Treating Crohn’s Disease with the Right Diet
Crohn's disease is a chronic illness characterized by outbreaks which means you'll have periods of time where you're better and others that are worse. Since dairy products and stress aggravate the condition, you'll need to avoid them.
Living with Crohn’s disease isn’t easy. It’s a chronic disease associated with intestinal inflammatory disorders.
Despite episodes of greater or lesser intensity, this disease often affects the quality of life of those who suffer from it. It’s often genetic in origin and is associated with certain bacteria or viruses that alter the proper function of the body.
In addition, factors like anxiety, stress or lifestyle choices can further aggravate the condition.
Is there a treatment for Crohn’s disease? The truth is that, as of today, this illness cannot be cured. However, it can be treated to improve the patient’s quality of life.
Antibiotics and corticosteroids are often administered and many people, sooner or later, have to undergo surgery to remove the diseased parts of the intestines.
On top of the treatments prescribed by doctors, you’ll need to watch your diet. We’ll explain more in the following article in the hopes that it will be of some help to you.
1. Diet and Crohn’s disease
Doctors tell us that just like with ulcerative colitis, there is no specific diet for Crohn’s disease that works the same for all patients.
Everyone is unique with a different clinical outlook. For this reason, it’s important that we be aware of the following:
- There are periods where the disease is not as intense and the symptoms are in remission, allowing the patient to eat many different types of food without feeling ill. However, the moment the pain, bloating or diarrhea returns, you’ll need to change your diet.
- Pay attention to your body and how different foods make you feel. This means that one day rice may make you feel ill. Should you blame the rice and remove it from your diet? Instead you should pay attention to the seasonings that were used. Sometimes certain spices and even dyes can cause severe irritation.
- If you suffer from Crohn’s disease, some foods will cause pain or intolerance within a half an hour to two hours after eating. The moment the food reaches the intestines, the reaction is “almost immediate”.
Comprehensive information: Crohn’s Disease: Symptoms and Treatment
- Eating small amounts of food more often throughout the day is recommended. That means avoiding heaping plates. The reaction in the intestines will be smaller, and perhaps even imperceptible.
- Chew your food well and rest for a half an hour to an hour after eating.
Take care of your sources of stress and avoid wearing yourself out during the day. Try to lead a quiet life!
2. The right diet for Crohn’s disease
- Avoid coffee and tea, they irritate the intestine.
- Avoid highly alcoholic beverages.
- Drink more water regularly in smaller quantities throughout the day.
- Chamomile tea is great: it’s anti-inflammatory and relaxing.
- Mint tea can also provide a lot of relief.
- Pineapple juice will help you better digest foods.
Also read: Home Treatments for Ulcerative Colitis
Meet the recommended daily requirements for calcium and protein
Due to the inflammatory process, diarrhea and immune problems related to Crohn’s disease, it’s necessary to increase the amount of calcium and proteins you consume.
Keep these recommendations in mind:
- Intolerance to dairy products is normal in those with Crohn’s disease because they cause inflammation in the body. You can use rice milk enriched with calcium as a substitute for these products.
- Try tofu and pay attention to how your body feels. If you’re able to tolerate it, try to include it regularly in your diet as it’s rich in calcium and vegetable proteins.
- Try adding ham to your diet. It’s rich in proteins and isn’t as high in fats as red meats. You need sources of protein, so try other lean meats like chicken and turkey. Never eat fried foods!
- Eggs are also appropriate for a Crohn’s disease diet.
- Tuna, mackerel and sardines are good sources of healthy proteins and are usually well tolerated.
- Try quince.
- Apples, baked or as applesauce. Never add sugar!
- Bananas (if you can tolerate them)
Vegetables to help you feel great
- Sweet potatoes
The right vitamin supplements
Patients with symptoms of Crohn’s disease often experience episodes of weakness due to infections and changes in the intestines. Getting the right amount of vitamins and minerals is absolutely necessary.
So try to include these supplements, which can be found in any pharmacy, in your diet:
- Folic acid
- Evening primrose and flax seed oils: both good sources of natural minerals.
Things you should avoid
- Legumes rich in insoluble fiber.
- Bran, which can cause more irritation.
- Avoid sweets.
- Avoid condiments and heavily spiced foods.