Crohns Disease Diet and Nutrition
The role of diet and nutrition is very important in Crohn's disease and should be considered as an important add-on treatment to medical therapies. Although there is no direct evidence that Crohn's disease is caused by dietary factors, the food you eat can considerably affect the symptoms of the condition.
Dietary guidelines for Crohn's disease vary depending on the severity of the disease, location of the inflammation, and symptoms. As crohns disease is characterized by inflammation along the digestive tract it is often difficult for the body to absorb enough of the essential nutrients that it needs to function well. In addition, people with Crohn's disease often experience a decrease in appetite. Poor nutrition may also make it more difficult to recover from flares of the disease.
What is the best Diet for Crohns Disease?
Unfortunately there is no single effective Crohn's disease diet which will reduce symptoms for all patients. A Chrons disease diet may vary from individual to individual and may need to be changed, depending on symptoms or complications.
Most dietitians with experience of Crohn's disease simply recommend a healthy balanced diet, abundant in organic health food and free of any foods that aggravate the symptoms. Generally, foods that make Crohn's disease symptoms worse are processed products, gas-forming fruits and vegetables, alcohol, lactose, caffeine and foods high in fat. These foods are usually excluded from the diet.
Crohn's Disease patients should avoid the following foods and liquids:
- Dairy foods
- High fiber foods (especially during flare-ups)
- Hot spicy foods
- Alcohol & caffeine
- Foods containing saturated fats, found in meat and dairy products
- Products containing corn or gluten, those made from wheat, oats, barley, or triticale
- Foods, such as soy, eggs, peanuts, tomatoes
- Gas-producing foods such as cabbage family vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and brussels sprouts), dried peas and lentils, onions and chives, peppers and carbonated drinks
- Simple sugars
- Dried fruits or high-sugar fruits, such as grapes, watermelon, or pineapple
Here are some general dietary guidelines for Crohn's disease:
- Eat a well-balanced diet
- Drink plenty of fluids to offset losses from diarrhea
- Consult with your doctor if you need to take vitamin, mineral or herbal supplements
- Limit high-fiber foods (whole grains, raw vegetables and fruits, beans and nuts)
- Avoid foods that seem to make symptoms worse
- Limit dairy products
Choosing a proper diet for Chron's disease is important. The identification of trigger foods and the introduction of foods that help ease symptoms, while restricting those that cause the symptoms to worsen is a slow but essential part of overcoming Chron's disease.