How Does Nutrition Affect Crohn’s?

woman has stomach pain

How Does Nutrition Affect My Crohn's Disease?

Crohn’s disease can cause a variety of annoying symptoms but making certain nutritional changes can help reduce its flare-ups.

What is Crohn’s disease?

Crohn’s disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that affects the digestive tract. In some people, it causes the last segment of the small intestine to become inflamed, and in others, it affects only the colon (part of the large intestine).

What are the symptoms of Crohn’s disease?

The symptoms associated with this condition can range from mild to severe, and they can flare up and then stop. Symptoms may also appear either suddenly or gradually. The following are some common symptoms of Crohn’s disease:

  • Stomach pain and cramps
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Bloody stools
  • Lack of appetite
  • Malnutrition
  • Mouth sores
  • A painful sore near your anus (which can drain)
  • Fatigue
  • Unintended weight loss

How does nutrition affect Crohn's disease?

What you eat can affect your Crohn’s disease symptoms. While there’s no specific diet that’s recommended for everyone, you may find that certain foods trigger your symptoms, so it’s best to avoid them. The following foods are some common triggers:

  • High-fiber foods like whole-wheat pasta or bread, beans, or broccoli
  • Nuts, seeds, and popcorn
  • Raw fruits and vegetables
  • Fatty, greasy, or fried foods
  • Spicy foods
  • Dairy products (if you’re lactose intolerant)
  • Prunes
  • Caffeine
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Carbonated beverages

In addition, you’ll want to make the following nutritional changes:

  • Follow a high-calorie, high-protein diet to ensure you absorb enough nutrients
  • Eat regular meals, plus 2 to 3 snacks, a day
  • Eat smaller meals
  • Drink small amounts of water throughout the day
  • Take vitamins and supplements as recommended by your doctor

Will you be able to avoid flare-ups if you make nutritional changes?

Eating a healthy diet while avoiding trigger foods can help avoid flare-ups. To find out what changes to make, talk to your doctor and keep a food diary to record what you eat as well as information about your symptoms. Over time, you’ll learn what foods to avoid in order to reduce flare-ups.

If you have symptoms of Crohn’s disease or have been diagnosed with this condition, make an appointment today with Allied Digestive Disease Center of Houston and Cypress, TX. We help with digestive and nutrition issues by providing personalized, compassionate care combined with the latest treatment options.

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