflammatory foods, so many people find some relief just from doing the regular Whole30, especially if it's very different than how they've been eating, and then if they don't get the results they hoped for, they may move on to one of the other protocols.  


That said, there are some obvious things to limit or even cut out completely, especially nuts and nut butters which are notorious for causing digestive issues, even in people who don't have underlying conditions. If you know he has reactions to things like peppers or tomatoes or any other foods, obviously, leave those out. 


I would try to keep a food log for him, so that if he has a flare up, you can try to determine what foods might be causing it. He's a teenager, so I'm guessing you may not always have control over what he eats. I'd suggest getting him as on board with Whole30 as possible, but make sure if he's out with friends and has something that's not Whole30 that he knows it's okay to let you know what he ate, especially if he ends up having any kind of reaction. Or if he's really gung ho about this, he can keep his own food log, if he's the type to do that -- even something as simple as a picture of everything he eats, if that's easier for him. Just some kind of record so that if there are patterns to the flare ups, you can hopefully go back and track down what's causing it. I don't know about UC specifically, but I know there are some foods that cause reactions in some people even 24-48 hours after eating them, so it may not be as simple as, I ate this and immediately knew there was something wrong. But over time he may notice, 24 hours after I eat X, I get these symptoms.

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