Specialty Diets usually go like this:

1) Pain / Symptoms

2) Diagnoses

3) Food Changes (a.k.a. Specialty Diet)

4) Nutritional Deficiencies… often never corrected to 100% and understandable because…

A person suffering has so many things to immediately change, and that’s at a time of weakness. If the sufferer is a child, their parents may be so distraught, how can they be expected to suddenly consume a mountain of new information?

There’s a huge emotional aspect to illness and it can sometimes overshadow the physical aspect. Generally, the doctor is the one to remain objective and take care of business. That’s fine when it comes to writing up a prescription, but patients are often in trouble if there’s a food factor involved. I’m not talking about optometrists, I’m talking about the gut MDs and the illnesses directly tied to food, like IBS, IBD, Crohn’s, Celiac… This is Gastroenterology saying:

“most gastroenterologists are not well educated about diets or their effects on the gut. It is important to understand the various dietary approaches, their putative mechanisms, the evidence that supports their use, and the benefits or harm they might produce. The concepts behind, and delivery of, specialized diets differ from those of pharmacologic agents.”(1)

Did that quote alarm you? It should. The lifeguard team is telling you their people can’t swim in all waters.

When it comes to food-related illness, you’ll never see the same case twice, even if you see certain deficiencies repeating more often in some areas.

“In patients with Crohn's disease, vitamin A, D, E, K status was lower than in controls... fat-soluble vitamins are generally lower in patients with inflammatory bowel diseases and their supplementation is undoubtedly indicated.”(2)

“In newly diagnosed children with Celiac Disease, a significant lowness was established in vitamin D and A.”(3)

And yet in other studies, you’ll see entirely different deficiencies. DNA, environment including non-food products, and sometimes plain geography plays a role. A California kid is less likely to have a Vitamin D deficiency than a Michigan kid. That’s why there will never be a standard cheat sheet, way too many factors involved.


1) Obviously: testing. Without testing and regular monitoring, there’s no way to know what to do in each case.

2) Keep a detailed food diary for 7-14 days then consult with someone who knows food and health specific to the condition. A standard nutritionist doesn’t cut it here. If it did, I would never have triggered Celiac Disease in myself. I was powering up athletes and endurance runners, thinking gluten was just a super-starch that made non-athletes gain weight. They don’t teach doctors food and they don’t teach nutritionists illness.

3) (with qualified guidance) Supplement with all essential and non-essential amino acids, and the renewal supplements like glutathione and CoQ10. They might not be the deficiency showing up on the blood test, but they’ll help with repair and the function of absorbing other nutrients more efficiently.

The solutions are there, but they’re not always clear-cut. It takes years and many assaults to get to illness, sometimes it takes a comprehensive plan to rebuild health. Luckily, the road to health is usually much shorter than the road to illness.

(1) Gibson PR, Varney J, Malakar S, Muir JG. Food components and irritable bowel syndrome. Gastroenterology. 2015 May;148(6):1158-74.e4. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2015.02.005. Epub 2015 Feb 11. Review. PubMed PMID: 25680668.

(2) Fabisiak N, Fabisiak A, Watala C, Fichna J. Fat-soluble Vitamin Deficiencies and Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. J Clin Gastroenterol. 2017 Nov/Dec;51(10):878-889. doi: 10.1097/MCG.0000000000000911. Review. PubMed PMID: 28858940.

(3) Tokgöz Y, Terlemez S, Karul A. Fat soluble vitamin levels in children with newly diagnosed celiac disease, a case control study. BMC Pediatr. 2018 Apr 9;18(1):130. doi: 10.1186/s12887-018-1107-x. PubMed PMID: 29631542; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5890346.
 Jaqui Karr, CGP, CSN, CVD, is a best-selling author, speaker, and corporate consultantJaqui Karr who specializes in educating about gluten, celiac disease, specialty diets, and health through nutrition. Her popular “NakedFood” brand has helped thousands include more power raw and healing greens in their diet. Ms. Karr is a certified gluten practitioner, certified sports nutritionist, and certified vegan/vegetarian educator to dietitians. http://jaquikarr.com

Note: The statements presented in this column should not be considered medical advice or a way to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. Always seek the advice of a medical professional before altering your daily dietary regimen. The opinions presented here are those of the writer, not necessarily those of the publisher.