Crohn’s disease is an ailment of the gut. Any part of the gut can get inflamed and the symptoms will vary according to the area affected and also on the severity of the condition.
The general symptoms are abdominal pain and diarrhea. The person will feel unwell in general. The disease can aggravate periodically and at those times, medication is the usual remedy. The conditions do subside with medication but this is not permanent. So persons suffering from Crohn’s disease need regular medication. Sometimes surgical removal of the affected part is carried out in serious conditions.
Any part of the gut can get affected by Crohn’s disease including the small intestine. In that condition when the small intestine gets inflamed, digestion and absorption of the key nutrients suffer. The external signs include diarrhea and loss of appetite. However, when the large intestine too gets affected the patient shows severe forms of these conditions. Malnutrition is a common problem and the person can show signs of anemia and vitamin deficiency.
This means one thing and that is the person should be fed properly so that he or she neither gets bouts of the disease nor suffers from malnutrition. However, there are no proven diets that will work for all. What the experts recommend is to avoid the foods that can cause conditions like bloating, formation of gas, abdominal pains and cramps, and diarrhea. Avoiding conditions like these help to keep the disease within manageable proportions. It also gives the inflamed intestines some time to heal.
When the problem is in absorption of nutrients, the person needs to have a diet high on calories and protein. The most important thing is that the patient should eat even though he or she may not have the right appetite. In such cases the person will need the help of a registered expert nutritionist to set up a Crohn’s disease diet.
There are many types of Crohn’s disease diet recommendations and all these depend on the food that can cause conditions like bloating, indigestion, etc. These foods or triggers may vary from person to person and that is the reason why an expert is needed to customize the diet.
Thus, if a person needs a Crohn’s disease diet plan, he or she needs to identify the foods that trigger the conditions of the disease. Some of the foods that act as triggers are alcoholic drinks like beer and wine; fatty substances like butter, margarine, mayonnaise, etc. and fatty foods; dairy products; beverages like tea, coffee or chocolate and carbonated beverages; foods with high fiber content, red meat, pork; nuts, seeds and butters derived from these; raw fruits and vegetables; whole grains and bran; spicy preparations and the gas producing foods like cabbage and broccoli; lentils, beans and legumes, onions, etc.All these foods need not be avoided by every person suffering from Crohn’s disease. But the patients must keep a watch on these foods so that they can identify their triggers.
It is often recommended that the person diagnosed with Crohn’s disease should keep a food diary to take note of what they are eating and which are the food items that are triggering the effects. This helps to zero in on the specific items so that they can be eliminated from the diet.