If you have Crohn’s disease, you probably have found that certain foods trigger your intestinal symptoms, especially when the disease flares.
Learning to avoid these food triggers may allow you to self-manage your Crohn’s disease, reduce gastrointestinal symptoms, and promote intestinal healing.
What is Crohn’s disease?
Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are two types of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Both involve an immune reaction against the intestinal tract.
In ulcerative colitis, the colon is inflamed and the small intestine works normally.
With Crohn’s disease, the small intestine can be inflamed, making it hard to digest and absorb key nutrients from food. The lack of sufficient nutrients, along with a poor appetite, can lead to malnutrition for people with Crohn’s disease. That malnutrition may result from alterations in taste, reduced food or nutrient intake, lack of sufficient nutrients, or the inflammatory bowel disease process itself.
When Crohn’s disease affects just the small intestine it results in diarrhea and undernourishment. When the large intestine is also inflamed, the diarrhea can be severe. Severe diarrhea combined with malnutrition often leads to problems. For example, a person with Crohn’s disease may suffer from anemia and have low levels of vitamin B12 and folic acid.
Nutritional deficiencies and an inability to maintain a normal weight are serious problems for many people, even children, with Crohn’s disease.
What is a Crohn’s disease diet plan?
With Crohn’s disease, it’s important to follow a high-calorie, high-protein diet, even when you don’t feel like eating.
An effective Crohn’s disease diet plan, based on recommendations from experts, would emphasize eating regular meals — plus an additional two or three snacks — each day. That will help ensure you get ample protein, calories, and nutrients. In addition, you will need to take your doctor-recommended vitamin and mineral supplements. By doing so you will be able to replenish the necessary nutrients in your body.
· butter, mayonnaise, margarine, oils
· carbonated beverages
· coffee, tea, chocolate
· corn husks
· dairy products (if lactose intolerant)
· fatty foods (fried foods)
· foods high in fiber
· gas-producing foods (lentils, beans, legumes, cabbage, broccoli, onions)
· nuts and seeds (peanut butter, other nut butters)
· raw fruits
· raw vegetables
· red meat and pork
· spicy foods
· whole grains and bran
Once you’ve identified foods that cause your symptoms to flare, you can choose either to avoid them or to learn new ways of preparing them that will make them tolerable. To do that, you’ll need to experiment with various foods and methods of preparation to see what works best for you.
Foods to avoid on a low-residue diet may include:
· corn hulls
· raw fruits