Diet is a very special element in maintaining a healthy gut and avoiding flare-ups in Crohn’s disease. Since Crohn’s disease might affect the body’s ability to digest ad absorb nutrients, it is essential to modify diet to make sure the diet makes up for the nutritional needs and is rich in all the important components.
Crohn’s disease can lead to severe gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea and mal-absorption. Much of these conditions hamper the proper uptake of nutrients and may eventually lead to deficiencies and severe fatigue.
Even though most of the symptoms are common attributes for most of the people, there is no generalized diet that can be recommended for Crohn’s disease patients. There are however guidelines that can be customized to fit into individual needs. A patient suffering from Crohn’s disease should consume a diet that is rich in in calories, yet low on fat, fiber and salt. A lactose free diet should also be preferred.
Few general guidelines involve:
- Eat multiple times during the day and restrict your portions size. This significantly reduces the work load for the gastrointestinal system and will cut down the number of flare-up events.
- Drink small amounts of water. It is essential to keep you hydrated and may help in making up for the fluid loss that happens with diarrhea.
- Avoid consuming foods with high fiber. It is essential to avoid foods like nuts, popcorns, beans as they may lead to flare-ups or may acts as triggers.
- Avoid foods that are rich in fats as they may worsen the inflammation in the small intestine. Intake of dairy products should also be limited since CD patients may find it difficult to digest lactose and sugars in milk and milk products. Keep a check on caffeine intake as it can also contribute towards bowel stimulation and worsen flare-ups.
- Crohn’s disease can make it difficult to maintain therapeutic levels of vitamins and minerals, so the physician would advise daily consumption of these to help prevent deficiencies. It is always advisable to seek through recommendation by your physician, since few supplements might worsen the triggers.
- These include:
- Iron supplements
- Calcium and vitamin D
- Folic acid
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamins A, E, and K
- Probiotics are advised to help patients with digestion and symptomatic improvement of bloating and gas.
It is always advised to consume almond milk, oatmeal, eggs and fruits like papaya, for they make up for most of the nutritional needs.