Crohn’s Disease is a condition that causes inflammation of the digestive system or gut. Crohn’s can affect any part of the gut, though the most common area affected is the end of the ileum (the last part of the small intestine), or the colon.
The areas of inflammation are often patchy with sections of normal gut in between. A patch of inflammation may be small, only a few centimetres, or extend quite a distance along part of the gut. As well as affecting the lining of the bowel, Crohn’s may also go deeper into the bowel wall. It’s one of the two main forms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).
Crohn’s is a very individual condition – the symptoms vary from person to person, and may depend on where in the gut the disease is active.
The symptoms range from mild to severe and can change over time, too. However, the most common are:
- Abdominal pain and diarrhoea
- Tiredness and fatigue
- Feeling generally unwell or feverish
- Mouth ulcers
- Loss of appetite and weight loss
- Anaemia (a reduced level of red blood cells)
you should know that poor absorption in your intestines and loss of appetite often linked to Crohn’s disease may deprive your body of essential nutrients—so you have to be mindful about eating a nutritious diet, or malnutrition may occur. Talk to your doctor and, if possible, a dietitian about customizing your diet for you to make sure you are getting enough nutrients and calories.
That said, some people with Crohn’s disease may benefit from the following general suggestions:
- Limit dairy products
- Try low-fat foods
- Experiment with fiber
- Avoid “gassy” foods
- Eat smaller meals
- Drink plenty of water
- Chrones Desease? What not to eat
- When it comes to Crohn's disease, not all foods affect people in the same way. For example, spicy food may be a problem for some, while others never have to hold the hot sauce.That said, there some types of food you may want to steer clear of, particularly during a symptom flare-up. "You always want to make sure you're knowledgeable and informed about your own disease," says Tracie Dalessandro, a nutritionist based in Briarcliff Manor, NY, who also has Crohn's.Here's a list of the 10 types of food most likely to be a problem.
- Nuts are nutritious, but when eaten raw, most people with Crohn's won't reap the benefits of their healthy fats and high protein content. Like other rough and hard-to-digest foods, she adds, they can further irritate the lining of your gut, worsening your symptoms.
- Fruit with skin
- An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but if it isn't peeled, it can cause major digestive distress for someone with Crohn's. The same goes for vegetables with edible peels, like cucumbers. Strip them off before you eat them. In fact, some people with Crohn's find they can eat raw fruit and even some raw vegetables if they've been peeled. In general, cooked or canned fruits and vegetables are often a better choice than raw.
- Whole grains are good for everyone—except a person with Crohn's disease who's having a flare-up.Popcorn is technically a whole grain, and it's probably among the hardest of all those grains to digest. The same goes for corn on the cob. "Anything that's really rough to digest would possibly be detrimental and cause more symptoms and possibly slow the healing process,"
- Fried food
- Chicken, fish, and other healthy foods became major nutritional no-nos once they hit the deep fat fryer. Fried food isn't good for anyone, and its greasiness may be especially problematic for people with Crohn's
- Cured meat
- It's extremely important for people with Crohn's disease to get enough protein; at least 25% of your daily calorie intake should be protein-based. But eating fatty and cured meats, like bacon, is not the best way to add protein to your diet. These foods offer little nutritional benefit, while their high fat content can aggravate diarrhea for some people. Instead, choose lean high-quality proteins, like fish, soy, and smooth nut butters.
- During a flare, people with Crohn's should avoid foods that contain lots of seeds, such as strawberries, raspberries, and tomatoes,
- "Those things don't get digested fully and can cause more diarrhea," she explains. "You want to stay away from things that are rough on the digestive system…it's kind of like sandpaper on an open wound." Also, skip rye bread and other baked goods that contain seeds.
- Maybe it's the skin, maybe it's the seeds, or maybe it's the acidity, but many people with Crohn's find that eating tomatoes in any form worsens their symptoms, whether it's a raw tomato in a salad or spaghetti sauce.
- Coffee, chocolate, and carbonated beverages
- Many coffee lovers have to swear off java after getting a diagnosis of Crohn's.
- Use caution when drinking alcohol, as it can be a problem for some people with inflammatory bowel disease.
Because Crohn's disease can damage the digestive tract, it can also cause lactose intolerance, an inability to digest the sugar found in milk and other dairy products. If dairy causes bloating, gas, or aggravates other symptoms, you may want to try soy or almond milk instead of cow's milk. Choose harder, aged cheeses like Parmesan, Romano, or cheddar instead of soft cheeses like mozzarella or ricotta.
Supplements to consider for Chrone’s and IBD.
A good strength probiotic can be incredible at decreasing inflammation. supports your body’s immune system, improve digestive function and mineral absorption. Probiotics have been shown to help people with Crohn’s disease reduce the incidence of diarrhea.
A good probiotic also encourages enhanced synthesis of vitamin B12 (studies suggest people with Crohn’s often suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency and/or folate deficiency), calcium and vitamin K2 ,and support digestion of difficult substances like gluten and lactose.
Curcumin/Turmeric — With anti-inflammatory properties, studies have found that people with inflammatory bowel disease who took curcumin reduced their symptoms and their need for medicines. Various clinical studies have suggested that curcumin might be a potential candidate for the prevention and/or treatment of a variety of colonic diseases, such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and colonic cancer.
Glutamine — Glutamine is an amino acid found in the body that that helps the intestine function properly. Since it’s good for overall intestinal health, it can offer help for Crohn’s. It’s best to take glutamine on an empty stomach.
Omega-3 fatty acids — like those found in fish oil can help fight inflammation and reduce the chances of recurrence of Crohn’s. Studies have been mixed, but some sufferers find omega-3s to be helpful.
Real multivitamin — Because Crohn’s disease can interfere with your ability to absorb nutrients, it’s often a good idea to take a multivitamin and mineral supplement. You don’t want just any multivitamin, though. Look at the full spectrum Terranove multi nutrient formula with magnifoods.