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Find Out How Food Can Impact Your Crohn’s Disease

Certain dietary changes can minimize the symptoms of Crohn's disease during flares.

Soup is any easy-to-digest food for people who have Crohn's disease.
Masterfile

A diagnosis of Crohn's disease may require certain changes to your diet, because some foods can worsen symptoms of the disease.

Since Crohn's disease can interfere with your body's ability to digest and absorb nutrients from food, you may also need to ensure that you get enough of certain nutrients from your diet. (1)

It’s important to work with your doctor, and possibly a dietitian who is familiar with Crohn’s disease, to create a diet plan that’s tailored to your nutritional needs. (2)

While it’s usually best to get the nutrients you need from food, your doctor may recommend that you take dietary supplements if you have any nutrient deficiencies because of Crohn’s.

Even though your diet can play a role in reducing symptoms and may have some effect on underlying inflammation, medication is almost always necessary to effectively treat Crohn’s disease.

There’s also no evidence that your diet plays a role in whether you develop Crohn’s disease, according to the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation. (2)

Diet and Nutrition Problems in Crohn’s Disease

You’re much more likely to experience problems with your diet and nutrition during a Crohn’s flare or when your disease is active, compared with when it’s in remission, the Mayo Clinic notes. (3)

Making changes in your diet doesn’t always help these problems, but you may need to eat differently in response to make sure you’re getting the nutrition you need.

Common dietary problems in active Crohn's disease include:

Malabsorption Inflammation in the small intestine can make it more difficult to absorb nutrients.

Severe diarrhea can also result in nutrients not getting digested properly, as well as lead to dehydration. (4)

Lack of Appetite You may not feel like eating much if you're experiencing nausea and vomiting. This can make it difficult to get enough calories and nutrients.

Malnutrition You may eat less, or follow a diet that isn’t healthy, to avoid symptoms if you're having numerous bowel movements during the day.

Increased Energy Needs Having a chronic disease like Crohn’s can increase your body’s energy expenditure, so that you need to consume more calories to maintain your body weight.

This is especially true during disease flares, according to the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation. (2)

Food Triggers for Crohn's Disease

When you have Crohn's disease flares, certain foods or drinks can make symptoms like gas and diarrhea worse.

Food triggers can be different from person to person.

Keeping a food journal, in which you record how you feel after eating certain foods, can help you identify your own triggers.

The following dietary strategies may help ease symptoms of Crohn's disease, especially during flares:

Eat smaller meals. Reduce meal size or try "grazing" throughout the day.

Drink small amounts of water. Do this often throughout the day.

Avoid high-fiber foods. Fiber is essential to healthy digestion, but some people with Crohn's disease find that high-fiber foods, such as whole-wheat pasta or bread, beans, and other legumes like chickpeas and lentils, can cause diarrhea and bloating during flares. (3)

Avoid nuts, seeds, and popcorn. These foods can be especially difficult to digest, causing irritation in the digestive tract. (5)

Avoid raw fruits and vegetables, and their cooked skins. You may have an easier time digesting cooked, pureed, and peeled fruits and vegetables. (5)

Avoid prunes. While prunes may help with regular digestion in people without inflammation in their bowel, they can cause problems in people with Crohn’s disease. (2)

Avoid fatty, greasy, or fried foods. Fatty foods can make symptoms worse, especially if you have inflammation in your small intestine. (2)

Avoid spicy foods. Hot and spicy foods contain chemicals that can irritate your digestive system and worsen symptoms. (2)

Limit dairy products. Some people with Crohn's disease have problems digesting lactose, the sugar found in milk and other dairy products. (3)

If you’re not lactose-intolerant, though, keep in mind that dairy products can be an important source of protein and calcium. (4)

Limit caffeine intake. Caffeine in coffee, tea, or soda can stimulate the bowel and worsen flares. (2)

Limit alcoholic beverages. Alcohol can irritate your bowel, so it’s important to figure out how much you can drink without having worsened symptoms. (2)

Limit carbonated beverages. In some people, “fizzy” drinks can make digestive symptoms worse. (5)

Try plain cereal and refined grains. While these foods don’t have the nutrient content of their whole-grain counterparts, they’re generally much easier to digest. (2)

Many of these products are also fortified with vitamins and minerals.

Eat bland, soft foods. These foods may be boring, but if they can help you avoid unpleasant symptoms, it may be a worthwhile trade. (4)

Many common foods can be made softer by cooking them for longer or with more water. You can also try pureeing foods to make them easier to digest.

Include enough protein in your diet. If you can tolerate them, lean meat and poultry, fish, and soy products are excellent sources of protein.

Protein can help you feel full and satisfied after eating, which can reduce food cravings and possibly help you avoid problem foods or overeating. (2)

Special Diet for Crohn’s Disease

It's important to talk to your doctor about how to avoid problematic foods while still maintaining a healthy and balanced diet.

There's no one diet for Crohn's disease. The particular diet that your doctor recommends will depend on the type and severity of your symptoms. (6)

Some common diets for Crohn's disease include:

Be sure to discuss any major dietary changes you’re considering with your doctor to make sure that they’re safe and right for you.

Remember that you can’t try out every dietary strategy at once, and that it may take some time to figure out how you react to a change in your diet.

Dietary Supplements for Crohn's Disease

Crohn's disease can make it difficult to get enough vitamins and minerals, so many people with the condition take nutritional supplements to help prevent nutrient deficiencies. (3)

Some supplements — such as probiotics and omega-3 fatty acids — have been studied for Crohn’s disease, but there isn’t any strong evidence that they’re helpful at reducing symptoms or maintaining remission. (4)

Your doctor may recommend the following supplements, depending on your needs:

Talk to your doctor before taking any vitamins or other dietary supplements, since some supplements can worsen digestive symptoms.






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Date: 07.12.2018, 03:12 / Views: 71362