Crohn’s disease is an immune disease that causes the person’s immune system to attack the intestines. Crohn’s disease is a form of inflammatory bowel disease. The small intestines become inflamed which interferes with digestion and absorption of nutrients. Some foods make Crohn’s flare-ups worse or may trigger a flare-up of the disease. What foods to avoid if I have Crohn’s disease?
Symptoms of Crohn’s disease can cause gas, bloating, diarrhea, and abdominal pain or cramps. The foods that make these symptoms worse vary among individuals with Crohn’s disease. There is not an official Crohn’s diet. People with Crohn’s disease need to determine which foods are problematic for them.
Some of the foods that cause Crohn’s disease symptoms to worsen include raw fruits and vegetables, pork, red meat, beans, whole grains, nuts, peanut butter, chocolate, seeds, broccoli, spicy foods, and high-fiber foods. Fatty foods including butter, mayonnaise, and oils can trigger Crohn’s disease symptoms. Some beverages cause Crohn’s disease symptoms including carbonated beverages, alcohol, coffee, and tea.
A person with this condition may avoid the foods that cause Crohn’s symptoms. Writing down the foods eaten and any symptoms following the meals can help a person pinpoint which foods are causing problems. People often experiment with ways of preparing these foods so that the foods are not bothersome. Some people for whom red meat causes intestinal symptoms may find that lean cuts of red meat may not cause symptoms. Others with Crohn’s disease eat only fish and poultry and avoid red meat.
Some diets are used to manage Crohn’s disease, but no single Crohn’s disease diet is right for everyone with this disease. The diets have not been scientifically proven to be suitable treatment for people with Crohn’s disease. However, some people with Crohn’s may find a diet that helps alleviate their symptoms. One diet for Crohn’s disease is referred to as a low-residue diet. Nuts, raw fruits, seeds, vegetables, and corn hulls are foods that are avoided in a low-residue diet.
The physician may have helpful advice on determining which foods are problematic. The physician may also prescribe vitamins or supplements. Malnutrition is a common complication of Crohn’s disease. A person with Crohn’s disease needs to be careful not to restrict their diet too much. Eating small meals and snacks frequently may be beneficial instead of eating three larger meals. The physician may suggest that a Crohn’s disease patient meets with a dietician.